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Archive for the ‘Science and Learning’ Category

The “growth mindset” in simple terms means that when students believe that they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger.
The student with a growth mindset put in extra time and extra effort and this leads to higher achievement.
The growth mindset student possesses the tendency to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.
  —    Fran Sands
From his online book:  “The Beginner Boxer Toolkit
Online at: www.myboxingcoach.com
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On This Day In:
2019 Steps To Impeach #45
Science Upgrade Needed
2018 Come November 6th
2017 Hearts And Memories
2016 Tremendous Energy
Beyond Trying
2015 Tell Me…
2014 Live Forever (To Remember Me)
Orange October (VI) – Giants Win Game 4
2013 More Than Just Words
2012 Egotist, n.
2011 Good And Bad

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The Lessons Of History”  (1968©)  —  book review
Today’s book review is for a summation / distillation book written by Will and Ariel Durant (a married couple) which culminates a series of eleven volumes popularly titled: “The Story of Civilization“.  This book (“Lessons“) actually was written and published between volumes 10 and 11 of that main work.  The book attempts to provide extremely brief points about twelve topics: geography, biology, race, character, morals, religion, economics, socialism, government, war, growth / decay, and progress.  There is also a preface and a first chapter detailing the authors “hesitations” in presenting such a précis.  The book is barely 117 pages while the typical main volume is 900-1100 pages (over 10,000 pages in total).  Obviously, their task was daunting and, generally speaking, they only compare / contrast the two main tensions (positions) for each topic (i.e. religion vs secularism) in this slim book.  This book, like the main series, is an attempt to bring “history” to the masses (in simple, if flowery, language).
If you are a lover of words, you will enjoy the authors’ writing style.  I found the imagery almost poetic at many points.  If, however, you are a person grounded in ideas, you may be less taken by this work.  The chapters tend to be limited to the “compare and contrast” formula of only two main concepts each per topic.  Another issue: the book is dealing with racism and culture, character and morals, etc., and many times we see these topics through the prism of our modern perspective, while the authors view them over the course of human history.  Racism and slavery, for example, seem almost excused because that’s the way it (humanity) has been for the vast majority of the last 5,000 years.  It is NOT excused (by the authors), but it is detailed and in most sections comes across as “the white-man’s destiny”, until suddenly – sometimes in only a single brief paragraph, it isn’t.  And the “suddenly” paragraph represents the last 150 years which some of us have lived through a fair chunk of – in my case 65 of them, anyway.  I am not trying to be critical of the couple’s monumental work (over five decades in the writing for the main series), however, this book seems to suffer from the same European / Northern Mediterranean perspective (i.e. bias) which the main series is always criticized for.  I did not personally find this overly objectionable, but then I am a “melting-pot” American (product of the 1960’s).
Is this a good book?  Is it thought provoking?  Is it entertaining?  Yes.  Yes.  And, yes.  There is a well known expression that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  The authors opine this is not necessarily as true as is the subtle appearance of time, leadership, government and civilization being caught up in great interweaving cycles – like a pendulum we swing back and forth between anarchy and tyranny with only brief periods of democratic liberties and freedoms.  And, they attempt to illustrate this series of cycles for each of the twelve chapters opposing extremes.  Please note:  the authors imagery is circular.  Mine is the pendulum.
Final recommendation: highly recommended!  I bought the full twelve volumes several years ago and promised myself I’d read them “eventually”.  I’m glad I’ve finally dipped my toe in the ocean.  I guess the next step is to begin the real swim…
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On This Day In:
2019 Dodgers Choke AGAIN
He Wasn’t “Just Kidding The Press”
2018 Thinking About My Hil
Remember Your Duty In November
2017 Play Well With Others
2016 Surviving And Challenging
2015 On Destroying Historic / Archaeological Sites
2014 Magical Power
2013 How Awesome Would That Be
2012 Two Views
2011 Still Looking For Examples
2010 Giants Win Away 3 – 2!!

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If I have learned one thing in this life, it is that God will not tie my shoes without me.
   —   Doug Boyd
[Vote like YOUR life depends on it.  With 200,000 more predicted COVID-19 deaths by the end of the year – YOUR life may BE dependent on it!!
My thoughts about re-opening “the economy” and K-12 schools:
America has less than 5% of the world’s population, but it has over 20% of the world’s COVID deaths.  Over 20 million workers were laid off in this year’s shelter-in-place.  There are estimates of 130 to 150 million workers in the United States.  This was when “all” / most of the country was supposed to be on a “shelter-in-place” order and the economy was “shut-down“.  This means over 80% of the workers were STILL employed / working.  Let’s be generous and say 75% of ALL the remaining workers were able to work from home.  That means we still had over 25 million people working outside of their homes and exposed to others.  That was “considered” a FULL shutdown…  It is simply NOT possible to have a FULL shutdown of a modern economy.  In the U.S., over 20 million are employed in health care alone.  Granted a fair number of those may be in administrative roles and not actually care providers.
Again:  We did NOT and have not been able to shutdown the economy and we will never be able to.  The only way to get to 2022AD with the minimum number of deaths is strict adherence to:  1)  Wear a MASK;  2) Wash your hands frequently;  3)  Practice social distancing when out in public (a minimum of 6-8 feet apart);  4) Avoid large gatherings (more than 10 people);  5)  re: #4 – particularly when the gathering is planned to be indoors;  6) and take the vaccine as soon as it is “reliably” certified by the CDC.  (This means after Trump has been removed from office.)
A couple of years ago I opined that youth exposure to internet pornography was the “greatest / worst” social experiment of our time.  My opinion has changed…  We are, as a nation, committing to sending millions of OUR children under the age of 12 years old back to school where they will almost certainly be exposed to COVID.  It is being stated the young are the least susceptible to fatal exposure and, therefore the “risk” is their spreading COVID to others (parents / adults).  This is not entirely true.  We have no idea what the long term effects of COVID exposure are to children or if prolonged or repeated exposure will have any effects later in their lives.  And we can’t know either of these things for multiple years.  We are not just risking the current economy.  We are risking the health and future of OUR children.
I know there is a lot going on now-a-days.  I just wish someone (journalist / broadcaster / doctor) was taking a lead in raising this concern.  I feel like a voice in the wilderness…
And now I will climb down from my soapbox.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Love And Leave
2018 Smiling If Not Laughing
2017 Chilled And Smooth
2016 But Sometimes You Have To Stand In Front
2015 The Key Shift
2014 Remember ISIS / ISIL?
2013 What Have You Done Lately?
2012 B8
2011 I’m Definitely Not In Control

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There are many hypotheses in science that are wrong.  That’s perfectly alright; it’s the aperture to finding out what’s right.  Science is a self-correcting process.  To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny.  The worst aspect of the Velikovsky affair is not that many of his ideas were wrong or silly or in gross contradiction to the facts; rather, the worst aspect is that some scientists attempted to suppress Velikovsky’s ideas.  The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science.  We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system, and the history of our study of the solar system shows clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.
   —   Carl Sagan
[Accidents happen…  As the saying goes:  “Even the blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.”  And, so it appears President Trump has (purely by stupid chance) stated a truth…
A few days ago, while visiting California to view the destruction being caused by wildfires, the President was advised one of the reasons for the massive fires is “Climate Change”.  Trump replied:  “It’ll start getting cooler.  You just watch.
I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot (Wade Crowfoot is California’s secretary for natural resources) countered.
Well, I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump said.
As bizarre as it sounds, President Trump is correct (for all the wrong reasons).  To start off, in less than a week Autumn starts.  Followed by Winter!  So, yes, the daily temperature will start getting cooler.  The second part is the “squirrel finding the nut“.  No, “science” doesn’t KNOW if the climate will stay hot or get hotter.  Just as science doesn’t KNOW the sun will rise in the East tomorrow.  Science does, however, have a pretty good certainty that IF the sun does rise tomorrow, it will be in the East.  President Trump’s BASELESS claims “Climate Change” is a “hoax” and / or invented by the Chinese to cripple our economy are both as unscientific as they are silly, but that doesn’t make his “uncomfortable idea” wrong (from a scientific perspective).  His claim also erroneously conflates two issues:  1) is climate change real; and, 2) if it is real, what is causing it?
And, this is the problem (for science and all rational humanity):  we have overwhelming data supporting the theory of climate change; we don’t have overwhelming evidence of causation – just a LOT of data of correlation.  Our little blind squirrel is denying both the substantial data of change AND the substantial data of correlation.
True science requires that we admit the possibility “Climate Change” is not happening – despite the multiple decades of data which support the scientific conclusion “Climate Change” 1) is real, 2) has already happened, and 3) is getting worse.  More precisely, we must admit the possibility that our current understanding of why “Climate Change” appears to be happening is not valid, i.e., it’s not being caused by human production of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The policy question is:  What if our little squirrel is correct?   Well, if he is correct and there is no climate change, then “eventually” the consistent rise in temperature which the planet has been experiencing with revert back to the norm.  If humanity is lucky, this will happen soon (and quickly) and life will go on pretty much as it has for the last 10,000 years (or at least since the last major ice age).  Policy decision:  do nothing and hope for the best.
Alternatively, if he is correct the climate change (which has been accelerating for the last 50 years) is not caused by humans, what IS the cause and how do we slow, stop or reverse it?  If we don’t discover the “real” cause, humanity (and most of life as we know it) on Earth will become extinct.  Unfortunately, because the data has been so one sided (climate change is real and is happening NOW), we don’t have any good / reasonable alternative theories to human caused CO2 emissions.  Policy decision: we need to pore tons of money into research to come up with an alternative root cause which we can then pore TONS more money into correcting / fixing.   (All the while hoping and praying we’re not too late to fix the problem.)
And if our little squirrel is wrong about Climate Change and its cause?  Well, despite what we’ve seen over the last 20 years (droughts and wildfires / hurricanes and typhoons), you ain’t seen nothing yet!  Forty(40%) percent of humanity lives within 60 miles of an ocean.  What happens when the ocean levels rise and large swathes of that coastal area becomes uninhabitable due to flooding, storm surges and salination of coastal water supplies?  What happens to sea life when the salination in the oceans changes due to the increased ice melts dumping fresh water into their environment?  What happens to the rest of the life on Earth when there is a vast die-off of life in the world’s oceans?  Policy decision:  we better get busy because our window of opportunity to save the habitable planet we’ve known for the last 10,000 years is closing fast!!!
Our little squirrel is in his 70’s and probably won’t live to experience the full results of his blindness.  Somehow, I don’t find that comforting.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Future Tools
Three Swedish Girls
2018 Four Loves
Favorite Westerns
2017 Faith In Science
2016 What The World Calls
2015 Say What?
2014 Start Today
2013 Fly!!
2012 Greater Love
2011 Before

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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
   —    Aristotle
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On This Day In:
2019 Is #45 Warning Alabama Again?
Day 11: 49ers Win
2018 Worry (x2)
2017 Still Working
Gold In The Morning Sun
2016 Power Inside
2015 Sometimes I Feel Small
2014 It Slipped Away
2013 Corollary
2012 Working Retired
2011 The Web Is Not Authoritative! (Really?)

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The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education.  This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.
  —    John W. Gardner
[IMHO:  Gardner is correct that one main goal should be sparking the individual student’s desire to become educated and willing to pursue personal education beyond the classroom.  However, the societal problem which public schools were created to address has been the mass production and standardization of education, which to date, has only been possible within school buildings.
I would argue it has not been proven that technology – particularly remote learning technology – is anywhere near as uniformly effective or efficient as having a qualified and caring teacher standing in front of a group of students.  Personal (one-to-one) instruction has it’s value, but even in two on one (single child / two parent families) instruction is not as conducive to a well-rounded, socially developed AND educated child as is a classroom.  Parents can model behavior, manners and attitude, but I have rarely found any to be both qualified and able to educate their own children.  A “good” teacher is a rare enough commodity that we, as a society, undervalue (under-pay) all teachers.  A “great” teacher creates memories for a lifetime in their students.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 The Powers Of Mind
Day 10: Into Double Digits
2018 Up For Progress
Day 1.5: Done (For Now)
2017 And Second By Second
2016 Bakeries And Coffee Shops
2015 Spirit Not Form
2014 Sometimes Even Kneeling Seems Insufficient
2013 Hobgoblins
2012 Got Sleep?
2011 Not Another Barren Corner

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Introducing The Universe”  (1993©)  —  book review
Today’s book review is for “Introducing The Universe“, written by Felix Pirani (writer) and Christine Roche (illustrator).  While copyrighted in 1993, my version is a re-publication from 1999.  (Dear Readers, I apologize in advance for the length of this review, which may seem longer than the book.)
I have a reasonably long history (ten to twenty years) of reading these “Introduction / Introducing” series of books about a host of different topics.  The benefit of the series is you (generally) get a very quick (under 200 pages filled with mostly comics illustrations) and very general overview of whatever the specific topic is for the book.  The negatives are reduced a number of important sub-topics, lack of breadth and depth for a specific sub-topic, and (occasionally) even I find the illustrations tedious (if not demeaning).  Be that as it may…
This book is about cosmology (the science and study of the universe).  Obviously, theories about the universe and creation pre-date “civilization”, and certainly pre-date reading and writing, let alone the start of modern science.  This book covers all of this… up to publication date.
So, the two main theories of the universe are:  1) it has always existed pretty much as it is now;  and, 2) the universe sprang into being at some point.  The first theory is known as the “Steady-State” theory.  The second is more popularly known as the “Big Bang” theory.  Pre-1960(-ish), 1965 to be precise, the Steady-State theory held the reigns because there was no physical evidence to believe otherwise and it let scientists avoid the chicken-n-egg question of: “If the universe was created, that implies there was both reason for creation and a creator / intelligent designer.  So, who was it?”  This moves from the “hard” science which scientists like to think about, to the practice to philosophy – which may be logical, but is rarely scientific (from my experience anyway).
I call theory #2, “The God Theory“, because creation implies creator and it pre-dates modern science (as we know it).  I call theory #1, “The Science Theory“, because not only do we not know what happened, it seems unlikely we will ever know.  If you are comfortable with doubt and dealing with the unknowable, you can be comfortable with science.
Well, in 1965, a couple of radio guys at Bell Labs were looking at space and they found some background noise (aka “Cosmic Microwave Background” or CMB) which could not be easily explained.  It seemed to fall under the predictions for residue background radiation from a terrific explosion.  Hence: “The Big Bang“.  With this data, and a corresponding space-race to the moon between the United States and the U.S.S.R., a lot of money was being poured into the coffers of universities (and companies) which would study these phenomena.  (Note:  the theory pre-dates the CMB evidence.  The CMB, however, serves as the primary evidence supporting the theory.  When I was a child and first learning about all of this, the Steady-State was THE primary theory for cosmology and the Big Bang was just beginning its ascendancy.  It was a paradigm shift in cosmology based on new data, post theory.)
The problem is for pretty much all of the last 60 years, more and more study has produced more and more confusing results, and, in turn, more and more convoluted twists in the Big Bang theory to explain the exceptions to the predicted data.  For example: we believe the universe is expanding, but we can’t identify a point of origin.  All points seem to be moving away from each other at the same rate.
And, another: the stuff of the universe, which we can see, behaves in a way which predicts there should be a LOT more stuff.  The mathematics works out that for the universe to function the way the theory says it should, there’s probably 90% or more of the stuff in the universe which is, as yet, unseen.  Nobody knows what it is or where it is or why we can’t see (detect) it.  And it’s not just “stuff”.  The same seems to be true for “energy” which we also cannot detect.  The scientists have named these two unseeable and unmeasureable things: “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy” (cause they’re original that way).
Basically, the real and measurable data we’ve been gathering seem to contradict the Big Bang theory, but we’ve yet to come up with a theory to explain the data which the data could support (some theory other than the Big Bang theory and / or the Steady-State theory).  The result is we are stumbling along with the philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s “normal science” while awaiting a new theory or “paradigm” which explains the evidence in terms of supporting the Steady-State theory.  (Hence, String Theory / Super-String Theory and multi-dimensions and multiple universes.)
So, is this book any good?  Is it interesting?  Before I answer those two questions I must state:  I am NOT a scientist and I entered the book with only the most high-school level knowledge of cosmology (let alone math / physics).  Having said this:  Yes, and YES!  This is not a book which most physicists, math folks or cosmologists will find useful.  Between the non-linear / non-chronological presentation and the use of mostly comic-book style illustrations, I imagine they would find it trivial if not insulting.  I don’t know enough about the subject to find it such.
Final recommendation:  strong!  I am sure the target audience, the format and the length of the book precluded the author and illustrator’s ability to present as much as they might have liked to.  Never the less, as a novice seeking a general overview which could be gained in a couple of hours of light reading, I felt the book covered the topic and reading it was a useful experience.
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On This Day In:
2019 The Right Questions
Day 3: Still Difficult
2018 A Thought For Those Continuing To Support President Trump
Day 36: Pushing On
2017 Imagining Humor
2016 So Go On And Deal With It
2015 From A Letter To A Friend
2014 Your Part (Here)
2013 Complements
2012 Sound And Light
2011 Two Politicians Visit A Farm…
2010 Labor Day And Honorable Men

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I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.
   –    Louisa May Alcott
From her book:  “Little Women
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On This Day In:
2019 Day 2: All Things Considered
The Path To Reward
2018 Ryan, McConnell & The Republican Controlled Congress
The Proud Dad
Day 35: Five(5) Weeks Completed!
2017 Serving Is Proving Harder Than Winning For #DumbDonald
2016 Come Again…
2015 At Five
2014 Touching The Past
The Supreme Question
2013 Children Will Judge
2012 Liar, n.
2011 Freedom To Doubt

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Introducing Science”  —  book review
Today’s review is for the graphic introductory book:  “Introducing Science” (2001©) written by Ziauddin Sardar and Borin Van Loon.  This book is apparently a recovered (as in published with a new cover) book which was previously titled:  “Introducing Science Studies“.  The original title is FAR more accurate and the title I purchased is misleading, if not completely false.  This is not a book about “Science”.  It starts off as a history of science and jumps into being a criticism of the philosophy of science and an overview of the history of the social epistemology of science during the later half of the 20th century.
What’s the difference?  Well, to me, science is the study of what we can measure and quantify with the goal of better understanding the universe as we experience it.  Basically, you observe; you propose an explanation; you come up with a test of your proposal;  you execute the test and accurately record the results;  you evaluate the results for significance; and, then you publish your results and conclusions for peer review.  If the review shows the test flawed or the data is not significant or not repeatable, then your results —  and specifically your conclusions are unproven “scientifically”.   You then have to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new test or a better theory.  Ultimately, the final goal of “understanding” is to have a theory with predictive value.
This book deals with none of these issues.
What this book DOES do is make claims about science being “Western” and “male” dominated as well as offering statements about the value of science(s) from other cultures without providing any support for the statements.  I don’t doubt that some “medicine man” (person) in some non-Western country may have observed the medicinal value of some root or herb and used it in their healings.  That doesn’t make it scientific pharmacology.  And the authors keep making these types of statements as if simply making them makes them valid criticisms of “Western”.
So, if I didn’t think much of this book as an “introduction” to science, is it of any value?  Interestingly, yes.  I found the book to be a pretty good introduction / overview of the sociological criticisms of science.   The main criticism of the book is really about how “normal” science has become “BIG science” and is funded by business and government without apparent ethical review by society.  The book doesn’t say why this is so.  Simply that it is.  And, I mostly agree with the authors even without supporting evidence.  Private profit drives most scientific development these days.  That’s just the way it is.  The authors do say that since the end of the Cold War, big science as shifted from government funding of physics to corporate funding of biology / pharmacology.  And I agree with that, too.
Final recommendation:  poor to moderate.  If you are looking for an introduction to “science” or the history of science – forget it.  This book is “almost” worthless.  The only value I see is in the “Further Reading” notes at the end of the book.  If you are looking for an overview of the politics of science, the philosophy of science, the sociology of science, feminist criticism, colonial criticism, and post-“normal” criticism – then this is the book for you (and I’d say the recommendation becomes “strong to highly”).
One final comment:  I recently read and reviewedThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn.  Kuhn’s book is the work that “created” the conceptual split between “revolutionary” science and “normal” science.  In the past, science was thought to progress like a river.  Kuhn’s book proposes that it more like a river with a random occurrence of waterfalls.  “Normal” science is what most scientists do every day.  The “waterfalls” are Newton, Einstein, etc. who come along with brilliant insights.  I found it amusing to see a work I’d so recently read reported as a “classic” work from the last century.  It made me appreciate Kuhn’s work even more…
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On This Day In:
2019 I Wish This Were More True
2018 Used To Rejection
Day 16: Looking Ahead (Just A Little)
2017 Tonight
I Rejoice
2016 Conscientious Courage
Speaking Of Which…
2015 The Beautiful Snow
2014 Nurtured By The Voices
2013 Précis
2012 Fear And Understanding
2011 Just Being Human

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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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