27 Oct 2009 @ 2:16 PM 

Kat here!  Halloween will be our first anniversary.  Yep- Last year on October 31st we were married in the courthouse, walked across the street and voted for Obama, and then had an amazing lunch at Peasant Village.  I tell people that if I hadn’t married Gary, he would have been my best friend and I would have been secretly in love with him.  I lucked out and became Mrs. Bunker.

There is a great cohesion between us.  Our former marriages had similar lengths and our foolish pride kept us hanging in way beyond our former unions’ expiration dates.  So we had the same wounds, the same concerns and the same longings.  I’m not saying it is formulaic, but I believe it helped that we stood on the same ground when we met.  Still no arguments, name-calling, raised voices or passive aggressive actions… just loads of affection, great conversation and always, always- missing each other terribly when we are apart.  In our future are vacation plans to California, another cruise and moving in the next couple of years (possibly out of state!).  We rock!  Love rocks!  Go Bearcat!

Posted By: Kat
Last Edit: 06 Jul 2011 @ 03:01 PM

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 21 Oct 2009 @ 1:37 PM 

Remember that adapid fossil from back in May? Turns out, all that breathless excitement over this “missing link” was premature and erroneous. Of course, most scientists would have told you the same thing in May, since the research was published on the Discovery Channel before it was peer-reviewed, the adapid line is actually not considered an ancestral family from humans, and a few other reasons too no doubt.

This is exactly why I dislike the automatic “missing link” verbiage that gets attached to any story about any prehistoric primate or ape. First of all, it’s ridiculously misleading to think of evolution as a series of links in some sort of chain. And, secondly, when your missing link turns out to have been on a different tree branch, the less-informed just use it as another bludgeon to hit the “ain’t no monkeys in my family tree” drum. Darwinius Masillae remains an interesting fossil and a remarkably well-preserved 45 million-year old find, but it’s not a human ancestor. Take that, premature publication!

On the other hand, this is a great example of why science needs to be better respected in this country. Unlike any other method of dealing with the world throughout history, science is willing (sometimes eager) to admit mistakes, and is always self-correcting. Every scientist wants to make a name for him or herself; proving your peers are wrong in a big way is a great way to do that. That it also advances human knowledge is a great thing for those of us not in the research world. Where would any of us be if previous generations had decided that any evidence contrary to “electricity is magic” was heretical and would be ignored? I’m rather glad to have this here electronic typewritery thingy.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 Oct 2009 @ 01:37 PM

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 08 Oct 2009 @ 11:20 AM 

I was very heartened to see, when I went to the local grocery store yesterday, a massive crowd blocking my way to the frozen food. While normally I’d be much happier to see a virtually empty store, because people slow down my shopping, this week is different. The path to the freezers goes through the pharmacy. I’m happy to see so many people (mostly elderly from my quick glance, who are after all at greatest risk along with small children) lining up for their flu shots. Apparently, even here in the heart of wingnuttery, people still realize that vaccines have a long history of saving lives. Of course, it’s possible that the elderly are more likely to take vaccines because they remember the days before many of them were available. Telling someone whose elementary school was decimated by polio that vaccines are a hoax probably won’t fly. A person who is far too familiar with the iron lung won’t be swayed by some nutball hypothesis about ill-defined toxins and conspiracy theories surrounding doctors and pharmaceutical companies and government organizations.

Yay for common sense and actual facts.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 08 Oct 2009 @ 11:20 AM

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 08 Oct 2009 @ 7:38 AM 

Thinkgeek has a problem with their April Fool’s Day gags – some people actually want to buy them. In 2007, they posted the 8-bit tie as a gag. So many people wrote in, it’s now part of their catalog. This year, they invented the then-satirical Tauntaun Sleeping Bag. They’re gonna sell them in November. There ya go, Lys.  🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 08 Oct 2009 @ 07:38 AM

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 01 Oct 2009 @ 12:20 PM 

I hate the breathless and somewhat hyperbole-laden reporting of every new fossil find. This month, it’s Ardipithecus Ramidus, which the press is calling the “oldest pre-human” fossil. Um, wouldn’t the oldest pre-human fossil be the oldest fossil? This obsession with a “missing link” between humanity and the rest of the animal kingdom is a bit tiresome. There are jillions of links, and there are undoubtedly going to be jillions more found in the future. Every time someone finds something from the primate branch, the media goes into a veritable frenzy.

Of course, we find anything which casts any light on our own branch of the tree much more interesting than the spectacular specimens of pre-whale fossils back in February. But to claim that this Ardipithecus shows that we didn’t evolve from chimps is ridiculous. Nobody claims we did. Some biologists and anthropologists may use the shorthand of saying we evolved from something that looked something like a modern chimp, but nobody ever said that we evolved and chimps stopped. Evolution doesn’t work that way. Everything is just as “highly evolved” as everything else. Each species occupies a niche for which it has become adapted over eons. That doesn’t in any way mean that humans are the most evolved form of life – we’re just the only ones who write about it.

Oh, and scientists have been writing about Ardipithecus since at least 1999, and even pointed out that it was a hominid but not a common ancestor with modern chimps back in 2001.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 01 Oct 2009 @ 12:20 PM

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