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Showing posts from February, 2016

Addicted to Guns & Violence: America Needs An Intervention

Addiction isn't about substance - you aren't addicted to the substance, you are addicted to the alteration of mood that the substance brings. -Susan Cheever

Guns, rights and regulations. A toxic threesome. With the possible exception of abortion, nothing in the US of A inflames the passions as much as the debate over guns and whether or not they ought to be controlled. Personally, it's always been difficult to understand the level of attachment many gun owners display for their weapons. I could never comprehend the manic resistance expressed whenever the subject of gun control would arise - that is, until I viewed it through the eyes of a recovering alcoholic.

The panic that can be seen in those who fear the loss of their weapon is like that of an addict who fears being deprived of his drug. Addicts will kick and scream, and do whatever it takes to protect their addiction. We will sacrifice all if need be, including our jobs, our families, our freedom, our sanity, and even …

My Run-In With The Law (of Attraction)

The law of attraction is the name given to the belief that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. This belief is based upon the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from "pure energy", and the belief that like energy attracts like energy. - From Wikipedia 

Man those roots were deep! The bushes had probably been there since the house was built, and they weren't interested in leaving. Besides being deep, they were a tangled mess, winding around each other like snakes in a pit. But the bushes were looking tired now, and were out of date as landscape elements. So my wife and I decided to remove them. It would open up the front of the house, and we could put in a little terraced flower garden for a nice contemporary touch.

So one pleasant spring Saturday morning, I embarked, shovel in hand, on what I hoped would be an easy job of extracting some old, weak, decomposing…

A Warning From Easter Island

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), is the Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, most famous for its 887 giant carved stone statues (Maoi). What many don't know is that the now desolate island was once a verdant paradise with a thriving culture.

Understanding what happened there, and why, should sound a loud alarm to all the other cultures now on a similar cataclysmic path.

The rise and fall of Easter Island can be seen as a microcosm, demonstrating the potential disastrous result that overpopulation, deforestation, and depletion of natural resources could have on a global scale. Cultural and environmental exploitation led to the demise of a vibrant society, which was technically sophisticated enough to carve, move, and erect the giant stone monuments, using a method that remains a mystery to this day.

In his best-selling book, Collapse, Jared Diamond cites Easter Island as the "clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by over-exploiting its own resources.&qu…

How Long Does It Take to Make A Trillion?

If you're mathematically challenged like me, you need help relating to numbers followed by lots of zero's. I understand the hundreds and thousands well enough, and can even comprehend millions - at least in the abstract. But for anything beyond that, you might as well be speaking Abyssinian.

So in order to get some sort of intelligible context for the incomprehensible, I devised a thought experiment (just like Einstein!) in which I have a printing press that produces dollar bills (legally of course) at the rate of one per second. Furthermore, the machine can run non-stop, 24/7 - forever. The results of the experiment are as follows:
It took 12 days to print $1,000,000 (one million). Actually it was slightly less, but I rounded up (I love math talk).At this rate we can print nearly $32 million in 1 year. Cool. I could live on that.  Getting from $1,000,000 (one million) to $1,000,000,000 (one billion) takes a bit longer than expected. Hint - We're no longer talking about day…

Donald Trump And The Forbidden Planet

Watching the new Donald Trump reality show has brought to mind one of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies. With a little impish imagination, I can see the drama being played out between Trump and the Republican Party having a curious similarity to the movie plot.

Here's a quick synopsis of Forbidden Planet, the classic from 1956:

In the 23rd century an expedition from earth travels to a distant planet to learn what became of a previous expedition. They find a survivor, a scientist and who tells them about a highly evolved race (the Krell) which once inhabited the planet, but had mysteriously disappeared. They learn of an enormous atomic powered machine built by the Krell and capable of materializing anything imagined. Thus, it is possible to form and project matter with the power of thought.

But there's a problem (no doubt). While projections could result from thoughts in the conscious mind, the same could be spawned by the unconscious mind. While the Krell built a culture wh…