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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Complex Meat Balls

In Dissecting Life on September 20, 2011 at 10:40 am

I woke up this morning realizing the lumps of mucus coated meat we were as we shimmied out of the cervix. Ousted by the womb– “Here are your eyes–courtesy beautiful mother, your nose– your dad’s to blame, your mouth, your limbs… Take it or leave it!”–we tried to tune ourselves to consciousness, unaware of the complexity of our physical self.

What’s with the complexity? Intelligent, but whatever happened to simplicity! It amazes me how well equipped we are with an immensely complex apparatus that accepts inputs and gives appropriate outputs, thanks to the multiple holes, pores, orifices, etc. That’s right; we can pass off as strainers. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to bud off our mothers or grow from a strand of hair or something along those lines to keep things simple. Or better still, paraglide down the skies. I must admit, I am glad human babies don’t crack out of external eggs, ‘cause if your eggs go missing the last thing you want to see is masala omelet on your neighbour’s breakfast table. “Is that…?!”

 Anyway, if I were to create life, I’d keep it simple. We’d function like a solar panel and be an assembly of detachable organs. Then we’d go to the stores and sound something like this, “I’d like a pair of blue and green eyes each, two packets of violet, curly hair please, and yeah, a pair of waxed legs… no, not those, the tanned, long ones.” It would be quite fascinating to see a new you each day–so Mystique. People would be so much happier with themselves and their spouses.

Look at the billion species on this planet for simplicity’s sake! Had we been well endowed with hair, we’d be chimps. Had we walked on our fours and resembled a bitter gourd, we’d pass off as crocks. Had we resembled a jelly nosed Pinocchio, we’d be certified elephants. Had we been detached, moderately running noses, trailing as we slid, we’d be called snails. In case of mobile goat droppings, we’d be called roaches. Come to think of it, creating a new species is like giving the sensory organs a new look. Truth is nobody can beat Lady Gaga! So why not keep it simple.

The Complexity of Butterflies and Destinies

In Dissecting Life on March 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

 

Our world is a complex system. In the midst of this complexity, if someone tells you that the flapping wings of the dainty butterfly in your garden is capable of setting tornados into motion (The Butterfly Effect- Chaos Theory), you’d think he needs a therapist. But if there is any truth in what he is saying, the smallest actions such as batting you eyelids can have outsized, unrelated, and unexpected consequences. The theory alerts us that the most insignificant occurrences in nature are not inconsequential. An infinitesimal action gathers momentum over a period of time to change the face of our delusionary “controlled system” of living. It makes life look like a joke; a complex version of The Truman Show.

If a butterfly can change weathers, I can prevent an epidemic by spending my evenings swatting flies. If you look at the events closely, you will notice that something as harmless as flapping a pair of wings can create a disastrous tornado while something as cruel as killing a fly can prevent large scale deaths. A seemingly insignificant event may be positive or negative (based on regular human moral standards) but that may not really have anything to do with the positivity or negativity of the situation that arises out of it.

If little things can lead to large things then probably large things can lead to much larger things, which is ultimately a collection of little things. So, can the motion of massive planets across the universe affect our insignificant existence? If the moon can cause changes in tide, it would be foolish to rule out the changes it can bring about within us. Maybe there is more to astrology than meets our eye. The birth date could be just a point of reference, an initial condition or a value to understand what moved in what direction to create what changes over what period of time. These external events could have created very basic changes such as temperature changes, mood changes, and radiations thus affecting human interactions, hormonal changes, or even perceptions to create the life pattern. This pattern can probably be graphed if life can be expressed as a combination of variables, measurements and forces. It can also be loosely labeled as “destiny”. Our story is probably a collection of external and internal events that naturally lead to actions, behaviors and reactions. But we believe that these actions, behaviors and reactions are of our own doing, will or choice. Maybe because there are so many factors affecting one little life, a prediction can never ever be accurate. But only human beings predict. Nature doesn’t have to calculate. The outcome is definite.

The movie 127 hours, highlights the outcome of an action (or actions) beautifully. At a certain point, in the movie, Aron Ralston seems to be convinced that the situation he is trapped in is an outcome of very simple, basic acts that he habitually performed. Aron says, “This rock has been waiting for me my entire life. Its entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.” Personally, it was heart wrenching to watch this man reach a moment of “realization” or “repentance” (depends on whether you think his actions were neutral or negative) and accept that he created the very thing he was trapped in. It was an incident waiting to happen; destined to happen ever since he was born.

Nature doesn’t say, “This is wrong!”

In Dissecting Life on February 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm

We are all great at mind games, aren’t we? We manipulate, consciously or subconsciously, to alter moves of people around us in order to get our work done. Although the Heavens would consider us unworthy of entry, nature presents a completely different picture.

This is what we saw. A bird poops. The snail feasts on the parasite infested poop. The parasite plays havoc in the digestive system, and then dances in the tentacles of the snail. Consequently, the wormlike tentacles get bitten off by the incognizant bird and the parasite gains entry into the bird’s rectum. In other words, Leucochloridium paradoxum takes over the snail’s brain and executes a perfect bird-deception plan and nobody complains or question’s the parasite’s intention or yells in desperation, “Leucochloridium paradoxum must be punished!”

Parasitic wasps have another story to narrate. They introduce their eggs into a host such as a lady bird, a mantis or a caterpillar. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the host until they grow into adults, killing the host. While the instincts are in motion, nature stands and stares.

Has anyone tried showing the wasp the “Right Path” or telling it, “Dude! This is not done!” Of course not. In nature, deception is a fair game. You deceive, you survive.

In the mean time, cuckoos hatch in a different bird’s nest. Yes, the mother cuckoo leaves her child in a stranger’s (the host) nest! The nest also contains the host’s eggs but the cuckoo’s egg always hatches first.  The host flies helter-skelter to provide the rapidly growing cuckoo with food. Not interested in sharing the feast, the now-not-so-little cuckoo throws the host’s eggs out. Baby cuckoo is pretty violent for a kid, isn’t it? Then again, who doesn’t want to enjoy monopoly?

It seems the little baby does not have the time to learn this act of violence so natural instinct is at play here. We can call it a result of genetic makeup. But does this mean that in order to eradicate destruction and violence in nature, you may have to alter the gene or destroy the creature altogether? Maybe the cuckoo just needs to see a counselor. Will a psychiatrist change the way a cuckoo behaves, I wonder? If chemicals, hormones and genes govern the human body, what could possibly be fair or unfair about human behavior?

While baby cuckoos get rid of their siblings, praying mantises eat their spouses alive during mating! “Praying” mantis? “Preying” mantis more like it!

Homosexuality in animals is not uncommon. (Turns out, there is more to nature than procreation.) With whiptail lizards reproducing without male interference, dolphins engaging in coercive sex and penguins turning to prostitution, “right” and “wrong” clearly never existed in nature.

The point I’m trying to make is this– if I step all over you in my pursuit of brilliance, don’t complain. It’s nature’s will!