Monday, February 1, 2016

Tastes like Chicken

We Sapiens, if we are special, it is because we can look ahead.  If you're still tiptoeing around the word "death," perhaps it is time you confront the fact that while you may or may not be more than a biological being, you are at least that much and one day you will die.  Learning to die is the key to virtue.  Dying well is a legacy (and frankly a favor done) for your loved ones.

The Economist took a shot at explaining the issue and it deserves a recommendation,

Roughly every half a second, someone, somewhere in the world, dies – and nearly a person a minute in the United Kingdom. Yet ours is an age in which death has become taboo. “For all but our most recent history death was an ever present possibility,” writes Atul Gawande, an American surgeon and author of the bestseller “Being Mortal”, which has established him as a leading authority on the end of life. “It didn’t matter if you were 5 or 50. Every day was a roll of the dice.” But things have changed. Fifty years ago, most of us would have died at home. Now, though 70% of us would like to, only 12% do, leaving the vast majority to die in hospitals, hospices or care homes. So many – perhaps most – of us no longer know what death looks like. “A hundred years ago, everyone knew how people died,” says Min Stacpoole, a clinical nurse specialising in palliative care and based at St Christopher’s Hospice in south London. “Now many people are frightened of having a dead body in their house.” 

Read more at the link.

What does it mean to be human?  It means being willing to eat what no one has eaten before.  Apparently, chickens were domesticated long before anyone ever thought to ask, "What do we mean when we say it 'tastes like chicken'."

As he noted recently, the staggering number of chickens in the world — 20 billion or so — is reason enough to study them. And although it may be hard to believe, it seems that neither potpie nor chicken Parmesan was the reason humans domesticated them.

“It looks like from all the evidence that chickens existed for a very long time in association with people and they were not food,” he said. Today, chickens are just behind pigs and poised to overtake them as the most common source of animal protein in the world. But before the raising of chickens became industrial, they were far less important to human diets, and for thousands of years, their primary role seems to have been in cockfighting or various rituals. Estimates of the time of their domestication are from 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, but a recent report from an archaeological dig in Israel concluded that they were first eaten in significant numbers about 2,200 years ago. 
The chicken project will investigate, among other things, just exactly what we were doing with chickens for all that time.

What does it mean to be human? It means we've all got a little bit of Cain within us, and it has been there since the get go

When it comes to the origins of warfare, there are two main schools of thought. One school believes the propensity for violence is embedded deep in human nature; the other believes that it arose in response to the need to protect property, a symptom of humans’ move from nomadic hunting and gathering towards a more settled lifestyle. Those who support the latter idea argue that the Paleolithic era was generally a peaceful time, with little evidence of organized violence between hunter-gatherer groups. 
But new research complicates that second argument: In a study published today in the journal Nature, a team of anthropologists describe a prehistoric mass grave whose inhabitants died a violent death, evidence that small-scale warfare was alive and well even among hunter-gatherer communities.   
Adam and Eve mourn Abel
The site, discovered in Nataruk, Kenya, in 2012, housed the remains of 27 people, including 12 intact skeletons. Based on carbon dating of the bones and surrounding sediment, the researchers estimate that the deaths took place somewhere between 9,500 and 10,500 years ago..

Not that this makes us special, other animals go to war as well.

What does it mean to be human?  It means you do not need to just work against attempts to abrogate your liberty from the left.  It does not mean you just need to resist attempts to abrogate your liberty from the right.

It means you need to resist all attempts to abrogate your liberty.

Sen. Ben Sasse is heading to Iowa to campaign against Donald Trump over the next two days, with plans to appear at events for Senate colleagues Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and "possibly other constitutional candidates," according to a statement from the Nebraska Republican's office."We are in a moment of constitutional crisis. America already has one post-constitutional party; we don't need another," Sasse said in the statement, two days after he unleashed a rapid-fire series of questions for Trump on Twitter.
"We have a President who does not believe in executive restraint; we do not need another," Sasse continued in his statement on Tuesday. "I am not endorsing any candidate-- I am urging conservatives to hold every candidate accountable to keeping their word so that we uphold the Constitution's system of checks and balances. I'm pro-Constitution and if that makes me anti-Trump, that's Mr. Trump's problem."

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