storm avoider

Grumps, gripes, humour, and "WTF???"

England Swings … — May 11, 2015

England Swings …

My wife and I endured 6 1/2 hours in an Airbus 330 to visit my brother here in England. It is definitely worth the torture of air travel to be here. ( but then again, 3 weeks off work is almost always worth six hours in a sardine can). image

To a North American, it feels… well… Quaint.  I love the accents (we’re in the Manchester area), the flowers, the narrow roads, the hedges.  There’s something indefinably different about the scenery; a field is not “just” a field. They get home milk delivery, in those new-fangled, environmentally friendly,100% recyclable, glass bottles.

My daughter lives in Victoria, and after driving there for half an hour, we all agreed that Victoria drivers would not have a prayer in Toronto.  Well, I also think Toronto drivers would not stand a prayer here, driving the roads in and around the towns in the Manchester area. It’s like watching a spontaneous ballet; everyone goes every direction, and no one seems to get hurt. I can’t even hear the music, let alone take part in the dance! And we haven’t even been to a big town yet.

Now it’s after lunch, and once again jet lag seems to be catching up. Or old age; for one reason or another I seem to need a nap. Tomorrow we’re off to France, the old fashioned way. Everyone wonders if we’re taking the Chunnel, and why on earth would you take a ferry anyway.  Well, we’re on vacation, and there’s not much to see in a twenty mile long tunnel…

Are You An Anthropocentrist? — May 6, 2015

Are You An Anthropocentrist?

I think this is an interesting defence of animals in our modern, egocentric world.

Laura Grace Weldon

animal intelligence, anthropocentrism, Paradise, by Gillis d’Hondecoeter circa 1575

When I was growing up we were taught humans were at the top of every chart, far superior to all other living beings. Our textbooks, illustrated with stereotypical images of “cave men,” proved the assertion with a long list of what our species could do that others could not. The list was so smug that I was a bit embarrassed on behalf of my fellow homo sapiens. A skeptic even then, I thought the list was somewhat prejudicial. Worse, it didn’t acknowledge what feels obvious to young children, that we are all things and all things are us.

I don’t for a moment dismiss our many human accomplishments—among them language, science, the arts, and shared rules meant to advance mutual compassion. I simply mean to point out that we’re not better, we’re different.

Besides, what I was taught as a kid doesn’t really hold up. Here are…

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