Friday, April 4, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

More about creativity: "18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently." Excerpt:
While there's no "typical" creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here is one of 18 things they do differently.
    They take time for solitude.
    "In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone," wrote the American existential psychologist Rollo May.

    Artists and creatives are often stereotyped as being loners, and while this may not actually be the case, solitude can be the key to producing their best work. For Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, this links back to daydreaming – we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander.
    "You need to get in touch with that inner monologue to be able to express it," he says. "It's hard to find that inner creative voice if you're...not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself."

On the latest Supreme obscenity, from Robert Reich's Facebook page. Excerpt:
If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, yesterday’s shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous. But unlimited political donations coupled with widening inequality create a vicious cycle in which the wealthy buy votes that lower their taxes, give them bailouts and subsidies, and deregulate their businesses – thereby making them even wealthier and capable of buying even more votes. Corruption breeds more corruption.
    The closest parallel to today came in the late 19th century, when the lackeys of robber barons were literally depositing sacks of money on the desks of pliant legislators. The great jurist Louis Brandeis [above right] noted that the nation had a choice: “We can have a democracy or we can have great wealth in the hands of a few,” he said. “But we cannot have both.”
Help stop the Navy's assault on whales. The Navy is prepared to kill nearly 1,000 whales and other marine mammals during the next five years of testing and training with dangerous sonar and explosives. Tell Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to direct the Navy to adopt common-sense safeguards that will protect marine mammals during routine training without compromising military readiness.

There’s enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in one foot of water.
    And there are more atoms in a glass of water than glasses of water in all the oceans on Earth.
    The probability of you drinking a glass of water that contains a molecule of water that also passed through a dinosaur is almost 100%.

My son spent the better part of two years tracking down the guy in the article and was the star witness at the trial: "ICE Campaign To Warn Angelenos Of Jail Time, Stiff Penalties For Marriage Fraud." Excerpt:
LOS ANGELES ( — Starting next week, passengers at a downtown Los Angeles bus stop will see a poster warning Angelenos that marriage fraud is a federal crime that carries significant prison sentences and possible six-figure fines.
    The poster – which is part of a nationwide campaign from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – will be installed Monday at a bus stop adjacent to the federal building on Los Angeles Street. A second placard was scheduled to be posted at what ICE officials described as another “high traffic location” in the Los Angeles area in about two weeks.
    Featuring a photo showing the inside of a church juxtaposed with an image depicting the interior of a jail, the poster’s text warns that those who walk down the aisle of the church for the “wrong reasons” could end up walking down the aisle of a jail for as long as five years along with fines of up to $250,000.

There is 10 times more bacteria in your body than actual body cells.
    And 90% of the cells that make us up aren’t human but mostly fungi and bacteria.

Your friend has lived with this moment hanging over his head for sometime now. I'm sure part of him is glad it's about over. I went five years thinking each visit to the doctor might be the one where they said that's it. It was only after they told me I would live that I went into a depression.

After the mastectomies, her doctor recommends chemo, which she is not thrilled about as she does not want her hair to fall out. She has very long hair. I wonder if she could have it cut off and made into a wig for herself? I can only imagine that would cost a fortune! But she seems in good spirits.

One of my mother’s dear friends was dying in the hospital. I put my hand on her heart and she remarked how good it felt. I noticed that everyone was prolonging her life and she was in terrible pain. I was the only person who asked her what she wanted. I hate to see people suffer unnecessarily, it is important to die with dignity and personal choice. Why is it in our culture we are so afraid of death and dying? Isn’t death a natural part of our life cycle?

I’ve not been communicating with you much lately. Alas, my wife broke her leg skiing. It can’t be casted, so she is immobile, and I am madly care-giving, for many weeks to come. She is in rehab, and with a much better attitude than I would have.

Sad to report I now walk like an old woman at age 80. This didn't deter me from last November's trip to Machu Picchu, fulfilling a lifelong dream thanks to my wonderful daughter. I had been concerned about the high altitude there because of my asthma but I fared better than those in the group who developed high-altitude sickness. I had practiced walking at Flagstaff's 7,000-ft. altitude and then riding their ski lift to 11,500 feet. I was elated to breathe successfully at that practice.
    My son, age 53, lives with me and does all the cooking and driving, which has made me very lazy.

I fell down the stairs, landed on the stone floor. I have a goose egg on my head but took the brunt of the fall on my back.Never had so much pain from so many pulled muscles. My so-called boyfriend refused to take me to emergency. He said they would just give me morphine or oxytocin. I made it to the recliner and sat there for four days screaming in pain. It let up enough to go to the doctor, yesterday. She was a nice young lady and sent me straight to ER for labs and CT scans.
    Now morphine is my friend! Doc said she was reporting my "boyfriend" for elder abuse. I will get over this. Been through worse.

Bad for your bodies, boys! "20 Uses for Coke Other Than Consumption. Proof That It Has No Place in Your Body!" Excerpt:
Coke acts as an acidic cleaner. The amount of acid in soda is enough to wear away at the enamel of your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. In tests done on the acidity levels of soda, certain ones were found to have PH levels as low as 2.5. To put that into perspective, consider that battery acid has a pH of 1 and pure water has a pH of 7.
    To prove Coke does not belong in the human body, here are [a few of the] 20 practical ways you can use Coke as a domestic cleaner:

  • Remove grease stains from clothing and fabric
  • Clean oil stains from a garage floor; let the stain soak, hose off.
  • Clean burnt pans; let the pan soak in the Coke, then rinse.
  • Clean car battery terminals by pouring a small amount of Coke over each one.
  • Clean tile grout; pour onto kitchen floor, leave for a few minutes, wipe up....
Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French café, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He says to the waitress: “I’d like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.” The waitress replies: “I’m sorry, Monsieur, but we’re out of cream. How about with no milk?”

Another side from Krugman: "America’s Taxation Tradition." Excerpt:
As inequality has become an increasingly prominent issue in American discourse, there has been furious pushback from the right. Some conservatives argue that focusing on inequality is unwise, that taxing high incomes will cripple economic growth. Some argue that it’s unfair, that people should be allowed to keep what they earn. And some argue that it’s un-American — that we’ve always celebrated those who achieve wealth, and that it violates our national tradition to suggest that some people control too large a share of the wealth.
    And they’re right. No true American would say this: “The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power,” and follow that statement with a call for “a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes...increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.”
    Who was this left-winger? Theodore Roosevelt, in his famous 1910 New Nationalism speech....
    So how did such views not only get pushed out of the mainstream, but come to be considered illegitimate?
    Consider how inequality and taxes on top incomes were treated in the 2012 election. Republicans pushed the line that President Obama was hostile to the rich. “If one’s priority is to punish highly successful people, then vote for the Democrats,” said Mitt Romney. Democrats vehemently (and truthfully) denied the charge. Yet Mr. Romney was in effect accusing Mr. Obama of thinking like Teddy Roosevelt. How did that become an unforgivable political sin?
There are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth.
    And this is what sand looks like under a microscope.

Sky over New Zealand

Limerick of the Week:
There's a difference between someone (or I),
someday, cause unforeseen, going to die
    and our having something
    that will soon be bumping
us off: That something gives us reason why.
Copyright © 2014 by Morris Dean

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  1. Thanks to all whose correspondence was excerpted to feed today's fish. Creative solitude, art, protect marine mammals, tracking down marriage defrauders, incarceration, dying, aging, Obamacare, Coke for acidic cleaning, no milk, taxation, starts and atoms, limerick on difference.

  2. YES, please support living artists...they love the attention and approval (and can always buy more paint with the proceeds :-)....i love the photo of the sand...looks like great jewels or candy...Happy Friday All!!

  3. Limerick much better this week, always remember, when writing something when high or drunk you should read it the next day before posting it.
    Sorry for the lose of Jack. At our age old friends become fewer and fewer, until one day strangers carry us to our grave.

    1. Wow, Ed: "until one day strangers carry us to our grave." THERE is a line of great poetry, perhaps a sonnet....

  4. I give you full rights, have at it.

    1. Thanks, but I'll have to feel inspired to write about that subject, and I'm not confident I ever will be. I just admire the image of the LAST PERSON ON EARTH who remembers us finally dying (and leaving NO ONE WHO REMEMBERS US). At least, that's the image that I got from the line, although now I'm picking up on "strangers," who presumably do NOT remember us. So perhaps I do not understand what you were saying...?

  5. I went to a the funeral of a friend's mother. She was 92 and as I looked around the church I spotted only one very old woman with a walker on the front row. I thought to myself, that is probably the last person on this earth that really knows his mother. Strangers can also be family. Only long time friends who have shared the ride with you, truly know you.

    1. Ah, yes, "stranger" is a strange term, covering many situations....

  6. I've often wondered if when I die will there be anyone left who knew me. Without friends all that is left is, alone!

    1. Sharon, WONDERFUL for you to remind us of this post, published exactly three years ago today. THANK YOU! May the rest of this day be filled with memories of friends, for both you and me, and for all of us. In fact, I've been thinking today already a lot about friends with whom I've not had recent contact, and I've reached out to a few of them. Is this more than a coincidence?