Fur Fun: All God’s Creatures

If cats and pups can cozy up 

Why oh why can’t we

lie down with our “enemy”?

unnamed-7

“Do not exalt yourselves above others, but consider all as your equals, recognizing them as the servants of one God.” Bahai World Faith, Abdu’l-Baha

unnamed-6

“If we go to the fundamental level, we are the same human being. … Seven billion human beings are the same human being.”  Dalai Lama

 

unnamed-8

1 Corinthians 1:10 

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

Thanks Dr. Carolyn M.!

CATegorical Purrrrrspective

Everything I know about men, I learned from my CAT.

by Peggy

Stroke them every day to show that you appreciate them.

Can’t think of anything “significant” to appreciate? . . . A cat doesn’t need to do anything to get your loving attention . . . that’s the “tooth”.

Calendar (small) from this series available on zazzle. Click here. 

Naturally Nude Smart Broads Society

No purple & red hats. Your commitment is to forgo 2 items promoted by the cosmetic industry. (ex. Wrinkle cream, contouring make-up, grey touch-up coloring, lip fillers, eyebrow tattoos . . .)

We will meet in the fall in Paris and in the spring in Italy to buy our couture wardrobe; in the summer on the East Coast and in the winter on the West Coast to practice being classy broads. 

Our inspiration for being a “Naturally Nude Smart Broad” is Christine Lagarde.

She’s a model of how to grow “older” gracefully and not pander to “beauty products”

(even when you can afford them).

Elegant,
Natural hair, nails, eye lashes, minimal makeup….French couture wardrobe

Here’s a bit about Christine Lagarde:

 A French lawyer and on 28 June 2011, she was named as the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund for a five-year term, (replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the aftermath of his sexual assault legal case) managing emergencies as head of the trillion-dollar International Monetary Fund

On November 2019, she will take on a new crisis as president of the European Central Bank, trying to keep the world’s second largest economy stable as it is battered by trade wars, Brexit and historic uncertainty.

 Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman ever to become minister of Economic Affairs of a G7 economy, and is the first woman to ever head the IMF.

A noted antitrust and labour lawyer, Lagarde made history as the first female chair of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. On 16 November 2009, The Financial Times ranked her the best minister of finance of the Eurozone.  In 2009, Lagarde was ranked the 17th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.

Wikipedia  

Naturally Nude Smart Broads Society:  Pearls & champagne required, broaches are optional.

Are you with us?  (Peggy & judy)

See original post: Naturally Nude and She’s no slouch!

Ick or treat? – 7 facts about candy corn you didn’t know . . . or do you?

2.  It actually looks like corn

When candy corn first came out, roughly half of Americans worked on farms, and the treat was designed to look like chicken feed.
Stack it up, the candy looks exactly like an ear of corn.

3.  People love it or hate it

For an innocuous little treat, candy corn can spark strong opinions.  Like fruit cake some believe that
manufacturers just collect and resell the same candy kernels year after year, because nobody actually eats the stuff.
But the treat scored first or second for preferred Halloween munch in most states,
Are you a candy corn lover?

4.  It used to be made by hand in large kettles

Candy corn is not a modern invention.  It dates to the 1880s, before the automobile and the commercial telephone. The Goelitz Candy Co. began making it in 1900 before the family-run operation changed its name to the Jelly Belly Candy Co., which still produces candy corn today.
In the early days of the 20th century, workers cooked sugar, corn syrup, marshmallow and other ingredients into a slurry in large kettles and then poured the warm mixture by hand into cornstarch trays imprinted with the kernel shape.
Today it’s untouched by human hands – machines do almost all the work.

5.  There’s a proper way to eat it

Many people believe that candy corn should be nibbled in sequence.
While almost half of candy corn consumers gobble the whole piece at once, 43% start with the narrow white end, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association.
Another 10%  begin eating the wider yellow end first.
Which end do you nibble first?

6.  It can be deep-fried

Of course it can. Amy Erickson has posted a recipe on her food blog, Oh Bite It!, that involves rolling three or four candy corn kernels in a ball of dough and then frying them in hot oil.
Does frying make EVERYTHING better?

7.  It’s a beer

If you don’t like eating candy corn, now you can just opt to drink it.
Wisconsin’s Westallion Brewing Company created Candy Corn Cream Ale, which was “brewed to smell and taste like candy corn with notes of vanilla and cream.”
Tempted?

click & Look at our no-candy-corn-collection!

Fur Fun: Eat, Pray, Love by Penelope

Penelope and I met many years ago.  I went for a carton of milk and there she was, an albino pig, in a grocery store.  She was in a dangerous situation – it was only time before she ended up on the meat aisle. (OIY VEY)  So for $9 I took her home with the milk.

I gave her a bit of color and a bow and she went to live in my therapy office.

Very few clients ever commented on her.  I always suspected new clients didn’t quite know what to say and my long-term clients knew me well enough that they didn’t need to say anything.
Penelope retired the same time as Freddie Parker but she still has a lot of good advice: 

How to Live Life to the Fullest

by Penelope the Pig, CPT*, RET

  • EAT greedily all the delectable things life gives you.

  • WALLOW in what’s soothing & cool.

  • SNORT at those who are not loving.

  • CELEBRATE how delicious you are.

  • PRAY you will not be eaten before your time.

  • PIG OUT on LOVE

*CPT, Certified Porcine Therapist

(jw)

My Mom, the Balloonist

The Blue Max is why I took up boogie-boarding at age 50. Let me explain . . .

My mom Helen wanted a “flying belt” since she was a kid.  When she turned 50 she figured the closest she would get was hot air ballooning.  So when she and her husband Andy were offered a ride in a hot air balloon there was no hesitation.

They loved the experience and as soon as the balloon landed, Mom announced, “I want one”.   Her “flying belt” balloon was blue and white and she named it The Blue Max.
However, there’s more than just strapping on a flying belt to piloting a balloon.  Mom had to get a balloon piloting license which she couldn’t pass because her right arm was too weak to pull the rip cord. (She had had a mastectomy for cancer),  Andy became the pilot.
The family ballooning soon ballooned.  My sister Sally, her husband and their son all took up hot air ballooning, and became pilots.  Mom’s 2 great grandsons are now learning how to fly.  Sally named their first balloon (she is on her 3rd or 4th) after mom. She called it “Helen’s Fault”.

In the family tradition, to celebrate my 50th birthday I thought I should do something “equally” as adventurous . . . I took up boogie-boarding.

Mom is 98, no longer balloons, but knowing her when she hits 100 I have to wonder what she will take up then . . .  and if I will feel that I should follow suit . . . in some way.

Peggy

Halloween Pome

Orange pumpkins, black cats

skeletons, and scary bats

mummies that horrify

Witches flying through the sky

Thank goodness witches aren’t like birds

screeching and dropping turds

See our Halloween collection, with witches, black cats and Woofer at Zazzle. Click here. 

I’m so disappointed

When I was in grade school we did “duck ‘n cover” drills. Ducking under a desk and covering your head was suppose to protect us from an atomic bomb drop. It was the height of the cold war between the United States and Russia.

I lived in Phoenix Arizona which was a small (by today’s standards) city surrounded by miles and miles of uninhabitable dessert where many alien spacecraft had been observed.
I prayed that the aliens would land and the entire world would then, out of necessity, come together in solidarity to protect the planet.

Alien Baby, by judy – acrylic on cardboard box

“Weird space object ‘Oumuamua’ was not an alien spacecraft after all, scientists say. The 1/4-mile long rock was first spotted in October 2017 by astronomers peering through a telescope atop Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii. In the weeks after that, other ground-based telescopes around the world and space-based telescopes in orbit continued to monitor Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger”) as it zipped through the solar system at about 85,700 mph.”

There was also wild speculation that it came from an alien civilization.

“After a fairly exhaustive search, scientists couldn’t find any artificial radio signals coming from the interstellar objet known as Oumuamua.”

“The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis suggests there is a whole host of natural phenomena that could explain it,” said Matthew Knight, the study lead author from the University of Maryland, in a news release.

‘”While Oumuamua’s interstellar origin makes it unique, many of its other properties are perfectly consistent with objects in our own solar system,” said study co-author Robert Jedicke of the University of Hawaii. In fact, Oumuamua’s orbit, its path through our solar system, matches a prediction published in a scientific journal by Jedicke and his colleagues six months before Oumuamua’s discovery.”

One theory is that the object could have been ejected by a gas giant planet orbiting another star.

“Even though we know it’s a natural phenomenon, “we have never seen anything like Oumuamua in our solar system,” Knight said. “It’s really a mystery still,” he said.”

Decades later “duck ‘n cover” has been replaced by “lock down drills” for shooters.  The aliens are still waiting for us to figure out how to come together without their help.

judy

The new study was published in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Astronomy.

Last day to get FREE eBook about Maui, a reminder

We wanted to remind you that today is the last day to get your  FREE ebook:

The Pulling, Pushing, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of Maui and His Back Legs ,

free Kindle version,  click here.

If you’ve read any posts on MAXyourMIND you know the blog was inspired by and is dedicated to Peggy’s cat Maui who lived to show the brain CAN be rewired and healing IS possible.  

After losing the use of his back legs Maui didn’t need a physical therapist, a coach, or a professional of any kind. He had his own reasons to use his back legs again and he just kept at it. Peggy wrote and illustrated a children’s book for her grand daughter Lucy that tells Maui’s story. 

“The Pulling, Pushing, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of Maui and His Back Legs”.

“It’s true, I loved this book and it’s real-life message. But my grandson adored it. The first time I read it to him, he was so very anxious about Maui, urging him on, hoping him better. Then he wanted it over and over. Easy to see why. Both the book and the message it contains are wonderful gifts for any young child.” Sheridan Bentson

Here’s a synopsis

“Maui’s Healing Tale”

Brain Plasticity – Even if you lose it, you can get it back –and a free Kindle book link

Research on the brain has shown the old adage “Use it or lose it” isn’t always accurate.

Brain plasticity is not just for cats*.

At the Taub Clinic* patients are restrained from using the parts of their body that work so they have to try to use the parts affected by stroke. The patients are given exercises and unrelentingly pushed to try doing them. The program is an intense 6 hours a day for 10 days. Eighty percent (80%!) of stroke victims improve, and not just the ones who have had a recent stroke.

Patients start out doing small things such as lifting cans or “washing” tables, writing the ABCs. Slowly, fine motor skills come back.

*I’ve witnessed first hand how with patience and perseverance the brain can be rewired, even the brain of a cat.

After losing the use of his back legs my cat Maui didn’t need a physical therapist, a coach, or a professional of any kind. He had his own reasons to use his back legs again and he just kept at it. 

Maui proved the brain is plastic. It took time but by incremental steps Maui rewired his brain and developed new new brain maps for his back legs. His story also inspired our blog about neuroscience and mind-body health on MAXyourMIND

Get your free e book copy, only good until September 23

Click here for “The Pulling,Climbing, Falling Down Tale of Maui and HIs Back Legs” ebook

        *     *      *

*University of Alabama at Burmingham

Constraint-Induced therapy (CI therapy, or CIT) is a family of rehabilitation therapies designed to help “rewire” the brain and thus regain some level of limb function in those who have had an injury or illness such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, brain tumor, or multiple sclerosis. Research pioneered at UAB over the last 25 years by Edward Taub, PhD, has shown that patients can “rewire” their brains and “learn” to improve the function of the more affected parts of their bodies rather than depending on the less-affected parts. These results have been found to be true for both movement of the affected arm or leg as well as the use of language, and the therapy typically produces excellent results. Brain imaging studies have confirmed Constraint-Induced therapy’s effect on the brain as a result of this therapy, indicating that there is “rewiring” of the brain taking place. Constraint-Induced therapy has been found to be effective no matter how long ago the injury or illness occurred so long as the treatment criteria are met.

 

 

 

Four days left to get the free Kindle book about Maui!

If you’ve read any posts on MAXyourMIND you know the blog was inspired by and is dedicated to Peggy’s cat Maui who lived to show the brain CAN be rewired and healing IS possible.  

After losing the use of his back legs Maui didn’t need a physical therapist, a coach, or a professional of any kind. He had his own reasons to use his back legs again and he just kept at it. Peggy wrote and illustrated a children’s book for her grand daughter Lucy that tells Maui’s story. 

Four days left (ends September 23) to get

The Pulling, Pushing, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of Maui and His Back Legs , free Kindle version,  click here.

“The Pulling, Pushing, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of Maui and His Back Legs”.

“It’s true, I loved this book and it’s real-life message. But my grandson adored it. The first time I read it to him, he was so very anxious about Maui, urging him on, hoping him better. Then he wanted it over and over. Easy to see why. Both the book and the message it contains are wonderful gifts for any young child.” Sheridan Bentson

Here’s a synopsis

“Maui’s Healing Tale”

FREE Kindle Maui and His Back Legs book!

I’ve been delighted and gratified to have a great response from all around the world to my very first book:

“The Pulling, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of

Maui and His Back Legs”

“You had one strong, courageous cat there! The story is great to read, and inspiring to say the least. It does go to show us the power of the mind, and how we all possess the power of healing, ourselves and others. It comes with courage, belief, perseverance, hope, and most of all love and passion for life. I applaud you for your determination but most of all for your vision of Maui walking again.”

Paul Del Sordo, Martial Arts Instructor and Special Needs Inclusion Coordinator

“I read the story of Maui. It is touchy and inspiring. Though being a cat, Maui was determined, to resolve her back leg problem with continuous & renewed hope. And the Pictorials were so lively, pleasant and explanatory. These type of stories are good for children, parents must make a habit of them read inspiring stories, which has fun and moral, which is Determination.”

Anil Kumar Morathoti, Sr Social Worker-Child/Student Welfare|Education|Development. State Coordinator, OISCA Telangana|AP States, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

I’ve signed up for a Kindle publishing opportunity – for me and for YOU –

for 5 days STARTING NOW you can get a FREE KINDLE copy

by clicking on the title below:

“The Pulling, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of

Maui and His Back Legs”

BUY THE PAPERBACK BOOK

“The Pulling, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of

Maui and His Back Legs”

CATegorical Purrrrrspective

Everything I know about men I learned from my cat.

Let them show you what good hunters they are.

Graciously accept their gifts, even if it is something you will dispose of later.

Calendar (small) from this series available on zazzle. Click here.

Frankly Freddie – CAPTIONIt! #9 & 10 and the WINNERS #7 #8

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, check out CAPTIONit!  Part I  and CAPTIONit! Part 6 or 7 or . . .?

#9

#10

    *     *     *     *

The WINNING captions from my  And as you know by now, your prize is MY delight receiving entries and YOUR WORLD blogging fame.


#7, The WINNER!!! Shari B-P 

“Left foot, left foot, can’t you tell your left from your right?”


 #8, The WINNER!!! –Joyce K.

Prisoner of Love

Shari, Joyce, human-beings,

You are currently my favorite winners!  Thank you from the bottom of my treat container,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Humor Editor

 

CATegorical Purrrrrspective

Everything I know about men, I learned from my cat.

Help them keep their tools sharp.

Keeping their “claws” sharp is important, so make sure there is something for them to “tackle”. Something you want “shredded”.

Calendar (small) from this series available on zazzle. Click here.

CATegorical Purrrrrspective

Everything I know about men, I learned from my CAT.

Happy cats need to have territory to mark as theirs . . . so . . . 

. . .  give a man space to claim as his own . . . he’ll be one cool cat.

Calendar (small) from this series available on zazzle, click here

 

 

Letter to Lucy

My granddaughter, Lucy, has always loved pictures.  When she was small I lived two hours away so I sent her “letters” in the mail.  Since she couldn’t read I made stick figure drawings. 

This “letter” chronicled a weekend we spent together–building a fort (a common interest of ours), shopping for food, eating dinner with her mom, and playing on the floor. It was the first of many “letters” that still remind me it’s the small pleasures I cherish spending time with those I love. 

Peggy

 

Frankly Freddie – CAPTIONit!, #7 & #8

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

Get inspiration – check out CAPTIONit!  Part I  and the  Winner of  #5 & #6 below*

#7

#8

Congratulations Bernice!!!!

*You wrote The WINNING captions (Actually, you don’t win anything except my gratitude for participating and WORLD blogging fame.):

Caption It #5 – Money DOESN’T grow on trees.


Caption It. #6 – Portrait of “Screaming Mimi”


Send me your captions for #7 & #8 . . . . for consideration

Frankly, Freddie

Humorist Editor-in-Chief

Still hysterical – I’m well practiced

1995: The end of life as I knew it:. I began experiencing excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs. In 1996 fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: unexplainable, unverifiable and in all probability psychosomatic. Their unofficial diagnosis was “Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome”.

Doctor after doctor, told me, test after test after expensive test came back negative, that nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”. Some looked at me knowingly, like we shared a secret “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychology” – Wink, Wink. The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.

I just wanted someone to put a name to what I had. Gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors, Yup you are reading right! They are ALL in the plural. I didn’t just see one of each. I saw private practitioners, researchers, and heads of hospital departments. I’m sure each of them wrote “HYPOCHONDRIAC” on their charts.

Over two-plus decades later I’m no longer middle-aged, just hysterical.  I still struggle and some mornings I wake up feeling like a locomotive hit me and the bottoms of my feet on fire even tho the only thing they touched for 7 hours was a sheet.  BUT now that the pharmaceutical companies have realized there’s over 10 million people, in the United States alone and millions more world-wide, with this condition the research is progressing.  

 Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue/ME are finally recognized “officially” as an illness.  The research now points to the possibility these conditions are auto-immune, neuro-inflammatory disorders in the brain.  

Those doctors were right after all — it IS all in my head!

judy

Frankly Freddie, CAPTIONit! – #5 & #6

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, check out CAPTIONit!  Part I 

   *     *     *

 #5

 

#6

   *     *     *

The WINNING captions from my CAPTION IT! Part II  (Actually, you don’t win anything except my gratitude for participating and WORLD blogging fame.):

#3 -Cheesey CATatonia

and

Who moved my mouse?

#4 – “Taking ZEE Nap” . . . as they say in France

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCH

Did you know . . . Anteaters prefer termites

Its food consists mainly of termites, which it obtains by opening nests with its powerful sharp front claws. As the insects swarm to the damaged part of their dwelling, it draws them into its mouth by means of its long, flexible, rapidly moving tongue covered with sticky saliva.

  • Their tongue can be flicked up to 150-160 times or more per minute.
  • Giant anteaters have a two-foot-long tongue and huge salivary glands that produce copious amounts of sticky saliva when they feed.
  • They have small spikes on their tongue that help keep the ants and other insects on the tongue while they are swept into the anteater’s mouth, where they are crushed against the hard palate.
  • What we call an anteater’s nose is actually an elongated jaw with a small, black, moist nose, like a dog’s nose
  • A full-grown giant Anteater eats upwards of 30,000 ants and termites a day and also eat ripe fruit if they find it on the ground.
  • The Giant Anteater and regular anteaters have no teeth. Their physical digestion is aided by the pebbles and debris that they consume when they ingest insects.
  • The giant Anteater lives above ground. The anteater finds a place to sleep, curls up, and covers itself with its bushy tail. 

The female produces one offspring per birth. During much of its first year of life, a young Anteater will ride on its mother’s back. It is generally acknowledged that giant Anteaters have a poor sense of sight but a keen sense of smell. Their sense of smell has been estimated to be some 40 times stronger than that of humans.

Frankly Freddie – Guide to World Peace & Goodwill toward All

My 5 simple rules EVERYONE should follow for Peece on Earth

and Goodwill toward Man

  1. Instead of raising arms, raise your leg. No one ever dies from a squirt of pee.
  2. Never bark at strangers, greet everyone with a friendly sniff . . . below their belt.
  3. Raise your tail, not your flag.
  4. Rolling over is not a sign of defeat, it’s an invitation for a belly rub.
  5. Don’t wait for others to scratch your back, give love.

DSCN6116

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET

Wishing you a life of treats, back rubs and bowls of plenty.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Canine Dog Therapist, RET.

“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world.

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”

 Baha’i World Faith

 See also: The Hope for Peace and a Prayer.

 

Did You Know? – Luscious Lipped Bat Fish

Luscious Red lips,
lanquid eyes
this guy’s in disguise
 a femme fatale?
 a walking bat?
Can you imagine that
A fish that doesn’t swim
Ogcocephalus darwini

An identity crisis of the first degree
he needs a psychoanalyst
It’s not normal to be THAT carefree

This Red-Lipped Batfish (aka Ogcocephalus darwini) walks around the deep waters of the Galapagos Islands.  They are terrible swimmers since their fins have evolved into legs.

To attract prey, the red-lipped batfish uses a shiny lure that comes out of its head once it gets really close to its preferred meal,  like crabs, mollusks and shrimp  Some scientists think the males’ red lips are attractive to females during mating season.  To each his own . . . 

Thanks to Charlie at Doodlewash for the inspiration.

Red-Lipped Bat Fish, NOT CHARLIE

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s SUPERMOUSE!

They created a Supermouse.Superman can see the world in infrared.  Humans can’t.

Mouse eyes, like human eyes, are limited to seeing “visible light”,

which makes up just a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

SuperMouse by SuperPeggy

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China

and the University of Massachusetts Medical School developed an

“ocular nanoparticle” that can detect near-infrared light (NIR).

They injected it directly into the eyes of mice. Their study* 

shows that the mice were given “super vision”, allowing them

to see beyond the visible spectrum, without any effects

on their regular vision.

The team ran the mice through a series of water Y-mazes in an effort

to determine whether they could make out visual patterns in infrared

light to find a hidden platform. They trained the mice to associate an

infrared light pattern with the platform and then tested both injected

mice and non-injected mice to see how they fared.Mice that did no

t receive the ocular injections only correctly found the platform 50 percent

of the time, but those with the nanoparticles in their eyes were abl

e to do so around 80 percent of the time even in the dark.

Moreover, the nanoparticles continued to work for up to 10 weeks

without any residual side effects or long-term damage to normal vision.

Because the new technology is compatible with regular vision,

it could provide a new way for mammalian vision enhancement

or even open up new avenues to repair normal vision —

the nanoparticles could be tweaked so they parse different

wavelengths or alter them to deliver drugs into the eye.

*Published in Cell

Fur Fun: hard to watch

In the interest of full disclosure we have a tv in every room of our house, with the exception of the bathroom.  Several of them are so old they are neither flat, nor high definition.  I suspect they will outlast the latest models.

We didn’t have a TV at home until I was 10 years old.  It was black & white, there were only 3 channels and programs ended at midnight with test patterns.   I grew up reading, playing outside and making up ways to entertain myself with household objects.  It may partially explain why I’m relatively creative but doesn’t explain why I have the attention span of a gnat.

Fake Snake

Snake

When my granddaughter was a baby, I started keeping old toilet paper rolls, thinking we could make something to of them together, maybe a giraffe or other animal. Our first project was the easiest: a snake. We painted the rolls, then put a string through them. We used a small matchbox for the head. She trailed it behind her, letting it slither around the house.

Peggy

xxxxxxxx

My Brain on Non-standard Time

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.

Each day is a different one, and each day brings a miracle of its own.”
— Paulo Coelho

This morning  I woke thinking that today was yesterday.  This afternoon I thought that today is tomorrow. Holy Toledo! (wonder where that expression comes from?) Time is mushed in my mind.  

If cells in a petri dish can be taught to tell time I need a petri dish.

Cultured Brain Cells Taught to Keep Time

The UCLA findings are the first to suggest that networks of brain cells in a petri dish can learn to generate simple timed intervals.

The ability to tell time is fundamental to how humans interact with each other and the world. Timing plays an important role, for example, in our ability to recognize speech patterns and to create music.

In a three-year study, UCLA scientists attempted to unravel the mystery by testing whether networks of brain cells kept alive in culture could be “trained” to keep time. The team stimulated the cells with simple patterns — two stimuli separated by different intervals lasting from a twentieth of a second up to half a second.

After two hours of “training cells”, the team observed a measurable change in the cellular networks’ response to a single input. In the networks trained with a short interval, the network’s activity lasted for a short period of time. Conversely, in the networks trained with a long interval, network activity lasted for a longer amount of time.

Duke Researchers Find Brain’s Motor Center Keeps Time Too

By measuring activity in the brain as reflected by blood flow, Duke researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the brain’s motor control center also keeps track of time. Their experiments show that in both animals and people, the striatum, a portion of the brain once thought only to control movement, keeps track of timing short intervals, from seconds to minutes.

“In addition to providing the first map of a neural circuit for an internal clock, the results have implications for Parkinson’s disease patients, because the timing mechanism is located within the basal ganglia, which is damaged in people with Parkinson’s disease. The findings also may help define the role of timing in learning and memory, said Dr. Warren Meck, associate professor of experimental psychology at Duke University.”

“We believe timing is the foundation for learning and memory,” Meck said in an interview. He suggests that defective timing mechanisms may underlie some learning disabilities and may contribute to dyslexia. Before these experiments, how the brain keeps track of time intervals in the seconds to minutes range was unknown.”

ScienceDaily

Creative Expression – Running Out

My husband is always after me to exercise. In Southern California it’s difficult to use weather as an excuse so I’ve been using fibromyalgia brain fog rather creatively:
  • “What!? It’s midnight already!? I was just about ready to go for my walk”
  • “Are you sure? I could swear I exercised today”
  • “I couldn’t walk today. I locked myself in.”
  • “What do you mean the doctor stressed exercise?! I swear she said not to stress over exercise.”
I really had a good reason not to exercise when I began to get light-headed on my walks and figured out it wasn’t the heat, lack of food or dehydration. I suspected my heart arrhythmia.  
(It was heart arrhythmia that led to my getting Tullulah, my pacemaker.)
This is a series of pictures I did when I was first diagnosed with atrial tachycardia.  I wasn’t focusing or even thinking about my heart when I was painting.  I painted spontaneously and very quickly.  The only reason I painted 3 was that I didn’t want to waste paint and throw away what I hadn’t used.  About 6 months later as I was putting together a presentation it hit me that these paintings represented my heart.

It’s easy to identify which picture is my heart in normal rhythm and which paintings represent the various stages of arrythmia.
That is the wonder and power of Therapeutic Creative Expression.
Whether it’s painting on canvas, crayons on paper or magazine pictures in a collage we express our unconscious knowing and inner wisdom.

Now that my arrhythmia’s are under control the most exercise I’m getting is running out of excuses.

judy

Why do so many Egyptian statues have broken noses?

The most common question that curator Edward Bleiberg fields from visitors to the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptian art galleries is a straightforward but salient one: Why are the statues’ noses broken?
(If you don’t want to read the entire article, which is fascinating, we’ve highlighted the answer to the question in blue and red.)

Face of Senwosret III, ca. 1878-1840 BC

Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Written by Julia Wolkoff

Bleiberg, who oversees the museum’s extensive holdings of Egyptian, Classical and ancient Near Eastern art, was surprised the first few times he heard this question. He had taken for granted that the sculptures were damaged; his training in Egyptology encouraged visualizing how a statue would look if it were still intact.

It might seem inevitable that after thousands of years, an ancient artifact would show wear and tear. But this simple observation led Bleiberg to uncover a widespread pattern of deliberate destruction, which pointed to a complex set of reasons why most works of Egyptian art came to be defaced in the first place.

The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC.

The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. 
Bleiberg’s research is now the basis of the poignant exhibition “Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt.” A selection of objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection will travel to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation later this month under the co-direction of the latter’s associate curator, Stephanie Weissberg. Pairing damaged statues and reliefs dating from the 25th century BC to the 1st century AD with intact counterparts, the show testifies to ancient Egyptian artifacts’ political and religious functions — and the entrenched culture of iconoclasm that led to their mutilation.”
“In our own era of reckoning with national monuments and other public displays of art, “Striking Power” adds a germane dimension to our understanding of one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations, whose visual culture, for the most part, remained unchanged over millennia. This stylistic continuity reflects — and directly contributed to — the empire’s long stretches of stability. But invasions by outside forces, power struggles between dynastic rulers and other periods of upheaval left their scars.”
“The consistency of the patterns where damage is found in sculpture suggests that it’s purposeful,” Bleiberg said, citing myriad political, religious, personal and criminal motivations for acts of vandalism. Discerning the difference between accidental damage and deliberate vandalism came down to recognizing such patterns. A protruding nose on a three-dimensional statue is easily broken, he conceded, but the plot thickens when flat reliefs also sport smashed noses.”

Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses too, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted.

Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses too, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted. Credit: Brooklyn Museum
“The ancient Egyptians, it’s important to note, ascribed important powers to images of the human form. They believed that the essence of a deity could inhabit an image of that deity, or, in the case of mere mortals, part of that deceased human being’s soul could inhabit a statue inscribed for that particular person. These campaigns of vandalism were therefore intended to “deactivate an image’s strength,” as Bleiberg put it.”
Tombs and temples were the repositories for most sculptures and reliefs that had a ritual purpose. “All of them have to do with the economy of offerings to the supernatural,” Bleiberg said. In a tomb, they served to “feed” the deceased person in the next world with gifts of food from this one. In temples, representations of gods are shown receiving offerings from representations of kings, or other elites able to commission a statue.”
“Egyptian state religion,” Bleiberg explained, was seen as “an arrangement where kings on Earth provide for the deity, and in return, the deity takes care of Egypt.” Statues and reliefs were “a meeting point between the supernatural and this world,” he said, only inhabited, or “revivified,” when the ritual is performed. And acts of iconoclasm could disrupt that power.”

“The damaged part of the body is no longer able to do its job,” Bleiberg explained. Without a nose, the statue-spirit ceases to breathe, so that the vandal is effectively “killing” it. To hammer the ears off a statue of a god would make it unable to hear a prayer. In statues intended to show human beings making offerings to gods, the left arm — most commonly used to make offerings — is cut off so the statue’s function can’t be performed (the right hand is often found axed in statues receiving offerings).

“In the Pharaonic period, there was a clear understanding of what sculpture was supposed to do,” Bleiberg said. Even if a petty tomb robber was mostly interested in stealing the precious objects, he was also concerned that the deceased person might take revenge if his rendered likeness wasn’t mutilated.
The prevalent practice of damaging images of the human form — and the anxiety surrounding the desecration — dates to the beginnings of Egyptian history. Intentionally damaged mummies from the prehistoric period, for example, speak to a “very basic cultural belief that damaging the image damages the person represented,” Bleiberg said. Likewise, how-to hieroglyphics provided instructions for warriors about to enter battle: Make a wax effigy of the enemy, then destroy it. Series of texts describe the anxiety of your own image becoming damaged, and pharaohs regularly issued decrees with terrible punishments for anyone who would dare threaten their likeness.”

A statue from around 1353-1336 BC, showing part of a Queen's face.

A statue from around 1353-1336 BC, showing part of a Queen’s face. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Indeed, “iconoclasm on a grand scale…was primarily political in motive,” Bleiberg writes in the exhibition catalog for “Striking Power.” Defacing statues aided ambitious rulers (and would-be rulers) with rewriting history to their advantage. Over the centuries, this erasure often occurred along gendered lines: The legacies of two powerful Egyptian queens whose authority and mystique fuel the cultural imagination — Hatshepsut and Nefertiti — were largely erased from visual culture.”
“Hatshepsut’s reign presented a problem for the legitimacy of Thutmose III’s successor, and Thutmose solved this problem by virtually eliminating all imagistic and inscribed memory of Hatshepsut,” Bleiberg writes. Nefertiti’s husband Akhenaten brought a rare stylistic shift to Egyptian art in the Amarna period (ca. 1353-36 BC) during his religious revolution. The successive rebellions wrought by his son Tutankhamun and his ilk included restoring the longtime worship of the god Amun; “the destruction of Akhenaten’s monuments was therefore thorough and effective,” Bleiberg writes. Yet Nefertiti and her daughters also suffered; these acts of iconoclasm have obscured many details of her reign.
Ancient Egyptians took measures to safeguard their sculptures. Statues were placed in niches in tombs or temples to protect them on three sides. They would be secured behind a wall, their eyes lined up with two holes, before which a priest would make his offering. “They did what they could,” Bleiberg said. “It really didn’t work that well.”

A statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut wearing a "khat" headdress.

A statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut wearing a “khat” headdress. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Speaking to the futility of such measures, Bleiberg appraised the skill evidenced by the iconoclasts. “They were not vandals,” he clarified. “They were not recklessly and randomly striking out works of art.” In fact, the targeted precision of their chisels suggests that they were skilled laborers, trained and hired for this exact purpose. “Often in the Pharaonic period,” Bleiberg said, “it’s really only the name of the person who is targeted, in the inscription. This means that the person doing the damage could read!”

“The understanding of these statues changed over time as cultural mores shifted. In the early Christian period in Egypt, between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, the indigenous gods inhabiting the sculptures were feared as pagan demons; to dismantle paganism, its ritual tools — especially statues making offerings — were attacked. After the Muslim invasion in the 7th century, scholars surmise, Egyptians had lost any fear of these ancient ritual objects. During this time, stone statues were regularly trimmed into rectangles and used as building blocks in construction projects.”
“Ancient temples were somewhat seen as quarries,” Bleiberg said, noting that “when you walk around medieval Cairo, you can see a much more ancient Egyptian object built into a wall.”

Statue of pharaoh Senwosret III, who ruled in the 2nd century BC

Statue of pharaoh Senwosret III, who ruled in the 2nd century BC Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Such a practice seems especially outrageous to modern viewers, considering our appreciation of Egyptian artifacts as masterful works of fine art, but Bleiberg is quick to point out that “ancient Egyptians didn’t have a word for ‘art.’ They would have referred to these objects as ‘equipment.'” When we talk about these artifacts as works of art, he said, we de-contextualize them. Still, these ideas about the power of images are not peculiar to the ancient world, he observed, referring to our own age of questioning cultural patrimony and public monuments.”
“Imagery in public space is a reflection of who has the power to tell the story of what happened and what should be remembered,” Bleiberg said. “We are witnessing the empowerment of many groups of people with different opinions of what the proper narrative is.” Perhaps we can learn from the pharaohs; how we choose to rewrite our national stories might just take a few acts of iconoclasm.”
This article was published in partnership with Artsy, the global platform for discovering and collecting art. The original article can be seen here.
Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt” is on at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St Louis, Missouri, from 

Did you know? Octopuses: not alien, and very cool

Octopuses, which for the record is the correct pluralization of octopus. (It can also be octopodes, since the word is Greek in origin, but never octopi.)

Blue Bloods

“For starters, octopuses have literal blue blood. There’s a common misunderstanding that human blood is blue inside your body when it’s deoxygenated, but that comes from the fact that your veins look blue through your skin. Deoxygenated blood is still very red because of the iron-based mechanism by which our bodies transport oxygen molecules. Octopuses said ‘no, thanks’ to iron blood, though, and swapped in a copper-based protein that binds oxygen instead. It’s more efficient than iron in the cold, low-oxygen environments that most octopuses live in. It sure does make them spookier, but they’re not alone. The ocellated icefish has clear blood and there are lizards that run green. Both are from Earth.”

octopus on rock

An octopus just hangin’ out, Pixabay

Octopuses’ brains are in their arms

“Two-thirds of an octopus’ neurons reside in the long appendages (tentacles). This decentralized way of thinking means that even severed arms can “think” for themselves, or at least respond to physical stimuli and try to escape whatever is trying to eat them, which is why people die from trying to swallow live octopus arms only to find that the arm is still fighting back (a reported six people die this way on average each year in South Korea, where the dish is popular).”

Intelligent 

But their peculiar approach to brains hasn’t stopped them from ranking among the most intelligent creatures that we know of. Octopuses regularly use tools, solve puzzles, and generally cause mayhem by sneaking in and out of their enclosures. They also sometimes accessorize by hopping inside old coconut shells and using them as little mobile homes, all while looking more stylish than most humans.

Suckers and 3 Hearts

As they travel, they also taste everything that they walk on since their suckers are all sensory organs. You’d think that would motivate them to swim everywhere, but unfortunately one of their three hearts has to stop beating whenever they swim, which is quite tiring and means that many octopuses prefer to stroll. Their other two hearts provide blood to the gills, but that third heart circulates blood to the central organs.”

“The main organs reside inside the octopus’ bulbous head (called a mantle), which contains no bones. The only truly hard part of an octopus is the beak, which is basically its mouth. This means that the critters can squeeze through almost any opening as long as it’s bigger than the schnoz. Everything else is negotiable.”

Short Life

“But perhaps the weirdest thing about octopuses is that, unlike many of the other highly intelligent creatures populating our planet, they don’t live long. Some live just six months, others a few years, and most males die shortly after mating. The females last long enough to protect their clutch of eggs, during which time they slowly starve to death.”

https://www.popsci.com/octopus-aliens#page-2

Frankly Freddie, Doggone Good Dog – Remi, fashion hound

Dear Freddie Fans,

Remi is a consummate human-trainer.  After a lot of trial and error Lyn, his human, finally has learned exactly when it’s time to eat, time to walk and time for treats.  Remi has also taken on the task of helping her be charitable.  Every week he takes her to a Senior Care Facility.

As a reward for Lyn’s good behavior Remi took her to the Annual La Chien Fashion Show because he was walking the runway . . . wearing a priceless couture fur coat.

This show helped raise money for no-kill shelter, pet adoptions and pet rescue programs. 

Remi is certified by the AKC as a “Canine Good Citizen” and a Certified Therapy Dog and now adds runway model to his resume.  Being a working canine can be exhausting . . .

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield,

Exhausted Roving Reporter

Click below to read more about Remington

The Tail of Remington.

Fur Fun: Think about it

Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

Paws, 2 thoughts

Thinking Thoughts by Peggy

Happiness Hacks: Compassion

“Happiness Hacks”  are quick and easy ways, based on scientific research, to lift your mood. We are compiling them into a book, but want to share them here with you.

Compassion makes you feel better.  I saw this first hand when I worked in an outpatient program with people diagnosed with severe psychiatric disorders – schizophrenia, manic depressive disorder and major depression.  Many had been hospitalized more than once.

My goal was to help patients manage their illness, so they could stay out of the hospital  and live a more normal life. Besides many of the things the program offered to help them, including medication, I believed if I could help them be happier, have more positives in their lives, some of the stressors they felt would be offset and help them stay well.

Acts of Kindness by Peggy

I had read a research project using compassion exercises and decided to try it. It worked well in the research and I hoped it worked for the patients. Here’s what I did:

Week 1: I asked the patients to spend an hour being really good to themselves, something to pamper themselves. It didn’t matter what they chose as long as they personally enjoyed it.  When they shared everyone expressed liking their experiences and felt happy they participated.

Week 2: The patients were to take the same amount of time – an hour – and do something nice for somebody else, something to brighten someone else’s day.  It didn’t matter who they chose or what they did as long as it was something kind and giving.  When they shared this experience they were even happier!  All reported they felt better doing something nice for somebody else for an hour than doing something for themselves.

Caring for others, having compassion, can make you happier. You don’t have to wait weeks between.  Do something nice for yourself for an hour one day.  The next day do something nice for another person.  It doesn’t even have to be for an hour.  Try it and see for yourself.  And let us know how it goes.

Compassion Hack

According to brain science Buddhist monks are some of the happiest people in the  world.  They are don’t leave their monasteries and do things for others, but meditate on compassion.  Research shows compassion meditation changes the brain and makes it happier!

Don’t have an hour to do something nice for someone else?  Spend 10 – 20 minutes and meditate on compassion . . . Remember – It’s a hack NOT a substitution for the real thing.

 (PW)

I love Lucy – Painting Party

My granddaughter has always loved to do art–draw, paint, use play-doh, make things from cardboard, glue “treasures” onto paper (her definition of “treasure” is quite broad).  For her 4th birthday party my daughter planned a mural project.

Materials & Supplies

  • A looooooooong piece of butcher paper or painter’s paper (hardware store)
  • Tempera paint, it’s WASHABLE or Water-color washable markers, several containers to put along the paper
  • Brushes, lots – you can use sponge brushes – buy them in packets at hardware stores (they’re cheaper)
  • Plastic palettes for them, to use for mixing colors, available at Aaron Brothers, Michael’s and elsewhere
  • Baby wipes, rags, paper towels (a hose) for clean-up

Possible Themes to Paint

You can just let the kids loose (meaning paint anything they choose – which they will probably do anyway . . .) or tell them to paint:

  • A Happy Birthday picture to the birthday child
  • A birthday present they would like to get and/or give
  • Self portrait
  • Portrait of the birthday child

Where and When

  • Garage floor, patio, driveway
  • After they have a a chance to run around a while

The kids all had a blast and Lucy had a party souvenir.

I might do the same for my own birthday.  The only hitch is my friends are too old to sit on the driveway.

Peggy

 

Doggone Good Butterflies

When monarch butterflies wing their way south to central Mexico each fall, they use the sun to ensure that they stay on course. But how they head in the right direction on cloudy days has been a mystery.

 

It’s not unusual for animals engaged in long-distance migrations, including sea turtles and birds, to use an internal magnetic compass to get to where they’re going. But whether monarch butterflies have a similar ability had previously been unclear: Some studies had found weak evidence for a magnetic compass, while others found none at all.

It turns out the butterflies do use Earth’s magnetic field as a type of backup navigational system.

A paper published in the journal Nature Communications finally puts the issue to rest: The famous black-and-orange butterflies do, in fact, use a magnetic compass.

Researchers also found the reason for past conflicting evidence: The insects need ultraviolet [UV] light, which can penetrate cloud cover to power their magnetic compass—some of the previous studies didn’t provide the requisite illumination.

Butterflies may look fragile but evidence suggests otherwise:

  • North American painted ladies lay their eggs in the deserts near the Mexican border.
  • The orange butterflies, called painted ladies travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.
  • The butterfly, which is frequently mistaken for the monarch because of the similar colors, can move as fast a 25 mph and can go for days without stopping,

  • It can migrate up to 2,500 miles over mountains, seas and deserts and can travel at a much higher altitude than other insects.

  • The painted lady is one of the most pervasive butterfly species in the world and is found on every continent except Antarctica and South America, according to National Geographic.
  • Scientists estimate the migrating  painted ladies number in the millions.