Friday, November 28, 2008

This is Where the Blah Sets In

I think I'm getting a little depressed. I don't feel like doing much when I have the free time. I have no ambition. I feel like lying around, staring at the walls. It might be because I've been so busy these last few months. School has been doubly hard because of my final Anthropology class. It is interesting but I have twice as much reading for that class as my others and it is all scientific papers about evolutionary ecology. I enjoy the material but it still takes so much of my time to get through. I'm probably feeling gloomy about having to work crazy hours in December too. I might have to work 60+ hours every week. I'm going to try to get two days off per week, but they might get bitchy and deny it. Even though it's only for a few weeks it feels like it's so much worse. My only substantial break between the semesters and I have to work my ass off during it. 

I'm really getting tired of my daily routine. I need to break free somehow. The trouble is, I have to  work to survive and I don't want to leave school when I've got so little left before graduation. I keep looking toward spring for hope but the time until then seems so vast. Maybe I'll shake up my schedule as much as I can. I'll try to find a time machine or something. 

I know this feeling will pass, but in the mean time it is god awful. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gimme Gimme New Guinea!

I just got done reading this article about this study done in New Guinea. The researchers were looking to see when agriculture first came to New Guinea, and they discovered that bananas were likely domesticated first here in 5000 BC (or 6950 BP, if you can translate that). For me, that number is amazing because it is difficult to imagine how you would transform a plant from a wild variety to a domesticated one without any modern technology. It would take several generations of people to get it all done too. It is also interesting that domestication occurred at all because the site that this was done at, Kuk, was not a dense montane forest like the surrounding area but a swampland and grassy area. What are the chances humans would go there and then domesticate something? Okay, they probably were attracted there for the variety of food they could get at that location. But imagine if bananas were never domesticated. What would you put on your cereal?

Actually, some prehistoric groups domesticated plants that are now either extinct or not in wide use. The group of people living in eastern United States 3000 years ago domesticated some plants, like chenopods and sumpweed, that aren't eaten much today. I don't even know what they would taste like. This group did, however, domesticate sunflowers. Probably. There still seems to be a little confusion over that. 

Learning where foods were first domesticated makes me think about how amazing humans are. It is our ability to adapt to new environments and new situations that makes us such a dominant species. At the same time, the antiquity of domestication kind of debunks the push for "natural" foods. If you really wanted your food to be untouched by human hands, it would be nearly impossible. You'd have to give up all the foods you eat now and try to go out into the wilderness and collect wild specimens. Good luck with that. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sita Sings the Blues

Here's a trailer for an amazing looking movie.

It's already gone to several film festivals. I hope it comes here to Utah. Seeing this makes me want to be an animator. You can find more information about the film here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Proposition 8 Protest

You can leave comments for the show here. If you haven't listened to the show, go to this link and do it!

When I got to the protest I felt much more secure. I was worried it would be about five queens shouting at the temple. There were around 2,000 people there. I hope some sort of change occurs because of this and other efforts.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Protest Tonight

I'm a little nervous about going to this protest tonight. It's going to be downtown and against the Mormon Church for supporting Proposition 8. I don't know how many people are actually going to go because it's kind of cold outside. I'm going to record some conversations with people. I just hope nothing crazy happens. I could imagine some redneck starting trouble with the group.

I am disheartened by the passage of the amendment in California. Religious people seem to think that if they don't invade and infect every part of everyone's lives they will somehow be deficient. The arguments against gay marriage are weak and totally based on some subjective ideology.

Many people are associating this ban with the ban on interracial marriage prior to the sixties. The interesting thing is that most Black people in California voted FOR the ban. I don't know if the parallel was really talked about, but I wonder if it would make a difference. Religion can make people do contradictory things. But, the experience of the Christian faith attempting to assert that a group of people ought to be slaves forever should be enough for anyone, Black, White or any ethnicity, to see how religion is entirely fabricated and the result of human fears. Religious beliefs should not be the basis of civil law.

Another peculiarity of the call for moralizing America is the strange marriage allowances now. I don't know if this is true still, but I thought in Utah a child could marry starting at the age of 13 or 14 if they had their parents' consent. So, a 56 year-old man marrying a 14 year-old is somehow beautiful and holy? That is disgusting. Is that what the Mormons are fighting for?

The protest starts in about an hour and a half. I want to go to show support for this. I don't want to say I'm for Gay Rights and then chicken out.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Ghost Cake episode: Mummy Time

The latest episode of my show is a little bit about mummies, a little bit about the elections, a little bit about depression glass and a whole lotta fun. I talk about the Chinchorro mummies from Chile, which are the oldest known mummies in the world. They predate Egyptian mummies by almost two thousand years.

You can listen to the show by searching for it at iTunes: ghost cake. It'll pop up under podcasts. If you aren't of the iTunes persuasion you can find the show here Feel free to leave any comments or questions here. And, if you are a new listener to the show, let me know where you're listening to it, just for fun.