Me Too and Safety is a Two Way Street

We are becoming a more connected world and cultural and gender clashes may be more of a risk with the increased connection made possible by the internet and Social Media sites. Our news can arrive in a social media post faster than our newspapers used to be written, printed and hand delivered  by a neighborhood schoolchild. With more connection may come a greater need for responsibility and respect for our cultural and gender differences.

The phrase gender differences is even different and that has increased some cultural difficulties as more traditional religions and cultures have not fully accepted that sexual and gender differences are based on biology rather than moral choices. Gender differences are increasing in animal species not just in humans – it is biology not a moral choice when observed across many species and until we can openly discuss that and many other topics we may not be able to accept a need to change our industrial choices rather than worrying about personal differences or whether individual differences are a moral choice.

Endocrine disruptors are a group of chemicals that are being produced in plastics and elsewhere in industry and once in our environment and water they are difficult for humans and other animal species to avoid – and will be difficult for humans to try to remove from the environment when we recognize that something needs to be done and that we are the species that needs to do it. An introduction to the topic is available here: Endocrine Disruptors.

The Me Too movement has grown on social media outlets from an earlier time and it involves more openness surrounding sexual harassment or assault rather than silence and shame. Women and men have been kept in silence regarding stories of sexual matters as a business or social reputation can be ruined by being a victim or someone accused of sexual assault or impropriety.  Change is needed as even at the highest levels of elected officials it is the elected official that has been protected at taxpayer expense rather than the employee or volunteer who experienced sexual harassment or assault. A bill has been introduced to make the process more fair and a counter bill may be passed that makes the process even less transparent and more protective of the elected officials – our public servants, hired to protect and serve the nation; it is a significant problem as it has recently been disclosed that $15 million has been aid of taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims filed against elected officials who then continued to serve in their positions without disclosure to the public. Read more: Plot to Change Law Protecting Politicians Accused of Sexual Harassment,

The risk of accusations that can not be proven or may have been misunderstandings however does need adequate representation for both parties as it is not just to the individual but can also extend to family and wider circles and yet we are all just people. An excellent article discusses the topic and history in more detail and includes a TED talk video with a personal account of date rape and the shame that negatively effected both the girl and boy later into their adult lives. They eventually met and share their story together in the video. They include the warning that their story is not a recommendation or encouragement for everyone who has experienced a bad sexual experience to share the story or seek out the other person as in some cultures death and imprisonment of the victim can be a risk and approaching or accusing someone of assault can be met negatively instead of with remorse and reconciliation. Growth is also possible though and can help both individuals as well as help educate our society as a whole. See Are We Ready for Truth and Reconciliation Around Sexual Violence? #MeToo, link.

The warning to be cautious about sharing details of identity in cases of bad sexual experiences is something I’ve also been encouraging because unless proof is available legal charges of defamation/slander/libel could potentially be charged against the accuser or simply danger due to the reputation risk may result in mental harm to the accused. In one recent case an accused person who claimed to be innocent of the accusation of impropriety has taken his life in a suicide; may he find some peace, and condolences to his family. Warning, article contains a possible suicide note and inflammatory social media post by the former elected official:

It is an uncomfortable story that may have involved drunkenness on the man’s part which can cause memory gaps. Having a designated driver and designated remember-er may be a good idea when drinking too much – or not drinking too much is a better idea. The girl did share the story with her therapist in 2013 and the incident was reported to the local police at the time so one is left wondering why it wasn’t acted on then, except that without proof of physical assault or video or DNA evidence a she said/he didn’t remember story can just lead to problems for the girl.

Wrong is wrong but accidental slips of the hand in a public setting that was apologized for shouldn’t be something that ends a career either. Balance and compassion when listening to a she-felt-uncomfortable and he-doesn’t-even-remember story may be necessary. It may also help to realize or admit that humans aren’t a fully monogamous species, we are only about 50% on average monogamous in our pair bonds compared to some other more lifelong pair bonding species. So it may help reduce emotional pain to remember or admit that love for one person is not necessarily betrayed by a temporary wondering glance or thought of another person. Hormones are powerful but someone familiar with the long-term emotional and intellectual connections of a committed relationship should be able to understand and have compassion for the other person as a whole rather than viewing physical temporary feelings as a lack of love or betrayal for the long-term connection.

We learn from each other lessons that may be painful at the time but necessary for growth. Denying or blocking out memories doesn’t allow for the growth that may have been needed for long term health of the body and spirit/mind. Drunken actions do count and someone who can’t remember their actions may not be reliable as an elected official but suicide isn’t growth either.

If no proof is available then sharing an uncomfortable story without names or identifying details can help relieve one’s own emotional pain and burden without risking legal harm to oneself or reputation or psychological harm to another. Trying to heal oneself is a positive thing but causing harm to another person and their family seems like a larger negative especially if there was simply a misunderstanding of intent and result. An improper touch can be an accident of timing that truly is innocent but which might be taken more seriously by a person who is fearful. Expectation or over-heightened sense of fear can lead to misinterpreting a situation that is innocent. Talking privately with a therapist might help to review a situation from different viewpoints.

Another article on the same site encourages and challenges us to meet the challenge of our new inter-connected world in a positive way – the internet can help us learn and grow and we don’t know what our collective minds can do together but studies suggest that it can be incredible. Collective consciousness research (a collection of videos & research on the topic- I haven’t reviewed all of it but have seen one or two of the speakers material, there is coincidental/odd overlap in near death experiences across cultures/different languages) and the overlap of the Golden Rule across many cultures suggests that our cultures are more similar than different. See Experiencing a Collective Shift Through Personal Transformation, link.

The article is by an author of a book on the subject which I have not read but the topic sounds interesting and other research on prayer and healing, has been mixed and will likely be difficult to prove one way or the other conclusively as the benefits of meditation may also be involved and prayer is somewhat similar to (a review of the research), and work on prayer/meditative chanting or positive thought and formation of snowflakes has also indicated there may be power in groups working together with focused mental thoughts. The later work on the healing power of water by the snowflake researcher was not able to be replicated but his early work suggests possibilities that are interesting. I mention it in an early article I had published elsewhere which also includes a brief discussion of the medical power of positive suggestion observed in the placebo effect and the reverse the nocebo effect, the medical power of negative suggestion: Quarks, bosons, and Abbess Zenkai Blanche Hartman, link.

This was also posted earlier but was closed and is somewhat pertinent to the Quarks, bosons… article and to the idea of a collective consciousness or universal connectedness of positive or negative thoughts/placebo and nocebo effects. With our increased interconnectedness via the internet and social media we may all need to be more aware of the value in our collective differences and similarities. Social connection can be healing but it can also cause hurt feelings which can lead to physical trauma in the brain, discussed in more detail on another of my websites, G3.4: Social contact would protect against oxidative stress,

*regarding quarks and my interest in them – purely amateur. What I’ve read though is fascinating and quantum entanglement seems like it could explain quite a few ‘unknowns.’ Pairs of quarks can become free of the rest of an atom or molecule and may retain all of the information of the whole in an energy form. Holograms are made of light and show a whole image but without the whole item having to be present. Loose quarks may (possibly) explain some of the unexplained phenomenon of psychic ‘seeing the future’ or ‘channeling ghosts’ or ‘seeing the past.’ People who have had near death experiences share remarkably similar stories about their experiences. I have come to believe that there is some sort of collective unconscious or cosmos energy, or God energy, that all things are a part of to some extent.

Energy equals mass according to Albert Einstein and according to reports he was made uncomfortable by the ‘spookier’ aspects of the theory. I find them fascinating. Our planet orbits the sun and overlaps its own path over the course of time. Loose quarks may still exist here and there and everywhere along that orbiting path, carrying bits of energy left over from the time of dinosaurs or from any point in history and maybe even the future. A person who dissociates may be able to visit the cosmos/collective unconscious/God energy as dissociation may be a doorway into the energy side of the universe. The history of dissociation might be due to a history of childhood trauma, or a near death experience, or due to years of practice meditating, or due to use of a hallucinogenic substance.

We don’t know what we don’t know until we open our minds to accept that we need to learn more and seek a variety of answers until some seem to consistently be a fairly good fit for the evidence in front of us. ‘Facts’ can fit most situations but rarely can any one scientific answer or theory be 100% correct in every single situation. Ideas that are mostly right, most of the time, are more typical of science findings. Science is a journey with many travelers who pass along ideas from one generation to the next on into the future (hopefully).

Are ghosts fake or psychic knowledge? or Teleportation? Fake news and quarks have nothing to do with each other, but quarks and quantum entanglement have been in the real news in a story that sounds like it has to be fake – or spooky. A new era of computing technology, involving the ‘teleportation’ of information via quantum entangled quarks, was discovered at the same time, on opposite sides of the planet, by two different teams, independently of each other. The article makes light of the coincidence with the statement that it often happens in science that discoveries are reached simultaneously — I wouldn’t have bet money on it happening.

Back to reality – in a nutshell, teleportation of the information is referring to the fact that the packet of computer code disappears as it is sent from one computer and it appears/reappears simultaneously at another computer in another location. The process involves quantum entanglement of quarks and is worth reading about firsthand, click on the link in the Tweet, or here:

Not included in the article but back to reality for the idea of human teleportation – in a nutshell, I’ve read elsewhere that the quantum entanglement and energy = mass conversions are only possible at the atomic/subatomic level as larger groups of molecules stabilized each other too much to allow teleportation of the individual particles — or something like that. The second response on this question forum mentions that only single photons of light have been transferred by this quantum entanglement computing method and that larger masses would be too complex.!n=24

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.  

Traveling shows the beauty of our land and people

Morning light shines bright.

Brilliant light shines across the land and ideas can also be shared. Traveling has shown that many caring people share time and energy to build a healthy and strong nation. We do have needs for shelter and food as many are left with insecurity. Dedicated groups and volunteers are working hard to help.  Awareness of need may also be necessary before those in positions of power shift policies to be more supportive of those who are living without houses or apartments or with too little food.

For those who are houseless but who do have a car a simple solution for slightly more comfortable sleeping is a platform in the backseat.

My backseat made into a sleep platform, it is important to keep everything below the level of the backseat head rests for best visiability of the road behind you.

Three plastic tote boxes, slightly taller than regular size totes, but with one narrower than the regular size, fit neatly across my backseat. Topping the storage bins with an 1/2 inch thick exercise mat and a camping mat made a slightly more comfortable cushion but I also needed to add a pillow on top of the narrow tote as it was slightly shorter than the two full size totes. A comforter on top of the exercise mats added a little more comfort and a warm, cold weather rated, sleeping bag allowed me to stay warm at night without needing the car to be running.

The larger size totebox and the green camp mat which is firm and the blue exercise mat which is softer. the edge of a pillow is in pink on top of the smaller totebox.
All the layers of the platform need to be able to tuck in securely at the edge in order to close the door. The camp and exercise mats are longer than the backseat and are curled up slightly on each side. Cutting them to fit the car would be an option and the extra pieces could be taped to the lid of the shorter totebox if desired. However leaving the mats alone leaves them available for use in a tent or on someone’s spare room floor. Buying one extra of the firmer camping mats and cutting that to fit the tops of the totes, one layer smaller to fit within the handle area and one larger layer to cover the entire surface would likely improve the comfort, Duct tape in classic gray or fashion colors could secure the layers to the totebox.

The sleep platform is not as comfortable as a bed but it is more comfortable than trying to lay on the backseat or sit in the front seat with the seat leaning as far back as it can go. The platform makes the top of the backseat a pillow and is level enough with the top of the front seats to stretch legs out and over them. It is not a solution for someone who is tall or large however as some flexibility is needed and the area is still compact. I’m about 5 feet 6 inches tall as a reference.

For someone living houseless – working and living out of their car it might be a solution to consider trying as the tote bins and exercise and camping mats were fairly inexpensive, less than ten dollars for the totes and around $15 for each of the roll up foam mats. The cold weather sleeping bag was around $30 and I wore a hat for additional warmth as the temperature did drop below freezing.

Areas where rapid employment occurred had problems with inadequate housing being available for all of the new employees and other areas are simply very expensive even with a reasonable paying job. Others may have lost employment that covered the expense of housing but still own a car. Innovation sometimes means looking at things in a new way. When I was young my family traveled with a larger vehicle that had a platform in the back and being shorter as a child I could stretch out on it and sleep during long car trips – seat belt laws at the time of my earlier youth didn’t require riders in the back of the vehicle to wear a seat-belt, only front seat riders. The platform I built out of tote bins can be used for storage and sleep when the car is stopped. It would not be legal at this time to ride without a seat-belt.

The area created by the platform would be unlikely to be large enough for two people but for a solo driver it could also be handy in case of emergency stops or for a brief nap on long journeys when a hotel is the planned destination. Drowsiness can be a danger especially with the busy and fast pace of the traffic that occurs in many areas. Adequate sleep is also important to support health and the immune system.

A few tips for staying awake and early warning signs for when it is time to pull over:

  1. Warning sign: Eyes starting to squint and droop more often and they may possibly be dry and itchy from the forced air of the car heater.
  2. Tip: Being overly warm can increase sleepiness, an additional tip to the previous list would be open the window for a blast of cold air if you’re in a cold area or turn up the air conditioner if you’re in a warm area.
  3. Tip: Pull over and take a brief nap, 15-20 minutes can help.
  4. Tip: Or pull over and switch drivers if that is possible.
  5. Tip: Get a snack that isn’t too sugary or overly rick with fat calories which can make too much work for the digestive system. Caffeine from coffee or other caffeinated beverages can help but are not enough to combat a real need for sleep. Choosing a sugary snack may give an initial boost of energy but can wear off and leave you more sleepy. A protein rich snack such as a protein bar or trail mix with nuts or seeds may help with alertness for a longer time.
  6. Tip: Get some exercise, pull over for a brief walk. Warning sign:  If the exercise worked for a while but then you notice yourself losing some physical coordination or are stiff and sore. You may notice yourself letting the car drift to close to the shoulder of the road and are hearing the rumble strips along the side more often.
  7. Warning Sign:  The snack worked for a while but then the eyes started to droop again and maybe blink shut a few times – pull over because a rollover accident would be horrifying for you and any other travelers in your car or on the roadway. I have fallen asleep at the wheel before and woke up to the sound of the rumble strips. I over corrected at the sound and ended up flipping the car instead of smoothly getting back in the lane – I walked away with only a few bruises but the car was basically totaled from necessary bodywork. I also learned that it is good to have luggage and loose items secured in zipped or covered bags as loose items will also whirl around in the rolling car – it felt like being in a blender maybe – not an experience to repeat.
  8. Tip: Know your own limits and have the strength and courage to speak up for yourself. I was driving in a convoy of sorts and the other driver wanted to press on. I tried the cold air method and the snack method and did recognize the droopy eyes and I should have just pulled over. This was in the days before cellphones existed but sorting out travel plans later would be better than falling asleep at the wheel.  Several books including this one helped me to improve my ability to recognize and speak up for my own needs: Butler G., and Hope T., Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide, (Oxford University Press, 1995, Oxford or New York) [2007 edition, Amazon] It is written in sections, encyclopedia style, so a reader can choose from the Table of Contents the particular topics that sound most helpful to their own situation.

Thermal blankets are available that are very compact if a full-size sleeping bag wasn’t desired. More detail on warmth and a link for an emergency kit is included a little later in this post.

I’ve been traveling the last couple of days and got a new Garmin GPS device for the trip. Seeing more of the country has been a goal for a while and seeing if there is interest in my research has also been a goal. Update, while I didn’t find any direct support of my research work I did find that interest in the topics I write about seems to exist – and I got a better idea of what people are interested in the larger world than I had been inhabiting. seeing the country is beautiful and a little nerve wracking but the technology of the new GPS device is better than an early model I had used in the past.

Overall the GPS device helped me drive across the country quicker than I expected the trip to take but I also put my habit of not sleeping much to work by driving part of the night in addition to the daytime hours. The roads are less busy and I am not used to the fast pace of crowded multi lane highways. My own miniature hotel was my back seat with the soft platform. It allows me to stretch my legs out to be able to be slightly more comfortably than the width of the car allows laying directly on the backseat. The platform might look silly but it’s fairly comfortable. Never fear hotels, your business is likely safe because it’s not that comfortable either. But pulling over when tired is important, sleepy drivers can be a danger to self and others. The strategy was particularly useful though when an ice storm caused a highway closure, there are far more semi trucks on the road than I would have guessed when you see them all lining up as they also arrive at the blocked section of highway and have to pull over somewhere along the side of the highway or Truck Stop parking area.

Truck Stops have some convenient features I discovered while waiting during the second stop. One section of highway was closed during the night due to the stormy weather and ice rink like road surface and another section was closed the next morning due to the number of accidents that required towing before that section of highway could be reopened. While waiting during the middle of the night stop I wrote out a few ideas for making luggage carrier/platform units that could be handy for a business or other frequent traveler in case they too were stuck somewhere or just needed to pull over for a short nap. The platform is more comfortable than sitting upright in the front seat but it isn’t really comfortable enough for a regular night’s sleep – so again don’t worry about your industry’s business hotels and motels – even if my luggage platform idea got produced it would be for the occasional use of a frequent traveler, similar in a way to the home on wheels that semi-trucks contain for their driver’s comfort and convenience.

With the sleeper platform I already have a hotel on wheels just like the semi truckers but with limited comfort and you have to keep the engine running for warmth in cold weather. Even with a blanket along temperatures can drop dangerously low if someone fell asleep for long, the cold weather sleeping bag allows you to stay warm in more extreme temperatures. Sleeping bags have temperature ratings on the label and I choose the warmest available – 0-30’F. It is a good idea to bring along a few emergency items in case you get stuck or stopped somewhere. Thermal metallic blankets are available that fold very small but retain heat well if needed in an emergency.

It is also important to shovel snow away from your exhaust pipe if you are stuck in a large pile of snow. The car exhaust can back up and cause poisonous levels of carbon dioxide to build up in the car. That might send a passenger to sleep forever.

My GPS device has been very helpful for navigating the complex highway and city streets.

My car did suffer some damage while traveling but I was not harmed. I do need to get more car repair work done and am retracing my travels to check in with family for the holiday season and save on hotel costs while the car repair work is completed, I can’t sleep in the car if it is in a repair shop after all – at least that’s the plan, I’ll keep trusting my GPS device to guide the way.

A lookout point somewhere in the mountains of California or Nevada or Utah- there are a lot of beautiful mountains across the region and sleepy driving is particularly dangerous on the tight S-curves.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.


Definitions are worth discussing to help understand each other

Definitions are something I include in posts and discuss in more detail occasionally in order to help support clear understanding. Words have many meanings for different individuals in addition to a standard dictionary definition. The dictionary is a good place to start but even it can add confusion for some readers as the definition itself may use other unfamiliar terms or may simply use a slightly different form of the word as the main definition – which wouldn’t be helpful at all for the person who didn’t know anything about the word they were trying to look up.

I just updated a recent post with a lengthier discussion of the definition of racism as defined by a online dictionary and I added some supporting articles and statistics from other websites. See this article for the discussion of racism as part of national policies that discriminate:

The phrase transparency is used occasionally in relation to government agencies and politicians being clear and transparent about the goals and inner workings of policy and political agendas. Starting with definitions can help add clarity and possibly transparency to a discussion, as long as the underlying policy and political agenda truly is based on the stated definitions.

Saying one thing and meaning or believing another would not be an example of transparency but would instead be an example of outright lying or might be an example of someone who really didn’t understand themselves or their group’s true definitions or beliefs about a topic.

I recently looked into what was meant by the term “Developed Nation” and was very sad to find out that it is simply based on the average per capita income – how much the average salary is for a country. How many of the average people have healthy air, water, sanitation or actual health wasn’t included. Social development of access to schools also was not included. Number of people with access to good roads and safe infrastructure (physical development) also wasn’t included. The physical safety of citizens and freedom to speak openly about policy was not included in the definition. Instead a simple GDP financial number is used to suggest which countries are more “developed” than others.

The Social Progress Index is a different way to compare nations than only comparing the average income. The 2017 map shows the U.S. as being in the second tier: . So by that criteria the U.S. is not as well developed of a nation in Social Progress factors, such as health and quality of life, as some other nations.

Definitions are important because they affect communication and how we discuss topics.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes