I don’t really like holidays, Thanksgiving included, though I wish I did. It seems like other people enjoy the holiday aesthetic, the turkeys and cranberries and Pilgrims and whatnot. They act like they do, anyway, but the things people do and the semi-mythic stories connected with the holiday seem so disconnected–why don’t cities have big communal feasts where they exchange gifts with the nearest Native American tribes? (Or if not cities, then churches or fraternal organizations.) I suppose it doesn’t help much that rather few of us today identify with either the Pilgrims or the Indians, and I imagine the Indians have rather mixed feelings about the day.
So what about you? What do you get out of Thanksgiving? Do you enjoy holidays?
Some good news: Rates of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia appear to be declining among the elderly (one theory: fat may be protective, so getting fatter has made our old people smarter.)
In the intellectually exciting department: Underwater Stone Age Settlement Mapped Out:
Six years ago divers discovered the oldest known stationary fish traps in northern Europe off the coast of southern Sweden. Since then, researchers have uncovered an exceptionally well-preserved Stone Age site. They now believe the location was a lagoon environment where Mesolithic humans lived during parts of the year.
And some food for thought: New Study links Church Attendance to ‘Conservative Theology’:
When asked to agree or disagree with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real, flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb” 93% of growing church pastors agreed, 83% of growing church attendees agreed, 67% of declining church attendees agreed, and just 56% of declining church pastors agreed.
When asked if “God performs miracles in answer to prayer” 100% of the growing church pastors agreed, 90% of the growing church attendees agreed, 80% of the declining church attendees agreed, and just 44% of the declining church pastors agreed.
And in the Anthropology department: How Gypsies have Moved from Fortune-Telling to Fervent Christianity:
Huge numbers of Gypsies and travellers in England now say they’ve joined a new movement called Light and Life. Those who join have given up drinking alcohol and fortune-telling, and many have even abandoned their traditional Catholic faith.
The Pentecostal movement, which is Gypsy-led, has grown rapidly in the past 30 years – it says up to 40% of British Gypsies belong to it. There’s no way to prove that claim, but most Gypsies and travellers will agree that there is a surge in people joining.
It’s centred on charismatic preaching, praying in tongues and miracle healing.
About 6,000 Gypsies and travellers attended to the Church’s UK convention.
with the thoughts you’d be thinking informs us that:
…seeds from plants that appeal to mammals in general tend to be dull coloured and smell, while seed that appeal to birds tend to be brighter and such. Avocados are an example of an evolutionary anachronism in that they evolved to be eaten by mammal mega fauna [that are now extinct.]
Robert M. Sykes:
Back in the 70s while I was at Union College, I had a biologist colleague who was interested in the vision of insects and birds. He used a tv camera to record flowers and other plants because the tv cameras then in use recorded will into the ultraviolet. Most flowers look quite different in the uv, and even some drab looking stuff (to us) really stand out in uv.
Chickens have five-color vision, so instead of a one-dimensional “rainbow” of hues, they see a three-dimensional hue-space (that is, not counting brightness and saturation).
The downside of this is that they are struck blind the moment the sun dips below the horizon.
Jefferson has an interesting perspective on Noah’s Twitter Deluge:
Torah is clear that Gnon/Hashem selects against density. Cain was a city builder (and farmer vs. shepherd), Abraham was super salty towards the cities he visited because he thought they might kill him to rape his wife. Furthermore, it’s not modernity, but the plenty that comes with it that we are warned against. “You will grow fat and kick,” Moses warned us. As we are relieved of a marginal existence in which our normal signalling is best suited (signaling material plenty indicates a genuine improved survival rate for offspring), holiness signaling replaces physical status signaling. …
…as stated in the OP, obviously a glut of labor (assuming an economy ‘operating at capacity’) will lead to greater opportunities for capital to exploit workers through breaking collective bargaining systems, driving down wages, cutting corners on safety and such, and this phenomenon has no a priori connection to immigrants of a particular ethnic background. It seems sensible to me to include immigration controls as part of a plan to slow the pace of economic change and give people a chance to get their feet under them so to speak. Bernie Sanders called open borders a “Koch brothers proposal” and I tend to agree.
However, I feel it would be a great moral calamity to uproot the lives of millions of people currently living in the US, some of whom have been here for decades, some of whom have no memory of another land or skills with which to make their way abroad. …
Well, happy day before Turkey day, everyone!