Sunday, June 25, 2006

News -- disturbing and otherwise

On a tribe thread this came up.

The age of cesarean sections on request, epidurals and drips of oxytocin is a turning point in the history of childbirth. Until recently women could not give birth without releasing a complex cocktail of 'love hormones'. Today, in many countries, most women have babies without releasing these specific hormones. The questions must be raised in terms of civilization. This turning point occurs at the very time when several scientific disciplines suggest that the way human beings are born has long-term consequences, particularly in terms of sociability, aggressiveness or, in other words, 'capacity to love'.

The scientific abstract from which this is excerpted reminded me of a conversation with while we were on vacation. We talked about how doctors and scientists are performing more and more surgeries and the long term effect of those surgeries on quality of life and life in general, and whether or not they should be allowed. The above gives a whole new perspective on that discussion, making me wonder if children today are indeed more aggressive and less able to love or if their parents are truly not as committed to disciplining and curbing their children as earlier generations, for instance, my parents and their parents.

Can situations like Columbine and more recent instances be tied to current birth practices or a lack of naturally occurring hormones released during the birthing process, or even the lack of breast feeding? Is science and medicine meddling in areas that will have long term detrimental effects on basic human instincts and chemistry that will lead to the destruction of civilization?

On a lighter note, I spent yesterday at WV7T's house yesterday for Field Day and spent most of the time rigging and putting up antennas and logging contacts. I didn't get a chance to get on the air, but I'm going back today.

I also met a ham who is involved in weather balloon launches in the area with EOSS and who is designing an experiment to measure the chaos effect between the upper reaches of the atmosphere where the weather balloon bursts and the lower atmosphere in the oxygen rich layers of atmosphere. He's asked me if I'd like to take part in a few launches and recoveries and I asked him if he'd like to write an article for the newsletter about his project. We both discussed satellites and getting involved in AmSat launches and possibly putting together a communications satellite for launch. He has the experience and the connections and I have the desire to learn. Seems like a very good fit.

He showed me some of the pictures he took during some balloon launches and we talked about the program for quite a while, even to the point of being asked to go outside (we were talking quietly) so the rest of the group could get on with their contacts. Worked out really well because he went to his truck to get his laptop and fire it up. We exchanged contact information and he also gave me contact information for the editor of QST, which is the ARRL's magazine.

One of the topics Paul (weather balloon guy) and I talked about was the percentage of women involved in hard sciences and ham radio and how little it has changed over the past 30-40 years. It's still about 10-20% overall and that isn't good. You'd think with all the talk of equal rights and such more women would have ventured into the scientific arena. Paul and I both agree that women, American women, are not aware of the potential and the available areas, and we'd both like to change it.

I participated in Field Day to learn about antennas so I can build my own, and I got plenty of hands on experience and knowledge to build upon yesterday, but I also participated to get to know more local hams. I met quite a few yesterday, older and my age, and I had a good time being the only female involved -- or at least I was until Su showed up for about an hour. She went away again, too, and left me the field. The day wasn't a total loss since there were quite a few bachelors in the group who were asking a lot of personal questions about phone numbers and availability for further contact. Could get very interesting -- and I'll learn more about electronics and radios, too.

That is all. Disperse.

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