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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton


Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
There are many fluid media in our world today. Obviously, viewers of this vlog are most interested in the aquatic medium, which is at once natural and foreign to us. We spend the first 40 weeks or so floating about in a sea of our own urine, possibly sporting gills for a short while in the "ontology recapitulates phylogeny" process.

Fascinating but possibly off the subject explanation:

[Note to those who took Science for Dummies
TM in college and somehow escaped learning this magical phrase. What it basically means is that our development in the womb, or ontogeny, repeats, or recapitulates, the evolution of ever more complex life forms, or phylogeny, of earth's animal life. We start off as one-celled organisms, progress into something a bit more like a sponge-like ball of cells, progress even further to the gilled salamander stage, etc. until we come out as humanoids 9 months later.

If you ever want to make someone think you are either smart or pompous, you can't do better than to memorize "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" and use it at every possible opportunity.]

Back to fluid media

Only during this womb submersion in the amniotic brine are we totally at home as sea creatures. Once born, we become largely terrestrial life forms, dependent on air, unable to swim without lessons at the Y that once again recapitulate a certain phylogeny--starfish, guppies, eels, pikes, sharks, dolphins.

Fascinating but possibly off the subject reverie:

[More fodder for digression. How many of us did, in point of fact, learn to swim at a Y? I can remember like it was yesterday the half century ago when 6-year-old Jimby took his first breaststroke-like pull in the tiny basement Sewickley YMCA pool, achieved propulsion, and quickly taught my twin brother John how to swim! I don't know what was more satisfying? As the surgeons say, "See one, Do one, Teach one!" To this day, I credit teaching my brother how to swim as one of my signature life achievements.]

Penultimate desperate attempt to justify today's video:

We never regain our vestigial gills, alas; never again regain that amphibean-like blind cave frog nature, the blissful subconsious memories of which, I am convinced, are the chief cause for the return to the womb fantasies guys like me chronically suffer.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I try to return to the womb every chance I get.

Where was I?

Wrapping things up quickly here, let me restate today's vlog's central theses:

1. We are born from tiny seas of our own creation
2. I taught my brother how to swim
3. Air is also a fluid medium
4. Swimmers like to flock together
5. Please enjoy my twin brother's latest charming and short YouTube film, narrated by the irrepressible Cameron, who students of this vlog will recall pronounced me "Sunk" during my inaugural open water swimming event.
6. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.


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Updated January 7th, 2009 at 01:08 PM by jim thornton



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  1. tjburk's Avatar
    Ain't worth the time no more Jim...Your prejudice shows through way too much.
    Updated January 9th, 2009 at 09:07 AM by tjburk
  2. Kurt Dickson's Avatar
    Interesting stuff. I would say that Bible does not say that God created the world out of nothing. The word create came from the Hebrew word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it organize the world out of chaos. Element had an existence from the beginning of time.

    I would not pretend to doubt that evolution is occurring on a daily basis with microorganisms and drug resistance as an example. There are simply many things (I give you flagellum) that evolution cannot explain. Does the fact that I believe in a higher power (or in many things Bill O'Reilly says) make me a weak or narrow-minded person? Maybe...but what does that make you? Enlightened I guess.

    BTW like your videos and wow what a vocabulary--did you have one of those word-a-day calendars growing up!
  3. jim thornton's Avatar
    Hi, Kurt,

    Did not have a word a day calendar but did A) take Latin, which definitely helps with the polysyllables like pulchritudinous, and B) was one of the few kids in middle school who did not add the word NOT to our workbook, Words Are Important; in fact, my brother and I added the word Very.

    As far as the flagellum business is concerned, there was a fascinating show on either Frontline or Nova that dealt with the evolution trial in Dover, Pa. I think you can find it online still. If you are at all interested in the debate, you might find this to be quite compelling. It convincingly shows how things like chimpanzee chromosome counts and the propeller-like flagellum--two central arguments in the otherwise weak Creationism armamentarium--are easily explained by evolutionary biology.

    What I don't get is why evolution must be discredited in order for God to exist, not that I necessarily believe in God in any circumstances. I just think it's foolhardy to pin theological hope on scientific fallacy.
  4. Kurt Dickson's Avatar
    Ah pulchritudinous...lovely word and I rarely have a chance to use it in a sentence (since I am so hideous to gaze upon).

    In keeping with my non-committal style, I'm not sure creationism and evolution absolutely are exclusive of each other. Creative periods mentioned could be longer than "a day." I don't think evolution needs to be discredited; in fact, it cannot be denied. Evolution as an explanation for everything, I believe, falls short.

    This is an argument nobody will agree on (at least until the end of the world) as certain "evidences" bring me to a different conclusion than you. For me, certain truths cannot be obtained by watching Nova or listening to Bill Clinton, nor are subject to scientific method.

    BTW your throat looks fine you pansy. It does not really matter, however. My motto for the postal swim is "you may or may not be sick before, but you will definitely be sick afterward." The 1 hour postal wreaks havoc on us immunocompromised old people. Take care.
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