16 July 2011

Things I'm Reading

Dazed and confused, my sleep in tatters from having helped to lug a recycled bathroom sink six or eight blocks so we can once again have at least one full bathroom in this deranged boarding house I once called home, I now find myself limping around my little corner of the blogosphere (and does a sphere have corners?) with nothing to say. Fortunately the rest of you haven’t given up.

I see Josh Rosenau has his piece up about the Miss USA contestants’ depressing responses to a question about teaching evolution in schools—depressing in that most of them clearly had no idea what science is, what a theory might be, or why presenting “both sides” of an issue (especially an issue where there really is only one side) may be absolutely idiotic. And Duane Smith is enthusiastic about “Akkadian tagged texts and translations from royal inscriptions from Esarhaddon [being] now online". It’s fantastic how much ancient material is now accessible without getting out of my chair; I don't think people appreciate this miracle of the age. Is the internet eroding memory? I wouldn’t be surprised; I’ve increasingly got in the habit of regoogling rather than retaining stuff in the storage heaps of my memory. I thought I was just getting old, but maybe mankind’s memory is now electronic. Jason Thibeault is appalled by a recent Greenpeace action against genetically modified crops: “The whole point of this genetically modified wheat is to provide more nutrition for humans, which one would think is a noble goal especially from an environmental standpoint—less crops feeding more people means more food for less damage to the planet in the form of pesticides.” It seems like Mary Shelley has a lot to answer for--the whole there-are-some-things-man-is-not-meant-to-tamper-with bit. Frankencrops at large. You know corn is a large part of our diet these days—ever tried corn that hasn’t been genetically modified? Humankind’s been at this game a long time, guys. And J. L. Bell muses about the identity of the remains of a British soldier found in Nova Scotia—was he a Private James Simpson, who died in 1784? Can we ever be certain with a case this cold?

Okay, I’m fresh out of inspiration. It’s a good thing you guys still have things to write about. It saves me the trouble of coming up with something of my own. Thanks.

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