Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Honey! You don't Want To Know

A few years ago, during a time when I was being accused of not hearing conversations of family and friends, and when my practiced fa├žade of smiling and nodding occasionally was not convincing anyone that I had been following the conversation, and I had been tragically exposed when asked my opinion of a fish listed on the menu, and I answered that I had never participated on a panty raid in any sorority house, I was pressured into considering augmentation of my natural hearing with devices that conjured up Dumbo size ear attachments or pointy ears resembling Dr. Spock.

After a cursory investigation of devices and prices, I selected a super-duper device that had been advertised on TV, for a trial hearing run. For the investment of $19.99, I received a device that protruded out of the side of my head resembling a fender skirt of my dechromed, 1950, Bellaire Chevrolet, 2-door Hardtop, with dual carbs, dual point plate, split exhaust manifold and 2” lowering blocks in the rear springs. The device had been advertised to enable the wearer to hear conversations of persons as far away as 2 blocks.

The device worked almost as well as it had been advertised, except, when trying to listen to distant conversations, they were almost obliterated by all of the sounds in between.

And this was the beginning of a traumatizing experience from which I will probably never overcome.

While on a test outing to hear as many cryptic conversations as I could find, I decided to go out into the countryside for an experimental hearing test. I thought I might hear sounds of nature that I had been missing over the past few years, and I did. Birds I could not recognize; insects I had not heard before; frogs that echoed with a threatening bass voice; etc.

That’s when I heard a strange sound coming from the direction of several beehives. As I approached the hives with caution, the sound became increasingly definable. It sounded like a city full of people retching their guts out. I had never heard such a sound before, mostly because I had never been this close to a beehive with a super-duper hearing aid.

After I arrived home I began to research the “life of bees.” The part about flying from flower to flower to collect nectar, that everyone knows about did not shed any light on the sounds coming from inside the hive. Finally, I got to the honey part of the bee’s life. It described in vivid detail how the nectar, and some pollen, is ingested by the worker bees of the hive and partially digested. It is then regurgitated and stored into cells of the honeycomb as food for the hive inhabitants, workers, nursery attendants, growing larva, and all. Surpluses are accumulated to last them through the winter months when there are no flowers to harvest.

When I read that honey is nothing but bee puke, I almost did. I liked honey, but I really did not intend to find out how it was produced. I had used honey quite liberally on and in everything requiring a little sweetening. If it had not been for the historical documentation of man’s consuming and use of honey as a natural medicinal poultice, and mummification agent for thousands of years, I would have sworn off of honey for life. I still get a little quizzy when I think of eating honey. I try to use only homogenized honey products instead of the more popular and less expensive raw honey.

It is amazing that honey is the only human food product that does not need refrigeration or preservatives. There are caves in Spain with 8,000 year old cave paintings of people gathering honey. There are birds on at least 2 continents that have developed symbiotic relationships with man and honey badgers. The birds locate bee hives and alert the honey harvesters and badgers with their calls, then lead them to the hive. The birds are not as interested in the honey as they are in the bee larva contained in the nursery combs.

As an amateur naturalist, I still enjoy observing nature in action, foraging, hunting, taking care of the juveniles, etc. I even enjoy bees and the knowledge of their life and products, I just don’t wear my super-duper hearing device near the beehives anymore. I found out more than I wanted to know.

And, now, so have you.

P.S. -- You don't EVEN want to know how eggs are produced!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

He probably isn't where you think He is.

Where Is God?

     The world's major religions developed during a period of transition between oral traditions of epic events and the development of written texts.
     Most, if not all, stories were embellished for purposes of persuasion and perpetuity. The duration of a story was dependent upon the memory and skills of the teller, as well as the interests of the hearer.
By the time these stories were written into history, they had little resemblance to the original events and were shaped to meet the interests and understanding of the tellers and scribes who recorded them.
     Yet, religious adherents today easily approach the point of combat in defense of their understanding or belief in a particular theology.
     Today there are an estimated 38,000 Christian sects or denominations in the world. All of which base their "theological truth" on one or more versions of the same New Testament. Like wise, there are a number of varied interpretations and philosophies among adherents of Judaism or Islamic faiths based on their own common books of religious law.
     Most of these divisions in religious truths are attributable to geographical locations, whether it is by race, country, village, tribe, or part of town. A person raised in Alabama is more likely to be associated with a Western style Christianity; where as a person born in Iran will likely become an adherent of Islam. Their religious experiences are acquired by cultural influences, rather than conscious choices of truth.
     Today, millions of dollars and immeasurable energies are spent to evangelize or proselytize others to our beliefs. Multiple theologies that have been declared by the many sects and denominations as the "real" truth.
Eventually one has to ask, are these the results intended by a benevolent Creator? Or is this the result of human attempts to perpetuate a particular ideology?
     When you weigh the human desires for religious truths against the reality of our existence as a micro-dot in the space of billions of galaxies and even more planets, where is God? In the measure of time, our whole organic existence on this planet isn't even a tick's (or tock's) length or speck on the celestial clock.
We and every living and non-living thing on and in this island planet is made of material produced by the death of stars. What and who we are has been shaped by the circumstances and events of this planet. This planet was not created to suit our life forms.
     As products of this planet, we possess the same basic physical traits and behavior as every other animal. Two eyes, 2 ears, 1 mouth, 4 limbs, oxygen dependent, experience hunger, seek safety, feel pain, procreated by male and female, mortality, etc. As humans, which are but one notch above the animals, we have developed additional philosophies that we have honed and perfected over hundreds of years; immortality in a reward based after life.
     In the time before there were any religions or gods, survival fears fostered superstitions to answer the unknown and uncontrolled events in our world and were attributed to mystical forces of good or evil. Today, although our well developed sciences have answered most questions about our past, present and future, there is still a significant element of our behavior that clings to many perpetuated superstitions.
     Conclusion:   God exists in the mind of man.                    KC 1/2012 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Genesis of Gods

     Every culture has evolved slowly over the past 100,000 years, through many of the same paths. Very early man did not know a deity. They learned the art of survival and how to deal with unknown natural phenomena in the school of hard knocks. Fears and superstitions controlled most of their lives. They began to attribute mysterious events to invisible forces who seemed preoccupied by surprising human beings with experiences they could not understand.
     After a few thousand years, and lacking any tools to determine otherwise, mankind began giving these unseen powers names related to their specific personalities. Some unseen powers seemed to control fire, some seemed to control lightning, some seemed to control the effects of rain and water, etc. By observing the behavior of these many elements controlled by unseen powers over the years, they began to piece together the probable risks of each. When things went bad, it was assumed that the unseen power was angry. When things went well, it was assumed that the unseen power was happy. It didn’t take very many years until humans began to associate their own behavior with the good and bad times exhibited by the unseen powers and attempted to influence them to avoid the bad times.
     This same behavior can be found in practices today; i.e., some sports participants use the same rationale as ancestors of 30,000 years ago. When on a winning streak, they sometimes wear the same clothing or eat the same foods whenever competing in the hopes that this behavior will bring them luck, or appease the unseen powers for continued wins. Go figure!
     Eventually, attempts to appease the unseen powers and keep them in a happy mood included offering them gifts. The type of gifts depended on the name of the unseen power and probably included such things as fruits, grains, or a cherished bauble. As the unseen powers continued to behave occasionally in an angry mood, these simple gifts became more serious until they included the sacrifice of animals or humans.
     This is where the Biblical saga begins. Early legendary figures such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, etc. all were in the habit of making animal sacrifices on an altar to appease their monotheistic unseen power and as atonement for disobedience, or to honor their God. Sacrifices of the Hebrew culture varied from agricultural products, to birds, to animals, depending upon the resources of the persons making the atonement sacrifice, but only the Temple priests were allowed to slay the animals used in sacrifice and place sacrifices on the altar.
     Hebrew sacrifices could only be made on the Temple altar in Jerusalem. When the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, sacrifices could no longer be made. If, and when, the Temple is rebuilt, Orthodox Jews will resume the practice of altar sacrifices according to ancient tradition handed down through more than 8,000 years.
     When Christianity came into existence, the philosophy of sacrifice was continued as atonement for disobedience. Jesus’ death became the ultimate sacrifice for all of Christianity. Today, when communion is served, the elements of bread and wine represent the symbolic body and blood of a sacrifice for the forgiveness of disobedience, or in remembrance of the one who was sacrificed.
     In an age when there are few natural phenomena that we cannot explain, unlike 10,000 years ago, we still practice rituals for keeping the Gods happy in order to avoid their potential wrath, and for this obedience we expect a reward of spiritual immortality in return. Today, we have a huge collection of knowledge about the world we live in as well as the universe surrounding us. We know the awesomeness of creation and generally attribute it to a creator. Yet, we continue to acknowledge this creation through rituals that were developed by superstitions out of fear and ignorance.
     Early man had no concept of the physical nature of the world he lived in. Only in the last 100 years has our knowledge been accelerating by enormous strides in the fields of science and mechanics. We now know that everything in and on this planet, including all life forms, is composed of elements (atoms) that were created in the death of stars billions of years before us. And, that these elements are eternal. Atoms do not die; for all intents and purposes they exist forever. We (all life forms) do not, but the material of which we are made, does.
     The atomic composition of our brain produces neural energy resulting in the creation of thought, visions, imagining, creativity, memory, etc., which are not confined by the physical materials of which we are made. These neural products reflect our character, experience, and knowledge. When our bodies expire, the neural generation of these reflections cease. Our bodies decompose, releasing the elements of our physical composition back into the atmosphere to be used again. Our atoms are recycled into new life. Our thoughts, visions, imagining, creativity, memory, etc., continue to exist only in the minds of people who knew and remember us.
     With today’s archives of knowledge, why are we continuing to practice religious rituals that are based on superstitions and ignorance in the acknowledgment of our existence?
     What would happen to humanity if it were released from the shackles of ancient superstitions and acknowledged a creator for what he/she IS, or has done? Would this in any way diminish the nature of a creator?
-- o  --

Monday, October 8, 2012

Boiled Egg

How hard is it to make Hard-boiled eggs?

You put some eggs in a pan, you add water to cover, you boil them for 10 to 15 minutes, you cool them down in cool water, you peel and use.

Sounds complicated so I decided to consult with my now primary brain (google) to find a recipe on how to boil the perfect egg.

The one I followed had an additional step which I had never tried before:
“After allowing the eggs to sit in the boiled water for 12 to 15 minutes, drain the hot water from the pan and before starting to cool them with running cold water or adding ice to the pan, shake the pan vigorously to break the shells of the boiled eggs which will allow the the eggs to cool faster and make them easier to peel”

After draining the hot water I restored the lid and gave the pan a vigorous shake.

The recipe did not include a chart to measure how “vigorously” this step was to be.

When I removed the lid of the pan to begin adding cool water, I found the eggs had turned into egg salad, which is okay, but it included all of the shells in little pieces.

In the future, I will be leaving this step out and reverting back to the “tap the eggs on the counter” to break the shells and separate them from the object of my affection.

New steps in recipes aren’t always meant to be followed by everyone, sometimes they are meant for the daintier cooks only.

Until next time


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The world has finally come to this, blogs filled with gas produced by anyone who has an opinion, but no pot to put it in. Is this a “social network” without any medication?

I thought FB was a wasteland where brain farts ended up on a video screen. Now they (we) can pass gas in our own pages in Blogs. Wow!

How many Bloggers are there? How many can there be? Do we exchange Blogs?

Since this is my first attempt to insert a post into the sands of this wasteland, I shall confine by thoughts to a somewhat neutral vent without the corruption of either politics or religion. This may leave only weather as a subject which either needs to be changed in several places, or relief from extremes in others.

Future posts will include comments on current events, science, religion, politics, and an endless range of subjects yet to be digested, as the spirit inspires me to do. I have no idea how frequent these emissions will be at this time. Although regularity is said to be important to health, I don’t know how that would apply to this venue.

Until next time,


PS: the embedded links are not mine. Someone or something is embedding this crap after I post. If anyone knows how to prevent this from happening, I'd appreciate the information.