Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's Time For A Blog Break My Friends!

Good Day World!

It's time for me to take a blog break. I'm going to visit family in Southern California.

I'll be back on Tuesday, May 24th. 


Seeing as you stopped by already, why not check out some of my newspaper columns, or past posts from this blog? Look to the right of the page and pick whatever you want.

I appreciate you're stopping by. In parting, here's an old Irish Blessing that I love:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Déjà vu To You: How Does Your Brain Process The Past?

Good Day World!
Déjà vu to you. 
I’ll explain later, but right now let’s cut to the chase. 

Have you ever had the feeling you had experienced something in the past when the experience was actually a new one?

Kinda creepy huh? It has been for me numerous times. As far as I’ve been able to determine there are two schools of thought on that sense of Déjà vu. 

You have the scientific viewpoint, and you have the folks who believe those feelings of Déjà vu come from psychic abilities possessed by some people.

So what is it? Disorders in the brain or memories of a past life? What is Déjà vu? 

Let’s start with those researchers who spend their lives trying to find the answer. The collective feeling has been attributed to schizophrenia, anxiety and a malfunction of the electrical system in the brain.

Interestingly, certain medicines are believed to be factors responsible for Déjà vu. Medicinal drugs such as amantadine and phenylpropanolamine have been observed to cause it.
A popular theory says our brains tend to associate different situations. Even more interesting, the brain often tries to experimentally reproduce a situation it has never faced. 

The result?

Your anticipation of a certain event might make you think you’ve encountered a similar experience before.

In my reading on the subject I found there are several types of Déjà vu. Fair warning; this gets a little tricky. Basically you have Deja Senti, Deja Vecu, and Deja Visite. 

With Deja Senti the feeling you have refers to something “already felt.” According to researchers something felt in the past was very similar to that felt in the present. The similarity in the two experiences can make a person feel they’ve done it in the past.

When you visited a completely new place, have you had the funny idea you knew what was going to happen next? That’s called Deja Vecu, and those who experience it feel they have a portal to the future.

There’s a fine line between Deju Vecu, and the last form of Deju vu called Deja Visite. As the name implies, Deja Visite is all about going to a place for the first time and claiming to know it despite never having been there in reality.

It’s funny, but most of my Deju vu experiences were like “Oh No! Caught again!” 

I knew a guy in the Army who always claimed to experience Déjà vu and after a while I wondered if he was a psychic or a wacko. Luckily, we were only stationed together for a few months and I never had to find out.

While trying to understand this mysterious Déjà vu stuff I came across one explanation that was an eye opener. Scientists say one of the human eyes perceives a certain thing before the other. One eye actually records the incident earlier, they claim.

Meanwhile the other eye, which records the same incident milliseconds later, gives the brain a feeling of recollection.

Researchers suggest that one eye perceives something and the brain interprets it. The other eye lags in time by a few milliseconds, perceives the same thing and sends the image to the brain.

So what happens? The brain perceives the image milliseconds later and thinks you’ve seen it before. Sound good? 

Well…maybe not. People with only one eye experience Deju vu too, a fact that has left those researchers scratching their heads and bumping into walls.

I’m sure this will only be a temporary setback and they’ll have another explanation for Deju vu one of these days.

If you think I wrote this post before, please squint one eye and blink the other a couple of times until the feeling goes away! 

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

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Of Politics, Team Sports, and Losers

Good Day World!

There's nothing wrong with sports teams that support their club without reservation.

That concept shouldn't be applied to politic parties however.

We have two warring teams - the Democrats and the Republicans. Both protect their brand jealously, and mindlessly, to the detriment of the American people.

Those two political teams are supposed to be representing their constituents...not pie-in-the-sky ideologies that ignore reality. 

The real concerns that most Americans have are seldom addressed in the political arena where the two parties play their games.

Particularly troubling is the practice of voting along party lines rather than for the best candidate. A good example of that is Louisana governor Bobby Jindal's recent op-ed.

He admits Donald Trump is an ass, but says he felt the party is more important, therefore he's going to vote for him.

It's that kind of attitude - take one for the Gipper - that has produced two candidates that are extremely unpopular wih the general public.

The bottom line is voters are going to be stuck this year voting for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

Unlike team sports however, there will be no eventual winner, just millions of losers.

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...