Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kodachrome, Prayers, feeling hot hot hot, and the Dalai Lama and Hmmms


My feathery friend, do not treat me fowl!


I know...I know: what a random assortment this post is!

So I'll get right to it.

Kodachrome


When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all


So Patience and I got caught up in the Science Channel the other day. We'd intended to tune in just to learn a little more about what-where-when about Space Week (starts next week). Patience has decided to become an astronaut so she can go into space and do experiments and explore. This is actually the ideal career choice for her so far.

It's no stretch at all for me to picture her performing a necropsy on a gecko to observe the effects of zero gravity on the lizard after three months in space.

This is why I am sending her to Space Camp this summer. She'll build and launch rockets, and build a scale model of our solar system.

I wonder if it will contain Pluto.

Which brings me to the trouble with science and education.

Everything I learned in science was taught so very definitively: This is How It Is Period. Pluto was a planet. Mars was nothing but a rock. Lucy was the Missing Link. T Rex was a large, green carnasaur.

If you watch the science channel or read the science publications, you'll find that everything you learned in high school science (presuming that you, like me, attended high school prior to the 90s or later) is OUT OF DATE.

Yes, yes it is.

New science has disproved the Leakey theory of evolution, which eliminated the Theory of Lucy, or at least threw it into serious question.

And, more to the point? T Rex babies may have been covered in down, like a precursor to feathers. I kid you not. An early ancestor of it had feathers, and this lead to a reclassification of the big, bad dinosaur: it's no longer definitively classified as a carnasaur.

What can I say.

I know nothing.

On the upside, I have a whole lot to learn. Again. And probably again, and again.

The library, though, is no help, with its out of date books. Luckily, unlike in high school, we have the Internet.

National Day of Prayer

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer.

Mission
The National Day of Prayer Task Force's mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the five centers of power: Church, Education, Family, Government and Media.


Setting aside my objection to the words "national" and "prayer" in the same sentence---much less the same title; honestly, how...deliberately misleading, why not "nationwide?"---that mission leaves me cold. Shivery.

I admit it: I believe in God, the Universe, Jesus, and most prophets. This isn't a cover my bases deal. This is a lifetime of religious education, and way too much Bill Moyers, Karen Armstrong and Bertrand Russell. Edited: My gosh, did I leave out Joseph Campbell? Consider that omission rectified.

(Do you know? I once waited in line for a Bill Moyers lecture, and then waited again to get him to sign my book. Geez, like a groupie. Some people chased rock stars, I chased intellectuals. Geek me baby one more time.)

Regardless of my own personal belief in prayer, and my own personal belief in mass prayer, no.

Just...no.

No national day of prayer. No big speeches from Bush. No endorsing Christianity as if it is the unofficially official religion of the US.

Just...no.

Leaves me cold.

Feeling hot hot hot


What did not leave me feeling cold---aside from Bush honing in on the success of Idol Gives Back as if he had jack to do with it, oh oh and that LAME freaking cardboard interaction between him and his wife (and is it just me or do they look freakishly alike these days? Sort of Jack-o and Janet-esque?)---was last night's American Idol.

No, most of it was utter crap.

Except two moments: Blake and Jon.

First, a caveat: I'm not what you'd call a big Bon Jovi fan. It's not really my bag. I respect the talent and all, but you know? I'll take Francis Albert Sinatra singing Antonio Carlos Jobim. (Geeked again.)

Nevertheless, Blake knocked my socks off with his performance. In my opinion? Hands down best performance of the night. That guy has a real knack! A knack for performing, a knack for knowing when and how to take risks, and a knack for knowing how to stay true to himself and the music.

Now, I said I'm not a fan of Bon Jovi, but I am a fan of Jon Bon Jovi. From what I know, he seems like a cool guy. Plus, it's out of my control. Guy has some sort of pheromone or something.

The rewind moment of the show: Jon coaching Melinda. She confesses her lack of "rockness." Jon looks at her and says, "Oh baby," strums a note on the guitar unconsciously, looks back up, "I can teach you...how to rock." He looked down, as if a little embarassed which completely stripped out any smarminess from the comment and just left it totally...hot.

I think he looked down to spare Melinda because looks like that, words like that from a man like that have been known to turn women into butter.

She stood there, smile frozen on her face, eyes wide and I swear I could see her heart beating out of her chest.

Jon Bon Jovi just smiled his wide charming smile and looked harmlessly irresistible.

I swear I had to fan myself for five minutes.

The saddest moment? All the contestants saying to Jon Bon Jovi, "OMG my MOM is going to DIE I met you. She's such a huge fan!"

The Dalai Lama and Hump Day Hmmms

The Dala Lama spoke this week about compassion and tolerance. He put out a call to action, actually.

Originally I thought the next Hump Day Hmmm (and sorry, it's not this week, did not have my act together...so next week?) would be about free will and destiny/fate, possibly how those affected our perception about justice and forgiveness.

But then I wondered whether we ought to answer the Dalai Lama's call to action and discuss how we can find compassion and tolerance within ourselves, then spread it somehow into the community. I think justice and forgiveness play a part in this.

What do you guys think? What should the next Hump Day Hmmm be?

Gwen and I were six of one, half a dozen the other. I know, odd. We're normally so definite and full of opinions. What can I say. I'm still reeling about Lucy, the T-Rex and Jon.

The end.

copyright 2007 Julie Pippert

15 comments:

Kate said...

"My Mom is just going to DIE that I MET YOU!"

Har! OMG, I'm howling here. I can totally see it, and it makes me feel old, old, old. But, hey, working at a university makes me feel old, old, old, too--I swear each year the kids looking younger.

Mary-LUE said...

It's not just science. Math is different--everything is different it seems. I feel like a dinosaur when I realize how much has changed.

But at least I know that song... which is now stuck in my head. But that's okay. It's a good song.

And about space week... Did you see the little blurb on the Science channel promoting Space Week? The blurb where they tell you how NASA has a set of procedures for dealing with how to restrain an astronaut in case of psychosis? Apparently the use of duct tape is involved. I got an instant mental picture of said psychotic astronaut completely taped up against the shuttle wall.

slouching mom said...

Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

Just sayin'.

And JBJ was cute last night. He was really sweet with a lot of the contestants.

Julie Pippert said...

Kate, you know, I remember thinking when I was in my early 20s---and full of the ennui of knowing it ALL---just how grown-up I was and how far I'd come.

BWAH!

Now I know exactly how far I've come as I freely and fully admit to knowing absolutely nothing other than the origin of dirt. ;)

I was LMAO while crying---for myself and poor JBJ---as not just the 17 yo said it. LOL

**

Mary, I knew the rules of grammar had changed, and I knew we kept making new scientific discoveries but somehow it hadn't connected in my head that this meant the *old ways* were *out of date* and no longer accurate.

It was staggering and humbling to realize that all I've spent my life learning is just...expired.

Oy.

But do you feel like a lizard-skinned or feathered dinosaur? ;)

I was humming happily along to that song only this morning LOL.

I didn't see that promo. Ummm. Wow. The mind...boggles. I'm very familiar with the restrictions on restraint and seclusion here on Earth and wonder if the same rules apply in space.

Does your astronaut look startlingly like Lisa Nowak?

OMG go GOOGLE astronaut+duct tape. You left out the bungee cords and tranquilizers.

I see, actually, that Nowak was simply following a NASA plan...

**

SM, I often wonder. Boy do I often wonder THAT. Especially as people protest, then insist and well, have a National Day of Prayer.

When is JBJ ever not cute? Just wondering. ;) He was really nice.

NotSoSage said...

I'm actually really looking forward to learning all this stuff over again. But I'm a geek.

(I've missed you.)

Mary-LUE said...

Julie,

That's so funny that you mentioned Nowak, cuz one thought I had was whether or not NASA had these procedures in place BEFORE or AFTER the Nowak incident. Bungee cords and tranquilizers? I knew my emergency kit at home wasn't up to snuff.

Oh, and definitely a lizard-skinned dinosaur (although I do admit to feeling like a bird brain!

K said...

Kodachrome-I told my husband about this post and he said "did you know that T Rex babies-
"were covered in down, yes because apparently you and Julie watch the same TV."

Prayers-Me too and Ditto.

Bon Jovi -wow I had to fan myself just from your description. Maybe I'll be a late convert.

Dalai Lama-his teachings in many ways helped me understand my religion. Sometimes I think I'm really a Buddhist Christian.

Thought on Hmmms-instead of what we should do, what about writing about personal experiences of how we have or how we are trying-where in the journey.

Gwen said...

Dinosaurs and large cold rocks aside, I like k's idea of writing about personal experiences in re: compassion and tolerance. I have Big Idea fatigue. I mean, ideas are great, ideas are important, but real life happens where ideas turn into action and damn! if that isn't a whole lot harder.

I will write mine sometime today and then you tell me if I should post it now or leave it until next week.

kaliroz said...

Science is all based on the evidence they have at the time. The more they find, the better the knowledge.

I did not realize Brontosaurus was no longer a saurus until recently.

I love it all, though, it's marvelous. But, yes, I feel like everything I learn today will be thrown out tomorrow.

Jon. Bon. Jovi.

I adore him.

I could eat him.

I would most certainly lick his face given the chance.

He's the hotness.

Sparky Duck said...

Jon smiles and men and women melt and swoon all over the country. Im sure during the episode last night when he smiled after the Bon Jovi performance their had to be a loud audible thud.

Bones said...

As you and I talked about, I'm no fan of the National Day of Prayer. I'm also not a fan of the Fellowship, ecumenicalism, or any effort to water religion down to a point where “praying” is some sort of Jeffersonian outward humanistic form of expression. It’s as if the perpetrators of the National Prayer Breakfast never bothered to read the Screwtape Letters, or, oh, I don’t know, the Bible. Something that feels religious, but isn’t, is twice as dangerous as something that doesn’t pretend to be communication with God. Okay, off my soapbox.

Julie Pippert said...

Sage, me too, I look forward to elarning (always) and well, am admittedly a big geek. However, there was just this moment of going from thinking I did know quite a lot to realizing I had grown overly dependent on what I already had learned. I had understood the need to add on, but not the need to revise. It was sort of a geek existential crisis. LOL

(Hey good to see you too.)

**

Mary, oh LOL! You know, I think (but I'd have to re-google) that it was after.

**

K, what? Are you confessing to being a big Science Channel geek? Next you'll say you have a crush on the Naked Archeologist too. ;) FWIW, do not trouble yourself with Jon Bon Jovi. I'm sure his feet never even touch the ground he gets so much love LOL. And also FWIW, I sometimes wonder if my entire problem is that my faith transcends organized, bucketed religion. But that's another post. And speaking of other posts...

Kim and Gwen, I dedicated the new one to you two. Awesome idea, K. Thanks!

**

Roz, I tell you, now I am motivated for some adult learning classes. And...I have this sort of errr mental image of you licking JBJ's face and wow, would you be glad to know you guys are in Germany? ;)

**

Sparky, LOL. Or at least a huge electrical usage surge as A/Cs across the nation were flipped on.

**

Bones, yes...and that hits marvelously well on my rants against passive activism. It's an easy out for, as you put it, an outpouring of Jeffersonian humanism. People can think they have done their part simply by praying, just as I once ranted they wrote off their obligations by wearing red on a friday. I don't think you need to get off this soapbox. It's an important point. However, I will say I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to ecumenicalism.

kaliroz said...

I'd be very happy to be in Germany licking JBJ's face.

You like the Naked Archeologist? I find him pompous, self-important and less than illuminating.

Julie Pippert said...

Roz, I find him pompous, irreverant, self-important, more than a little full of himself (which should be distinguished from arrogant)...but...uncertain. He asks the questions and leaves the questions I believe are honestly left in archeology. And I don't say that from a super competitive cultural anthropology POV. If nothing else, these days I like best the scientist who admits to the X factor: that of the unknown.

And yeah...he's a little hot because of all that. ;)

And the wackadoo belly-dancer. Geez, through a hockey stick? Oy.

LMAO

And wow...Roz...new dimension to you. NA is NOT sexy but JBJ in Germany, oh yeah. Naughty. ;)

P.S. Did you know a new study finds Indiana Jones to be ranked The Best film of all time? If anyone had ever asked me...well...this would not have been a surprise LOL. Citizen Kane. HA!

K said...

Faith is a whole other post-one that I've been thinking about posting on as well.