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Recognized Social Butterfly

NAGASAKI REVISITED

NAGASAKI REVISITED

The other day, before taking my walk in Waikiki, I spent some time getting to know one of my undemonstrative, low-keyed Asian neighbors. It has been difficult for me to approach him because he invariably smokes in his hangout on the bottom steps of our condo building, and I am allergic to tobacco fumes. But luckily for me, I had a chance to talk with him as he was entering the lobby.

Our chitchat was inconsequential until he casually mentioned his upbringing in Nagasaki, Japan. He was there as a three-year old in 1945 when the United States unleashed the A-Bomb on that godforsaken city. Although he escaped the effects of the blast, his sister had debilitating moderate to severe radiation poisoning. I thought I saw his eyes moisten as he related that traumatic time. What a revelation!

A week later, my wife and I attended a performance of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. I knew that the opera took place in Japan, but I didn’t recall the city. But I was taken aback when at the beginning of Act I, on stage and on the translated screen, I heard and saw where the opera transpired: Nagasaki. A jarring coincidence!

For a while, my mind dwelt on the horrors of our bombing of Nagasaki. But soon the gorgeous voice and dramatic flourishes of Madame Butterfly swept me into the throes of her personal tragedy.

I learned this past week that no matter how matter-of-fact some people might appear (for example, my Japanese neighbor), they might have undergone a childhood trauma that still haunts them years later.

 

 

 

schlomo
Regular Social Butterfly

I was doing some reading about Charles Darwin and his Theory about the evolution of species and I ran across a web site that posed questions and solicited opinions.  One of the questtions was:

List 4 Elements of Natural Selection.

 

One of the responses read as follows:

 

"Environment - The elements of the natural world that make up an Ecosystem.

Genetics - Specifically mutations. Mutations are the agents of change, Without change ther is no evolution.

Reproduction - A life form that does not reproduce cannot perpetuate itself, and mutations cannot be manifested.

Technology - Technology can be used as an adaptive tool related to the first three, and can also select against a life form that does not evolve a culture to use it safely, in harmony with its ecosystem and wisely."

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