July 14, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of July 14, 2017. Susan and I went our separate ways today. Me to my dentist for 4 fillings and Susan to her Doc for a “Stress Test” and a “Mammogram”. Seems like the primary reason we leave the house any more is for grocery shopping and doctor appointments!   As a practical matter, with Susan having dialysis every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday   … day trips are about all we could do anyway … not to mention leaving 5 dogs alone in the house overnight.

After checking my Facebook page earlier, it is amazing to me that 7 months into Trumps presidency, the same folks who bad mouthed him after the election, are still bad mouthing him. Trump is a political outsider who campaigned and was elected on his promise to make a change and take insiders out, by campaigning for and establishing term limits … won’t happen. Insiders from both parties refuse to offer legislation to do so and he can’t do it without them. Against all odds, he was elected. Then and now, you have the “insiders” in BOTH parties, the “left” and “right” actively engaged in a campaign to denigrate his character and intellect. These attacks are “stupid”, (Note: “ignorant” is fixable with education. “Stupid” is to the bone!), because the posters don’t understand, Trump has the American people behind him … for now. They are counting on their campaign to “denigrate his character and intellect” with the American people, to counter that support. It may … if you hear something often enough, after awhile, you believe it’s true. There are some Trump policies I agree with … and some I don’t. But I sure don’t have to worry about Trump trying to feed me a line of BS to further his personal goals. It saddens me to see anti-Trump posts by people I like and respect. Makes me wonder? Is their opinion “ignorant” or “stupid”? I want to believe … it is “ignorance” … they just haven’t taken the time to research and investigate … instead, just decided to follow the “party line”.

The legal news: (BBC NEWS) — Judge rules pacemaker data admissible in court. “An Ohio judge has ruled that data from a pacemaker can be used in court. Defendant Ross Compton, who faces aggravated arson charges, claims he was woken by a fire at home, packed a case, broke a window and threw out the bag. A cardiologist told police his explanation was “highly improbable” based on his heart rate and cardiac rhythms at the time. Mr Compton’s lawyer said allowing pacemaker evidence expanded government snooping into private data. “We take the strong position that medical data regarding the inner functions of one’s body, designed to assist a doctor in keeping a patient alive, should be safeguarded against government overreach,” he told tech news website CNet. “As was argued to the court, what is next on this slippery slope as technology advances?” I don’t see how this ruling could survive an appeal. Two issues. “Reasonable expectation of privacy” and the prohibition against “self incrimination”. Although there is no specific mention, in our Bill of Rights, of the fundamental right of privacy, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Griswold v. Connecticut, recognized that “privacy” is a fundamental penumbra right implied in the 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments. Isn’t there a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in internal medical devices? Further, the 5th Amendment to our Constitution states in it’s pertinent parts: “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

And in the “Why would you do this?” news. (BBC NEWS) — Gif and image written into the DNA of bacteria. An image and short film has been encoded in DNA, using the units of inheritance as a medium for storing information. Using a genome editing tool known as Crispr, US scientists inserted a gif – five frames of a horse galloping – into the DNA of bacteria. Then the team sequenced the bacterial DNA to retrieve the gif and the image, verifying that the microbes had indeed incorporated the data as intended. I suppose being able to store vast amounts of data in something as a small as a bacteria has value. But to whom? Certainly not something you could hook up to your PC and store family pics.

Interesting! (BBC NEWS) — Lark or night owl? Blame your ancestors. “Our ancestors could be to blame for the wide variety of human sleeping habits, from larks to night owls. Staggered sleeping patterns would have been an advantage in the distant past, when we lived in groups and needed someone to look out for wild beasts, say researchers. Anthropologists monitored sleep in the Hadza people of Tanzania who still live a hunter-gatherer existence. Over 20 days and nights, someone was awake for almost all of the time. “Out of some 200 hours for the entire study, for only 18 minutes were they actually all sleeping synchronously,” said lead researcher Dr David Samson of the University of Toronto, Canada. “The median was eight individual adults who were alert at any given time throughout the night – so that’s 40% of the entire adult population of these camps.” A person’s circadian rhythm, or body clock, is 40% -70% genetic. The rest is influenced by environment and, interestingly, age. I did not know that young people’s are much more likely to be active later in the day while older people are more active earlier in the day.

Legal fees. (BBC NEWS) — Philip Morris: Tobacco giant ordered to compensate Australia. “Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian government millions of dollars after unsuccessfully suing the nation over its world-first plain-packaging laws. In 2012, Australia legislated that cigarettes must be sold in unappealing packets with graphic health warnings. Philip Morris had tried to force the laws to be overturned, but a court dismissed its claim in 2015. The tobacco giant has now been ordered to pay the government’s legal costs. The exact sum was redacted from the international Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decision, but the Sydney Morning Herald reported it was as high as $38m. Under Australian law, (based on the British Common Law), the victor in a civil suit gets attorneys fees. In the US, attorney’s fee are not recoverable in civil actions, UNLESS the civil action is based on a writing that specifically authorizes them. 

Sitting here editing these Ramblings while waiting for Susan to come home and listening to the evening news. She went shopping with her niece. We are looking forward to a quiet weekend at home. On the evening news? Continued Trump trashing with additional swipes at Trump Jr. Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Stuffed chicken breasts, rice and corn. The movie? “Kong Skull Island [2017]”

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I remain nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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June 7, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of July 7, 2017. Last Saturday morning, we helped Buddy cross over to the Rainbow Bridge. In the last Ramblings I shared: “”Buddy” our almost deaf and blind 19 year old miniature dachshund has stopped eating. He has difficulty walking and spends almost all his time sleeping. He is not in any pain, (at least from what Susan and I can tell). We have seen this before with other dogs. It is almost like they have made a conscious decision that they have lived a good, full life … and   … it is time to move on.” During the day, he would sit in my chair with me. At night, he slept on my pillow with me. All he wanted was to be close to me … and he was. It was obvious Friday night, that he was in pain. It is hard to express the grief/pain I have been feeling this past week … looking at an empty chair and the bag of treats I kept on my desk for him. I know we did the right thing   … but it sure doesn’t lessen the pain. I like to believe, he is now playing with his brothers and sisters by the “Rainbow Bridge”, waiting for Susan and I.

In the medical news: (BBC NEWS) — The Worrying Effects of Working More and Sleeping Less. “The pressure to work more and sleep less is driving a global epidemic with worrying consequences, says neuroscientist Matt Walker … “Back in the 1940s people were sleeping on average just a little bit over eight hours a night, and now in the modern age we’re down to around 6.7, 6.8 hours a night,” says Matt Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley … For adults, the modern world is full of things which reduce sleep. Caffeine, which keeps us awake. Alcohol, which fragments our sleep and suppresses dreaming. And although we’ve improved the conditions for sleeping, with everything from better mattresses to smoke-free homes, our controlled environment may also have created problems, Walker says. “One, which people may find surprising, is central heating and central air conditioning. So, when the sun sets, temperature drops dramatically and when the sun rises it starts to pick back up. Our bodies expect that beautiful thermal lull. And what we have done is dislocate ourselves from the natural ebb and flow that tells us when it’s time to sleep and actually helps us get to sleep … And then there’s technology. No longer just artificial light, but all sorts of devices with LED screens, emitting a powerful form of blue light. “Now that blue light unfortunately will put the brakes on the release of a hormone called melatonin at night, and melatonin signals when you should sleep … “Every major disease that is killing us in the developed world: Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, suicidality. All of them have direct now and very strong causal links to deficient sleep.”” For me   … a shot of vodka when I hit the sack works better than an Ambien! 

In the piracy news: (BBC NEWS) — Stream-ripping is ‘fastest growing’ music piracy. “Stream-ripping is now the fastest-growing form of music piracy in the UK, new research has suggested. Several sites and apps allow users to turn Spotify songs, YouTube videos and other streaming content into permanent files to store on phones and computers. Record labels claim that “tens, or even hundreds of millions of tracks are illegally copied and distributed by stream-ripping services each month”. One service alone is thought to have more than 60 million monthly users. According to research by the Intellectual Property Office and PRS For Music, 15% of adults in the UK regularly use these services, with 33% of them coming from the 16-24 age bracket. Overall usage of stream-ripping sites increased by 141.3% between 2014 and 2016, overshadowing all other illegal music services. In September last year, these sites were used 498,681 times to pirate music in the UK. By comparison, file-sharing service BitTorrent was used 23,567 times; and Cyberlocker sites like Dropbox and Rapidshare were accessed 104,898 times.” For a fee, (usually small), you can “live stream” music to your electronic device for a limited period of time. The theft aspect is recording the live stream which allows you to listen to the content any time and for as long as you want. In essence you are stealing the content. Put another way, You rent a $500.00 chain saw for a day   …   then keep on using it after you didn’t return it. The difference is perception. Many people would not view stream ripping as theft, any more than getting on a “torrent” sharing site like “Pirate Bay”, and downloading movies.

And in the “boy I would love to see this” news: (CNN) —   Newgrange: Ireland’s amazing feat of Stone Age engineering . “It’s a real sharing experience, to be in the dark waiting for the light,” says Clare Tuffy, manager of Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre in Ireland’s Boyne Valley. Last year, nearly 33,000 people applied by lottery for entry to the Newgrange passage tomb on the mornings surrounding the winter solstice. Only 60 were chosen. On the days between December 19 and 23, in a spectacular feat of Stone Age engineering, a dawn sunbeam strikes through the “roofbox” opening above the tomb’s entrance, then creeps along the 19-meter passageway, to where a hushed group of visitors stand waiting in the blackness of the innermost chamber. For around 17 minutes — weather permitting — the chamber is flooded with light. “There are very few experiences you can share across five millennia, with your ancestors,” Tuffy tells CNN Travel. “5,000 years ago, people were waiting in the exact same spot, for the same event.” It is mind-boggling to realize that the level of engineering knowledge and cosmic awareness was present in a culture, 2,000 years before the pyramids were built! There is an interesting documentary about Newgrange   … well worth the look!!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings. Had a follow up eye exam with my retina specialist at the VA today. The macular degeneration in my right eye was slowed, (remained the same), by the shot I got a little over a month ago. Next appointment in October. Had hand x-rays taken for a to be scheduled orthopedic consult for dupuytrens contracture and carpal tunnel syndrome. Thinking about what to cook for “Sunday Lunch and a Movie”. Leaning toward Cheese Burgers, French Fries an a Garden Salad. The movie? “Despicable Me 3 [2017]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I remain nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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June 30, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of June 30, 2017. Being retired, I watch a bunch of TV   … really love the older movies broadcast on Turner. I love the 30’s black and white films!! They are time capsules of American culture! Of course the movies were censored using the Motion Picture Production Code: “The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968. It is also popularly known as the Hays Code, after Will H. Hays, who was the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) from 1922 to 1945. Under Hays’ leadership, the MPPDA, later known as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted the Production Code in 1930 and began strictly enforcing it in 1934. The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States.” The Motion Picture Production Code wikipedia website, (especially the list of prohibited items), is a fascinating read!! It is amazing that everything then prohibited, is now common movie fare. Example? “Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words “God”, “Lord”, “Jesus”, “Christ” (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell”, “damn”, “Gawd”, and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled …” Interesting? Isn’t it?

And another list? (BBC NEWS) — Global beauty price gap revealed. “Country star Dolly Parton once said of her appearance that “it costs a lot of money to look this cheap”. But however classy your look, if you want to take care of yourself, you too can find yourself shelling out big bucks like Dolly. What you may not realize is that from low-cost Vietnam to high-rolling Venezuela, the bill can vary hugely. They are the cheapest and dearest nations in e-commerce platform Linio.com’s Beauty Price Index. To compile its list, Linio surveyed the cost of cosmetic products and services in 50 countries to find the price of beauty around the world.” Some real price differences!! For example, a “breast augmentation” costs $1,279.00 in India and $8,088.00 in Switzerland. On it’s face, it appears you should shop for services using your Passport. What it does not shed light on, is the competency of the persons providing the service.

I’ve never heard of the “Tonka Bean”!! (BBC NEWS) — The Delicious Flavor with a Toxic Secret. It’s led to raids by law enforcement agencies and mass deaths in animals; in the United States, chefs have ‘dealers’ who smuggle it into the country. Given these facts, I’m unwrapping my online delivery with a level of suspicion usually reserved for bomb disposal. Inside is a jar of wrinkled black beans, each resembling an elongated raisin. These are ‘Tonka beans’ – the aromatic seed of a giant tree from deep in the Amazon rainforest. When grated into desserts or infused into syrups, they impart a flavor so transcendent, Tonka has been dubbed the most delicious ingredient you’ve never heard of. Notes of freshly cut grass mingle with vanilla, liquorice, caramel and clove, topped off with a suggestion of warmth and a hint of magnolia – that is, according to the internet. I unscrew the lid and take a whiff. They smell faintly like furniture polish.” Tonka trees are one of 100 tree species which can live well over 1,000 years. The bean itself, in large doses, may cause hemorrhages, liver damage, or paralysis of the heart, which is the reason it is regulated in several countries, including the United States. Certainly gives new meaning to the phrase   … “This is a meal to die for!!” Think, I’ll pass!

And the medical news: (CNN) — Long-term breastfeeding leads to more cavities, study says. “Children who are breastfed for two years or longer are more likely to have dental cavities, according to a study published Friday in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed breastfeeding behaviors and sugar consumption for 1,129 children in Pelotas, Brazil. At age 5, the children visited a dentist, and were examined for decayed, missing and filled primary tooth surfaces and severe early childhood caries, or severe cavities. Severe early childhood caries were defined as six or more decayed, missing and filled primary tooth surfaces. Among the children in the study, 23.9% had severe cavities and 48% had at least one tooth surface affected by a cavity. Kids who were breastfed for two years or longer had a 2.4 times higher risk of having severe cavities, compared to kids who were breastfed for less than a year.” Live and learn. I thought breastfeeding was encouraged for the first 6 months of life, then solid food introduced and breast feeding tapered off after a year.

And “pregnancy” news: (CNN) — Science backs up these pregnancy superstitions. “Most of the folk wisdom that well-meaning older relatives offer up to expectant mothers can be easily ignored: Carrying the baby lower in the abdomen isn’t a sign that it’s a boy, or a girl, or anything other than an indication your abdominal muscles have loosened up a bit. Your cravings won’t manifest themselves as birthmarks on the kid’s skin. Long walks won’t induce labor. And no, the full moon has nothing to do with the timing of the birth. But in recent years, a handful of studies have found that some of the most outlandish old ideas concerning babies and pregnancy may have some scientific merit after all. “ Interesting read!!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings while sharing my chair with “Buddy”. My heart is bleeding thinking about what is to come. We are looking at a tough couple of weeks. “Buddy” our almost deaf and blind 19 year old miniature dachshund has stopped eating. He has difficulty walking and spends almost all his time sleeping. He is not in any pain, (at least from what Susan and I can tell). We have seen this before with other dogs. It is almost like they have made a conscious decision that they have lived a good, full life … and   … it is time to move on. I can already feel the twangs of pain to come, when he passes to the “Rainbow Bridge”. “Buddy” bonded to me, the moment he saw me. We have been inseparable for 19 years. On the evening news? A nutjob shot a couple of doctors in New York today. No doubt CNN will have 24/7 coverage for the next couple of weeks. And of course, a renewed call to ban firearms.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I remain nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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June 23, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of June 23, 2017. Thunderstorms all week, with periods of sunshine, which allowed us to do the Pascagoula Death March each day. Did 2.2 miles this morning. For lunch, I picked up a Dominos pizza   … large with extra pepperoni and cheese: $6.00! We have enough left over for Susan to snack on later and in the morning. I’m no fan of cold or reheated pizza. The “big” news this week was the Democrat Party candidates in 4 special elections had their plow cleaned after the media’s “talking heads” all predicted a Democrat sweep. Supposedly, the public sending a message of disapproval to Trump. Meanwhile the Republican Party is in the processes of splintering itself into irrelevance. And that was the week that was.

On the war against ISIS front: (BBC NEWS) — Canadian sniper ‘kills IS militant two miles away’. “A sniper in the Canadian special forces shot and killed an Islamic State (IS) fighter from a distance of 2.1 miles (3,540m) in Iraq last month. Military sources told Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper that the gunman is a member of Joint Task Force 2, and made the shot from a high-rise building. It took the bullet almost 10 seconds to hit its target, it reports. The Canadian Special Operations Command confirmed to the BBC the sniper “hit a target” from that distance. The shot, which sources tell the paper was filmed, is thought to be a record for the longest confirmed kill. The sniper worked in tandem with an observer, who helps to spot targets, and used a standard Canadian military issued McMillan TAC-50 rifle.” The McMillan Tac-50 sniper rifle   … “is produced in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States by McMillan Firearms Manufacturing. This long-range anti-materiel/anti-personnel weapon is based on previous designs from the same company, which first appeared during the late 1980s. McMillan makes several versions of .50 caliber rifles, based on the same proprietary action, for military, law enforcement and civilian use. The Tac-50 is a military and law enforcement weapon, which, designated as the C15, is the standard Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW) of the Canadian Army since 2000. Rifles of the Tac-50 family are capable of outstanding accuracy and guaranteed to provide 0.5 MOA groups with match-grade ammunition.” If you are into eating buses … this will drop one … but they are pricey: $9,499.99!

I remember the US being the worlds only computing super power. No more. The Chinese are: (BBC NEWS) — Meet the world’s most powerful computer. China only started producing its first computer chips in 2001. But its chip industry has developed at an awesome pace. So much so that Chinese-made chips power the world’s most powerful supercomputer, which is Chinese too. The computer, known as the Sunway TaihuLight, contains some 41,000 chips and can carry out 93 quadrillion calculations per second. That’s twice as fast as the next-most-powerful supercomputer on the planet (which also happens to be Chinese). The mind-boggling amount of calculations computers like this can carry out in the blink of an eye can help crunch incredibly complicated data – such as variations in weather patterns over months and years and decades.” A couple of thousand years ago, the Chinese ruled the world. If we, as a nation, don’t get off of our butts and fund basic research   … in my children’s life time … the Chinese will rule the world once again.

And a question we all want to know the answer to!! (BBC NEWS) — Coffee under threat. Will it taste worse as the planet warms? “Coffee drinkers could face poorer-tasting, higher-priced brews, as a warming climate causes the amount of land suitable for coffee production to shrink, say scientists from London’s Kew Gardens. Coffee production in Ethiopia, the birthplace of the high quality Arabica coffee bean and Africa’s largest exporter, could be in serious jeopardy over the next century unless action is taken, according to a report, published in Nature Plants today. “In Ethiopia and all over the world really, if we do nothing there will be less coffee, it will probably taste worse and will cost more,” Dr Aaron Davis, coffee researcher at Kew and one of the report’s authors, told the BBC.” How can we survive as a species if we are doomed to face each new day, and the challenges it will pose   … armed only with a bad tasting cup of coffee? Could providence be that cruel?

And in the interesting read news: (BBC NEWS) — The country where tampons may cause a security alert. “Cairo airport’s security screening starts at the door to the terminal buildings. Only passengers are allowed in. Even before check-in, they have to put their belongings through the large scanners, have their tickets and passports checked and walk through a scanner themselves. It was at this point that I was pulled aside for a patdown. A uniformed woman ran her hands down my body and legs and came back up to find a lump in my right-hand jeans pocket. It was small and bullet-shaped. The guard pointed and said, in Egyptian Arabic: “What’s that?” “Oh nothing”, I said. “It’s just…” Thinking it was a tissue, I pulled it out… then realized that to my horror, I was waving a tampon in her face. She raised her eyebrows, apparently oblivious to my embarrassment, then looked perplexed. “What’s that?” She said again.” We take a lot for granted in Western culture. 3rd World cultures view and deal with menses in an entirely different manner.

And for my cat loving friends: (BBC NEWS) — How cats conquered the ancient world. “The domestic cat is descended from wild cats that were tamed twice – in the Near East and then Egypt, according to the largest study of its kind. Farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats about 9,000 years ago. Then, a few thousand years later, cats spread out of ancient Egypt along maritime trade routes. Today, cats live on all continents except Antarctica. Scientists think wildcats began hanging around farms to prey on mice attracted to grain stores, starting the long relationship between humans and felines. “There were two taming events – one in the Near East at the beginning and one in Egypt much later,” said lead researcher Eva-Maria Geigl. “And then the cat spread very efficiently all over the ancient world as a ship’s cat. Both lineages are now present in modern cats.” Interesting.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings. Once you retire, every day is like a Sunday   … days just blend together. That is one of the reasons we do the Pensacola Death March. It forces us to get up, get dressed and get out of the house. It is way too easy to fall into a routine, where you park your butt behind a computer or television screen   … and have your mind and body atrophy. Susan is now 3 weeks nicotine free, although she still sucks on a nicotine free vape. Sunday lunch and a Movie? BBQ’s Ribeye, Baked Potato and Corn on the Cob. The movie? “Blood, Sand and Gold [2017]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I remain nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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June 16, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of June 16, 2017. Another nut job went on a shooting rampage using an AK47 type rifle on Wednesday. 6 people were hospitalized and the shooter was killed. Within hours, there was a renewed call by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to ban “assault rifles”. He also claimed guns accounted for 93 million American deaths, per day. If that were true, the total population of the United States would be dead in 4 days. The actual facts? “Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide].” … and … “40,200 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016” … “More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ER)—and nearly 200,000 were then hospitalized—for crash injuries in 2012.” Certainly grants some perspective, doesn’t it?

And talking about “perspective”? (BBC NEWS) — The oldest living thing on Earth. “Mayflies live a day, humans live a century, if we’re lucky, but what is the oldest living organism on the planet? For scientists, accurately proving the age of any long-lived species is a hard task. Under the boughs of a 300-year-old sweet chestnut tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, Tony Kirkham, head of the arboretum, confirms that trees are capable of outliving animals.”   … A team of researchers in the US keeps a list, called the Old List, of officially dated ancient trees. They’ve found a sacred fig tree in Sri Lanka that is at least 2,222 years old. There’s a Patagonian cypress tree in Chile which, at 3,627 years old, is as old as Stonehenge. A Great Basin bristlecone pine in California’s White Mountains named Methuselah comes in at 4,850 years old. But the oldest tree on the list, an unnamed bristlecone pine from the same location, has a core suggesting it is 5,067 years old. This time-worn tree has lived through the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It was already established when the Ancient Egyptians started building pyramids.”   “The Old List” is an interesting website which lists type of tree, location and age!

An interesting legal development: (BBC NEWS) — Michelle Carter guilty of texts urging boyfriend’s suicide. “A Massachusetts judge has ruled that a woman who sent dozens of texts encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide is guilty of his death. Michelle Carter, now 20, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for her messages to 18-year-old Conrad Roy urging him to kill himself. He took his own life on 13 July 2014 by running a generator in his vehicle in a car park in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Carter, who could face up to 20 years in prison, sobbed in court. She encouraged her boyfriend to take his own life so she could seek attention as the “grieving girlfriend”, the trial heard.” Remember the childhood mantra: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.”? I know of no legal theory under the “Common Law” that would support this conviction. Since there is no liability under the common law, “Black Letter Law”, (a statute, ordinance, or regulation), would control. There isn’t any. “Involuntary Manslaughter”: “Involuntary manslaughter usually refers to an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as a DUI).” In this case there will be an appeal. Telling someone who announces they will kill themselves, to go ahead and do it     …   may be heartless and stupid, but not reckless nor criminally negligent. I can not see how a Court of Appeals would allow this conviction to stand.

And in the quantum mechanics news:   (BBC NEWS) — China’s quantum satellite in big leap. “The term “spy satellite” has taken on a new meaning with the successful test of a novel Chinese spacecraft. The mission can provide unbreakable secret communications channels, in principle, using the laws of quantum science. Called Micius, the satellite is the first of its kind and was launched from the Gobi desert last August. It is all part of a push towards a new kind of internet that would be far more secure than the one we use now.”  I have no clue what “quantum mechanics” is about other than … “Quantum mechanics is the body of scientific laws that describe the wacky behavior of photons, electrons and the other particles that make up the universe. Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics relating to the very small. It results in what may appear to be some very strange conclusions about the physical world.” That said, it is an interesting article to read.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, Susan is in her office watching TV. We just got back making a run to Jerry Lee’s, (our local grocery store), to pick up ice cream and the components for Sunday Lunch and a movie   … lunch? Beef and Sausage Lasagna. The movie? “Power Rangers [2017]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I remain nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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