Archive for the Category » Evolution «

First Life Form Found Using Arsenic as a Genetic Building Block

I came upon this really interesting article in Science Daily titled “Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, approved Alters Brain Development“. It says that a baby’s sense of smell is affected by what foods the mother eats while pregnant. This makes a lot of evolutionary sense. If the mother is consuming certain foods then it must be good for the baby to have a predilection to consume and have desires for this food as well. This is an effective way of helping to ensure that the baby will want eat the food that is available in its future food sphere. However, view this horrendously backfires when the mother is an alcoholic or has a horrible diet to begin with allowing the potential to pass a
The 2:00pm announcement from NASA today is they have found the first life Form that uses arsenic as a genetic building block. This will change much in science. Science fiction has said such things were possible for many, men’s health
many years, valeologist
but this is the first evidence of it.

The Science Daily article Life Built With Toxic Chemical: First Known Microbe on Earth Able to Thrive and Reproduce Using Arsenic has the info.

“Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, Alters Brain Development” – a Science Daily Article

I came upon this really interesting article in Science Daily titled “Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, prescription Alters Brain Development“. It says that a baby’s sense of smell is affected by what foods the mother eats while pregnant. This makes a lot of evolutionary sense. If the mother is consuming certain foods then it must be good for the baby to have a predilection to consume and have desires for this food as well. This is an effective way of helping to ensure that the baby will want eat the food that is available in its future food sphere. However, valeologist this horrendously backfires when the mother is an alcoholic or has a horrible diet to begin with allowing the potential to pass a desire in the baby for a similar life style. =(

If you are currently pregnant please keep this finding in mind…. think of the children.

Mosuo – an Egalitarian and Matriarchal Society in Tibet

The Mosuo are mentioned prominently in the book Sex at Dawn which I wrote about earlier. The Mosuo, unhealthy who are found on the Chinese/Tibetan border, pregnancy  are one of the few remaining egalitarian and matriarchal societies. What is so fascinating about them is, diagnosis partly that they are a matriarchal society where the mothers ares the center of the family, but also that a mothers family raises the children and the father does not necessarily have to have any direct involvement with his children. The children’s mother and her brothers etc take care of raising the children. Here it truly does take a tribe to raise a child.

They do not marry as we, westerners understand the term. They have something called Walking Marriage. At night if a woman wants the man to come in to spend the night then she leaves the door open for him, and in the morning he must be gone. Women may have however many partners as she deems appropriate, but these liaisons are usually based on love and not necessarily on libido.

Frontline World: Rough Cut has a 20 minute video titled ‘The Women’s Kingdom’ detailing the Mosuo culture. It is fascinating. Please take a moment to watch it.

Read More

Review “Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” – A+++

California’s Appellate Court granted a stay on Judge Vaughn’s ruling pending appeal. This was, patient in my opinion, to be expected since this is such a high profile case and precedent setting case,  so nothing drastic there. However, there is some good news as far as this process is concerned as is covered here BREAKING: 9th Circuit STAYS Judge Walker’s ruling; Appeal scheduled December 6 on Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

  • the appellate court is expediting the the appeal of the ruling of the unconstitutionality of Prop 8 and set the date for the week of 6 December, which is awesome. The sooner the, hopefully, better.
  • they are also specifically asking the Prop8’ers: In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. which is huge. Judge Vaughn said that they do not have standing for a stay or appeal, if I remember correctly, and the appellate court obviously pretty much agrees with them, but are giving them a chance to sound at least a little rational and try to retain some self respect.

In the scheme of things this is pretty huge. The appeal process could end up being pretty short (comparatively speaking) since they do not have standing for appeal, so this may most likely get dismissed with prejudice. This will be a massively huge win and precedent for gay rights all throughout the US if this does happen, since there will be a court ruling stating that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and they have no standing. Of course, once that happens the appellate court’s decision will be appealed and, hopefully, a similar thing will happen in the Supreme Court.

Cross your fingers everyone. History and justice is happening. =)
I recently finished the book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. It is an excellent and life altering book. It really ties together a lot of what I have read about evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology. If you have not read this book, ask or even if you have never read an evolutionary psychology book at all, pharmacy read it. It may change the way that you see the world, and I mean that in a good way. It covers topics such as monogamy, swinging, infidelity, and polyamory in it.  It truly covers the wide spectrum of human sexuality. Wow is all I can say.

If you do not know what polyamory is I have written a primer on polyamory for those who are curious.

“Social Organization Among Apes” from the book “Sex at Dawn”

I am currently reading the new book ” Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” which is a book on Evolutionary Psychology, search which for me, more info is a really fascinating topic. I think I have the table copied over correctly. It is a great book so far.

This table occurs in Chapter 3 and I found it really, really interesting and I thought I would share it with you. I found it especially interesting since chips and bonobos are our closest genetic relatives, differing by about 1.6%. It is amazing how diverse the primates’ mating patterns are.

Table 1:  Social Organization Among Apes

Bonobo

Egalitarian and peaceful, bonobo communities are maintained primarily through social bonding between females, although females bond with males as well. Male status derives from the mother. Bonds between son and mother are lifelong. Multimale-multifemale mating.

Chimpanzee

The bonds between males are strongest and lead to constantly shifting male coalitions.  Females move through overlapping ranges within territory patrolled by males, but don’t form strong bonds with other females or any particular male. Multimale-multifemale mating

Gibbon

Gibbons establish nuclear family units; each couple maintains a territory from which other pairs are excluded. Mating is monogamous. mating.

Gorilla

Generally, a single dominant male (the so-called ·Silverback”) occupies a range for his family unit composed of several females and young. Adolescent males are forced out of the group as they reach sexual maturity. Strongest social bonds are between the male and adult females. Polygynous mating.

Human

By far the most diverse social species among the primates, there is plentiful evidence of all types of socio-sexual bonding, cooperation, and competition among contemporary humans. Multimale-multifemale

Orangutan

Orangutans are solitary and show little bonding of any kind. Male orangutans do not tolerate each other’s presence. An adult male  establishes a large territory where several females live. Each has her own range. Mating is dispersed, infrequent and often violent.

Dietary Evolution and Geographic Isolation

Linguistics Evolution and Geographic Isolation

This post is brought to you by the letter “L” for linguistics. I have come to think about this because of my reading about linguistics. In linguistics it is thought that humanity’s languages all stemmed from a single language called Proto-Indo-European, pills and then as the tribes broke up and migrated to other regions cutting themselves off geographically and culturally from their original tribe, culture, and language their language eventually evolved into the language families that we see today like the romance, slavic, germanic, etc; and then those individual language families evolved into the individual languages that we see today.

The key point here is isolation brings about a different evolutionary path, albeit, in this case,  a linguistic one.

Dietary Evolution and Geographic Isolation

As early homosapiens separated from their tribes and developed unique cultural and linguistic traits they also traveled to areas where the climates and therefore food sources were different and, as thousands of years passed I believe that our bodies developed a physiology more tuned to processing the foods that were a part of  the normal diet for that region, and potentially lost the genes that allowed efficient and/or health processing of other foods which were not staples of their current dietary intake.

People who lived in inland areas where they are used to drinking cows milk and eating wheat products will have the genes to efficiently make use of eating those products.  People who lived by the sea would develop genes to more efficiently eat seafood, seaweed, and other sea products while potentially losing the genes for wheat and milk. You can come up with many situational examples like this from region to region as to what is common and what is not.

Genetics and Dietary Requirements

With all of this being said what I am really going to postulate here is that I bet that if we trace where our geographical genetic lineage is based we can have a better idea as to what foods we will most likely be able to take advantage of.  Genetic testing can help us to eat better and be healthier by knowing what foods we may be tuned to take advantage of.

Another Option

Perhaps an easier solution would be to come up with some baseline nutritional food source that has all of the USRDA recommendations and then take blood test, urine and fecal tests, etc to find out how we process nutrients and how much our body’s we really need in a day. By knowing how much is removed from the body and so on we can see how much we, individually, really need each day.

We can also do similar tests for specific products like wheat, dairy, etc and see how we respond and process them to determine if our body will process it efficiently and safely.

NYT – “Human Culture, an Evolutionary Force”

This is by no means complete or the end-all-be-all of polyamory tutorials or introductions, sale since it is such a diverse lifestyle that you could not really hope to encompass it all in one readable page, but this should give you a good starting point from which you can do your own research and form your own opinions. Good luck and enjoy.

Infinite Heart

Sections

About Polyamory

This is a broad overview of polyamory from compersion, jealousy, and relationship agreements with a helpful list of references and definitions.

Polyamory: definition

Polyamory (or the more British spelling ‘polyamoury’) is also referred to as ‘responsible non-monogamy’ or just ‘poly’. It is the state of having, or being oriented to having, multiple concurrent intimate relationships with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned.

Polyamory does not necessarily imply that the relationships are sexual, but many times they are. Some poly relationships may be non-sexual (platonic) romances, with an intimate emotional, psychological, and/or intellectual connection beyond what would merely be called “friendship.”

Successful polyamorous relationships generally require a high level of self-awareness, honesty (especially with oneself), introspection, self-security, and communication among all concerned. Polyamory is not for the faint of heart or wussies.

Origin of the Word

The word ‘polyamory‘ is derived from the Greek poly-, ‘many’, and the Latin amor, ‘love’. The word was invented independently in 1990 by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart (in the adjectival form ‘poly-amorous’) and in 1992 by Jennifer L. Wesp. (Reference: Polyamory Enters Oxford English Dictionary)

Forms of Polyamory

Poly relationships can take a wide variety of forms. A person may have two lovers who having only passing knowledge of each other, or lovers who are close friends, or lovers who are also romantically and sexually involved with each other (an “equilateral triad”). A married or otherwise life-bonded couple (‘primaries’) may have less-involved relationships with other lovers (‘secondaries’). The commonest poly formation is probably the ‘vee’ (three people with two of them not romantically involved); a vee may be called a “triad” if their lives are deeply intertwined, sex or no. A ‘full’ or ‘equilateral’ triad involves romantic relationships between all three — but the three relationships need not be ‘equal’. In fact, it is a piece of poly wisdom that no two relationships are exactly the same, and trying to force them to be equal is asking for trouble. Larger groups may be ‘quads’ of four with various degrees of interconnectedness, ‘quints’ of five, or ‘intimate networks’ of more people with more complicated geometry.

“The Poly Mantra”

Since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s, the poly community has grown enormously and shared many hard-won, trial-and-error lessons within the community, both in person and, especially, online. The most often-cited lesson is the so-called poly mantra: “Communicate, communicate, communicate.

A habit of open and honest communication, experience has shown, is almost always required to enable everyone to understand what is going on with each other’s emotions and thoughts — and in the absence of such openness, problems in a poly group are almost guaranteed. Communicating your thoughts and emotions (positive and negative) sooner rather than later helps avert hard feelings and difficult situations, or forces them onto the table. Your partners cannot ‘read your mind‘ and will not ‘just understand or know‘; such romanticized ideals are quickly put aside by successful polyfolks. When a problem arises, be open, honest, calm, and understanding, and all may eventually work itself out. Some poly people and groups hold regular ‘family meetings’ to promote the early airing of nascent problems. If serious problems do not resolve, you might seek the help of a poly-friendly counselor. The books Radical Honesty, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and Nonviolent Communication may help give you perspective and effective communication tools.

Compersion or Frubble

‘Compersion’ (or the British ‘frubble’) is the state of feeling joy at the joy of another loved one, specifically, when applied in the poly context, is when a loved one is relating to another person intimately; such as a husband feeling joy at seeing or knowing that his wife is enjoying time with her new boyfriend.

Compersion is the complete opposite of jealousy. Compersion is a goal to which polyfolk often aspire in order to break negative cultural (and/or evolutionary) programming and increase their satisfaction and happiness in their poly relationships.

See Wikipedia’s Compersion article and A Crazy Little thing Called…

Relationship Agreements

Poly relationships are wide and varied in their form, assumptions, and ideologies. What one person takes for granted and assumes may not be true for the others in the relationship, so many find it useful to form a relationship agreement. These agreements, when done, are generally written, but can be completely oral; many are setup as a relationship contact that is agreed and signed by all so there are no misunderstandings. Relationship Agreements can be a very useful tool, especially to those that are new to poly, to help verbalize and work through their thoughts, assumptions, and ramifications of the agreement, as well as to solidify a joint definition of their relationship and acceptable practices.

It is important to remember that relationships are not static, especially poly relationships where people can come and go as time goes on, and you will need revisit this agreement, and bargain and change the agreement to reflect the change in the relationship and your needs. The document should be a living breathing extension of your relationship changing as much as you change.

The book Pagan Polyamory: Becoming a Tribe of Hearts has some good info on this.

Adultery or Cheating

Polys define cheating as the breaking of a viceral agreement or understanding within the relationship. Most married or bonded couples have an agreement, either explicit or culturally implied, and most times includes not having sex with other people (i.e. sexual exclusivity). Polys have a wide variety of agreements and understandings (which, some believe, are best put in writing in order to prevent later confusion, evasion, or wishful thinking).

In sexual terms, cheating can be defined as engaging in an intimate relationship with an outside person without the consent and/or knowledge of your existing partner(s). This usually involves lying, deceiving, or omission of important facts. Cheating is antithetical to polyamory and is usually is as fatal to it as it would be to any relationship. Polyamory requires informed consent and knowledge from all parties involved — and, experience shows, consistently high integrity overall.

Adultery is a legal term referring to sex with an outside partner while married, and the word normally implies cheating. A more extensive treatise on adultery from the Christian perspective is handled in the book ‘Divine Sex‘ (see below).

Jealousy

Jealousy is the big ‘monster-in-the-closet‘ for many relationships regardless of their form. It is a special issue for polyamory, since participants have to face personal fears and insecurities (the roots of jealousy) that monogamous couple may mostly avoid. The righteousness of feeling jealous is supported by our culture in movies, cultural values, religion, and laws, but jealousy something that is learned and therefore can be unlearned. Many couples battle with it (in and outside of poly), and is a common reason for emotional turmoil and breakups in poly relationships, especially near the beginning. Defeating jealousy in your life may require a tremendous amount of soul searching, introspection, honesty, communication, as well as trust and faith in your relationships and partners.

See below for some sites that deal with this issue.

Marriage

Polyamory, in-and-of-itself, does not assume marriage is the goal or a desired outcome. Polyamory and Marriage, however, are not mutually exclusive either, since they both deal with relationships at various levels.

Polygamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving plural partners, whereas monogamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving single partners and that is it.

Polyamory is referring to an open and honest relationship model involving plural partners.

Polygamy is specific to marriage, whereas Polyamory is not. However, since marriage is a type of relationship and so is polyamory, they can and do meet.

Polyfidelity within polyamory could mirror a ‘traditional’ polygynous (MFFF) or polyandrous (FMMM) marriage exactly. You could have a polyamorous quad (MFMF) that is married polygamously via Group Marriage (polygamy). You could also have a Polygynous Quad (MFFF) that was polyamorous. You could even have a monogamous marriage that was polyamorous or more commonly – just an Open Marriage.

New Relationship Energy (NRE) or Limerence

NRE (resulting from limerence) is the honeymoon phase of the relationship when everything is new and exciting and brain chemicals keep you in a potentially blind emotional high. It typically lasts 6 months to 2 or 3 years. This ‘high‘ can have you doing things that you would not do while in a normal and objective frame of mind. When you are engaging in a new relationship you will want to guard yourself and your relationships from this as best you can. Enjoy the ride, but be careful.

Once the ‘love-struck‘ or ‘blinded-by-love‘ condition wears off some find themselves, in retrospect, having made bad decisions, hurting and neglecting those that they love and have committed themselves to. NRE can be seen as a sort of a not-so-short sickness that one has to deal with and monitor for fear of negatively impacting your other relationships with emotional and love-struck decisions.

See Wikipedia’s articles on New Relationship Energy (NRE) and Limerance.

Swinging

Swinging is not polyamory, and the difference is often a sore spot when poly people are speaking with non-polys about what polyamory is. Swinging is generally recreational sex with little emotional involvement. Swinging is typically done by couples attending special swing venues or parties together. Swinging communities often have rules, explicit or implied, against falling in love with others in your swing group.

Sometimes people who swing tire of sex for its own sake and wish for more personal and intimate connections. Two or more couples who swing together frequently may simply grow to become close life friends and/or desire more. In either case, people may find themselves drifting away from swinging and into the wonderful and challenging world of polyamory.

Conversely, polyamorists can be swingers too, happy to enjoy an occasional no-strings fling at a party or sex club. But the two circles tend to be different in terms of sociology, class, philosophy, and intellectual background. Many polys shun swinging because of negative connotation associated with it. The mainstream attitude is that swinging is wrong and immoral; the mainstream attitude toward polyamory is similar, but polys usually resist being stigmatized as caring only about sex.

A group could be an open triad with a relationship agreement stating that swinging is OK, and one or more of the participants engages in swinging. The triad relationship would still be polyamorous, but the relationship with the outside swinging partners would not necessaily be.

adultery or cheating
see the Adultery or Cheating section
closed
not open to new relationships; see polyfidelity
compersion
see the Compersion section
duogamy
a newer term I encountered that refers to a bisexual person maintaining relationships with 1 person of each gender with the belief that if the 2 relationships are with people of different genders and are mongamous with respect to the specific genders, then it is still ‘monogamy’. This might be kind of a transitional label or used to specifically deny or avoid the polyamorous label while still respecting their choice for a plural partner arrangement.
dyad
an intimate committed relationship with two people
golden unicorn
slang term for the bisexual female that is generally desired as a intimate and/or sexual partner for both members of a Dyad, most likely with the intent to form a Triad. In most cases this is for an established MF Dyad whose female is also bisexual.
group marriage
a subset of polygamy
a general term which refers to a marriage which includes more than one person of each gender. While polygamy, in current contexts. tends to have connotations that assume a main spouse of one gender and then multiple spouses of the other gender as in polyandry and polygygy (see below); group marriage generally connotates a marriage which includes more than one person of each gender which may be further defined as open or cloaed, etc…
HBB
and acronym meaning ‘Hot Bi(sexual) Babe’; see Golden Unicorn
Intentional Community
a community of people with shared values that live together and share various resources
see Wikipedia’s article on Intentional Communities
limerance
see the New Relationship Energy (NRE) section
monamorous
loving only one other person
monogamy
marrying only one other person
new relationship energy (NRE)
see the New Relationship Energy (NRE) section
open
an relationship formation that is open to intimacy from outside their primaries, such as an Open Dyad
open marriage
a marriage in which the spouses have agreed to have intimate partners outside their marriage
pod
within polyamory a pod has been described as ‘a committed network of lifelong intimate friends’. More generally a pod is a collection of people who are intimate at varying levels. Some may be permanent parts of each others lives like the primary/secondary arrangements or may be only part of the pod for small parts of times.
polyandry
a subset of polygamy
the state of a woman having more than one husband
polyandry, fraternal
a subset of polygamy
the state of a woman having more than one husband that are brothers related by blood
statistically, this is commonly the most successful form of polyandry
polyfidelity
polyfi‘ for short
a relationship with multiple committed partners that is closed to new intimate relationships
polygamy
the state of having more than one spouse
polygyny
a subset of polygamy
the state of a man having more than one wife
polygyny, sororal
a subset of polygamy
the state of a man having more than one wife that are sisters related by blood
statistically, this is commonly the most successful form of polygyny
primary
Refers to the most committed relationships, which are also most likely the most important relationships such as a husband, wife, life partner, or others whom a person has committed relationship with. The most time and energy is spent with a person’s primaries. Some do not like this terminology, but others find it fitting and precise.
quad
an intimate committed relationship with four people
romantic myths
Romantic socio-cultural beliefs that when stoically held onto may potentially hinder a person’s ability to find happiness in relationships. Their belief in these myths, may have them holding out for an impossible romantic ideal for a future partner or have unrealistic expectation for their current partners. Western Romantic Myths tend to reinforce the starvation model of love as well.
see starvation model of love and ‘the one’ for more information; there are links below on this topic
secondary
Refers to relationships that are secondary in importance, time, and/or resources, etc to their primary relationships, such as new girlfriend or long term casual long distance love. Some do not like this terminology, but others find it fitting and precise.
see: Successful Secondaries, Taking Care of Secondaries from Xero Mag
scarcity model of love
starvation model of love
starvation economy of love
Believing that love is limited and that if I love this one person romantically then I cannot love another romantically without loving less or not loving the first person. Love is limited and therefore I can only romantically love one person at a time. This seems to be at odds with our ability to love more than one parent, child, friend, etc. This phenomenon is greatly fed by the romantic myth of the ‘the one’ or ‘your one true love’, as well as by movies, literature, and our conservative laws and social views.
sex negative
The pervailing attitude of Western culture finds sexuality and all things sexual negative, sinful, guilt ridden, and distasteful. Sexuality is not something to open about or to enjoy, since it is only for species perpetuation – reproduction. It is something to be repressed and ignored unless necessary.
see Wikipedia’s article on Sex Negativity
sex positive
Sex positive people see their sexuality as a natural part of who we are and not afraid of or ashamed of enjoying it, or taking responsibility for their own satisfaction.
see Wikipedia’s article on the Sex Positive Movement or The Language of Sex Positivity (The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality)
sexual dimorphism
Sexual Dimorphism is term from biology that refers to the size difference in the genders of a species. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the level of sexual dimorphism in a species to the level of monogamousness of a species. The greater the size difference the less monogamous a species is.
sexual monogamy
This comes from the world of biology and refers to the state of a creature that maintains a sexually monogamous relationship with one another mate, but this does not assume social monogamy. Generally a creature that is sexually monogamous will also be socially monogamous other wise there will not be much reproductive benefit.
social monogamy
This comes from the world of biology and refers to the state of a creature that concentrates on acquiring food, shelter, defense, etc for only one other mate. A socially monogamous creature can can be does not also have to be sexual monogamous. Socially monogamous creatures are often sexually polygamous (seeking sexual partners outside their primary partner). There is only a small percentage of creatures that are mostly socially and sexually monogamous.
squick
a psychological source of discomfort (see wickionary’s definition)
swinging
see the Swinging section
‘the one’
‘the one true love’
‘you complete me’
This view assumes that as soon as you have met ‘the one’ that you cannot and will not love another, and that you will need no one or anything else because this one person will fulfill you in all ways. You will also find no other people physically, sexually, intellectually, or emotionally attractive or desireable. This is one of the most destructive romantic myths in Western culture by putting the responsibility for your happiness in someone else, and not yourself.
triad
an intimate committed relationship with three people
tribe
intimate network
pod
a set of words to describe the collection of poly and/or potentially non-poly people having relationships with poly people. Each word has its own set of connotations and nuances depending on the group.
trouple
A trouple is 3 people involved in a romantic relationship; whereas two people in a romantic relationship are referred to as a ‘couple’. a dyad that is dating a third would be referred to as a trouple.
v
a relationship form where there is a single person (at the V’s hinge) to which both other members are sexually intimate with and are not intimate with each other, which is a typical formation for a FMF or MFM triad

More Terms and Definitions

References and Resources

Articles (Individual)

Audio and Video

Books About Polyamory

Discussion Groups, Meetings, Mailing Lists

Many of the sites mentioned through out this article have forums as well. You will most likely want to search for a group that is local to you as well. Many major cities have poly lists, meetings, and support groups.

Sites, Organizations, and Professionals

Meeting Poly Partners or Social Networking

Fiction Books, Movies, Songs, etc That Include Polyamory

I cannot vouch for any of these. I am merely collecting what others have said. =) Heinlein seems to be the big-man on campus for books.

Polyamory Related Books @ Polychromatic

Poly in Non-Fiction, Fiction, Movies, Songs, Comics/Graphic Novels

Books
  • Diane Duane (more of a young adult book series)
    • The Door into Shadow
    • The Door into Fire
  • John Varley
    • Demon
    • Wizard
    • Gaia
    • The Ophuichi Hotline
    • Steel Beach
    • The Golden Globe
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Spell Sword/Forbidden Tower series
  • Robert Heinlein
    • Stranger in a Strange Land
    • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    • Time Enough for Love
      I Will Fear No Evil (Though the book kinda sucks)
    • The Number of the Beast
    • Friday
    • The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
    • To Sail Beyond the Sunset
  • Robert Rimmer
    • The Herrad Experiment ( it is a movie also?)
  • Spider Robinson
    • Callahan’s Lady
    • Lady Slings the Booze
  • Music
    • Abba, “Two For the Price of One”
    • Joan Armatrading, “The Weakness in Me”
    • Baba Yaga, “Monogamy Shpedogamy”
    • Joan Baez, “Little Darlin'”
    • Barenaked Ladies, “Alternative Girlfriend”
    • William Bell, “Trying to Love Two”
    • Belle and Sebastian, Seeing Other People”
    • Christopher Bingham, “Family”
    • Chris de Burgh, “More Than This”
    • Patsy Cline, “Triangle”
    • Leonard Cohen, “The Sisters of Mercy”
    • David Crosby, Jefferson Airplane, “Triad”
    • Devo, “Happy Guy”
    • Melissa Ethridge, “Unusual Kiss”
    • Gaia’s Consort, “Move to the Country”
    • P.J. Harvey, “Oh My Lover”
    • Veda Hille, “Three”
    • Jane’s Addiction, “Three Days”
    • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “The French Song”
    • Olivia Newton John, “Culture Shock”
    • Howard Jones, “No One is to Blame”
    • King Crimson, “Man With an Open Heart”
    • Lamyas, “Empires”
    • Christine Lavin, “Don’t Ever Call Your Sweetheart By His Name” ma
    • Lovin Spoonful, “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind”
    • Deidre McCalla, “Don’t Doubt It”
    • Mary MacGregor, “Torn Between Two Lovers”
    • Joni Mitchell, “Cactus Tree”
    • Joni Mitchell, “Coyote”
    • Mondo Vita, “Four Way Stop”
    • The Monks, “Love in Stereo”
    • Morrissey, “My Love Life”
    • The Muppets, “We Got Us”
    • Michael Nesmith, “Different Drum”
    • New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    • The Police, “Tea in the Sahara”
    • Prince, Cyndi Lauper, “When U Were Mine”
    • John Prine, “Let’s Invite Them Over”
    • Restless Heart, “Why Does It Have to Be”
    • The Roches, “You’re the Two”
    • Betsy Rose, “Room for You”
    • Bessie and Clara Smith, “My Man Blues”
    • Scarlett, “Independent Love Song”
    • Sisters of Mercy, “More”
    • Jill Sobule, “I Kissed a Girl”
    • Type-O-Negative, “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”
    • Roger Whittaker, “Isabel and Caroline”
    • Breaking Benjamin, “Polyamorous”
    • Dave Matthews Band “Say Goodbye”
    • Power Tool: “Two Heads Are Better Than One” (On the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure soundtrack.)
    • Crosby, Stills, and Nash “Love The One You’re With”
    • Must Be Tuesday – My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend Isn’t Me

    Here is a very interesting article in the New York Times article titled “Human Culture, check an Evolutionary Force“

    Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

    Here is a 5 page Psychology Today article titled Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature that follows very closely what I have read in the book about Evolutionary Psychology titled Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. Evolutionary Psychology is very interesting as always.

    New Examiner Article: “Science as a method of faith affirmation or spirituality.”

    I have just posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “Science as a method of faith affirmation or spirituality.

    Article

    Consider science as a method of pursuing spirituality or affirming your faith no matter what your path – Christian, read atheist, store or something else. I alluded to this idea in my previous article titled “Do we have options in the religion vs science debate?” by saying that:

    Scientists of all sorts have the job of trying to understand the very things that the hand of the creator has created – geologists, illness biologists, and psychologists to geneticists and quantum physicists. For some, their scientific study and exploration can be an awe inspiring and faith affirming exercise.

    Science and religion are both pursuing truth – science in the physical world and religion in the metaphysical world. What more glorious and spiritual a journey can there be than to explore and understand the mechanics behind the wide variety of our seemingly miraculous existence? In exploring and understanding how living creatures and matter work you can find an awe and reverence for all of existence due to the inherent complexity and the delicate balance that is required to make life  possible: atoms, molecules, elements, proteins, DNA, RNA, synapses, electrical impulses, muscles, and nerves, to temperature, gravity, atmosphere, crystal lattice structures, strong and weak nuclear forces, chemical reactions, inverse square law, quantum entanglement, fusion and fission, and and the list goes on an on.

    As science understands more and more about how everything works, it makes our existence even more implausible and so very small as the known universe gets larger and larger – in the billions of billions of universes and trillions of trillions of planets. New galaxies and cosmological discoveries are found each week as our technology allows us to peer farther and farther into deepest reaches of the cosmos putting the possibility that life existing on any single plant as being statistically improbable due to inappropriate conditions to support life as we know it. Perhaps all of this is helpful in reaffirming the belief in humanity’s favor with the creator, or perhaps reaffirming the glory of evolutionary happenstance and serendipity as the conditions happen to be just right for life as we know it to form on this insignificant little planet called Earth.

    A very knowledgeable man, Dr. Hugh Ross, talks in a Youtube video series about Creation as a Science. I do not happen to agree with almost  everything he says (at least within the first 3 parts), but the evidence that he points out is exactly what I am talking about – how our knowledge of science and our existence is such an seemingly miraculous thing that it can be affirming of our faith. Many of these numerous reasons are pointed out in the his videos and on their his organization’s website: Reasons.org – a trinitarian faith-science organization.

    Andrew Kerr, a speaker at my church, takes a more philosophical approach in two of his speeches to my congregation in 2007: Atheism as a Religious Affirmation and Cosmos: Suggestions for an Atheistic Religion. I have found his words an inspirational and thought provoking approach to possibility of spiritual atheism through science and the physical world.

    Both point to, albeit from widely different angles, a similar idea – that the reverence brought on by the wonder and understanding of our what things all had to fall into place to make humanity’s existence possible can be a faith affirming or spiritual experience no matter what you spiritual or a-spiritual beliefs are.

    I have published my first article for the Milwaukee Examiner: ‘Do we have options in the science vs religion debate?’

    I have published my first article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “Do we have options in the religion verses science debate?“.

    Article

    If a single entity created the stars, thumb planets, neurosurgeon time, melanoma space, and life itself then science is the very study of that wonderful and potentially divine creation. Scientists of all sorts have the job of trying to understand the very things that the hand of the creator has created – from geologists, biologists, and psychologists to geneticists and quantum physicists. For some their scientific study and exploration can be an awe inspiring and faith affirming exercise. For others it can be a source and angst and internal conflict.

    If science is the study of all that has been divinely created then why is it all too often at odds with religion? Throughout history scientists and visionaries such a s Copernicus and Galileo were afraid to speak their ‘heretical’ idea of (heliocentrism vs the predominant and church accepted geocentrism) or were even demanded to recant their views under threat of being burned at the stake. Even today’s modern evolutionary and geological scientist are under a similar, though less harmful, assault by a religious front.

    Take evolution vs creation as a specific example of a modern science vs religion battleground. Evolutionary sciences has modern humanity (homo sapiens) as being approximately 40 thousand years old and the earth at several billion years old, while the counter religious movements have both at less than 10 thousand years. This is quite the significant disparity in age between the two views, and, in this enlightened age there is still much bitterness and vehemence in arguments against each other.

    I wonder why this has to be. Why are some religions so afraid of scientific advancement and the furthering our understanding of this wonderful and potentially divine creation that has given us the miracle of life and free will?

    For me, such bridge theories such as evolutionary creationism and biblical to geological correlations via Day-Age Creationism help to make sense of things and to bring science and religion together in a non-aggressive and logical manner.

    Why could not the creator have created all of life with evolution as its impetus for change and existence? What exactly is a biblical day to a potentially omniscient and omnipotent creator who created time and matter itself? Does the creator live by our Earth centric view of time at 24 hours per day, which may be horribly arrogant of and presumptuous of us, or does this entity who created time itself have a more fluid day in the billions or hundreds of millions of years as geological evidence would have us believe? This is for you to decide with evolutionary creationism and Age-Day Creationism as a good middle ground.

    Understanding and Managing Jealousy

    Note: This article is nowhere near comprehensive. I am not a licensed psychologist or a therepist, check and this writing comes from what reading I have done on this topic and my own experience, viagra sale so take this for what you will. If you have references or other things that may increase the usefulness or accuracy of my writing then feel free to post me about it. I am more than happy to adjust my writing to reflect a new understanding on this topic or to make this page much more useful.

    This article assumes, for simplicity, a heterosexual monogamous romantic relationship that is having bad jealousy issues, but could be equally applied with adjustment towards homosexual/poly relationships when viewed through those glasses. Close friends not getting enough time or other less serious situations are not the focus of this writing, but may be just a applicable within that context.

    Jealousy is something that we have to deal with, and is something that we are taught is OK. In many forms our culture, unfortunately, supports and perpetuates its existence through books, movies, music, laws, and societal expectations of relationship possessiveness and territoriality. How are we to manage or understand this “green-eyed monster” that can destroy relationships and our happiness, so that it is not allowed to do so, even when cultural support for it is so prevalent?

    Understanding exactly what jealousy is, and how and why it affects us can help us to not only tame it, but to advance and evolve our sense of self and increase intimacy in our relationships. I am going to cover a bit here today about jealousy so that we can start the journey to defeat the “green-eyed monster” together and to evolve our happiness and security to the next level.

    All of what I am about to write is predicated on there not being a definitive reason for the jealousy such as a history of infidelity or lying and so on. That is a totally difference scenario which I will not cover here, but, in that case, you will most definitely want to seek a qualified therapist. There are also many more links at the bottom of this page that will cover jealousy in much more detail and in a much more educated and qualified manner than I ever could. This page might be consider more of a primer on dealing with jealousy.

    Understanding Jealousy

    What is Jealousy?

    Jealousy is not an emotion in-and-of-itself. It is a cacophonous and yet subtle amalgamation of baser negative emotions such as insecurity, low self esteem, subconscious or repressed pains, and fear of loss, abandonment, or inadequacy that surfaces and affects us in ways that we may not fully understand or be able to describe when it happens. We just know that we feel bad or that it hurts when something triggers it, and we may get angry and frustrated because we do not, or find it very difficult to try to, understand it.

    Jealousy is also rooted in the starvation economy (starvation model) of love, which essentially means that if my partner cares for someone else then they will care less for me, which greatly increases the level of fear, anxiety, and possessiveness. We love our parents, our children, close friends, and other extended family, so you do not necessarily need to be afraid that they are going to love someone else and not you. Your partner has room for you in addition to their close friends and family. Humans just keep on loving. It is said that fear is the opposite of love; and by letting go of fear (jealousy) you will foster love in your life.

    These self-doubts, insecurities, and fears can lead us to question and pressure our partners in an aggressive and untrusting manner which can damage the relationship, or push them away. Gaining an understanding and control of jealousy will be important to the happiness and harmony of all your current and future relationships, especially the most important and intimate ones.

    This frustration and difficulty of understanding these emotions perpetuates and hinders exploration and comprehension of what exactly is happening. Cutting our way through the pain and confusion is what will be important to defeat the ‘green-eyed monster’ and the havoc it wreaks upon our lives and relationships. Ultimately, bouts of jealousy indicate that there is some unresolved issue with yourself or with your relationship, but it also could point to an unmet need within you or your relationship. It signals a moment to learn about ones self and your relationship, which, of course, can be a mixed blessing.

    Your Triggers

    Jealousy triggers typically involve ‘someone’ of the opposite sex of your partner. Your partner does something and you feel jealous and hurt, and you may or may not understand why. The action that started this process is the trigger. Examples of common triggers are: someone calling your partner or oogling at them, your partner staying our late, or wanting to spend time with friends, spending time with people in a very social setting where there are many individuals of the same gender that your partner could be attracted to.

    You will need to pay special attention to your triggers. The triggers themselves may be revealing as to the underlying issue you may be having, especially if one trigger is fairly consistent and others are either non-existent or limited in their prevalence. This may help point to the underlying emotion that is causing jealousy to surface.

    Your Emotional Response

    Your emotional response to a jealousy trigger is going to be very important to monitor and understand. Try to search your emotion and figure out exactly what you are feeling. This is perhaps the most difficult part. You will need to try to distinguish between individual fears and insecurities, and potentially trust issues. Take the time to think about you feelings to try to refine what exactly is going on. The more you can know about this the easier it will be to understand what your underlying issue maybe and how to deal with it. For this process you need to remove jealousy as a potential word for your emotion, since it is not an emotion in-and-of-itself. It is a crutch word that prevents your from searching for the real emotion that is bubbling forth.

    Your Reasons

    If you are able to know you triggers and the emotional response to that trigger, then the next step is the take that information and try to find out why that trigger elicits that emotional response. Is it projected unresolved issues from the past, or perhaps you need more reassurance from your partner, or there may be any of a plethora of other things that may cause a specific type of trigger to generate a specific emotional response. Try to think about the relationship between the trigger and your emotional response, your past experiences and your relationship needs and desires.

    Again this may be something that you will want a qualified therapist to work through. These are very complicated and potentially deep seated issues that some simple self exploration and talking may not deal with. Plus we are working against some very strong cultural and evolutionary programming.

    Managing Jealousy

    Responsibility For Our Emotions

    Something that is very key to understanding and dealing with this issue is that no one can make you feel any emotion. You are an individual and you have a choice as to how you feel and react to situations. This is not what we are typically taught, but it is one of the most valuable things you can realize for yourself and you life. You have a choice to determine your reaction to a situation, albeit, until your realize this you may find yourself a helpless slave to your emotional whims. People typically go through their lives allowing their initial emotional response to bubble forth and then they go with it because that is all they know, but in the case of jealousy, or even any other negative emotion, it is not such a good idea to do so.

    If you work at it you can separate the ‘action that triggers an emotional response’, the ’emotional response itself’, and the ‘underlying reasons for the emotional response’. Keep in mind ‘underlying reasons’ does not mean triggers themselves. The trigger, emotional response, and the reason are all separate and need to be inspected that way otherwise you may start mixing them up and call the trigger the reason, when it is not.

    No one can make you feel a specific emotion. We are, in many ways, programmed via Evolution and Culture to respond a certain way to certain situations, but this is something that we can, with effort and desire, to control and modify it. This process can be a very painful, since it will require introspection, self-evaluation, a radical honesty with one’s self and their partner, trust, and vulnerability. All of which can be scary and difficult in-and-of-themselves, but to combine them into one process makes this not for the weak of heart. In the end, it can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. If you are not keen on going-it-alone with you partner in dealing with jealousy, then there are many qualified therapists that would be happy to assist you in this endeavor.

    It is important to say to yourself  that ‘I will not allow my emotions to control or effect my life in a negative way and I will decisively choose to address them when they come up.’ Your emotions are your responsibility and you need to evaluate how they affect your life and address them appropriately. I will cover some communication techniques later on that will address taking responsibility for you emotions.

    Dealing with Jealousy Through Writing

    Writing can be a very therapeutic and revealing method to help you deal with jealousy and other issues too. Writing a journal will help you to keep track of and get out those negative feelings. In these days you could also record them via a small recording device if that serves you better. In either case, you will want to keep your recording medium safe from others because rarely is such a painful and deep-seated emotion pretty. Things may be written or said that can be quite personal and painful not only for you, but to those involved. If you are pursuing this process with your partner you may want to inform them that you are doing this and for them to respect your privacy if you wish it.

    When you do feel a bout of jealousy starting you may want to take some time to write down the specifics of the situation that is triggering the jealousy. Keeping track of what situations or actions that triggered you to feel jealous can help you greatly in your pursuit to banish jealousy from your relationship.

    As you are keeping track of your triggers, you will also want to also to write down your emotional response to that trigger. Write as much as you can and just let the thoughts and emotions flow so you can thoroughly explore and open them. Explore this state of mind and write down what you are feeling.

    Once you have that recorded you can revisit it and explore your triggers and feelings and then you might be able to find a trend in your triggers or what it is that you are feeling. Perhaps you will find a reoccurring theme in your feelings and writings that may point to the underlying reason for your jealousy.

    Dealing with Jealousy Through Talking

    When talking to you partner form your thoughts along these lines: “I feel ‘this’ when ‘that’ happens” because ‘of this’.; and NOT “You make feel this way when you do this, because you ‘reason’.” since that wording puts the responsibility for your emotions on the other person and assumes that you know the other persons thoughts and intentions.

    You have the right to feel how you feel, and the first wording reinforces you are taking responsibility for your emotions, which seems to be an affront to the common thinking of our emotional states, especially when it comes to jealousy and possessiveness with our partners. Jealousy seems to be treated like a crime that is inflicted upon us, when it is really something that we allow to fester within us due to a lack of open and honest communication and taking responsibility for our emotions. We, in our emotional ignorance, unknowingly inflict it upon ourselves and our relationships.

    With sentences such as  “You make feel this way when you do this.” you are creating an antagonistic environment, putting responsibility for your emotional state to your partner, even though your emotions are yours and your partner may not have really done anything wrong. Doing so may put your partner on the defensive and may greatly inhibit communication and your progress towards resolution and understanding what you are experiencing.

    Enabling Jealous Actions

    This is more for the jealous person’s partner than for the jealous person. If you both know that you have jealousy issues then by not talking about it or confronting them, albeit calmly, coolly, and with compassion, you are enabling and reinforcing this behavior and allowing it to continue. Once you start to do that you are reinforcing for them that this behavior is acceptable and that you will just deal with it, which leads to not only a break down in communication, but also in bad feelings for both of you, and potentially a significant amount of resentment.

    Take the time to care enough to talk about and address jealousy in your relationship. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away, and is only going to allow it to fester and grow stronger potentially creating a chasm between both of you with a lot of pain.

    Pain and chasms – bad. Calm and honest communication – good. Realize that it is going to take two of you to address jealousy, so help to be apart of the solution, by not enabling this behavior. Perhaps you can be the one to suggest counseling if your partner is reluctant to.

    References and More Info

    What I have written is a pretty good start to this topic, but please do peruse these references for more information. If these do not suffice, please seek a qualified professional to assist you. I also will appreciate recommendations for any other pertinent and useful resources that you may find or know of. I did not include articles on therapy through writing. If you are interested google has plenty, of a therapist can help you with that as well. =)

    Articles

    Books

    Videos

    Life Update (June 22, 2009)

    Pregnancy

    So, breast here we are about a week or so before Tanya’s due date. She is so ready for this pregnancy to be over with. Her feet are in pain from carrying so much extra weight. Some good things about it is that during this pregnancy her body tempurature has been warmer than normal, which puts her at being comfortable most of the time. Normally she is always chilly or cold, but not now, so that has been a nice change for her.

    We are getting the emergency pregnancy bag together are making sure we have everything we need to get this scary and throroughly exciting new era of our lives started. We have most everything we need from a crib, bassinet, diaper genie and a whole host of other things mostly donated or given as gifts by the wonderful people in our lives. =)

    My mother is excited beyond all belief, especially after fearing that I may never have children since I have waited so long. I am currently 35 =O and not getting any younger. =)

    Hopefully, in the next week we will be able to post that our new daughter has been born.

    Immigrating Family

    Tanya’s brother and his wife have one a Green Card through the US’ Green Card Lottery and have been here for a few weeks. We have been able to get a lot done. We have their Social Security CardsNumbers and Green Cards, as well as having a job for her and a car for them, plus back accounts and debit cards setup. We have some thoughts on work for him. He is a mechanic and are working towards those jobs. We are currently working towards getting their divers licenses and finding and getting them an apartment.

    The primary issue we have is their English knowledge. Neither learned a lot of English in school back in Belarus. They are now really  just starting to learn English so that is going to slow their progress down. They are learning it each day. They have MP3 based lessons as well as books that they are working with so things are progressing. Yea!

    Father’s Day

    Fathers day was a combo of 2 days. My father wanted to have a cook-out and fire so we arranged to have a cook-out at our house on Saturday. My parents brought over most of the food and stuff so Tanya would not have to worry about things so much. I had to work at First Weber in the morning until about 14:30 (2:30pm) or so. After that we prepared things for them to come over.

    I have 3 used grills and will be looking forward to buying a new grill some day. My wife prefer’s the flavor of food cook over fire instead of gas or charcoal, so after talking with my Dad and Tanya we started the grill with charcoal and then added some wood on top of it. Now, of course the wood would put the flame right at the grills surface and cook/burn things too quickly and make it really hard to control, so I brought out the metal cooking griddle that I bought for camping and placed that comfortably over the grill. It fit right on the edge allowing the heat from the flame to more evenly heat the griddle to cook. That seemed to work really well. The only issues with it were that the mesquite chips we used were not effective in imparting their flavor and the griddle was too small to cook a lot quickly, other than that, it seemed to work really well.

    We ate and drank and enjoyed ourselves. It was a good time.

    Sunday, was more my day. We went to church at the Free Congregation where we discussed Evolutionary Creationism which is a pet topic of mine, so I found it really enlightening and enjoyable. Our speaker, Andrew Kerr is always a delight to listen to. He is quite intellectual and challenging.

    New friends

    After that we stopped by a couple that contacted us, since Tanya was Russian and so was the wife. We made plans to meet for the first time and it was a pleasure, especially for me. The husband was an American who was a geek as well as a former US Navy nuke, so we had a lot in common there. The wife was Russian, and was an English as a Second Language teacher and has a degree in Linguistics which I found interesting since I am reading a little bit about it due to my interest in Esperanto.

    Dugeons and Dragons

    D&D Sunday was great, We got together with the group and killed a few things but spent most of our time in an puzzle/trap room and a Skill Challenge with a long dead adventuring party. A good time. =)

    All-in-all a good Fathers Day weekend.

    Prostitution Should Be Legalized….

    I have written a huge page in support of the the Legalization of Prostitution and I thought would announce it to everyone so that they may rant or rave about it.

    Gene Therapies Or Genetic Filtering Of Our Reproductive Cells Is Going To Be Necessary

    This post ends up being a kind of a follow up to ‘Monogamy and Medical Sciences Bypassing Advantages of Natural Selection‘.

    First let me define Genetic Therapies and Genetic Filtering in the way that I will be using it in this post:

    Genetic Therapies
    I am referring to a branch of medicine in which we will be able to administer to people, capsule post birth, to genetically filter out/remove mutations, diseases, and other undesirable traits.
    Genetic Filtering
    Genetic filtering or screening of embryos or other reproductive cells to remove mutations, diseases, and other undesirable traits.

    We have our medical sciences  extending our lives and allowing undesirable and genetically transferable diseases, mutations, and traits to continue on in our genetic pool that would normally, without the interference of technology, have been weeded out through natural selection. Because of this fact, I believe that gene therapies or  genetic filtering of our reproductive cells  is going to be necessary to strengthen and to ensure the survival of our species,  since evolution is going to be denied its ability to do its job well. We will, in some ways, have to act as evolution’s assistant since our medical sciences is running interference and allows traits that would normally die out to perpetuate.  

    Another really important advantage of using either gene therapies or genetic filtering is decreased health care costs, and an increase in the quality of life and our productive years.  Perhaps these are going to be the most important health care advances, because they are totally preventative based medicine and not response based medicine.