Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Think I Would Still Hate a White Dog-Killer

ESPN the Magazine recently ran a fascinating article "What If Michael Vick Were White."

Along with the article was a picture, Michael Vick reimagined and digitally altered to be a white man.

Juding from just the headline alone, I was pleased they used proper grammar but disappointed that they were going say Michael Vick was persecuted and punished harshly, because he is black.

Then I read the article: "I'm certain white privilege would not be enough to rescue a white NFL star caught killing dogs."

And it goes on to make the point that separating Vick or any of us from our race would be impossible. If Vick were white, he would have grown up in different circumstances and quite possibly never have been exposed to dogfighting in the first place. Maybe he wouldn't even play football, who knows?

Regardless of color Vick has turned his life around. He seems to be on the straight and narrow and personally, and on the basis of his play on the field he signed a new 6-year, $100m contract with the Eagles. I hope he uses that money to repay his creditors and uses these lessons to live an honest life.

But I will always hate him. No matter what color he is.

Song of the Week

"You're the Inspiration" - Chicago
I used to play this song on the piano when Mama Poop forced us to take lessons.
I'm so glad that 25 years later I finally understand the true meaning of these lyrics.

"You bring meaning to my life
You're the Inspiration"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Animals Knew

An amazing story in the Washington Post about the strange behavior of animals at the National Zoo before last week's earthquake.

Here are some examples:
-About five to ten seconds before the quake, many of the apes, including Kyle (an orangutan) and Kojo (a Western lowland gorilla), abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the tree-like structure in the exhibit.

-About three seconds before the quake, Mandara (a gorilla) let out a shriek and collected her baby, Kibibi, and moved to the top of the tree structure as well.

-The red ruffed lemurs sounded an alarm call about 15 minutes before the quake and then again just after it occurred.

-The Zoo has a flock of 64 flamingos. Just before the quake, the birds rushed about and grouped themselves together. They remained huddled during the quake.

Here's one possible scientific explanation: An earthquake generates two types of seismic waves. The first is the relatively weak, fast-moving P wave, or primary wave. Then comes the more powerful S wave, or secondary wave, which lumbers along at a leisurely pace and heaves the ground up and down.

The first P waves would have reached Washington about 15 seconds before the S waves. The animals may have been responding to the P waves before humans noticed the ground shaking.

That's why some of the animals moved to higher ground, because they felt the earth shaking.

But that doesn't explain the lemurs sounding their alarm 15 minutes before.

Maybe that was just an aberation.

Maybe the lemurs knew.

We will never know why animals pick up on these things before we do. Unless they decide to tell us.