Water Doesn’t Naturally Flow in a Straight Line

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I had to use Google Maps in order to calculate the distance between my house and a school that I will be visiting this summer. Like I always do while using Google Maps, I decided to see if the satellite image of my house had been updated. Not sure why, but I decided to trace the creek that runs behind my house and started tracing the line of the creek. I noticed how it meandered and twisted its way through the landscape. I kept noticing that it never went in a straight line for any extended period. Why is it that this creek, nor any other body of water, naturally traveling on a straight line?

The answer lies in the ground beneath our feet. The variations in morphology and makeup of the landscape of where the water is flowing and the direction of the least slope guide the path. Gravity causes the water to choose the path based on the slope; but since the landscape is composed of so many different elements that erode in different manners, the capability for the body of water to flow in a straight line is impossible. As the water flows, the landscape that it encounters erodes differently. As it moves the landscape underneath it; and as the water deepens, each side erodes differently due to the makeup of the land. Whatever kind of material is there, it will erode at a different speed; and thusly will cause one side to erode more than the other. This causes a deviation from what would be a straight line.

As the body of water flows, it carries sediments with it that are deposited when the water slows down due to decreased slope. Larger running water bodies like rivers and creeks expand differently and due to the large quantity of water flowing in the event of rapid rainfall or in the case of Pages Lake which is fed by Mines Creek outside of Fayetteville, NC. Much like the creek, so named Island Creek, which flows behind my house; Mines Creek is fed by and is connected to a much larger body of water. Mines Creek is connected by the Cape Fear River while my creek is fed by an offshoot of that same river; the Northeast Cape Fear River.

Most creeks are formed by water flowing from a larger body of water (ie a river) and either never reaching another body of water. Sometimes these small creeks flow downhill until they merge to form larger streams and rivers; but sometimes when enough water is flowing, due to the land eroding in different areas, the water expands its banks irregularly and braided channels are formed. You see this a lot when lakes rivers and creeks run dry; as is the case with Pages Lake that lies behind Camp Dixie. The Lake was formed by the low lying water eroding away at the banks over many years but the creek still continued out the other side. The water will come back whenever they open the dam that is located down the road; but for now all we see is the braided channels and stagnant water that is left behind.

The journey of a body of water is much like the journey of a human life. We all start at the same place: a newborn baby; but due to a myriad of factors, we all go down different paths. If we are ever guilty of not trying to move forward. If we ever stop trying, then we will become stagnant and lifeless just like the lake that has no movement. So keep moving my friends. God bless.

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May the Fourth be with you

98px-Bdna_croppedA couple of years ago, my mom purchased me the DNA analysis kit for ancestry.com. The ethnicity results somewhat amazed us. We were met with a huge tide of emotions because it was different than what I had been taught for my entire life. My DNA analysis said that my ethnicity was estimated to be made up of 42% Western Europe, 28% Great Britain, 18% Ireland/Scotland/Wales, 8% Scandanavia, and 4% from other places. It was within these 4 percent that I found a 1% for four specific regions and it was within these areas that we pondered on the most.

The first 2 percentages were said to be from either Finland, Northwest Russia and the Caucasus region. The thought of me being from the Caucasus region which consists of 220px-Tunisia_in_its_region.svgArmenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey was surprising. The next 1% from the Iberian Peninsula surprised me even more because the Iberian Peninsula consists of Spain, Portugal, Southern France, the Western Italian Islands, Northern Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. The last 1% comes from Northern Africa which primarily consists of the Western Sahara, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The three popping up consistently were the ones that were the most surprising but after some research into my family tree many months later; I found my missing African link.

220px-Star_wars_1977_us.svgTurns out that my 12th paternal great-grandmother was from Tunisia. Now you probably suspected by the title of this blog that this was a Star Wars Day blog; well in that you would be correct. The reason why is because while reading up on the information I couldn’t get over why the name Tunisia sounded so familiar. The reason why this North African country that borders the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert sounded so familiar was not my great-grandmother’s ghost whispering information about her homeland; no, it was because I had just re-watched a documentary about the filming of the original Star Wars movie last summer. Part of the Tattoine locations, including Luke’s Tatooine home, were filmed in Tunisia. Guess there could be a little Jedi in me after all.

 

Happy Star Wars Day!

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Images:

B DNA gif by Spiffistanderivative work: Jahobr (talk) – Bdna.gif, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17436581

Geographical Location of Tunisia by TUBS – Own work, This vector graphics image was created with Adobe Illustrator. This file was uploaded with Commonist. This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this:  World location map (W3).svg (by TUBS)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15302417

Star Wars Logo 1977 by Lucas Arts – http://www.starwars.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40435409

1977 Cinema Advertising Star Wars by Michael Dorausch from Venice, USA – CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51237185

When can you beam me up Scotty?

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I don’t know if I consider myself to be a Trekkie; but I have always been a huge fan of the brand. Do I have a shirt with Spock on it, most definitely? Have I been eyeballing a painting of Data holding his cat? Oh yes. I mean, I started off watching Star Trek: The Next Generation at the same time that reruns of the original Star Trek TV show were starting again. This was also the same time that the original Star Trek movies started flowing out of the theaters. So I had it coming from all directions and I loved every minute of it. Since I had a little free time yesterday afternoon; I decided to sit down and watch some TV. While flipping through the free movies on Amazon Prime, I decided to watch the 2009 Star Trek movie for the dozenth time. It is one of my favorites and in my opinion of the best Science Fiction movies of the 00s. Since I had seen the movie countless times, I could observe the details (such as the scientific terms that they throw around so easily). What truly drew my attention was the scene where the crew are ‘beamed’ aboard a moving star ship at warp speed. My question was, since Star Trek has helped along so many technological advances (language translators, tablet computers, cell phone, etc); why is teleportation such an alien (no pun intended) feat? Is the instantaneous transportation of matter actually possible?

393px-Albert_Einstein_1947Back in 1998, scientists started applying Albert Einstein’s term for teleporting, spukhafte Fernwirkung (translation – ‘spooky action at a distance’) while ‘sending’ beams of light and actual atoms across space in a process that is called “quantum entanglement“. The researchers create three charged atoms (normally beryllium); and like all atoms, have certain unique properties. The magnetic field, spin, and motion of the atoms all are unique to each atom. In teleportion, the scientists move the properties of the first atom to the third atom which in essence ‘re-creates’ the first atom. Physicists face a giant hurdle when it comes to moving the first atom’s unique characteristics due to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle which states that ‘one cannot known with certainty the properties of a particle, including its location and 126px-Entanglementspeed’. To surpass this hurdle, scientists ‘entangle’ the second and third atom. Confused yet? Well essentially through the magic of quantum physics, the physicists can measure the properties of the atom without changing it. So they transmit the properties of the first atom to the third by going through the second atom leading it on to atom C which takes on the properties of the first atom.

360px-Star_Trek_-_Enterprise_D_TransporterSo….when do we start teleporting ourselves? Since they are having difficulty transporting a single atom, it may be a while. Physicists can transmit light and atoms. They have successfully sent atoms about two feet, while being able to launch photons about 20 miles. Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, and the rest of the Starship Enterprise can at ease use their transporter; but in our reality the information contained in the photon’s quantum state is transmitted from one photon to another through the quantum entanglement. It doesn’t actually travel the distance. An exact copy appears in the new location; and the original photon is destroyed. Since our body consist of about 15 trillion cells; it will be a while before they create a machine smart enough to copy and reposition the trillions of atoms in the human body. And you can bet that I won’t be the first one to test it out if they do.

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Images: 

Publicity photo of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner as Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk from the Television program Star Trek accredited to NBC Television – eBay item photo front photo back press release, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17205358

Albert Einstein in 1947 (full original pic) by Photograph by Oren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J. – The Library of Congress, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=254353

Quantum Entanglement Schematic by Quantuwiki – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44487854

Star Trek Enterprise Transporter photo from the fictional Star Trek universe by Konrad Summers – Originally posted to Flickr as Star Trek – Enterprise D Transporter, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7247765

Featured Image – Star Trek Crew Members photo from the Star Trek television series accredited to NBC Television – eBayfrontback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37119483

Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories

I won’t deny that I invest way too much of my mental energy into thinking about conspiracy theories and how logical or illogical that they are. I have spent countless nights watching YouTube videos of people contriving fear into the viewers mind via their conspiracy theories. The reason why some conspiracy theories scare us is because some (if they are true) would have life altering ramifications (like the 9-11 conspiracy, Roswell/Area 51, Skull and Bones, the Illuminati, etc); whereas a lot of the conspiracies that we hear about are largely localized inside the world of Pop Culture. Now it is not to be said that, if true, these Pop Culture conspiracy theories wouldn’t strike a mighty blow upon the established governments and would be very daunting. To qualify one of these events/theories as a Pop Culture Conspiracy Theory, we’re going to say that their scope could go beyond the realms of ‘pop culture’ and impact a larger audience; but they more-or-less have a larger impact the Pop Culture world. So in hopes that these Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories can make you laugh, think, blush, or scare the bajesus out of you; I present to you Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories.


 

Honorable Mentions: Kim Kardashian Faked the Paris Robbery – Kim Kardashian is always finding ways to stay relevant…I mean how she is being used to distract us from the government…I mean to distract us from how talented she is not…no… Let me start that again. Kim Kardashian is finding ways to stay relevant and conspiracy theoriests say that one way she did this involves a conspiracy theory. The conspiracy involving Mrs. Kardiashian-West was fueled by internet trolls, Twitter users, Reddit scholars and myself; when we wondered whether or not Kim faked the now infamous Paris Robbery to boost ratings for her reality show: Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The conspiracy is that she could have also done it for the publicity or maybe even the insurance money. Probably not the insurance money part…since she’s now worth even more than her famous rapper husband.

Khloe Kardashian is O.J. Simpson’s daughter – I don’t watch Keeping up with the Kardashians. Sorry. But I do know that one of the few times that it flashed up on my TV screen at home while flipping through the channels, I remember hearing a conversation with Khloe about her paternity. She asked her mom if she had been adopted because she looked different from her siblings and the topic was visted again on the show in 2012 when Kris tried to get Khloe to do a DNA test to prove that she was Robert Kardashian’s daughter. So the conspiracy is that Kris Jenner and O.J. Simpson had an affair and Khloe was the result. So I hate to keep mentioning the Kardshians but this is one of my favorite conspiracies because despite my not having proof, I most definitely think its true. The Simpsons (not the cartoon) and the Kardashians had been friends for many years. They had traveled together and spent a lot of time together, so him joining O.J.’s “Dream Team” when he was on trial for murder. But man what does that make Kris look like; when she’s in the court room watching her baby daddy on trial for murder while being defended by her husband while sitting beside her future husband Bruce? Sounds like someone with that much drama would end up with a reality show. Oh wait.

10. Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears were Instruments used during the Presidential Administrations – This conspiracy theory goes beyond Pop Culture and dives deep into the government conspiracies that I said that I wasn’t going to talk about; but I can’t help it. This conspiracy says that Miley Cyrus’s infamous VMAs performance and her completely erratic Bangerz-era behavior stemmed from her being used by the Obama administrations ploy to distract the American people as their liberties were being taken away. Fellow pop star Britney Spears was supposedly also a tool of a Presidential administration. Remember when Britney had her very public breakdown? The shaving her head and hitting car windows with umbrellas Britney? Well the conspiracy is that Britney wasn’t doing this as a result of her own personal issues; but she was being paid by the Bush Administration to grab headlines away from a corrupt and incompetent White House. These conspiracies sound outlandish but why not imagine that they are true? Could the aforementioned Kim Kardashian and her sisters be our current distraction? Hmmm.

9. Katy Perry is JonBenet Ramsey – This one is kind of pushing the realms of believability but its still a legitimate conspiracy theory that has caused a lot of buzz on the interwebs. There have been thousands of conspiracy theories about JonBenet Ramsey’s murder but there is one that involves pop star and current American Idol judge Katy Perry. A 2016 YouTube video by Dave Johnson resurfaced and in which he claimed that JonBenet’s murder was a hoax so that Katy Perry the pop star diva could emerge. The claim is that JonBenet and Katie Perry are the same person; and that she was being groomed for superstardom by the Illuminati. I know. All that he really had to go on in his basis for this claim is that Katy and JonBenet look a lot alike, both sets of parents look a lot alike, that the murder was never solved, and that both of them were talented youths. Do I believe this one? Can’t really put merit into that one; but as you’re watching the next episode of American Idol think about this conspiracy theory and you be the judge. Get it. You be the judge. 😉

8. Elvis Presley is Still Alive – Before you think that this is just some tag line from a National Inquirer magazine or the title of an alien article in another supermarket tabloid; here me out. I know that the official word is that Elvis died of a heart attack in his Graceland home in 1977 because every August 16th my mom sends me a text to remind me that that day was the day that Elvis died. But since that sad day in 1977 fans around the world have sworn that they’ve seen the King ‘walking in Memphis’. (Cue Marc Cohn song.) The main conspiracy theory surrounding Elvis still being alive is that Elvis faked his own death and lived out his remaining years away from the public eye as Jon Burrows….or Jimmy Ellis (depends on who you’re asking). Fans even swore that they saw an aged Elvis in the airport line as an extra in the 1990 movie Home Alone. Some believe that Elvis has been ‘home alone’ the whole time and has been living as the Graceland’s groundskeeper. Either way Elvis will always be alive in the hearts of his fans; but you can’t blame the ‘Suspicious Minds’ who want him to be alive. Sorry. I couldn’t resist that last one. 🙂

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7. Paul is Dead – So this urban legend/conspiracy theory has been around since Paul McCartney’s supposed death in the 60s. The conspiracy is that Paul died in 1966 and was replaced with a hired doppelganger. The conspiracy pot was stirred in 1969 when American college students published a number of articles that gave clues to McCartney’s supposed death. The clues were found in lyrics and Beatles album artwork. The clue-hunting became an obsession for fans and within less than a month, it had become a worldwide phenomenon. Hundreds of supposed clues about McCartney’s death had been reported and they had done everything from investigated photos to listening to songs played backwards to interpreting song lyrics and album cover imagery. The various clues suggested led to believers saying that three years prior (on November 9th, 1966), that McCartney had an argument during a band recording session and had driven off angrily in his car. As a result of his anger, he crashed his car and died. To spare the public from the inevitable grief, the Beatles replaced him with the winner of a McCartney look-alike contest. Fans, as recent as 2015, have been attempting to present new clues to back up this conspiracy; so this could be more than just a rumor. I mean, it’s believable. Record company doesn’t want to lose money, so they replace him with a look alike? Sounds logical. They did it with Avril Lavigne when she died in 2003 and was replaced by her look-alike? 😉 Don’t worry I’m not going there today.

6. The FBI Killed Biggie and Tupac – It has been discussed at length, that these two rap legends were murdered by someone in authority. There are even rumors that Tupac is still alive and is living on an island somewhere in the Caribbean; but the conspiracy about who really killed Biggie and Tupac is really juicy. After two decades, the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious BIG are still unsolved. The conspiracy builds its evidence from the fact that Tupac and Biggie were in the center of a heated East Coast vs West Coast feud. Now this wasn’t a ‘man our rap is better’ feud; people were taking this feud serious. The conspiracy is that the FBI ordered hit jobs on both of the rappers to put a wrap on the rap war. (Sorry I couldn’t resist myself.) Court documents and interviews with members of the FBI and CIA both suggest that Tupac was under FBI surveillance before he was murdered six months before the murder of Biggie Smalls. The deaths of these two rap legends have sparked the topic to be discussed in TV shows, movies, books, magazine articles, and countless documentaries.

5. Stanley Kubrick was hired to Fake the Moon Landing – Ever heard someone say that they don’t believe that we went to the moon because the whole think looked like it was done on a big stage in Hollywood? We could talk about the belief in or disbelief in the moon landing forever but since we’re going with Conspiracy Theories that center around Pop Culture figures, there is not much of a greater name in Pop Culture than that of Stanley Kubrick. You’re probably thinking: “Ground Control to Major Tom. Stanley Kubrick doesn’t have anything to do with the moon landing, he’s from Hollywood; not the government.” To properly diagnose this conspiracy, lets just say for arguments sake that no one went to the moon. There was no placing an American Flag on the moon after a landing and definitely no small step for mankind. Secondly, Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey which came out in 1968. 1968 was a year before the U.S. ‘supposedly’ landed on the moon. The conspiracy theory (as I have heard it) was that NASA and the American Government got Kubrick to make a completely realistic ‘moon set’ and hired him to ‘direct’ the moon landing. This ‘moon landing’ was broadcast live on TV and he did such an amazing job that the rest is as they say: ‘history’. Now I don’t believe this conspiracy theory but it is one of my favorites because I love history, Stanley Kubrick, and the NASA space program. So the thought of the scope of Kubrick’s work on this undertaking is quite interesting to think about. You can get excited at the thought of this theory but just keep your ‘eyes wide shut’ and remind yourself that it’s just a fan-fueled conspiracy theory.

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4. The Titanic Didn’t Sink – Oh the hearts that would be broken if they couldn’t imagine a world where Jack and Rose could have potentially fallen in love and inevitably their world was torn apart by a sinking ship. Well this literally could not have happened on a ship called The Titanic if this conspiracy theory is true. The theory I am referencing was popularized by the 1998 book, Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank? by Robin Gardner. In this book, it is theorized that the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic was actually the ship that sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic on that dreaded April night in 1912. The theory is that the whole ordeal was part of an insurance scam that began when the Olympic crashed into the Royal Navy Warship, The HMS Hawke, in 1911 and White Star Line (the owner of the two ships) was found to be at fault of the collision. That means that the White Star Line was going to have to dish out enough money that would equal way more than that Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace. So the theory says that the White Star Line patched up the damaged Olympic and sent it out disguised as its identical sister ship the Titanic. They then orchestrated the sinking for an insurance pay out that would make up for the previous blunder.  ‘My heart will go on’ thinking that J.P. Morgan (yes that J.P. Morgan) planned it all and knew what was going to happen. Morgan, the owner of The White Star Line, planned to be aboard the Titanic for its maiden voyage but canceled his plans last minute. If they did it, knowing that there was a potential for people to die was just ice cold; like iceberg cold.

3. Lewis Carroll was Jack the Ripper – Hear me out. I outlined in a previous blog that Lewis Carroll could have been a slightly creepy guy. I mean people accused him of being a pedophile and that the stories of Alice were actually his secret love letters and cautionary warnings to her; so is it any stretch of the imagination to conspire that he moonlighted as a serial killer? Of course there is no substantial evidence to prove that he was Jack the Ripper but in 1996 writer Richard Wallace published a paperback book entitled; Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend. In this book he hints that Carroll had teamed up with Thomas Vere Bayne (an Oxford scholar and good friend of Carroll) to commit the murders. Wallace based his conspiracy on anagrams from two of Carroll’s works: The Nursery and the first volume of Sylvie and Bruno. You really have to go down the rabbit hole to follow this conspiracy; so follow the white rabbit if you choose to.

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2. The Simpsons can predict the future – In 2018, if you sit through 28 seasons and meander through over 600 episodes; you’ll see some eerie scenes. The reason why a couple of these scenes would creep you out is because there have been at least 15 times that The Simpsons have made eerily accurate predictions of future events. With everything from Disney‘s Fox Takeover to Siegfried and Roy’s Tiger Attack to Smart Watches to the Ebola Outbreak or even Donald Trump’s Presidency. Even eerily creating scenes that would later be played out in real life almost identically. It is undeniable that the critically-acclaimed, longest-running American sitcom and animated program will forever be known as a pop culture phenomenon; but could the Bartman really have the power to predict the future? Is the Illuminati using The Simpsons to gauge how people would react to seeing certain situations played out?


 

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  1. Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain – It’s been more than 20 years since I sat in front of my parent’s TV and cried on the beige carpet of their living room floor. The day Kurt Cobain died, something in almost all of we Nirvana fans died. Most of those fans, and many other naysayers still find his death fishy. After all of these years, we still believe Kurt was murdered. Suspects have included everyone from his fellow bandmates to crazed fans; but it was private investigator Tom Grant who gave the most damning evidence that it was actually Courtney Love, Kurt’s widow. Tom Grant was hired to investigate the death by Courtney herself and the more he dug up, the more he didn’t believe that it was a suicide. There have been countless documentaries made about this conspiracy and headlines were made again when the Seattle Police Department released never-before-scene photos of the shotgun found in Kurt’s home. You can watch the documentaries for yourself and you can look at them subjectively but there is more evidence supporting her guilt than there is to free her. I am not saying that she pulled the trigger or inserted the needle which injected more than 10 times the lethal dose of drugs into his system…but I bet she knows who did.

Final Note: Am I one of those crazy conspiracy nuts that believes everything he reads or follows the fear mongering of every YouTubist? Most definitely not. But if the information is there and it sounds plausible; then it may just be plausible.


Images: 

Paul McCartney, previously credited, Fair Use.

The RMS Titanic ready for launch by Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff – Public Domain. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a27541.

A View of Main Street in Springfield, Oregon by and accredited to Visitor7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32118280

The Suicide Note by Kurt Cobain found on April 8, 1994 but is suspected to have been written April 5 – http://kurtcobainssuicidenote.com/kurt_cobains_suicide_note_scan.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46886558

Life Hack: Relief for Gout and Arthritis

The_gout_james_gillrayAll of the male members of my family have been riddled with the gout since I can remember. My grandfather used to get it in his knee and my dad would get it in his big toe on his right foot. As for me, my flare ups come in three toes on my left foot and in my ankle on the spot where I broke it many years ago. If you have never had experienced the gout or don’t know what it is; the gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis and the attacks typically pop up within a twelve hour period. The gout is caused by an elevated level of uric acid in the blood which causes the uric acid to crystalize inside of joints, tendons and surrounding tissue. This pain is literally as bad as it sounds and 1-2% of the Western population has had or will experience the gout during their life. Medicines (anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, and steroids) have been used to lower uric acid levels in recent years and even a change in your diet can help reduce uric acid levels; but food only accounts for 60% of the outbreaks that will happen to a person suffering from gout.

Regretfully the gout medications are expensive and I had to give up my prescription to Uloric (a prescription gout medication) because even with my deductible, the price had risen to well over $150 per month. I could of course order the pills from Canada at a lower price but I would still be spending around $65 a month for 30 pills. So I looked into the world of natural cures and with help from The Vitamin Shoppe, I found a life hack that is quite literally improving my quality of life. In my research, I found that coffee, vitamin C and low fat dairy products help reduce the risk of a gout outbreak while the consumption of alcohol, soft drinks, red meat and seafood increases the risk. Some key ingredients that work to reduce uric acid levels and help with inflammation are Cherry juice, turmeric and ginger. Along with drinking Pineapple Juice (pineapples are a great source of vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory properties), I created a concoction that isn’t the greatest tasting thing in the world…but I can guarantee you that it works for us. The Dynamic Health company actually has created a Tart Cherry, Turmeric, and Ginger Tonic that is available at The Vitamin Shoppe. I simply take the suggested dose of tonic and add in my preferred level of Pineapple Juice and there you have it: The Deflator (get it…cause gout and arthritis form inflammation…anyways).

tonic and juiceI woke up the first morning after taking it and my pain had subsided overnight. It was still tender but I was at least 90% better. I am still taking the mixture days later and am actually feeling better. My wife heard me talking about how good I felt and how that I was able to move the joints in my big toe like I had not been able to in years; and she was curious if it would work for her arthritis in her back. Well she took it and the next morning she woke up for the first time in years without pain.  Daniel, my son plays full contact football and his back was strained the other day…we gave him some of the tonic and he woke up feeling great. I can’t guarantee that this will work for you because I am not a doctor…but I can guarantee that it has worked/is working for my family. I want to tell everyone that I can about what appears to be a miracle cure for us.

braggsI will also be reintroducing Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar into my every day routine. It is very good for the treatment of gout because the apple cider vinegar moves the pH scale towards alkalinity and therefore, reduced the gout symptoms. I just take it straight like a shot of whiskey but you can dilute it in a cup of warm water or mix 2 tbsp of it with honey.

These suggestions are completely up to you but I could not urge you any harder to please at least try these remedies if you suffer from the gout or arthritis.

 


Images:

The Gout by James Gillray. Published May 14th 1799. Via copy at [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3796712

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, Fair Use.

Structures of Fengshui

Golden Dragon

Most Americans and the select inhabitants of larger cities from around the world have seen the quintessential ‘Chinese takeout/buffet’. Most of us have one or two in our towns or in our neighborhoods. If you live in a larger city, you probably can smell the soy sauce laced smoke bellowing from exhaust pipes because it is more than likely within walking distance of your apartment. We walk in and order the chicken wings or that shrimp fried rice that you’ve been craving. You grab the soy sauce packets that end up littering your counter at your house and relish at the sound of the crack as you pull your chop sticks apart. But what about the facade? What about the mass-produced mock-Asian architecture that adorns the walls of our local Chinese restaurant? Do we notice the 6 foot high foo dog statue that wards off evil spirits from the Imperial Chinese Buffet? What about the elegant golden dragon that slinks his way up the colossal columns that adorn the entrance way?

Is our stomach so harmonized to the MSG laced food that an an invisible fengshui-esque force metaphorically draws us auspiciously to the food sitting in the pans that sit just above the water boiling beneath the buffet; or is it the seasoned wok being tolled back and forth over the flowering flame that is stir frying seasoned meats and vegetables that draws us in? Are we so caught up with our lives that even the architectural structure that was meticulously nominated by many a worried owner is now inconsequential to busy bystanders? Sadly it’s not just the adorned Chinese buffets that we miss. We truly are a generation that has forgotten to stop and smell the roses; or elevate our eyes to find the most minute bit of beauty in the Asian architecture outside of the local Chinese buffet.

The Attack of Red Beard

Circassian_princeEven though beards have been a staple in many cultures and have been a fashion statement for thousands of years…beards are in baby! They are literally everywhere and are more socially acceptable now than they ever have been. Beards are for men what mascara is for women. It is the lipstick for that weak chin, scrawny neck, and/or mask for that baby face. An internal study done by a group of psychologists have found that women found men with stubble the most attractive and preferred a man with facial hair as both short and long-term Clint_Eastwood_-_1960srelationships. Though women might find stubble the most attractive over full baby faced or a full beard; women perceived men with full beards as ‘the most masculine, aggressive, and socially mature’. The only downfall to this is that women found these men to look older than they actually were. If you can grow a beautiful beard; there could be another potential downfall to your beard: the dreaded red beard.

Kristofer_Hivju_(Cropped,_2015)I have been a strawberry blonde my entire life; and despite the fact that the famous warm reddish blonde hue being a trendy hair color, I haven’t always been truly fond of my hair color. Statistically speaking, 1 in every 4 children will be a red-head so I don’t feel completely out of place but red heads, just like blondes and brunettes, have many varying shades and tones that can vary from person to person. The strawberry blonde shade may share similar genetic make-up with its ‘ginger’ brethren but it is different. (Much like a ‘dirty blonde’ is different from a ‘platinum blonde’.) When I decided to grow out my beard, Daniel pointed out one day that the bristles descending from my cheeks and chin were bright red and my hair was a completely different color. I of course grew self-conscious of this and thought about cutting it off; but as the beard grew on me (both literally and figuratively), I started noticing that I was not the only man that was sporting a red beard without being  ginger up top. So what’s up with that?!?

To explain it, we have to remember that from a genetics point-of-view, that just like everything else that has to do with the human DNA code…the color of your hair is extremely complex. Most of us know about the X and Y chromosomes that are passed down from parents to their children but genetically, hair color is known as a ‘incomplete dominant hereditary trait’. This means that one specific hereditary gene will not be dominant over the other. Hair color (as well as other hereditary traits) is not just inherited from your parents but from grandparents or ancestors from even earlier. For someone to have red hair, biological studies indicate that the hair color is caused by the mc1rMC1R (Melanocortin 1 Receptor). The hair color is caused by the melanin and produces cells known as melanocytes. The melanocytes produce either eumelanin (darker hair) or pheomelanin (a reddish pigment). The combonation of these two melanins gives us the different tones that we have in our hair. Since genes aren’t complicated enough, if you have two of these MC1R genes in your DNA, then your red hair is going to pop up in a really unexpected place. If you are a man, this mostly occurs in your facial hair. So basically that means that even if your gene code signals that your family’s dominant brown hair to show up on your head; the gene for red hair may still pop up in your genetic code in the hairs of your chinny chin chin. That’s a really complex way of saying that even if you are a brunette you could possibly have a red beard. It basically says that at some point in your family’s lineage, someone had red hair. So don’t be upset with your mom if you have a red beard; blame your dad’s great-great-great-great-grandpa Benedict from Ireland.

But don’t let the fear of having a red-hued whiskers scare you; everyone loves the ginger beard. I do suggest that if you plan on growing out your beard that you make sure that you use the proper beard care products (beard shampoo, beard butter, or beard oil) and making sure that you check your beard for food after you eat is far more important than the hue of the whiskers. Having a beard is a big responsibility and the thing that is growing doesn’t mean that you can just ostentatiously grow hair. You still need to shave your neck, trim your beard and make sure that you check for other unsightly facial hair (unibrow, nose, and ear hair). As I said, a beard is the best that you can do to accessorize your face. Unless you want to get a tribal tattoo like Mike Tyson…but let’s hope you never get drunk enough to think that that is a good idea. 🙂

Mike_Tyson


 

Research Information: 
  1. “What the hair is” – thehistoryofthehairsworld.com/what_the_hair_is.html
  2. “Why do so many men have red beards but not red hair?” by  Adriaan Schiphorst – https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-do-so-many-men-have-red-beards-but-not-red-hair
Images:
  1. Portrait of Seferbiy Zanoko (Circassian aristocrat, diplomat, and military leader) image by and attributed to Miner Kilbourne Kellogg – 1845 periodical, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50949064
  2. Clint Eastwood image by and attributed to movie studio – eBay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25888150
  3. Kristofer Hivju image by and attributed to Patrik Nygren – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lattefarsan/15752636034/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38684458
  4. MC1R hair image attributed to thehistoryofthehairsworld.com – thehistoryofthehairsworld.com/mc1r.jpg
  5. Michael C. Hall on the Red Carpet image attributed to dexterdaily.com – http://www.dexterdaily.com/2011/01/more-photos-dexter-crew-on-red-carpet.html
  6. Michael Fassbender at San Diego Comic Con image by and attributed to Gage Skidmore – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/19572158998/in/photolist, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41700275
  7. Mike Tyson in the ring in Las Vegas (circa 2006) image by and attributed to Octal@Flickr – http://www.flickr.com, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1836907