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Alex Baer

Doubt Remover

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The story of our combative, snake-oiled times:  There are antidotes, and there are antidotes.

Well, we also have vaccines to help us skirt -- or brace for -- the worst of what the world can chuck at us.  There are all sorts of ways to avoid focus on one thing and pull attention onto another, as flashy magicians, petty pick-pockets, and pokerfaced charlatans all know.

But there are always ingenious methods to pull us back from permanently swallowing The Really Big Lies, too:  truth serum, hypnotic therapy, anti-psychotic medications, cult deprogramming methodologies, and so on.  Sometimes, even logic comes bubbling up to the surface in the drowning and airless front lines of public thought and reason, but not often.

Usually, we ask fire to fight fire, and ramp up to meet the lathering blather of the moment.  But, really, we are free to choose our own weapons in any exchange of ideas, or in any attempt to highlight the utter nonsense of arguments presented to us as reasoned and reasonable notions.

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  • Yes:  The arrow chosen from the quiver depends on the nature of the foe, as well as the nature of the archer.  The nature of tool selection also depends upon the archer being somewhat conscious:   Back-fires seldom start themselves in helpful spots, no more than games of pin-the-tail-on-the-non-denominational-animal help locate murderers.
  • Circumstances hardly ever favor long-term extremes of any kind.  (That all things in moderation quote you may have been fed along the path of life is not only a preface to healthy living precepts by our founders -- it's a principle of the universe, and is supported by that noticeable bulge in the bell curve of nearly any measure.)

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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2016 23:49 Read more...

Troll Models

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It may be the early Egyptians built the pyramids not with blocks, tackles, or roller logs, or even long-speculated minerals with anti-gravity properties.  They could have been hupped together by really, really strong coffee.

Although I admit the anti-gravity thing would be a nice touch, and would also help keep this season's ant parade from finding my triple-espresso mocha-supremo extra-grande within six seconds of touchdown of my free, attached, limited-edition, celebrity-signature model hand-truck-beverage-holder, up to the computer station, where it gets strapped in like tanks of liquid oxygen near the thruster ports.

Sometimes, you ride the caffeine rocket, and other times, it rides you. And, if you are interested in almost everything in Life, then it's sheer suicide to light the fuse without an onboard gyroscope and working directional fins.  (I speak from experience here.)

Anyhow, this is also how I started my morning's idle musing, pondering the concept of the role models being provided in our times, and then I wound up reading about a study of resilience in humans, then another about a test to indicate fragility and frailness...

... then, thinking back to that other article again, as I have been off and on, about the previous decades being about the celebrity of Production versus the celebrity of Consumption which we have now...

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 February 2016 23:35 Read more...

Another Fine Week

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It's been a heckuva week or so for Science lately:  Watching as black holes merged, observing gravitational ripples and waves, proving correct more of Einstein's theories...

That was just for openers.  We also learned that electrons in the metal graphene can behave like a liquid -- a real first -- and that the explanation for the Yellowstone supervolcano may need to be revised.

Plus, it also looks like Earth might have been formed by the collision of two early bodies -- and, for good measure,  hundreds more galaxies have been discovered playing peekaboo behind our own Milky Way.

There have been major scientific downsides recently as well:

  • An Indian man is believed to be the first person killed by a meteorite;
  • The European Space Agency says after 60 hours of operation after a jarring landing,  it's now bidding farewell to its Philae comet lander after no response; and
  • An Alaska woman says her 6-year-old Happy Meal refuses to decompose.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 February 2016 23:25 Read more...

Snuffed 'n' Stuffed

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After a scan of the majestic shoreline called humanity on some days, it's no wonder some of us swing around and paddle back out to sea, sometimes at great speed, perhaps harboring hunches we were simply all at sea to begin with, or, maybe, that we hadn't put in enough time yet, practicing the Dead Man's Float.

On our deregulated, tea-bagged, and GOP-sandbagged beaches,  there are seldom enough lifeguards handy, especially when you really need one -- like when your muscles tense up, you feel the undertow pulling you down, and panic sets in, just from a fleeting second's accidental  consideration of "Trump" and "launch codes" in the same thought.

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(A Dead Man's Float, by the way, might be two scoops of jalapeno ice cream in a blend of chili pepper vodka, hot sauce, Pepto Bismol [the original neon pink stuff], Tabasco sauce, and garnished with a Carolina Reaper -- the world's hottest pepper, so says Guinness.

They are expensive, these things, at $45,000 per throw, but it helps to remember that the cost of a funeral is included in the successful completion of legal paperwork required by anybody ordering one.)

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Last Updated on Friday, 12 February 2016 17:14 Read more...

Of Beasts & Burdens

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"It's not every day that you see a nation's leader not only fall on his sword, but, then, take the time to pick up a pike, mount it securely to the wall, back up, and then charge into the tip of that sharpened spear as well, and at full speed" said a well-known and respected host during an equally recognizable organization's news discussion program.

And this was only the beginning of the program.  Even more ladles of steaming, chunky, even luxurious, honesty were being promised, in the run-down of guests and topics for discussion.  The tape was never aired, of course, for a host of obvious reasons, and some oblique ones, too.

However, I got hold of this program after it was copied and sent around to me, and some others, by virtue of long-time friendships among the technical staff of a certain news group.  You'd know the organization in an instant if you looked at the tape and saw the set, but I no longer have the tape, not that anyone believes me.

I burned it, because of what else I saw, and what I knew it meant.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 22:43 Read more...

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