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Welcome to the reality distortion field

02 IMG 7983Have you been wondering who wrote the Book of Love? You won’t get that answer in this column. Go find an old Monotones album and seek guidance there, Grasshopper. Today we are going to explore the reasons that the world is going nutso. Which is admittedly a much easier topic to understand than the vagaries of sweet love.

Let us consider the mystery of the Anti-Vaxxers. The Rona has come back with its new improved 2021 Delta model. None of that sissy Corona 19 stuff. This is the real thing. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It’s Super Rona, a strange visitor from a Cootie planet which is killing Earthlings with powers and abilities far beyond those of mere mortal men.

The Super Rona is able to change the course of mighty rivers, fill emergency rooms, hospitals and grave yards with its bare hands. The only thing that can defeat Super Rona is its version of Kryptonite, the mild-mannered Vaccines. Logic might appear to dictate that Americans would leap at the chance to get vaccinated but logic would be wrong. Tens of millions of Americans won’t take the Vax, seemingly preferring death before inoculation. As the King of Siam said, “It is a puzzlement.”

The Vaccines were developed under the Former Guy’s Presidency. Curiously the Vax Refuseniks tend to be die-hard Former Guy cult members. The Former Guy took the vax himself. He should get credit for developing it. He did good getting it up and ready. Logically his followers should be proud of what he did. They should be first to get the vax to support the Former Guy, yet they are the last. We may be watching a national demonstration of Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection taking place before our wondering eyes.

For most of Biden’s Presidency the Former Guy’s political party and Tee Vee hosts have been playing the part of the Pied Piper leading their followers into the Valley of Death by pretending the Rona was fake news or that Bill Gates was going to inject them with mind control Triskets.

Recently some of these same leaders began to realize that if their portion of the electorate doesn’t get vaccinated, they will cross over the Great Divide before the mid-term elections leaving the Democrats in charge of Congress. Owning the Libs by filling graveyards with disbelieving Super Corona cult members is somewhat counter intuitive. Dead Democrats do not lose their right to vote. They will keep on voting. We shall learn if Dead Republicans forfeit their franchise if they keep refusing to get into the Vax lifeboats of the Titanic after it has struck the Super Rona iceberg.

What could cause the puzzling behavior of the Former Guy’s followers? Here are a couple of possible answers.

The moon has been wobbling more than usual recently. We like to think the moon just peacefully orbits around the Earth in a smooth oval orbit cycling through its orbit every 18.6 years. The moon just minds its own business, creating tides and rhyming in love songs with the month of June. However, as they say on late night TV informercials — BUT WAIT! The moon itself wobbles. NASA released a new study that the moon’s wobbling may lead to record high tides over the next decade. If the moon can screw up tides on Earth, imagine what it can do to the thought processes of the Anti-Vaxxers. Astronomers first noticed the moon’s wobble back in 1728. Ponder all the craziness since 1728. The wobble could explain the current Anti-Vax sentiment.

NASA recently discovered another disturbance in the Force — Mars is older than Earth. The Mars Onsight Lander sitting on the Angry Red Planet is studying the guts of Mars.

Think of Mars and Earth as giant gum balls. The outer part of the gum ball is the crust, which sits on top of the mantle layer. (Not to be confused with Mickey Mantle.) Below the mantle is the molten core of each planet — the center of the gum ball. Mars has a thicker crust than Earth. Its mantle is thinner than Earth’s but its molten core is much larger than Earth’s core. NASA says this means that Mars was formed millions of years before Earth when the gasses from the sun were still condensing into planets like Earth and Venus.

The Onsight Lander has detected more than 700 Mars quakes since landing in 2019. These Mars Quakes may have to power to cloud the minds of the Former Guy’s followers convincing them that Death before Vaccination is the path best taken.

Moon wobbles or Mars Quakes? Either one might be the reason for America’s current sojourn into the Reality Distortion Field in which we find ourselves.

If you were looking for a logical answer to an illogical situation, you have come to the wrong column. I cheerfully admit to being clueless. I can remember when polio was a thing. They closed the movies, swimming pools, anywhere there were crowds. Iron lungs abounded. Then the polio vaccine came along and polio went away. Vaccines work.

Perhaps the Anti-Vaxxers would take the vaccine if they were told it was made from the Former Guy’s bath water. It’s worth a shot. Maybe Sean Hannity can tell them to drink up.

 

America needs more TLC and less CRT

01 martin luther king speechI have always been an admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In view of our now professed WOKE society, he must be flipping in his grave at America's self-appointed and anointed WOKE culturists who are discounting and disrespecting the resounding worldwide message he shared with us in his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

Wow, how things have changed in only 58 years. Our nation has gone from cherishing the thoughts, vision and messages of one of the greatest humanitarians and Civil Rights leaders ever born to a contradictory focus on the color of a person's skin, gender and political affiliation.

What? Character, intelligence and integrity are no longer considered valued characteristics that matter? "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

This is disappointing and sad. I'm not sure how we got to this point; however, I feel strongly that our nation needs to return to respecting the basics of humanity.

Simply put, we need to get back to practicing the Golden Rule. It's a pretty simple moral philosophy that has never failed to yield the perfect result when interpreted in its kind, humane and Christian manner.

The most popular and familiar version of this rule read: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This moral philosophy was never intended to be interpreted as justification for senseless killing, stealing, retribution or any other kind of vicious and cruel assault on humanity.

The most popular, worldwide and humane interpretation of this tenet is "to treat others the way you want to be treated" (positive). Or, you should "treat others in ways you do not wish to be treated yourself" (negative).

No doubt, Dr. King had it right, and he wasn't woke. He was kind, intelligent, compassionate, steadfast in his convictions and impervious to deep-seated hate. He preached and lived the correct interpretation of the Golden Rule with an understanding that elevated it to prominence in commonsense behavior and ethics, assuring peace, love and respect for all people. Dr. King would not have advocated for Critical Race Theory at any level.

Besides, it is only a theory. And one that contradicts the teachings, philosophy and heartfelt messages that Dr. King professed, fought for and died for. I don't think this country is ready to cast Dr. King aside for CRT and replace his teachings, goodwill, philosophies, statues and monuments with CRT advocates and doctrine.

Besides, what Woke/CRT advocates could match Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s integrity and character or passion for humanity? Let me know who they are.

In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for TLC over CRT.

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

Pictured above: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963, calling for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Speaking the truth to people who don't want to hear it

01 N2011P45008HA recent opinion piece by Tina Sacks for CNN left me riveted to my desk chair.

Sacks, an associate professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare, almost lost her 2-year-old son last year to what was ultimately diagnosed as multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MSI-C), even though he tested negative for COVID-19. Somehow the boy, who was on heavy doses of opioids and barbiturates, intubated twice, suffered heart failure, placed on a liver transplant list, and hospitalized for 4 weeks, survived.

Sack’s opinion piece is entitled, “What antivaxxers sound like to me.” She does not use these words, but others have: Antivaxxers sound selfish and self-centered, all about themselves and their individual rights with little regard for the health and well being of their fellow human beings. They see themselves as very, very special.

Since the founding of the United States, we have wrestled with the tension inherent between the freedoms guaranteed to us as individual Americans and the collective good of all Americans. This tension manifests itself in countless ways — states’ rights versus federal control, my right to play hard metal rock or use my leaf blower when my entire neighborhood wants to sleep, and on and on. Elections and wars have been fought over these tensions and friendships fractured.

Vaccination during a worldwide pandemic is neither an academic, legal or political argument nor a mere annoyance. It is literally a matter of health or illness, even life or death. Yes, there are people who cannot take certain vaccines, but most of us can. And, yes, there are people in our nation who are rightly suspicious of the medical establishment that has treated them unfairly, even cruelly, in the past.

Nearly 190-million Americans are at least partially vaccinated with minimal side effects. Look to your left and look to your right and you will likely see a successfully vaccinated American. The bottom line is that vaccinations, including those for COVID-19, work. People in other nations are literally dying to have what is freely and conveniently available to us.

The question then becomes why some choose to remain unvaccinated, even though they are clearly putting themselves and others at risk as the highly transmissible Delta variant is spiking COVID cases in all 50 states with attendant hospitalizations and deaths.

Sacks addresses the question this way.

“Getting vaccinated against preventable diseases is one way to ensure that all people, especially, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Color], avoid health care encounters in which implicit and explicit bias lead to worse health outcomes.

“It doesn’t help that many Republicans have been stoking vaccine skepticism and outright hostility. The Delta variant is already spreading rapidly across the country. Many who choose to forgo the shot may claim they are making a personal decision. But the continued spread of COVID-19 affects us all. And the truth is, the virus doesn’t care about so-called individual liberties. It simply infects whatever host it can find, Republican or Democrat, young or old, disabled, immuno-compromised, and anti-vaxxers alike.

“If anything, remaining unvaccinated by choice — and not because of lack of access or contraindicated health condition — sounds more to me like shirking an individual responsibility than exercising an individual right.”

None among us can see the future — where and how long COVID will ultimately exact its toll of human suffering and on how many. We cannot know how history will record the COVID pandemic, but my guess it will involve the usual dichotomy of nations who had access to vaccines and those who did not, those who availed themselves of the medical miracles before them and those who did not.

The words grief, remorse and shame will also be included.

No pain, no gain and other myths about exercise

16 N2107P34005HJane Fonda made the motto “No Pain No Gain” famous in the 1980’s with her exercise videos that became widely used in marketing fitness campaigns. Even though Jane Fonda received the credit, the term “No Pain No Gain” was coined by Benjamin Franklin when he wrote “There are no gains without pain.”

Over three hundred years ago he might be considered the first fitness guru. He felt that exercise was the reason for continued health and should be done forty minutes a day.

Pain is not an indication in exercise that you are pushing to the max and achieving your goals. Mild discomfort is acceptable but when pain occurs your body is telling you to stop before an injury occurs.

As exercise science has progressed many of the ways we approached fitness are now different. Still, some of the beliefs are now myths, here are a few.

Can you target specific areas for fat reduction? The answer is no. If you do countless sit ups for your abs you will gain muscle in that area, but the fat area remains. Our genetics play a role in how we store fat, and we lose it in the reverse order that it was accumulated. Weight loss and muscle gain result from diet and exercise. You cannot out exercise an improper diet.

If women lift weights, they will get bulky. Very few women can gain the same bulk as men do because they are smaller and have lower levels of testosterone.

Weight and resistance training are good for women and have proven effective for many health gains including bone density, strength and risk of injury. In other words, you will not bulk up if you pick up!

Muscle weighs more than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same. A pound of lean muscle however takes up less space in your body than a pound of fat because of density. The way your clothes fit tells you a lot about your weight loss. It is a nice feeling that your clothes are fitting differently!

The scale can be encouraging and discouraging with weight loss. Try to resist that continual checking of the scales. Weight can fluctuate because of many factors and the scale is not a true picture of your health. Weight loss of one to two pounds per week is a sustainable goal and healthier than rapid weight loss.

I am too old to exercise. Exercising has many health benefits at any age. People may think they are to out of shape, too old to start or cannot start because of an injury.

There are people in their seventies, eighties and nineties that run marathons and are body builders. That may seem a lofty goal to a beginner but is not one that could be out of reach. Observing a group fitness class in an exercise facility or on the gym floor with older participants can quickly debunk that myth because many are rock stars pumping out that fitness level that could rival a younger participant!

Who would have thought the science of exercise would have evolved to the level it is today and we have the pioneers in industry to thank including Benjamin Franklin and Jane Fonda.

The industry is evolving with new studies and techniques, but exercise is only one component in fitness.

A healthy lifestyle is followed by diet, sustainability and a balance in life for emotional and spiritual health.

Dust bunnies may hold the key to lost civilizations

04 wild dust bunnyDust Bunnies. What are they? Where do they come from? What do they want? Where do they go? What if they aren’t stopped? These are the eternal questions that even in our enlightened 21st Century have no definitive answers.

Today, Mr. Science will attempt to shed some light on our dusty friends. This column was triggered by the energetic efforts of Mrs. Science who recently took on the Herculean Task of cleaning out under our bed. We have a tall bed that has been the home and storage location of many quaint and curious objects of forgotten lore over the last 40 years. Once something was stored under the bed, it tended to remain there per Newton’s First Law of physics which says an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

It turned out there was quite a Metaverse of objects under the bed. The most impressive object was Mr. Science’s Father’s World War 2 steel footlocker belonging to Lt. E.H. Dickey. Although the foot locker remains unopened, many people are saying it contains the original lyrics to the song “Louie, Louie”.

Other subterranean inhabitants included two giant airtight plastic clothes bags containing at least 80 ancient T-shirts carefully sealed against the elements. Surrounding all the objects was a vast civilization of Dust Bunnies.

According to Mr. Google, Dust Bunnies are "small clumps of dust that form under furniture and in corners that are not cleaned regularly. They are made of hair, lint, dead skin, spider webs, dust, and sometimes light rubbish and debris that are held together by static electricity and felt-like entanglements.”

Now that we know what Dust Bunnies are and from whence they come, it turns out they are pretty disgusting.

Next up is the question what do Dust Bunnies want? Dust Bunnies are silent. They do not make verbal demands. They just lie there, quietly proliferating. If left to their own devices, Dust Bunnies will take over the world, one unswept location at a time. They want world domination and must be stopped.

Pondering the Dust Bunny Kingdom reminded me of the discussion in “Animal House” between Larry Kroger and Professor Jennings after they had smoked marijuana. Larry: “Okay, that means that our whole solar system could be like one tiny atom in the finger nail of some other giant being. This is too much! That means that one tiny atom in my finger nail could be. “Professor Jennings: “Could be one little tiny universe.” Larry: “Could I buy some pot from you?”

Dust Bunny Metaverses are the inert cousins of Kudzu which also desires to take over the world. Kudzu can only be stopped by freezing weather in February. Dust Bunnies are even more dangerous than Kudzu as they can only be stopped by cleaning forgotten areas.

Where do Dust Bunnies go? Everywhere, unless they are swept up and disposed of properly. Mrs. Science saved the Earth by sweeping up 40 years of Dust Bunny Kingdoms. Thanks be to Mrs. Science.

Having seen the Dust Bunny Civilization swept away, it got Mr. Science thinking about other lost civilizations which fell victim to the silent tragedy of Dust Bunnies. Ponder the fate of the Mayan civilization. It flourished almost 3000 years from 2000 BC until about 900 AD when it collapsed. It is likely the Mayans neglected to sweep out their cities and pyramids leading to Dust Bunnies collapse. There were still Mayans around when Cortez showed up in 1525. However, the Dust Bunnies had already hollowed out their civilization making the Mayans easy pickings for Cortez.

The Aztecs were a similar lost civilization which allegedly was wiped out by a nasty pestilence called the “cocoliztli” which may have killed up to 17 million people in the 16th century. The Aztecs where more into cutting the hearts out of their enemies than tiding up. It seems likely that Dust Bunnies were the cause of the pestilence.

The prevailing theory about the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago is that they were wiped out by an asteroid hitting the Earth creating the Chicxulub Crater in Yucatan. Nothing could be further from the truth. Uncontrolled Dust Bunnies conquered the dinosaurs. Have you ever seen the tiny arms of a Tyrannosaurus Rex? No way that a T Rex could have held a broom to sweep out the Dust Bunnies before they reached critical mass. Clearly Dust Bunnies then ruled the Earth.

A final example of the perfidiousness of Dust Bunnies is the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. John White’s band of plucky colonists landed on the beach in August 1587. Things got a bit dicey. John headed back to England for supplies which would have included brooms. He wasn’t able to get back to Roanoke until three years later in 1590. On his return, the Lost Colony was gone leaving only the word Croatan carved on a post. No one knows for sure what happened to the Colony.

However, it turns out that Croatan means Dust Bunnies. The rest is history.

One final note, Dust Bunnies are responsible for where the lost socks go. Only you can prevent Dust Bunny take over. Sweep under your bed. Be the unbalanced force. The civilization you save may be your own.

 

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