What do you Think about De-extinction?

carrierpigeons

De-extinctioning is a movement to bring back species humans have killed off

Scientists are working to revive passenger pigeons, woolly mammoths and other species

Conservationists worry if extinction isn’t forever, efforts to preserve habitat and species today will lose steam

via Should we bring back the passenger pigeon and the woolly mammoth?.

There may be reasons (other than human hunting or over population) which has caused a species to become extinct. I don’t know how science could be sure which species would have gone extinct naturally.

Primeval: Science Fiction with Dinosaurs

primevalPrimeval is a science fiction TV show featuring dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles, mammals, insects, etc. who wander into the modern world by way of anomalies.

Nick Cutter, professor of Palaeontology and evolutionary zoologist, and his team track down the anomalies try to control the prehistoric creatures while believing there is all something bigger to it.

The team includes: Stephen, Cutter’s lab technician, Connor, an uber-geek palaeontology student and Abby, a zoo keeper.

The Research, the Anomalies and the Apocalypse

Cutter starts out researching how some prehistoric creatures appear, disappear and then reappear at different time periods. His wife, Helen, is also a scientist in the same field but, Helen has been missing 8 years and is presumed dead. Only she isn’t dead at all.

As it turns out Helen has found some part of the answer to Nick Cutter’s research. But, her point of view is different. They believe the prehistoric creatures aren’t all from our past, some of them could be our future. They think humans are headed for their own extinction and will become some of these creatures in a future time. Helen and Nick both take different slants on how to solve or fix the problem which seems to be caused by these anomalies.

Big Trouble in Modern History

By the end of the second season Stephen has been eaten by prehistoric creatures. Being the security type of guy on the team is hard work. The next security guy is another tall, dark and handsome lad, Captain Becker who has survived so far.

By the end of the third season Nick Cutter himself is deceased. Helen, his dead again wife, is killed by a raptor dinosaur in the next season.

Sarah Page was a good character who joined in season 3 but didn’t come back for season 4. They say she was killed during an attempted rescue mission, trying to find Abby and Connor. Sarah Page became a favourite character when she travelled back in time to help a knight and a dinosaur who looked like a dragon. I was sorry her character wasn’t there when Primeval got picked up for season 4 and 5.

This TV show has a way of losing main characters, getting temporarily cancelled and yet still coming back with an interesting story and a continuing theme of fixing those anomalies. As of yet, they are not fixed.

My Primeval Favourites

The characters of Abby and Connor have a quiet romance. At one point Connor confesses his love while holding Abby’s hand (keeping her from falling over the edge of a steep drop). Later he can’t admit he said it and they both let things slide. In later episodes they end a season by having Connor and Abby lost in the time of the dinosaurs, together and unable to get home. Of course, they do get home at the start of the next season.

Even though on and off romances tend to ruin most shows for me, I can’t help liking the characters of Connor and Abby as they continue on in their mixed up, quiet romance.

The other character I really enjoy, who has stuck through every season of the show, is James Lester. He’s the real stiff upper lip type with a heart of gold. No matter what he is always behind the team, even when he pretends not to care. He isn’t the typical leading man and yet he does have many of the usual qualifications in an offkey kind of way. Still, James Lester is the character I like most of all.

The Future for Primeval?

I looked and looked online but there is no hope for a new season for Primeval UK. I didn’t read a true, definite ‘never’, but it looks like it will be a good long wait before we see a return of the UK Primeval crew.

Primeval New WorldPrimeval: New World, filmed in Vancouver, BC, Canada had one season before being cancelled.  I’ve seen fans protesting, trying the petition route. But, I have a feeling it won’t get a second chance. As a fan of Primeval, I liked seeing the story continue and a couple of the UK characters put in appearances. Actors from Eureka got another science fiction TV show too. But, it was very US-ian. Watching the show I forgot it was Canadian made at all. In that way it was disappointing. I’d still watch if it were back on. I watched every episode of the first season because I wanted to see where they would take the story. So, I would like to see it get more time.

Links to More about the Primeval TV Show

Primeval: New World (The New Version)

Primeval Primeval Primeval Primeval

Where the Wild Things Are: Teaching Pagan Ideas to Kids

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, February, 20, 2003.

What do you do with Pagan kids?

I think kids are too young to get started on the more serious side of being Pagan. Partly because they are too uninformed to make the decision to be Pagan versus something else. Also, calling themselves Pagan could become a problem with other members of the family or kids/ teachers at school. Most people don’t understand Paganism and thus they don’t trust it. Kids are a bit too defenseless in that situation.

That doesn’t mean kids can’t be Pagan too. Calling yourself Pagan is not being Pagan. What is being Pagan about, at it’s heart? To me it’s nature, the Earth, life, history, science, traditions and environmentalism. Is there any reason kids can’t be involved in those things, of course not. Kids just love to talk about the supernatural too, few kids don’t enough the spooky element of Halloween. You can add the facts about ghosts, Witches and such to their ghost stories.

Teach kids to appreciate nature, take them on walks outdoors, show them how to recycle and make it a priority to learn about history and science. Involve them in your rituals. Take them on a nature walk to gather leaves, stones, etc. Let them know what your altar is for, don’t make it a big mystery, but don’t make it sound too “weird” either. Get them started writing a journal, they don’t have to know it’s a Book of Shadows. Spend time with them, that’s the most important thing for any kids, Pagan or otherwise. Remember, they learn from you. What you do is what they see and what they believe.

You can introduce kids to the Wiccan Rede, the basic ideas behind Paganism and what you believe about Gods, Goddesses, life and death. But, make sure they understand not everyone shares your same beliefs. For one thing you want them to make their own decision about being Pagan. For another you don’t want them to be confused when they discover people who disagree with Pagan ideas.

Kids haven’t lived enough to have a deeper understanding and they don’t know how to protect themselves from those who think Pagans are evil, devil worshipping types. That’s the main reason I think I would just let kids see the heart of Paganism and introduce them to the body later. Likely, they will have had a life of living like a Pagan and it will be a very smooth transition to become Pagan officially.

The Ancient Science of Folklore

Originally written for The Crying Clown Zine (c. 1998)

Folklore is not an old wives tale, mere superstition or fairy tale. It is more than that. Folklore is a way of doing things not based on scientific fact. People relied on folklore before the invention of science. Those who want to practice magick should begin with the study of folklore.

The word folklore literally means “the learning of the people”. W. J. Thoms coined the term folklore in 1846 replacing the old term popular antiquities. My definition of folklore is a habit or tradition based on knowledge from a less than official source, such as modern science.

Folklore covers a wide area including traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs and sayings. Beliefs concerning nature (animal, plant and mineral), human nature and inanimate objects, magick, charms, luck and disease and death. Customs and rites such as marriage, childhood and adult life, festivals, warfare, hunting, farming, and fishing. Old myths, legends, folktales, ballads, songs, proverbs, nursery rhymes and riddles keep folklore passed along in cultures all over the world.

Folklore comes from every culture on the planet, current and extinct. However, folklore must be taken with a grain of salt. Look it with a slightly suspicious mind and a practical, scientific nature. Explore each custom and belief. Dig deeper and find the mechanics of the idea, what made it work, if it really worked at all. Some customs may have worked once and then just been taken as truth.

Pagan and Wiccan magick are rooted in folklore. Read about herbs, divination, tree magick, astrology, animal guides, weather magick and you are reading folklore. Any magick you look at will be full of old ideas which science is only recently looking at. Do some research and find which old wives tales are having a second wind and are already available at a drug store near you. Not enough for you? Look at a modern wedding ceremony and list the customs that do not seem based on logical scientific thought. Start with throwing rice or catching the bride’s bouquet. Does rice guarantee children? If it did over population would be a much bigger issue!

So, why throw rice? How and why did that custom start? Find out! To really understand and work your own magick you will need to know the thoughts and theories behind it, its roots. To step in and attempt to create magick without studying the how and why is like skipping the whole beginning of a book.

Divination is a good place to start looking at folklore. Divination is a belief/ custom based on folklore, early ideas of science. Every tradition from tarot, dowsing, crystal gazing, scrying to reading the bumps on a head can not be proven to work by science. Still, divination in all its varied forms is a very popular form of magick.

Of course, some folklore is truly a fable or superstition. It will be up to your own explorations and common sense to dig deeper and decide which are fable and which are facts. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty when you get your feet wet, most of all, have fun!