Friday, June 26, 2015

Eat, Drink, Be Merry!

Humans, as living creatures, are biological engines.  We may take for granted the required slow burn of molecular fuel that occurs at the cellular level, but the acquisition of the necessary oxygen, food and water is constantly on our minds.

Air and water are generally the most straight forward to acquire. On the other hand, gathering and preparing a daily supply of nutritious food has historically been a greater challenge.  As such our evolution and culture have guided us toward putting skills, time and effort to task to assemble food supplies for ourselves and our communities. 

That group effort  has engendered the quintessential acts of acquiring, baking and breaking bread together, all in social celebration. Whether laughing with friends at a grill-out, conversing with family over a casserole, or flirting with a romantic interest eating tapas, the human spirit glows all the more when sharing sustenance in good company. 

Communicating with Food: Iteration 1.7
(La Tomatina c/o

Sure, in the past, our survival may have relied on animal products to nourish our rising human communities.  In the present, modern plant agricultural technology alone could support complete healthy fueling of the billions of our species were we to commit the most humane path. Perhaps in the far future, synthesis of tasty fuel for all homo sapiens will be accomplished without harvesting a single living organism. Regardless, I hope eating alongside friends and family, both new and old, will remain part of what makes us human.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Adventures in the 4th Dimension

3-D movies have pretty much plateaued in popularity these days. Still, I occasionally find animated films entertaining with computer generated characters and sequences enjoyably popping out of the screen.  Wouldn't it be even cooler to explore a dimension deeper than the three we know and love.

Watching the Past Happen Far Far Away
(The Eye Nebula)
The not so surprising 4th dimension I shall discuss is "time!"  (sorry fans of hypercubes and tardises)  Alas, I think this ephemeral dimension is often surprisingly overlooked.  Time, though we measure it and keep our calendars by it every day, may not actually exist, being be an artifact of matter's extensive properties including it's three dimensionality, temperature, conductivity...well you get the idea.

Nevertheless, the world around us would be pretty dull if the temporal dimension was static.  In this "frozen time" extreme, not only would things not be moving, but light and sound and all of our sensing inputs would be absent, creating quite the dreary nothingness.

Which is to realize: isn't it just grand that we are able to swim (dance, sneeze and blink too, among other things!) in the great sea of the Universe.  Particularly, as humans, we wield the ability to research the present, investigate the past, and speculate about the future!

Investigating the Past Up Close
(Great Great Grandma Johnston's Rosebush,
Aunt Flossie and Me)
What a pleasure to recognize our bodies are comprised of molecules which were forged in supernovae and formerly accreted into a certain planetary body billions of years ago. Patiently those molecules were baked and stirred by earthly and solar forces until DNA like structures arose and began sending their messages of complexity forward on the 4th dimensional communication lines.

And here we are today, a product of evolutionary and societal selection. Looking forward to the generations ahead, we imagine creative outcomes beyond simple survival.  Perhaps the present is all that truly exists, but with the time in mind, meditating on the past, present and future have never been so amazing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Half Glass Junction

Defy Convention!
The classic half glass full/half glass empty paradigm emphasizes how bent we humans are on embracing diametric opposites, in this case the duality of Optimism and Pessimism.

Consider taking a third, "Realism," position in which the glass is delightfully observed as being both half full and half empty (i.e. half full of atmosphere) simultaneously.  With this mindset, one can begin to leverage influence to modify the situation effectively.

Perhaps half a glass is plenty to satisfy, perhaps the empty half creates a space to contemplate artistically. Importantly, what we do with our observations is the starting point for taking action to positively changing (or accepting the present state of) our self, community and world.  Once action has been taken, it's time again to evaluate the situation to see if a difference was made. 

At any given moment, an opportunity to fill the half glass may present itself....and when that moment occurs, you just may want to think thrice if a full glass will actually lead to goodness, or a spill waiting to happen.