13 December 2007

The Origins of "Xmas"

Some years ago I was told that the term Xmas was just an attempt to take "Christ" out of the holiday. I swore from that moment on I would never use the word again. I think it's fair to say that a number of Christians may believe the same thing. While I surely agree that mainstream America is working as hard as Santa's elves to eliminate references to religion in our politically-correct culture, the origins of Xmas are less nefarious.

According to my research (which of course included Wikipedia), the name Christmas has its origins rooted in the 12th century Old English word
Cristes mæsse (or the Mass of Christ). The X we see in Xmas is actually the Greek letter Chi, which was the first letter used to spell Christ in Greek. The Greek word looks something like this: Χριστός. The custom of using the letters XC (the first and last letters) to represent the word Christ dates back as far as the 14th century, and the use of just the letter X naturally followed sometime thereafter.

The word Xmas was just one of several Christ-prefixed words (including Christian and Christianity, Xian and Xianity, respectively) that experienced the hyphenation.

And so, for the first time in years, I wish you a very merry Xmas.

10 December 2007

The Next Step in Evolution

Those who know me better will know that I have often joked about my desire to be asexual. Now let's define the word before anyone gets too concerned . . . According to Wikipedia (the definitive source for accurate information on the Web) asexual reproduction is defined as:
A form of reproduction which does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction, or fertilization. Asexual reproduction only takes one parent. A more stringent definition is agamogenesis which refers to reproduction without the fusion of gametes. Asexual reproduction is the primary form of reproduction for single-celled organisms such as archaea, bacteria, and protists.
In simple terms, it means being able to have babies spontaneously without needing a "mate." As someone who finds the dating process daunting and realizes that his personality type consists of less than 1 percent of the population for good reason (we don't seem to breed well), this seems like a pretty good option.

Think of what a revolution this could be if we could procreate spontaneously?
I think the single-celled organisms have it right. This could be a great step toward evolution. Imagine sitting in class (or anywhere else for that matter) and suddenly (but consciously) having a baby. No more "accidents" (unless people spontaneously lose control of their spontaneous reproduction).

Of course I'm not suggesting that we just have kids anywhere; there would be government regulations on "birthing zones." Maybe there would be clinics where would-be mommies and daddies would go.
Asexual reproduction produces roughly double the number of children as more "traditional" forms of procreation.

For all of those young ladies who want a big family, but have no prospective man in site, no problem, they could have three kids (all girls, of course) before meeting a man. Maybe that man might have had three kids (all boys) of his own. Perhaps on more than just a hunch that group could somehow form a family. A bunch we could call them. A Brady Bunch.

Above the benefit of choosing the number of children one might have, these children will also be genetically identical to their parent. What greater gratification could a father have than to see his son make the exact same choices as he has?

I guess before divulging too much information, I should mention that I have already developed a radiation gun that can help enable the process. In fact, the original me isn't even writing this blog. I am Chris Jr., Dad is in Bermuda enjoying the warm weather.

08 December 2007

Snow: Friend or Foe? You Decide.

In the last few days, Provo has been invaded by millions upon millions of little weapons created to quickly forward the natural selection process. Who sent this micro-warfare to reap havoc you ask? If you are looking to blame some radical, extremist group like the Democratic Party, you are mistaken. No, this wasn't the work of any ordinary person. She is so much more. Two words: Motha' Nature. You didn't think she was behind all of the chaos did you? Well think again. These millions of weapons I am referring to are tiny flakes of snow (bet you didn't see that coming). Yes, snow. Sure some people think it's pretty, but have you ever seen a "SoCal" driver or pedestrian try to negotiate roads, sidewalks and stairs during these precarious invasions? Nature herself is targeting and picking off certain segments of our population, one "fluffy," "pretty" snow storm at a time. It's genocide. Nothing more, nothing less. Imagine if it snowed more regularly in Texas. In that land of the bigger, those flakes could be used by she who will not be named as ninja stars (see artist's concept at left). No need to worry about yellow snow, no, now children in Texas as they are preparing to go out to school will have to avoid crimson red snow (not to mention the bodies of the victims). Some will tell you that snow is innocent fun. That it comes and collects on our trees (just coincidentally breaking their limbs) and on our cars (making us crash because we can't see) and on our paths (increasing senior citizen hip replacements by two fold) making the place look beautiful before vanishing as it melts (and floods our farmlands). I for one am not so sure. So I submit this important decision to you, my loyal readers. Is snow our friend or is it our foe? If it is our friend, I suggest you heavily pad and armor yourself and go out and play. If foe, then contact your legislators and demand that action be taken. I would rather see war against Motha' Nature in the form of heightened greenhouse gas production and massive deforestation before one more snide and malevolent flake hits my roof.

02 December 2007

Pretty Birds

I really don't know how I feel about shooting things. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went pheasant hunting with my roommate, his brother and father. I don't have any moral objection to other people shooting things, especially if they are going to eat them, but I just don't think it's for me. On the hunt we (well, they) shot three pheasants and a duck. It's kind of like eating tomatoes from your garden. As you bite into them, you can't help but think "dude, this grew on a plant that was exposed to bird droppings, acid rain, and dog pee for weeks and that's only after it grew up out of a bed of cow poop and chemicals designed to kill insects." ...Pause... While I don't really think that while eating tomatoes, I must admit, eating the pheasant was a little disconcerting. "Dude, this thing was running through thickets before I (they) shot it with little metal pellets." But more so, this thing was running. It was alive, with feathers and a head, which incidentally it no longer has. I am not a vegetarian, but if I ever become one, I will clearly map this experience as the onset of my separation from barbaric carnivorousness. I love chicken (I love pheasant even) but I rather see them alive and clucking, and then very separately, dead and cooking. I don't know if this will be my last hunting excursion (I doubt it), but it may be the last time I see something alive and cooked in such a close succession.

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