Space and Space

I’m not exactly thrilled by the Mercury Messenger mission, but it’s still pretty neat. With all the sunny weather we’ve been having here lately, Mercury just seems a little oppressive at the moment.

I just saw a video of the spacecraft’s flyby of Earth — it took a “movie” of Earth as it passed by us again on its way to fly by Venus, on its continuing journey to Mercury.

The movie was little amazing to me – it being real, and not a sci-fi animation: this zippy probe out there all alone, travelling by our little planet, looking back on it, as our planet also is flying through space, just spinning away, with all we crazy creatures on it, with all our very important things.

The probe should make its first flyby of Mercury in January 2008.

And speaking of space, it looks like science has determined, surprisingly, that creativity and “odd behaviour” are related.

People who display “odd” behaviour and language, but aren’t prone to hallucinations, are not psychotic, and not schizophrenic are labeled schizotypal.

Apparently schizotypal people are far more creative than “normals”, or schizophrenics. Schizotypes gain much of the associative freedom of schizophrenics without the debilitating qualities. In this study, Schizotypes demonstrated markedly more creativity than both schizophrenics and normals, who fared about equally as well.

“In the scientific community, the popular idea that creativity exists in the right side of the brain is thought to be ridiculous, because you need both hemispheres of your brain to make novel associations and to perform other creative tasks,� Folley said. “We found that all three groups, schizotypes, schizophrenics and normal controls, did use both hemispheres when performing creative tasks. But the brain scans of the schizotypes showed a hugely increased activation of the right hemisphere compared to the schizophrenics and the normal controls.�

I suggest you check out Mike’s page if you’re interested in some ideas from other people’s brains that you can interpret in your own brain, to have more meaningful understanding within your brain, of your brain. He’s got some nifty thinking going on. Just don’t encourage him.

After doing that, you might want to start eating yourself, starting at your toes and working your way all the way up to your face, where your teeth can finally chew themselves up.

Oh, and one more thing. Arnold’s a wuss.

I found a neat site on the BBC that deals with [a kind of] ethics and same-sex marriage. They have some good thinking there.

Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act

The Seattle Times reports that California yesterday approved the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” by a vote of 41-35 which states that marriage is between “two persons”, not necessarily just between a man and a woman.

This makes California the first state to specifically approve same-sex marriages by an act of their legislative body, following a tradition of openness and kindness that was also demonstrated by their being the first state to strike down a law prohibiting interracial marriage, and in 1976 was one of the first states to repeal sodomy laws.

“There are moments in the history of any movement when the corner is turned,” said Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California, a gay-rights group. “This is it. This is the tipping point.”

But this doesn’t mean it’s happening – the governor must sign the Act.

Apparently, Governor Arnold is wrapped in conflicting forces with this volatile piece of legislation. He allied himself with the conservative GOP, while at the same time his background, personally, is very friendly in the “gay community”.

“Marriage should be between a man and a woman, end of story. Next issue,” insisted Republican Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy. “It’s not about civil rights or personal rights, it’s about acceptance. They want to be accepted as normal. They are not normal.”

Sometimes we have to do what we know is right, instead of what is expected of us. I hope that Arnold’s characters manage to shine through.