Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The 'Rain Man' Dies

We born. We die. That's the nature of this mortal existence. Some deaths stir emotions as did Kim Peek's death. The 'Rain Man' movie was loosely based on this extraordinary man's life.

"When Kim was 9 months old, a doctor said that he was so severely retarded that he would never walk or talk and that he should be institutionalized. When Kim was 6, another doctor recommended a lobotomy. By then, however, Kim had read and memorized the first eight volumes of a set of family encyclopedias, his father said. He received part-time tutoring from the age of 7 and completed a high school curriculum by 14. He spent great swaths of time absorbing volumes in the Salt Lake City Public Library."

When asked "Kim, are you happy?", Kim Peek answered, "I'm happy just to look at you."

The 'Rain Man' dies.
The 'Rain Man' dies.

But the memory and the inspiration live on.
in reference to: Kim Peek, Inspiration for ‘Rain Man,’ Dies at 58 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegan and Plant Life

What to eat then? Killing animal is murder. And the plants have sophisticated system in place, like talking through chemical signals, "Their roots ride the underground “rhizosphere” and engage in cross-cultural and microbial trade."

Here is an interesting extract from Natalie Angier's article in The New York Times, "Just because we humans can’t hear them doesn’t mean plants don’t howl. Some of the compounds that plants generate in response to insect mastication — their feedback, you might say — are volatile chemicals that serve as cries for help. Such airborne alarm calls have been shown to attract both large predatory insects like dragon flies, which delight in caterpillar meat, and tiny parasitic insects, which can infect a caterpillar and destroy it from within."

Plant the trickster, the survivor, "Plants are the ethical autotrophs here, the ones that wrest their meals from the sun. Don’t expect them to boast: they’re too busy fighting to survive."

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/science/22angi.html