Let’s Get Beyond the Headlines, Okay?Posted: September 3, 2012
Jean Calomeni is an artist and writer (among other things) living in Boise, Idaho. She is also kind enough to put all that aside to write a post for me during Guest Post Week . Look, it is right down there! After you read it, go to Snoring Dog Studio and take in more of her thoughts and painting. Thank you, Jean.
It seems to me that reading headlines is a method the majority of us employ to stay informed. We haven’t the time to read further, and, even if we do, we just look at the photos and view the video. I picked some recent headlines out of Google science news, provided the back story and urge you to get informed. You never know when you might be lucky enough to get called for an appearance on NPR’s “What Do You Know?”
Really? We’re still running horrible experiments on animals in this country? Oh, yeah, I forgot—in Wisconsin, they are. Some people would consider Governor Scott Walker a horrible experiment, but I won’t comment on that. I was asked not to by the owner of this blog.
I don’t understand why this study was at all necessary. Scientists would only have had to Google “starving people in [insert country name here]” and an abundance of evidence would indicate, even to a first-grader, that near starvation doesn’t make one capable of participating in Dancing with the Stars, much less living for a long time.
I’ve tried Severe Dieting. I gave up alcohol and chocolate for about a week. I lost sleep, lost my patience, my blood pressure skyrocketed and my neighbor’s cat disappeared. I don’t care if it is an n of 1, that’s enough proof that Severe Dieting is a bad idea. And no one had to spend millions of dollars for that study.
That’s too long a ride on an elevator for me. My limit is about 6 floors, ALONE. With other passengers, it’s half a floor. If it were an elevator with glass walls, I’d need at least one Valium for each floor, an eye mask, bedding, lots of food, and an iPod with at least a year’s worth of battery power and music loaded.
And am I missing something? I keep hearing about colonies to Mars, dormitories on Pluto, and now this, an elevator to the moon. I don’t remember getting the memo about the End-of-the-Earth as we know it. Certainly, I’ve had my suspicions, for example, when Jersey Shore became a top-rated show, Kardashian became a verb for self-promotion, and corporations became people.
Dumpster diving has its perils for sure, but hanging around, waiting for a whale to vomit? Sounds like a hazardous and very messy, very stinky past-time. While this boy’s friends are at the mall trolling for teenage girls or at home playing gory, mindless video games, he’s down at the beach hoping that a whale with indigestion will barf up some cool finds.
Finding treasures and trinkets while I’m out walking or hiking is a huge bonus to forcing myself outside among nature. I’ve pocketed expensive sunglasses, a Leatherman, a tape measure, earrings, dog toys and money, but never have I lurked in the background waiting for a guy with expensive sunglasses, a construction dude, a woman with faulty earlobes, careless dogs and people, to be separated from their belongings.
And if I’m ever, ever, anywhere near a whale who’s about to vomit, I’ll run like hell.
If sugar has been found in space, can a TCBY be far behind? This news doesn’t bode well for the nutrition fanatics among us. Having tried for years to relegate sugar to the part of the food pyramid not on the pyramid but floating above it, the news of extra-terrestrial sugar probably makes them want to weep.
And is it really a sign of life? Because, if what we read is true, sugar is a killer. Next amazing space discovery: We find a planet populated by obese aliens, lugging around their Big Gulps, all suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
I’ve always assumed that finding carbon on other worlds indicated that other two- or four-legged creatures couldn’t be far behind. I’d never imagine sugar could claim that distinction. If I’m any example, when I get all sugared up, I’m barely alive. I’m sluggish, dense and barely breathing.
If stories about climate change raising sea levels and destroying your basement or crops shriveling on the vine leading to higher grocery bills doesn’t get you riled up, perhaps this headline might.
For lots of climate change deniers, the news might have to hit very close to home—in fact, right under their tighty-whities—before they’ll get worked up about our planet’s demise. Global climate change scientists have done a miserable job convincing people that this impending disaster is upon us. I’m convinced it’s because they’ve failed to make it personal. So, let’s drive this latest wiener news mainstream. Don’t bury it inside some obscure science blog that no one reads. You tell men that their wieners are going to shrink or fall off because of climate change, and we’ll then, finally, get people’s attention. Only then will our world’s decision makers and leaders, 99% of whom are men with wieners, do something serious about climate change.