Saturday, April 2, 2016

Exploding Killer Lakes, Blood Falls, and Beyond

Good Day World!

We sure live in a wonderful world.

Mother Nature is full of surprises. For example:

Did you know there was such a thing as Exploding Killer Lakes?  It sounds like something from a horror movie, but it's all too true.

(photo - demons carved into walls of Am Phu Cave, Vietnam)

Our world is dotted with spectacular, natural and man-made oddities that may seem too strange to be real. Seeing is believing.

Check out these photos of Strange Natural Wonders of the World

Have you heard of Antarctica's Blood Falls? Scientists say the mysterious red flow is caused by a subterranian lake rich with iron. 

When I was in Vietnam in 1970, I didn't get a chance to visit the Marble Mountains and Am Phu Cave.  Today, visitors can go there and trip out, looking at all of the devilish figures carved in rock.

There's a lot of wonderful things to see around our world. Thank goodness, we have the internet to help discover them if we can't physcially go to them.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Take your politically correct terms and shove them!

In a 1983 "As It Stands" column, I implored readers to reject the term because it was a political ploy to push certain agendas. I pointed out the new name for a manhole cover was a subterranean ingress and egress aperture cover. That got a lot of laughs.
Somewhere along the line, the laughs slowed down and people started getting serious/stupid about the term. To my dismay, it didn't go away. 
Instead it spread like poison oak in our language garden. It became so pervasive that the PC police think nothing of calling insane people selectively perceptive, or some other equally non-descriptive term.
Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I saw no problem with saying someone without hair was bald. Now, no one is bald, they're comb free. 
Remember when someone had BO (body odor)? That same person today is said to have nondiscretionary fragrance. Please!
You know something isn't right when censorship is foisted off as selective speech and drunks are referred to as spacially perplexed. Politically correct terms came about in order to tell people how they should act. No, really.
Political Correctness denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent, according to Wikipedia.
In other words, political correctness is out of control! My clumsy (excuse me -- uniquely coordinated) attempt to illustrate this contention comes with plenty of examples.
We no longer just have earthquakes, we have geological corrections. Despite that, when the earth starts to shake like a giant baby's rattle I will still scream "earthquake!"
If we don't already have a PC term for crime rate, I imagine civic leaders would be good with the term "street activity index." I have to admit -- with guilty pleasure -- I kinda like the following PC terms for some jobs.
Now, when you get a job in a restaurant you don't have to tell your friends you're just a dishwasher. No, your title will be "utensil sanitizer" and you'll wear a snappy white apron.
How about janitor? It's kinda of a blah description, but when you change it to "sanitation engineer" you're suddenly vaulted into white collar realms when describing your job. The same goes for the garbage man; who is now a sanitation engineer too.
Conversation between a father and a lifeguard who just saved his daughter from being pulled out to sea:
Father: "Thank you! Thank you for saving my drowning daughter!"
Lifeguard: "No problem. I save aquatically challenged people all the time."
Takes the snap out of that conversation doesn't it?
I can see where calling someone "differently weighted" instead of fat would seem a kinder description, but as far as descriptions go it's useless. What's differently weighted supposed to mean? Too fat or too skinny? Perhaps being at a perfect weight? I think you can see my point here.
I refuse to consider "motivationally dispossessed" as another term for lazy.
Just for a laugh, if you want to take this whole PC discussion to the next level, let's look at some political correct terms for females and males.
For the women:
-- Her breasts will never sag, they will lose their vertical hold.
-- She does not snore, she is nasally repetitive.
-- She does not get drunk, she becomes verbally dyslexic.
-- She is not a bad driver, she is automotively challenged.
For the men:
-- He is not a sex machine. He is romantically automated.
-- He is not a male chauvinist pig, he has swine empathy.
-- He does not get lost all the time, he discovers alternate destinations.
-- He does not fart and belch, he is gastronomically expressive.
You may think I'm ignorant (factually unencumbered), but you have to admit the PC police continue to clutter the language with terms best left under rocks!
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why You Don't Have To Worry About Trump Becoming Our Next President

Good Day World!

It's going to be okay.

The good news; Donald Trump will not be elected president of the United States.

The bad news; we still have months of Trump antics ahead.

I'm predicting that Trump WILL NOT even get the GOP nomination.

There is going to be a GOP Contested Convention in Cleveland. The establishment will do everything it can (including changing rules) to keep Trump from being nominated.

Odds are, Trump will get dumped in Cleveland.

Why A Contested Convention Favors Cruz

GOP panelists eager to scrap rule that helps Trump

I can see chaos breaking out long before the balloting begins at the convention. 

Emerging from the flaming rhetoric and dirty tricks will be a flawed nominee, scorched and defiant. If it isn't Cruz, then someone else may appear at the 11th hour.

But say I'm wrong, and Trump surfaces as the nominee. What are his chances of winning a general election aganist Hillary Clinton?

A Vote For Trump is a Vote for Hillary Clinton: Why Trump is a Sure Loser

Trump Is Killing the GOP’s Brand Among Minorities, Making It Even More Dependent on Whites

General Election: Trump vs Clinton (Clinton wins)

Donald Trump is Really Unpopular With General Election Voters

According to Moody's Analytics Presidential Election Model, which has correctly predicted the last nine elections, Clinton would win.

Why Hillary Clinton Could Beat Donald Trump

Trump has a serious problem when it comes to women voters. Most don't like him. Half of the Republican women polled recently said they can't see themselves voting for him.

Nationally the odds are even worse - with 73% of the women polled saying they'd never vote for Trump. 

Why Donald Trump Can't Win The White House

To all of you people who've been stressing out over the possibility of The Donald getting elected president...relax. It's not going to happen.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gun Love: The Social Impact of Guns In Our Society

Good Day World!

One of the most devisive topics in America today is gun control.

Some Americans believe there should be more controls on buying guns and what kind of guns should be legal. Other Americans believe that there shouldn't be any controls on gun use.

People often cite the 2nd Amendment when any kind of gun control measures are proposed. Extreme gun advocates don't see anything wrong with owning ANY type of gun; 50 Cal Machine Guns, etc.

With this controversial backdrop, I'm going to take a look at the impact of guns in our society today:

Compared to other countries with similar levels of development or socioeconomic status, the United States has exceptional homicide rates, and it's driven by gun violence.

Visualizing gun deaths: Comparing the U.S. to rest of the world

Accidents caused by guns are common in our country today:

Video - Gun Accidents By Careless People

Article Guns hospitalize more than 7,000 children per year in U.S.: study 

I looked around for the advantages to owning guns, but frankly there's just not that many examples out there. I did come up with a couple of articles however:

Reasons why we buy guns:

I leave you to draw your own conclusions about the roll of guns in our lives today.
Meanwhile remember when the Beatles sang Happiness is a Warm Gun (bang bang! shoot! shoot!) 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Man-Made Earthquakes: The Irony Is As Thick As Crude Oil

Good Day World!

A new federal map shows parts of Oklahoma are now as seismic as parts of California and Alaska, long the nation’s leaders in earthquakes, and for the first time includes man-made earthquakes.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s new earthquakes hazard map, which helps states and government officials determine insurance rates and building codes, is in part a reaction to the historic increase in seismic activity in Oklahoma.

 Last year the state experienced almost 900 3-plus magnitude earthquakes; in 2007, it recorded just one. On earlier USGS maps, Oklahoma was a seismic afterthought.
(condensed version of Time article)

The oil industry has been defending Fracking since it was first discovered to be an environmental problem.

State and corporate oil interests have fought hard to keep the public in the dark, but enough damning facts have surfaced for us to see what's really been happening.

What was it that Sarah Palin once said the country should do to the delight of the GOP? Oh yea!
"Drill baby, drill!" The irony is as thick as crude oil...

Time for me to walk on down the road....

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why I Don't Want To Be Wealthy

Good Day World!

Unless you were born rich, at some point in your life you've probably dreamed about becoming wealthy.

But being rich isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

Money is NOT the key to happiness. It does make some things easier in your life, but there's drawbacks.

Let's say you won millions of dollars in the lottery (nice thought right?). Here's three things that can happen if you're an instant winner and wealthy:

* People, from family to strangers, will be hitting you up for some of your loot. 

* Some people may be plotting to get your money - one way or the other!

* Winning the lottery can change the nature of personal relationships. Spouses may disagree about how to spend prize money and even split up over disputes about winnings.

Then you have winners who lose all their wealth and are living in poverty, or some who even commit suicide.

Here's 21 lottery winners who lost it all 

If you're born rich there's downsides that can outweigh the benefits. You are not allowed to complain about anything...ever.

Most people think being wealthy is nirvana. 

They don't want to hear about your problems because they envy you. It becomes hard to relate to the middle class or poor whose lives are full of challenges you don't have to worry about.

I'm happy right now with my life. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and enough money to pay my monthly bills.

Throw in a great family, and friends, and I'm a wealthy man!

Perhaps Pablo Picasso said it best when looking for a happy medium in life:

"I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money."

Time for me to walk on down the road....

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Easter When I discovered That I Had Two Sisters!

Good Day World!

Happy Easter!

Today, I'm going to share a slice of my life that ties in with Easter.

Back in the early 1950s, when I was a young fellow (somewhere between four and five years old) I discovered that I had two sisters!

They lived with my grandparents in Florida for a while, and then they all moved to California, where I lived with my parents and younger brother.

Why it was that way, is another story in itself. I'm going to stay focused on Easter right now.

My parents weren't religious, and I never attended church. I didn't know anything about Easter...or God.

Interestingly enough, it was around Easter when I first met my two sisters.

I remember how nice they were to me, and that we seemed to hit it off instantly. But my memories of this first meeting are kinda fuzzy, like a newborn chick.

I remember they wore pretty dresses and my brother and I wore ties with long-sleeved white shirts, and dark trousers.

One of the things about Easter is it's about new beginnings - rebirth if you will. For me, it was the beginning of a new life with sisters.

Shortly after that first gathering (maybe a year), my grandmother died of a heart attack while pruning her beloved roses.

That's when my sisters moved in with us. The rest, as they say, is history.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...