shaktinah's blog

Geek Rock!

 

Ok, so only the geekiest of people are going to get this. But I thought it was hilarious. 

 FYI: PCR = polymerase chain reaction It's a way to make lots of copies of a DNA sequence and it used routinely in biological research, as well as to identify or absolve people in criminal investigations. Dr. Kary Mullis is the guy credited with inventing PCR, for which he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Bio-Rad is a company that makes a lot of PCR products, and they obviously want scientists to remember them and buy their stuff! Hmm... I swear that guy in the blue shirt looks familiar... And of course, I can't help but be reminded of Jonathan Coulton's song: That Spells DNA

 

Pesach & Liberation from Oppression

Yesterday evening marked the first night of Passover or Pesach.  It's kind of a blessing when my UU church's annual observance of Pesach actually takes place at the right time.  (All Souls does a wonderful Seder dinner but it plays a little loose with the rules... which is very UU.)

Since this is a UU Seder, our Haggadah (the order of service for the Seder) emphasizes the social justice aspects of the Exodus story.  We talk not only of God delivering the Jews from the oppression of the Egyptians but also our recognition that others in the world are still oppressed and our hopes for their liberation too.  We link the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt with the enslavement of African Americans in the U.S.  (Indeed, the Exodus story is a key part of black liberation theology.)  To be fair, I know a lot of Jewish Seders also broaden the focus towards all people who are oppressed, and teach that their own experiences show them that they must not be complacent to injustice.

Desperate Who?

This arrived in my emailbox this evening:

Subject: UUism and Desperate Housewives

Well, we're moving into pop culture.  Bree referred Lynette to go to a UU church (where she hears we are open to asking questions) last week on Desperate Housewives.

To which my reaction was, who is Bree and who is Lynette?  Maybe pop culture has moved into us but not all of us have moved into it. :P

Tibet... Again.

First there was the post on Making Chutney, talking about the feudal and oppressive governance in pre-communist occupied Tibet.  I was very happy to see a UU presenting the other perspective and recognizing an "anti-Chinese" sentiment in the Western response. But during the discussion within the comments, I became a little uncomfortable.  Understanding that Tibet was a theocracy ruled by the lamas should not then automatically become, "Tibetans are better off now under the communists."  That runs the danger of us not responding to oppression that continues to exist.

Update on the Evolution Debate in Florida

About two months ago, I blogged in recognition of Darwin Day, at which time I pointed to a disturbing trend in Florida. Twelve county school districts had passed resolutions banning the teaching of evolutionary theory.

There's a New Pope In Town

In case it was possible for anyone to not know, the Pope is in town.  And DC seems to be agog.  All week long the metro platforms have been announcing that you can take the train to Nationals stadium (if you have a ticket).  On the trains, I've heard several cellphone conversations about the pontiff.  And the Post is running stories about people who paid thousands of dollars to fly here, or drove all night... And of course there is stuff like this.

Emancipation Day, VA Tech, and Hope

Today was Emancipation Day, a DC holiday.  It is the anniversary of the day Lincoln freed the slaves within the District, nine months before he freed all slaves within the U.S. via the famous Emancipation Proclamation.  It's interesting that we celebrate an event that is widely seen as motivated by political expediency.  Emancipation of the slaves within DC was not based on the moral conviction that slavery is wrong, but rather in the hopes that freed DC slaves would fight for the Union side.

Today is also the one year anniversary of the massacre at Virginia Tech, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and as the Asian American community is well aware, perpetrated by one of our own. 

The Red Line

The Red Line of the DC metro system bends in a U shape, connecting two wealthy Maryland suburban cities with DC in the middle.  On the western side of the U, the stops in DC are pretty ritzy too.  But on the eastern side of the U, the Red Line runs through slightly shoddier neighborhoods.

I take the Red Line home from work most days, passing through Union Station and then out into the above ground.  First, New York Avenue, then Rhode Island Avenue... There are block after block of train tracks and warehouses, on the roofs and sides of which the taggers express themselves in vibrant colors.  Looking out the window in the early evening sun, I see words and combinations of letters that I do not recognize.  And then suddenly... three little words that I know very well.  STOP THE WAR.

Speaking of Buddhism...

All this talk of perpetually peaceful Tibetan monks standing nobly in the face of the evil Chinese reminds me of a related pet peeve I have with respect to how many (not all) Westerners approach things Asian.

When the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life came out with its report on religion in the U.S. a couple of months ago, one notable yet unsurprising finding was that, unlike Hinduism and Islam, most people who identify as Buddhist are home-grown (mostly white) converts, not (Asian) immigrants.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Buddhism is a proselytizing faith; it is open and welcoming to converts - spreading from its native India, throughout Asia, and now the rest of the world.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - shaktinah's blog

Latest Wizduum Blog Posts

06/08/2018 - 11:54
04/24/2018 - 11:09
02/07/2018 - 12:21

Forum Activity

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:11
Mon, 06/16/2014 - 07:09
Tue, 10/01/2013 - 22:01

Acknowledgments

wizdUUm.net is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative