Wednesday, August 30, 2006


First off, Mr. McGee is feeling much better, and he thanks you for asking. He's still mostly lieing (lying? that's the one I can never recall) down and reading his big fat novel, but today because he wants to, not because he's totally incapacitated.

I had a relatively amusing day. I popped by Kroger to snag a couple things for dinner, and the lady in the bakery section commented on my purchase of "cheesecake on a stick" (why they feel the need to put it on a stick I do not know). I said, "Oh, I like to get stuff like this for my husband; he has a real sweet tooth. I always try to get him something sweet when I go grocery shopping." "What does he bring you?" she asked. "Money," I said. "Well, I can't argue with that!" she laughed. She gave me the biggest piece of cheesecake (on a stick) that they had.

When I was in the parking lot, an elderly gentleman saw me hurrying back to my car and said, "You gotta rush home and make dinner for your husband!" Not one, not two, but THREE people (including my husband) commented, "Is he dead now?" or some close variation thereof upon hearing this story. But generally I figure unless people escalate to actual personal insults (see You're a Terrorist), they're just making conversation. So I replied, "I totally do! He's getting chicken tonight!" (It was very tasty.) I'm not an ANGRY feminist. I'm fond of the menfolk.

I also learned today why my sunflowers are bending over, like kneeling worshippers or sad children. It turns out they follow the sun until seed development starts, then they stop turning and face permanently east, apparently to avoid the hot afternoon sun scorching their baby seeds. Once the seeds start developing, they bend their heads down because it helps keep the birds from eating all the seeds before they're mature. I feel much better knowing it's an evolutionary strategy, not my gardening incompetence. In Italian they're called "girasole" which means, more or less, "sun gear" or "sun turner" or "sun gyrator." This strikes me as more descriptive than "sunflower" since for most of their lives, they do gyrate to follow the sun. Sunflowers have motor cells in the pulvinus that allow them to gyrate. I know bulbs also have limited powers of mobility (they grow long stringy things, sort-of like cilia or flagelli, but not called that, and can "pull" themselves deeper into the soil if you plant them too shallowly), and the whole thing just utterly boggles my mind.

I also learned that sunflowers are made up of dozens of teeny-tiny flowers (florets) rather than one big one, and each individual flower turns into a seed. The petals that surround the central mass of tiny flowers are not floral at all, but infertile florets that turn into big petals. Once again I am stunned by the majesty and ingenuity of Creation.

And to get ever so slightly political about it, I don't understand why Creationists, or Intelligent Design types (Creationism Lite), insist that evolution is so devoid of holiness and majesty and wonder. What could be more spectacular than flowers that turn their faces to follow the sun? What could humble me more before God than florets that KNOW whether to make seeds or not? What else could impress me more with God's grand plan for Creation than the miraculous wonder of God's Created world and its marvelous evolution? What is more remarkable than the nitrogen-carbon miracle of DNA?


C. J. Summers said...

You ask why Creationists "insist that evolution is so devoid of holiness and majesty and wonder." Because unless you're a theistic evolutionist (or somehow believe God is the Prime Mover of the universe), then religiously-charged words like "holiness" and "majesty" are meaningless. Everything is chance, random processes. It's like being in awe over a coin coming up heads instead of tails. The only "wonder" is how all the complexity in the universe could have possibly come about without -- dare I say it? -- a designer.

Anon E. Mouse said...


I think CJ means:
Executive Producer
Co-Executive Producer
Assistant Producer
Several Cameramen
Dolly Grip
Best Boy
and don't forget the writers.

It's all a big show, right?

Tony said...

I would comment on this, but after Anon's post, I can only say:

You forgot the Gaffer.

C. J. Summers said...

Actually, you forgot EDITOR. That's my job!! :-)

Andrew said...

This was just a random elderly gentleman? Not someone you know? How rude.

To Love, Honor and Dismay

Silence NoGood said...

Mouse, you forgot the fluffer.

Eyebrows, check out
It kind of takes the sunflowers purpose of life to another interesting level, as far as the benefits for us human beings. It helps us tap into higher spiritual realms as well as other time and space dimensions.

Silence NoGood said...

the sun, that is...not the fluffer, sorry about the confusion.

pollypeoria said...

What is a fluffer? Do I want to know?

Anonymous said...

Well, probably not...The person who gets another person ready to do something naughty.