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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wanna hear a good story? Listen...

Paul had lost his precious heirloom pocket watch... the family treasure his father gave him; the one his dad got from his father; the one that would go to his son someday... now lost.

Paul had been working all day in the barn, sweaty and tired when he reached in his pocket in hopes suppertime was near.

BUT IT WAS GONE! He quickly searched all his other pockets. His watch was gone, lost somewhere in the barn, sometime during the day.

The whole family was called to the search. They scrambled, they raised dust, they searched and shouted back and forth.  "Where do you THINK you may have lost it?" they asked.

"If you THINK I know that, wouldn't you THINK I would be looking there?" he hollered back in sarcastic desperation.

Anxious panic was the order of the search as everything that wasn't attached was moved, turned over or rolled away in hopes the watch was waiting there. Pitchforks cautiously turned over every shock of hay. Animals were moved here, then there, to great discord. Hens' nests were examined but only turned up eggs.

After what seemed like hours, mom called a stop. "Let's quit for the day. It's past suppertime and we are all dirty, tired, frustrated and hungry. We'll look again tomorrow."

At the table, Paul moaned, "It's gone. I know it is."

"Now Paul, it's somewhere. We'll find it," mom promised in a hopeful tone. "Where is Mary?"

The screen door banged shut and Paul turned to admonish his 5-year-old daughter.

"Mary, how many times have I told you not to slam... " But Paul stopped short.

With a big smile on her face, Mary was dangling the precious watch on its chain.

Everyone rose and cheered. "But where," Paul asked, "and how did you find it?"

"After everyone left," Mary explained, "the dust settled and the animals quieted, I sat on that hay bale in the center of the barn and listened real hard. Then I heard a tiny tick-tocking near the chicken feed. You know that space beside the post...  the one that drops into that split in the floor? That's where it was hiding."

Mary listened, because she could. She just listened.

Don't you sometimes wonder what we might learn if we just listened more instead of thinking about what we are going to say when it is our turn to talk? We might actually remember the name of the person we were just introduced to.

In today's world, everyone talks all the time. Social media demands it and we all have something vitally important to say it seems.  We are bombarded by commercials telling us things we choose to tune out. Ordinary conversations carry on with one response overlapping the other. Politicians incite us with no chance to respond other than "Well that's for sure," or "Gimmie a break!" Forced listening creates a habit of accepting coercion without thought.

Where is the intelligence in all of that? Well programed robots are ruling the world... and we are becoming them.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. 
Most people never listen. 
Ernest Hemingway

One advantage in talking to yourself is that you know
 at least somebody's listening.
Franklin P. Jones

One of the most sincere forms of respect is 
actually listening to what another has to say.
Bryant H. McGill

Listening is a positive act: you have to put yourself out to do it.
David Hockney

Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing, 
nobody listens then everybody disagrees. 
Will Rogers

A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat. 
Katherine Whitehorn 

Make sure you have finished speaking
 before your audience has finished listening. 
Dorothy Sarnoff

History repeats itself because no one listened the first time. 

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, 
does it make a noise?
Nothing happens if we don't listen

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It takes two to tango, but how many to repopulate the earth?

If... just supposing... if two astronauts-- a handsome, virile male and attractive, fertile female-- were returning to Earth from a six-year mission to Mars, discover that while gone, the whole population of Earth has been decimated by a super-bug and they were the last of their species. Could they, upon return to Earth with all its resources intact but no other living humans, repopulate our planet?

Oh, before we go further, understand this is not (yet) a true story. The super-bug is no longer a factor as it died with the last of us. So... could they?

Believe it or not, while most of us seem to be thinking about The Kardashians, Donald Trump and The Bachelor, this is an oft-discussed topic... at least in the pseudo-scientific and sci-fi worlds.

Most practical thinkers of that crowd have a ready "NO WAY!" answer... but a few deeper thinkers theorize there is a way... not likely, but theoretically possible. Wanna read more? These are a variety of answers for that question on the website Quora, something for every possibility. It's a long read--with pictures--and interesting, if you care.

Meanwhile, here's what I had to say about that, old age, Adam and Eve and how they did it in The Bible version:

Methuselah holds the record at 969, according to The Bible. It issaid thathe didin't look a day over 900. He actually lived from Adam to Noah. But the first people had to live longer or where would we be? With more than 7 billion people on Earth now, we gotta die sooner... or else.

After Methuselah's 969 came Noah who made it to 950 and Seth was 912. Eve was up there in the 900's so it is said, but she gets extra credit because she had 56 children--33 sons and 23 daughters--all of them after her 100th birthday. Talk about late in life babies...

There's lots more of this interesting stuff including today's battle for the oldest on earth. Read the whole thing here

And remember... it you happen to find yourself as one of the last two, you've got a real job ahead of you.

He might look like Anthony Hopkins
"So where do you see yourself in 100 years?" Methuselah was asked in a job interview, or so the story goes.

"Oh, same old, same old."