Friday, June 08, 2012

Blogposts - Past Favourites: A Small Vegetable Garden in the Backyard

The picture of the garden is from Google and not of our garden.
This spring I restarted a small vegetable garden in the backyard.
It is amazing that some plants need more light and others need more shade, yet regardless they all need sunlight and darkness to grow. Then of course they need water to grow and soil provides the nutrients supplemented by fertilizer. Rain comes to help once in a while. This evolution thing must be very smart as it thought of all these details from seed to growth to actual rendering of the final product so that we humans can eat it (the complexity of human-beings and other living creature is another vast field to study and understand and we are a long way from understanding it).

There are so many factors coming together – seed, soil and the nutrients in it, water, sunlight and night and more. What a smart thing this evolution is that it brought together all these elements. Yet it took hundreds and thousands of years for us humans to come up with simple tools on how to till the land and grow crops. To invent these tools lot of human intelligence was needed. Yet evolution tells us that all these other factors of seed, soil, nutrients, water, sunlight, and night (sun, moon, earth, other planets in the solar system, and the vast universe) happened by sheer accident.

Or is it?

Is it possible that there is some extraordinary intelligence behind it all? It remains a mystery for me. Nature's intelligence is astounding and we humans understand very little of it. Was all that intelligence put there by sheer accident of evolution? Or is there something more to it?

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Blogposts - Past Favourites: Human Body and Human Senses

We all know the five miraculous human senses:


Otherwise the human body is just a physical being but those miraculous senses make it a very unusual and special being. Only those who lose one or more senses come to appreciate it more and the rest of us take it for granted. Or as time goes by the senses become weak and people start losing sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell then people start appreciating it more. Imagine if one loses the sense of touch or feeling no pain also known as congenital insensitivity. Such people can hurt themselves without knowing it has happened.

I am always bewildered by this and by the miracle of life. I don’t know how life started. If it started from a single cell is it possible that there is an experimenter who started it all? It cannot be all a pure accident of a big bang explosion and then everything fell into place. Is it possible there is something more to it and more meaningful?

Anyway a time does come that all these senses disappear and the human body, or for that matter bodies of all living beings, become just a body or heap of material or as the saying goes "...for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Life always mystifies me.

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Blogposts - Past Favourites: Nelson Mandela - A Leader Extraordinaire

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”Mandela

It was recently Nelson Mandela’s ninety-third birthday. We live today in an era marked by cynicism about politics, the political process, and the ability to bring about real social change. We are too used to politicians who are corrupt and self-serving, who lie to the people they are supposed to serve. However, this cynicism melts away when looking at the life of Nelson Mandela, realizing that change is possible, that one can be an idealist and not be na├»ve.

Nelson Mandela is one of the most extraordinary people alive today – someone who fits with the great tradition of freedom fighters like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Mandela risked everything to fight against the unjust system of apartheid in South Africa; he was imprisoned for twenty-seven years, endured hardship, separated from his family. Upon release, where many would have sought vengeance, he forgave his captors.

That a freedom fighter and political prisoner could go on to become president of the once apartheid country of South Africa is extraordinary. Nelson Mandela played a key role in ending the horrors of apartheid, in ending a terrible injustice, and bringing new hope to the people of South Africa.

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