Thursday, May 13, 2010

Women With Three Arms

I've seen them - at least three different women - each with three arms - and all doing the same three things: smoking a cigarette, talking on a cell phone, and driving a car. I could see two of the arms - the ones holding the cigarette and the phone - the third arm was just out of view, but it had to be there or how could they steer?  Really ! And, the scary part us that there are probably more of them out there !

So, when it comes to driving and using a cell phone - hands free or not, never mind texting, I stopped. I can't control what all the mutants are doing out there on the road - all I can do is give myself any possible advantage to protect myself, my family, and my friends when they're with me. If not using a cell phone when driving gives me only a marginal edge over other drivers, I'll take it. All of us think we're better than average drivers - so much for what normal or average means - the best I can do is take care of who's in my car. And if that means not using a cell phone, so be it.

Keep an eye out for the folks with three arms - there might even be men amongst them and that means they can procreate. Now I'm getting really nervous !

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are We Ready For The Aliens ?

Not all human behaviors are negative and we frequently rise to unexpected heights. However, the following examples make me wonder about how we're going to deal with ‘The Aliens’ whenever they arrive.

1. When you walk through a grocery store and see a loaf of bread that has fallen from the shelf, do you put it back where it belongs, or as I observe many times, pass it by knowing that you didn't put it there, it's not your job, and most importantly, it's not your bread anyway?

2. After a snowstorm, when your car is parked on the street, do you shovel out just enough for your car and leave an ironing board, lawn chair, or trash barrel to ensure that 'your' space is there when you return or do you clear a couple of additional feet on either side of your car so that if everyone pitches in, you end up with the same number of linear parking feet as you had before it snowed?

3. When the water main breaks and you need a temporary supply of bottled water, do you rush to the store and buy as much as you can put in your cart, or do you take just what you need, so that all will have enough to get by - knowing that new supplies will be delivered in the following days? If you own the store, do you apportion even amounts for all or raise the prices and make a quick killing, as some have recently done?

If this seems cynical, slanted, and looking only at the bad side of human nature, think about these examples and tell me what's going to happen when we suffer the results of global warming. As glaciers in the Himalayas melt, they provide water for major networks of Asian rivers and the water supplies for millions of people. As the rate of melting increases, the flow temporarily increases. But, as the glaciers ultimately recede and dwindle, water supplies are diminished and/or cut off. Families that once shared this seemingly endless supply may now face open hostility with others who now covet and need this precious resource. If we can't act with civility and sharing, when times are only marginally difficult, how will we handle really tough decisions in times of dire need and scarcity?

And ... what about those aliens? Stephen Hawking recently raised the frightening possibility that those aliens, who we've been trying to contact, may not be our best friends after all. My guess is that they are at least as smart as we are to be able to receive and interpret our signals. And, if they are, they may have run out of the same materials that we keep squandering here on Earth. Hawking postulates that they may be headed this way to secure our resources, our labor, and our lives. In our attempt to reach out and touch someone, we have become unwitting dupes and our own worst enemies, much like an episode of The Twilight Zone. To see a clip of Hawking’s theory, click the following link: Fear The Aliens

Yes, I know that not all human activity is bleak and foreboding, but those little green men may be headed this way and we ought to stop and think twice about how we're treating one another before it's too late.