Saturday, February 24, 2018

Musical Interlude: 2002, “A Year And A Day”

2002, “A Year And A Day”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Point your telescope toward the high flying constellation Pegasus and you can find this expanse of Milky Way stars and distant galaxies. Centered on NGC 7814, the pretty field of view would almost be covered by a full moon. NGC 7814 is sometimes called the Little Sombrero for its resemblance to the brighter more famous M104, the Sombrero Galaxy.  
 Click image for larger size.
Both Sombrero and Little Sombrero are spiral galaxies seen edge-on, and both have extensive central bulges cut by a thinner disk with dust lanes in silhouette. In fact, NGC 7814 is some 40 million light-years away and an estimated 60,000 light-years across. That actually makes the Little Sombrero about the same physical size as its better known namesake, appearing to be smaller and fainter only because it is farther away. A very faint dwarf galaxy, potentially a satellite of NGC 7814, is revealed in the deep exposure just below the Little Sombrero.”

"8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong"

"8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong"
by Marc Chernoff

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:

1. Pain is part of growing. Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

2. Everything in life is temporary. Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever.

So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it.  

3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back.

And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

4. Your scars are symbols of your strength. Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward.   scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of “YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

5. Every little struggle is a step forward. In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE. 

6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem. Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus.  hen other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you.  hey do things because of them.

Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

7. What’s meant to be will eventually, BE. True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.

In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.

8. The best thing you can do is to keep going. Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing. Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

Think positively.
Eat healthy.
Exercise today.
Worry less.
Work hard.
Laugh often.
Sleep well.

Repeat…"

"You Have To Play the Cards You Get..."

“Just because fate doesn't deal you the right cards, 
it doesn't mean you should give up. It just means you 
have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.”
- Les Brown

"8 Reasons Why You Act Against Your Own Better Judgment"

"8 Reasons Why You Act Against 
Your Own Better Judgment"
by Mark Sisson

"We all make poor choices against our better judgment. It’s kind of what makes us human – the tendency to actively and willfully make decisions that will result in unfavorable outcomes. Sure, the candy bar tastes good, but you know you’ll feel awful after eating it. Yeah, that blog is fun to read, but you know you’d be much happier if you finished that essay for class first. And yet five minutes later, a candy bar wrapper sits, emptied of its contents; your molars house fragments of nougat and sport a caramel sheen; light nausea approaches; and you find yourself wading knee deep through comment sections, MS Word window minimized. What just happened? Why did you do those things that you told yourself you wouldn’t, that you warned yourself against, and whose negative ramifications are already coming to fruition – just as you predicted?

Last week, we began the dialog with my introductory post on akrasia – the act of knowingly working against one’s own interests – but we didn’t get into any details. Today, I’m going to try to provide a few answers. I’m going to delve into the reasons for akrasia, particularly as it pertains to making bad eating choices. I won’t discuss psychological issues, per se, instead focusing on physiological explanations, but keep in mind that the two are often one and the same. You can’t really separate the mind from the body (well, without killing the person, that is).

Whether we pick up the phone to order takeout, open the candy wrapper, shove the spoon into the jar of Nutella, or accept the offered slice of cake, we are making a decision. Most health experts say making the healthy decision is a matter of willpower. So that if you make an unhealthy decision you simply don’t want it badly enough. Like Bob Newhart in that old Mad TV sketch, they seem to think all you have to do is just “STOP IT!” Well, it’s not that easy. Otherwise, folks wouldn’t be making these decisions that go against their better judgment. Otherwise, they’d indeed be “stopping it.” So why do we do it?

Many – perhaps most – poor dietary choices stem from an inability to resist cravings. And who can blame you, really? Whether they’re for chips, sweets, or something specific like wheat, cravings are difficult to ignore by design. Their very purpose is to get you to give in to them, to override your rational side and promote decisive, single-minded pursuit of whatever it is you crave. Something, then, is at the heart of these cravings. Something physiological. But what?

1. You’re missing something from your diet and your ancient genes are misinterpreting the modern cravings. There’s often a disconnect between what our animal bodies need or desire and what our human minds know is best. When the animal body perceives a deficiency, some nutrient lacking in the diet, like salt, it often develops a craving for that nutrient. 20,000 years ago, if you were salt-deficient you would have gone looking for shellfish or rock salt, because those are the salt sources you knew. Your food memory bank was rather limited in scope. Today, that same salt deficiency might manifest as a craving for Pringles or Cheezits, because those foods are listed under “salt” in your food memory bank.

Let’s look at some research on the subject. In one study (PDF), human volunteers were put on a strict low-sodium diet and treated with diuretics for ten days, rendering “substantial sodium depletion.” The effects were pretty telling. Salt thresholds – the minimum detectable level of sodium chloride dissolved in water – lowered dramatically; the subjects could detect lower levels of salt during sodium-depletion than they could during sodium-repletion. Furthermore, salt depletion made salty foods taste better than they had before the study, and salt-depleted subjects rated the saltiest foods as the most attractive and desirable. It’s quite possible that your “Pringles cravings” are actually salt cravings, and that the former is simply what your animal body associates with “salty.”

2. You’re missing something from your diet and your modern self is misinterpreting the ancient cravings. What about sweet cravings? Paul Jaminet thinks that sugar cravings might actually be fatty meat cravings. It sounds crazy on the face of it, but he makes some salient points. First, certain amino acids are actually slightly sweet. These sweeter amino acids are also hydrophobic, which means they are found inside cells with fats, and they repel water (fat doesn’t mix with water). Hydrophilic amino acids, which are water-soluble, do not associate with fat, and trigger the umami tastebuds, are not sweet. A leading theory of sweetness even suggests that in order for a compound to be sweet (to interact with sweetness receptors), it must be hydrophobic. Paul suggests that in a Paleolithic environment with ample prey, bland (rather than sweet) tubers and less abundant/seasonal fruits, cravings for sweets drove us to eat calorie-dense, nutrient-rich fatty meat. It’s possible, yet again, that our animal bodies are confused by the modern (and totally understandable) conflation of sweet with sugar and misinterpret what is actually a need for fat. Perhaps those sweet cravings turn into sugar binges because sugar isn’t actually what your body wants.

3. You’re addicted to wheat. Wheat contains opioid peptides that may be able to activate opioid receptors in our bodies. You know what else activates opioid receptors? Opium, morphine, and heroin. (I’ve never tried any of them, but I hear they can inspire some real devotion from their users.) I know that may sound glib, and I’ll be the first to admit that research into this is still very preliminary. You won’t find any ironclad evidence on PubMed that wheat is addictive. But the thinking goes that rather than hitting you like a ton of bricks and rendering you speechless from the sublime triggering of your opioid receptors, wheat addiction manifests as a stubborn lingering thing.

Evidence does exist, however limited. One older paper (PDF) that identifies multiple opioid peptides in wheat gluten, suggests that they are capable of binding to brain opioid receptors via a “plausible biomechanical mechanism,” and deems them of “physiological significance.” Dr. Emily Deans, of Evolutionary Psychiatry, has actually used naltrexone – a drug that blocks opiate receptors – to curb wheat cravings in celiac patients who are trying to kick the “habit.” Wheat plays a huge role in the diets of industrialized nations. If you’re reading this, you probably grew up eating it. You may still be eating it from time to time – and that may be at least partly responsible for your urge to eat that slice of bread.

4. You’re addicted to sugar. Similarly to wheat, sugar has addictive properties. A review of the rat studies shows that rodents will become quite addicted to sugar rather quickly, at times even choosing it over pharmaceutical-grade cocaine. There’s evidence that the addictive properties affect humans, too. As with wheat, naltrexone has been shown to reduce the rewarding properties of sugar in people. When you block the opiate receptors in the brain, sugar simply isn’t as rewarding and you’re not driven to consume as much of it.  Sugar appears to be addictive in both rats and humans. You, being a human, could very well be drawn to make bad decisions about sweets because you are addicted to them.

5. You’re stressed out. Everyone knows about “stress eating.” Chronic stress is repeatedly linked to obesity and overeating, and there’s strong evidence that it even elicits cravings for specific foods or nutrients. Like sugar. Remember our old friend cortisol? It’s one of the premier stress hormones, and in high cortisol responders – people that secrete lots of cortisol in response to stress – cravings for and intake of sweets increase dramatically. Stress also appears to increase the desire for “comfort foods,” those deadly high-sugar, high-fat concoctions, via an increase in ghrelin, a hunger hormone.Stress can also lead to salt cravings, probably because the adrenal glands which produce stress hormones also produce hormones which monitor electrolyte balance. And indeed, stress can also increase salt requirements, which, as we know from earlier, can often manifest as “chips cravings” or “cracker cravings.”

6. You’re training too much without adequate fueling. My general rule is that starchy vegetables like tubers and potatoes, as well as sweet fruits, are elective foods. You don’t need ‘em, and most people, especially those who are trying to lose weight, will be better off limiting them. They can be tasty, though, and if your activity levels warrant a higher intake of carbs, you could eat them. I have no problem with that and I don’t see them as problematic in that situation. In fact, if you’re doing daily Crossfit WODs or pounding the pavement to the tune of 100+ miles each week, you had better eat some tubers and some fruit. If you don’t, if you go very low carb while trying to maintain that breakneck pace, you will suffer. You will probably also crave easily-digestible, refined, processed junk carbs. Think chips, bread, pizza, pasta, or – my own personal favorite/nemesis from my Chronic Cardio days – tubs of ice cream. Your body needs to replenish the glycogen, and it needs carbohydrates to do it. Gluconeogenesis can only get you so far if you’re pushing your body to its limits. In the face of heavy, glycogen-depleting training, a lack of Primal starch sources will have you craving sweets and grains in no time.

7. You’re not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep has long been associated with overeating and obesity. For one thing, poor or disrupted sleep schedules promote disrupted cortisol secretion, which – as I’ve shown above – can affect our food choices. Bad sleep also increases insulin resistance, which changes how we process macronutrients (especially carbohydrates) and renders us more prone to fat gain. And now, a recent study has shown that a single bout of acute sleep deprivation (just one night) causes people to find food more rewarding. Patients on no sleep derived more pleasure from food, desired more food, and reported more hunger than patients who had slept. And that was just a single night. Just imagine the effects of days, weeks, or even years of chronic poor sleep. If you’re running on no sleep, you may very well be more susceptible to the wiles of junk food.

8. You fear being socially isolated due to your food choices. Peer pressure doesn’t just occur in groups of teens smoking joints behind a 7/11. It can happen at birthday parties, at office events, or during the holidays. Wherever treats are being served, and the vast majority of those in attendance partakes, those who would otherwise refuse the offered treats often feel pressured to give in. You hem and haw, try to say “No, thanks,” but you start thinking you see shared glances between judgmental partiers, sense hurt feelings from amateur bakers, and you worry about looking like a “health nut” (as if that’s a terrible thing or something), so you take the slice of cake or square of brownie and partake. You know what happened last time you gave in. You remember quite vividly the downward spiral of junk indulgence that transpired then, and probably will again. But still you eat it.

Why? One explanation may be that social rejection – even if it’s only imagined – can manifest as physical pain. To figure this out, researchers ran brain scans on study participants as they played a virtual ball-tossing game and then began excluding them from play (PDF). Ultimately, all participants were excluded from the game. During both explicit social exclusion (in which players were prevented from participating by other players) and implicit social exclusion (in which extenuating circumstances prevented participants from joining the game), the brain scans registered significant activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a region of the brain that acts as a “neural alarm system” or a “conflict monitor.” Whenever “something is wrong,” the ACC lights up. Physical pain famously triggers the ACC, but the ACC is not involved in the physical sensation of pain. It’s involved in mental distress. Distress is a negative sensation. It is unpleasant by its very definition. If you’ve resisted the treats in the past and felt socially isolated or rejected because of it, you may be conditioned to take the treat next time in order to avoid the isolation and avoid the activation of your neural distress center.

Do any of these sound familiar? When it comes to making poor dietary decisions, keep in mind that we are complex animals and the causes of our actions are multifactorial. Some or all of these factors may play into your particular misstep. Maybe you gorged on cake at the party both because your ACC was buzzing in trepidation at the prospect of social isolation and because you’d been putting in way too many road miles, you were overtrained, your cortisol was spiked, your blood sugar was low, and you were craving sugar. It could be any number of things from this list (and even some that aren’t on it).

So, while the decision ultimately rests on your plate, you might find it helpful to understand that a whole host of factors is actively influencing you. These aren’t excuses, and they don’t remove responsibility, but they do show you what might be going on under the hood. Hopefully by understanding exactly why we often make bad decisions about food against our better judgment, we can tip the scales in our favor before the next one is made.
 
Well, it was a long one, but I hope you found it helpful. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section. Thanks for reading!"

"Hard As It May Be..."


“You observe your children or your children’s children, making the same absurd mistakes, heart-rending mistakes often, which you made at their age. And there is nothing you can say or do to prevent it. It’s by observing the young, indeed, that you eventually understand the sort of idiot you yourself were once upon a time- and perhaps still are.”

“One can fight evil but against stupidity one is helpless… I have accepted the fact, hard as it may be, that human beings are inclined to behave in ways that would make animals blush. The ironic, the tragic thing is that we often behave in ignoble fashion from what we consider the highest motives. The animal makes no excuse for killing his prey; the human animal, on the other hand, can invoke God’s blessing when massacring his fellow men. He forgets that God is not on his side but at his side.”

“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.”

- Henry Miller

The Poet: James Broughton, "Quit Your Addiction"

"Quit Your Addiction"

“Quit your addiction
to sneer and complaint.
Try a little flaunt,
Call for comrades
who bolster your vim
and offer you risk.
Corral the crones,
Goose the nice nellies,
Hunt the bear that hugs
and the raven that quoths.
Stay up all night
to devise a new dawn...”

- James Broughton,
“Little Sermons of the Big Joy”

The Daily "Near You?"

Dublin, New Hampshire, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

X22 Report, “The Next Economic System Expands West, Will The US Join The New Trade System?”

X22 Report, “The Next Economic System Expands West, 
Will The US Join The New Trade System?”
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “The Deep State Has Been Duped Again”

"The Sole Purpose..."

"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence 
is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."
-  C. G. Jung

“Your Most Vital Commitment: Finding Time for You”

“Your Most Vital Commitment: Finding Time for You”
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

“We can excel easier in our lives when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled. Within each of there is a well of energy that must be regularly replenished. When we act as if this well is bottomless, scheduling a long list of activities that fit like puzzle pieces into every minute of every day, it becomes depleted and we feel exhausted, disconnected, and weak. Refilling this well is a matter of finding time to focus on, nurture, and care for ourselves, or "you time." Most of us are, at different times throughout the day, a spouse, a friend, a relative, an employee, a parent, or a volunteer, which means that down time, however relaxing in nature, is not necessarily "you time." Though some people will inevitably look upon "you time" as being selfish, it is actually the polar opposite of selfishness. We can only excel where our outer world affairs are concerned when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.

Recognizing the importance of "you time" is far easier than finding a place for it in an active, multifaceted lifestyle, however. Even if you find a spot for it in your agenda, you may be dismayed to discover that your thoughts continuously stray into worldly territory. To make the most of "you time," give yourself enough time on either side of the block of time you plan to spend on yourself to ensure that you do not feel rushed. Consider how you would like to pass the time, forgetting for the moment your obligations and embracing the notion of renewal. You may discover that you are energized by creative pursuits, guided meditation, relaxing activities during which your mind can wander, or modes of expression such as writing.

Even if you have achieved a functioning work-life balance, you may still be neglecting the most important part of that equation: you. "You time" prepares you for the next round of daily life, whether you are poised to immerse yourself in a professional project or chores around the home. It also affords you a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, and your tolerances in a concrete way. As unimportant as "you time" can sometimes seem, it truly is crucial to your well-being because it ensures that you are never left without the energy to give of yourself.”
- http://www.dailyom.com

Now that sounds like an excellent idea...

"How It Really Is"

“The Mass Conspiracy Of Blame Avoidance”

“The Mass Conspiracy Of Blame Avoidance”
by Paul Rosenberg

"If you can ever get far enough from the status quo, one of the most shocking sights you’ll see is the mass conspiracy of blame avoidance. This phenomenon is so pervasive  that most people go their entire lives without taking serious notice of it. It simply is, and the possibility of another way has never occurred to them. People do see this from time to time of course, but only as it intrudes on them personally. And even then, they generally wander away from the conflict and slide back into the conspiracy, wondering what just happened.

I call this a mass conspiracy because it’s something all of us enforce upon each other. I’m sure there must be a few people who’ve been immune to it since birth, but I can’t really point to anyone. And while I was less prone to this than others by a good piece, I’ve enforced it upon others myself. (Though not in some time, I’m pleased to report.)

Okay. So, What Is It?” Let me start with the part of this most of us have run into: Have you noticed that staying in lock-step with authority absolves you of blame? And have you noticed that new things – things not acknowledged by authority – are held to the opposite standard: that even one flaw excludes them from consideration?

Let’s take “social services” as an example. Everyone knows that these operations consistently fail the children they’re supposed to save and that a shocking number of these children are ignored, abused, and even killed. The operators of the system, though, are never seriously held to account (certainly not personally), and their funding increases year after year.

Let someone propose a different way of handling the same “social” problems, however, and criticism jumps to the highest possible level. “What if” questions are not so much asked as launched at the new idea, and unless all of them are deflected, the new idea is instantly rejected.

A reasonable approach would be to count the failures under the current version, project the number of failures under the proposed version, and compare. But that doesn’t happen. Instead, the failures of the accepted version are flatly ignored, and a single imagined failure of the new way disqualifies it.

That is simply illogical and unreasonable. In fact, it’s cult-like. And yet, nearly all of us have done this at one time or another. Some of us have done it many times.

The Payoff: If millions of us are doing this, you’d guess that there has to be some kind of payoff from it. And there is. The payoff is psychological comfort, and it works like this: When we attack the new idea (social services-related or otherwise), we’re not defending children from risks, we’re defending our previous choices and the hedge that stands between us and blame.

Most people feel overmatched by the world. This begins in childhood and is nurtured in government schools, where years of an obscure but persistent curriculum teach us to obey without question and never to place our judgment above authority. Because of this and other factors, we retain the sick feeling of being overmatched all our lives. On top of that, we live in a guilt-ridden culture… and guilt feels bad.

And so we find refuge in a dimly recognized conspiracy: We’ll support authority – and will ridicule anyone who strays from it – so long as authority protects its adherents from blame. You can see this in the way people deal with the edicts they are given by authority: They hide behind them.

Rules provided by authority stand as the responsible party instead of us. No matter that we actually performed a harmful action, if we did it under authority, we can hold ourselves blameless, to which other members of the conspiracy will attest. And that’s why we trash anything new and unauthorized, because if authority can be ignored, our protection from blame can be ignored too.

Are We Really That Fragile? This conspiracy presumes that we’re far too fragile to handle blame. It roots in our childhood vulnerabilities and calls up the intimidations of enforced schooling. Regardless that we’re no longer fragile seven-year-olds, we feel that way… because the conspiracy was forged in us when we were weak seven-year-olds and rests upon those feelings. The conspiracy, then, is cruel to us. We are no longer children, and we shouldn’t still be suffering childhood fears. We no longer need parents. If anything, we need to be parents.

This conspiracy of blame avoidance further keeps us from appreciating ourselves. Because if we started taking blame for our faults, we’d also start accepting credit for our virtues and successes. And those are far more numerous. I hope I’ve given you a glimpse of this mass conspiracy, because it’s a sneaky and seductive destroyer. We really have outgrown childhood and its fears. We’ll do far better by leaving them and the conspiracy behind.”

"Don't Explain..."

"The Exponent Problem"

"The Exponent Problem"
 by Robert Gore

"2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192…

Most people find managing their own affairs sufficiently challenging. Earning a living, establishing a family, rearing children, saving for college and retirement, and dealing with illness and aging fill the days and leave little time, attention, or energy to manage someone else’s affairs.

A hypothesis: the effort required to run other people’s lives is an exponential function. If X is the sum total of everything required to run your life; running two lives is X squared; three lives is X cubed, and so on. Call it the exponent problem. For partial verification, try running someone else’s life for a day or two. See it how it works out for you and the other person.

Why do governments fail? Government is someone imposing rules on someone else, and backing them up with repression, fraud, and violence when necessary. The governed always outnumber those governing, which means the latter face the exponent problem. In the US, there are around 22 million employed by the government, and let’s add in another million who actively influence it. The US population is around 323 million, so there is 23 million rulers to 300 million ruled, or about 13 ruled per ruler. How fitting, like the 13 original colonies!

Whatever amount X of time, energy, money, attention, and other resources the rulers expend on their own lives, they must expend that X to the thirteenth power to “govern” the ruled. If X could actually be quantified and it was only 2, it would still take 8192 times the effort to rule the US as it does for the rulers to govern their own lives. Those are just illustrative numbers, but you get the picture.

No wonder rulers use repression, fraud, and violence. They’re overwhelmed by the exponent problem. On its best days governance is a comic proposition, on its worst, a tragic and terrible one. A farce, but in its own way tragic and terrible, is preceding the ultimately tragic and terrible outcome of the US government’s efforts to govern every aspect of its constituents’ lives and exercise power over what it considers its global domain.

Robert Mueller’s Russian indictments scream Keystone investigation. The indictments of out-of-reach Russians are a tacit admission that Mueller has nothing on the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia. They are a laughable attempt to divert attention from evident criminality by the Clintons, their foundation, Barack Obama, and members of the Department of Justice, the State Department, the FBI and the intelligence community both before and after Trump’s victory. There are Russian angles to that apparent criminality, which Mueller has shown little willingness to investigate.

Such blatant ineptitude and corruption are to be expected from people who think they can run other people’s lives. The delusion is almost universal, a toxic cognitive cloud that has persisted throughout history and has spread over the entire planet.

The ruled usually know when their rulers are inept and corrupt. However, they often believe that somewhere else the wise and sagacious effectively govern. In the 1930s and 40s, many in Europe and America gushed over Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. In the 1980’s, the Japanese had the secret sauce. Liberals have long hailed Scandinavia as utopian governance.

Across the alternative media, articles extoll Russian and Chinese leadership, particularly their joint leadership of the new Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). SLL has reposted some of them. Directed by Russian and Chinese bureaucrats and politicians—surely wiser and less corrupt than our own—the BRI will build transportation and communications infrastructure across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The Maritime Silk Road will build Indian Ocean shipping facilities.

The US government does not see this in a benign light. It’s an attempt by the our geopolitical rivals to rule Halford MacKinder’s center of the world, (see “Washington’s Great Game and Why It’s Failing,”  SLL, 6/8/15) and we can’t have that. The Eurasian land mass contains much of the world’s population, raw materials, and oil. Vital US interests are at stake. So are vital Russian and Chinese interests.

Oddly enough, the contest for the center of the world has coalesced in Syria, a country about the size of Washington state. The US, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, France, and the United Kingdom, various tribal and ethnic groups, various Islamic guerrilla groups, and the government of Syria itself have all declared interests in that nation. It doesn’t even have that much oil. The situation has its darkly comic aspects and at least one satire, "Prime Deceit" by yours truly, has been written about it.

The situation also has its tragic and terrifying realities. On this small patch much blood has been spilled, much treasure has disappeared, and Syrian lives have been ended or upended as “interested parties” try to impose their versions of control on all or part of it. They run into the exponent problem, usually compounded by the would-be controlled’s violent resistance to the would-be controllers.

Syria is a microcosm of what analyst Richard Maybury labels Chaostan: “The area from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, and Poland to the Pacific, plus north Africa.” An investment in Maybury’s newsletter, "Early Warning Report", may be the best investment you’ll ever make. Anybody who’s followed its recommendations since its inception in 1991 has made a fortune. “Chaostan,” Maybury notes, “contains thousands of nations, tribes and ethnic groups who have hated and fought each other for centuries.” They don’t take too well to outsiders, either.

Attempts to impose order, be it US-style order or the Russian-Chinese-BRI version, confront that history and the exponent problem. We haven’t even mentioned the other exponent problem, compounding interest on the world’s mammoth and growing debt load. Imposing order takes money. Good luck, everyone, with Chaostan.

The question is not whether efforts to impose order in Chaostan will crash and burn—they will—but how low they will take humanity. Destruction of the species is a nontrivial possibility. At present, not one person in the motley coterie that governs this planet appears to understand that control is mathematically impossible. Of course, when impossible butters your bread you embrace it, and this quixotic quest for control butters a lot of bread. Just the world’s military and intelligence spending sums to trillions of dollars.

The exponent problem yields a testable hypothesis: present efforts at control, much less expanded efforts like global governance, will require increasingly unattainable amounts of energy and resources and will collapse. Another hypothesis: a system that would adapt itself to available energy and resources is the one which allows individuals to direct their own lives, i.e., freedom. There is a nontrivial possibility that hypothesis may get a test, too, but only after the first hypothesis has been confirmed.”

"Fukushima Update 2/24/2018: 16,363.65 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
- Shiva

Updated February 24, 2018: Fukushima Equals 16,363.65 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow; There is No Place On Earth to Escape the Rad: The 3 melted-through cores of the destroyed reactors, now melted together into a single "corium" totaling over 600 tons, at Fukushima daily release the radioactive equivalent of 6.45 Hiroshima bombs directly into the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean. As of February 10, 2018 - 2,537 days since the disaster began - this equals the detonation of 16,363.65 Hiroshima atomic bombs and it is still going strong, with no end in sight, considering that the half-life of uranium-238 is about 4.47 billion years and that of uranium-235 is 704 million years. There is no technology on this planet to deal with this situation. Any "news" they allow you to see about "repairing" the damage is a LIE, and they know it. Now you do, too.

There are only 336 cities on Earth with more than one million people. That is the equivalent of 48.70 Hiroshima atomic bombs apiece. Now add a minimum of 600 tons per day of highly radioactive ground and "coolant" water flowing directly into the Pacific Ocean, as it has for the last 2,537 days. Do your own research, consider and see with your own eyes the many mass Pacific die-off videos on YouTube. Verify all the information, and, as always, draw your own informed conclusions as to the consequences. - CP

"YRTW ELE is published every two weeks on Saturday. 
The next publication date is March 10, 2018 on the Road to Extinction."

Latest publication, as updated:
"Your Radiation This Week, February 17, 2018"
by Bob Nichols

"First thing, grasp the difficult concept that this is an ELE or Extinction Level Event. The deadly meltdown and dispersion of radioactive fuel throughout the world is on-going to this day. There is no escaping our fate, there are no solutions. No one is exempt. The radioactive particles are all over the world now. The Rad lethality will continue to increase because that is what Rad lethality does. The simple reason is some of the uranium decays to plutonium. When that happens the Rad count increases. Once set free, the change cannot be altered or stopped by anyone or anything. The Rad is the ultimate power and its mission is to kill You.

Lethality: There are 1,946 radioactive isotopes according to the Oak Ridge Nuclear Weapons Lab. In the Earth’s atmosphere all are produced by nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. There are no other sources. Lethality is the power to kill and injure. It exists and is measured by humans in deaths and in calculations. The perfectly odd thing about radiation is the Lethality goes up while the radioactivity goes down. That has killed many a person who only counted the radioactivity. This is perfectly logical when you recognize radioactive Isotopes change from one Isotope to another for billions of years. The Isotope Uranium changes to Plutonium and many others. Plutonium is the ultimate killing machine, so bad that the Medical Director of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, Dr. John Gofman, said “Plutonium 239 is the most dangerous substance in the universe.”

All of life on Earth is radioactive by now and it only took about 70 years. This is a planetary Death Sentence for all. Everyone is included. There is no way out. There is nothing we can do to stop it. The Rad will take us all out. Yeah, that includes all of us; plus the life driving around in our air, lakes, rivers and oceans. The Rad also nails the long lived remnants of the dinosaurs; y’know, the birds. They don’t have a prayer. All of us are included; none are left out. That is reality, anything else is just wishful thinking or a purposeful lie. The amount of Rad in the air now dooms Humanity to a relatively quick extinction. Done in by our own war toys, how moronic is that?! I can’t say it any plainer than that." 


"Are you in a city that gets a Million Counts of Radiation a Week? First, how on earth are you going to find out? That is a secret, isn’t it? Look no further, Bob Nichols is the only Writer in the world that has the info for you. This is a bad situation for all exposed to the Rad."
Bob Nichols' current “Your Radiation This Week” report, 
updated as available, can be viewed here: 
https://yourradiationthisweek.org/

"Million a Week Club: USA Total Gamma Rad" 
Plus Annual Rad Totals Since 2006 "Table of Poisoned American Cities":
February 24, 2018, Updated as available.
by Bob Nichols
https://www.youtube.com/

"I added a new measurement that will help residents understand the Rad. The Rad is with us all 24/7 constantly. It never goes away. It is better to know what the Rad level is than to not know. Be prepared for a shock, these Year to Date totals are really big radiation numbers. Colorado Springs, Colorado is number one in the US right now having endured 46,136,977 Gamma CPM, or Counts per Minute, since January 1, 2017." Table of Poisoned American Cities, Total Gamma Radiation Year to Date, CPM and nanoSieverts by City and State can be viewed here:
"Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, 100 miles offshore of Fukushima: "During that March 13 phone call, Cleveland wrote, Troy Mueller - the deputy administrator for naval reactors at the US Department of Energy - said the radiation was the equivalent of “about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out at sea.” “So it's much greater than what we had thought,” Mueller reportedly warned other American officials after taking samples on the Reagan. “We didn't think we would detect anything at 100 miles.” After Mueller made that remark, according to Cleveland’s transcript, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman asked him if those levels were “significantly higher than anything you would have expected.” He responded yes. When Poneman later asked Mueller, “How do the levels detected compare with what is permissible?” Mueller said those on the scene could suffer irreversible harm from the radiation within hours. “If it were a member of the general public, it would take- well, it would take about 10 hours to reach a limit,” he said. At that point, Mueller added, “It’s a thyroid dose issue.” If people are exposed to levels beyond the Protective Action Guideline threshold released by the Energy Department, Cleveland acknowledged in his report, radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands."
"German Analysis of Certain Isotopes after Meltdown: Hold on to your hat. In 1992 Germany calculated that in reactor meltdowns like Fukushima Daiichi the radioactive isotope Strontium 90 would aggressively poison the environment for 109.2 years and then decline slowly over the next 273 years. Of course, we will ALL be long dead by then. Other deadly Rad isotopes put Strontium 90’s generous life span to shame. The German study is here for those brave enough to tackle it. Source: The IAEA: Dispersion of radionuclides and radiation exposure after leaching by groundwater of a solidified core-concrete melt by Bayer, A.; Tromm, W.; Al-Omari, I. (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)) from 8. International congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA8)"
"What We Know Now about Fukushima" 
by Bob Nichols

"Here is what was known 75 days after reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor Plant started a disastrous and lethal nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011:

• March 11, 14:46, a One Million Kiloton Earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale hammered Japan off-shore near the six Japanese reactors. The reactors attempted to shut down automatically when electronic sensors detected the earthquake. The huge earthquake dropped the reactors three feet, moved Japan 8 inches to the West and altered the tilt of the Axis of planet Earth.

• March 11, about 15:30, the giant Earthquake caused a tsunami up to 30 meters (98.4 Ft) high washed away all the fuel tanks for the reactors Emergency Generators and all the reactors’ outside electrical feeds. This was the Death Blow to the reactors. The Fukushima Daiichi reactors were dead in the water and their fate sealed. Without an external source of electricity for the water pumps and hot reactors, they are just so much radioactive scrap iron – good for nothing. The internal temperature of the reactors started climbing immediately.

• March 11, about 18:00, only two and a half hours later, multiple reactor cores started melting down as the reactors internal temperatures skyrocketed to the melting point of uranium and beyond – a measured 1,718 Deg C (3,124.4 Deg F) past the melting point. Uranium melts at 1,132.2 Deg C (2,069.9 Deg F.) The internal reactor temperatures reached at least 2,850 Deg C, (5,162 Deg F.) The millions of 1 mm Uranium fuel pellets in the reactors and in the core pools had no defense at all without the powerful water pumps and millions of gallons of cooling water against those temperatures.

The Uranium pellets simply melted forming a white hot lava-like radioactive uranium isotope blob that then burned through the high temperature steel around the graphite seals of the General Electric Mark 1 Reactor Control Rods at the bottom of the American submarine-based reactor design of US Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover, now deceased. (General Electric copied the US Government financed Navy nuclear reactor design for many commercial nuclear reactors.) The radioactive blobs trickled together to form a huge, highly radioactive, burning lava blob like that of Chernobyl, called a "corium".

• The corium is releasing as much as a TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) measured 10 Quadrillion (10,000 Trillion Bq) radioactive counts per second of deadly radioactive smoke particles into the Earth’s atmosphere. As of May, 2011, the invisible, killing radioactive smoke is already all over the Northern Hemisphere and everyone in it – each and every one – is radiologically contaminated. Note that the lethality of radioactive reactor cores goes up the first 250,000 years they are out of the reactor – not down.

• This much is known. All radioactive exposures are cumulative for each human, animal and plant. What’s more, mutated genetic codes are passed on to offspring forever. This means all Japanese and all Northern Hemisphere inhabitants are suffering internal radioactive contamination from Fukushima Daiichi reactors already."

Fukushima Equals 3,000 Billion Lethal Doses: Dr Paolo Scampa, a widely know EU Physicist, single handedly popularized the easily understood Lethal Doses concept. “Lethal Doses” is a world wide, well understood idea that strips Physics bare and offers a brilliant, understandable explanation for all the physics gobbledygook Intelligence agencies and their respective governments use to disguise the brutal truths of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster. Three thousand billion (3,000,000,000,000) (3 Trillion) Lethal Doses of Radiation means there are 429 Lethal Doses chasing each and every one of us on the planet, to put it in a nutshell."

A Search of this blog will reveal many posts about Fukushima, covered since day one.