sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl

Yes, I will be watching the Super Bowl. Some of my old SEAL buddies and families are descending on the mansion in just a bit. The kids will swim in the pool, the women will segregate themselves in the kitchen and the men will surround the television calling plays and blackguarding the players that don't find their remote, but timely advice, helpful. The odds makers have New England by one point. Then again, last year, nobody saw the Seahawks humiliating the Broncos, so who knows?

Food consists of a pot-luck with me providing pizza, some appetizers, Mexican Coke (in the bottles) and other soft drinks. My children boycotted the event, finding companionship at other parties with people their own age rather than with some fifty-something has-beens who still have the testosterone of 19 year olds...or so we say.

I am not handicapping the game. Neither team is a personal favorite. Since I've read on-line that unless you support the Seahawks, you're racist -- I will support for and cheer for the Patriots. I don't quite get that 90% white Washington is lest racist than New England, but these mysteries usually elude me.

Stories will be told after the game as everyone winds down having eaten all or part of a large pizza. The kids will still be in the pool, splashing, if history holds. Then the frog families will leave, some in soccer mom vans, others in pick-ups. And I'll have a lot of cleaning up to do.

The Copper Age

In 1991, hikers found an intact mummified man embedded in ice in the Alps on the border between Italy and Austria. Subsequent exhaustive analysis showed that he died 5,300 years before. Between then and now a number of interesting facts emerged as a result of that research, which some may find -- fascinating. One of those is that he has living relatives (LINK) who were found based on genetic testing. 

The man, who researchers called Ötzi, was about 45 years old when he was murdered. Because of his general health and diet when he died, the doctors who analyzed his body believed that he had about five years more to live before he would have succumbed to a heart attack. 

The ice man was likely on a raid with others when things went wrong. An arrowhead was embedded deeply in his shoulder and researchers found blood on his back and side that didn't belong to him, leading to the possibility that he was helping a wounded friend. We also know that he was climbing when he met his fate.
The Iceman's final meals have served up a feast of information to scholars. His stomach contained 30 different types of pollen. Analysis of that pollen shows that Ötzi died in spring or early summer, and it has even enabled researchers to trace his movements through different mountain elevations just before he died. His partially digested last meal suggests he ate two hours before his grisly end. It included grains and meat from an ibex, a species of nimble-footed wild goat.
His end came when somebody stove in a portion of his skull. Then he was embedded in ice for 5,300 years until global warming brought him back.

Violence does solve problems. Some Alpine villagers made sure that at least this raider didn't return. And now to my point. A near cult concept that developed among some utopian socialist academics holds that in the past, mankind lived in a state of peace and innocence and we all got along. The modern age brought along a change in man - and transformed us from the peaceful agrarians that we were into the carnivorous savages that we have become. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is no indication that humans have become more warlike. Quite to the contrary, most people in the world live in an environment that is far more peaceful than our distant ancestors lived in.  And because we're all here, all of our ancestors were successful enough to reproduce. Which means that our ancestors were successfully violent. All it takes is a crisis brought about by lack of food, water or necessities and people revert to who and what made them successful -- effective violence. Abjuring violence only insures that you stand a far greater chance of dying before your time - then and now. End of Sermonette.