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Scientists, like other human beings, have their hopes and fears, their passions and despondencies — and their strong emotions may sometimes interrupt the course of clear thinking and sound practice.  But science is also self-correcting.  The most fundamental axioms and conclusions may be challenged.  The prevailing hypotheses must survive confrontation with observation.  Appeals to authority are impermissible.  The steps in a reasoned argument must be set out for all to see.  Experiments must be reproducible.
The history of science is full of cases where previously accepted theories and hypotheses have been entirely overthrown, to be replaced by new ideas that more adequately explain the data.  While there is an understandable psychological inertia — usually lasting about one generation — such revolutions in scientific thought are widely accepted as a necessary and desirable element of scientific progress.  Indeed, the reasoned criticism of a prevailing belief is a service to the proponents of that belief; if they are incapable of defending it, they are well advised to abandon it.  This self-questioning and error-correcting aspect of the scientific method is its most striking property, and sets it off from many other areas of human endeavor where credulity is the rule.
   —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 The Far Side
2018 Hold On
Day 11: Just Plain Tired
2017 Why Don’t You Tell Us What You Really Think?
2016 Discontent
2015 Do You Know Me?
Appetite For Life Update
2014 Tough Journalism
2013 Things I’ve Learned
2012 Abstainer, n.
2011 Rain, Rain, Rain
Test Your Strength
2009 End the mistakes…

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The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right.  You can’t all be correct.  And what if all of you are wrong?  It’s a possibility, you know.  You must care about the truth, right?  Well, the way to winnow through all the differing contentions is to be skeptical.  I’m not any more skeptical about your religious beliefs than I am about every new scientific idea I hear about.  But in my line of work, they’re called hypotheses, not inspiration and not revelation.
  —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 We’re Eating Faster And Enjoying It Less
2018 Great Views
Day 8: One At A Time
2017 Trump Supporters Will Always Find An Excuse
2016 More Posts
2015 A Last Request
2014 It Matters
2013 And You Are?
2012 Not Too Late
2011 Persistence
2009 Health Care?

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As a scientist, the thing you must always do is to be humble enough to know that when you get additional information, even information that might conflict what was felt earlier on, you then change your viewpoint and you change your recommendations based on the data.  That’s what science is all about.  Science is a learning process.
  —    Dr. Anthony Fauci
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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On This Day In:
2019 Another Thought On #45’s Poor Education
2018 As Long As You Survive Each Experience
WordPress to Facebook Test…
Day 7: Oh, Yeah!
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

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This post marks the first day of my 12th year of blogging here on WordPress.  This year, I won’t bother posting an image of the world map showing the “missing” countries (countries without a single visit to my site).  Needless to say, North Korea and Cuba are still among them…
On reviewing my content over the past year, I note a significant number have been diatribes against our corrupt President.  I apologize to any readers whom I’ve bored with this content and my snipes.  My only “justification” is I can’t help myself.  If he is re-elected in November, I imagine my posts will continue to regularly poke fun at him until he sends the “brown shirts” to cart me off.  Even if Biden is elected, I’m sure there will be plenty of politics and world events to continue to poke fun at.
I would say my blog has continued to be an increasing part of my “normal” retired life.  I currently receive about 15 to 60 emails (per day) from the roughly 300 blogs I follow.  My best guess is that two(2) are “known” deceased, which means it’s “probably” actually about ten(10).  By “known” I mean someone has gone onto their site and posted a death post for the original user.  By “probably”, I mean the author has passed and no one’s logged a final post for them.  Another five have said they are moving on to other pursuits (social platforms) and about another ten or so post randomly (a couple of times a year).  That leaves between 200 and 250 who just don’t update their sites and I have no idea what’s happened to them.  Monday is the day I regularly get 45 to 60 emails and most days (the other six days of the week), I usually get the 15 or so.  Some of that is because I relegated their site to a weekly update, but that’s as true now as it ever used to be.  The one’s I set to weekly were the one’s I used to get five to ten posts from each day.  These are VERY rare now.  I imagine most (all?) of those are just “zombie” (unused and undeleted) sites now.
I am still posting thoughts, quotes, movie reviews, book reviews, and favorite music videos.  I easily spend an hour per day reviewing the posts I get (via email subscription) and sometimes that is simply overwhelming.  It’s not always the average blogger’s fault.  If you post something interesting, I will go off and investigate it further: authors, artists, locations, books, movies, science / math / history topics – they will all lead me off down the rabbit hole.  And that hole can be DEEP!  Frequently, I’ll only get through half of the posts and after a week, I’m forced to delete many of the remainders or my email gets crammed with messages I’ll never have time to read.  I apologize to you if you are one of those authors.  I do try to hit as many of you as my better half will allow in any given session.
So, besides this blog, what am I up to?  Well, I’ve been on a “One-Meal-A-Day” lifestyle for almost eight(8) weeks now.  I would say it’s almost a habit.  I was on an Modified Intermittent Time Fasting (MITF) protocol before that, but I’m finding this (OMAD) easier, so I will probably stick with it.  My OMAD protocol is all I can eat for two hours – usually between 2pm and 4pm.  About once every week I have to adjust the two hour period (12 to 2 or 1 to 3pm) and about once a month life gets in the way and I just accept I’ll have more than one meal that day.
I’ve also been slowly adding to a daily workout since 24 April – just over three months now.  I started out with 100 pushups per day, and I’ve since added head-lifts, pull-downs, squats and side-bends.  I’ve been trying to “add” one new exercise every two weeks.  My most recent addition has been skipping rope.  I’m just learning that, but I can do five(5) consecutive jumps pretty consistently now.  I realize that doesn’t sound like much, but you must recall I am morbidly obese and am in excess of 345lbs.  That’s almost 25 stones to any British readers.  Anyway, I’ve had to start SLOW so as not to destroy my knees as I learn to skip.
As to the 100 pushups a day: I’ve missed five(5) days since I started in April.  By way of progress check: I could not do a single “true” (from the ground) push-up when I began.  I can now do 15 consecutive flats.  I normally do inclined push-ups (5 sets of 20).  I just throw the “flats” in every now and then to check  my progress.  My best guess is a flat push-up for someone my body weight is about 200lbs and an inclined push-up is about 150lbs (both are not bad for a 65+ year old).  I am dreaming of doing my first pull-up, but I imagine I will need to lose at least 75lbs before I can do that.  Only time will tell…  (Like I said: “dreaming“.)
Between the working out and the OMAD, I’m down about 16lbs from when I started in April.  That’s right around my target goal of 1lb per week.  Which is also misleading, because fat is lighter than muscle and my body is changing shape faster than I’m losing weight.  The main thing is I’m feeling better.  My blood pressure is down.  My water retention is decreased.  I feel stronger and am definitely more flexible.  So, for what it’s worth, slow and steady seems to be more effective (for health), than the rapid weight loss and re-gain of my veggie juice fasts.  At least, that’s how it is seeming at the moment.
Other than those (diet and workouts), my personal goals this next year are to learn some assembly language programming and to have a play with chat-bots.
That should keep me occupied (and mostly out of trouble).  LoL!!
Oh, yeah.  “Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy 10th Anniversary — Thoughts On My First Decade Of Blogging
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)

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Whereas yoga in the late twentieth century began to splinter into scores of brands — all claiming unique and often contradictory virtues — now there are hundreds.  Yet, for all the activity, yoga makes only a small contribution to global health care because most of the claims go unproven in the court of medical science.  The general public sees yoga mainly as a cult that corporations seek to exploit.
   —   William J. Broad
From his book:  “The Science of Yoga
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On This Day In:
2019 Most Hire
Just The Three Of Us
2018 Sounds Like #45’s White House
2017 Have We Started Winning Yet?
2016 Still Springy
2015 Well Concealed
2014 The History Of Warriors
2013 A Cult Of Ignorance
2012 Counting Valor
Understanding Faith
2011 I Can Hear You Now
2010 Inception

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Science should not stand in the way of this.
  —    Kayleigh McEnany
[The “this” which McEnany is referring to is re-opening schools.  She then went on to claim “the science” is actually on their (the Administration’s) side.  The problem is:  the “science” is NOT on their side.  It does seem children (5 to 12 yrs old) are less susceptible to severe impact of the COVID-19, but there is little to no evidence they are any less efficient as asymptomatic carriers and transmitters.  There is also no proof they will not be impacted by future exposures or if there will be any long term effects to what appear to be non-significant exposures.  The virus is simply to new to know any of this.  We are beginning to find out if the antibodies are lasting.  They appear to not be.  And, significantly, we don’t know if re-infections will result in less significant or worse effects than the initial exposure.  The bottom line is that opening schools without masks, personal protected equipment for students, teachers and staff, and social distancing will be exposing our teachers, school staff, families and children to significant health risks.  My question:  “Why is the Administration willing to endanger Americans this way?”  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Slow Wisdom
It Is A Start…
2018 Young, Fun And Playing Well
2017 Earning Your Blessings
2016 A Suggestion…
Capable Of Being
2015 Looking For The Needles In The Haystacks
2014 The Definition Of A Gentleman
2013 Thar She Blows (Not)!
2012 Naturally
2011 Been Here, Done That
Remember
2010 Timeless Classics

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We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
  ―  Socrates
[I would say today’s Republicans fear light – AND – specifically the light which comes from science, truth and facts.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 What Do Your Children See You Doing?
2018 Is #45 STILL Losing America
2017 We Sleep To Remember And We Sleep To Forget
2016 Useful Gift
2015 Who’s The Boss?
2014 What Counts In The Future
2013 Improper Sequence?
2012 Two Gems
2011 A True Test

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Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  —    Vivian Greene
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On This Day In:
2019 And/Or A Great Soulmate
Austen Stalking
2018 Dead Red
You Ain’t Done Yet
2017 Just Because
2016 As Close As They Can Get
2015 And So I Blog
2014 Take Flight
2013 Contributing Joy
2012 More Than A Race
2011 Institutionalized Leadership

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Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like.  Much of the success of the enterprise derives from the community’s willingness to defend that assumption, if necessary at considerable cost.
  —   Thomas S. Kuhn
From his book:   “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
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On This Day In:
2019 Close Change
2018 Don’t Break It
2017 Representative Government For The 99%
2016 Trying To Ignite Ice
2015 Or Increasingly Unwilling To Pay For…
2014 Returning Time
2013 Gentle Invitation
2012 Pleading The Insanity Defense
2011 Graduations And Conservatives
The Big Sin

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No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.
  —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2019 Almost Hallmark
Beyond All Reason
2018 Daydreams And Wanna-Be’s
Or Work For #45
2017 Summer Pale
2016 Ain’t It Funny
2015 At Both Ends
2014 Whiner(s)
2013 Just Passing Through
2012 Dog-gone Heaven
2011 Occasional, Sad Results

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One of the most indelible lessons of this scary time is that you can survive alone, but you need others to flourish.  The most dangerous preexisting condition my husband and I had for fighting the virus was our devotion to self-sufficiency.  Independence can be its own kind of social isolation.
  —   Belinda Luscombe
From her opinion / editorial:  “Nursing my husband back to health, badly
Appearing in:  Time Magazine, dtd: 18 May 2020
The article appears online as:  “I Thought I Could Handle Anything. Then My Husband Got Sick
The link is:  https://time.com/5824463/coronavirus-asking-for-help/
(It may be behind a pay-wall.  I am a print / online subscriber.)
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On This Day In:
2019 This Pilgrim Has Had A (Mostly) Happy Road
2018 And Men, Too
2017 Damned If You Do
2016 A Storm Over The Horizon
2015 What About Today?
2014 Idiot, n.
2013 Temporary Reality
2012 The Great Objective
2011 Read A Book

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Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy And Its Consequences” (1988©) — book review
Today’s book review is for: “Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy And Its Consequences“, written by John Allen Paulos.  The book is an overview of what the author believes are some of the symptoms (and solutions) of “innumeracy” (the math equivalent of illiteracy) in America.  Paulos is a Professor of maths at Temple University (or was at the time of the publication).  He is a bit of a math prodigy (at the very least precocious) and is kind of a cross between Richard Feynman, Malcolm Gladwell and Levitt & Dubner.  Feynman – as a teacher – in converting technical (math) concepts into relatable images, Gladwell in writing for “the general public” consumption, and Levitt & Dubner (of “Freakonomics” fame) in both of the above plus quirky examples to illustrate his point.
This book is a quick (fast read) and short (135 pages) overview of some main concepts in math and how they are poorly taught / translated / communicated to the general public and, hence, the general distaste for maths during school and its avoidance post-formal education whenever possible.
Paulos’ proposition is that because maths are poorly taught, the general public grows up with a fear (and avoidance) of math for the rest of lives.  One of his proposals is to take retired advanced math users (mathematicians, engineers, scientists) and have them teach in schools because the current maths teachers aren’t very good (for a number of reasons) – pun intended.
The author also reviews math concepts: scale (big and little), fractions, ratios, statistics, probabilities and pseudo-sciences.  This overview / review is the strength of the book as it reminded me of many of the areas of math I’ve long since forgotten (for lack of use).
So, is this book any good?  Does it make you feel numerate or innumerate?  Does it help with the issue raised (innumeracy)?  Yes.  Both.  And, no, or at least I don’t think so.  Once I could get past the author’s ego / superiority complex, I actually quite enjoyed the book.  It is a fast read and he does use his examples in a clear and sometimes humorous fashion.  The text made me feel numerate.  The work through examples innumerate.  A few of the paragraphs had to be re-read to make sure I followed the explanations for why he was doing a particular calculation.  For example, how many days is a million seconds?  The author says eleven-ish.  So, then how long is a billion seconds?  Again, thirty something years.  Now, the author actually worked out the numbers and provided the answers.  The problem?  Well, for me, the answer is 11(-ish) thousand days.  I would never arbitrarily convert days to years.  Not that I couldn’t; just that I wouldn’t.  Why would I, unless specifically asked?  And, for most purposes, I would have ball-parked it (1,000 days is almost 3 years, times 11 is “about” 33 years).  It would not be entirely accurate, but even then, the author didn’t state he was accounting for leap years in his own calculations.  His point was we “all” know how much a second is.  What we don’t know (have a feeling for) is how big a number is a billion (or a million).  My point is I’m not sure if my reaction means I’m personally numerate or innumerate.  And, finally, simply pointing out a problem isn’t the same as offering a viable solution.  I don’t think placing retired math users in schools is a workable solution.  Teaching (across all of the non-adult years) is an art as much as it is a skill.  Yes, you must be grounded in the material, but you must also be enthusiastic (about the subject and teaching) and relatable.  I’m not convinced there is a vast pool of retired engineers and scientists just dying to teach grammar, middle and high school students (and each group has different requirements).
Final recommendation:  Strong to highly recommended.  As an overview of maths topics for the general public, I think this is a very valuable book.  It is brief and has interesting examples.  It is probably too simple for folks with college level math skills.  It is probably too difficult for the truly innumerate.  But, I think there is a wide, flat(ish) bell shaped curve of folks out there (probably 2 standard deviations on either side of the mean) who would gain from reading this book.  Those below the mean because the writing and examples are clear and can be followed along with.  Those above the curve, because the book will remind you how much you’ve forgotten since leaving school.  I just wish the author had been a bit less patronizing of us non-math prodigies.
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On This Day In:
2019 Don’t Forget: Fire Burns
2018 Especially In The Middle East
2017 A Good Local
2016 Life Unlimited
2015 Still Trying
2014 Destiny, n.
2013 No Apologies
2012 Utterly Convinced
2011 A Key To Effectiveness

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The minute we stop learning, we begin death, the process of dying.  We learn from each other with every action we perform.  We are teaching goodness or evil every time we step out of the house and into the street.
  —  Leo Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2019 You Really Don’t
No One Can Imagine
2018 Until Integrity, Decency, Wisdom, And Humility Return
Just Tell (And Re-tell) The Big Lie Often Enough On Fox News
2017 To Laws, Not Office Or Individuals
Beast / General / Civil
2016 Patronage
2015 For Blogs, Too!
2014 Righteous Anger
2013 An Irish Blessing
2012 But Is It Worth It?
2011 Let Us Start

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By definition, creativity goes to deep issues of psychology and ultimately what it means to be human — areas that science has always had a hard time investigating.  Science tends to do the easiest things first.  It is nothing if not practical.  This fact of scientific life suggests the magnitude of the challenge that investigators face.
Even so, the importance of the subject and the potential richness of the returns make it attractive.  Big risks can produce big rewards.  It is the kind of topic that might flourish in the decades ahead.
  —   William J. Broad
From his book:  “The Science of Yoga
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On This Day In:
2019 Still Tearing, Still Being Rewarded
2018 Nothing More, Nothing Less
2017 Memorial Day – 2017
No Wonder I’m Smiling
2016 Thinking Science Fictional
2015 Dawn Is Coming
2014 Back When I Was A Firebrand
2013 Pen In Hand
Word Up!
2012 Disturbing
Trying To Keep Up
2011 Unreliable And Selective
2010 Adult-Onset Athlete

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For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
  —  Carl Sagan
[Or, as opposed to listening to #LyingDonald in ANY of his rallies or pandemic briefings.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 I Don’t Know Truth, Either
2018 An Approaching Disgrace
2017 Liberty, Collusion, History And The Republican Majority
2016 But I Have Too Many Questions
2015 A New Friend
2014 Do I Have To Fall In Love?
2013 More Democracy, Please
2012 Speaking Of Love
2011 Limits

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