14 Oct 2017 Red Dress (dream and symbolism)

Hello, it’s Saturday morning here.  Had a dream that was so vivid it woke me up.  Once I’m up, it’s often hard to get right back to sleep lol!

So the dream…

I dreamt I was some sort of escort or something and that I saw a client. Sorry, no graphic details, just remember I was in a bathtub of hot water. Afterwards a man, who looked much like a young Malcom McDowell, asked me, “How did it go? You know the red dress? Must have! Once they get to you, they never let you go.” Sitting beside and behind him was a very tired looking David Bowie who kind of looked like he did when he was in the Hunger (John Blaylock – before the aging happened). I woke up hearing the song “Underground” by David Bowie in my head.

Source Internet: David Bowie’s character John Blaylock from the movie The Hunger having trouble getting and staying asleep

David Bowie – Underground

Underground

David Bowie

No one can blame you for walking away But too much rejection, uh-huh No love injection, nothing

Life can be easy It’s not always swell Don’t tell me truth hurts, little girl ‘Cause it hurts like hell

But down in the underground You’ll find someone true Down in the underground A land serene, a crystal moon

A-ha

It’s only forever Not long at all Lost and lonely That’s underground, underground

Daddy, daddy, get me out of here (heard about a place today) Ha, ha, I’m underground (nothing ever hurts again) (Nothing ever hurts again) well, I found a place (Daddy, get me out of here) nothing ever hurts again (Hoping for the underground) down and down and get me out of here (Hoping for the underground) ha, ha, I’m underground (Get me underground) sister, sister, please take me down Ha, ha, I’m underground (gotta get me out of here) Daddy, daddy get me out

No one can blame you for walking away But too much rejection, uh-huh No love injection, nothing

But down in the underground You’ll find someone true Down in the underground A land serene, a crystal moon

A-ha

It’s only It’s only forever It’s not long at all They’re lost and they’re lonely That’s underground, underground

Daddy, daddy get me out Heard about a place today (heard about a place today) Nothing ever hurts again (nothing ever hurts again) Daddy, daddy get me out of here (daddy, get me out of here) Ha, ha, underground (hoping for the underground) Sister, sister, please (hoping for the underground) Ha, ha, I’m underground (get me underground) Daddy, daddy, get me out

Under, under Under, underground Underground Under, underground Under, underground Under, underground Wanna live underground Wanna live underground Daddy, daddy, get me out of here Ha, ha, underground Sister, sister, please take me out of here Ha, ha, I’m underground Ha, ha, I’m underground Ha, ha, underground Daddy, daddy, please Daddy, daddy, please Wanna move underground Wanna move underground Sister, sister, take me too Sister, sister, take me too

Songwriters: DAVID ROBERT JONES

© SPIRIT TWO MUSIC

For non-commercial use only.

Data from: LyricFind

Now when I was examining this vivid dream, I thought the red dress symbolized being alive, having your skin. When I did a search on the symbolism of the red dress….well it got weird. I know the lady in the red dress was used as a symbol of distraction in the movie The Matrix, I’ve referenced it here before. Apparently there is a theory regarding the infamous Illuminati, New World Order, even the Whore of Babylon and this lady in the red dress!

Source Internet – Lady in the Red Dress distracting Neo in the Matrix

I am thinking this might have been triggered, the last waking key to unlock this dream, was ironically something I recently watching for a couple episodes of The Living and The Dead BBC show. In episode 4, we are introduced to school teacher, Martha Enderby. The episode opens to her being a woman in a red dress, lost in the woods looking for her friend Alice. What came to my mind, was this was symbolic to the story of Alice in Wonderland for some reason. Alice, instead of being a the girl in the story of Alice in Wonderland, was more like the White Rabbit.

Source: Internet
This is opening scene of episode 4, The Living the Dead, Martha Enderby.

It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the conjecture, rumors and even conspiracy theories about the red dress and it’s symbolic meaning in Hollywood might be somewhat true. It certainly does seem, from what I’ve seen through the years, you literally have to sell your soul for your big screen and or recorded immortality. This is a link and an excerpt from one of the more tame posts I found about the subject if your curious.

https://thetalkingpot.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/symbolism-of-the-woman-in-red/

Symbolism of the Woman in Red

Posted on August 19, 2013 by angelishka

(excerpt)

‘The woman in red’ is merely the symbolism; an occult symbolism used by the entertainment industry and the media. The woman in red means something different for each person. It could be a drug, an addiction, a dream, money, desire for something forbidden… some sort of worldly trap that can be placed in front of you, designed to derail you from the path of righteousness.

Is the “Whore of Babylon” symbolic for Hollywood and other things of the highly distracting nature in our world? I wonder!  Right now, if this is true, that old whore Hollywood is getting quite an upturning! 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+17&version=NIV

Revelation 17New International Version (NIV)

Babylon, the Prostitute on the Beast

17 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”

3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:

babylon the great

the mother of prostitutes

and of the abominations of the earth.

6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

I recently bought the song Hearts Filthy Lesson from the Outside album by David Bowie……yep…been speaking to me. 

 

 

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11 Oct 2017 Today’s Youth are Depressed, Here’s Why (Thoughty2, You tube), THIS is Why The Sumerians are NOT Taught in School – Sumerian Tablets – Lost Ancient Civilization (Bright Insight, You tube) and Evening Star (Poem by Edgar Allen Poe)

Hello to you.  It’s 9:28 pm on this Wednesday evening.  How are you?  I’m doing better after Kyle and I were able to talk with our neighbor about the fence, dog and poop situation this evening.  Sounds like chicken wire will be the solution until we can all afford to replace the fence entirely.  Works for me!  It made me feel better to be able to apologize for the outburst this morning and get things sorted out.  All he heard was yelling and wasn’t sure what was going on.  It had been bugging me all day!  I don’t like being mad at people or having unresolved conflict with people.

So this evening Kyle and I were able to squeeze in part of another episode of the Living and Dead BBC One program…make it last as long as we can lol.  We also did our You tube channels scan for stuff to watch and came across this very insightful video from the Thoughty2 channel about why the youth of today are having so much trouble with depression.  It ties in nicely to the links I shared on my previous post today about Smartphones and their effect on young people’s mental health/self esteem and suicide related issues.   This video addresses a lot of things people may have not considered when making harsh judgements about young people of the past couple of generations.

Today’s Youth Are Depressed, Here’s Why…

Thoughty2

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – Are You Lost In The World Like Me? (Official Video) – this little film sums it all up so well….so sad but true.

This is a video I saw yesterday that was very interesting to me too.  It inspired the chalk drawing I did of the Sumerian and the Reaper.  I have found the story of the Sumerians quite fascinating and kind of crossed paths with some of their history, specifically their language of the cuneiform, when I was trying to get some closure on the character Vanessa Ives from the show Penny Dreadful: https://saymber.com/2016/09/20/20-sept-2016-vanessa-ives-of-penny-dreadful-and-lilith-cuneiform-sumerian-language-finding-mementos-of-your-past-revisiting-harsh-lessons-of-farm-life-and-death-as-a-city-girl/

THIS is Why The Sumerians are NOT Taught in School – Sumerian Tablets – Lost Ancient Civilization

Bright Insight

Published on Oct 5, 2017

How is it possible that the Sumerian’s ONLY get 1-3 Sentences in the Textbooks? The world’s FIRST human civilization that dates back 6,000 years, that created our modern system of time, the calendar, writing, agriculture, and everything else is not required learning in school. This video outlines what the Sumerian tablets/records.

Here to close…this beautiful poem by Edgar Allen Poe that I have never read before:

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/evening-star/

Evening Star – Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

‘Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold- too cold for me-
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.

Sending hugs, love, hope and all the good I can muster through the wires to you…..please do pass it along 🙂 

6 Oct 2017 Chalk drawings today and sleep (the effect of smartphones and even sleep trackers)

I hope this finds you well and that you have a wonderful RESTFUL weekend!

29 Sept 2017 The Echo Chamber Society has become and the human need to be “right”

Hello again. This morning I made a comment on a blog I just started reading, Light Circle, a two-time immigrant’s blog about her living as such a person in modern Germany (http://alightcircle.com/2017/09/29/of-blood-and-air-homelands-lost-and-made/).  It’s turning out to be what it’s like for many immigrants trying to make a life in America! Not easy by any stretch! I expressed in my comment that while I agreed with what she had written, the message was most likely going fall into, like much of what I write or share, what I call an echo chamber.  I feel like the internet and most everything people engage in conversation on has become an echo chamber….an abyss.   Many of us talking, few of us actually paying attention to what anyone says that doesn’t match our own view of about anything these days.

What is the official definition of an echo chamber?

ech·o cham·ber

ˈekō ˌCHāmbər/

noun

noun: echo chamber; plural noun: echo chambers

an enclosed space for producing reverberation of sound.

Source Internet: very good, if you can make it out, diagram of what is going on with the echo chamber concept.

I explained that what I meant by that is people like to read what solidifies and or validates their current position on most everything and seldom, if ever, deviate from it. Kind of like most social media and chat rooms of old. A lot of people trying to be heard but few if anybody actually listening!

So what happens is people who have a certain position on something will write a blog or some other form of media and the people who will most likely view and or read it already agree with the sharer’s position and or intent….they agree. The people who don’t will, like I’m guilty of doing, look at the title and briefly skim the subject matter and if it doesn’t validate or solidify my existing position, will get pissed and dismiss it altogether! I try to force myself to look at and or read opposite positions on things, but more times than not I get so mad I can’t get beyond my anger to objectively reason with what I’m reading or looking at!

For example, lately I will see a picture of our President’s face and or a member of his supporting cabinet or just our Government in general, and before I even start reading get so mad I don’t even finish the rest of the article! Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t a useful technique being employed for just such a reaction!

So what am I missing by doing that?! Did I miss something positive and good being so blinded by my feelings and preconceived notions about him? From my past experiences of not doing this, most times the answer is no. Still, I am being a hypocrite doing this and behaving this way.

For example, this morning I forced myself to get beyond my feelings about him and was rewarded! I found out he did something positive for a change! He actually decided to help the people struggling in Puerto Rico by waiving the Jones Act so supplies can flow more freely to the territory now.

From everything I’ve read about this behavior, condition, activity….it’s part of the human condition to find strength in numbers. It’s natural for us to congregate together with like-minded people so we feel better about ourselves….get to be “right” about something.

Yes, being “right” is so important to so many people. I’ve struggled with this sometimes crippling condition for most of my life….having the last word….the final say about some argument, position or debate. Like a dog with a bone not willing to just let the other dog take the fucking bone and get on with my life. I see this all around me…it’s not just me that suffers from this inability to just drop the fucking bone and walk away.

No! That would mean failure, defeat, surrender, becoming irrelevant or worthless, admission of being wrong…..being weak…giving up even. God forbid we should do that!

This is what I see going on in the older generations and mine right now. People with money and fear to burn ruling the day, like they have always done, and dragging the newer generations kicking and screaming back to the “good old days” that never were. The only saving grace about what’s happening? We have technology and the internet so at least what they are doing is broadcast and can be recorded everywhere!

Looking back through time, good old days are a great fiction written by the same people who are responsible for the text books of sanitized history our school kids are reading. History is written by the “winners” not the survivors. I’m a survivor of current history and in a couple of generations, after I’m dead and Kyle is gone, my mostly cursive written journals, my art and most everything I’ve created in this lifetime will most likely end up in the local landfill or burning barrel somewhere…like I was never here.

I encouraged this blogger to continue writing, even if she ends up being the only person who reads what she writes. May be someday the internet God we are collectively creating (A sort of Omnibus like in the Dune series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune:_The_Machine_Crusade)  will use her words, mine and those of the countless other canaries singing in the coal mines around the world to fix this mess we’ve made!

After all the internet hears everything….even if it’s in 7 billion plus echo chambers!

 

 

 

28 Sept 2017 It is about race or Russian trolls?! (the NFL kneeler debate continues)

Hello to you today.  It’s 8:32 am as I write to you.  I hope you will bear with me on my subject choice again today.  After seeing Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died (RIP Hugh!),  I saw the headline about Russian hacker trolls behind the NFL Kneeler debate and felt myself get so frustrated!  What you have here as a final product is definitely not what I started off with…far fewer expletives in my narrative here lol!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/lawmaker-russian-trolls-trying-to-sow-discord-in-nfl-kneeling-debate/2017/09/27/5f46dce0-a3b0-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.72996fda22d6

Lawmaker: Russian trolls trying to sow discord in NFL kneeling debate

“Russian Internet trolls are trying to gin up even more controversy over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, a senator said Wednesday — warning that the United States should expect such divisive efforts to escalate in the next election.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) made the assertion in a hearing with the heads of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center.”

This new headline feels like an attempt  to try and bury more of the embarrassing things going on in this country.  All of what is so eagerly being dismissed to Russian hacker trolls was here well before we even had the first computer!  Many Americans, who aren’t out burning football jersey’s on You tube, are really embarrassed about the direction this country is being steered into….back to.

 

Newspaper clipping about Grandpa Harold Becker and voter registration in Mississippi

 

As a prior Air Force Veteran of 16 years, someone who had a Grandfather who risked his life to help minorities register to vote and someone who has always cared about all people, I realize this whole thing goes way deeper than about a flag or a song.  Yes it’s not just about race and probably a lot about how unhappy many people are with President Trump and our government, but it is still about race and so much more shitty stuff going on in this country!

My SrA Below the Zone picture, United States Air Force

A segment of this debate, many of them living Veterans like myself,  want to say that these players kneeling during the National Anthem is offensive and disrespectful to our flag, our fellow Veterans and our country.  I would like to remind these offended folks that many of the people buried in Arlington National Cemetery and so many other graveyards like it all over the world are filled with people who died in combat believing at some point we wouldn’t even be having these sort of debates!  They died hoping we would finally have peace on this earth!  For the love of God, WHY CAN’T WE GET PAST THIS SHIT?!    Can we please evolve?!

*Does a Capt Jean Luc Picard Manuever and adjusts shirt……..

I saw this mentioned in a video recently – Capt Picard was always adjusting his shirt just before some shit was about to go down lol!

I am reminded, and it is easy to forget, that my fellow Veterans did not die to free anyone from the sting of condemnation or ridicule for exercising all the rights we have today…seem to have…hope we still have?  Anyhew….I digress.  It’s important to acknowledge to yourself that if you make the choice to kneel in protest, don’t be surprised or too hurt if your jersey goes up in flames on You tube.  If you fly a Confederate flag in your front yard or in the cab of your pickup truck, go right ahead!  Just don’t get butt hurt when your neighbor, who may be black, doesn’t want have coffee with you anymore afterwards.

All of this is cause and effect…..an action causes and opposite reaction – especially in polarizing debates like this one!  When you make a choice in one direction, chances are someone or something will come at you with one from the opposite direction.

Source Internet: Arlington National Cemetery

You can only offend people who choose to be offended.   

Being offended is a choice you  make anytime you interact with people who are different than you are….that you don’t agree with.  Being the kind of person I am with the kind of upbringing I had and living where I do now….not easy being me (or Kyle who shares a lot of my views on things).   I am originally from Sioux Falls South Dakota,  my family is comprised of conservative, Roman Catholic and or Christian white people who fall also into the Trump demographic.  My Dad, who is about the same age as our President, served in the Navy and is a Trump supporter.  This is hard for me but I have had to learn to accept it.  It’s his right to do and think whatever the hell he wants as long as he doesn’t try and impose it on me and he doesn’t.   We just don’t talk about it!

In my family and with some friends we do a lot of agreeing to disagree to keep the peace between us.   There are many subjects so heated we have decided it’s better if we don’t discuss them at all which is frustrating (mainly for me) but that just the way it is.  My parents are Baby Boomers who came from upbringings where you just don’t talk about politics, religion or other controversial things if it means there will be a fight.  Apparently our President didn’t get that generational memo.

A saying my Mom taught me and I have to remind myself often of it when doing this blog, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t fucking say it! Bite your tongue!”  Sometimes, and my Mom knows this about me, I go for the jugular and say what nobody else will say.  She taught me that too!  She is my sensei for the art of  brutal honesty!

During one of my recent visits with my parents that’s what we discovered about ourselves.   When they did part of their winter birding at our place, I had exclaimed, “Well what can we talk about that we actually agree on?!”  Turns out we could agree on was eating meat lol!  We agreed most anything else (media, religion and especially politics) is just off limits!  So we just duke it out playing cribbage lol!

I have thought recently it would be so cool if we could just get Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jon Un  in a video game simulator and duke it out like they did in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  This way they, and the rest of us, would be so much happier and safer lol!   Imagine what the world could be like if we agreed to settle all our real world differences like that?!  That’s why a lot of gamers  like Player Vs. Player.  You can K.O your opponent over and over but the real person you are fighting with is still left alive to fight another day and no planet is destroyed for it!

6 Jan 2017 – Dad and I playing a hand of cribbage. He beat me but Kyle came back and avenged me lol.

So, yes,  may be we’ll find out it’s true the Russians have exploited yet another weakness in our country (besides knowing we like to elect television celebrities for President) and are using it to their advantage.  That doesn’t change the fact that what these men are kneeling about is still going on in 2017!!!   We still have people donning white hoods and robes for the KKK, we still have people  murdering people who aren’t white and heterosexual and using God’s word to justify it (read about yet another transgender man murdered just yesterday: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joey-steinfeld-transgender-teen_us_59cbd381e4b05063fe0e7183), we still have people worshipping Adolph Hitler and we still have people segregating themselves because of race, color, creed, gender and sexual orientation….America’s got a long ways to go to be even o.k. again trolls or not! 

These videos have some good points on this debate:

 

 

Even if this Russian hacker trolling is really going on, even if Trump is President,  it doesn’t change what all of this is really about:  

http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/the 3rd verse of our country’s national anthem which most,  like me probably until recently didn’t even know existed: 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

and statistics like this – a disproportionate number, based on population, of black people are being killed with lethal force in police involved shootings: 

https://thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/

 

Updated September 25th, 2017

Data as of September 25th, 2017 according to the Washington Post

So far in 2017 (as of Sept 25th), unarmed blacks make up 31% of those that were unarmed and killed by police. However, according to the latest US Census estimates, blacks make up only 13.3% of the population.

In this case, “unarmed” is defined as no weapon of any kind. The good news is that the use of lethal force by police on those that are unarmed seems to be declining. However, blacks remain a disproportionate number of the victims.

 

Data source for figures above: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2017/

When comparing complete data of 2016 to 2015, those that were unarmed (no weapon of any kind) that were killed by police continued to be disproportionally black, relative to the population size. However, the black/white racial discrepancy in the portion of the population compared to the portion of those that were unarmed when killed by police has decreased.

Below is a look at the percentages by race under all conditions (armed with a gun, knife, unarmed, etc.) when police used lethal force comparing 2015 and 2016.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-5-02-57-pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While whites makeup the greatest number and largest percentage of victims of lethal force by the police in the US, it remains important to compare the rates to the distribution in the general population. As is evident in the figure above, there was a slight increase in the percentage of victims of police use of lethal force that were white and slight decrease in the percentage that were black. However, relative to the percentage of the general population, blacks are still over-represented as victims of the police use of lethal force under all conditions (see below). Whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders are under-represented relative to their portion of the general population.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-34-23-pm

 

 

. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The police killing of blacks has been splashed across the headlines for over a year and a half now and for much of the time we lacked data to decipher any trends.

Data is a crucial part of constructing sociological theory and empirical research.

Arguably, it should be a greater part of public debate and a greater influence on public policy decisions. In the last year and a half, the media coverage of, public concern about and social movement mobilization around the police killing of blacks has greatly increased. Several cases received particular media attention, in large part because of either the video coverage of the death (Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, and others) or the subsequent protests (Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Michael Brown in Ferguson).

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 11.56.20 AM

The police seem to be disproportionally using lethal force on Black citizens. The best data available in 2015 and 2016 on this topic was from the Guardian newspaper out of UK. Due to the lack of any other systematic data collection on how many people police kill, the Guardian started a project they call, “The Counted”. Through police reports, their own investigation and readers tips, they have assembled this data and made it publically available. Click here to access the Guardian’s “The Counted” website. On the site, you can also access more news stories about each death and sort the data by state and other characteristics. The Washington Post continues to track this data in 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 11.55.40 AM

When teaching this topic, any topic really, it is important to demonstrate to students how sociological conclusions come to be through empirical data, not the opinion of the professor or the view of select media outlets. Below I have generated several tables and figures analyzing data from “The Counted”. You can also download an Excel file of the data and use it in class. I use it for introductory Excel exercises in my Quantitative Research Methods course. The tables and figures below would also be good for the race section of any Introduction to Sociology course, a social problems course, a criminology class and/or a race and ethnic relations course. I hope you find it useful.

. . .

When police kill a suspect or innocent bystander, does race matter?

Which racial or ethnic group in the US is the most frequent victim of deadly force from law enforcement officers? On the surface, the answer is clear, whites. You can see in the chart below that in 2015, in the US, 578 whites were killed by police. This is nearly double the number of blacks at 301. However, we need to compare these rates to the rates of each group in the general population. Of course (non-Hispanic) whites are the most frequent victims, they are the largest portion of the population – 62.2% in 2014 according to US Census estimates. If we lived in a society where one’s race had no impact, then we would expect to see the portion of each racial/ethnic group killed by police equal to that of the portion in the general population. That is not what is evident from the 2015 data.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.13.21 PM

Whites make up a disproportionally smaller portion of those killed by law enforcement compared to their portion of the general population – 11.3% less. Blacks, on the other hand, make up a disproportionally larger portion of those killed (26.5%) compared to the general population (13.2%) – 13.3% more or double!

Hispanics make up victims of lethal police force at about the same rate as they are in general US population, as do Native Americans. The data distinguish Arab Americans, but the US Census data does not. Asians made up a much lower portion of those killed by police relative to the portion of the general population (2.1% vs. 5.6%).

The same data as the table above is presented in column chart below. Here is visually evident the disproportionally higher percentage of blacks killed by police relative to population.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.16.01 PM

Being a law enforcement officer is a dangerous job. There are certainly times when lethal force by an officer is justified. When a suspect has a firearm, the police and any others in the area are at much greater risk and under most of these conditions it is at least understandable why deadly force is used. The table and chart below show the armed status of the victims in 2015. Just under half, 48.6%, of those killed by police were in possession of a known firearm. Meaning, it was visible during the interaction with the police. Almost a third had something other than a firearm. This included knives, vehicles, non-lethal (BB) guns, etc. However, US police still killed 223 people in 2015 alone that were completely unarmed. That is nearly a fifth of all those killed.

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Most, 95.2%, of those killed by police in 2015 were men. The pie chart below shows that only 4.8% of the victims identified as anything other than male.

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How were people in the US killed by police in 2015? Mostly by gunshots. The table and pie chart below shows that 89.1% of the people killed were killed by the officer(s) using their gun. Tasers, which are designed to be non-lethal, killed 49 people or 4.3% of the total. Forty-one people, or 3.6%, died in custody and 2.9% were struck by a vehicle (intentionally or on accident).

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In 2014, 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot on site by Cleveland police as he played with a toy gun. While the person who called 911 told the dispatcher that the gun was probably fake, she failed to pass that along to the officers. The officers pulled up within feet of Tamir and killed him within seconds. How many others who were in possession of a nonlethal firearm (toy, BB gun, etc.) were killed by police in 2015? Thirty-seven. In the table below we see that blacks were disproportionate victims under these conditions.

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If we just look at those that were unarmed, does the racialized pattern that disadvantages blacks continue? According to the data and shown in the table and chart below, unarmed whites continue to make up a smaller percentage of victims than their portion of the population, while unarmed blacks make up about two and a half times the portion of the unarmed victims compared to their portion of the general population.

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The average age of those killed by law enforcement officers in the US in 2015 under all conditions was 37. The age distribution is surprisingly broad with a range of 6 to 87 years old. Just over 30% of the victims were between the ages of 18 to 29. Another 28% were between the ages of 30 to 39. Nineteen of those killed were minors under the age of 18. Surprisingly, 214 people who were killed by police in the US in 2015 were 50 years old or older! This accounts for nearly a fifth of the victims. The most prevalent age was 24 with 46 victims.

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Through the analysis of this data a pattern emerges. Compared to their portion of the overall population, blacks are disproportionally the victims of lethal force by law enforcement officers, even when they are unarmed. While most of those killed by police were white, the portion of white victims is lower than the portion of whites in the general population, more than 10% lower. The vast majority of those killed by police were men and most died from gunshots. Only about half of the victims were armed with a gun themselves. The victims in 2015 varied widely in age, but most were between 18 and 39 years old. This data further solidifies the concerns and demands of the Black Lives Matters movement; there is a pattern of police using deadly force disproportionally on blacks that needs to be addressed by policy makers and police departments across the nation.

Here is an attempt at documenting all the unarmed people of color killed by police from 1999-2014

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27 Sept 2017 This town needs an Enema….

Hello to you.  It’s 6:45 am as I write this part of my note to you.  I’ve been on here for awhile compiling headlines etc.  It’s therapeutic and gives me a false sense of having some sort of control I type laughing uneasily to myself lol.  What is a word I use a lot when I am feeling the way I am, the all-purpose one….

Episode #12 – Using Proper English – The Many Uses of the F word

Some headlines that caught my eye and I am not happy about most of them…..just scratching the surface.  Yesterday I found myself so angry and bitter….just 9 months and all of “this.”  I know and love so many people who don’t see anything wrong with what is happening and I wonder almost daily why I am the one with labels, in therapy and taking medication!

This town needs an enema…….take it away Ben and Jimmy…….

Mad Lib Theater with Benedict Cumberbatch

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-battered-puerto-rico-governor-warns-of-a-humanitarian-crisis/ar-AAssMWv?OCID=ansmsnnews11

I hope these folks get relief soon.  It sounds like our government is trying to do something but in some ways it seems like they are being treated much differently than Texas or Florida.   

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/interior-secretary-ryan-zinke-fracking-is-proof-gods-got-a-good-sense-of-humor-and-he-loves-us/article/2635573 

It is disturbing to me that our Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke presumes to think evidence of God’s sense of humor is the highly destructive HUMAN activity of fracking….does he even know what fracking is?!  I think his God has a seriously fucked up sense of  humor if fracking is funny.  Ask the people who are losing their drinking water and their homes if fracking is funny!  As a homeowner who in both those categories, fracking is not a joke!  Facepalm! 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/politics/health-care-republican-senate-vote/

“In the end, three Republicans had publicly opposed the bill: Sens. John McCain, Susan Collins and Rand Paul. ” — THANK YOU!!!

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/09/26/coffee-sold-in-california-could-carry-cancer-warning-labels.html

https://dailycoffeenews.com/2013/11/15/acrylamide-in-coffee-what-roasters-should-know/

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a consumer warning on acrylamide, a naturally a chemical found in cooked foods — including coffee — that is known to cause cancer in animals.”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/head-of-drug-enforcement-administration-to-leave-alluding-to-dismay-over-trump/ar-AAsvc2E?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Another conscientious objector…….it’s starting to feel very “1984” around here — has anyone else noticed how inundated the headlines are with news and pictures of the President?  I’m surprised someone hasn’t posted a picture of him on the toilet Tweeting some random bullshit yet. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/saudi-king-issues-decree-allowing-women-to-drive-state-media/ar-AAsuWkC?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Yes, a positive headline that I hope truly manifests.  You go Saudi King Salman!

I am ashamed (something actually worth being ashamed of) as a lifelong American citizen to just have recently found out there are two more verses to my countries national anthem and after learning what they are, can see why NFL players and their owners are taking a knee at games now:

http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/

The Forgotten Verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of this song, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear?

In 1814, the poet and lyricist Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” originally known as “Defense of Fort M’Henry.” During the War of 1812, Key witnessed the attacks on Baltimore and wrote the words based on his experiences this night. These lyrics were printed in local newspapers and set to the tune of an existing song called “Anacreon in Heaven,” and then officially arranged by John Philip Sousa. Key’s famous lyrics entered the world as a broadside ballad, or a song written on a topical subject, and printed for wide distribution.

More than a century later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order designating “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, and in 1931, the US Congress confirmed the decision. The tune has kicked off ceremonies of national importance and athletic events ever since.

While the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is widely known by the American public, the last three verses are generally omitted in performances. Here are all the four verses, as they were written 200 years ago by Key:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream, ’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I was curious, following this professional sports line about the statistics regarding getting into the ranks of professional sports and as I suspected….many are drafted but only a few remain.   Young people honestly need to know these odds before putting all their hopes and dreams into such a course:

http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/estimated-probability-competing-professional-athletics

Estimated probability of competing in professional athletics

More than 480,000 compete as NCAA athletes, and just a select few within each sport move on to compete at the professional or Olympic level.

The table presents of how many NCAA athletes move on to professional careers in sports like basketball, football, baseball and ice hockey.  Professional opportunities are extremely limited and the likelihood of a high school or even college athlete becoming a professional athlete is very low.

In contrast, the likelihood of an NCAA athlete earning a college degree is significantly greater; graduation success rates are 86% in Division I, 71% in Division II and 87% in Division III.

Download the 2017 Probablility of Competing Beyond High School Figures and Methodology

NCAA Participants Approximate # Draft Eligible # Draft Picks # NCAA Drafted % NCAA to Major Pro* % NCAA to Total Pro^
Baseball 34,554 7,679 1,206 695 9.1%
M Basketball 18,684 4,152 60 44 1.1% 19.1%
W Basketball 16,593 3,687 36 35 0.9% 4.9%
Football 73,660 16,369 253 251 1.5% 1.9%
M Ice Hockey 4,102 912 211 51 5.6%
M Soccer 24,803 5,512 81 75 1.4%

Percent NCAA to Major Pro figures are based on the number of draft picks made in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL and MLS drafts only.  See methods notes for important details on the definition of NHL draftee in men’s ice hockey.  Column percentages were calculated as (#NCAA Drafted) / (Approximate # Draft Eligible).

Percent NCAA to Total Pro takes the number of pro opportunities from the “% NCAA to Major Pro” calculation and adds in some additional professional opportunities that we were able to quantify.  So, for football, this calculation includes NFL, Canadian Football League and Arena League slots available to first-year professionals.  For men’s basketball we accounted for NBA, NBA D-League and international opportunities.  For women’s basketball, we assessed WNBA and international roster slots.  See methods notes for details on these calculations.  Data on full-time international professional opportunities available in baseball, men’s ice hockey and men’s soccer were not analyzed here.

Methodology and Notes

General

  • College participation numbers are from the NCAA’s 2015-16 Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report.  These college numbers account for participation in college athletics at NCAA-member schools only.
  • To estimate the number of NCAA student-athletes in a sport eligible for a particular year’s professional draft, the total number of NCAA student-athlete participants in the sport was divided by 4.5.  This figure was used to provide a general estimate of the number of student-athletes in a draft cohort (single draft class) in a given year, accounting for redshirting, degree completion delays due to transfer, etc. that extend the average time to graduation to just beyond four year in all sports.  In other words, we observe a year-to-year departure rate (whether due to graduation, dropout or departure for a professional sports opportunity) of just below one-quarter of the total number of student-athletes in each sport.  Because the sports examined (M/W basketball, football, baseball, men’s ice hockey and men’s soccer) have dramatically different rules for draft eligibility, these calculations should be treated as estimates only.
  • Data on available professional opportunities are described below for each sport.

Baseball

  • MLB draft data from 2016.  There were 1,206 draft picks in that year; 695 of those picked were from NCAA schools (source: MLB Draft Tracker 2016).  Of the 695, Division I student-athletes comprised 595 of those chosen, Division II provided 80 and Division III had 20.
  • Percent NCAA to Pro calculated as number of NCAA student-athletes taken in the draft (n=695) divided by the approximate number draft eligible.  Not all of the student-athletes drafted go on to play professional baseball and many draftees fail to reach the Major League.

Men’s Basketball

  • NBA draft data from 2016.  There were 60 draft slots in that year, but only 44 went to NCAA players (others chosen were international players not attending U.S. colleges).  Percentage NCAA to Major Pro calculated using the 44 NCAA selections. Since 2006, 12 international players have been drafted on average each year.
  • On 2016-17 opening day NBA rosters, former NCAA players filled 80% of roster spots (all were from Division I schools).  (Source: Jim Sukup, College Basketball News).
  • Data on other professional opportunities in men’s basketball were collected by NCAA staff with the assistance of Marek Wojtera from eurobasket.com.  Tracking 2016-17 international opportunities for the 2016 draft cohort, it was determined that an additional 751 former NCAA student-athletes played internationally, in the NBA D-League, or in the NBA as undrafted players (535 from Division I, 181 from Division II and 35 from Division III) after leaving college; this includes international players who attended NCAA institutions (previous versions of this document did not include these players).  These numbers were combined with the NBA draftees to calculate an approximate NCAA to Total Professional opportunities figure (calculated as [44 + 751] / 4,152 = 19%).
  • We estimate that 3.6% of draft-eligible Division I players were chosen in the 2016 NBA draft (44 / 1,216).  However, in total, 48% of draft-eligible Division I players competed professionally (NBA, D-League, or internationally) in their first year after leaving college (calculated as [44 + 535] / 1,216). Approximately 14% of draft-eligible players from the five Division I conferences with autonomous governance (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) were drafted by the NBA in 2016 (32 / 225), while 74% played professionally somewhere in their first year post-college (calculated as [32 + 134] / 225).

Women’s Basketball

  • WNBA draft data from 2016. There were 36 draft slots in that year’s draft, 35 of which went to NCAA players (other selection was an international player not attending a U.S. college).  All 35 NCAA selections came from Division I colleges. Percentage NCAA to Major Pro calculated using the 35 NCAA selections.
  • Data on international professional opportunities in women’s basketball were collected by NCAA staff with the assistance of Marek Wojtera from eurobasket.com, and are limited to the 2016 draft cohort.  It was determined that an additional 146 former NCAA student-athletes from the cohort played internationally in 2016-17 (131 from Division I, 14 from Division II and 1 from Division III).  These numbers were combined with the WNBA draftees to calculate an approximate NCAA to Total Professional opportunities figure (calculated as [35 + 146] / 3,687 = 4.9%).
  • We estimate that 3.2% of draft-eligible Division I players were chosen in the 2016 WNBA draft (35 / 1,110).  However, in total, 15% of draft-eligible Division I players competed professionally (WNBA or internationally) in their first year after leaving college (calculated as [35 + 131] / 1,110). Approximately 12% of draft-eligible players from the five Division I conferences with autonomous governance (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) were drafted by the WNBA in 2015 (24 / 203), while 28% played professionally somewhere in their first year post-college (calculated as [24 + 33] / 203).

Football

  • NFL draft data from 2016.  There were 253 draft picks in that year’s draft, 251 of whom were former NCAA players.  NCAA to Major Pro figure calculated using these data.
  • NCAA divisional breakdown of the 251 NCAA players selected in the 2016 NFL draft: Division I FBS (228), Division I FCS (20), Division II (3).  The five football conferences with autonomous governance accounted for 189 of the 251 NCAA draft picks (SEC=51, Big Ten=47, ACC=33 [includes Notre Dame], Pac-12=32, Big 12=26).
  • Data on Arena League and Canadian Football League opportunities were collected by NCAA staff via rosters on each organization’s website (sources: cfl.ca and arenafootball.com) in March 2017.  Due to the timing of each league’s season, the 2015 draft cohort was used to estimate unique playing opportunities in the Arena League, while the 2016 draft cohort was used to track CFL rookies. It was determined that an additional 57 former NCAA student-athletes from those draft cohorts were listed on a roster (28 in the CFL, 29 in the Arena League).  Across these two leagues, there were 29 former Division I FBS players, 14 from Division I FCS, 13 from Division II and 1 from Division III.  These numbers were combined with the NFL draftees to calculate an NCAA to Total Professional opportunities proportion (calculated as [251 + 57] /16,369).
  • We estimate that 3.9% of draft-eligible Division I players were chosen in the 2016 NFL draft (248 / 6,307).  Limiting this calculation to subdivision, 6.7% of FBS players were estimated to be drafted (228 / 3,404), as compared to 0.7% of FCS players (20 / 2,902).  Narrowing further to the five Division I conferences with autonomous governance (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC), we estimate that 11% were drafted (189 / 1,747).  Accounting for Arena League and CFL opportunities, the NCAA to Total Professional figures are estimated as 4.6% for Division I ([248 + 43] / 6,307), 7.4% for FBS ([222 + 29] / 3,404) and 12% for the five autonomous conferences ([189+ 19] / 1,747).

Men’s ice hockey

  • NHL draft data from 2015 (source: hockeydb.com).  There were 211 draft picks in that year.  Only 7 players from NCAA rosters were selected in that draft (all from Division I teams).  However, this is not indicative of the likelihood of going from a college team to a professional team due to the nature of the NHL draft, where players are typically selected prior to turning college-aged.
  • In examining the subsequent hockey pathways of 2015 draftees (hockeydb.com), it was determined that 51 of the 211 (source: collegehockeyinc.com) attended an NCAA college for any period of time through February 2017. These numbers, although not fully comparable to those used in the other sports examined, were used to calculate an approximate NCAA to Major Pro percentage.  Note that only a small subset of players drafted ever play in an NHL game.  Undrafted college players may go on to sign contracts with NHL teams after completing college (those numbers are not part of the current NCAA to Major Pro calculation).
  • In 2016, 30% of players on active NHL rosters played college hockey (all in Division I), up from about 20% in the year 2000 (source: collegehockeyinc.com).  71% of former college players in the NHL played at least three college seasons, and 36% played all four. Thanks to Nate Ewell at College Hockey, Inc. for providing these data.

Men’s soccer

  • MLS SuperDraft data from 2016.  There were 81 draft slots in that year, but only 75 players were selected (all from NCAA schools).  Of the 75 picks, 72 were NCAA Division I student-athletes, two were from Division II and one was from Division III.  Percentage NCAA to Major Pro calculated using the 75 NCAA selections. (Source: mlssoccer.com).
  • These calculations do not account for other domestic (e.g., NASL, USL) or international professional soccer opportunities.

Last Updated: March 10, 2017

and finally, this was sobering.  We only have 4 major airline carriers to choose from now?!  So basically we are back to fewer choices but not for a good reason.  It was very disheartening to find out a product brand Tom’s of Maine I bought, thinking it was a small company, is actually owned by Colgate-Palmolive!  You really have to pay attention anymore to not end up buying products and supporting companies you are trying to boycott! 

Tom’s of Maine was founded by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970 with US$5,000. The company is based in Kennebunk, Maine, USA and is currently a division of multinational conglomerate Colgate-Palmolive. Tom’s of Maine has approximately 150 employees.

Tom’s of Maine – Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom’s_of_Maine

Corporate Consolidation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

22 Sept 2017 Revisiting capturing moments with my pets in ink (cartoons)

22 Sept 2017 – Kyle’s FFXIV character Morrigu healing me with the Astrologian class. Isn’t it beautiful?! Like a painting in a fairy wonderland.

Hello to you!  It’s Friday night, 7:56 pm as I write to you.  I decided to flex my rusty cartooning muscles this evening and try to capture something so endearing Link and Spot do almost every time I go to sit down at this computer…..they beg for treats!   It never fails.  They will be nowhere in sight or sleeping and I will go to sit down at the computer and there they are!  They will both start talking and pawing at my legs until I shamble over to the kitchen cupboard and get them a piece of mystery meat *cough TREAT!  Who is the master in our house….not me lol!!!

Anyhew.  I tried to scan this so you could see it better but our scanner is too small and so I took a picture.  I started drawing cartoons like this after our cocker spaniel Sammy died on 27 April 2011 as a way to cope with my nearly soul-crushing grief.  For anyone who has loved and lost a pet, you know how much the loss part hurts!   I have realized recently that may be revisiting this art form would make me happier in these heavy times and in the process may be bring a smile to someone else’s face too.

(These are pictures of the perp’s lool – the first two are what they look like when they beg and it’s nearly impossible to resist them!)

So please forgive the “roughness” of this, I need to get back into practice!  I’ll probably go back to drawing these on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets so they can be scanned and more legible.

22 Sept 2017 Jackie Wygant cartoon Link and Spot begging for treats Alvarado TX

ABSOLUTELY!

21 Sept 2017 Enjoying time together – Slow Down

Hello to you.  It’s 12:17 pm on this…Thursday?!  Is it really Thursday again?!  Where does the time go?!  One place….away lol.  Kyle is going to be starting work again in a couple of days and we are both experiencing that panicky sort of feeling.  It’s the feeling of being excited about his working because we really need the money and the feeling of sadness that we will be apart so much while he is working.  So we are making the best of the time we have, like we try to do every day, before it all starts.  Today it was doing something simple together in FFXIV, fishing!  I have fished in “real life” and a part of me misses that experience but I probably won’t take it up again.   I would say the most beautiful place I ever fished was on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs!

It’s important to take the time, to MAKE the time, for the most important people and beings in your life like for me, Kyle, our Link, Spot and May.  It’s not about doing big and elaborate things together either – just truly “being” together.  It feels like the world has got itself up into such a hurry!  Whenever I think of the world’s pace, I think back to this sad scene from The Shawshank Redemption movie (1994) about the prisoner Brooks who is released from prison as a very elderly man and how hard it is for him to adjust to the fast paced world he is thrust into:

One of the cruelest things I think there is to be born a human is that moment when you find out you aren’t immortal in the physical sense.  I think it’s this “knowing” that pushes people to try and cram as much as they can into whatever time they are allowed….to make their mark in this world.   What are the quality of those experiences?  How meaningful are those moments?  What I’ve learned is rushing through life makes you tired and takes away from the overall enjoyment of experiences.

I would ask you to make the conscious effort to stop and smell the roses…….be mindful of “now.”

You have to stop and smell the roses sometimes!

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/slow-down

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.”
Nanette Mathews

My prayers, as always, go out to all those who are suffering in any way today – especially the recent natural disasters!

17 Sept 2017 First thoughts…the microplastics problem

Hello to you. It’s 6:53 am on this Sunday morning as I begin to write to you. How are you doing? I slept some last night….not a restful sleep though. As I contemplated getting up, some thoughts came to me. I wrote them down and after reading them, I realized they were so negative and nearly apocalyptic in nature I didn’t want to give them complete power by sharing them here!  I hope you will read on and not allow yourself to get depressed about this or just throw up your hands and give up…get informed!

These were the first thoughts…. “Where does it all go? The sweet, the sour, the toxic? The same place…to “her” and back to us.” It got darker from there.

The microplastics problem troubles me because of how difficult of a problem it truly is.   This stuff is in my own household! Plastic to contain water, food, cleaning supplies and just about everything else!  The sobering reality that has hit me is we will all probably become plastic Lego pieces before we can solve this problem! Even if the world did a global moratorium on the production of any more plastic or we did a better job of recycling it, I don’t think it’s really going to matter…..it’s here to stay.  Even if it gets cleaned off of beaches and strained out of waterways, it’s got to go somewhere after it’s collected!  Chances are, what has been collected will eventually end up right back in the water, soil, air or all three!

Here’s an ironic  personal story for you about this.  What did I recently use to collect plastic bottles I found near a fishing spot down the street?  A plastic bag I found near the plastic bottles!  I put it all in our recycling bin but now I’m questioning if all I did was just relocate a problem!

http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-microfibers/good summary of just part of this tangible micro-particles problem.  Very short video, less than 3 minutes so I hope you’ll watch it.  I love these folks way of simplifying very complicated environmental issues. 

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/04/24/designing-for-the-circular-economy/ – What do you do with a toaster when you no longer want it? Until recently, no one thought about that question until the toaster was ready for the scrap heap. Today, designers at the London-based Agency of Design are turning that practice on its head. As advocates of a circular economy, they believe that the best time to address end-of-life issues is when a product is first being designed and that items like your toaster should be thought of not as a disposable appliances but as products with value worth preserving. Read on to learn how these designers helping to keep products out of landfills even before they fly off the shelves

So naturally my mind started grasping for some positive spin….a way out. Sadly the best there was for me was thinking about Creation itself. These thoughts came: “Creation means vision beyond short-term gain…profit.  The true “cost” and resulting evidence of most human creation now litters our homes, our businesses, our streets, our fields, our waterways, the skies and the bellies of our children.”

My thoughts then turned to a creator with the gift of being able to work through the entire life-span of a creation in his mind before even putting a pencil to paper, Nikola Tesla. There are inventions he put through his mental process that never made it to reality because he knew if they, did they could cause harm. It is so important when creating things, and I have to do better with this too, “Think it all the way through or don’t bother to make it at all. ” 

Anyhew….if your interested this is a great read about his mental processes for creation:

29 March 2017 – Kyle could tell who this was from a distance! I drew this strictly from memory – Nikola Tesla

https://teslauniverse.com/ – fantastic resource for information about Nikola Tesla

https://teslauniverse.com/nikola-tesla/articles/miracle-mind-nikola-tesla

Fate

July, 1949

Page numbers: 52-56

Type: Magazine

The Miracle Mind of Nikola Tesla

by J. Harold Byers

Nikola Tesla needed no model to test his inventions; they appeared before his eyes as functioning realities that he could stop and start as though they were really there.

Contemporary with Edison was another inventor, not so well known, but of the two the more spectacular. This was Nikola Tesla whose life and works have been enthrallingly described by John J. O’Neill in his book The Prodigal Genius:

“He was aware as a boy that he was not like other boys in his thoughts, in his amusements and in his hobbies. He could do the things that other lads his age usually do, and many things that they could not do. It was these latter things that interested him most, and he could find no companions who would share his enthusiasms for them. This situation caused him to isolate himself from contemporaries, and made him aware that he was destined for an unusual place if not great accomplishments in life.

” … practically all his life he experienced a peculiar reaction when breathing deeply. When he breathed deeply he was overcome by a feeling of lightness, as if his body had lost all weight; and he should, he concluded, be able to fly through the air merely by his will to do so. He did not learn, in boyhood, that he was unusual in this respect.

“A strange power permitted him to perform unusual feats in mathematics. He possessed it from early boyhood, but had considered it a nuisance and tried to be rid of it because it seemed beyond his control.

“If he thought of an object it would appear before him exhibiting the appearance of solidity and massiveness. So greatly did these visions possess the attributes of actual objects that it was usually difficult for him to distinguish between vision and reality. This abnormal faculty functioned in a very useful fashion in his school work with mathematics.

“If he was given a problem in arithmetic or algebra, it was immaterial to him whether he went to the blackboard to work it out or whether he remained in his seat. His strange faculty permitted him to see a visioned blackboard on which the problem was written, and there appeared on this blackboard all of the operations and symbols required in working out the solution. Each step appeared much more rapidly than he could work it out by hand on the actual slate. As a result, he could give the solution almost as quickly as the whole problem was stated.

“Tesla’s powers of memorizing were prodigious. A quick reading of a page gave him a permanent record of it; he could always recall before his eyes a photographic record of it to be read, and could study at his convenience. Study, for Tesla, was a far different process than for the average person. He had no need for a reference library; he could consult in his mind any page of any textbook he had read, and formula, equation, or item in a table of logarithms would flash before his eyes. He could recite scores of books, complete from memory. The saving in time which this made possible in research work was tremendous.”

In an interview with M. K. Wisehart, published in the American Magazine of April 1921, and in Mr. O’Neill’s book, Tesla describes his faculty as follows:

“See!” exclaimed Tesla. “How beautifully it works! Watch me put it into reverse … Watch it. It is not marvelous how it goes both ways?” But his friend saw nothing.

“During my boyhood I had suffered from a peculiar affliction due to the appearance of images, which were often accompanied by strong flashes of light. When a word was spoken, the image of the object designated would present itself so vividly to my vision that I could not tell whether what I saw was real or not. . . . Even though I reached out and passed my hand through it, the image would remain fixed in space.

“In trying to free myself from these tormenting appearances, I tried to concentrate my thoughts on some peaceful, quieting scene I had witnessed. This would give me momentary relief; but when I had done it two or three times the remedy would begin to lose its force. Then I began to take mental excursions beyond the small world of my actual knowledge. Day and night, in imagination, I went on journeys — saw new places, cities, countries, and all the time I tried hard to make these imaginary things very sharp and clear in my mind. I imagined myself living in countries I had never seen, and I made imaginary friends, who were very dear to me and really seemed alive.

“This I did constantly until I was seventeen, when my thoughts turned seriously to invention. Then to my delight, I found I could visualize with the greatest facility. I needed no models, drawings, or experiments. I could picture them all in my mind . . .

“By that faculty of visualizing, which I learned in my boyish efforts to rid myself of annoying images, I have evolved what is, I believe, a new method of materializing inventive ideas and conceptions. It is a method which may be of great usefulness to any imaginative man, whether he is an inventor, businessman or artist.

“Some people, the moment they have a device to construct or any piece of work to perform, rush at it without adequate preparation, and immediately become engrossed in details, instead of the central idea. They may get results, but they sacrifice quality.

“Here in brief, is my own method: after experiencing a desire to invent a particular thing, I may go on for months or years with the idea in the back of my head. Whenever I feel like it, I roam around in my imagination and think about the problem without any deliberate concentration. This is a period of incubation.

“Then follows a period of direct effort. I choose carefully the possible solutions of the problem I am considering, and gradually center my mind on a narrowed field of investigation. Now, when I am deliberately thinking of the problem in its specific features, I may begin to feel that I am going to get the solution. And the wonderful thing is, that if I do feel this way, then I know I have really solved the problem and shall get what I am after.

“The feeling is as convincing to me as though I already had solved it. I have come to the conclusion that at this stage the actual solution is in my mind subconsciously though it may be a long time before I am aware of it consciously.

“Before I put a sketch on paper, the whole idea is worked out mentally. In my mind I change the construction, make improvements, and even operate the device. Without ever having drawn a sketch I can give the measurements of all parts to workmen, and when completed all these parts will fit, just as certainly as though I had made the actual drawings. It is immaterial to me whether I run my machine in my mind or test it in my shop.

“The inventions I have conceived in this way have always worked. In thirty years there has not been a single exception. My first electric motor, the vacuum tube wireless light, my turbine engine and many other devices have all been developed in exactly this way.”

Tesla’s mightiest invention was his alternating current motor. It is difficult to overestimate its value. It was really the invention of a principle — the principle of the rotating electric field. For, once that principle was conceived, the motor and a multitude of other practical applications of the alternating current practically invented themselves. It was a master invention that created the electrical power era, the foundation of our modern industrial system.

While studying electrical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute, at Gratz, Austria, Tesla saw for the first time a machine that would operate either as an electrical motor or as a dynamo. As was the case with all motors of the eighteen-seventies it was supplied with current through a commutator-brush system. When operated it sparked heavily at the commutator.

This sparking of course was a defect; it wasted energy; and corroded the contacts. The typical professional attitude toward any idea, machine, or person, which has arrived or been accepted is enthusiasm. “It is inherent in the machine,” said Prof. Poeschl, an instructor in the Institute. The typical inventor’s attitude is critical. The defect in the motor annoyed Tesla. He suggested that the commutator be abolished and, of course, was told that such step was impossible. The rebuff bothered him not at all for he suddenly knew that not only was a motor without a commutator possible but that the solution lay in some application of the alternating current. What application he could not at that time foresee but “he felt an overpowering assurance that he could solve the problem.” Prof. Poeschl devoted an entire lecture to a discussion of reasons why Tesla’s idea was impossible of attainment. Tesla had little more to say in the face of so authoritative opposition. But the idea that had come to him flowed back, shall we say, into his subconscious mind. From time to time he would take it out and mull it over. Then he would forget it.

Several years later Tesla was walking in the city park of Budapest with a friend when in a flash he solved the problem. The following is Mr. O’Neill’s description of the occasion:

“Suddenly the animated figure of Tesla snapped into a rigid pose as if he had fallen into a trance. Szigeti spoke to him but got no answer. Again his words were ignored. The friend was about to seize the towering motionless figure and shake him into consciousness when instead Tesla spoke.

“‘Watch me!’ said Tesla, blurting out the words like a child bubbling over with emotion: ‘Watch me reverse it.’ He was still gazing into the sun as if that incandescent ball had thrown him into a hypnotic trance.

“Szigeti recalled the image from Goethe that Tesla had been reciting: ‘The glow retreats. . . . It yonder hastes, new fields of life exploring,’ a poetic description of the setting sun, and then his next words — ‘Watch me! Watch me reverse it.’ Did Tesla mean the sun? Did he mean that he could arrest the motion of the sun about to sink below the horizon, reverse its action and start it rising again toward the zenith?

“‘Let us sit and rest for a while,’ said Szigeti. He turned him toward a bench, but Tesla was not to be moved.

“‘Don’t you see it?’ expostulated the excited Tesla. ‘See how smoothly it is running? Now I throw this switch — and I reverse it. See! It goes just as smoothly in the opposite direction. Watch! I stop it. I start it. There is no sparking. There is nothing on it to spark.’

“‘But I see nothing,’ said Szigeti. ‘The sun is not sparking. Are you ill?’

“‘You do not understand,’ beamed the still excited Tesla, turning as if to bestow a benediction on his companion. ‘It is my alternating-current motor I am talking about. I have solved the problem. Can’t you see it right here in front of me, running almost as silently? It is the rotating magnetic field that does it. See how the magnetic field rotates and drags the armature around with it? Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it sublime? Isn’t it simple? I have solved the problem. Now I can die happy. But I must live, I must return to work and build the motor so I can give it to the world. No more will men be slaves to hard tasks. My motor will set them free, it will do the work of the world.’

“Szigeti now understood. Tesla had previously told him about his attempt to solve the problem of an alternating-current motor, and he grasped the full meaning of the scientist’s words. Tesla had never told him, however, about his ability to visualize objects which he conceived in his mind, so it was necessary to explain the vision he saw, and that the solution had come to him suddenly while they were admiring the sunset.”

Undoubtedly Tesla was very unusual. He possessed a special gift that enabled him to accomplish more in the field of mechanical invention than he would have been able to accomplish without it.

Other inventors have had to a greater or lesser degree this power of visualization — to see in the mind’s eye, or on the wall of the bedroom, or upon an imaginary blackboard, a complete diagram or image of a layout or machine. But while this ability may be in some way connected with inventive ability, it is not essential. As a matter of recorded fact, visualization aided Tesla to work out the details, rather than to make the invention. It cannot be said that the power to invent is simply the power to visualize.

The quality that Tesla’s inventiveness shared with that of other inventors was the quality of instantaneousness. While thinking of something else, while walking, dreaming, listening to a lecture or a sermon, suddenly the invention is there. There is no effort.

 

10 Sept 2017 Angels Everywhere and Dream within a Dream – Edgar Allen Poe

Good morning to you.  We are having a kind of “shitty” morning.  Poor Link is still having bowel troubles.  We are going to have to take him to the vet if this doesn’t get better today.  We had to kick May kitty out of the garage last night….ant invasion happened.  The food she doesn’t always eat just sitting around was too great a temptation to pass up on I guess.  She’s not happy with us for taking the garage away but I can’t have ants invading the house.  It feels like if we give one inch they would just take over the whole place!  Can I get an UGGGGGGHHH?!!!!!   Being an adult…through with it!!!

Source: Internet/aka friend FB post: Abandoning Adulthood by Maureen

Last night I was feeling the restlessness and discontent of these above personal happenings and just all the stuff going on in our world…feels like I’ve just been churning inside for months now.   I decided to visit a book that was given to me many years ago called Angels Everywhere Miracles & Messages by Lynn Valentine.  There’s something comforting about reading stories of divine interventions in these times:

10 Sept 2017 – cover of Angels Everywhere Miracles & Messages by Lynn Valentine

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson (personal message for J, M and W today)

I have been rediscovering my love of poetry.  This poem resonated with the tone and pitch of our current times.  Sometimes it does feel like the tighter we hold on to the “grains of sand” of our lives the quicker they seem to slip through our fingers.  I am having to learn, as all eventually do, that there is no holding on to time.   

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-dream-within-a-dream/if you go to this link you can hear the poem read out loud, great poetry page!

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

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