Friday, October 26, 2012

One of life’s great mysteries revealed

I have a story for you. It’s a story seldom, if ever discussed, nor revealed. Why, I no not but it’s remained an enigma only such as I attempt to explain. Why I dare take on such a renowned mystery lies within the providence of disclosing the truth to the light of day for all to gaze upon without veiled eyes once and for all.
I’ve no idea who started practicing such an arcane and shall we proclaim here and now silly hobby but I have a feeling it’s been around as long as there were rocks haphazardly laying on the earth and humans with only one oar in the water stumbling along with absolutely nothing better to do.

For those adventurous exercise nutcases reading this, I’m sure this is nothing new. In your nature wanderings along lakes, streams, canyons and mountaintops, I’m sure you’ve come upon this weird unexplainable phenomenon, probably more than once by now.

Wherever plentiful rocks of all sizes abide, scattered by the elements alongside mostly water sources but sometimes far from, these one-oar folks can’t help themselves. Unlike normal people who are comfortable putting the square block in the square hole and calling it a good thing, these folks see natures disorderliness as something to, shall we say fiddle with. They feel an incontrollable and inescapable compulsion to force their own ideas of form and function on nature’s mostly haphazard and chaotic arrangements.

They do this in most cases, I’m guessing with great pride in their compulsive weirdness and with complete anonymous abandon. They obviously care more about what they consider their supreme creations than what any other human thinks when they happen upon these towers of insanity.

Here’s another layer of craziness they possess. The idea is not to simply practice balance with stability and long lasting the main goal. Oh no. The whole idea is to have their creation be within a hairsbreadth of tumbling to its doom. They purposely make it as unbalanced as possible, yet still miraculously holding it’s course against all odds.

All it would take is a slight breeze or a tiny bird desiring a resting place to disassemble the whole thing, leaving an unsightly jumble at its base.
What brought this whole tale on for me is as we speak (well, I write and you read) was a mystery rock stacker in Newcastle California practicing his or her insanity daily. Whomever this variable nutcase is, they are creating a supreme rock stacking basically hidden from public eyes down at the north end of town, between the end of the fruit shed and the public monument, right before the tracks.

Here’s the weird thing though. This has become my daily walk observance and most everyday, it’s nothing but a jumbled rock strewn mess lying there but when I come back around the sheds, there it is, stacked high and with great pride and apparent joy once more.

In perfect barely there form, waiting for the next gust of wind or the rattling train zooming close by to lay it back down in its rock strewn magnificence.

Now in my daily walks, I’ve had other walkers wonder at the craziness but none of us have ever caught the person responsible. We’re thinking seriously of assigning someone to hide with a camera in hand to finally out this person and their obsessive need to rearrange nature’s perfection but so far have found no one willing to stay the course throughout the night to do so.
I’ve heard from my reliable network of spies that this phenomenon, with possibly the same perpetrator has invaded Foresthill California also. They tell me they’ve spotted these crazy rock stackings in the medium of Main Street, again with no eyewitness accounts of who is doing it.

I’ve also heard the sickness has spread into the Helicopter Pilot world. I know of at least two Helicopter pilots who when landed either in the wild tundra of Alaska or the mountain tops of America, secretly and with glee plant their own dysfunctionaly driven madness for some unsuspecting person who happens upon them in the future.

I wonder if Foresthill’s favorite whirlybird flyer also participates in this madness? Maybe someone should ask, then wait for the sly mischievous grin.


In my normal quest for accuracy, truth and justice for all, I showed several townsfolk this piece for their input before publication, on top of setting on it for a couple days. When I arrived at my business this morning, this note had been pushed through the mail slot in the door:

“Dear sir. Your need to discover the artist responsible for the masterpieces in town will remain undiscovered. For you see, this “one oar in the water” person, as you so callously called me, is far smarter than you or any of the other denizens of this hoboken burg you call a town. So hide all you want, load your cameras with film, place motion sensors there, the mystery of the rocks will remain an enigma forever more.

Signed, Big G Man…...”

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Friday, October 5, 2012

The Human Miracle

This will most likely skirt a tad close to the edges of a lot of folks moral, ethical and common sense boundaries but being the inquisitive soul I am, here goes:

My proposition today is anything the human mind can think of, devise or create is ultimately completely natural. To think otherwise implies humans are somehow an unnatural mistake.
Even those that believe we were created by a higher being or source have to either admit we and everything we do is natural or that higher being screwed up in our case, which of course would imply he/she is flawed.
I think most intelligent people would agree whether we exist from divine or natural sources, we're probably not just a random mistake. That anything man can think of would have to be considered natural in it's ultimate definition.

So all this brings up a recent discovery, I and many other scientifically minded  people are super excited about.
Scientists in Japan report they have created eggs from stem cells in a mammal for the first time.  The researchers went on to breed healthy offspring from the eggs they created. While the experiments involved mice, the work is being met with excitement and questions, about doing the same thing for humans someday.
A bio ethicist at Stanford University who studies stem-cell science said. "Repairing hearts, repairing brains, repairing kidneys, that's all good and important, and we'd all love to be able to do that but this involves making the next generation."

Scientists obtain the versatile cells from embryos. Embryonic stem cells are controversial because researchers destroy the embryos to get them.
Because these stem cells can morph into any cell in the body, there's always been the possibility they could do something especially profound. They could offer a way to create eggs from anyone at any age. That could change how humans reproduce.

Moreover, they did something potentially even more astonishing: They bred healthy mice from eggs made from another type of stem cell. Cells that look essentially identical to embryonic stem cells but instead of coming from embryos, they can be made from adult cells, such as skin or blood cells.
So they don't have any of the ethical baggage of embryonic cells.
So now they've gotten to what was the Holy Grail, which is making eggs. It's like cellular alchemy. They can turn skin cells or blood cells into eggs.
The big question, of course, is whether anyone could or should do the same thing for people. No one knows for sure.

So if they can make eggs from stem cells, then the biological clock becomes a mute point for future women
but that could be just the beginning. The same team previously made sperm from stem cells. So, the power to create sperm or eggs for anyone would be big news to many gay men and lesbians.
Now this line of creative thinking goes even further into territory charted by the book Brave New World. Combined with other techniques, eggs from stem cells could some day make it much easier for parents to pick babies with blue eyes or blond hair, or a talent for sports or music.

Now, it's important to remember that this may end up being nothing more than speculation. Even if it does prove possible, choices like these are probably decades away. All this would most likely require years of moral and scientific decision making processes to be sure.

So all this brings me back to my basic premise. I truly believe that we were put here or evolved from natural selection intact. In other words, having a mind capable of unlimited possibilities. I also believe we should never put limits or judgements on those clear facts.

So if we allow humans complete freedom to do anything and everything they're capible of, would bad things come of it? Would the scientific commuties start making monsters?
Since all of life consists of bad and good, up and down and yin and yang, the answer is of course! Should we let that fact manipulate, limit or set the rules for our scientific future?
Just like most other things, my opinion is a resounding NO! We should never let government, religion or any other man made institution interfere with whatever the human mind is capable of.

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