Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, October 26, 2012

News Bits - October 26, 2012

I'm going to start off with the story that is all over the news here in the northeastern US - Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a. The Perfect Storm, a.k.a. Frankenstorm, etc.)  Our local newscasters/meteorologists are calling it The Perfect Storm. The news is that this hurricane could actually turn into more of a blizzard and just sit over the northeast for a while, grabbing moisture from the ocean and creating snow and winds and horrible conditions that we've never seen before!  I'm not panicking yet as the storm is still down in the Bahamas currently but I will be picking up a few extra supplies when I go shopping this weekend just in case.  We'll be fine as long as the electric doesn't go out.  If that happens and it's cold, we'll have no heat.  But!  We'll just wait and see what happens. It's really too early to be sure what will occur. Quite frankly, I think the newscasters are just happy to have something to talk about other than the upcoming election.  I do hope that they aren't getting us all excited over nothing!

Speaking of the election, I've come across yet another thing that outrages me about Mitt Romney!  I realized that he is against LGBT rights - well, recently, at least (it's one of those issues he's "changed his mind on") - but this week he stated that he feels that it should be up to the individual states to decide whether to allow gay/lesbian partners (and their children) to visit their dying spouses in the hospital! Oh sure, Mittens!  Tell us, again, how you support families! He says it's a "privilege" not a right!  I call bullshit! It most certainly is a right: The right to be treated as a human being! This sort of thing upsets me so much that I'm just going to move on to the next story before I explode.

Here's a story with a happy ending:  A paraplegic survived 3 days stranded in the desert in New Mexico! His story is a bit of a cautionary tale - he should have been more careful about who he hitched a ride with - but I'm just glad to know that he will be alright.  It could have turned out so much worse. I have to wonder about the people who drove past him by the side of the road and did nothing. Even if you didn't feel safe stopping yourself, wouldn't you contact the authorities to check it out? I guess, perhaps, people don't always think.

In science news, I have a story that makes a lot of sense to me - as I never personally experienced the effect. It appears that PMS - at least the mood-changing aspects of it - may be a myth! Sorry, folks. Scientists really can't find a link between a woman's period and mood swings so this one is all wet. This doesn't mean that one doesn't have other symptoms at that time of the month, but you can't blame that bad mood directly on the changing hormones.  There's just not enough evidence to make that connection.

Speaking of science news, I'm sure that most of us are familiar with the placebo effect. Well, scientists may have discovered why it works better for some than others: It might be genetic! This study was a smaller study and scientists will certainly have to continue to research this but this could really change how medication is prescribed!  It's an interesting hypothesis, in any case.

That's all I have this week. The lessons to take away are: Watch out for pending hurricanes and don't hitchhike! Stay safe, all!

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