Showing posts from July, 2018

The Thirsty Crow

When I was growing up, there was a folk tale of sorts about a crow trying to drink shallow water from a deep container. The crow wasn't able to reach the water. So the crow started picking up pebbles off the ground with its beak and throwing them into the container. Each pebble thrown into the container caused the water to rise ever so slightly towards the surface of the container. Many pebbles later, the water reached close enough to the surface so that the crow was able to take a few sips.

The story points to the intelligence of birds in general and the crow in particular and was hiding somewhere in my subconscious mind. I was reminded of it while reading Ackerman's gift of a book, a much-needed antidote to the "birdbrain" line of thinking. The book contains countless such stories to amaze and entertain you as you learn more about birds than you ever imagined possible.

(I later discovered that the story I had heard during my childhood is credited to Aesop's Fa…


I was reading a Davis Sedaris essay when I came to finally understand why childbirth is treated as such an ordeal among us humans. The short answer is capitalism, that panacea that isn't.

I'm pretty homophobic. Contrary to the common tagline, I actually don't have any gay friends. Not because I refuse to have any. But because none have crossed my path. And I admit I haven't gone out of my way looking for any. So for me to like Sedaris' work means I must really like his writing. And I do.

In his essay "Stepping Out" he talks to a cow that's grazing while giving birth. He asks her why she can't stop eating for five minutes in order to focus on childbirth. Five minutes for childbirth? Where did that time estimate come from? From capitalism, of course.

I'm speaking from some amount of firsthand experience here. I contend that childbirth is treated as a gland slam version of passing a kidney stone only because society has conditioned us to get it o…