Professor Robert Sapolsky lectures on Human Behavioral Biology

Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky lectures in the course entitled Human Behavioral Biology:

1. Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology

2. Behavioral Evolution

3. Behavioral Evolution II

4. Molecular Genetics I

5. Molecular Genetics II

6. Behavioral Genetics I

7. Behavioral Genetics II

8. Recognizing Relatives

9. Ethology

10. Introduction to Neuroscience I

11. Introduction to Neuroscience II

12. Endocrinology

13. Advanced Neurology and Endocrinology

14. Limbic System

15. Human Sexual Behavior I

16. Human Sexual Behavior II

17. Human Sexual Behavior III & Aggression I

18. Aggression II

19. Aggression III

20. Aggression IV

21. Chaos and Reductionism

22. Emergence and Complexity

23. Language

24. Schizophrenia

25. Individual Differences

Watched the first several video clips a few months back and then the last clip tonight, but I’d like to find time to start over from the beginning and work all the way through the course lectures. Hopefully soon enough I can get to that, but in the meantime it’ll be saved on here for easy access.

An Honest Dialogue Between Science and Religion

Honest Dialogue Between Science and Religion:

More Honest Dialogue Between Science and Religion (Part II):

Pinker, the Blank Slate and the Divine, Science and Religion (Part III):

The Shallow Theology of the Intelligent Design Movement, Science and Religion (Part IV):

Cantor, Set Theory and a Rational Mysticism (Part V):

Just listening to what people have to say out here in the world…

Getting acquainted with the teachings of James Powell

The Evolution of Religions:

Categories of Religions:

He has hundreds more videos for whoever is curious. I’ve made it through 6 or 7 so far.

These days, every once in a blue moon, the country music industry’s offerings manage to not disappoint.

And now, back to the tunes…

Gretchen Wilson & Alice in Chains covering Heart’s “Barracuda”:

Gretchen Wilson & Heart – “Crazy On You” (live in 2005):

Damn. Gretchen Wilson isn’t a singer I’m terribly familiar with, but that top video was recommended by my buddy and I’m definitely grateful it come across that performance. Wow.

Initially I barely even knew who Gretchen Wilson was (and barely do even now), but a search brought up some popular tunes commonly played in bars. For example (in the order of how frequently I heard them):

Didn’t mind these tunes until karaoke broke out. But I have a new appreciation for them now that I’m growing acquainted with the incredible talent of Gretchen Wilson.

The Comfy Sacks lounger has arrived

In a blogging mood once again.

Received the Comfy Sacks 7.5′ lounger via FedEx today, and, of course, the cat thinks she’s in love. This is intended as a sofa replacement since my old sofa was falling apart and had to be dragged out to the dumpster, then the new one I tried ordering turned out not to fit through the front hallway. So we’re moving on to “bean bag” furniture to deck out my woman cave. Still waiting for it to fluff up a bit more, but eventually I hope to snap a photo or create a video review (since there’s a severe shortage of those available, having looked all over for info before making this purchase). My guy fell asleep in it right away while waiting for his meatloaf to finish baking, but I haven’t taken up much time yet to get cozy with it. It still has a strong, plasticky scent after being unpackaged that hopefully will fade away in a day or two.

Total cost (shipping was free, plus discount) for the Comfy Sacks lounger: $380. So a little cheaper than most new sofas I looked at.

I checked out several websites selling similar products, from Yogibo to Ultimate Sack to CordaRoy’s to Lovesac. Can’t even begin to afford that last one. Decided to also order a smaller (full sleeper) “bean bag” chair from CordaRoy’s to set beside the lounger to add a little extra seating and to give us an opportunity to compare both brands. That one should arrive in a day or so.

Fun times. Also recently replaced my mattress and box-spring with a firmer set that hopefully will prove better for my back. Nice to have a few new furnishings, having lived in this particular apartment for nearly 5 years with my same aging stuff.

Not the most exciting news, but I felt like sharing.

Update in Feb. 2014: The Comfy Sack lounger isn’t working out and I’m seriously considering getting rid of it. Unfortunately it’s very bad on my back and isn’t nearly as comfortable to sit on as we had hoped.

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Update Oct. 12th, 2014: I hate the frickin’ Comfy Sack lounger and have felt this way for many months now, as has my companion. We avoid sitting on it as much as possible, and heaven forbid I take a nap on it. Wrecks my back. Apparently this sort of contraption is more suitable for kids, so mine is currently looking for a new home. Plan on keeping the other CordaRoy bag chair since my cat has made it her bed.  damn  Hundreds of dollars wasted so far as I can tell.

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Update Mar. 2016: Still own both “bean bags.” The cat claimed the CordaRoy one so she’s the only one who sits there these days. Felt comfortable to chill in though when I did used to sit there on occasion. As for the Comfy Sack lounger…well, I still own it and actually sleep on it more nights out of the week than not. Got a very comfortable bed but tend to prefer to crash in the livingroom while watching videos. Funny thing is the lounger isn’t hurting my back as much as before. Since last spring I began exercising regularly which has really reduced the nerve pain in my lower back and hip. No more shooting pain down my leg. So the lounger apparently was only a problem when my back pain was already at its worst. Not the most comfortable place to sleep and it does require regular re-fluffing, which for a 70-lb. 7-ft. bag of fluff can be a bit of a chore, but I haven’t gotten rid of it yet and currently don’t intend to. It fit through my doorway when other sofas wouldn’t, and it can be moved rather easily when more space is needed. Visitors don’t tend to like sitting on it since it bothers their backs, but perhaps we’re all getting too old. lol I still think it’s most appropriate for kids and maybe young adults (e.g. college students). Forget trying to have sex on the darn thing.  mybad

Update Oct. 2017: Still own both sacks. And one still remains in the sole custody of my cat. The larger Comfy Sack lounger I do continue to sleep on most nights. Long since ceased attempting sex on it, so that too remains unchanged. I’ve actually come around to appreciating the Comfy Sack for its versatility and maneuverability. It’s held up well with no rips or tears and continues to look decent. The back problems I was experiencing a few years ago turned out to give me hell no matter what bed I tried sleeping on, so it wasn’t a result of owning this lounger. Regular exercise and stretching helped a great deal in managing that pain/nerve pinch. So, after 4 years of sleeping and lounging on this Comfy Sack I have to say that it’s nice to have around, despite my earlier feelings about it.

Changes

A personal update: Been a long month. Been a long summer. Been a long year. Happens like that sometimes. Things get heavy. Sometimes it’s even your own damn fault. Sometimes I get to be the asshole, I get to play the part of “bad guy.”

Living and learning.

And what can you do about that? Takes time for things to turn around, even under the best of circumstances. And yes, of course, things could always be worse, as we all know. This is not the end of the world, this is just a tough spell, but things are improving. Turning over some new leaves. Making necessary changes. Keeping the faith and “nerdling” toward a better position. [Note: “Nerdle” is a term conjured up my boyfriend to describe my “nerdy turtle” tendencies. In other words, I apparently qualify as a slow nerd. Ha!] Not everything will happen overnight, and this isn’t the beginning of this transformation process — just another leg in an ongoing journey. This is an opportunity to redouble my efforts and to reassess what all I expect from myself and wish to explore in this life from this moment forward.

Everything winds up being a learning experience in the end. Down certain avenues I’ve seen enough. But change doesn’t come easy and we all have a tendency to gravitate toward what we’re most familiar with. The problem with aiming to change oneself isn’t only identifying where you’ve fucked up or pondering on what a better outcome might look like, but rather it’s figuring out how to get there. It’s the steps needing to be taken along the way that I’m still figuring out.

So, yeah, times like these demand comedic entertainment and lighter-hearted distractions. And a few beers in the evenings when time permits. There’s a time to be a go-getter, and there’s a time to stop and spend time with yourself and to think deeply about all that needs to be thought about. And that requires mental breaks sprinkled throughout, to add levity and keep it all in perspective.

That’s what I understand right about now.

Haters will hate. That’s a fact of life. People like to bark about what others ought to be doing at any given time, dictating how they think they should be living. Flinging guilt trips where able. People say to one another that we should be activists out there running around in the streets, holding signs and getting angry, screaming about how we demand change. Others content themselves with at least playing the role of online activists, spreading their messages far and wide, shaming and harassing those they feel deserve it. Doesn’t strike me as a particularly productive use of one’s time, but hey, folks can knock themselves out. The people who make the greatest impression on me both online and offline aren’t always necessarily witty or the smartest, but they come across as having heart. And if they’ve got that, there’s something to be worked with.

Much of the rest are just spewing frustration and rage. And much of that gets misplaced on people who appear to be standing in opposition to us. But are they really? Are their motives automatically sinister? Are they completely lacking in rationality and civility? What makes us so sure that they know what they’re doing any better than we do? And what makes us so sure we know what the hell we’re really doing? I don’t know about all of you, but life’s affected me every step of the way. Amazing the difference a decade can have on your outlook, or even a couple crazy years. Everything we do in this life impacts us, shapes us, opens or closes the door on so many future opportunities. We may not possess 100% free will, but we possess enough of it to where we can’t help but be responsible for a good bit of who we become and how we act. And I’m writing as a bit of a hypocrite, admittedly, but that’s understood already. Who isn’t a hypocrite? And do we remain as such if we’re able to be honest with ourselves and, to whatever extent, others? No human is an island, and like that Brodie man mentioned in the Memes audiobook I uploaded clips from, we exist in constant conflict between what others expect of us and what our own selfish interests try to lead us to. Welcome to the human conundrum.

Rambling periodically is good for some of our souls. I’ll aim to edit this post tomorrow. Out.