Friday, September 30, 2011


Unable to stick very long to my resolution to be productive while the family is gone, I have plopped Splice into the DVD player, staring Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley (two very good looking people) as Dr. and Dr. Frankenstein. So far the movie has done a good job of communicating the fundamental horror of human reproduction. You fall in love with what you have made, but they are monsters. Also, as Brody notes into his audio recorder "Observations of feeding cycles show that subject H50 craves sucrose."

Ooh the H50 just listened to Polley, and did what it was told, when it was told not to kill Brody's brother.

Monday, September 26, 2011

More bad news

This has not been a good year for dogs in our family. Yesterday while walking Neville I noticed that his collar was loose enough that he might be able to slip our of it if he was determined enough. I didn't adjust it though. Later that evening, the kids and I went down to the lake to get some ice cream, and took the dog. Neville saw a dog on the other side of a busy street, broke off the leash, ran out into the street and was struck by a car. I ran to him but didn't know what to do. The driver of the car got out and didn't know what to do. Another woman pulled over, got out of her car, put her hand on my shoulder, and began praying loudly for me to Jesus. An ambulance stopped. The driver told me he had called the police, but couldn't stay, because he had a human patient. A person, did I understand. The generous woman drove Neville and I to an animal hospital and another generous woman walked the kids back to our house. On the way to the hospital Neville died.

Molly has made a donation to for all our friends who have lost pets this year. There have been too many. We are holding all of you in the light.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

one of the things that are wrong with me.

I've been reading in this book about the hypothesized existence of a "reorientation module." Googling the phrase leads quickly to this article which suggests a genetic component to such a module. Now I get lost really easily, and so did my maternal grandmother. There is also a distinct pattern to the way get lost that seems to go beyond simple inattention to my surroundings.* One problem comes when I go into an area that is psychologically closed off from a larger area--for instance if I am walking along a row of shops, and then enter one of them, or if I am walking along a corridor and enter a room--upon returning to the larger space, I am completely disoriented and unable to identify the direction I was originally traveling.

I don't know if that quite relates to the skills tested in material I'm reading. They mostly look at tasks where people and animal have to find an object hidden in a rectangular room, where you have to remember that the object is in a corner that has the short wall on the right and the long wall on the left. Its interesting stuff. there is evidence of modularity for this kind of task: people who can do it are unable to explain how they did it, the skill is only sensitive to certain kinds of environmental input, etc.

*Although inattention to my surroundings is clearly a factor, too. A few months ago I became lost while traveling from my work to home because I was completely distracted by this Philosophy Bites podcast.