Category Archives: science

Please Die Already

Rage.

Rage.

There has been quite a hullabaloo recently about the healthcare reform bill, incited mainly by this man and this woman. Why are they ranting and raving about Democrats creating “death panels” that will decide whether or not the elderly† or mentally disabled‡ continue to receive medical treatment? Can’t they see that America is chock full of people ripe for Death’s annual picking?

The Democrats want people to have access to “end of life counseling.” That is a nice way of them saying “we want to encourage you to die without eating up millions of millions of dollars in care.” And the elderly and infirm DO eat up millions of dollars; 80% of the money you spend on healthcare will be spent during the last three months of your life. Is it really worth it? To spend hour after hour, barely breathing, barely thinking, hooked up to life support with a feeding tube in your gut?

Americans have become highly sensitive to the issue of death. I thought that the whole reason behind this mushy Christianity stuff was to make people comfortable with the idea of dying. “Oh, don’t worry, there’s always the afterlife! Feel free to pass away as you wish.” Nope. Christian evangelicals and conservative Catholics are amongst the most adamant individuals who support your right to clutch on to your existence by any means; even if your body and mind have rotted away to nothing.

Actually, they’re not even supporting your right to life; they’d keep you alive regardless of how you feel.

"Sir, we have found you to be too goddman crochety old for the State to continue financing your life."

"Sir, we have found you to be too goddamn crotchety old for the State to continue financing your life."

What about my right to death? Listen to me: people need to die. People have been dying for millions and millions of years. Its natural. It happens all the time. The problem is that no one has instructed us on how to cope with and move past these tragic events.

Wait. Tragic? It shouldn’t be tragic; it should be joyful. The joyful passing of your loved one. We are so far removed from our natural state of being that we no longer value death… excluding the deaths of our enemies; that has always been joyous.

Lion King

Even Disney supports death panels.

Human bodies were not designed (intelligent or not) to last forever. Our cells stop regenerating as well, our joints become rigid and sore, our systems fail to save over and over again until it gets to a point that your body just dies. All of this extensive healthcare is in denial of the natural ‘Circle of Life‘. Certainly the deaths’ of those who did not live up to the prime peaks of life are tragic; they died too soon. But that only covers people up to about age 40; if you live past that point, I will be joyfully celebrating your passing with explicit glee.

So lighten up. Embrace death (the insurance companies have been running death panels for years now). Maybe even buy a t-shirt. It’ll balance the budget for Christ’s-sakes.

You don’t want to be alive for the zombie apocalypse anyway…

†‡Not that either of these groups really qualify as  being ‘that alive’ in the first place.

jakefunc is a contributing writer and editor of projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

5 Comments

Filed under philosophy, Politics, science, social commentary

Testing The Law Of Attraction

In recent years, several aspects of new age philosophy have permeated the mainstream, with such popular films as The Secret (2006) and What The Bleep Do We Know? (2004).  I feel that the most influential idea of these films is the Law of Attraction, a notion that we draw to ourselves that which we are thinking about.  If we focus on negativity, we will draw more of it into our lives, the hypothesis goes.  For instance, if we fixate on our fears of being late to work, or of a particular co- worker’s harassment, we’re likely to manifest more of the same.  In What The Bleep, quantum physics is used to explain, over a flashy techno soundtrack, how individual and group consciousness can affect reality.  Could this be possible?  Simply by focusing on our desires, could we draw them to ourselves?  Do we truly create  our own reality, every day, from the power of our thoughts?

Ideas like this are appealing for one very obvious reason.  People commonly feel a loss of control over their lives, as if things just happen to them.  They keep winding up in the same sorts of relationships, ending up in the same dead end jobs, suffering from the same problems.  It’s empowering to consider the idea that we can change all of this with the power of our thoughts, and little else. 

To an extent, it is logical to assume we have some control over our lives and can exert that power through a sort of thought- shaping.  As expressed in The Dhammapada, the Sayings of the Buddha:

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unbreakable.”

I feel this is a sensible assertion, because one who is focusing on grievances against the world is likely to attract more negativity and more unpleasantness.  It’s obvious why this would work on a smaller scale.  Surely acting cheerful, businesslike, or angry will cause others to respond to you accordingly.  That’s not magic, but simply the ability of human beings to respond to social cues.  And yet, how far are we to take this notion?  Could this whole idea work on a much larger scale, granting us our heart’s desires, as claimed in The Secret, purely by focusing our attention?

On the one hand, believing that this is true would seem at least slightly delusional.  It is essentially magical thinking, which, in anthropology, psychology, and cognitive science is “nonscientific causal reasoning that often includes such ideas as the ability of the mind to affect the physical world, and correlation mistaken for causation.”  It’s been my experience that cultivating such misguided thinking is a very detrimental habit.

Testing this hypothesis is also incredibly difficult.  It’s absolutely true that most people go about their lives in a relatively unfocused state.  In attempting to test the Law of Attraction, I found it very difficult to focus intensively on a mental picture of what I wanted to attract.  In trying to do so, I rediscovered the importance of ritual.  Through ritual’s symbolic acts, a person can work their desire into their consciousness and really focus on it intently for a period of time.  If you want a new house, for instance, make a cardboard model of it and view it nightly in some sort of ceremony.  Whether you want to lose weight, conceive a child, find friends in your new neighborhood, or achieve a promotion at work, a symbolic act would allow you to better focus your attentions, your “energy”, if you will, on that goal.  Such is the premise behind spellwork and magic as it continues into the modern age.  The Secret recommends that you create a “vision board” for your goals.  This is a collage comprised of pictures representing what you would like to draw into your life, which would then serve as a focal point for your efforts.

It’s clear that ritual and ceremony can help us to clarify a mental picture of what we wish to attract to ourselves.  And yet, after doing so, could we safely believe that our action had manifested our desire?  As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to tell. 

And so, I ask my readers, how would you test this hypothesis?

Soahki is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

6 Comments

Filed under philosophy, science

Cost of Fueling Up Continues to Rise

Car

Even though we are still nearly twenty days away from the summer solstice, summer activities are in full swing. Majority of us probably caught the summer bug long before Memorial Day. Everyone is excited to think about the great shining outdoors, summer excursions, picnics, and barbecues. Something common for summer that may leave people a little less enthusiastic—rising gas prices.


Never fails, just as the vacation season picks up speed, the rates at the pump start creeping up. Oil companies love the extra boost from seasonal travels. Although this year other major holidays saw a loss when it comes to travel and tourism, there are still high hopes that summer travel will be strong. Many of us can probably say that our “mail boxes,” have had a few more invites that require a little extra drive to attend.


So it comes to no surprise to any of us that gas is on the rise, but the percent of the increase is rather astounding. In just two months gas prices have jumped 36% topping a barrel up above $64.00. OPEC has determined that the prices could rise to nearly $80.00 a barrel by the end of the year. For those of you doing the math—well lets not be depressing and actually list that percentage increase.

It seems from the articles around that OPEC is of course highly pleased with the turn of oil—no one expected otherwise, but the ferocity of which they are pursuing these figures is rather disheartening. Although I knew that gas companies and oil suppliers were opportunistic and generally looking to make a quick buck, I thought for some reason that oil prices were driven much more by the supply and demand of the global economy. As it turns out, artificial demand created by OPEC works fairly well too.


OPEC is sitting on storage tankers filled to the top—in hopes that later this year we will see an economic recovery. Once that occurs, they can release that oil without seeing a dramatic loss in profits. So even though supplies are up and demand is low—prices will continue to climb. Luckily for the oil companies, I doubt we will see too many people cutting back on their weekend trips, boating, etc. just to save some money.

Moral of the story—blow for blow, expect to pay a lot at the pump. If you are feeling frisky, take the bus, walk, ride a bike, or car pool. For those of you who live out in the country where its eight miles just to get into town—maybe your tractor is better on gas than your pick up truck!


eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

5 Comments

Filed under science, Uncategorized

The Definitive Experience

On certain rare and startling occasions, a person finds that her character is unexpectedly put to the test.  I term these unexpected crises “definitive experiences”.  In the midst of shock and chaos, a person comes to discover certain truths about herself, her values, and her gut instincts.  I believe that the “definitive experience”, as I define it, provides valuable insight into one’s character specifically because it is so sudden and startling that one’s reaction to it is purely instinctual.  Ethical concerns and the effects of one’s choices cannot be thoroughly weighed in such situations.  Thus, the crisis reaction exposes much about a person’s character and true nature which cannot be revealed in the day-to-day, premeditated decisions and choices that one makes. 

I’ve often pondered the lack of definitive experiences in my recent life.  For instance, while watching the first seasons of Lost, I found myself wondering whether I would behave more like the heroic Jack or the opportunistic Sawyer in a plane wreck situation.  I routinely ponder these thoughts anytime I’m viewing or reading about extreme experiences of any sort.  Like most people living in today’s cushy world, I don’t often have the opportunity to truly test my mettle, and to come to terms with my own strength of character, or lack thereof. 

These insights developed after a startling experience I had last weekend.  No, I did not suddenly find myself stranded on a deserted island, faced with the dilemma of rescuing injured survivors or hoarding their luggage.  My experience was far less dramatic than this, and yet it still revealed many valuable insights.

Memorial Day weekend found me camping on private land with my family and boyfriend.  We were in the process of setting up camp in the woods when I discovered a baby raccoon lying in the leaf litter a short distance from our pile of firewood.  Approaching the animal, I discovered that it was moving slowly and jerkily across the forest floor.  It appeared to be very weak and possibly injured, and its small body was covered with buzzing flies.  Its fur was thickly caked with fly eggs.  (I do apologize for the graphic nature of this description, but in exploring the event as a true definitive experience, it’s necessary that one understands how unpleasant a picture this truly was.  The story will continue along these lines, so it’s suggested that the squeamish stop reading now, before your stomachs are upset.)

My immediate reaction was to approach the baby raccoon, to attempt to help it.  This did not surprise me, for it seems I often encounter injured animals and move to rescue them.  My family members, however, acted as very vocal naysayers for the most part.  Only my brother understood my desire to help the animal.  I was urged to leave it alone, as it writhed about just feet from the site of our bonfire.  I was also repeatedly told that it would bite me.  I somehow knew that it would not, or could not.  It was too small, too weak, and too young.  Easily, I scooped it up with a towel and rushed off with it, to the protests of the majority of my family members and the horror of my boyfriend.

I suppose it should be said that parasites of any kind disgust me.  I am greatly disturbed by their very existence, and possess a somewhat irrational fear of them.  The sight of so many fly eggs encrusting the body of this tiny raccoon was therefore a horrific sight for me.  Nonetheless, without even bothering to set up camp, I headed back through the woods to the house.  I then began the process of attempting to rid the baby raccoon of her infestation.  Encouraged by her churring vocalizations, I kept working, with whatever materials I could find.  Repeatedly, family members approached me and urged me to stop what I was doing and come back to the party.  On several occasions, I was advised to abandon or euthanize the animal.  Looking at the baby raccoon wrapped in a blanket before me, euthanasia simply was not an option.  Fly eggs had filled one of her eye sockets, and both of her ears.  Quite possibly, I was fighting a losing battle.  Yet it seemed somehow ignoble just to give up because the animal’s suffering presented me with an inconvenience.  In fact, I was surprised that the others around me didn’t share my interest in attempting a rescue.  Doggedly, I continued trying to remove the parasites, focusing for a time on her affected eye.  I was surprised to discover a berry- black, healthy little eye beneath its layer of fly eggs, and I felt encouraged by her churring vocalizations and the sight of her bright gaze upon me.  It seemed to me that my focus somehow intensified and deepened, to the point where I was concerned only with the well- being of the animal.  All other concerns, even for the social enjoyment of the holiday, faded away.  Looking back, this surprises me.  I would not have expected that I could become so single- mindedly intense.

It was then that I discovered an awful fact: some of the maggots had hatched and were moving.  Wriggling horrifically in the baby raccoon’s ear canal were live maggots, as thin as threads.  Using tweezers and Q tips, I struggled in vain to remove them from the cavity.  Finally, I realized that I could not succeed.  I couldn’t get at some of the maggots, and they were pushing deeper into her ear canal.  Swallowing my pride, I realized I had to admit defeat.  I accessed the computer in the next room, and found a listing of wildlife rehabilitators in the area.  After speaking with a few of them, I found one who was willing to take in the baby raccoon.  She lived 45 minutes away.

My boyfriend drove my car, as I held the baby raccoon in its cage during the long drive.  As we reached her house, the wildlife rehabilitator headed toward us and took the animal in her arms.  Bringing her into her dining room, she immediately began working on her infestation.  I was very surprised to discover that the baby raccoon had no wounds of any kind.  The fly eggs were merely caked upon her fur, where they resembled a thick layer of sawdust.  Deftly, the rehabilitator stripped the eggs away with a fine toothed comb dipped in Murphy’s oil soap.  She used a saline solution in the raccoon’s ears, explaining that it caused the maggots to retreat out the ear cavity, where they could be collected with tweezers.  She placed the small animal on a heating pad and worked diligently, with a focus that rivaled my own, and a skill which clearly surpassed my clumsy, bungling efforts.  Here was a true master at work, and I observed her with rapt attention.  What a useful skill she had, the ability to save lives, and what an entirely selfless cause she had devoted herself to!  I admired this woman, and her devotion to the rescue and care of wild animals.  I wondered how I could learn to be more like her.  I watched as she administered antibiotics and a bit of Nutri Cal to her new patient.  Once she was certain that the maggots had been evicted from the baby animal’s body, she told me she would begin tube feeding her.  The little raccoon had clearly been abandoned for some time.  She was thin and weak, and her eyes, though bright, were sunken due to lack of nourishment.  The good thing was that she’d likely had all the fly eggs removed just as they’d begun to hatch.  Once they’re laid, the wildlife rehabilitator told me, they hatch within a matter of hours.

Returning to our campsite that evening, I felt pretty pleased with what we had done.  With luck, the baby raccoon would survive the experience, and I would have helped in saving her life, though I was now only responsible for a small part of the rescue effort.  I was relieved to have acknowledged that the situation was beyond the reach of my amateur abilities.  I hadn’t persisted in my own efforts out of pride, as I had done in the past.  After observing a true master at work, I was grateful for my humility.

Putting the experience behind us, we very thoroughly washed our hands and arms, and quickly prepared a dinner of veggie dogs with hummus and some fruit salad.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a family drum circle, like the woodland hippies we are.  Off in the distance all the while, I could hear a strong, monkey-like cry, which was very reminiscent of the cry that the baby raccoon had made when I wiped her head with a damp washcloth.  I realized there was another baby raccoon in the woods, not far from us.  I found myself wondering if it was tucked safely inside its nest, and if so, why was it wailing all through the night?

At around 1 am, I decided to return to my tent for a stick of the large outdoor incense I’d been burning.  With the incense in hand, I paused at the door to my tent, aware that the shrill, monkey- like shrieking seemed to be coming from very close by.  What if there was another baby raccoon out there dying, its body being consumed alive by maggots?  I had to make sure that this was not the case, because the alternative would fill me with horror and guilt in the morning.  After all, I reminded myself, fly eggs hatch in a matter of hours.  With my flashlight in hand, I turned and headed into the woods, following the sound of the shrieking animal.

It wasn’t long before I found it, another baby raccoon, in a similar condition to the first.  I wrapped it in a nylon bag and rushed back to the house.  I saw that the fly eggs were beginning to hatch on this unfortunate orphan.  However, it appeared as though his infestation was less severe.  Nonetheless, it would take a lot of work. 

I began the endeavor feeling fully energized and confident of my abilities.  I could do it, I thought eagerly.  I’d just seen how it was done!  Now, all I need are supplies, I thought, my mind racing.  I rushed around the house in search of substitutes for fine toothed combs, Murphy’s oil soap, saline solution, and heating pads.  Assembling these items around my new charge, I threw myself into the rescue effort.  However, it wasn’t long before I grew frustrated.  My makeshift supplies simply weren’t working as well as the rehabilitator’s.  Maggots were everywhere.  I found myself washing my hands constantly out of fear and revulsion.  What if they ate into this baby raccoon’s ears, I thought frantically?  They hatch in a matter of hours.  They hatch in a matter of hours!  As I struggled to control the infestation, the wildlife rehabilitator’s words echoed in my mind like a taunting refrain.  How many hours had it been since I discovered the first raccoon?  How many hours had this one lain like that, unattended, uncared for?  How many hours?  It was all a matter of hours.  The hours were all that mattered.  How many hours?  How many?

As anxiety overwhelmed me, I turned to my boyfriend, who was still standing firmly by my side, through all of my animal- rescue mania.  It was then that his own strength in the face of crisis became finally apparent to me.  No, he wasn’t the action man, leaping into the fray with tweezers and syringes of saline on the ready.  In truth, there didn’t need to be two of us frantically attending the baby raccoon.  His role in this crisis was to provide calm and patient support through my frenzy of activity.  Like yin and yang, our dynamic balanced itself.

Yet the baby raccoon’s condition was not abating.  My tools were simply not as effective as the rehabilitator’s had been, and we were a long way from the nearest 24 hour superstore… nearly as far as we were from the rehabilitator herself.  Hesitantly, I picked up the phone.  It was after 1 am… Slowly, I dialed her number. 

Much to my surprise, she was still awake and working on the first raccoon.  She invited me back over, and so my boyfriend and I hopped back in the car with our second orphaned baby and sped down the roads as quickly as we could.

Down one rural stretch of road, we came upon a large adult raccoon standing in the center of our lane.  In my exhausted state, I hit the accelerator instead of the brake, and we found ourselves racing toward the animal before I’d realized what happened.  We jolted forward, and then I slammed on the brake.  We lurched to a stop.  The raccoon simply stood there, entranced by our headlights, and regarded us for a long moment before slowly moving off.  The whole encounter felt very strange, like an omen of sorts.  I found myself wondering if I had passed the test Raccoon had set for me. 

Reaching the rehabilitator’s yet again, we watched as she tirelessly began a similar procedure for our second baby raccoon.  She seemed to feel that this one would fare better than the first, because he was larger and stronger.  We left that night feeling utterly exhausted and confused by the events of the long day, and the longer night, as well as greatly in need of a very long shower.

All through the following week, I found that I couldn’t shake the experience from my mind.  Did it have some sort of meaning, I found myself wondering?  Or was I merely being superstitious?  If I was living in a shamanic culture today, I would likely now believe that I possessed Raccoon Medicine.  I would feel that Raccoon had sought me out to offer its guidance after posing its series of tests.  Could that be the case even in today’s modern world? 

Ignoring for the moment the possible esoteric shades of the experience, and assuming that nothing has meaning at all unless we grant it, what deeper significance could I impart to this course of events?  Clearly, it taught me much about myself, my gut instincts, and my attitude in a crisis.  I also learned much about my relationship with my boyfriend through the ordeal we shared.  Furthermore, I learned that a person with natural inclinations such as mine ought to develop some degree of veterinary skill so as to avoid anxiety and the panic of inexperience.  I now feel proud of my actions, and the feelings behind them, but I can’t deny that I lack skill.  I therefore found myself inquiring about wildlife rehabilitation classes and volunteer work with our local park system.  In the interest of someday becoming exactly who I want to be, I think this would be an excellent idea. 

I feel that “definitive experiences” such as these can show us who we want to be, and what truly matters to each of us.  Without such shocking stimuli to spur us into action, many of us drift through life apathetically, never discovering a cause to devote ourselves to.  With last weekend’s events behind me, I find that my former apathy has dissolved, to be replaced by a new sense of ambition to become my ideal self.  This ideal self is someone strong and compassionate, someone whose determination and resolve truly matter, at least in the eyes of two baby raccoons.

Soahki  is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

1 Comment

Filed under science, Uncategorized

I Can Make You Longer And Stronger

A 30% addition to the human base average. Its cheap, easy, healthy, maybe even fun—definitely a strong ‘maybe’ there. Regardless, this is going to revolutionize the human experience. Just think: my old, crotchety ass raging into the future, much to the dismay of latter generations. Tee hee.

What I am recommending is intermittent fasting; instead of eating everyday, you eat every other day.

Questions?

1. Is this healthy?
Probably healthier than whatever it is you’re doing now. Most human beings Americans consume more than enough nutrients and calories in a single day to feed three individuals; you can certainly get by with a lot less. For every day that you eat your body is storing plenty of carbs, fats and proteins to be used during your following ‘no eating’ day. If you’re still concerned, consult your doctor; what you hear may surprise you (“Don’t believe what you read on the Internet. Idiot”).

2. Will I lose weight?
Not really. Your body goes into starvation mode on your ‘no eating’ day, essentially cutting your nutrient intake for unnecessary functions. What you will see is a steady weight plateau of no gains or losses. You’re achieving homeostasis in a way, so work out and diet (or don’t, fatty) until you look the way you want, then begin intermittent fasting.

3. How is this going to make ‘me’  longer?
Your body is made up of cells that have to regenerate themselves—sometimes daily. During these regenerations (think cell creation, mitosis) your DNA becomes synthesized over and over and over again, becoming less and less like the original data it originated from. Eventually your cells will function poorly and be more susceptible to disease or cancer.

Intermittent fasting will cut down (50%) on cell loss and regeneration in some key areas: namely your digestive and circulation systems. Whenever you eat millions of cells are being lost and regenerated, all the way from your mouth to your anus. From your large intestine the nutrients (and other things, like excess bad cholesterol) are shipped around your body through your bloodstream, with millions more cells being affected.

By regenerating less, your cells will be eating through their 9 lives much slower. Therefore, you shall last longer. And be healthier, so stronger as well.

Ugh, do I really want to live that old in the first place...

Ugh, do I really want to live to be that old in the first place...

See? You can defy death and look into the future without circling the earth at high speeds or by creating any other sort of asinine time-traveling machine. Now if only I could forsake eating food altogether…

jakefunc is a contributing writer of projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

2 Comments

Filed under science

Are We Too Connected?

Let me start this post by saying–all is well with me. Having said that, a recent, (very recent,) trip to the emergency room has left me a bit shaken. Not because of any horrific incident or heinous injury or painful experience, but because of how completely and totally disconnected I  felt for the five hour ordeal.

There are two things everyone should know about hospitals in general. The first, expect to wait…and wait, and wait. The second, expect to be required to turn off your cell phone. Ah yes, the cell phone. A once rather large and cumbersome device, now a neatly packaged window to the world. The cell phone has become such a staple in our lives that it serves a variety of purposes. Our cell phones are our alarms,  our internet, our music players, our task managers, our calculators, our cameras, and even our camcorders. In fact a great deal of children even have one by the age of ten; and if they are anything like my cousin’s eleven year old son…they have owned four of them.

We use our cell phones to check in, check up, check out, and everything in between. It is no wonder that while sitting a mere five feet from my beloved device–I was beginning to panic. Granted, majority of my panic stemmed from the fact that not a single family member or friend was with me in the hospital. I felt I owed them the convenience of those courteously text messages to let them know I was doing fine. What was everyone thinking? Were they leaving me voicemails, were the texting me, would my phone be flooded with concerns and complaints when I finally exited the building and eagerly pushed the one button that would reconnect me with my friends and family?

To make matters worse I had left a message with my father telling him to call the hospital in a few hours if he had not heard anything. As I lay on the less than accomodating matress freezing my ass off and enjoying the black screen of a tv I apparently was not permitted to utilize, the nurses at the station were looking my way. A phone call had come in for me, hurray, I felt like ET contacting his planet, except I was not assisted by a sweet girl in pigtails to make the call out myself. The nurse placed my call on hold and gingerly walked in, removed the very old and very heavy telephone from the counter behind my back and placed it in my lap. After a brief conversation with my father it was taken away from me and placed once again on the counter.

The minutes ticked by, and then the hours. I vaguely remembered telling my dad I would call him and update him again after a few tests were run–my aggravation rose as I starred intently upon my purse sitting on the chair, and then to the bulky ancient clunk of junk on the counter. Neither was going to be useful any time soon. If any of you have ever actually spent any time in an emergency room, you quickly learn what must be nurse 101: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES MAKE CONTACT WITH PATIENTS UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY ENTERING THEIR ROOM FOR A REASON. This prevents silly questions like: “May I use that phone in the corner for a moment to contact the outside?”

At one point I even attempted to use the FORCE to unzip my purse, rummage in the bag for the cell phone, float it over to me, etc. Of course that was fruitless. Knowing full well how non jedi I am…I then began to make circular motions across the top of the “Call the nurse,” red–don’t touch me unless you are dying, button. Do I press the button? I truly am on the verge of a panic attack. THERE ARE PEOPLE WORRYING ABOUT ME, I MUST LET THEM KNOW I AM ALIVE AND WELL. Most of you will have realized by now that I clearly do not trust the hospital to make the appropriate emergency calls–lets just say I had some bad experience with that on a previous visit.

So here I am expecting the monitor to start beeping out of control as my pulse or blood pressure shoots up just because I have sat for four hours with virtually no contact with another human being. My thoughts are over powering me and my mind is racing. All I can think about is talking to someone–anyone, even that orderly who stood off to the side also avoiding my eyes. It was like a desire to just constantly update and post my status change–to dare I say it, even TWITTER. Thankfully at some point I drifted off into a slumber and some of my babbling incoherent thoughts ceased.

This experience has made me realize just how deeply embedded technology is in my own existence; how dependent I truly am on the instant gratification I get from sending and receiving a quick text message from my desk, or responding to individuals on Facebook or Myspace during my breaks. Recently the idea that blogging has become an acceptable platform for the written word has been  some what humorous to me. A change in times I thought to myself…but is it really all that much of a laughing matter if I cannot sit in silence for five hours?

Eight months ago I did not even have a cell phone and today nowadays I have a meltdown if I leave it in the house when I am on the way out the door. Come to think of it, every single social gathering I have been to–be it at someones home, a bar, a restaurant–each and every0ne of us still flips our phones out and sends our little text messages. Are there individuals out there who would still consider that rude? I personally have grown so accustomed to it I never even notice anymore.

Here is a perfect example. Friday night was girls night. Movies, junk food, music, whatever came to our minds–and we were staying in. Half way through the night I realized how heartless our attempt was–both of us were continuously texting some male throughout the night. I think I want to propose a new rule–if you are out to a party, out to dinner, or even just over someones house visiting–perhaps turn the cell off, maybe even leave it in the car.

I mean as a society it is pretty bad when we all still consider sneaking our cell phones in the ER when a sign is posted that CLEARLY tlls us to turn them off as to not effect someone’s pace maker or whatever excuse they give. I felt guilty the entire time I desired mine. Sometimes the other people in your life can just wait. Especially if you are trying to make sure yours is okay.

eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

9 Comments

Filed under science, Uncategorized

Wake Up: You Have Swine Flu

Soon enough you’ll have a little piggy tail to match your sniffling snout, nose deep in the home-sty littered with the corpses of the unfortunate. The World Health Organization might as well boost its rating to a Level 6 pandemic because H1N1 is here, right now, in your town. I myself stocked up on Tamiflu years ago when the last ‘animal’s viral vengeance against man’ swept through; good luck, suckers.

But to be completely honest, you’re more likely to be trampled to death by a herd of flu-panicked hypochondriacs at the pharmacy than actually die from the Swine Flu. Since January of this year, the ‘regular’ flu has killed over 13,000 people in the United States (see http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/28/regular.flu/index.html). Influenza: 13,000. Swine Flu: 5. So why did I even bring this issue to your attention? Because its bullshit propagated by the news media to woo you. Totally unfair. I should have a free shot at warming your heart/loins with some Bush-era fear tactics too.

!!!!!!!!YOU’S GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!

©2009 jakefunc

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Politics, science