March 29, 2015

100 Words -- Memories Are Made of This

All things living have memories. All brain cells reach out to embrace each other ... some dancing to remember, others to forget. Scientists struggle to understand the tangled web of neurons we weave into the sightlines to our past. Some think memories are stored in these connections between the cells. New evidence suggests that alterations in the brain cell’s chemistry or DNA may yield a more persistent reservoir of memories. A million years from now when beasts unimaginable roam the earth and we are ghosts in their machinery, what memories of us will rise from the depths to haunt or inspire?

March 28, 2015

100 Words -- Public Morality

An Arizona state senator thinks that a law mandating weekly church attendance would spur a much needed “moral rebirth.” Her remark reflects a conviction shared by many politicians that religion is essential to personal and public morality. Does that mean that only people who go to church can be moral? (Guess that leaves me out.) Is public policy not founded on religious principles inherently immoral? (Guess that leaves the Framers out.) When challenged, they’ll say that’s not what they mean, but I don’t think they are being entirely honest with us or themselves. In their hearts, they know they’re right.

March 27, 2015

100 Words -- Flight Risk

Flying has always been an act of faith. You’re at 30,000 feet in turbulent air or landing or taking off in bad weather … sure, you get a little nervous but you take comfort in believing that the pilots are as eager to land safely as you are. I still believe that’s true. But I’d be lying if I said my faith hasn’t been shaken just a bit. The next time I board a flight and walk past the pilots going through their pre-flight routine, I’ll be wondering what kind of a life they’ve been having. That’s a sorrowful thing.

100 Words -- Cruzing for a Bruising

Ted Cruz for President! Be still my heart. I can see Lewis Black now, index fingers twitching, all bug-eyed and yelling “Son of a bitch! Two hundred and twenty-five years of democracy and THIS is what we get?” Cruz is matched only by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his willingness to talk out of both sides of his mouth. When he spoke at Liberty University on March 23, Cruz asked us to “imagine … a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.” One day later, Candidate Cruz admitted he was signing up for Obamacare. Gee, imagine that.

March 23, 2015

100 Words -- Growing Old

You wake up one day and know that you’ve gotten old. It’s a feeling from deep in the bones, the certainty that the years have taken their toll, that you can’t outrun Father Time. The face in the mirror is now explored in minute detail each morning as you search the corpus not quite delecti for clues. Some would have us rage against the dying of the light. For me, it’s a relief to accept the verdict of time. I am free to be who I am, not who I think I used to be. Everything old is new again.

March 21, 2015

100 Words -- The March of Madness

Looking around, you have to wonder if mankind isn’t heading towards a very bad place. Try and name a problem that is getting better. Now think about the things that are getting worse. Yeah … thought so. This being the season for March Madness, it got me to thinking what would happen if all the living things on the planet were assigned brackets and we started an elimination tournament to see which would survive. Some say it’s already happening … the Sixth Extinction. You have to wonder, will mankind make the Final Four? Maybe, but my money’s on the ants.

March 18, 2015

100 Words -- Game Plan

So you’re bored. Maybe a new video game would be nice. Being a bit of a designer yourself, you think hey, I could do this. You’re lazy, so you use a program that builds itself from a few basic code blocks. You’ve seen and done it all, so you build into the design the ability to randomly create new characters and situations to keep it interesting. Finally, you want a program that can handle change without crashing. Once it starts running, you can sit back and watch forever. The best part is you won’t know how it ends. Simply divine!