The Fate of Broken People – Part 3

Okay, now picture this broken lady I described earlier. Imagine ALL the broken people — all the sick, injured and suffering — throughout all of human history. All the kids who died of diphtheria and cholera. All the kids today with cystic fibrosis, or cerebral palsy. All the adults with heart disease or lung cancer or crippling arthritis.

Imagine more: Your best friend from school, your close buddy at work, the families of dear friends, all those you know and like, beset by cancer, or strokes, or dreadful injuries acquired in accidents. Continue reading “The Fate of Broken People – Part 3”

The Fate of Broken People – Part 2

There’s this thing I notice so, so often in the world. I wish there was a good name for it – Murfingburben Syndrome or Dumonification, or SOMETHING – so that I could just name it and you’d know what I was talking about. But I’ve never come across a word for it, or even a good description. So I just call it “the 180-degree thing.” By which I mean “180 degrees opposite.”

It’s like this: You hear that something is a certain way, and you believe it, sometimes for years. But one day you discover that, out in the real world, the thing is exactly opposite the way you were told it was. It is 180 degrees opposite of what it should be. If it’s something that was right with the world, it is now wrong – so wrong it doesn’t just sit there being wrong, it moves at light speed in the direction of wrong, so that it becomes not just un-right, but anti-right. Continue reading “The Fate of Broken People – Part 2”

The Fate of Broken People – Part 1

I work in a bakery, did you know? Part of my “blue collar” thing. And not a great bakery, with fresh croissants steaming as they come out of the oven, fragrant and delicious and buttery, but a corporate-owned supermarket bakery. I often see it as more a factory outlet than a shop. Frozen bread arrives in boxes, we take it out and heat it in the oven, package and put it out. And our customers, knowing no different, knowing no better, buy it. Continue reading “The Fate of Broken People – Part 1”

Yeah, where ARE the flying cars??

It was a Tuesday, and a cold afternoon in February, 1962. Ten years old at the time, I sat in class in Houston, Texas, with my friends Johnny Nicholas, David Snow and Roberta Holiday. Mr. Davis wheeled in a huge old TV and we watched the launch. Friendship 7 was headed into space with John Glenn aboard.

It was a big deal to me, and I was on the edge of my seat. Just the year before, I’d discovered science fiction in the local library, a simplistic children’s fantasy story titled Zip-Zip Goes to Venus, and I could not get enough of SF. Continue reading “Yeah, where ARE the flying cars??”

Name Dropping: Carl Buell Rocks! And I Know Him!

I have a good friend who paints dinosaurs. (And other critters.)

This is not “just some guy” who does it in his spare time, but a serious natural history illustrator who has worked for museums all over the world, whose paintings have, just within the past year or so, opened exhibits in Beijing; Paris; Pisa, Italy; and Washington, D.C.

He’s had illustrations in four of science writer Carl Zimmer’s books, including a fantastic cover illustration for a book coming in Fall of 2012. Continue reading “Name Dropping: Carl Buell Rocks! And I Know Him!”

Ten Thousand Years of Speed Bumps

I’ve said many times that the cost of religion is something none of us can estimate. Even those of us willing to come out and say we don’t believe it, and perhaps even actively dislike it, usually don’t see it as very damaging.

But ask yourself, anytime a person gets in the news as opposing some aspect of medical science, who is it likely to be? And what source are they using for their opposition?

Right. Religious people, and the Bible. Continue reading “Ten Thousand Years of Speed Bumps”