People do the oddest things in the name of winning.
I’m a competitive person (as are most of you reviewers out there). ACross posted atShelfinflicted
People do the oddest things in the name of winning.
I’m a competitive person (as are most of you reviewers out there). A few years ago I would have added the word “very” in front of competitive; I’ve mellowed as I’ve aged but I remember the lengths I went to in order to be the best at whatever I deemed important. But I’m fairly certain I would not go to such lengths to win a memory competition.
Joshua Foer thought it was a dandy idea…..
Joshua found himself in the world of competitive memory when he decided he wanted to do a journalistic book about the subject and the people in it. Apparently, and I didn’t know this, there is a world competition for memory. These people memorize long lists of numbers, decks on top of decks of cards, poetry….ect, all to repeat what they remember to some judges in hopes of winning. My question was why? What purpose could this possibly serve? Who needs a skill like this and when would one have the need to memorize 20 decks of cards?
As the author points out in the book, we no longer need to remember much of anything these days, all our electronic gadgets serve as our external memory. When was the last time you memorized a phone number? Pretty close to “a really flippin long time ago” I would guess.
To accomplish the mind boggling feet of, say, memorizing the order of cards in many set of cards in just minutes, they use the technique called mnemonics. What this is, is making a visual backdrop for each card, or number, or object and putting them in ‘memorable’ situations doing strange things……and apparently the raunchier the better. Trust me you don’t want to know what his mind had conjured up for Bill Clinton and a Watermelon, but I will never forget it.
Competition got the better of Foer, and he went from writing a book about memory competitors to being a competitor himself. He wanted the American memory championship bad! So bad he resorted to wearing blacked out goggles with small holes in them to see whatever he studying and to wearing earmuffs to minimize distractions. That's dedication. ...more
April 20th 1999 was a Tuesday. I remember this fact because my day off was Tuesday. I was probably doing some laundry and cleaning with the TV on in tApril 20th 1999 was a Tuesday. I remember this fact because my day off was Tuesday. I was probably doing some laundry and cleaning with the TV on in the background. Then I remember stopping and watching as the news came across the TV. There had been a school shooting......a bad one. My first thought was "bad things always happen on Tuesdays."
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 and injured 24. Eric was the mastermind behind the massacre and young psychopath. Dylan was depressed, seemingly a bipolar individual. Eric planned the day extensively for a couple of years and they both documented everything with journals and videos. These were used by the author who did a fantastic bit of journalism with this book.
There was so much more to what happened than we were told. This wasn't supposed to be a shooting, or at least not just a shooting, Eric had a vision of total destruction. The two had planted bombs in the school inside duffle bags as well as in their cars. The bombs were designed to kill 500 people. Eric wanted to kill everyone and thankfully he failed to figure out how to detonate his bombs. So Eric and Dylan were forced to use their guns instead, guns they could only get at a gun show.
David Cullen a reporter on the scene April 20th 1999 made it his mission to learn everything there was to learn about this tragedy. He spent the next ten years doing just that with this book being the result. Columbine not only takes us into the minds of the killers but into police cover-ups on prior incidents with Eric and Dylan and how glaringly obvious it was that they were going to do very bad things. It follows up on the families of the victims and what has become of them over the years.
A bit of a personal rant here. I am not a gun fan. If I had my way I'd melt every last one of them down. I know this isn't a terribly popular opinion in this country but it is how I feel. I don't understand the love affair many people in the United States have with these things designed for nothing but destruction. I know that melting down all the guns won't happen (yet), but I do believe we have to start coming up with some strong regulations to stop future Eric-s and Dylan-s, James-s and Adam-s. Because no matter their mental state, their killings would not have been possible if they didn't have access to an arsenal.
After reading Columbine I came to another conclusion. Every parent needs to go through their kids personal stuff. Screw privacy. I can't figure out how these two guys could have amassed the fire power and bomb makings, video taped themselves and wrote the whole plan out in journals in their parents houses and their parents didn't know! They were basically screaming "I am going to kill as many people as I can!!"
I would be one nosy, annoying mom if I had any children.....boy would they hate me and I wouldn't care. ...more
If a mentally ill person had not been able to get his hands on a gun, the secret service was doing the job that it does today, if doctors didn’t consiIf a mentally ill person had not been able to get his hands on a gun, the secret service was doing the job that it does today, if doctors didn’t consider the science of antisepsis the way the anti science crowd considers climate change today, Ohio would have had a significant president in James A. Garfield.
I had a long review written here that seemed to have grown out of control. I decided I would let you read the book instead, and you should. In short(er) Mr. Garfield grew up poorer than poor. He rose out of it, went to college then into politics. He was an abolitionist and worked with the Underground Railroad. He was against the secession of the southern states and became an accomplished military man. He was intelligent, kind and empathetic, everyone loved him. He proved the Pythagorean Theorem while in congress just for something to do. He became the president of the United States against his will but accepted this challenge without complaint. He never once campaigned for any of his political positions. Unimaginable today.
A delusional man with a gun walked up to President Garfield at a train station one day and shot him in the back. At that time the president was unguarded so as to be easily accessed by the public. Being guarded seemed to be too” royal” for Americans and they believed their president should be accessible to everyone. This was after the assassination of President Lincoln. What the hell.
Doctors poked and prodded the man’s wounds in the most horrifically unsanitary ways; a germ-aphobe would have crapped themselves, twice. Garfield developed raging infections which is what ultimately killed him after 80 days of torture. During that time he never complained. He died due to medical incompetence, he would have survived if doctors had opened their minds a tad and started using Dr. Listers antisepsis practices which were widely accepted throughout Europe, but no, they denied the science. He would have lived if they did nothing; the doctors killed him as much as the assassin did.
He was a great man; I wonder what would have been different if he had finished his presidency? ...more
Turns out everyone thinks they are somehow smarter than the people around them, everyone. We all are guilty of it. We walk into a Wal-mart, take a looTurns out everyone thinks they are somehow smarter than the people around them, everyone. We all are guilty of it. We walk into a Wal-mart, take a look around us and think “what a bunch of freaks, and always in Wal-mart” …..But we are also in Wal-mart as we make this judgment. I don’t go into that store unless they are the only option, but every time I look around and I think to myself “do I also look like a freak by just entering this store, then magically go back to normal when I leave?”
I once thought that I had free will and nothing that Sam Harris wrote proved otherwise, but David McRaney may have done just that. Nothing we do as humans have anything to do with individual choice. We are all manipulated by the media and a bunch of biases and fallacies.
Here are a couple of examples of this…….
The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.
The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.”
So, this wasn’t news to me. I am not ever going to watch Faux News for any reason, unless I had a job that forced me to do it. Skeeter, down the street would rather eat an arugula salad before watching Rachel Maddow for ten seconds. We are only going to pay attention to the things that confirm our beliefs……this explains the existents of Rush Limbaugh. That being said, I’m right and Skeeter is not.
The Misconception: If you stop engaging in a bad habit, the habit will gradually diminish until it disappears from your life.
The Truth: Any time you quit something cold turkey, your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your habit.”
Yeah, anyone who has dieted (most probably everyone, unless you are one of those skinny people who “just can’t seem to gain weight”…..everyone hates you) has experienced this. You are going along well, you are hitting your goals….you hit a plateau or life gets in the way and you break from the diet a little. Before you know it you are back to eating the stuff you really shouldn’t. This is due to the ‘extinction burst’. Food tastes good, some food tastes better than others and since we evolved to survive we are hard wired to crave high calorie food because that is what determined life or death. Ironically, that’s what’s killing us today. When a reward is taken away from us, we throw a fit…….but if we still don’t get the reward we give up. That’s why you never give in to a two year old during an extinction burst.
“The Just-World Fallacy
The Misconception: People who are losing at the game of life must have done something to deserve it.
The Truth: The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it, and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences”
This is a big one. All those people who believe that poor people are poor because they want to be and/or are not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps because they just want to live easy off the system and have no idea how to work hard, these people are fooled by this fallacy. Never, do they take into account their own fortunate beginnings as the reason they themselves are not amongst the poor. The reason they are not poor is not only because they worked really hard (I’m not saying they didn’t work hard, and that is a big part of sucess), but they are not poor because they didn’t come from poor most likely. Many people have risen above their poor beginnings (Ben Franklin) but it’s a very hard cycle to overcome.
Those who have a hard time overcoming this may have this fallacy to blame……
The Misconception: If you are in a bad situation, you will do whatever you can do to escape it.
The Truth: If you feel like you aren’t in control of your destiny, you will give up and accept whatever situation you are in.”
This is all about having some control in your life. If all choice is taken away from a person they tend to give up. Residents in nursing homes do better if they get to choose how to arrange their furniture than those who have everything done for them. If you are living in a bad situation and you don’t have any control over what happens to you, you don’t have access to higher education because it is financially out of reach. No one will give you a job no matter how hard you try because you aren’t dressed nice enough, and you don’t have enough education…….these people will accept their situation most likely than not.
This book was very interesting. But I’m feeling a little down because I learned that I am not so smart and I am not that special.
Thanks David for the depression…..*sigh*
All kidding aside, I really enjoyed this book. Here’s a website if you would like to read more.
The Bible is the most boring book ever written. Ever.
This book has some very interesting observations and concluI’m going to catch Hell for this………..
The Bible is the most boring book ever written. Ever.
This book has some very interesting observations and conclusions, but the author admitted he was delving into the minutia of the Bible but that he just couldn’t help himself, he then stated “I’m going to stop that now.” Soon after a few cogent points, he was right back at it. God love him.
Bart D. Ehrman knows his stuff when it comes to religion and the Bible, in particular. The guy has more degrees on religious studies than a hooker has one night stands, so when he makes a statement about Jesus and/or the Bible, I tend to believe him ‘cause I sure as Hell am not going to read the thing myself. He does, so I don’t have too.
What Ehrman does here is to take all the books of the Bible, Mark, Luke, John, Phil (just checking if you were paying attention.) and lines them up horizontally. Most of the time, when a person reads the Bible (usually when having major insomnia) they read it one book after the other. That makes perfect sense, and when you read it that way you don’t see anything odd. But when you line the books up next to each other you see discrepancies, major ones, like the actual day of Jesus’ death.
Discrepancies should not be a big surprise to most people. The Bible was written a really fricken long time after Jesus died. Decades AFTER the apostles were dust. The only source of information about Jesus’ story was through oral tradition…..ever play the telephone game? Then one day ‘someone’ wrote it all down; but who? The apostles were illiterate (in the Bible) and very, very dead. Mark, Luke, John and Phil did not write their own books.
Other interesting tid bits…..
1. Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, he was born in Nazareth. Why would you travel to birth your son with some cows and chickens and some creepy old wise men just to turn around and go back home? Because, you need to line up a prophecy that the messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. Insert deity here.
2. Jesus never claimed to be God.
3. Homosexuality was not condemned in the Bible as a bad thing simply because the concept of homosexuality did not exist in those times. I know what you’re thinking “But Stephanie, what are you talking about? Gay people have always been around, making the place better.” True. Men slept with men and women with women in those days just as they do now, but it wasn’t vilified. It was not even in their thought bubble that it was wrong. Sexual orientation was not even a concept until the 19th century. It’s true. So it was never thought of as unusual until then.
Isn’t that fascinating?
This book was good, but all the nuts and bolts of the Bible made my head spin. I think this book is for the person who really, really believed(s) in the Bible and now maybe wanting to open their minds a bit to consider the possibility that It isn’t a perfect or infallible book……..just incredibly boring. ...more
I have read most of Augustin Burroughs books and I enjoyed all of them. I know there is controversy about the whether or not his memoirs are truly memI have read most of Augustin Burroughs books and I enjoyed all of them. I know there is controversy about the whether or not his memoirs are truly memoirs or not, I don’t care. If the book entertains me I don’t care if the author used a creative license here and there on parts of the book, especially if it improves the book, just as long as it’s not a total fabrication. Some of you might think I’m wrong and that’s fine.
So I get this book based on who wrote it. It is a self help book (usually annoying), but knowing the author I knew it would not be typical. It’s not. I was blown away by how much I liked it. I was pleasantly shocked by it. It’s candid, funny, cynical, and heartbreaking. It is not at all about positivity, double rainbows or unicorns that fart glitter, it is a straight forward “this is what happened to me, it sucked, and this is how I survived it.”
The book starts with Augsten in an elevator after a bad break up and looking every bit as unhappy as he was, when he has an unwanted encounter with a “People Person.” She told him “whatever it was it’s not that bad.” And that “all he had to do was smile and he would feel better.” I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like it when someone tells me to “Smile.” What I feel like doing when someone says that to me is to punch them in the throat. Augusten felt similarly, I think what he thought was “Die bitch.”
But he did question why that made him so angry, the lady was just trying to help him. He then immediately saw an article on his computer that stated a study that positive affirmations only work on people who are already positive. It makes things worse for those on the negative side. I thought……duh. So he decided to right a self help book for people like him, he certainly went through enough crap in his life to have enough material.
Here’s a list of the chapters.
How to ride an elevator How to feel like shit How to find love How to be fat How to be thin How to feel sorry for yourself How to be confident How to fail How to get the job How to shatter shame How to see the truth behind the truth How to end your life How to remain unhealed Why having it all is not How to get over your addiction to the past How to be a good mental patient How to make yourself uncomfortable (and why you should) How to finish your drink How to hold on to your dream (or maybe not) How to identify love by knowing what it is not How to live unhappily ever after How to feel less regret How to stop being afraid of your anger How to be sick How to lose someone you love How to let a child die How to change the world by yourself This is why ...more
Fair warning, there may be some political views in this review which should not be surprising being that this book is the history of a government slauFair warning, there may be some political views in this review which should not be surprising being that this book is the history of a government slaughtering a native people because they were simply in the way.
This book is a comprehensive history of the Native American from the moment when the white man showed up on this continent. It kind of goes a little like this.
White guys: “Hey y’all. Love the feathers! Wow its cold and we’re hungry; you wouldn’t be so kind as to help us out.”
Native Americans: Awe, they are just like little children. “Of course we’ll help. We’ll teach you how to hunt and fish and plant crops.”
White guys: “Thanks! By the way we would like to purchase some land from you, not much, just enough for us to live. What do you say?”
Native Americans: Purchase land? What do they mean by that? Everyone knows no one owns a part of mother earth. They are sooo adorable. “Alright you can purchase some land” snicker “How do we go about this?”
White guys: “Well, we will give you some shiny things, trinkets and bobbles and you will sign a piece of paper that says this land ours and that you will stay off of it.”
Native Americans: These guys hilarious, but just to keep the peace…….”Okay, deal. Bobbles and we shall sign this piece of paper. But what happens if we enter “your land”?
White guys: “We will kill you.”
Native Americans: Oh man! They can’t be serious after all the help we gave them; we saved their lives for cripes sake. “uh…..alright, just this once.”
White guys: “Guess what, we have more friends coming and we need a little more land. Sorry, won’t happen again, but if you don’t hand it over we will kill you.”
Native Americans: WTF? “Hey, you lied to us! You said you wouldn’t do this again yet here you are. You’re not so cute anymore white guys.” Shit. “We’ll compromise THIS once, but don’t you let it happen again!”
This happened over and over again. The white man took land, slaughter Indians and the Indians would compromise to avoid war. Many Native American leaders really liked the whites and tried hard to be friends. But some asshat white guys would blow it and more death would happen. Finally some Native American leaders said “ENOUGH!” And went to war, but by then it was too late and they had their asses handed to them.
Thoughts while I read this…..
White guys = Republicans (ironicly still white guys) Native Americans = Democrates.
My dream Democratic presidential ticket for 2016 would include Rachel Maddow. I’m thinking if Joe Biden doesn’t want to do it (and I don’t think he doMy dream Democratic presidential ticket for 2016 would include Rachel Maddow. I’m thinking if Joe Biden doesn’t want to do it (and I don’t think he does) then Al Franken, John Stewart or Stephen Colbert should be the other half. That would be an entertaining and smart duo to run the country. Maybe Colbert would be the smartest pick since his satire is so genius it might fool a few on the right to vote for him.
Everyone should read this book. It’s a non partisan commentary, it takes to task the presidency itself and how it has changed from what the founders envisioned it to be. And it’s really fucking scary.
Let’s start off with the invasion of Granada, Operation Urgent Fury, (good God, does that mean I’m in a big damn hurry to be angry) in 1983. At that time I was way too deep in a fog of Aqua Net to be politically aware. I have a vague memory of it happening but the details were fuzzy. Apparently Ronald Reagan, during World War II, was in the military but was too near sighted to actually fight in it. He was given the job of “playing” a soldier in training films (produced by the military) and never left the studio back lot he had been working on since before he joined. He played a gung-ho-rata-tat-tat-shoot-em-up-bang-bang-gotcha soldier, and he liked it. When he got to the White House (early Alzheimer’s sadly was likely affecting him) he had that deep seeded need to be that macho cowboy soldier and wanted to get those Commies. In Granada he saw some Commies (possible-maybe-someday Commies) a military coup ousted a revolutionary government and became a bit touchy and unstable, ripe for Commies.
Regan new that he would never get congress to Ok a strike on Granada (because it was nutty) , so he did an end run around congress, went ahead with it, and told them it was happening when it was too late. Tip O’Neal was rightly pissed. From the very start of this nation no one person could declare war on another country. Congress has to OK such actions. But Regan didn’t think the president should bow down to congress, so he basically gave them the middle finger. This set a dangerous precedent.
Then there was Iran-Contra, where Reagan tried to get the ok from congress to take action to free hostages in Iran. Congress cut funding to the operation. Unable to take no for an answer, Regan decided to solicit other countries for money. One way of getting cash was by selling weapons, which he did to any country (no matter how sketchy) that would pay, like Saudi Arabia and Iran. WTF? He got caught and “communicated” his way out of the mess. Shocking.
Since, all of the following presidents have used their executive power to make war, against the founding fathers express instructions that no one person should be able to take the country into war. All (the current president does love his drones). It’s just too easy and no president wanted to give up that ability.
Currently the way we go to war (and it’s been perpetual for some time now) is insulated from the general public, unless you are a family member of a soldier. Troops are re deployed over and over, this has been devastating on their emotional health. In the first five years of the Iraq war the suicide rate of military personnel doubled. In the last ten years we have lost more troops to suicide then in combat. Something is wrong here. The Reserves are not used as reserves anymore, they are no longer civilian soldiers, and they are called up to war just as often as the regular military. We use contractors extensively. There are currently more contractors in Afghanistan then US military. They are not bound by the military for their conduct, they are paid better then the troops and we never hear of their deaths. It doesn’t affect us, so we don’t yell about it much.
Nuclear Bombs………you do not want to go into that particular stinky restroom, peeeeuuuuu.
-We have lost track of 11 nuclear bombs, and we keep track better than most countries. Yikes. Currently there is a nuclear bomb buried in a swampy field in Goldsboro North Carolina, it was too swampy to dig it out so they just left it there. Yay. Currently we have aging bombs in silos that we no longer remember how to fix properly, some have wing fungus.
It’s amazing to me each day we get through without becoming a giant smoking crater.
Here is the end of the epilogue which sums the whole thing up nicely.
“And finally there’s the Gordian knot of executive power. It needs a sword something fierce. The glory of war success will always attach itself to the president, so presidents are always be prey to the temptation to make war. That’s a generic truth of power, and all the more reason to take the decision making about war out of the hands of the executive. It is not one man’s responsibility. The “Imperial Presidency” malarkey that was invented to save Ronald Reagan’s neck in Iran-Contra, and that has played as high art throughout the career of Richard Cheney, is a radical departure from previous views of presidential power, and should be taught and understood that way. This is not a partisan thing. Constitutionalists left and right have equal reason to worry over the lost constraint of the executive. Republicans and Democrats alike have options to vote people into congress who are determined to stop with the chickenshitery and assert the legislators constitutional purgatives on war and peace. It would make a difference, and help reel us back towards balance and normalcy. None of this is impossible. This isn’t bigger than us. Decisions about national security are ours to make. And the good news is this isn’t rocket science, we don’t have to reinvent fogbank here, we just have to revive that old idea of America is a deliberately peaceable nation. That’s not simply our inheritance, it’s our responsibility.” ...more
Back in March I met up with a couple of good friends, Kevin and Kristie (Kristie, I have known for almost 30 years) at a restaurant called The B Spot.Back in March I met up with a couple of good friends, Kevin and Kristie (Kristie, I have known for almost 30 years) at a restaurant called The B Spot. Fantastic! Check out the menu....
During dinner Kristie mentioned that they had just finished this cleanse from this book, Clean, for the second time. They explained, in short, what it was. You eliminate certain foods from your diet, stuff that can cause inflammation and allergic reactions. Then during a three week period you have a liquid meal in the morning, a smoothie, a full lunch (of stuff you can eat) and a liquid meal for dinner (juice, or a soup). That's it.
Easy right? I didn't think I would be able to do it. It sounded perfectly awful. No caffeine (what, no coffee?). No alcohol, that's right, you heard me. I had friends "LOL" me when they heard I was going to attempt it.
But I decided that I was going to read the book and try this cleanse. Sure I might fail on the second day, but I had never tried anything like this before and I thought "what could it hurt?"
I surprised myself! I did three days of the elimination diet first (eating normally, but only the foods you can eat on the cleanse), and then I made it right through to the very end and it wasn't a struggle at all. I don't know how it happened.
I noticed a lot of changes for the better.
I lost weight. 7 lbs on the first three days of the elimination diet alone. 15 lbs in all.
My blood pressure normalized....it ran a bit high.
My moods balanced. I have a bit of an anxiety/depression issue, that went away. Huh.
I gained energy and was able to wake up easier.
Lots of good things. Now that I'm done, I'm sticking with the smoothies in the morning, cause they are yummy. No processed or fast food, because I don't want it.
Some things that I noticed when I brought back foods that were off limits. Coffee, it didn't taste good and I didn't finish it. I noticed that later in the day I was feeling anxiety for no good reason. Huh.
Sugar... I ran into a friend who works at the Starbucks at Kroger, she was raving about things that were on Starbucks secret menu (I didn't know they had one, I guess because it's a secret) and insisted on making something for me that was supposed to taste like a Werther's candy. Not to be rude, I took it, tasted it and it felt like someone punched me in the face. Terrible!! Too damn sweet. I said it was fantastic (lied) and threw the rest out as soon as I could.
I'm sure I would have liked it just fine before doing this cleanse. That's how much sugar we are eating, so much we don't even notice anymore. I had read in Salt, Sugar, Fat that big food would test kids by adding sugar to cereal until they said it was too sweet, and the formula they would use would be the one directly before "too sweet". And they would do this test every so often, and the sweet tolerance would steadily increase over time. So, I'm staying away from the sugar.
Alcohol? Not a problem, so I'll keep it, until I do this again in a year.....
I just finished re-reading this in preservation to do a second cleanse starting on Monday. After all the crap I (as everyone tends to) ate over the holidays, I'm actually looking forward to it. Is that weird?
A thought crossed my mind as I re-read Clean, I realized I haven't had a major cold or any other illness since I did this cleanse back in April (and working with the public, I would get sick often).
I don't know if the two things have anything to do with each other but I find it to be interesting....more
“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Yes, never before in our history, but history tends to repeat itself when you choose to ignore it. I don't know about you, but I find that above quote a bit spooky. President Obama.....read that last line a few times over.
The only other time in history the U.S. had such a high income inequality as we have right now was 1929-ish......EEK.
In this Jonathan Alter takes a look at the life of FDR, not just the 100 days. To understand what it took for a man to have the strength to do what he did in those 100 days, background was needed.
FDR was a politician, no doubt about it. He married someone he wasn't in love with to help with his political career. He had a mistress for many years, his true love (which he couldn't get away with in today's 24hr news cycle). He used people to get ahead in his ambitions, and then discarded them. It wasn't all rainbows and ponies that fart glitter, people.
Self admittedly, he was not the smartest man in the room, but he new enough to surround himself with the smartest. As an adult he contracted polio and was paralyzed from the waist down. In those days it was a stigma to fall ill to polio, so he forced himself to "walk" with painful braces on his legs and with the aid of a strong man to hold onto him. It was by using his upper body to sling his useless legs forward, this apparently was excruciating, yet the man was always smiling and waving his hat in those moments. He would stand at a podium to make speeches. But he really wasn't standing at all, he held himself up by bracing himself up with his arms. Ouch.
When it came right down to the nitty gritty of fixing the countries economy, he had a hard time finding people to work with him from the other side of the isle. Imagine that. So, to do what needed to be done for the American people, he became a bit of a dictator, and the people didn't mind that. He saved capitalism by mixing in a healthy dose of socialism (psst...we have socialism right now, that we quite like). He found it a crime that the elderly were dying in poverty after working hard everyday of their lives, now we have Social Security and Medicare, which has worked quite nicely.
He taxed the rich 90%. 37% doesn't sound that bad now, does it?
He (the government....OMG) created jobs with ginormous infrastructure projects, such as your cross country highway system.
Now all was going well until 1937 when he started listening to some people on the other side bitching about spending and the deficit. The recovery slowed when he responded by backing down. If he hadn't done that and been more aggressive, the recovery would have been much quicker. That, sadly, sounds familiar too.
Blinded by science Einstein, Io, comet tails Information glut
I consider myself an intelligent person. I also find science fascinating. I'm just not surBlinded by science Einstein, Io, comet tails Information glut
I consider myself an intelligent person. I also find science fascinating. I'm just not sure what happen between me and Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries.....
Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a science-y book. Maybe I over estimated my intelligence. Both are quite possible. The whole time I was listening to this, it was like listening to Charlie Browns teacher. whaa wha whaa wha whaa Galileo, wha wha E=mc2, whaa whaa whaa Gravity sucks.
I would get some really good, crunchy tidbit and be riveted.....and then the mind would drift to something like "I wonder if I fed the cats, and CRAP I forgot to start the dishwasher"........then I would drift back to the science stuff.
This was a hard book for me to get through. I had to take breaks and read two other books while getting through this one. It was a bit slow going, andThis was a hard book for me to get through. I had to take breaks and read two other books while getting through this one. It was a bit slow going, and also depressing.
Nixon was the first Republican president who was obsessed with power. Power was much much more important to him then doing the job of the president, which is to care for the welfare of the citizens of the United states. Up until Nixon, the presidents of the time new their job was to serve. To make this nation a great place to live. But since Nixon the Republicans have just been spiraling down hill, into an ever growing cesspool of power hungry, selfish, down right criminal pile of morons.
It's really shocking what it has happened to the Republican party. I'm not talking about the average conservative on the street with well thought out policy's, (I bet you're even more dumb founded at the choices you have now then I am), I'm talking about the batshit crazy people who have taken over the party. Thanks to the tea baggers, no one moderate is allowed a chance (shoot, today I bet Goldwater would be considered a left wing loon). I am not a fan of Mitt Romney, but since he did some good things to help people in his state of Massachusetts (health care, much like the presidents current plan) he hasn't got a chance.......really? WTF? .....W....T.....F! Oh, and he believes the science behind climate change, Bad Mittens, bad!
Now your stuck with choices like Palin and Bachman, who haven't the foggiest clue about American History (Good thing they're pretty), and the rest of the lot who (say they) think that cavemen hung out with dinosaurs.....probably think the world is flat. Anyone sane would not be extremely conservative enough.
Uuhhhhhhhggggg! Thanks Mr. Nixon, thanks a bunch. ...more
I have been thinking of donating my body to science. I think that would be the best way to dispose of it I am gone. I know that I am not my body, notI have been thinking of donating my body to science. I think that would be the best way to dispose of it I am gone. I know that I am not my body, not that I know who "I" am, but I am pretty sure we don't hang around worrying about what happens to the sack of meat, water and bones once "we" leave it.
While reading this book I pictured my body going through all the scenarios that are described in this book. Some were disturbing, some were kind of funny. Picturing my body being propped up as a creepy crash test dummy and being all slumpy and uncooperative.....struck me as funny.
Nothing really changed my mind about donating except for the testing of ammunition and guns, and their effectiveness....... might. I really am not a fan of the gun.....do I want to help out with that? Mary Roach points out that you cannot specify where your body goes, so I don't know.
Another bad thing that could happen was pointed out by a friend of mine. She had a friend going to nursing school, for some reason they had to do some kind of learning with cadavers. When the friend saw the cadaver, it was her grandmother. Now this sounds like an urban myth, and could very well be, but it makes a good point. In the end, the very end, it's about the loved ones of the person who's passed and not about the dead person. So as long as there is no one around that cares anymore, or my loved ones are completely comfortable with the decision, then I will donate my body to science....more
All the way through this book I was thinking....."yeah, and?" "is this really news to anyone"?
My brain is different, not special, just different andAll the way through this book I was thinking....."yeah, and?" "is this really news to anyone"?
My brain is different, not special, just different and I went through a lot of crap before I came to this realization.
I'm dyslexic, something that was never diagnosed, because they didn't have a word for it back in the day. It's not disabling. I confuse left and right, can't spell worth a poo (thank the gods for spell check) and I read r e a l l y s l o w l y. Plus I'm ambidextrous...which has something to do with it, I've read. It also was kind of obvious that there was a side of ADD thrown in for kicks (or normal, more kids are ADD than not).
But I still love books, and it is painful for me to get through some....some I would just give up on. Then I discovered the audio book.....then the IPOD, and it changed my life,(although I still read print books as well), now I can get through any book. Audio had always been my preferred way of learning. Reading, to learn was always very hard for me. I couldn't stay focused, I would read and re read and have a difficult time retaining it. If only my text books were on audible.
The reason I bring this up is this book was basically describing my brain, as it has always been. The internet did not do this to me, but it's doing this to you. Now every one is becoming like me...... Welcome!
What Carr is saying in this book is that the internet, and other technologies, are making our brains less able to read for long periods of time. Reading an entire book is becoming increasingly more difficult, since we are now used to getting our information in tiny bite size pieces. Also email has brought ADD into the mix since we tend to check it a ridiculous amount of times, while trying to focus on work.
The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking "wow....he really could have got this out with a lot fewer words." "I get it...our brains are changing....blah be blah be blah"!
The book was very interesting....I'm just being silly....more