Project 313 – Post No. 097

Each day, I feel more isolated . . . 

Whenever I’m on Twitter or Facebook (rarer and rarer), I’m likely to encounter someone I follow retweeting someone’s tweet or sharing someone’s post; it’s what makes me feel isolated.  

“Why?” you ask. 

Because they’re invariably sharing soundbites or snippets of partisanship designed not to inform but to reinforce the idea that “our side” is great and “their side” is awful. 

Not ten minutes ago I went onto Twitter and saw one of the people I follow retweet something. Something that makes a generalization about a complicated and nuanced issue. The simplistic generalization characterized the position of certain prominent atheists as racist. 

Well, guess what? I oppose that generalization. I oppose it because it’s not as simple as it was stated and the conclusion wasn’t supported by the argument made. In fact, there wasn’t even an argument supporting the generalization; it was just stated as a fact. 

In broad terms, I hold the same position as the atheist in question and I *know* it has nothing to do with race both because I never thought about it in terms of race and because no one religion is composed solely and exclusively by a single racial group . . . most of all, because religion is not a race.  

Now, I fully support someone expressing an opinion. What I don’t — and can’t — support is inferring something beyond the topic of discussion. 

For instance, I don’t like broccoli. I freely state it as often as I can. As a never-broccoli person, I’m likely to retweet a tweet disparaging broccoli.

But, what if that tweet goes a bit further? What if the tweet said broccoli suck and anyone who likes broccoli is a moron? 

What does it say if I retweet that tweet?

What if someone asks me if I liked President Obama and I said “no”? According to what I’ve recently read and vociferously stated by people, that makes me a racist. They don’t even want to know why I don’t like him; they just assume it’s because he “looks” black. For the record, I thought he was a terrible President so, yes, I don’t like President Obama. Seeing as Obama had a white mother, am I only “partially” racist? Also for the record, I have no idea what he’s like in person, so my opinion is strictly based on the job he did as president.

These generalizations and simplifications and their subsequent distribution is a big problem with both Twitter and Facebook and most social platforms. Everything is reduced to soundbites designed not to promote discussion, but to stifle it.   

Race, gender, immigration, abortion, gun control . . . all Big Topics. 

Topics I can speak or write about for multiple hours without ever nearing any of the simple soundbites espousing inflexible positions . . . not that I — or anyone — ever can ever do that on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and — increasingly — cable news networks, television networks, and even major newspapers. 

Soundbites . . . that’s all anyone wants to read or hear . . . 

Each day, I feel more isolated because I’m slowly dropping people who call me names . . . even if they infer it second or third-hand.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 097

This is a treatment of the leaves photo from a few posts ago. It’s been modified using the Topaz Impression plugin. It still looks pretty close to the original even when changed into a painting. Further processing will begin to distance the processed images from the original. 

They will become like soundbites . . . kind of resembling the original but narrowly expressed and almost devoid of the depth and complexity of the original photo. 

. . . but, as long as I can still get me a good cup of coffee . . .

I hear coffee might be in danger because of climate change . . . just like saffron. 

On a side note, I was contemplating the relativistic nature of time and imagined that if there was a wheel of time, it would be quite wobbly. I tried imagining it and came up with this . . . The Color Representation of the Wobbly Wheel of Time.

The Color Representation of the Wobbly Wheel of Time

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Project 313 – Post No. 096

Would you rather deal with someone you don’t like but really knows what they’re doing or someone you like and get along with but isn’t competent? 

It’s not an idle question. 

In all manner of interactions and dealing with different professions, this is a relevant and often ignored question. Call it the Dr. House problem. 

Mentioning Dr. House is also relevant because some people prefer dealing with charlatans strictly on the merit they like them better or feel more comfortable than dealing with professionals who might actually know something. 

Sometimes people prefer hearing lies rather than face uncomfortable facts. True in the medical profession but also politics, religion . . . even friendships. 

I mean, sure . . . given two equally competent individuals, give me the one who’s not a jerk. But, my liking someone loses out to me getting competent help or someone telling it to me straight. Someone telling me the truth — no matter how harsh or how painful — is always preferable to someone feeding me lies or “sparing” me from the truth.  

I mean, I probably won’t like it. It might even take me a while to process and come to term with it. No one likes being told they come across as jerks, or that they are ugly, or that most people hate them, or that people think they talk too much, or . . . did I already mention being a jerk?

But, hearing criticism at least gives me . . . er . . . one a chance to address some of my . . . er . . . I mean, their faults. If I’m not healthy, I’d rather hear not only the optimistic outlook but also what might be at the other end of the scale. If I come across as a jerk, I rather someone tells it to my face than behind my back. 

This is not just idle chatter . . . I see it as extremely relevant in today’s social and political environment. I think we’re in danger of losing the ability to speak truthfully with each other.

I don’t have my finger on the pulse of the American public . . . if I look at the news, I think we’re far enough along that we’re not coming back from it.

“It” a euphemism for “Royally Screwed”.

If I listen to podcasts (and I do) I hear voices of reason and compromise that give me a measure of hope. 

Podcasts? Yep. 

“Pft!” you say. 

Below are Fox News’s average live+ same day numbers for Q1 2018 (they beat out the other pundits, hence why I mention them here):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 2,479,000 total viewers / 494,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  1,445,000 total viewers /  300,000 A25-54

Joe Rogen podcast: podcast downloads and youtube views per month: 2014 – 11 million and 4 million. 2016 – 22.5 million and 7.5 million. (Feb)2017 – 66.5 million and 23.5 million. He averages four podcasts per week. 

Get this: unlike cable news where “in-depth” segments average six minutes or so, Rogan’s podcasts are sometimes three hours long. And they aren’t indoctrinations. He questions his quests, lets them express their views in detail and if there are two guests, their discussions are in-depth and exhaustive. Also, no topic is sacred and all opinions are expressed honestly. 

I also listen to Sam Harris and, recently, select Rubin Reports. For relaxation, I listen to Philosophize This, Literature and History, Very Bad Wizards, and a few writing-related podcasts. 

Here’s what’s important about these podcasts; I don’t have to agree with either the hosts or the guests or what they stand for, but I will hear different sides expressed and challenged without acrimony or people trying to out-shout each other.

You can’t generalize the positions of the hosts and guests. Oh, sure, you can if you’re willing to stoop to dishonest characterization, but it’s your loss and you should be aware that it puts you in the realm of  . . . well, idiots. You also can’t charge them with shying away from meeting and discussing issues in depth with people they don’t agree with. Sam Harris, especially, goes out of his way to invite guests with opposing views. Not to yell at them, but to both learn what he might be missing and evaluate the opposing argument against his own.  

Finally, the audiences for these podcasts are growing and — most of all — they’re audiences willing to tune in to two hours of discussions about relevant topics by examining underlying philosophical, sociological, political, religious, historical, and psychological drivers. 

In other words, everything Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, et. al no longer offer. 

Some of these discussions are at the level of doctoral dissertations but in plain English . . . and millions of people are tuning in. You’re definitely not being talked-down to; you are both asked to think and trusted that you will do so honestly. You might still disagree with what you hear, but you’ll know much more about what you disagree with and also what you agree with. 

One final thing . . . you can actually hear someone be convinced by a better argument than they put forth and completely change their view on a given topic of discussion. Obviously, not every day, but it happens; it happens every time the argument on one side is substantially better than the other side and the people involved are honest. 

Yes, many more millions are tuning in to see what the Kardashians are doing . . . that’s the sad part.

But, the small spark of hope in the dark tunnel ahead — at least for me — is that a large number of people seem hungry for and are willing to listen to smart, in-depth, and reasoned discussions about difficult topics and challenges we face in the political and social arenas.  

I sure hope that spark grows. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 096

That’s the same crystal from a few posts ago only now presented in B&W. The interesting thing is that while the camera resolved all the surface scratches, my eyes didn’t notice them. To the casual glance, it looked like a clear crystal.

That is the benefit of a close examination of any subject . . . you’ll “see” much more than you had first realized with just a casual perusal. 

I like the dissection of this popular phrase. 

Whenever I heard it as intended to instill a measure of confidence, I always wished for a person who both knew and remembered more than I ever knew about a subject.

Well, I’ve just hit 1,100 words . . . let me just leave you with this imagery about When Id, Ego, and Superego Harmonize.

When Id, Ego, and Superego Harmonize

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.

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National Museum of Naval Aviation — Part 2

Before we get started, a bit of information. I’ll be posting my own photos but — whenever possible — the photo caption will have a link to the Museum’s own description for the plane in question. Also whenever possible, I’ll include an additional link (usually, from Wikipedia).

Yes, it’s just as expedient — if so inclined — going to the Museum’s own website and browsing their collection. This post is mostly for me since I went to the trouble of taking and processing the photos. 

Continuing where we left off in Part 1, we look at the Zero. I thought it was a more elegant plane than most from that era. 

National Naval Aviation Museum — Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

National Naval Aviation Museum

For them who won’t read the sign, this Zero is built from parts of crashed Zero fighters found in the late 1960s . . . a Frankenstein Zero. Here’s another look . . . 

Continue reading

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Project 313 – Post No. 095

You might soon hear more and more about the evils of tipping and why it should be stopped. At first blush, this seems like it would hurt restaurant workers. After all, a large portion of their wages comes in the form of tipping. 

I’ve been to countries where there’s no tipping and tipping is considered an insult to the workers. For someone used to the US standard, it’s almost disconcerting. You want to reward good service and you want to encourage said good service. 

Here are a few other ways to look at the whole custom of tipping:

 1) You are actually subsidizing the restaurant owners. You are paying their employees instead of the owners paying their employees. That doesn’t happen anywhere else; I can’t open a grocery store and expect the salary of my cashiers and baggers to be paid by the customers.

 2) It’s not a fair system of compensation because tipping is seldom dependent on just the quality of service. Sad to say, but — independent on the quality of the service — I’d get few tips whereas a more likable individual would rake in the dough. 

 2a) Ah, you say, but tips are distributed evenly throughout the restaurant staff. Well, that just means I can keep on being a jerk secure in the knowledge I’ll get a share of the tips earned by employees who were nicer, or nicer-looking, or actually provided good service. 

 3) Tips vary, thus making most tip earners insecure as to their expected income. That makes it difficult to plan finances and make budgets. I imagine, but don’t know, that getting loans based on “potential” income is more difficult than getting loans based on salary. 

 4) Customers — as is human nature — are elevated in power and with power comes . . . less responsibility. Yes, I know the saying is opposite that, but human nature is fairly well documented. When holding the upper hand, people will abuse (consciously or subconsciously) their privileged position. Knowing you hold the power to affect the earnings of your server, you might take more liberties. I don’t mean physical liberties (although that too happens) but other behavioral liberties. You might make stupid jokes the server has to laugh at lest risking damaging your fragile ego and hurting their chance of you leaving a tip. Jokes don’t have to be stupid or mean to be demeaning and tiresome. You might think you’re being clever, but the server has already seen twenty of you during their shift . . . and all of them were funnier than you are.

I could go on, but there’s plenty of information online about tipping and why it’s bad. Restaurants — and other businesses — should pay a living wage.

As a customer, I shouldn’t have to suffer the hateful look of a bellhop when I insist on carrying my own bags to my room. It’s not that I’m cheap . . . I just don’t like people touching my stuff. It’s my stuff.

When I look at the price of a meal, I shouldn’t have to do a mental calculation as to what I can afford to eat if I include a tip (I don’t, but I’m sure people do).

The point is, I’m buying a product; I shouldn’t have to also hire a person. 

I saw an interesting video a few weeks ago (HERE) you might find informative. If you do, consider leaving me a tip in the form of reading 20% of my total posts (~260 posts).

And now, the photo:

Project 313 095

I’ll have a few more variations of these leaves. These are pretty much as shot with a bit more saturation and contrast thrown in for effect. And, of course, a nice attractive and striking frame. 

Rounding out to the nearest month, Melisa and I have been married around 503 months . . . not that either of us has been counting. 

. . . those months just whooshed by  . . .

I haven’t done one of these in a while . . . probably why people will say . . . You Forgot One. 

You Forgot one

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.

Posted in Project 313 | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 094

Frustration during discussions about any topic arise from conflicts between the following things: ought, is, first-hand knowledge (a.k.a. experience), second-hand knowledge (heard/read something somewhere), theoretical knowledge (expert and/or personal opinion). 

~ ~ ~ 0 0 0 ~ ~ ~

For example:
everyone ought to have a chicken (go with me here and assume it’s the consensus of the majority everyone ought to have a chicken — although, this works with almost any topic).

It sounds simple enough; give everyone a chicken.

But, wait. Some people already have chickens. Do they get an extra chicken? Do they want an extra chicken? Can everyone that is given a chicken afford to take care of it? What happens if someone kills it and eats it; do they get another chicken? What if they don’t want a chicken and would rather have a duck of commensurate value? How do we ensure all the chickens (or ducks) are of the same quality? Does it make sense giving a chicken (or duck) to someone who lives in an apartment? Who pays for all these chickens (or ducks)? Who benefits from having to hand out all these chickens (or ducks), as in where do we buy them and how much do we pay for them? What’s the minimum age to qualify for a chicken (or duck)? Who’s going to ensure proper handling of said chickens (or ducks) after they’ve been distributed? Is there a possible health hazard associated with the distribution of all these chickens (or ducks)? What are the unintended consequences? What about geese?

~ ~ ~ 0 0 0 ~ ~ ~

It sure sounded simple but now all these questions have cropped up. How do we get the answers? 

~ ~ ~ 0 0 0 ~ ~ ~

Obviously, we have to ask experts so that we can get the facts and make a sound decision.

But, wait. Not all experts agree. In fact, you can’t spit without hitting two or more experts standing in disagreement spanning everything from the minutia to giant and contentious differences of opinions. 

An expert who owns chickens stands up and says the main benefit of owning a chicken is the egg they produce. Another expert who owns chickens stands up and says that’s true only for multiple chickens. The two experts argue feed storage cost and calculating the initial outlay of a coop versus the number of chickens and the desired number of eggs per week versus how many people are in the house. (HERE and HERE)

Meanwhile, an expert who has studied farming practices stands up and presents a different set of numbers both for the cost and for the return of investment over time. However, it involves an untried method of chicken rearing. The first two experts stop arguing with each other and start arguing with the new expert and explaining why this new method wouldn’t work. A fourth expert — one who used to raise chickens but now raises ducks — chimes in and proposes a compromise based on the differences between the raising and cost-benefits of chickens versus ducks. 

A fifth expert who has a degree in sociology chimes up and explain the intangible benefits of having to care for chickens. Things such as learning responsibility and independence and also the self-satisfaction that comes from knowing the chickens you’re raising have a happier life than those in a factory farm. The first four experts start throwing chicken poop at the sociologist and he (or she) calls in young idealists who have no experience in life (let alone chickens and/or ducks) to yell at the other experts. While yelling, the young idealists start arguing among themselves about the ethical implication of eating unborn chicks.

Fox news comes in with scary details about avian flu and MSNBC immediately counters Fox is avianphobic. At this point, CNN comes out with a story they read in the NYT that a whole shipment of chicks spilled onto a road when their truck collided with a truck carrying lions to a state-owned zoo. The chicks were slated to be food for two immortal fresh-water porpoises recently discovered in the Amazon and housed in the same state zoo but said chicks are now in danger of becoming lion food, instead. A live report from an ABC affiliate shows footage of the drivers enticing the chicks onto a road bridge so as to move them out of harm’s way without being seen by the lions resting under the bridge. 

At this point, the FBI shows up and arrests the drivers for enticing young chicks over state lions for immortal porpoises.

~ ~ ~ 0 0 0 ~ ~ ~

As you can see, things are never as simple as originally presented . . . you should remember that when listening to the news, your favorite pundit, politicians, or even yourself. 

If someone says it’s simple, you can pretty much bet it isn’t. Ask questions; inform yourself; listen to both sides; do your own research. Lots of information out there about chickens and other stuff. Especially other stuff.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 094

This is a small portion of a tree I featured in Project 313 No. 055. I enhanced the colors and processed it in Topaz Glow and Restyle. 

. . . it makes the garbage more visible, so that’s something, anyway.

On a separate note, let me say a few things about happiness . . . like time, happiness is relative. Contrary to what people think, you can’t always be happy because that would then become the norm. To wit . . .  

I’m telling you; the guy — Joe Martin — is a philosopher. 

I have a number of phone tools for messing about with photos and even my doodles . . . I give you . . . Octopus Moonlighting as an Exotic Dancer in Las Vegas Behind Neon Screen

. . . I almost didn’t recognize it . . . it’s just not the octopus it once was . . .

Octopus Moonlighting as an Exotic Dancer in Las Vegas Behind Neon Screen

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.

Posted in Project 313 | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 093

Good faith . . . it’s what everyone wants. I don’t mean faith as in believing in this or that supernatural thing and/or bearded or non-bearded being. By “good faith” I mean honesty. 

For instance, if a salesperson is working on commission, I’m less likely to believe he’s acting in good faith. Before salespeople jump all over me, it’s just an example; the same thing applies to every business I know.

Strike that; every successful business I know. I mean, I understand it, but I don’t have to like it. Why am I bringing this up? It’s because I read THIS article and it got me thinking about all the time I’ve been asked to conserve, recycle, and otherwise complicate my life to “help fix” a problem that is a) not of my making and b) not going to be solved no matter what I do. 

For instance, I’m supposed to minimize my impact on the environment. I did that; Melisa and I decided not to have kids. Our impact on the environment is both limited and finite. Yet, I still got grief for driving a Suburban. For them who live in other countries, a suburban is approximately 19-feet long (5.8 meters) that can carry (in the configuration I had) eight passengers rather comfortably . . . and their luggage. Mine had a 40-gal tank which, depending on driving conditions, gave me somewhere around 550-to-650-mile range. 

80% of the time, it carried one person (me).
19.8% of the time, it carried two people.
0.2% of the time it either had additional persons or a cat.

These days few remember a time when people made threats against people who drove large fuel-inefficient cars, but it was a thing. 

No one threatened people who had multiple kids. 

I often get pushback when I warn about overpopulation. The argument is that we have more than enough of everything for even twice our current number and even if we don’t, technology will come to our rescue. Think about that for a moment and see where it leads you.

So, back to good faith . . . when I hear a politician, celebrity, self-declared pundit, or even an earnest (if misguided) “regular” person spout this or that warning about this or that thing, I am sure of one thing; there is very little good faith on the part of that person. 

They might be earnest in their lamentations but said lamentations are always aimed toward others. Others should change their ways; others should compromise; others should stop doing whatever they are doing. Just once, I’d like to see someone cast that proverbial first stone with a clear conscience. 

Pick an issue you care about or that you heard you should care about if you want to appear as a caring person. I’m willing to bet it’s either an issue that doesn’t impact you or it’s an issue that you hypocritically contribute to even as you complain about it. 

I mean, there might be exceptions here and there, and if there are, good for you. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 093

That’s a treatment of a crystal that was on the counter at our dentist’s office. Yes, I’m forever snapping photos of everything I think I might be able to use here on the blog . . . and many things that I’ll probably never use. 

On average — in addition to photos I snap with my Nikon — I take around 300 photos a month with my Samsung Note 8. Yes, an average of about ten a day. 

Obviously, I don’t use them all, and that’s why photography is a hobby. It’s for my enjoyment; if it was a job, I’d be trying to sell them or somehow make money from each and every shot. Why, I might even have to ensure they are of sufficient quality to impress a potential buyer.

Failing that, I could invent a fake story to go with the photo.

For instance . . . “wanna buy that photo? That crystal belonged to the wife of a man who knew the gardener of the butler that used to work for the Kennedys. The gardener sold it to him and it’s speculated the butler threw it out the window and into the garden when the police came with a warrant to search the butler’s home for some papers that had gone missing; papers about a certain accident involving a car and a bridge in a place with a name few can spell correctly. Said papers had gone missing and the butler was under suspicion of having taken them . . . because the butler is always the culprit. But all the butler had done was steal the crystal. Whaddya say? Only $47.50 and I’ll throw in the fake frame.”

. . . I got to get me that Ph.D . . .

I like both color and monochrome photos. I’m not sure it’s equal. I mean, I’m not sure I like monochrome as much as color photography (or vice-versa). I’m forever battling the urge to present both versions and often I fail; meaning, I often show both versions. 

It’s difficult describing the significant emotional turmoil faced by someone in my shoes as they struggle to decide one way or the other . . . but I can draw a graphical representation of the struggle and give it an evocative title to aid in the visualization . . . Monochrome Swirls Battling Remnants from Arlecchino’s Costume.

Monochrome Swirls Battling Remnants from Arlecchino’s Costume

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.

Posted in Project 313 | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Project 313 – Post No. 092

As I write this, I applaud the successful rescue of the kids who were trapped in a cave in Thailand. 

Amazing, right? 

But, my brain never stops on one view . . . in the US, roughly five kids die each week as the result of abuse. Roughly thirteen kids twelve-and-under die each week in car accidents. Including the entire world, about 40,000 kids (conservatively) die each week as a direct result of malnutrition (malnourishment makes even minor diseases deadly). 

Of course, those are all spread out instead of being in a cave. Much more difficult to address and fix. Difficult, but not complicated. 

But I don’t mean to take anything away from the news that captured the world attention. Let me recap it for you. 

Stupid kids and idiot adult do a stupid and risky thing and get trapped. Vast resources are mobilized and the effort to find them gets underway. Eventually, they are found and even more resources from around the world gather to help free the idiots from the cave. Many acts of bravery and even a life is lost to bring the kids and their coach out. I assume the coach will face not-so-good a future. The kids have it made. There are teams of lawyers on their way — if not already there — with contracts in hand. Movies, books, interviews, appearances, magazine spreads . . . money, money, money. 

So, what’s the lesson here? If you are in dire straits, don’t bother asking for help . . . there’s none coming.

Unless you can fall down a well, get trapped on a cliff, or find a dangerous cave you can visit.  

I know I sound cynical but I had a hard lesson in logic when I was in my 30s.

People might not remember the Flight 255 disaster. Much like airplane accidents these days, the country was riveted by the tragedy. And, it was a tragedy, make no mistake about it . . . but I was chatting with a friend about it and he didn’t have any interest in it. He was nearly emotionless about it. 

So I asked him why he didn’t seem to care. He answered with a few questions . . . 

Did I care about the 800 people who had died in car accidents the day before? How about the 800 people who died that same day? How about the 800 people who die in car accidents every day? Should we have a memorial for each day? Take up a collection for each day? Help the survivors by showering them with national attention, emotional support, counseling, and money?  

He asked me what made those people who died on the plane different from the ones that die in automobile crashes or die when medical personnel make mistakes or die due to any of the other daily deadly accidents? 

I didn’t have a good answer. 

I’m glad the kids got rescued but I was more concerned for the rescuers and most of all, I keep thinking about the man who died because 13 people were idiots and the world came together to save them. 

Sorry to be like this; I get that it was a feel-good story but there’s a lot of misery and death in the world that we don’t hear about because it’s not dramatic enough and so it doesn’t merit our attention. I can’t help but wonder why these merited so much effort and why others don’t merit the same effort. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 092

That’s the bell from the train featured in the previous post. I like this treatment and wished I’d saved the steps so I could repeat it for other subjects.  

Some of my readers might know we don’t have kids. People often make a sad face and mumble something like “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

I look at them and ask if they have kids. Usually, they answer “yes” and I then make a sad face and mumble something like “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

They say it makes a difference if they’re yours . . . yes, it does; I’d have to take care of them or worry about them. Why on earth would I want that job?  

At this point, readers might feel the need to answer and perhaps even try and convince me to have a go at it. Really, don’t bother . . . even if you could actually convince me and change our minds, we’re a tad past our prime child-bearing years. 

Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to convince us to have another pet, let alone a kid. 

Many things in life are challenging . . . below, I represent  . . . Confusing — and Challenging — Runway Landing Lights. 

Confusing — and Challenging — Runway Landing Lights

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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