See the world. That is, experience it. Don't just live in it.
Reload this page if you've visited before, it might have changed.
This page last updated 03/05/2004  01/01/2014

Warning!  Contents of this page can possibly have at least two effects. 1.) Tell you more about me than you'd want to know. 2.) Change how you interpret what you're exposed to.
Or, there may be no effect at all. That's why I used the word "possibly".  So please don't send me any email like this:
"Dear Rickubis, I've read your pages, and I've tried until my brain hurts and my eyeballs have popped out. But, nothing seems different to me.  Signed--unable to type anymore since my eyeballs have rolled behind the keyboard and the cat's grabbed one of them."

You've been warned! Ok, then.
Every now and then, I'm surprised by what I don't know, and sort of ashamed that I don't know it. Look at all the things that live around us. I don't know everything about them, yet they share my living space. I can't identify every bird that flies by, every plant it lands on, or every insect it might eat, that is, if it even eats insects. Sometimes, just taking the time to learn about even one of these things can start a fascinating, but short journey, and leave me just a little more enriched. I'm going to outline a few examples of these little trips I've taken. Hopefully, you'll join me. Even better, maybe you'll take a few little journeys of your own. I will admit, I don't like to travel far. But, I don't have to go very far to find something fascinating to learn about. I'll also admit that the political/religious machinations of humankind hold no interest for me, either.  That said, here I go.

Like I mentioned on the home page. You should use your own senses as much as you can. Use your own experience, no matter how limited it might be, to compare with what you read here on the internet, or anywhere else. You cannot know what is real and what isn't if you  accept a "truth" or a "fact" just because you were exposed to it through some single source, like radio, TV, a book, or the internet. Verify what you can. Some "people" out in cyberspace don't really exist. I'm pretty sure I do. (flv video, 219kb) That little file there, alone, however, doesn't constitute proof of who or what I am.

Time to think again. Don't whine. It doesn't hurt. Really.

Have you ever tried to guess why the strange markings on this page-which you are currently reading-can actually speak
to you, and show you images like: refrigerator, mountain, or booger?  Although those last 3 words brought pictures into your mind, there is a good probability they aren't the same ones I thought about when I wrote this. And if you show this page to someone else, their mental pictures probably aren't the same as yours. My refrigerator was green. My
mountain was one of the Appalachians. Who wants to know about the booger? Do not ask me. But the amazing thing is
that we still understand each other, even though we don't share exactly the same experiences through our lifetimes.
Even though we don't have exactly the same point of reference.

The above paragraph demonstrates the power of words to communicate ideas. Without communication, ideas would die in
the minds that created them .  Nowadays, ideas can spread from person to person with the speed of thoughts themselves.
Unfortunately, this can include "bad" ideas.  "Good" and "bad" are subjective, and can be interpreted differently, but
who would consider "Let's drink poisoned kool aid because our authority figure says to, and he is without fault."
a "good" idea?  No, don't raise your hands, I can't see them from here. If you would think it's a good idea, you go right on ahead and drink first.

Memes?  What are those?

There is a theory that some ideas sort of take on a life of their own, and spread without any help from the originator of the idea. And, some of these ideas can multiply, and spread, and cause harmful effects, or even kill--like viruses. The term for this type of idea is "meme". Memes are spread in media that accepts and nurtures them, just as a virus can spread in a biological medium that would support it.   Ignorant minds, and minds that are lazy,  are media that can harbor any number of memes--"good" and "bad". Groups of memes can form that will help support each other, like a political or religious set of beliefs.  Defenses against memes that would do you harm are alertness and critical thinking. These elements are available to almost everyone for free. But, like a healthy body (one that can resist infection), a healthy mind (one that can also resist infection) requires some work.

So, it doesn't hurt to ask a question or two. Questioning is not the same as arguing.

Some people try to define how reality works. We have science, and we have religion. I don't intend to argue which is better, so don't start with me.  I have *my* viewpoint, and you have yours.  Some people can entertain beliefs supported by both religion and science with no problem at all.  Currently,  we have a lot of folks living in a complex world with quick access to all kinds of information. However, the people who give us this information are only people. Some of them make mistakes, and some of them are dishonest. It is every person's responsibility to judge what makes sense.  All people should THINK.

Dinosaurs!  Just because I like them.

Like many other people, I have been interested in dinosaurs since I was young. I have not turned this interest into a
lifelong ambition, and have not become a paleontologist, but I have still been aware of some of the discoveries made, and
have enjoyed seeing different theories come and go regarding their nature, their survival, and of course, their demise.
I intend to share some of that interest in these pages, but for now, I highly recommend the following links (to pages outside my domain--that is, they aren't mine):  The Dinosauria     This is the beginning page to a tremendous amount of information.
or this:  The Extinction  which is one of the pages referred to in the first link. It may surprise people to know that the
meteoric catastrophe theory is not really popular with all paleontologists and geologists. Also, consider that in the light of
further evidence, the giant meteor theory has been changed to repeated impacts by comets (?) or meteors, or some other
bodies over a period of time. There is a lot more to this controversy.
So, did a meteor or meteors, kill the dinosaurs?  Well, not this one.

I've already warned you. There's humor in just about everything.

Then there are those who see the humor in some of the areas of science on the "fringe". Actually, some of this is called "pseudo science", and that's what it is--false science. A good starting point is:  The Darwin Awards . This site (external, not mine) can introduce the concept of the "urban legend"--that is-- a story (usually contemporary) that everyone "knows" is true, but which really isn't.  Here are two more urban legend sites (external, not mine):  Urban Legends  Urban Legend Research
Anyone heard of the "Jato car", the story of the man who strapped a jet engine to his car?  Who thought it was true?
No, don't raise your hand, I still can't see it from here.
The "Urban Legend" is an important concept, especially now,  since false-or bad-information can reach thousands of people within minutes.  

                                                                  Science, or what?

See? That didn't hurt much, did it?   Go on, take a look at the world.

Back to home
Or, go back to the  Just Rick page.
All animated gifs on these pages created by: Richard Dashnau. (yeah, the dinosaur too.)