Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 6th, 2023

Colorful musings

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Look at how a Phlox drummondii bud unravels on its way to becoming a flower. What I can’t unravel is how ravel came to mean both ‘to clarify by separating the aspects of’ and ‘to tangle or complicate.’ Unravel is the opposite of the ‘tangle’ sense of ravel but the same as the ‘clarify’ sense of ravel—except when plans or projects unravel. Perhaps listening to music by Ravel would help you unravel those semantic difficulties.

Do you revel in the complexities of ravel and unravel, or do you rebel against them? And do you revel in the fact, or rebel against it, that revel and rebel are two forms of the same word?

If all that has scrambled your brains, you can symbolize your enscramblement with the Corydalis flowers below, which popular naming has cast as scrambled eggs. Both portraits come from February 17th in Gonzales County, where phlox abounds, yet where scrambled eggs of the culinary kind are presumably no more common than in any other Texas county.





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Unreality infects medicine 


On Valentine’s Day Quillette published an article by Amy Eileen Hamm that gets to the heart of woke ideology contaminating medical schools. “Teaching UBC [University of British Columbia] Medical Scholars that Biological Sex is a ‘Colonial Imposition’” bears the subhead “How to identify a male research subject? At the University of British Columbia, it’s anyone who “resonates with masculinity’.” Here are the third and fourth paragraphs:

There are probably few regular Quillette readers who haven’t already read indictments of overreach in the DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] field—or, as one Harvard Business Review headline writer calls it, “the DEI-Industrial Complex.” At best, dubious DEI practices are merely ineffective. At worst, they’re an outright scam. We’ve been forced (or “voluntold”) to sit through so many DEI seminars and Zoom sessions that we can recite the often-religious-seeming mantras by heart. No, I will not ask a non-white person “where they are from”; yes, I will announce my pronouns every time I step into a room. Hail, Mary, full of grace, they/them is with thee.

Like other critics of DEI, I had long assumed that this ideological movement would stop at the gates of medical and engineering schools. After all, it’s one thing to affirm the existence of 37 genders when you’re writing an Intersectional Feminism midterm. It’s another thing when you’re training to become an obstetrician. It’s one thing to insist that “Indigenous ways of knowing” are just as scientifically valid as, well, science, when you’re composing a long-form land acknowledgement. It’s another thing to explicitly denounce the scientific method so that you can make sure no one gets their feelings hurt by the reality of human sexual biology.


You’re welcome to read the full article.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 6, 2023 at 4:27 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

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