March 25, 2017
Earliest known photo of Elvis Presley with parents Gladys and Vernon in 1938
My observation is that smartphones have made half of all adults mentally ill. I mean that literally, not figuratively. The business model of phones is addiction, not value. And they addict you at the expense of the things humans need in their lives to be happy and healthy. Kids have it worse. They haven’t developed any natural defenses. They are pure victims. Today I declare the phone companies to be enemies of the state. They are ruining everything you love, and everything you care about. And they are doing it right in front of you.
[T]he most expensive highway in US history, the Central Artery and Tunnel project...It didn’t just cost a lot of money. The copy-and-paste phrase on reporters’ computers was that it was “plagued by cost overruns,” ballooning from $2.6 billion to nearly $15 billion ($24 billion, counting interest on the debt). It didn’t simply take more time than expected; it was eight years behind schedule by the time it was done.
Diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 12 years old, Ash Soto was ashamed of her skin and bullied as a teen-ager
It wasn’t until she started doing body art that she learned to love her skin condition....“I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker."
Don’t you just hate it when you have to take an important phone call and you’re surrounded by potential eavesdroppers? You either have to whisper or go outside to keep the conversation private, which is not exactly ideal.
Hushme is a bizarre high-tech mask that blocks the sound of the wearer’s voice so that people nearby can’t hear what is being said. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and comes with a pair of earbuds. When you get a private call, all you have to do is put the muzzle-like mask on and it will do the rest. The pair of thick cushy pads over your mouth do a good job of muffling your voice, but to ensure nothing gets through, Hushme also features external that play a variety of sounds when you speak.
March 20, 2017
"A life spent reading--that is a good life," Annie Dillard
Reading After Lunch by Sarah Bryant, British painter.
Can Reading Make You Happier? by Ceridwen Dovey in The New Yorker. The answer is YES.
In response to the question “What is preoccupying you at the moment?,” I was surprised by what I wanted to confess: I am worried about having no spiritual resources to shore myself up against the inevitable future grief of losing somebody I love, I wrote. I’m not religious, and I don’t particularly want to be, but I’d like to read more about other people’s reflections on coming to some sort of early, weird form of faith in a “higher being” as an emotional survival tactic.
In a secular age, I suspect that reading fiction is one of the few remaining paths to transcendence, that elusive state in which the distance between the self and the universe shrinks. Reading fiction makes me lose all sense of self, but at the same time makes me feel most uniquely myself.
For all avid readers who have been self-medicating with great books their entire lives, it comes as no surprise that reading books can be good for your mental health and your relationships with others, but exactly why and how is now becoming clearer, thanks to new research on reading’s effects on the brain...A 2011 study published in the Annual Review of Psychology, based on analysis of fMRI brain scans of participants, showed that, when people read about an experience, they display stimulation within the same neurological regions as when they go through that experience themselves.
So even if you don’t agree that reading fiction makes us treat others better, it is a way of treating ourselves better. Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.
Read the whole thing to learn about the rise of bibliotherapy, that is prescribing reading for its therapeutic effect.
Comfort Food: The Importance of Reading Aloud as Adults by Annie Hartnett
When I was in the third grade, my neighbor, Mrs. Cris — a 60-year-old woman with grown children — invited me and two other girls to form a weekly reading club. On Wednesdays, Mrs. Cris would serve us buttery Danish cookies, and juice in fancy punch glasses. We would sit on the floor while Mrs. Cris settled into the high-backed chair in front of the fireplace, and she would read out loud to us.
We would lie about it to other kids, what we did on Wednesdays. It wasn’t because I was ashamed, it never occurred to me that a reading club might be considered uncool. I lied because I didn’t want my other friends to be envious, and because I didn’t want anyone else to be added to the club. It was our secret, my favorite day of the week.
The Reading Club taught me the importance of careful, concentrated listening, and taught me that I could find friends outside my immediate peer group. It taught me reading a story aloud is a way to take care of someone, a kind of care-taking that isn’t overbearing or smothering, and doesn’t feel like babysitting. As adults, reading aloud to one another is something we think we might have grown out of, but that’s only because we’ve forgotten how intimate and cozy it is to be read to, or to read aloud to someone who listens. It’s a simple, low-maintenance way to connect. And if you can tell a good story, I now believe, you can win anyone over, even the most skeptical of listeners. Especially if you serve cookies.
And don't forget the rich pleasure of listening to audio books and becoming deeply immersed in stories that surround you.
I've a huge fan of audiobooks for decades, first on cassettes, then CDs and now on MP3s that I download to my iPod.
I've been a great reader all my life, but there were some books I just could not get into, like J.R,Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. So, one day I ordered The Fellowship of the Ring narrated by Rob Inglis and was completely entranced. I loved them and have become, at last, a J.R.Tolkien fan.
Certain books are immeasurably enriched by a good narrator. I can't imagine the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series, beginning with Master and Commander without hearing the delightful voice of Patrick Tull. Graham Greene's The End of the Affair as narrated by Colin Firth, A Town Like Alice narrated by Neil Hunt, A Gentleman in Moscow as narrated by Nicolas Guy Smith, Wolf Hall as narrated by Simon Slater, The Likeness as narrated by Heather O'Neill and Brideshead Revisited as narrated by Jeremy Irons. This past year I discovered to my great delight Adrian McKinty and his Sean Duffy mysteries set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. All, beginning with The Cold Cold Ground are narrated by the splendid Gerard Doyle
To mark her 100th birthday, Vera Lynn releases new album
You might not recognize the name, but you likely will recognize some of her most famous songs from WW2 movies or Dr. Strangelove: I'll Be Seeing You, We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover, and A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
Known as the "Forces Sweetheart", Dame Vera Lynn provided much needed moral for the people of Britain during the Second World War . Today is her 100th birthday and she will be repaid with
a touching and a fitting tribute. To mark the national treasure's milestone 100th birthday, a pair of original wartime Spitfires are set to do a rare fly-over and display above the White Cliffs of Dover. As WWII re-enactors perform a military salute, the iconic backdrop will be transformed more than 70 years after her wartime classic song gave hope to British troops in action.
She is also marking the occasion with a new album. In 2009, at age 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart.
Asked for secret to a long life she said, 'Keep interested, read books, watch television, keep in touch with life'
Dame Vera marked her birthday with a family tea party and said in a statement: 'I am truly overwhelmed by the wonderful messages, gifts and gestures that people have made to mark this milestone occasion with me. I feel blessed to have reached 100, and I am humbled by everyone's kindness."
She is held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War to this day and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.
Health round-up: Exercise and cancer, cystic fibrosis, statins, tea, coffee and vitamins
Cystic fibrosis patients living 10 years longer in Canada than U.S. thanks to a high fat diet
Researchers identify differences in diet, health insurance and access to lung transplants...A spike in Canadian survival rates noted in 1995 may be due to a high fat diet, emphasizing cheeses, fish and nuts, recommended for Canadians with cystic fibrosis since the 1970s. "The Canadians tried high fat diets, more calories, more palatable, and this really had an impact on the nutritional status, particularly with children, and that seems to set the trajectory for the disease."
Prostate cancer metastasises, or spreads, to the bones in 9 out of 10 fatal cases. Scientists found a reducing a protein in the brain stopped the cancer spreading. Discovery could pave the way to a treatment for advanced forms of the disease
Exercising is known to reduce the risk of breast, bowel, colon and womb cancer. But how? Scientists say active people are better at removing a by-product - lactate - that fuels tumors. Lactate – which makes muscles stiffen after exercise – is a key driver of cancer growth and spread, experts claim.
Dr Inigo San Millan, of the University of California, Berkeley, said: 'With this paper, we open a whole new door for understanding cancer, showing for the first time that lactate is not only present, but mandatory for every step in its development. 'We hope to sound the alarm for the research community that to stop cancer you have to stop lactate.'
Researchers at Columbia University found a certain gene is present in people with prematurely aged brains
Just as some people physically age faster than others, the same goes for brains. The study examined autopsy data from almost 2,000 people without diseases. They found those with older-looking brains had two copies of a certain gene - TMEM106B. The common genetic variant greatly impacts normal brain aging from around the age of 65. It may also increase one's risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease or dementia.
Researchers found that drinking tea reduces the risk of dementia by some 50% while those who carry a 'dementia gene' can slash their chances by around 86%. Tea leaves are considered to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. And it doesn't matter whether you prefer green tea or black.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore assessed the tea consumption of 957 adults over the age of 55 over a period of 12 years. Every two years, the participants were assessed on their cognitive function using standardized tools. "A simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life," said Dr Feng Lei and help protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration.
Scientists claim swallowing tablets with your morning cup of caffeine wipes out all of the good they do because the heat in the drinks can dramatically reduce the effects of tablets. It can even kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria in probiotic foods such as yoghurts..Now experts suggest waiting at least an hour before consuming hot food or drink after taking tablets.
City-dwellers should stock up on B vitamins, experts claim.
A new study suggests that the supplements may play a critical role in reducing the devastating impact of air pollution. In a trial on humans, scientists found just small doses could offset the deadly damage caused by tiny, toxic particles. Experts believe the findings could have a significant public health benefit in heavily polluted cities across the world.
“For most middle-aged people wishing to avoid heart disease, a healthy diet offers a far more powerful, sustainable and enjoyable plan than lifelong statin tablets,” said Prof Simon Capewell, vice-president of the UK Faculty of Public Health.
Australian scientists have carried out one of the first studies of its kind focusing on the effects of statins on more than 8,000 female pensioners....The team found over-75s face a 33 per cent higher chance of getting diabetes if they are taking them. But the risk rose to more than 50 per cent for those on higher doses. It follows research last year which showed people with naturally higher levels of cholesterol, paradoxically, are less likely to suffer diabetes.
March 19, 2017
Fr. Gordon McRae writes about a mystical dream and the photo a reader sent him of The Triangulum
I hope you will re-read and share Joseph’s Dream and the Birth of the Messiah and the strange and mystical dream I recounted. It may not have any real meaning. I know that the imagery in dreams may be no more than a psyche’s attempt to provide meaning and substance to random thoughts.
But sometimes “randomness” just doesn’t hold up. In that dream, I was shown a vague and distant constellation out my prison cell window. It was composed of three stars forming a triangle. “Look beyond the prison lights” came the instruction from my guide to the distant scene. Of course, no such constellation is visible out my cell window, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. A little research proved that it is in fact there, and it is called “Triangulum.”
in the dim distance behind the Constellation Triangulum was found the furthest object ever seen by human eyes or instruments. It is the most distant galaxy ever discovered at 12.2 billion light years away. It looks onto the very aftermath of the Big Bang and the emergence of the created Universe. I was simply in awe of this.
Then a reader sent me a photograph of Triangulum taken in a “Deep Field” long exposure image by the Hubbell Space Telescope. It is strikingly close to what I saw in my dream when I was bidden to look deeper still.
Does it mean anything? I’m not sure. But this is the more panoramic view of things that I wrote of earlier in this post. This photo gives me comfort and hope at a time when the carnage is growing all around me, and I wanted to share this image with you. It is simply remarkable! Whether it has any significance is a matter of faith, but even here, in the midst of destruction, there is some to be found.
March 18, 2017
How to Raise Successful Boys
Want to Raise Successful Boys? Science Says Do This (but Their Schools Probably Won't)
Students--and especially boys--need hours of physical activity every day. They don't get enough because their schools won't let them.
We inhibit children's academic growth (especially among boys), because the lack of physical activity makes it harder for them to concentrate...."In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order for them to pay attention, we need to let them move."
Most boys are rambunctious. Often they seem like they're in a constant state of motion: running, jumping, fighting, playing, getting hurt--maybe getting upset--and getting right back into the physical action.Except at school, where they're required to sit still for long periods of time. (And when they fail to stay still, how are they punished? Often by being forced to skip recess--and thus they sit still longer.)
Restricting kids' movement like this leads them to increased anger and frustration, less ability to regulate emotions, and higher aggressiveness during the limited times they are allowed to play, Hanscom writes. "Elementary children need at least three hours of active free play a day to maintain good health and wellness. Currently, they are only getting a fraction."
On beautiful women
On beautiful women by David Warren.
"There are two kinds of women to whom I am attracted: bad ones and good ones"
....Over time — and I suppose age helps, though not as much as the young might suppose — I find that I have been developing "a preferential option for good women."...I am writing as a male, incidentally. Women will have to speak for themselves. Their attractions to men are beyond my comprehension.
When it comes to bad women, I find that my attention is focused, almost but not quite involuntarily, on those who just happen to be young and gorgeous. Whereas, when it comes to good women, my attention is captured by all ages. And whereas, in the first case, the idea of possession is never far away, in the second it disperses.....And often enough, unconventionally beautiful, as for instance certain old ladies, married or widowed or never married or nuns, who exquisitely embody the feminine principle. To be in their company is to be somehow washed, of that which makes one most grossly male.
Women have been not "objectified" in our culture so much as monetized; used as a sales tool. Every man who walks through our contemporary world is exposed to this gnawing devilry. Women are demeaned by the "soft" pornography that surrounds us; on the billboards, but also walking the streets. Actually it is quite hard pornography, by any traditional measure; one might even say it is exhausting. It enters not only the eyes of men, portals to the soul; but also the eyes and souls of the women. By increments they become what they behold.
There are women who are beautiful, as paintings. I could gaze on them all day. But in the moment lust enters the configuration, that beauty is destroyed. As anything else in the economy it becomes something to use then discard.
Aging in Japan
One of the Atlantic's photos of the week is this face of the remote-controlled humanoid Telenoid at a nursing home in Natori, Japan on March 13, 2017.
This is the first case of a Telenoid being installed at a nursing home in the world. The 2.7 kg humanoid enables the operator to communicate with the elderly over long distance, with its camera and microphone capturing the voice and movements of an operator and projecting them through its body to the elderly. The nursing home staff have seen elderly patients, especially those with dementia, becoming more active and positive to communicate when they communicate with the Telenoids. Telenoids cost 1,000,000 JPY (approximately $8,700) and can be rented for 50,000 JPY (about $435) per month.
Just as a Geriatric Crime Wave is sweeping across Japan
Japan's prison system is being driven to budgetary crisis by demographics, a welfare shortfall and a new, pernicious breed of villain: the recidivist retiree. And the silver-haired crooks, say academics, are desperate to be behind bars.
Crime figures show that about 35 per cent of shoplifting offenses are committed by people over 60. Within that age bracket, 40 per cent of repeat offenders have committed the same crime more than six times. There is good reason, concludes a report, to suspect that the shoplifting crime wave in particular represents an attempt by those convicted to end up in prison — an institution that offers free food, accommodation and healthcare.
Between 1991 and 2013, the latest year for which the Ministry of Justice publishes figures, the number of elderly inmates in jail for repeating the same offense six times has climbed 460 per cent.
March 17, 2017
Happy St Patrick's Day
Some quotes and jokes to enjoy on this St Patrick's Day
Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
William Butler Yeats
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat
I'm Irish. I think about death all the time
We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.
If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.
This [The Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.
The Irish don't know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it.
The Mouse on the Barroom Floor
Some Guinness was spilled on the barroom floor when the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse and stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor, then back on his haunches he sat.
And all night long you could hear him roar, 'Bring on the goddam cat!'
Reilly is walking through a graveyard when he comes across a headstone with the inscription "Here lies a politician and an honest man." 'Faith now,' exclaims Reilly, 'I wonder how they got the two of them in one grave.
The Doctor was puzzled 'I'm very sorry Mr O'Flaherty, but I can't diagnose your trouble. I think it must be drink.'
'Don't worry about it Dr Cullen, I'll come back when you're sober.', said O' Flaherty.
Dermot McCann opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly 'phoned his best friend Reilly.
'Did ye see the paper?' asked Dermot. 'They say I died.'
'Yes, I saw it.' replied Reilly. 'Where are ye callin' from?'
Six Irish men were playing poker when one of them played a bad hand and died. The rest drew straws to see who would tell his wife. One man draws the shortest straw and goes to his friend’s house to tell the wife.
The man says to her, “Your husband lost some money in the poker game and is afraid to come home.”
The wife says, “Tell him to drop dead!”
The man responds, “I’ll go tell him.”
An Irishman is struggling to find a parking space. "Lord," he prayed. "I can't stand this. If you open a space up for me, I swear I'll give up the Guinness and go to mass every Sunday." Suddenly, the clouds part and the sun shines on an empty parking spot. Without hesitation, the Irishman says: "Never mind, I found one!"
March 16, 2017
Camile Paglia on Men
Camille Paglia Discusses Her War on 'Elitist Garbage' and Contemporary Feminism Interview in Broadly to discuss her new book, Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, and Feminism, collecting her greatest hits about gender, sex, and feminism from 1990 to 2016.....Whether you agree or disagree with Paglia ... she has always understood the country while other experts did not.
Broadly: Why do you believe men need to be free for women to be free?
Paglia: My primary inspiration since adolescence has been the thrilling decades of the 1920s and 30s, following American women gaining the right to vote in 1920. There were so many major women figures entering the professions—like my idols Amelia Earhart and Katharine Hepburn, who were determined to show that women could achieve at the same level as men. The bold new women of that period did not insult or denigrate men. They admired what men had done and simply demanded the opportunity to show that women could match or surpass it. One of my persistent quarrels with second-wave feminism is how male-bashing became its default mode from the start. Movements often attract fanatics or borderline personalities, and that's exactly what happened....
..... women can never be truly free until they let men too be free—which means that men have every right to determine their own identities, interests, and passions without intrusive surveillance and censorship by women with their own political agenda. For example, if there is an official Women's Center on the Yale University campus (which there is), then there should be a Men's Center too—and Yale men should be free to carry on and carouse there and say whatever the hell they want to each other, without snoops outside the door ready to report them to the totalitarian sexual harassment office.
Broadly: The book argues that construction workers and other working class men's work have gone unnoticed....
Paglia: It is an absolute outrage how so many pampered, affluent, upper-middle-class professional women chronically spout snide anti-male feminist rhetoric, while they remain completely blind to the constant labor and sacrifices going on all around them as working-class men create and maintain the fabulous infrastructure that makes modern life possible in the Western world. Only a tiny number of women want to enter the trades where most of the nitty-gritty physical work is actually going on—plumbing, electricity, construction. Women have played virtually no role in the erection of those magnificent towers in every major city in the world. It's men who operate the cranes or set the foundations or wash windows on the 85th floor. It's men who troop out at 2:00 AM during an ice storm to restore power to neighborhoods where falling trees have brought down live wires. It's men who mix the stinking, toxic cauldrons to spread steaming hot tar on city roofs. Last year in a nearby town, I drove by a huge, chaotic scene where emergency workers in hazmat suits were struggling with a giant pipe break, as raw sewage was pouring into the street. Of course all those workers up to their knees in a torrent of thick brown water were men! I've seen figures indicating that 92 per cent of people killed on the job are men—and it's precisely because men are heroically doing most of the dangerous jobs in modern society. The bourgeois blindness of feminist leaders to low-status working-class labor by men is morally corrupt! Gay men, on the other hand, have always shown their awed admiration of working-class masculinity and fortitude. It's no coincidence that a buff construction worker in a hard hat was one of the iconic personae of the gay disco group, the Village People, during the Studio 54 era!
Miscellany #61: Bananas, umbrellas, Wyatt Earp & John Wayne, Eagle Cam, Oxford comma, Hipster junk food, alcohol & caffeine, goldfish in a wheel chair
Smoking Banana Peels Is the Greatest Drug Hoax of All Time They called it mellow yellow.
The city-state of Singapore is located in a tropical rainforest climate, getting 92 inches of rain every year. But in Singapore’s Little India, on the aptly named Hindoo Road, locals and tourists alike can get protection from the frequent downpours by sitting beneath one of the neighborhood’s unique Umbrella Trees. Part of art installation created by local artist Marthalia Budiman, the Umbrella Trees have transformed a small public park space into an oasis of color, beauty, and protection from the elements.
Wyatt Earp was one of those guys who wasn't satisfied sticking to one job for too long -- over the years he was a lawman, buffalo hunter, brothel keeper, miner and boxing referee, among others. But obviously he was best known for being an infinitely badass cowboy dude. Earp took part in the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral -- a 30-second gun battle that has inspired dozens of feature-length films.
Towards the end of his life, Earp settled in California and tried to break into Hollywood. Earp did get to befriend some Hollywood actors -- including a 17-year-old nobody called Marion Morrison. You might know him under his somewhat manlier fake name, John Wayne.
Marion Morrison later known as John Wayne
While hanging out on movie sets, casually choreographing historical gunfights for directors like John Ford, Earp would share stories from the Wild West with the actors. The future Wayne, then a lowly extra/prop man, soaked them up. He also paid close attention to the way Earp talked and carried himself. ...once he went on to star in westerns of his own -- to the point that, according to his son, whenever Wayne had to play a tough cowboy, he just channeled Wyatt Earp
Mr. President and The First Lady, a bald eagle pair nesting at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., hunkered down in the snow and cold to save their two eggs, which are expected to hatch later this month...The determined duo’s battle was watched live from around the world thanks to the DC Eagle Cam Project.
The First Lady covered the eggs with her body as she allowed herself to be covered by snow and ice. Mr. President joined her, partially covering her body with his wings as snow and ice accumulated on him. They continued to keep their bodies close, exchanging warmth and attempting to protect their future eaglets.
A US court of appeals determined that certain clauses of Maine’s overtime laws are grammatically ambiguous. Because of that lack of clarity, the five drivers have won their lawsuit against Oakhurst, and are eligible for unpaid overtime...The profoundly nerdy ruling is also a win for anyone who dogmatically defends the serial comma.
Chelsea Follett, managing editor of HumanProgress.org, a project of the CATO Institute, explained exactly how "alcohol and caffeine created civilization" in a recent USA today column....Consuming alcohol likely gave early humans a survival edge. "Before we could properly purify water or prepare food, the risk of ingesting hazardous microbes was so great that the antiseptic qualities of alcohol made it safer to consumer than non-alcoholic beverages — despite alcohol's own risks," she wrote.
"The domestication of plants [was] driven forward by the desire to have greater quantities of alcohol beverages," archaeologist Patrick McGovern told National Geographic. If alcohol inspired agriculture, caffeine jumpstarted progress.
"The impact of the introduction of coffee into Europe during the seventeenth century was particularly noticeable since the most common beverages of the time, even at breakfast, were weak 'small beer' and wine." Those who drank coffee instead of alcohol began the day alert and stimulated, rather than relaxed and mildly inebriated, and the quality and quantity of their work improved....Western Europe began to emerge from an alcoholic haze that had lasted for centuries."
March 15, 2017
A Story of Elephants and Men
In the Absence of Fathers: A Story of Elephants and Men by Fr. Gordon McRae
Some years ago, officials at the Kruger National Park and game reserve in South Africa were faced with a growing elephant problem....The helicopters were up to the task, but, as it turned out, the harness wasn’t. It could handle the juvenile and adult female elephants, but not the huge African bull elephants. A quick solution had to be found, so a decision was made to leave the much larger bulls at Kruger and relocate only some of the female elephants and juvenile males.
Sometime later, however, a strange problem surfaced at South Africa’s other game reserve, Pilanesburg National Park, the younger elephants’ new home....Rangers at Pilanesburg began finding the dead bodies of endangered white rhinoceros...rangers set up hidden cameras throughout the park. The result was shocking. The culprits turned out to be marauding bands of aggressive juvenile male elephants, the very elephants relocated from Kruger National Park a few years earlier. The young males were caught on camera chasing down the rhinos, knocking them over, and stomping and goring them to death with their tusks. The juvenile elephants were terrorizing other animals in the park as well. Such behavior was very rare among elephants. Something had gone terribly wrong.
What had been missing from the relocated herd was the presence of the large dominant bulls that remained at Kruger. In natural circumstances, the adult bulls provide modeling behaviors for younger elephants, keeping them in line....To test the theory, the rangers constructed a bigger and stronger harness, then flew in some of the older bulls left behind at Kruger. Within weeks, the bizarre and violent behavior of the juvenile elephants stopped completely. The older bulls let them know that their behaviors were not elephant-like at all. In a short time, the younger elephants were following the older and more dominant bulls around while learning how to be elephants.
In his terrific article, “Of Elephants and Men,” Dr. Wade Horn went on to write of a story very similar to that of the elephants, though it happened not in Africa, but in New York’s Central Park. The story involved young men, not young elephants, but the details were eerily close. Groups of young men were caught on camera sexually harassing and robbing women and victimizing others in the park. Their herd mentality created a sort of frenzy that was both brazen and contagious. In broad daylight, they seemed to compete with each other, even laughing and mugging for the cameras as they assaulted and robbed passersby. It was not, in any sense of the term, the behavior of civilized men.
Appalled by these assaults, citizens demanded a stronger and more aggressive police presence. Dr. Horn asked a more probing question. “Where have all the fathers gone?”...The majority of the young men hanging around committing those crimes in Central Park grew up in homes without fathers present
Real men protect the vulnerable, not assault them. Growing up having learned that most basic tenet of manhood is the job of fathers, not the police. Dr. Horn cited a quote from a young Daniel Patrick Moynihan written some forty years ago:
“From the wild Irish slums of the 19th Century Eastern Seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken homes, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations for the future – that community asks for and gets chaos.”
Pedro Viloria jumped through window at restaurant in Doral, Florida. A second member of staff helped out by giving CPR. The off-duty officer was suffering breathing duties and passed out in her SUV.
Viloria told WPLG: 'In that moment, I thought, I'd rather save that woman's life. I see she's like inflating her neck, like trying to breathe, like "ahh", and basically I thought something was going wrong.' He jumped through the window and found she was unconscious, with her children anxious in the back seat.
Kate Langman, a hairstylist described meeting a woman who had been bedridden for months with depression, leaving her unable to wash or brush her hair. Over a grueling eight hours, Kate combed out the woman's hair, dyed and cut it, leaving it looking stunning, and leaving the woman feeling like herself again.
'By the end of this service, I could see the sparkle in her eyes and I could see her cheeks get rosy pink from the excitement of not only being able to run her fingers through her hair again, but she felt herself again,' said Kate. 'I changed someone's life today... and I'll never ever forget it.'...I LOVE MY DAMN CAREER.
Gregory Watson went on a mission after getting a C on a paper in government class. That mission to ratify the
Gregory needed 38 states to approve the amendment -- three-quarters. Nine states had already approved it, most back in the 1790s, so that meant he needed 29 more states for it to pass. It took him 10 years. More than 200 years after it was written, the 27th Amendment was finally ratified.
“No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect
until an election of representatives shall have intervened.”
1. American nuns have been called the first feminists. Nuns in 19th century America often made decisions in business without ever consulting a man. In a culture and country where most women followed the orders of a father or husband, these women were planning, building and even providing employment without the lead of a man. By 1906, over eight hundred hospitals and ten thousand schools, colleges and universities were founded by Catholic nuns.
2. Helped start the Mayo Clinic.....
3. Made the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous possible...
4. Participated and helped to develop the first prepaid health insurance plan in the U.S.....
5. Pioneered “family-centered” and “holistic” care.....
Ginger Jones Sprouse took in Victor Hubbard, 32, after driving past him every day to work. He had been living on a street corner for three years looking for his mother. Mrs Jones Sprouse gave him a job at her cooking school and bought him clothes. She set up a Facebook and GoFundMe page to help care for him which have now gone viral. Victor is now receiving prescriptions to treat mental illness and has glasses. He has tracked down and spoken to his mother who abandoned him years ago.
It is unlikely he will be able to live independently but she is eager to settle him in to a 'normal life'. 'I just think of him as part of our family. 'Part of me feels very motherly towards him. I think he will probably always need a degree of supervision. 'One of our goals was to get his identification then another is to maybe get a bank account of his own. He is welcome to live with me and my family for as long as he wants to,' she said.
Hubbard said, "I can accomplish anything when I'm around Ginger so anyone around me can witness that and they can get to know me if they like me."
Stanisława Leszczyńska and her husband.. got involved in helping Jews, which soon led to the arrest of the entire family by the Gestapo. ...in a tube of toothpaste she managed to smuggle German papers confirming her occupation. Despite enormous risk, she went to Dr. Mengele... and offered her assistance to women in labor....
As she wrote in a report, “Until May 1943, children born at the camp were cruelly murdered, they were drowned in a keg....Stanisława received the command: treat newborns as dead. She was short in stature, but she could stand up to the doctor. She replied, “No! Children must not be killed!” And she delivered approximately 3,000 babies, not one stillborn. None of the mothers died either. Even the best clinics in the world at that time could not boast of such statistics.
The prisoners called Stanisława Leszczyńska “mommy” and “the angel of goodness” which, as Elżbieta Solomon, one of the Auschwitz mothers wrote later in a poem, came to give “notice to the future centuries that there, in the midst of death, misery, and filth, there too, she brought forth Jesus— Mary in the striped uniform.”
Signs of the Times
"Aslan Ate a Human Brain and CNN Aired It" in the first episode of CNN’s new “Believer”.
Donald Sensing reports on the outrage that followed
....no criticism has come Reza's way for practicing actual cannibalism. No, he is under attack for deriding Hinduism....
Eating human beings? No problem. Pointing out that a small Hindu sect eats human beings? Unacceptable! We are culturally rotted beyond belief.
Garbage, building materials, and months of untreated human waste from thousands of Standing Rock squatters now threatens the very water they claimed to be protecting.,,,The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrapped up its $1.1 million cleanup of the Dakota Access camps on federal land, hauling off 835 dumpsters of remaining trash and debris at the now-vacant site once occupied by thousands of protesters.
Vinny Ohh, 22, from Los Angeles in California, has had over 110 procedures to transform into a 'genderless' extra-terrestrial....The part-time model also wears large blackened contact lenses, alien like talons and unusual hair dye colors....The make-up artist believes he's neither male nor female and so his extreme look is a way to mirror how he feels inside. Now he plans to fork out another $160,000 on surgery to have his genitalia, nipples and bellybutton removed.....He became an LGBT+ activist and feels like his look now represents his beliefs that 'people shouldn't be labelled'.
March 14, 2017
Health Roundup: Dizzy spells, CML, artificial retina, cannabis, second-hand smoke and bad news for bald men
From Authority Nutrition 13 Simple and Natural Ways to Lower Your Triglycerides
The once-a-day pill turned chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML, from a certain death sentence into a manageable disease. Now data shows it's helped 83 percent of patients live 10 years or longer...."It's the first targeted personalized medicine that had ever been used. It was also the most successful," ...Gleevec is targeted to a mutation specific to CML...."It's a 10-year survival of 83 percent, which is extraordinary," Silver said. "It has led to what we call biologic cures." Patients still have leukemia, but it's not affecting their blood cell counts.
Scientists think sudden drops in blood pressure - often signaled by dizziness when standing up - could cause lasting damage to the brain that raises the risk of dementia. A study of 11,000 middle-aged people found that those who suffered this problem, known as orthostatic hypotension, were 40 per cent more likely to develop dementia later in life.
Study leader Dr Andreea Rawlings, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, said: 'Even though these episodes are fleeting, they may have impacts that are long lasting. 'We found that those people who suffered from orthostatic hypotension in middle age were 40 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those who did not. 'It's a significant finding and we need to better understand just what is happening.'
Scientists have developed a retinal implant that can restore lost vision in rats, and are planning to trial the procedure in humans later this year. The implant, which converts light into an electrical signal that stimulates retinal neurons, could give hope to millions who experience retinal degeneration – including retinitis pigmentosa – in which photoreceptor cells in the eye begin to break down, leading to blindness.
For the Blind, an Actual-Reality Headset Not just Star Trek fiction, a new visor from eSight is a lightweight, high-contrast vision system for legally blind people.
Artist Yvonne Felix recalls the first time she saw “Starry Night” with her eSight visor on, it made her cry. “I saw every little stroke. When I saw the color mixtures and how thick the paint was, it was the most overwhelming moment of my life,” she says. “I thought that never in my life would I be able to see something so beautiful.”
Secondhand smoke isn’t as bad as we thought. The relevant question, however, should not be merely whether there are any dangers from secondhand smoke but also how big they are.
If the alarmist claims made by anti-smoking groups were true, we’d be justified in avoiding secondhand smoke as if it were the plague. But we know now that those claims were exaggerated, so it’s worth asking whether contemporary bans have gone too far.... Now that’s not nothing, but other recent research may be even more surprising. “No clear link between passive smoking and lung cancer,” read a 2013 headline in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, hardly a pro-tobacco publication. That was a report on a cohort study tracking 76,000 women that failed to detect a link between the disease and secondhand smoke. The finding comports with existing literature suggesting that the effect is borderline and concentrated on long-term, high levels of exposure.
Data taken from more than 1,000 US hospitals found that people who used the drug had a 26 per cent higher chance of suffering a stroke than those who did not, and a 10 per cent higher chance of having a heart attack....They indicate there is something intrinsic about cannabis which can damage the proper functioning of the human heart. The research was published Wednesday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Washington DC.
Bad news for bald men: Hair loss drugs cause erectile dysfunction that lasts for years
Those taking a popular growth stimulant were left impotent for an average of four years after finishing the medication, a study found. Sufferers were left unable to maintain an erection despite being given Viagra to try and solve their problem. Experts now say that taking finasteride is a bigger risk factor for the condition than diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking. The drug, sold as Propecia, lowers prostate specific antigen levels and is used for treating male-pattern hair loss.
Researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine assessed the effects of the hair growth stimulant. Of the 11,909 men who were studied, 1.4 per cent went on to develop persistent erectile dysfunction. This continued for an average of 1,348 days. But the researchers found men under the age of 42 who used either drug for seven months had a 4.9-fold higher risk.
This comes after Turkish scientists last week found blood type could influence a man's performance under the sheets. Those with blood types A, B or AB are up to four times more likely to suffer from impotence than men who have blood type O.
"If you count the tail as a leg, how many legs does a donkey have?”
In which a 100-year-old man gives advice to a 17-year-old Australian and teaches him the essential truth that objective truth exists.
Rudolfo spoke little to anyone but towards the end of the evening he approached me and said: “Stefano,” (35 years later and he remains the only person to have ever called me that) “Let me give you the same advice my father gave me as I set out on my path as a young man. He himself received the advice from his own father and it will aid you both as a lawyer and as a man.”
Rudolfo continued: “In all things in life be guided by the answer to the old riddle: If you count the tail as a leg, how many legs does a donkey have?” I answered, “Five.”
The answer of course is not five, but four.
“It will always be four,” he said. “Calling a tail a leg does not make it one. Merely calling something or someone by a name or label does not make it so…things are what they are and the truth is always what it is. Pretending doesn’t change reality. Recognize all things for what they truly are and act according to that truth. “
Miscellany #61: Discrimination, Irish pubs, Hemingway, sky dancing, Coca Cola, Max Weber and Hitler
Results from a Nationally Representative Sample of Adults
Key result: 5% of black people (compared to 4% of white people) say they “often” face discrimination; 29.8% of black people (compared to 30.3% of white people) say they “never” face discrimination.
It all began with a architecture student Mel McNally who with some classmates analyzed the city's pubs....McNally went on to research the whole of Ireland to establish a definitive playbook of pub varieties, which led to the foundation of a design and manufacturing specialist, the Irish Pub Company [IPC], in 1990. The ambition was to design and build complete interiors of pubs, first domestically, but then for foreign markets, assembling huge shipments of flooring, decorative glass, mirrors, ceiling tiles, light fixtures, furniture, signage, and bric-a-brac, as well as the obvious centerpiece: the bar itself. The group now sells bars in six “styles” that can be selected from a company catalog: Shop, Gastro, Victorian, Brewery, Country, and Celtic.
Designed and prefabricated in Ireland: an export not cultural or theoretical, but actual. The assiduous export and installation of these pre-made Irish bars has been going on for more than 30 years, resulting in a global network of establishments that are interrelated but unrelated....More than 500 bars and 27 years later, it continues to ship the makings of the Irish bar as far afield as Russia and Kazakhstan
McNally, the effective grandfather of the movement, is a formalist, and everything he manufactures and sells is Irish-made...Asked about essential components of an Irish bar, McNally offers, “I think everybody recognizes that good stained glass makes a difference.”
In 1940, as he was preparing to go on a trip to China, the writer agreed to work for the NKVD, the Soviet foreign intelligence agency. Despite numerous contacts with Soviet agents over a 10-year period, though, Hemingway never did anything of substance for them and, ironically, cooperated far more fruitfully with American intelligence.
In a letter, he denounced Churchill after his “Iron Curtain” speech as the real threat to world peace, not Stalin, and in another he defended the Soviet purges—the people who “deserved shooting were shot.” He ardently supported Castro and praised the 1959 Cuban Revolution as the fulfillment of his dreams for Spain.
No wonder he was paranoid that the FBI was tapping his phones. They were.
A Facebook video of 17 year old Maja Kuczynska has garnered 30 million views in less than a month. She calls it calls it 'flying'. She performs in a vertical wind tunnel where the wind speeds can reach 186 miles per hour. The moves look effortless but staying in control requires enormous strength, flexibility and precision. YouTube link to the amazing, gravity-defying video.
"'It's such a fast-paced discipline, right now there's no one to teach me....'A couple of different people and I are creating this discipline.'
The Quiet Tragedy Behind The Invention Of Coca-Cola John Pemberton struggled with addiction for much of his life. Somewhere along the way, this addiction spurred invention.
Before John Pemberton served in the Third Georgia Cavalry Battalion, he made his living as a chemist and a pharmacist. ...at the Battle of Columbus in April 1865, he sustained a saber wound to the chest which nearly killed him. Pemberton survived, but was left to battle a crippling morphine addiction, which caretakers offered to Pemberton as a painkiller to treat his substantial wounds.
Max Weber (1864–1920) wrote that Protestantism gave birth to a unique work ethic that spawned capitalism, and thus it is that modernity is a direct result of the Reformation. Even now, Weber’s thesis of the “Protestant work ethic” lives on among sociologists, being recounted in detail in every introductory textbook on the market. ...
The celebrated Fernand Braudel complained that “all historians have opposed this tenuous theory [the Protestant ethic], although they have not managed to be rid of it once and for all. Yet it is clearly false." Everyone writing on capitalism accepts that it rests upon free markets, secure property rights and free (uncoerced) labour. By this definition, capitalism was a very Catholic invention: it first appeared in the great Catholic monastic estates, way back in the 9th century.
Adolf Hitler wasn’t “right wing.” If you take nothing else from this post, just remember Hitler was a socialist. With terrible facial hair. There’s an easy way to remember it, too. NAZI stands for National Socialist German Workers‘ Party.
March 13, 2017
When Ordinary Chapstick Becomes a Survival Tool. Lip Balm Survival Hacks
Make a candle
Start fires faster
Use as emergency waterproofing
Stop bleeding in minor cuts and scrapes
Use on high-friction areas between boots/clothing and skin
Use as emergency sunscreen
Turn your flashlight into a makeshift lantern
Lubricate and maintain your gear on the go
If you thought you had been outsmarting restaurants by plumping for the second or third cheapest wine on the list, then think again....restaurants know diners will often opt for one above the cheapest, and will place wines with higher mark-ups in these coveted slots....'You are better served to order the cheapest wine, which diners often neglect out of fear or embarrassment and thus is often a better value."
if you've bought a cheap wine that doesn't taste good, there is a way to instantly improve the taste. Adding a few grains of salt can balance out uneven flavors.
If you're in temporary or rental accommodations and Sick of drafty windows, this is a great tip to stay warm inside.
Lifestyle blogger Jill Nystul reveals her genius hack to insulate your home just bubble wrap, a spray bottle filled with water and scissors... Water should keep bubble wrap adhered to glass....Larger bubbles make it easier to see through...easily removed....can be reapplied as often as you want.
Ready for a spring clean? VERY clever hacks using a sprinkling of cinnamon, a squirt of shaving foam and a dab of olive oil will get your home gleaming, Lint roller for lampshades, olive oil to shine stainless steel, rubber gloves to remove pet hair, clean plastic toys in dishwasher
How to get a super-sized memory in 40 days: Scientists say 30 minutes of daily training can DOUBLE your capacity to remember facts
Scans found ordinary members of the public had brains as sharp as the world's greatest memorizers after a simple brain training course using 'memory palaces'. After 40 days of daily 30-minute training sessions individuals who had typical memory skills at the start and no previous practice more than doubled their capacity. Brain scans showed that memory training actually alters the brain functions. The learning strategy was loci training (another term for memory palaces) which involves linking lists with places.
Using this strategy, items on a list are associated with a remembered place, and users navigate that remembered place as they recall the list. If you want to remember a shopping list, for example, you imagine putting all the items in specific locations in a familiar place, such as your living room. By visualizing your living room as you walk around the supermarket, you can then recall what you want to buy.
Ali Sonko, a 62-year-old from Gambia, has been the head dishwasher at the famed Copenhagen restaurant Noma since it opened in 2003. And this week, chef René Redzepi rewarded him massively for it: The food genius made him a new partner in the award-winning eatery. Redzepi also named two other longtime employees, restaurant manager James Spreadbury and service director Lau Richter, as partners.
Chef René Redzepi (far right)
'This is only the beginning, as we plan to surprise several more of our staff with a piece of the walls that they have chosen to work so hard within. This move is one of the happiest moments of my time at Noma.' Speaking of the dishwasher in particular, Redzepi said at a staff party: 'Ali is the heart and soul of Noma. I don't think people appreciate what it means to have a person like Ali in the house. He is all smiles, no matter how his 12 children fare.'
Driver Damone Hudson was crossing the Main Street Bridge that spans the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton when he noticed a woman standing on the other side of the rail. Surveillance footage shows him pulling his bus over to the side of the road before opening the door and urging the woman to step back from the ledge.
He then said, "Ma'am, you look like you're having a bad day, you know. Can I give you a hug?" When police arrived the woman stood back from the ledge, and Hudson carried on with his route. "Everyone's going through something. Even if you are, just reach out and try to touch someone, even if it's in a small way," Hudson said.
You Can Hear The Difference Between Hot And Cold Water What's really interesting is that you already knew this. It's just something you're not aware of consciously.
Lin, a pregnant working mother in New York City,...decided to have a unique thank you prepared for the first man to offer his seat...She bought a small, bronze, trophy-like figurine with a plaque that said, “#1 DECENT DUDE. First Man to Offer Subway Seat to Pregnant Woman throughout Two Pregnancies.” Lin cleverly kept it tucked away in her work bag, secretly waiting for its winner.
She found him in Ricky Barksdale....An honored (and surprised) Barksdale explained, “It’s just a common courtesy thing … I have no problem giving up a seat regardless of how tired I am, or where I’m going.”
Brothers Richard and Martin Dawson look after their grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's five years ago. "Nan, 95, would get very upset whenever she experienced pain or confusion. But the brothers noticed she became lovingly distracted by their baby nephew. "Since their nephew couldn’t be around all the time, the siblings thought a dog might have a similar positive impact on their grandmother."
That's when Richard discovered a website called BorrowMyDoggy.com, which connects people looking for a bit of puppy affection with local dog owners and their pets. Richard connected with a woman named Ann and her dog Orla, a 9-month-old dachshund puppy. Nan and Orla immediately hit it off. Orla visits with Nan twice a week. But after seeing the affect it has on their grandmother, the brothers plan on setting up more play dates.