Friday, April 27, 2012

A Colossal Tizzy?

Do you ever waver between two opposing positions? For example, consider the pupfish from last week’s post. Sure, I’m in favor of preventing the extinction of a unique species of fish but, can we accomplish that objective for free? How much money should biologists spend to save the tiny pupfish?

This dilemma reminds me of the conflict I have with the space program.  I’m always intrigued by the universe, its colors, the galaxies, comets, the planets and quasars. I love when astronomers discover new planets and black holes and have to toss previously held theories because of new findings. The universe stretches the limits of our imagination.  Let’s take a peek at what’s out there:

Despite the universe’s awesomeness, I’m not sure we should spend billions on space exploration.  How does it improve our daily lives? I’m trapped between two sides; I support space exploration but, I also believe in curtailing NASA’s funding for shuttles and probes. We’ll just have to channel our financial resources toward purchasing better and more powerful telescopes.

I’m sure you feel pulled in different directions over various issues.  Which two opposing concerns keep you in a tizzy?        

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Hottest Cause

Sooo, did you enjoy our one day introduction to summer? A single, ninety-degree afternoon sent us all rummaging for the shorts, sandals and sunscreen. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean we’re headed for extraordinarily high summer temperatures because Monday was more than enough for me. Yep, one hot day and I’m already complaining. Speaking of which—where’s our month full of rain? Someone said April showers bring May flowers, but it’s mid-April and we’re looking at a dry and thirsty land. Too much sun can throw the environment off-kilter.  Check out the happenings in Death Valley:    

Given the frequent one–hundred degree temperatures and all of the problems that could arise in a parched place like Death Valley, who would have put pup fish on the list? It’s amazing how the plight and possible extinction of this single, little fish in a deserted area caused researchers to run to the rescue.

We’re up to our necks in crises and new ones pop up every time we check the web. We all have social, political, environmental or personal concerns, but once we begin championing a cause, we grab our banners and run to different corners to fight the battle. Sometimes, after we’re tucked away in our corners, we begin to believe that our cause reigns supreme. What’s your criteria for prioritizing the causes you champion?         

Friday, April 13, 2012

Need Some Help?

Does state law allow you to sit in your comfy vehicle while the gas attendant pumps your gas? Not here! Unless you have a good friend along who will spoil you, you’re a DIYer (do-it-yourselfer).  Given the soaring gas prices, shouldn’t someone offer us a free side of fries with our gas? A soft pretzel or a nice beverage would hit the spot. I’ll settle for a coupon that sends me elsewhere to pick up the treat. Instead we get nothing, zippo, nada, except a receipt that rivals the cost of a four-person dinner. (Insert sniffles and tears here) Where’s the love?

If pumping our own gas is our biggest problem, we’re doing fairly well. After all, we’re a nation of self-reliant pioneers who pick themselves up by their bootstraps and carry on. The home improvement industry capitalizes on our American get-it-done roots. Our DIY projects generate lots of business for places like Lowes.  In addition to stores, books and cable channels that provide advice on home repairs, here’s DIY advice from a few experts:

At least we’re qualified to pump our own gas, maybe. Have you ever spilled the gasoline? I did. Afterwards I went into the gas station convenience store and bought a bottle of water to wash away the flammable liquid. Thinking about it now, that water should’ve been free!  

Despite the potential dangers of DIY, we’ll still tackle them. So, what almost impossible do-it-yourself task have you attempted? What difficulties did you face along the way? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Recognize Yourself

I’m not a rabid, um, avid sports fan.  I’m what you might call a casual observer. As I see it, fans fall into three categories. The first type of fan enjoys the game but doesn’t get too excited over a team win or loss. The second tier fan cares about the outcome and if their team loses, well, that makes for a disappointing day. The third type of fan dabbles on the scary side. They take the concept of “fan” to a whole different level.

You’ve seen and heard about them. This third type of fan gets so wrapped up in an event that they go over-the-top. These fans dedicate way too much time to their sport, assault members of an opposing team, bend street light poles in celebration of a win and tip over big things—like your car. How does someone make the leap from supportive observer to crazed participant? Perhaps this video hints at an answer:

If sports fandom means sharing in a communal experience, then why do certain people go to the extreme? Perhaps they want to stand out from the community, above the crowd and beyond normal. They desire recognition for something, anything, even if it’s only for outrageousness. Everyone wants a little recognition. What about you? For what do you want to be recognized?