Weekend grab-bag of unrelated bits

This heat-wave in Johannesburg is quite terrible. I hate warm weather under normal conditions, so this is ridiculous. Since I can’t seem to fall asleep, even though I don’t have enough for a full post, here are some unrelated bits and pieces…

Our mannerisms and noticeable character traits – do we learn them or inherit them?

I just spent the week with my son staying here… It was sad to drop him off at his foster mother earlier, especially after he twice mentioned that he wished it was still last Saturday. But this arrangement won’t be for much longer.

But one thing about him that I noticed before, and now have seen many times in the last week, is that he has some peculiar mannerisms, that I don’t believe he has learned, but rather has them in common with his biological mother.

They could be perceived as negative, but may not be completely so, so it’s more the case that they’re just mannerisms he has… parts of his personality that define who he is and how he behaves under certain conditions and in specific situations, so I don’t see them as good or bad. He is incredibly stubborn – so after spoiling him for a few days and giving him Coca-Cola, when I refused to give in to his demands for more, he spent hours refusing a glass of water even though he was thirsty. I didn’t give in of course, and eventually he did drink water.

He moans, nags, and overdramatizes things to extremes. Like if he has a little bit of pain, he will hop around the house shouting and exaggerating, just like his mother. Well, not just like her… She does the same thing, but in an adult way… although I learned to see through her attention-seeking behaviour years ago. He behaves just like her, except that he expresses himself as a seven-year old, of course. But otherwise, there are so many reminders of her, it’s quite amazing. I’ve always been of the opinion that nurture is stronger than nature. Now I’m not so sure.

Scarlett Johansson makes an interesting Pinocchio

We watched a couple of movies and I purchased a couple of DVDs this weekend, mostly for my son, but I also picked up Under The Skin. (The link points to the trailer.) Quite a surreal and interesting movie, and not many actors could pull off the role the way she did, although I can’t make up my mind if I enjoyed it or not. It was quite strange, and is more or less an adult version of Pinocchio, played by Johansson who wants to be “a real girl”, minus the happy ending.

(Just to clarify: The quoted reference to her character wanting to be “a real girl” is my own reference to the animated Pinocchio wanting to be “a real boy”.  So it’s my own little attempted allusion. I wouldn’t want to give anyone the wrong impression.)

Cure your ailments with magic socks

I love reading about science based medicine, and I love the Science based Medicine Blog and it’s debunking of nonscience nonsense. To think that somewhere in the civilized world, “experts” in a naturopathic university advocate the healing of all your ailments with magic socks (also known as cold wet socks taken out of the fucking freezer). The mind boggles! Read the thorough debunking by an actual medical doctor here. (My brief version: Naturopaths come up with some solid sounding sophisticated pseudoscientific nonsense… some hand-waving and the child having to maintain homoeostasis while wearing freezing socks all night kick starts the immune system. But according to the author, naturopaths’ feet fixation does not end with magic socks.)

By the way, if you believe in magic socks, I have just the thing for you. Send me your banking details (please attach permission for me to debit your account) and physical address, and I’ll send you the secret to infinite riches, along with some magic beans.


About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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