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Bugs Too!

18 Jan

Image result for superbugs and asian pharmaceuticals

While Scientists around the world have been studying the decline of flying bugs and insects in our environment, Medical doctors say that they are encountering an increasing number of patients who bring home drug-resistant bugs or rather bacteria from abroad and that many of those new bacteria can potentially lead to harmful infections that are increasingly harder to cure…

Because these highly resistant bacteria are becoming more and more resistant to the point where antibiotics are no longer effective against them! The World Health Organization has identified these drug-resistant bugs as one of the most acute threats facing global health and about 700,000 people around the world die each year from infections against which medicines have no effect.

One of the bigger problems is  that about 80 to 90 percent of all antibiotics are now produced in China and India by giant pharmaceutical companies who not only make these drugs but also illegally dump significant quantities of antibiotics through their wastewater and into surrounding streams, rivers and lakes. Scientists who have been studying this practice have found concentrations of antibiotics in some of the bodies of water that were at times several thousand times, higher than the levels predicted to select for resistance!

And when exposed to a high concentration of antibiotics these microscopic bugs, like most living things, begin to develop defense mechanisms to protect themselves from those substances which are harmful to them…and so new “super bugs” begin to develop and grow and spread.

As a result Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate and this loss of effectiveness is being accelerated by their misuse in humans, animals, crops and by Pharmaceutical company practices. So much so that the problem is now seen by many leaders at the highest political levels as a most dire and urgent one.

So while the world is losing insects…bugs, worldwide at a rate so accelerated that we are now just beginning to notice their absence…at the same time the world is gaining bugs…bacteria, at an accelerated rate that we don’t notice… until we can feel their presence.

I know this is rather chilling and macabre to say or think about but… remember when the other kind of bugs were eating us alive? And that wasn’t so bad?! We humans need to start thinking about how we can undo what we’ve already done before we’re done in!

It’s a problem that is going to take 21st Century technology and medicine and our most advanced thinkers and scientists and political institutions to solve if the human race has any intentions of continuing to advance and thrive! And this is just another reason why fighting over a wall is such nonsense. For one, a wall won’t work at all… and B: It certainly won’t stop… BUGS!

 

Bugs!

16 Jan

Image result for bugs are disappearing

If you’re old like I am (63) then you probably remember going for a drive on a highway and having to clean your car’s windshield every time you stopped for gas because your windshield would be splattered with the carcasses of squashed bugs. Remember that?…Now think about when the last time was when that happened to you.

Well, according to recent scientific studies conducted around the globe, not just here in once buggy New Jersey, flying insects are disappearing! In these studies researchers have evaluated 27 years of insect collection data and have found that the biomass of flying insects has fallen by a seasonal average of 76%. That’s a lot of bugs! 3 out of every 4 bugs aren’t around any more.

This is good news, right? Who needs bugs? But, unfortunately they are a very important part of the Earth’s ecosystem, providing food for animals, birds, (their numbers are declining too)… and bugs are also a very important part of agriculture!

Seen any bees lately either? And Remember fireflies? We used to chase those guys around all summer long and fill jars full just for fun. I saw a firefly last summer and remember thinking, “Fireflies! Whatever happened to them???”

Scientists say that Climate change seems an unlikely culprit for the decline in bug populations since the increase in temperatures should have helped bugs to thrive rather than have harmed the insect population, so what’s bugging the bugs?

Could it be something that humans are doing besides warming the planet? Like making it more toxic? Or radioactive? Or plastic and polluted? If only the bugs could tell us! But seriously… what would the world be like without any bugs at all?… Will we even notice when they are gone?… Or will it be impossible to not?

It’s All About That Base

7 Jan

Image result for The wall along Mexico

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. President Trump wants to build a wall along the entirety of our southern border and says that he can do it for about 20 billion dollars…give or take a few billion.

We already owe as a country almost 22 trillion dollars! (what time is it?) And I really don’t think we have any intention of paying all of that money back anyhow so what’s another 20 billion for a wall that will never be constructed anyway?

Last year the United States of America cut taxes by 1.5 trillion dollars so that the wealthiest Americans could have more money to trickle down on the rest of us and I really don’t think there will be any trickling down…do you? So that was a waste of 1.5 trillion dollars…why not waste some more?

Back during the President Bush (The 2nd) Presidency we gave away 700 billion dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy and all that did was wreck the economy which cost another 1 trillion dollars to fix. Remember that?

And we’ve been at war in the Middle East for the past 18 years, non-stop, and that has cost trillions more dollars…so many trillions in fact that no one seems to even bother to be counting how much it has cost. Do you know?

So we have been spending upwards of 10 trillion dollars over the last 2 decades for absolutely nothing in return and now we have to shut down the government for 20 billion dollars more? That’s like buying a restaurant on credit and then saying that you don’t have the money to eat there!

Besides all of that… if the 63 million voters who so enthusiastically voted for President Trump in 2016, and who danced and sang and cavorted and practically achieved orgasm to his most popular call and response of his Presidential campaign are so gung-ho about building this wall…why don’t they just pay for the damn thing!

Call:”What are we gonna build?” Response: “A Wall!” 

Call: “Who’s Gonna build that wall?” Response: “Mexico!” 

Which was Followed by this Cult-like chant:

“Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! “Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!”

To which I say: Since Mexico won’t pay for it and since you can’t make them pay for it then rather than make those of us (more than you by the way) who don’t want to pay for it: For only 317 dollars and 45 cents each you can build that wall! Yes, that’s right! If you voted for President Trump and you support the building of a solid 30 foot wall of concrete and steel along the 1 thousand, 9 hundred and 54 miles of the Mexican border with the United States then for the small price of 317 dollars and 45 cents, that wall can be yours.

And I do mean yours, because your money will go towards your own personalized brick, stone, steel rod, chunk or whatever, of wall, with your name on it in bright bold letters commemorating your donation to the security of the United Sates of America! And you can name it after yourselves too!

You don’t even have to include “United States” in it’s name. Just call it whatever you want! Take all of the credit…after all, it will be yours so have fun. Call it The Great Wall of___________________. (Fill in the blank)

Is that too much to ask? After all, you wanted it! You voted for it! You chanted it! You sang for it! You cheered, clapped, stomped, waved, laughed and danced for it! And now, since Mexico has declined to pay for any of it (we asked)… for only $317.45 it can be yours….and with all of your names on it!

And if you don’t have the money? Don’t worry! All credit cards will be accepted because just like the USA we don’t pay, so why should you?! So call now! And build that wall!

Disclaimer: There will be no wall. Most of the southern border with Mexico is already lined with various fences, walls, wire, re-barb and what have you and the hundreds of miles that are not fenced are mountainous, a giant river or land that we don’t own and aren’t likely to be able to purchase or confiscate without years and years of legislation, litigation,  law suits and court hearings (we do live in a democracy after all) So send your money at your own risk and don’t send it directly to President Trump because he will most likely use the money to pay his own bills (that is what he does…just sayin’ because he does that all the time) If you don’t have the cash or a valid credit card then just send a check for the full amount of $317.45 to the United States treasury and let it bounce. (just sayin’ because that is what you-know- who would do, because well, he has done that before too) We would ask the billionaires and giant corporations who benefited greatly from the last 2 Republican tax breaks to pay for this wall (wink, wink, there will be no wall) but they did not get to be billionaires and giant corporations by spending their own money on crap like this, now did they? Should you decide not to contribute to this wall or any other wall after you have sent in your money because you realize that you can’t afford it we recommend that you simply declare bankruptcy because…well, you know, yada, yada, he, you know who, does it all the time…and if you really want every American taxpayer to pay for this wall because you believe it is for the greater good whether everyone agrees or not and that everyone should share in paying for what you know to be best for the country then remember your stance on healthcare in America and how you opposed it because it was Socialism… so send in your check or not because it’s all going on the tab anyway and by the time you’ve finished reading this disclaimer another 20 billion has been added to the national debt anyhow for crap that Halliburton, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have just ordered, so chillax. (yes, it’s in the dictionary)…(now are you chillaxing?)…(that’s in the dictionary too)

The Oldest Words

4 Jan

Macclesfield Psalter (PA)

The other day I was watching a documentary about the Apollo 8 mission to the moon. It was the first time that Earthlings had ever left the orbit of Earth to journey out into the space beyond and When the command module reached the moon on Christmas Eve the astronauts were asked by NASA to address the people of the Earth with a Christmas greeting from the moon. After having carefully considered what they might say the astronauts decided to read from the Book of Genesis rather than attempt to write their own words… and that got me thinking about what the oldest words ever remembered or uttered by humans might be.

So I did a little research and some Googling and discovered that a British Research team from the University of Cambridge had already embarked upon and completed such a study way back in 2012! Lucky me! All I had to do was research their research and here is what I found:

The research team was able to put together a list of what they called “ultra-conserved words,” or words that they found have remained basically unchanged for 15,000 years.

and that originate from the same ancient mother tongue — a language used toward the end of the last ice age. That language eventually became the basis for seven major language families in human history and the 700 modern languages today descend from those seven original families.

The Researchers scanned them for words that sound and mean the same things in different languages which are called cognates.  words like “father” — padre, pere, pater, pitar, etc. From those, they put together what they call proto-words, or what they believed were the cognates’ ancestral form.

Ultimately, they found 23 words that were shared by at least four of the seven language families, making them the most common and oldest and longest-lasting words in English… and throughout the history of words… and here they are…

1. Thou

Interestingly enough, Thou is the only word that all seven language families share in one form or another. If you’re going to speak then I suppose it’s important to know whom you are talking to. “Hey you!”…excuse me, Thou. Get over here!

2. I

Makes sense. If you’re not you then you must be me, or I. I think therefore I am not you. So in the beginning before Adam and Eve there were Thou and I.

3. Mother

Everyone has a mother and is first birthed, nurtured and loved by a female and when you finish this list you might notice that the word “father” does not appear as one of the earliest or universal words, which is quite interesting since according to our Judeo-Christian culture everything begins with The Father or the Son or His Holy Spirit and they are all men! women are relegated to a subservient class which has persisted into our modern era. Whatever happened to mom?! and why have we decided to give men all of the credit for creation, love and protection!? Imagine a world with men as the chief life givers…God couldn’t…nor could early humans.

4. Give

It’s all about teamwork and cooperation isn’t it? The earliest humans had to help one another in order to survive and thrive and Human survival has always been predicated on our ability to cooperate. Egads! The earliest humans were Socialists?! But thanks to evolution we now say “Build a wall! Build a wall! And make someone else pay for it!” It would be nice if everyone realized that “Give” is one of our oldest words…and it’s a verb!…as in doing something.

5. Bark

Woof?… No, but rather as in tree. Anthropologists believe this was a particularly important element of early civilizations because it was used to make fire, baskets, rope, and just about everything else until fairly recently…and it can even be used as medicine when boiled in water. In fact, aspirin was originally willow bark tea. Today, sadly, it’s all about plastic!

6. Black

Most likely the experts say because in its original form, it helped early humans distinguish the light of day from the black of night. Here in the civilized world of the future and thanks to electricity we don’t have nights like we used to but once upon a time the “black” of night was not someplace you wanted to go…ever! Note: “white” does not make the list…and why would it?

7. Fire

Fire provided light, warmth, security, safety, a way to cook, or to keep the wolves away. For a long time fire was the greatest tool for survival. and It was also the best way (only?) to keep the “black” away. And have you ever sat and watched a fire? Was it the first TV? And how about fire’s flame? What is that anyway? Solid? Gas? Liquid? Pure enchantment? It’s pure entertainment that’s what.

I think I now have the worlds first sentence:

Mother! Black!!! Give I Thou Bark! Fire!

8. Ashes

They made a lot of Fire! Ashes must have been the first plastic?! It was everywhere!!!

9. Spit

This is interesting. But I guess that back in the early days of mankind spit came in handy for almost everything.

10. Man/Male

So the word “Man” makes the First Words list but not “Father” and the word “Mother” is on the list but not “Woman”… Is this a reflection of male dominance throughout modern history? I have always been curious about how most men want to defend their mothers to the death but have little respect for women in general even though all women are someone elses mother, sister, wife or daughter…Go figure!

11. Hand

Our most important body part/tool? Thank you thumbs!

12. Hear

Hearing is important for many things we can’t or don’t see… but did we take our eyes for granted? Do we still?

13. Flow

An interesting word to make the list? Unless that was the word for water or all things wet.

14. Old

Is this about having respect for the elderly because they had knowledge or knew how to survive? Or more about expiration dates and usage? Knowing how long something would last or was still good to eat? Or that time was essential and limited for I and Thou from birth to death?

15. This

As in which one is which?

16. That

No not this one! That one is mine!

17. Pull

Pull but not push? Hmmmmmm pushing may have come along after the invention of the wheel? Plus with pull this, or pull that, you could make a joke!

18. Worm

???????? Any thoughts?

19. Ye

This would now be “your” in modern English. This is mine and that is ye!

20. Not

or the other way around! (see 19)

21. We

Hey pal! Now that Thou and I are We…who are those guys??? Ye????

22. Who

Well, Ye isn’t me… so?

23. What

Because when you don’t know what’s goin’ on it’s the most logical question… Huh?

So those are our oldest shared words according to the research and as far back as anyone can remember. What was your first word? I’m sure you can’t remember but someone had to have told you…

A list of Today’s most commonly used words, according to The Oxford University Press, shows that ‘function’ words, like prepositions and connectives (the, to, in, of, and) are more common than ‘content’ words, like  nouns, verbs and adjectives but for comparison here are the most ancient words again and their place among today’s top 100 words.

1.Thou: Now you #18                                                                                                                              2.I: #10                                                                                                                                                     4.Give: #97                                                                                                                                  15.This: #21                                                                                                                                        16.That: #8                                                                                                                                      19.Ye: Now your #64                                                                                                                  20.Not: #13                                                                                                                                    21.We: #27                                                                                                                                  22.Who: #46                                                                                                                              23.What: #40

Mother, Bark, Black, Fire, Ashes, Spit, Man, Hand, Hear, Flow, Old, Pull, and Worm did not make the modern top 100 list although he, his, him, her, she and person did.

Today humans like to communicate as quickly as possible with acronyms like LOL, OMG, BTW and pictographs like smiley faces and egg plants or we like to text with letters instead of full words: u, b, r etc…Who has time or space or the money for words anymore?!

Perhaps someday a great grandchild of ours, after months of listening to their parents conversing with one another from above their basinette, day after day,  week after week, month after month, may look up from his/her crib and out into their brave new world and exclaim…

“WTF?”

I Forgot To Count!

3 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! And thank you for visiting my blog once again this year…that’s if you have been visiting… because I have stopped writing… or at least haven’t written since last June! And so it seems have forgotten my annual New Year’s post…but today I just remembered that I am still alive! (And hopefully you are too 🙂 And so…here it is…

There are 525,600 minutes in a year and in 2012, (when I started blogging) I crossed the 30 million mark in minutes spent on Earth!

…So that means that as of midnight of the 31st of December this year I will arrive at 33,373,440!…(that’s 23,176 days!) but again, who’s counting? Still over 33 million minutes alive!? Is that an accomplishment or just something that breathing and waking up every day took care of for me? And why does it seem to have flown by so quickly…and keep accelerating all the time? Life in the fourth dimension took forever to move through when I was a child…but now it seems like I am definitely on the fast track to old age!

So fast that this year it took me until January 3rd to realize that I missed January 1st!

Anyway, thanks for continuing to slow yourself down every once in a while by taking the time to visit and read my blog…and please keep reading if you will, unless you can thing of a better way to spend your minutes.

In any case, do your best to Spend your time wisely …it may be a crazy and unpredictable world but it still is the only world in town.

I’ll be approaching the 34 million minute threshold at the end of  2019 and I will do my best to keep enjoying every minute of those minutes!

Do your best to enjoy each and every one of your minutes too.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Have I Seen Everything Now?

19 Jun

Image result for gas station deli and grill

The other day I was driving along and passed the Exxon Deli and Grill!…As in the Exxon gas station has a deli and grill attached to it now. Whatever happened to repair shops being attached to gas stations? Now they’re making me a sandwich while pumping my gas?

So if I go in there and ask for a sandwich made just the way I like it, and they ask me what kind of oil I’d like on it, do I ask for 30 weight or 40? And does it matter if I’m buying my sandwich in the Winter or Spring?

What’s on the grill? Alaskan Duck marinated in Exxon Valdez oil spill?

Oh well, at least now I know what the oil companies are doing with my Trump Tax Break. Now that they’ve raised their gas prices all of my tax savings are going straight into their wallets!

So “Fillerup!” And make my grilled salmon to go… with an extra helping of fumes!”

Of course it’s to go. I’m at a freakin’ gas station for cryin’ out loud!!!

 

Put A Stamp On It!

17 Apr

Image result for stamps

Did you ever put a stamp on an envelope and notice that it often says in the upper right hand corner that the Post Office will not deliver your mail without the proper postage attached?

So what’s all the fuss that our President is trying to create by telling us that Amazon is not paying to have its packages delivered? Just how would they get away with that when everyone knows that the Post Office doesn’t carry our letters, packages and mail around for free? Did you ever try to pop something in the mail without postage????

If you’re lucky the Post Office will send it back to you with a note that says (See above)…if not, you’ll just never see your mail again…nor will anyone else…

The Post Office is not funded by American tax dollars and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. And while it is true that the P.O. is suffering from a large amount of debt that’s only because most of the Postal Service’s financial problems have been created by a government mandate that it pay up front for retiree pension and health care expenses. That’s because an act of Congress says that it has to… (private businesses that have retiree benefit obligations are not required to pay those amounts up front.)… And those P.O. obligations for current and past employees stood at $38 billion at the end of its most recent fiscal year.

And that’s why The Postal Service’s debt is so high. It’s a direct result of the Congressional mandate that it must pay for 10 years to pre-fund the retiree healthcare plan and pension fund…not because Amazon is having it’s mail delivered for free.

And yet our President insists on tweeting:

“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!”

Does our President have a clue? He should, because…well…like…He is the President!…Of the United States! And he could ask someone who works in the White House or in his Cabinet or in Congress…or Melania even! I bet she knows or could certainly ask someone for him.

But noooooooooo…instead the President has issued an executive order calling for an investigation into the Postal Service’s finances so that we can spend some real taxpayer’s money trying to once again find out who ate the strawberries when we already know who did it…our own President, Captain Queeg!

Just imagine… 2 and a half more years of having to watch the President of the United States…just mailing it in every day…and without a stamp!?

 

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