Psychic In Today’s World?

As a longtime comic book fan, I often have thought of super powers. I don’t know any fan who hasn’t actually. Many are outlandish, or almost overblown caricatures of real-life abilities. I am a fan of Stan Lee’s Superhumans series. The one power I think that most people believe in, but has never really been proven, is Psychic phenomena. I personally believe in the possibility of it, and would love to see proof surface, but I fear it may never appear, at least in the Western world.
I say it may never for a couple of reasons. First though, I want to address the Comics and their portrayal, then the archetype that seems to prevail from it. Most comics books I know, and I am by no means an overall expert, so I will preface this with the fact that I have not read or seen all comic book psychic characters, just a few, and mostly Marvel. So though my experience is limited, I believe what I do know suffices for the sake of my argument here.
Comics seem to show psychic ability to be something easily controlled, something that manifests conveniently upon puberty, or slowly grows along with the child/hero and progresses with their growth. Any character that had trouble with their power, had a bad upbringing, or couldn’t handle their power, etc. I understand both the need and basis for this model, but I want to propose a variant, with only the most highest level of similarity. What if the person was psychic from birth? And the power was always there, but learning what it was would be the difficulty, only because the person is unable to know they are different.
The archetype of psychics, both for sale and in comics, is that the psychic somehow knows what they know. This is only possible if they had grown up, then acquired the power of hearing thoughts or reading minds, or what have you. I am limiting my exercise here mostly to telepathy, as the other “psychic” abilities, such as telekinesis, fit, albeit to a lesser degree. Imagine for a moment that you always heard other people’s thoughts. The trick would be to know which were yours. Sounds easy, because we always only hear our own thoughts. You hear only your own voice in your head. Any one who claims different, is, quite reasonably, called crazy, carefully analyzed, and treated for their mental disorder. But what if someone did make it without being detected, if they were able to somehow know they heard others, and they weren’t crazy. What could that person do?
I say it resembles the archetype in that as humans, all things require learning curves. Learning how to interpret that ability would be a monumental task. If we give it even a limited, comics-inspired physical basis, let’s say that their mental “view” somehow could sense the electric(magnetic) pulses that make up human thought. These are known to be cascades, like lightning arcing across the cortex. I am painting with broad strokes for the sake of argument here, for certain. Learning, as a child does with everything, how to start to interpret the things, the feel, from others, in the same frame as all other languages and communications. Would this person be considered Special Education? Would they fall behind because of it?
I believe this to be an “A-ha!” moment. When we now must ask, “What kind of person would make it through knowing, at least to some extent interpreting,others thoughts, while growing up in today’s world? And how much would location dictate that person’s character disposition? Since thoughts do not start out as words, and though spoken languages are pretty much universal for humans, they are all learned, so we have a penchant or attaching patterns to other patterns. I am trying to imagine getting the feeling, or other thought patterns, like mental pictures, or something primal, that anyone would understand, while learning this. Having the emotional thoughts be transmitted first would be my thought. Empathy would be the first form of telepathy, and, with the exception of telekinesis, possibly the first variant of psychic abilities to appear. Maybe this is as far as most would be able to interpret, as few other things are universally translated into thought patterns.

Not our hero though, this person has exceeded this, as other cognitive abilities develop, let’s assume our hero develops the pattern recognition ability even further, albeit unconsciously, Like so many others in preteen years, it is hard to know even that others aren’t like you, especially if you are living in a society that teaches that all people are the same, and you should “do unto them as you would have them do unto you”. So our young hero thinks everyone hears things the same way. I mean after all, to have it be otherwise would not only be impossible, it would be crazy, at least if it were complex things such as words, and voices, or pictures, or even fully formed ideas and other abstract object thoughts. Let’s say, by some luck of chance, our psychic has an ability that starts at emotions, and progresses along the same lines and human psyche. Instinct is first, Self-Preservation, then emotion. Let’s give Instinct the convenient and brief definition of cellular or genetic memory, or more importantly for us, inherent physical memories and/or abilities.
Understanding the development of others is probably the first place our psychic, as do most, would begin to develop the sense of identity that would allow them to understand that others didn’t think like them. Relative hierarchy would probably be the place it would be learned from in my opinion. What kind of person could read the basic intents and emotions of others in today’s teen world and not go stark raving mad? I am surprised any of the regular teens do, much less someone burdened by another form of communication that wasn’t supposed to be possible, and has to develop and learn on their own. I mean, in reality, where would the “first” psychic go to learn these things? More importantly, what would being able to “feel” others do to someone, and what could they learn?
I suppose here is where geopolitical factors, as well as environmental and nurturing states would all come into play. Never underestimate the power of humanity however, as the brain is plastic, and our psychic seems to have the natural serendipity to fall through the cracks of society, not fitting in would be a good way to do that. The top of the underbelly of the Beast is where most of those good souls that see through the B.S. of everyday Western life often land. Just bad enough to lie and keep secrets, just good enough to only do it to help each other stay afloat of the deeper depths.
I would think that something akin to a “spider-sense” would develop as a natural defense mechanism, just as with other preservation adaptations. Second would be Empathy, or feeling others emotions on some level. I believe that a form of “lie” detection would possibly be next. All of this would be extremely difficult mind you, if this were true, knowing what was, and what wasn’t, yours, would be a herculean task. I mean, not only knowing when a thought wasn’t yours, but that it originated in another AND it was fabricated? Getting to the level of whole thoughts, words, and pictures, while heavily dependent on exposure, would be even more so. Getting others to hear you, much less obey, would be an amazing development. Barriers in perception, interpretation, language, and emotional triggers, would be a seemingly impossible thing, on top of the impossible ability.
Again, what kind of person would be able to do all of this, and not hurt a bunch of people, or themselves, or just plain find someone, confess it all and get put in a looney bin? Would they know, and have the foresight to stay quiet, and stay out of the public eye, and make sure there was always doubt on what happened? I would think the latter would be necessary. I also think a fair amount of narcissism and humility would be needed just to even try, I don’t think it would be someone who craved the spotlight, as every movie fan, comic book fan, and just about anyone else knows, what we don’t understand, or we fear, we tend to destroy. Besides, the rewards of staying out of the light, outweigh being in it.
There are several prizes for someone who can publicly demonstrate their ability scientifically to many different organizations. But, consider for a moment, a high level ability, and the possibility that the benefits of quiet manipulation would outweigh the few million you could pocket going on a world tour, showing off. And besides, after a lifetime of hiding, a natural ability to shroud oneself would be highly likely to develop. An aversion to the public eye even? It would be hard to tell.
I don’t think we would see it. I don’t think the person would go for the smaller sum. That kind of ability is invaluable to governments all over the world. Business, stocks, or just personal protection or even as a weapon. The value of it as a secret, is far more than the value it has as public knowledge.
I give a caveat, Predictability. The very thing that the public displays intend to prove is what would drive someone to them. More appropriately, a lack of it. If there were errors in interpretation, the percentages would still be higher than chance, but there would be errors of processing. This is where I think the comic book archetype fails those who may see it first. That the complete ability to read everything a person thinks with utter, stark accuracy is like light speed, in that it is conceivable, but probably unobtainable because of inherent limitations. I do not think someone brought up in an average way would be able to know this. Let’s hope our psychic has at least an understanding of statistical variability. This hasn’t even touched on the social impact yet.
Imagine for a moment, labeled as “Psychic” in today’s world. Never being able to ever participate in competitions, or hold an intimate conversation. How many people would expect you to literally “read their minds”? Would you be able to charge for proof? What would the cost of being read by the world’s “only” psychic be? If you are interested in doing it for humanity, then you would take what would possibly be the most influential power in comic books to come into real life and not make tons of money with it. Could that even be done in today’s world? I am not sure. Today, it seems that it is better to get money, then use the money to help people. I think anyone able to manifest that ability, and control it with any degree of accuracy, would be manipulating as much of the events possible to make their fortune large, so they could maintain shadow operations. I believe it would be built into them, as a matter of human development. Maybe not, after all, Humanity is more than a species, it is a declaration of a kinship to some degree. Maybe that is even where the power might lie, only the hero would know I suppose.
And so I come back to the end. I don’t believe we would know, as a general public. I think that between the course of natural human development, and geopolitical environmental factors, would keep such a wondrous human achievement out of the spotlight. And if it was something inheritable, or even more frightening, teachable, then that person would be valuable in a whole different way. I shudder to think, what if we ALL could tell others’ lies, could read each others minds? Or the trait/ability was somehow distributed to the larger public, either by artificial means, or later evolution, what would our society be like then?
I personally hope that anyone who had that kind of power, would be like Buddha, or Jesus, or Mother Theresa. May probability favor us all if someone with a less Utopian lean were to gain it. I think the only option after that would be to give it to everyone. I also see it being distributed genetically as a means to fight a “Terminator”-like future state where machines and people are at war.
I am sure the detailed reasons and development variables could fill a book or a few comics at least, but I deeply question if there is any psychic abilities out there, that the general public would be privy to them. I just think that the incentive to stay hidden, and even slight exposure, or garnering the right friends, would just serve to keep it even more hidden. The competitive advantage of it being secret is just too great. The person would have to be of such high character, it would almost be a Clark Kent-ish caricature.

And so I give you another Dose of Andrew. Read it twice, and comment in the morning.

On This and That

I bet you don’t even think of how you use those words. I have met very few people who do. You use them all the time, in a correct way, but it is likely, as is the case with so many words, you wouldn’t be able to tell others how to do it correctly, only correct them when wrong. Have you thought about it? What the difference is? One of the definitions for each word, and I believe they are etymologically connected, involves a frame of distance from the person or observer. I would say it is the main thrust of each word’s other definitions also. “This” deals with that which is close. Either physically, or within your mind. “That” deals with things that are further from you, either physically or mentally. When you say, “This is mine and that is yours,” the mental images or definitions do not place whatever that is closer to you than whatever this is. In time, if you say, “that happened ‘x’ number of years from now/ago” you are not speaking of this happening right now. If you just say, “this was just last week” it immediately implies an issue close to you temporally also, that references the past. Even within mental constructs, like ideas, the issue of closeness delineates the usage. To illustrate this, I will talk about different aspects of feminism, and only use the words this and that (and of course content of phraseology)to show what I agree with and don’t  by showing what is “close” to me.

Feminism is naturally divided. The basic structure of it is based upon division. Multiplicity in my moral compass creates a struggle within to remain under the banner of “Feminism”. “Women have it harder than men.” I have heard it many times.That bothers me. I have seen many more women being given a free ride than men. Granted, they usually have to serve or service men to get it, but it is somewhat “free” nonetheless.Men have less opportunity like that, but we have the “Bro Code” that gives an inherent advantage and preference, as long as we adhere to this unwritten, and largely misunderstood code. And I will tell you, that is a recipe for disaster, encode something, then don’t write it down, or give it distinct parameters. honestly, It is something that a woman would likely do, which leads me to believe it was developed as a defensive weapon in the war of the sexes. More likely a “Chicken and  Egg” argument, and a casual observation anyway. I would say this is dead even except for one thing, the “slut” factor. Men generally have a flaw in their logic, a double standard when it comes to women, and that is sexual promiscuity. We want to have it, we want our women to know what they are doing, and we don’t want them to have slept with other men to have got the knowledge. I honestly hang my head in shame just writing out that lengthy hypocrisy. So we want there to be a few women that sleep with every guy, never marry, and somehow convey this knowledge to other women via some process that doesn’t involve other men…… Umm, that’s crazy. Men can control what they do sexually, and should have every legal defense when it comes to sobriety that a woman does. Before we can call ourselves equal, we need to accept the histories that make us men, and women, as something to progress from. Women should earn the same pay for the same job. Whether subconscious or with deliberate intent, there is an income gap, and sexual trysts and power plays aside, I believe it has a lot to do with my next issue. “Women need maternity leave, and men do not” This first part I completely agree with, while that last part I disagree with completely. Mothers need physical time to recover, and time to bond with their child. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with and support. fathers need time to help with both the physical demands of immediate childbirth while the mother is less physically capable, and to also bond with their child, something undervalued in today’s civilized world, by society, by fathers, and children themselves. I understand that single mothers will not have another person to help and may have a more difficult time. This is also normal, and all the more reason to continue to have a job when they are capable of returning to work afterward. As it is now, There is a massive disparity between Paternity and Maternity leave. It is even considered a man’s duty to not be around while the baby is little. Something I find both strange and archaic.

Does the usage of this and that illustrate the closeness? Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say it underscores the differences?

I hope I at least got you thinking in a way you havent ever, or at least in a long while. This isn’t an Enlightenment post to be sure, but merely one to get discussion going, even if only within my noggin’. Much ado about nothing, if you will. None of this post was meant to be overly political, or insightful.

But, if this causes bedlam, I guess call a fireman. Sometimes to pique interest, I act like an arsonist, and randomly tell a story in a way that’s deliberately inflammatory. I hope you get this far through, so you can see the rhyme I left for you, it is for those that do, that I give thanks, through and through.

P.S. – read this twice and email me in the morning. -Dr. A

Reestablishment of Prerogative

I started this blog to have a serious place to empty my mind. To show that I think of more than Social media chatter. I lost that. From anxiety about ideas going out that may go to the wrong place/people, to worries about actually emptying my mind, to generic apathy, I lost my concern for this blog. Not for the ideas, not for the passion to go do things, or speak up, but for the actual writing. Allow me to illuminate a dark secret: I do not like to write. Yep, I abhor the physical act of it, and the process of it tires me, and often bores me too. Typing gives me some help, but it is still a chore for me. I write precisely because it is a hard, tedious task for me. I have always heard poetry in the world around me, I hear rhythms (another secret: I can’t read or write music either) and intertwining harmonies of all sorts and kinds, but don’t have the tools to give the expression of them life. So, in order to not shirk that which is difficult, in order to bring greater richness and wealth to my own psyche and personal development, in order to hold myself to my own convictions and principles of finishing what I start even if neglected or partly forgotten, for the pure sake of doing it, I will be writing here more. My other blog gets more people, this one is more in line with my mentality. I also plan on making this a bit more proper. I do not do my due diligence on these and research at all times, I do not properly vet my own ideas and allow them the proper words, I just vomit them onto the screen and allow that to be OK. So to the few who do read this, you will begin to see more from me here, at minimum once per week. My life, my words, my ideas, my blog. Welcome to A Dose of Andrew, the Doctor is in.

Two Kinds of Romance

A Tale of Two Romances
I am going to attempt to illustrate differences in my ideas of romance by using two movies. They are both classic romances, though one garnered a much larger audience, especially among women. I am afraid it both illustrates my point, and underscores my fears. The two movies I will refer to are The Notebook and Notting Hill. I like both movies, and the stories, but one actually doesn’t fit my idea of a good romance, and the other seems a more realistic story.
First, The Notebook. While I like the movie, and the end scene is a tear-jerker, it seems to push a very materialistic view on romance. I am not against having things, for even the most Spartan-living survivalist will use modern tools, and sharing in a small part of the modern economy is a necessity in modern times. What I refer to is the unhealthy obsession with the leading lady in the story by the main man. She snubs him, she leaves him when he is poor and gone for another man with material wealth, and tells him he needs to get some, and finally comes back to him when he does acquire the equivalent of a small modern fortune. This is nearly incomprehensible to me. If this were to actually happen, the woman would be labeled a gold-digger (rightfully so) and the man would be borderline stalker. This seems to fly in the face of almost every single romance story except one: The that appeal to both sexes are the kind where the woman is there, loyal and loving to the man, who is loyal and hardworking. Modern ones may even have both the man and woman working hard, earning their own fortunes. Not this one, or this kind. This is the strange love kind, that so many women admire, and look for. Quite honestly, I think the leading lady character in this movie is laazy, and not worth his efforts. The undying love he has, and the depth to which he holds it, to the point of not living anymore without his love, is quite sweet, and the saving grace, so much so that you forget the crap she put him through because of her character flaws. Maybe it is just the kind of guy I am, but I prefer the stronger flavor of woman, as I heard it put once, I prefer the kind of woman you want to keep, over a kept woman. Which brings me to the story in the next movie, and its type.
Notting Hill is one of my favorite Romance movies. I have a few, as I am a sappy kind of guy who likes rom-coms (shh, tell noone) and watches new ones often. But more importantly for this piece is the two characters, and their differences to The Notebook characters. The main man in this one is a small business owner, not wealthy, but rich in character and friends. The leading lady is a wealthy and famous actress. It seems to be a reverse Princess story with a twist: the man declines the wealth, determined to protect himself from the trappings of fame and the wishy-washy nature of the lady’s business and life. This is a huge difference right here. He is protecting himself in a very special way, trying not to hurt the lady, while still telling her that he loves her enough to stay away. This is after he spent a year (beautifully shown with a single walk through seasons) pining and depressingly meandering through life wanting her. It sheds the materialism for more depth of relations. From the family interactions, to the tongue-in-cheek humor, to the hilarious go-for-broke ending where he luckily hasn’t destroyed his chances with the lady he obviously loves, and she shows him it was real too. This disrobing of the societal wardrobe to emphasize the everyday people beneath is more poignant to me. Her ability to be real despite her cultural status, and his ability to not be fazed by it underscores the main point of both movies despite the character differences: that two people who cannot stand to be without one another are usually happy with each other, and in love. The Notebook does it with two borderline sociopaths, while Notting Hill does it with two people in different socioeconomic statuses. The message is quite similar, but the circumstances are not.
I suppose that is part of the point. I watch and see the craziness of the first, and sigh wistfully at the second. I call it crazy for the first because I have made that mistake, and I know that I have difficulty respecting a woman that brings down feminism in my eyes. I am wistful of the second not because of the fame and fortune, but because finding a woman who is able to work hard, and still shed herself of that to believe in romance in a jaded world is difficult, a rarity in these times. The disparity of the two just emphasizes the character needed to do such a thing. Maybe it wouldn’t happen in today’s world, maybe it does. I have seen a few celebrity couples that seem to fit the mold, and give me such happiness to see, and I wish them well (J Lo & ARod). Perhaps the rarity of this is why I am still single and have never married. I am searching for such a rarity that I may never find her, perhaps I can’t extend my social network far enough to find that diamond in the rough, or even polished. After all, we watch these celebrities to give a template to our own ideas of romance and love, so we can better recognize them when they happen. I know I have had enough of crazy, I guess I am just looking for that woman who is able to stand in front of me, and just be a girl, standing in front of a guy, asking him to love her.

I just want to be loved, is that so wrong?

-A Dose of Andrew

Healthcare Reform

I am only going to make this short, as there is so many sites and others writing about this, it is easier and more efficient to post links and give an overview than to regurgitate all of the information. Mostly, I am going to push my opinion: the Affordable Care Act is a good thing. Here is why: It allows every citizen to be covered by health insurance, it stimulates economic growth by requiring private industry coverage, it makes it possible for people with little income to not have to forego healthcare because of economic hardship, like someone with Cancer or another devastating disease foregoing healthcare in order to pay rent or something like that, and it does something else that is very, very important; it makes us all financially invested in each others health. My tax dollars go toward healthcare, so everyone should take better care of themselves. In my opinion, it is not coincidental that the Farmer’s Assurance Provision (monsanto protection act – colloquially) is on the same budget that funds the Affordable Care Act. Keeping large corporate farms from being held legally liable for the things they are able to legally own, like DNA, while every citizen becomes financially invested in health is an interesting play. To my eyes it would mean that any large organization that engages in practices and/or business that harms the collective health, or has the distinct potential to do so now has a direct financial reasoning to be legally pursued: the public interest. If money is equivalent to speech, then every citizen speaks with their taxes and premiums that they most definitely want the health of the public to never be infringed upon by anyone, private or public. The ACA gives a fiduciary reasoning for legal action collectively. Also, it does invade a little bit of privacy, even though the coverage is privately provided, YOUR health is almost literally MY business. That has implications also.

For private industry, especially the fitness industry, it means a plethora of business opportunity. Healthy living is now federally supported, and it is supported by monthly premiums that people pay, and yearly taxes. If you don’t understand what that means, perhaps you may take this advice, and the insurance companies also: personal trainers, especially the people who are nationally or at least widely known, get your brokers license. Maybe as time goes on, the insurance companies will provide a specific license just for health insurance, but just think about getting a commission on every member who makes a commitment and sign up with you. That is only the beginning of what could be a beautiful partnership between insurance, and fitness, not just hospitals and doctors. Preventative and maintenance health will be a massive subsidiary to this reform. In 2015, when businesses must provide coverage, partnering with small business will be an excellent way to garner loyal following, as well as stable customer base, all while decreasing the overall public cost. It is a profitable business model, and one i believe, and hope, will be adopted in the next few years, the first people who can get it done, and get it done right will enjoy quite a head start.

That wraps up my short post, mostly an opinion piece, so here are some links for the facts:

League of Women Voters:

Veterans Administration:


Health and Human Services website, lots of related pages and posts here:

HHS with a state by state view:

an Obamacare site that is quite level-headed about the whole thing:

Tech Ramblings

I want to see something. I want to see a Microsoft Surface-like phone or phablet come into existence. have the cover be the keyboard, if desired. MS has the upper hand, they already have the tech, hardware and software. it may even be possible to have a universal dock, something like a surface RT, a phone, and a desktop, could all use the same connector, immediately creating a modular hardware assembly for many different vendors. If Windows 8 can deploy well across platforms, this would be awesome. and since the Galaxy S4 has a cover, it may be only a matter of time before MS plays catch-up in an massive, important market… again. I must qualify all of this, I have never owned an Apple product. I admire the company, love the design, efficiency and innovation. Circumstance has been the most deciding factor, not particular preference. I sincerely just want to see the hardware idea. if MS doesn’t, and Samsung doesn’t evolve to the next step of their flip-cover, perhaps Apple will make the iThumb or something, and it will plug into a universal connector across all their handheld devices, and offer screen protection. This is only a small idea, i think it would be fantastic. There could be other forms, like game controllers, kickstands for the phone bodies, all sorts of stuff, and all while allowing for the continuing trend of bigger screens, gaming on phones, all of the media editing could be done on a custom input pad. With the growing amount of things done, having unobtrusive, but new and novel, means of data entry into the devices, the more that will keep getting done with them. Just my humble opinion. I think it has merit over the next few product cycles though.

Why I exercise

Some people work out to look good. Maybe I should adjust that to most people work out to look good naked. A smaller percentage do it for health. Sure, many people say it is for their health, but it is usually secondary to looking good. I am not making a value statement, just an observation, after all, I like looking at a fit body also, and I strive to eliminate self-hypocrisy in my life. I suppose I can say i exercise for health, but the direct reason is this: I workout to avoid pain. It is kind of funny, in a world where so many people have a choice to exercise and stay fit, or not, I don’t really have a choice. Well, I do, but it isn’t much of a choice. Let me elaborate.

Shortly after 9/11/2001 I dislocated my pelvis. That sounds terrible, but it was technically a Sacro-Illiac joint sprain and dislocation, accompanied by a L5 disc bulge, and a S1 disc collapse (read failure) that pressed on my sciatic nerve. for those that don’t know, the S-I joint (sacro-illiac joint) is the joint that connects your spinal column to your pelvic ridge (illiac crest). So while I may not be technically correct in saying I dislocated my pelvis, functionally, this is what I did. I took several months of Chiropractic care, massage therapy, and a L5-S1 Laminectomy to ease the pressure off my nerve. This did not fix the structural problems, this only alleviated the associated nerve pain. I still walk around with this injury, and the residual effects of it. What this means in a practical sense  for me is this: if I do not maintain a certain level of muscle tautness, strength, and posture, my lower back pops in and out of place, carrying with it a certain degree of discomfort I like to call massive pain. Unless I pursue some sort of surgical reconstruction years after the fact, I am living with this for the rest of my days. This requires I maintain a low-impact, high-strength exercise regimen regarding my lower back and legs. Well, at least my butt, as too much slack in my musculature there starts to have consequences, like delayed gratification, except I get delayed consequence. I have learned this from many trial-and-errors. Injury requiring exercise #1.

a few years after, i started having strange pains, and after several months, i finally got a diagnosis: I had 3 or 4 vertebrae out in my neck, and at least one disc was damaged. Minor pressing of the vertebrae on the spinal cord, and the foraminal canals that lead out to my arms. So my neck has to stay in shape, or my arms start to go numb and feel like pins and needles are constantly poking them all over. Also, the spinal cord contact seems to give me sporadic gastro-intestinal issues, and other internal system problems. So, I must maintain good posture, and keep my shoulders and neck in good shape, keep the tendon infrastructure tight, and maintain good hydration. If I slack in any of these, such as the hydration, the nerves become inflamed, start rubbing on the bones, and i get to experience more discomfort of the type “constant burning and pricking hell-on-earth” which I am not partial to. I am still learning the extent of how to live with this, but I have learned how under most circumstances. Injury requiring exercise #2.

The last one here is really a 2-part injury, one from 2005, and one from more recently. I broke my heel in 2005, and had a plate put in to partially reconstruct it. Recently, in  2012, I broke both my Tibia and Fibula, and also an explosive ankle fracture, that required a lot of metal inserted into my leg to reconstruct and facilitate healing. The effect of this: I will never be able to get very heavy. No massive muscle building campaign, no overeating in a fit of depression. I also must walk. No running, yet, just walking, at the moment it is between 1.5-2 miles per day. Low impact, high mileage, everyday work. If I slack too much in my diet, I will experience this state of discomfort I like to call, “Looks-like-a-pimp-limp-but-hurts-like-hell excruciating pain”. Funny thing is also this: it creates a need for sustained, low-impact cardio training that focuses on my lower body. So I must walk, or something like it, everyday of my life, and I cannot allow myself to get very heavy either, so as to avoid undue strain on the metal fabrication work my outstanding surgeons did.

which brings me back to the beginning. I have a bittersweet blessing. I have to watch what I eat, I have to do regular cardio exercise, and I have to strength train in some sort of free weight fashion. Well, I don’t HAVE to. I can choose massive pain, with a dependence on a healthcare system not set up for me, and live with the knowledge that I gave up, quit, didn’t do it. I have already made my choice to workout. To maintain a regular regimen, to try different programs, to use my knowledge and learning abilities to continually try to improve my life and fitness to the best of my abilities. I like to think of it this way: I get to spend the rest of my life working out, getting and staying fit. I will never be a heavyweight bodybuilder, and I never wanted to be. I will get to have a lifestyle that will always include fitness, I will always be fighting my natural chocaholism, and I get to indulge myself in learning new fitness and diet styles for many years. I get to take a long-term view and strategy, as I cannot have short-term-only goals. I get to work hard, and tell people things like, “watch this cripple work harder than everyone else.” I get to take personal notes as my limp gets less, my waist shrinks, and my physique changes. I get to choose what I wanna look like, and be the engineer of my body. I get to live a lifestyle that most  people only see as an option, and know I am lessening my impact on the world while I am at it.

And hey, I may even get to look good naked. As good a reason as any I suppose. Perhaps that is what I should tell everyone anyway, all the other reasons start to sound like whining, even when it motivates the hell out of me. So here goes;

I just wanna look good naked. What’s your excuse?


Hi Fidelity

Fidelity. Definition via gives us an overarching idea; strict observance to promises, duties, facts, loyalties, and conjugal faithfulness. Hi-Fi audio reproduction is a faithfulness to the original sound or recording, even if today’s recordings are often digitally created with no instruments. Fidelity investments are usually considered honest and long-term investments, as opposed to short-term gain investments that are often “sketchy”. It seems redundant to say conjugal fidelity is at LEAST as sketchy.

We continually strive to live in a more Hi-Fi world. It seems in all aspects, we admit an impossibility of “perfection” yet continually seem to pretend that everyone should be able to comply with the demand to produce it. All of the dominant social philosophies/religions preach and practice (to varying degrees of course) some form of this basic truth about human duality, the fruit of knowledge so to speak. yet they also advocate some form of the term “forgiveness”, and also “responsibility”. I use responsibility separate from duty in this reference. I mean it as a consequence of action. I like Hi-Fidelity myself, I believe it is an essential tool for the seamless operation of any society, and like any society, there will be failings, and like any good engineering project, there are margins of error. Tolerances, so to speak.

As for me, I have made almost every mistake at least once. Well, not every mistake, but most of the ones concerning a state of higher fidelity in my life. Most as a young child, some more recently, often i have found it happens when I respond to the world around me in kind, and do not take a proactive stance in my life. Many philosophers  new and old, and I include the great poets I know in this, proclaim this in some fashion too. It is how we learn, all too often. I have often said, to a childI was raising , “there are 2 ways to learn, and one of them is the hard way.” Mistakes are often what happens when you push boundaries. A questioning curiosity is a good thing, and should be encouraged as one of the main paths to stimulating creativity. Mistakes are what happen when you haven’t learned everything yet. to me, that is an eternal optimism about the future, permanent rose-colored glasses I suppose some would say. I often change, I actually strive to change a little every day. I want  to learn something, deliberately, every day of my life. It adds a richness to life. I suppose in some way, that means I am actively seeking to make a mistake somewhere along the line, every single day. I guess that means I am just not done yet.

One of the great things about having optimism about the future? The power of the word, “Yet.”

Africa, Poop, Waste, and Common Needs

If you have seen my blog before, or are looking at it now, (ahem, as you should be if you are reading this) you can see my previous posting about biogas and waste in a small-scale business model with a cartridge or small receptacle style collection paradigm. Here is a paper I recently wrote that expands on that, and can include a traditional sewer and solid waste treatment type, as well as normal waste with mechanical separation. It is brief, because of the necessity of the forum I was using, but here is the whole paper…

Africa and the World, an Energy and Agriculture necessity
Africa is on a cusp of a revolution in how it lives. What that revolution is will depend heavily on how it comes to fruition. Africa has many problems, and none will be solved quickly, but ideas are the currency of the future, and so, here is mine. There is a push for biodiesel produced and farmed in Africa, but destined to make profits, and be used, mostly in foreign markets. (  Even the local governments push that the revenue will be mostly tax generated to improve the standards of living through social programs. ( Yet the report on Africa’s problems concerning irrigation and mechanization show a distinct need for diesel-engined equipment to further the mechanization and agricultural development of Africa to maintain standards for the population, economies, and governments of Africa sustainably. I have another suggestion: poop. Or, more accurately, waste. Disposal of garbage, human, and livestock waste all have massive potential in a continent with the varied geography, natural resources, and cultures that Africa has. They all share problems common to the world however, which is to say that mechanization and progress almost inevitably lead to more waste.
Biogas generators have been around for awhile, but only in recent years have the efficiency and multi-use capabilities really been looked at, and developed. The most efficient design is a CHP (Combined Heat and Power) design that not only gets energy from the Methane produced, but uses the exhaust gasses to drive a steam turbine. And let us not forget that the exhaust from burning Methane is about 60% water (clean water) and 30% carbon dioxide, with a few impurities making up the remainder. (CHP and municipal solid waste designs here: and best diagrammatics I found were from this companies’ website, but the principle is the same everywhere) the same principles and basic designs apply across a range of waste sources: the leftover material from fermentation, for alcohol or biodiesel production, the organic waste from agriculture including livestock waste and unused plant material, solid waste from landfill-type facilities, and my favorite, seaweed. One of the ideas not discussed in any website, but the technology is sound, is to use the exhaust gases from a methane burner to power desalination. Distillery methods of desalination are old, well-proven, and of extreme utility to the parched regions of Africa, and the Sea Salt leftover from the process is a valuable commercial commodity worldwide as well as locally. There is some concern for a major impurity known as siloxanes, which leave a silicate residue from the generation. This is also a commodity, as the silicate can be smelted same as with any silicates mined. Also, the sludge left after anaerobic digestion is a high quality fertilizer that enriches the soil, and slows or eliminates the erosion and strip-farming techniques used without high-quality fertilizers.
To recap, there is a renewable resource for electricity production, and it’s waste products are: heat, to be used for generating steam electricity, creating nearly 90% efficiency, or to be used to desalinate water for drinking or irrigation; its exhaust is mostly water vapor, again usable for drinking or irrigation; and carbon dioxide, a useful commodity itself for petroleum production, or even soft-drinks; and high quality organic fertilizers. The byproducts are almost completely usable, either for the direct good of the populace, or as commercially salable commodities. With village-based digesters, it can scale down for remote areas to produce their own intermittently, or with village size collectors, the waste can be transported to larger collection facilities to maximize constant running and efficiency and to make up for the extra transportation costs. Also, the by products of biodiesel production make excellent biogas seed materials. (
With a trinity of needs; mechanization, fertilization, and irrigation, driving the agriculture, and a solid electrical infrastructure to co-develop the industrial and commercial sectors along with that agricultural growth, waste is a serious resource for regions that are used to subsisting on less than human or direct livestock power, as well as industrialized regions transitioning to a more sustainable future. And as a bonus, all the wonderful fauna in Africa can help: think of all the electricity that can be made from elephant dung and other large animals. I focus on Africa for this, but the ideas can be implemented anywhere, from Africa, to Central America, to developed regions. San Diego, CA already has biogas electrical generation supplementing other municipal electricity sources, and is one of the largest users of desalinated water. Future designs for electricity could incorporate both. Central American, or Carribean nations with coastlines could benefit from this also. But Africa has the greatest potential gain, both in the short term, and in the long run. It is a sustainable energy source for now, and the future.
Other sources: , , , , , ,

Role Models in Marriage

Scalia: “Mr. Cooper, let me — let me give you one — one concrete thing. I don’t know why you don’t mention some concrete things. If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, you must — you must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there’s — there’s considerable disagreement among — among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a — in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not. Some States do not — do not permit adoption by same-sex couples for that reason.”

A quote from Justice Scalia regarding the current hearings before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was referring to role models in both a gender, and societal, framework, and I would like to put my two cents in. Especially regarding the idea of harmful.

I originally was going to present a thoughtful argument with sociological studies, raw data, and a personal interpretation of that data. Instead, I will simply make anecdotal arguments, as I believe they are more powerful, and illustrative. If you want raw data, there’s always Google.

Stating that there is “considerable disagreement” among sociologists about same-sex marriage is incomplete in its scope, and misleading in its wording, especially coming from someone regarded as an authority in argumentation. Considerable is such a vague word. How about a more legal one, such as Preponderance of Evidence? the greater many social psychologists, sociologists, psychologists, and now he general population, understand it isn’t about the gender, it is about the people within that relationship. It is as if Justice Scalia has forgotten all of the domestic violence, rape, incest, and other crimes committed within that institution he is arguing is less harmful to children. There are plenty of examples of terrible Role Models within the traditional institution of marriage. I would argue that being raised by two people who belong to a class that have been able to overcome centuries of oppression, humiliation, and legal persecution, sometimes while other “sinful” practices are left legal, like bestiality, to name one, would be an outstanding set of Role Models. When compared to a traditional set of that may scream about a falsely perceived “war” on their religion, among many other beliefs not supported by evidence, and a tradition of oppression cloaked in tolerance, I argue that same-sex marriage has the potential to be even more nurturing and compassionate than what Justice Scalia is arguing for.

The Honorable Justice uses the lower courts’ rulings in a state basis to distance himself from the argument, but even using it places his position on the same side. Using vague, opinionated terms like “considerable disagreement” is comparable to saying “there’s considerable disagreement amongst biblical scholars as to the proper interpretation of the Bible”. Of course there is! That is why we have a Supreme Court! While unfortunate that it is not a court of Science and Logic, it is a Court on the interpretation of Law, in fact, if memory serves me correctly, it is The Supreme Court in this country on such matters. It isn’t just hearing arguments, but evaluating evidence in a logically consistent manner. Statements made such as Justice Scalia’s illustrate, on the face of it, a lack of comprehensive evidence, and an opinion based on such a lack.

Arguments about Role Models for children do not even touch upon the definition of a “class of peoples”, such as race, but also in religious beliefs. Religion is not only merely behavioral, it is a choice that can be changed throughout a person’s life, and every single choice is protected as a “class of people”. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is statement of being. Even if it was a choice, it is one of thought processes, behavior, and is not as changeable as religion, but it does involve thought processes that determine behavior, and should be afforded the same minimum protections as religious beliefs. Given the amount of death, dishonor, and harm perpetrated by religion (ahem, altar boys), Allowing people to have equal protection for believing they have the same rights as any other citizen to have their personal beliefs about their own sexuality and love, while still maintaining protections levied against any other loving couples, isn’t a choice, it is an Inalienable Right. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, guaranteed by that wonderful document The U.S. Constitution.

I challenge any sociologist, social psychologist, or legal authority to find a preponderance of evidence that would state the alternative to be less harmful. By that alternative I mean having a gay parent that is forced into a relationship that suppresses their true feelings, breeds resentment for the establishment, and has feelings derived from those that are projected onto their children, and say definitively that such an institution is better than allowing a more open and natural expression of their feelings. And also, present such ann argument without resorting to the necessity of counseling, as counseling is a great tool for helping all parents, not just heterosexual ones. There is a preponderance of historical evidence that shows traditional marriage has many pitfalls also, many of which are alleviated by community help, professional counseling, and nurturing unconditional love. All of those criteria are necessary regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents. I mean no disrespect to Justice Scalia, and my next statement is meant to be more generally applicable: Statements about the harm of same-sex marriage are ignorant, support an agenda that oppresses freedom, is in violation of the principles of this country, and if they violate ANY community standards, then it is those community standards that must change, it is known in the modern world as Progress.