What with our storms this Winter we've seen a fair number of refugees being taken in by our aquatic park. Most years we still get refugees, and they still need support as they recover from their ordeal.
While informative the story does not say anything with how the sea lions handle being around people. Or with what happens with some of them after their return to the wild. My plan is to get in touch with the people at Sea World of San Diego to learn what they can tell me.
Now earlier a lady from Australia posted about an experience she had during the fires. Seems that a few of the animals she had fostered before the fires had returned to her, likely because they remembered her and how she had treated them. But I suspect that not all of them had actually had any contact with her before this occasion. Instead, they had just followed the lead of those who remembered her and had set out to get help from her. A case of "follow the leader."
I've heard of seals and sea lions released from rehabilitation approaching humans on the beach for help, and I suspect we have pretty much the same thing going on here as with the kangaroos in Australia. In any case I'll make a few inquiries with Sea World SD and report on it.
In this month's issue of National Geographic there is an article on pain (paywall). Has information on what pain is, what causes pain, and how we handle pain. Particularly interesting is the information on those who don't handle pain the way most of us do, such as a woman who really doesn't feel pain. At least not as intently as most of us do.
In the same issue there is an article on pain killers, and especially on the addiction that sometimes occurs in those who use the opioids. It is a devastating addiction, and ranks up there along with alcohol and nicotine. The article in question also prompted this observation:
An addiction is not a moral issue, an addiction just is.
Properly speaking an addiction is just a physical dependency on something. An addiction has nothing to do with any moral quality a person may have or not have. My Dad was addicted to nicotine, his moral standing played no role in the matter. An alcoholic is just addicted to alcohol, his ethics mean nothing when you get right down to it.
The next to the last time I was in a crisis house the staff insisted that everybody attend AA meetings. Meaning everybody. The assumption being that if you had to be there you had to be an alky. That is prejudice and it drove me out of the house. The staff of a crisis house is not supposed to be there to bully the clients, they're supposed to be there to help the clients. Still, bully they did, and that means I can't turn to something like a crisis house in the case of a crisis.
What it comes down to is, there are no moral answers to addiction. Dealing with addiction involves withdrawal and will power. You need to stop drinking, you need to be a stubborn bitch and have a community around you that understands and won't moralize.
After my operation I'll be taking Oxybutynin at 5mg 3 times a day for the pain. I may find myself addicted to it. I'm not going to like it, for the addiction will mean that I'm being controlled by an outside agency and I don't like that. It's bad enough I have to take Prozac for my depression, but at least there it's a chronic condition that I won't recover from. In time I will recover from the surgery and I won't need the Oxy to kill the pain for the pain will go away.
Now one thing the article on pain notes is that most people given a distraction really don't notice their pain. When he was a nine year old my brother, John, needed to have a gash sewn up. So the doctor gave him a comic book to read as the stitches were put in, and John never noticed when the sewing started. Even today when I'm distracted the pain I'm having at the moment sort of disappears. It works because we stink at multitasking, we just ain't smart enough to handle more than one detail at a time. I can't. I can notice a number of details all at once, but I can't handle them and that can lead me to freaking out.
Which leads me to two more observations. First, that for me knowing my problem is being dealt with will relax me and with that relaxation my pain will fade into the background. Second, my accepting the pain means I will relax and the pain I feel will ease. This will most likely be the case with any pain I have post surgery.
And all this thinking I've been doing has inspired another post, but since it is another topic entirely it can wait for later.
Hope you're all doing well, and remember that pain is your body's way of telling you, "Stop that!"
Okay, what I'm doing here is writing about memes. Not memes as in jokes or humor, but memes as in ideas. The original description of the term.
As I'm using the term here, memes are ideas. Thoughts if you'd like. In this case a proposed thought that describes what the author (me in this case) proposes as something to think about. Properly speaking a meme does not have to be funny. It does need to provoke thought. That is, to get the reader to think about an idea. Evolution is a meme. Physics is a meme. The mechanism of evolution is a memeplex, a body of memes connected in some fashion so as to bolster or reinforce a proposition.
Today's meme has to do with what amounts to my description of the term, "metaphysics". I'm using the second definition of "metaphysics" from Merriam-Webster, which says in part, "A division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality...". In short, where physics deals with the physical, metaphysics deals with the nature of physics. In other words, how it works. We all know of gravity, but with Newton and Einstein their theories deal with how it works, and by extension why.
Which brings us to the nature or metaphysics of the universe. As I see it it works this way.
The universe is an expanding sphere. Last I've heard it's some 40 billion light years in diameter, though I could be wrong. It is also a solid sphere, being entirely space/time in composition with no gaps. Indeed, there can be no gaps in space time. To make this simple, there can never be nothing. What we think of as nothing is just an illusion.
In addition space/time can be neither created or destroyed, only changed from one state to another. As I see it, it is either compressed (folded) or uncompressed (flat).
In addition space time as a whole is always in contact with itself. In a sense everything we know of is entangled, it is always entangled, and it can not be separated in any sense of the word from itself.
There are implications here, what those implications will have what for later. In case you're wondering, I like to think of myself as a theoretical metaphysician. Experimental metaphysican is another matter entirely and a field I'm just not competent in. In any case I'll write more on this subject later in the series.
You know, it has occurred to me that the late Gary Gygax was wrong when he asserted that rules aren't necessary in an RPG. Now when you think of them as prescriptive, they're not. But think of them as descriptive and they very much are.
What is the difference between prescriptive and descriptive?
Prescriptive is a matter of what must be. Descriptive is a matter of what is. Criminal law is prescriptive, scientific law is descriptive. A rule in a game tells you what you should do, a law in science tells you how something works.
Take for example falling in DnD. In the original your character suffered 1d6 in damage for each 10' he fell. He fell 30 feet he suffered 3d6 in damage. With a d6 for hit points for each level in the original rules the longer the fall the better the chance he would die. It was really more a matter of luck than it was a physical matter.
Later in Dangerous Journeys Gary devised a variant on the above, in Mythus the damage suffered was still 1d6 per 10', plus a multiplier of 1d6. So a fall of just 10' could still do between one and 36 points of damage depending not only on how long the fall was, but on how hard the character landed, and what he landed on. Now given that the average mundane character in Mythus has something like 60 points he can take in damage, a 10' fall no matter how hard, how he landed, or on what shouldn't kill him. But not everybody can take average damage.
But my main point regarding the rules (mechanics if you like) of an adventure guide (as I like to call them) is that they are best employed as descriptions of how things work in the AG's setting. Think of them as models, or simulations of reality. Emulations if you like. The original mechanics of Tensor's Floating Disk described them working one way. A later version had the magick working another way, a milder way. We learned about the spell when it first came out, and being young and smart and creative figured out how to weaponize it. Let's face it, you've got a half ton of mass moving at 3 miles an hour it's going to mow things down. And I can just hear DMs of the day going "Ack!" and looking for ways to stop the carnage.
And that's the sort of thinking you get when you think of what we're doing as games. You can't nerf physics. Physics basically says that this is how matters work and you're not going to change a damn thing. You can cheat, but if you want to cheat you'd better damn well know how it works.
And I've got more thinking to do here. I'll address this further later.
Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is the fourth largest in the asteroid belt after Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the solar system.
Now since Hygiea is large enough to be spherical, that would mean that Vesta and Pallas are also spherical and therefor dwarf planets. And since I don't believe in dwarf planets, it would mean that Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea are planets 5 through 8 after Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Which means that Jupiter is thus the ninth planet. Making planets 10-13 Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The other planets are Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. Though there may be others.
That makes 16 planets overall, of which half are dainty little things. And 16 is a bitch to memorize, but some folks just have to memorize them. Poor souls.
But keep in mind that you have the rest of the Kuiper belt to deal with as well as the Oort Belt and Cloud. We could have lots more.
The site is A Mythic Goal and you are welcome to join and contribute. The purpose of the site is for people to get together to work on a new version of the Mythus AG. Join, participate, take advantage of my work, and spread the word around.
The claim has been made that the 9th planet is a black hole. I say it isn't. Neptune is our 9th planet. In order the first nine planets in our Solar System are...
Planets 10 and 11, Pluto and Charon, share an orbit and in effect switch between being #10 and #11 depending on where they are in their orbit around a common center of gravity. Our declaring the small planets to be "dwarf planets" is our attempt to deny that there really are too many planets for us to memorize them all, or devise a mnemonic to handle them.
I pretty much agree with Jonathan Tweet. In the post he admits to taking things as he wants to, giving no thought to just how he could be wrong, or right. It comes down to this, most often we'd much rather things be as they are supposed to be, and ignore the fact that things are most often just what they are. Much of the time it is a matter of how we understand a thing and our understanding is going to be imperfect because our ability to understand is imperfect.
Which means all knowledge is going to be imperfect, indeterminate when you get right down to it. As we learn, as we grow in knowledge, what we know will change, even what is now considered set in stone.
One example of this is our view of the Sasquatch. When I first learned of the animal we really didn't know how it could get here. We knew of how the American Indian migrated over Berengia during the last Ice Age, but it never occurred to us that another species of giant primate could do the same thing at that time, or even an earlier period in time. By and large we assumed that since we knew of no animal that could cross over we assumed none did. Forgetting that by having film of a large bipedal ape we had evidence that such an animal existed, which given that apes are not usually found in the New World meant it had to come from somewhere. The most likely was the Old World and the route taken included Berengia at a time when there was no Bering Strait.
In short the Patterson/Gimlin film and other footage demonstrates that there is a second species of giant ape living in North America besides us, and that means that the Sasquatch most likely has an old world ancestor likely descended from a common ancestor with the Yeti or a like animal. And Yeti and Sasquatch very likely have a common ancestor with Gigantopithecus.
Fortunately given time we can change our mind, given the opportunity to reflect on what we know and what we later learn. But much too often we let ourselves get overwhelmed by the world and the voices of those trying to persuade or dissuade us. In addition, for the most part we'd rather agree with those who agree with us, because they agree with us. We like being assured that we are right and we hate learning that we are long. Just consider politics and religion, where the disagreements can get strident.
Just consider plate tectonics, a school of geology first proposed back in the early 20th century, but which was denied by most geologists because they could not see any mechanism for it. Then we found our first tectonic rift, somewhere in the Caribbean I think. We found more rifts, and then subduction zones, and then faults such as the Andres that demonstrated just where things we moving and providing us with the mechanism for this movement. At the present time we seem to think that the North American plate incorporates the bed of the western North Atlantic, ignoring that fact as I see it that a plate of granite cannot incorporated basalt into it's structure. And that, given that basalt is denser than granite, where the two meet the former will subduct under the latter. Which means that the Western North Atlantic Plate is sliding under the eastern edge of the granite North American Plate making eastern North America a subduction zone. A slow, gentle subduction zone, but still a subduction zone.
In her Sasquatch Genome Project Dr. Ketchum claims that the mitochondria found in her sasquatch hair samples is human. Something tells me that her assumption is erroneous. As far as I can see mitochondria really has no reason to evolve, given a consistency in environment. Something tells me that different animals share mitochondrial species, which they inherited from a common ancestor. This would appear to be true of human and sasquatch/yeti in so far as both animals share a common type of environment.
Is there any work out there regarding the inheritance of mitochondria? Are the different species of mitochondria shared among the different species of eukaryote?