What with our storms this Winter we've seen a fair number of refugees being taken in by our aquatic park. Most years we still get refugees, and they still need support as they recover from their ordeal.
While informative the story does not say anything with how the sea lions handle being around people. Or with what happens with some of them after their return to the wild. My plan is to get in touch with the people at Sea World of San Diego to learn what they can tell me.
Now earlier a lady from Australia posted about an experience she had during the fires. Seems that a few of the animals she had fostered before the fires had returned to her, likely because they remembered her and how she had treated them. But I suspect that not all of them had actually had any contact with her before this occasion. Instead, they had just followed the lead of those who remembered her and had set out to get help from her. A case of "follow the leader."
I've heard of seals and sea lions released from rehabilitation approaching humans on the beach for help, and I suspect we have pretty much the same thing going on here as with the kangaroos in Australia. In any case I'll make a few inquiries with Sea World SD and report on it.
In this month's issue of National Geographic there is an article on pain (paywall). Has information on what pain is, what causes pain, and how we handle pain. Particularly interesting is the information on those who don't handle pain the way most of us do, such as a woman who really doesn't feel pain. At least not as intently as most of us do.
In the same issue there is an article on pain killers, and especially on the addiction that sometimes occurs in those who use the opioids. It is a devastating addiction, and ranks up there along with alcohol and nicotine. The article in question also prompted this observation:
An addiction is not a moral issue, an addiction just is.
Properly speaking an addiction is just a physical dependency on something. An addiction has nothing to do with any moral quality a person may have or not have. My Dad was addicted to nicotine, his moral standing played no role in the matter. An alcoholic is just addicted to alcohol, his ethics mean nothing when you get right down to it.
The next to the last time I was in a crisis house the staff insisted that everybody attend AA meetings. Meaning everybody. The assumption being that if you had to be there you had to be an alky. That is prejudice and it drove me out of the house. The staff of a crisis house is not supposed to be there to bully the clients, they're supposed to be there to help the clients. Still, bully they did, and that means I can't turn to something like a crisis house in the case of a crisis.
What it comes down to is, there are no moral answers to addiction. Dealing with addiction involves withdrawal and will power. You need to stop drinking, you need to be a stubborn bitch and have a community around you that understands and won't moralize.
After my operation I'll be taking Oxybutynin at 5mg 3 times a day for the pain. I may find myself addicted to it. I'm not going to like it, for the addiction will mean that I'm being controlled by an outside agency and I don't like that. It's bad enough I have to take Prozac for my depression, but at least there it's a chronic condition that I won't recover from. In time I will recover from the surgery and I won't need the Oxy to kill the pain for the pain will go away.
Now one thing the article on pain notes is that most people given a distraction really don't notice their pain. When he was a nine year old my brother, John, needed to have a gash sewn up. So the doctor gave him a comic book to read as the stitches were put in, and John never noticed when the sewing started. Even today when I'm distracted the pain I'm having at the moment sort of disappears. It works because we stink at multitasking, we just ain't smart enough to handle more than one detail at a time. I can't. I can notice a number of details all at once, but I can't handle them and that can lead me to freaking out.
Which leads me to two more observations. First, that for me knowing my problem is being dealt with will relax me and with that relaxation my pain will fade into the background. Second, my accepting the pain means I will relax and the pain I feel will ease. This will most likely be the case with any pain I have post surgery.
And all this thinking I've been doing has inspired another post, but since it is another topic entirely it can wait for later.
Hope you're all doing well, and remember that pain is your body's way of telling you, "Stop that!"
Is stressing me and keeping me up. For later today I go into the hospital to get ready for an operation. One of my left kidney in which the surgeon will be removing a pair of kidney stones, and then threading a string down the urethra to dangle out little Willie. I wouldn't dare go sky-clad around a cat in that situation.
I suspect the dread is in part due to my autism, but I have the feeling this is the sort of situation most mundanes wouldn't be comfortable with.
But in any case it does mean I will be off line for a few days. But I will have the chance to do a bit of writing in a composition book using my fountain pen. Expect some essays on Friday or later. And what's making you twitch?
In G. K. Chesterton's "The Napoleon of Notting Hill" the author introduces us to the game Cheat the Prophet. in the description he says...
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.
Now I expect that you can remember many a game of Notting Hill, but I especially remember one. It started back in the 1960s when experts predicted that we would be out of oil by 2020 at least. Many were confident we'd be out of oil long before the end of the 20th century. What did we do? We found more oil, and we learned how to get oil out of the ground that had been inaccessible earlier. Worst of all, we learned how to make it from garbage and plastic. People wonder where the flying cars are? I wonder, why do we still have gas powered cars anyway?
Have you ever wondered about how our cities would look with no cars? About worlds where the freeways have been converted into bike paths? Or neighborhoods where the small stores have reappeared, and the great majority of them are easily reached on foot?
A world where the smog is now coal and wood smoke mixed with fog?
Don't you just hate it when we have to get inventive?
California would raise taxes on some homeowners and use the money to pay for homeless services under a bill proposed Thursday by a state lawmaker.Assemblyman David Chiu, a Democrat from San Francisco, wants to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction on vacation homes.His bill would also lower the amount of mortgage interest people could claim for their primary homes on their state taxes. Mortgage interest would be deductible on home loans of up to $750,000 instead of the current cap of $1 million. Homeowners are already capped at $750,000 on their federal taxes, a change adopted by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will announce his state spending plan on Friday, flush with a multi-billion surplus that state lawmakers expect he will use to give full health benefits to more low-income adults living in the country illegally.The deep-blue state of nearly 40 million people has about 3 million people left who don't have health insurance. About 30% of those are living in the country illegally, according to the California Health Care Foundation.
And I can expect the reactions from certain parties. I mean, he's proposing to spend California's surplus instead of letting it gather mold as it's currently doing. Why, next we can expect more immigrants and more money being spent on infrastructure and the like.
And expect this thinking to get exported to the rest of the country. People being asked to spend their hardly earned money on the rest of society. How cruel can you be?
I like to think of this as an investment. May not pay off, but it's likely much cheaper in the long run than what we're doing now.
Keep in mind that California's governor Gavin Newsome is a liberal and as a liberal he's likely to have liberal solutions to our problems. Considering how conservative solutions to homelessness have backfired over the years, I'm in favor of liberality in this matter.
Of course I am in favor because I have been homeless. Add in my medical problems and living on the streets is not something I can handle right now. Add in the fact that currently the homeless are doing things harmful to their environment, and that means we need to do something to put them into situations where we can keep an eye on them easier and to encourage them to handle their situation better than they are now.
Oh, that's what hydrogen water is, just water with hydrogen infused into it. But I saw nothing on how it's supposed to work. I'm seeing assumptions on the part of the supporters and a desire to take advantage of people. It's pseudo-science and it stinks.
Okay, what I'm doing here is writing about memes. Not memes as in jokes or humor, but memes as in ideas. The original description of the term.
As I'm using the term here, memes are ideas. Thoughts if you'd like. In this case a proposed thought that describes what the author (me in this case) proposes as something to think about. Properly speaking a meme does not have to be funny. It does need to provoke thought. That is, to get the reader to think about an idea. Evolution is a meme. Physics is a meme. The mechanism of evolution is a memeplex, a body of memes connected in some fashion so as to bolster or reinforce a proposition.
Today's meme has to do with what amounts to my description of the term, "metaphysics". I'm using the second definition of "metaphysics" from Merriam-Webster, which says in part, "A division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality...". In short, where physics deals with the physical, metaphysics deals with the nature of physics. In other words, how it works. We all know of gravity, but with Newton and Einstein their theories deal with how it works, and by extension why.
Which brings us to the nature or metaphysics of the universe. As I see it it works this way.
The universe is an expanding sphere. Last I've heard it's some 40 billion light years in diameter, though I could be wrong. It is also a solid sphere, being entirely space/time in composition with no gaps. Indeed, there can be no gaps in space time. To make this simple, there can never be nothing. What we think of as nothing is just an illusion.
In addition space/time can be neither created or destroyed, only changed from one state to another. As I see it, it is either compressed (folded) or uncompressed (flat).
In addition space time as a whole is always in contact with itself. In a sense everything we know of is entangled, it is always entangled, and it can not be separated in any sense of the word from itself.
There are implications here, what those implications will have what for later. In case you're wondering, I like to think of myself as a theoretical metaphysician. Experimental metaphysican is another matter entirely and a field I'm just not competent in. In any case I'll write more on this subject later in the series.