40 years of faulty wiring

27 Useless Trendy Words and Phrases that Should be Retired in 2014

I hate these words. Most of them are rude and dismissive. They do not enhance conversation and while they are preferable to obscenities so is measles. That`s how nasty they are. And stupid.

Whatever.  It`s rude. It`s a stupid way to end an argument. You don`t really win with this one. You`re just throwing up your hands in the air as if you don`t care when you actually do.

Duh. That is even ruder. Have you ever had someone say `duh`nice and loud to your face, especially with other people around. You have. Sucks to be you.

Bi-atch. This is the snotty high school girl`s way of calling someone a bitch. Just say bitch and be done with it already.

Bitch. As in saying someone is “you`re my bitch,`or saying “bitch“ to a man. Stick with bastard. Bitch is just nasty and gender-confused.

Oh no she didn`t. Seriously that is so moronic. Clearly she did, so why say she didn`t.

laughing-girlDude. That is so David Spade. Ick. He`s over. So is dude.

Fill your boots. This isn`t a Santa Claus expression. It means “go for it.` It`s the most hillbilly encouragement I`ve ever heard in my life.

Douche or douchebag. Most people don`t blink an eye over that one but when you think about its meaning, it`s seriously gross.

Irregardless. What! How do you regard yet irregard (no such word) a fact at the same time.  If you`re regarding it then it`s a fact. if you aren`t then why are you discussing it at all.

It is what it is. No shit.

At the end of the day. Then what. It`s night time you idiot.

I don`t give a rat`s ass. Did you think this whole conversation was a big lead up to my asking, “do you have any rodent sphincters I can have?”

Do you have a dog in this fight. What if I have a cat in this fight. Is that okay.

angry-woman-ManasAxe instead of ask.

Mines instead of mine.

Like as in So I was, like, all mad and, like,…

Goes as in so he goes, so I go…can“t you just say “he replied“ and “I said.“

Deal with it.

I so mean it...or any misuse of the word so, such as “you so suck at this game.“

Hater. What! Hating something doesn`t define a person has a hater. And there`s no such word as hater.

from a ___ standpoint …depends on whose standpoint you mean. For instance, from a ham`s standpoint that seems like a lot of pineapple. What the hell.

willy nilly that is so 1800s. That one should have been retired in 1914.

Paradigm. No knows what this means. That`s probably because no one knows how to use it.

walmartDumbass. Is there an intelligent rear end.

Awesome as in it is awesomely stupid that that word is still kicking around today.

Britney Spears.

Hater. I really hate this one (pun). A teenager walked out of my daughter’s school recently wearing a baseball cap with Hater blazoned proudly on the visor. It made me feel all warm inside.

Amen. No, that`s not one of the words. It means so be it in English.

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December 16, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Education, Pop Culture | Leave a comment

How Not to Be A Loser According to 1950s Films

The 1950’s were a puritanical time on so many levels: morality, sexuality, drugs, virtuous behaviour, pristine television programs, clean commercial advertising. Of course, righteous behaviour doesn’t come naturally. Thankfully we had Coronet and McGraw-Hill films to advise us on how not to be a loser.

Drug Use – Marijuana
pinTalk about an exaggeration about the use of marijuana. You know, many young people probably believed this stuff at that time. First off, one had to recognize the difference in a cigarette and a joint, lest you be fooled into smoking pot when you merely wished to pollute your lungs with nicotine. In this pitiful video, a schoolteacher debates with a conservative “expert” about the use of pot in school. Naturally, the clincher was that the addiction to pot led directly to the addiction to heroin. “It can happen here” is the ominous moral of this story.  Haha.

Morphine and Heroin and Cocaineoh my!
coke
In this awesomely hilarious video , factual truths are illustrated. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the wisdom of the narrative that I laugh at…it’s the melodramatic delivery that leaves me wiping tears of laughter from my tear ducts. A prime example: many addicts come from teeming slum areas, where human misery runs high. Oh, ha-ha. Way to stereotype the poor, dude. As if they didn’t already have enough problems. The increase of addiction among teens is another perspective I scratch my head over. I’m not aware of too many suburban clean-cut teens who get immersed in this stuff but to hear the narrator tell it, teenage cocaine and heroin use is approaching epidemic proportions. Get out while there’s still time.

Video Number Two in this series explains how young, decent people get started on the road to drug addiction. Here’s a big 50surprise: it all started with marijuana. Yes I know many people who smoke a joint now and then and whose lives have become a slippery slope into hard drugs. Tsk tsk. If only they’d seen this video first. They’d be fine citizens today. Thanks to this dreadful development, Marty the Teenage Addict lost his job and became a social isolate. His life becomes a downward spiral into debauchery. Damn that marijuana.

Good Habits vs Bad Habits or The Lady vs The Sloth
Speaking of habits, this is the story of Barbara the Sloth. Poor Barbara. She’s such a pain in the ass. She sleeps in (gasp). This doesn’t leave her time to match up her clothes, which has become difficult. She can’t find her hairbrush. She has morning mouth. Her dress has a tear in the collar. What a skank. “If you had a habit plan for your mornings, you might get off to a decent start some day,” the narrator scolds. Helen on the other hand, is a pearl. She has a habit plan and it works, too. Helen is up early enough to get a ride to school with Daddy. “Who could image a better way to start the day?” the narrator gushes. Really? I’d rather start the day with a joint. Barbara commits another cardinal sin in class: she drums on her desk with her fingers. Eek. Barbara, pack your bags. Ultimately, poor Barbara is so embarrassed by her messy hair and her dirty fingernails she has a mental breakdown and loses all her friends. Okay, so that doesn’t happen. Whatever.

Social Graces – Act Your Age
social
Today’s victim is Jim, an emotionally immature teen who learns to act his age after his very public humiliation for being a dork. Jim is an awkward 50’s teen who looks a lot like Wally Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. He should be the Eddie Haskel of the show, but unlike our man Eddie, Jim actually feels remorse. Personally I thought Eddy was cool. He was a 1950s version of Eminem. He lived life his way, spoke his mind and didn’t give a damn. Eddie probably lost his virginity twelve years before Wally and ended up a corporate lawyer on Wall Street. Wally on the other hand was the subject of The 40-year-old Virgin and he too collected action figures whilst in the fourth decade of his life.  But back to poor immature Jim. He commits the crime of graffiti on a school desk using his school pencil. The principal, the weird Mr. Edmunds, sarcastically offers him a better alternative: a Boy Scout knife. Seriously. Edmunds has a lot of time to counsel wayward boys. He never does any work. Developing Social Skills is a tricky one. Fortunately we have the idiotic Bill to learn the rules of social courtesy.

Sexual Morality
sexYou knew I’d get around to this one. I love the aforelinked video: How to Say No, like it’s an art form. Mind you, this also refers to saying no to all kinds of things, like smoking and gossiping. If you want to skip to the sex part (and you do) watch from 7:53. One girl makes the astounding admission that sometimes it’s the girl who makes the first move. Shriek. The narrator advises us that a direct no might make us lose our friends, God forbid. Well you do want to hang onto friends like that. Sex Education for Boys is particularly helpful. The sports coach counsels his boys on sex education. Today, that sort of thing can get you six years in prison. One boy casually advises his young friend “I had a wet dream last night.” He generously explains to the younger boy “you know, sperm comes out of your penis.” And yes, the coach pops up (pun) in this one.

Just in case you didn’t get that part, there’s always As Boys Grow (1957). Hello again, coach. He helpfully discusses the buttocks, being “big all over”, penis and testes, complete with diagrams. I swear this guy should change his name to David Frost. Sex Education for Girls  is all about menstruation, naturally. Why, menstruation is as natural as sprouting teeth (but hopefully not as obvious). When our little heroine Molly starts behaving precociously, modelling her sister’s hat in front of a mirror and examining a sanitary napkin, it becomes obvious she is about to start menstruating soon. Seriously. Get those hormones under control, Molly. You’re making a slut of yourself. 

Beware those feelings between you and Jeff, Mary. Things [might]start to happen. It’s understandable however. Mary’s babe051207mother seems quite laid (pun) back for a 50′s mom. She tells her daughter that at first sex is “quite a lark.I’m serious. That’s a line in the previous video. Oh and for those of you who weaken and do the deed, don’t be surprised when you turn out like pathetic Eileen, the teenage mother, baby and all. Eileen is certain Mary and Jeff will cross the street so they won’t have to say hello to her but generously they stop and chat. Wisely, they do keep their distance. Oh and here’s a word to the wise, girls. The two previous videos are about sexual lust and professed love. They both star a boy named Jeff. Jeff likes to tell all his girls how much he loves them. What a jerk (off). Oh and Jeff once again demonstrates his immaturity when he acts like a “contagious disease” (not that kind, you) at home. He even beats up his little brother with a coat hanger. What a prize. I can see why so many girls want to jump into bed with Jeff.

Homosexuality
Now no one likes this topic but it has to be discussed. Homosexuality is the domain of adult male perverts and has become an epidemic. This aforelinked video was made for young boys in order to protect their (anal) innocence and recognize a perv when they see one. Well, you know what they say in tricky situations: cover your ass. At least we of the 21st century have eliminated homosexual paranoia. 

The Little Woman
house
Easy does it, ladies. A narrator warns women from carrying twelve times their weight in laundry upstairs, a feat that would leave a mountain climber gasping for air. Oh and be careful about pushing an iron around, you need enough muscle as a bricklayer. It’s all too much for the little woman. Time to get modern and buy appliances that only require a push of the button to complete household chores. Love it. A Word to the Wives Jane stopped by for a cup of coffee at her friend’s house and she fell apart with envy at the remodeled modern kitchen. The appliances make life so much easier for a housewife. It’s more freedom to go on a shopping spree and have a house warming party to show off her wares (not that kind of wares, you).

Working Women
If only we weren’t genetically wired to have babies and cook all the time, then we’d have enough skill and common sense to be able to work in factories. Nope, our participation in the labour industry is just too darned dangerous. It comes back to that whole modern appliances in the kitchen thing.

The 1950s Housewife
wife
Sexism flourished in the 1960s. Housewifery was still a challengeYour husband’s disapproval about your housekeeping and caregiver skills was a crime. Consider the aforelinked ad where a typical young housewife messes up the coffee. She shrieks at her husband not to toss her un-drinkable coffee into the bushes. “You’ll kill the petunias,” she laments. What a disgrace. She could never secretly poison her spouse for life insurance purposes.

Eternally Beautiful
pretty
Staying beautiful is an essential to being happily married forever, ladies. Whatever you do, don’t age or put on weight and if you have to age, at least fight it with all your womanly wiles.  Here’s a beauty tip: spend lots of time outdoors horseback riding and splashing in streams. And when you conduct those debilitating household chores (see The Little Woman) don’t slouch your way through them, you slob. When seated, don’t be he pigeon-toed thinker in the group. It isn’t charming. Gasp. Wash your hair once every two weeks. Seriously? Finishing up with a curling rod is a good sign, naturally. Your hair won’t get dry and hereby break off. What? And don’t munch the paint off your pencil or bite your painted nails. Your nails will be short and ugly. Like you.

Table Etiquette
table
Okay, the aforelinked video is from the 21st century and it’s serious! The 3-finger trick to slipping your table napkin out from under your forks is the darndest thing I ever saw. And how to remove the napkin ring to make it easier. You don’t want to exhaust yourself before you have to pick up a fork. Seriously. And here’s a dilemma: what to do when someone has food in their teeth? Personally I’d pluck it out for them. It gets worse. The narrator in this video saw a man spit an olive pit into his hat. Gak! He was escorted out. Tips for the toast lucky you. You get to be the teetotaler in the group. When someone toasts in your honour you can’t pick up a glass and slug away like everyone else. Sucks to be you.

Getting Lucky – (the cigarettes, you)
What the hell? While we’re in the business of telling people what losers they are why not promote cigarette smoking? Incredibly, commercials swore up and down that medical doctors promoted this delightful life-shortening habit. And what the heck? Might as well get kids’ cartoons in on it. Even the Flintstones had a Winston break during work. And I Love Lucy loved smoking too. Hey, cigarettes were cool. You were a nerd if you didn’t smoke. Just so long as you know the difference between a Lucky and a joint.

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Education, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Stupidity Rules … Sometimes

Never thought I would be extolling the virtue of being stupid and I’m not convinced that I am.  This article however made me think that one through just a bit. I’m not sure that stupid is a kind or fair word but I suppose it made for a catchy title, a means to get people to read the damned thing (like mine). This article applies stupidity to career and somehow comes up with success. What? How many books are on the market that insist getting ahead means getting a formal education (especially a Bachelor of Business or even better, an MBA), working 50+ hours a week and always “thinking outside that box.”  You know, justifying why you should get a raise during your annual review (with documentation to prove it), offering your assistance to colleagues or even people outside your department; B_F__Skinner_at_Harvard_circa_1950and the classic, “don’t dress for the position you have, dress for the position you want.”  I suppose this works for people.  I work for a public institution so I wouldn’t know. My guess is many people do very well with this type of behaviour and many people don’t.  Many people have been laid off and they have worked for their organization for years.  Many people have been forcibly retired when they reach age 65 even though they are perfectly functional and do an exemplary job.  Think of the devastation and the slap in the face to a person’s loyalty. Hm. Perhaps there is something to this stupidity thing. (NOT this type of stupidity).

This article insists that moving up the ranks (if you must) more slowly than those on the fast track and enjoying each mundane job thrust upon you can actually bring about more job satisfaction than being an ambitious “go-getter.”  That’s because people with an average to somewhat above average intelligence don’t expect as much in the way of success at their jobs and so long as they’re employed and making a reasonable living, they’re happy, dadgummit.  Certainly that cannot be true of everyone. I mean, many people do not look forward to Mondays (goodbye blessed weekend). Work is a chore and a bore.  The routine gets old fast, no matter how “stupid” or how brilliant a person may be.  That’s true of everyone in my experience, “stupid” or not.

Along with the stupidity blog was an article entitled Is Too Much Ambition Making You Miserable?  This one examines that cliche about being on “the fast track” (to nowhere). This article states that ambition often comes at the expense of close relationships…. the pursuit of materialistic values liklonelye money, possessions, and social status–the fruits of career successes–leads to lower well-being and more distress in individuals. Hm. Maintaining balance in one’s life seems to be a possible solution to such havoc. Perhaps there is something to be said for all that.  I flatter myself that I am not stupid (naive perhaps, but not stupid).  I am a humble soul.  I make a good salary yet I am content to live in a small bachelor apartment and keep my expenses reasonably low. I don’t seem to have a materialistic bone in my body (except shoes of course…but at least I find them on sale). I have a responsible, white-collar job and I aim to move upward in my career. However, I am also happy to move at a reasonable pace. It’s the type of job where I need not just the qualification but the experience to take on a more responsible position.  Fine.  I’ll get there when I get there.  I suppose there are lots of people around like me.  Perhaps that’s why, in spite of earning 3 university degree to date, and having a higher goal in sight, I am not stressed and I am certainly not in a hurry.  Works for me (pun).

A blog that analyzes why happy people are happy listed (of course) some traits that we happy people seem to possess. Dumb little man (his label, not mine), states very definitely that not pursuing status, strip away expectations, and don’t fight your environment (no, not fighting to save the environment). I really liked the “strip away expectations“, referring to easing up on the goal-setting habits of successful, miserable people.  A decade or two ago, I remember reading some kind of book that stated it was important to list goals for the rest of the year, five years later, and 10 years later. It kept a person on track and determined a path.  I followed this idea religiously.  I constantly made this list, completely erasing it and starting over with something new upon a whim, depending on my burgeoning interests and whichever direction my life was headed. It didn’t work.

This isn’t to say that a lack of goals is a sensible move in your career and your life.  In fact, going to that extreme is “stupid” (for anyone). If you don’t know girl-screamingwhere you are going, what are you working for?  I would suggest that a general plan (not years from now and then 10 years from now), that isn’t written in stone and is flexible as necessary is a sensible compromise. I know which courses I am taking that lie ahead of me in order to carve out a career path but this doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind somewhere along the way and pursue something else.  I don’t think that’s uninspired or “stupid.”  I have, however, reached a point where I don’t let my life bounce me around like a raging current, slamming me up against boulders, and leaving me wondering what will happen next, the way I once did.  I have a career where I have established a firmer foothold than that, and that’s a good move. I think it’s flexible planning, patience, and a great way to be happy.

April 22, 2013 Posted by | Career, Education, Human psychology, money | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Feral Boy Proves Pain, Fear are a Learned Myth

I wrote about feral children in an earlier blog.  Feral children are children who have been abandoned in a natural setting, usually a forest, who somehow manage to survive without adult protection, communication with human beings, or shelter. One of the children I researched was a little boy named Victor who spent the first 12 years of his life abandoned in a woods near Averyon in France. Victor was found wandering the woods near Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance, in 1797 and was captured but he managed to escape until January 8, 1800, when he simply left the woods and returned to the village. His lack of speech, as well as his food preferences and the numerous scars on his body, indicated he had been in the wild for the majority of his life. Of course the child soon became the subject of scientific interest: a philosophy during the Enlightenment Age was of the noble savage. Some believed a person, existing in nature, would be “gentle, innocent, a lover of solitude, ignorant of evil and incapable of causing intentional harm.” watch Victor of Aveyron

Victor didn’t display human emotion, nor did he seem inclined to socialize with anyone. He was unable to bond with other human beings and he appeared oblivious to this fact. While Victor did not learn to speak language, it seems that Victor did make progress in his behavior towards other people, demonstrating familiarity and some empathy. He was also accustomed to cold and when he went outside in the snow, Victor threw off his clothes, and started playing, rolling around in the snow, and running nude. Our perception of cold and warmth is mostly based on the experiences we have and the knowledge we are taught, so it seems that Victor was used to cold weather and spent his life outside.

 Another feral child, an Irish sheep-boy was discovered in 1672. He was described as a  youth of 16 years, who was brought up amongst wild sheep in Ireland. He was (according to “civilized standards“) rude, ignorant of fear, lacking softness and very fierce. He had firm flesh, scorched skin, rigid limbs, and bleated like a sheep. He chewed grass and hay. He lived on rough mountains and in desert places, and showed a preference for caves and dens. His appearance was of a wild beast and a long time passed before the boy began to behave in a more “civilizedmanner.
Caution, sensitivity to temperature, extreme pain, a need for nurturing, all of these behaviours are learned in human society; they are not innate and are not genetically inheritedLanguage, too, is a means of communication that must be taught during a child’s development or it can never be learned.Victor, the sheep-boy and many other feral children discovered in history were living proof that some of our basic human needs are not needs. They are wants, and they are learned wants. Of course needs and wants, as well as social behaviour, are vital to an advanced and intellectual civilization, thus the morality of teaching these experiences to ourselves and to our offspring is entirely justified. The lesson in the scientific research of feral children is a valuable one: just as we teach our children consciously to react to what we believe are adverse situations to ensure our survival, there is much that we assume needs to be learned.
Possibly, many of our “common sense” behaviours are unnecessary. The key words in describing the socialization of human beings is the aforementioned us of “common sense“. Feral children are living proof that the survival skills we acquire are not all vital. Rather, they are a reflection of the common society, a shared belief in the social mores and norms that define us as civilized beings, rather than fulfilling actual needs and offering us needed protection.

September 2, 2012 Posted by | Animal Kingdom, Bizarre yet True, Education, Human Biology, Human psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Turned on a Light…and Nurtured a Life

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, John Lennon.  All of these remarkable people who have left their mark on the world and changed the way many of us view it, had one thing in common:  dyslexia. School was a nightmare for most of these men: students bullied them, teachers called them stupid, punishments were meted out for not understanding lessons. As children, a number of these boys even believed teachers and parents who told them they were stupid and wouldn’t succeed in life.  It wasn’t a pleasant educational journey.

As a partially deaf four-year old child, Edison came home from school with a note in his pocket from his teacher, “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of school”. His mother read the note and answered, “My Tommy is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself”. Her belief in her son, and patience with his academic struggles probably accounts for the genius that was Thomas Edison. Edison eventually invented the light bulb, the phonograph, andthe motion picture camera. A man with only 3 months of formal schooling, Edison became the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications, including a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. Perhaps he and Alexander Graham Bell should have teamed up. So much for Tommy’s public school teacher.  The teacher should have been taken out of school.

What was it in Edison’s history that led to his historical successes? Certainly, his genius although this cannot entirely account for Edison’s work. Edison himself stated“genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  I believe Edison’s inspiration was his mother: her love, support, and the tutoring of her son at home. Had she also believed her son was “stupid” there may never have been an electric light bulb, a phonograph, or motion picture films (or at least, not during Edison’s era). The wait might for electricity and many other of Edison’s inventions may have been much longer. The world would have been poorer without his genius.

Where the world is concerned, love turned on a light.

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Education, Human Biology, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psychopaths in Suits – Corporate Criminals in Our Midst

Recently another ponzi scheme was exposed after its evil mastermind,  Jeffery White, passed away in 2011, from a brain aneurysm at the age of56. Lucky for him.   Brown, one of the “investors” whom he bilked out of his life savings to the tune of $250,000.00, has stated “if he wasn’t already dead, I’d kill him.” Indeed.  The truly evil thing about White was that he knew Brown and his wife, Anne, and they were his friends.  Imagine how he treated his enemies?  Brown’s wife used to teach White’s wife, Henny, in grade school, hence the connection between Brown and White. It turned out to be a devastating connection, personally and financially. Too bad Anne didn’t teach Henny about business ethics.

Ponzi schemes are named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian businessman and con artist in the U.S. and CanadaCharles Ponzi promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage.In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors. Some ponzi schemes also pay investors with their own initial investment, masquerading it as accrued profit. An interesting flick that presents a ponzi scheme (without calling it so) is Green Guys, about a group of 20-something hot shots who bilk unsuspecting investors for millions of dollars.

There are 5 main characteristics of a ponzi scheme:

  1. The Benefit: A promise that the investment will achieve an above normal rate of return.
  2. The Setup: A plausible explanation of how the investment can achieve these above normal rates of return.
  3. Initial Credibility: The person running the scheme needs to be believable.
  4. Initial Investors Paid Off: For a time, the investors need to make at least the promised rate of return.
  5. Communicated Successes: Investors need to hear about the payoffs.

Steps in the Ponzi Scheme

The steps are as follows:

  1. Convince a few investors to place money into the investment.
  2. After the specified time, return the investment money to the investors, plus the specified interest rate.
  3. Convince more investors to place their money into the system by referring to the profits of the earlier investors.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3.
  5. During step 2 at one of the cycles, break the pattern.  Escape with the money and start a new life. Or, in Jeffery White’s case, drop dead.

White’s known investors say they are out as much as $5 million. The scheme unravelled after White’s sudden death. Trustees of White’s estate became “extremely uncomfortable“with the discoveries they made. White solicited investments from many of his insurance clients, while treating their moneys as funds that were loaned to him for his general use. White’s business and personal accounts were intermingled, making the tracing of investments impossible.  At the time of his death, White was carrying more than $300,000 in credit card debt and was behind his time-share at Diamond’s Edge Muskoka Cottages. The vintage Porsche 911 Turbo he drove around the GTA was leased. There were no red flags but court documents show White had money problems dating back to the early 1990. Reassessment of his personal income taxes of the years 1996 to 2000 resulted in a substantial debt to Revenue Canada. Testifying at his tax court appeal White claimed his sister left him $1.3 million in debt.The judge in the case called White “vague” and his records “woefully inadequate.” By moving funds about through numerous bank accounts, he made it impossible to prove his case. In 2006, he dropped his appeals and paid $400,000 in arrears.

Psychopathy runs on a continuum with white collar criminals falling in the middle. They’re deceitful and egotistical. White-collar criminals might not physically destroy people, but they have no problem financially destroying them. This type of psychopath is high-functioning. They’re intelligent, have great interpersonal skills, are powerfully persuasive and able to disguise themselves very well. A psychopath is all about manipulation. They’re always assessing, “How can this particular job or person meet my needs? How can I exploit them?’” 

The list of white-collar psychopaths is almost endless. To a certain extent, most people compartmentalize and lead different lives. It’s normal for your work persona to be divergent from your family life. With psychopaths the compartmentalizing is much more exaggerated Jim Hammes, formerly a controller with a Cinncinnati-based company, embezzled $8.7 million of company money into a bank account in the name of a second company doing business with his company. He is currently a fugitive wanted by the FBI and has been on the run since 2009. Hammes also abandoned his two families, neither of whom knew about the other: he was married to two women and had children with both.

Frauds can be very deceptive in terms of their appearance, status and age. Joanne Schneider, a 71-year-old woman in Ohio was recently charged with operating a ponzi scheme and bilking $60 million dollars from 900 investors. The scheme unraveled when a Schneider family member became suspicious after his mother was promised a 16 to 20 percent return on her investment. Schneider’s criminal resume is impressive: securities fraud, selling unregistered securities, engaging in corrupt activity, misrepresentations in securities, theft, and money laundering. Schneider’s husband, Alan Schneider, played a lesser role in the scheme, pled guilty to security and theft charges. He got probation. She got 10 years. If she serves the full sentence, Schneider will be 81 when she is released from prison – either that or deceased from natural causes.

August 23, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, BullCrap, corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Education, Finance, Human psychology, money, Politics, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gender Genetics or Not?

From what I understand certain traits “run in families“: sexual orientation; gender issues; and the like.  These are life-defining traits that traumatize many people based on societal expectations and prejudice. There are families that have perhaps one homosexual member and it seems that the immediate family and all once-removed family members (aunts and uncles etc) are heterosexual. Where does the homosexual orientation originate? Can certain human characteristics and behaviours “run in families” (in other words, are inherited). If so, does homosexuality, like many genetic traits in people, occur in different generations rather than every generation?

Some people look at sexual orientation as being genetically inherited, or something that happens during a certain stage of fetal development. A Nova documentary (I believe) examined the heterosexuality and homosexuality of “identical twins” (monozygotic developing from one egg). The two men looked alike, shared similar interests, and even dressed alike but that was where many of their similarities ended. One twin was heterosexual and one was homosexual, yet they not only shared the same parents, but the same egg whilst in utero. Researchers used the two men to determine why it was that each man were polar opposites in their sexuality.

The study proved:  nothing.  All researchers could say was the homosexual twin had more X chromosomes than the heterosexual twin and this was possibly, maybe, sorta the result of differing amounts of a particular hormone per twin in the first trimester of the mother’s pregnancy. X chromosomes in a male, however, are supposedly inactive so this begs the question as to whether the presence of more X’s in one man than the other, even affects orientation at all. Early in embryonic development in females, one of the two X chromosomes is randomly and permanently inactivated in cells other than egg cells. This phenomenon is called X-inactivation or Lyonization. In males the X chromosome also experiences lyonization and only the Y chromosome is active. The unequal amount of whatchamacallit hormone that each twin received is not a gene, it is a chemical interaction between the mother and the child. It is possible this man is the only homosexual in his immediate and extended family. It is also possible there are other homosexual family members who haven’t come out, in which case that would indeed beg the question of genetic links between sexual orientation and DNA.

Is the same true for people with gender identity issues? It is such a major transformation for a person to begin life in one biological sex and transform him/herself into another that I wonder about that person’s childhood background.  The famous, tragic case of Teena Brandon (Brandon Teena) revealed that she was sexually abused by an adult member of her family, (not necessarily her immediate family), for years.  In such situations, many children believe erroneously had they been the opposite sex, the abuse wouldn’t have happened.  Actually, molestation of a child is not about heterosexuality or homosexuality.  It is pedophilia.  A person who molests children doesn’t want an equal partner, and usually s/he doesn’t want a person with secondary sexual characteristics (puberty). They want a child because it is a power situation, a chance to overcome a helpless person and to instill guilt in the victim.  This person is a rapist, not a sexual partner. However a young child or youth has no understanding of this phenomenon and thus develop the mistaken belief system about gender identity and power, because gender identity issues are all about power, even where a child has not been sexually molested.

Consider the difficult, biological and emotional journey of a transgender child. To decide whether to live as the opposite sex (or both, or neither), and to avoid the trauma of puberty in a body that doesn’t “belong” to him/her, requires power that is frequently denied by well-intended authority figures. Parents and doctors probably believe that the urge to live as the opposite gender is a “stage” that will be “outgrown”, and in enouraging the child to live as s/he chooses is to assist the child in making poor choices.  I understand the concerns of these parents. It cannot be easy to (1) realize one’s child is transgender and (2) to encourage a child who is at a highly emotional and non-rational stage in life, to live as a transgender person.  Always there is doubt and guilt for parents when choices are made that result in an unhealthy, unhappy child.

Not only does the transgender person struggle with the decision to come out to family, friends and the general community, but the stereotypes and legal and mental health issues involving transgenders continue:

  1. “I don’t have a problem with transsexuals; I just don’t know why they want to have sex with everyone.” So said a 20-something female undergraduate student studying psychology. To be sure this comment was directed against transsexuals, but it doesn’t take a great leap of faith to assume this student believes the same of transgenders.

    2. The first legal case regarding employment reported in the Wall Street Journal, dealt with a business professor at a Methodist evangelical religious school, who was discharged when school officials told him that his “womanly appearance” violated the school’s requirements of “model Christian character”. The professor was ordered to dress like a man. The professor began to manicure his nails, and started hormone therapy, and developed breasts. He was ordered to work from home,  (taking a 20% pay cut), and was not to appear on campus with a  feminine appearance. However, he visited the campus wearing a college T-shirt and makeup. He was dismissed.

    3. Mike was a fifty-five year old who gave the following history: The patient was born female to a mother who gave her to another  family. She was severely sexually abused by the adopted father and the step-mother, who gave her enemas for punishment. The patient remembered dissociating since age six. She was aware of the time lapses but said it was easy to hide them. There were seven or eight personalities then, 32 or 33 now. The patient went to a gender dysphoria clinic, where she withheld information about dissociating. Surgeries were done and in 1986 the patient married a Swiss woman. The patient was finally diagnosed DID with psychological testing. In this case, genetics plays a role in the patient’s mental health: the ability to dissociate has been proven to run in families and to span generations. And here we have a transgender person whose identity is further compounded not only by gender issues but with several dissociative states. watch 10 rare mental disorders

     Transgender is the state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one’s assigned sex” (identification by others as male, female or intersex, based on physical/genetic sex). A transgender individual may have characteristics that are normally associated with a particular gender, identify elsewhere on the traditional gender continuum, or exist outside of it as “other”, “agender”, “Genderqueer”, or “third gender“. Transgender people may also identify as bigender, or along several places on either the traditional transgender continuum. I am unaware of a case study of a child who considers him/herself to be any of the aforementioned but it is entirely possible for such children to exist. This, I am quite certain, must be even more traumatic than to be transgender male or female.

Transgender identification has a long, distinguished history: 

1503 BCEgyptian Queen Hatshepsut ascends to the throne, the second Egyptian queen to rule. She donned male clothing and a false beard signifying kingship, and reigned until 1482 B.C. She had one daughter, Neferure, who she groomed as successor (male clothing, false beard and all), but Neferure did not live into adulthood. Hatshepsut’s motive was non-sexual and not due to gender identity issues. She ruled as King to avoid disfavour with her subjects. watch queen pharaoh – Hatshepsut

6th Century to 1st Century BC — In the Greek Hippocratic Corpus (collection of medical texts), physicians propose that both parents secrete male or female “bodies” and that if the father’s secretion is female (rather than male), and the
mother’s is male, the result would either be a “man-woman” (effeminate male) or a “mannish” female.

Circa 60 ADEmperor Nero reportedly has a young slave boy, Sporus, castrated (eunuching, in early times, was believed to be the primary mechanism of gender change. “Eunuchs” ranged in form from males whose testicles had been removed to those also given a total penectomy), and takes him as a wife in a legal public ceremony. Sporus is from then on clothed as an Empress, and accompanies Nero as such. watch bbc: ancient Roman emporer nero

1755 — The first openly lesbian and transgendered person, Charlotte Clarke, came out by publishing, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Clarke (Youngest Daughter of Colley Cibber, Esq.). Clarke, a flamboyant cross-dressing actress during a time in which male impersonation was a popular form of entertainment, related many scandalous things, including her relationship with her “wife,” “Mrs. Brown.” Although quite famous after this publication, Clarke passed away three years later, penniless and destitute. watch transsexual gender variance

1860Herculine Barbin is studied by her doctor, who discovers that the intersexed woman has a small penis, with testicles inside her body. Barbin was declared legally male against her wishes, became the subject of much scandal for having previously taught in a girl’s school, moved to Paris but continues to live in poverty, and ultimately committed suicide in 1868. Barbin’s story is quite fascinating.  Her parents chose to raise her as a boy since males had more political and social rights than females, and it was upon reaching puberty that Barbin’s body emerged into that of an adult female. The existing law in England at the time stated that anyone who lived as a transgender person without making this known to his/her society, had committed a crime, and Barbin suffered the humiliation of a public trial. watch memoirs of a hermaphrodite

Since gender identity spans so many centuries (and millenia) it seems to me that there is most probably a genetic characteristic at work. Yet even research scientists are unable to prove this fact, leaving the mystery of the transgender, agender, bigender, genderqueer and third gender person exactly that:  a mystery.

August 23, 2012 Posted by | Education, Human Biology, Human psychology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Food, Food, Food…..Subliminal Tricks and Traps to Whet Your Junk Food Appetite

Of course it doesn’t have to be that way but fast-food advertising and convenience of hitting the drive-thru to grab your pre-cooked food, certainly makes it difficult to refrain from eating it.  Everywhere you go there’s a visual lure into the land of junk food: that familiar golden M, Burger King’s ugly king (that somehow never fails to hinder people from walking through the door), Wendy’s winking redhead.  They make a show of offering nutritious alternatives to alleviate adult guilt but how many people actually indulge in a salad or a bowl of chili?  From what I’ve observed not too many. watch Inside Edition Subliminal McDs Ad Busters

Normally, people already know what they’re going to order before they arrive at their choice of junk food junction.  I’ll have the usual grease-ridden fries and 5,000,000 calorie Big Mac, thanks.  Oh and a chocolate milkshake to wash that down. No one’s mouth is watering over ordering a thai chicken salad or a grilled chicken wrap without the fatty sauce they wrap it in. I love how McD’s alleviates people’s guilt while at the same time offering a “healthy” sandwich with the alternative of a deep-fried 5-oz hunk of chicken.  I mean, what’s the point?

These truly are demon-foods, dead, non-nutritional.  perhaps that’s why so many of us feel guilty after we shovel that shit, later thinking why did I eat that? We all do it.  I’m no saint either and I’m certainly not pointing fingers.  I’m pointing fingers at the junk food aficionados who undermine people’s health and rake in a profit doing so. Hey, I know it’s a personal choice but that visual advertising is a killer.  Visuals in fact are the most successful human stimulus. Aroma is believed to be second but not according to stats gathered by the Seoul International Colour Expo 2004: watch Pepsi Logo Scandal Exposed

  1. 92.6 percent said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products.
  2. Only 5.6 percent said that the physical feel via the sense of touch was most important.
  3. Hearing and smell each drew 0.9 percent

As the rather bezerk yet sometimes amazingly accurate Charlie Sheen once said, “the numbers don’t lie.”

When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products. It’s no accident that M is bright yellow, a colour associated with happiness and joy. Red whets the appetite and encourages people to eat, hence Wendy’s adorable red braids. Orange is the colour most people feel ambiguous about; small wonder most junk food corporations avoid it like the plague. The psychology of visual advertising, although subliminal for most people, is brilliant in its function. watch the psychology of colour

Having said all that, I do concede that people who sue junk food junctions because they have become “addicted” to chemicals in their food are about as mad as Sheen.  In spite of the aforementioned power over the human mind, it still remains a free choice to walk through the doors of McD’s or KFC.  Perhaps these “victims” of addiction seek to recover the thousands of dollars they have spent on fast foods over the years.  Certainly no one is buying into the addiction story. watch I eat 33,000 calories a day

Ever noticed that after gorging yourself with junk food it only takes a few hours and you’re hungry again?  Probably because your body is craving the nutrients you didn’t receive when eating deep-fried crap.  However, when you indulge in nutrient-dense, guilt-free foods, such as fruits, lean meats, protein, healthy fats, dairy products, vegetables, broth-based soups, it takes a lot longer to work up your appetite. Foods that are packed in nutrients, including vitamins, healthy fats and natural sugars tend to fill the tummy a lot longer than junk, that merely stretches it. watch healthy food that fills you up

Please understand I am not an advocate of “getting skinny“. I don’t like that putrid “Skinny Bitch” series. watch 1000 ways to die boot camp There is some reasonable advice in there but the concept of being skinny, especially to make others envy you, is wrong on so many levels. This isn’t about skinny.  It’s about your beautiful and your health and well-being.  for a laugh, watch skinny bitches chick comedy

It’s easy enough to avoid temptation: pack pre-made healthy snacks and lunches and leave your cash at home so you can’t run out and buy demon-food. Avoid driving (or biking) the route home that you know has a McD’s and a KFC along the way. That’s the easiest way to save money and exercise (pun) self-discipline. Get an “audiotape” running through your head and arm yourself with it every time you leave the house: junk food is gross; I deserve better….or some such thing. I have a CD I play on my laptop at night that talks about eating nutritious foods and enjoying exercise.  I fall asleep to it while the male voice croons on and on.  It’s a great way to train the brain. watch paul mckenna i can make you thin

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Education, Health and Wellness, Human Biology, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John – the Other Side of Beth Thomas

One person I have completely and unintentionally ignored in the Beth Thomas saga is her brother, John.  John had to survive abuse from two family members: his father and his sister.  I will word this blog very carefully so as not to have any misunderstanding: I sympathize with Beth, a child of 3 who was horribly abused by her own father after her mother’s death.  She learned the horrible things she did to herself, her brother and her step-parents. Both children were victims and both children suffered. To quote Rudyard Kipling, a male survivor of childhood abuse and author of the Jungle Book, children accept “what comes to them…as eternally established.” watch how is emotional blindness created

Child literature has long documented authors’ experiences as abused children. Fairytales and folktales use socially acceptable metaphors, wicked witches and ogres, the way a child views an abusive, powerful parent, as the hero’s sources of evil. The stories reveal where the author’s “imaginative” perspective originates; it isn’t imagination at all but reality that shapes these stories, plots and characters. Kipling’s Jungle Book and its characters are proof of his own suffering. The abuser is disguised as Sheer Khan, the dreaded tiger who wishes to “devourMowgli. Khan is the woman who devoured Kipling’s childhood.

A very telling conversation takes place between the tiger and Mowgli, revealing an abused child’s wisdom that no matter how society protects the abuser it cannot conceal the truth from the child. “Can it be that you don’t know who I am?” smirks the tiger.  “I know who you are alright,” says Mowgli.  So did John and Beth. watch the jungle book – final battle

John was an infant during the trauma he experienced from his father and a toddler during Beth’s enraged attacks. He is an adult now. I wonder what happened in his psychological development as he matured. Did he also overcome his traumatic beginning? Did he learn to trust his step-parents?  Beth was abused because she was small and powerless.  For that reason, she learned to abuse her brother, who was smaller and less powerful than herself. Did he hate his sister? Did he believe Beth hated him? No one will ever know.  At first, John was adopted by good people yet they were people so traumatized by their experience with Beth, they felt they had to defend their decision to relinquish her. watch Alfred hitchcock – hitch Hike

David Pelzer’s experience, the “child called It,” and his mother’s “target child” (himself), is considered “one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in California history.” He became a troubled youth, broke the law, went into juvenile detention, associated with the wrong kids, was transferred among numerous foster homes, unable to trust or love, unwanted and rejected. Today he is a motivational speaker and author of several autobiographies and other publications that inspire youth to love and respect themselves and above all, never to fear the truth. In spite of his miraculous recovery, Pelzner’s life centers around his abusive past. He has never gotten over it, he is still processing and trying to understand it, even if he has learned to deal with it from a positive perspective. This is known as lifelong healing. At the same time, David Pelzer, like Beth Thomas, is living proof that it is possible to overcome the impossible life of a horribly abused childhood.  watch david pelzer on larry king 

I hope John’s story is the same.

July 13, 2012 Posted by | corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Education, Human psychology, Reflections, Relationships | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Average Canadian is Truly Joe Average

As Canadians we have a lot to be proud about in terms of living in a wonderful country like Canada.  The best country in the world, in fact. Where else can you retire on nothing and still be taken care of (see my previous blog Ridiculous Retirement Advice).  However the stats for the average Canadian as a person are considerably less impressive:

  1. the average male is slightly overweight (think of that ugly beer belly many middle-aged men sport) and only earns $30,000 a year
  2. Many Canadians spend $2,000 on fast food and/or restaurants annually yet they save zero for retirement (again, that relates to my previous post if you are interested in the no-frills retirement option)
  3. the average Canadian is $112,000.00 in debt ….  watch cbc a living wage instead of minimum wage
  4. Canadians spend more on booze than fresh fruits and vegetables
  5. these stats don’t jibe with the fact that most Canadians have graduated from college or university
  6. most people are happy with their economic situation
  7. if you live in a house larger than 1,900-sq.-feet,  contribute anything at all to your RRSPs and don’t have a mortgage, you’re doing better than most
  8. The average household debt, including  mortgages, credit cards and personal loans equates to a monthly payment  of about $1,140 ….  watch canada’s growing debt
  9. There’s no evidence that we have a retirement crisis since overall Canadians contribute 30% to their RRSPs
  10. If your family brings in more than $68,000 a year, you’re doing better  than average

The average household rake in between $68,000.00 and $86,000.00, but that is only if both spouses are working.  It is the combined salaries that raise the household income from a single person (on average only $30,000 to $40,000) to these higher amounts. Usually those who are university educated fare far better financially.  An individual can make as much money annually as a combined household income with 2 adults who haven’t graduated from a post-secondary institution.

The stats seem rather disparaging to me, personally but in comparison with the United States they really aren’t so bad:

  1. In 2006, the median annual household income rose 1.3% to $50,233.00
  2. The real median earnings of men who worked full-time, year-round climbed between 2006 and 2007, from $43,460 to $45,113
  3. For women, the corresponding increase was from $33,437 to $35,102 watch thomas sowell – gender bias and income disparity – a myth?
  4. households with an income exceeding $60,000, had two income earners
  5. The educational attainment of the U.S. population reflects that the vast majority of the population has completed secondary education and a rising number of college graduates outnumber high school dropouts.
  6. As a whole, the population of the United States is spending more years in formal educational programs
  7. an average per person of more than $43,000 in debt
  8. the American mortgage debt works out to over $60,000 in housing debt for every adult in the country
  9. the average debt for every adult in the United States is $113,360
  10. Average credit card debt per household with credit card debt: $15,956

You’re no better off if you skip to the States to try to capitalize on lower-income taxes as a senior retiree.  Stats seem to bear this out.  The numbers sound abysmal but apparently if you fall in that range somewhere, you’re doing okay. It seems the average Canadian and the average American have a lot in common.  Who knew?

July 9, 2012 Posted by | Education, Finance, money, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment