23 November 2008

David is... at Body Worlds III in SLC!

Body Worlds- an interesting title for a science exhibit. It's not that descriptive, and I think I could have done better. My ideas include, "Human Slices: Why Not to Escape a Prison with Laser Bars," "Innards on the Outside," "What Your Body Looks Like on Plastination," or "Creative Cadavers." Despite the awkwardness of the production, there were a great many things to be learned. Spiritually, consider this- "The human heart is the organ that is formed first and stops last." Educationally, consider this- "The heart pumps roughly 1,800 gallons of blood through your body each day." Indulge yourself on this- "To get enough oxygen to all of the body's organs, all of our blood must pass through the lungs and around the body at least once a minute." To all you smokers, remember that if you stop smoking...
  • You will have greater stamina
  • Your taste buds and olfactory senses will increase (if you are wondering what your old factory is, it's not an industrialized mill, it's your sense of smell)
  • You will have prolonged life
  • My favorite, you will look and smell better

I gained a much greater cognizance for the human body at the exhibit. The bodies are put into strange positions (supposedly, while the person is alive, the donor gets to choose in what way their body will be plastinated, which really makes me glad I didn't know these people whilst they were still breathing). The most unique, certainly, was the man who was doing a split with his feet balancing on two bowling balls, as only a corpse or Paul Hamm can do, with his chest wide open and empty. His one hand was down, and the other one was reaching up to the sky, holding his entire thorax up like a medal. I mean seriously, that had to hurt! To sum up the experience, I enjoyed my time learning about gymnastics, er, rather human anatomy, in an unconventional manner.

16 November 2008

Grateful for America

<----(Aren't you grateful these Insurgents aren't walking down your street?) When I envisioned my blog last Spring, I didn't really know what would become of it. Now, on my 41st entry, I realize that there is a lot of American pride enshrouding many entries. This week, my American feelings have been steered toward gratitude for a mostly peaceful country with a well established democracy. My favorite lunchtime activity during the school year is to go pick up The New York Times and read it while munching on my highly predictable and tasty lunch. This week I have been acutely affected by the fighting going on in Congo and Somalia. Both of those African nations are without a respectable government currently, and both are being subjugated by rebel leaders. In Congo, it's the Tutsi rebels led by Laurent Nkunda who are leading an uncontested march through the country. The Congolese army is virtually helpless, and hundreds of thousands of these poor African people are forced to leave their already dilapadated homes and travel to shabby shacks set up by the U.N.- hungry, cold, and wet. Along with the fighting comes rape and pillage. It is just so terrible. Fortunatley, Nkunda agreed to a cease-fire this week with the Congolese governemnt. In Somalia, it's Islamist Insurgents that are taking advantage of the anarchy so prevalent in the coastal country. This last week the insurgents took over Merka, Somalia, without even firing a shot because the national army had fled the night before. This particular group has been dubbed terrorists by the Bush Administration who helped knock them out of power in 2006. But they are back at it, stronger than before. However, there is a twist to the story. According to some Somalians, the Islamic rule administered by these insurgents is significantly better than having virtually no government at all. At least with a rebel government there is order, unity, and greater peace than when competing groups are fighting for power. Again, there is constant warfare among our African brothers and it just tears me apart. I am grateful beyond comprehension to have been born in America with a democratic government and safety. I have food, shelter, clothing and fuel, which is four more things than those poor Africans have. Please, never forget how lucky we are to live in America. If you are interested in the problems going on in Africa, here are two well written and informative articles on Congo and Somalia.

07 November 2008

Allow Me to Introduce to You the Next President of the United States of America: Mr. Barack Obama!

My fellow Americans, this has been a regal week in the great United States of America! We have celebrated our freedom to vote with record turnouts at the polls and we have elected the first ever African-American to run the most powerful country in the world. Those two things are significant beyond belief and I feel it absolutely necessary to express my jubilation and optimism for the future. Voting is at the heart of democracy, and the record number of voters this year proved that we still care what goes on in this country. We have a say in how this country is run and dangit we spoke! I am atingled for Obama to be president of the country I love. He is what this world needs right now. Earth is becoming increasingly more homogenous as a community, and it is no longer enough for the United States to only focus on herself. America needs a solid, global, righteous, inspired and persuasive leader at the helm, and Obama is just that. He is regarded highly in nations dotting the globe (including the Gaza strip and Iran, where diplomatic relations with the US have not been exactly exemplary over the past thiry years). I believe firmly that world leaders will hearken to his counsel and leadership and improve their own nations as a result. Obama is an incredible orator, cheerfully charasmatic, and shockingly likable. He has what it takes to unite this diverse nation and be a leader we can all relate with and look up to. But let us not forget who got him there. We as a people quelled hundreds of years of racism by electing an African-American to lead us. That inspires hope. In Barack's own words,

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."

I agree with him and I am extremely hopeful for the future. This, my friends, is a fantastic time to be an American. Please throw your full support behind our new President and join with him in uniting these states of America.