Saturday, 23 February 2008

Apes Or Monkeys? Chicken Or Egg?

Do humans come from monkeys?

The answer is no. Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn't evolve from apes, either. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe this common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages. One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

I have choked on that question a million times.

Species change over time in the process of evolution. Since DNA can only be modified before birth, a mutation must have taken place within an egg such that a non-chicken mother laid the first chicken egg.

The modern chicken was believed to have descended from another closely related species of birds, the red junglefowl, but recently discovered genetic evidence suggests that the modern domestic chicken is a hybrid descendant of both the red junglefowl and the grey junglefowl. Assuming the evidence bears out, a hybrid is a compelling scenario that the egg came before the chicken.

I hope this settles it. And I hope someday the local textbooks will finally get updated. That, or our money back for all the taxes we have paid for the education system. The collection of books they call the Bible is no authority on science; I do not understand why Creationists insist on some old Hebrew myth to explain their lives. Silly if not stupid.

The Gods gave us brains. Heck, we should use them!

The Truth About Gay

In addition to its original and continuing senses of "merry, lively" and "bright or showy," gay has had various senses dealing with sexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, a gay house a brothel. This sexual world included 'homosexually-inclined' men too, as their willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores were "carefree and uninhibited" (i.e. "gay"). [1]

With such confusion and psychological turmoil attached to the word, I'm glad I never moved from gay = happy.

It's not homophobia to be grumpy at the co-opting of a formerly perfectly useful word. (Suzanne Thackston)

The Truth About Bakla

The dictionary is very clear on its definitions. The etymology [babae ang akala] is also clear. The mental images one evokes upon hearing the word ("Girl, mukha kang bakla diyan sa suot mo.") are likewise clear. That is why I am still perturbed why some people would readily equate 'homosexual' with effeminate/hermaphroditic/androgynous.

I understand that words evolve. This one hasn't yet obviously.

The truth is: Tagalog has no native word for 'homosexual'. Nor does it need one.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Fashion For Show

On the first night of the lunar new year, both Main Man and I wore a changshan (Cantonese: chèuhngsàam, Fukien: chongsan) jacket to work. He wore blue; I wore black. Then we swapped. It was cute.

Apparently, many people thought the whole changshan theme was 'for show'. I choked. I like showing off my heritage. I'm proud I have one. But I did not wear that darn Manchu shirt to entertain your eyes. If my grandfather hadn't been Chinese, I wouldn't have worn the thing. It's not me to wear something just because other people are wearing it to be cool.

I just want to get my point across that I am what I wear. I wear my culture, my philosophy. My fashion isn't about what's cool or what's in - it's about who I am. In this age of global uniformity, it is a treasure to be who you are.

Fury aside, I greet you all a blessed slip into another spring. 新年快樂!