Why is Science Important?

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This past weekend there was a march in Washington, D.C., along with other marches around the world in support of science.  We actually needed a march to support science.  I still can’t wrap my head around that fact.  The marches were in support of evidence, fact-based and peer-reviewed science.  This is needed since the administration in Washington is against both science and peer-viewed research.  Research needs to be peer-reviewed, since anyone could claim to be a scientist, publish a “study” and claim anything.  We already can see that happening, so it needs to be stopped.  Science is actually one subject that can be proved correct.  Just because someone doesn’t like what is scientifically proven doesn’t mean that they have the ability to claim it is false.

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For those people who think that we don’t need science, do you like using your technology?  Phones, laptops, t.v., all are science-based.  Should funding be cut, so will your technology.  How about “cutting-edge” health care?  All those new life-saving surgeries are based on science.  Do you like your new medicines?  Those too come from science. If funds are cut so will your health, since there will be less money spent on keeping you healthy.  Science is life-saving.  It affects all of us in every part of our lives.  Support science, your life may very well depend on it.

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Dreaming of Gardens

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We have two wood stoves at my house, and this is how we heat in winter.  While that’s all well and good, we also have to take some trees down every year, as well as get some logs delivered in order to have enough wood to last a winter.  Luckily, we’re nearing the end of taking our own trees down, and have only a few more to go.  Since we’ve already rented a wood chipper this spring, I know that we’re finished with the trees this year.  Unfortunately, we needed to take down some smaller trees in the backyard due to their being a hazard.  Because of this, we now have some room back there that will be rather bare once we get the trees cut up and the wood stacked.

So, I’ve been dreaming of gardens.  You know, those fantastic English gardens that look so wonderfully peaceful?  Those gardens.  However, as much as I dream of having gardens like that, I know that I just don’t have the ability to create them.  In my head, I’m the most artistic person ever.  In reality, not so much.  I do have a spatial-relation problem (I can’t picture how something is going to look), but I also don’t know much about gardens.  Years ago, I had a large vegetable garden, and I did manage that pretty well.  However, I’ve never planted flowers and have no idea how to go about it.  So, for the moment I’m just dreaming of gardens.

If you have any books for inept beginners that I could read in the subject, I’d be grateful if you’d let me know.  Meanwhile, here are some photos of wonderful gardens to enjoy!

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Spring

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Even though we had what you could only call a late winter – very little snow until the end of February, then feet of snow in March, I have the feeling that Spring may actually be here at last.  Of course, we broke the temperature records for heat this week, but thankfully that was just one day.   As I’m writing this, it’s a pretty chilly 60° out with quite a breeze.  However, I’m hoping that we’re all done with the snow – I hope.  Connecticut’s been known to suffer blizzards in April.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken in the last few days showing that Spring just may be here.  Enjoy!

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Winter Wonderland

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For most of the winter we haven’t gotten much snow, as a matter of fact the winter has unsurprisingly been fairly warm.  However, just a few days ago, it was 60°, (and we were battling mud), then the next day we got 17 inches of snow.  One of the old quotes about New England is “If you don’t like the weather, just stick around for a few hours, it’ll change.”  This winter is stretching that truism quite far.  However, with all the snow, it’s turned into a winter wonderland, and I just wanted to share some of my pictures with you.  Enjoy!

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This is where you put the Frisbee to avoid it getting caught in the snow blower.

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Some Information on Ayurveda

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I’ve been thinking about health for a while now.  My Fibromyalgia has been gradually getting worse as I’ve been getting older.  I let myself stop working out and now that I’m back at it, it seems to be taking me a long time to get some flexibility back.  I don’t want to be a little old lady who can barely walk at the ripe old age of 60 (when I do get there).  One of my resolutions this year was to go to the Doctor for a physical, so I’ve got to do that.  I don’t think that other than my Fibromyalgia I’ve really got anything else going on, but since I haven’t been to the doctor for quite a few years, I think a physical could be a good idea.

Since I like to research things, I found myself looking up information on Ayurveda.  For those of you who don’t really understand what it is, here is an explanation, copied directly from the website.

“The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.”  http://www.chopra.com/articles/what-is-ayurveda

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When I read that, I thought it was a great way to look at health.  Of course, everything is interrelated, and we really do need to learn how to meditate, slow down and care for ourselves.  This is such a problem for me.  I’m one of those people who, when told in an airplane that I would have to place the oxygen mask on myself before placing one on my child, recoils.  Intellectually I know it makes sense, but why would I put myself before my child?  See my problem?

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I’m determined to explore this “self-care” more this year, and encourage you to do so too.  Since I hate pharmaceuticals, I don’t want to be put on any.  I want my health to come from natural sources such as what I eat, how I think and how I take care of my body.  Let me know what things you do to stay health in mind and body.  I’m going to explore this Ayurveda path, and I’ll probably talk about it in some future posts.

 

Looking for Happiness

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This week was rather difficult.  I got a large unexpected credit card bill, actually, this brought the grand total of my recent credit card bills up to over two thousand dollars, over the course of the last three months.  That was what was on top of the past due amount of over three thousand dollars.  This is the last card that I have to pay off, however at this rate I’ll never do it.  I feel like Sisyphus, and my free-spending husband is the rock.  This is what happens when you get married to someone whose money-management skills caused the rent to be over-due by three months, and the electric to be shut off due to non-payment in the fourth month after you married.  Needless to say, I pay the bills now.

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But, I digress.  The recent past included the wonderful experience of my first Thanksgiving with Tofurky.  I couldn’t believe how good it tasted, and the smell of the spices cooking filled my house with deliciousness.  It has taken all these years for Tofurky to make an appearance at my local grocery store.  It was one of those mystical beasts that we’d always heard of, but never seen.  Our Thanksgiving dinner was peaceful and filled with love.  I hope that yours was also.

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Another happy occurrence was that we finally got some rain.  Not a lot, but some.  And, since we’re in an extreme drought, that was a good thing!  In my town, some people have lost their wells, and they’ve had to have the well-driller come and drill deeper.  Luckily, we’ve got a deep well, but this is still a little bit of worry for me.  Yes, I am a real world-class worrier.

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The leaves are finally picked up.  We had some really high winds, and it cleaned most of them out.  What’s left will probably not come down until spring.  So, another fall related chore is done!   What are some of your wonderful happy things that have taken place recently?  Share them in the comments below.

Thoughts on Captain Fantastic

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First of all, I must say that I’m extremely “taken” with Viggo Mortensen – I think he’s not only handsome, but an interesting person (odd, but interesting).  I try to watch all the movies that he makes, since not only is he a wonderful actor, but he makes good movies.  Even if I find a movie difficult to watch (The Road and Good come to mind), any movie he makes is definitely fodder for thought.

So, with that in mind, I watched his latest movie, Captain Fantastic, the other night.  There is much to think about in this movie.  A quick over-view of the plot is that a husband (Ben) and wife (Leslie) decide to raise their children “off-the-grid” and away from all the “bad” influences of the modern world in the middle of the wilderness that is the Pacific Northwest.

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Who can argue with this assessment of the modern world?  I actually agreed with much of what Ben and Leslie believed.  Our food is poisoned; social media is invasive; schools teach to the test, and don’t promote much in the way of critical thinking; the pursuit of money and profit at the expense of people is pervasive.  These are all valid issues that should be discussed both individually and in larger venues.  So, with this in mind, the family grows their own food, hunts their own meat, learns survival skills and are almost completely independent.  Everything goes well, until Leslie’s mental illness makes her ability to cope (and live) frighteningly difficult.  Ben seeks help for her from her parents, and she is institutionalized.  While there, Leslie commits suicide.  The children want to attend the funeral that Leslie expressly did not want to have, and the family commences their exotic journey from the wilderness back into “civilized society”.

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However, as with most, if not all, reintroduction’s to “civilization”, they encounter stressful and comic situations.  In the first restaurant they go to, the younger children are convinced that the other people are ill due to their lack of physical fitness and weight.  When subjected to violent video games which their cousins are playing, the children are aghast, even though they all partake in actual hunting of animals for food.  Even though their aunt and uncle allow for violent game-play they refuse to let the cousins hear about the suicide of Leslie, finding no irony that their children routinely “kill” people while playing video games, but are too delicate to hear about mental illness.  This juxtaposing occurs throughout the movie, giving us fodder for the brain.

If you haven’t watched this movie, I hope that you do so.  If you have watched it, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.