Telomeres

red geranium

My area of expertise is not molecular biology.  Such cannot be said for Elizabeth Blackburn.  I recently watched a documentary called Immortal?, aired on The Passionate Eye, which included some footage of Liz Blackburn.  The documentary discussed the “science” of telomeres, it did not delve into the politics of science.  I found the documentary very interesting from a layman’s perspective and very biased from an analytical perspective.

From where I see things science is not unbiased.  This perspective made my years in the academy politically challenging.  I think the answers you find are dependent on the questions you ask.  Science asks very specific questions, questions mediated by research funding and academic politics.  That is where the research begins; in the questions asked.  To these specific questions science finds very specific answers, that are often fascinating and often of benefit to humans and too often detrimental to human existence.  I feel that bias begins with the formation of questions asked, and continues during the process of answering the questions.  My point is not that all bias is bad; it is that all knowledge is biased. Informed decision making must include acknowledgement and consideration of bias.

Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres explores the life of Elizabeth Blackburn, the story of telomeres and the nature of the scientific community.

I stayed up late last night to watch the documentary Immortal?, something I don’t do very often.  Attila didn’t wait up for me though, he went to bed as soon as the fire in the little wood stove died down and he could close the damper.

If Attila is awake he is moving.  Atilla is a “doer”.  He is happiest when he has a project on the go, a project requiring physical activity.  At the end of the day Attila is ready to sleep.

I am a different sort of “doer”.  I am happiest when I have several projects on the go, some requiring physical activity and some requiring intense mental focus.  If the balance tips towards mental focus my sleep requirement shortens, if it tips towards physical activity my sleep requirement lengthens.  Lately, the balance has tipped towards physical activity, so I have needed more sleep.  Watching a thought provoking documentary tipped the balance towards mental focus, so last night I went to bed later and this morning I woke up earlier, thinking about what I had seen the night before.

Both Attila and I have the capacity for the third focus, that is emotional/imaginative/creative.  However, at this point in our lives there is little opportunity to indulge this sort of focus; we are too involved surviving our respective jobs (places where emotions, imagination and creativity are not welcome) and enjoying our responsibilities for our two homes.  It is our dream that at some point in our lives here on earth, we will be able to include a healthy element of our emotional/imaginative/creative energies in our day-to-day lives.  It could happen.

We had a wonderful weekend at the little house.

Lares got the heating system up and running, we are so lucky he is a member of our family!  After working for a week solid, Terra had Sunday off and took the time to show me her new Blackberry phone.  An amazing device!  Terra is on 24/7 call, and needs an extremely reliable device to make sure her employer can contact her when needed; the Blackberry does a fine job of it.  I really enjoyed going for a long walk with Terra, I love walking and it is a treat to have such good company at the same time.

Sunday afternoon Luna stopped by with Imp and Elf and Tink.  They brought cookies for us, cookies that they made that morning.  I’m glad they only brought one each, because those cookies are so good that I’d eat every last one.   What fun we had!  The grandkids enjoyed peering down into the basement through the partially constructed cold air return grate.  Grandpa chatted with them, and they kept trying to catch a glimpse of their hard-working uncle.  I took Imp and Elf down to the basement several times to see what Grandpa and Uncle were doing.  It was a real work zone though, so we didn’t stay down there very long.  Tink is amazingly aware of everything!  She has a quick and adorable smile, and a very determined idea of what she wants.  This girl is no pushover!  Imp and Elf and Tink and I all played on my bed, rolling around like a barrel of monkeys.  It was great fun.

Today is overcast, and warmer than it it has been.  I’m hoping the sun will come out and warm the house up!  Next week I’ll cure the masonry heater, then it will be charged and ready to heat the house for the winter.  Wood heat is a lot of work.  I love sitting in front of the cozy fires with Attila and I miss Attila when he has to spend hours of his free time working on the wood supply and building the fires.  We cannot have it both ways though, so for now we are going to stay with wood heat.

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Quote

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
Robert Bresson

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