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Out Of Tragedy - Illumination

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Mark BermanRSS Feed of this column.

I am a Teacher and Public Speaker first, an Entomologist second, a naturalist, a videographer, a photographer, a web designer and have multiple other skills - and probably more to say than I should... Read More »

I have a theory (not like a science theory… more like a personal theory) about patriarchies (male led cultures) – they don’t exist.

I suppose, on the face of it, many human cultures appear to be patriarchies. They operate in patriarchical ways. For instance, in over 200 years the United States has never had a woman President – or Vice President – or Chief of Staff. Who wears the pants in our family?

Well, I hate to admit I have spent more than my share of time alone, contemplating why it is so darn difficult to maintain a good relationship. Maybe it’s just me. But I will go to very great theoretical lengths to attribute it to something else! 

Here’s some of what I have come up with so far:
Since I do educational outreach programs with living Arthropods (referred to below as BUGS!), I have to actually have bugs. Some people think that’s weird. I’m okay with that. I don’t imagine many would find it surprising that I have always had bugs – or something. I mean Bluegills in the basement bathtub, countless beetles and caterpillars and butterflies in nets and other random containers, tons of rolly-pollies and fireflies… you get the idea. I mean, I drove my Mom nuts! 
Please indulge me a charming aside from A.A. Milne in order to set the stage for my essay…. (don’t worry, it’s charming)

The House at Pooh Corner (pg 93-94)
In Which Pooh Invents a New Game and Eeyore Joins In

I complain every time we have a family dinner at my sister’s house. Don’t get me wrong, I like my family and everything, but she moved with her daughter and son way out to the remotest parts of central Ohio and it takes forever to get there. But certain benefits are hard to measure.

This is her son, my nephew, with the smaller of their two Great Danes in the background. I’ll try to spare you the ‘cutest-nephew-in-the-world, proud uncle’ stuff.

It is coming – so we might as well prepare for it psychologically. Researchers who manipulate DNA and RNA, and all of the incredible tools of creation that accompany them, have become so accomplished in the past 50 years that we are now facing realistic scenarios once relegated to alarmist science fiction. 

I used to tell my high school Biology students ‘wild’ stories about the genetic research of the early 2000’s (so long ago!) I always felt as if I had to be extra animated because I was sure I sounded like a crackpot!

One day last summer, I was making a feeble stab at cleaning the deck (or as I like to call it the “backyard basement!”) There was a long, thin plastic planter (junk) with dirt in it sprouting some grasses that had happened there on their own. I noticed a commotion in the soil and saw a treehopper partway stuck in a little hole, wiggling around to try to get in the rest of the way. Strange bug behavior! I realized this was actually the prey of a ground nesting wasp.