Today is Memorial Day in the US. Thank you to all who serve and fight for freedom.
If it weren’t for the United States military,
If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition
Today is Memorial Day in the US. Thank you to all who serve and fight for freedom.
My family think that’s a rhetorical question. I’m undoubtedly weird. Have been all my life. I think it’s genetic. My family is all weird too. Just ask me. Not them, they lie. And while they’re weird, they’re not writers. Some of them are artists, or have other creative outlets.
I had other outlets until I started writing.
Now it seems everything I do comes back to the writing. How I can use what I see, read, hear in a book. Take my Netflix queue. It has: Forks over knives, Brain Games, Tesla, Evergreen, Leave it to Beavers, Battle for Midway, Fracknation, Korengal, Food Inc, Ebola outbreak, TB Silent killer, Mankind, Plastic paradise, and Forecast disaster. This is only a partial list of the 70 items in my list. There’s a cartoon Christmas movie that I plan to watch when it gets really hot outside, right now it’s too cold. Lots of World War 1 stuff that now is coming out, lots of TED talks, an old Cary Grant movie, and some chick flicks and disaster movies.
Yet everything I see gets filed away and used in odd ways.
For instance, I’m using the documentary I watched on Adolf Hitler to see how my character Brent will twist in the Hadean books, but another documentary on Hitler and the Nazis will be used in an upcoming Dystopian novel series. The Man Who Wasn’t There will be used in the next Syn-En book, Ghost World, while a documentary on Sinking the Bismarck was used in the opening battle of Syn-En: Pillar World.
My research in World War 1, aside from being incorporated in the romances, will also be used in the 4th Hadean novel when our medical abilities fall by the way side. I’ve used a documentary called Your Inner Fish, to introduce a possible twist to the consequences of genetic engineering using a virus that will flick a gene to constantly on.
Everything I read gets picked apart—what works for me? What doesn’t? And why?
Now, I’ve started to read poetry. School really killed my love of poetry, but in an effort to improve my writing, there’s nothing better than poetry to catch a mood, a feel or an image of a scene. My challenge has been to condense each bit into 4 lines or less of description. It’s not easy.
But I’m learning something new which is really why I started writing in the first place. To keep learning as I grow older (because I’m not growing up). And this way when hubby complains at how much I’m spending on books, I can always say research. I have a room full of unread research books (let’s not mention my kindle, nook and ibooks apps). But hey my kids are moving out, emptying rooms I can fill with books.
And if I live as long as my folks, I’ve got decades left to write.
That’s a lot of books.
But the ideas keep coming.
Until next time.
Well, I didn’t touch upon milk in my new book, Hadean. But I thought this was fascinating. The information is a bit dated at least where I live as most milk is tagged as being free of rbGH.
If you’re a label reader, you’ve probably noticed a tag about rbGH free on your milk. I noticed it and didn’t really have a clue as to what it really meant.
rbGH is recombinant bovine growth hormone (It can also go by the name BST-bovine somatotropin). It is genetically engineered (think GMO). It is injected into dairy cows to produce more milk.
Sounds good, right?
But there are side effects that vets have noticed in the cows: udder infections called mastitis, increased risk of lameness and infertility. In some cases, farmers risked having to destroy 1/4 of their herds. (Canadian Broadcasting Corp, 1999) Yet, the payoff for using the hormone in cows is only a 10-15% increase in the production of milk.
Okay, humans aren’t cows, and some among you could care less. So what are the human implications.
The FDA had to raise the amounts of antibiotics allowed in milk to 1 part per million. Originally, the FDA considered the safe amount of antibiotics to be 1 part per 100 million. That’s a pretty large increase. And considering the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, isn’t this a dangerous policy?
Still not convinced?
Okay, lets move onto IGF-1. That’s insulin-like growth hormone, and just like the name implies it is just like that insulin, you know the one associated with diabetes. While the makers of rbGH have stated that the level of IGF-1 remains unchanged (Robert J Collier & others in a letter to the editor of Lancet, vol 344, p 816), the FDA admits that there is an in increase in the concentration of IGF-1. Some studies have put this difference from doubling to a 71% increase; others funded in part have put it as not substantial. IGF-1 is not destroyed by pasteurization.
So what are the implications?
Elevated levels in the bloodstream have been linked with cancer-breast and prostrate. In 1999, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute associated it with lung cancer.
Initially, the makers of the hormone sued any dairy that labeled their products as free of this hormone. They pushed to have a label that said there is no significant difference in the milk.
I’m not willing to give up milk, cheese, or that gift from heaven, ice cream. But I’m looking for products without the hormone.
IN 1991, the American Medical Association called for more studies to be conducted. None have been, at least none without some influence by those with a vested interest in the hormone.
Most nations in the EU have banned its use. So has Canada.
I leave it up to you to judge for yourself.
Here’s an interesting article for those who want more information: http://americannutritionassociation.org/toolsandresources/milk-americaâ€™s-health-problem
While the Pastor was presenting a children’s sermon. He asked the children if they knew what the Resurrection was.
Now, asking questions during children’s sermons is crucial,
but at the same time, asking children questions in front of a congregation can also be very dangerous.
In response to the question, a little boy raised his hand.
The priest called on him and the boy said, “I know that if you have a resurrection that lasts more than four hours you are supposed to call the doctor.”
It took ten minutes for the congregation to settle down enough for the service to continue.
First, let me preface this with a lot of the research I’ve done, dealt with the dark, ugly side of the FDA. There are some very wonderful and ethical people who work there that really believe they are working for the public good.
And sometimes there are.
The FDA started because of a little book by Upton Sinclair. In The Jungle, Sinclair exposed the hazards of the meat packing industry in Chicago. People didn’t so much care about folks dying on the job, but falling into the grinder and being served up on their dinner plates was just a step too far. To keep their appetites, the consumers went to the government and said their representatives had to help them out and tell folks that the food was safe to eat.
Voila. An early version of the FDA was born.
Fast forward to the Reagan era, and several seed companies with patents soon to expire came up with a brilliant way to add genes from one organism to another to create a new product that they could own in plant slavery forever (Okay, I’m not being snarky about the brilliance of this, it really is cool, the rest is in sarcasm font). Being against big government, Reagan set about stripping the FDA of people, brains, and power, while placing his associates with deep pockets in place to make things go. Streamlining he called it. (To be fair, Reagan didn’t start the practice of Cronyism that continues to this day.)
You see the seed companies had a little image problem. They had been caught in lies before and the old trust us campaign wasn’t selling as good as it used to. To be fair, the initial outreach seemed genuine. The old guard seemed to actually want to do good and rebuild a lost trust.
But there was a regime change in the 1990’s and with the call to streamline and eliminate big government oversight, the rules changed. It was deemed by politically appointed big-wigs in the FDA that genetically engineered foods weren’t any different that other foods, despite questions raised by the scientists who work for the FDA, despite the shortness of the study, despite missing data.
So what we ended up with is regulations from the early 1990s that haven’t kept up with current technology. (If you’re willing to risk you’re head exploding click here) Anything with pesticides inserted into it, the FDA points to the EPA and the EPA points right back, so nobody actually looks at it. The research to determine food safety is done by the producer, who can consult with the FDA (but isn’t required), and they don’t have to produce all the data because that’s proprietary and, um, there’s no peer review unless it’s done at a university where they sit on the panel and can decide what goes into the final paper (censorship). The FDA should be notified of any new crop 120 days before it hits the market. If the new product is a food crop, the ball gets bounced into the USDA to determine if it could hurt plant health (what?).
In other words, GMOs are a shell game that no one is overseeing, we just have to trust the seed companies not to put profit over people’s health.
In a moment of paranoia, I googled GMOs for some ‘independent’ good information. Of the 5 I found—three were from seed companies, one from a university that receives an endowment from the companies. The 5th had promise until I did a who is on the domain and found a PR company who has a seed company in their portfolio.
So I’ll leave you with this quote:
What good fortune for governments that the people don’t think – Adolph Hitler
So, I got a new iPad air 2, so I could write more books while listening to music since my MP3 player died. Now, I have several hundred (0k 350) songs on my Mac that I downloaded from amazon.
Funny thing about that. See, when I download music from amazon the songs go straight iTunes and when I sync my iPhone, the music when there too.
So when I received my new iPad I thought it would do the same.
Except it didn’t.
With a few minutes to spare, I went into the Apple store and asked them why my apple products weren’t talking to each other.
Except they didn’t know.
And their phones and iPads don’t do that?
And after there was a bit of a conference on the matter, they decided that something must be switched on, but they couldn’t tell what unless I brought everything in.
Like that was going to happen.
Instead, I downloaded an app to get my music through amazon player, so everything moved easily onto the iPad. Now, I have to work on moving the music from the MP3 player, which involves a translation from a Windows music to a MP3 format.
And sure enough it goes right to my iTunes so I can play it on my Mac and it’ll sync with my phone. To get it on my iPad, I just highlight and move it over. Easy peasy, after a couple minutes (hours work).