This blog post will seem a bit out of place here on my Home page; and therefore I may delete this blog post at some point. But I have decided to post this here anyway because just as I was about to post this on Facebook, I experienced a major glitch which knocked me off Facebook and I haven’t been able to get back on since. C’est la vie. Maybe it’s like that “Nightmare at 20,000 feet” episode of The Twilight Zone, except instead of some gremlin pulling at a plane’s wing, there’s some gremlin pulling at some internal component of my computer. But hey, for a whole bunch of reasons, I’ve never really been much of a fan of Facebook anyway. (And this is just one more reason not to be.) Maybe I’ll be able to fix the problem, maybe not; but I’m not going to worry about it.
Without further ado, just look below and you can read what I intended to post on Facebook the other day:
I bought The New York Times on Tuesday for an article (Jim Robbins, “At Home, Even In The Sky / Scientists investigate how viruses shape the ecology of the planet.”), published in the ScienceTimes section, concerning the “virosphere.” It was an interesting article; and it provides further evidence of why I say we shouldn’t be spending money planning missions to Mars, when there’s so much we don’t understand about this planet. There are plentiful enough mysteries to unravel right here on Earth.
Earlier this year, as the article points out, scientists calculated that every day, some 800 million viruses fall down upon every square meter of this planet. That discovery “stunned” the international team of scientists conducting the research.
Furthermore, the article states that “between 40 percent and 80 percent of the human genome may be linked to ancient viral invasions.”
While your subconscious is dizzily digesting that profound thought, I’ll switch gears and also mention the another article which appeared in that Science Times section that caught my attention (Natalie Angier, “Wired to Be Besties / Research reveals shared neural response patterns in our social networks.”).
Yale biosociologist Nicholas Christakis — author of Connected: The Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our World — is quoted in this piece as stating: “I think it’s an incredibly ingenious paper. It suggests that friends resemble each other not just superficially, but in the very structures of their brains.”
Angier writes that the researchers “plan next to try the experiment in reverse: to scan incoming students who don’t yet know one another and see whether those with the most congruent neural patterns end up becoming good friends.” Interesting, too, would be to explore the possibility of using this brain-scanning data as a means for assigning roommates, within college dorms.
Lastly, in this same ScienceTimes section, on page D2, there is a photo of an “endangered green-haired turtle.” It’s the weirdest thing. It really looks like there’s a clump of grass growing out of it’s head! But which is weirder, really … that turtle? Or the fact that we keep looking the other way, while so much ecological devastation is unfolding all around us, every single day?