03 January 2010
NEWS 3 PLUS COMMENTARY 2
1. How to train the aging brain -- question assumptions, learn new physical and mental skills -- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/education/edlife/03adult-t.html?em
2. The link between Restless Leg Syndrome and Erectile Dysfunction in older men -- http://www.sciencecodex.com/study_links_restless_leg_syndrome_with_erectile_dysfunction_in_older_men
3. Conspicuous consumption as a marker in status seeking, social signaling and sexual solicitation -- surprising ways in which men and women differ -- http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427392.700-sex-and-shopping--its-a-guy-thing.html
1, A Wee Bit o' Revolution. Comic and talk show host Craig Ferguson is a native Scot who is also a proud citizen of the U.S. In this video he describes his fascination with the ideals behind American democracy, combining razor-sharp caustic wit with the thoughtful challenge to step outside our customary beliefs and to think, really think, about what freedom means. His perspective is a breath of fresh air in the predictable polemics of public discourse. Freedom of speech includes freedom from speech. Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. Of all the freedoms spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the most fundamental (and the most compelling responsibility for every citizen) is freedom of thought. The founders were revolutionary not just politically or militarily, but in their deep and original thoughts. It is incumbant upon each of us to emulate that example, to engage in our own wee bit o' revolution every day.
2. From The Outermost House, by Henry Beston, 1928:
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.
Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice,
man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge
and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness,
for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.
And therein we err, and greatly err.
For the animal shall not be measured by man.
In a world far older and more complex than ours they move finished and complete,
gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained,
living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren,
they are not underlings;
they are other nations,
caught with ourselves in the net of life and time,
fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
(Note: This writer does not seek to mystify nature. I do seek, however, to encourage a sense of respect, caring and wonder for the diversity of life on our shared planet. Like it or not, as an intelligent, self-aware species, we inherit the mantle of steward for all other creatures and for this garden planet we call Earth, on behalf of this and future generations.)