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The End of the World is Coming (in 2 billion years)

The End of the World is Coming (in 2 billion years)

The End of the World is Coming (in 2 billion years).  Have you notices that during times of social upheaval there is invariably some group(s) believe it is a sign of the coming apocalypse.  This happened when Obama was elected and at the turn of the millennium.  Many people confuse the end of the world with the collapse of civilizations.  We can look at the ancient world to see dozens of civilizations collapse due to plague, war, famine or natural disasters.

When will the world end?  The earth will cease to be habitable in about one billion years.  As our sun becomes a red giant star, the oceans will boil away while the heat from our star will sterilize the earth.  Our red giant sun will expand to fill the orbits of Mercury, Venus and the Earth. The earth will be consumed by our star. The good news is this will not happen for one billion years.   For those of us alive now the end of the physical earth is nothing to worry about. There are of course other things to worry about including what is for dinner or why is there nothing to watch on tv. The End of the World is Coming (in 2 billion years).

 

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Friday the 13th and a full moon

Friday the 13th and a full moon

We have a convergence of apocalyptic proportions happening today.  It is FRIDAY the 13th. and a full moon.  All the tsriskaidekaphobiacs are hiding under their beds in fear.  What is interesting is different cultures also have irrational fear of other numbers.  In China the number 4 is considered bad luck. Why? The pronunciation of the number four sounds a lot like the Chinese word for death. The number 9 in Japanese sounds like the word for torture.  In Italy, some people are afraid of the number 17 as it is written in latin. VXII can be transposed to VIXI meaning “life is over.”  For a similar reason the number 39, which can mean “dead cow”, or “pimp” in Afghanistan.

We also have a full moon tonight. That means all of the witches will be flying around.  Even worse all of the werewolf afflicted people will out looking for a meal of possibly you.  Stay home turn off the lights and hide under the covers.  This reminds me I need to find a bunch of garlic to hang on the door.  I wonder who has silver bullets? It you need another reminder it is FRIDAY the 13th and a full moon.

 

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Illegal Vape Cartridges

Last night I watched a news report about a Wisconsin man making illegal and unregulated THC vaping cartridges. He sold the illegal cartridges to local high schoolers.  The cartridges he sold tested to have 1000 times the amount of THC listed on the package.  Could this be one of the reasons for the deaths and lung damage in teens and young adults? The authorities still do not know.  Do you remember the bath salt craze of a few years ago?  Both teens and young adults were dying from illegal or contaminated bath salt product.

Taking an illegal or contaminated product off the market is not as easy as you may think it should be. The FDA requires an investigation before it can take product(s) off the market.  It is called “Due Process.”  The FDA has to prove the product that everyone thinks is causing the problem is in fact is causing the problem.

While the FDA and some states decide what to do about vaping in general and illegal cartridges in particular, I consider vaping to be a health hazard until proven otherwise.

 

 

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The Brady Bunch House in Real Life

Did you grow up watching the “Brady Bunch”?  The house that was used for exterior shots went up for sale when the elderly woman who owned it passed away a few years ago.  Her children decided they wanted to sell it to a person who was going to keep the house intact to preserve television history.  HGTV purchased the house about two years ago with the intent of remodeling the inside of the house to look like the studio sets used for each room of the house.

If you remember the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, you had a choice of the avocado green, burnt orange and harvest gold for refrigerators and other appliances.  Imagine living in a house that is decorated in these colors today.  Welcome to the Brady House.

HGTV has made a limited series about how they are going about gutting and remodeling the inside of this house. My wife was excitedly telling all about what was happening to the house.  I relented and watched the first episode  with her.  I had initial doubts about the show.  After the first ten minute segment I was hooked.  If you want to rekindle memories of the late 1960’s into the 1970’s you should watch at least one episode of this show.

 

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A Nap May Prevent a Stroke

I watched a report on the national news last night on the health benefits of taking a nap during the day.  Sleep deprivation is a fact of life for many working adults.  How does a person counteract the effects of not enough sleep.  This study presented last night showed that two naps per week reduced the chances of a heart attack, heart failure and stroke by up to 48%.  The effects were observed in people who took TWO naps per week.  People who napped more often showed no benefit.

One of the effects of not enough sleep is higher blood pressure.  Chronic sleep deprivation may exacerbate already high blood pressure increasing the chances of heart problems or a stroke.  Sleep deprivation also leads to higher use of caffeine and other stimulants.  A lack of sleep increases the desire for carbs and other high sugar foods.  All of these effects of the lack of sleep are well known.

The causes of not sleeping are varied.  The most common issues that lead to not sleeping are anxiety, stress and pain.  There are many ways of reducing the effects of these common sleep disrupting issues.  You need to find the way or ways that work for your situation.

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Arizona Cardinals Oh No! WE SUCK AGAIN

When I first moved to Phoenix, I listened to the sports radio station.  Every year after the first Cardinals game the bumper would come on and say OH NO! WE SUCK AGAIN!  Judging by the fact that the Cardinals could only manage a TIE in their game against the lowly Detroit Lions it may be another long year.

The offense did finally come alive in the second half but the defense gave up 27 points.  No team wins giving up 27 points a game other than the Kansas City Chiefs. I decided to watch to good teams play later in the afternoon.  The New England Patriots hosted the Pittsburg Steelers.  Watching the Patriots play defense and offense tells me that unless the Cardinals are sprinkled with magic pixie dust they are not going far this year.

There is always the hope that the Phoenix Clippers…I mean Suns will have a good year.

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The Heat is not so Bad

Over the last twenty years I appreciate living in Phoenix more everyday.  I no longer had to deal with the bitter cold, ice storms, blizzards and wondering if I had enough oil to run my furnace.  My wife and I would watch the weather channel just to see how cold it was where we came from.  More than once we laughed thinking of our relatives stuck in the cold. Not nice but still funny.

I also appreciate Phoenix as I look at the damage the hurricanes are causing on the east coast and in the gulf.  Yes I know it is hot.  A few 110 degree days are preferable then seeing my home and livelihood first blown away while what is left washed by the flood away every few years.

I grew up in tornado alley.  Every summer we would listen to the radio to find out if a tornado is coming our way. My parents always had an AM/FM transistor radio and candles in case we lost power.  I remember one day walking home from school the air was complete still.  The sky was black and green.  I had never seen the sky that shade of sickly green.  The following day the local news broadcast pictures of the outer wall of a high school completely collapsed because of a tornado.

I know days upon days of the heat here in Phoenix can wear you down.  The heat wears me down.  It is also dangerous as evident by the yearly rescues of out of town hikers on Piestewa Peak.  At least here in Phoenix we can go inside our air conditioned homes or apartments to get away from the heat.  There is no place safe when you are in the path of a tornado, a hurricane or a flood.

 

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The Impossible Burger – Vegan Nonsense

I tell my vegan and vegetarian acquaintances that I am a carnivore.   Myself and a friend stopped by Red Robin a few weeks ago to try the Impossible burger.  My friend chickened out so I was left to try the burger.  The first thing I noticed is the burger looked like a burger. It had the right amount of charring and looked to have the texture of a regular meat burger.  That is where the similarities ended.  I pulled off a small piece of the Impossible Burger to taste it without the mayo and mustard.  The Impossible Burger proves beyond a shadow of a doubt it is indeed impossible to make mystery plants taste like meat.  The Impossible burger left a hard to describe aftertaste in the back of my mouth.  It reminded me of the old vegan soy patties I tried many years ago.  The only way I could finish the Impossible burger is with more mayo and mustard to hide the taste.   At $14 for a burger it should taste like ground sirloin.  I will not be making the Impossible burger a part of my regular diet.

 

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Democratic (In)action

Did you vote in the Phoenix city election last week to keep light rail?  It seems only about 100,000 people out of 1,000,000 registered voters decided to vote.  Out of that 100,000 about 66,000 voted to keep light rail.  To say this another way, 66,000 people decided to let Phoenix spend your tax dollars for light rail even though only about 1% of Phoenix residence use the light rail.  Democracy takes an informed and motivated electorate to function.  By NOT voting you are going to pay up to a billion dollars of your tax dollars to fund the light rail because of the 66,000 that voted for it.