Sunday, October 26, 2014

Day 1776

When I arrived at the gym this afternoon, there was a big sign at the reception desk that said "Pool Closed Until Further Notice." My paranoid mind immediately made the assumption that this must have something to do with Ebola. In all likelihood, the pool had just developed a leak. It doesn't matter anyway, since I never use the pool. Swimming might actually be better for my shoulder than what I'm doing now, but it's too much trouble to get a locker and change. The place was pretty empty this afternoon, but that didn't mean anything at all. The gym is always empty on Sunday afternoons.

On my way home I listened to a Ted Talk on the radio where a geneticist talked about human evolution. It was fascinating. I was surprised to learn that although Homo sapiens have been around for several hundred thousand years, modern day humans are only about 60,000 years old. That's pretty young, considering how long crocodiles have been around. According to this geneticist, the human race almost went extinct when the ice age coincided with the eruption of a huge supervolcano in Indonesia about 70,000 years ago. The explosion dimmed the sun for six years, disrupted seasonal rains and almost killed off the human race. With fewer than 2000 people left on the planet, evolution kicked into high gear, forcing humans to either adapt or die. The remaining humans left their home in Africa, searching for a more hospitable climate. They invented language as we know it today. They developed agriculture and other ways to improve their survival odds, and spread across the world in less than 10,000 years. All this information was just the prelude to the main event, however. The guys main point was that he thinks that evolution has kicked into high gear again and in less than 500 years we will change into a completely different species. We are being asked to process more information in a single day now than we used to process in a year. Our current brains can't handle the load and they are trying to adapt, just like the first humans were forced to adapt to a cataclysmic change in climate. Some of the science in this Ted Talk went over my head, but it caught my attention when the explosion of autism in children and many other modern day disorders were explained as explorations on a DNA level as the evolutionary process tries to arrive at whatever comes next. Of course none of this may be true, but it is still fascinating. Your great, great grandchildren might not even be human. I've always thought that people who worry about the glaciers melting are thinking way too small. The earth is 4 billion years old. If we're really only 60,000 years old, I'm sure the earth has a way to deal with us. Maybe we won't destroy the planet after all. Maybe the planet will change us.

I think I'll go vote tomorrow. I'm not sure where the early voting place is, but it should be easy to find. I've become a fan of early voting in recent years. It's so much more convenient that waiting in line on election day. The early voting locations all seem to have the latest touch screen voting machines too. When I vote at my local precinct on election day, I get a paper ballot where I have to mark a lot of little circles with a #2 pencil. The type on the ballot is very small and when I forget my reading glasses, I don't know what is going on.

We've finally come up with costumes for the Halloween party at our dog training class this Wednesday. Janet is sewing them together now. No, the costumes aren't for us. They are for the dogs.

Pearl is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day