Movie Worth Watching – Black Panther

If you can, Black Panther is well worth your time. One of the best thought out movies of its genre in a long while. Story flows, and you are sold on the story line in the first ten minutes.

If you have heard negatives about Black Panther, they are probably wrong. I know Conservative Radio claims the movie, Black Panther, “Aggrandizes Black Women”, like there is something inherently wrong with that thought. In my opinion, it is a small thought put out there for small minds,

Let me know if you enjoyed Black Panther. I am sure you will.

Social Isolation and Indifference is Killing Our Children

No picture today… This post is a plea about School Shootings and Teen deaths. Stolen from Wikipedia, this is their list of school shootings in the United States in the last few years:

“2018, 14 February – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shootings – (17 dead)
2017, November 14 – Rancho Tehama Reserve shootings – (6 dead)
2015, 1 October – Umpqua Community College shooting – (10 dead)”

Teen suicide for Males ages 15 – 19 is listed at about fourteen percent by the CDC in 2015. Teen suicide rate for Females 15 – 19 is listed at about six percent.

“According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there were 41,731,233 youth age 10-19 in the United States, 13% of the total U.S. population, in 2015″

As ugly as it reads, Teen deaths from school shootings is a drop in the bucket for any given year when compared against the number of other preventable Teen Deaths. Yet school shootings get the publicity because of the raw emotion involved, and the press over milking every possible angle of the story, playing on peoples emotions. Always first on peoples list is banning “assault” rifles.

I am not a fan of assault rifles. They were created for on reason, and we all know what that reason is. Let’s pretend we take assault rifles away. Now the next mass shooting will be done using a different type of firearm. Let’s pretend to take those arms away too. And so it goes, so on and so forth. Banning one gun after another until they are all gone.

Wait. There have been mass killings attempted with vehicles too! Let’s start banning vehicles. We’re not done yet. There was killing that took place in England recently where the weapon of choice was machetes. We better ban machetes too. Let’s not forget drug overdose, poisoning, and the multitude of other ways people use to kill each other.

Kids who plan to kill or kill on a large scale, as in school shootings seem to have certain characteristics in common. First and foremost, someone or several someones knew about the planned attack before it happened, and Parents were oblivious in a few cases (discounting Parents who knew their Son was a danger and no one would or could help). Secondly, it seems these kids were loners, either by choice or as a result of being bullied through their school days and years. All were unstable, and NO ONE (really cared or) payed any attention.

I do not wish to point fingers only at Parents, because kids, like adults can be secretive when need be. But, why in the world if a Child is having emotional or psychological problems, does that same kid have access to Dad’s or Mom’s gun(s)?

Two main issues here. Does Dad and Mom pay enough attention to their Child to know their Child is being bullied and/or has been ostracized from all social interaction at school? What about their Child’s behaviors? Children usually give off several types of warning signs or signals.

Transformation into wanting to kill does not happen overnight! Are Parents even aware if their child has serious emotional issues and may be unstable? Do Parents know their Child may fantasize about killing those Kids who make his life at school a pure hell? What about other family members? Do they pretend it’s not their business, or ignore the signs as just another rant? Neighbors, friends, does anyone pay attention? It doesn’t feel like it. If they do they don’t care enough to take action.

Kids killing Kids is a horrible thing. Until we start caring for our own Children and our neighbors children these mass killings are likely to continue. Guns are not the issue. Lack of Family and Social support and caring seems to be the major issue. Where is the Social Structure and support for these troubled Kids?

In each of the recent school shootings after the fact, one or more fellow students and  adults stated they were afraid this was going to happen. Yet they kept quiet!? It’s possible that some of those murdered in school shootings were the problem that caused such a violent reaction to begin with? We may never know for sure, but we allow bullying and social isolation to continue.

My admiration for the Grandmother who knows she should go through her Grandchild’s room, who found a diary where he was planning a school shooting of his own, and then found an assault rifle in his guitar case!

Why aren’t we involved in the lives of our children? Why aren’t we involved in our neighborhood and the children in it? You and I may be partially responsible for the next school shooting because we are indifferent and pretend we are too busy. My heart goes out to those who admitted they knew these school shootings were going to happen. They have to see themselves in the mirror every day, and know they did nothing.

Teen suicides are my fault and your fault for not being a responsible Parent and Adult in our own home and Community. A dead Teen, whether from their own hand or that of another, is a death that could have been prevented – if we only really cared and took action. The Government does not own School Shootings or other preventable Teen Death…we do.

The “Man in the Van” is not the problem, we are the problem. We have isolated ourselves so well, we do not know our own children, or our closest neighbors. Grow up! Be sociable and teach your Kids how to safely socialize. We can not help each other if we remain indifferent strangers to each other while living feet apart from each other.

Simple, Fast, Anywhere, Whole Body Exercise

Walking is not enough. Walking and jogging or running are great for our cardiovascular system. Walking, jogging or running does not quite do it for Total Body Health. Total Body Health is being able to do what you want to need to do without fear of injury or pain the next day.

Exercise that uses as many of the muscles as possible leads to better overall health and fitness. If you are older like me, total body health makes the difference between getting through each day and looking forward to doing something that needs to be done each day. Tasks that used to be painful, become simple. Waking up sore because you pulled a few weeds yesterday ceases to becomes a painful reminder.

Only thing is, I, like many people do not like to exercise. Exercise is boring, and in itself brings no satisfaction. I want to get my exercise over quickly and get the most benefit in the least amount of time. I think most people prefer less time spent exercising and more time doing what they want to do.

Same as my previous post about my experience with High Intensity Interval Training, there are ways to exercise that maximize gain with minimal time spent doing them. And you do not need a gym. I again researched the internet and books to find what exercises are most common for giving the most return for the least amount of time.

I listed these out and picked out a few that were the most common and proven to be the most effective exercises to use as many muscles as possible while doing each exercise. I think these few exercises do just that. Of course they can be broken down into two or more individual exercises but this would take more time. These exercises take less than five minutes, and if you are just starting out, I suggest you spend less than two minutes on all of them to find out what your muscles think of them.

Exercise is like cooking, you can always add more. One main reason people stop exercising is because it becomes painful. You should think past this and realize it was not painful to get to the point where exercise is painful, so you should start out slow and increase your exercise time as your body is ready for it. There is no need to be sore and have your muscles hurt. We are all looking for a level of fitness, not joining an elite fighting organization.

I found this Ab Wheel in the pic in a thrift store for a few dollars. It is like new condition. When I bought it, I thought how hard can it be? I saw the infomercials, and it looked easy enough. One movement to the right, one to the center and one stretch to the left. I went through the movements when I brought home for about two minutes. The Ab Wheel afterward didn’t feel like I had done anything. The next day when I went to do a plank, I felt every strained and pained muscle in my abdomen tell me what I did yesterday. Starting slow is starting smarter.

Two minutes using this tells you your core fitness level

Here are the exercises I condensed down that most of the material I read agrees are the best whole body movements. You can look on web if you are not familiar with them as they are explained much better than I would explain them

1. Jumping Jacks – regular and side to side ~ Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

2. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

3. Plank with palms down ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

4. Plank with hands clenched ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

5. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

6. Lunge ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

If you do these in succession, not only do they go fast, but you will be breathing harder than when when you started. If it is two hard, relax for a bit between exercises until you get used to them. You will be waking up any number of weak dormant muscles, so start slowly. I think doing these exercises every other or every third day is a good starting point. They only take a few minutes, but work a lot of muscles.

Of course check with your doctor to ensure these are exercises you can do. If you have not exercised in a while, perform these exercises ten seconds each. You will wake the next day and your body will let you know you did something different the day before. A little sore isn’t bad, really sore makes you want to not do it again.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them with my bad habits. Let me know how this works for you.

High Intensity Interval Training, My One Month Observations

I have been reading a lot about exercise lately. I joined a gym, and had an hour with an instructor. The hour turned out to be more of a sales pitch than anything else, but there may be a few seeds of knowledge in what I heard. The instructor holds a Masters Degree in Human Physiology, so I believe most of what he said. He lost me at the $400.00 per month trainer cost to get me looking like an American Ninja competitor in six months. I thought six months was too quick, maybe if he said seven months I would have signed up….

Between, the instructor, books and the web, I have learned exercise has changed a lot over the years. Smarter exercise is better exercise. Longer exercise times are not always smarter or better. Science seems to show almost everyone can get themselves in reasonable physical condition in as little as thirty minutes a week, as quickly as a few months.

The idea of High Intensity Interval Training is simple, once it is understood. It seems our bodies may not made for trotting all day alongside a herd of Antelope waiting for our chance to strike. The newer exercise science seems to declare we are made for reasonable movement mixed with all out spurts of action or movement mixed in.

Translated into something I understand, all out spurts of action means as little as one minute of cycling, running, swimming, cross country skiing, or performing any total body activity at the fastest possible speed. This all out action is repeated three times after warmup, with intervals of slower or recovery movement in between the all out portions.

Here is my plan using the ideas from High Intensity Interval Training:

1. Warm up. Perhaps a minute of jumping jacks followed by two minutes of walking, or simply walking about three minutes at a moderate pace.

2. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running all out for a full minute.

3. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

4. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

5. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

6. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

7. Slow to a walk for final recovery.

Exercise and feel younger, Exercise and feel better

I started using this High Intensity Interval Training exercise idea about a month ago, I could only run my fastest for about ten seconds. Muscles in my hips and upper thigh complained loudly and painfully. I thought at first I would not be able to do this as the pain was so quick and pronounced.

The pain remained for some days. The exercise reward seemed non-existent. I went through my cycles with a goal of this exercise plan every other day, or three times a week.

It is now a month or so later, and I am up to all out running all out for about thirty to forty seconds. No pain. My Recovery Walk lasts two to four minutes instead of ten or twelve. High Intensity Interval Training has a lot going for it after all. I confess I am a converted skeptic about High Intensity Interval Training.

As a baseline, I want to mention, I walk a lot. When the weather and other things cooperate, I walk somewhere around 15 miles or more a week. Running however is a whole different animal.

I do not remember having as much as jogged in the last twenty years. After 40, running was thought to cause joint problems. Initially running was where my major pain came from. I discovered I had several smaller unused or little used muscles around my lower hips and  hip joint.

Which brings me to something the instructor salesman told me which may or may not be true. As we sail past about fifty years of age, we become much more efficient at the things we do. If we are going to get up, we do two or more things because we are up.

Our body also starts to quit using non essential muscles, and even some muscles that are useful, but not mandatory in our lifestyle. Muscles start to deteriorate because we do not use them.

Setting my skepticism aside, I am sold on High Intensity Interval Training as the most productive use of limited exercise time. If you are like me and have not moved faster than a fast walk for some years, you may want to buy a bottle of your preferred pain reliever first.

Of course always check with your doctor, and read what you can find about High Intensity Interval Training to determine if this is the right exercise for you. I find I enjoy High Intensity Interval Training and the gains are fast – once the pain goes away.

Three Movies Worth Watching

I like more serious movies. There is enough entertainment between the big box stores, Internet, and television that I go to the movies for something different. These three excellent drama’s will keep you thinking long after the movie is over. I won’t pretend to be a movie critic. Besides, I was preempted by the Golden Globe Awards.

Three movies well worth watching.

The Florida Project – I wasn’t sure what I liked more about this movie. The more or less realistic look at life lived when you are poor, or that a child could play such a serious role and do it so well. Watch this movie if you want to appreciate the life you have.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – I think what few life topics Florida doesn’t cover, this movie made up for. Quite a serious movie that covers a lot of topics. From living in a small town when I was young, it felt like a fair depiction of small town life, taken a little over the top in parts, but well worth seeing. If you enjoyed Fargo, and wasn’t put off by the over done accent and idiosyncrasies, you will enjoy Three Billboards.

Dunkirk – I don’t care for war movies, but this one is done well, and I really got into the story. It helps it is based on a true story. Some war movies really manage to bring out emotions other than the standard emotions, and I think this movie is one of them. You will want to cheer at the end.

Darkest Hour – This is the other side of Dunkirk rescue, centered around Winston Churchill and his actions, or lack thereof. This was a hard character to pull off and I think Gary Oldman deserves an award for doing what he does so well, making his character so real, you forget it is a movie. The movie starts out slow, but catches up quickly. Darkest Hour is an at name for this movie.

I hope if you haven’t seen these movies, and you enjoy more serious movies, you get a chance to see these four movies.

As for the picture of the balloon with the mountains in the background, well this is as close to the movies as I have a picture of. I was on a walking path near the Rio Grande River when the balloon landed. Because balloons have no way to steer, and limited fuel, the pilot thought the path was a the best landing spot they were likely to find before the propane tank went totally empty.

Teen Thinking Help

I remember being a Teenager. I had more energy than brains. My thought to action process took place in seconds. If it looks like fun, do it. This was about all there was to my thinking. I thought it was just me but over the years I noticed it wasn’t just me. It is how a normal male and possibly female Teenage Brain works – little thought, lots of action.

I was luckier than most. I grew up in a rural area. There wasn’t a lot to destroy, or get into trouble over. I am not sure how I would have fared if I had been born and raised in a city, like where I live now. The Teenage brain has not changed, only mine has as I have aged. The Teen brain has two states, on and off.

There is a group in Chicago which is teaching Teens about pausing and thinking before acting. How to create a decision making process instead of reacting. Since it was started, violent crime, and especially murder rate has dropped dramatically in the the Teen age group where the program is active.

The program is named BAM, an acronym for Becoming a Man. The main purpose of the program is to teach teens to think slower, and not act on impulse. The program shows a lot of success in just teaching at risk teens to pause and think for about thirty seconds before acting.

This gives a Teen and his brain a chance to think before acting. Is the argument worth fighting, going to prison, or dying for? The short pause the BAM program teaches, is saving lives, and keeping otherwise good kids out of the prison system.

This is a concept that every parent should be teaching their kids starting before the teen years kick in. Here is an example of Teen no Think in action.

Teens act on impulse first, and think about results later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above is of is a plastic bag dispensing container placed along walking path. The bags are there for dog walkers using the walking path to pick up and dispose of their dog’s droppings. There is a trash can for dog dropping disposal close by. Before these dispensers were put up along the walking path, it was no fun walking. There were piles of dog droppings about every three feet, and it stank – bad!

Notice the bags are yanked out and pulled around? This was done by a bored Teen acting on impulse. I am sure how the thought entered his mind, and he started yanking bags as soon as he reached the dispenser. I am sure it felt good too. It filled the need to do something.

Now if the the Teen Boy let himself think twenty or thirty seconds about this action before starting, he would have come to a better decision: People use these bags to clean up their Dog’s droppings. If I pull this apart there will be fewer bags available. That would mean more stinky dog droppings on the walking path. This is a stupid idea.

Obviously, the Teen Boy never thought about what he was going to do, he simply did it. I know now after he has had to think about it he feels really silly. I am sure it is not something he is telling his friends about. Thinking thirty seconds before acting is something everyone, not just Teens should practice. It saves lives, and makes life better for everyone.

 

Metformin and Probiotics

If you take Metformin you may be interested in reading what follows. Some people have mild to strong reaction from taking Metformin, usually expressed by diarrhea and/or a generally upset stomach. Many people have found that if Metformin gives them problems, taking a daily Probiotic helps with some Metformin side effects.

From the people I have spoken with, there does not seem to be any difference in what Probiotic one takes. Some people take close to top of the line and some people buy the cheapest Probiotic they can find. If you take or have priced Probiotics, you are aware that can be a difference of over $20.00 a month, sometimes more if you really go for the very top of the line Probiotic.

Cessation of diarrhea or a generally upset stomach generally happens within a week according to those I spoke with. With differing opinions on what Metformin really does, it is not known why or how a Probiotic makes a difference, though it appears to.

Metformin and a Probiotic may help with Metformin’s side effects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started taking Probiotics about six months ago on a friends advice, and I believe Probiotics make a difference for me. I have a wheat allergy, and while Probiotics do nothing for the allergy itself, they do relieve the symptoms when I find after the fact, that I ingested wheat hidden in something I ate.

I also have read taking additional Probioticcs during the day helps with general upset stomach and diarrhea though I have no experience with this idea yet, and prefer not to.

I normally take one Probiotic with breakfast. If I start to feel my stomach bloating from hidden ingested wheat, I will take a second Probiotic. It is not a miracle cure, but it does seem to help. If you have stomach problems, are wheat intolerant, or take Metformin, trying a Probiotic may help you feel better. Of course check with your Doctor for your overall health first.

New Year’s Coming

It is almost the beginning of a new year, and you may be starting to think about the list of changes you want to make in your life? It is not such an easy thing. You can create several lists full of good changes. You can take the best from each of your lists and make a master list. Or you can do a seat of the pants list and write down the first ideas you think of.
Most of our resolution lists have to do with events external to us. Lose weight and exercise more. Stop doing something, and learn something else. Find a way to get ahead in our job, or maybe even find a new job. Get some training or take a class or two that will help us in the future.

Somewhere along the line the ghosts of past resolution lists make themselves known. We remember those things we were sure we were going to do. Somehow they all slipped away into the ether with our other good intentions.

Make time for you this year and do what makes you happy!

The reason these lists of changes we create and rarely stick to is simple. The changes we make and sometimes create usually have nothing to do with us! They have more to do with people around us. This is why most resolutions do not last or come to pass.
It is okay to have that pie in the sky resolution. I have a few, and I think everyone should have at least one. Writing down a list of unrealistic goals however is making of a forgotten list. When you compile or recompile your list of resolutions, make them worthwhile meaningful resolutions about you. Being yourself is more satisfying than living the way others think you should.

Here is a general list of worthwhile resolutions followed by what they could mean for you:

 I will be truthful to me.

I will learn what “I” believe in, and why I believe it.

I will eat more of the foods I really enjoy rather than easy foods I do not care for.

I will make more time for me.

I will create positive differences in my life, and lives of others along the way.

I will appreciate who I am and what I have.

As funny as it sounds, most of us lie to ourselves. We ignore things about ourselves we would rather not think about. We often do things we deep down do not want to do. When was the last time you were truthful with yourself?

What do you really believe and why do you believe it? Do you believe what you do because your parents raised you to believe this way?  Whatever your belief system is, it will always feel a little artificial until you dissect it, rebuild it and make it your own.

Eating better does not mean giving up foods you really like. There are more ways to enjoy cheese than on a slice of pizza. Does the food you are eating really good or are you simply go through the motions of eating?

I am going to change those things I can change. I am going to look at my life and see where I am spending time doing things I prefer not to be do.

Think about what you can do that makes you feel good. Giving change to a shiftless panhandler doesn’t feel all that good, nor does it change anything. Do what makes you feel good, and you help others in the process.

What does my life mean to me? Am I happy with what I have? Is it because I feel I do not have enough? If you aren’t happy with what you have, sell it all and buy the biggest thing you can afford that makes you happy.

Your life is yours to live as you wish. You are the captain of your ship.  Do not live to please other people unless this is something you enjoy doing. Don’t be miserable again this year. This year, learn to be yourself and please yourself. Then your life will feel good, and you will be happy.

GMO Humans, Baby Farms, Uterus Implantation

Implanted embryos being born as healthy babies is already passé. If you have the money, someone will do the procedure for you, whether you are part of a couple or not. There is a new twist on baby implants, genetic testing before implantation. On the surface, genetic testing sounds really swell.

A woman’s fertilized eggs may be tested for certain genetic illnesses. If any of the fertilized eggs test positive, the egg is not implanted, and a another approved fertilized egg is implanted instead. Like Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops, and cloned animals, we have the technology. We will soon have the technology to produce designer babies.

Genetic testing may have a positive effect on an individual and the parents who raise them. Many horrible diseases, emphysema, dementia, certain cancers, many other diseases may be prevented before a fetus is developed, or implantation is performed.

This technology has wonderful application which may be of great benefit to individual parents and the world in general. How comforting it would be to know your child will not develop a genetically prone disease from your genes, thanks to, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) selection, it will be prevented or downgraded before implantation and development.

Custom Babies, and Uterus Implants, where are we going with technology?

A major disadvantage is how this technology will likely be applied. It probably won’t wind up being used for poor families in India, Africa, and other poor nations or countries, who have a surplus of people, and a deficit of resources. It will be used for additional trials and testing, and by those who can afford the cost. The price tag of IVF already restricts itself to the wealthy. Genetic testing before implantation raise the cost considerably.

Implications exist as this relates to gene therapy trials. Every process or procedure is safe until something unforeseen happens. Who wants to be the parents of an enhanced embryo which grows into a child, and later develops a terminal disease linked to some little understood gene combination and selection process?

Are there serious moral and ethical issues with designer babies? Some issues will be addressed by each couple in turn. Society as a whole will have its say. What will happen if a nation decides what its citizens should look like, and starts using genetic testing to eliminate unwanted skin, hair, or eye colors before implantation. What if testing to eliminate unwanted babies is done? Will we start producing children that will start to look like the Aliens of our imagination when grown adults?

Once a technology is made possible and published, it is out of the control of well wishers and loose in the real wold. IVF and Human GMO is destined to find acceptance in possible military technology. On the other side, abortion gives support to the idea of genetic testing and implantation. Agree with abortion or not, discarding or not implanting an embryo is less distasteful than aborting a developing fetus.

If these ideas sound a little far fetched, uterus implantation for the wealthy and childless woman is here. Soon, with enough money, a woman may have her uterus replaced with a healthy uterus, give birth to a baby, and have the uterus removed before organ rejection occurs. The Human future is either looking very exciting, or very scary, depending on how you see this use of technology. Where should we go with our technology, let it free, or reign it in?

12/02/17 – On Yahoo today, Uterus transplant patient gives birth

Creation, Evolution, or Intelligent Design

With Christmas fast approaching, perhaps it is time to reflect on how we got here, and where we are going? Probably not to Grandmothers house on a one horse open sleigh, or to the buffet for an all we can eat. Rather some thinking on what we think or believe about how human beings came about. I presented both sides in short paragraphs. What do you think about where we came from? Who’s right and who’s got it wrong?

How did we get here and where are we going? How you answer is important.

Biodiversity is more important to human survival than the numbers of humans that survive. Less than a century ago, antibiotics were thought of as the end all for infectious diseases. Today these same antibiotics in there original form are almost worthless. Now we are tinkering with genetics, because we ‘know’ we are more educated today. In the near future we will discover the same end result, only magnified by our tinkering.

An argument can be made that Buffalo created and maintained the Midwest plains area of our country. We killed most of the Buffalo, and put wheat, corn and cattle in their place, adding prodigious amounts of chemicals each year to the ecosystem, to keep the food chain producing, hoping for a future fix to cure the extensive damage we create today. All this in less than a few hundred years.

Most Human hardship is a direct result of human intervention and tinkering. We modified ‘primitive’ cultures, forcing them to abandon a lifestyle that kept ecosystems in balance for thousands of years. We created Frankenstein systems that can no longer support itself, all the while adding more humans to already overcrowded and starving populations, while we hope for a new ‘miracle cure’, to fix what we have created. We are out of miracles when it comes to our biosphere, and we need to come to terms with this.