Introducing Magickalmari

Magickalmari is the WordPress screen name of the second user on this blog, who I have added today. She is someone I have known since 2005 when we were both on Care2, and she is so close to me that I consider her a sister. Like me, she is a Unitarian Universalist and is highly focused on science as well as liberal in politics. She and I have fought many battles together and she is someone I would trust with my life….so I decided to trust her with my blog.

This is her Facebook profile:

This is her Care2 profile:

And here she is on the Ning version of Gaia Community:

Please congratulate her on this new position.

The Price of Peace

It would be a much easier world to live in if  everyone would simply get along, but there would be no challenges for people to overcome and learn from regarding relationships. Perhaps peace is something that must be earned as a reward for hard work and patience, not merely given to those who don’t deserve it. War and violence may be considered a punishment in themselves on people for harboring hatred towards others and insisting on having one’s own way.

(Note: I wrote this in five minutes out of boredom while sitting in a college class about 20 years ago and then had it typed up and printed out from a computer several years ago. Imagine my surprise when I found later that my mother had taken that printout and put it in a picture frame!)

Some children should not post on Facebook…

…..or own a laptop, or even have any fancy electronics at all, not if they tend to libel their own parents the way the girl did in this video!

However, I would not have shot out the girl’s laptop; that’s a waste of resources. What I would have done was to simply take it away from her and send her hundreds or even thousands of miles away to a boarding school with nothing electronic, not even a cell phone, to enable her to have any contact with her friends. Because without the support of her peers back home, her rebellious phase would probably be snuffed out quickly.

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Life on Earth is doomed

Today, I was reading the following in a wikipedia entry about the planet Earth:

The world is expected to continue supporting life for another 1.5 billion years, after which the rising luminosity of the Sun will eliminate the biosphere.[17]

The future of the planet is closely tied to that of the Sun. As a result of the steady accumulation of helium ash at the Sun’s core, the star’s total luminosity will slowly increase. The luminosity of the Sun will grow by 10 percent over the next 1.1 Gyr (1.1 billion years) and by 40% over the next 3.5 Gyr.[41] Climate models indicate that the rise in radiation reaching the Earth is likely to have dire consequences, including the possible loss of the planet’s oceans.[42]

The Earth’s increasing surface temperature will accelerate the inorganic CO2 cycle, reducing its concentration to the lethal levels for plants (10 ppm for C4 photosynthesis) in 900 million years. The lack of vegetation will result in the loss of oxygen in the atmosphere, so animal life will become extinct within several million more years.[43] But even if the Sun were eternal and stable, the continued internal cooling of the Earth would have resulted in a loss of much of its atmosphere and oceans due to reduced volcanism.[44] After another billion years all surface water will have disappeared[17] and the mean global temperature will reach 70°C.[43] The Earth is expected to be effectively habitable for about another 500 million years.[45]

Now, there is indeed something interesting about this. We humans as individuals have always known that we are destined to die, and there has also been published speculation about the extinction of mankind as a species. We have even understood that the Sun will evolve into a red giant in about 5 billion years or so and then life on Earth will become impossible, for the Earth itself might be destroyed completely. But the realization that life on Earth will be wiped out much sooner is disturbing, much like a man, at age 30, being told that will be dead at about age 40 when he already knows that his life expectancy is about 70 years.

And it gets even worse:

The Andromeda-Milky Way collision is a predicted galaxy collision that is due to take place in approximately 3 billion years’ time between the two largest galaxies in the Local Group – the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy.[1][2]

Shocking! So even before the Sun dies, our own galaxy will be ripped to shreds.

We humans take pride in our intelligence and our ability to alter our environment to suit our needs. But there is no way we can stop these disasters which are to come billions of years from now. Thus we could simply throw up our hands in dispair and say, “We are doomed anyway, so why should we care about anything?” But that is a narrow vision. As science advances, we might find ways to escape the extinction of life on Earth by finding another planet to live on. And the collision between two galaxies would not kill anyone, unlike an auto or train wreck.

We greatly fear change even though we ourselves are a product of change. For example, the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs made it possible for mammals to take over the world and thus for us to evolve eventually. It is only logical and mature to live our lives in the here and now and not worry so much about what will happen a billion years from now. This is not to say that we should ignore the threat of global warming that we humans may indeed be causing. But that is a relatively minor issue within a much shorter time frame. We can handle that, and must. Just like a man who knows he will live only ten more years would be foolish to commit suicide the next day and thus deprive his loved ones of his presence.

I am a Warrior

I am a warrior

I fight for my causes

I fight for my rights

I fight for my honor

I am a warrior

I fight for my friends

I fight for my family

I fight for my country

I am a warrior

I fight for my dignity

I fight for my health

I fight for my reputation

I am a warrior

I fight for the truth

I fight for the environment

I fight for science

I am a warrior

I fight for tolerance

I fight for enlightenment

I fight for unity

I am wounded.

I am broken

I shed no blood yet

I feel such pain

I fall to the ground

I go into hiding

I shed tears

I can barely breath

I am disappointed

I am dying

I am a warrior

No more.

Misusing the term “intellectual”???

Today I was accused by an enemy of mine of misusing the term “intellectual” by applying it to myself. That would only be valid if in fact someone could prove that I was not intellectual. First we need definitions of “intellectual”:

  • appealing to or using the intellect; “satire is an intellectual weapon”; “intellectual workers engaged in creative literary or artistic or scientific labor”; “has tremendous intellectual sympathy for oppressed people”; “coldly intellectual”; “sort of the intellectual type”; “intellectual literature”
  • of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind; “intellectual problems”; “the triumph of the rational over the animal side of man”
  • cerebral: involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct; “a cerebral approach to the problem”; “cerebral drama”
  • a person who uses the mind creatively

    An intellectual is one who tries to use his or her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate on, or ask and answer questions with regard to a variety of different ideas.

    There are, broadly, three modern definitions at work in discussions about intellectuals. First, ‘intellectuals’ as those deeply involved in ideas, books, the life of the mind. Second, ‘intellectuals’ as a recognizable occupational class consisting of lecturers, professors, lawyers, doctors, scientist, engineers, etc. Third, cultural “intellectuals” are those of notable expertise in culture and the arts, expertise which allows them some cultural authority, and who then use that authority to speak in public on other matters.

    Some people, including the one who attacked me today, seem to think that intellecuals must express no emotions, like the Vulcans of Star Trek. That strikes me as unrealistic, since all humans do have emotions. It is the combination of intellect and emotions in people that make their characters what they are. To call myself intellectual is hardly unethical, if one can read my writings and see for themselves what I am capable of.