Just as I am despairing that the terminal downward spiraling of humanity has gained enough momentum to be unstoppable - Trump, ISIS, reality TV, the Kardashians, the NRA, etc. - I discover that one of the competitions to gain entrance into the book Guinness World Records is the total number of t-shirts one person can wear at one time. The record is 257. And did you see the story about the impact of a stray chihuahua on the Bay Bridge? Rather than abandoning it to its fate, police on motorcycles got involved. Traffic was disrupted. It made national and international news. Over a dog! Yeah. Yeah. It'd be nice if the media paid more attention to real stories like the number of American children who have never been seen by a dentist, but still. I gather hope for our extraordinary species from t-shirt wearing contests and police on motorcycles going way out of their way to protect a little dog and that both of those are global news.

I keep trying to educate myself out of my contempt for Islam.  And I keep failing.  I know that I am being foolish to reject the worldview of half a billion people, but I can't persuade myself otherwise.  I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the most reasonable looking book on the subject.  The bio of the author indicated that he did graduate work at MIT and Harvard.  One of the first things I discovered is that he was a devout Muslim.  At first that turned me off.  Then I decided that someone who was persuaded of the rightness of Islam might have a more complete and sympathetic attitude. Okay, I can go with that.  Then he simply asserted that humanity descended from heaven rather than evolving like every other species on the planet.  Then he said with the same ease I would use pointing out that the stop sign over there is red that Adam was the first man.  Boink.  (Reminder: that's the sound an idea makes when it bounces off my forehead because it simply can't actually enter my mind.)  Boink.  Boink.  Boink.  I'm sorry, it just won't go in.  What am I supposed to do when one of Islam's most educated people says something profoundly stupid.  What if he said that two plus two is five?  Saying that Adam was the first man is exactly like saying that two plus two equals five.  There is such a thing as the truth.  We live in one real world.  I just don't get it.  I go back to my favorite question:  What in God's name must the world look like to someone with such bizarre ideas?