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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Your Attitude Affects Your Life

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In a way, that statement, your attitude affects your life, can be a little intimating. No one wants a bad life.  We all want to be happy, joyful and successful (however it is that we each measure success). When we want to change our behavior, we need to first change our attitude.  I’m pretty sure that everyone has heard all about an “attitude of gratitude”, and “thinking good thoughts”.  Yes, those are clichés, however, as with many clichés there is some truth to them.  If someone were to get up in the morning and think to themselves, I’m going to have a horrible, terrible no good day today.  We would think that they were crazy.  Who in the world would do that to themselves?  See, you do believe in attitude affecting behavior and change.

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So, today why not try something new.  Get up and think I’m going to have a great day.  Nothing is going to put me in a bad mood.  Whatever happens, I’ll deal with it and move on.  I’m going to try this, since I need an attitude adjustment – just like many other people.  Let’s give it a go and see if it works!

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Individualism

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In school, we learned all about “individualism” which according to Webster, is a doctrine where the interests of the individual are paramount, and the individual is totally self-reliant.  I was taught this theory by way of understanding that those who went west (“Go West, Young Man!) were the living symbol of this theory, since they were supposedly self-reliant, made it on their own, and were self-made men.  Except this never made any sense to me, because as a child I read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and was aware that no one who went west “made it” on their own.  Houses were collectively raised, crops were collectively brought in and help was there even if it was ten miles away.  Yes, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books were a fiction, however, the fiction was based on facts.  And, the facts proved this theory as a fiction.  Read Laura’s autobiography Pioneer Girl which tells a much different story regarding the help that these pioneers gave each other.

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So why is this myth so popular and enduring?  My cynical thoughts on this are that it’s convenient to use as a way to insist that Americans historically “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” by themselves.  However, even our first colonies were created by group effort – otherwise they all would have starved.  Individualism is a lie of massive proportions as shown by our elected officials insistence that: education, health care and a living wage are not rights of citizens.  They often insist that our ancestors were all self-made men, and in order for anyone to succeed, all we have to do, regardless of background, education or opportunities, is to work hard. That way, when people don’t make it, we can blame them.

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Therefore, even though plenty of people work two jobs, it’s still their fault when they need government assistance.  That way, we don’t have to have a conversation regarding the fact that low minimum wages are that no one can live on them, poor education, and lack of opportunities.  This blame-game is used for a variety of problems.  Welfare, food stamp and fuel assistance recipients can all be blamed, and that way we can avoid any conversations regarding why working people need so much help.  Meanwhile, CEO pay has increased a staggering 340 times that of the average worker and the poor often pay federal taxes at a higher percent than the rich.  Do you believe in individualism?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/17/ceo-pay-ratio-average-worker-afl-cio

http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/poor-pay-more-taxes-5660

 

Rising Rates of Colorectal Cancer in Younger People

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It’s no secret that there is a weight problem in the U.S.  Too many people eat fast food, and prepared food.  These foods have been shown to have an adverse effect on the health of the people who consume them.  The troubling thing is that these foods are addictive, they taste great, and they also cause health problems.

While I was unable to find any information on the exact diet that contributes to colorectal cancer on the AMA website, I was rather interested to see that they did advise the following:  physical exercise, and eating a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  They also advised against a diet that is high in meats and alcohol.  The main thing that they were concerned about was a high fiber intake.  Just a little fact that may (or may not) have to do with colorectal cancer, is that the average piece of red meat stays in the colon for 24 to 72 hours.

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Maybe getting this information out there will help people to change their diets for the better, I would think that eating more vegetables and fruits would be a happy change for most people.   There are many reasons to get healthier, and hopefully the realization that your cancer risk will decrease would be a hopeful one to start with.  Let me know if you feel that you’re eating a diet that’s high in fiber intake.

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-02/acs-sfc022317.php

http://www.alternet.org/food/are-bad-diets-causing-bowel-cancer-crisis-among-millennials?akid=15289.302291.Nls-6K&rd=1&src=newsletter1073670&t=14

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20050111/red-meat-eaters-risk-colon-cancer#1

https://www.reference.com/health/long-beef-digest-within-human-body-833d192464409d6c

 

 

International Women’s Day

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When I was initially talking to my husband about International Women’s Day he wondered why women needed one.  At first I was taken aback.  Seriously?  Then I realized that he looks at the world in only one way – as a man.  So, I thought that I’d make a list of why there needs to be an International Women’s Day.

Equality – women in general are paid less, however that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Maternity leave is not a paid for; as well as a higher cost of health insurance for being a woman.  Clothing marketed exclusively for woman is sold at a higher cost.

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Poverty – women and children are the largest group worldwide to live in poverty.  At any given time 795 million people go to bed hungry.  This number is on the rise due to war and the number of refugees.  More women and children live in poverty than any other group.

Restriction of Rights – women’s rights around the world are restricted in various ways.  Some include how they are “allowed” to dress; whether they can attend school, drive or even leave their houses by themselves; in some areas women are restricted from voting and owning property.   A woman’s right to many forms of health care has been restricted.  In many countries the kinds of work that a woman can legally perform is restricted by law.

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Violence – girls as young as 12 are routinely married in many countries; rape and domestic violence against girls and women is rising worldwide.  Sex trafficking has become rampant world-wide.

These are just a few of the reasons that there is an International Women’s Day.

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Signs

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This is one of those signs that everyone should think about and reflect on.  States are drug testing welfare recipients.  While this testing costs a lot of money, few people have been found to have taken drugs.  That money could have been used for other social welfare projects.  Also, there are a few bills in both state and federal legislatures to stop the free lunch and breakfast programs.  Wrap your head around that…a lot of people want children to go hungry.

Standing Rock is just one example of an oil companies’ profits outweighing the right to clean water and air.  Money over people.  The head of the EPA wants to dismantle it.  Does anyone remember why there was a movie about Erin Brockovich?

Refugees are now leaving the U.S. and walking into Canada.  I never thought that people would need to leave the U.S. in order to be safe.  My question, and it should be your question also, who is next?  The LBGTQ+ community?  The reporters who report the truth?  The Jewish community?  Minorities, any minority take your pick.  People who blog about these issues?  The potential list could go on and on.

Lastly, but not least, health care supposedly is not a right.  The U.S. in one of a few countries (and none of them are considered “first world” countries), that do not have universal health care.  We also spend more, by far, on the health care that we do have.  So, what your rights include is,  the right to die from not enough money to pay for health care.  Yes, that’s right.  Death is your right.  That’s what freedom is – apparently.

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Are Facts Important?

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Imagine if you will, a world without facts.  Nothing anyone says can be proven either true or false.  There are no facts, therefore there is no science nor mathematics, engineering or medicine.  Anything anyone says is equally true, so there is no right or wrong.  Where would we be?  If everything has equal validity, how does the world work?  Will buildings stand, airplanes fly?  How does it work if there’s no more knowledge of gravity, physics, medicine?  If everything someone simply “believes” is considered a fact, how do we know what is a true fact?

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What do you think?  Is there a place for facts in our world today?  Should there be?  Let me know in the comments below.