Tuesday, February 2, 2010

There's a Great Blue Heron wandering around

He glided in and landed down by the bridge and he's now patiently stalking along the creek. I can't imagine what he expects to catch in this cold.

But I didn't sign in to comment on the Great Blue Heron. I signed in to comment on the damn Canadian politician who's planning to swoop down here into the U.S. to have a heart operation.

We keep getting told and told and told that Canada has such a great health care system. If that's the case why is a damned Canadian politician coming down here for his operation? Perhaps all the good Canadian doctors have moved to the U.S.


In related news Sam and Deb, along with Dolores and Don, came to dinner on Sunday. So we were able to see the stitches in Sam's finger. It turns out they didn't go to the hospital emergency room but rather to the Premier Urgent Care center in Oaks. They got good efficient service there. Sam said the doctor got to him within fifteen minutes of their arrival. This urgent care concept seems to make sense. The hospitals charge far too much for most emergency room care because of the way hospital accounting works. And the waiting times in hospital emergency rooms can be long.

Sam's main concern is that the stitches should be out by the time it's warm enough for golf.

One of the red headed woodpeckers is down there on the sugar maple tree, so I have to go now.

But first I should mention that I've been listening to Charles Darwin's book The Voyage of the Beagle while driving over the past couple of weeks. A very interesting book, although you do have to be patient when he runs on and on about some particular frog, or mouse, or geological formation that has interested him. What's most interesting is how humble Darwin is. He never asserts anything.

He's groping toward explanations for a whole host of natural phenomena besides evolution, including plate techtonics, ocean currents, vulcanism, mountain uplift, climate variation and change, extinction, etc.; but it's clear he doesn't make up his mind until the evidence is overwhelming. On the subject of evolution it's neat that at that at the point of his life when he wrote this book he was still somewhat of a believer in what was later called Lysenkoism, namely that acquired traits are geneticly passed down.

A very interesting book and a very interesting man, not at all like the forbidding bearded elder who's popular image comes down to us as a result of the fact that he ultimately got to the overarching theory of evolution.

On that subject Linda and I finally saw Ben Stein's movie Expelled a few weeks ago. The movie was contentious, and Stein skewered some of the too proud and exclusionary evolutionists; but it's hard for me not to think that Stein is more reasonable in the end than the evolution explains everything true believers.

The book The Voyage of the Beagle is worth reading, and the movie Expelled is worth seeing.

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