SNIPPETS (7-18-15)—Will we become maze runners?


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts


Today is Jim’s birthday. Happy birthday, love!

Happy Birthday!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


We have rain, thunder, and lightning here in San Diego for Jim’s birthday.

I reminder readers of the following facts:

It’s July.
Middle of July.
In San Diego.
Southern California.
It rarely rains here, much less in July.
The last time it rained in July was 1992.
I was still in College Station, Texas, then.
This is completely unacceptable.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


Jim is off work this weekend so we are having a birthday weekend instead of just a birthday.

Yesterday evening we went to the San Diego Night Time Zoo. That’s when the Zoo stays open an extra four hours, until 9:00 p.m. Along with entertainment (music, magic….) throughout the Zoo (wonder how the animals like that….), it’s a great time to see some animals that only come out or become active at dusk. Such as the Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda).

img_3862 fennic fox zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

At a maximum weight of 3½ pounds, the Fennec Fox is the smallest canine in the world. It lives in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments, and its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds, and is itself eaten by the eagle owl.

Milky Eagle Owl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


The Serval (Leptailurus serval), a small kitty cat but bigger than domestic kitty cats, also was active last night.

img_3914 serval zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Serval is a slender cat with long legs and a fairly short tail with a maximum weight of 40 lbs. It also is native to Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


The Serval at the Zoo is a mommy. Two little ones born earlier this year. They were just as playful as all little kitties are. Jim and I stood there for thirty minutes watching the little ones play with each other and with their toys, although I think their favorite toy was a pine cone that had fallen from the tree.

img_3912 serval kitten zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


atlas shruggedThis past week I watched three futuristic movies based on a book that Republicans seem enthralled with: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. “Atlas Shrugged,” along with her previous book “The Fountainhead,” developed the philosophical system now known as Objectivism.

According to Wikipedia, “Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.”

Are you as tired from reading that as I am?

My wise old grandmotherOne of the things that my wise old grandmother (picture ►) taught me 40 years ago is that if you want to see how something will work in reality, take it to its extreme. That has always worked for me, and I think it works with Objectivism, Capitalism, and Socialism.

Objectivism seems to be where the Republicans want to take us, privatizing schools, roads, libraries, food (Monsanto comes to mind) and everything else in the world, which pretty much would be total and complete Objectivism with the rich controlling anything and everything.

Unbridled Capitalism comes very close to Objectivism, in my opinion, but I don’t know of any country anywhere, past or present, that subscribes to unbridled Capitalism. Rather, in capitalist economies, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which they exchange assets, products, and services. Note the word “typically” there. Governments often get involved in capitalism to prevent things like gouging during natural disasters whereby prices for food and water are not allowed to increase exorbitantly due to demand caused by the situation.

Lack of any government at all would, I think, result in Anarchism, no better than Objectivism or Capitalism.

atlas shrugged filmYes, life is not fair, but do we really have to capitalize (pun intended) on that unfairness? Surely intelligent humans can find a happy middle ground that would allow the rich to stay rich, the middle class to have the opportunity to become rich, and government to be able to provide for all of its citizens in terms of transportation and education but also including the unemployed, the sick, the homeless, and the hungry.

I can highly recommend the three movies, “Atlas Shrugged,” “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike,” and “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?”.


maze runnerOnce you finish those three moves, go a little further to the extreme and watch “The Maze Runner.” All four movies also provide a view into society and what the future might hold as the climate changes, manmade or not.

However, if you’re still confused about the role of mankind in climate change, think about this:

The Holocene interglacial period, which is what we are in now, began about 11,000 years ago. The population of Earth at that time was about a million people. Now fast forward to July 18, 2015, where the population is 7½ billion people. Climate change happens. We know that. With all we are doing in terms of manufacturing and such, and the results of 7½ billion people using the products of that manufacturing, can we really say that we are not having some effect on the climate of the Earth, perhaps causing climate change to get here sooner rather than later? Can we do something, or will be become maze runners?


San Diego gay pride paradeThis is Gay Pride weekend here in San Diego. Started with the Stonewall Rally yesterday evening, continues with a huge 3-hour long parade today followed by a Festival, and continuing with the Festival tomorrow. Parties are everywhere, including Gay Pride parties at the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

Jim and I are going to the San Diego Botanic Garden today and to the Gay Pride Festival tomorrow.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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26 thoughts on “SNIPPETS (7-18-15)—Will we become maze runners?

  1. insearchofitall

    That was a lot of information to take in today. My mind is melting from record breaking heat…again. We are having an affect on the climate. How could we not? I’ll have a think about the movies. Hope you and Jim have a wonderful time celebrating his birthday. It’s important to celebrate them. I bet you only got enough rain to make a mess of your windshield.:) Loved the animal photos. Learned a lot of new today. Thanks for that. Made my day complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Oh, dear Lady, you have lost that bet! It’s still raining! He says it’s never rained on his birthday before. He was born in Southern California and has lived here all his life. 55 years. I believe him. However, as I told him, “You can stay home while I go get cool pictures of people and flowers in the rain.” He declined.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. insearchofitall

        Now I know the world has tilted sideways. :)) Oregon is melting and the rivers and lakes are drying up. Flat scary! 😦 Hope Jim has a wonderful birthday weekend. Interesting how different cities do gay pride at different times. We had ours awhile ago. I was out of town.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          Many of the big Gay Pride events have agreements not to conflict with each other. Many years ago, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles were all on the weekend closest to June 29, the date of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in New York, and the date generally considered the start of the fight for gay rights. Now all the big events are on different weekends, and the Big Four rotate so that they all get a chance to be on the weekend closest to Stonewall.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. ghostbusterbev

    Snippets of comments: Happy Birthday Jim! Have fun at the parade! You’re missing out on a grand part of Mother Nature if it doesn’t rain in San Diego! Some countries have banned Monsanto seeds and I hope the US and Canada come to the same conclusion! Very interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. writeknit

    Happy belated bday to Jim! We have Zoo Lights during the holidays here – the zoo is full of fun, music and of course animals to see well into the night. It is a yearly event for us attend 🙂

    Hum Atlas Shrugged. The book is soooooooooo long and the last 100 pages Rand gets on her soapbox and goes on & on & on……….she had me interested until then but I stuck it out to the boring end. Don’t know if I can watch the movie. But loved Maze Runner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Jim and I went to the library yesterday, me with the intent of checking out “The Fountainhead.” They didn’t have any copies but they had two copies of “Atlas Shrugged.” 1102 pages! Mama mia! No wonder it made three movies!

      I check out her first novel, “We The Living,” published in 1936. Quite interesting so far and I’ve only read 24 pages.


  4. Pit

    Hi Russel,
    Lately I have been unable to either “like” or reply on my laptop, neither with Firefox nor with Chrome. So I’m now using my smartphone.
    Most important: a belated but all the more heartfelt Happy Birthday to Jim! All my best wishes, especially for a good health.
    As to “Atlas Shrugged”: I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t finish that book. Maybe the movies will help. Thanks for pointing those out to me.
    Have a wonderful week, and take care,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I have decided not to read “Atlas Shrugged,” a decision I often make if I see the movie before reading the book. I watched “The Fountainhead” this morning, starring Gary Cooper, a 1949 B&W movie. Quite interesting for sure, but now I don’t have to read that book either. I started reading “We The Living” yesterday. Since Rand only has three novels, I’ll be finished with her when I finish reading the book!………..LOL


        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          Interesting. It’s the third most translated book in the world. I know #1 but don’t know what #2 is. Nonetheless, I have never heard of it or the author even though it was published in 1943. Obviously it was not on the elementary, junior high, or high school reading list when I was in school in Texas back in the ’60s & ’70s. I might have to read it after I finish Ayn Rand’s “We The Living.”

          Liked by 1 person


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