“Homo botanicus sounds good,” thought the 35-year-old Pierre Gittleman, his mind wandering away from Thomas Dougherty’s story about the benefits of fasting. Pierre’s mind has been moving a mile-a-minute lately, fueled by his certainty – you could almost call it an epiphany –… Read the rest
We live in an affirmative universe, the Universe of Yes. The presence of matter is itself evidence, as are all the other forces and fields we’ve discovered. The universe only says “yes,” even to our ability to say “no.” It doesn’t get more affirmative than that.
It is 2135, smack in the middle of the 6th Great Extinction. Humanity has been reduced to small pockets of civilization, some operating at a subsistence level through foraging and small scale farming, others, by remaining technologically advanced and with sufficient energy sources pursuing… Read the rest
From the smallest animal to the largest, hunger, the first and strongest drive to assert itself, underlies the substance of animal behavior. Sensory functions – smell, sight, touch, hearing and taste – all support the search for food, and their humble origins may well lie in that pursuit.… Read the rest
Truth can be elusive, so much so that the entirety of the scientific method may be seen as a systematic attempt to find it. Our scientific age, roughly 300 years old, was preceded by uncountable eons of magical thinking and mythology, variously employed to explain both natural phenomena and the course… Read the rest
Neither of my parents were observant Jews. Yes, we belonged to a reform temple and would attend services there for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but other than that, we were mostly Jews in name only. We ate bagels, cream cheese, and lox, but also bacon; that about says it all.
Walking seems such a simple thing. I used to think nothing of jumping up and heading out of the house when I was a boy; following the impulse to move felt seamless, an act so natural as to be thoughtless.
My father Norman was a big walker, and on weekends while I was growing up, he’d invite me to join him in what… Read the rest
The world is turned upside down; global warming, international relations, pandemic disease, and regional politics have all gone nuts. Appreciation of norms, the behavioral and social customs that preserve comity and decorum, is not in decline; it’s collapsed. Trump and his minions are not the cause… Read the rest
Homo sapiens are pattern-finders and base their behavior on anticipating patterns or pattern variance. Making prognostications on the future, using reason and thought to replace simple instinct, largely distinguishes humanity from other animals. A change of seasons, for example, triggers instinctual… Read the rest
At 75-million strong, Baby Boomers have had an outsized effect on our nation’s economy, culture of entertainment, technology, fashion industry, environment, real estate, and virtually everything else about contemporary life. In our passage from children to codgers, we’ve been like the bulge … Read the rest
We may be living in the digital age, but many of us grew up when the world was analog, which means we possess many generations of family photographs. I’m talking about photographic prints, many of them black and white, filling envelopes and storage boxes in closets and cabinets. When you get to my advanced… Read the rest
Anyone who’s raised children knows that of three basic freedoms – to say “no,”, to relocate, to choose friends – the freedom to say “no” is the earliest to manifest. As an element of basic freedom, animal life has said “no” from its very beginnings.
Is the purpose of government to protect the common welfare or protect private property? This question is at the heart of American politics and encapsulates many of the differences between those on the right and those on the left.
Conservatives argue that individual liberty is at the core of American… Read the rest
I grew up in the suburbs of New York City where five of us lived in a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath single family home with our dog Bobo and an occasional cat. Behind our backyard was a wooded patch, a ramble of oak, maple, beech, and various shrubs; in the spring, skunk cabbage would pop up in its water-logged… Read the rest
Ideas propel human society, imagination providing an inexhaustible source of fuel. Boundless in reach, ideas cross borders and influence cultures through networks of communication. Originally networks of communication traveled at the speed of direct transmission, sensory experiences such… Read the rest
I was never much of an athlete as a child. I was well coordinated, and certainly strong enough, but spending hours practicing a sport was not of much interest to me. My grammar school experience didn’t help; in fact, gym class with Mr. D discouraged it further.
On December 7th I’ll be checking into the hospital to undergo a cardiac ablation procedure, a process of inserting electrodes and catheters into a blood vessel in my groin, snaking them up and into my heart, and using them to cauterize some confused heart cells that are causing me to have repeated episodes… Read the rest
While walking this past week I noticed whitish imprints on the bike path, the result of muddy water having collected under wet leaves that had dried once the sun came out and had blown away. Evanescent, such imprints will disappear quickly, and it got me thinking about what we leave behind.