A string of unconnected thoughts

  • If we believe in natural selection, Giant Panda Bears should have been extinct decades ago. I'm sorry, but dude, their mating habits both in and out of captivity are ridiculously and unnecessarily complicated. I'm pretty sure if they didn't look like this:
And instead looked like this:
We would have let Mother Nature do her work a long time ago.
  • Last night a woman was arrested for drunken disorderliness on our front lawn, in full view of our living room window. It scared my kids. The flashing police cars, the handcuffs, and the woman was violent and cacophonous. I made a call into the Police Department today just to assure my girls (Amelia especially) that she wouldn't ever be back in our yard. All the same, we had to make a new rule around these parts: No playing in the front yard after dark. Its sad, really.
  • In 1988 there was a catastrophic earthquake in Armenia. Around 50,000 people were killed, and 130,000 were injured. So many children were left orphaned, and were sent to live mostly in the Soviet Union. A charitable group in Armenia worked with these orphans, and with children so young who can't adequately express their emotions verbally, art therapy worked well. There was a pattern with all the children in their drawings - they only used black colors on white paper, and persistently the sun was always colored black. There were some splashes of color, like red. But across the board, it was black on white paper with a black sun. When the adults experimented with giving the children colorful paper and no black pencils, they simply refused to draw at all. Over time, as the horrific event grew more distant in their memories and some healing could take place, colors returned to their drawings. What's completely fascinating is that they returned in the same order that the colors gained nomenclature in all the root languages - black, white, red, yellow, blue, then green. After more research was completed, it turns out that severely depressed people actually perceive the world less vibrantly, they see colors less. Eventually the sun turned yellow in the children's drawings. Learning this gave me an entirely new perspective on Picasso's Guernica
    Its always been a painful and disturbing painting for me, but now I don't think I'll ever look at it without watery eyes.


  1. I love this, and I'm going to link to it tomorrow. For a final unconnected thought, I came across this tonight, and the way it linked your discipline and my current study was kind of cool: http://www.academia.edu/3257794/Speaking_Volumes_about_Auto_biography_Studies_in_Canada

  2. That is really interesting about returning to colors in the same order as the nomenclature for root languages. And also how severely depressed people perceive the world in less color. That being said, it makes me wonder if Van Gogh was severely depressed when he was located in an insane asylum. (We know he was depressed, but perhaps not depressed enough to abandon the yellow in his paintings like "Starry Night"? Or perhaps depression didn't affect him in this way?).