THIS JUST IN: GW: Canuck theocons to derail Bali?

Pluto and other anomalies

I’m as big a fan as the Hubble Space Telescope has, but what I don’t get is, if the Hubble can see a galaxy 13.7 billion light-years away, why can’t it read a fricken license plate on Pluto, nevermind these washed-out images?!!!

And Pluto’s satellite – Can something that isn’t a planet have a “moon”?? – Nix, in keeping with astronomical tradition, is of course named after the ancient deity Nixon!!!

Here’s a question: They say we can’t see the core of our galaxy, at the end of the Milky Way star formation, because of space dust.  Does that mean that if it weren’t for space dust, considering that there are “billions and billions” of stars and galaxies in every direction, night would be nearly as bright as day, only a different, softer color, and without shadows???  So arguably, universal space dust has played a key role in the development of life on Earth with its day/night cycles (for most of us… present company excluded!!) (in the Will of God of course)!

“Dark spots on Mars”???  If they’re not optical illusions, they’re too perfect for nature, I think.  Paging Richard C. Hoagland!

An Indigenous way to look at a Global Warming and Peak Oil future

Holiday Blues = Low Testosterone?

This AOL article claims human (male – with sperm counts – but also I presume female, as she points out) testosterone, linked to sexual desire, peaks in November and early December, suggesting Fall is our traditional mating season, if Homo sapiens sapiens ever had one.*

But I have to wonder also if Holiday Blues then, or post-Holiday Blues, aren’t related to a decrease in T, and not just to Christmas/ Hanukkah/ solstice-related disappointments, shorter days (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), bad diets, etc.  Even “Seasonal” Affective Disorder!

For that matter, do people in the Southern Hemisphere even get this?  Yes, they say they get S.A.D., but in June-July.  So we Northerners get it on top of the Holidays, mate!  But do they get the lowered T then too?

(*–Certainly a number of old calendars started in Fall – Celtic Samhain, Jewish Rosh haShanah, Orthodox Ecclesiastical New Year.  Some Orthodox Christians say Creation was created in September; as some Russians say, apples ripen then – as in the Garden of Eden’s traditional forbidden fruit!! – at least in the Northern Hemisphere.  [Actually, the Scriptures don’t say “apple,” just “fruit”!])

Commandments to humanity at Creation?

In the Book of Genesis, God tells humanity to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.”  Some “Christians” use this as religious cover to dismiss concern about the apparent ability of the planet to sustain many more human beings [or at least, many more First-World human beings!!!], and to destroy the environment.  But it occurs to me that these commands were given before the Fall.  After the Fall, humanity’s chief concern is different: to reunite with God in His Uncreated Energies/Activities.

Traditionally more than a few Orthodox have tried to collaborate with God through monasticism, ie, a lifestyle of NOT multiplying, and of using as little of the earth as possible.  Even practicing Orthodox laity try to include some of this asceticism in their lives, including abstaining from marital relations most Wednesdays and Fridays, during the four Fasting Periods (“lents”) of the year, several other prescribed days each year, any nights before and after receiving Communion… as well as the fast-related dietary self-restrictions during these periods, and in the weeks leading up to the Great Fast (ie, Great Lent, or just Lent, the pre-Pascha/Easter fast).  I believe many of these practices persist among Eastern Catholics, and some of them persisted among Latins (Catholics of Western Rite) before the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and among many older Latins even afterward – though since the ’60s they have all retained the practices of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, and some bishops seem to want to bring back the year-round “fish on Fridays” practice.

Furthermore, a number of Protestant groups embrace what might be called a certain neo-asceticism, such as Amish, Mennonites, some Quakers, some individual liberal mainstream Protestants, and even some “conservative” Protestants, under the rubric of “How ought a Christian to live?”  Some pacifists extend their ethic to “simple living,” or at least advocating it, in the spirit of 1700s New Jersey Quaker John Woolman, who sought to remove from his life anything containing “the seeds of war,” including profiting from slave labor and foreign trade in unnecessary clothing accessories.  (In fact, he predicted the U.S. Civil War.)

As I have reflected previously, greater asceticism may be the lifestyle of the next two thousand years, as we face Global Warming, Peak Oil, and the other coming difficulties – lest we destroy ourselves even before the Lord returns in Glory!  Though as He said, ‘Don’t go around moping, unwashed, in ratty clothes, but smile, clean up, dress adequately’ (more or less!).  For Orthodox, asceticism is the privilege of collaborating with God in this world, and becoming more God-like (NOT “god-like”)!

Unanswered Prayers???—In my extensive research o…

Unanswered Prayers???—In my extensive research only Orthodox Christianity knows what’s up with “unanswered prayers.” Orthodox petitions to God in their fullest and best form say things like “grant their saving petitions” (for other people) or “which conduce to salvation” or “worldly and spiritual goods” and so forth.

The first concern of Orthodox Christianity is “the salvation of our souls and bodies.” That is, that God the Trinity–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–may “have mercy on us and save us,” restore us to harmony with Him, to God-like-ness, to the way He made us originally (Adam and Eve) and still intends for us–soul and body–here and now or at least in the hereafter. So this is kept in mind whenever Orthodox use the above petition-formulae. It’s not just gimme, gimme, gimme; it’s, “I’d like this perceived good, Lord, but most of all, Thy salvation, so Thou callest the shots!”

Another point is placing the expressed concern of the petition under God’s care and administration, as our entire life should be, versus being a control-freak: “Got this problem, Lord, take care of it, OK? It’s under Your protection anyway, and You know best.” Like the old Quaker once said, “I’m not always of my own opinion!”

Finally, the “answer” may be in a form you’re not looking for, or it may become clearer years later. As St. Paul said, “Consider that God’s patience is directed toward your salvation.”

Any of these points can be expressed in a repressive way. My experience of Orthodoxy is different from that, because it’s so different from and alien to Western Christianity, and so much better, if you give it a chance. “Come and see!”