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« A Sense of WONDER | Main | It's A Wonderful Life »

February 17, 2009


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Oh what a wondrous theory...

can the events be cataclysmic - I can't help but think of Victorians living their lives quietly in the country only to have those lives decimated by horrendous fires..

and yet the wonderful thing is the generosity of Australians - even those in flood devastated Queensland have opened their hearts and wallets to their countrymen and women down south...

margaret oomen

On one of our family vacation many years ago we hiked about half a day to visit the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park. It was an amazing experience for the children although it was difficult keeping the found treasures out of their pockets. So much life and history embedded in the layers of that wonderful grey stone.

Joan Chandler

I stood in line next to Stephen Jay Gould to get into a concert in Boston in 1983. Someone in line called out: "Oh look there's Stephen Jay Gould!" like he was a rock star. He accomplished a lot and contributed mightily to our view of life.
Joan Chandler

Elsita :)

"punctuated equilibrium" That's a great way to look at evolution to me. I would love to read that book, it seems to give you a new perspective on evolution and progress.
Elsi :)


Hej Bill,

Just want to share some thoughts about the last paragraph of your post.
We, human beings, have our daily habits which we stick to even if they don't really help us anymore. We oppose change. On the other end we dislike to be in a rut. This high and low tide process is what brings change I think. Why?
You have something you feel isn't right. You think about it but than no I can't change. You go through this cycle so many times that you hardly notice something is changing and than all of a sudden the last step is made and you feel you really changed overnight. That is the reason I feel that we never feel succes because things grow so steadily that it is hard to pinpoint it. We don't notice the smallest babysteps. We deceive ourselves by claiming we stay the same. It is impossible.

I don't know this book but maybe I can find it in the library. Hope so will be interesting reading material.

Elsita :)

I agree so much with Elizabeth!
I also had this image in my mind about growth, physical growth. We notice how children grow up because it happens fast, every month they look taller and then once they/we reach adulthood we stop growing (physically) but not emotionally etc. That other kind of growth is so hard to see, the one that says how much better we are doing and how much we are developing (or not). That's when things get less obvious. As Elizabeth said: we don't notice the smallest baby steps. I guess that in order to see our development better we need to step back and look at ourselves from the distance. That's what I do with myself once in a while.


Your right Elsita. And that is why it is hard to see/feel succesful. We are fed these grand examples but we do not see how it started and how hard that person has worked and how much he/she has learnt to become this grand example. The funny thing is that these grand examples often state that they didn't change but their surroundings did. They know they worked hard but that is "normal".

I stop here before I get totally carried away with this. LOL


I did a term paper in freshman biology on Gould's punctuated equilibrium. I have no idea how the hypothesis has stood the test of time in scientific circles, but it certainly makes sense when you think about the cataclysmic asteroid impacts that disrupted life on several occasions--likely killing the dinosaurs and allowing mammals to emerge as a dominant group.

I think what's wondrous about dramatic changes on a personal level (death, divorce, moving to another city, etc.) is how painful they can be while at the same time giving up tremendous opportunities for growth.

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The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Catalonia, Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. This became a part of the celebrations of the Saint George's Day (also 23 April) in the region, where it has been traditional since the medieval era for men to give roses to their lovers and since 1925 for the woman to give a book in exchange. Half the yearly sales of books in Catalonia are at this time with over 400,000 sold and exchanged for over 4 million roses.

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