The Ants Return—Working Class Heroes or Social Parasites
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
2w ago
  Watching a battalion of ants march through a crack in my bathroom molding I was in awe of their determination and sense of purpose. What was their plan for today?—Steal my toothpaste and feed the troops, grab a drink, or burrow into a warm, dry nest. The ants seem to be communicating with each other as their plan unfolded—their collective efforts, a lesson in perseverance. Some ant species have been observed utilizing organizational skills, division of labor, and sophisticated agriculture while harvesting food. But like humans—ants also exploit the rules. Some ant species are known ..read more
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A Canary In A Coal Mine—A Peacock In Oakland
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
3M ago
 As I walked out the door on this brisk, January morning I thrust my finger into the air to sample the prevailing breeze. Which way will the wind be blowing as we embark on this new year—2024? Will the current slant leeward toward the proverbial canary in a coal mine— or will it shift windward to ruffle the plumage of the enigmatic peacock strutting his stuff on my front lawn. When Kevin, our adopted pet peacock, arrived in July 2023 and took up residence on our street we thought it was a sign from the Buddha Dharma that maybe understanding, benevolence, and compassion had finally ..read more
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Parramatta—The Place Where the Eels Lie Down—A Thanksgiving Conundrum
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
5M ago
    Written and sung by Woody Guthrie, some have called "This Land Is Your Land" an alternative national anthem. Others say it's a Marxist response to Irving Berlin’s, "God Bless America," and some Native Americans consider it “tone deaf” in reference to their “stolen land.” Last month we observed Indigenous Peoples Day, in November we commemorate American Indian Heritage Month, and next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving.   Native Americans will observe the 4th Thursday of November as a National Day of Mourning. Gatherings will t ..read more
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Darwin Revisited—Xenobots to the Rescue
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
7M ago
  My recent blog posts on Genetic Engineering and Artificial Intelligence raised concerns about how we are altering the course of human evolution. Scientific investigation and innovation are constantly adding to the calculus of the evolutionary questions: “Where did we come from?” and “Where we are we heading?” In order to answer these questions we can now add the terms “Coacervate Droplet,” “Mammalian Parthenogenesis” and “Xenobots” to our lexicon.                        "Vessel #95—Reconcile"   Wood & Flax ..read more
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Artificial Intelligence (AI)—Do We Need A Bigger Brain or More Soul?
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
1y ago
Artificial Intelligence (AI), programs that can replicate human thinking, have arrived with readily accessible programs like OpenAI’s Chat GPT4, Microsoft’s Bing, Google’s Bard and in the visual realm DALL-E, Midjourney and Adobe Firefly. With AI, like genetic engineering, we have unleashed another genie from the bottle that could alter the course of human evolution. I could have written this blog using Chat GPT4 and included artwork designed with DALL-E 2 or Midjourney but after doing some research I decided that what AI programs lack at this point in time is “soul.”  Joe from the Pix ..read more
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Asteroids, Solar Storms and UFO's
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
1y ago
  Just when you thought it was safe to venture out again, scientists are fueling our collective anxiety with talk of the Earth being hit by an asteroid, solar flares, or being consumed by a black hole. And that’s before mentioning that the Air Force recently shot down three UFO’s that might have been looking for a place to land. Like the deadly virus mutations circulating the globe the threats from outer space are being examined in equal detail by the fine-tuned eye of the James Webb telescope that can peer back 13.6 billion light years to the formation of the first stars and galaxies ..read more
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What Gets You Up in the Morning?—A Reprise
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
1y ago
I am updating this year-end blog post on "well-being" from 2017 because the last six years have been a difficult time for people throughout the world. In 2022 we have encountered the war in Ukraine, the threat of nuclear confrontation, shootings in schools and public venues, the continuing threat of Covid-19, natural disasters caused by climate change, the global rise of authoritarianism along with attacks on human rights, inflation, food and housing insecurity, and an increase in stress and mental health issues.  Berlin—The Wall Because it’s the holiday season it might be time ..read more
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Tough Turkey and Other Zoonotics
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
1y ago
First it was the Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Flu, then Ebola, Covid-19, Monkeypox, and now it’s H5N1—better known as Avian Influenza Virus.  Just when we thought it was somewhat safe to resume our pre-Covid Thanksgiving rituals along comes another highly pathogenic virus. The primary risk factor for human infection from Avian Flu appears to be exposure to infected live or dead poultry or contaminated environments.  Although transmission from birds to humans is rare, Avian Flu has decimated the bird population and made Thanksgiving Turkey a scarce commodity. Isabela Island, The G ..read more
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Guns, Wombs and the SS Sanity
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
1y ago
Having just celebrated the 4th of July it’s an appropriate time to reconsider liberty and justice in America. Our Founding Fathers (and Mothers) fought for freedom from oppression. The last 200+ years have been a constant struggle to ensure equal rights for everyone. Throughout history the gatekeeper of these rights has been the Supreme Court. They have made many positive decisions to advance justice, but the pendulum has now swung back as recent cases decided by the Court have reversed or altered laws that have granted these rights. “45” told us he was going to “Drain the Swamp.” Like mo ..read more
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Living and Dying in the Name of the Lord
Jeff Key
by Jeff Key
2y ago
In the month of April Muslims celebrate Ramadan, Christians commemorate Easter and Jews observe Passover. During this holy period it’s time to take stock and consider the tenets of the predominant world religions—reflection, prayer, redemption, gratitude and compassion. As tribalism, war and persecution increases worldwide we are once again faced with an existential dilemma. What are the root causes of these ongoing animosities—intolerance, fear, greed, revenge or just human nature? • There are many reasons for the Russian invasion of Ukraine—Ukraine forging closer ties with t ..read more
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