Let The Spirit Triumph
Friday, January 22, 2010 | Author: eventer79
Today is technically Friday Fun Fact day. But I am not going to give you a Friday Fun Fact. Because I am mean. You will have to sustain yourself on the penguin facts from the previous post.

Why such cold heartlessness? I stumbled across a thought that resonated in so many different ways with me.

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in clear form.
-Albert Einstein (1875-1955), Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

How perfectly this sums up so much of the debate going on, not only today, but throughout the history of our society. And not only in conservation, but any arena you can think of. People fear change, they fear what they don't understand, they fear fear itself. In some sort of ingrained response, generally this fear leads to the shutting down of any ability for thought and the parroting of anything that reinforces that simple fear of change. In general, the population accepts the status quo as "the way things are and should be." When you decide the status quo sucks and stand up bring about change to improve things, sadly, the first thing that hits you in the face is this violent opposition. Reason, logic, and truth seem to have no bearing in these gales of noise and panic.

Oh, Mr. Einstein, could you not have given us the solution to this problem?
Think Formal
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | Author: eventer79
Put on that tux! It's National Penguin Awareness Day! No, really, it is, I swear. Have no idea what to do to celebrate? Don't worry, eHow never leaves a person hanging, even in the most uncertain of social situations. And 123greetings.com has ALL your NPAD greeting card needs covered! Whew, I know, feel the relief, right?

So why are penguins so kickass that they garner their own holiday?? Well --

They can swim in Antarctic waters (enough said, right??)!
Some species spend as much as 75% of their lives at sea.
They have as many as 70 feathers per square inch to insulate them underwater.
Some species can go from 0 to 16 mph in less than a second when leaping into the water.
They can hold their breath for as long as 15-20 minutes.
Penguins have been around for 60 million years.
They can dive as deep as 1800 feet.

What I want to know is, why don't I get the day off for this important holiday?? My penguin heritage is deeply offended.
A Breath Of Life
Friday, January 15, 2010 | Author: eventer79
I know I'm supposed to give you a Friday Fun Fact today, but I figured since the point of FFF is to make you go, "wow!" then this will do just as well.

This has got to be up there on the list of one of the most amazing things I have EVER seen. I have always been entranced by elephants and firmly believe there is far more behind their wise eyes than they are given credit for. Watch as a female in Bali gives birth to a stillborn calf. And then gives it CPR. I'm not kidding. Animals are completely and totally awesome.

Bali Elephant Birth

Father Fail Or Win?
Friday, January 08, 2010 | Author: eventer79
Friday Fun Fact is back!

Pipefish, upright seahorse cousins who live in warm oceans, are nursed to adulthood by their fathers. After fertilization, the female passes all her embryos to dad's pouch so he can protect and feed the young until they are ready to live on their own.

Sweet father, right?

There's a catch.

Many times, dear old dad will actually reabsorb some or all of the embryos into his own body for nutrition, perhaps because food supplies are scarce.

Kids driving you crazy? On your ever last nerve? Taking too much time or resources? No problem, just eat them, it's nature's way! Tastes like chicken...
Piercing The Darkness
Sunday, January 03, 2010 | Author: eventer79
When I was in high school, I had a very interesting English teacher for two years. One of the books that we read that snagged and caught in my memory was Joseph Conrad's psychological morass, Heart of Darkness. The message stuck with me all these years: that deep within, every person has a dark core, a capacity for malfeasance, for black deeds and dark ways. What creates a moral person is one who recognizes, embraces, and controls this, thereby gaining the upper hand over the devil inside.

In the book, the journey into the netherworld of the human spirit is a steamy cruise on a paddleboat through the Congo's tropical jungle. In life, it is a quest of the mind, if you will, to realize what left Conrad's Marlow gasping in horror: that evil capacity is in every human being and the choice to be ruled by it or to rise above it is up to each of us.

Why dwell on such shadowy things, you wonder? Let life be light and air and happiness!

As is repeated to us in a thousand different media, light cannot exist without the contrast presented by darkness. And we cannot recognize good except by comparing it to that which is not good.

The point of all this is the heart of why I think it is important to talk about, to think about things which may not be all pleasantness and joy. Because I don't believe we can be truly alive without seeing, without knowing the full breadth of human existence. If we go through life shutting out awareness of the suffering of other lives, without not only contemplating, but taking action where we can related to situations created by man's ill-doing, then we only half-live. We become only shells, nothing more than creatures of thoughtless consumption and existence without consequence.

There is much wonder in the world, and much cause for the spirit to soar. But in order for it to persist, we must step forward and look boldly into the eye of that dim place in the soul and by our choices, stoke its corners with our own small candles that together, will illuminate the shadow. By doing so, we then become wholly alive and wholly participant in living and the light is that much brighter and more fulfilling for having recognized and beaten back the heart of darkness.