21 December 2010

Indomitable Spirit II

This from a guy who has had Parkinson's Disease for 20 years who wants to cycle across South Dakota:

And this from a guy with a progressive life-shortening motor ataxia who plans to ride the RAAM (Race Across America - 3000 miles in a single stage):

FYI, they both ride Catrikes, by Big Cat HPV. Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

19 December 2010

Indomitable Spirit

For those who have experienced losses that mar their holiday season, may the video clip above remind you that joy can be reborn.

17 December 2010

The Population Bomb is Fizzling Out

In 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote a book called The Population Bomb, in which he predicted an explosive rise in the world's population would outstrip the world's food supply, causing unprecedented famine and conflict over resources. Well, it's 42 years later, and his prediction did not come to pass. Instead, the world's population is beginning to stabilize. Check this video from The Economist:

Dr. Ehrlich made predictions based on extrapolating the statistics of the day, without a deep understanding of the underlying processes behind the statistics. And indeed, some of those underlying processes weren't clear to anyone until a couple of decades later.

If you are wondering why the population is stabilizing, it may be because people realize that they are now living longer and can therefore delay child-bearing: take a look at this data.

Anyway, the global emergency of the 1960's was pollution, the 1970's was population, and now it's climate change. Shall this, too, pass?

06 December 2010

The WCC, the PCUSA and Israel

Well folks, the World Council of Churches and the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) have been creeping into the ugly territory of anti-Semitism. You can read about it here. Even though it's the holiday season, the Blind Chihuahua has cursed them.

05 December 2010

Signs of Progress and Holiday Greetings

For those of you who have ever doubted it, there has been real objective progress in the human condition over most of the world during the last 200 years. Here is the evidence:

So, all the world's countries are healthier (have longer life expectancies) than they did 200 years ago, and nearly all of them are wealthier, too. Thanks to ideas and inventions from Western Civilization. The Civilization that Christianity launched, and even now that the Church has been largely put in its place, maintains. The Civilization in which people can still be moved by surprise events like this one, done in a shopping mall's food court:

And what culture gave rise to Christian West? The people who think like this:

So, to all who are not offended by public displays of Christian and Jewish religiosity: Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

To everyone else, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, you ingrates!

And to those of you who actually are Christians, it isn't Christmas yet. It's Advent.