Sunday, August 30, 2015

"How It Really Is"

“Do NOT Install Windows 10: Windows 10 Is Full Blown Electronic Tyranny, Turns On Microphone To Record Your Conversations, Collects All Data”

“Do NOT Install Windows 10: Windows 10 Is Full Blown Electronic Tyranny, 
Turns On Microphone To Record Your Conversations, Collects All Data” 
by IWB

"Dr. Katherine Albrecht talks about how incredibly dangerous is Windows 10 to your privacy." 
NOTE: I do not advocate nor permit any religious propaganda of any kind here. The final 
minutes of this video contain such material, but for the sake of the technical information
 provided this video stays. Simply skip the last 2 minutes, please.
"Windows 10: How To Stop It Spying On You & Logging Your Activity, Step By Step Guide"
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=octjhIXkcf0
"Windows 10 Doesn't Stop Spying You, Even After Disabling It's Creepy Features"

Rightwing Nuthouse: "Trump Aside, 5 Right-Wing Nutjobs This Week: Ben Carson Hints of a 'War on Women's Insides'"

"Trump Aside, 5 Right-Wing Nutjobs This Week: 
Ben Carson Hints of a 'War on Women's Insides'"
And Peggy Noonan met a Dominican person!
by Janet Allon

"1. Words come out of Ben Carson’s mouth that appear to make no sense. Given his history of bizarre utterances, it should not come as a surprise that Ben Carson gave a speech on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock on Thursday that made somewhere between little and no sense. He talked about troublemakers (apparently meaning Democrats) who keep saying Republicans are waging a war on women. "They tell you that there’s a war on women," said Carson, according to RawStory. "There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country."

Whatever could he mean? What part of women’s insides is there a war on? Is he admitting that there is a war on women’s uteruses? How is that an acceptable thing? And how do you make laws about women’s uteruses that are separate from laws about women? Sometimes babies are inside women. Is he saying there is a war on babies? Why?

Carson managed not to make a hell of a lot of sense on other topics as well. It’s that free-ranging, free-associating mind of his. He talked about how in the good ol' days, immigrants worked 10-12 hours a day when there was no minimum wage, and apparently that was a good thing. And before that, he pointed out, “other immigrants came here involuntarily in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.”

As if that too was a good thing. Slavery, just another fun plucky part of making America great. “But they [slaves, he means] too had a dream that one day their great grandsons and great granddaughters might pursue freedom and prosperity in this land.”

That is just flabbergastingly batsh*t crazy! Does he realize that people can hear him when he is talking? He also suggested that a good way to destroy this country would be to invite people here from other nations and give them free phones. Small reminder here, this guy may not be Trump, but his poll numbers are rising.

2. Bill O’Reilly performs another ridiculous feat of mental contortionism. Not to state the glaringly obvious, but Bill O’Reilly is kind of a dick. As with just about every other news event that ever happens, he used the Roanoke, Virginia murders to once again blame secular progressives for all the ills that plague America. Not guns or lack of decent mental healthcare; lack of Jesus. His argument was that religious people don’t commit these mass murders and suicides.

Hmmmm. A passing acquaintance with the history of murderous mayhem would indicate otherwise. But never mind. O’Reilly wants you to stop talking when he is talking, especially if you don’t completely agree with what he is saying, which is that there is a war on Christianity, and that war is what creates people like Vester Flanagan, the man who shot and killed two broadcasters on television, then later killed himself.

Got that? It’s all the atheists’ fault. “Can you point to one mass murderer who had a religion-based philosophy?” he belligerently asked his guest.

Wait, how is it that people who kill abortion doctors don’t count? Or that Christian organization, the KKK? Did anyone question the crazy shooter currently on trial for trying to massacre Jewish people in Kansas about his religious beliefs? When the therapist tried to answer that spiritual belief is not really a guarantor against mental illness, O’Reilly said, “Stop talking when I’m talking,” just in case we all forgot he was a dick. “Every single murderer has been atheistic or non-religious,” he spewed. “The secular society does not value life. Just look at Planned Parenthood. When you have a society that mocks religion.”

There it is. The Planned Parenthood connection. Wait, you don’t think he was looking for an excuse to demonize Planned Parenthood, do you?

3. Chris Christie tosses out a great idea for dealing with undocumented immigrants! Strikingly unpopular New Jersey governor Chris Christie still thinks he just might be president. He was enjoying a little townhall meeting Saturday morning when he had one of his patented, off-the-cuff, light-bulb moments. As president, he fantasized, he would hire the founder of FedEx to track undocumented immigrants the way FedEx tracks packages.

Great idea! Not at all dehumanizing, either. Packages, people...what’s the difference? It’s that sort of innovative thinking that has resulted in New Jersey’s economy being in the toilet during Christie’s tenure. Now, if someone could just figure out a way to place a barcode on people crossing the border.

4. Pat Robertson has figured out the culprit for this week’s stock market volatility. Not many people are familiar with Pat Robertson’s financial knowhow. Turns out he is an expert on international stock market volatility, and unlike Donald Trump, he does not think it’s all China’s fault. No, the blame for the stock market dive early in the week is both more local and more otherworldly.

According to Robertson, God in his infinite wisdom and abundant free time is messing with the stock market to punish wicked Americans for having legalized abortions. “We will pay dearly as a nation for this thing going on,” Robertson, having some slight word retrieval problems. By “this thing going on,” he meant the Obama administration’s support for Planned Parenthood and women’s healthcare. “And possibly if we were to stop all this slaughter the judgment of God might be lifted from us. But it’s coming, ladies and gentlemen. We just had a little taste of it in terms of the financial system, but it’s going to be shaken to its core in the next few months, years, or however long it takes and it will hurt every one of us.”

His advice seemed to be to pull your money out of the market and place it in the hands of God, who can be reached care of Pat Robertson, coincidentally.

5. Peggy Noonan has a Dominican friend and now she understands how Hispanics think. Big news: Former Reagan speechwriter, Upper East Side-dweller Peggy Noonan has met a Spanish-speaking person. Exactly one, as far as anyone knows. Oh wait, she might have met a Mexican person once. Now she is a true expert on Spanish-speaking people and their politics. Peggy’s new bestie is named Cesar and he works at her deli. He’s all the proof she needs that Trump has no problem with the Hispanic community whatsoever. Forget all those poll numbers.

Here is what Noonan wrote about Cesar so trenchantly in her Wall Street Journal column on Friday: "My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”

Can't wait until Peggy meets a black person. Maybe even an Asian person!”

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Musical Interlude: Eagles, “The Last Resort”

Eagles, “The Last Resort”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud some 400 light-years away, the lovely Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae. In the dusty sky toward the constellation Taurus and the Orion Arm of our Milky Way Galaxy, this remarkable image shows the famous star cluster at the upper left. 
Click image for larger size.
But lesser known dusty nebulae lie along the region's fertile molecular cloud, within the 10 degree wide field, including the bird-like visage of LBN 777 near center. Small bluish reflection nebula VdB 27 at the lower right is associated with the young, variable star RY Tau. At the distance of the Pleiades, the 5 panel mosaic spans nearly 70 light-years."

"Making Your Best Guess..."

"Making Your Best Guess"
by Arthur Silber

“We are not gods, and we are not omniscient. We cannot foretell the future with certainty. Most often, cultural and political changes are terribly complex. It can be notoriously difficult to predict exactly where a trend will take us, and we can be mistaken. We do the best we can: if we wish to address certain issues seriously, we study history, and we read everything that might shed light on our concerns. We consult what the best thinkers of our time and of earlier times have said and written. We challenge everyone's assumptions, including most especially our own. That last is often very difficult. If we care enough, we do our best to disprove our own case. In that way, we find out how strong our case is, and where its weaknesses may lie.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, we cannot be certain that a particular development represents a critical turning point at the time it occurs. If we dare to say, "This is the moment the battle was lost," only future events will prove whether we were correct. We do the best we can, based on our understanding of how similar events have unfolded in the past, and in light of our understanding of the underlying principles in play. We can be wrong.”

"Premonitions: Yes, We Do Have A Sixth Sense”

 "Premonitions: Yes, We Do Have A Sixth Sense”
By Sarah Chalmers

"On Friday, October 21, 1966, a mountain of coal waste, perched above the Welsh mining village of Aberfan, broke loose and came flowing down uncontrollably. Destabilized by recent rains, a river of black coal sludge, water and boulders bore down on Aberfan. It steamrollered over a tiny cottage halfway down the slope, thundered through Pantglas Junior School, obliterated a further 20 houses - then finally came to rest. A total of 144 people, including many children, were crushed or suffocated to death in one of Britain's most horrific peacetime tragedies. Every life lost was precious. But the death of 116 innocent children, killed in the school, tore at the very heart of the nation. In a cruel irony, the youngsters had been making their way back to their classrooms after singing "All Things Bright And Beautiful" at morning assembly when the disaster struck. No one in the close-knit community was unaffected by the tragedy and the bereaved parents would never recover from their loss.

But for one family, the overriding grief was even more acute. For one of those killed - ten-year-old Eryl Mai Jones - had not only predicted the catastrophe, but had warned her mother of it, too. In the days leading up to the atrocity, Eryl had told her mother she was 'not afraid to die'. 'I shall be with Peter and June,' she added. Eryl's busy mother offered her imaginative daughter a lollipop and thought no more about it. Then, on October 20, the day before the disaster, Eryl said to her mother: 'Let me tell you about my dream last night. I dreamt I went to school and there was no school there. Something black had come down all over it!' The next day, Eryl's horrific premonition came to pass and she was killed alongside schoolfriends Peter and June. They were buried side-by-side in a mass grave, just as the youngster had predicted. You can only guess at the torment Eryl's mother must have suffered - perhaps berating herself for not keeping her child off school or warning everyone in the village.

Tales like this, of horrific events 'seen' in dreams, litter history. And now a comprehensive new book by medical doctor Larry Dossey - who has himself experienced premonitory dreams - collates some of the most extraordinary examples.

September 11th : The terrorist atrocities of September 11, 2001 were preceded by a slew of premonitions. A week before the attack, one North Carolina mother dreamt about spinning into blackness and heard a man's voice repeating '2,830, 2,830' and a name she couldn't make out. 'It sounded like Rooks or Horooks,' she said. Disturbed by the dream, the woman cancelled tickets the family had to fly to Disneyland on September 11, despite protestations from her husband that she was over-reacting. When news emerged on September 11 of the planes flying into New York's Twin Towers - with another hitting the Pentagon and a fourth crashing into a field in Pennsylvania - the woman's caution was vindicated. Most bizarrely, 2,830 - the number repeated over and over in her dream - was the confirmed tally of deaths at that time. And the name - 'Rooks or Horooks?' - was that of Michael Horrocks, first officer of United Airlines flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower.

Of course, her vision was not specific enough for her to have done anything to avert the tragedy, but it was nonetheless disturbing - as was the experience of another woman holidaying in Washington DC two weeks before the atrocity. She was dozing in a car as her husband drove. But when she opened her eyes, she had a vision of the Pentagon with huge billows of thick black smoke pouring from it. She screamed, slammed her hands on the dashboard and became so hysterical that she hyperventilated. The woman had had visions all her life, but was traumatised by this one. Two weeks later, American Airlines flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon, killing 184 people, and causing clouds of thick black smoke, exactly as she had dreamt it.

In an even more chilling example, World Trade Centre employee Lawrence Boisseau had a dream in September that the towers were crashing down around him. A few days later, his wife dreamt the streets of Manhattan were littered with debris. The images were not specific enough to prevent Boisseau from going to work on September 11 - and he perished there. But not before helping to rescue several children stuck in a care centre on the ground floor.

Sometimes, premonitions allow the person to pinpoint a specific time and place, leaving the dreamer enough time to alter the course of the disaster. In one such instance, Dossey recounts the tale of a mother living in Washington State who awoke at 2.30am from a nightmare. She had dreamt that a large chandelier that hung above her baby's crib had fallen and crushed him. In the dream, a violent storm was raging and the time on the clock read 4.35 am. Alarmed, the woman woke up, went into the next room and took the baby back to her bed. Two hours later, the couple were woken by a loud crash. They dashed into their child's room to find the crib demolished by the chandelier, which had fallen directly onto it. In a further twist, a storm was raging - and the time on the clock read 4.35 am.

Not all of those who dream of future events manage to interpret them correctly. Indeed, one of the common features of premonitions is that they are often fragmentary and vague. But Dossey believes we all have the ability to predict the future and points to studies by Dean Radin, a Californian researcher. Radin sat subjects in front of a blank computer screen and told them an image would appear in five seconds. Remarkably, before the image appeared, the subjects would become more agitated if the image was of something grisly or upsetting than if it was of something pleasant. It seems the subjects could sense what they were about to be confronted with. This is supported by data from train and plane accidents. One famous study from the Fifties found that trains involved in accidents often had fewer passengers than the same service the week before.

The theory is that commuters have some sense of an approaching accident and alter their travel plans. When the Titanic made her first - and last - voyage in 1912, many passengers had a sense of foreboding. J. P. Morgan, one of the richest men in the world, cancelled his passage at the last minute because of a hunch. Interestingly, the vacancy rate on all four flights that crashed on September 11, 2001, was high. On the Boeing 757 that crashed into the Pentagon, only 64 of 289 seats were taken. Meanwhile, the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centre's North and South Towers were 74 and 81 per cent empty. Indeed, the occupancy rate of all four doomed planes that day was a mere 21 per cent - despite being commuter services.

Dossey's explanation for humans' ability to predict the future is rooted in evolution. He says it makes sense that we would develop our ability to see impending dangers and take appropriate measures. 'From the standpoint of evolutionary biology, the ability to bypass the physical senses is the sort of ability that an intelligent, survival-oriented organism might sooner or later develop.' Furthermore, he believes we are more likely to have premonitions about those to whom we are emotionally attached. Through history, neurologists have proved a telepathic connection between some particularly close individuals, such as twins. One of the most common forms of premonition is forewarning of illness in a loved one.

But this sixth sense is not confined to humans. There are countless examples of apparent premonitions among animals. Just before the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, flamingoes on India's southern coast fled, monkeys at Sri Lanka's Yala National Park stopped accepting bananas from tourists and a elephants began to trumpet. In one tale recounted by Dossey, a woman was driving her car with her cat on the back seat. The cat became increasingly agitated, before jumping into the front and biting the woman, forcing her to stop. At just that moment, a large tree crashed onto the road, just a few yards ahead of the woman. If she had continued driving, she would have been killed.

Coincidence? Or proof of something more mysterious at work? Dossey, and others like him, believe it is the latter. What's more, he thinks our only hope of utilizing the power of prediction effectively is to act immediately and not let embarrassment get in the way. He cautions: 'If premonitions are to aid survival, we cannot afford the luxury of not thinking about them.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Roswell, Georgia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

Chet Raymo, “Wooing The World”

“Wooing The World”
by Chet Raymo

“...Thisby knows
so little of the world as yet: 
the bit she can see through the
chink in the wall
has made her heart beat
faster in its cage...”

"A few lines from a poem of Linda Gregerson. Never mind the context; the image is arresting. Beautiful Thisbe is confined by her parents' to her high-walled house in Babylon, with only a crack in the wall through which to communicate with her forbidden lover. And, of course- as so many parents discover- the restriction makes her passion all the more intense. 

We look out at the universe through a metaphorical chink in the wall. We are prisoners of our limited sensory apparatus, our finite brains. Slowly we have widened the chink- just think of the Hubble photographs compared to what Ovid, say, knew of the world. But the wider chink has only made us more aware of the limits of our knowing, heightened our curiosity, excited our passion- made our hearts beat faster in their cages.

We put our lips to the chink, we whisper prayers, not knowing to whom or what we pray, imagining a lover whose remembered image grows ever more indistinct even as our passion grows.

If it were possible, would we want to have the walls down, to have full access to what the physicist Stephen Hawking whimsically called "the mind of God"- a full and complete knowledge of everything that is? Not me. Woo prolonged is woo sustained. Remember what happened to Thisbe and Pyramus, and for that matter to Eve and Adam when they ate of the Tree of Knowledge. The ancient myths tell a great truth: the tease is more exciting than the consummation.”

"10 Steps to Making Change Easier: Smoothing Transitions" by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"10 Steps to Making Change Easier: Smoothing Transitions"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Change doesn't have to be hard, here are 10 steps to help make it easier:

1. Begin by making small changes or break up large-scale changes into more manageable increments. This can make you feel better about handling the changes you are about to make while making you more comfortable with change in general.

2. Mentally link changes to established daily rituals. This can make changes like taking on a new habit, starting a new job, or adapting to a new home happen much more smoothly. For example, if you want to begin meditating at home, try weaving it into your morning routine.

3. Going with the flow can help you accept change instead of resisting it. If you stay flexible, you will be able to ride out change without too much turbulence.

4. When a change feels most stressful, relief can often be found in finding the good that it brings. An illness, a financial loss, or a broken relationship can seem like the end of the world, yet they also can be blessings in disguise.

5. Remember that all change involves a degree of learning. If you find change particularly stressful, try to keep in mind that after this period of transformation has passed, you will be a wiser person for it.

6. Remember that upheaval and confusion are often natural parts of change. While we can anticipate certain elements that a change might bring, it is impossible to know everything that will happen in advance. Be prepared for unexpected surprises, and the winds of change won’t easily knock you over.

7. Don’t feel like you have to cope with changing circumstances or the stress of making a change on your own. Talk about what’s going on for you with a friend or write about it in a journal. Sharing your feelings can give you a sense of relief while helping you find the strength to carry on.

8. Give yourself time to accept any changes that you face. And as change happens, recognize that you may need time to adjust to your new situation. Allow yourself a period of time to reconcile your feelings. This can make big changes feel less extreme.

9. No matter how large or difficult a change is, you will eventually adapt to these new circumstances. Remember that regardless of how great the change, all the new that it brings will eventually weave itself into the right places in your life.

10. If you’re trying to change a pattern of behavior or navigate your way through a life change, don’t assume that it has to be easy. Wanting to cry or being moody during a period of change is natural. Then again, don’t assume that making a change needs to be hard. Sometimes, changes are meant to be that easy."

"How It Really Is"

"The Way You Carry It..."

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it."
- Lena Horne

"8 Ways You Don't Realize Stress Is Ruining Your Health"

"8 Ways You Don't Realize Stress Is Ruining Your Health"
Researchers are finding more reasons than ever to chill out.
By Larry Schwartz

"We live in a hyped-up, caffeinated, digitized, 24/7, corporations-are-people kind of world. Along with the miracles of computers, smartphones and unfettered capitalism comes — surprise!—non-stop stress. On average, working professionals are connected to their jobs 72 hours a week. And science is discovering that along with non-stop stress comes disease.

As human beings evolved, our reactions to stressful situations, the so-called fight-or-flight reaction, helped us survive. But most of us are no longer encountering wild predators as we compete for a warm cave in which to spend the night. The rush of adrenaline and cortisol released by stress helped our ancestors remain alert, strong and fast enough to survive life-or-death situations. In some cases, we benefit from this hormonal release, which can help us in dangerous traffic situations, potential muggings or just a final college exam.

But we are finding out that in our ever more stressful dog-eat-dog economy, the stress reactions that were occasional in the past are becoming more constant. Instead of occasional jolts of adrenaline and cortisol, we are bombarded with constant releases. While there are consequences for too much adrenaline in the body, the more worrisome hormone is cortisol. In normal doses, cortisol is good for the body. It reduces inflammation. However, too much cortisol and the body’s cells become desensitized, and the result is that inflammation runs rampant. Increasingly, science is finding that inflammation is the cause of many of our most common chronic illnesses, damaging blood vessels and brain cells, leading to insulin resistance and subsequent diabetes, and promoting joint disease like arthritis.

Here’s the latest on eight health problems that are worsened by stress:

1. Heart disease: It has been suspected for decades that stress and heart disease are linked, and recent studies have further pinpointed the connection. In a study by Harvard Medical School’s Matthias Nahrendorf, blood samples taken from medical students who were under a high level of stress were found to possess higher levels of white blood cells than normal. Previous studies had shown that cortisol transformed the texture of white blood cells, making them more likely to stick to the walls of blood vessels. The resultant plaque was a key marker for hardening of the arteries.

2. Common cold: A study was done in 2012 on 276 healthy people all under different levels of stress. After interviewing the subjects on their stress levels, all were exposed to a cold virus and then quarantined for several days. Thirty-nine percent of the subjects developed a cold. Statistically, those with higher levels of stress were twice as likely to fall ill as those who were not so stressed. "Stressed people's immune cells become less sensitive to cortisol," said the author of the study, Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. "They're unable to regulate the inflammatory response, and therefore, when they're exposed to a virus, they're more likely to develop a cold."

3. Weight gain: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a psychiatry professor at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine, conducted a study that showed a link between stress and weight gain. Although it may seem obvious that people under stress might strive to alleviate it by grabbing that extra candy bar, the study went beyond that to show that stress affects the metabolism itself. Women in the study were all fed similar fast-food meals. In the next seven hours the rate of their metabolism was studied. Women who had had one or more stressful events in the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than the women who were stress-free. Although this metabolic rate was seemingly negligible, 104 calories over a year would result in a weigh gain of 11 pounds. The study also showed that stress produced a rise in insulin levels and a reduction in the oxidation of fat in the body, a process that promotes fat storage.

4. Slower healing: A different study by Kiecolt-Glaser showed the relationship between stress and the rate of healing. Women who were caregiving for relatives with dementia took 10 days longer to heal from a biopsy incision than women in a control group who were not caregivers. The study reported that the longer the stress continued, the longer it took for the healing to occur. Additionally, it showed that caregivers who had a network of friends and family to support them had a faster healing rate than those who did not.

5. Sleep dysfunction: As we get older, sleeping patterns often change and we may experience a decrease in the amount of deep sleep we get. This results in an increase in the number of times we may wake up at night. Stress compounds this natural process by making it more difficult to fall back asleep once awake. This in turn leads to sleep deprivation, shown to cause memory lapses and lack of emotional control, leading to a further cycle of stress and sleep deprivation. The level of cortisol in the system is thought to be a factor in nighttime wakefulness.

6. Depression: Depression is an illness all its own. However, stress can often cause depression. The prevailing belief is that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain’s neurotransmitters, like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Stressful situations can trigger such an imbalance in the brain, and continued stress can cause permanent changes in cortisol levels, damaging brain cells and the hippocampus until the brain itself is physically altered.

7. Back, neck and shoulder pain: It’s no surprise that with all of modern society’s dependence on computers and smartphones, and the amount of time we spend hunched over them, we have a virtual epidemic of back issues, neck strains and shoulder pain. What is surprising is that stress seems to intensify the pain. People in stressful workplaces seem particularly vulnerable to these afflictions, and they last longer than in non-workplace environments. Researchers have theorized that constant workplace stress and the resulting inflammation prevents the muscles from fully healing.

8. Ulcers (and other digestive tract diseases): In 1983, an Australian study showed that stomach ulcers, which researchers once attributed to stress alone, were actually caused by a specific bacterium. This was not the end of the story, however, for it has subsequently been shown that 15% of ulcer sufferers are not infected by the bacteria, and even in those infected, only 10% actually get ulcers. Although a precise reason for this has not been discerned yet, one theory is that stress suppresses the immune system and allows the ulcer bacteria to multiply. Another theory posits that stress actually changes the balance of gut bacteria, suppressing good bacteria and allowing the bad to thrive. In addition to ulcers, most experts agree that stress plays a major factor in such digestive tract illnesses as Crohn’s disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

There are many strategies to ward off stress. An old saying goes, “The mark of a successful man is one who has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.” In other words, relax. Exercise, meditation, gardening, spending time with friends, setting boundaries, and limiting cellphone use have all been shown to reduce stress. And perhaps we could also listen to the words of Winston Churchill, someone who certainly knew a stressful situation: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
And a little self-help...

"In The End..."

“Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope.
 Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. 
In the end that’s all we have - to hold on tight until dawn.”

- Gregory David Roberts, "Shantaram"

Fukushima Update: "Your Radiation This Week, Aug 22 to Aug 29, 2015"

"Your Radiation This Week, Aug 22 to Aug 29, 2015"
By Bob Nichols

 "I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth."
- Morpheus

(San Francisco) August 29, 2015 – "Good Day, this is “Your Radiation This Week.” These are the recorded Radiation Highs that affected people this week around the United States and in your neighborhood. Let’s get right to it.

Normal Radiation is 5 to 20 CPM. 50 CPM is an alert level.
Partial Counts are noted. Uncounted radiation makes the actual Count higher and more dangerous.

RADIATION  CPM*  TIMES NORMAL BACKGROUND LEVEL  CITY, STATE  TYPE

937 CPM   187.4 Times Normal   Billings, MT Gamma Only.
855 CPM   171.0 Times Normal   Bakersfield, CA G&B, Last report
683 CPM   136.5 Times Normal   Lincoln, NE Gamma, Beta
676 CPM   135.2 Times Normal   Tucson, AZ Gamma, Beta 
640 CPM   128 Times Normal   Little Rock, AR Gamma, Beta.
600 CPM   120 Times Normal   Pittsburgh, PA. Gamma, Beta.
572 CPM   114.4 Times Normal   Concord, NH G&B, Last Report
563 CPM   112.6 Times Normal   San Angelo, TX. Gamma, Beta.
543 CPM   108.6 Times Normal   San Diego, CA Gamma Only.
531 CPM   106.2 Times Normal   Ft. Wayne, IN Gamma, Beta.
530 CPM   106 Times Normal   Albuquerque, NM Gamma Only.
517 CPM   103.4 Times Normal   Spokane, WA Gamma Only.
504 CPM   100.8 Times Normal   Dallas, TX Gamma, Beta.
500 CPM   100 Times Normal   Miami, FL. Gamma Only.
465 CPM   93 Times Normal   Rapid City, SD. Gamma Only.
443 CPM   88.6 Times Normal   St. Paul, MN Gamma, Last Reading
441 CPM   88.2 Times Normal   Grand Junction CO Gamma Only.
427 CPM   85.4 Times Normal   Phoenix, AZ Gamma, Beta.
425 CPM   85 Times Normal   Aberdeen, SD. Gamma Only.
425 CPM   85 Times Normal   Des Moines, IA. Gamma Only.
416 CPM   83.2 Times Normal   Kansas City, KA Gamma Only.
396 CPM   79.2 Times Normal   South Valley, NM Gamma Only.
366 CPM   73.2 Times Normal   Boston, MA Gamma Only.
340 CPM   68 Times Normal   Atlanta, GA. Gamma Only.
338 CPM   67.6 Times Normal   Tulsa, OK. Gamma Only.
332 CPM   66.4 Times Normal   Los Angeles, CA. Gamma Only.
270 CPM   54 Times Normal   Chicago, IL. Gamma Only.
269 CPM   53.8 Times Normal   Indianapolis, IN. Gamma Only.
262 CPM   52.4 Times Normal   New York City, NY. Gamma Only.
241 CPM   48.2 Times Normal   Lubbock, TX. Gamma Only.
220 CPM   44 Times Normal   San Francisco, CA Gamma Only.
192 CPM   38.4 Times Normal   Las Vegas, NV Gamma Only.

Change: The YRTW radioactive cities list is now sorted by CPM, from the Highest CPM to the Lowest CPM.

Highest Recorded Radioactive City in America this week: A new and familiar Leader this week in the race for the Most Radioactive Weather in America Billings, Montana with 937 CPM. Congratulations to Billings as the Most Radioactive City in America.

Isotope Count reporting: These CPM numbers do not represent the actual radiation counts in your radiation weather this week. It is higher [or worse] than these government certified partial reports say. Use these report numbers as your Starting Point in adding up your daily, monthly and annual exposure from your Rad Weather. Most radiation monitors report on the radioactive presence of Cesium 137 at the detector. YRTW will report on “the secrets the Pros use” in estimating the actual Total radiation counts. It is not a pretty picture. Squeamish readers may want to turn to other Veterans Today articles reporting on usual things like wars and people getting blown up by an actual named enemy you can see in pictures.

The Lethality goes up for 35 years; then declines slightly and hangs steady for millions of years, for that release. New releases start a new clock all over again. Regrettably for all normal Humans, that is a bunch of generations. The end result is extinction, of course.  Everybody is included; no one is left out. Truthfully, it is a bummer and I know of no variety of radiation-exempt Human Species.

Day One out of the reactor use a news reported Cesium multiplier of 150 Times. After 15 days outside the reactor the multiplier is still approximately 100 times the Cesium Twins. Take all appropriate Rad precautions.

A second Multiplier is for Rad particles that have been outside the reactor for ten years or more. The Total radiation declines to approximately Five (5) Times the Cesium level. The Lethality is still increasing though. Here’s how you can calculate an estimate of your Total Rad today: Use a reported account of the Cesium 137/134 CPM in your area and Multiply Times 5. Another way to say it is:

Cs137/134 CPM X 5.0 = Total Radiation released in CPM

Radiation types commonly measured by radiation monitors include Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Neutron and X-Ray radiation. Only Beta and Gamma are reported by the EPA and here on YRTW. There are 1,944 other individual Rad elements, only a few are ever mentioned in articles. In short: The newer disaster’s Cesium 137/134 radiation CPM that is conveniently echoed by local and national news outlets, tells you right away by simple Multiplication how big the disaster really is, even if they are lying. At least it gets you closer than “There is no danger to the public.” That would be You. Think of it as the insider’s secret code. Multiply away! That’s it. No magic or VooDoo, just the facts as close as you can calculate it. Good Luck.

How often do radioactive releases occur? The answer is: Radioactive releases occur daily in most reactors.

Sources and Notes:
1. The Radiation charts and graphs of the EPA at http://www2.epa.gov/radnet  Don’t skip the “2” in www2.
2. The EPA based reporting of NETC.com, an LLC.
3. * This station’s Radiation equals combined Beta and Gamma Radiation. Note: Not all locations have reporting Beta Radiation Monitors. Gamma Radiation Monitors are functioning at all these locations.
4. “…If you pollute when you DO KNOW there is NO safe dose with respect to causing extra cases of deadly cancers or heritable effects, you are committing premeditated random murder.” – John W. Gofman, Ph.D., M.D. (1918-2007), associate director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 1963-1969) — Comments on a Petition for Rulemaking to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, May 21, 1994.
5. CPM. “Although we can’t see it, taste it, smell it or hear it we can measure radiation and observe its effects. One way to measure radiation which the United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] has chosen to use on its radiation websites is in Counts Per Minute. Each Count is One Radioactive Decay.” Quote from the ‘Your Radiation, This Week.’” Apr 3, 2015.
6. Digilert 100 Promotional Flyer pdf, “Normal background is 5-20 CPM.” 
7. Many baby seals dying of leukemia-linked disorder along California coast — Blamed for over 1/3 of recent deaths at San Francisco Bay rescue center (CHART), ENENEWS, Energy News Aggregator, http://enenews.com/many-seals-dying-leukemia-linked-disorder-along-california-coast-13-recent-deaths-san-francisco-bay-animal-research-hospital-caused-disseminated-intravascular-coagulation-chart

"Throughout this time the reactors continuously plumed out radiation into the environment. When seen through the refracted gaze of the media, it seemed as though the radioactive plumes that escaped the Daiichi plant were severe, but episodic and limited. In fact, the plumes that made their way into the atmosphere after the venting and hydrogen explosions were peak releases, but they were merely steps above an already elevated level that fluctuated but never stopped. One way to visualize this is to imagine the plume as a spotlight that swept back and forth, continuously pluming out radioactivity in the direction that light was shone: as the wind shifted the plume would move, but it never stopped. The plume was unrelenting (and, arguably, still is today in another mode, as contaminated water leaks into the ocean), and as this radioactivity has been released into the environment, it has incrementally distributed collective, cumulative doses whose consequences for public health were terrifying in the early days of the crisis but may well be even worse in the long-term."
"During that March 13 phone call, Cleveland wrote, Troy Mueller — the deputy administrator for naval reactors at the US Department of Energy — said the radiation was the equivalent of “about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out at sea.” “So it's much greater than what we had thought,” Mueller reportedly warned other American officials after taking samples on the Reagan. “We didn't think we would detect anything at 100 miles.” After Mueller made that remark, according to Cleveland’s transcript, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman asked him if those levels were “significantly higher than anything you would have expected.” He responded yes. When Poneman later asked Mueller, “how do the levels detected compare with what is permissible,” Mueller said those on the scene could suffer irreversible harm from the radiation within hours.

“If it were a member of the general public, it would take- well, it would take about 10 hours to reach a limit,” he said. At that point, Mueller added, “it’s a thyroid dose issue.” If people are exposed to levels beyond the Protective Action Guideline threshold released by the Energy Department, Cleveland acknowledged in his report, radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands."

So within 10 hours of exposure to 30 times the normal background 
radiation level "radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands."
Find the nearest location to you in the listing above. 
10 hours? 30 times normal exposure?
Remember this is 24 hour a day, 7 days a week exposure for over 4 years now.
Draw your own conclusions...
God help us all...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Musical Interlude: Edward Elgar, “Nimrod”

Edward Elgar, “Nimrod”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Beautiful Nebula discovered between the Balance [Libra] & the Serpent [Serpens]..." begins the description of the 5th entry in 18th century astronomer Charles Messier's famous catalog of nebulae and star clusters. Though it appeared to Messier to be fuzzy and round and without stars, Messier 5 (M5) is now known to be a globular star cluster, 100,000 stars or more, bound by gravity and packed into a region around 165 light-years in diameter. It lies some 25,000 light-years away. Roaming the halo of our galaxy, globular star clusters are ancient members of the Milky Way. 
Click image for larger size.
M5 is one of the oldest globulars, its stars estimated to be nearly 13 billion years old. The beautiful star cluster is a popular target for Earthbound telescopes. Of course, deployed in low Earth orbit on April 25, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has also captured its own stunning close-up view that spans about 20 light-years near the central region of M5. Even close to its dense core at the left, the cluster's aging red and blue giant stars and rejuvenated blue stragglers stand out in yellow and blue hues in the sharp color image.”

The Poet: Octavio Paz, "Brotherhood"

"Brotherhood"

"I am a man: little do I last 
and the night is enormous. 
But I look up: 
the stars write. 
Unknowing I understand: 
I too am written, 
and at this very moment 
someone spells me out."

- Octavio Paz

Chet Raymo, “Out Of The Silence”

“Out Of The Silence”
by Chet Raymo

"A few words about Douglas Christe's “The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology”, the title of which is drawn from the 4th-century monastic writer Evagrius of Pontus: "When the mind has put off the old self and shall put on the one born of grace, then it will see its own state in the time of prayer resembling sapphire or the color of heaven."

It is a beautiful image, although I am not at all sure what it means. We are separated from Evagrius by centuries, by a Scientific Revolution, by the Enlightenment. I am not suggesting that we have nothing to learn from the ancients, or that certain of human longings and concerns are not so deeply ingrained in our biology as to resist cultural modification. Only that the metaphors we use to describe our most profound experiences are drawn from the times in which we live, and it is difficult for a person of the 21st century to enter into the mind of a 4th-century monk.

Doug's book is about the Word, which I take as an expression of the Divine as revealed through the world. The Word graces and redeems the world; we have only to listen. Which, in Doug's view, is the importance of the contemplative tradition. His wonderful book is an extended hymn on the art- or grace- of listening. But what are we listening for? Doug quotes the early monks of the desert, who lived in a world of ghosts, dreams and spirits, physical deprivation, and (presumably) sexual sublimation. He also quotes (for example) the modern poet Theodore Roethke:

    "Voice. Come out of the silence.
    Say something.
    Appear in the form of a spider.
    Or a moth beating the curtain."

Doug's book is about the art and grace of listening, which as many poets and saints have suggested is the highest form of prayer. It is his contention that listening is a prerequisite for love, and we will only save what we care for. I imagine his "blue sapphire" is also the Earth, suspended like a jewel in the deep darkness and silence of space. Doug's book speaks, I think, to both believers and agnostics. In the moth beating against the curtain, Doug hears the voice of the Word. I hear a moth beating against the curtain. I'm not sure the difference is as important as the hearing- for us and for the moth.”

"Not Mad..."

"Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. 
There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth 
even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
- George Orwell, “1984”

"Do You Wish To Know?"

"Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard- the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money- the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law- men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims- then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that your society is doomed."
An excerpt from “Atlas Shrugged,” by Ayn Rand.
Full text of “Francisco’s Money Speech” is here:

The Daily "Near You?"

San Luis Obispo, California, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"How to Get Good at What You’re Bad At"

"How to Get Good at What You’re Bad At"
by David Cain

"It’s been almost two years since I’ve become my own boss, and I am still fairly bad at it. Any real boss would fire me. I take long lunches and don’t come back sometimes. I defer important tasks till the next day because it suddenly seems more important to go get groceries in the middle of the afternoon. It takes me eight hours to do three hours of writing. If you’ve ever emailed me, you may have first-hand experience with my near-glacial correspondence speed. This is classic severe procrastinator behavior, and as bad as it is, it used to be worse. But I’m improving only about as quickly as a guitar player who takes six days off a week.

Not all areas of my life are as inefficient as my desk work though. When it comes to fitness I have become the opposite. For more than a year now I’ve been on top of my fitness programs, with no interruptions or start-overs. In the gym, I get my work done, with no compromises and no wasted time. I make real progress consistently and feel awesome about it. I was talking this through with a fellow self-employee the other day, and wondered aloud, “Why can’t I be as good at my work-work as I am at my gym-work?”

Since then, this question—why does X go so well and Y so badly?—has become fascinating to me. Clearly something is seriously different about the way I approach each, the way I perceive the work. You probably have a different X and Y than I do, but with a similar disparity in success at doing them. What part of your life do you handle well? What part are you perpetually botching?

It doesn’t seem like a comparison between lifting and working habits would yield any insights. Pressing a barbell over your head is nothing like outlining a book. But on a fundamental level, the two operations are the same: I have a list of stuff to do. At the gym I do it all. At my desk I don’t. So I sat at the table with a cup of coffee and broke it all down. Why do I lift better than I work? Lots of reasons. Here are a few. 

1) It’s always clear what I expect of myself at the gym. The tasks on my gym to-do list are 100% unambiguous. There is no question about what three sets of five at 165 pounds is. It’s always obvious what I need to do now, when I’m finished it, and what to do after that. The standards are perfectly clear. My desk work is intrinsically more complex—it will never be quite as well-defined as a rep scheme at the gym. But it’s clear that I need to take way more care in defining what needs to be done each day. “Work on book for two hours” is too ambiguous. You can’t feel “done” without clear finish lines.

2) Fitness work is tied directly to a timeframe (but so is every kind of work). I almost never miss workouts because fitness regimens require a certain amount of work in a certain timeframe. If you’re only doing six weeks’ worth of training in twelve weeks, you’re never going to reach your goals. There is a deal-breaking difference between whether I do my workouts as scheduled this week, or put them off until next week. When it comes to fitness, this calendar-to-workload relationship is obvious, yet in my desk work I often convince myself that doing something tomorrow is just as good as doing it today. In reality it’s only half as good, because it took me two days instead of one. This difference is huge. For a business owner it’s the difference between earning X amount per year and earning twice that. But we procrastinators do this all the time, opting for tomorrow instead of today. Of course, half the time we don’t do it tomorrow either.

3) There’s nothing else to do at the gym but gym-work. This is another point that’s obvious in hindsight but easy to overlook in the moment. I’ve always dismissed the idea that I should close my web browser and put my phone away while I work; I figure there’s no need to be a slave driver. But my reluctance to shut down those things proves they distract me. At the gym I know I’m not going to do anything but lift, because there’s nothing there but weights.

It’s hilarious to imagine myself approaching bench-pressing like I approach work at home. “Oh I’ve done 2 of my 5 sets! I can easily finish this later but first let’s watch an episode of Adventure Time. Clearly I’ve earned an eleven-minute break.” (Which easily becomes a 77-minute break.) A single workout with that mentality would take me fourteen hours. I keep my workdays loose like this with the idea that I’m “preserving my freedom”, but in reality this looseness reduces my freedom. It is absurd how many distractions I allow in my work environment.

4) I am always aware of why I’m lifting. Even though muscle growth takes time, lifting weight makes you feel strong in real-time. That keeps me aware of why I’m bothering to squat down, with a barbell on my back, twenty-five times. Being a habitual pessimist, I easily lose sight of the rewards and upsides of my desk work. I get completely absorbed with the pains and challenges associated with it. If all I thought about at the gym was how heavy the weight is, I wouldn’t lift it.

I know this isn’t an issue for everyone—go-getter types always seem to have their eyes on the prize. But I’m always focused on the pains and difficulties of work, so much that I often completely forget that there’s actually something to gain by doing it. I’m sure fellow extreme pessimists can relate.

The Bigger Principle: There are quite a few other reasons why my gym work is more efficient than my desk work, but you get the idea. Certain business habits suddenly look completely absurd when I picture myself using the same approach in the gym.

It’s the bigger principle that’s important though. Whenever you do one thing well and another thing poorly, you can learn why by picturing yourself doing X with your usual approach to Y, and vice-versa. Maybe you run your business like Jeff Bezos, but you run your household like Homer Simpson. What would your Jeff Bezos side do with your household? What would your Homer Simpson side do with your business? If, for example, you’re good with money but bad with nutrition, where does your dollar-budgeting philosophy work that your calorie-budgeting approach doesn’t? Perhaps, out of principle, you would never avoid looking at your monthly balance sheet, yet you refuse to confront the reality of the numbers when it comes to calories in versus calories out.

Being aware of these differences doesn’t automatically resolve them, but it can remove much of the mystery about why you’re so bad at what you’re bad at. This kind of comparison can reveal the absurdity of habits that at first glance seem normal or not-that-bad to you.

Universal principles emerge. In my case, this quick comparison made it clear that serious work gets done when I a) define the work clearly, b) keep the rewards in mind, and c) stack it all together with minimal interruption, and I would bet that remains true whether I’m lifting, writing, or doing something else entirely. Again, those ideas may sound obvious, but they weren’t until I realized how crucial they are to my fitness success.

I can’t justify my relatively terrible desk behaviors on the grounds that gym work and desk work are apples and oranges. It’s true that they are different types of work, and I can’t make them the same. I can’t produce a finished book by doing enough chinups. But that doesn’t matter. It’s not the types of work that are being compared, it’s the approach and mentality towards them, and that’s the part we control."