“This black teacup poodle named Nala is making everyone smile at a nursing home in Minnesota. She scurries from room to room, even riding the elevator by herself, to see her friends.”
I’m so smart. I’ve been employing this strategy for years! The only problem is when I remember what I forgot, I forget why I needed to remember what I forgot to remember.
Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Getty Images
by CHRIS BENDEREV
“A new scientific model of forgetting is taking shape, which suggests keeping multiple memories or tasks in mind simultaneously can actually erode them.”
“Neuroscientists already knew that memories can interfere with and weaken each other while they are locked away in the recesses of long-term memory. But this new model speaks to what happens when multiple memories are coexisting front and center in our minds, in a place called “working memory.”‘
“It argues that when we let multiple memories come to mind simultaneously, those memories immediately lock into a fierce competition with each other.” When these memories are tightly competing for our attention the brain steps in and actually modifies those memories,” says Jarrod Lewis-Peacock, a neuroscientist at UT Austin.”
“The brain crowns winners and losers. If you ended up remembering the milk and forgetting the phone call, your brain strengthens your memory for getting milk and weakens the one for phoning your friend back, so it will be easier to choose next time you’re faced with that dilemma.”
It’s a strain on my brain
whether it’s June, July or December
lots of tasks
my brain crowns the winner
which I reward with dinner
Eats I never forget
Food being a permanent mind set
P.S. I forgot to tell you that you can read the entire article by clicking on the title above.
Haven’t blogged in a while. The last few weeks have been rough – the fibro-fatigue-fiends frolicking fearlessly. I’m looking for my mop.
mad, sad, fatigue, fear
sweeping away sanity
the broom of my brain
dust storm of feelings
tiny particles of dirt
blowing through my mind
wring out the debris
clean clear water, bucket brain
gratitude mop up
IF ONLY WE HAD TALLER BEEN
By Ray Bradbury
O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measure out with rocket fire,
At last put Adam’s finger forth
As on the Sistine Ceiling,
And God’s great hand come down the other way
To measure Man and find him Good,
And Gift him with Forever’s Day?
I work for that.
Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!
“NASA New Horizons Pluto Mission Tribute Video! | NPR Hundreds of images from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto stitched together in retro newsreel form with audio of American science fiction author Ray Bradbury reading his beautiful poem “If Only We Had Taller Been.”‘
New false-color images of Pluto and the moon Charon exaggerate colors to highlight differences in their surface compositions, NASA says. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/14/422840586/nasa-zooms-in-on-pluto-for-closest-views-yet
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
The class will run the week of July 27-31, 2015. It’s for kids (especially!), but also teachers, homeschoolers, parents, grandparents, or anyone who has access to a child and/or wants to tap in to the child inside!
If you sign up, no questions asked about your age!
Click here to sign up and for more information
I am fascinated by our newfound ability to study the brain in real-time. For most of my life the only way the brain was studied was by autopsy.
For decades, I’ve explained to clients that “feelings” are not psychological constructs but a neurochemical phenomena. I had no proof – just trickles of brain research I read. Now that I’m retired the evidence is mounting. I’d love to be able to say “I told you so!”
In psychological “terms” the proportion of outward behavior is a measure of internal feelings. Examples: Do you know some one who is a “control freak”? Of course you do.
The more someone tries to exert control over everyone and everything it is usually (read “always” – I’m trying to be “politically correct, ahem . . .) a direct measure they internally/unconsciously feel out of control. People who “feel” in control don’t have to prove they are in control – they can collaborate, give others credit etc.
Know someone who is a narcissist – the earth revolves around them, not the sun? Of course you do.
The more a person needs to boast about themselves, point the finger of blame at others etc. . . . the more insecure they are. Read about some interesting brain research that substantiates this that on a neurological level.
I TOLD YOU SO!
” But to blessed animals the utmost kindness must be shown, the more the better. Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind.” Baha’i World Faith
A 400 lb. black bear wandered into a residential neighborhood in Florida. Black bears half this size have attacked and killed humans across the nation recently … twice in Florida. Wildlife officers sedated the bear to safely relocate him, and that’s when things began to go horribly wrong.”
You’ll have to go elsewhere if you want beer, back yard bar-b-ques and fireworks for the Fourth of July. More interesting (to me) is Benjamin Franklin’s letter to his daughter, in which he explains his choice of the turkey, a “bird of courage” for the National Bird instead of the an eagle, a bird of “bad moral character” and “a rank coward” to represent the majesty of our great nation:
“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.”
“With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country…”
“. . . For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” Franklin Institute Read more: American Myths, Smithsonian Magazine
I leave you with the sublime
Download “Amazing Grace” by Condoleezza Rice and Jenny Oaks Baker on iTunes: http://apple.co/1LElsTB
All proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Google Maps Now Lets You Scale Yosemite’s El Capitan Mountain
“. . . Google Maps users can use Street View for a first-person climb on both the The Nose and a portion of the Dawn Wall routes for scaling El Cap.”
“The advantage of Google’s Street View mountaineering is that you don’t actually have to risk anything to do it, except maybe a static shock from your mouse depending on if you’ve been shuffling your feet around on carpeting.”
” . . . Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill and Tommy Caldwell performed the climb used to capture the imagery . . . “
U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons (2013)*
*Council on Foreign Relations: The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.
32 killed – April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A gunman, 23-year-old student Seung-Hui Cho, goes on a shooting spree killing 32 people in two locations and wounds an undetermined number of others on campus. The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho then commits suicide.
27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff and faculty, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound. The final count is 28 dead, including the shooter.
23 killed – October 16, 1991 – In Killeen, Texas, 35-year-old George Hennard crashes his pickup truck through the wall of a Lubys Cafeteria. After exiting the truck, Hennard shoots and kills 23 people. He then commits suicide.
21 killed – July 18, 1984 – In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Huberty, armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun shoots and kills 21 adults and children at a local McDonalds. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty one hour after the rampage begins.
18 killed – August 1, 1966 – In Austin, Texas, Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.
14 killed – August 20, 1986 – Edmond, Oklahoma, part-time mail carrier, Patrick Henry Sherrill, armed with three handguns kills 14 postal workers in 10 minutes and then takes his own life with a bullet to the head.
13 killed – November 5, 2009 – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people and injures 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, during a shooting rampage. He is convicted and sentenced to death.
13 killed – April 3, 2009 – In Binghamton, New York, Jiverly Wong kills 13 people and injures four during a shooting at an immigrant community center. He then kills himself.
13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – Littleton, Colorado. 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library.
13 killed – September 25, 1982 – In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 40-year-old George Banks, a prison guard, kills 13 people including five of his own children. In September 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his death sentence stating that Banks is mentally incompetent.
13 killed – September 5, 1949 – In Camden, New Jersey, 28-year-old Howard Unruh, a veteran of World War II, shoots and kills 13 people as he walks down Camden’s 32nd Street. His weapon of choice is a German-crafted Luger pistol. He is found insane and is committed to a state mental institution. He dies at the age of 88.
12 killed – September 16, 2013 – Shots are fired inside the Washington Navy Yard killing 12. The shooter, identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, is also killed.
12 killed – July 20, 2012 – Twelve people are killed and 58 are wounded in a shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater screening of the new Batman film. James E. Holmes, 24, is taken into custody outside of the movie theater. The gunman, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear, set off two devices of some kind before spraying the theater with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns police recovered at the scene.
12 killed – July 29, 1999 – In Atlanta, 44-year-old Mark Barton kills his wife and two children at his home. He then opens fire in two different brokerage houses killing nine people and wounding 12. He later kills himself.
10 killed – March 10, 2009 – In Alabama, Michael McLendon of Kinston, kills 10 and himself. The dead include his mother, grandparents, aunt and uncle.
9 killed – March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. 16-year-old Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another adult, five students, a teacher and a security officer. He then kills himself.
9 killed – June 18, 1990 – In Jacksonville, Florida, 42-year-old James Pough, angry about his car being repossessed, opens fire at a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office, killing nine people. Pough takes his own life.
8 killed – October 12, 2011 – Eight people are killed during a shooting at the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California. The suspect, Scott Evans Dekraai, 41, of Huntington Beach, is arrested without incident as he is trying to leave the scene. The eight dead include Dekraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48. He was armed with three guns — a 9 mm Springfield, a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, and a Heckler & Koch .45 — and was wearing body armor during the shooting rampage.
8 killed – August 3, 2010 – Manchester, Connecticut – Omar Thornton kills eight co-workers at Hartford Distributors before turning the gun on himself. Thornton had been asked to resign for stealing and selling alcoholic beverages.
8 killed – January 19, 2010 – Christopher Speight, 39, kills eight people at a house in Appomattox, Virginia. He surrenders to police at the scene the next morning. February 2013, he is sentenced to five life terms plus 18 years.
8 killed – March 29, 2009 – In Carthage, North Carolina, 45-year-old Robert Stewart kills a nurse and seven elderly patients at a nursing home. In May, the Moore County district attorney announces she will seek the death penalty. On September 3, 2011, a jury finds Stewart guilty of second-degree murder. Stewart is sentenced to 141 to 179 years in prison.
8 killed – December 5, 2007 – In Omaha, Nebraska, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins goes to an area mall and kills eight shoppers before killing himself.
8 killed – July 1, 1993 – In San Francisco, 55-year-old Gian Luigi Ferri kills eight people in a law office and then kills himself.
8 killed – September 14, 1989 – In Louisville, Kentucky, 47-year-old Joseph Wesbecker armed with a AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, two MAC-11 semiautomatic pistols, a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol and a bayonet kills eight co-workers at Standard Gravure Corporation and then kills himself. He had been placed on disability leave from his job due to mental problems.
8 killed – August 20, 1982 – In Miami, 51-year-old history teacher Carl Robert Brown, angry about a repair bill and armed with a shotgun, kills eight people at a machine shop. He flees by bicycle, but is shot in the back by a witness who pursued him. He was on leave from school for psychological treatment.
Dear Chris, Maws & Paws, My personal Groomer – Human Being,
The next time you come please do not make me look like a hedge-dog*.
Cutting dogs’ fur into perfect cubes, is the latest dog hairdressing trend to sweep Asia. “It is not known where the inspiration for the trend originated, but the look has been cropping up at dog shows around Asia in recent months.”
“Hairdresser Tain Yeh, who runs a parlour in Taipei told the Daily Mail: “It came about because people were always looking for more impressive haircuts, and somebody came up with the idea of shaping the dog like a hedge.”’ (HEDGE!, sounds like the Organic Green Revolution has gone to the dogs) . . . “The dogs don’t mind, (humph!, we are just too polite to complain) and the owners keep coming back for more. This sort of haircut needs a lot more maintenance than the regular type.”
“She warned that the look isn’t one which works for all dogs and has this advice for any British dog owners seeking to emulate the slick cubes: “It is also not suitable for all breeds. The dog needs to have plenty of hair to play around with so that you can shape it around the face and body.” (I’d love to get my paws on a pair of clippers and trim human-beings to look like a poodle . . . or a HEDGE . . . or a . . .)
If you don’t believe me read it here: Japanese People are Grooming their Dogs into Perfect Cubes
*Frankly, I prefer the round look when I’m groomed
See you soon Chris!
P.S. Chris, please bring treats
Portraits in Faith is a fascinating project which celebrates diversity of belief. For nine years, 27 countries and 400 personal spiritual journeys Daniel Epstein interviewed and documented spiritual experiences and the role of faith in people’s lives. Take a look at the introductory video:
“The main objective was to save my life by helping me understand that there was reason to believe in a Higher Power. That sounds very self-serving, but I needed out of my old way of thinking and my old way of feeling about myself and the world.”
“Now I have a much bigger aim for the project — to help heal the world by bringing people together in humanity’s greater, common spiritual journey. The journey is all we undoubtedly share no matter how much we try to make each other out as different. I have a real love-hate relationship with religion. It really can give people the smallest view of the world when really we are beyond understanding.” Daniel Epstein
Read the Daniel Epstein interview on the Baha’i Blog
P.S. The Bardo Group/Beguine Again is a blog I’ve followed for several years. Their theme for June is diversity ” . . . in all its manifestations: sexual/gender orientation, race, religion, culture, national origin … even nature. . . . celebrating respect – as inclusion – as a big step toward peace, understanding, justice … even environmental stewardship.”
Take a look at the June issue of The BeZine
Dear Aunt Jane, Human Being,
Thank you for sending me this video. It’s obvious that this dog is performing solely out of fear of being stabbed by the thing on her head. Otherwise, there’s no explanation for it.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, Canine Dog
Dogdance Freestyle – Sandra & Lizzy
Scientists have grown the entire forelimb of a rat in a lab . . . and it moves!
Hidden in plain sight
God’s miraculous secrets*
Waiting to be found
Dr. Harold Ott, head of the Ott Laboratory for Organ Engineering and Regeneration, and his team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston were able to “engineer rat forelimbs with functioning vascular and muscle tissue,” . . .
“This may be an important first step leading to the eventual creation of functional, bioartificial limbs that could be used in transplants.”
Ott says this work “finally proved that we can regenerate functional muscle.” (They know because they ran an electrical current through the muscle tissue — and the little rat limb began to twitch).”
“They’ve since applied the first part of this technology — stripping cells from the framework — to the arms of primates, showing the process might work on the human scale.”
Read the article: In Massachusetts Lab Scientists Grow an Artificial Rat Limb
This video reminded me of a memorable flight I took on Southwest Airlines. Immediately after the landing gear touched the runway the flight attendant led all the passengers in song:
If you’re happy that you’ve landed, clap your hands
If you’re happy that you landed, clap your hands
If you’re happy that you’ve landed
and your baggage isn’t stranded
If you’re happy that you landed, clap your hands
Thanks Sharon for the memory!
Always on the lookout for things to divert me from mundane living I stumbled on Summer of Color – A weekly challenge that gives you a color palette to use. Any medium goes: sewing, jewelry, quilting, art journaling, digital art . . . even NAIL ART!
Since my nails are broken and split I resorted to my recent scribble-a-face “kick”. (the first color palette of the Summer is . . . . 1 Blue + 1 Blue + 1 Green)
A weird collage I did in my journal led me to the Pie Man.
The pie man delivers
in the dark of night
To your brain he goes straight
when it’s quiet and late
not to give you a fright
He’s a curious sight
Wearing pie on his head,
very berry red
a flaky vest on his chest
he‘s a living taste test
His eyes are wacky
lips are smacky
from too much snacky
of tasty pie
a slightly weird guy
But you’ll think him quite swell
because he’ll never tell
how much you eat
in your dreamy treat
Strawberry, apple or cherry pie
give them all a try
Pecan if you like a crunchy start
Key lime or lemon for sweet ‘n tart
So when you go to bed
No need for dread
chocolate, banana, coconut cream
each taste a luscious dreamy dream
Eat all you crave in your reveries
Pie man guarantees
For those of you aspiring script writers or producers read this article for inspiration . . . a premise for a new reality show – The Real Housewives of the Jungle or . . . for the Food Network – Jungle Cook-off . . . or . . . ?
“If you give a chimp an oven, he or she will learn to cook.”
“That’s what scientists concluded from a study that could help explain how and when early humans first began cooking their food.”
“This suggests that as soon as fire was controlled, cooking could have ramped up,” says Alexandra Rosati, an evolutionary biologist at Yale and a co-author of the study . . . First, the researchers gave the chimps a device that appeared to work like an oven.”
“When researchers gave them a cooked potato slice, they simply ate it. But when they got a raw carrot, they immediately put it in the device. And their preference for cooked food was so strong that they would hold on to raw potatoes, or carry them to other locations, in order to have them cooked.”
“The study also offers a reminder that very few behaviors are uniquely human, Wrangham says. “What we’re seeing here is that the chimps are surprisingly similar to humans, even though the whole process of cooking seems like something that is a huge divide between humans and other animals.”
Read the entire article by Jon Hamilton:
Never heard of “eggcorn”? . . . neither had I but now it’s a new favorite:
“A word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a seemingly logical or plausible way for another word or phrase.” Merriam-Webster, which included eggcorn among the more than 1,700 words added to its dictionary this past week
- “Spread like wildflowers” is an eggcorn when used instead of “spread like wildfire.”
- “Coldslaw” is an eggcorn if you meant “coleslaw.”
- “Self phone” is an eggcorn of “cellphone.”
- A very smart 4 year old was telling me about getting ready for school each day and he had to remember to take his furnace bottle with him. “Furnace bottle?” I asked. “Yes, you know, a furnace bottle………keeps your soup hot until lunch time………
- She seduced him using her “womanly wilds” (womanly wiles).
- “For all Intensive Purpose“
“Eggcorn” itself is an eggcorn. Linguist Geoffrey Pullum is credited with coming up the word, which is the way some people say “acorn.”
click to read other eggcorns which pass the mustard
judy’s lesson: Use others who are more accomplished, wiser, creative as inspiration not aspiration.
Combining Carla’s Spark assignment on sketching great masters, Lynn’s on doing portraits and Shari B-P’s suggestion to do more gestural drawings (I always, ahem, do as I’m told) I used Peter Paul Rubens Portrait of Susanna Lunden as a starting point.
After scribbling Mrs Lunden I shut my art book (alas, I don’t have the original as a reference) and took liberties – I figured neither Peter Paul nor Susanna are around to mount a Twitter protest . . . or sue me.
This fascinating article helps me understand the Baha’i principle – The “greater good” outweighs the “lesser good”. I do know that good things are born out of suffering and sacrifice but I must remind myself that this world isn’t instant cup-a-soup.
Below are some excerpts
“The world’s largest refugee camp is also a giant social experiment.”
“Take hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing a war. Shelter them for 24 years in a camp in Kenya run by the United Nations. And offer different opportunities than they might have had if they’d stayed in Somalia.”
‘”Probably the most interesting and misunderstood thing about Dadaab is that the refugee camp has had a kind of liberalizing influence,” says Ban Rawlence.”
“They are a ready-made middle class,” Rawlence says. “Educated Somalis who are ready and waiting to move into Somalia to rebuild the country.”‘
“The Kenyan government wants the experiment to end, soon. It’s pushing the refugees to return to their home in Somalia, though the camp called Dadaab is the only home many have known.”
“Habiba Abdurahman fled the war in Somalia when she was six, with her mother and sisters. She had lived in a village where girls rarely went to school. Suddenly she was in a camp where international organizations offered free tutoring for girls to catch up academically. In her village, female genital mutilation was common. In the camp FGM was not only illegal but there were constant messages against it.”
“At 27 Abdurahman was elected a camp chairwoman, under election rules designed to promote gender equality. Last year she went back to Somalia on a U.N.-sponsored “look and see” trip to the liberated city of Kismayo. The trip was meant to assure refugees that parts of Somalia were finally safe enough to return to. But what she saw shocked her.”
“What kind of person would she be if she’d grown up there instead of here in the camp?”
Click here to read the entire article:
by GREGORY WARNER
Sometimes wanting to be “perfect” stops me from finishing projects. I’m now too tired to strive for perfection. I figure it’s time to experiment and remove expectation to get my “spark” back.
I’m comfortable abstractly sloshing paint color around but “drawing” is another matter. Put a pencil or pen in my hand and I tighten both my grip and expectation.
With that in mind, I purposely held the pencil very loosely and literally scribbled “areas” rather than try to draw perfect lines. I didn’t bother trying to copy anything, look at any references, decide where the light was coming from or have a plan. I just scribbled. I like the looseness of the drawing and taking away expectation of being precise was enjoyable.
Maybe this is a good lesson to apply to other areas of my life . . .
judy’s journal – Scribbled and scratched in the face with pencil and pastel chalk
Thanksgiving is a day when we pause to give thanks for the things we have.
Memorial Day is a day when we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have.
I wanted a VW Bug for years. One month before my Father died at the age of 93 he bought me one: Brand new, white with a beige interior and a little plastic vase to hold a flower right next to the steering wheel.
My Father was a World War II veteran. Every year he would buy red poppies from The Veteran of Foreign Wars and American Legion Auxiliary volunteers who gave them out for contributions for disabled and hospitalized veterans and their families.
I hadn’t seen or thought about poppies in years until 2 months after Dad died. Outside the grocery store an elderly man was selling poppies. I gave him a donation and received a poppy. Since then it has shared space in the little plastic vase in the Bug my Dad gave me.
A brief history of the artificial poppy
In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild. The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars. The poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces in 1915 before the United States entered World War I
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. By 1918 the poem was well-known throughout the allied world. Moina Michael, an American woman, wrote these lines in reply.
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then adopted the custom of wearing a red poppy in memory of the sacrifices of war and also as a symbol of keeping the faith.
The poppy became a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.
Here’s to you Dad! Thanks for fighting for us,
all your life.
Enjoy the show Rick – MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! (I didn’t like my birthday song . . .)
Thanks Sharon for sending this!
An octopus in the sea
decided “Hey, this isn’t for me.”
Climbing out of the muck
said “If my life’s going to suck
I might as well be up a tree.”
The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) apparently was first sighted in the temperate rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America.
However, since octopi, or more grammatically proper, octopuses (crediting Maggie Wilson , The Zombies Ate My Brain, for this important research) , are extremely intelligent (“Some evolutionary theorists suppose that ‘arboreal adaptation’ is what laid the groundwork in primates for the evolution of the human mind.”) it appears tree octopuses are acclimating to harsher and milder climes in their quest for survival.
Check out sightings of the ALLEGED tree Octopus here.
I look normal, I act normal (relatively normal). However, I feel exhausted much of the time, my body aches from head to toe and my brain sometimes has trouble remembering or concentrating. Please don’t tell me to exercise more, eat better, try acupuncture or go to a new doctor. After 20 years I’ve tried just about everything there is to try that I can afford, swallow or legally do.
I don’t even care anymore what you call it: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, malingering . . . it’s just tiring being tired much of the time. I push through it otherwise I’d have no life. But the price for pushing can be days of crashing so I pick and choose my commitments.
No one knows what causes it or how to make it better. Looking back, I think I’ve had it my whole life. But I’m lucky because it didn’t become full-blown until I was an adult. For teens and young adults it’s really hard. Read this article by teens and 10 things they want the public to know. Teens who live with chronic illness and the 10 things they want you to know.
I’ve blogged about it before:
I prefer not to talk about it, write about it, dwell on it. It is what it is and I’m blessed that it’s not life threatening. But today is World Awareness Day for neuro-immune illnesses of ME/Chronic Fatigue (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Lyme disease, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). It’s an opportunity to raise public awareness of these conditions that impact millions all over the world.
It’s a good bet that you or someone you know has one of these invisible conditions . . . if you didn’t before, you do now.
A Year of the SPARK lesson: Reverse painting on clear packing tape. I didn’t like my results so I cut it up in strips. What you see is the reverse order of the process.
3. Cut-up strips on black paper
2. Cut up strips, a variation
1. Painted-packing-tape, torn magazines and chalk
Alas, fair maiden
bereft of biting remarks
all your teeth are gone
* * *
Alas, fair maiden
your ears continue to grow
as your stature shrinks
* * *
Alas, fair maiden
eat chocolate, drink wine, love, laugh
life is pretty good
* * *
Goggle “emotional sensitivity” and you’ll find tons (well maybe not tons, but a lot) of articles, books, survival guides on how to overcome “being so sensitive”.
About 1 in 5 fit the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) profile. I currently rate a 12 1/2 out of 16 traits below. When I was younger it was 16 out of 16. (Interestingly, artists and therapists seem to fit this profile in larger numbers than the general population . . . hmmm)
It’s baaaaaaaad: I cry at dog food commercials and can’t tolerate anything that has a hint of violence.
My husband prefers “blow’em up – shoot ’em dead – stab ’em hard” for his watching pleasure. He reminds me that it’s “not real” as I lock him in his room so I can’t see or hear what he’s watching. I watch HGTV House Hunters International, preferring my suspense and intrigue to trying to guess which house the couple will buy.
However, rather than label myself as a “Highly Sensitive Person”, I prefer to think of myself as a fragile flower . . . so much more feminine.
Here are 16 HSP traits. If you want to read more about each click here
- They feel more deeply.
- They’re more emotionally reactive.
- They’re probably used to hearing, “Don’t take things so personally” and “Why are you so sensitive?”
- They prefer to exercise solo.
- It takes longer for them to make decisions.
- They are more upset if they make a “bad” or “wrong” decision.
- They notice details.
- Not all highly sensitive people are introverts.
- They work well in team environments.
- They’re more prone to anxiety or depression (but only if they’ve had a lot of past negative experiences).
- That annoying sound is probably significantly more annoying to a highly sensitive person.
- Violent movies are the worst.
- They cry more easily.
- They have above-average manners.
- The effects of criticism are especially amplified in highly sensitive people.
- They prefer solo work environments.
The good news! I no longer have to read up on how to overcome, minimize, explain or justify my emotional sensitivity because I must have a ADRA2b gene.
(Now I can blame my mother for my sensitivity – aren’t mothers always the ones who get the credit for how we turn out . . . or the blame?)
“Your genes may influence how sensitive you are to emotional information, according to new research by a UBC neuroscientist. The study, recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that carriers of a certain genetic variation perceived positive and negative images more vividly, and had heightened activity in certain brain regions.”
“People really do see the world differently,” says lead author Rebecca Todd, a professor in UBC’s Department of Psychology. “For people with this gene variation, the emotionally relevant things in the world stand out much more.”
“The gene in question is ADRA2b, which influences the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Previous research by Todd found that carriers of a deletion variant of this gene showed greater attention to negative words. Her latest research is the first to use brain imaging to find out how the gene affects how vividly people perceive the world around them, and the results were startling.”
Don’t let the cartoons throw you off – this is a real life interview and worth every minute of your time (watch all the way to the end).
“Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was reluctantly taken to a StoryCorps* booth by her son and granddaughter. Though Kay resisted, she still had stories to tell—from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life adventures as a detective for Bloomingdale’s department store.”
“Kay passed away just weeks after that interview, and her son and granddaughter returned to StoryCorps to remember her gentler side, which she kept to herself.”
“Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with over 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind . . . “
You can donate to this incredible project and find out where recordings are made, click here for the StoryCorps website.
I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this, I thought, as I wrote Stroppy and the Astronaut, part II for this writing challenge from Esther Newton. The sentence (in red) has to be included somewhere in the story:
Click here for my first “Stroppy Story” which might, or might not, help you understand this one.
Stroppy eyed her lonely astronaut tethered next to her in space I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this, she thought. Now that we’ve nuzzled it’s time. She bit cleanly through his safety tether and taking his gloved hand in hers pointed the jet thruster toward home. With a twinkle in her eye and terror in his, they zoomed off into the vacuum of space to meet Mom and Dad.
“Big Brother is watching you” George Orwell wrote in his novel 1984. In 2014 BIG BRAIN is controlling you. WATCH THIS!!!!!!
“Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It’s not a parlor trick; it actually works. You have to see it to believe it.“
I’ve been a bit sparkless but Carla Sonheim’s Spark lesson on doing one-line faces I had energy for.
You can do this too. Just put your pen down on the paper and keep drawing using one continual line. It’s fun and easy . . . as long as you have no expectation to have it hanging in the Museum of Modern Art.
Recently two very close and dear friends died. They were both younger than me – by at least 10 years. I was hit by painful sadness and simultaneously comforted by a belief:
Several years ago I was depressed. Life was the color of dirty grey. I was in a fibromyalgia flare and feeling helpless. I wasn’t suicidal, just weary, really weary, of pushing through the pain and exhaustion. Half jokingly I wrote to my Baha’i friend and mentor something to the effect: “I’m ready to leave this earthly plane. Beam me up into eternity”
He wrote back four words which rocked me to my core: “You are in eternity.”
You see, I had always assumed life here on earth as a human was separate from the “eternal realm”. I thought that after I died I would then be in eternity. It was a paradigm shift for me. It is strangely comforting to know we are all already in eternity – you, me, my friends.
we are in eternity
life is never short
“A” started the day
with “Anything Goes”
“Z” brings the challenge to a close
Posting 6 days a week was a chore
If by chance you found it a bore
give me some credit please
for helping you catch some zzzzzz’s
English speakers equate sleep with zzzzzzzz, more specifically snoring. The British call sleeping “Catching some zeds.”
If I had earlier researched how languages represent “sleeping” I could have used this topic for 5 other letters of the alphabet:
- “C” – Germans use “chrrr,” which considering the typical German pronunciations of ch and r—is closer to snoring than “zzz.”
- “R” – The French, who also favor a sonically rich r, use “rrroooo,” “rrr,” “roon,” “ron,” and so on. The Spanish similiarly use “rooooon.”
- “G” – The Japanese use characters that transliterate as “guu guu,”
- “M” – Mandarin Chinese use characters sounding like “hu lu.”
- “K” – Finns use “kroohpyyh,”
Chrrr, rrooooo, ZZZZ, guu guu, hu lu, kroohpyyh,
and so ends the A to Z Alphabet Challenge
It’s been a snoooooozzzzzzzzzzzzz
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki
yù yī – 玉衣 is the desire to see with fresh eyes, and feel things just as intensely as you did when you were younger—before expectations, before memory, before words.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
From Mandarin Chinese yù yī, literally “jade suit.” Some Han dynasty royals were made to wear ceremonial burial suits made of jade, stitched together in hundreds of pieces threaded together, like a suit of armor made of jade. Literally, it is to be ‘jaded’ in an attempt to protect yourself.
The Atlas Obscura includes this detail, which is useful for the metaphor: “Jade was believed to have preservative and protective qualities that would prevent the deterioration of soft tissues and keep away bad spirits.
“X” gets tired and worries a lot
always being the one
to mark the spot
afraid no one will find it
unless he is there
He does it for free
no complaints or “why me?”
It’s his lot in life
no children or wife
just spots to mark
It’s really no lark
not having a say
where he’s to stay
I bet you wouldn’t like
always being put on the spot
So the least you might do
is pay him a fee
or occasionally use
a “Y” or a “Z”
Senor Wences always made me smile and NOW herrrrrrrrrrrrres Wendy! To quote Sharon Bonin- Pratt “Whoowhee! Wowzers! Whoop dee doo! Won’erful won’erful!”
“Marc Metral has a unique bit he does with his dog, Wendy. When he brings her out on stage, the audience and judges are skeptical about her ability to talk. But once she starts singing, the entire audience loses it.”
“The Vampire squid from hell
is actually rather quite swell
He doesn’t suck blood
or lurk in the mud
but in chilly, dark waters drifts free
where he never eats meats
just low-calorie treats
that sink toward the bottom of the sea
A sighting is transforming
But here’s a forewarning
always go in the morning
and certainly not on a whim
For late at night you’ll die from fright
especially if you can’t swim
The scientific name for the species, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, translates to “vampire squid from hell,” but the animal’s behavior isn’t all that intimidating.
“Vampire squid drift in chilly, dark waters with low oxygen levels up to 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) below the surface. They have a low metabolism and they eat low-calorie foods — mostly “marine snow,” or clumps of particles, that sink down the water column.”
The new findings were published in the journal Current Biology.”