I think the frequency of these posts is going to change. First I’m going to take a couple of weeks off, however. I’ve done a blog a day, with maybe two exceptions, for two years now, and I feel like I may be burning out. Hopefully having a little time off from this will help me get back into the spirit of these blogs, which was to write about something that I really want to get off my chest, but in an entertaining way. I feel like my writing has got a lot less funny over time as the blog’s began to feel more like an obligation rather than something I choose to do and hopefully this will give it back a little spark when I return to it.
How did it happen? How did I have no idea that ex-prime ministers get a ridiculous tax-payer provided salary after they’ve retired? Thatcher is a baroness, she doesn’t need another half a million pounds, Blair is the highest paid ex-pm ever with his public speaking and job as peace envoy; why does he need more money, and why should he get it from public funds?
When governments get all het up about where all the money fucked off to, you would think they would cut this shit out before crippling the NHS and forcing the majority of public care homes to close down. How is it that services set out to help people survive were slashed before anyone thought about perhaps not throwing money at rich people who no longer have the right to reach into people’s pockets? Urghhh.
So how was your Valentine’s day? I won’t go into the mythos of this holiday because I’ve already done at least two posts of that and milked from it all of the mumbling grumblings that I can, but I will say that we should at least have a singles day as well. I remember how depressing Valentine’s day can be, especially when you’re on a proverbial leash, and I don’t think single people get enough excuses to get drunk and have ice cream, because really, what makes people happier than losing inhibitions and shoving their faces full of frozen lactations?
It should take place the day after Valentine’s day, just in time to catch the people who had a depressing date or something worse, so that they have another day to celebrate that doesn’t chastise them for not having found a suitable mate in time.
Perhaps if we’re going to insist on people forming couples on a certain day of the year we should just go whole hog and migrate to mating grounds like other animals do. All the people of a fertile age can walk on down to Magaluf in a journey that will take them a couple of months and require them swimming over a little bit of sea with minimal food and water. Once they’re there, then the passion can commence, then, the males can wait there until spring to guard their eggs until they hatch.
The fact that we’re still discovering new species all the time is fascinating. That scientists are only just finding and studying large vertebrates like birds is just crazy, but it’s happening, as with this species of owl in Indonesia.
We may hear often about new insect species being discovered, and in a much smaller world we have a hard time finding everything, but there is still stuff to learn about the creatures you would think would be hard to miss, and the more we understand about these creatures, the more we can help to protect them in the future, as infrastructure expands into their habitats.
It’s amazing to think that there are still areas of the earth left relatively unexplored, even as Antarctica’s frozen lakes are being explored to find micro-ecosystems (fingers crossed for this discovery taking us one step closer to finding life on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the ones that could support life anyway, I’m not expecting any cows that defy the laws of physics), there are still things yet to learn. I just hope that we can learn about these things faster than we can make them disappear. It’s possible that with the vast quantities of forest humans have felled that there were species living there that were never discovered, and are now extinct, and that number has the potential to be pretty damn high (you can fit a lot of bugs in quite a small space, as you probably already knew).
So in between the snow falling again and me realizing that the Pope has the umbrella corporation symbol from Resident Evil on each of his shoulders, it’s been just another morning. I have to pile into a load of coursework and a post on Teen Skepchick about what glass is made of, but I’ll make a pit stop here to refuel.
I cherish those moments, before I think.
The breathless momentum of nagging thought.
Before my obsession, oblivion.
Takes over my mind-state, my fear taut.
Couldn’t bare to confess, I can’t admit,
A mortal confusion, haunts me, persists.
The feeling that breaks you, I can’t be rid,
No force on this earth, no, nothing assists.
I get it, it’s fleeting, tell me the truth.
Has it never scared you, that it’s so stark?
a flicker in the eye of the cosmos,
a second of light, for lifetimes of dark.
I have had mixed feelings in the past about Penn & Teller’s brand of skepticism, mostly because they have been known to let their libertarian political views take precedence over evidence (read: the evidence for climate change), but they’ve done a lot of good. Over on Science Based Medicine, David Gorski talks about why appearing on Dr. Oz’s show was a mistake for them, and I highly recommend you all read that article.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, Dr. Oz is one of the many TV offspring of Oprah, most of which have been borne out of a television niche for talking about medicine as if we have just as much proof for vaccinations’ efficacy as we do for magic hand-waving exercises. So yeah, that’s basically the level we’re dealing with here.
To be clear, I don’t think facing people with opposing viewpoints to yours is a no-go, in fact I would think that it could make room for a discussion about differing opinions in which it can become clear where the facts lie, but as far as I can tell, P&T added to the mystique of the show, if anything, where they could have offered a dissenting opinion, or at least made it clear where they stand on the issues Dr. Oz has thoroughly mishandled throughout his solo career.