science

Spaced out – a blog rant because it’s been a while and I’m a bit rusty

(Disclaimer: This is my first blog in a few months, I have dropped/sprinkled some f-bombs but I’m hoping they fit the ranty style)

I love all things to do with space; fact, fiction and everything that has yet to be classified. So I was there watching the live stream of SpaceX fist true payload test flight yesterday. Let’s just say it was more exciting than the cyro test for the James Webb telescope.

In years to come it will be interesting to see what people recall of Elon Musks – SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch, more significantly the ‘dummy payload’. I used to be a bit meh about Musks plans of getting to Mars, I felt there were things we should tend to here first (like a lot of people I suspect). However I think once humanity gets to Mars and realises what a shit hole it is (sorry Mars, you lost your magnetic field, had your atmosphere stripped, your oceans boiled away and more than likely the only life is bacterial) it will hopefully be the wake-up call needed to stop shitting where we eat.

But back to that payload – the cherry red Tesla Roadster with Starman at the wheel, blasting out David Bowie I have to say ‘classy dude…nice choice’. For everyone wringing hands about ‘space junk’ (here comes the rant) CHECK THE FUCKING TRAJECTORY! It is metaphorically the same as me going to a river picking up a stick and chucking it in a stream to see where it might end up out at sea, then people screaming about polluting the river. It is (was!) headed for Mars, not orbiting earth, but overshot (too much power Elon – I feel myself channelling Scotty from Star Trek ‘I’ve given it all I’ve got captain’) and is going to make it to the asteroid belt – yes a massive collection of debris. They had to put a payload on the end to test it. Picking a car as others have said is a better representation of actual payloads – not the usual block of concrete or steel. Why not test and have a bit of fun? The Starman suit is also a genuine suit soon to be used so – yeah – it also serves a purpose…and it’s FUN! It should not have to be an ‘either/or’ choice when it comes to science and technology pushing ideas or the environment. Tesla has invested research into alternative energy – again – how about checking with other big companies about their commitment to sustainability.

Speaking of sustainable, the rockets – reusable. So to all those complaining about pollution, space-junk etc, how’s your recycling going? Sure Tesla might get some marketing out of it – and why the fuck not! He took a huge gamble.

No – of course the car is fucking next to useless in space, orbiting Mars – wherever – so is a massive piece of steel and concrete. Oh and let’s not forget there are meteors bigger than The Roadster hurtling toward daily, so please (to those concerned hand wringers) STFU about shit from space – space is full of stuff, all sorts of stuff and who knows some of that stuff might have come from previous Mars civilisation wondering if it could send someone to Earth….ponder that.

Next stop – the Flat Earthers…not sure when I will get ‘round’ to that. I sphere I may go round in circles.

 

Land of the long well-endowed?

Let’s start with a joke to warm up.

How many Freudian analysts does it take to change a light bulb?

Two – one to turn the light bulb and the other to hold the penis – ladder! – I mean ladder.

Yes the penis has featured a little too frequently in my media sphere this week, and the NZ Herald chimed in twice. Puns and jokes aside, I’m a bit fed up with Freudian fences containing concepts of sexuality and scientists are earnestly backing this up by doing important research into penis size. It seems working out what is normal or statistically average took just 1500 participants to drop their pants and submit to the measuring tape, wonder what lucky research student got that job. I’m not sure whether it is women who have the envy because quite frankly it all seems a little (or largely) over rated.

But science is going a step further with the possibility of growing these essential organs in laboratories, so in the future people could get an upgrade. Maybe technology will merge with sexual functioning at some point as well. Perhaps sending ‘attachments’ might take on a whole new meaning.

For me a sign of an advanced civilization is one that doesn’t need to talk about who has what bits and how they look. For now we are left with Freuds phallic fence posts, well – this horse has bolted. So that’s it. What? you were expecting more? Well – it’s not the number of words that matter its how you use them.

Spaced Out

People have stared up at the sky and wondered for millennia about our place in the universe. We seem to be torn as a species between wanting to claim some exclusive specialness of being the only ‘intelligent’ life and hoping we are not alone. Of course we’ve made up plenty of stories to reassure ourselves of what makes us special along with enough rules to spend our short lives living in fear of getting it wrong.

With telescopes moving from simple lenses in the 17th century to the monster of Hale in the early 20th century, onto Hubble and soon the James Webb, our eyes have opened to the possibility of other planets existing beyond our solar system. It was always only a matter of time (and space) that science and maths would collide in an epic mind job. The numbers are staggering, the Drake equation is starting to look a bit like the homunculus theory of reproduction. Regardless of the formula the probabilities range in the billions of earth like planets in our solar system. Now of course that doesn’t necessarily mean with advanced life (I’d caution using humans as a yardstick). But someone else has done some number crunching that goes something like this:

  • For every star in our galaxy there is another galaxy in the universe. For every grain of sand on earth there are 10 000 stars
  • If 5% of those are like our sun – that is 500 billion, billion suns like ours
  • At least 1% of all stars in universe have earth like planet = 100 billion billion earth like planets
  • So, there are 100 earth like planets for every grain of sand
  • If we assume only 1% have intelligent life – (advanced civilisation), 10 million billion intelligent civilizations in the universe
  • Scaled down for our galaxy that becomes one billion earth like planets and 100 000 advanced intelligent civilizations – just in our galaxy.

 

Humans are a sad contradiction – afraid to die, and too afraid to truly live. Life is the rule in the universe not the exception. Science has eaten humble pie before although it tends to be laced with amnesia (on a brain that apparently isn’t quite as gendered as first thought).

I kind of imagine with 100 000 advanced civilisations we are well past little-green-men.

A Plutonic Relationship

It has taken nearly 10 years for the New Horizons to reach Pluto. Radio signals take four and a half hours to get back, nothing new if you’re used to trying to get a response from a call centre. Pluto represents a threshold of sorts. Probes are the new ships of discovery at the mercy of Newtons laws and the winds of political and scientific change. Billions of kilometres travelled and yet not even a stones throw from our door step. On the same day another group of physicist discovered a new quantum particle, a pentaquark. Pluto or particle these are moments of wonder to expand our still limited and sheltered understanding of reality. But as we look outward and beyond or inward I can’t discern the difference. I feel simultaneously a drop of water in the ocean and the ocean. However above all else seeing other planets that have no life as we know it living on them reminds me of how absolutely insane the human race is. Our relationship with the world we inhabit is nothing short of psychopathic. We are not custodians but criminals at best. There is only one thing driving the ecosystem to the brink and it is us. If there was a lonely planet guide for the earth it might read something like:

“The jewel of this system with liquid water and amazing biodiversity. However it is currently experiencing a human plague so best to give a wide berth as they are hostile and paranoid with egos and childlike needs for power. Their selfishness and fear is matched only by their untapped creativity and love. The level of contamination and destruction of life this one species has created in the name of what they call progress suggests they will either destroy themselves along with this wonderful one of a kind world or die trying. Explore the rich ocean life while you can. Remember they believe they are the only intelligent life to have ever existed so best to go incognito. If you intend to stay for a while masquerading as a scientist is easy just do not tell them they are wrong about anything and best not to leave anything behind they could blow themselves up with, they discovered nuclear power and still haven’t learnt their lesson. The best example of a human disguise is going by the name Steven Hawking, however the physiology did not merge so well in the end. Finally you will need to get used to the concept of money. Again, do not try and convince them do not need it to survive”.

Thanks science for the amazing pictures but what really needs a good probe is us.

counting for something

Here I am closing in on my 100th blog. I feel a bit like a cricket player nervously perched on the edge of my crease wondering if I should play conservatively or just cut loose, throw caution to the wind and smash it out of the park. But it’s just a number and part of me is also intrigued by our relationship with numbers, statistics and putting numerical values on things. The saturation of data available and our reliance on numbers to define the boundaries and boarders of what becomes significant value doesn’t add up. Data can be forgotten, omitted, discarded and interpreted more ways that you can shake a bit of willow at.

I suppose I have an aversion to the normal curve anyway so its probably no surprise I’d rather use it as a moustache, slide, or bow and arrow or something similar. People love to throw numbers around to get their point across or claim some for of truth status, especially if has been ‘scientifically proven’. Padded up and staring down someone charging into a conversation I sometimes wonder what on earth I should do – I don’t want to be caught on the back foot but learning to anticipate what might be coming down gets easier if you do your research. Sometimes the best way to play a shot is to take the momentum and simply redirect it.

I was always a pretty average batter but I wasn’t a bad wicket keeper, catching people out. Get to know what shots to play depending on the kind of data thrown down. Some will have more spin on it than others so you need to be quick on your feet. Being stumped isn’t the best feeling but it isn’t the end of the world.

Things aren’t always what they seam . Time to run that single – Howzat.

Sink or Swim? It’s a current affair

It’s tragic. Another life lost in the waters off the coast of NZ, it’s almost a daily occurrence at the moment. Kiwis have an affinity with water that runs deep. It represents so much of our identity as a nation. It feeds us, we play in it, compete on it and in it, enjoy it’s sounds and being an island nation, there is quite a lot of access to it. Do we respect it? Do we have a collective arrogance or sense of entitlement around our water ways?

The few times I have ditched my preferred agnostic spiritualist beliefs and fully embraced Jesus have been in the sea, usually the west coast. I’ve had a couple of ‘OMG I’m going to (or someone I know is going to) die – moments’. Panic is perhaps one of the biggest risk factors, that and a lack of ability and competency in the water. Personally, I believe we have a tendency to confuse water ‘confidence’ with ‘competence’. I think being a ‘strong swimmer’ is a very lose definition that can range from ‘I can doggy paddle across a pool so long as I can touch the bottom’ to ‘I can swim a couple of km while carrying a sack of bricks’.

But what about the organisations charged with providing the information to help people understand the risks? Well I checked out the Water Safety New Zealand site and I have to say it’s a bit wet. The Water safety code gives 4 guidelines that are in my opinion pretty weak and non specific.

1: Be prepared – simply learn to swim, survive, set rules, use correct equipment and know conditions
2: Look after yourself and others – play ‘close’ attention to children, swim with others and between flags if patrolled. We could do better NZ supervising children in the water.
3: Be aware of dangers – enter water feet first and obey signs, don’t swim if drinking alcohol– that’s it?
4: Know your limits – probably the most subjective and problematic guideline

So what is it exactly that people just don’t ‘get’? Well I have a hunch that many people rarely consider the hydrodynamics (beyond rips) of water to be lethal. A lot of the worry and fear about swimming in the sea is about sharks or sting rays, when realistically the chances of death by shark pale in comparison to drowning. We should just break water safety down into pure science. Here are my personal choices for addition info:

1Litre of water weighs a Kg (roughly…there are a few variables to consider). Extrapolate that to 1cubic meter we get 1000kg or a metric tonne. So when water moves it has momentum – mass x velocity. I think Tsunami are perhaps the best example of the concept of inertia to devastating effect. I’ve struggled to keep my footing in water below my knees at Piha, and I am not lacking mass, imagine how a small body would fare. Now if you are struggling to visualise that you could think of the ocean as a sea of vehicles. Some have heavy traffic-heavy trucks for example, some light-cars, motorbikes, some just bikes and skate boards. If you heard someone telling kids to go play in front of the trucks or on the train tracks, I’d hope most people would find a way to politely suggest it isn’t safe. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to tell from just looking.

Then there is the density of water. There is a curious thing about water, when it is full of bubbles (aerated) it loses it’s ability to keep things afloat like bodies. So when the surf is pumping and there is lots of white water – it is bubbles and so you sink due to the temporary lower density! Those not wearing a wetsuit or using a board of some kind will definitely find themselves struggling to keep on the surface. This little piece of info is sorely lacking and probably explains why those who are generally ‘strong swimmers’ come to grief especially if alcohol is added in.

Alcohol and swimming do not mix at all. But I need to put my hand up and say ‘I’ve done it’. Aside from the decision making impairment, alcohol does interesting things to blood, but specifically it reduces its ability to carry oxygen efficiently. This is kind of important if you need to do some serious swimming.

More explicit information needs to be available in many languages…including drunken westie. Ok enough making waves for today.

Paleo – The new hunger games

O Paleo, Paleo! Wherefore art thou Paleo? I had assumed as I typed Paleo into google that it might be referenced in terms of Paleolithic era but it wasn’t until I got the ‘L’ in there that google got away from diet references into the actual era referred to, in fact I would challenge anyone to define Paleolithic outside of modern diet fashion discourse! I’ve seen a few diet fad’s come and go, of course the trick is for it ‘not to be a diet but a ‘guide’ or a ‘template’ even a ‘lifestyle’. I’d very unscientifically suggest there might be a correlation between ardent cross fit fanatics and paleo…but it’s just a hunch based on the fervent social media activity I see online.

It seems a bit like that curious phenomenon of galvanising, take the hard core steel of obsessive body perfection and dip it in hot new ideas and here is your shiny thing. I’ve found myself on the other side of the fence for once – being the skeptic. So whilst zealous frenzied calls are made that the ‘end is nigh…it’s the diet apocalypse’ I quietly slipped into research mode to check out what I might be missing . But actually when Paleo is stripped back by people who know their stuff, like poor quality galvanising – it all starts to get a bit flaky.

Scientific America have better credentials and pull paleo apart like a half starved carnivore. Some of the most salivant points are:
• It isolates one epoc of human evolution and fails to see adaptations made through the course of the stone age
• The Plaeofantasy is based on an assumption that we were in harmony with nature – only if you consider constantly living hand to mouth and trying not to be another species meal harmony
• The human genome has changed very little therefore only thrives under ‘similar conditions’ – not true
• Every single species of plant and animal alive today is vastly different to those of the paleolithic period
• Lifespans were vastly shorter 40 was it – 15 middle age and a miracle if you got there
• There is no clear information exactly what was consumed and in what amounts
• Just what part of the world are we taking our info from? An Inuit Paleo will have little in common with a ‘Hadza’ or ‘Kung’ (so do we put it all in a blender? Seal and fruit smoothie anyone?)
• People were healthier?…they were not.

It occurred to me that the construction of knowledge or epistemology is a bit of a selective diet itself–– choosing to incorporate some bits – trimming the fa[c]t to get the lean sometimes thin stringy bits of relevant information. Garnish with some decent marketing and presto! A fully digestable meal to satisfy the ego and produce enough flatulence to power a small city. In fact of all the bits that bother me the most it is the snarling, sneering wild judgement of those following any sort of ‘better than others’ practice of life, be it diet or exercise or oral hygiene. Talk about de evolution. But while the construction of knowledge might be in question, equally the process of constructing ignorance or agnotology, should give all of us pause to think about how do we ‘know’ what we do not know. The tobacco industry exploited this for years and I think the diet industry might well be next in line for some careful tooth picking.

Eating chemically laden, processed, sugar loaded food from nutrient depleted soil covered in toxic spray isn’t good for us. Nor is our vastly sedentary lifestyles where we live in a chronic state of stress that is nothing like the stress of our ancestors. Eating food that is as close to it’s natural state as possible is probably better for you than eating poison…do we really need more research on this?

So here is an alternative marketing approach for those wanting to promote their Paleo produce in the wider market say restaurants. If restaurants are themed and have dress codes, why not do the Paleo dress code – fur or animal skin only, with authentic seating – rocks, logs. And of course everthing would be either raw or char grilled…I’m up for that. Then if you wanted to take that al fresco – you could throw in some wild animals just to up the ambiance.

Personally – I am sure I have seen a cave drawing somewhere of an antelope type animal being carved up and put in a pie – so nomnom pie is paleo.

An Apple Product A Day Keeps The Shareholders At Bay

What time is it? Let me check my watch/phone/computer/personal trainer… And so it seems the world is whipped into another apple product frenzy with all the evangelical hoopla it can muster over something adorned on the wrist.

I don’t have an allegiance or loyalty to a brand, but it is a little cult like at times. People camping out for days to get their hands on the upgraded version of their already perfectly brand new (if they were a pair of jeans) gadget. It reminds me of mass hypnosis watching swaths of people surge like corybantic groupies high on the rush of consumption. It’s not that I don’t appreciate progress, or want to return to some version of the dark ages, although if you look at the world they still exist in some places.

Perhaps this is the chimera of technology, it divides the world as much as oceans of water do. What do we mean when we say ‘technology’ well it can be helpful to start with a definition.

technologytɛkˈnɒlədʒi/
noun
1. the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.
o machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge.
o the branch of knowledge dealing with engineering or applied sciences.

My question would be about what is practical and the meaning of ‘applied’. We live in a world where the last 2000 years exist all at once. Where once culture, religion or geography were the main ways we were isolated or divided, technology and its applications rule with the iron fist of profit exerting its grip on resources and dislocating populations in the name of mineral wealth to feed the insatiable production machine beast of the monetary system in all its configurations.

The only possible way for technology to actually improve the conditions for ALL life is to extract science in all its forms from serving the interests of corporations. Apple is but an example of the erroneous and iatrogenic trend in technology. I’m clearly sceptical when it comes to businesses having a sense of ethics or philanthropists being altruistic for that matter. If money is involved at any level of organisation the outcomes will serve particular interests always – even if the ‘eco/ego’ marketing says otherwise.

So here is my challenge, especially to those talented scientific/techno entrepreneurs out there. If you like it then you shouldn’t put a ‘patent pend(r)ing’ on it. And for the rest of us with slightly less talent but no less important – resist the Magpie within to go for the new shiny thing. Watch this space.

Waking up to being asleep

I remember when The Matrix hit the big screen in 1999. The ‘splinter in my mind’ embedded deeper infecting my consciousness and grew to a full blown pustule that needed to be squeezed. So I read and read as much as I could on everything that seemed to take me toward alternative ideas about reality. But it was frustrating talking with others who just ‘thought it was cool’ and quickly went out and bought large black boots and coats (guilty as well) with that being the most significant influence on their lives.

That was 15 years ago but The Matrix has grown as an idea to explore systems of social control much like George Orwell did with 1984 and many others – but these are the two that stand out for me. I haven’t tried to remove the splinter – it’s important to stay in a state of irritation and inflammation because without that I think I would potentially fall into accepting the program and falling asleep again.

It’s a bit of a fine line talking about control without someone instantly putting you into the ‘conspiracy theorist’ box and shutting the lid. Perhaps this reflects an awareness at a deeper level that ‘ignorance is bliss.’ I’m not sure but another possibility is the belief that once you start down the rabbit hole it could drive you crazy and would suck the fun out of life. Living outside the Matrix in the movie was far from comfortable, they ate ‘snot’ and lived underground – not the best or most aesthetically enticing representation of freedom. I’d like to suggest it is possible to delve into these areas and still maintain a sense of humour and enjoying life – yes it is possible to live in a contradiction without being a hypocrite, expecting consistency is a brilliant way of keeping people in check. Embracing contradiction is one version of the red pill.

The meaning of ‘control’ and ‘the program’ probably represents the essence of what I am talking about. Others have done this work and you can certainly scan the world wide web for allusions to The Matrix. I’ve referenced David Icke before and he would most likely be one of the more deeper rabbit hole divers – he didn’t just take the red pill I’m sure of it. I’d rather not put my own definition up because the splinter is the key – it is the catalyst that invites questions and a personal journey. It’s not as simple as ‘red or blue’ pill or even ‘awake and asleep.’ The best I could do is to offer some observations and invite anyone who stumbles upon this to keep wondering – I certainly don’t have a sense that I ‘know exactly’ what the Matrix is and would never claim to.

1. Language to me, is a key splinter. Any time something falls into a binary/dualistic paradigm it inevitably closes down the idea it might be neither or both or something else. My favourite example that is popular is ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture.’

2. Perhaps because of our general reliance on putting things in a binary/dualistic relationship there tends to be an over simplification of ideas into facts/opinions or myths. If certain knowledges throw their weight behind an idea it can be moved onto either side. Science does this with great efficiency.

3. Maintaining social division through stereotyping, notions of harm, danger, superiority and self-righteousness is supported by one of the most powerful dualisms ‘right and wrong.’ I think fear is a powerful controller and the use of extreme images and emotive language shuts down processing beyond reactions. This can be done on an individual level, communities, nations, cultures and no doubt if we meet another version of life in the universe, the same would apply – thanks Hollywood for your fine work in this department.

4. Reducing nature the environment and all other living things to either a resource to be used or an obstacle to progress that must be overcome, owned and controlled is shameful yet completely necessary for enabling a constant source of total paralysation and puppet mastery through the use of fear tactics and the manipulation of ‘scarcity and abundance.’

5. Mapped onto this we have a devoted programme based on creating a certainty that without a monetary system civilization would collapse – and ‘go backwards’ or ‘become uncivilized.’ Economics has become ‘naturalised’ and more questions are asked about ‘why mother nature is doing this to us’ than there are to artificial systems of ‘us doing this to ourselves.’

6. Finally we have media saturation of information and images. Why is this important? Because the illusion is more believable when based on an ingrained ‘truth’ that ‘seeing is believing’ and anyone who can control the strings of what is seen with the naked eye has the ability to manipulate at a very deep level.

Not sure if your head is hurting, it could be a splinter or you have been in front of the screen too long. How do you know if you are awake or still dreaming?

…knock knock The Matrix has you.

Press the escape key.

Animal Instincts

I am of the David Attenborough generation of natural history documentaries. My ‘education’ of the natural world, the idea of instincts and virtually all things seemed to be infused with some version of Darwinian evolutionary certainty. Learning about the ‘birds and bees’ was just birds and bees because we got to see how Mammals did reproduction and it wasn’t ANYTHING like pollination or egg laying.

We love a good comparison to the animal world, especially if it makes us (humans) look good. Far from being a realistic or even ‘natural’ version of the animal world my sense is that all documentaries aim to construct a preferred version of things. Think I might have just felt some of you do a sharp intake of breath as science is objective and neutral right? I am critical of all things claiming a single version of the truth, history is written by the winners – and most historians accept this idea to varying degrees. Less so is the idea that the story of the natural world might also be somewhat ‘made up.’

My angle on this is really how we have used the animal world to justify, reinforce and solidify particular ideas about ourselves as a species. We have selected evidence of our superior abilities and relegated the animal world to some object of curiosity that reassures us we are ‘better than them.’ It is interesting to note however how often ‘mating for life’ is celebrated, even marching long distances to find food and reunite with loved ones after suffering over many months apart. No prizes really for guessing what relationship is honoured here as ideal and monumentally over represented. We are not Penguins people!

Up until now we have been at the mercy of documentary makers who are human and will have something they ‘want to show.’ Not all of this has been intentionally deceptive but it has limited our understanding of the complexities and diversity of all life, including our own. Welcome the age of the internet and the plethora of cameras capturing this. The awkward bit is the alternative evidence that animals might not be so ‘animalistic’ and humans could actually be the ones ‘lacking’ genuine compassion, empathy and intelligence. These images are ‘shocking’ to us because of the monocular perspective presented by traditional documentaries.

Here are a few to dive into if you haven’t already come across them via Facebook or another medium (this is a one of the few ‘likes’ I have for FB):

1: National Geographic Camera Man and Leopard Seal trying to save ‘useless human by feeding him penguins.’
http://www.pakalertpress.com/2014/04/19/pics-this-terrified-diver-prepares-to-die-as-a-predator-approaches-when-suddenly/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pakalert+%28Pak+Alert+Press%29

2: Dolphins recognising themselves – very existentially challenging

Good to know vanity has crossed species as well.

3: Understanding loss – love – grief (have your tissues handy)

4: Joy and Gratitude – skip to 6 minutes if you get over the ‘beast in speedos.’

5: Unusual animal partnerships that ‘defy’ nature

6: Recreational pursuits – don’t stone the Crows – give them a lid and they will surf!

6: For ‘big’ cat lovers – some serious kitty love and a genuine message about habitat loss (14 minutes but well worth it).

You might have seen better examples, the list is endless and they all have one thing in common, defying our assumptions about the natural world and what might transcend the boundaries of predator and prey. Some of the commentaries are direct about the wondering this provokes and I agree and hope science can embrace some of these challenges without dismissing them as peculiar, simple ‘imprinting’ or deviations from the norm.

Alas, science has its own version of ‘survival of the fittest’ its called publish or perish. Whilst other areas such as physics appear to have embraced uncertainty – quite literally (Heisenberg), the natural world of biology has remained relatively unscrutinised and almost wrapped in a protective academic bubble. There are many in the field of biology willing to stick their necks out but they do so at great risk from within the establishment, much like other strong social institutions. The tide will eventually turn and I just hope many of them can cling on long enough. Again, perhaps publishing online and via alternative avenues will enable more radical ideas such as plasma life forms to be made available. It literally could be ‘life Jim but not as we know it.’ Life definitely might be stranger than science fiction.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4174-plasma-blobs-hint-at-new-form-of-life.html#.U1gse6iN3_0

As evidence comes to light there have been monumental shifts towards accepting the animal world as more or less equals. I find it painfully ironic that one of the countries leading the way has been India. They have declared Dolphins ‘non human sentient beings’
http://themindunleashed.org/2014/02/india-declares-dolphins-non-human-persons-dolphin-shows-banned.html

At the same time they decided to ‘recriminalise’ homosexual relationships, no death penalty just life in prison – the national ethics committee decided not killing people for being gay was ‘humane’ – thank you George Orwell we now have the Ministry Of Love for real. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Love
As for what has been happening in India, do bother to take a look.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-makes-homosexuality-a-crime-again/articleshow/27230690.cms
But this has serious implications for our Cetacean friends. What about all those gay dolphins then who are not allowed to be held in captivity anymore? Ethical conundrum there.

Perhaps it comes down to something incredibly simple, yet profoundly important. Animals do not hide their emotions, they are authentic beings. They show us exactly how they feel and they express something few human beings do – unconditional love. We have relegated emotions to things that get in the way or need suppressing, something I believe has not advanced humanity as a species. Animals are beings of pure connection unclouded by ego or narcissism and perhaps reflect a ‘higher’ state of consciousness.

So lets not ‘do it like they do on the discovery channel’ and acknowledge animals are conscious sentient beings that we must stop exploiting for our own gratification. And please, can we get over using avian and insect reproduction processes to cover our ridiculously self imposed shame about sex!

Free the birds and the bees please!