Rat Fishing, Sport in the Inner City

“Rat Trap”, was a documentary shown on PBS tonight. “Rat Trap”, put forth a parallel between the preferred environment of rats, and some of the human population.

The documentary was very interesting, but its main point drifted right over me. What caught my focus was a sideline in the documentary. There were two ideas and two methods of Rat Collection which I found interesting. Firstly, it was established that when Rats overtake an area such as a neighborhood, the dynamics of harvesting the Rats changes.

You read it right. A new sport in the inner city.

Reducing the number of Rats is equivalent to increasing the food supply for the remaining Rats. Fewer Rats means more food for the remaining Rats, leading to a population boom. The environment can now support more Rats so the remaining Rats breed faster to fill the vacuum (food surplus).

Secondly, and perhaps unique to the location was the biggest Rat populations of present day are location identical to the largest Rat populations of the previous century. The most Rats lived in the poorest neighborhoods. Rat populations were also linked to the crime rate. More Rats meant more crime.

The first method of Rat collection was one that plays across YouTube until you get tired of watching. Shooting rats with pellet guns was a sport for some of the local residents. Nothing new there, except I wish I lived close to where I could go rat plinking, it looked like fun.

A second and more unique method of collecting Rats (and birds) was fishing for them! The ‘Fisherman’ had a normal fishing rod and reel, sinker attached, and two single hooks, that looked to be about size six. He would bait up his hooks with turkey and peanut butter, and cast to where he saw the most rats moving about. Keep the line tight, hook them, and reel them in in. The caught Rats were dispatched by his fishing friend who used a baseball bat. Think hitting a ball hanging from a string. Rat dispatch may need some work.

Unfortunately , the main point of the documentary was lost on me. The idea of rat hunting far outweighed the parallels of the economics of people and the number of rats in their environment.

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.