Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sleep, Successful People, & Slouches Who Still Manage To Get By

Good Day World!

You’ve heard their stories.

They all have one thing in common – achieving success despite numerous life challenges.

Famous people who share their success often credit it to simple things. Like sleep, for example.

It’s important to everyone. The difference between a “good night’s sleep” and a lousy one can make or break your day.

Experts say the very last thing you do before bed affects your mood and energy level the following day, since it often determines how well and how much you sleep.

I hated sleeping when I was young – up until my early teens. Then it suddenly became a precious commodity after long nights of partying.

Sleep took on even more significance when I was sent to Vietnam in 1970.

I learned to sleep in every imaginable position. Even standing – leaning against something. If I got a total of six hours sleep in a 24 hour period I considered myself a lucky dogface.

Having said all this, I now consider myself a slouch. No apologies. Thanks to daily naps and a early bedtime I get a lots of sleep. I have no interesting pre-sleep rituals to share with you.

That is, unless you count drifting off and taking your brain out of gear. In my “non-system” no coherent thoughts are allowed to trouble my brain.

Successful people however, look at sleep as a necessary function that one must prepare for each night.

In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin outlined a schedule that would lead him to "moral perfection."

In this ideal schedule, Franklin asked himself the same self-improvement question every night: "What good have I done today?"

He described his other rituals before bed as "put things in their places, supper, music or diversion or conversation, and examination of the day."

Franklin tracked his progress on self-improvement daily. Now that’s dedicated.

Take Winston Churchill, The British Prime Minister during WW II. He kept to a similar daily routine no matter what happened. In the book "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work," author Mason Currey recorded Churchill's schedule:

“Around 5 p.m., the prime minister would drink a weak whisky and soda before taking a nap for an hour and a half. Churchill said this siesta, or short nap, allowed him to work for 1.5 days every 24 hours. When he woke, he bathed and got ready for dinner.”

At 8 p.m., Churchill would eat dinner, which was often followed by drinks and cigars well past midnight. Due to his irregular sleep schedule, Churchill was said to hold War Cabinet meetings in his bath.

That couldn’t have been a pretty picture, but anything went during wartime I suppose.

One of my favorite authors, Stephen King, has a nightly routine that includes washing his hands and making sure all the pillows face a certain way.

"It’s not any different than a bedtime routine," says King as recorded in Lisa Rogak's book "Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King."

"I brush my teeth, I wash my hands. Why would anybody wash their hands before they go to bed? I don’t know. And the pillows are supposed to be pointed a certain way. The open side of the pillowcase is supposed to be pointed in toward the other side of the bed. I don’t know why."

Hint…can you say OCD?

One last example of preparing for a successful sleep:

Bill Gates reads for an hour before bed, no matter what time he gets home.

The Microsoft billionaire told the Seattle Times: "I read an hour almost every night. It's part of falling asleep."

He enjoys "deeply informative and beautifully written" books (in June he released a list of six books he recommends) and his reading topics range from healthcare to climate change to business and politics.

In conclusion, some of us are slouches who still manage to get by and actually have a successful, but unspectacular, career. Slouches, like myself, are seldom famous. But they’re always well-rested!

Here’s some related stories if you want to be a success: 

101 Inspirational Quotes From Super Successful People

Here’s How Your Clothing Affects Your Success

5 Things Successful People Never Do

It’s time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, September 1, 2014

Corporations & Billionaires Busy Violating the Publics Rights

Image: Surfers are arrested during a dispute over beach access

Good Day World!

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have more rights than citizens in this country, the divide between “Haves” and “Have Nots” has increased.

Millionaires and Billionaires live in a different America than the rest of us.

(Photo -Surfers were arrested in 2012 after bypassing a locked gate to reach Martins Beach in San Mateo County, California.)

In their world it’s okay to deny access to public beaches because they have enough money to fight the laws protecting the public’s rights to them. Putting it mildly, they don’t share very well! 

The beach is so central to California’s identity that the right of surfers and sun lovers to access the sand is guaranteed in the state Constitution.

That doesn’t mean anything to the wealthy landowners snatching up beach front properties on both coasts.

Many California landowners want to block public access to their chunks of the coveted coastline. There are several hundred alleged violations pending before state officials, including a highly charged case in which Vinod Khosla, a green energy billionaire with ties to President Obama, is fighting surfers over access to a beach south of San Francisco.

Property owners and the public have clashed over beach access nationwide.

In Hawaii, for example, the state has sanctioned landowners whose overgrown vegetation blocked paths to the strand. But the fight has proven particularly rancorous in California, where two-thirds of the state’s nearly 40 million people live in the counties that hug the coast. (source)

At the rate things are going the day is going to arrive when California’s beaches are no longer accessible to the public. You may think that’s an exaggeration. But consider the current lawsuits filed by the wealthy and the new precedents being set by their legions of lawyers.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Celebrating Our 40th Anniversary Today With a Look Back at 1974

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Good Day World!

Today is my wife, Shirley Ann, and I’s, 40th Anniversary.

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the things that happened the year we got married.

Let’s start off listening to this vintage concert from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium on this day in 1974.

While we were walking down the aisle Crosby,Stills,Nash, & Young were playing:


Love The One You're With

(Link to the rest of the concert)

Also, in 1974…

-The 55 MPH speed limit was imposed by Richard Nixon.

-The "Joker" by the Steve Miller Band peaked at #1

-"Happy Days" began an 11 year run on ABC

-Patricia Hearst, daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

-Remember Jefferson Starship? They began their 1st tour in 1974.

George Foreman TKO’d Ken Norton in 2 for the heavyweight boxing title in Caracas, Venezuela.

The NFL granted franchise rights to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Far out! The 1st extraterrestrial message was sent from Earth into space.

The US performed a nuclear Test at the Nevada Test Site.

WHO CAN FORGET WATERGATE?

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Nixon had to turn over the Watergate tapes.

The House Judiciary Committee voted on the 3rd & last charge of "high crimes & misdemeanors" to impeach President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up.

Aug 8th - US President Richard Nixon announced his resignation at 12 P.M., Aug 9.

Richard Nixon resigns presidency, VP Gerald Ford becomes 38th US president.

President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon of all federal crimes.

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Air Vietnam flight 727 is hijacked, then crashes while attempting to land with 75 on board.

The National Guard mobilized to restore order in Boston during a school busing crisis.

Muhammad Ali KO’d George Foreman in 8th round in Kinshasa Zaire ('The Rumble in the Jungle').

Dodger, Mike Marshall, was the 1st relief pitcher to win Cy Young Award.

Goodbye forever…The Beatles were legally disbanded (4 years after suit was brought).

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tired of hearing lies about pot? I’ve got some science for you to share

Good Day World!

If you’re tired of hearing critical myths about Marijuana, the following information will help you educate the plant’s detractors.

It’s not uncommon to hear – or see on TV – outrageous lies about pot. The state I live in, Oregon, currently has an anti-pot campaign that pumps out lies like flies on shit!

I guess they don’t think anyone is going to challenge them.

Oregon is looking at marijuana legalization in November, but I’m not sure there’s going to be enough “Yes” votes to carry the day. There’s still plenty of hardline foes who are fighting legalization in this state.

One thing I’ve seen time and again is people who believe negative sound bytes because they want to. They really don’t want to know that marijuana has medicinal properties, or that it isn’t as harmful as cigarettes and alcohol.

Let’s look at the Science behind Marijuana:

There’s a vast gap between antiquated federal law enforcement policies and the clear consensus of science that marijuana is far less harmful to human health than most other banned drugs and is less dangerous than the highly addictive but perfectly legal substances known as alcohol and tobacco.

Marijuana cannot lead to a fatal overdose. There is little evidence that it causes cancer. Its addictive properties, while present, are low, and the myth that it leads users to more powerful drugs has long since been disproved.

As with other recreational substances, marijuana’s health effects depend on the frequency of use, the potency and amount of marijuana consumed, and the age of the consumer. Casual use by adults poses little or no risk for healthy people. Its effects are mostly euphoric and mild, whereas alcohol turns some drinkers into barroom brawlers, domestic abusers or maniacs behind the wheel.

An independent scientific committee in Britain compared 20 drugs in 2010 for the harms they caused to individual users and to society as a whole through crime, family breakdown, absenteeism, and other social ills. Adding up all the damage, the panel estimated that alcohol was the most harmful drug, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana ranked eighth, having slightly more than one-fourth the harm of alcohol.

A 1995 study for the World Health Organization concluded that even if usage of marijuana increased to the levels of alcohol and tobacco, it would be unlikely to produce public health effects approaching those of alcohol and tobacco in Western societies.

While tobacco causes cancer, and alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis, no clear causal connection between marijuana and a deadly disease has been made. Experts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the scientific arm of the federal anti-drug campaign, published a review of the adverse health effects of marijuana in June that pointed to a few disease risks but was remarkably frank in acknowledging widespread uncertainties.

Marijuana “does not appear to be a gateway drug to the extent that it is the cause or even that it is the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse,” the Institute of Medicine study said. The real gateway drugs are tobacco and alcohol, which young people turn to first before trying marijuana. (source)

Related Stories:

The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests

America’s four-decade war on drugs is responsible for many casualties, but the criminalization of marijuana has been perhaps the most destructive part of that war.

The toll can be measured in dollars — billions of which are thrown away each year in the aggressive enforcement of pointless laws.

It can be measured in years — whether wasted behind bars or stolen from a child who grows up fatherless. And it can be measured in lives — those damaged if not destroyed by the shockingly harsh consequences that can follow even the most minor offenses.

In October 2010, Bernard Noble, a 45-year-old trucker and father of seven with two previous nonviolent offenses, was stopped on a New Orleans street with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket. His sentence: more than 13 years. (source)

The Federal Marijuana Ban Is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia

The federal law that makes possession of marijuana a crime has its origins in legislation that was passed in an atmosphere of hysteria during the 1930s and that was firmly rooted in prejudices against Mexican immigrants and African-Americans, who were associated with marijuana use at the time.

This racially freighted history lives on in current federal policy, which is so driven by myth and propaganda that it is almost impervious to reason. (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 29, 2014

Opinion: ‘Dear Mr. President, Please Come Up With a Plan to Stop ISIS’

What is the US going going to do about the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS?

Without a doubt they’ve become the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world in a relatively short time. And what does the leader of the free world have to say about this growing threat?

We don’t have a strategy yet.”

Say what?

President Barack Obama’s failure to articulate how the U.S. plans to crush the growing threat posed by rampaging Islamic militants is deeply disturbing.

Even as the terror group finds ways to grow its ranks — amid disturbing reports that U.S. citizens are taking up arms with ISIS in Syria — there’s still time to bring the network to its knees. But there has to be a plan.

I find it hard to believe that with all of the experts in the Pentagon we don’t already have a plan. I heard Obama was still making up his mind on what to do. I hope he doesn’t wait too long or ISIS will continue it’s mission to conquer the Middle East.

That’s just for starters. ISIS has a grand plan. They intend to convert the rest of the world into their extreme interpretation of being a good Muslim. This is one group that needs to be stopped before they go any further.

Thus far, Obama’s foreign policy (if he really has one) is in shambles. If you can think of anything he’s done right regarding world affairs lately, please let me know. Meanwhile, let’s hope Obama suddenly gets clarity and comes up with a plan to stop ISIS.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Future Hack: Man 3-D Prints Backyard Castle, 2 Story House Next

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Good Day World!

I’ve been watching 3-D technology explode in the last decade with a wary eye.

In 2005, 3-D printing expanded to the hobbyist and home-use market with the inauguration of the open-source RepRap and Fab@Homeprojects.

(Photo – A 3-D Castle)

Virtually all home-use 3D printers released to-date have their technical roots in the on-going RepRap Project and associated open-source software initiatives

When it became possible to make your own gun, I was concerned but figured the initial price for the right 3-D printer – $20,000 in 2010 – would prohibit most people from buying one.

That same technology today has decreased in price and now runs about $1,000. So far, it appears that there’s nothing this 3-D technology can’t make. Now you can 3-D print your own home like Andrey Rudenko of Minnesota.

Here’s the story:

“We've been using cement as a building material for thousands of years — but never quite like this.

Andrey Rudenko of Minnesota used it in a custom 3-D printer to create a tiny castle in his backyard, layer by layer, and next, he plans to build a two-story house. He's not the first to attempt a cement 3-D printer, but this castle is easily the most impressive example of the technique yet. It puts down layers about three quarters of an inch wide and a fifth of an inch tall with remarkable precision, leaving a textured but solid surface.

The castle, pretty as it may be, was only a test run for his real project: building a house. "All interior walls, fireplaces, stairs, some interior elements... I have my own innovative design and I'm going to print with insulation," Rudenko told NBC News in an email. Even the roof will be printed. It needs to be in a warm, dry climate and, of course, things like doors and glass will have to be added, but he's confident it'll work.” (source)

Related:

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today in History: August 27th

Associated Press – Today in History

Mine-sniffing rodents: I wish they had ‘HeroRats’ when I was in Vietnam

Good Day World!

While serving as a combat engineer in Vietnam (1970), my primary mission was to detect landmines.

Minesweeping then meant a few guys slowly walking along a hostile dirt road and waving a heavy modular mine detection unit back and forth.

 (Photo -A HeroRat receives her food reward.)

We didn’t have the advantages today’s Army Engineers have with mine-sweeping vehicles preceding us. I’m talking “old school” here.

And we sure didn’t have any trained rats to stand in for us! The only rats I remember back then were mean little things that occupied bunkers and hooches.

If I would have known back then what I recently discovered about rats, I’m sure I would have been on the cutting edge for training the furry little beasts to take my job!

But no one thought about such a novel way to detect landmines in the 1970s. It wasn’t until Bart Weetjens came along that the idea of using rodents for mine detection became a reality.

Weetjens is the founder of Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling (APOPO) (Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development – English Translation) which is a registered Belgian non-governmental organization that trains African giant pouched rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis!  

APOPO's mission is to develop detection rats technology to provide solutions for global problems and inspire positive social change. For today, we’ll just look at the rats searching for landmines and leave the tuberculosis sniffing abilities aside for another post.

Due to Weetjens childhood experience, he knew that rats, with their strong sense of smell and trainability, could provide a cheaper, more efficient, and locally available means to detect landmines.

Using African giant pouched rats (they call them HeroRats) to detect landmines has several advantages. The rats are indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, where they are used and, thus, are well-suited to the climate and are resistant to many endemic diseases.

They are also widely available and inexpensive to procure. Few resources are needed to raise a rat to adulthood, and African Giant Pouched Rats have a relatively long lifespan of six to eight years.

Furthermore, HeroRats do not form a bond with a specific trainer but rather are motivated to work for food. This adaptability allows for the trained rats to be transferred between handlers.

In the minefields, the HeroRats are too light to detonate a pressure-activated mine by walking over it. Their small size also means that the rats can be easily transported to and from operational sites.

Mine Detection Rats (MDR), the name given to the African giant pouched rats (genus Cricetomys) also used by APOPO, work to detect landmines by using their exceptional sense of smell.

In a minefield, MDRs wear harnesses connected to a rope suspended between two handlers. The HeroRats methodically sweep up and down a demarcated hazardous area and indicate the scent of explosives by scratching at the ground.

The insignificant weight of the rats means they do not detonate a landmine; their scratching solely indicates the presence of a mine. Each suspected area is screened by two animals.

The locations that are indicated by the rats are marked off, and then followed up later by a manual demining team, who detect and destroy the mines.

Full training of a Detection Rat takes approximately nine months on average, and is followed by a series of accreditation tests.

The rats are socialized and then trained through principles of operant conditioning. When the rats first begin their training, they learn to associate a “click” sound with a food reward of banana or peanuts.

Once they learn that "click" means food, the rats are trained on a target scent.

Rats trained to become Mine Detection Rats are taught that when they indicate TNT (the explosive in most mines), they will hear a click and then get food.

After various stages of training which build on the skills learned in the previous stage, the HeroRat is ready to go to work in either a minefield or into the research lab for tuberculosis or remote scent tracing (RST) detection.

(Information and photos Via Wikipedia)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Uncle Sam looking to buy 12 acres of marijuana for research

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Calling all pot farmers: Uncle Sam is looking to buy.

An arm of the National Institutes of Health dedicated to researching drug abuse and addiction “intends” to solicit proposals from those who can “harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute” cannabis, according to a listing posted Tuesday night on a federal government website.

A successful bidder must possess a “secure and video monitored outdoor facility” capable of growing and processing 12 acres of marijuana, a 1,000 square foot (minimum) greenhouse to test the plants under controlled conditions, and “demonstrate the availability” of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Food and Drug Administration-approved vault to maintain between 400 and 700 kilograms of pot stock, extract and cigarettes.

NIDA spokeswoman Shirley Simson said the the agency was simply starting a new bidding competition since its existing marijuana farm contract is set to expire next year. The original solicitation for that contract was issued in 2009. (Source)

Study shows more Americans are using pot for pain instead of opioids

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Good Day World!

I’ve been using medical marijuana for years to deal with my chronic back pain – a result of spine stabilization surgery.

My doctor prescribed Percocet for up to a year after my surgery. I had nothing but trouble taking that pain-killer. My stomach and bowels were constantly in an uproar.

Then I quit taking it. I switched to marijuana, which still does the job today, years after my surgery.

Needless to say, I became an advocate for pot for pain. There are no after affects. I’ve heard so many lies about the use of medical marijuana that I could write a book chronicling them. The good news is more research on the subject has been released. See study below.

It’ll take time, Big Pharma will fight every inch of the way, but the day is rapidly coming when people throughout America will be able to use pot for pain – and other uses.

Check out the following article: 

“States with medical marijuana laws have fewer deaths from opioid overdoses compared to states that do not allow medical marijuana, according to new research.

Opioids for chronic pain, like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, are meant to suppress pain.

Recent data shows that not only are prescriptions for these drugs up, but rates of overdose and death are increasing as well.

New research published Monday in the journalJAMA Internal Medicine shows that states with medical marijuana laws have rates of anticipated opioid-related deaths 25% lower than states that don’t allow it.

The researchers say more research is needed to understand why people choose medical marijuana and whether people at risk for opioid abuse would consider it as an alternative. There’s also the issue of presenting a split medical community with the risks and benefits of prescribing someone marijuana.” (Read more here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…