Here are some thoughts that were arrested while swirling in my head. They have the right to express themselves. Anything they say can turn out to be either true or complete codswallop.
One year ago I met a person who inspired me to practise yoga. This activity has helped make me a more balanced individual in terms of health and fitness. I used to think that yoga was just for women and leftist hippies but when I saw how this person exuded peace and looked to be in excellent physical condition, I realized that yoga was the real deal and there’s something to be gained even for practitioners of other sports.
The idea that multi-tasking is not possible for men seems unrealistic to me. Conventional wisdom has it that women are capable of using both their hemispheres simultaneously, while men have higher quantities of grey matter. How is it that one can drive a car and hold complex conversations at the same time? Perhaps driving does not require significant amounts of brain power, but I seem to be capable of multi-tasking and if I can, then others presumably can as well.
Driving in Malta has become extremely hazardous. Among my pet hates in this regard is when people overtake me on the inside lane, or cut off my inside lane by veering into it at roundabouts. To date I have never been involved in a traffic accident, although I did hit a kangaroo on the Tasman Highway to Triabunna in Tasmania. I hope to keep things that way. I love having an interesting and varied life, but driving should be boring on account of being uneventful. As it stands, in Malta it is rarely so. You can never let your guard down. It is an inherently stressful affair as you need to anticipate various moves and calculate speeds and trajectories on the fly. I have the utmost respect for cyclists and runners, and always do my best to protect them from harm. I was myself once a runner. Now I dare not run as it is becoming highly dangerous and pollution is on the rise.
Some teachers complain of “problem students”. In my opinion, while some students may be more challenging, it falls to the teacher to be able to tap into their abilities and bring out the best in them. I do not always succeed in this, but I do my best. Another thing about teaching is that I like to promote creative thinking by asking students to write about anything. I read an article yesterday about how dogs have become incapable of thinking for themselves thanks to humans doing everything for them. My cat embodies this unfortunate phenomenon. She is unable to exert all but the bare minimum of effort in my ill-fated enrichment activities and experiments. In my view, education tends to stifle free thinking, leading to mindless robots who cannot think for themselves. I try to challenge this by forcing students to analyze and question everyone and everything, including myself. If you have people who do not question, then you have stagnation.
I went swimming today as is my wont on weekends. While swimming, even in Malta, one must be constantly aware of the most dangerous and lethal of all ocean predators. People tend to underestimate the danger of boat strikes and jet-skis, but you ignore such hazards at your own risk. I tend to feel much more at ease when diving with certain species of shark, than when at the surface around moving vessels. Speaking of sharks, is it not ironic that people would not bat an eyelid if they knew that sandy beaches are often the haunt of stingrays who branched off the shark family tree millions of years ago. They are placid as long as you don’t mess with them. Just ask Steve Irwin. He will always be missed.
Recently I have been reading about the awesome power of nature. I learnt that the Toba supervolcano was so powerful that it plunged Earth into a volcanic winter for years! I was fortunate enough to visit Samosir island which sits on Lake Toba. It is a stunning place. Incidentally, monsters such as Campo Flegrei near Naples, and the Yellowstone supervolcano threaten to unleash hell if they wake up from their slumber. Just research the latter volcano and see what ticking timebomb the eastern US is actually sitting on. This would be a jihadist’s dream. Imagine scores of states being pelted with volcanic ash. Let’s hope it never happens. NASA will apparently try to cool this bad boy down. It is a sobering thought that even the Tsar Bomba, the greatest of all nuclear weapons in terms of yield, does not even come close to what one of these natural powerhouses can do.
Speaking of jihadis, isn’t it sad that even as ISIS is being crushed and kicked all over the shrinking boundaries of its so-called caliphate, the chickens are coming home to roost? In reality, one can never fully defend every soft target in Europe without turning into a police state. Even then it would not be enough. What happened in Barcelona and Finland, as well as possible Russia(to date not confirmed as terrorist attack), will happen again. Though we are statistically unlikely to be killed in a terrorist attack, it really is a huge pity that instead of advancing human civilization, some people are trying their best to create rifts between communities. Let’s be honest here, 1.6 billion Muslims are not going anywhere, nor should they. They’re a part of this world, and hate terror as much as we do. Still I may be biased in this, but I do hope millions of people abandon religions of all kinds, as I feel that this irrational form of thinking contributes to sowing divisions between people on the basis of whose God is real and whose is not. Then again, everyone should be free to believe in whatever rocks their boat, or ark in the case of the Zoroastrians, whose epic of Gilgamesh likely inspired the Noah’s Ark myth. Would it be too much to ask, if they spared my damned and hell-bound soul in the process? I really love my imperfect and heathen life so, so much.
Game of Thrones has really become a force unto itself when it comes to epic camera work and CGI effects. Sadly, it also seems to have become incredibly shallow in terms of plot. What started off as a show full of intrigue and Machiavellian plots has now degenerated into a mind-numbingly absurd concoction of time-travelling characters, predictable plot lines, out of character behaviour and anemic dialogue. Although I still enjoy watching it in spite of frequent, dare I say, planned spoilers on the part of HBO themselves, I just can’t wrap my head around how characters traverse huge swathes of land across the course of a single episode. By hey, if there’s giants, dragons and ice-zombies, then why shouldn’t teleportation also be a part of this universe? George R.R. Martin must be rolling in his….oh well…he’s probably doing ok for himself seeing as how popular this whole thing has become, literary masterpieces that the books are.
Feel free to leave comments here or on facebook if you wish. I hope you enjoyed reading this. I sure enjoyed thinking these thoughts during a drive back from the beach. Thanks Mr.Excruciatingly slow driver I just couldn’t overtake!