Monthly Archives: August 2009

Two Steps Backward – Chapter 5

Previous Chapter

All the clouds had disappeared over night. The sun was beating down and I hadn’t seen even a trickle of water since the previous day. I retreated from the company of subalpine firs and walked to the top of the ridgeline to search for water. What I got instead was an unimpeded view of Mt. Klawatti and its magnificent northern glacier.Klawatti Lake The dirty, blue glacier snout snaked its way downward and sent a thin white stream winding down the rocks into a milky, blue lake—ahh, water.

My mouth was so parched that I had difficulty even swallowing the other half of my granola bar. I quickly scrambled down through a talus slope. Too quickly; for one of the rocks slipped from underneath me and a sharp piece of schist ripped a gash in my lower leg as I fell forward.

Looking back on that day, if I had listened to Mr. Davis’ last clue, patience, I would have made it to the lake much sooner. My leg was gushing blood. Even as I was in teeth-clenching pain, I took out my handkerchief and applied pressure to the wound. The bleeding stopped and I managed to bandage it up with the cloth. But it wasn’t until the late afternoon that I got a drink of that delicious glacial water. The distance down from the ridge was so deceiving. I kept thinking that I was “almost there,” but seemingly small rocks turned out to be nothing less than house-sized boulders. The limping trudge down was painfully slow.

When I finally reached the breezy lakeshore, I dunked my entire head in the water and gulped from below. I regretted that too, because not only did water go up my nose, it was also so cold that after I resurfaced it gave my head a weird feeling of pins and needles. Eventually I drank my fill and I refilled my water bottle. “I sure hope this water doesn’t have any of that giardia that Mr. Davis warned us about,” I thought uneasily. I also washed my wound thoroughly and rinsed the handkerchief and set it out to dry. I enjoyed the warm breeze and later, after I reapplied the bandage, I opened my journal once again.

I sure wish I had listened to Mr. Davis  or I wouldn’t have gotten into this mess.Pika

It’s up to you. It’s your responsibility.” Mr. Davis had written in my journal. He underscored responsibility three times. I supposed that was the clue.

“But why are mountain lakes my responsibility. I have a responsibility to take care of my injured leg, but why is this mountain lake my responsibility? That’s absurd. I might have the responsibility to clean my room and take care of my home, but I’ve never been here before, and if it’s up to me, I’ll never return! This is a long way from my home,” I preached to myself.

The sun had once again gone away. I gathered my wits and my stuff and headed toward a clump of trees to the south. A green meadow stretched out before the trees. It seemed completely filled with avalanche lilies. Mr. Davis had said they were edible, so I delighted in a large dinner salad that tasted like ‘plant’. “Better than nothing,” I supposed.

That night I had a series of dreams that I will possibly remember for the rest of my life. They seemed so real.

I was flying high above the North Cascades with an eagle who guided me to all of the places he lived: from the oceans to the rivers, to great lakes in the far north of British Columbia, and finally to the top of Mt. Klawatti where he told me he had never been. He spoke in my dream, “Even though I have never been here, this is also my home for I can see the top of this peak from the great river below. If I can see it, it is my home.” With that he disappeared and I was left alone atop the peak. Around me, I could see for hundreds of miles with only a few nearby peaks breaking the encircling horizon. I realized that I was in the center of a great circle.

Avalanche LilyThe thought of my family far away broke the spell and I awoke to darkness. The moon must have set also. Shortly after, I fell back asleep only to have the eagle take me on flight after flight to his favorite fishing spots until the sun once again broke my slumber.

I quickly opened my journal and wrote down all that had happened in my dreams. I determined that the only logical way to proceed was to head east. That way I wouldn’t be retracing my steps, nor would I be forced to go over the massive, daunting ridgeline to the west.

Sometime around midday I reentered the miniature forest, but this one was different than before. All the trees were dead, they shone like silver in the noon sun. I picked up my journal to see if Mr. Davis had an explanation.

Chapter 6

 

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In the Company of Others – Chapter 4

Previous Chapter

“If I only had some arrowleaf balsamroot right now, I could make an excellent feast, but I suppose I’m not in that habitat zone, am I?” I reasoned. I also considered catching a few of those jeering pikas that were whistling at me earlier in the evening on my way up that horribly unsteady talus slope. Even though they were probably simply warning their friends of my approach, I still felt a tint of mockery after each slip on the jagged rocks.

Subalpine FirsEven though the night sky was cloudy, it was unexpectedly bright and cold out, I supposed a bright moon was making the clouds glow from above. I must have snoozed a bit after I finished the last activity, because it seemed late at night. But I was too cold to sit still. The mossy logs in the forest below were much more comfortable that these jagged rocks. I slipped on my light day-pack and continued uphill.

Few trees remained on the landscape now, which would have made navigation easy—if I had known where I was heading. Scattered among the rocks, in clumps, were tiny plants all huddled together. It seemed as though there were different species all working together to survive. Even the trees were clumped together helping each other out.

As I continued up the ridgeline, a cold wind bit at my skin. I found a clump of trees and wove myself between the branches until I felt somewhat comfortable and even a bit warm. It humbled me thinking about these old trees and how they had survived for so long in this desolate landscape and how none of these plants could survive without each other. I began to become a bit frightened, not because of my predicament, but because I was beginning to think like Mr. Davis! His last clue was Humility.

Oregon JuncoI slept deeply until dawn burst over the ridgeline and stirred the juncos and roused the twerpy pikas. I had my breakfast of half a granola bar and humbled myself further by starting the next activity.

The Oregon junco looks like this. Unlike the other birds I saw, this bird seemed to be everywhere. I couldn’t escape seeing juncos, not in the forests, mountains or rocky ridgelines. It was almost eery—like one was following me. I took this picture, while I was grounded, in my backyard when I returned home.

Chapter 5

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Of Mice and Me

Posted by David

I’m curious what your thoughts are about an unusual event that occurred about 10 years ago.  At the time, I lived at Heart ‘O the Hills, a small ranger station part way up the mountain to Hurricane Ridge. It was still winter or maybe early-spring and the mice scurried about in the hallway and kitchen at night searching for scraps. At the time, I was the only one living there, besides the mice. I slept in my sleeping bag on one of the beds in the far back room.

I had never much a mind for mice. They were the sort of creatures that one’s mind doesn’t dwell upon for lengthy periods. They’re not charismatic and fierce like a lion or mysterious and gigantic like a dinosaur. They are just a small white creatures that scurry, eat and breed. Yes, they are cute, but not so much that your mind spins over them as other curiosities do. If you feel this way too about mice, this may make you think twice.

There are a number of good ways to catch a mouse. The best that I’ve found is a bucket of water with a ‘tight-rope’ string strung across the top with a peanut butter covered aluminum can strung in the middle. The mouse walks out the rope smelling a peanut-butter snack. One step on the can, and he either must act like a lumberjack at a log-rolling contest or face the deep water. It isn’t much of a contest for the mice. In 1996, the year after a good pinon crop in Southern Colorado, one park ranger was reported to have caught over 100 mice in a bucket this way in one night!

But when I lived at Heart ‘O the Hills, I just used a live trap. A square metal box with a tripping-device at the end, where you placed your bait. One step on the lever and the trap would shut. I’d catch the mouse and put it outside. If it wasn’t raining too hard, I might walk down the trail for a couple of minutes and release him there. Either way, the next day, of course, he (or she) would get caught again and so on. Why I wasted my time with this, I can’t say.

Among park rangers there’s a truth that seems to be pervasive: mice love peanut butter. It’s the bait of choice among the park rangers I know. And it’s also clear never to waste of good cheese on a mouse. It’s just not effective. And when you’re out in the back country or away from a store, cheese is a very valuable commodity.

There I was at Heart ‘O the Hills one cold and rainy night. Some call Heart ‘O Hills, “Heart ‘O Darkness,” because of all the darkness-producing 200-foot trees that tower over the ranger station and campground. This night that name would fit well. After eating dinner by myself and was readying myself for bed, I decided that I would set the live trap. I didn’t have any peanut butter, so I thought, “why not use a piece of cheese.” I set the trap in the middle of the kitchen floor, placed the cheese carefully on the metal trigger at the back of the trap, went to to the other end of the house and lay in bed. I covered myself with my sleeping bag, lay on my side with my head on my soft pillow. The rain pattered lightly on the rooftop. I reached up and turned out my light.

Sometime later, I woke up having this sensation, more like a ‘feeling’ that something had happened. It was pitch-black and still raining. I was too tired to get up or turn on the light, so I let it go.

I couldn’t sleep and hadn’t yet moved. Something made me feel like I should turn on my light, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. I was too tired. I just lay there.

Finally, still awake, I knew that I must check by turning on the light. So, I reached over and switched on the lamp. There laying before me on my pillow, right in front of my mouth was the small chunk of cheese. There was that same piece of cheese that I placed in the trap sitting on my pillow.

What was that mouse saying to me? Coincidence?

Hopefully this account will change the way you think about mice. It is true. I can say without a doubt, I wasn’t dreaming.

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Upon the Shoulders of a Giant – Chapter 3

Previous Chapter

Admittedly, I spent a couple of hours the next morning working on the next activity in my journal. I wasn’t sure what I should do next and the activity, about carnivores, turned out to be quite interesting—carnivores are pretty cool.Bobcat Track Sketch I was reminded of our cat back at home. Her fluid and supple shape was like the forest carnivores in my journal. I couldn’t keep from wondering if her early relatives once lived in forests like these.

Thinking about my cat made me feel a bit lonely so I went down to the water to splash down my face and try to figure out what to do. I noticed a pile of scat which tapered off on the end like a feline’s does. “Bet that’s from a bobcat,” I thought to myself, and sure enough, some cat tracks were scattered across a muddy surface leading upstream. I remembered from the researcher’s discussion in the carnivore activity that bobcat tracks and scat were often found along trails.

I guessed carnivores must take the easiest path too and jumped at the slim prospect of finding a trail back to camp; I grabbed my day-pack and started tracking ‘Bob’. I followed the tracks upstream for a few hundred feet, but they turned upslope and meandered unrecognizably into the spongy moss. I sat down on a log, despairing. Panic began to rise, but as my mind wandered to Bob’s visit, I thought, “If that cat has survived in this bleak forest, so might I. There are no restaurants, no television and no video games. Why would anyone want to live here?” A surge of respect followed for any animal that could survive in the wilderness. Incidentally, respect was the second clue, centered on a blank page following the forest carnivore activity in my journal.

Still thinking that I was lost somewhere along Thunder Creek, I crossed to the other side on a huge fallen log, which was covered by tiny hemlock trees and mosses. Thinking, “Maybe the trail is just a little higher,” I started a relentless climb up the steep mountainside.

I never found a trail on the shoulders of Mount Klawatti. All morning and afternoon I worked my way up through the forest, sweating so profusely that steam issued from my pores. Salal bushes sprawled everywhere, making travel impossibly slow. I cursed their existence until I realized that I could use them as ropes to pull myself upward. I also soon recognized salal berries from Mr. Davis’ botany walk on our first day and knew that they were edible—I’m glad I listened carefully on that day. They tasted a bit like dehydrated blueberries, though hairy in texture. I fed on them until I found an understory full of red huckleberries. Those were much more appetizing, but I recalled a warning Mr. Davis mentioned about another red berry, baneberry, which was deadly poisonous. But these were definitely red huckleberries, sweet yet tart, with oval leaves. I gobbled up handfuls.

As the sun sank westward, clouds began to build and the wind picked up, especially now that I was high on a forested ridge. As I ascended, I noticed the forest began to shift. The trees were becoming smaller. In fact, it was like I was walking through a miniature forest. The sun would soon set and it seemed as though I might be able to get my first view of the landscape below. I scrambled out into a clearing and up through a field of rocks (Mr. Davis called them talus) to a cliff, but a stream of clouds was rolling up the lower valleys and obstructed any lowland view. Even so, the skyscape was stupendous. The clouds below blanketed the inner valleys as if huge glaciers were pulsing backwards up the valleys. It seemed like I had returned to the Ice Age. A large overhanging boulder stood nearby. I would sleep there that night. Thankfully, my thick wool sweater had kept me warm the night before. I picked up my journal and opened it to the next section, while feasting on my hunk of cheese, as the setting sun was enveloped by clouds and gave a final burst of color to all the cirrus clouds above.

Chapter 4

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Plunging into the Deep – Chapter 2

Previous Chapter

“No two snowflakes are alike. You too are SPECIAL,” Mr. Davis had written in my journal following the activity.

“Is that it? That’s my first clue! How is that going to help me now? That’s really annoying,” I thought to myself.

At that moment a trout darted into a shady corner of the gravel-bottomed pool. I poked my head over a large mossy boulder to get a peek and sure enough it had light spots on dark. I wondered if it was a bull trout or one of those exotic brook trout. “If no two snowflakes are alike, does that follow for bull trout?” I pondered.

All this thinking about fish was making me hungry, so I pulled out one of my three remaining granola bars and gobbled it down. I didn’t have any other food save for a small hunk of cheese, and I hardly expected at that point that I was going to be out there for six more days—alone.

Once my clothes were dry, I reckoned that I should follow the creek back upstream to look for my party—they probably were missing my witty comments by now. I began a difficult traverse up over logs and boulders, around pools, and through the lacy needles of overhanging hemlock boughs.

Thinking back on that first day, I really had an incredible time exploring that creek. The banks were lined with moss, tiny plants and small flowers. Twice I discovered shiny, dimly-spotted salamanders floating in shallow pools. Both were too quick for my hands and they escaped my examination. Occasionally I was able to follow what seemed like an old trail, scattered with piles of elk pellets along the way. After a few miles the ‘trail’ vanished into the forest. Later, I happened across an elk skull with huge antlers still attached and covered by green algae and bits of creeping moss.

The skull frightened me a bit, because what if the same cougar that most likely ate this elk was watching me stumble through the tangles of salmonberry, elderberry and devil’s club? The thought of a cougar sent me plunging faster and ever deeper into the wilderness.

Finally as the evening light was warming the mountainside above me with a golden glow, I realized that I was truly lost. Once again, I rolled up underneath a big mossy log and listened to the chatter of owls as stars began to shine in the deepening blue sky.

Where I Went Wrong MapWhat I didn’t know at that point was that the creek I was trying to follow back to camp was a tributary, not the main stream. It would be the next day before I realized that I had made a dreadful mistake.

Where I Went Wrong: I created this map for you so you could understand one of my many mistakes. Notice that McAllister Creek intersects Thunder Creek at the orange dot. Instead of retracing my swim down Thunder Creek, I followed McAllister westward—deep into the wilderness. We started our journey two days prior at the Panther Creek Trailhead (yellow dot).

Chapter 3

 

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Too Far to Wander: The Tale and Journal of a Wayward Student

Posted by David

(This is a story I wrote a number of years ago for classrooms visiting North Cascades National Park. I was asked to republish it here. Have fun.)

This tale begins midway through a classroom expedition into the North Cascades wilderness. For the most part, all of the students are being safe, learning about science and enjoying nature—all except one. And this student was about to make a big mistake.Night Sky

Mr. Davis, the science teacher and guide on the expedition is explaining a bit about astronomy, let’s listen in.


Revolving Around the Light –
Part 1

Thus, because he demonstrated that the earth, in fact, revolved around the sun and that Ptolemy was incorrect by saying that the entire universe revolved around a static, immobile earth, Copernicus is not only considered to be the father of modern astronomy, he is also thought by some to be the most pivotal figure in modern thought…

And with that I had all I could take. I had to escape. My class had been out for two days, shuffling along muddy trails and enduring lecture after lecture from Mr. Davis. I was so bored and my mushy, gushy, slimy socks were giving me prune feet. Mr. Copernicus’ sun teased us each evening with sunsets, but hid its face behind the clouds by day; never giving us a moment to dry out our socks. Mr. Davis said that if we put our wet socks inside our sleeping bags at night they would dry out by morning. Neither I, nor any of the other eight students, had dared to try that—nasty!

Although the sky still had a deep blue glow, in the shadows of the fir trees it had become dark enough that I could slip away without being noticed by that curly, gray-haired, bearded, verbose slave-driver. Knowing full well that I was in the wrong, I discreetly backed away from the group and walked down the trail, feeling for its edges with my boots until I got far enough away that I could switch on my headlamp without detection. I walked a good ways down the trail through the shadowy Pacific silver fir forest. At least I assumed that these tall, dark beasts were the same trees Mr. Davis was identifying before supper.

It sure was dark, so dark that my dim light could hardly penetrate to the trail. In fact, it seemed as though something was wrong with my light. I stopped and took hold of my lamp and noticed the beam wavering into a weak orange color. It went out sharply. I hit the lamp a few times on my knee and it came on again, then went out abruptly. I banged it a couple of more times and – no more light.

Luckily, I had another set of batteries in my day pack. I skillfully opened the battery box and slipped in the new batteries, being careful to put them in the same direction as those I took out. However, the lamp still wouldn’t work. I must have broken the bulb’s filament when I banged the light. I pulled the extra bulb from the bulb compartment and to my horror it slipped—practically jumped—out of my fingers into the moss beside me.

I spent the next twenty minutes unsuccessfully looking for the bulb. Now the forest was onyx black, so I crawled toward the river where the glow from the night sky illuminated the river corridor. The river paralleled Thunder Creek Trail, its airy voice rumbled comfortingly. The mossy forest floor soon dead-ended at a precipitous drop to the now thundering river’s edge. I used the exposed roots of a tree to climb down the cobble and till bank, but soon I lost my footing and began a blind, tumbling run down into the river.

That was the coldest night of my entire life. The swift water caught me and propelled me through a minefield of boulders. I was at the mercy of the river. Eventually I ended the 52-degree Fahrenheit flume ride with a stiff swim to the gravel shoreline. I laid face-up, surrounded by trees, staring blankly at the starry sky-river above. “Perhaps tomorrow will be sunny and when I get back to camp Mr. Davis will forgive me for disobeying the rules when he sees how much I suffered,” I considered. I crawled under a huge mossy log and shivered in and out of sleep all night long.

My lips were numb when I awoke to the sun sending rays through the mossy branches. On the ground before me, my journal lay open. How did it get out of my pack? I was too cold to think about that now, so I lay my socks, wool sweater and pants out in the morning summer sun to dry. Steam was rising everywhere, especially off my damp clothes. A warm summer breeze blew, and it turned the journal to a page with some writing. “Funny, I had thought this was a blank journal. I hadn’t even cracked the book, though we’d been instructed to write in it daily,” I thought to myself. Since I couldn’t go anywhere until my clothes dried, and the riverside was so boring, I reluctantly turned the page. I read, “These thoughts will help you if ever you are in times of need.”

Chapter 2

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I’m Just Saying…! Part Two

Posted by Mike

You probably thought I’d never get around to it – Part Two, I mean. But maybe no one’s listening, or reading anyway. “Is there anyone out there?” Sort of like SETI. A lot of money was funneled into that project. Maybe they’re still listening. Fortunately we get by-products from a lot of scientific research, serendipitous findings that can turn out to be more important than the initial research goal. We individuals, groups, and cultures do some silly things – only later are we aware of how ridiculous they were. Silly of course means frivolous; I guess I’m not using an appropriate term for SETI.

Just to remind you, in Part One I was talking about the strong need people seem to have for the religious, and that people who have all the answers regarding life provided to them from their religion tend to feel much safer and secure in our uncertain world, as opposed to those who don’t have all of the answers and consequently must live with uncertainty and tentativeness.

I mentioned in my previous posting that I’ve been listening to the interviews by Robert Wright of pundits in the fields of science and religion [http://meaningoflife.tv/]. http://www.newamerica.net/people/robert_wrightIt’s an eclectic group and includes firm believers and skeptics. Wright prepped himself well for every interview and doesn’t waste time, but quickly focuses on the significant issues that the interviewees have elaborated upon in their writings. I also sense that Wright has his own agenda that he seems to push with every interview. What I see – and you might see it differently – is that Wright is looking for agreement with a basic thesis of his, and that is that man must have purpose and meaning in his life which can only come through belief that purpose and meaning is inherent in the universe by virtue of the participation of God or an equivalent “unseen other.” In other words, he sees the universe as not just existing without necessarily any purpose or meaning, that there needs to be some other something that makes sense of it all, and that enables us humans to make sense of our lives. It seems clear that he is talking about God, but it may be that he conceptualizes the maker of meaning to be not clearly identifiable. He’s a good interviewer; he pushes his guests toward the direction of his interests and goals, but tends to withhold a clear perspective of what his own beliefs are. To me, he clearly wants there to be God or something out there, or in here, or everywhere – to make sense of the universe and also to make sense and provide meaning to our own lives.

Whether or not I’ve clearly described Wright’s position, where I’m heading is this: A lot of people, and I think this is clearly true of a great many Americans, think/feel/believe that to have purpose and meaning in life we need to have that “unknown other” that we call God out there creating and managing things in some way or they see life as having no meaning or purpose. Wright pretty much puts it like that. And I guess I’m wondering if we can find and have meaning and purpose without God and without things like an afterlife. Consider the following scenario – what we can anticipate will happen to Earth long after you and I have gone: The earth has been formed and has been rotating around the sun for billions of years. The rotation and movement of the earth is slowing gradually and the sun will eventually use up all of the hydrogen that it contains. At some point billions of years from now perhaps, the sun will let out a final gasp, will send out massive heat that will singe the earth thoroughly and then will itself become a cold dwarf star incapable of providing the light and heat necessary for life as we know it. This is one of the possible scenarios. There are others, but none that are optimistic for life on Earth forever. Oh, there is one optimistic scenario: and that is that by the time of the final conflagration, humans will have found of way to travel to other solar systems that are younger and can then resettle in a new and suitable environment.

Having written the above paragraph, I’m thinking, “What am I doing?” I actually want people to be optimistic about life, to believe that there is purpose and meaning to our lives as individuals – and to think that there is purpose and meaning to Earth itself! And I’m only suggesting the likely end of Earth to make a point, which is that if there’s nothing left of Earth or of the solar system in a couple of billion years what will the purpose and meaning of it all have been?

Where am I heading with all of this? Basically it’s about the purpose and meaning of life; that we know people find purpose and meaning if they have a creator and active God, but can we also find purpose and meaning separate from God, with the scenario of an end to life on Earth? I hope you know the answer already. Clearly, it’s “Of course! There’s purpose and meaning all around us.” We just have to look; it’s right there in all of living things, animal and plant. I’m quite certain that if it’s good enough for them, it’s also quite good enough for us. And purpose that is only for a lifetime or for generations, that has a beginning and an end, is meaningful in itself.

to be continued in Part Three.

“One can get in the habit of not thinking as a defense, of not perceiving and not considering what are his perceptions and feelings about life, in order to avoid what is painful.”

“Where are we going and how do we get there is something we always are working on. I’ll never turn down help from anyone.”

“Life is really simple, but we don’t let ourselves have it.”

– Elvin Simrad

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Odds and Ends

posted by Mike
It looks like we’re taking a summer break. We are taking a summer break. This is an example of accommodating to reality in such a way that the agent doesn’t lose face. We humans are good at doing this kind of thing.
You never hear about perpetual motion machines any more. The eccentrics who claimed they designed them likely might not be around any more; the silliness of the idea has found its way to the interior; an example of how science and the internet are working together to better inform the public.
But have you ever thought that we have perpetual motion all around us, yet it never occurs to us and we can’t see it? All of those electrons circling forever around all of those atomic and molecular cores keep going and going, always at the same speed. They will go on forever. I know next to nothing about these kinds of things, but it does seem to me that this is “perpetual motion”; about as perpetual as it’s going to get.
If you have any interest in the issues of science and religion, consciousness, and the like, take a look at Robert Wright’s interviews on “Meaningoflife.TV”; it’s on Slate, but you’re better off googling, meaningoflife.tv. Wright has hour-long interviews with over 20 writers on these issues. I have watched the interviews with Karen Armstrong, Lorenzo Albacete, Daniel Dennett, and Freeman Dyson. I feel like I’m taking a serious graduate course on evolution and religion….
It looks like we’re taking a summer break. We are taking a summer break. This is an example of accommodating to reality in such a way that the agent doesn’t lose face. We humans are good at doing this kind of thing.
*
You never hear about perpetual motion machines any more. The eccentrics who claimed they designed them likely might not be around any more; the silliness of the idea has found its way to the interior; an example of how science and the internet are working together to better inform the public.
*
But have you ever thought that we have perpetual motion all around us, yet it never occurs to us and we can’t see it? All of those electrons circling forever around all of those atomic and molecular cores keep going and going, always at the same speed. They will go on forever. I know next to nothing about these kinds of things, but it does seem to me that this is “perpetual motion”; about as perpetual as it’s going to get.
*
If you have any interest in the issues of science and religion, consciousness, and the like, take a look at Robert Wright’s interviews on “Meaningoflife.TV”; it’s on Slate, but you’re better off googling, meaningoflife.tv. Wright has hour-long interviews with over 20 writers on these issues. I have watched the interviews with Karen Armstrong, Lorenzo Albacete, Daniel Dennett, and Freeman Dyson. I feel like I’m taking an advanced graduate course on evolution and religion….
*

We’re having a great time at the beach!

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