Monthly Archives: April 2008

Bonny Doon Vineyards

Santa Cruz Mountains

In the beginning of April, Jack and I went wine tasting at Bonny Doon Vineyards in Santa Cruz.  When I say “in Santa Cruz”, I mean only in SC by a techicality.  It is really far up in the SC mountains, which is a beautiful drive.  Bonny Doon is known for its non-standard wines and creative wine labels.  If we could be members at another winery, this would be our pick.

The tasting room was very busy the Friday that we went up there.  Luckily, our attendant was only dealing with us and another couple.  The other couple were wine club members and they were just finishing up their tasing and deciding Albarinowhat to purchase when we began at the top of the list.  The attendant gave most of her attention to the other couple at first, and I don’t blame her because they were making a large purchase, but I was releved when they finally left and I could ask questions about the wine.  I liked just about every wine that we tasted, and Jack actually enjoyed a white wine!

2006 Ca’ del Sol Albarino – I have never tasted an Albarino before, but it is now on my list of white wines that I really like, and Jack likes too.  I found it to be a light and refreshing white wine, lighter than a Chardonnay but still with more flavor than a Pinot Grigo or a Sauvignion Blanc.  If you are wondering what the hell is on the label, as I was, here is the golden moment of enlightenment.  It is a sensitive crystalization of the wine.  They take a drop of the wine, let it crystalize and then take a picture of it.  Isn’t that neat? (Science can be art too!)

Le Cigare Volant2003 Le Cigare Volant – This was a red blend that I found very enjoyable and fast drinking.  ::grin::  This is a Rhone style blend of : 35% mourvèdre, 32% syrah, 26% grenache, and 7% cinsault.  It has flavours of raspberry dominating, with spice and pepper as a close second.  It has a slightly dry finish and a lingering taste on the palate that would go greate with a cigar.  The last time that the made a blend of this type was in 1995, and it was great from the start and aged beautifully.  They are expecting this wine to just keep getting better over the next 15 years, and I am looking forward to it.

Did you just hit on me?

No, actually you didn’t.  I was reading PopSci and found a very interesting article that I think all men and flirtingwomen should know about.  It was the portion of the feature artice Science Confirms the Obvious: Men Mistake Female Friendliness for Sexual Interest.  While reading this I thought, Hmmm, nothing new here, but I was wrong.

In this article, it displayed that men wrongly interpret general friendliness as sexual advances 12% of the time while women only do that 8.7% of the time.  I thought that men did that alot more than women, but the percentages are actually not that far off of each other.  Granted, this study was done on college age heterosexual men, and anyone who has been around men of that age know that they over-sexualize EVERYTHING!

The part of this experiment that I found interesting was that men in general interpreted the body language of women wrong, not just over-sexing everything.  Sometimes they even thought that a come-on was just freindliness; I doubt that that happened often.  This explains why guys can never tell when women are pissed at them.  Finally, one of life’s mysteries is explained!

Now, let me be perfectly clear here: I do not think that it is the fault of men that they cannot interpret female body language properly.  I think it is the responsibility of men and women together to make an effort to learn and teach, respectively, the finer aspects of female body language.  So women, train your men, it for the benefit of humanity!  And men, study up if you don’t want to be embarassed or get your head bit off!

The God Gene?

The god gene  I hope that I am not the only person that finds this idea completely ludicrous.  Not only would you never be able to scientifically prove that a gene is related to faith, there are many ancient religions that do not believe in a higher power.  And furthermore, if you believe in many deities, do you have multiple copies of this gene?  The fact that a gene leads us to believe in a higher power is the interpretation that most of my peers have taken on this subject, but with a little reading I found that their interpretation was inaccurate.

The “god gene” is actually thought to simply cause what is thought of as a religious revelation/experience.  The gene is called VMAT2, and is expressly stated that it does not cause a belief in god.  It does not even cause a “religious” revelation, but simple a set of feelings that is commonly interpreted as being spiritual.

Simply put, the gene is involved in the breakdown of monoamines, a class of neurotransmitters which contribute to an individuals emotional sensitivity. The loose interpretation is that monoamines correlate with a personality trait called self-transcendence. Composed of three sub-sets, self-transcendence is composed of “self-forgetfulness” (as in the tendency to become totally absorbed in some activity, such as reading); “transpersonal identification” (a feeling of connectedness to a larger universe); and “mysticism” (an openness to believe things not literally provable, such as ESP). Put them all together, and you come as close as science can to measuring what it feels like to be spiritual. This allows us to have the kind of experience described as religious ecstasy. -Wikipedia

When you take this into account, it seems entirely possible that this gene could exist.  That brings up the question then, if it does exist, what evolutionary purpose does it serve?  It is a positive or negative selector? Or is it simply residual from a time before written word?  My thought is that it is residual from before we had written or spoken word.  To have a sense of being one with everything, or a spiritual feeling, would help primitive humans to form cohesive groups for survival.  I personally am curious to see if other primates have this gene.  If they do, I can see some people going nuts and trying to convert the monkey to their brand of self-centered religion.  That would be something to see.