So here we are, December 22, 2012, the day after the world was supposed to end according to—no, not the Mayans—the morons.

The Mayans did not predict the end of the world. They created a calendar. The calendar ended yesterday.

Look at the calendar on your wall. It probably ends on December 31, 2012. Does that mean that the world will come to an end at midnight December 31, just because there is not another page to turn?

Of course not. Neither did the end of the Mayan calendar mean the end of the world. If you think so, then send me your contact information as I have a useless survival kit to sell you.

What the Mayan calendar does mean is that the Mayans were very smart. They created a calendar that could be used for millennia and which was accurate to boot. That implies a serious knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.

I can’t wait to see who is going to be next to declare the end of the world, and how it will occur.


It seems that birds are now learning to use tools. I find this fascinating as other animals, such as chimpanzees, have also been shown to use tools. In this article, rooks not only figured out how to use tools but how to fashion them. This truly sounds like higher intelligence to me.

The question this raises in my mind is whether this represents increasing intelligence on the part of these species that has occurred in recent times or whether these capabilities have always been there? And what does it mean either way?

These animals certainly seem smarter than some humans I know.


Memorial Day weekend 2008 is here. And by coincidence Alice and I have been watching a very appropriate program on DVD.

I say coincidence because back in November I bought a copy of Band of Brothers and had been going to watch it then. Other projects intervened and forced us to postpone viewing this mini-series. We started watching last weekend and have managed to view several of the episodes. We will probably finish up this weekend.

If you want to know why we celebrate Memorial Day, watch Band of Brothers. I read the book several years ago and, although it was very powerful, Tom hanks and the other directors and producers have done a fantastic job of bringing this story to the screen in a way that tells the unglamorous story of these heroes and depicts the horrors of war. And I think these men and their story stand in for all who served in WWII and all of our other wars.

I was born about a year after my father returned from the Pacific in WWII and service on the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill and a destroyer tender. My uncle, his brother served with the 69th Infantry Division in Europe. Another uncle was a high ranking officer in the Pacific, two aunts served in the WAVES, and my mother worked in a war plant. They were all heroes.

Thanks to all of you! We remember what you did.