RICHARD DAWKINS ON SPACE

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RICHARD DAWKINS ON SPACE

Science has taught us, against all intuition, that apparently solid things like crystals and rocks, are really almost entirely composed of empty space. And the familiar illustration is the nucleus of an atom as a fly in the middle of a sports stadium, and the next atom is in the next sports stadium. So it would seem the hardest, densest rock is really almost entirely empty space broken only by tiny particles so widely spaced they shouldn’t count. Why then do rocks look and feel solid, and hard, and impenetrable? As an evolutionary biologist, I’d say this: our brains have evolved to help us survive within the orders of magnitude of size and speed which our bodies operate at. We never evolved to navigate in the world of atoms. If we had, our brains probably would perceive rocks as full of empty space. Rocks feel hard and impenetrable to our hands precisely because objects like rocks and hands cannot penetrate each other. It’s therefore useful for our brains to construct notions like solidity and impenetrability because such notions help us to navigate our bodies through the middle-sized world in which we have to navigate. Moving to the other end of the scale our ancestors never had to navigate thought he cosmos at speeds close to the speed of light. If they had our brains would be much better at understanding Einstein.

– Richard Dawkins, spoken at TED Conference

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MYTHOLOGY IN PROGRESS

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MYTHOLOGY IN PROGRESS

All of life is mythology in progress. Twenty observers of any given event would if asked, give varying reports of what they had observed. In fact any individual’s story about such would probably be altered over time. Only in print does a story have an opportunity to remain unchanged. But if a story or a report of an event makes for interesting reading and becomes a part of history, historians are notorious for arguing among themselves over the accuracy of recorded events. And then there are translations to other languages. There may even be translations within the original language as time changes that language into something new.

What is important is not the story but the lesson learned.

 

 

THE ENTERTAINER

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The Summer of ’54

Balko OK

Lee set out for Los Angeles on Route 66. Catching a ride was easy and he was always asked the same question. Where ya stationed soldier? Answer: Student leaving school to help family.

At some point Lee got lost. He had been dumped on a highway with no traffic. He would later learn that he was 100 miles north of route 66, still headed in a westerly direction and that he was a few miles south in of Balko, Oklahoma in the middle of the Oklahoma panhandle where only 8 decades ago the land became a dustbowl sending thousands of Okies down the same road he was currently attempting to travel.

After, sitting by the side of the road for several hours being passed up by the only two automobiles headed west, Lee’s boredom got the better of him. He opened his duffel bag, removed a carefully folded, one button roll grey flannel suit, a pair of shiny black, tasseled, Crosby Squares and a black silk shirt and changed clothes. Lee had already devised a plan for his first day in Los Angeles; he would go to the farmers market and find himself a job unloading trucks. Lovie had on field trips to the loading docks in Oklahoma City, shown him how stuff works. As soon as he could save a few bucks he would get himself to Hollywood and start presenting himself as a songwriter, vocalist and actor. Today he was going to rehearse.

After scouting around, the young entertainer in training spotted a crate and dragged into the middle of the highway. Dressed now in his finest, his every hair in place and clean shaven (No, just clean faced. The first whisker was yet to arrive on this 5’ 11” lad of fourteen) and looking for all the world like a star performer, Lee began to sing. After what seemed like hours, Lee noticed that the sun was setting behind him. Having gone through his entire repertoire of original work and beginning to feel the first pangs of loneliness, Lee Broom decided to end his performance for the evening before taking his final bow to his imaginary audience of thousands.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dawn….Lee went through the lyrics of this inspiring song from Rogers and Hammerstein’s carousel and was beginning the first line of the second stanza when on the horizon…….. Walk on walk on with hope in your heart….

Finally, he thought to himself a car, no two cars, maybe more. I will finish this song… and you’ll never walk alone………They’re getting close and I’m in their way…..nope, I’m going to finish this song…..he continued to the last line as the approaching caravan came to a halt……The passengers disembarked…..You’ll ne,e,ever walk a,aaaalone.

The audience of less than thousands clapped; they shouted Bravo again and again; they shook his hand again and again and again. And, they invited Lee Broom, the Entertainer to ride in the front car with the promoter of this traveling band of musicians on their way from Dallas to Los Angeles for a thirty day gig.

HERE IS THE SONG LEE WAS SINGING