More than 90 percent of the living matter on earth consists of microorganisms and viruses, she liked to point out. Heck, the number of bacterial cells in our body is ten times more than the number of human cells!
Bacteria and protists can do things undreamed of by clumsy mammals like us: form giant supercolonies, reproduce either asexually or by swapping genes with others, routinely incorporate DNA from entirely unrelated species, merge into symbiotic beings—the list is as endless as it is amazing. Microorganisms have changed the face of the earth, crumbling stone and even giving rise to the oxygen we breathe. Compared to this power and diversity, Margulis liked to tell me, pandas and polar bears were biological epiphenomena—interesting and fun, perhaps, but not actually significant.
Does that apply to human beings, too? I once asked her, feeling like someone whining to Copernicus about why he couldn’t move the earth a little closer to the center of the universe. Aren’t we special at all?
This was just chitchat on the street, so I didn’t write anything down. But as I recall it, she answered that Homo sapiens actually might be interesting—for a mammal, anyway. For one thing, she said, we’re unusually successful.
Seeing my face brighten, she added: Of course, the fate of every successful species is to wipe itself out.
Posledné týždne boli také chaosné, že som ani nestihla vyvesiť pozvánku na jednu akciu, ktorú som spoluorganizovala v Považskej Bystrici: Všetko, čo ste chceli vedieť o pôrode. Veľmi mi pripomínala túto fotku súsošia v Toronte (fotila Ľubica Trginová):
Akcia sa konala minulý týždeň v Retro Café, pred ktorým celé leto beží projekt Cooltajner. (Vďaka Monike a Tomášovi, že nás zastrešili a Zuzke a Danke, že s týmto nápadom prišli.)
Rozprávalo sa tam o tom, kto sú a čo robia duly, čo robí OZ Ženské Kruhy, o laktačných poradkyniach a činnosti OZ Mamila. Večer sme premietali film Sloboda pre pôrod. Ale hlavne to bolo stretnutie bruchatých mamín s maminami maličkých detí a s maminami väčších detí, ktoré si navzájom vymieňali vedomosti a skúsenosti.
Spomínala som, že sa chystám čítať Outlander-ku. Som v polovici druhej knihy a môžem potvrdiť, že je to chytľavé, vtipné, zaujímavé čítanie. Sebestačná hlavná hrdinka s na 18-te storočie pomerne feministicky zmýšľajúcim partnerom. Odporúčam.
A dám dva úryvky. V tomto prvom jedna z vedľajších postáv popisuje tehotenstvo:
You feel as thought your skin is verra thin all over. You feel everything that touches you, even the rubbing of your clothes, and not just on your belly, but over your legs and flanks and breasts. They feel heavy and full… and they’re verra sensitive just at the tips. And of course you’re big and you’re clumsy. You take up more room than you’re used to…
In the early days, it’s a bit like belly-gas, like little bubbles, rippling through your belly. But then later, you feel the child move, and it’s like a fish on your line and then gone – like a quick tug, but so soon past you’re not sure you felt it…
They sleep, ye know, for hours at a time. Sometimes ye fear they’ve died, when there’s no movement for a long time. Then you try to wake them – her hand pushed in sharply at the side and was rewarded immediately by a push in the opposite direction – and you’re happy when they kick again. But it’s not just the babe itself. You feel swollen all over, near the end. Not painful… just so ripe you could burst. It’s as though you need to be touched, verra lightly, all over…
And in the last month or so, the milk begins to come in. You feel yourself filling, just a wee bit at a time, a little each time the child moves. And then suddenly, everything comes up hard and round. There’s no pain, then, just a breathless feeling, and then your breasts tingle as though they’ll explode if they’re not suckled…
Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about a dystopian future where books are outlawed and firemen burn any house that contains them. The story is about suppressing ideas, and about how television destroys interest in reading literature. I wanted to spread the book-burning message to the book itself. The book’s spine is screen-printed with a matchbook striking paper surface, so the book itself can be burned.
Program allows people to play chess against younger versions of world champion Magnus Carlsen… The aim is to promote chess among as many people as possible to make the sport more popular and accessible. “The good thing is that you can play me at any age. At age five, anyone has a chance to beat me,” Mr Carlsen said.
So what is it like for Mr Carlsen to play against his younger self? “He is really tricky,” the champion said. “Even Magnus at 11 years old was a very gifted tactician. A while ago I played as a test Magnus [aged] 14. I outplayed him at some point positionally. And just boom, boom, he tricked me tactically. “But he makes mistakes as well, so I just have to be patient.”
We enter the meditative state induced by counting laps, and observe the subtle play of light as the sun moves across the lanes. We sing songs, or make to-do lists, or fantasize about what we’re going to eat for breakfast. Submersion creates the space to be free, to stretch, without having to contend with constant external chatter. It creates internal quiet, too.
Most physicists foolhardy enough to write a paper claiming that “there are no black holes” — at least not in the sense we usually imagine — would probably be dismissed as cranks. But when the call to redefine these cosmic crunchers comes from Stephen Hawking, it’s worth taking notice. In a paper posted online, the physicist, based at the University of Cambridge, UK, and one of the creators of modern black-hole theory, does away with the notion of an event horizon, the invisible boundary thought to shroud every black hole, beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape.
It’s an artificially maintained ecosystem, an incubator for a fetus that has somehow been given precedence over all other concerns: the pain of Marlise’s husband and parents; their wishes to put an end to this; their best guess about what her desires would have been; her transformation, without any possibility of her consent, into a mere vessel.
Kate Middleton určite tušila, do čoho ide, keď sa dala dokopy s princom. Ale aj tak. Mať pred pôrodnicou zástup ľudí a ďalšie milióny po svete, ktorí čakajú na výsledok, je veľký zásah do súkromia. “Obyčajní” rodičia môžu oznámiť narodenie bábätka, až keď je už na tejto strane sveta, ale ani tí sa často nevyhnú dobromyseľným otázkam všetkých, ktorí vedia aspoň orientačne termín pôrodu, a už dva týždne pred ním sa začínajú pýtať, či už ste mali bábätko. Jedna možnosť je poslať ich na túto rozkošnú stránku. Iná, spolu s termínom im povedať aj, že ich budete kontaktovať, keď sa nový člen rodiny dostaví. Alebo na začiatku pôrodu, ak vám to nevadí. Pointa je, že vojvodkyňa z Cambridge asi toto veľmi ovplyvniť nemohla.
Okrem takejto straty súkromia sú tu kopy ľudí, ktorí namiesto toho, aby správy o narodení buď ignorovali, alebo jednoducho popriali malému všetko najlepšie k narodenám (alebo keď nie malému, tak nech zagratulujú jeho mame… ale ruský prezident Vladimir Putin vraj napísal priamo kráľovnej Alžbete II… iný problém, iný článok), budú plniť diskusie negatívnymi komentármi alebo poznámkami na adresu popôrodného bruška. Áno, Kate podobne ako drvivá väčšina žien, ktoré práve porodili, odchádzala z nemocnice s bruškom ako v šiestom mesiaci tehotentva a nijako ho neskrývala.
Bolo by úžasné, keby toto bol tak normálny, obyčajný fakt, že by nestál za komentovanie. Hovorilo by sa, ako spokojne rodinka vyzerala. Dnes je ešte aj toto “statement” a “agenda”.
So was Kate brave to show her belly yesterday? Perhaps. There’s no doubt it was intentional. Everything she wears is always carefully considered, and the dress was custom-made for her. But Kate’s public role is that of wife and mother. While her identity is certainly tied to her physical appearance, she has nothing to gain by hiding her maternal features. If only more women felt this way.
Tak, týmto som sa pridala k tým všetkým, čo o narodení princa Georga tlachajú, a som jedným z nepozvaných zvedavcov, ktorí sa oňho posledný týždeň zaujímali. Anyway…
Aj dvom mojim známym sa v tomto týždni narodili bábätká. Takže Brankovi a Zuzke všetko najlepšie k narodeninám a rodičom veľa radosti z nového člena rodiny.
Dvaja Holanďania prišli do pôrodného domu v Amsterdame, kde s pôrodnou asistentkou absolvovali dve hodiny simulovaných kontrakcií.
Málo pôrodov trvá iba dve hodiny. Na jednej strane to znamená, že rodiace ženy takéto niečo zažívajú dlhšie, na druhej strane, že môžu lepšie prijať pomalšie sa zvyšujúcu intenzitu.
Toto simuluje iba časť pôrodu. Nie je tam nič o tom, ako telom prechádza malý melón. Ale na druhú stranu tam nie je ani ten hormonálny koktail, ktorý to ženám pomáha zvládnuť. Nie je tam veľké brucho, ktoré obmedzuje pohyby. Nie je tam očakávanie zo stretnutia s bábätkom…
Veľmi by ma zaujímalo, keby to spolu s nimi absolvovala aj žena, ktorá už má za sebou pôrod a vedela by povedať, do akej miery sa to podobalo – jednak pocitovo, čo sa týka kontrakcií a potom aj bolesť.
Len sa mi to zdá, alebo naozaj tie dve, keď sa na začiatku chlapi stále rehocú, majú taký ten podtón “No veď počkajte, vás ten smiech prejde…”?
Ten blonďák na konci reagoval vcelku podobne ako rodiace ženy.
Posledná veta (voľný preklad): Nie som si istý, či chcem, aby moja žena bola tehotná a absolvovala toto.
Thus Mazur begins a class with a student-sourced question, then asks students to think the problem through and commit to an answer, which each records using a handheld device (smartphones work fine), and which a central computer statistically compiles, without displaying the overall tally. If between 30 and 70 percent of the class gets the correct answer (Mazur seeks controversy), he moves on to peer instruction. Students find a neighbor with a different answer and make a case for their own response. Each tries to convince the other… After two or three minutes, the students vote again, and typically the percentage of correct answers dramatically improves. Then the cycle repeats.
“If you were me and you had two dads that loved each other and kids at school teased you about it, what would you do?” And guess what! Obama wrote Sophia back. His advice: “A good rule is to treat others the way you hope they will treat you. Remind your friends at school about this rule if they say something that hurts your feelings.”
But in this election, it became abundantly clear that women’s issues are not fringe issues, and women are not a special interest group. Instead it was women who cast the bulk of the votes this election – 53%, and women who proved the deciding factor, breaking in Barack Obama’s favour by 11 percentage points.
It was precisely a year ago that the Japanese women’s soccer team won the World Cup, beating the United States in the final and giving a boost to the spirits of a nation that had been battered by an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear disaster.
But when they flew to Europe on Sunday along with the men’s team, the women were in coach seats while the men were up in business class. The Japanese Football Association said the teams had left Tokyo together on the same Japan Airlines flight.
“I guess it should have been the other way around,” Homare Sawa, the leading player on the women’s team, told Japanese reporters this week. “Even just in terms of age, we are senior.”
Similar treatment was given to the Australian women’s basketball team, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday. The men’s team, known as the Boomers, was seated in business class, while the women, the Opals, were in premium economy seats.
In studies of peer groups, Laura L. Carstensen, a psychology professor who is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity in California, observed that people tended to interact with fewer people as they moved toward midlife, but that they grew closer to the friends they already had.
Basically, she suggests, this is because people have an internal alarm clock that goes off at big life events, like turning 30. It reminds them that time horizons are shrinking, so it is a point to pull back on exploration and concentrate on the here and now. “You tend to focus on what is most emotionally important to you,” she said, “so you’re not interested in going to that cocktail party, you’re interested in spending time with your kids.”
As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added.
Today, Newmark’s days are spent fielding customer feedback and problems as a low-level customer service rep. If you email Craigslist to report a spammer or offer your compliments to the service, Newmark might just be person emailing you back. Problems he can’t solve are sent to his boss — that’s right, his senior customer service rep boss. “The irony is that I’m also on the board, so I’m simultaneously on the top and bottom of the company,” says Newmark. “That’s a rarity in any business.”