Neglect or Nature?


I see this post on the BBC news website this morning and it got me to thinking: Is this our place to help?

It seems scientists mapped the genome for the Tazmanian Devil in the hope that they can cure the horrible disease of Devil Facial Tumour Disease and save the species from extinction.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong advocate for animal rights and I believe the way we treat our planet and the creatures that inhabit it is disgusting (majority of times) and we do little or nothing to prevent or cure problems that we ourselves have made through the likes of poaching, land incursion, pollution etc. Look at this list from the WWF website and tell me how many of those animals are on this list because of our actions? But I bet you’re all still eating Tuna with your jacket potato….

Anyway, back to my point.

The Tasmanian devil is suffering from a horrible form of facial cancer (Devil facial tumour disease) that is spread from animals biting each other. They suffer a horrible death:

And I get why passionate people want to save the last meat-eating marsupial in the world. I really do. But do we have a right to? Isn’t this Darwin’s theory of evolution in action? Natural selection? We play god enough with our own species, let alone another. For all we know, evolution has it in mind that this creature is to become extinct thanks to this facial cancer and another creature take its place.

I feel I shouldn’t really have posted the second picture, as any human with the slightest compassion for living beings will feel appalled and want to help them. I do too. But there is a conflict raging in me whether we should or not. Should our work be aimed at the animals onthis list because we put them there more so than the devil whom nature has decreed should suffer this fate?

We, as the human race and self-appointed guardians of the planet, need to make this judgement call. There is no right or wrong answer. Either way, a species will die due to our actions (directly or indirectly) as many have done before and will do again.

I’d be interested to find other people’s views on this as it’s a subject that doesn’t get enough press when you compare it to human causes.

Japan: Before and After Tsunami Pictures


I’m sure you all agree with me that the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has been an astonishing reminder of the power of Mother Nature and no matter how powerful we think we are, we’re still small-fry in comparison. My heart goes out to all those that have been affected by this truly tragic event.

I found this piece on ABC News with before and after pictures of the areas most effected by the tsunami. They make for astonishing viewing (if anyone knows how I could have embedded the pictures rather than just link, please e-mail me the instructions or leave them in the comments) Roll the mouse from left to right on each picture to see the difference:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm

 

I’m Just So Angry, But Don’t Know Why


It’s now been 2 1/2 hours since my daughter woke with teething. My body is a ruin and I’m so tired. I’m trying to keep it together and not lose my temper, but it’s not working. I just smashed the switch to the kitchen light.

My wife tells me to calm down and not get angry, but it feels like she’s saying it in a judging way, like I’m weak for feeling this way, which stokes the fire in me even more!

I don’t think it’s a secret I have anger issues. I’ve never gone over the line, thankfully, and I don’t think I ever will. But shouting and venting are all part of my repartee. The thing that gets me more het up is when people tell me to calm down. Yeah, cause you saying it will make it happen! I try my best to stay calm, so when someone tells me, it’s basically saying: “you’re failing, so try harder!”

She’s now practically keeping me and my daughter apart, turning her back to feed her, not letting me help. I’m sure she thinks I’d so something. I understand my temper is scary, but it hurts me so much to think she believes that I could ever hurt either of them.

I wish I had someone I could talk to about it. My family wouldn’t understand. My wife would listen, but I don’t think she’d hear and take in what I was saying. Not sure anyone would. I don’t understand it myself.

Up until about 6 years or so ago, I didn’t think I was a very angry person. My temper never really got the better of me. Wish I knew where I went wrong. At least I could start from there. It seems like it has just appeared out of thin air. My mum seems to think I’ve always had a temper, but I honestly don’t ever remember feeling like this before.

I wrote the above last night. Since then, my wife has been severely distant from me. Can’t say as I blame her. I’m a big guy, I can be intimidating when I’m relaxed, let alone fuming. I’ve booked an appointment with my doctor for Friday. I’m going to ask if there is anything they can do or help with. I’ve had a look online, but I can’t see anything along the lines of government help for anger issues. Inject yourself with drugs, drink and other things people choose to do, they throw money at left right and centre and help them out to be a good government to the people. I don’t choose to be angry, I don’t choose to have a temper. But I don’t think there is any help for me out there unless I pay £40 an hour for the privilege (which isn’t going to do me many favours in calming down when I can’t pay my mortgage!).

Update – Ok, so I’ve told a bit of a porkie. There IS NHS funded help, but I may have to go on a waiting list…… o…k…

I am worried about doing the whole counselling thing. I find it so hard to talk about my feelings (apart from on here) and opening up to my biggest weakness will be something so hard and uncomfortable and even then, it might not work. But it’s worth a try. I just hope that something comes from my GP visit.

Hòa thượng Thích Quảng Đức


Ok, so self-immolation has been going on for centuries, particularly in India. But for most of the western world, the first time we ever heard of this type of protest was when a buddhist monk in Vietnam sat down at a crossroads in Saigon on 11th June 1963, had 5 litres of gasolene poured over him and dropped a lit match into his lap. He did this in reaction to the Buddhist Crisis  and treatment by the ruling administration in South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem being the president at the time. It was caught on film for the world to see:

I’m not posting this for shock value or for any political reason. I simply think it needs sharing. I think the world needs to see what true devotion and true belief means. Granted, I can’t believe Thích Quảng Đức did such a thing or why ANYONE would do such a thing, but it is amazing what people will do and the lengths they’ll go to for a cause they truly believe in.

I think the other amazing thing about this particular case is Thích Quảng Đức didn’t move or make one sound while he burned. He fell over after his death, but the whole time he sat in the lotus position and never moved a muscle.

 

This also got me to thinking of the student protests going on in London of late over the increase to university fees. The students have resorted to violence to try to get their message across. This, historically, has never been a useful tool in protesting or getting what you want. Generally speaking, it has the adverse effect. I wonder what Thích Quảng Đức would have made of these protesters and their methods. Probably agree that it was pointless and will achieve nothing, but I’m not sure how many people would agree that his way was better (although it could be argued he helped the coup take place)

Con Air Causes Deep Thinking


So I’m sitting here watching the film……. God, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this……. Con Air………… And the biggest shock, not only am I enjoying it (I’m in the right frame of mind for mindless, action crap) but it’s also making me think.

So as you may or may not know, Nicholas Cage is the hero of the film. He gets sent down for murder 3 months before his daughter was born. The first few minutes of the film is a talk-over of his letters to her and vice versa (obviously once she was old enough to write) and this is the part that got me thinking.

I’ve spent a lot more time in the last few days with Shannon (my daughter) than usual (lack of training on my part) and it’s been wonderful. She’s becoming such a character and seems to be becoming a right little daddy’s girl.

And seeing this scene in the film got me wondering how I’d feel about hearing of my daughter growing up without me being there. Already in this 7 months I’ve watched her grow from being a crying, shitting, eating blob to a hilarious, inquisitive, intelligent child. So much has happened and it would break my heart to think of missing any of it. Hell, the first time she crawled, I missed it by 1 hour due to being at work (luckily my wife managed to film it for me) and I was devastated! Sod missing 10 years!

Still, you break the law……..

Holiday Disaster!


I have just come back from a lovely holiday to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (which explains why I’ve not blogged for a while). While I was out there, I used my iPhone to blog a few times and saved it as a local draft on my phone to sync when I got back home (serious lack of internet access out there). I attached pictures and everything.

I get back to Gatwick and switch on my 3G so I could upload them all. To my dismay, all of my holiday blogs had been erased! Christ knows what happened, this is the first major disaster I’ve ever had with my iPhone.

I will endeavour to get some blogs and pics up of my travels and I’ll try to remember all the details……… But that’ll be problematic at best…..

Pictures of Horror


I’m reading an amazing book called Voices of Yesterday by Michael Yarwood. It is set in the Warsaw Ghetto during ’42-43 and the oppression and systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazi’s. And the vivid words of the writer got me to thinking and imagining what these people went through, the suffering and brutality forced upon them by the Nazi’s (and not just Jews, but Romani, homosexuals, ethnic minorities and many more). The figures stand at around 6 MILLION Jews wiped out by the Nazi regime (2/3 of the European population of Jews). If you include the other  groups killed by the Nazi’s this figures rises to between 11-17 MILLION PEOPLE! All non-soldiers.

So I’ve done some surfing and found some pictures I’d like to share with you. Next time you hear someone verbally abuse someone or say racist or homophobic comments, show them these photos and ask them to look into the people’s eyes and put themselves in their shoes:

April 12, 1945: Lager Nordhausen, where 20,000 inmates are believed to have died.

A member of Einsatzgruppe D is about to shoot a man sitting by a mass grave in Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in 1942. Present in the background are members of the German Army, the German Labor Service, and the Hitler Youth.[94] The back of the photograph is inscribed “The last Jew in Vinnitsa”.

Jews captured and forcibly pulled out from dugouts by the Germans during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The photo is from Jurgen Stroop’s report to Heinrich Himmler

A child dying on the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto

Starving prisoners in Mauthausen camp liberated on May 5, 1945

Romani children in Auschwitz, victims of medical experiments

A grave inside Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

I’m sure some people who see this will still stick by their disturbing views of racial and religious superiority, but these people have no soul. No human being can look at these images, think clearly about what is being done and still condone secular violence or hatred of any kind. Please, I beg you all, educate each other and the youth of today.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
 
-George Santayana