Yesterday was Earth Day, which also coincided with the Science Marches around the world. Ordinarily I would tie this into the 19th Century, as per the blog, but today I thought I speak frankly as a Modern.
There has been some discussion how Earth Day, stereotyped by all things hippie, granola, everything eco-chic and Science, which are seen, as “unnatural and futuristic” as a clash in ideals. I am here to say that sort of thinking is so far from the truth. Science, in this case “hard science,” is the study of our surroundings, our environment, and the universe. Or to cite Webster’s Dictionary:
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Scientists at their essences are “naturalists.” Certainly, their approach to the matter is more clinical than say a rural farmer, but the premise is the same: to learn how our planet functions and how we function along with it. Theirs is an inter-related relationship. One cannot have Science if there is nothing to observe.
The Modern schism of ideology however deems Science “otherworldly.” The notions all scientists want to “play God” is ridiculous. First and foremost, they want to see how “God did it” to begin with. The next step is asking the question ‘how can this knowledge be used to help humankind solve a perceived problem?’ Even “evil scientists” are doing things they think are best (but ethics and politics play a part we won’t get into in this post).
My concerns lies in the “worshiping of Science.” That anything and everything “that isn’t proved by science” is bunk. Science is reliant on technology. As the technology improves so does the Science. A “fact” is merely a snapshot in time. Think of life before the 19th century when people could not see germs with their naked eye nor with technological instruments of the era; did that mean germs did not exist before the 19th century? OF COURSE germs existed from the beginning of time, but we did not discover that until later. So what does this mean? Were Scientists wrong??? You might say that, but honestly I think of it more as primordial. Not bad in and of itself, it is just the evolution of things. (Is someone who does not know nor has seen, wrong? How could they know any better until they have seen and known?)
Scientists owe their profession to the Earth and all life (and death) on it. Scientists mean to honor the Earth. We all are better for science (and yes, we could also argue we are all “worse” for it, too, depending on your perspective.)
Earth Day is every day.
Here is an update I was not expecting to post any time soon. Back in the beginning of March, Beaux, my beloved Cocker Spaniel had two seizures in a 10 hour span. We thought it was a fluke, but obviously rushed him to Vet to verify. Due to his breed, age, and over all health, the doctor tested for Valley Fever which is potentially disease that is very prevalent in desert climates. My speckled son tested negative. That was a relief. So our other options were brain tumor and/or epilepsy. However, at the beginning of this month, Beaux suffered three seizures in a twelve hour time span, the last being his worst. On the bright side, he seized at the Vet’s office so he could be tended to right away. He received an emergency shot and another round of tests, of which he tested negative for them as well. The doctor decided to start treating my pup for epilepsy. While, not an ideal diagnosis, it is not a death sentence. Thus, I choose to view his pills like I would take his vitamins, be a little more cautious of his activities, and read up on everything I can find concerning the issue.
Back in ancient times, epilepsy in humans was seen as a spiritual concern. Some say it was a curse by the Gods and Goddesses of the Moon, others cite demon possession, or proof of a tainted, immoral soul. There are records back to ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica in relation to the Falling Sickness. In the 5th B.C., famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, theorized the seizures are due to a disruption/problem in the brain. For two millennia, the general population of the world said that was hogwash. It was not until the 17th century it became more accepted epilepsy was formed in the brain and further, that is was hereditary. Many European municipality supposedly made it illegal (and community/villages forbid) people with epilepsy to marry, to prevent the transfer of the disease. Naturally, many people ended up lying about their condition in order to marry.
In the mid 1800s, bromide was discovered to assist with treating epilepsy; this was one of the medications recommended for Beaux, granted it is very slow moving, but is cost effective. By 1912, phenobarbital came on to the scene. This is what Beaux is currently taking; long term use causes liver and kidney damage, so Beaux will be phased off of it as soon as possible.
It has been years since I touched on April as National Poetry Month. Truly, years. As someone who actually enjoys poetry and as a librarian, whose duty it is too champion all things literature . . . well, goodness it is high time to nod to the poetic form once again.
I have many poems that I cherish, but this is one of my most beloved. It is written by none other than Rudyard Kipling, the 19th century author of Kim and The Jungle Book. It speaks in the masculine theme, but serves it purposes to all parents, mentors, coaches, and teachers. It is also a great motivating pep-talk and a reminder that brave men and women are not born but become that way through actions.
If–by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowances for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk to wise;
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master;
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And to hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run–
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!