Author Archives: DrE

A sheep who refuses to be a sheeple

The word “sheeple” is a combination of the words “sheep” and “people” — a derogatory term that likens people to sheep, a herd animal that is easily led about. Like sheep, such people are docile, compliant, unthinking, and easily influenced and controlled by a governing power, the media, or market fads.

But there’s a remarkable sheep who simply refuses to be a sheeple.

On April 21, 2021, in Roermond, Netherlands, this sheep stood up to a sheep dog and refused to be herded.

H/t PawMyGosh

~E

 

Sunday Devotional: The Holy Trinity

Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Today, the universal Church celebrates the Holy Trinity — the mystery of Three Persons in One God.

That there is but one God of three Persons — the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit — is not only found in the above passage from Matthew 28, but also in other places in Holy Scripture:

Genesis 1:26

And God said,
Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness

John 5:7

For there are three
that bear record in Heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost;
and these three are one.

Matthew 3:1, 13, 16-17

And Jesus, when he was baptized,
went up straightway out of the water:
and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove,
and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying,
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Our greatest theologians had sought in vain to plumb the mystery of the Triune Godhead — of three Persons in one God.

Some used analogies — that the Trinity is akin to the trifoliate or three-leaf  clover. But like all analogies, the clover analogy in the end doesn’t really explain or help us understand how exactly three Persons make up one God.

St. Thomas Aquinas concluded in Summa Theologica:

We cannot come to the knowledge of the Trinity by reason alone, that is, by the natural and unaided efforts of the human mind. By our natural reason, we can know that God exists; that he is the First Cause of all; that he is one, infinite, simple, immutable, etc. But that the one God subsists in three really distinct Persons is a truth that can be known only by supernatural means. That is a truth beyond the reach of human reason to know, to prove, or to disprove. We know this truth by divine revelation, and accept it by supernatural faith; we take it upon the authority of God himself.… By aid of the light of glory the soul in heaven sees God himself clearly and truly.

And so we accept our human limitation and believe, putting our trust in the words of St. Paul that we shall understand fully when we see God face to face:

1 Corinthians 13:11-12

When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child;
when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall understand fully,
even as I have been fully understood.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~E

 

A bat that’s the size of humans

This is the stuff of nightmares.

I wonder if this bat was the inspiration for Bram Stoker‘s 1897 horror novel Dracula.

The giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, is a species of mega-bat endemic to the Philippines and one of the largest bat species in the world. It has a wingspan of 4.9–5.6 ft., the longest forearm length of any bat species, measuring up to 8.5 in., and is among the heaviest of all bat species, with individuals weighing up to 3.1 lb.

~E

 

The more ape fossils we find, the less we know about human evolution

Darwinian evolutionists maintain that human beings (homo sapiens) evolved from simians millions of years ago. It is said that humans diverged from apes — specifically, the chimpanzee lineage — at some point between about 9.3 million and 6.5 million years ago, towards the end of the Miocene epoch.

The persistent problem is scientists, specifically archeologists, have not discovered fossils of the “missing link” — a hypothetical extinct ape-man or man-ape creature halfway in the evolutionary line between modern human beings and their anthropoid progenitors. That creature is believed to be the last common ancestor of humans and chimps.

Since Darwin, archeologists have discovered many ape fossils. But American Museum of Natural History writes in SciTechDaily, May 9, 2021, that “In the 150 years since Charles Darwin speculated that humans originated in Africa, the number of species in the human family tree has exploded.” Despite the “explosion” of ape fossils, “most human origins stories are not compatible with known fossils,” resulting in an increase in “the level of dispute concerning early human evolution.”

Sergio Almécija, a senior research scientist in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Anthropology, the lead author of “Fossil apes and human evolution,” a new review out on May 7, 2021 in the journal Science, said: “When you look at the narrative for hominin origins, it’s just a big mess — there’s no consensus whatsoever. People are working under completely different paradigms, and that’s something that I don’t see happening in other fields of science.”

Almécija said: “In The Descent of Man in 1871, Darwin speculated that humans originated in Africa from an ancestor different from any living species. However, he remained cautious given the scarcity of fossils at the time. One hundred fifty years later, possible hominins — approaching the time of the human-chimpanzee divergence — have been found in eastern and central Africa, and some claim even in Europe. In addition, more than 50 fossil ape genera are now documented across Africa and Eurasia. However, many of these fossils show mosaic combinations of features that do not match expectations for ancient representatives of the modern ape and human lineages. As a consequence, there is no scientific consensus on the evolutionary role played by these fossil apes.

Almécija explains that there are two major approaches to resolving the human origins problem: A “top-down” approach that relies on analysis of living apes, especially chimpanzees, and a “bottom-up” approach that puts importance on the larger tree of mostly extinct apes. For example, some scientists assume that hominins originated from a chimp-like knuckle-walking ancestor. Others argue that the human lineage originated from an ancestor more closely resembling, in some features, some of the strange Miocene apes.

In reviewing the studies surrounding these diverging approaches, Almécija et al.  discuss the limitations of relying exclusively on one of these opposing approaches to the hominin origins problem. “Top-down” studies sometimes ignore the reality that living apes (humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and hylobatids) are just the survivors of a much larger, and now mostly extinct, group. On the other hand, studies based on the “bottom-up”approach are prone to giving individual fossil apes an important evolutionary role that fits a preexisting narrative.

Overall, the researchers found that most stories of human origins are not compatible with the fossils that we have today.

Despite that, hope springs eternal among evolutionists that the ever elusive “missing link” will be found. Almécija et al. insist that “fossil apes remain essential to reconstruct the ‘starting point’ from which humans and chimpanzees evolved.”

~E

 

God’s Creation: Goldfish have memories spanning weeks, months and even years

The goldfish (Carassius auratus) is a freshwater fish in the carp family, commonly kept as a pet in indoor aquariums, and is one of the most popular aquarium fish.

In outdoor ponds and in the wild, goldfish can grow to about 14 inches. But when kept in small indoor aquariums, goldfish tend to be stay small in size of about 1 to 2 inches long.

Imagine how small the brain of an one-inch goldfish is.

Diminutive though they are, it turns out that the humble goldfish has a memory that spans weeks, months and even years. The science to back this up has been around for more than 60 years.

Harry Baker reports for LiveScience, May 22, 2021, that Culum Brown, an expert in fish cognition at Macquarie University in Australia, said, “We’ve known about the reasonably good memories of goldfish since the ’50s and ’60s. Despite what everybody thinks, they’re actually really intelligent.”

Brown has studied the intelligence of fish, including goldfish, for more than 25 years and thinks the misconception comes from a combination of ignorance about fish intelligence in general and guilt, because pet owners often keep them in small, boring tanks.

In reality, goldfish have such impressive memories, they’re often used as a common model for studying memory and learning in fishes. Brown said that “there are thousands of studies [on goldfish] that show fish have excellent memories. And the rate of which these studies are being published is growing exponentially.”

Here is how we know goldfish have long memories:

  • A majority of studies involve food. For example, if goldfish are fed at only one side of their tank, they will quickly learn and remember to stay on that side of the tank at feeding times, regardless of whether they are actually fed. Similarly, if pushing a red paddle gains a food reward but a blue one doesn’t, goldfish quickly learn to push the red and not the blue, and will continue to show a preference for that color long after the experiment is finished. These types of experiments have also been replicated with other cues, such as bubbles and even music.
  • Goldfish are good problem-solvers and have been taught to escape nets and navigate mazes. They can even remember how to repeat these tasks weeks, and even months, later.
  • Other evidence suggests that goldfish can recognize and remember other individuals, even after long periods of separation.
  • There is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence from goldfish owners who often observe complex behaviors in their pets when interacting with them. Some even claim that their goldfish can recognize them apart from other people.

Despite reams of research, the public’s view on goldfish memory hasn’t budged much. Brown said that’s because most people do not come across live fish in their daily lives, and even when they do, “people don’t interact with fishes the way that they do [with] other animals. This makes it easier for misconceptions and myths to be widely accepted. But public perception of fish cognition may be slowly improving as more wildlife charities and nongovernmental organizations spread the word about fish intelligence.

Properly cared for goldfish can live 20 years. Brown urges goldfish owners to consider getting their pets large tanks with enrichment objects and companion fish, as well as taking the time to play games with them and teach them tricks, because your goldfish might remember certain experiences for years to come.

~E

 

The nipple-tweaker Caption Contest

This is our 243rd world-famous Caption Contest!

Here’s the GIF:

Harry GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

About the GIF: At the 2016 Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick current and former Servicemen and women, former Army Rifleman Ashley Coles pulled up his top to show a tattoo to Prince Harry. Harry — the epitome of white privilege who was caught naked with whores in Las Vegas; once dressed as a Nazi but lectures to the world on our “unconscious racism”; takes private jets but lectures to us on the environment; and trashes his family on Oprah and most recently in a podcast — responded by bizarrely tweaking the soldier’s nipple. (Mirror)

You know the drill:

  • Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on this thread (scroll down until you see the “LEAVE A REPLY” box).
  • Body and Soul‘s writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by our writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

This contest will be closed in two weeks, at the end of Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

Prince Harry demonstrates to the world how much he really respects soldiers.

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, go here.

~E

 

We have a winner!

. . . for our 242nd Caption Contest!

This was a very competitive contest, with many brilliant captions!

Our writers have voted for their respective #1 (best) and #2 (next best) captions. Each #1 vote is worth 4 points; each #2 vote is worth 2 points.

And the winner of our 242nd Caption Contest, with one #1 vote and two #2 votes, totaling 8 points is . . .

vett!

Here is the winning caption:

So which ones are the puppeteers and which ones are the dummies?

Greg B, Jackie Puppet, James Stepp, Jen, and Kathy Deles are in second place, each with one #1 vote and 4 points. Here are their captions:

Greg B: “Created by the same White House Photoshop ‘professional’ who created Obama’s ‘birth certificate.'”

Jackie Puppet: “Don’t worry Rosalyn, I’m not gonna sniff ya – 80 years ago, absolutely I would have!”

James Stepp: “Where’s Joe’s right hand, or do we even wanna know??”

Jen: “Here are four people from our Alzheimer’s Unit enjoying their day visiting!”

Kathy Deles: “In my best Darth Vader voice… I find your lack of proportion…. Disturbing”

Captain America, MR B., Shoal Creek, and Tim Shey are in third place, each with one #2 vote and 2 points. Here are their captions:

Captain America:“Say Edgar..” “What is it Charlie??” “Who’s this big doofus trying to stick his hand up my butt?”

MR B.: “Watch Joe & Jill work their ventriloquist dolls only on Good Morning America!”

Shoal Creek: “Jimmy, how did you get your house and all of your furnishings to shrink with you and Rosalyn? It’s almost like visiting hobbits!”

Tim Shey: “The Four Offspring of Dr. Frankenstein.”

WELL DONE, EVERYONE!

Congratulations, vett!!!

For all the other caption submissions, go here.

Be here later today for our next, very exciting Caption Contest!

~E

 

Bringing up baby: Woman rescues robin

A woman named Kara rescued a baby robin from a predator crow.

Kara named the robin Squeaker.

Watch how Kara took care of Squeaker, who still visits Kara months after having flown “from the nest”.

H/t Elizabeth

~E

 

 

Monday Funny: Pay attention to me!

The lengths our fur companions go to when they want our attention. LOL

~E

 

Violent crimes skyrocket in cities that defunded police

Why is this a surprise?

Citing Fox News as its source, KMJ NOW Newstalk Radio reports that crime, especially violent crime, is soaring in cities where police departments have been defunded.

Since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, calls to defund the police erupted across America. Defunding means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the city.

More than 20 major cities have reduced their police budgets in some form. As examples:

  • Austin, Texas: The city council voted to cut roughly one-third of the city’s $434 million police budget. Councilman Gregorio Casar, who helped pass the major cut, told The Guardian,”We are showing the country how reinvestments from the police budget can actually make many people’s lives so much better and safer. This will build momentum for changes to police budgets across the country.”
  • Los Angeles, California: In July 2020, the police department’s budget was slashed by $150 million.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: In December 2020, the city council shifted $8 million from the police department to other programs, and in July 2021, diverted an additional $1.1 million from the police department’s $193 million budget to the Office of Violence Prevention.
  • New York City, NY: In July 2020, the City Council slashed $1 billion from the police budget, including $484 million in cuts and $354 million reallocated to other agencies ”best positioned to carry out the duties that have been previously assigned to the New York Police Department, like the Department of Education, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Homeless Services.” Another $162 million was slashed through “associated costs.”
  • Portland, Oregon: In May 2020, city commissioners voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police budget in response to complaints about police force and racial injustice.

We now have the results of #DefundPolice:

  • Austin: 26% increase in aggravated assault reports in 2021 as of February, compared with the same period last year.
  • Los Angeles: 38% increase in murders in 2020; 28.3% increase in murders in 2021 through March 13.
  • Minneapolis: 46% increase in murders from Dec. 11, 2020 through March 28, 2021, compared to the same period last year.
  • New York City: 76 murders in 2021 thus far, compared with 68 from the same time period in 2020.
  • Oakland, CA: 314% in homicides and 113% increase in firearms assaults compared with the same time last year.
  • Portland, OR: 300% increase in murders from July 2020 to February 2021. In the first two months of 2021, 17 people have been murdered — a 1,600% increase from the one murder reported during the same time period in 2020.

~E