So it was my birthday the other day. Didn't know what to do so we took our first family trip to the zoo. I was a bit tipsy before we walked out the door and made a sizable gin-concoction to go. Note, I live across the street from the Memphis Zoo so we didn't drive nowhere. It was thick hot out and we were out to enjoy it. Baby Dan had to eat when we first got there so we stopped in the Burger Pavilion and got a bottle warm while watching the monkeys through the window. The second picture is one I took and wrenched a little. The original is pretty odd. More burger places should have monkeys. We finished up and made our rounds. The cats were cool as always. Tigers are just too bad ass. The boy loved the place, even if he had no idea what was going on. He's a huge fan of being outside. I like that. Then we wandered with moderate direction toward the Polar Bears. The snakes were slithering and Jasmine got a kick out of the Komodo Dragon. That's a big lizard. We had fun watching the ducks outside of the Panda exhibit. I can watch ducks all day. I remember a pond full of them at the National Zoo and that was the most memorable part of it. They keep bouncing about in their elegant manner.
We passed by the Savannah animals on the way. The tall giraffe doors are the funniest part. I wonder what it's like to see those creatures in their element, it has to be something pretty incredible. Hell, I still can't get over a ten point mule deer walking gliding by when I was pheasant hunting years ago.
By the time we got to the Northwest Passage, we were heat drunk, gin tipsy, and the bears were just hanging out on their cooled rocks. We took a seat for a bit and cooled ourselves in the timber house. The Memphis Zoo has some very well built exhibits and just a nice place to get lost at. It is also a people watching extravaganza. It was time to make the longish walk home. It started raining as we walked in our door. We then slept clear through the storm that knocked out a third of the city's power. It was the way to roll on a birthday.
The animals lead me to my next point. I've been teaching a summer school class (of one) in biology. It was once my favorite subject and I forgot how much I did know about ecosystems and the like. The class was going pretty well and then I decided to skip the huge section on cell bio because we don't have time and the student not the most inclined to study. The next section of the book is on evolutionary biology and natural selection. About two minutes in telling him how the planet wasn't always the way it is, he reminded me that God made the Earth in seven days. I responded that some feel that the Bible is metaphorical and the growing body of what we have seen supports the theory that the planet is more than 6000 years old and that we wouldn't be denying his religion. "Okay, so long as we don't go into that crap that man came from monkeys."
It was to be a long two hours but the kid is pretty cool and listened enough to come up with the idea that "The Bible only says that God made Adam and unless we're all in inbred, maybe the rest of the people came about how you say." It was even better to hear in his red-as-hell dialect.
I found no solace in talking with a coworker who told me that she was a Christian and found it difficult to teach the same section in her classes. I decided to read some creationist science to know more about it. Apparently, men lived with dinosaurs prior to the flood and we even have stories of them. You see, they were called dragons. That's fucking awesome. Nothing is cooler than dragons and I'll trade in some logic to have them be extra real and I can go look at their bones at the dino museum. Also, light is slowing down. That is why scientists who use it as a constant have been wrong by a billion-fold in their estimates of the universe's age. In addition, the Earth is the center of the universe. Go check it out. Creationism.org or something like that. It had me reading all manner of strange scientific books. I'm pretty screwed up about light slowing down. If it went super-duper fast before and light is some measure of time, would Methuselah's 900 years seem way longer? I ain't saying evolution is the exact truth, but...damn, is that the best you can come up with in response. The problem is that not recognizing natural selection, which we can see every day, avoids a huge part of biology. At least you got dragons, though.
This final picture is one I took on a school trip to the zoo. Also, Jasmine took the ones of the boy and the monkeys.