Tag Archives: Mystery

Progress Doesn’t Always Mean Going Forward In A Good Way

I love the future.

The very idea of it, the changes inherent in it, just gives me a thrill. Sometimes it’s a thrill of the wonder of the future and sometimes it’s a thrill of fear, a worry about what comes next.

For the most part, though, I’m always looking forward, anxious to see what new thing will be coming to benefit us, to vex us, to change us. So, yeah, you could say I’m a proponent of progress and moving forward.

(And, if any of you dudes or dudettes figured out by the opening bits that I’m about to talk about an instance in which I’m not thrilled by progress, then, congratulations. You’ve been paying attention for the last couple of years of your life at least.That wasn’t snide, by the way. I mean it. Congratulations on paying attention to the how the world around you works. You’d probably not believe how high is the number of people for whom the world around them is a complete mystery, operating on unknown and ineffable principles. However, I’m just remembering that this is a parenthetical aside and, so, should probably be moving back to the main thrust of my argument.)

In this instance, however, I’m not all that thrilled by the idea of progress. (see above) See, I live in what had been a relatively stable neighborhood. The houses have been here for a relatively long time — since the 1980s at least — almost completely built out. It’s the almost bit that’s causing me some concern here.

See, across the street from the entrance to the cul de sac on which I live, there was one house on a very large piece of property. The owner sold that property to a developer, who then turned around and built 20 homes on that same piece of property. The developer also built a road that connects a larger, more trafficked road, to our road, which runs parallel.

The problem isn’t so much the new neighbors, but the fact that their road allows drivers to circumvent the crowd on the old road by taking ours. And it’s not really the increased traffic. It’s the increased number of numbnuts and jackwagons that seem to be using our road.

They don’t stop at the stop sign (a sizable percentage not even slowing down) despite there being at least 10 kids under 10 years of age living within 100 yards of that stop sign. And there are several who have decided that the yards along our road are not, in fact, yards, but, rather places where they can dump the evidence that they’ve been drinking.

Yep, when I’m out walking with Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, I constantly find — in the same places every day — empty Coors Light cans, empty and often broken bottles from Icehouse and the occasional Steel Reserve malt liquor can. People toss out empty sixpack containers, still in the bag.

It’s just this blatant disregard for other people that really frosts my chaps, if you dudes know what I mean. The sense of entitlement that they must feel: too important to have to stop at a stop sign despite the danger to others, too important to hide their drinking in their own trashcan.

Now the maroons are starting to dump their empties in actual yards and not just the bits of yards that are further from the homes.

What I want to know is: What goes through someone’s mind where they think that it’s okay to just toss an empty out on someone’s lawn as you’re driving by? Seriously. I want to understand, but I don’t think I ever will.

These types of poltroons just aren’t like the rest of us. Oh, how I really wish I could find out who’s doing it because I have a lot of garbage I’d like to leave on their yard. And, yes, I know two wrongs don’t make a right. But, remember that three rights can make a left.

Share on Facebook

Strange World

The world is a strange place, dudes.

It’s to my greatest regret and my greatest gratitude, that we don’t have a fence in the backyard. Because of that, Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog, must, in fact, be walked. Often. At great length.

If I want Buzz to be walked in a way that ensures he won’t be leaving little brown, smelly presents all over the house at inopportune times, I have to do it myself.

And so I get a chance for a little alone time with Buzz. Of course, it’s not actual alone time, seeing as how Buzz is at the end of the leash, but he doesn’t actually require that I talk to him, listen to him or respond back to him. Which, as you might imagine, is a bit of a relief on occasion.

So while the walks do take out a significant portion of the day, I always find that I’m feeling much better about life at the end of each walk.

These walks also let me see some very interesting things along the way. Not even going to go into the folks who seem to believe that if they are on the other side of a house window that they’re invisible from the street. For the record? They’re not. They’re so very not invisible.

*shudder*

No, what got me thinking about the world’s strangeness was the pumpkin patch of old, discarded (I think) pumpkins I found the other day along a utility siding. It’s a large field of open space that allows a set of power lines to roll across the land without crossing any homes. It’s bound on each side by a small line of trees and bushes.

As I was walking into the open area, I noticed several small pumpkins in the bushes. This being the time after Halloween, I thought nothing of it.

Then, when I went back later, there were more pumpkins. Two of them were rather large and rather white, something I’d never seen before. I’m assuming they’re a thing, but not something I’ve known about.

Strange, I thought, then walked on.

Finally, on a third trip through, I found even more pumpkins on the ground. I counted up a total of nine pumpkins, some large and some small.

Now, I realize it’s probably because the people nearby didn’t want to throw their pumpkins out and wanted, instead, to offer them to the local wildlife, but that’s the logical reasoning and doesn’t really cover why they appeared over a number of different days.

And, besides, we have no way of knowing if it’s true. There could be any number of reasons, from aliens setting bad traps for people who, only a few weeks ago, seemed to have pumpkins everywhere, to the spontaneous appearance of pumpkins in the nexus of all Halloweens throughout the multiverse.

It’s the difference between not understanding something and something being a mystery. Mysteries are lovely and allow for such speculation and, best of all, they are there until we decide to solve them.

Mysteries allow for the strange and the unusual. Mysteries are the stuff of adventure.

The world is a strange place.

Let’s keep it that way*.

 

Share on Facebook

How Bigfoot Fits Into His Genes

Bigfoot still is a mystery, dudes. I know. It’s a bit shocking.

Especially considering all the hoo-ha a couple of months ago when a researcher claimed she had a some viable Bigfoot cells and was on the cusp of being able to sequence the entire Bigfoot genome.

You might recall, reputable scientists did just that a number of years ago, under the aegis of the Human Genome Project. We know where every single AGCT goes in our randy little genes. That knowledge should enable us, in the years to come, to delicately craft designer medications that will work best for you, or for that guy over there. Or maybe that dudette in the front row.

Handy thing, knowing yer entire genome.

Imagine my excitement when I learned that Dr. Melba Ketchum, a Texas-based forensic scientist and the face in front of the genome-sequencing effort, announced to a disbelieving world that she was getting ready to map the elusive possibly-primate’s genetic sequence.

Of course, the disbelieving LAME-stream science community poo-pooed the idea. So Ketchum and the others in her group, took their paper describing the Bigfoot genome and got it published in a scientific journal: the online De Novo . In case you don’t keep up with the scientific literature and find you don’t know the name of this journal, that’s because, prior to this paper being published, it didn’t actually exist. And the only paper that the De Novo ever printed was Ketchum’s paper on Bigfoot.

That’s right. Ketchum and her group purchased an existing journal, renamed it De Novo and then published their paper. A paper which: conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin and are a direct maternal descendant of modern humans.”

According to Ketchum and her group, the DNA shows a distinct speciation effect, showing that Bigfoot is not human, but a mix of human and something else.

So, yeah. That’s that. Case closed. Bigfoot exists and is the product of relatively recent intermingling between humans and some other primate. By relatively recently, of course, we’re talking tens of thousands of years. Geologic time, you see. Unfortunately for Ketchum and the rest of her group, there’s a whole bunch of scientists who don’t see it the same way she does, including John Timmer, the science editor for Ars Technica.

Timmer and other biologists looked at the samples and saw contamination of the sample, bad science and decomposition of the supposed DNA sample. In other words, it wouldn’t work. Period.

My initial analysis suggested that the “genome sequence” was an artifact, the product of a combination of contamination, degradation, and poor assembly methods. And every other biologist I showed it to reached the same conclusion. Ketchum couldn’t disagree more. “We’ve done everything in our power to make sure the paper was absolutely above-board and well done,” she told Ars. “I don’t know what else we could have done short of spending another few years working on the genome. But all we wanted to do was prove they existed, and I think we did that.”

Timmer has a fantastic article that goes through Ketchum’s research, talking with the good doctor herself, step by step and points out where things got a little wonky.

This is a great example of public science journalism. He’s not out there to make fun of Ketchum. He’s not some sort of rabid disbeliever out to debunk the “TRUTH” (notice the all-caps. Yeah, it’s that kind of truth.). He’s a scientist, a journalist and a curious man.

Go check it out. It makes for a fascinating read.

Share on Facebook