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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why don't Americans believe in evolution?


A recent article from the Economist examines the impact and future of Darwin's theory of Evolution. Why do some people chose to deny evolution? From the article:

People are comforted by the idea of a designed and harmonious natural world, with themselves at the top. It is hard to accept that such a harmony has arisen as an accidental consequence of a brutal system with no principles beside the one that every individual is striving for reproductive success. It is depressing to think that life is purposeless and that evolution has no higher destination.


UPDATE: Time article on the Darwin-mania in store for 2009. link

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

a growing family

Besides moving into a new home and spending our first holidays together as a married couple, Ivette and I have gone through many changes in the past few months. One of the more happier changes is the addition of a new puppy to our growing brood.

We decided to get another dog for several reasons. One of the reasons was because Ivette has been wanting a new dog for the longest time. I was resistant to the idea because I always felt that we didn't have enough room in our old shoebox apartment. Of course this argument lost its support when we moved into a house.

The final straw was realizing that she was right about another thing; that our first dog Pugsly was in need of something to keep her entertained/occupied/exercised. I eventually capitulated on these grounds, agreeing that a new puppy would be a great thing for Pugsly.

After going through the whole rigamarole of adoption centers, shelters, and rescue groups, we eventually settled on a family-owned kennel in southwest Missouri specializing in bulldogs. There we found Chomsky, a chubby little eight-week old male pup. After about an hour on the phone with a homespun and friendly staff person, Chomsky was on his way to join his new family.

Yes he was expensive, and yes his breed offers more potential health issues down the road. He's also a puppy which means that he poops with complete disregard for human life. He chews on everything, including any and all exposed skin that may happen to be dangling from the couch. And his teeth. He has very sharp puppy teeth. And when I say sharp I mean that one bite from him is enough to trigger a rapidly uncontrollable ascension of the scrote up into the inner pelvic region. Louis Armstrong used to talk about the "blue note" on the trumpet, a note you could only hit by squeezing your buttcheeks together while blowing really hard.* One bite from Chomsky and you've got a symphony on your hands.

Ultimately Chomsky has been a wonderful addition to our family. First there's the Adorable Puppy factor and - while I know that it wears out eventually - I'm an absolute sucker for the smooshed-face, wrinkly adult bulldog look. Pugsly has been thoroughly occupied, entertained, and overall rejuvenated by her new baby brother. My wife is happy and really that's all that I need.

What's surprising me, though, is this sense of inner joy that I feel growing along with my family. Beyond just being another mouth to feed or a non-stop poop machine, this creature really has expanded the joy in our lives. He has given me just a hint of how growing a family can extend my capacity to love and to be loved in return.

*Note: I think I heard this on NPR. But to be sure I did spend about five minutes googling various phrases like, "louis armstrong blue note" and "butt hole blue note" I called a few musician friends and, although they were intrigued, they were clueless. I found something on the brown note, but that is a topic for an entirely different blog.

Friday, February 6, 2009

sup eddie

Sup man,

It's getting to be a year since you passed away. I was fucking around at work today and looking for this Fleetwood Mac song that was in my head all day. I didn't find it, but I did find this older video of Fleetwood Mac from way back in the day - around the same time that Santana used to open up for them. Santana, Fleetwood Mac, Grateful Dead, all them, they all used to jam out in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s. But you already knew that.

This song reminds me of something that we could've jammed out to man. It's got not one, not two, but THREE guitars. The first two guys are playing this sweet-ass harmony, so fucking beautiful man I am getting tears in my eyes just listening to it. So fucking sweet man you could play this for any girl and she would fall in love you. Any girl.

Fucking miss you, man. Man if only we could just sit together for a few more jams. i could play you this Fleetwood Mac song and you would learn it in no time, drums are kinda boring man but I'm telling you the guitar harmony is soooo beautiful that you won't mind at all laying down that simple beat. It will be me and Jon just harmonizing on the melody, just fucking playing those notes for hours and hours, trading solos like we used to do. I'll even call up Deandre and have him work the slide guitar. We'll piss off Matt by making him play the simple-ass bass line and then we can joke about it later.

We'll just keep jamming man, just like in your garage or in your basement. We won't stop we'll just keep jamming, round and round, solo after solo just float that shit man. We'll keep playing so long we will outlast time itself, the world will stop spinning maybe we'll start floating but we'll still have our instruments. No gravity, no heaviness. No hard feelings, no broken promises, nowhere to depart. No death, no disease, no loss, no suffering. Just the joy of the music, the innocence of getting lost together for hours. Just the old band, man. Just jamming away forever and ever.