Chimps of the world unite!

grapeMost chimps understand fairness and even solidarity better than many of us:

Chimpanzees in this study went beyond the basic tenets of the social contract and demonstrated what could be considered the foundation of social solidarity. In 95 trials, chimpanzees that received a grape were significantly more likely to refuse it when their group mate only received a carrot (p = 0.008). Even those who benefited from inequality recognized that the situation was unfair and they refused to enjoy their own reward if it meant someone else had to suffer.

Would you refuse the french fries if your cell mate got a low fat muffin?  Not sure I would.  Full article here.


Update: Judge Recognizes Research Chimps As “Legal Persons”

In a decision that effectively recognizes chimpanzees as legal persons for the first time, a New York judge granted a pair of Stony Brook University lab animals the right to have their day in court. The ruling marks the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been covered by a writ of habeus corpus, which typically allows human prisoners to challenge their detention. The judicial action could force the university, which is believed to be holding the chimps, to release the primates, and could sway additional judges to do the same with other research animals. Full article here.

What I currently accept to be true (based on the available evidence)

Evidence

I dislike the word believe and loathe the word faith when it comes to matters of the spiritual/supernatural. I much prefer the phrase “What I currently accept to be true (based on the available evidence.)” Clunky but more accurate. Now some may say, “How can you have any hard/objective evidence for spiritual/supernatural phenomena?” [To be continued…]

There is no single “natural” way

I am reading Sapiens : a brief history of humankind (a fascinating book about the history of our species) and there is a quote I like:

The heated debates about Homo sapiens’ `natural way of life’ miss the main point. Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, there hasn’t been a singe natural way of life for Sapiens. There are only cultural choices, from among a bewildering palette of possibilities.

So just as there is no one “natural” (or “proper”) way to be an individual, there is no “natural” (or “proper”) way for a society to be. Some ways are of course better suited to some environments and both individuals and societies that don’t adapt to changing environments don’t survive.

For another great book with a similar theme, check out Our kind : who we are, where we came from, where we are going.

25 Things

25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about me:
[This was a Facebook challenge from a few years ago.]

  1. I usually never do these kinds of things.
  2. My fantasy job is to lead laughter clubs on the beaches of Mexico (or some other warm yet not humid place.)
  3. I love many kinds of music. Music often touches the very core of my being.
  4. I need sunshine. I wither and die without it. I must be part plant. I need to move to a sunnier place.
  5. When I was young and foolish I climbed to the top of a full size electricity pylon (transmission tower.) I could feel the hum of the high voltage cables. Don’t try this.
  6. Years ago I worked in the cellular phone industry. I have always liked technology. It was only in 2008 though that I got my very first mobile phone. A little late to the party perhaps. It was a BlackBerry Bold though so I hope that makes up for things. 🙂
  7. I have no TV (have not for years)
  8. I have no car (since 2008, by choice). We are a part of Modo and Car2go.
  9. I have never been drunk nor stoned/high.
  10. I make Sundays a screen-free day. No TV, no computers, no smart phones.
  11. I (used to) like to play foosball, pool, ping-pong, & badminton with my friends at work at few times a week.
  12. I also like to snowshoe, hike, river raft, & play beach vollyball with my friends. Not all at the same time of course. That would be a real challenge.
  13. I love to laugh and help others to laugh. Laughtyer Yoga was especially invented just for me. If you haven’t had a long, deep belly laugh in a while you owe it to yourself to give LY a try. Ask me about it. I attend an awesome weekly group on Sundays. See laughteryoga.org for a club near you.
  14. I recently did a “10 reasons why I’m glad you are my parents” which was well received. You should try it.
  15. I have had a personal blog since September 2002. It does not get any traffic but it is a place for me to pontificate, which I enjoy.
  16. I led a monthly TED (www.ted.com) group at work.
  17. I also led a monthly Laughter Club at work.
  18. I love to rollerblade. Especially down long, steep hills.
  19. I suffer from occasional migraines.
  20. I am nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. This works out OK for the most part.
  21. After 37 years born and raised in the Christian faith, I left and never looked back.
  22. I am an avid student of Near-death experiences and related phenomena
  23. I can be too loud at times and embarrass people.
  24. I miss my hair. Come back! What did I do to make you leave?
  25. Age is a state of mind. I hope I never get old.

Wow, 25 is a larger number than I would have guessed. Did you nod off at about 12? Thought so.  😀

Bucket List

Some exciting things I have done:

Some exciting things I want to do: