Don’t be your own limiting factor

It is a very sad fact that the toxic, tribalism-focused, divisive, narrow, me-first way of thinking that some humans practice is their prime limiting factor.

In the end, they will probably do themselves in (taking many of us along with them) as they cling to their ancient emotion and fear-driven ideas, ideals, idols, crystals, horoscopes, and divisive, evidence and reason-lacking ancient dusty tablets and texts – all while the real miracles come from the readily available peer-reviewed and often freely offered findings of science, application of engineering, and acceptance of reality.

Sad indeed but it seems this fact may be one of the ways natural selection is exhibited in the human species.

Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, thrive.

“Science the shit out of it.”

Dare mighty things.

Do good things.

Be the change.

One Love.

Peace.

Another orbit completed successfully

Another trip around the sun completed successfully.

Some perspective: On this day (July 15th) in 1968 I came into this reality – whatever this reality really is – and as of today, I have existed in this reality for 54 earth years.

Some perspective and observations.

I was premature so I had to cook in an incubator for a while until my body took over and I could support myself without the assistance of science and technology.

I was soon adopted by two amazing people Cathy and Clayton – who accepted me into their home as their own child. They later adopted another child in need and named her Lesly who then became my wonderful sister. She met Jonas and they raised two wonderful children – Cody and Ashlyn – who I just know will go above and beyond and do great things. I am lucky and proud to be a part of this family.

I was born in the middle of one of the times of the greatest scientific and engineering achievements humankind has ever experienced: the Apollo-era moon missions and landings…and, fitting the space exploration and cultural turbulence of the times, the first incarnation of Star Trek – my favorite TV series – was on TV…and it still is and all of its incarnations and I love them all for the messages they bring to all of us – if we have the capacity to understand and accept them and put them into practice.

I have been alive (whatever that means) for ~473,040 hours and accruing. I have orbited our closest star Sol 54 times. I have now traveled around 31,536,000,000 miles (50,752,272,384 kilometers) through space in an ever-spiraling circle around a rather remote and average little yellow star while riding on a water-soaked living rock along with you and over 7.9 billion other naked, bi-pedal, mostly hairless, multi-colored, fire and tool-using, thinking apes, and countless other amazing life-forms – while spinning at an equatorial rate of around 1000 mph (1,609.3 kph) while at the same time passing through the icy blackness vacuum of space at around 67,000 mph (107,826 kph) in our orbital path around the sun while also orbiting around Sagittarius A* the supermassive black hole in the center of our home galaxy at a rate of around 514,000 mph. At this rate, it will take me, you, our wet rock, and our star – about 229 million years to make one trip around the galactic center thereby completing one Galactic Year. And all of this, all of us, everything, our entire Milky Way galaxy – is traveling through intergalactic space at around 1.2 million mph (1.9m kph) relative to the cosmic background radiation.

Ponder it.

So far, I have had an amazing existence full of tons of excitement, exploration, friendship, laughter love, and light as well as periods of loss, pain, hardship, and a little bit of darkness.

I was here the last time Haley’s Comet passed by our pale blue watery rock of a dot in 1986 (and I plan to be here to see it again when it comes back around again in 2062).

I rode along in spirit and in support of every space exploration mission humanity has launched since I can remember way back as a 4-year-old kid watching it happen live (well, almost live since round trip communication time between the earth and moon is 2.6 seconds) on TV and then running outside in the yard to look up at the moon where the last Apollo astronauts were bouncing about the lunar surface in the early ’70s. I have since watched in awe, great appreciation, and hope as the space programs of planet earth sent many amazing interplanetary probes to the Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, Neptune, Pluto, asteroids, comets, asteroids, and more. I watched as the incredible Space Shuttles flew on huge pillars of flame and 15 nations set aside their differences to build the International Space Station – a castle of science, discovery, and international cooperation 249 miles above all of us in the “sky.” Today I am elated at the rapid evolution of non-governmental space exploration and travel organizations and I hope to see us back on the moon soon – and then sometime before I kick off – great shiny Starships landing on Mars. Go SpaceX! Just a few days ago I witnessed the mind-blowingly beautiful and deeply data-rich images from almost the beginning of time and space come beaming down to all of us overly encephalized hairy tit-sucking mammals living upon this pale blue dot from the incredible James Webb Space Telescope – and I look forward to seeing more that will come to us over the next 20 – 30 years and am so excited for how much the JWST’s imagery will increase our knowledge of our own cosmic evolution.

I chased nature and wild animals, first as a child for personal interest sake, and later in the name of science, education, and conservation of species. My favorites being the misunderstood creatures of the world such as reptiles, amphibians, bats, Opossums, and vultures.

On a few occasions, my body was invaded by festering armies of microscopic “wildlife” that tried to use me as a replicator for more of their kind and/or end me, and yet, my own immune system as well as the findings of many, many great scientists that came before allowed me to boost, augment, and bio-hack my body through the use of antibiotics and vaccinations thereby giving me a “force field of science” inside and out so I could continue awkwardly onward into the future.

In 2014 I came closest to feeding the soil, worms, and trees when a rather archaic and not that useful part of my internal anatomy (my appendix) malfunctioned and suffered a massive R.U.D. (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) – so I had it removed by a robot that was designed by science and piloted by a scientist we all call a doctor so I could continue in my present state of gangly existence.

In 2016 I had an encounter with a wild venomous serpent (Timber rattlesnake) who was only defending himself due to my accidental stupidity and, while I was in no danger of meeting my end – it did really hurt a bit and slow me down for a few weeks (yes, the snake still lives in the wilds of the forest 🙂 ) The only way I was able to overcome this one without losing a finger and possibly suffering lasting damage to my body was through the findings of science. Yep, there is that science thing again. Ain’t it wonderful 🙂

This past year the current plague impacting humanity (SARS CoV2) finally caught up with me. It was no fun at all and took me out for a week or so but I recovered – again thanks to science and my science-augmented immune system.

On all these close calls (and many I have not even been aware of due to my science augmented/trained to recognize and destroy the “bad guys” immune system via all the vaccinations I have gladly rolled up my sleeves to receive since I was a small child 🙂 ) I was given another chance at existing in this reality through the findings of science, miracles of modern technology and engineering…and possibly a little bit of some as yet to be discovered by science mystical energy field or omnipotent ancient and possibly extraterrestrial/interdimensional intelligence that, for some really disturbingly strange reason, many individuals/cultures/factions on the planet have coined many different names/stories/belief systems for – yet cannot ever seem to agree upon…and often even choose to childishly take sides, argue, fight, and believe it or not even murder each other over…so bizarre and childlike is the proudest monkey.

IMHO – if this intelligence exists – it is as far “above” us as we are “above” our closest relatives the Chimpanzee and Bonobo…or maybe the bacterium…or the virus. Whatever the case, I’m pretty sure that if it does exist it might be studying us as we study the animals…or the virus…and it cares not one single bit about our posturings on its behalf, the myriad of books we write about it, our childish bickering on who/what it is, who or what is “right” and “wrong,” who uses which bathroom, who’s skin is what color, who is “left” and “right,” etc. – just like we do not care about the comings and goings of bacteria and viral organisms…until they invade our personal space and become overpopulated…hmmmm…something important to ponder if you are able to see deep enough or large enough to ponder it…

At an early age, I became tired of all the factions telling me what to do, how to believe, how to think, how to live my life, and how to be a human – so I chose to follow my own path. I chose to listen to nature, to the evidence and logic and teachings of the wilderness, and to the findings and ponderings of the great minds and philosophies of history. Some may call me a “free spirit” – nice! – thank you! Some have called me “lost” – really, how rude! But whatever the case may be this is my path, no one can choose it for me and likewise, I will never try to force it on you or anyone. You must all find your own path.

I learned to drone a didgeridoo – so very ancient and cool!

I fell in love with a wonderful, beautiful, and intelligent human female called Marian and we settled down a bit…but not too much 🙂

A few years later I fell into a wonderful career inspiring, leading, and sharing nature, science, and reality knowledge with amazing at-risk youth on the connections, beauty, and joy of nature, wildlife, science, and life the universe, and everything.

While working to inspire tomorrow’s youth to better themselves by connecting with nature, wilderness, wild things, and to trust science and let it be their guide in life – I have connected with so many amazing human beings in my students and my coworkers – my life has been so deeply enrichened from my time with all of you amazing people and I am so grateful for all of you and your lasting contributions to your classroom and to my personal journey.

My incredible students, interns, volunteers, amazing friends Jim and Bob, and I all worked together over many solar orbits with many more amazing project supporters to build a photovoltaic solar power plant that benefits not only our classroom and campus but the entire local community with clean, locally-produced renewable energy from our nearest fusion reactor in space – the sun! Update: During my most recent solar orbit we all – and some wonderful and most-generous new friends – worked to create a solar-powered mobile outreach classroom called the SS NaSA PoD (Science Steve’s Nature and Science Adventure Pod of Discovery) – that will allow us to bring our nature, wildlife, and science messages to our students and to the region – so cool!

About 10 orbits ago my wife and I started phasing out almost all our connections to nature, life, and future-harming dirty fossil fuels. We have been driving mostly electric since 2013 and intend to soon go fully electric with most of our transportation, energy, and fuel needs coming from EVs and local renewable energy sources.

Just a few solar orbits ago the amazing findings of the science of genetics and DNA sequencing allowed me to connect with my wonderful biological father, sister, brother, and other awesome family members and answer many of the questions about my genetic roots and my connections to nature that I have had since an early age.

And now I find myself near the end of a global viral pandemic that has sadly ended the lives of many and upset the lives and plans of most. As before, I will follow and trust the science as I ignore all the other randomly repeated, vociferous, evidence-lacking, overly emotional, opinions and options and roll up my sleeve and gladly accept the expertly recommended vaccinations against this microscopic attacker (but I did still get the virus – only not as bad as some I know who did not or could not roll up their sleeves). I will continue to trust in science, even with its changeable and incomplete nature, to give me guidelines and support during this global human emergency. I hope you will choose to join me and in doing so, together, you and I will get through this thing – and hopefully, I will still be here to rewrite this yet again next year on this day.

Whatever all the facts and reasons may be, I am very glad to still be here on this incredible and sometimes bumpy but always interesting wild ride through the cosmos with all of you other crazy wonderful, and beautifully mixed-up mosh pit of humans and always wonderful animals.

I’m not sure where we are going or when, where, and why we exist – but wherever, whatever, whenever, and whyever – at least we are making good time and it has been and will continue to be one heck of a wild ride through the cosmos on this one strange rock we all call home.

Thank you all for being here and for riding along on this roller coaster called life with me 🙂 Now let’s all take another spin around the sun together on spaceship Earth!

Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, and thrive.

Live long and prosper.

Bring the change.

Be the change.

Do good things.

Coexist.

One Love.

Peace.

A moment of mind-blowing clarity

Sometimes, I have moments of mind-blowing clarity, epiphany, and illumination when I observe something that I thought I understood and accepted as scientific and factual truth in my limited tiny human way, then I find a new way to experience that thing, and my eyes are opened even wider than I thought possible and entire world’s of wonder are revealed – like living jewels floating in a sea of blackness. This happened tonight when I placed my eye to a telescope and peered at the distant planet Saturn and its moon Titan. Absolutely beautiful and mind-expanding was my experience peering through a rather inexpensive telescope from the porch of a beach house on Edisto Island, SC through 1.2 billion kilometers (746 million miles or 8.2 times farther from the sun than Earth) of space and time. Although Saturn looked like a tiny yellow ball surrounded by glowing golden rings and its fascinating giant yellowish moon Titan a shining point of light adjacent to the planet, I was blown away that I was actually seeing it in reality, as it existed in space and time.

Yes, I have seen it before – recently with my own telescope, at professional observatories, and so on – but the most memorable time was the first time many, many years ago – back in the late 70s when I peered at it through a friend’s dad’s telescope on the same night we watched Skylab crossing over only hours before it fell back to earth. But way back then I was a kid and I did not have a lifetime of experience with which to filter and understand my experience – tonight was very different and so much more powerful because tonight I saw Saturn again in reality. It was not a close-up photo taken by Hubble, a space probe, or a mountain-top observatory…it was a real experience that I lived and felt deeper than I ever thought possible. It was visceral, powerful, moving, mind-expanding, and all those other big words that try to do it justice but really cannot. It was the crushing, humbling, reality that we are such miniscule creatures yet we have built this incredible ability to see reality as it really is and to understand our tiny place in that reality. As Carl Sagan put it: “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

I was unable to acquire a photo due to technological limitations so the photo I have included is almost exactly what I observed although it was taken with a bit larger telescope.

This experience has reinforced what I have known for many years and what I live by:

  1. Experiential education is the best way to teach a person a thing, no matter what that thing is. Turn off your tv and get off your butt and get outside, look through a telescope, play in the mud, climb a tree, travel to other places, eat strange foods, meet new people, climb mountains, swim seas, raft rivers, ride a bike, do good things, be nice, make a difference, coexist with all lifeforms, live in continuous awe of the amazing, grand, ancient and wondrous nature that is all around us and you will better off for it – and remember that all the craziness and insanity of today matters not at all when compared to the vast nature of space, time and the cosmos.
  2. We are very, very small. Do not take things so seriously, live, laugh, love and above all else – do good things!

Do Good Things

Fellow Earthlings,

Fear, hate, aggression, anger, greed, judgment, spite, darkness – these things are mind and spirit killers.

Let go of them.

A few decades ago I let go of my fear, hate, aggression, anger, greed, judgment, spite, and darkness. When I did this an amazing cosmos opened up to me. A living cosmos of beauty, coexistence, love, truth, kindness, and light – a cosmos of amazing possibilities.

Today I choose to treat all humans and all beings with the love, kindness, and respect that they deserve until given a reason not to do so.

I do not hold grudges – what a waste of time and energy.

I do not target, belittle and bully those that do not share my philosophy. Doing so would simply breed more negativity and polarization and again – what a waste of time and energy.

However, when needed I will use scientifically supported facts and common sense to educate others on more productive, environmentally sound ways and options of being human. I am aware that sometimes these suggestions may be interpreted as personal attacks but rest assured they are not. A fact is not an attack, it is only a fact. Aggression and attack are easy, evidence-supported facts are sometimes hard because they may require change – and for some people change is an impossible task.

I am simply offering another opinion, another option, or another path based on self-supporting, peer-reviewed evidence and/or common sense that the reader may not have thought of in their popular philosophy. It is up to them to choose what to do with the knowledge I have freely offered. If it does not work for them – so be it – it is they who will suffer the consequences of their actions be they “good” or “bad” consequences.

In adopting this philosophy I have reduced my stress levels, opened my mind, had incredible mind-opening relationships and adventures, and made amazing friends from all walks and ways of life that have made my life so much more beautiful and full than I ever thought possible.

I have followed opportunities that have blossomed into amazing positive learning, teaching, and growth experiences. All of these things, all of these connections, and all of these experiences have worked to create the person I am today.

If I had continued to follow the fearful path, if I had continued to live in fear of the things the sensationalistic media, special interest religio-political, and business groups, and smooth-talking venom spitting charlatans with their powerful hate and fear-filled divisive toxic agendas are continually working to feed us through TV, social media, literature, and movies – who knows where I would be today or if I would even still be alive.

How did I rise above all this? How did I escape the fearful madness that tried to assimilate me into their mind-numbing collectives? How did I form a shield against the never-ending onslaught from all directions?

For me, my answer was and still is nature, knowledge, and willpower.

After spending many years living, working, and playing in nature, in the wilderness – experiencing the ancient, age-old beauty and complexity of all that is nature and all that is this thing we call life – I developed a deep, spiritual reverence for life. This reverence stretched deeper into the core of my being, into my soul than anything I have ever experienced in any place of traditional organized religion/worship or anywhere in the human world.

Unlike all the other ways of living and being that wanted my money, my time, my thoughts, and even my very soul – these powerful natural connections did not want anything at all from me – yet they deeply fed me and I thirsted for more. So I dove deeper into the great naturalistic, scientific, philosophical and religious texts/field guides, and manuals, of the world and I learned from them but did not put all of them on pedestals or see them as “gossip truths” – I saw them as the great and powerful teaching tools that they are and I left it at that.

I also spoke to many wise, well-traveled, learned individuals and mentors who had lifetimes of knowledge to share and I listened to them and often, I followed their examples, and sometimes I did not because their examples did not work for me. Soon, I came to realize that we – our entire species – and all life on our earth – are but an insignificant, yet somehow aware of that insignificance, a minute little speck…a tiny hot candle of life and consciousness in the icy blackness of space, a momentary flaring of self-aware existence in the stupendous grandeur of all that has existed, exists, and will ever exist in deep time.

The time we are given to live on this earth in this form is so very brief, so very fragile, so very special.

To waste this finite time living in fear, full of hate, fighting over petty differences, imaginary lines on maps, temporary things, with eyes closed, and heart hardened to all of the wonders of reality and nature that exist and flow around us and within us – would be the ultimate disrespect to our existence and such an incredibly irresponsible waste of our precious time.

I believe that the biggest decision one can make is how to use the time they have been given.

For me, that decision is to spend my time wisely, free of hate, judgment, and fear and in the service and support of others and in service and support of the infinite living organism we call nature that gives life to us and supports and nourishes us all.

To that end, I will work hard to continue to share with others this knowledge and this reverence for all things that I have found and hope to continue to find. I will continue to use the scientific method and the naturalistic eye to explore the natural world in all its magnificence and share with you what I find.

I will continue to work to respect, trust, love, and accept all life in all of its infinite forms, infinite diversity, and infinite combinations and I will work to promote and support all that is good, positive, productive, and supportive of this grand complexity we call life.

This way is my own and I totally understand that it may not be yours and that is OK, I accept and respect that 100% – as long as your path does no harm to others, works in support of peace, nature, understanding, and coexistence with all beings and all things now and into the future.

Some of us must follow our own path, no one can choose that path for us – so follow the beat of your own drum and when the chance to change, grow, and blossom presents itself, take it, live it, learn it, laugh, love, sing, paint, get out into the woods, rivers, mountains, oceans, and let your inner light shine, be the change, and above all else be yourself and do what you feel is right in your heart and all will fall into place.

Be the change.

Do good things.

Viral menace! Be gone with you!

The viral scourge has found her and infected she is, but it seems only a mild vexing.

Yet, exiled from society the fair maid has been by the local lords of the magic known as medicine.

Her beloved nature knight, his weapons of choice earth, air, fire, water, and loads of peer-reviewed knowledge freely passed down from the great natural philosophers along with a lot of practical engineering and improvisation, has therefore reclusively retreated into a miniature wheeled home of his own creation.

Within this tiny bean pod-like shell he must reluctantly reside for a fortnight at most – but less in probability – while his princess valiantly fights her battle alone, aided only by countless armies of microscopic bloodborne troops – enhanced by the magical art of medical science – working round the clock to massacre the many millions of maliciously malevolent microscopic monstrosities munching madly in maid Marian’s body.

Nature knight profoundly misses his beauty who is so close, yet so far away just on the other side of an impenetrable wall of wood and masonry – her only company, the mischievous red canine companion and two troublemaking flatulent felines.

The lone lovers are sad yet they know they will be reunited after the microscopic battle being fought within her flesh and blood is finally over.

Therefore, all he can do is wait, wait within his microscopically minuscule science and star-powered abode as he ponders the countless unanswerable questions of deep time, DNA, and the vast ocean of the cosmos – while partaking of vegan ice cream and chocolate stout.

The condensed version: My wife has a mild case of covid, I’m living in the RV for the duration making the best of it hoping it doesn’t get me.

A few days later…

The masked and gloved physician jammed the nasal probe of pain so far up I thought it might bust through into my brain…only to reveal what my rapidly advancing symptoms suggested – the vile microscopic beastie has finally caught up with me.

Frell.

Frack.

Damn.

I hope this thing is short-lived for I have dragons to slay, fair maidens to rescue, and seeds of knowledge to plant.

Be gone with you, vile, villainous, wretched, miserable, microscopic, malevolence! With what little breath I have left I stab at thee with many choice colorful metaphors – and a hefty, healthy dose of SCIENCE!!!

To the rest of you reading this I say this: WEAR YOUR GORRAM MASK AND WASH YOUR FILTHY POXIFIED HANDS!!!

Space is big. You are not.

Photo Hubble Ultra Deep Field. An estimated 10,000 galaxies are shown in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Source: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/30946

Space is stupendously massive with countless galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars and trillions of planets and moons. Statistically, there must be life elsewhere in the cosmos and IMHO most of it is probably microscopic and/or not intelligent/spacefaring.

However, if there are intelligent, spacefaring species out there, and if they have visited us – then the massive scale of the cosmos and the incredible technology, knowledge, and ability needed to traverse it would suggest these beings would possess technology and intelligence as far “above” ours/us as we are “above” the chimpanzee…or the ant…or the bacterium…or the virus…and lately and with each passing day, evidence reveals that some humans seem to be de-evolving and acting more and more like a virus.

Therefore, as we mostly naked, multi-colored, bipedal, primates will often camouflage ourselves with our technology and technique in order to study other life forms upon our planet without revealing ourselves to them…

…it is very possible the extraterrestrials have similar technologies (yet vastly superior to ours) that would easily hide them from our detection. Yes, that would then suggest that all the blurry photographs, videos, books, and eyewitness accounts/interviews over all the years by all the people claiming to have seen/encountered/been abducted by aliens are in fact – 100% pure and total bunk manufactured by charlatans wanting attention and fortune.

Another possibility exists: they have been here in the past and yet may still be here (maybe not them personally but their technology – think: cellular/internet-connected wildlife/trail camera traps/webcams etc that would allow them to remotely study us from the comfort of their home planet) studying us as we study other lifeforms on earth – such as looking at chimps and deer in the forest, ants under a magnifying glass, bacteria under a microscope, or African wildlife visiting a waterhole…

Check out Earthcam for many examples of what I mean: https://www.earthcam.com/events/animalcams/

It is also possible that many randomly selected and/or “of importance” or “special interest” humans have been “tagged” with 100% undetectable with our current technologies tracking devices (no, not injected via anal probes or vaccinations – oh lord people please grow up and just stop it with the TV/hollywood inspired stories and lame conspiracy “theories”) so as to be observed by these extraterrestrial observers in the attempt to study the mundane and unique among our species and learn more about us as we wildlife researchers work to learn more about the natural life movements of wild creatures currently existing with us on our home planet.

Or, they may, in fact, be so far evolutionarily, emotionally, and technologically advanced “above” us that we are only mere curiosities to them…or of no interest at all…

Maybe, due to the destructive, hateful, selfish, natures, and our viral reproduction and expansion without any concern for future generations – maybe our solar system has been put in a physically distanced quarantine zone far from the rest of the galaxy and its populated worlds until we children grow up out of our dangerous malignant infancy, start taking care of our planetary life support system, and coexisting with each other and with all species on this strange water-soaked living rock we call earth.

Another view of our home. Can you find the earth in this image? Yes, we are there, the tiny pale blue dot hanging in space under Saturn’s rings on the lower right.

A close-up view.

That’s here, that’s home, that’s us.

Photo Source: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/185/the-day-the-earth-smiled/

Home from 1 million miles away.

Photo source: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/86257/an-epic-new-view-of-earth

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” —Neil Armstrong

Appendectomy

This is something I wrote a few years back on the value of science and modern medicine which seems very applicable to the situation in which we find ourselves today.

From 2014:

I was recently diagnosed to have appendicitis with an appendiceal abscess.

Yep, gross huh.

An infection of that little worm-shaped vestigial organ held over from our raw food diets so epically long ago is most painful and dangerous and of which the only treatment option is removal. So, at some point today, the offending bit of my anatomy will be removed and discarded and I can then get back into life full force. I can tell you that I am so ready to have that maddening little over-inflated meat monkey swinging around on the lower end of my Ascending Colon – that for the last few weeks had been swollen with infection and then one night decided to rupture and spew its putrid contents into my abdominal cavity and is now wreaking havoc with my health and my life – quickly removed and incinerated into the primal elements of its origin.

It has been very painful, I have lost a bunch of weight, there have been loads of tests, visits to doctors, scans and more scans, blood and other fluids and substances taken and tested (originally it was thought to be Diverticulitis, Chrones disease, or something else because I had symptoms that were longer-running and a bit different than the usual case of appendicitis) – then finally a double-contrast CT scan revealed the appendix had in fact blown out and ejected its putrid sappy contents into my abdominal cavity – yuk! Lucky for me my immune system switched into high gear and encapsulated the festering area like a pearl in an oyster – only nowhere near as pretty.

It finally ends today, under the knife, or laser (I hope), using the amazing robotic/laparoscopic tools and training developed by medical scientists, engineers, and doctors to save our lives when our fleshy bodies eventually malfunction or take damage from this thing we call life.

Scoff and speak ill of doctors, medicine, and science if you will – but you will change your tune when it’s your turn.

This brings up a pet peeve of mine, science denial. I feel I must speak out about this, especially after this life-changing science-saturated event I am going through as I write this. My support for the scientific and medical communities could not be stronger and if you live in today’s world, you do so in a very large part because of all that science. If you were born via modern caecerian section, put on life support as a baby, had antibiotics and/or vaccinations to heal your infections or protect you from an uncaring viral disease, have ever had a hospital stay, doctor or dental visit, took your pet to the vet, driven a car down the road, flown in an aircraft, boat, ship, train, submarine, spaceship or bicycle, bought food in a restaurant or grocery store, cooked food in an oven or microwave, kept leftover food cold in a fridge or freezer, heated and or powered your house with energy produced via coal, oil, nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric, solar, wind or geothermal power, we’re alerted to or saved from a fire via a smoke alarm, brushed your teeth with a tooth brush (standard or electric), played a video game, hunted or fished for dinner using hunting and fishing gear/tools etc, watched TV, listened to music on your radio, stereo, tape deck, turntable, ipod or at a live concert, surfed the net, surfed a wave, snowboarded , skied, climbed a rock face, parachute jumped, base jumped, SCUBA dove, kayaked a raging river, paddled a quiet lake in a canoe, piloted an aircraft, bassboat, airboat, pontoon boat, or battleship, fly fished, slept in a modern sleeping bag on a thermarest style pad or on a memory foam mattress, carried your gear in a backpack, wore hiking boots, cross trainers or running shoes, navigated using a gps, map, or compass, cooked on a gas, biomas, or solar powered camp stove, turned on a light, or answered the phone – landline, mobile, or satellite, (and so much more) – then you my friend have benefited from science and engineering. Nobody on this earth can logically deny that science and engineering have played a massively important role in almost everything we have and do today…so how on this one strange rock of a planet is it at all possible that we still have so many people that so passionately deny the findings of science? From flat earthers, young-earthers, and hollow-earthers, to anti-vaxers, and evolution deniers, to those who deny climate change – all while taking advantage of all the science, engineering, and discovery all around them, inside them, and in their hands – the denial of the science and the evidence all around them is simply maddening.

Take anthropogenic climate change for instance: a massive and ever-growing number of reputable scientists that, after decades of meticulous research, from independent experiments all over the globe, meticulously gathered data from observatories and stations on earth and in space, collaborated with scientists in other earth and atmospheric science disciplines, studied the massive amounts of data, and then drawn informed conclusions, and finally published heavily peer-reviewed reports that have all then come to the indisputable (but yet still passionately disputed by some very loud voices) conclusions that by the actions of we humans burning copious amounts of fossil fuels to power our technologically wondrous culture: that we are causing the Earth’s climate to change in a negative way that is and will continue harming the very life support system that supports us all – and may one day render our species extinct.

How is it still possible that even with all this evidence – there are still people who choose to ignore and deny all the findings and all the hard evidence of these scientists? It would be like me ignoring the scientifically accurate findings of all the medical experts, doctors, and nurses taking care of me in my current uncomfortable situation – AND also ignoring all the findings of all the previous medical experts, doctors, and nurses who came before today’s doctors. If I ignored all these obvious findings, supported by all the hard evidence, and the decades of past medical research/experiences/findings from all the medical scientists/doctors that studied appendicitis in the past – and then just attempted to go on with my life as business as usual. How would that end for me? Simple and no question about it: pain, suffering, death, decay.

Ignoring and denying a potential problem because you do not understand it or do not want to believe the evidence that it exists – either because you do not understand it or it does not fit into your world view of the way things are – will not make it go away.


We have the fastest, most advanced supercomputer ever devised by nature or humanity sloshing around inside our hard hard heads so here is an idea: let’s use it and wake up out of our complacent sheeple-like sleep, cast away the tribal, fear-based, ideas of the past, and look to science as the way, as it always has been, to conquer our ancient fears of the unknown with the knowledge and factual, observation-based, peer-reviewed, findings of science and put into practice using the amazing tools of modern technology and engineering. When we do this we wake up to infinite possibilities, we become more enlightened, more tolerant of others, and more thankful for the beautiful complexities of life, time, space, and existence.


However, we must not forget where we came from, how we came to be where we are today, and always continue to teach the lessons of nature, the old ones, the great prophets of all peoples, the lessons of humility, love, compassion, faith, acceptance, coexistence, interdependence and respect of nature, a reverence for all life, and common sense as taught by the ancients. Without the combined truths of science, history, and the “soul” – our lives will be off-balance, and without a healthy balance we may be tempted to walk down the dark path of fear, hate, toxic tribalism, and confusion – and that trail does not ever end well.

Thank you to all my family and friends, for your friendship and support (even if we do not see eye to eye sometimes on some things) – you all mean the world to me and I love you all 🙂
Thank you to my coworkers, students, and friends for supporting me and my animals in my absence, and visiting me while I was in the hospital, you are the greatest crew to hike the Trails of life with and truly great friends.


Thank you to the doctors and staff of CMG, GPM, MMH, and TRH for professionally and expertly getting me through this tough but scientifically and biologically very fascinating time.
Everyone wish me luck and any blessings from your favorite chosen deity, rock, crystal, energy field, or creature because very soon I am going under the knife/laser and with any luck, I will see you all again soon 🤓


UPDATE: 8:15 pm Tuesday. First, thank you all so much for your kind words 🙂 and to those of you that stopped by to hang out with me 🙂 especially my beautiful wife Marian for staying with me through this and helping me do the things that need doing, I love you so much ❤

WOO HOO! Ambulance ride! 😃 On way to a nearby city for a special pre-operative procedure. The last time I rode in an ambulance was over a decade ago when I owned an old 1966 ex British Mod Series 2a 109 field ambulance that I converted into an overland camper. Does anyone out there remember the old “Warthog”?

So here’s the big news – no surgery for six weeks!? According to my doc the safer way to deal with this situation is to tap and drain the stinky “sap” out of the appendix and its associated “alien pod of sap.” This will allow the swelling and pain to go down. Then, when the major infection danger is past, they will operate and get the nasty, useless thing out of there. So today I took an ambulance ride for yet another CT scan and Jackson-Pratt drain tube implantation to get the nasty infection out. It was a scientifically fascinating procedure that I was able to watch from a drug-induced stupor but the result is simply the most painful and 100% mobility limiting condition and that is the worst part about it-even more so than the pain. Currently, I’m flat on my back but should be up and moving around again tomorrow and hopefully back at work and life on Monday…but at least I can eat real food again 🙂 I will be sure to keep you all posted on my status in this most interesting health science adventure that I have embarked upon.

The Jackson Pratt drain is in place and so far a great success with over 25cc of “sap” being removed so far!

Gross!

UPDATE 5:30 Wednesday.
I’m finally home 🙂
Drain is working well siphoning off nasty appendix “sap,” not in much pain but moving mighty slow and I’m eating almost normally again. Now I wait for a few weeks to have the appendectomy that will free me from this bout of vestigial intestinal madness.


THANK YOU to everyone who helped me get through this by sitting by my side, shuttling me around, chatting with me on the phone or text, and leaving heartfelt and funny comments and offers of help and prayers on my status updates, you are all great friends and I truly appreciate you all more than you can know. 🙂

APPENDECTOMY: It went very well and as I was under general anesthesia I do not remember anything. It sure was nice to get that thing out of me! Now let’s get back to life and living!

THANK YOU to all the surgeons, doctors, nurses, and others who have saved my life!!!

THANK YOU to all my family and friends who stopped by to visit me and/or send me supportive comments during my hospital stay and recovery.

THANK YOU SCIENCE!!!!

I also like to take this opportunity to thank God, Gaia, The Great Spirit, Allah, Jah, Buddha, the Force, and any other love, health, and peace-fostering omnipotent beings/energy fields – if they actually exist somewhere out there in the cosmos – and/or evolution by natural selection (whatever made our thinking ape brains possible) for giving/granting/tweaking/planting/MacGyver-ing the seed of consciousness into us fragile, mostly-hairless, multicolored, naked, thinking apes which eventually evolved into our ability to craft tools, engineering, and science to better our lives – at the moment I am speaking specifically of all the technologically superior medical, diagnostic, and healing, tools such as digital radiographs (X Rays), endoscopes, computerized lab analysis equipment, and MRI/CT scanners – for without these devices, and all the dedicated professional doctors, nurses, and technicians that operate them – I would probably be somewhat fertile soil feeding some flowers or trees somewhere.

Be More Like Jesus

I encountered this on social media and it made me think: we should all be more like the real Jesus.

Ever since I first learned about the real Jesus (not the twisted popular “white-washed,” construct many blindly follow today) I have always tried to carry a few of his teachings somewhere deep inside my heart. I always try my best to be kind, loving, merciful, and respectful to all living things – because my momma, Sir David Attenborough, and Jesus taught me so.

Since I am a naturalist and science communicator and I regularly teach folks about our deep, genetic connections to nature and all living things (evolution by natural selection), and cleaner energy and transportation choices (renewable energy and EV’s) – it seems that I very often find myself telling true, evidence-supported, peer-reviewed stories that make people think a lot about a lot of things – and for some bizarre reason these stories often upset/anger people – especially some closed-minded, holier than thou religious people…and those of certain political affiliations. (see, I’ll bet that comment upset some of you – so be it 🙂 )

Most of my friends are like me so they are: unpopular nerds, “weirdos,” geeks, scientists, technophiles, nature and animal lovers, and long-haired, pierced, tattooed, tree-hugging, hippie-type, dirt worshipers, “witches,” atheists, agnostics, and those with different colored skin than I have – as well as those who think and learn differently, and those who identify the way their brain says to – not the way society expects them to.

Oh, and guess what: some of these wonderful “sinners” may or may not partake of certain plant/fungi-based diets/herbs that – for whatever the bizarre reasons – some have chosen not to agree with.
(I’ll bet that comment upset some of you – so be it 🙂)

These wonderful, unique, open-minded, free-thinking, free-spirited, people – myself included – are the types that in days of old would have been arrested and hurriedly burned at the stake, fed to large, drooling, carnivores, or stoned to death by the toxic religiopolitical establishment. In fact, I would much rather hang out with what some of the religious/politically close-minded people of yesterday and today might call “sinners” because these people are:

1. Not usually “sinners” at all, they are just people who are tired of the way things are and they are going against the status quo because they only want freedom from those things and ways that are wrong with the world such as hate, war, prejudice, injustice, the pollution and destruction of nature and wildlife for short-term and/personal profit, and obviously all the greedy religious leaders and politicians.

2. These are some of the nicest, most loving, caring, and compassionate people you will ever meet.

(I’ll bet that comment upset some of you – so be it 🙂)

In fact, it seems I do all these things – the sleeping on boats part as well since I once fell asleep on a top bunk in the crew quarters of the USS North Carolina battleship memorial (pictured below).

How you may ask – it is a long story that involves: hanging out with college friends at the beach, missing another boat, a knife fight in a parking garage (that I was not involved in but quickly extracted myself from), sleeping in my car in a vacant lot, a massive coastal thunderstorm, an inquisitive security guard (Barney), a dead eel, some rather heavily amorous teenagers in a dark “alley,” and a battleship with 60-year-old bunks that looked very comfortable to someone who had a very long night but just really needed to get some sleep.

BTW: I am not and would not compare myself to Jesus – but I really do like the old bumper sticker that reads: I like your Christ but not your Christians. Be more like the real Jesus.

Do only good things.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

(I’ll bet all of that upset some of you – so be it and say what you will – my job here is done 🙂

????

Why do some humans* choose to so powerfully and so venomously put so much energy, trust, and faith in often archaically derived, intentionally tribal, and often toxically divisive, money and power-focused, temporally temporary political systems and/or countless, fearful, intentionally exclusive, endlessly ephemeral, dusty old ancient beliefs systems and religions**…

…yet they willfully choose to ignore the amazingly beautiful, daily, and deep-time realities of nature*** happening all around them and of which they are not only fully reliant for all their biological needs – but also physically, cellularly, atomically, and cosmically connected?

Yes, obviously, to each his own – but when each own’s freely chosen political system, religion, “thing” or “tribe” to follow was designed and/or has been recently re-designed, re-worded, by those in control of the chosen system and/or misinterpreted by the user to be exclusive, divisive, xenophobic, separatist, and toxically tribal toward those on the “outside” of the group, club, party, or flock…when these things serve only to prop up the “insiders” as somehow “special,” or “chosen,” or “above” the “others” and then label those “others” as “lost,” “damned,” “wicked,” “outsiders,” “infidels,” or “the enemy” therefore serving only to further divide friends, family members, loved ones, those with outward or inward genetic and/or chosen “differences,” those from “other” places, and even the very air, water, wildlife and natural systems that support our very lives, etc…

…then all we are doing is intentionally harming ourselves, our natural life-support system, and any possibility of a healthy and prosperous future for our species.

The founding fathers, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Amun, Ra, The Great Spirit, Zeus, Thor, Brahma, God, Allah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and all the others are fuming with madness (or laughing deeply and heartily – depending upon your point of view) from wherever they are at the moment. (I will not speculate on their location or even their existence – that is not my place until I have more empirical evidence.)


We are one.


Imagine.


One Love.

*Not all, just some. There are many truly beautiful, deep thinking, genuine people in the world of politics and religion that are doing so many great and wonderful things to support, help, heal, and give hope to others in need and to the natural world that supports all of us and everything moving forward. It is not these people I am concerned about.

The ones I am concerned about are those who are deeply entrenched in or drifting toward the lunatic fringe and those on the fringe few who use politics and religion as tools to acquire temporary wealth, power and prestige. They then use their power and influence to and control those who are seeking…something, someone, answers, guidance, a father figure…whatever each individuals case may be. Sadly, many of these power-mad charismatic individuals have the ability to amass great flocks of followers who, for whatever the reason or need, choose to blindly follow their chosen leader without question. They fail to see that those whom they follow or worship are only twisted charlatans and snake oil salesmen using their power and influence over others as a way to prop up their own egos, further their own agendas and/or the agendas of their party or prophet, often with the only end goal being to fill their coffers with the endless shower of profit, offerings, and accolades endlessly tossed at them by their gullible constituents/followers.

**It is the authors opinion that people are free to believe whatever they choose to believe unless that belief system in some way harms or oppresses other people, nature, wildlife, or the environment that supports all of us.  In that case it is my opinion that any destructive, hurtful, harmful, exclusive, divisive, xenophobic, separatist, and toxically tribal toward those on the “outside” of the group, club, party, or flock, belief, religion, or political system – should be abolished and made forever extinct.

It is also the authors opinion that many of these ancient beliefs are simply metaphors – maybe some of them are based on actual happenings, others simply myths and legends of ancient “superheroes” created by their authors either undertaking their own heroes journeys , maybe documenting someone else’s journey/story, or the author just made it all up (fiction) in order to teach the readers a valuable lesson – or a little of all of these things. Their story was then presented to the readers in a way to help them make sense of life, the universe, and everything.  Sadly, the meaning of these centuries-old lessons are often totally missed by the reader who often takes them literally, out of context, out of time, and then severely misinterprets them and attempts to apply them to the situations of their modern lives that could not have even been imagined in the simple agrarian world that existed when the words were first written down. These ancient, metaphorical guidelines for life are often so distorted and misconstrued by their transcribers and followers into the erroneous misunderstanding that they are somehow superior and separate from nature – that they have dominion over the earth and all of its inhabitants and resources and therefore they can do whatever they wish to with it.  Sadly, some of those on the lunatic fringe of these belief systems are even more disturbing when they use the “word” of their chosen deity to cash in on the fears of the deity’s followers and/or announce that they believe that the world will be ending soon and therefore nature, their daily choices and actions, everything real and existing just does not matter at all because it is all “impure” and will all soon be destroyed by a vengeful omnipotent deity – then, as they often say – “you will all be sorry you did not bow down and pay homage to (insert deity here).”

That kind of apathetic attitude is so incredibly dangerous and selfish.

(Note: I have personally heard all of the above statements from real people, good people, even family members and people I deeply care about, and I am just so saddened that there are people who still think and believe these things.  I am so embarrassed and saddened at the actions of my own countrymen and fellow Human beings when they say and act like they do not care about anything but themselves.  Where, when, and why did we go so wrong…?)

Just because you believe a thing does not make it true unless it is supported by measurable, observable, testable, peer-reviewed, evidence.


***as explored by personal observation, experience, and reflection and/or deeply and openly questioned, investigated, explained, and revealed by the careful and thoughtful exploration, observation, experimentation, and consideration, by countless experts over centuries of exploration, discovery, and invention – guided not by money or mythology but only by the evidence at hand.

Consider This

I – and many if not most of you reading this – would simply not exist without the findings of science, technology, and engineering.  Unsure of what I mean?  I have written about this topic before but here we go again because this cannot be overstated.

Starting off with the obvious: somewhere during your timeline of life a medical procedure/surgery, external or implanted medical or dental device, topical, or internal medicine, antibiotic, vaccine, or vitamin, – (that was invented, tested, guided, administered, and/or prescribed by the expert skill, advice, and training of medical experts we call medical scientists, virologists, immunologists, bacteriologists, prosthetists, orthodontists, dentists, plastic surgeons, doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and all the other “ologists,”) – has repaired, prolonged, enhanced, or saved your life – or the life of one of your progenitors. 

Speaking of your progenitors; without one or more of the modern medical techniques and procedures I mentioned earlier – they may not have lived or lived long enough to bring those individuals who produced the being you call you into existence…in fact, they – and therefore you – may not have even been born at all.   

Another fascinating fact: it is very likely that some of your progenitors would have never even met each other without a horse and wagon, car, truck, bus, boat, ship, aircraft, or possibly even a rocket bringing them to the instant in time where they first met – changing the course of history to eventually create you.  

How many countless times in your life did a sanitation system such a water purification system, portable water filter, purified water from your local municipal water department, a simple wooden outhouse or gilded penthouse toilet – remove or greatly reduce the chance that you or your ancestors would contract a nasty parasite or deadly disease?

Where would you be and what shape would you be in without your soap, toilet paper, tooth brushes, contact lenses, eye glasses, dental implants, hearing aids, CPAP, Oxygen concentrator, hip, knee, and heart valve replacements, pacemakers, insulin, etc?

Then there was the discovery and implementation of better agriculture/animal husbandry techniques such as selective breeding, fertilizer, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, genetic modification, preventative medicines – just to name a few – working together to produce a higher quality and quantity of foods allowing you to grow up strong and healthy.

Think about your home appliances for a moment.  Where would you be without your refrigerator, range, microwave oven, dish washer, laundry machines, blender, coffee maker, ceiling fans, HVAC, and all that electricity that powers them…how different would your life be without these technological wonders?

What about all that energy that powers and supports your lifestyle? Where would you be and what would you be doing without petroleum products such as oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene? Then there is all that earlier mentioned electricity you use that is produced by all those coal, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, solar, battery, and nuclear-power stations – and all the inventors, scientists, technicians, electricians, miners, roughnecks, refiners, shippers, managers, and other people who worked together to bring all that energy to you and to keep it flowing when you want and need it?

What about your modern clothes, tents, buildings, your home’s walls, doors, door locks, glass windows, the screens on the windows keeping out the blood-sucking and disease-carrying insects, all allowing you to live a comfortable and safe existence?

Do you perform work that requires the common sense use of PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment) to protect you from the elements such as sunglasses, safety glasses, air filter mask/respirator, chain saw chaps, snake gaiters, clothes, boots, gloves, sunscreen, climbing helmets, life jackets, body armor, or a simple bandana to keep you safe and healthy?

Have you used a personal tool or weapon that has protected you from a predatory animal or human attacker?

Where would you be without all these things?

Would you even exist?

What about your smoke/carbon monoxide alarms…your seat belts and airbags, automatic emergency braking and self-driving systems in your cars…your skateboard, bicycle, or motorcycle…?

That advanced tool of some kind – that hammer, handsaw, cordless drill/driver, Bic lighter or matchstick, pocket knife, multi-tool, Swiss army knife, fishing pole, rifle, animal trap or snare, backpack, length of nylon rope, dry bag, plastic bucket, or tin can, or again the ubiquitous bandanna, – that allowed you to fix a machine, build a shelter, procure, preserve and protect, cook, and prepare food or water so you could beat the odds and survive on and on?

What about all those electronic devices – like the one you are using to read these words – that you love so much; your smartphone/watch, computer, iPad, television, stereo, 2-way radio, that Tesla or Toyota in the driveway – do you have the first inkling on how they actually function? Do you have any idea how much engineering, science, thought, research and development, and testing went into them to bring them to reality on this very day so you can use them and trust them to work as you wish and need them to?

How about the systems in place that allow you to know what the weather will be tomorrow, when the tides will flow, the fish will bite, your exact location on the planet, and then give you turn by turn directions to the bodega where you buy your baked beans and Beluga Caviar – do you even have a clue what it takes to make all these things happen and get those beans and caviar to your dinner table?

And what about your dinner table…?

And what about all the intricate supply chains that have brought all these things to you? Have you ever given any of these technologies and systems the first thought with even just one of your 100 billion neurons?

All these things and systems are products of our science, engineering, technology, ingenuity, vision, and invention.

All of these things are also the products of our own evolutionary development.

Image from this good read: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/monkeys-make-stone-ldquo-tools-rdquo-that-bear-a-striking-resemblance-to-early-human-artifacts/

One of the defining characteristics of our unique species is tool-making and use. All of the technologies we create are nothing more than tools made of modified natural resources (complex combinations of liquids, rocks, fibers, and sticks spiced up with a little bit of fire, electricity, and lots and lots of science and engineering) that allow us to better adapt and survive in this thing we call life.  Since the first time early hominids turned simple rocks and sticks into stone tools and then more recently (maybe 1.5 – 1 million years ago) harnessed the power of fire and added it to his fast-growing tool box – we human-animals have invented, adapted, and “MacGyvered” our way through deep time to bring us to this day in our lives.

The simple fact is this: without our tools (ancient and modern) and without all the inventors, engineers, scientists – without all the experts (ancient and modern) that made them – in all probability we would only exist as just another ape among apes at the mercy of predators, the elements, and the relentless nature of nature.

Ouch!

The simple fact is that many if not most of us living today would not even exist without the findings of science and the miracles of modern technology and engineering – yet, a vast number of people alive, existing, and living today have absolutely no idea how any of these technologies – and the science and engineering that developed and supports them – function – even at a basic level. 

It seems we may have created for ourselves a broken system in which some individuals in the human population today – while they gladly accept and use many of these tools on a daily basis – have willingly chosen to nurture and perpetuate an irrational fear and distrust of many of these most important life-supporting, life-sustaining, and life-bettering technologies and sciences. The very same technologies and sciences and that have allowed many of them to exist, to continue to be healthy, to have the things they need, use, and enjoy. Yet, for whatever reason – they still choose to take many of these things for granted, to fear some of these things while accepting others, and to ignore the findings of the experts even if it brings hardship and harm to themselves, their loved ones, and those around them.

Strangely, a small but growing fraction of the population of planet earth has chosen to not only fear some of these technological tools – but also to use some of them as tools and/or weapons to spread irrational fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about still others of these most important tools they have chosen to misunderstand and distrust. A great example is this: people with little more than a high school education – if that – sitting on a couch at home or in traffic – or in their production studios – safe in their comfortable bubble of air conditioned from climate change (which they also do not understand or believe) existence – using their high technology personal electronic communications devices connected to the internet via fiber optics, ground and space-based data relay stations, and wireless data transmission towers and access points – only to spread loads of made-up FUD and misinformation about the expert advice of an entire planet’s worth of medical professionals on the need to wear PPE’s (masks) and the need to use the medicines and vaccines derived by science to fight off a microscopic viral attacker in the middle of a global pandemic…and then they take livestock dewormer…and sell loads of marketing, paraphernalia, self-published books, “cures” and “potions” and just get richer and richer off the ignorance of their followers.

This last fact is the most dangerous of them all. These “lunatic fringe” dwelling, anti-science, anti-knowledge, illogical charlatans – are nothing more than knowledge terrorists working to bring down the progress of civilization by sewing irrational fears into the minds of those without the capability, the education, or the desire, to see through their toxic charade.

It seems as if a cold-war spy movie mated with Austin Powers and gave birth to today’s reality.

The only way I know to fight this growing anti-science, anti-knowledge, fear-focused trend is to teach, to work very hard to open young minds – and the minds of those that are young at heart and still open to accepting evidence-supported, peer-reviewed knowledge.  The jobs of those of us who call themselves teachers is to plant the seeds of knowledge, inspiration, curiosity in how the natural world and the cosmos in which we float works. Then, we must continue to nurture those seeds with even more empirical evidence, adventure, experimentation, and lots of quality time outdoors in nature.  Hopefully, the seeds of evidence and curiosity we plant will grow into great and wonderful trees of knowledge that will empower its gardeners to cast off their fear, hate, doubt, xenophobia, and anxiety and nurture it with curiosity, knowledge, evidence, wonder, love, trust, passion, and coexistence and a deep reverence for all life. 

Plant that seed.

My personal science story:

The fact boldly stands that I would not exist without the findings of medical science, technology, expertise, and technique.

Why?  

1. I was born premature – medical science, technology, and engineering supported my life until I could support myself.

2. Vaccinations protected me against all the things all the other kids carried – all the things that wanted a piece of me when I was just starting out.

3. I acquired Mycoplasma “walking” pneumonia twice – I may have died without treatment and medications and the experts who administered them.

4. I developed Appendicitis: I would have most certainly died without treatment and appendectomy.

5. I was bitten by a Timber rattlesnake:  I may not have died but I would have probably lost the use of a finger and had lasting ill effects.

6. Both my biological and adoptive parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents – would have never met each other without ships, automobiles, and airplanes.

7. I have been in countless situations – many severe electrical storms and one hurricane come to mind – where a structure, vehicle, or technology provided shelter for me, and without it I would have died.

…and so on. 

So yes, without the findings and application of medical, materials, chemical, food, engineering, botanical, and physical science and engineering – I would simply not exist. 

It is as simple and as complex as that.

I do not fear the science, medical advancements, technology, and engineering discoveries, that have given me life – I accept and embrace them just as I accept and embrace nature – because science is our way of understanding and interacting with, and when the need arises – controlling the nature of nature.  These things have given me life and are a part of me, and for that I am eternally grateful. I am also eternally grateful to all the teachers, scientists, engineers, botanists, doctors, dentists, nurses, immunologists, virologists, biologists, and others who have helped me along the way to become the living, healthy person I am today – and to understand the value science and engineering brings to all of us.

You are all my heroes.   

What about you? 

How has science given you life?

Ponder it.

Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, thrive.