ah echolocation. something i wish i`d had last nite as i staggered back from the pub. anyway, through my sky perfect satellite thing i only get english football and discovery channel - for the football i pay whilst for some reason discovery is free. and it`s great! proper interesting programmes. there was one on a few months ago on happiness, and it was fascinating. some docs took this french monk and inserted him into a catscan - whilst they scanned his brain they asked him to think happy, compassionate thoughts, alternating with thoughts about nothing - neither negative or positive. and they discovered that whilst thinking happy thoughts the part of his brain responsible for happiness lit up, and that as they asked him to think blank thoughts it completely turned off. one of the docs made a point that an olympic athlete or wolrd class violinist will have practised or trained for something like 6,000 hours. he estimated that this monk had similarily trained his mind for about the same amount of time, and asked a simple question - why doesn`t everyone spend some time each day to train their minds to be happier, if it is indeed possible? to this end i went out and bought a book on meditation, which has sat unopened on my shelf for 3 months... i guess i`m happy that i bought it, but not that i haven`t opened it. so if a negative thought and a happy thought combined equals a blank thought, i suppose i`m making some progress...

right, echolocation. two nites ago on discovery - SO, we all know bats use echolocation to manoeuvre in the dark innit. they emit little beeps and squeaks and read the echoes that fly back to them from objects, creating 3d images in their brains. and we can do it too! i sat there amazed as these blind american guys clicked their tongues and manouevred around obstacles, able to discern if they were in front of a bush, a fence or a wall. they were even mountain biking! on trails! (if you go to this link you can check it out - and watch them bike... try it yourself - shut your eyes and stand in an open space and click your tongue repeatedly and listen- then do the same against a wall. you`ll notice a difference. party trick supreme.


there has been a lot of talk about religion on the website. if you can be bothered have a google for `edward o wilson`, or `on human nature`, and you can read about a man with one of the most fascinating minds that i have ever come across. he believes that all human actions, thoughts and beliefs have their source in human nature and experience. he won the pulitzer twice, for `on human nature` and `the ants`. (possibly the best books i`ve read). here`s a quote...

"We can say to the transcendentalists that there is a thousand times more to the human condition - more history, more complexity, more nobility-than you thought. There is more to being human than dreamt in your philosophy. And having arrived at this position, humanity has opened the way to base spirituality and ethics on a more rational, benign foundation." i love that line- `there is more to being human than dreamt in your philosophy`. i don`t believe in god for many reasons, and a big one is just that - god denies the beauty and the possibility of humanity. the idea of sin as a natural condition, indeed as any condition, is anathema to me. we are us.

(just read through this and yes it`s disjointed but yes i`m hungover. beer nite with tosujin it was. off for morning tea and a scone.)
"Material reality discovered by science already possesses more content and grandeur than all the religious cosmologies combined." edward o wilson