Thursday Open Thread 3-15-2018

An introduction to world religions in college explored the idea of learning how other cultures viewed the world around them as a method to clarify ones observations regarding their own culture. Internet Sacred Text Archive opens the door to thoughts and opinions from different times and cultures.

If using a non-native language to think about an solve a problem can improve rational decision making and reduce cultural bias, imagine the potential benefits of applied cultural literacy.

Thursday Open Thread 3-8-2018

Over the years I have become more disillusioned about accepting science as the primary reason to adopt a solution to a problem. Instead of a discipline of discovery and method to identify best practices, products or solutions it has become a tool of marketing to push one product over another or to discredit historical practices.

In November of 2011 I traveled to China, with other pharmacists on a cultural exchange of medical practices. In Xian (location of the terracota warriors) we explored some of the work being done to compare Western treatment methods with TCM (traditional chinese medicine). One of the obstacles to direct comparisons was how medical conditions were defined differently. For example diabetes was not considered a singular condition and monitoring blood sugars was not part of any treatment protocol or diagnostic process.

Interesting new overview of diabetics
in Sweden and Finland will be changing the way diabetes is managed in the future.

Thursday Open Thread 2-22-2018

Yes, the lemons are blooming, two ready to harvest and outside is 4 F. A microclimate that provides a different reality for plants than the overall climate found in its geographic location of the world. Is it a fake reality? Maybe. For the moment it is the reality for the lemon trees. They may live a full lifespan without experiencing the hardships of the local climate. The outside plants experience a different reality. The map says any zone 7, low humidity and dramatic temperature fluctuations create an environment where zone 4 & 5 plants work hard to survive and thrive. To truly evaluate hardships and benefits a detailed look is necessary, not general judgements.

Our lives are lived within a personalized microenvironment within general status of society and economics. Was 19 the first time time the government sent a notification informing of my poverty. I had a nicer roof over my head than most of my relatives, a roommate to keep it affordable, food in the pantry and tuition paid - did not feel poor. Creating and adjusting microenvironments in life has been more successful than any national and global efforts I have participated in positively effecting lives.

The reverse of a negative microenvironment is also true. An individual or family cash income may not reflect actual financial or quality of life being experienced. Extreme poverty is bigger problem in the United States than most citizens want to believe.

Thursday Open Thread 2-15-2018

Stock market wobbled, property values and rents rising, major disasters with insufficient federal assistance, homeless up, gas prices up, multiple mass shootings, increased talk of war and increased military spending. Our decline as a society is being discussed in foreign press as respect for our government continues to decline.

It is easy to get overwhelmed.

Thursday Open Thread 1-4-2018

Watching the skilled hands of a craftsman can be memorizing. Timeless traditions of shaping of wood, metal, clay, grasses and fibers into useful objects for daily life. So many item can be bought ready made, it seems there is no need to increase the skills of hands beyond typing and pressing buttons on the remote. Are we loosing part of our humanity by increasingly focusing on mind development?

Thursday Open Thread 12-21-2017

To bounce back from hardship is one expression of resilience. Another common theme is to be able to provide the basics of food, shelter and health in the event of modern civilization disruptions. Maybe more important is the ability to maintain civil dialog and open communication with whom one disagrees, disapproves of or feels intimidated.

Thursday Open Thread 12-7-2017

Interesting little study published last month looking at the quality of play in toddlers and the number of toys they have available.

With fewer toys, participants had fewer incidences of toy play, longer durations of toy play, and played with toys in a greater variety of ways. This suggests that when provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively.

Adults are not significantly different than toddlers when it comes to toys or as we often call them tools. The question is - How are we decreasing our creativity by thinking we need a specific tool or app (software program) for every task.

Thursday Open Thread 11-30-2017

Morning. The sound of water rushing over rocks greeted me this morning as I stepped outside. The first domestic ditch run to fill stock ponds is on its last day.

Time changes but many human challenges and joys remain the same. We need shelter, food, occasional medical care and companionship to live each stage of our life. Creativity and education expand our horizons. Faith in a belief system to sustain and inspire us to grow and change.

Thursday Open Thread 11-23-2017

Morning and Happy Thanksgiving, may the day be filled with people and activities that you enjoy.

My favorite Holiday of the year. It was my Mothers Holiday. She hosted the event for 42 years bringing together both sides of the extended family and friends, up to 37 people in an 1800 sq ft house. No religious or patriotic overtones. Adjusting the time around those who had to work for the day, we caught up on each others lives for the past year, played games and stuffed ourselves with the harvest of the year.

Now a quiet day of reflection without the hectic house cleaning, preparation of food and creating enough space for everyone to sit, eat and park their cars. Grateful for the memories past and present calmness.

Thursday Open Thread 11-16-2017

As time passes and I get crankier, I am less willing to wrap myself in petroleum products throughout the day and night. The worlds favorite clothing items continues to be jeans, the universal cotton clothing item. Winter has arrived, along with wool, alpaca and mohair scarves, hats and gloves.

Maybe our clothing purchases are another economic choice to effect global politics.

Thursday Open Thread 10-26-2017

Morning, been thinking about insects. The Guardian article Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers is disturbing. Our modern life of pavement, concrete, herbicides and pesticides takes its toll on insects. Most gardening books contain a chapter on how to kill or control insects (plant pests) and buy beneficial. Very few mention providing habitat.


This message is being sent you c99ers and Swampers at the urging of the Dean of Medicine at Alligator University. The dean says he will revoke my alligatorness (which would be probably almost as painful as listening to Hillary reading her latest tell-all on an AudioBook) if I did not return to the practice of medicine.

Mandatory display of AU logo here:

Thursday Open Thread 10-12-2017

A couple of different reasons to exercise the skills of self sufficiency and creativity were provided this week in the Evening Blues collection of news Tuesday. The first by Max Keiser as a necessity for many Americans in the future to afford the basics of life as the US empire declines.

Keiser Report: Decline of US (E1134)
...But the cost of maintaining the Empire is high that's true. But by abandoning the
Empire in America it means the cost of everyday goods will be high. In other words if you are not depending on slave labor in China, you know depending on bombing folks in The Middle east for cheap oil, not depending on subsidies given to China for cheap electronics everything in the grocery store is gonna be double the price, triple price; and then you're gonna have to learn stuff like cook and make your own clothes.
Max Keiser (10:51)

The second by Caitlin Johnstone on barriers to utopia and individual actions.

Thursday Open Thread 10-05-2017

Morning, complicated week the headlines are are steadily informing us of natural and human disasters that keep growing in scope and complexity. It is difficult not to get overwhelmed. So back to basics, to help re-balance and move forward.

Water is life. It provides life, sustains life and destroys life. Our relationship with water makes civilization possible. A healthy one we thrive and a poor one we can be destroyed.

Thursday Open Thread 9-28-2017

Fall is my favorite time of year. Amount of work decreases, harvest is in the barn, freezer and pantry. The challenge of winter weather is weeks away. Why work so hard? Why not. Most people I know are happier when busy. It is discovering the tasks we find satisfying and are able to perform that takes time.

Thursday Open Thread 9-21-2017

Personal observation over time has revealed an interesting phenomena. Many medical professionals I know who use self-treatment for themselves and their family use different methods than they use to treat patients. Guilty of it myself. Multiple reasons, for one the amount of time and energy it takes to convince someone to take the time to follow a self-directed path towards health or optimal functionality vs their desire for quick fix of take this pill or try a surgery. Monitoring a medical condition being treated or prevented is a major part of self-treatment. It requires an additional layer of education, motivation and critical thinking skills.

Thursday Open Thread 9-14-2017

Morning - I am out of town today and will write responses late this evening or tomorrow.

Traveled to the Kam Wah Chung museum this to revisit the small building that was the residence and place of business of Lung On and Doc Hay. The dry climate and record keeping habits created a time capsule of Chinese immigrant culture. Their story is reminder one does not need to travel or require a large amount of space to effect the lives of others.

It appears they sent financial support to Sun Yat-sen's Chinese Nationalist Party around the time he was working to overthrow the Qing dynasty and form a new government. Sun Yat-sen is considered the father of both mainland China and Taiwan.

Thursday Open Thread 8-24-2017

Why go to the effort to obtain high quality foods. Taste, health, support local growers, trying to reduce dependency on corporations or gardening as a hobby. Some of the benefits are personal many of them are also global. Food and beverage choices at home, in restaurants and as snacks provide you the opportunity to make small multiple impacts day after day.

The main message for this week is read the ingredients on the food you are using. It may not be what you expect. I am finding a number of foods I have used for years now have extra ingredients. The choice is change products or start making it oneself. For example, it is hard to find a corn tortilla to cook without gar-gum. Most of the 50lb bags of masa flour at the restaurant supply store have it pre-added to the flour. The tortillas with gar-gum will mold in my fridge. The ones without simply dehydrate and are good for months, just need to add water. What else is changing?