up and down–stuff of the week

rollercoasterup and down

if i’m enjoying–winning or losing–chess, i’m up.

if i sit around, doing nothing, i’m down.

if i’m helping others, i’m up.

if i think of the overall state of the world, i’m down.

if i recall julian of norwich’s assurance that all will be well, i’m up.

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what’s in a name? sexism…he/she, god/goddess, girls/boys

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goalie-from-w[we treat life like a regulation game–you win some, you lose some–when really it’s more like game 7, sudden-death-overtime. image from wikipedia

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for a long time, i’ve been mindful of something philip berrigan once said. he said something like, ‘if the problem you’re working on you expect to see solved in your lifetime, the problem’s not big enough’–in other words, dig deeper, perhaps ever deeper. but today, after nearly thirty years, i wondered for the first time, what is the joy that counters the problem? berrigan believed deeply in god, but i don’t have such faith.

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the further removed you are, the more you must speculate. but there are clues, and if your map is accurate and your compass points to true north, your interpretation may be valid and your speculation less, well, speculative.

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it’s ironic that as the calgary stampede starts, i’m blogging about animal rights

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why is the sky blue?

lawrence-krausslawrence krauss (pictured) says the question should be actually ‘how is the sky blue?’ he says science describes things as they are, asked by questions that start with ‘how’; it does not presume to know the purpose behind things, which are asked by questions that start with ‘why’. in fact, there is no evidence for purpose. but, as every parent knows, even though a ‘why’ question may have a complicated answer, it also has a simple answer: ‘cuz’. questions that start with ‘how’ never have simple answers. they take some explaining. ‘why’ questions, however, lead to misleading answers of purpose, misleading because, as far as science (according to krauss, an atheist) can determine, the universe is purposeless. but ‘how is the sky blue?’ doesn’t have the same ring as ‘why is the sky blue?’ weren’t some of the greatest scientists believers or agnostics, motivated in life and in science by a common desire to find out not just how but why? why (how?) does physicist neil turok see ethical problems in the cyclical model of the big bang?

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think!

Yoko_Ono_and_John_Lennon_at_John_Sinclair_Freedom_Rally-from-wcLast night my partner and I went through what’s left of my wardrobe hanging in the closet–you know, dress shirts, jackets, ties, that sort of thing. I kept a suit (for weddings), a jacket, a few shirts and ties. Most of them have sentimental value, a story attached. In The Ballad Of John And Yoko, John sings, ‘Last night the wife said, “Oh boy, when you’re dead, you don’t take nothing with you but your soul.” Think!’ Your soul. Not jackets, not shirts, not even stories. image from wikimedia commons.

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shifting

I’m thinking of shifting gears. For a while at least. I’ve always loved maths and science, but apart from bits of geometry and stats for Humanities majors, I haven’t paid them much attention since 1981 (kinda like I haven’t paid much attention to contemporary alt music). But much, much has happened since. Cooperation in biology. Dark energy in physics. What else? Controversies (CONtroversies? ConTROversies?) abound. Got some catching up to do. I’ll report back, so stay tuned.

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solar storm

aurora-frm-wci normally skip ads, but i watched all five minutes of one, of a solar storm (or auroras), caught by amateurs one night on a sony something-or-other with music by something probably icelandic that’d do laurie brown proud. image from wikimedia commons.

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