Monthly Archives: August 2007

Wonders of Nature (Part III): The Variety Of Life; The Fundamentals Of Nature

I’ve decided to make a small collection of notable videos about life on Earth. I’ve chosen these videos specifically to compliment each other, in the hope that, together, they will convey a sense of the incredible variety and complexity of life on our planet.

The first is a very short video of an animal called the Supreme Bird of Paradise. It’s elaborate courtship rituals nicely demonstrate the incredible variety of social behaviors in the animal kingdom. Also, it’s hilarious.

This next video is actually about a network of subterranean fresh-water caves in Mexico, in what used to be the Mayan Empire. I chose this video not because it features incredible creatures, but because it demonstrates the incredible resilience of life; the fact that animals can thrive in places that never see sunlight is truly astounding. It makes one wonder how many hundreds of thousands of distinct ecosystems exist in the bizarre and remote places on this planet.

Most of you have probably seen this video before, but I’d like to include it anyway. It’s the Lyrebird; the animal with the most advanced vocal cords in the world. I think this video demonstrates the incredible intelligence of life on Earth. Though to us it seems like animals simply coast through their existence by haphazardly figuring out a means of basic survival, this video shows that such underestimations are grossly incorrect. Indeed, the social patterns of some animals often seems more mysterious and complex than our own.

This last video demonstrates many important things about the natural world. First: a plant that digests insects. In many ways, the plant’s digestive system is no different that our own. Chemicals are used to break down organic tissue and convert them into nutrients. The difference between us and plants, of course, is that we consciously put food in our mouths, while the plants have simply evolved trap-like entranceways for procuring it’s pray. Secondly, a spider that inhabits the plant. This demonstrates how life grows on top of life … the kind of bizarre relationships that develop between two organisms, be they symbiotic, or otherwise. A spider uses a certain type of plant to catch pray, just as we manipulate seeds to grow food, or use sharpened sticks to hunt game. Life, on this Earth, for all it’s varieties and apparent distinctions, is all derived from the same fundamentals – all built with the same building blocks.

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And In The End…

There was once a band, whose members comprised four young lads from a relatively poor city called Liverpool. This band would eventually instill itself as the quintessential rock band, earning a place in history as the founders of an entire age of enterprise that is now called “popular music.” They wrote many songs that are deeply entrenched into the social and cultural conscience, and their ability to win legions of fans in every new generation attests to their staggering ability as musicians, artists and revolutionaries. The band, for all their incredible accomplishments and enormous acclaim, was humbly named: “The Beatles.”

Anyone who knows Andrew Muir knows that he has a deep fascination with The Beatles. Above all, this is for one reason: their message is the best message I’ve ever heard.

The Beatles never wrote an angry song. Every single piece of art they produced was about love. In the early days, it was more obvious … Love Me Do, P.S. I Love You, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love, Words Of Love, And I Love Her, All My Loving … and even in the later days, the message was the same, though expressed less directly.

It’s hard for me, not only to think of another band that had this kind of message, but to think of ANYTHING else, throughout ALL of mankinds illustrious history, that has ever had such a great message. All you need is love.

There are so many ways of viewing the world, and many people end up espousing hatred in the hearts of other people, even if they don’t know it, or don’t mean it. I believe it’s extremely important, in life, to do all you can to make sure you are only a force for good in people’s lives, no matter who they are, or how well you know them. You don’t have to be a saint: if more people in the world just thought a little less about themselves, and a little more about other people, the world would be a much better place.

At the very end of their career, The Beatles produced one last album called “Abbey Road,” and the last song on the album is called “The End.” The very last line in the very last song of the very last Beatles album is this:

“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”

Clearly, this line was written as a concluding thought to their entire canon of lyrical content. And how beautiful and simplistic is their message … they’re even capable of pulling off their message with a certain kind of mathematical simplicity. It makes me realize what John Lennon was saying all along. Something like “No bibles, bosses or lawmakers will tell me I’m a bad person. I have love.” Well I hear that, John & Paul!

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