Life Hack #3: How to turn back the aging process

This just in:  Yesterday I attended a TED event where a panel of 3 experts discussed the latest research into fighting the aging process.

I didn’t take written notes so I will have to rely on my aging mind to recall a few key points.

  1. How close are we to curing Alzheimer’s?  Look at it this way, our grandparents feared Polio but we don’t.  We fear Alzheimer’s but our kids won’t.  The expert in this field said his 20 year old daughter would never have to worry about it.
  2. Early detection can slow or turn back the effects of Alzheimer’s.  They recommended getting something called a Cognoscopy.  This will give you the ability to see it coming and take steps to turn it back.
  3. Calorie reduction is a major factor in keeping your body young.  There seems to be a lot of technical jargon about this I didn’t follow but essentially, your body has to be able to divide and replicate cells for you to stay young.  If you don’t do certain things, you lose this ability.  Being overweight is a good indicator that you are losing this ability.
  4. Low carb diets seem to help as do Mediterranean diets.  Basically, don’t eat cake but instead, eat salad.  They admit that this is less fun than eating cake but it is effective.
  5. Of course, exercise is important.  In fact, if you have never exercised and then start, you will immediately start to turn back the aging process.  So, its never too late to start.
  6. Stress is both good and bad for you.  We all have stress.  It’s how we respond to it that matters.  If we carry it with us…the effect tends to be faster aging.  However, if we have brief periods of stress then let it go, that actually reverses the aging process.  For example, brief periods of fasting are stressful but they induce stress that is short-lived and thus helpful.  So, don’t be chronically under stress.  Find a way to induce it and then let it go.
  7. Loneliness is a big factor in aging.  Don’t be lonely.  Find a way to share your meals with others.  Get involved in your community.  Social interaction is a major factor.  The more you have, the better.
  8. Coffee?  Why not?  They say there have been hundreds of studies trying to paint coffee as the “bad guy”.  In the end, no one has been able to show this is true.  In fact, caffeine intake improves memory.

So, there you have it…to the best of me mental ability to recall.

On the entertainment page….

I can’t wait for Deadpool 2 to come out later this month.  This is the kind of movie I can watch over and over again.

If you like Science Fiction, I recommend my favorite author, Neal Asher.  Start with Gridlinked and then move on from there.

On the political page...

There are four people that are determining what the Republican Party should do; The two Koch Brothers, a guy named Mercer and a guy named Adelson.  This last guy is a billionaire that owns a few casinos.  He’s Jewish and is the one that told Trump to move the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem.  He is very likely to be the reason that Trump backed out of the Iranian deal.  Only Israel and Saudi Arabia supported Trump’s move in this area.  However, our Republican Party is notably quiet on this.  The reason, I think, is because shortly after Trump make this move, Adelson gave $30 million to the Republican Party.

Just sayin…

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Note:  Please feel free to comment every now and then.  I enjoy interacting with my readers.  Also, I appreciate any reposts you make.

j

 

Iran: Manufactured Crisis/Diversion

This just in:  Yesterday, Trump pulled the United States out of the Iranian Nuclear Deal.  On a completely unrelated note; Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, took in millions of dollars from Russia, AT&T and a Pharmaceutical company.  He took it in through a shell company and speculation is that he was selling influence and access to Trump.

Getting out of the Iranian deal basically tells the world that the United States does not feel obligated to hold up its end of the bargain.  I’m sure North Korea is watching this carefully.

I would like to make three points.

  1. First, Iran has been in complete agreement with the accord.  They have been off the nuclear threat map since the deal was cut.
  2. Getting out of the deal is not the United States breaking a deal with Iran.  We are breaking a deal with all of the participants of the deal which includes the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia.  All of these countries told the United States to stay in the agreement.
  3. The deal was cut with Iranian moderates.  That is to say, we were able to sit at a table with the less-crazy people from Iran and eventually cut a deal.  Now, we will be dealing with hardliners who would just as soon nuke Israel as not.  Getting out of the deal has strengthened the position of these hardliners who have said all along, “The United States cannot be trusted.”

There is virtually no support for this move.  It hurts U.S. credibility abroad.  It hurts U.S. relations with its allies.  It allows Iran to once again become a nuclear threat to the world.

Furthermore…there is no Plan B.  We have no plan on how to deal with Iran outside of the agreement.

So…why did Trump do this?

Two reasons: First, his National Security Advisor and fellow draft dodger, John Bolton, has always wanted to go to war with Iran.  Secondly, If we are looking at Iran, we might not notice that the Mueller Probe is starting to look like it will result in Trump dying in prison.

So, for no clear reason, Trump has made the world a more dangerous place.

Why?  Who knows.  It could be a distraction.  It could be that he is just not that smart.

I suspect both.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

The Art of Donald Trump’s Con

This just in:  Trump has failed at nearly every business undertaking except for real estate.  If he had taken his dad’s money and just invested it in a Stock Market Index Fund, he would be worth more than 3 times what he is reportedly worth today.  He has declared bankruptcy several times.  Within the last decade, he has found that banks in the United States would no longer loan him money.  He turned to Russia and now appears to be cash-rich.  He started buying properties at market price and then, without making any improvements, sold those properties to Russians for huge profits; a practice most often associated with money laundering.

Take all of this in and then ask yourself, “Is Trump a genius or a con man?  Is Trump laundering money with help from Russia?  Is there a link between Trump’s benevolent attitude towards Russia and his financial dependence upon them?”

Let’s put all of that aside.  Forget about it.

I now have a new question: Is Trump a genius negotiator or an idiot?  In other words, is he a legitimate president or just a con man?

Let’s look at the deals he’s been involved with since taking office.

Healthcare:  He promised much better healthcare at much lower prices.  It turns out that neither he, nor the Republican Party had a plan.  In fact, Trump has no idea how healthcare works.  He claimed he was going to fix it without knowing what he was talking about.

NAFTA:  Trump calls this the “worst deal ever,” and claims he will negotiate a much better deal for us.  It turns out that his threats to back out of NAFTA have caused two of our top trading partners to look elsewhere for goods.  Trump has never given any indication that he understands what is even in NAFTA.

TPP:  This is another deal Trump calls “the worst deal ever.”  He says this without once mentioning a single thing he does not like or would change.  He apparently does not understand TPP any more than he understands NAFTA or Healthcare.  He calls previous deals “the worst deal ever” so his followers can nod in agreement and pretend, along with Trump, that he has a plan.

Paris Climate Accord:  Another deal that is the “worst ever.”  Trump has demonstrated that he has no idea what is in this agreement saying, “He wants to negotiate a fairer deal for the United States,” even though everything in the accord is voluntary.  If we want to participate less or pay less, then we can.

The Iran Non-Nuclear deal:  Again, “the worse deal ever.”  Trump has been saying the Iranians violated the deal by testing missiles.  Clearly, he didn’t understand that Iran is free to test missile within the bounds of the agreement.  Every other country that joined with the United States on this deal has urged Trump to stay with the agreement.  Instead, Trump is stepping away.

All these deals were already made.  The United States had already agreed to them.  What Trump has done is renege on these deals without understanding even the basics about the deals and having no alternative.  Why?  So he could pretend that he could fix things.

But let’s continue…

Trump is imposing tariffs without understanding the very basics about such an action.  He appears to know less about Economics than someone who has just completed their first week of Econ 101.

Trump supported a tax reform plan that gives virtually nothing to the middle class while enriching the top 1% of the population. In this instance, I’m not sure if he doesn’t understand the tax break or if he did this on purpose.  Notably, there was a last minute “pass through” issue that basically enriches anyone in the real estate business…like Trump.

The Con continues as Trump takes credit for progress between North and South Korea.  He does this expecting us to believe that his tweets about “Rocket Man” have brought the North to its knees.  He has done nothing to help in that part of the world.  Even North Korea says Trump has had nothing to do with the denuclearization talks going on now.

Trump has the Black Midas Touch.  Everything he does make things worse.  His EPA is dismantling itself; allowing for the rapid rise in nearly every area of pollution.  He’s weakened consumer protection.  He’s alienated NATO allies.  He’s shown racist tendencies and legitimatized the rise of white supremacy.  He’s actively supported the NRA while calling for “thoughts and prayers” and armed gym teachers as solutions to violence in schools.   He thinks saying “don’t do drugs” will cure the opioid crisis.  He thinks telling teens “don’t have sex” will lower teen pregnancy.

Notice all of this exists in addition to the Russian Collusion allegations or Trump’s constant lying.

This guy is a train wreck…and we put him in charge.

Just sayin…

Gotta run.  It’s time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

The Killing of Bear #399

This just in:  Last night I was watching 60 Minutes and they had a segment on a nature photographer.  One of his favorite subjects is grizzly bear (tagged as #399).  Recently, the bear population was healthy enough that there is now talk about allowing some people to hunt bears.  The photographer said many hunters have told him they can’t wait and that they hope to be the one to shoot the famous #399.

I don’t get this.  It is so far from what I could consider as a “good idea” that it makes me feel like there are aliens among us; or at least a branch of the human race made up of gun-toting sociopaths.

The NRA recently had a convention in Texas.  The President and V.P. were both there.  In the President’s speech, he managed to anger both the country of France and the country of England.

Here are Trump’s views on gun violence as far as I can tell…

  1. If the violence was perpetrated by a non-white, then it is terrorism.
  2. If the violence happened at a school, then blame video games and arm your gym teachers.
  3. If the violence was by a white supremacist…silence.

Also, while the NRA convention was taking place, a breakfast place in Dallas put a note on receipts that portion of the receipt would go to organizations that support “reasonable and effective gun regulations.”  How did the NRA visitors respond?  With death threats; threatening to “shoot up the place.”  This…is the NRA…our very own, homegrown terrorist organization.

We’ve become a country where we can make stuff up to suit whatever fantasy we like.

For example:

  • Universal Health care is a government takeover of healthcare.  The facts actually tell a different story.  Countries that have universal healthcare pay much less for much better outcomes.
  • Guns are not the reason we kill each other with guns.  The facts say that we have the same rate of mental illness and video game addiction as other countries and yet…we kill each other with guns at a much higher rate.
  • Tax cuts for the rich will spur economic growth and create high-paying jobs.  The facts say that this economic policy (also known as trickle-down economics) is a failure 100% of the time.
  • Unlimited campaign financing is Freedom of Speech.  Actually, you can link the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United to the rapid fall of the Republican Party into a corrupt organization that profits by legislating based on the whims of their billionaire donors.

It’s getting to the point where nothing makes sense anymore.

However, there is hope.  Here is a…something created by the young daughter of a artist friend.

This is so cute I can’t help but have a positive outlook on our future.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Life Hack #2: Lower Back Pain

This just in:  In April of 2017, I was taken out of my house on a board, unable to lift a finger due to lower back pain.

The diagnosis was 2 herniated discs; something that doesn’t heal.  You just have to learn to live with it.

I did consider surgery but the doctor said even that was only about a 50/50 proposition and in the end, other discs would soon go bad as a result.

I have been virtually pain free for about a year now.  I’m not an expert on back or pain but I did my homework and came up with a plan that works quite well for me.  This homework included participation in a Stanford University Back Pain study and consultation with a surgeon.

Here it is…

  1. First of all, realize that the days of lifting 100 lb rocks are over.  If I need something heavy to be lifted, I get help.
  2. I don’t overdo things.  When I’m feeling great, I don’t decide that I’m cured and go out running and lifting.  I pace myself.  If I plan on playing 9 holes of golf, that’s what I do.  I don’t do 18 because that was not the pace I had planned on.
  3. I realize that there will be some bad days.  I don’t let this get me down.  I take it easy.  Gobble some Advil and maybe an ice pack or something.  I also use a Tens Unit from time to time.
  4. I start every day with 26 minutes of exercise that is a combination of Yoga and core strengthening.  I have missed doing this only a handful of times over the last year.  This is vital.  When I do Yoga, I avoid movements that twist my upper body.
  5. I sit in the jacuzzi every morning with a focus on putting jets where they can get to my back; lower and upper back.
  6. I look for alternative exercises.  For example, I like to do curls for my biceps however, this adds weight to my upper body and compresses my spine.  Instead, I do pull-ups.  This works my biceps and stretches my spine.
  7. I have a Teeter Hangup.  This is a device that turns me upside down so I end up hanging by my ankles.  My surgeon likes this but only for about 45 seconds at a time.  He said if you hang too long things start to stretch that shouldn’t be stretched.
  8. I try to pay attention to my posture.
  9. I have discoverd that bicycle riding does not bother my back so I do a lot of this.
  10. I never jog or run or use an elliptical machine.  All of these will result of back problems the next day.
  11. I never take anything stronger than Advil for the pain.  NEVER.

Now that my back is doing so well, I can save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

The Evangelical Effect

This just in: I recall being about 8 years old and thinking “I can’t believe that my parents believe what they are teaching us in Sunday School.”

The apple snake story is a good one, like many others in the bible, but to take it literally seems akin to thinking we should sacrifice virgins to volcanos.

To me, the best case for there being a God is that I want there to be one.

That’s it.  Everything else is speculative.

The idea that anyone, anywhere understands the will of a God capable of creating the Universe is astoundingly absurd.

There was a study done recently that showed the more Evangelicals get involved in politics, the more people turn away from organized religion.  I completely fall within this category.

I watch the Evangelicals twist and turn to justify their support for Trump.  They say things like, “The Bible teaches forgiveness” or “God is just testing us.”

What they should really be saying, if they were being truthful is, “Trump doesn’t like non-whites and non-Christians so we like Trump.”

I watched a segment on the morning news where a boy was suspended from school for wearing t-shirts with guns on them.  One t-shirt had about a dozen different guns on it.  Underneath is said, “Respect Diversity.”  The other t-shirt had guns arranged to spell out the word “LOVE.”

The parents fit the NRA/Trump mode perfectly.  They were both about 300 lbs.  The husband had on a shift that said, “I’m a Christian.”  and both claimed the shirts were about Love and Diversity, not guns.  Plus, their son loved guns and they didn’t want to change him.

Right there is your problem…

These people are Christians willing to inspire gun violence so their son doesn’t have to change his shirt.  They are the American Evangelicals and thus, typify why we are unfit to govern ourselves.

Note: Most Trump supporters make me feel this way. There are certain types that I view as “Likely Trump Supporters.”  One is that they must live in rural America and be willing to vote for a person that does everything he can to fight against their best interests.  They belong to the NRA.  They are not-college educated (unless they are very rich and positioned to become richer through Trump’s actions.)  They must be anti-abortion plus against any food program that will feed our nation’s poor. They must watch Hannity and believe he is real news.  They are closet or openly white supremacists. They are evangelicals who hate Muslims.  They are poor and willing to blame that condition on immigrants.

In the end, I’ve decided that I believe in God but want nothing to do with formal Christian organizations.  The hypocrisy is just too much to bear.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Life Hack #1: Adding value

This just in:  I woke up in a hotel room a couple of months ago with the thought, “I’m wasting too much of my life doing non-productive stuff.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being non-productive, unless you think there is.  In my case, I feel guilty when, at the end of a day I think, “Another day wasted.”

So, I put together a list of items that I thought would add value to each day.  The list has grown slightly so there are now 21 items on it.  Daily, I track my accomplishment rate; my goal being to do at least half of the items on the list.

One of those items is to watch a 30-minute lesson on one of my programs purchased from The Learning Company.  My current curriculum is on “How the Universe Works.”  This is a 96-lesson course taught by a professor from Berkeley.

Because of this one item on my checklist, I can go to bed every night knowing a little more about something than I did when I woke up.

I recommend going to www.thegreatcourses.com to have a look at the wide variety of courses you can take.  When I first went there, I would buy a course and have them send the DVD to my house.  Now, I just buy the downloadable version.  I can watch them online or download them to watch later when I don’t have a connection.

More about my “list” another time.

On the “For some reason this works” page...

My mom recommended something to me that her doctor recommended to her.  For better health, more energy and weight loss, simply take 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning and then again in the evening.  I do this with about 3 ounces of water.

I’ve been doing this for about 3 weeks.  I have lost 8 pounds, without dieting, and I feel like I’m 20 years old.

Now, this could be the Placebo Affect…but who cares.  Just as long as it works.

On the “I can believe this is our president” page…

Trump now apparently remembered paying his lawyer to keep Stormy Daniels quiet.  He still says there was no affair but paid her just because.

The Ukraine was providing information the the Mueller investigation until…they wanted Trump to give them missiles.  Trump gave them missiles and they suddenly stopped helping the investigation.

Trump apparently had his private body guard go to his pre-president doctor and take all of his medical records.  This is not only illegal but speaks to Trump’s lack of ethics and reported bullying tactics.  This is bringing up the issue of “How fat is Trump…really?”  Also known as the “Girther Movement.”

There is now overwhelming evidence that the Trump Tax breaks that were supposed to raise wages and spur economic growth and more jobs are having two actual results: (1) A national deficit that exceeds anything we have seen…ever and (2) Companies using the tax break to buy back stock and enrich their investors.  No wages went up. No jobs were created.  This was extremely predictable.

On the “Facebook Free” page…

I quit Facebook on the first of May.  Interestingly, the readership on my blog has risen dramatically since then.  Still, I do miss my Facebook friends.  If you have a FB account, please consider reposting my blog posts there, from time to time.

That’s all the time I have.  The world needs saving.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

How would you spend your taxes?

This just in:  On 60 minutes a couple of weeks ago, there was a segment about a program at MIT where students invented stuff.  Combine this with stories we often hear about soldiers that come back from the Middle East, traumatized, and with no idea of why they were sent there in the first place.

This made me think, “If I were King, how would I spend my tax dollars.”

I thought I would offer up a few choices.

Let’s start with…

  1. Which would you rather do: (1) Pay no taxes and have only toll roads and private schools  or (2) Pay taxes to finance things that promote the public good?
  2. Which would you rather spend tax money on: (1) sending soldiers to Syria or (2) doubling the budget for NASA?
  3. Which would you rather spend tax money on: (1) sending soldiers to Afghanistan or (2) high speed transportation between cities and population hubs?
  4. Which would you rather spend tax money on: (1) Subsidizing the oil industry or (2) financing research into finding cures for things like Alzheimer’s or cancer?
  5. Which would you rather spend tax money on: (1) A military that is larger than the next 10 militaries put together (many of whom are allies) or (2) State of the art education that is available to all Americans, not just the wealthy?
  6. Which would you rather spend your tax money on: (1) Building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico that can be defeated by a $20 ladder or (2) Universal healthcare that makes sure no one ever goes without healthcare and no one ever declares bankruptcy because of their medical bills?
  7. Which would you rather do: (1) Spend money on tanks and foot soldiers suitable for warfare as it existed 50 years ago but has no relevance to today or (2) Revitalize inner cities with the goal of every American being able to live free of fear with equal opportunity to the benefits of being an American (healthcare, education, freedom etc.)

And now one final one for my Republican readers (if there are any)…

Which would you prefer:  (1) a food program that makes sure no child in our country ever goes hungry of (2) allowing millions of children to go hungry because less than 1% of those on such a program are lazy?

There you have it.

Now…I have to run off and save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Free of Facebook

This just in:  This morning, I deactivated my Facebook account.

This is sort of a big deal in a weird way.  I really never went to Facebook very often; probably averaging less than 5 minutes a day on the site.  However, I posted stuff there all the time.  I posted cute animal pictures and news articles that I would read and think, “The world needs to hear about this.”  Now that I don’t have a FB account, I can’t post there.  This will take some adjusting on my part.

In the meantime…

Have you ever seen one of those videos where someone is playing music for cows?  I tried this the other day.  I started with a handful of cows and eventually 20 or more showed up.  Here is the video…

Leveraging his stupidity…

There seems to be a lot of news today about Trump’s top cabinet members referring to Trump as “Dumb” or “Idiot” or some other such descriptor.  Here’s the deal…I don’t know it they actually did say those things.  However, I have no trouble believing that those close to Trump find him….simple-minded.

One of the key “fall back” positions of Trump supporters is to say, “He is just pretending to be dumb so that he will win in the end.”  I’m not sure how this works but when you are out of straws to grasp at…anything will do.

Comment Section…

I’m having trouble getting the comment box to appear on this site.  I have a trouble call in and expect to have the box up and running soon.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

 

 

My Last Day on Facebook

This just in:  This afternoon, I will look up how to cancel my Facebook account.

There are a few reasons for this.  First, let’s start with the fact that I love being able to connect with friends I haven’t seen in years.  I intend to still do that, just not through the Facebook format.

Over the years, I’ve seen more and more nasty stuff being posted on FB.  At first, I thought, “This is fine.  I think it’s great that people have strong opinions, even if they differ from me.”  Then I noticed that “opinions were turning into hate.”

This is something I have no need of.

Lately, FB has been nothing but an expose on what people really think.  I see things like, “Michelle Obama was a terrible First Lady; nothing as great as Melania Trump.”  This is not just a statement about opinion.  This is a statement about someone’s acceptance of having a black person in the Oval Office.

I see posts about, “Liberals are trying to take away my guns.”  This is not about the Constitution.  This is about someone willing to risk 30,000 American lives annually so they can maintain their fantasy about killing a home intruder and making the front page of their hometown newspaper.

I see posts about how Trump is doing a great job.  This is possibly the most telling of all.  To support Trump is to demonstrate to me that we, as Americans, are not capable of governing ourselves.

This list can go on and on but I think the point is made.  I’m finding Facebook to be a disappointment.

So, this evening, I am logging off.

Elsewhere….

I see that North and South Korea are making nice with each other.  I really think there is something here this time.  We could end up with a unified Korean peninsula with no nuclear weapons and no Forever Presence of U.S. troops.

The best part of this is that all of this denuclearization is taking place without interference from the United States.  We are completely out of the loop.  However, this has not stopped Trump from taking credit for all of it.

Speaking of Trump…

His tariffs are set to tear apart the global economy.  Yes, it could be that bad.  Already, car prices are spiking up; quickly gobbling away at the extra $100 per year we each go in the Kock Tax Cut.

Europe is scrambling to figure out how to retaliate.  Meanwhile, China is sitting back with open arms as the world turns to them for new leadership in the global economy.

I was speaking with an economist last week.  I asked, “How can any country know what to do about Trump’s tariffs when even he has no idea what he wants?  He keeps changing his position and is often directly contradicting himself..”

The response was golden: She said, “Maybe he’s doing this on purpose.  Maybe he is trying to leverage his stupidity.”

This may be the most brilliant thing I have heard in a year!

On the Entertainment Page…

Watch “The Death of Stalin.”  This is a black comedy with several priceless lines and situations.

Watch “Mr. Robot” on Amazon Prime.  There are 3 seasons out.  Granted, a few episodes are a bit slow but overall, this is a very unique type of show.

On my webpage…

I will try to beef up the ability to make comments and interact on this site.  So, if you are on FB and want to stay in touch, make sure to sign up in the right sidebar.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim