Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In the course of a day of studying...

...I stumbled across a couple of oddities.

First, there's a web page devoted to documenting instances of left-handed DNA in the media and technical publications. "Handedness" is not a difficult concept. Every nut and bolt and spiral staircase is either left-handed or right-handed. Viewing a spiraling structure from an end (either the top or the bottom), you'll see that the rails spiral away from you in either a clockwise (right-handed) or counter-clockwise direction (left-handed). If a spiral is left-handed when viewed from the top, it will also be left-handed when viewed from the bottom. You can verify that in 20 seconds by twisting up a piece of paper.

The DNA in your cells is right-handed, so any depictions otherwise are in error. The aforementioned website lists almost 700 instances of left-handed imagery, some of which appear in technical papers. The first instance, dating to 1964, was a minor national embarrassment:

(from )

If you want to be finicky, you can point to the rare left-handed form of DNA known as "Z-DNA." In that case, however, half of the "bases" (say, all of the orange and pink strips) would have to be depicted outside the black and white rails, not inside.

The second oddity was this video:

This is farrrrrr from the level of detail I desired. What's more, the video is quite lame from any number of perspectives. But something about the speaker's accent, cadence, focus, and who knows what else, set my brain a-buzzing.

The buzz. Does that ever happen to you? For myself, it occurs when I watch or listen to a person who is intensely wrapped up in whatever he or she is doing. I can recall a couple of instances where the feeling was particularly strong. The first was in watching a cook prepare a hamburger...grilling the buns, treating them with mayo and sauce, gently squishing the oil out of the patties, etc. All accomplished with the utmost TLC. My new-age friends would probably expect such a burger to be especially tasty, with the normally unwholesome, fatty, and carcinogenic properties of various ingredients being negated by the purity of the chef's consciousness.

Another instance was in listening to a speech on the part of a vice-presidential candidate perhaps 20 years ago. Searching the net for third-party candidates at that time, I'm thinking it was Sonia Johnson of the Peace and Freedom Party. Whoever it was, she spoke with strange urgency. If she felt that the audience hadn't fully grokked her message, she'd pause, shift her feet around in little increments, and try to find a new angle of expression. Her gestures were odd, too. Again, a new-age type might see her as a channel for the Truth, with the Truth feeling a tad uncomfortable in that particular body and those particular garments. I wondered if she wasn't a tad nutty. It didn't matter, though, as most of my mental energy was focused on enjoying the buzz.

Anyway, you might want to view the video and see if it produces any odd feelings.


Todd White said...


I just discovered your July 2008 blog post, “Is ‘Spiritual Rationalism’ Even Possible?”

As it happens, I’ve given that same issue a lot of thought, and I feel comfortable answering “yes.”

I’ve written a novel which explores the concept of “Spiritual Rationalism” in depth.

If you’re interested, here’s the link..

And here is the link to my blog…

For your purposes, you might find my post, “The Philosophy of Heather Manning,” to be the most interesting.

If you have any feedback, I’d be glad to hear it.

Take care,
Todd White

speakfreely said...

It seems that youtube has removed that video from their site; is it posted anywhere else?

KenG said...

Speakfreely...I'm hoping that video will reappear...couldn't find it elsewhere.