Friday, June 5, 2015

The Friday Four, Part 121


We catch glimpses of such a small sliver of other people's lives. Even those we know best often have talents, abilities, interests and aspects to their personalities that we never have the chance to see. This holds especially true, I think, for those we only see from afar and those who have a carefully crafted public persona. So I found this article about Marilyn Monroe fascinating.

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Marilyn died more than 50 years ago, but she would have turned 89 earlier this week. She was far smarter than she is often given credit for. She loved reading and expanding her mind. She was instrumental in launching Ella Fitzgerald's career. And she was an excellent chef.

It's so easy to make snap judgments of people based on a single interaction or a few rumors or just outward appearances, but people are infinitely more complex, more diverse, and more beautiful than any single event or characteristic could possibly capture.


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I can't remember exactly how, but last night at book club we got on the topic of animals that reproduce asexually (book club conversations are often rather winding and inexplicable, but always fun!) and I recalled reading this article about female sawfish that don't need a male to create offspring.
It's called facultative parthenogenesis, a phenomenon that is thought to be rare in vertebrates but has generally been observed in species, such as the Komodo dragon and several shark species in captivity. Females are able to switch between sexual and asexual reproduction, often depending on the availability of a mate.
With parthenogenesis, an egg absorbs a genetically identical cell to create offspring about half as genetically diverse as the mother. These offspring often don't survive.
But the sawfish produced through parthenogenesis that were caught by researchers, then tagged and released, were found to be not just viable, but perfectly healthy.
Crazy what nature comes up with in order to survive...


The official trailer for the movie Suffragette was just released and it got my heart racing! I'm so grateful for these brave women who challenged the status quo and risked the ridicule and disparagement of the "respectable" people of their time (not to mention physical abuse as well) to fight for their rights and dignity as full, autonomous human beings at such great cost to themselves.


A couple of years ago, we stopped on the way home from the Oregon coast to visit with an old friend of Gene's from high school. Ty and his wife Corre were absolutely delightful and I enjoyed getting to know them and their kids briefly. Now Corre has been diagnosed with skin cancer. The tumor is located on her head and is extensive, reaching down to her skull, though the complete damage won't be known until the surgeon goes in some time in the next two weeks. It will require plastic surgery and possibly radiation implants as well. She'll be out of work for several weeks to recover.

Even though they have medical insurance, the financial burden will still be great. If your heart is moved to help, please consider donating to their GiveForward campaign and keep her in your prayers.

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