Archive for January, 2013

imagesThe title of this post when used in a sentence usually never accompanies something good. for example: “With his emotions running high, the commanding officer had his men charge the hill. They lost half their forces that day but still took the hill.” Emotions are powerful and often misunderstood. Emotions are generated in the limbic system of the brain and over 300,000 years of evolution mankind had still maintained this portion of the brain, however man kind has also developed the neopallium or rational brain. It is in the Neopallium that man can accomplish rational thought.

I was listening to a news story on the radio this morning and there were lobbyist meeting in Washington DC to lobby law makers to consider making stricter laws on society in concern with gun control. The news caster mentioned that the lobbyist scheduled the meeting and with emotions running high petitioned law makers to use the limbic part of the brain and enact these new laws.
Some lawmakers who have managed to suppress the limbic part of the brain and simply rely on the neopallium stand in staunch opposition and other men and lawmakers who seem to be using both the limbic and neopallium parts of their brain are offering a unique solution to the gun control issue.
What are the “two-part brain thinkers” offering? Liability insurance for gun owners…. I know it sounds strange and weird but upon further investigation this idea seems to have much merit. I am not sure where you are on the whole gun control debate. Myself, I am still undecided. My hope for me and you is that, in any decision or action you and I use all of our brains. The human brain is more sophisticated than the most powerful super computer, however based on what I see people do I am convinced that the human brain is one of the least used super computers in the world. We should change that



imagesThe dockets of most metropolitan courts always seem to be full of criminal and civil cases. It is these full dockets that the producers and actors for the judge shows scan and in turn use to solicit the plaintiffs and defendants. Imagine the phone call…. producer: “Hello Mr Corrigan I am a producer for Judge John have you seen the show”. Me:”Why yes I have seen the show.” Producer” “OK, that’s good to hear, would you like to be on the show? Before you answer allow me to explain. You have a civil case which has been on the docket for almost a year now the defendant is open for moving this case to mediation and if you agree to do the same. The show will fly you out to LA you will be on the show and a decision will finally be made.”
That conversation or some variation takes place time and time again. Rights are waved and people go to LA shame themselves and family and get paid.
I can’t help but wonder if we as a society embraced an open dialogue and respect for one another. Would the judge shows stay in business?
Idk I do know if the judge shows went out of business for lack of fodder I would not shed a tear.

imagesCAAOLSLKMy oldest son Kyle and I were going to pick his brother up from his mom’s house. We had stopped and looked at two local parking lots already and the third one was when I hit pay dirt. Kyle didn’t know but he was about to get behind the wheel of my Nissan Altima Standard transmission and get his first driving lesson. Kyle is 14 years old I think he may not be a gear head but he has an interest in cars like most 14-year-old boys is extensive.
I put the car in neutral pulled the parking brake. I looked over at Kyle let him know that he would get his temporary licence next year and that now as good a time as any to get in some practice. We traveled around the empty parking lot Saturday morning never getting out of second gear. I watched Kyle’s focus and confidence build as he learned to shift both up and down. We also went in reverse a little.
I did not learn to drive a standard shift transmission car until I was an adult and a neighbor sold me his families secondary car. I think it is important for a teenager to master this skill and easier than an adult.
Don’t be fooled driving a standard shift is a skill as is driving. Learning a skill and using this skill to do something like move you around the parking lot or bring you to school and a part-time job are more than just inane parts of life. Here in the United States these skills are like rites of passage and I think they empower individuals. There will be many more driving lessons for Kyle and his brothers and sisters. through these lessons I hope they learn independence and the pride and joy that comes with that.
I know deep for a Tuesday.

imagesSo yesterday the preacher used I john, again. For anyone not familiar with this book of the bible or the Christian religion, I john is a book of the bible, and the bible is the religious text for the Christian religion. The book of I John, is at its heart a book of ethics for the Christian religion. I John also outlines the reason for the ethics to be employed by one of the Christian faith.

The part of I John that the preacher honed in on yesterday was a part involving reciprocity. Reciprocity Reciprocity is a social construct which involves repaying a good deed with another good deed. The idea of reciprocity in a religions ethics is not exclusive to the christian religion. Basically ever major religion has some sort of rule, which makes it clear that mankind has to employ reciprocity. Most go a step further and demand what I like to call preemptive reciprocity, or as most others call it compassion.
There are some interesting abstracts that deal with the idea of reciprocity as a needed for species survival. That is, if reciprocity and compassion are not employed then the species cannot survive. Despite how much sense the concepts of reciprocity and compassion make, it can often be tempting to take the easy way out. Treat others without compassion and greedily take without giving back. It is important to remember that, when we take on this attitude of superiority and greed we are in a way, devolving.
Depending on whom you speak with, the human evolutionary process took about 200,000 years. When we act as our Homo habilis, ancestors and do not employ compassion or reciprocity, we are shrugging our shoulders at all that time and effort. We are also setting down precedents for our society to fall apart.
I know! I am laying it on pretty thick. But shouldn’t I? I mean shouldn’t reciprocity and compassion be personal?
I will end with a verse from the preachers text yesterday and my wish that everyone employ and experience both compassion and reciprocity this week.
I John 3:16(b.) “And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters”


And you are suprised?

Posted: January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

imagesCA5BRYNQSO I start reading through the news stories this morning and I notice that there are stories and rumors about a pop singer at the most recent presidential inauguration in the United States lip synching the national anthem. My first thoughts are slow news day, and second was why would anyone be surprised about something un authentic taking place in Washington D.C. United States of America?
Let me go over this real quickly. The public viewed an inauguration on Monday, in Washington D.C. The President was actually sworn in through a private inauguration ceremony on Sunday. So the performance they were witnessing was not the official inauguration, it was made up and un authentic and then I am not sure about other countries but in America the most unauthenic people make up the United States government. So to marvel at a performer doing something that is non legitimate in a city full of non legitimate people is sort of silly.
I really think that the whole pomp and circumstance of the government is silly and expense and un needed, but then I realized. People who attend ceremonies like the presidential inauguration more than likely feel that the president and other public officials are genuine and important so perhaps the singer lip syncing was one more thread unraveling the shroud that has been draped over their eyes, and that can cause some what of a stir. Like when a child learns the magicians are actually employing an illusion as opposed to some type of mystical power.
None the less whether her performance was as un authentic as the leaders performance she was singing for if it was the real mcoy she did well and kudos to her.


140px-Descartes-moncornetimagesCAE310B1So are you confused? I ask because I typed the title of this post and typing it, confused me. Let me see. A C T and G are letters and in this case they represent the Nucleic acid bases which make up DNA.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule encoding the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. I always picture DNA as a set of instructions for life, like a biological computer code. When we are born we have this code in our bodies stored in every cell and each line of code tells our body to do different things. Depending on how the bases in the acid have joined for the line that tells our eyes to have color we could be blue eyed or brown.
So that A C T and G are DNA bases and Shakespeare is of course the surname of William Shakespeare and he was the author of some of the greatest plays man has ever known.
As for you and me well you know who you are and I know who I am.
How are all these related? Ahh good question so glad you asked!
You are reading this story on some device connected to the internet. The internet is merely a world wide network of computers. The computers contain code much like DNA except in the case of the computer the code is a sequence of ones and zeros and stored on some type of physical medium, like a magnetic hard drive or an optical disc. I know, I know you are about to succumb to ennui, fall asleep and crack your head on the coffee table, but fear not this is about to get exciting!!
NPR did a story on some British scientists who have stored all of Shakespeare’s sonnets on tiny specks at the bottom of a test tube.
What did they do? Well they took the sonnets and converted them from text to A C T and G bases then the sequence was sent to a lab that synthesised DNA. Yeah labs do that now!! Yeah I agree it is unthinkable. The lab created the DNA and although the story doesn’t say the DNA was most likely stored and created in what scientists call a plasmid which is in laymen terms a tiny cell. The Plasmids were sent back to the scientist and they were tiny specks at the bottom of test tubes. The DNA of Shakespeare was decoded and read back.
Say hello to organic data storage and goodbye to magnetic disk drives, dvds and blu ray discs.

I may be a little bit of a geek but geek part aside this is some big news. I can’t see how one can hear this news and not think about some philosophical questions, like Descartes when he said “Cogito ergo sum” or “I think therefore I am”.
No one knows for certain what this technology will bring to the table but one can be sure that Descartes was onto something with this simple statement.
“But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I, too, do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all], then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who deliberately and constantly deceives me. In that case, I, too, undoubtedly exist, if he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.” — Descartes (AT VII 25; CSM II 16–17)

As long as a man or woman questions and learns he or she is not nothing. So whatever the change is to the computer we will remain human as long as we question what truly makes us human.

imagesFour days ago my girlfriend and I were in a store where the cashier checking us out behind the counter could not have been thirty years old. I told the cashier, with the most bravado I could muster that I refused to pay more than twenty dollars for the transaction. He rang me up at seventeen dollars. Then I let my girlfriend know that this was the new way I was to shop. No more paying what was on the tags, I will from now on negotiate all my prices. The man behind the counter did not find our interaction funny at all and told me that most stores would not put up with that. We beat feet out of there.

This morning on NPR there was an interview with Mel Brooks. Mel was speaking about his career and a box set for sale now in video and book stores. The box set is called “Unhinged and loving” it. At the end of the interview Mel let everyone Mel let everyone know that the box set was priced too high and that we should all negotiate with the cashiers a lower price. I loved it!
“If I were you, I’d bargain. It’s a little too expensive now. I’d go to a store, like a Barnes & Noble — I would go to the store and say, ‘Can you do a little better? … I mean, it’s $89, can you give it to me for $79?’ ” — Mel Brooks

I have been a fan of Mel Brooks for as long as I can remember. He is self-described as “vulgar” and “tasteless’, but funny. I love the way Mel takes on the sanctimonious groups like religion, race, political affiliations and tears them apart with comedy.
Organizations will come and go, but what remains will always be you, and I think that one of the most important things is to keep everything in perspective, what matters most are people not religion, politics or race. So big thanks to Mel Brooks and every comedian like him who helps remind us to not take ourselves so serious!!


A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Charlie Chaplin