Let us suppose 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin was actually healthy at the 1787 Federal Convention in Philadelphia, in short, that he was fully Franklin. Would such a person have had little impact on the Constitution?
To put it in a modern context, think in terms of, say, Mr. Warren Buffett, who at 82, still healthy and wealthy in 2012, was influencing national tax policy in America — would he have been without influence at the Federal Convention that invented the Constitution? Throw in a local residence with a dining room with seating for 24 about two blocks away, have him tell humorous stories in the most engaging manner of any delegate (indeed, of anyone in Philadelphia), give him the highest IQ in the room, make him governor of the State (elected unanimously) and the most prestigious man in America, with a constant stream of distinguished visitors to his house, and provide him the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong desire for unifying the colonies, slash, States — would such a man have had little influence on the Constitution? READ MORE.
Pharmaceutical Drugs have an average of 70 side effects or ‘drug reactions’, with some as high as 525. This is done to prevent lawsuits against the manufacturers rather than to protect people from them and I believe mainly done to advertise the drug. The most complex labeling can be seen in drugs for psychiatry and neurology, primarily for antidepressants.
The commonly accepted reason for stating all these side effects is for liability, however I think it goes deeper than that. It’s repetition, attention and acceptance. The side effects are repeated endlessly every time you see mention of the drug. This allows your brain to be conditioned, through repetition, to associate the drug with the condescending speech patterns and intonations of the speaker. Notice their hushed, deep tones and the authoritarian manner of speaking. The next phase of repetition is the daily barrage of advertising for these drugs. They club you over the head with it repeatedly, day after day.
It was a typical morning. Feed the cats. Walk the dogs. Change the litter boxes. Defrost my car. Take my pills. Make tea. Make lunch, and eat nasty cold cereal. Welcome to my middle-aged life. Jesus, am I really 35?
The ride to work was interesting. There was a guy continuously trying to kiss my ass. Apparently, he failed to see the school bus up ahead that flashed its pretty, bright lights. Then, I traded him for a woman intent on her texting all the way into town by the traffic light. Lucky for me, she stopped just in time, and I was off to work. READ MORE.
Over the past few decades modern music has become victim to the age of digital audio production. Authentic sounds and instrumentation have been swallowed up by a polished gleam that renders the audio to a glossy and punchy finish. Loudness has been the key to creating upfront and vibrant songs that at first sound exciting. By pitching the quieter moments within an audio track to a higher frequency, the song automatically becomes more urgent and distinctive. This slow change, orchestrated by producers and record companies, has been deliberately subtle, as if to allow listeners ears to adapt to the change in audio quality. This tampering in sound has had an unfortunate drawback for the listener. READ MORE.
Every night for a month straight, I laid in bed watching The Twilight Zone on Netflix. The macabre stories of a parallel universes and alternate dimensions, though written over 50 years ago, still stand as highly relatable stories. Perhaps that was the genius of Rod Serling: his ability to make a monster on the wing of an airplane, an incredulous plot, seem somehow connected to the reality we all live in. That same summer I made a calculated and cerebral decision to delete my ties with society.
I was going to do something I viewed extreme and brash that would expel me from the world I knew.
I deleted Facebook. READ MORE.
I haven’t read a hard book since high school, where they force fed me books such as The Catcher in the Rye, Flowers for Algernon, and Of Mice and Men. I had my army of Stephen King books to get me through those tough times, and in college, I swam the rivers of Philosophy and discovered authors such as Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, James Redfield, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and then later James Patterson, Nick Santora, and Deepak Chopra. Once college was said and done, I did nothing but write. Only recently, have I finally begun to march through the three bins of books that have waited years for me to find them, but it was not there that I found him. It was when the warning signs came crashing down that Borders was going far, far away, and I raced inside to claim whatever I could. And that’s where I found Leo Tolstoy’s Confession and Other Religious Writing. READ MORE.
Like the character of the toy maker, Edson constructs his own worlds with parts of thoughts and feelings. His worlds are like funhouse mirror images of the everyday world. He creates realms where literally anything can happen. I might even be mistaken to call the toy maker a character, as that would imply a strict sense of narrative. His works are not narrative poems, because they seemingly tell stories of nothing in a very clever way.
Gun control is the topic of discussion after every rich suburban boy with an untreated mental illness gets angry and shoots up a place full of innocent bystanders. It’s like people think discussing it will always curb the violence in our culture and get us all to hug our stuffed animals and sing by a fire accompanied by acoustic guitars as background music.
But is it really that simple? Can controlling an already armed culture prevent future mass murder? After I heard James (Joker) Holmes shot someone I know, I decided to ask a bunch of gun freaks about their opinion on the topic.
The majority of the human species breathed a sigh of relief as they woke up Saturday morning December 22, 2012 to find themselves still among the living and that the world had not ended. The ancient Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by the Mayans, among others, and which ended on 21 December, was thought by some to be a prediction of an almighty apocalypse that would leave the world in ruins with only pockets of survivors left. Despite no solid evidence that the Mayans thought the world would end on this date, or that no obvious sign of our destruction was imminent, a niggling doubt floated around in most people’s minds.
I’ll admit: when I decided to give up my own music and let other people pick what I listened to for a year, I felt pretty macho. After all, this project was going to be a test of willpower: 53 weeks of ignoring the music I loved in order to rain all my attention on this or that random album chosen by this or that random person. It seemed like a good idea. I thumped my chest, primed my headphones: I was ready to listen. I was ready to have some fun.