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“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

Ayn Rand

Just the first page of one town.

{Link Bit.ly/2w2FIOn}

Diann Zinteck, 68, photographer and gallery owner

July 19, 1949 – Aug. 8, 2017 Diann Zinteck was ready to start a career in the classroom after graduating from SUNY Buffalo State with a bachelor’s degree in art education in the early 1970s, but she could not find the teaching position she wanted locally. Rather than move out of town, her interest in photography led her into freelance camera work and a job at Car…

Marion LaVigne, 90, teacher in Buffalo, Williamsville schools

Feb. 11, 1927 – Aug. 11, 2017 Marion LaVigne, a junior high and middle school teacher for 50 years, died Friday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Clarence. She was 90. Born in Buffalo, the former Marion Mandley attended Holy Angels Elementary School and high school. She was first in her graduating class at Buffalo State Teachers College…

Judith Grillo, 74, licensed practical nurse

Aug. 1, 1943 – Aug. 13, 2017 Judith Grillo, of Cheektowaga, a licensed practical nurse, died Sunday in Sisters Hospital from complications following surgery. She was 74. Born in Buffalo, the former Judith Ann Phillips graduated from Fosdick Masten High School in 1961 with certification as a licensed practical nurse. She worked as a nurse from the time she gradu…

Gerald Choinski, 83, retired insurance executive

Jan. 15, 1934 – Aug. 11, 2017 Gerald “Jerry” Choinski, of Grand Island, Fla., a retired Buffalo insurance executive, died Friday in The Villages Hospice House, The Villages, Fla., after a lengthy illness. He was 83. Born in Buffalo, he was a 1951 graduate of Burgard Vocational High School and served in the Navy from 1951 to 1954 aboard the USS Lloyd Thomas in t…

Nicholas H. Willett, attorney and World War II veteran

For years, Nicholas H. Willett shied away from discussing his service in World War II. Why spend his life talking about the worst time of it, he figured, according to his son Michael. He was much more interested in studying the history of western New York as a real estate lawyer for over 50 years and loving his family, a clan of eight children and 17 grandchildren an…

Alfred D. Overton III, 35, hip hop artist known as De Kapri

July 15, 1982 – Aug. 9, 2017 Alfred Demetrius Overton III, of Sanford, Fla., an aspiring hip hop artist and sound engineer, died Aug. 9 in Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, Fla., after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 35. Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Niagara Falls and was a 2001 graduate of Niagara Wheatfield High School, where he was a four-year memb…

Alvin J. Roberts Sr., 88, retired quality control inspector

Dec. 29, 1928 – Aug. 6, 2017 Alvin J. Roberts Sr. of Buffalo, a retired auto factory quality control inspector, died Aug. 6 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. He was 88. Born in Dallas, Ga., Mr. Roberts joined the Army in 1946 and was commissioned in the Quartermaster Corps in Hawaii. After his service, he came to Buffalo, became a laborer …

Josephine Pera, 93, unlikely star of grandson’s comedy videos

Jan. 20, 1924 — Aug. 5, 2017 Until she reached her late 80s, Josephine Pera was best known for the white frosted cookies she baked to the delight of generations of her family. That all changed when the Eggertsville great-grandmother was recruited by her grandson, stand-up comedian Joseph Pera, to make cameo appearances in some of his comedy videos. Josephine Pera pl…

Nicholas D. Trbovich, Servotronics founder, chairman and CEO

June 5, 1935 — Aug. 8, 2017 Nicholas D. Trbovich, Servotronics’ founder, chairman and chief executive officer, died on Tuesday, the Elma-based company announced Friday. Trbovich, 82, started the company — a maker of motion control equipment — on Aug. 20, 1959, and served as its chairman and CEO for nearly 58 years. He was also chairman and past president of O…

Linda M. Gimbrone, 61, Buffalo Club employee

June 30, 1956 – Aug. 9, 2017 Linda M. Gimbrone, of Buffalo, a server at the Buffalo Club, died unexpectedly Wednesday in Buffalo General Medical Center after suffering a stroke. She was 61. Born in Buffalo, the former Linda Haley attended Lafayette High School. A lifelong city resident except for a few years in Greenville, S.C., she was the mother of four children.…

Nicholas Dicky Jr., 96, retired carpenter and World War II veteran

Dec. 21, 1920 – Aug. 9, 2017 Nicholas Dicky Jr., of North Tonawanda, a retired carpenter and World War II veteran, died Wednesday in DeGraff Memorial Hospital, North Tonawanda, after a short illness. He was 96. Born on the family farm in North Tonawanda, the third of 10 children, he attended North Tonawanda High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps in World War …

Peter P. Carbone, International Association of Approved Basketball Officials member

September 3, 1933 – August 7, 2017 Peter Carbone of East Amherst died Aug. 7 at Hospice of Western New York, following a long illness. He was 83. A graduate of Canisius High School, Mr. Carbone served four years in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Alaska at a Strategic Air Command base. There he also played and officiated basketball for Air Force teams while in the s…

Rachel Marrano, 93, matriarch of leading home building family

June 17, 1924 – Aug. 6, 2017 Rachel Marrano, matriarch of the Buffalo area’s leading home building family, died Sunday in her Lancaster home. She was 93. Born in Buffalo, the former Mary Rachel Sebastiano grew up in the Lovejoy neighborhood and married Pasquale “Pat” Marrano in 1943. He and his five brothers founded Marrano Construction Co., now Marrano/Marc Eq…

J. Albert Rohrer, WWII veteran

April 19, 1923 – August 6, 2017 J. Albert Rohrer, of Youngstown died Sunday at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Lewiston. He was 94. Born in Niagara Falls, He graduated from Niagara Falls High School and attended Notre Dame University until he was drafted. Mr. Rohrer then trained at New York University as a meteorologist and later as a paratrooper in the 81st Airbor…

C. Philip Mugler, 97, survived nearly 26 months as POW

May 13, 1920 – June 30, 2017 C. Philip Mugler, who died June 30 at the age of 97 in Community Hospice Bailey Family Center for Caring, St. Augustine, Fla., was believed to be the first Western New Yorker to be taken as a prisoner of war in World War II. Serving in the Army in North Africa with the 1st Armored Division, Mr. Mugler was captured by Gen. Rommel’s tro…


I wouldn’t want anything to do with the revolution that doesn’t help the old lady in the trailer in the cold who is mourning her late husband by herself, Yo.


What Has Become of Empathy?

{Link Bit.ly/2v2DcTC}

In the end of September of last year, I read an article in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristof called “Just Look at What you Did.”

Do not ignore this; it is a fine and moving article. Click on the link, read the piece. See if you don’t cry.

Bless the young, the energetic, optimistic, brave souls like Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede. They are the ones who will save the world, if it isn’t already too late.

Kristof’s article had a powerful effect on me. After reading it, I clicked on this and that to learn more about the slum, Kibera, in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to find out what I could about Posner and Odede’s program there called Shining Hope for Communities, something about which, having read the article, you, reader, now know. As one discovery leads to another on the Internet, I found these horrifying statistics here, provided by Shining Hope, which I have cut and pasted, for you to read. Do not ignore this either; these stats will blow your mind. 

Life in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi, Kenya

The Kibera Slum of Nairobi houses 1.5 million people (nearly 50 percent of Nairobi’s total population) on less than 5 percent of Nairobi’s landmass.

The people of Kibera live in an area the size of Central Park.

It is one of the most densely populated places on the planet.

Life expectancy in Kibera is 30 years of age compared to 50 years of age in the rest of Kenya.

Half of all Kiberians are under the age of 15.

One out of 5 children in Kibera do not live to see their fifth birthdays.

There is no running water to most homes in Kibera. To obtain water, residents must purchase water from private vendors, paying two to ten times what is paid by a Nairobi resident outside the slums.

Kibera’s 1.5 million residents share 600 toilets, meaning that on average one toilet serves 1,300 people.

“In many parts of the world women are routinely beaten, raped, or sold into prostitution.  They are denied access to medical care, education, economic and political power.  Changing that could change everything” — The New York Times Magazine

66 percent of girls in Kibera routinely trade sex for food by the age of 16. Many begin as early as age six.

Young women in Kibera Contract HIV at a rate 5 times that of their male counterparts.

Only 41 percent of boys and 32 percent of girls know that condoms are effective in preventing HIV transmission.

“Women’s empowerment helps raise economic productivity and reduce infant mortality.  It increases the chances of education for the next generation.”  – United Nations Development Programme

Only 8 percent of girls in Kibera ever have the chance to go to school.

Educating a girl in places like Kibera means she will earn more, invest 90 percent of her earnings in her family, be three times less likely to become HIV positive, and have fewer, healthier children more likely to live past age 

I decided, immediately after reading Kristof’s article and doing a little research, that I wanted to donate something and, after examining the various options, settled on sponsoring a girl. For $60 a month, I could provide a child with food, clothing, housing, education, medical services, and even aid in educating and eventually securing employment of some sort for her parent(s). I signed on to sponsor a girl until December of 2016. Or, that is the deal so far. (I am already wondering how one stops.) That donation (investment?) comes to a grand total of $3600. Over five years.

What Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner are doing in Kibera is huge; what I am doing requires no effort at all but may actually save a girl’s life and perhaps affect the lives of her children, and that fact is stunning. But even more stunning is the fact that there are millions of her out there. And for the most part, no one of means even notices them. We float around in a sea of religious blather these days, but the simple instruction to do unto others is rarely heeded and seems quaint even to suggest. Somehow, we must rediscover empathy, which seems to have been lost amidst the junk that consumes our daily lives.

On Jan. 23, I received, by email, a photograph of the child I am sponsoring. Having the image of the one who, until the end of January, was merely an idea, has rattled me in an unexpected way. She is an actual person. I cannot stop staring at her. There is something about her that looks old. I showed her picture to two friends and asked them to guess her age. One said, “Twelve?”, and the second murmured, “I don’t know, fourteen?” Both looked hard before they guessed. She is five. Her name is Jackline, and she has large, dark, somber eyes that appear already to have seen too much and a serious stare that projects a combination of resignation and challenge. She is real to me now. I want to send her things, meet her, talk to her, hug her. I see her; both she and her people feel real to me. In fact, I want to go to her. 

But that’s silly, isn’t it?

At the plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative, in April of 2011, (you can watch the fascinating conversation here), Bill Clinton sat on a stage with Kennedy Odede and Sean Penn to discuss what we can do to help populations like the one in Haiti, especially post-earthquake and the one in Kibera. In his closing remarks, President Clinton said that there is a rural area in Africa to which he has gone to work on issues involving agriculture and AIDS, where the people, when they pass each other on the road and one says, “ Hello,” respond by saying, “I see you.” They do not say, “Hi, how are you?” They say, “I see you.”

The OED defines empathy as: the power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation.


We label rather then seek to understand–this is like this or this is like that. At the discovery of the root of the cause, we can find a moment that lost desire manifest into a festering disappointment–stuck in a moment where we lost, we can take it upon ourselves to hold personal responsibility in our hearts or deflect on them. The words of us and them naturally create a divisive strife. At the end of the day, it’s about taking responsibility for your life and your reactions; proactive towards the light in your dreams creates a sign upon which others will hold fast.


I hit #playAF on the MP3 player, close my eyes, and recline my chair in the living room.


Knee-jerk reactions don’t have the intrinsic value of progressing you towards your ultimate and, truest, dream–your natural tendency to pull into pleasure and push away pain, right? Is your action towards what you REALLY want or are you avoiding being uncomfortable–at some point, you will live uncomfortable; until you reach that stage, you will not grow, advance or find real success, yes? There’s two concepts that are similar but different: uncomfortable and awkward. Uncomfortable, I accept is part of what produces growth–awkward is different; when you know something is wrong but not how to handle it–walk away, let it go, push it away.  Don’t allow bullshit to stay in your life, if it makes you feel awkward; it it makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s probably going to help you grow. Awkward revolves around something external feeling wrong; uncomfortable shows that I am not to my potential, of what I can be, but I’m working towards #itAF, Yo?!

Push away awkward; accept that uncomfortable is part of the process to growth, Yo.


If this blog doesn’t relate to you, or you can’t understand it, or you want it to change–just leave, Yo.

At some point, you’ll look back–you’ll smile or sigh in sadness. I hope that when you look back in 10 years and reflect on where you are that you feel really good. I don’t think that life is, really, more complicated than that, Yo. Does it move you forward or are you merely just avoiding being uncomfortable–are you progressing or searching for the culprit for your inaction.

“I never worry about action, but only inaction.”

If a moment causes you stress–create something to express yourself that is also going to push you forward. Write a story each time that can turn into a book; paint a picture that can go to a gallery; instead of repressing your feelings–find ways to express how you feel through the creation of something that has never existed before, Yo.

So what is this blog? Simply, my form of protest–expressing my feelings in a positive manner as I feel them to help that one person out there that feels they have no one. I hope I find you in your dark hour. I hope you search for the article that expresses how you feel, in this moment.

How To Be Respectful Towards Others

{Link Bit.ly/2w4shOB}

Treat others, as you want them to treat you. To earn respect you must first, give respect and give it to yourself too, as, if you don’t respect yourself, no one else will respect you. Merely saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ doesn’t mean that you are being respectful. In the daily grind and stress of everyday life, we have forgotten the moral obligation of respecting others so that we are also respected in turn. If you can earn the respect of your peers and fellows, then it’s a life well lived as it is the hardest thing to get, even taking up an entire lifetime. Respect can never be forced as it comes straight from the heart. A person may respect another because of fear but that is not true respect. True respect only comes when you empathize with the other person, which will make him or her feel respected and so return the favor. To put other peoples need before yours, will convey your respect to others. Respect is the pillar that supports the bridge called relationship. Given below are tips to help you be more respectable towards others.

Tips To Be Respectful

Be kind. Showing kindness towards others is the best way to endear you to them. A simple act of kindness can show your respect towards others.

Listen attentively and show interest in whatever is said. Many a times, not showing attention, makes the other person feel that, you are not taking him or her seriously. This can be configured as lack of respect as the person may think that you do not consider him or her at par with you. So, the next time, he or she also won’t give any attention to you.

Good manners are the essential quality to show respect. So, cultivate good manners, as people get a sense of respect, when they interact with a well-mannered person. Good behavior automatically earns the respect of others.

Do not stereotype other people. Stereotyping makes, you come across as a narrow-minded person. It also shows your lack of respect for the person, you are stereotyping.

Understand other peoples, like and dislikes. This shows your commitment to them.

Don’t dictate or belittle anyone because of his or her background, religion, or social status. It is not only ill mannered, but also signals bad breeding.

You cannot respect anyone whom you mock, tease or backbite.


Develop and Improve Your Relationships by Honoring People’s Dreams

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When you boil things down, your relationships with others are a support structure. If you wonder from time to time how you can be a better partner, or be a better friend, it’s incredibly simple: support their dreams.

It’s difficult to achieve things on your own, but it’s even more so when you don’t have someone that wants you to do it. You look for that support to let you know that someone has your back, and when you get it, you feel accepted in what you’re pursuing. The people that are close to you feel the same way and want that same support. If you want to improve a relationship you have with someone, Chris Guillebeau suggests on his blog that you honor that person’s dreams however you can:

Figure out what they want to do, to become, or achieve, and then help them do it. Don’t do it for them—it’s their dream, after all—but show interest and offer tangible support. How can you do that today?

Find a small way to show your support every day and it will do more than you think.


This Is What A Panic Attack Physically Feels Like

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For the millions of American adults who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders, panic attacks may be one of the most prevalent and persistent symptoms. And while the experience of a panic attack is different for each individual, there is one universal truth for all who suffer from them: They’re terrifying.

“When someone suffers from one of these disorders, it’s completely debilitating,” Todd Farchione, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “Partly just because people recognize that what they’re experiencing is irrational, but they’ve learned to respond in a certain way in those situations so it’s a natural response to those experiences. It can be frightening.”

Perhaps one of the worst parts of panic attacks is the uncertainty of their appearance. They can occur at any time — even in your sleep. The fear-inducing experience peaks around 10 minutes, but the exhausting physical symptoms can extend far beyond that.

In an effort to understand what it’s really like to suffer from these conditions, we invited our Twitter and Facebook communities to explain what a panic attack physically feel like. We selected a few of their descriptions and illustrated them below:

“Mine are like I can’t stand up, I can’t speak. All I feel is an intense amount of pain all over, like something is just squeezing me into this little ball. If it is really bad I can’t breathe, I start to hyperventilate and I throw up.”


“Can we go get some more?”, I ask my wife as I wipe the blood from Jacobate off my chin with my sleeve.

“No, hun”, my wife replies as she turns on the faucet to wash off the knives, “the law says that there’s a 2 person quota per year. Can you wait?”

“I don’t know”, I reply as I look out the window at where they used to be, “I do have an idea. Have you heard of the planet MFRUTE?”

My wife turns her head to me, “that’s dangerous. Are you saying what I think that you’re saying?”


The cold air of MFRUTE hits us as my wife and I get out of the spacejet.

“It’s true”, I say as I look around at the green hills surrounding us.

“Yeah”, my wife replies, “they really are dumping the extra population here–how many people do you think are here?

“I don’t know”, I say as my eyes get big, “we could live off them forever, Yo.

“I don’t think we’re supposed to be here”, my wife replies as she takes a step backwards to the spacejet, “can we go now?”

“Oh no”, I reply as I pull the blade out of my back pocket, “I’m just getting started, Yo. You ready to eat?”


I think that the best way to honor others’ dreams is to first honor yours–it means taking the action that you fear, the leap that scares you or the chance that could fail, Yo. If you don’t honor your dream, how could you honor another’s?


How I Learned to Love Traveling Solo

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I didn’t travel anywhere by myself until I was twenty-two. And then I spent a year as an international hobo. Now I travel alone all the time, for work and for pleasure. There is too much I want to do and see to wait for the perfect travel buddy.

This post originally appeared on Medium.

I like solo travel now, but it can still be hard—one morning in Hong Kongrecently I ate some poorly labeled peanut sauce, had an allergic reaction, and then got ripped off by a corrupt cabbie. That was definitely a day I wished I were traveling with someone else! Anyway, here are some things I do to make it easier to go it alone. These tips are definitely not meant to double as advice for budget travel! I don’t do that at the best of times, and certainly not when I’m traveling alone—it’s stressful enough.

Embrace Introvert Time

I’m an ambivert, which means that I need to keep my social time and solo time in balance. Experimentation has let me know that three to four days of not speaking to anyone is fine, but I probably couldn’t cope with more than that. So if I go for two weeks, I break it up into social sections (places where I know people) and solo sections. If it’s a short trip, or I’m starting with solo time, then I’ll “people myself out” before my departure by going out every night. That way, when I arrive at my destination I’m due some alone time, and I’m happy to embrace it.

Always Have Data

I have very little sense of direction, but that’s OK, because I have a ridiculous number of cellphones, being a mobile developer. The first thing I do when I arrive at my destination is acquire a SIM card (or maybe a portable Wi-Fi device). Buying a card can seem overpriced, but I’m happy to pay the $40 or so for a few days —I know that it allows me to be more adventurous with restaurants (through recommendations and Foursquare), and lets me take fewer cabs (mobile mapping means I don’t get too lost and have to cab it home because I’m too exhausted to figure out another way). It also makes me feel safer — if I’m in a cab alone, I can track the route the driver’s taking and make sure it’s not out of my way.

Stay Somewhere Comfortable

Other solo travellers swear by hostels as a way to meet people, but I’m not sold on the idea. I’ve never stayed in one when traveling alone. My experience is that hostels are uncomfortable and feel unsafe (this may be skewed by the fact that the last one I stayed in was a former jail). I want to stay where I can get directions and recommendations from the concierge, relax quietly if I’m feeling overwhelmed, and order room service if I’m sick or if my flight’s delayed or if I just feel too exhausted to go out and find food. Exploring can be stressful, but where you sleep shouldn’t be.

Start With a Long Walk

I love roaming about cities by myself: I usually plug in some music, set a park as a destination in Google Maps, and go.


10 JOBS THAT PAY YOU TO TRAVEL

{Link Bit.ly/1Jiqjob}

Wanderlusters, rejoice. If instead of applying for boring entry-level jobs on LinkedIn you’ve been reading through every travel blog out there, longing to be on the road, then you’ll love this–  a list of jobs that will actually PAY you to travel.  Read on to see which ones may be a good fit for you.

1. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

One of the most popular jobs that people who want to travel will do is English Teacher. Almost every country in the entire world is looking for English teachers, and in some places, they’re DESPERATE to hire teachers with or without experience. That being said, a large portion of these jobs require some sort of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification from a reputable organization, but this can even be done online from the comfort of your own bed.  Typically, countries that are in need of English Teachers are willing to train and pay for visa (such as some countries in Asia and the UAE) while for some of the more desirable locations (like Italy and Spain) you’ll be required to at least have your TEFL certification before applying.

Some perks of the job — you often don’t need a ton of experience to land your first position, you can choose to go anywhere in the world, and you usually don’t have to know the native language of a country in order to teach there (although some language skills are always helpful for your day-to-day business and your sanity in a foreign country.) Salary is largely based on your chosen region and particular position, but there’s no doubt that this could be a rewarding and enlightening mission, should you choose to accept it.

How to get your TEFL certification and find open positions:

•  Here’s our guide on how to get your certification to teach English abroad.
•   Websites such as Dave’s ESL Cafe are constantly updated with job opportunities around the world.
•   Some TEFL certification organizations offer job-search assistance, so be sure to take advantage of that.

2. Cruise Ship Staff

If your idea of traveling is less about solid ground and more about the open sea, joining a cruise ship staff may be the perfect option for you. There are countless types of jobs dealing with the cruise ship industry, so, if you don’t get seasick, there’s a good chance you can find a position that suits your fancy. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has a gift for performance, maybe you can get a musical gig; if you’re into cooking, well, the guests need to eat! While there are seasonal positions available, do keep in mind that this job may involve long periods when you can’t see your landlocked friends. A lot of cruises do, however, make frequent pit-stops on their journeys, which could allow you to see countless new cities and countries and potentially be a part of the excursions offered by the cruise company.

 How to get a cruise ship job:
•   Websites such as All Cruise Jobs are great resources that post jobs all over the world.
•   It’s also a good idea to check out company websites directly for current postings– try Carnival Cruises and Princess Cruises.
3. Tour Guide

What about becoming a tour guide in the city or region of your dreams?


How To Tell A Good Story

{Link Bit.ly/2w51npR}

Stories grab us. They take us in, transport us, and allow us to live vicariously and visually through another’s experience. As I’ve said often in my work around presence, shared stories accelerate interpersonal connection. Learning to tell stories to capture, direct and sustain the attention of others is a key leadership skill. Storytelling also greatly helps anyone speaking or presenting in front of an audience.

Yet, as much as we love to hear the stories of others, in my research I’ve found that most people don’t consider themselves good storytellers. I will often hear reasons such as:

I never think of it

I tend to ramble and lose the point

I have a hard time gauging interest

I am never sure how much detail to use

I don’t have good stories to share

But just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

“That will be 27 pesos for the pizza”, the guy in the uniform informs me as he puts his hand out.

I hand him the bill; he replies with change; a #monedaAF drops onto the ground and rolls down the walkway before we can catch it; eventually, it continues rolling into the street where it drops into a storm drain.

“I’m sorry, man”, the guy in the uniform replies as he reaches into his pocket to scrounge up another #monedaAF.

He looks up at me as he pulls his hand out, “I’m sorry but I guess that was my last coin, Yo. Can I offer you a free pizza next time you order to make up for it?”

“Nah”, I reply as I turn my head from the street to the guy, “I really needed that to hail the spacejet taxi to get to my meeting with my book publisher, Yo.”

“Hmm”, the guy in the uniform replies, “well let me call the store and have them send somebody out here with a coin for your change, ok?”

I turn to HR and then him, “yes, I’ll wait, Yo.”

He dials the number on his videotelepathy device; mumbles a couple words; turns to me to assure that someone is on the way; puts his device back into his pocket and starts twiddling his thumbs.

“So”, he asks me as he looks away, “where you from, Yo?”

“Virginia.”

“Ah”, he replies as turns his head back to me, “you go to college there?”

“Yup.”

“Hmm”, he replies as he looks down at the ground, “which school?”

“Virginia Tech”

“Is that the school where”

“Yup”, I cut him off before he can finish; heard this before, I think.

“Where they found the cure for stage 3 cancer?”, he finishes his sentence.

“Yup”, I reply; that’s all anyone ever wants to talk about, I think.

The second spacejet from the pizza place arrives; the women in a uniform gets out; walking over to me, she reaches her hand out to give me the coin.

“Thanks for the change”, I reply as I put my thumb out to try and catch the next spacejet taxi as the two pizza drivers drive off.


Chimps with everything: Jane Goodall’s 50 years in the jungle

{Link B.ly/2uAXwjQ}

Through detailed observations of Tanzanian apes, Jane Goodall revolutionised our knowledge of chimpanzee behaviour

Fifty years ago, a slender young Englishwoman was walking through a rainforest reserve at Gombe, in Tanzania, when she came across a dark figure hunched over a termite nest. A large male chimpanzee was foraging for food. So she stopped and watched the animal through her binoculars as he carefully took a twig, bent it, stripped it of its leaves, and finally stuck it into the nest. Then he began to spoon termites into his mouth.

Thus Jane Goodall made one of the most important scientific observations of modern times in that remote African rainforest. She witnessed a creature, other than a human, in the act not just of using a tool but of making one. “It was hard for me to believe,” she recalls. “At that time, it was thought that humans, and only humans, used and made tools. I had been told from school onwards that the best definition of a human being was man the tool-maker – yet I had just watched a chimp tool-maker in action. I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday.”

Goodall telegraphed her boss, the fossil-hunter Louis Leakey (father of Richard), with the news. His response has since become the stuff of scientific legend: “Now we must redefine man, redefine tools, or accept chimpanzees as humans.” Leakey was exaggerating but not by much. Certainly, there is little doubt about the importance of Goodall’s discovery five decades ago. As the distinguished Harvard palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould put it, this was “one of the great achievements of 20th-century scholarship”.

Goodall’s subsequent observations found that not only did Pan troglodytes – the chimpanzee – make and use tools but that our nearest evolutionary cousins embraced, hugged, and kissed each other. They experienced adolescence, developed powerful mother-and-child bonds, and used political chicanery to get what they wanted. They also made war, wiping out members of their own species with almost genocidal brutality on one occasion that was observed by Goodall.

This work has held up a mirror, albeit a blurred one, to our own species, suggesting that a great many of our behaviours, once thought to be uniquely human, may have been inherited from the common ancestors that Homo sapiensshared with chimpanzees six million years ago. We therefore have much to commemorate 50 years after Goodall began her strolls through Gombe. These celebrations began yesterday at the Berlin film festival with the premiere of Lorenz Knauer’s documentary about Goodall, Jane’s Journey – which includes a walk-on part for Angelina Jolie – and will continue throughout the year.

Today, Goodall is a gracefully aged replica of the young woman who first set foot at Gombe five decades ago. Her long blond hair, tied back as usual, has turned silvery grey. Now aged 76, she exudes a calm confidence as she travels the world, promoting green causes established by the Jane Goodall Institute, which she set up in 1977 in order to promote research at Gombe and to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

But in 1960, she looked an unlikely scientific pioneer. Goodall had no academic training, having grown up in the middle-class gentility of Bournemouth in the postwar years, a time when women were expected to be wives and little else. However, she burned with two passions: a love of animals and a love of Africa. “I got my love of animals from the Dr Dolittle books and my love of Africa from the Tarzan novels,” she says. “I remember my mum taking me to the first Tarzan film, which starred Johnny Weissmuller, and bursting into tears. It wasn’t what I had imagined at all.”

A friend took a job in Kenya, and Goodall decided to join her, working as a waitress to raise funds for her trip. In Nairobi, Goodall was introduced to Louis Leakey, the scientist whose fossil discoveries had finally proved mankind’s roots were African, not Asian, as had previously been supposed.

At this time, Leakey was looking for someone to study chimpanzees in the wild and to find evidence of shared ancestry between humans and the great apes. Previous studies of primates had been confined to captive animals but Leakey believed, presciently, that much more could be learned by studying them in the wild. More to the point, Goodall would make a perfect observer, he believed, coming – as she did – “with a mind uncluttered and unbiased by theory”, a point that is acknowledged by Goodall.

There was slightly more to the relationship than this, however. Leakey found the presence of this pretty, hazel-eyed blonde too much for him and although then in his late 50s, and married with three children, he bombarded Goodall with protestations of his love. “I was in a very difficult position, because on the one hand I hugely admired him,” says Goodall. “He knew so much. He also had my whole future in his hands. On the other hand, I thought: ‘No thanks.'”

Their friendship survived the incident and Goodall went off to Gombe to study her chimpanzees, while Leakey selected two other female researchers, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas, to study gorillas and orangutans. Galdikas, like Goodall, is still going strong. The fate of Fossey, played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist, was to be a grim one, however. Fossey was murdered in 1985 after trying to punish local people following incidents in which several of her beloved gorillas were killed.

“Dian was a tragic figure,” says Goodall. “She was very, very tall, statuesque and really, really wanted to get married. She would say to people, ‘Do you know a man who is six foot five and loves gorillas?’ So she got a little bitter later on when I got married and Birute got married and she didn’t. And she wasn’t diplomatic. She tackled poachers by chasing them and did things that I would not have been brave enough to have done. Sometimes she was very stupid. But she brought the plight of the gorillas to everyone’s attention.”

The violent death of Dian Fossey contrasts with Goodall’s relatively peaceful time in Tanzania, although her life at Gombe – on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, north of Kigoma – certainly did not lack incident. “I arrived with my mother because the local authorities were adamant that a young English girl could not live on her own in the bush without a European escort,” she says.

In fact, this ruling may not have been an altogether bad thing because the Belgian Congo had just erupted into civil war and Kigoma was filled with refuges. “There was nowhere to go so we had to put up our tent in a prison camp. They said that was the safest place for us and wouldn’t let us go to Gombe for several weeks.”

Eventually the two women (plus a cook) made it to the reserve and Goodall began the tricky business of getting Gombe’s chimps to accept her. “I remember my first day, looking up from the shore to the forest, hearing the apes and the birds, and smelling the plants, and thinking this is very, very unreal,” she says. “Then I started walking through the forest and as soon as a chimp saw me, it would run away.”

After a few weeks one male, who she named David Greybeard because of his white-tufted chin, let her approach him – tempted by the odd banana – and allowed her to observe him as he foraged for food. (It was David Greybeard who Goodall later watched making that leafy tool to obtain termites.) More and more troop members followed suit and Goodall was eventually allowed to observe their behaviour almost as if she was a chimpanzee herself.

Slowly she built up a picture of chimp life in all its domestic detail: the grooming, the food-sharing, the status wrangles, and the fights.


Don’t go looking for monsters; live your life, as you choose, and you will encounter them; slay the monsters that are there–but, if you go searching, you will turn into the monster that you fear, Yo.


To Live In Fear Is To Not Live At All

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Too many people let past failures dictate their future; they believe these obstacles will determine the course of their lives. Smart people on the other hand look to their pitfalls of life to motivate them to succeed. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but you cannot get bitter, you must get better. The difference between the strong and the weak is that the strong don’t use the past to receive pity or to guilt and manipulate; we rise above, silently and diligently.

There are some things that will happen to you over the course of your life that you will never get over; you just have to find ways to get through them. During this period of strife, you will find courage and strength you never knew existed. You must never ever give up or let anybody or anything stop you from doing what you want to do in life.

You must be fearless and powerful and most importantly, you need to remain impervious to the pain. Release all fears and doubts; positive energy will bring positive results.

“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts. It’s what you do with what you have left.” -Hubert Humphrey

If you want to fly, you must give up the sh*t that weighs you down. The more anger toward the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present. Heartbreak can be a motivator or your biggest enemy. Let your haters be your biggest motivators. The best revenge is showing them how much better you are doing without them.

When you have haters, it means you are doing something right. Of course people are going to become jealous of your success and as a result may try to deter you. You cannot let these kinds of inconsequential people dictate your life; the sky is the limit, do not let these negative vibes hold you back. People do not define who you are or what you do, YOU DO. When you engage the haters, you are giving them control and that is exactly what they want.

The words we choose reveal our true character.

Life is too short to take everything so seriously, so stop concentrating on the past and focus on your future. You cannot change things that have already happened to you, so there is no reason to dwell in the sorrow. Instead, put all your effort into improving your present.

Everyone in life has gone through hard times, but you are responsible for how you act no matter how you feel.


“Can I kill them now?”, I ask my wife as I look at Heatherate and Jacobate tied up to the post.

“Who said we would kill them?”, my wife replies as she looks at me with a sparkle in her eye.

“So what are you proposing?”,  I ask uncomfortably, “we aren’t going to kill them, then?”

“You know what’s the freshest meat?”, my wife asks as HR turns her head to her, “the kind that hasn’t been killed, yet. Am I right?”

I gulp, “I suppose so?”

“HR”, my wife says as she turns to the window, “grab the Teriyaki, ok?”

Afterwards, we cleaned up the mess; it was delicious; my wife was right; I had never done something like that before; it had only recently been made legal on Dorinto; overall, in hindsight, I’m glad I took a chance, huh?


So how do I justify writing more when the book is done?

I’ld rather create more then I need, then less; I’ld rather give too much, then not enough; I’ld rather try too hard, then give up too soon; and, at the end of the day, I’ld rather have too much material then too little, Yo.

Continuing, “you take a step out of the hospital room, and, now, you are in the hallway. You see a sign that says EXIT so you head that way. Next thing you know, you are outside breathing in the fresh air. You see a cab passing by the front of the hospital but you’re in your hospital gown and have no money, still you hail it it. You get in the taxi and tell the driver, “Take me to the city limits, Yo“. You arrive there after 30 minutes of the wind blowing your hair and your hand out the window of the car. You see a small convenience store that sells lottery tickets for 30 pesos a chance. You enter and ask, “Where is the bathroom?“. You head that way and as you get close a person about your age and size, of the same sex, takes a step out of the women’s bathroom. You push them back into the bathroom. You threaten that if they say anything you will kill them. You take their clothes off and put them on you. You reach into the pocket of your new #pantalonesAF and feel a wallet. You take your hand out and threaten the person one more time as you turn around and take a step out of the bathroom.

You drag your hand across your neck as you look at the store clerk who is staring at you.

“You leave the convenience store on the edge of town and the fresh air hits your lungs and the double suns in the sky warm your cold skin. You take more steps away from the town. The wallet you just got is opened and you now have a couple bucks and a small piece of paper with a phone number written on it. You see a house off the street and head that way.  Soon, you will enter and call that phone number. The person on the other end of the phone line will drive out to pick you up. You will go back to their place as if they have known you for all their life. You will get a small job helping bail hay on the farm and driving a tractor for Halloween and Christmas. You will live there for 55 years. You will get sick one day. The doctor’s say that it’s the flu. Your fragile body can’t handle it and you will die shortly afterwards. You will get a space in the family cemetery on FKUNYTY. You will finally be where you belong. You will be there, with the family, for eternity–at least until the planet is pulled into the sun that it orbits, huh?”

“Yeah”, HR replies as she looks at me, “that’s all well and good, a nice dream, but we’re trying to find my dad and I don’t know what you are doing here or what you want from us?”

I turn my head from looking out the window at the two people tied up to HR, “I just want to know who I am?”

“Well”, HR replies as she looks over at the knife on the cutting board in the kitchen, “how do you expect I can help you with that.”

“Maybe”, I plead with my small green eyes, “if I just hang out here for a bit, I will remember?”

“Can you help us find our dad?”, HR reasons with the stranger in the kitchen, “maybe you can be useful that way to us.”

“I have a word on my mind”, I tell HR as I see her eyes on the knife in the kitchen, “PREY. What does that mean to you?”

“I don’t know”, HR replies as she turns her head from the knife and to the stranger as she blushes a bit, “let me check the interwebs.”

HR and the stranger walk to the living room; HR puts the word into the interwebs and learns about a company back on Earth times that was called Prey Project; they helped to retrieve stolen electronic devices through GPS tracking.

“This may help”, HR says as she scribbles the name of the business in her small notepad, “but, we don’t know if he was using it.”

“I fell like he was”, I tell HR as I start to sit in Annette’s recliner, “I think this is the clue that’s going to solve the mystery.”

“I don’t know you or this”, HR tells the stranger without a name, “but it’s all we got and so we got to do something with it.”

Continuing, “the website says that you need a user name and password. What would they be, I wonder.”

“Try his name and the family pet for the password”, I offhandedly say to HR and she types on her keyboard.

“Nah”, HR replies as she turns her head from the keyboard to me, “that don’t work.”

“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU??”, my wife screams as she enters the living room and sees me in Annette’s recliner.

“I can explain, mom”, HR replies as she stands up.

Following suit, I stand up also; in my haste, I knock over the dinner tray table in front of the recliner; Annette’s keyboard goes flying along with a small piece of paper; I get up and take a step towards the small sliver of notes now lying on the floor; I pick it up; there’s three letters written on it:

I.C.E.

“I think we have a clue”, I reply as I unfold the paper and start to read out loud the message.

Username: BigMamaCahoones

Password: #digitalpolloAF

Continuing, “well see if that works in the website?”

“It does”, HR replies as her big brown eyes light up, “I’m in.”

My wife relaxes her shoulders a bit and takes a step towards the keyboard which is projecting the screen on the far wall; they see a beeping dot in the screen; my wife picks up her videotelepathy device and calls the police station; a spacejet is sent to the location; moments afterwards, they would find Annette’s body in a small shed; the body would be revived but would be in a coma; the coma would lift one day, and Annette would return home to HR, my wife, and a stranger in the living room.


Annette walks through the front door, “hello! Anyone home?”

“We’re in the living room”, I reply.

Annette takes a step into the kitchen, “excuse me? Who said that?”

I get up from Annette’s recliner as HR glances over at me; should I say something or wait?

Annette enters the living room, “um hi? Have we met?”

I take a step towards Annette as my wife gets up from her recliner and HR stands up from her’s.

“My name is”, I start to say then remember that still I don’t recall any details about my life.

I stutter, “I don’t know but your family is helping me while I figure out. So you are Annette?”

“Yes”, Annette replies as she scrunches her eyes and looks over at HR and my wife who now are walking towards her to give her a hug.

“Hold on, one sec”, Annette replies as she glances at my arm, “I don’t want a #digitalcyborgAF in the house. You know the rules, right?”

“What are you talking about, dad?”, HR replies as she looks at me, “she’s been helping us around the house.”

“That’s what they do”, Annette replies to HR, “don’t you see the tattoo on her arm. That’s her serial number. Must be the 9th model, here?”

“Huh?”, everyone but Annette gasps in the living room.

“Who am I?”, I ask Annette, “where did I come from?”

“Oh! Cut the bullshit, Patricia”, Annette replies as she takes her videotelepathy device from her back pocket of her #pantalonesAF, “you know exactly where you came from, Planet KINERTY.”

Annette takes a step towards me and twists my right ear; the backup program starts in my chip; suddenly, I look around quite embarassed.

“I am seeing now”, I tell HR, my wife and Annette, “the programming is updating my #digitalmemoryAF in my head. I was created in a factory on that planet as a prototype to integrate the robots with the humans. They shipped me to Dorinto and placed me in a hospital. I was turned on without any memory but the ability to project and forecast future events with a low margin of error, compared to other robot models; knowing this, I knew that on the outskirts of town would be a women detective that would run into a problem; I played the odds and because of it, we found you, Annette, in the shed. But, now, I can forecast, that there is a man who has moved 7 houses down the street that is about to overcook his dinner and I must leave, in case, his #digitalpolloAF is ruined then his spouse is mad; leave the house; goes to a bar and has a drink; gets in her car; drives 4 blocks and hits the 3rd Oak tree on the left side of the street as she swerves to miss a dog that has run into the street to chase a toy that a 3 year old toddler has thrown after learning that his parents would be getting divorced; I must save his dinner and all of this would be averted; I have a job to do; SAVE HUMANITY; SAVE THE #DIGITALPOLLOAF!!”

Patricia closes the door as she leaves the house; Annette sits down on her recliner; HR puts the #palomitasAF into the microwave; and my wife orders pizza ’cause she knows that HR is going to overcook the popcorn, again; but, my wife, ain’t worried; moments later the pizza arrives, and we have a nice family dinner and talk about what has been going on while I was in the coma.

Moments later, the phone would ring with a new mystery.

“Yeah”, I, Annette, reply as I look down at the floor, “what’s the case?”

The cloaked voice on the other end starts screaming, “it’s chaos! It’s madness! Everyone is robbing everyone else. There’s no order. Soon they will be in the office where I am calling you from. You must do something QUICK. I think that it’s the algorithm that they are programmed with has corrupted. Help us?”

The phone line clicks and goes dead; I put the videotelepathy device into my pants pocket and start to sit down in my recliner; I think I know what it is?

I hit POWER on my keyboard and the screen is projected on the far wall; computer. Show me the robotic telepathy algorithm for the robots on WKNIERTY.

Two math equations are displayed on the wall; instantly, almost, I see what’s gone wrong; the component to consider the consequences to your partner has been erased; by whom or what, I wonder?

I change the matrix to include the component to consider the partner in the programming algorithm, then, as a second thought, I review the second equation; the one that determines if it is the right time or if the action is better taken, or delayed, at the moment.

“This has been corrupted, too!”, I tell HR as she looks at the far wall and the equations governing the collective behaviour of the robots in chaos on the planet.

“So, you just need to add the variable to include the option of pausing on action if the circumstances don’t warrant the behavior per the situational familiarity control”, HR remarks as she turns her head to me.

“Yeah”, I reply as I type the missing component, of essentially patience, into the equation and hit #guadarAF on the keyboard, “basically it looks like the robots had their programming changed to act only on self-interest and impulsively. That’s more or less the problem. I wonder what happened?”

“You notice anything abnormal on that planet prior to the situation”, HR asks me as she puts the question into the search feature on the interwebs, “looks like there was an electrical storm last Wednesday in their atmosphere. Probably just lightning that fried a communication tower.”

“It’s still suspicious”, I say to HR as I also look at the record of events in the last two weeks on their planet, “I hope that’s all that happened, huh?”

“Well let’s keep a monitor on them”, HR mentions to me as she places a code into her keyboard to access the videocamera on the planet, “I’m going to set it to give me an update if there’s anything that changes in the next month there. Hopefully updating the programming fixed it.”

My videoteleapthy device beeps; the cloaked voice is back on the line; he says that society has been restored there and he can send over a pizza as a thank you; I accept; the pizza arrives and we put it in the fridge for the morning; a day without having to cook is pretty sweet, huh?


“Hey!”, HR calls out as she enters the kitchen, “any more pizza left?”

“Nah!”, I reply as I wipe my sleeve on my mouth, “just finished the last slice. You hungry?”

“Yeah”, HR replies as she turns her head to the coffee machine, “we got any eggs?”

“About the biggest you’ve ever seen”, I reply to HR as I chuckle, “Oh! You mean to eat? Yeah, there’s some #digitaljuevosAF in the fridge, I think?”

“Nah”, HR replies as she turns on the coffeemaker, “I don’t like particlefabricated food. I’ll just make some toast and head to school, in a bit.”

Continuing, “it’s Monday, my favorite day, so I want to get there early.”

“Yeah”, I reply to HR as I take the #mayonesaAF out of the fridge for her toast, “there’s two days of the week: shitty days and Monday. I look forward to this day all week. What you got going on in school today?”

“Psychology followed by inorganic chemistry”, HR replies as she spread the #mayonesaAF on her bread before toasting it, “you got any mysteries today?”

“Nah”, I reply as I take out a mug to pour a cup of coffee, “everything is good. Typical Monday, you know?”

Moments later, there would be a knock on the front door; Patricia would be back; we would invite her into the house; she would sit down in the kitchen; she would tell us that something was about to happen; she would say that she had to return to stop an accident from happening; she would look out the window and sip her coffee; we would tell her thanks but no thanks; we would kick her out of the house; she would sulk at the front door for 0.6895 hours, then turn and walk down the street; she would accidentally run into a guy on his bike selling eggs; the yolk would get in her eyes; Patricia would try to walk away but the egg in her eye would make her vision blurry; she would walk into the street where she would be hit by a car; the driver would be running late to work and have coffee spilled on his lap; he would have just left a fight with his kids on what college they would be going to; he would have found out a week earlier that he had been fired; he had found out a month before that that he had malignant cancer cells in his body; moments after hitting Patricia in the street, the police would take him to jail; he would be found guilty and be sentenced to a decade in jail; the medical treatment wouldn’t work and he would pass while behind bars; Patricia would be sold for scrap medal to a gentleman from the planet KNURNTER; he would melt her down and use the metal to particlefabricate a toaster for his kitchen; I would be sipping my coffee and watcingh a movie in the living room when Patricia was hit by the car; HR would be on her way to school and, later, get good grades in her Psychology and Inorganic Chemistry class; I would accidentally drop a #digitaljuevoAF on the floor in the kitchen, that afternoon, and clean up the mess; overall, did it turn out bad?


Let life unfurl as it may and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised, Yo.

Southern hospitality is a phrase used in American English to describe the stereotype of residents of the Southern United States as particularly warm, sweet, and welcoming to visitors to their homes, or to the South in general.


How to Play the Blues: Chords, Patterns and Fills for Major and Minor Blues | TAB + AUDIO

{Link Bit.ly/2tWLahs}

What guitar player hasn’t even taken part in a blues jam? If you’re reading this and saying, “Me,” then this lesson is for you.

We’re going to show you the chords and scales you need to navigate the 12-bar form, as well as some cool licks and turnarounds, so that the next time you’re at a jam session and your turn comes, you’l be ready to tear it up.

THE 12-BAR FORM

The primary harmonic structure of the blues is the I-IV-V progression, which derived from church music of the South.

Unlike most tonal music, which uses dominant 7th chords (1–3–5–b7) as functional harmony, the blues uses them to add color, most commonly in a 12-bar form (FIGURE 1).


Where Does the South Begin?

{Link theatln.tc/2ugX2KN}

The Post had an interesting article last weekend about how the Washington, D.C. region has lost most of its southern identity in recent decades as northerners move in and the federal capital’s culture, food, and dialect became more standardized. The article raised the inevitable question: Was D.C. ever a southerncity? And if so, where does the South begin?

Most Americans would agree that Richmond is a southern town, but how far north above the capital of the Confederacy does the South extend? Is Fredericksburg a southern town? Annapolis? Harper’s Ferry? Louisville?

In some sense it’s a ham-handed question, since “the South” has many sub-cultures. Charleston is very different than Dallas; the Great Smokies look nothing like the Delta; and Lexington-style barbecue is sacrilegious in Memphis. But at the same time, most Americans, southern and otherwise, have a psychological concept of the South. The question is the geography of it.

The town of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley was the base to legendary southerners such as Harry Byrd and Stonewall Jackson, yet it is north of Washington, was settled by Quakers, and has the feel of a Pennsylvania mill town. Not surprisingly, Winchester changed hands 72 times during the Civil War.

The border is obviously hazy, as anyone familiar with the events of 1861-65 can attest. The five most widely used borders are the Rappahannock River, the Potomac River, the Ohio River, the Mason-Dixon Line, and U.S. Route 40. Each of these can seem equally logical and preposterous depending on what kind of metric you’re using. Here are some of the best ways decide:

Surveys and Censuses

The Mason-Dixon Line is the most traditional border between North and South, and to some extent the line made sense in its time. Maryland was a slave state, home to the likes of Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman, and Lincoln had to send federal troops into Baltimore to quell secessionist riots — all suggesting Maryland was a southern state.

The Line endures today and the U.S. Census still lists Maryland and D.C. as part of the South. In fact, the Census even calls Delaware southern, which seems a bit misguided. The concept of the Mason-Dixon Line today is outdated, as few people would describe Baltimore, with its ethnic neighborhoods and industrial tradition, as southern.

Many historians and sociologists decided long ago that the Mason-Dixon Line was too clumsy and that U.S. Route 40 — the old National Road — was a more accurate border. The road extends from Baltimore to Frederick to Cumberland, through Wheeling, across southern Ohio, through Columbus and Indianapolis, across southern Illinois, and out to St. Louis.

In the “Nine Nations of North America,” Joel Garreau noted that there are “substantial differences in food, architecture, the layout of towns, and music to either side of that highway.” Southern Indiana, he wrote, “is definitely part of Dixie, and has been ever since the Coppherheads (those Northerners who sympathized with the Confederates in the 1860s).”

Rivers

Gen. George McClellan could never cross the swampy Chickahominy River outside Richmond, and so everything south of there is clearly property of Dixie. But a more frequently-used border is the Rappahannock, which is about halfway between Washington and Richmond. Most neighborhoods north of the Rap feel metropolitan while counties south are rural.

The Potomac was also the effective border between the USA and CSA. The Feds’ decision to coin the Army of the Potomac was symbolic, as it hinted at the central point. Similarly, the Army of the Ohio suggested that the Ohio River was the western border between North and South, which seems reasonable if you consider Kentucky southern and Ohio northern.

Religion

If you look at the Kentucky/Ohio and Kentucky/Indiana borders, you’ll also see that the southern state is overwhelmingly Baptist while the northern one is a mix of Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians. Not surprisingly, the Baptist counties in southern Illinois supported Stephen A. Douglas (who founded a Baptist seminary) over Lincoln, who was a Presbyterian.

The divide roughly follows the Ohio River, but it cuts across West Virginia, where the southern tier is Baptist and speaks will a drawl and the northern tier is ethnic and cheers for the Steelers. Maryland was a colony founded by Catholics, while Virginia is mostly Baptist with a strong Methodist following in the hills.

Language

If religion is voluntary, dialect is involuntary.


The Differences Between a Job, Career, and Vocation

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What are the differences between a job, career, and vocation? It seems like a simple question to answer, yet most working adults don’t have a clue.

A job is something short-term that we do for money. We often hear the phrase “dead end job” when people talk about their work. There’s no long-lasting fulfillment or happiness from a job. For those of us who have had jobs, or have one now, we know that we outgrow one job quickly then search for the next job. All the while, we wonder why we aren’t satisfied with our professional lives.

A career is something with long-term goals for which we make money. The funny thing about careers is that they are often discussed in a negative way. People try to separate their career from their personal life. Yet when people ask us about ourselves, our careers are usually a big part of how we explain who we are. This seems silly if you think about it because the vast majority of us don’t like our careers. Careers may provide the monetary means to obtain material possessions, but our careers aren’t fulfilling. We aren’t happy for those eight to twelve hours a day we spend in the office.

A vocation, or calling, is something to which we all should strive.


How to Brew Beer (and What it Costs)

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I’ve mentioned many times on The Simple Dollar that I figured out how to brew beer at home, and just as many times, readers have requested a walkthrough of this process along with some cost analyses.

Recently, I made a batch of porter and took some photographs along the way to illustrate the process. Let’s dig in!

Beer Brewing Equipment

If your goal is simply to brew a batch of beer and consume it in one sitting with a group of friends, all you need is a brewing bucketa bubbler, and a siphon hose, depicted below.

When you mix up a batch of beer, it needs to ferment for a week or two, and this bucket makes it quite easy. You simply put your unfermented beer in the bucket, put the bubbler in the little hole on top of the bucket (the bubbler allows gas to escape without contaminating the beer), and let it sit. When you’re ready to drink the beer, just open the spigot and drink a glass – the hose can make it easier to pour.

Most home brewers tend to want to bottle their beer for long-term storage. If that’s the case, you’ll need to accumulate roughly fifty empty, clean beer bottles and also a simple bottle capper, again available at your local beermaking supply store.

This equipment, all together, will cost $20 or so and are often available in kits.

When making beer, I use a few optional items:

The large glass jug is called a carboy. You can use it for long-term storage of the fermenting beer – it doesn’t last too long in the bucket. Also, I use an auto-siphon (which makes it very easy to siphon beer out of the carboy) and a bottling tip (which makes it very easy to put beer in the bottles). You may also want a hydrometer, which you can use to calculate the alcohol content of the beer you make.

You don’t need these things to make beer, but it does make it easier in some ways. You can leave the beer for a very long time in the carboy and bottling is a much easier process with the auto-siphon and the bottling tip.

The only additional items you’ll need to make your own beer can likely already be found in your kitchen. You’ll need a large pot (one that can hold four gallons of liquid or so), a large spoon to stir it with, a thermometer, and a funnel (if you’re using a carboy). You’ll also need to carefully sanitize any equipment you may use – I use a bleach solution to make sure everything is as clean as possible.

How to Make Beer

As I mentioned earlier, I planned to make a porter. I found an interesting recipe on the internet:

Along with these ingredients, there are a few standard items you’ll need for any beer making journey: a grain steeping bag (essentially a teabag for steeping the grains in the water), priming sugar, yeast, and caps.

All of these items are available at a beermaking supply store. I acquired all of the above for roughly $35.

A big part of the fun of homebrewing is that you can experiment with the recipes as much as you want. For example, my wife and I made an oatmeal stout that went off the recipe quite a bit and it turned out sublimely delicious.

Boil the Water and Steep

Most beer making recipes follow a pretty standard procedure. Just pour two gallons of water into your large pot, heat it to 160 degrees F (80 degrees C) or so, put the grains in the grain bag and tie it off, then drop the grain bag in the water to steep for twenty minutes or so.

Above, I took the picture just after dropping the “tea bag” into the water. The steeping will cause the water to change color, usually to some shade of brown. Here’s what it looks like after the steeping.

Adding Malt

Once the steeping is finished, you simply bring the pot up to a low boil and add the malt extract (a brown liquid) and the bittering hops.


You copy someone else’s originality because you’re afraid of being natural; failure is assured before the start; but success comes later, Yo.


How to Recognize When You Are Too Trusting

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I am a lucky person in many ways. And one of those ways is the fact that I was born to parents who are very trustworthy — especially my mom. If she said she would do something, her word was as good as signing something in blood. I never, ever had to question whether she really meant it or not. My dad wasn’t quite as reliable, but he was just a little slower to come through. Regardless, both of my parents live(d) their lives with a lot of ethics and integrity.

Although I just said that was lucky, it has become a double-edged sword for me throughout my life. As you might guess, because my parents are/were very trustworthy (my dad has passed away, but my mom is still alive), I am as well. If I say it, I mean it. And if I don’t mean it, I don’t say it.

For example, even if it’s something simple like meeting a friend for dinner one night, I never cancel unless absolutely necessary (like I can’t get out of bed because I have the flu, or some other unforeseen occurrence which would prevent me from keeping my commitment). Even if the day arrives and I am too tired or just don’t feel like going out for some reason, I still go. Because I made a commitment, and I am a trustworthy person.

Since I am this way, I naïvely believed everyone was like this too. Luckily, I chose friends early in my life who were trustworthy too. So up until my 40s, I pretty much had good experiences with people.

Then a few years ago, everything changed for some reason. I met a few people who are not only NOT trustworthy, they acted in some very unethical ways. For example, I had a friend who persuaded me to get in on a “once-in-a-lifetime” investment. We were very close friends, and I trusted her. Well, not only did she scam me out of my money, she has done it to other people too. In fact, I think she’s probably running a Ponzi scheme, although I have no proof of it.

Think about it — so many of us are way too trusting. I had to learn my lesson the hard way, and maybe you did too.

For example, do you know someone who has fallen prey to an email scam? I get emails all the time from completely unknown people who tell me that my website is a complete mess and they want me to give them money to help me with it. And I also get emails telling me that a long lost relative left me $15,000,000 dollars and that if I give them my bank account number, that person will wire me the money. Umm, yeah right. I think not

And then you have the poor people who are scammed in the online dating world. Many people create fake profiles and then woo their victims into falling in love with them. And this is all before they actually meet! In fact, some of these people are on the other side of the world and they’re just waiting for you to hand over your life savings to them after they gain your trust.

So what can we do to be sure that our level of trust is appropriate? I mean, we can’t go around in life trusting no one. But obviously, we can’t trust everyone. So what should we do?

I think you need to use a combination of your head and your heart/intuition.


I open the cabin in the spacejet; then, abruptly close it; what’s that smell?

I glance to my left; there’s a figure waving his arms; I acknowledge him and he puts his arms down; putting his fingers up, he motions to pinch my nose; I do this and reopen the cabin of the vehicle.

I climb down the stairs and step on the spongy ground; looking around, I can see numerous metallic robots covered in rust; this must be where the smell is coming from?

“You guessed it”, the man says to me as he motions with his arm to look around, “I just found them this way, Yo.”

Continuing, “as best I can tell, their central telepathic programming stopped and they are just locked in position doing nothing. There’s a lot of valuable hardware here if we can get them functional again.”

I glance to my right and see a small shed in the distance, “perhaps, that’s the relay station?”

We walk up the dune and arrive at a locked door.

“Don’t worry”, I tell the man as I bend down to pick up a rock from the ground, “I always carry a key with me, Yo.”

I break the glass window next to the door with the rock and put my hand into the shed; fumbling around, I find the front door lock and twist it; the bright red portal to the shed opens.

We enter the space; on the far wall is a button marked In Case Of Emergencies.

I walk over, and dust off the button, before hitting it.

The control panel below it lights up; and there’s a whirling sound as the small gears start rotating to lower the shelf on the side wall.

Because of the noise in the shed, I can’t hear the click of the pistol on the back of my head.

I fall in a heap; crumpled, all I can do is look up at the ceiling of the shed; I reach into my pocket and pull out my videotelepathy device.

I Love You, I think and the message is sent to HR and my wife, almost, instantly.

0.28425 nanoseconds later, my vision fades out.


“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

Herman Melville

Best 8 Ways to Deal with Detractors

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We have all had them as we set and go after our goals, no matter where we are or what our goals may be: naysayers, detractors, people who poke fun or get angry or tell us we can’t do it.

Detractors are very serious business, even if they just seem to be having a little fun at our expense. Don’t let them stop you or even slow you down.

How do you deal with detractors? Each one will be different, but here are a few tips:

First learn to identify them. Sometimes we don’t realize that someone is being a detractor. They may be a close friend or spouse or other trusted person, so when they scoff or say negative things, we trust them and take it to heart. But there’s a difference between being realistic and just being a naysayer. Learn to listen to what others are saying, and see what your reaction is. If it discourages you, makes you feel like quitting, then maybe this person is being a detractor.

See if they have a valid point. Like I said, sometimes they are just trying to be realistic. They might have a good reason for their negativity. Step back, objectively think about whether they are bringing up a real obstacle that must be overcome, and if so, figure out how to overcome it. It’s rarely insurmountable. If you want it enough, you can figure out a solution. Now, if they don’t have a valid point, read on.

Zap any negative thoughts they give you. Detractors have a way of taking their negative thoughts and transferring them to you. Suddenly, there’s a seed of doubt. And it can grow into a huge oak tree of doubt, with roots that tear up the foundation of your goals. Stop those negative thoughts as soon as possible. Push them out, and think positive thoughts instead. Don’t let them overcome you.

Realize that there will always be detractors, and let them slide off you like water on a duck’s back. In every person’s life, there will be at least one detractor, if not more. You cannot completely avoid them. But you don’t need to listen to them. Just smile, and let them talk. Their words cannot stop you. They have no effect on you if you ignore their words.

Confront them, and get them on your side. Sometimes the detractor is someone close to you, someone you cannot ignore. If so, it’s best to enlist the help of this person instead of fighting against them. Do this as early as possible. Tell them that this goal is very important to you, and you cannot do it without their help. Tell them that you realize they have doubts, but you really need them to be positive, and support you. They can be your best ally, instead of your worst detractor.

Laugh with them. Sometimes people are uncomfortable when you make a change, and so in order to ease this discomfort, they will make jokes or tease you.


16 Steps To Kill Someone And Not Get Caught

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I’ve had sleeping problems my whole life. The funny thing about going to a doctor for sleeping pills is you can tell them you’ve had sleeping problems your whole life and all they’ll do is hand you a pamphlet. It has advice on it like: Don’t get in bed unless you’re going to sleep. Don’t drink too much caffeine or alcohol. Exercise frequently, but don’t do it too late. Advice like this feels like being told to spit on a house fire.

When I was 20, I lived in an apartment with my boyfriend. He woke every morning at five so he could be at work by six. There was a big aquarium in our bedroom, and the apartment was poorly ventilated, so it was always humid and hot. Consequentially, after he went to bed I went into the living room, where I left both of the big windows open. I liked to drink, and I liked to watch TV. Court TV – that was my favorite channel. The sofa was right next to the window.

Court TV played shows like Cold Case Files and Forensic Files in a seemingly endless loop. So I sat there, watching things about bodies and death and violence. I’d smoke cigarettes on the steps outside our door during the commercial breaks, and I’d hear things in the bushes and on the street and think about all the sketchy-looking people who roamed the neighborhood. I’d go back inside, and think about how the window was right next to my head, and how a knife could cut through the screen so easily, and how my boyfriend slept as soundly as a rock. I’d become drunk and I’d become afraid, and shortly after, I’d fall asleep. No struggle, no turning of gears – the sleep on the couch, in front of the murder shows, came soft and easy. I still woke up after a few hours, but at least now I could get to sleep.

Court TV became Tru TV and started playing shows about traffic cops. I stopped paying for cable, and bought DVDs about serial killers instead. Netflix started streaming their shows, iPads were invented, and every episode of Dateline got uploaded to YouTube. And eventually, my doctor prescribed me Seroquel.

It takes me an hour or less to fall asleep these days, because that’s how long it takes for the Seroquel to kick in, but I still watch murder shows every night. Somehow along the way, stories detailing the worst kind of deaths have become soothing. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I’d like to chalk it up to the fact that the voices narrating these shows are usually soft and therefore soothing, and that you always know how the story will end so there’s no need to stay awake til it’s over.

Something happens, though, if you spend ten years of your life falling asleep to murder shows: you learn all the ways a person can get caught. From these years of extensive, accidental research, I’ve compiled a list of things you should know if you ever need to kill someone.

1. Keep in mind that extreme heat speeds up the rate of decomposition. Keep in mind that extreme cold slows it down. Therefore: commit your murders in the summer.

2. Don’t kill anyone you’re involved with romantically. You’ll be the first person the cops want to talk to. If you must kill someone you’re sleeping with, make sure they’re sleeping with a lot of other people too, and that one of them has a worse criminal record than yours.

3. Don’t bring your cell phone. This seems pretty basic but apparently a lot of people still get caught from this. Don’t bring your cell phone when you’re stalking them, or when you drive two hours away to dump their body in the desert/river/forest, either. If you must bring a cell phone, act like a criminal who actually knows what they’re doing and buy a pay-as-you-go. Buy it at a busy store, and pay for it in cash.

4. In fact, buy all things related to your murder with cash. Duct tape, plastic bags, rope – all this shit will get you caught.


Meetup.com/TijuanaOutdoorAdventures changing to We Might Die Tours, Yo.


“So why are you telling me this, dad?”, HR asks as she cuts the #digitalzucchiniAF on the cutting board, “you think I’m being mean to the boy in the blue jeans, right.”

“It’s not about that”, I tell HR as I put some more #digitaltofuAF into the acid wash cooker, “it’s about the fact that you’re going to be around for a while; this person is going to return to your life; the negative cycles of your life will continue forever, if allowed; a small moment of consideration of another now can create a better future for everyone; check in on him and see how he is doing; stop using the #digitalwebsAF to follow his story and go to his house and have a coffee with him in his living room; did I tell you about the first planet I moved to from Earth; UBRNTY?”

“Yes”, HR replies as she puts the #digitalzucchiniAF in to the acid washer cooker and picks up the #digitalpolloAF, “but, go ahead.”

“Thanks”, I reply as I set the time on the cooker to 0.3524 nanoseconds, “it was a different economic system: a mix of using debit cards, cash and bartering.  If you wanted your business to be successful, you needed to actually go to your customer’s houses and have a coffee in their living rooms; see what was REALLY going on; then maybe you would buy something from them, or perhaps deliver a little food; you see people didn’t really jobs or retirement plans, and so you would have to rely on your family and those people around you in your life; the day to day was traveling around to visit friends and drink coffee; it was pretty FUCKING awesome, actually; but the point is that people were watching you to see if you are giving too much or taking more then your share; are you a freeloader or are you in it together; you had to create something as well or else you had nothing to barter with to otehrs; that wasn’t a pretty picture when people had nothing to offer, huh?”


Open Your Mind in 7 Steps

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Opening your mind is the first step to unleashing the unlimited power within you. You must learn to identify all the things in your conscious and subconscious mind that stunt the growth of your mind, body, and spirit. Positive changes will be evident in your life when you are mentally and physically receptive to the energy that created you and the energy around you.

We have been given the power to develop ideas and exercise free will. We grow and develop egos that preserve very particular ideas about ourselves in relation to the world around us. The development of and obsession with these ideas may be what makes some people evil, violent, angry, or sad. They teach us to discriminate, hate, stereotype, and judge unfairly. From these ideas there are lessons to be learned, but you can freely discard any part of them in order to reconnect with the perfect, peaceful, loving, and kind energy that created you.To help you further understand how to open your mind, try one or more of these simple steps:

1. Get Your Ego In Check: Your ego is your conscious mind, that which controls your behavior and tries to give meaning to your external, material reality. It is powerful and can control your life, if you allow it to. Your external reality is a direct result of your mental and spiritual self. If your mental and spiritual self are not where you want them to be, your external and material self will suffer. The ego cannot improve the quality of your mental and spiritual life.

2. Rid Your Mind of Judgment: Our minds are full of ideas instilled in us by countless sources: our parents, culture, friends, history, teachers, loved ones and religious leaders. Judgment tells you that a finite set of ideas are the only correct ideas. All other beliefs are wrong.

3. Practice Silence: It sounds unbelievable, but most of us living in modern societies have a very hard time being quiet or enjoying the absence of verbiage. Sometimes we are too darn busy talking, listening to music or trying to relax with special gadgets that we forget about ourselves, and cause undue stress, anxiety and diseases in the process. Understanding that we have the power to soothe and relax our mind, body, and spirit with no outside help is essential to opening yourself to all the possibilities that lie ahead.

4. Learn to Meditate: There are many meditation techniques, but the end result is (or should be) always the same: create a relaxed state of mental and physical being by focusing and calming the mind.


How To Be Respectful: 4 Essential Rules

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The other day on my free coaching call an attendee asked about how to handle someone who is disrespectful. I gave her advice regarding opening up communication and giving the person straight-forward “instructions” on how she wanted to be treated, and somewhere along the line it dawned on me: There are so many people out there who just don’t understand respect.

If you’re like me, this statement probably shocks you. I was raised to be respectful. My parents made a big deal out of it and now, as an adult, I truly recognize the important role it plays in my relationships and in my career. But sadly, not everyone is lucky enough to have parents like mine.

Since “disrespect” is the sixth career-limiting habit on our list, I figured now was a good time to go ahead and address this issue once and for all. Below, I’ll share the 4 rules I live by when it comes to respect. You can use these rules in both your personal and professional life. I promise, you and everyone with whom you interact will be glad you did.

1. The Golden Rule

Treat others how you want to be treated. They call it the “golden” rule because, if you do this and nothing else, you’ll be golden.

2. The “It’s A Small World” Rule

Now that you’ve got the world’s most annoying song in your head, let me clarify what I mean by “It’s a small world.” No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do for a living, the bubble you in which you exist is much, much smaller than you think. Because of this, you always want to treat everyone—clients, subordinates, and co-workers alike—as if they will one day be your boss…because they very well could be. You never know what might happen in the future. So think of every person you interact with as a potential future employer.

3. The “Hidden Value” Rule

Look for the good in everyone.


“Ghost Ponds” Contain Hidden Plants That Can Be Revived

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IN BRIEF

“Ghost ponds” are ponds that were never drained, but filled in with soil and plant life. They are being studied by researchers and could help restore habitats.

Aquatic plants buried underground for more than a century can be revived and regrown, according to a new study investigating the phenomenon of “ghost ponds” – ponds that aren’t properly drained but filled in with soil and vegetation under agricultural land.

Restoring some of these buried ponds, and the habitats hidden in limbo beneath the soil, could be a valuable way of reversing habitat and biodiversity losses, say researchers, and we could even bring some plant species back from the dead.

The team from University College London in the UK has dug out three ghost ponds so far and estimates there could be as many as 600,000 similar patches spread out across the English countryside.

“We have shown that ghost ponds can be resurrected, and remarkably wetland plants lost for centuries can be brought back to life from preserved seeds,” says lead researcher Emily Alderton.

Ghost ponds often appear as damp areas of land, marked by poor crop growth or a change in soil colour. They’re typically created when farmers use plants and soil to cover up small ponds as they extend and reorganise their fields.

The researchers used Ordnance Survey maps and other historical records, as well as the tell-tale visual signs, to identify ghost ponds and get the land owner’s permission to have a go at excavating them.

Based on the three sites so far, with ponds thought to have been buried for 40, 50, and 150 years, eight different plant species have been resurrected from their watery graves with follow-up tests in the lab.

Eggs from two crustacean species were also found, but the researchers haven’t yet assessed what kind of state they’re in.

“With UK farmland ponds typically supporting between six and 14 aquatic plant species, the eight species that survived under prolonged burial represent a significant proportion of the expected species diversity in farmland ponds,” says one of the team, Carl Sayer.

These zombie seeds seem to be made of stern stuff, and now the researchers want conservation groups to target ghost ponds in their attempts to restore aquatic habitats and plants that might have been lost to farming over the last century or more.

Convicts and the British colonies in Australia

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A penal colony

On 18 January 1788 the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay, which Joseph Banks had declared suitable for a penal colony after he returned from a journey there in 1770.

Captain Arthur Phillip, the fleet’s commander, brought a small party of marines and seamen ashore, but found the location unsuitable because the harbour was unsafe and the area lacked fresh water. (The Oxford Companion to Australian History).

The fleet then relocated to Port Jackson. On 21 January 1788 Phillip, with a party of officers and marines, landed at an unnamed place, believed to be the beachfront at Camp Cove (known as ‘cadi’ to the local Cadigal people). This occasion marks the first landing of members of the First Fleet within Port Jackson, and the first known European landing in Sydney Harbour.

After moving further into the harbour, on 26 January 1788 Phillip raised the British flag at Sydney Cove. 751 convicts and their children disembarked, along with 252 marines and their families.

Two more convict fleets arrived in 1790 and 1791, and the first free settlers arrived in 1793. From 1788 to 1823, the Colony of New South Wales was officially a penal colony comprised mainly of convicts, soldiers and the wives of soldiers.

The early convicts were all sent to the colony, but by the mid-1800s they were also being sent directly to destinations such as Norfolk Island, Van Diemen’s Land, Port Macquarie and Moreton Bay.

Twenty per cent of these first convicts were women. The majority of women convicts, and many free women seeking employment, were sent to the ‘female factories’ as unassigned women. The female factories were originally profit-making textile factories. The Parramatta Factory grew as an enclave for pregnant women and also served as an orphanage from the 1830s.

Convict labour

Governor Philip (1788–1792) founded a system of labour in which people, whatever their crime, were employed according to their skills – as brick makers, carpenters, nurses, servants, cattlemen, shepherds and farmers.

Educated convicts were set to the relatively easy work of record-keeping for the convict administration. Women convicts were assumed to be most useful as wives and mothers, and marriage effectively freed a woman convict from her servitude.

From 1810, convicts were seen as a source of labour to advance and develop the British colony. Convict labour was used to develop the public facilities of the colonies – roads, causeways, bridges, courthouses and hospitals. Convicts also worked for free settlers and small land holders.

The discipline of rural labour was seen to be the best chance of reform. This view was adopted by Commissioner Bigge in a series of reports for the British Government published in 1822-23. The assignment of convicts to private employers was expanded in the 1820s and 1830s, the period when most convicts were sent to the colonies, and this became the major form of employment.

Convicts formed the majority of the colony’s population for the first few decades, and by 1821 there was a growing number of freed convicts who were appointed to positions of trust and responsibility as well as being granted land.

The convict experience

In the mid–1830s only around six per cent of the convict population were ‘locked up’, the majority working for free settlers and the authorities around the nation. Even so, convicts were often subject to cruelties such as leg-irons and the lash. Places like Port Arthur or Norfolk Island were well known for this. Convicts sometimes shared deplorable conditions. One convict described the working thus:

‘We have to work from 14–18 hours a day, sometimes up to our knees in cold water, ’til we are ready to sink with fatigue… The inhuman driver struck one, John Smith, with a heavy thong.’

The experience of these convicts is recorded through the first Australian folk songs written by convicts. Convict songs like Jim Jones, Van Diemen’s Land, and Moreton Bay were often sad or critical. Convicts such as Francis Macnamara (known as ‘Frankie the Poet’) were flogged for composing original ballads with lines critical of their captors.

In addition to the physical demands of convict life, some convicts arrived without sufficient English to communicate easily with others:

By 1852, about 1,800 of the convicts had been sentenced in Wales. Many who were sent there could only speak Welsh, so as well as being exiled to a strange country they were unable to speak with most of their fellow convicts.

Martin Shipton, Western Mail, 2006

Also telling of convicts’ experiences were convict love tokens, mainly produced in the 1820s and 1830s by transported convicts as a farewell to their loved ones. Made from coins such as pennies, most of the engraved inscriptions refer to loss of liberty. One token, made from a penny for convict James Godfrey, is dedicated to his love Hannah Jones. The inscription reads: ‘When in/Captivity/Time/Goeth/Very slow/But/Free as air/To roam now/Quick the/Time/Doth/Go’.

End of transportation

When the last shipment of convicts disembarked in Western Australia in 1868, the total number of transported convicts stood at around 162,000 men and women. They were transported here on 806 ships.

The transportation of convicts to Australia ended at a time when the colonies’ population stood at around one million, compared to 30,000 in 1821. By the mid–1800s there were enough people here to take on the work, and enough people who needed the work. The colonies could therefore sustain themselves and continue to grow. The convicts had served their purpose.

Who were the convicts?

While the vast majority of the convicts to Australia were English and Welsh (70%), Irish (24%) or Scottish (5%), the convict population had a multicultural flavour. Some convicts had been sent from various British outposts such as India and Canada. There were also Maoris from New Zealand, Chinese from Hong Kong and slaves from the Caribbean.

A large number of soldiers were transported for crimes such as mutiny, desertion and insubordination. Australia’s first bushranger – John Caesar – sentenced at Maidstone, Kent in 1785 was born in the West Indies.

Most of the convicts were thieves who had been convicted in the great cities of England. Only those sentenced in Ireland were likely to have been convicted of rural crimes. Transportation was an integral part of the English and Irish systems of punishment. It was a way to deal with increased poverty and the severity of the sentences for larceny. Simple larceny, or robbery, could mean transportation for seven years. Compound larceny – stealing goods worth more than a shilling (about $50 in today’s money) – meant death by hanging.

Men had usually been before the courts a few times before being transported, whereas women were more likely to be transported for a first offence. The great majority of convicts were working men and women with a range of skills.

Good behaviour and ‘Ticket of leave’ licences

Good behaviour meant that convicts rarely served their full term and could qualify for a Ticket of Leave, Certificate of Freedom, Conditional Pardon or even an Absolute Pardon.


lib·er·al

ˈlib(ə)rəl/

adjective: liberal

open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.


Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery

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How to Overcome Your Eating Disorder and Gain True Self-Confidence

The inner voices of anorexia and bulimia whisper that you’ll never be happy until you lose weight, that your worth is measured by how you look. But the truth is that happiness and self-esteem come from loving yourself for who you truly are—and that’s only possible with recovery. And while it may seem like there’s no escape from your eating disorder, recovery is within your reach. With treatment, support, and these self-help strategies, you can find healthier ways to cope with negative feelings, overcome your eating disorder, and gain true self-confidence.

How do I begin recovery from an eating disorder?

The road to eating disorder recovery starts with admitting you have a problem. This admission can be tough, especially if you’re still clinging to the belief—even in the back of your mind—that weight loss is the key to happiness, confidence, and success. Even when you finally understand this isn’t true, old habits are still hard to break.

The good news is that the eating disorder behaviors you’ve learned can be unlearned if you’re motivated to change and willing to ask for help. However, overcoming an eating disorder is about more than giving up unhealthy eating behaviors. It’s also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits, weight, and body image.

True recovery from eating disorders involves learning to:

Listen to your feelings.

Listen to your body.

Accept yourself.

Love yourself.

This may seem like a lot to tackle, but just remember that you’re not alone. Help for eating disorders is out there; all you have to do is ask!

The first step to recovery: Reaching out for support

It can be scary and embarrassing to seek help for an eating disorder, but opening up about the problem is an important step on the road to recovery. However, it’s important to choose someone who will be supportive and truly listen without judging you or rejecting you. This could be a close friend or family member or a youth leader, teacher, or school counselor you trust. Or you may be more comfortable confiding in a therapist or doctor.

Tips for talking to someone about your eating disorder

There are no hard and fast rules for telling someone about your eating disorder. But be mindful about choosing the right time and place—ideally somewhere private where you won’t be rushed or interrupted.

Starting the conversation. This can be the hardest part. One way to start is by simply saying, “I’ve got something important to tell you. It’s difficult for me to talk about this, so it would mean a lot if you’d be patient and hear me out.” From there, you may want to talk about when your eating disorder started, the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors involved, and how the disorder has impacted you.

Be patient. Your friend or family member will have their own emotional reaction to learning about your eating disorder. They may feel shocked, helpless, confused, sad, or even angry. They may not know how to respond or help you. Give them time to digest what you’re telling them. It’s also important to educate them about your specific eating disorder.

Be specific about how the person can best support you. For example, checking in with you regularly about how you’re feeling, helping you finding treatment, or finding ways to support your recovery without turning into the food police.

Eating disorder support groups

While family and friends can be a huge help in providing support, you may also want to join an eating disorder support group. They provide a safe environment where you can talk freely about your eating disorder and get advice and support from people who know what you’re going through.

There are many types of eating disorder support groups. Some are led by professional therapists, while others are moderated by trained volunteers or people who have recovered from an eating disorder. You can find online anorexia and bulimia support groups, chat rooms, and forums. These can be particularly helpful if you’re not ready to seek face-to-face help or you don’t have a support group in your area.

For help finding an eating disorder support group:

Ask your doctor or therapist for a referral

Call local hospitals and universities

Call local eating disorder centers and clinics

Visit your school’s counseling center

Call a helpline listed in the Resources section below

Help for eating disorders

For help and support for anorexia and bulimia in the U.S., call 1-800-931-2237, a toll-free hotline offered by the National Eating Disorder Association. In other countries, see the Resources section below for a helpline in your area.

Getting treatment

While there are a variety of different treatment options available for those struggling with eating disorders, it is important to find the treatment, or combination of treatments, that works best for you.

Effective treatment for eating disorders should address more than just your symptoms and destructive eating habits. It should also address the root causes of the problem—the emotional triggers that lead to disordered eating and your difficulty coping with stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, and other uncomfortable emotions.

Eating disorder treatment steps

Step:1 Assemble your treatment team

Because eating disorders have serious emotional, medical, and nutritional consequences, it’s important to have a team of professionals that can address every aspect of your problem. As you search, focus on finding the right fit—professionals who make you feel comfortable, accepted, and safe.

To find an eating disorder treatment specialist in your area:

Ask your primary care doctor for a referral

Check with local hospitals or medical centers

Ask your school counselor or nurse

Call a helpline listed in the Resources section below

Step 2: Address health problems

Eating disorders can be deadly—and not just if you’re drastically underweight.


“So you want to work for the govenment as a pyschiatrist, huh?”, I ask HR as I look over at Heatherate and Jacobate, “hey hun! Are you sure we can’t cook them?”

“Nah!”, my wife replies from the kitchen, “trust me, it’s going to be so much better this way, Yo!”

“Yeah”, HR replies as she turns her head to me, “it’s going to be a steady employment for my kids that’s going to give us a good life.”

“Yes”, I reply to HR as I look at the TV, “I think that’s good, and, it will also allow you to take your time finding your mate. Spaking of which–what’s going on with you and the boy with blur pants and the girl with teh green dress?

“Ah!”, HR replies as she turns her head to the TV, “just friends.”

Continuing, “my baby, the twins that I’m pregnant with–artificial insemination by my dog.

I spit out the #digitalplloAF from my mouth, “WHAT??”

“No!”, HR replies as she look down at her dinner plate on the tray in front of her, “I’m kidding but actually I’m not.”

“Are you going to marry the dog?”, I ask as I turn my head to HR.

“I think he’ld be a great match for you”, my wife calls out from the kitchen, “you guys already spend so much time together.”

“But”, I say as I look back at the TV, “the dog doesn’t make any money. You will be the sole breadwinner of the household.”

“Oh no!”, HR replies as she turns to me, “the dog makes WAYYYY more money then me, actually.”

“What?”, I reply as I set down my plate on to the tray.

“Yeah”, HR replies as she looks out the window, “the dog gets paid for being a spokesman for his food. You didn’t know that? All I have to do is take a picture of the dog with the bag of food–paycheck, Yo.”

“So you want to be a government employee because you WANT to work then?”, I ask HR.

“yeah!”, HR replies as she turns back towards the TV, “it would OBVIOUSLY get very boring around the house with no one to talk to so I want the emotional stimulating of being around people that I can talk to regularly. I’m not doing it for the money. If I wanted to make money, I’ld get a private sector job like you, dad.”


Want to Go to Space? Here Are Your Options

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IN BRIEF

Fewer than 600 people have actually been to space. Private companies are going to make space tourism achievable by thousands.

Though we’ve been living in the Space Age for more than half a century, going into space remains an extreme rarity. Fewer than 600 people have gone above the Kármán line — the point, about 62 miles above Earth, that marks the beginning of space — and all were put there by the U.S. or another nation’s government.

But the rise of private spaceflight companies like Virgin Galactic and Space X means that the final frontier may soon be within reach of a great many more of us. The firms have announced plans to put private astronauts, a.k.a. space tourists, on orbital or suborbital flights within the next few years.

Initially, the cost of a ride on one of these rockets will be hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum. That puts the experience within reach of only the wealthiest people. But advances in rocket and capsule design are expected to lower the price to the point that people of more modest fortunes are able to afford a ticket.

Some projections put the global space tourism market at more than $34 billion by 2021.

WHAT SPACE TOURISTS CAN EXPECT

What exactly is in store for space tourists? The excitement of a rocket ride and a chance to experience weightlessness, for starters. And the bragging rights are hard to beat. But some say the biggest benefit of going into space is getting a dramatic new outlook on life on the fragile blue marble we call home. It’s a perspective shift that could have profound implications not just for individuals but also for society at large.

“I personally believe the planetary perspective is going to be crucial to solving humanity’s biggest challenges over the next century,” says Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “I’m inspired that we’ll take people up so they can experience that view, which is said to change your world view in a fundamental way.”

Billionaire computer engineer Charles Simonyi flew to the International Space Station aboard a Russian spacecraft with the assistance of a Vienna, Virginia-based firm called Space Adventures, and he echoes that sentiment. “It’s great to go to space just because it’s there,” he says. “But I think space is our destiny and we will discover great benefits from it.”

FLYING HIGH

Virgin Galactic plans to offer suborbital jaunts into space, with customers being treated to six minutes of weightlessness along with that one-of-a-kind view. The Las Cruces, New Mexico-based company says more than 600 customers have signed up, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Ashton Kutcher, and superstar physicist Stephen Hawking. The price of a ticket stands at $250,000, with registration open for anyone who has that kind of extra cash on hand.

On June 1, Virgin successfully tested SpaceShipTwo Unity. The six-passenger spacecraft glided more than nine minutes to the ground after being released from an airplane flying at 50,000 feet. The company plans to make several more unpowered tests before allowing Unity’s rocket engine to fire up so that, following its release from the plane, it can soar into space.

Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) glides after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve (VMS Eve) over the Mojave Desert on December 3, 2016. / (C) 2016 Virgin Galactic

The company has been promising flights since unveiling SpaceShipTwo in 2009. But a series of bruising setbacks, including a 2014 crash that claimed a test pilot’s life, extended the craft’s test phase.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson said on July 5 that he hopes to see space tourists flying on Virgin by the end of 2018. But other executives at the firm seem reluctant to commit to that. As Whitesides put it to NBC News MACH, “Once when we’re at a place where we’re comfortable with powered flights, we’ll be ready to begin commercial operations.”

DOWNS AND UPS

Midland, Texas-based XCOR Aerospace sought to offer suborbital flights similar to those envisioned by Virgin Galactic. But in 2016, the company halted development of its space-plane, Lynx. On July 5, it announced that all remaining employees had been laid off but stopped short of saying it was out of business.

Between 2001 and 2009, Space Adventures arranged for seven paying customers (including Charles Simonyi) to blast into space for a stint aboard the ISS. Each of these private astronauts got to the station aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule. Space Adventures has unspecified plans to send up more customers but can’t now. Since the end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program in 2011, all seats on Soyuz have been filled by American and Russian astronauts.

 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been eyeing the space tourist market with his private space company, Blue Origin. The company recently posted computer renderings of the opulent interior of its reusable New Shepard capsule configured with six plush leather chairs and six enormous windows.

Blue Origin has yet to say exactly when flights might begin or how much they would cost. Bezos said in March that he’d like to have his first customer flights next year. The company has a sign-up form for those interested in reserving a seat.

Of all companies offering, or expecting to offer, flights into space, SpaceX may have the most compelling story. Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk announced that the company had accepted payment from two customers for a weeklong flight around the moon and back to Earth, largely retracing the path taken by Apollo 8 astronauts in 1968.

Musk has said that the mission could come as soon as 2018. Some are dubious, however, given SpaceX’s reputation for offering overly optimistic schedules. How much the customers paid for the flight is unknown, but estimates have ranged from $80 million to $175 million per seat.

SpaceX has also announced the even more ambitious goal of sending colonists to Mars starting in 2025. Musk has said that once the company is able to build its massive 100-person Mars Colonial Transporter spacecraft, a trip to the Red Planet will cost about $500,000 — roughly the price of a middle-class house in California — with the goal of eventually bringing the price down to $100,000.

ALMOST SPACE

Tucson, Arizona-based World View Enterprises has announced plans to send passengers to an altitude of 100,000 feet in a luxury gondola suspended from a gigantic helium balloon.


If you’re going to do something or be something, at least be halfway decent at it, Yo.

re·ac·tion for·ma·tion

noun

PSYCHOANALYSIS

1. the tendency of a repressed wish or feeling to be expressed at a conscious level in a contrasting form.


Reaction Formation

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Description

Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want.

It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. If I fear that I will be criticized for something, I very visibly act in a way that shows I am personally a long way from the feared position.

A common pattern in Reaction Formation is where the person uses ‘excessive behavior’, for example using exaggerated friendliness when the person is actually feeling unfriendly.

Example

A person who is angry with a colleague actually ends up being particularly courteous and friendly towards them. 

A man who is gay has a number of conspicuous heterosexual affairs and openly criticizes gays.

A mother who has a child she does not want becomes very protective of the child.

An alcoholic extols the virtues of abstinence.

Discussion

A cause of Reaction Formation is when a person seeks to cover up something unacceptable by adopting an opposite stance. For example the gay person who has heterosexually promiscuous may be concealing their homosexual reality. This may be a conscious concealment but also may well occur at the subconscious level such that they do not realize the real cause of their behavior. Reaction Formation thus can turn homosexual tendencies (love men) to homophobic ones (hate men).

Freud called the exaggerated compensation that can appear in Reaction Formation ‘overboarding’ as the person is going overboard in one direction to distract from and cover up something unwanted in the other direction, such as a person who fears war becoming a pacifist, convincing themselves that war is wrong (rather than the ‘cowardly’ position that war is scary).

Reaction Formation goes further than projection such that unwanted impulses and thoughts are not acknowledged.

Extreme patterns of Reaction Formation are found in paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), where the person becomes trapped in a cycle of repeating a behavior that they know (at least at a deep level) is somehow wrong.

Reaction formation is one of Anna Freud’s original defense mechanisms.

So what?

When a person takes a position or stance on something, and particularly if that position is extreme, consider the possibility that their real views are opposite to this. This offers you two options in persuasion. You can either support their current position or carefully expose how their underlying tendencies are opposite (and how it is ok to admit this).

To cause a Reaction Formation pattern, show the other person that a particular behavior is socially unacceptable. Then give them the space and ideas to react against this undesirable pattern and create their own way of showing how they are actually very far away from the undesirable behavior.

In a therapeutic situation, help a person who is dysfunctionally forming contrary reactions by first create a supportive environment where they can admit and accept what is happening to themselves.


Ten Habits to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child

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“I can’t believe how things with my daughter have turned around, since I started focusing on connection.” – Zoe

We all crave those close moments with our children that make our hearts melt. Connection is as essential to us parents as it is to our children. When our relationship is strong, it’s also sweet — so we receive as much as we give. That’s what makes parenting worth all the sacrifices.

That connection is also the only reason children willingly follow our rules. Kids who feel strongly connected to their parents WANT to cooperate, if they can. They’ll still act like kids, which means their emotions will sometimes overwhelm their still-growing prefrontal cortex. But when they trust us to understand, to be on their side, they’re motivated to follow our lead when they can. 

Researchers remind us that we need five positive interactions to every negative interaction to keep any relationship healthy. And since we spend so much time guiding — aka correcting, reminding, scolding, criticizing, nagging, and yelling — it’s important to make sure we spend five times as much time in positive connection.

But we’re only human. There are days when all we can do is meet our children’s most basic needs. Some days it’s nothing short of heroic simply to feed them, bathe them, keep an encouraging tone, and get them to sleep at a reasonable hour — so we can do it all over again tomorrow!

So given that parenting is the toughest job on earth — and we often do it in our spare time, after being separated all day — the only way to keep a strong bond with our children is to build in daily habits of connection. Here are twelve habits that don’t add time to your day, but do add connection — and could change your life.

1. Aim for 12 hugs (or physical connections) every day.

As family therapist Virginia Satir famously said, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” 

Snuggle your child first thing in the morning for a few minutes, and last thing at night. Hug when you say goodbye, when you’re re-united, and often in between. Tousle hair, pat backs, rub shoulders. Make eye contact and smile, which is a different kind of touch. If your tween or teen rebuffs your advances when she first walks in the door, realize that with older kids you have to ease into the connection. Get her settled with a cool drink, and chat as you give a foot rub. (Seem like going above and beyond? It’s a foolproof way to hear what happened in her life today. You’ll find yourself glad, many times, if you prioritize that.)

2. Play.

Laughter and rough-housing keep you connected with your child by stimulating endorphins and oxytocin in both of you. Making laughter a daily habit also gives your child a chance to laugh out the anxieties and upsets that otherwise make him feel disconnected — and more likely to act out. And play helps kids want to cooperate. Which is likely to work better? 

“Come eat your breakfast now!”

or

“Little Gorilla, it’s time for breakfast — Look, you have bugs and bananas on your oatmeal!”

3. Turn off technology when you interact with your child.

Really. Your child will remember for the rest of her life that she was important enough to her parents that they turned off their phone to listen to her. Even turning off music in the car can be a powerful invitation to connect, because the lack of eye contact in a car takes the pressure off, so kids (and adults) are more likely to open up and share.

4. Connect before transitions. 

Kids have a hard time transitioning from one thing to another. If you look him in the eye, use his name, and connect with him, then get him giggling, you’ll make sure he has the inner resources to manage himself through a transition.

5. Make time for one on one time.

Do whatever you need to do to schedule 15 minutes with each child, separately, every day. Alternate doing what your child wants and doing what you want during that time. On her days, just pour your love into her and let her direct. On your days resist the urge to structure the time with activities. Instead, try any physical activity or game that gets her laughing. (For game ideas, click here.)

6. Welcome emotion.

Sure, it’s inconvenient.


Going to therapy doesn’t mean you’re wrong; it means you have a sense that something is wrong; intuition, trust #itAF, Yo.


WARNING: GRAPHIC REAL CONTENT OF OSTOMY SURGERY


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New Evidence Suggests Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Destroy Memories, it Only Blocks Them

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IN BRIEF

The key to recalling memories from the void of Alzheimer’s disease may be to use lasers to activate certain neurons in the brain. If this research undertaken on mice could be applied to humans, it could help the millions suffering from the disease.

LIGHTING THE WAY AHEAD

Scientists at Columbia University discovered during a study published in the journal Hippocampus that the memories of mice with Alzheimer’s disease can be recovered optogenetically — meaning with the use of lights. This could shift our understanding of the disease from the idea that it destroys memories to the concept that it simply disrupts recall mechanisms.

The results were garnered by comparing healthy mice with mice given a disease similar to human Alzheimer’s. First, parts of mice’s brains were engineered to glow yellow during memory storage and red during memory recall. Then, the mice were exposed to the smell of lemon followed by an electric shock — associating the two memories.

A week later, they were given the smell of lemon again: the healthy mice’s red and yellow glows overlapped and they expressed fear, showing they were accessing the right memories. However, the Alzheimer’s brains glowed in different areas, and the diseased mice were indifferent, showing they were recalling from the wrong sections of the brain.

The team, lead by Christine A. Denny, then used a fiber optic cable to shine a blue laser into the mice’s brains. This successfully “reactivated” the lemon and electric shock memory and caused the mice to freeze when they smelt it.

OF MICE AND MEN

The research could possibly revolutionize Alzheimer’s research and treatment, helping the 5 million Americans who are suffering from the disease.


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruption
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and
will not star Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
Thinner, because The revolution will not be televised, Brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
Pushing that cart down the block on the dead run
Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance
NBC will not predict the winner at 8:32or the count from 29 districts

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers in the instant replay
There will be no pictures of young being
Run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
There will be no slow motion or still life of
Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts in a red, black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the right occasion
Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and
Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant
and Women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock News
and no pictures of hairy armed women Liberationists and
Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key
nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash
Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a whitetornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a germ on your Bedroom
a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that cause bad breath
The revolution WILL put you in the driver’s seat
The revolution will not be televised

WILL not be televised, WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live


“I can’t believe that we escaped, dad”, HR replies as she gets up from her recliner in the living room, “that was close, Yo!”

“Yeah”, my wife replies as she tips back her soda, “when I’m in the game, don’t count it done, Yo.”

“Thanks for taking out Heatherate and Jacobate”, I tell my wife as I wipe the blood off her lips as kiss her slowly.

“I haven’t eaten flesh in a while, Yo”, my wife replies as she leans back, “it was LITERALLY my pleasure.”

“Are we BBQ’ing them later?”, I ask my wife as I see Heatherate and Jacobate in the pen outside the house chained to the pole in the midde of the rectangular enclosure.

“Nah!”, my wife replies, “I like to eat them raw, Yo.”

“So, I can’t invite my friend with the blue pants?”, HR asks as she looks at me with those pleading big brown eyes.

“I don’t know if I want to invite a new person into our lives?”, I reply to HR as I turn my head to look out the window (I look out the window a lot, right??).

I continue, “right now everything is known. I know how each person responds and, overall, we have stability in our lives, in my life, and, from this, I am able to really write a lot for Sexo & Muerto 5, right?”

Continuing, “adding another person, a foreigner entity, into the mix and we may experience turbulence in the entire system–destructive interference of the homeostatic equilibrium achieved by patiently letting the pieces, the people in our lives, to fall into place, right?”

ho·me·o·sta·sis

noun

noun: homeostasis; plural noun: homeostases; noun: homoeostasis; plural noun: homoeostases

1. the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

Origin

1920s: modern Latin, from Greek homoios ‘like’ + -stasis.


You are a little soul carrying around a corpse.

Epictetus


How to File a Harrassment Restraining Order

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A Harassment Restraining Order is an order issued by the court in order to keep the offender, or any person acting on his behalf, from contacting the victim in any way. The restraining order also keeps the offender from making physical contact with the victim. The offender is technically prohibited to go near the victim or remain at a prescribed distance away from the victim.

Who may apply for the issuance of a Restraining Order?

Any person who is a victim of harassment may seek for the issuance of a restraining order from the Court. In case of a minor victim, the parent or guardian of the minor may request for the issuance of the same. Once the restraining order is issued, it may prohibit any form of harassment from happening. A Harassment Restraining Order is issued  against any individual or group of individual or even against organizations which promoted or sponsored any form of harassment.

How to apply for the issuance of a Harassment Restraining Order?

The petitioner may fill out the Petitioner’s Affidavit and Petition for Restraining Order. The affidavit must be complete and specific and must include the date, time, places, actions and conversations that lead the petitioner to feel harassed. Said facts must be included in a narrative or affidavit stating the ultimate facts of the case.

The Petitioner’s Affidavit and Petition for Restraining Order must be filed before the court administrator in the county where either party resides or in the county where the act of harassment occurred. Filing fees will be charged therefor. If the petitioner is an indigent, he may file an “IFP form” which shall entitle him to waive the filing fee.

Once the filing fee is paid, the court administrator will forward the petition to the judge for review.


What Happens at Restraining Order Hearings?

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A restraining order, sometimes referred to as a protection from abuse order, is designed to protect a person who suffered from abuse at the hands of another person, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. A common situation in which this type of order is issued is in a domestic relationship, including between a wife and husband. After a temporary restraining order issues, a hearing is scheduled.

Function

The primary function of a restraining order hearing is to allow a judge the chance to hear both sides of the story regarding the facts and circumstances giving rise to the temporary order, according to HG.org. Both the person who seeks the restraining order, and the individual who is the subject of the decree, present evidence and argument supporting their respective positions on the appropriateness of the decree.

Time Frame

A restraining order hearing typically is conducted between one to four weeks after the temporary order issues, according to FindLaw. Each state maintains individual laws on the timing of a restraining order hearing. The key element to scheduling the hearing is service of the temporary restraining order by the sheriff on the defendant as well as notifying that individual of the date and time of the hearing.

Effects

Three possible consequences arise out of a restraining order hearing. First, the parties mutually agree to the restraining order and the judge accepts the agreement. Second, the judge concludes that insufficient evidence exists to support a restraining order and dismisses the case. Finally, the court agrees that sufficient evidence exists and issues a permanent restraining order.

Features

A restraining order hearing has some of the trappings of a trial, without a jury.


Miami drug wars

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The deadly 1979 shootout at Dadeland Mall in broad daylight between Colombian traffickers– quickly dubbed ”the Cocaine Cowboys” by a police officer on the scene — heralded the beginning of South Florida’s bloody and violent drug wars in which drug dealers competed for Miami’s wholesale markets. The mob-style execution and growing violence in the streets of Miami was linked to the nascent Medellin Cartel consolidating its control of the drug business. Smuggling rings grew to corporate size in the 1980’s. A 1982 seizure of $100 million worth of cocaine from a Miami International Airport hangar permanently altered U.S. law enforcement’s approach towards the drug trade. As a response, President Reagan created the South Florida Drug Task Force and assigned George Bush to lead a coordinated federal offensive in 1982.


KLONOPIN – MORE DEADLY THAN COKE

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“Singer Stevie Nicks has publicized the dangers of Klonopin by describing her own detox from the prescription drug as “hellish” and worse than withdrawing from cocaine or heroin. In fact, Nicks was introduced to Klonopin at the Betty Ford clinic, with the intention of assisting her with new-found sobriety! Recovering addicts and alcoholics have all too often been helped off of one drug addiction by being introduced to a new one, all with the best of intentions, of course.” – Benzos: more dangerous than the conditions they treat? Occasional Planet, September 14, 2011.

“Seventies-era rock star Stevie Nicks is the poster girl for the perils of Klonopin addiction. In almost every interview, the former lead singer of Fleetwood Mac makes a point of mentioning the toll her abuse of the drug has taken on her life. This month, while promoting her new solo album, In Your Dreams, she told Fox that she blamed Klonopin for the fact that she never had children. “The only thing I’d change [in my life] is walking into the office of that psychiatrist who prescribed me Klonopin. That ruined my life for eight years,” she said. “God knows, maybe I would have met someone, maybe I would have had a baby.”

Nicks checked herself into the Betty Ford Clinic in 1986 to overcome a cocaine addiction. After her release, the psychiatrist in question prescribed a series of benzos – first Valium, then Xanax, and finally Klonopin – supposedly to support her sobriety. “[Klonopin] turned me into a zombie,” she told US Weekly in 2001, according to the website benzo.org.uk, one of many patient-run sites on the Internet offering information about benzodiazepine addiction, withdrawal and recovery. Nicks has described the drug as a “horrible, dangerous drug,” and said that her eventual 45-day hospital detox and rehab from the drug felt like “somebody opened up a door and pushed me into hell.” Others have described Klonopin’s effects as beginning with an energized sense of euphoria but ending up with horrifying sense of anxiety and paralysis, akin to sticking your tongue into an electric outlet, or suddenly feeling that your brain is on fire.” – America’s Most Dangerous Pill? AlterNet, June 1, 2011.

“Klonopin is a horrible, dangerous drug,” says Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks talks about her addiction to Klonopin, a tranquilizer prescribed to help her get over her raging cocaine habit.

“I was really sick,” she says. Even though her years of cocaine abuse left a hole in her head the size of a Sacajawea gold dollar, she claims that the Klonopin did far more damage. “It was not my drug of choice,” she says. “I’m not a downer person. I was looking for things that made me want to clean the house and shop, write songs and stay up for four days. I was sad and I was sick. I didn’t really understand right up until the end that it was the Klonopin that was making me crazy. I really didn’t realize it was that drug because I was taking it from a doctor and it was prescribed. It just hit me really hard that that was the foundation for why I was completely falling apart.”

Nicks says the last time she used cocaine on stage was during a concert at Red Rocks in 1986. It was a turning point for her. Afterwards, she went straight to the Betty Ford Clinic. But in attempting to help herself, she encountered a problem far worse than her cocaine problem – a new addiction to prescription drugs. Fresh out a rehab, a psychiatrist put Stevie on a tranquilizer called Klonopin. Generally prescribed for seizures and panic attacks, experts say it should not be taken for more than nine weeks. Stevie says she took it for eight years, learning way too late that Klonopin is highly addictive and can have side effects like depression and weight gain. “My woman’s vanity could not deal with that at all. After being a rock ‘n’ roll sex symbol for all that time, and then all of a sudden to be ‘little fat girl’ was just so unacceptable to me. I could see the disappointment in people’s faces when they’d see me walk in.” It took 47 days for the singer to detox from the prescription drug, “…and it was horrible,” she says. “My hair turned gray. My skin molted. I couldn’t sleep, I was in so much pain. Legs aching, muscle cramps… The rock star in me wanted to get in a limousine and go to Cedar’s Sinai and say, ‘Give me some Demerol because I am in pain.’ And the other side of me said, ‘You will fight out this 47 days.'”

After the photos were over, the event was winding down and people began to disperse. I caught Stevie’s attention and told her that I wanted to thank her for coming out and talking about Klonopin. Someone close to me has been struggling with depression and was medicated with Klonopin, and as soon as I put it together that this was the medication that had wrecked Stevie so badly, I talked to my friend about it. She went to another doctor who confirmed that it wasn’t right for her, and she’s now gradually scaling down on it. I told Stevie that her courage in discussing that dark part of her life had made a direct, positive impact on someone else’s. She said, “Well, I’m on a mission! Tell your friend my heart is with her, and that she should spread the word!”

“Klonopin is a horrible, dangerous drug,” says Nicks, an addict for eight years.


The Hidden Danger of Being Risk-Averse

{Link Bit.ly/2v482Pp}

People are generally not all that happy about risk. As Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has written, “For most people, the fear of losing $100 is more intense than the hope of gaining $150. [Amos Tversky and I] concluded from many such observations that ‘losses loom larger than gains’ and that people are loss averse.”

While the phenomenon of loss aversion has been well-documented, it’s worth noting that Kahneman himself refers to “most people” — not all — when describing its prevalence. According to 20 years of research conducted by Columbia University’s Tory Higgins, it might be more accurate to say that some of us are particularly risk-averse, not because we are neurotic, paranoid, or even lacking in self-confidence, but because we tend to see our goals as opportunities to maintain the status quo and keep things running smoothly. Higgins calls this a prevention focus, associated with a robust aversion to being wide-eyed and optimistic, making mistakes, and taking chances. The rest of us are promotion-focused, see our goals as opportunities to make progress and end up better off, and are not particularly averse to risky choices when they hold the potential for rich gains.

Studies from Columbia’s Motivation Science Center have shown that prevention-focused people work more slowly and deliberately, seek reliability over “coolness” or luxury in products, and prefer conservative investments to higher-yielding but less certain ones. Further research conducted by Harvard’s Francesca Gino and Joshua Margolis, indicates that prevention-focused people are more likely than the promotion-focused to behave ethically and honestly — not because they are more ethical per se, but because they fear that rule-breaking will land them in hot water.

They even drive differently. In one study, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands equipped customers of a Dutch insurance company with a GPS that was used to monitor their driving habits. The prevention-focused were, not surprisingly, less likely to speed than their promotion-focused fellow drivers. A second study showed that they also needed larger gaps between cars in order to feel comfortable merging.

So when people talk about the factors leading to the recent recession, and you hear a lot about excessive risk-taking (what Alan Greenspan famously called “irrational exuberance”), the prevention-focused would probably be last on your list of potential culprits. But you would be wrong.

That’s because everything I just told you about prevention-focused people is true when everything is running smoothly — when the status quo is acceptable. When the Devil you know is better than the one you don’t (a prevention-focused bit of wisdom if ever there was one.)

When the prevention-focused feel they are actually in danger of loss — and when they believe that a risky option is the only way to eliminate that loss — it’s a very different story.

For instance, in one study conducted by Abigail Scholer and her colleagues at Columbia, participants invested $5 in a particular stock. Half were subsequently told that the stock had lost value — not only the initial investment, but an additional $4. The other half were told that the stock had gained $4 in value. (These values were determined — they were told — by a computer simulation of real-world conditions). Then participants were given the option to invest again, this time with a choice: a 75% chance of gaining $6 and a 25% chance of losing $10 (the conservative option), or a 25% chance of gaining $20 and a 75% chance of losing $4 (the risker option). Note that while the odds were longer, only the riskier option could eliminate the loss of $9 for those currently at -$4. Note also that these were undergraduate students to whom the dollar amounts at stake were significant.

The promotion-focused chose the risky option roughly 50% of the time, regardless of whether their stock had gained or lost value. But the prevention-focused preferred the risky option only 38% of the time under gain and 75% of the time under loss. In other words, prevention-focused people generally prefer the conservative option when everything is going according to plan, but they will embrace risk when it’s their only shot at returning to status quo.

This suggests that “excessive exuberance” may be something of a misnomer. Certainly there are risk-loving traders on Wall Street, and some of the blame for the events that led to the recession lies with them. But much of it seems to lie with investment bankers — people who rarely strike anyone as “exuberant.” If anything, they appear to despise risk — so much so that they lobbied hard to create a system (i.e., “Too Big To Fail”) in which comparatively little risk (for them) existed.

These are the people who, counter-intuitively, will take the most dangerous risks under the right circumstances. One of the most famous risk-takers in recent memory is JP Morgan’s “London Whale,” Bruno Iksil, who doubled down on a losing bet rather than admit his losses, ultimately costing the bank over six billion. Evidence from the Senate hearings on the matter, in the form of recorded phone calls and emails, paints a picture of desperation rather than over-confidence. (Incidentally, Iksil was head of the Chief Investment Office, the purpose of which is to protect the bank by hedging some of its other riskier bets. This is no longer ironic, when understood from the vantage of prevention focus.)

This is why the only deterrent to reckless risk-taking is to make sure that reckless risks have real consequences for those who take them — to make sure, as Nassim Taleb has put it, that the players have “skin in the game.”


“So what are we going to do here on the roof while we wait for mom?”, HR asks me as she hands me the bag of #palomitasAF.

“Looks like a clear night to see the stars”, I reply as I look up, “that’s Polaris, the North Star over there, and, that constellation

The glass of the window breaks as Jacobate sticks his dismembered arm through the window pane; blood mixed with pus spew out of the fresh wound; I put the bag of popcorn into the stream to add some flavor to the snack; I put in another handful into my mouth; it’s good seasoning, I think.

“And, over there is Leo and that constellation is Taurus”, I continue as I point out the stars and patterns above us on Dorinto; below us the blood continues to spew as Jacobate and Heatherate try to get through the window.