All posts by marlenedotterer

Science Fiction and Fantasy writer

We Are (Not) Special: Anthropocentrism and the Evolving Universe (Part 2), by John Halstead


There are interesting thoughts, here. Opinions? What do any of you think of evolution and our part in it?

Originally posted on Humanistic Paganism:

Cosmic Evolution

As mentioned in Part 1, if we were to go back in time and reset the course of evolution, it is highly unlikely that we would be here the second time around. On the other hand, according to some theorists, it is highly likely — perhaps inevitable — that some form of tool-using, self-conscious species would evolve. (For example, self-consciousness might be a form of convergent evolution.) While many biologists emphasize the directionlessness of evolutionary history, many physicists are now identifying a developmental trend in cosmic history, one moving toward localizations of increasing order and complexity which operate against the general entropic trend of the universe. If this is true on the cosmic scale, it is arguably true on a biological scale as well.

Philosopher Ken Wilbur argues that, by portraying humankind as merely one strand in the web of life, deep ecology assumes a one-dimensional or…

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Welcome to the Summerlands, or Everyone Talks About the Weather

I know some of you are dealing with horrendous winter weather at the moment. I wish you good luck and warmth as you deal with it. That said, it’s too bad you don’t live here. We are having a heat wave of sorts, with temps in the high 70s.  Blue, blue skies, occasional wispy clouds, and very happy birds and squirrels. We’re opening windows and kicking off covers around here. It’s gorgeous.

We tend to have warmer weather east of the Berkeley hills, than the rest of the Bay Area experiences (except for South Bay). But we were in Oakland last night and didn’t even need sweaters.  This morning, after our weekly ramble to buy the Sunday papers, I came home sweating.


While I do appreciate the nice days, we really could use a lot more rain. Perhaps a little frost to reduce the bug population. I like warm days but I really like cool weather and rain. Someone’s always complaining, right?

How are you dealing with the weather in your parts?

Three Muslim Students Were Killed in a Tragic Attack Carried Out by an Atheist

My heart actually hurt for the three people who were killed. They were good people, kind, generous,  compassionate… and they were senselessly killed by a deranged idiot. Did he do it “because” they were Muslim? I don’t know – although I’m sure his insane mind latched onto the current issues regarding Islam and terrorism, and used that as justification.

Atheism had nothing to do with this. This man is insane.

Three Muslim Students Were Killed in a Tragic Attack Carried Out by an Atheist.

Middle Earth Living

I like round houses. Don’t know why, but when I see  a picture of one, I get happy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a round house in person but a tour of round houses would be an awesome vacation.

I’m going to make a confession.

Sometimes I look at round-house porn.

I’ll go to sites like this or this and lick my lips at the possibilities.

What is it that attracts me to such oddities? I do have a contrary streak that leans toward the unusual. It’s pretty mild, which is why there are no pictures of me with big purple hair and glittering eyebrows, sitting naked on the back of a Harley in the desert somewhere, and a pair of Rottweilers standing guard.

Sorry. Hope you can get that image out of your minds.

So yes, my extremes are near-normal, but I’m not exactly suburban material. Yes, I know I live in the suburbs, but that’s because it’s where Himself lives and I really like living with him. More than I like round houses, in fact. I just reserve the right to indulge in ogling once in a while.

I like the hobbitesqueness of round houses. They seem to encourage a lifestyle closer to nature, as if living in a tree house. Of course, any house can be built with eco-friendly materials and be designed to deliver an energy-neutral environment. Any house can be equipped with  walls of windows and a wrap-around porch. And any house can be built to be interesting, with its own personality, although you won’t find them in the suburbs. But if a house is all of that and round… my fantasy-loving spirit really groks that!

What about you? What’s your favorite kind of architecture? What kind of house would you love to live in?


Where Did I Put the Wine?

In the Happy News Department, my latest blood test reveals a normal, healthy liver! Enzymes are back down where they’re supposed to be, so I guess I can write off the crazy-high numbers of a few months ago as part of the general stress of the time with the complication of massive doses of pain meds for a hurt back.

Where did I put the wine? Bring it on, folks!

Except… I kind of like not drinking every day. I know, I know, but there it is. I may drink when we go out or we’re visiting people, but otherwise… meh.

And I’ve found a really cool “mocktail” that’s perfect for those times I’d really like a martini or something, but want to stay clean. I never thought I’d find anything to substitute because I don’t like sodas or juices. I’m kind of hard to please in that regard. But Jack Monroe, aka, A Girl Called Jack, mentioned something she discovered at a London restaurant. I had to give it a try and by golly, I like it! The latest craze: Vinegar Sodas!

That’s it for the ingredients, too. Soda water and vinegar. I use two teaspoons to about 8 oz sparkling water and ice. Give it a try, with any good vinegar you have hanging around. I’ve been making mine with a sherry vinegar, but I will try out the others in my cabinet: red wine, white wine, champagne, cider… the more exotic the vinegar, the more exotic the drink!

I may start asking for this at restaurants. Pour it in a fancy glass, add a pretty garnish, and I’m fitting right in with the social crowd.

With no complaints from my liver.