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A Scary Time For . . . October 17, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, People.
18 comments

Trump says this is a scary time for American men . . . because just look what’s happened to Bill Cosby, and Harvey Weinstein, and Louis C.K., and all those other powerful men who thought they should be allowed to assault women with impunity just because they’re men.

Trump’s rather lopsided view of the #metoo movement inspired Lynzy Lab Stewart to counter with a song:

Dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter Lynzy Lab Stewart took to social media to share a song titled “A Scary Time” that appears to be written in response to Trump’s assertion. To the tune of a melody plucked out on her ukelele, Lynzy sings about the ways in which the world has always been a dangerous place for a woman, calling out the inherent privilege for men in a patriarchal system.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  Dancer Lynzy Lab Wrote A Song(Time)

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Well That Changes Everything! September 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
16 comments

It’s awesome when gifts reveal that the giver “gets us.”

Especially since, unlike numbers, we don’t always add up.

We are not always easy to figure out.

We are conundrums.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As it turns out, there’s a good reason for our internal inconsistencies.

On the one hand, we are the product of our experiences.

Every moment is a valuable link in an unbroken chain.

From first breath to last.

But . . .

Our memories are unreliable causing those “valuable links” to shift about like Hogwart’s staircases in an Escher print.

The “Real You” is a Myth.

A fabrication.

A self-styled creation.

An imaginary concoction cobbled together from snippets that may or may not be true.

“We constantly create false memories to help us achieve the identity we want.”

In short, we can’t rely on our memories to tell us who we are because the tangled collection of tangential and essential connections and choices that led to THIS door is mired in mystery.

So . . . where does that leave us?

Here.  Now.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  The “Real You” is a Myth (NeuroscienceNews.com)

“Don’t Smell Like Walter” September 22, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Joke, People.
19 comments

Other than a few select shows, BFF and I tend to stick with commercial free public TV.  And not just because we get to avoid commercial commentary and odious and incessant political propaganda (i.e., campaign ads).

We enjoy watching PBS because it offers up interesting fare which is less brain-numbing than prime time TV.

By way of example, we recently caught a 3-part series on the human body ~ How We Grow, How We Protect Ourselves, and How We Think.  In short, we are amazing!  Our ability to preserve homeostasis in the face of temperature changes and microscopic invaders is nothing short of miraculous.

But what about How We Smell?

Receptacles in our nasal passageways capture on-going clues about odors and aromas.  These scents and smells, once captured, signal whether it’s OK to “breathe deep” or scream out “HOLD YOUR NOSE!” (when warranted by disgusting overtones, unpleasant undercurrents, and big stinks).

If something smells really bad, we wave our hands in front of our face to chase the overtones and undercurrents away.

So . . . what does that have to do with Walter?

Well, every once in a while, TV ads add to my day, rather than detracting from it, by making me laugh out loud at the amusing wit and entertaining wisdom of the right writers.

Case in point:  Two women in the produce department at the supermarket.  One young.  One less so.  The younger one reaches for peaches as the older woman sneaks up behind her, breathes deep, and (with a nostalgic sniff) says, “Oh, you smell just like my Walter.”

The younger woman’s smile turns upside down as the voice over says, “Don’t Smell Like Walter.”

Good advice, eh?

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

Well, That’s An Eye Opener! September 19, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Health & Wellness, Less IS More, People.
34 comments

Have you heard that a low dose aspirin regimen may be doing more harm than good?

Three studies released this week in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that, in otherwise healthy individuals over 70, taking a daily low dose aspirin increased the risk of intestinal and intracranial bleeding without offering corresponding cardiovascular benefits:

“The use of low-dose aspirin resulted in a significantly higher risk of major hemorrhage and did not result in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than placebo,” the researchers wrote in one of the papers.

I guess it’s back to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

To read more:  Low-dose aspirin offers no overall benefit for healthy older people

Sperm Banks in the US are not limited to a specific number of “off-spring” per donor.

One donor’s “daughter” has spent the summer tracking down her half siblings . . . around the globe.

She’s wondering when it’s going to end:

Arroyo has mixed feelings. While every visit with her half siblings has been a blast, she finds it “worrying” that sperm banks permit so many children to be born from a single donor.

“Every time I find a new sibling,” she said, “I get anxiety and think to myself: When is it going to end?”

Bottom line ~> You may have more siblings than you realize.

To read more:  44 Siblings And Counting

Back in the early days of television, before the #metoo! movement, Jackie Gleason would shake his fist at his TV wife while saying, “To the moon, Alice. To the moon.”

Alice never viewed his threat as anything other than empty.  It was just a placebo.  A futile gesture to urge compliance with his whims and wiles.  A husband’s attempt to demonstrate that he wore the pants in the family.

Fast forward 50-60 years, and a different image is conjured up . . . maybe he’s really planning to send Alice to the moon!

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon,” said Yusaku Maezawa, founder of ZoZotown, one of Japan’s largest retail websites. “Just staring at the moon filled my imagination. That is why I could not pass up this opportunity to see the moon up close.”

At the same time, he said, “I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself. That would be a little lonely. I don’t like being alone, so I want to share this experiences with as many people as possible. That is why I choose to go to the moon with artists! I choose to invite artists from around the world on my journey.”

Speaking to journalists and SpaceX employees at the rocket company’s Hawthorne, Calif., factory, standing at the base of a Falcon 9 rocket in front of its nine engine nozzles, Maezawa said he is considering who might be invited, but no decisions have been made.

“In 2023 as the host, I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the moon,” he said. “These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth. And these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us.”

Writers are artists, right?  Got any plans for 2023?

Can’t you just hear Gleason, now? . . . “To the moon, Alice.  To the moon.”

To read more:  SpaceX: Japanese billionaire to be first “private passenger” on moon mission

Aah . . . that’s out of this world!

John McCain’s Farewell August 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, People.
16 comments

“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

“Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

“I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

“I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes – liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people – brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

“‘Fellow Americans’ – that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

“We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

“Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

“Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

“Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Devil’s Ticket & Mississippi Mud July 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.
16 comments

A few months ago, I read a book about a fatal hand of Bridge . . . based on a true story of a wife who shot her husband while playing Bridge one night ~> The Devil’s Ticket: A Vengeful Wife, A Fatal Hand, and a New American Age.

On a related note, I thought some of you might get a kick out of this famous trick hand from the days of cardsharps on the Mississippi riverboats:

North

Spades -10 5 4 3 2
Hearts  –
Diamonds – 5 4 3 2
Clubs – 5 4 3 2

West                                                                            East

Spades –                                                                       Spades J 9 8 7 6
Hearts – 8 7 6 5 4 3 2                                                   Hearts –
Diamonds – A K Q J 10 9                                               Diamonds – 8 7 6
Clubs –                                                                         Clubs – 10 9 8 7 6

South

Spades – A K Q
Hearts – A K Q J 10 9
Diamonds –
Clubs – A K Q 3

A Diamond lead from West to Dummy/ North holds South to six tricks at a 4H contract.

A 4S bid only makes 3 tricks.
While 5C bid mades 4 tricks.

How would South make out in No Trump?

Bridge hands can be as deceiving as Mississippi Mud.
And some are even fatal!

Maybe I should stick with dominoes.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream July 9, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, People, Word Play.
22 comments

“Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.”

~ William C. Dement

That’ll give you something to ponder as you nod off tonight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Memorable Milestones June 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Nature, People, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

In the past few weeks, we’ve attended a 100th birthday party for a Centenarian and a 60th Anniversary celebration.

You heard me ~> 100!

Jack lived in Princeton before moving to FL.  He lives at the end of our street and is rather amazing ~> still driving, lives alone, dresses with care, has a cocktail every evening, and . . . he’s capable of carrying on a conversation with all his marbles firmly in place.

May we all be so lucky!

At the anniversary celebration, guests (including Betty & Eileen ~ our “roommates” during Hurricane Irma) were given centerpieces to take home.

Sweet!

Aah . . . that’s better!

To Wax . . . Or Not To Wax? June 14, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
33 comments

I just read a fascinating article on body hair . . .

And how we are doing more and more to have less and less.

But the article addresses the larger issue of how we conform to the norm even when what is considered “normal” is not:

That we have to do more work to create “normalcy” or “nature” is obvious. If we are to banish hair from our bodies, we need more shaving, plucking, waxing and lasering. (Meanwhile, when it comes to our heads, our hair must be abundant, and we dye, style, weave, extend and implant in our quest for luscious locks.) This level of “de-fluffing” is demanding, constant, repeated almost daily. Yet that it is demanding — and just how demanding it is — is little recognized. Instead, it is normalized.

As the hairless body becomes the only acceptable body, a dramatic shift happens. De-fluffing stops being a beauty practice, and becomes redefined as a hygiene practice, as part of so-called “routine” maintenance. Hair removal becomes something we have to do, a requirement. It is not an option to refuse — like teeth-cleaning, but without any of the health benefits. Beauty practices are indulgent and optional; hygiene practices are necessary and required. You don’t have to do a beauty practice; you do have to do something that is required to meet minimum standards, just to be normal. Once the shift to routine is complete, the fact that this is a demanding beauty practice becomes invisible.

To read more:  Body Hair is Natural.  Society Thinking Otherwise is Dangerous.

To conform to the norm, or not?  THAT is the question!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Why Childhood Memories Are MIA June 7, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
29 comments

Researchers are beginning to understand why few of our childhood memories survive the passage into adulthood.

As children, we are able to make memories, but the circuitry of our brain continues to undergo construction through our teens . . . writing over some memories and erasing the circuitry needed to access other memories.

In short, we need to forget in order to grow.

To read more:  This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went

And: Why You Can’t Remember Being A Baby

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“Perhaps the biggest mystery is not why we can’t remember our childhood – but whether we can believe any of our memories at all.”

Aah . . . that’s better!