Category Archives: Interesting!

Japan – A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I’ve blogged a few times about the Fukushima Nuclear Plant’s fallout and the water and land damage it caused. It was due to a 9.0 earthquake named Tohoku and its following tsunami on March 11 of 2011. See the link below for that blog:



The blog also stated that Japan is ripe for another large earthquake, possibly in or near Tokyo. See the article I read today below:

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Tokyo.

Friends, the earth is a powerful entity. We don’t control it. We don’t manage it. It behaves as it behaves. Enjoy your days here. Love your family and laugh with friends. Make a difference in people’s lives for the better. It’s a fleeting existence. Make it a full one.






Hands, Hands, Hands


There are people who have fetishes and then there are people who just pay more attention to a certain body part. I’d have to say that I notice hands.

When I meet someone and he/she shakes my hand, I look and notice my new acquaintance’s hands. Are the fingers long and thin? Short and stubby? Are the nails long or short? If it’s a man and he has “female” looking hands, I assume he has a job that doesn’t require much finger strength. A woman with dirt under her unpainted nails? I wonder if she’s a gardener . . . possibly herbs, my personal favorite thing to grow.

Hands say so much. I look down as I type and see wrinkles in mine. I see veins and red polished fingernails that need touching up. My hands say I have washed them many times in my forty-nine years of life. They say they belong to a short, full-figured woman who likes to look pretty. My hands have inner secrets, though; don’t yours?

My hands have done things they shouldn’t have. They’ve also done heroic things that few know about. They have patted the back of an infant, soothed a dying friend, and embalmed an autopsied murder victim (I’m a Funeral Science major). My hands have planted gardens, petted kittens, and made large pots of soup. They’ve scrubbed bathrooms, scraped icy windshields, and wiped tears from the eyes of a loved one in pain.


Hands may not be the windows into the soul as the eyes are said to be but they carry out the work that needs to be done every day of our lives.

I love people’s hands. They’re wise and wacky, sad and happy, old and young – everything all at once. It’s hard to hide who we are. It shows in our beautiful hands.


Why Creative People Sometimes Make No Sense



This is a complete re-blog from the link below:

I’ve been having an insightful shuffle through Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People. Mihaly is a seminal professor of Psychology and Management, and is the Founding Co-Director of the Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont. He writes:

“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.”

Nine out of the ten people in me strongly agree with that statement. As someone paid to be creative, I sometimes feel kaleidoscopic in my views or opinions, and that “multitude” of expressions sometimes confuses those around me. Why does that happen? My thoughts make cohesive sense to me, yet others sometimes feel that I am contradicting myself or switching positions. What is wrong with me?

Mihaly describes 9 contradictory traits that are frequently present in creative people:


Most creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but are often quiet and at rest. They can work long hours at great concentration.


Most creative people tend to be smart and naive at the same time. “It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure, and that most creativity workshops try to enhance.”


Most creative people combine both playfulness and productivity, which can sometimes mean both responsibility and irresponsibility. “Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not.” Usually this perseverance occurs at the expense of other responsibilities, or other people.


Most creative people alternate fluently between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality. In both art and science, movement forward involves a leap of imagination, a leap into a world that is different from our present. Interestingly, this visionary imagination works in conjunction with a hyperawareness of reality. Attention to real details allows a creative person to imagine ways to improve them.


Most creative people tend to be both introverted and extroverted. Many people tend toward one extreme or the other, but highly creative people are a balance of both simultaneously.


Most creative people are genuinely humble and display a strong sense of pride at the same time.


Most creative people are both rebellious and conservative. “It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.”


Most creative people are very passionate about their work, but remain extremely objective about it as well. They are able to admit when something they have made is not very good.


Most creative people’s openness and sensitivity exposes them to a large amount of suffering and pain, but joy and life in the midst of that suffering. “Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities, and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories where the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable.”

Sometimes what appears to be a contradiction on the surface is actually a harmony in disguise. My problem has been primarily one of communication. I am learning to let people know what I am thinking and why, and explaining myself in a way that helps them understand why I am discussing multiple perspectives instead of just cleanly stating my own. At first it might not make sense, but give me/us long enough, and it will.

Photo by Sophia.

The Video Recorder For Vlogging!

vlog_cameraI’ve been doing much homework on which video recorder I want to start a video blog (vlog) with. It’s been tedious and boring at some points but I finally found the one! The Sony HDR-CX260V High Definition Handycam, 8.9 MP Camcorder with 30x Optical Zoom and 16GB Embedded Memory – in black – the 2012 model!

I also got a 72″ sturdy tripod.

I suppose I’m ready to vlog when they arrive. Do I have a special reason for vlogging you ask? YES, I do! I am going to chronicle my weight-loss of over 100 pounds! I’m taking viewers along with me every step of the way. It’ll keep me honest and on track.

By mid-July, my first vlog should be available (I don’t get the camera for a week and will then be on a mini-vacation). I hope you’ll follow my vlog and make plenty of comments to keep me encouraged and on track!

The site is already up. Take a look and please subscribe. You won’t be sorry!



Mid-life Suicide


Suicide is not the taboo subject it once was, and rightly so – as the he act has risen 30% in just the last THREE years! It’s a scary statistic. Please click on the link below and read this well-written New York Times article concerning mid-life suicide. Educate yourself.

Remember the 2011 Japanese Earthquake? Fukushima Nuclear Plant’s Meltdown?


On March 11, 2011 – A 9.0 earthquake named the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami hit Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. This is only the second quake to measure a 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (along with Chernobyl). The International Atomic Energy Agency (a U.N. group) devised this grading.


This event destroyed back-up generators and disabled the cooling systems for Fukushima Daiichi (Daiichi means number one) and Fukushima Daini (number two location, a little way south of Daiichi).

At Daini, the four reactors automatically shut down. Daiichi had a half-meltdown and is being worked to eventually shut down but it will be decades. A nuclear meltdown is core damage from overheating. The core of the reactor is nuclear fuel – in the form of uranium rods – which must be continually cooled to prevent meltdown. This description is very “simple.” A true understanding of nuclear fuel, energy, and its methods would need more explanation than is ideal for a blog post.

My reason for this post is that I realized that I rarely hear about this Japanese nuclear plant in the news anymore. Why? It is not under an international emergency status anymore but is still very much a leaking, nuclear emergency. Yes, it’s leaking. I hardly think a plastic lining will keep the radioactive water it leaks from making it to the surrounding areas.

In fact, radioactivity levels are blamed for hypothyroidism in newborn babies all along the west coast of America. That’s right, our own country. Radioactivity in the form of precipitation fell on the west coast – spreading the problems.


The plant has been called “stable” but is far from being safe and is still very much contaminated and dangerous. Why aren’t we hearing more about it? The Japanese government has banned the purchase/sale of foods grown in the 12-20-mile area around the nuclear plants. I hardly think a few miles is a sufficient area of safety but what do I know? I’m neither a nuclear engineer nor a chemist.

I know the quake wasn’t what we normally see. Geologists were puzzled at its behavior and size. It was definitely a mega-quake. Now we see that any subduction zone (where 2 plates meet) can produce quakes like the Tohoku one. In fact, a large quake is expected (any day) that would devastate Tokyo. Scary thought. California seismologists are thinking that haven’t kept records on quakes long enough to have ever predicted a 9.0 for Japan (plate tectonics is said to be 4 billion years old). Lesson: faults are NOT predictable.

We keep poisoning our lands and waters. We know mother nature has her own agenda. We know the dangers, yet we keep “accidentally” feeding our waters and lands with oil, radioactive chemicals, and any other “leaks” which may happen. And we say, “Oops” and try to clean up our mess – unsuccessfully.

I look outside my window and see a sunny day, greening spring grass, and I can only hope the invisible air I breathe is clean enough.

America’s Favorite Things


I’ve wondered what Americans find most worth while when they have free time. I looked over books, food, hobbies, and movies.  Maybe these will give you ideas of what to do the next rainy day or sunny afternoon!

What are America’s favorite books?

A Harris poll that survey 2,500 adults, and the results are below:


1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
3. Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
5. The Stand, by Stephen King
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
9. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
10. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger


CNN Travel gives America’s Favorite Foods. (Try a new recipe).  Here they are in no particular order:


  • Key Lime Pie
  • Tater tots
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Cobb Salad
  • Pot Roast
  • Twinkies
  • Jerky
  • Fajitas
  • Banana Split
  • Cornbread
  • Meatloaf
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Potato Chips
  • Baked Beans
  • Popcorn
  • BBQ Ribs
  • Frito Pie
  • Nachos
  • Reuben Sandwich
  • Cheeseburger


America’s Hobbies –


* Gardening

* Cooking

* Fishing

* Sewing

* Golf

* Hiking

* Cycling

* Crafts

* Swimming

* Camping

* Bowling

* Dancing

* Billiards

* Painting


America’s Favorite Movies?


  • The Godfather
  • Gone With the Wind
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Graduate
  • Shindler’s List
  • Some Like it Hot
  • Star Wars
  • Psycho
  • All About Eve
  • The African Queen
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Chinatown
  • High Noon
  • Annie Hall
  • Amadeus
  • King Kong
  • Jaws
  • Fargo
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Blade Runner

Divorce Rates Among the Graying Population


The divorce rate among those 50 and over – so-called “gray divorces” – has more than doubled over the last two decades, according to a study released this year by sociologists at Bowling Green State University.

That study, called “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” predicted the number of post 50 divorces could easily surpass 800,000 per year by 2030. In comparison, more than 600,000 people age 50 and older got divorced in 2009 – or one in four; in 1990, only one in 10 people 50 and older got divorced.

The study also found that those over 50 in a second or third marriage (as opposed to a first) have a 150 percent greater likelihood of divorcing.

The issue of gray divorces has been in the spotlight recently thanks to the breakup of long-time celebrity couple Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, who split this year following 30 years of marriage. But plenty of other celebrity couples have called it quits including Jessica Lange and actor-writer Sam Shepard, who parted ways in 2009 after 27 years together, as well as Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, who split in 2009 after 23 years together.

Licensed psychotherapist Rachel Sussman (author of The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce”) said there are many reasons behind the uptick in gray divorces.

“Boomers’ quest for happiness in their lives, empty nest, women working and having more financial independence and confidence, people living longer … all are reasons,” she said.

Other experts point to the ability of people to easily reconnect with those from their past via social media — as well as hook up with potential partners via online dating sites — as a contributing factor. Indeed the number of dating-site users 50 or older has grown twice as fast as any other age group over the past year, according to


“People divorcing in their 50s have made it through the raising-little-kids-boot-camp phase of marriage when no one gets their needs met but the children,” said Pamela Zivari, an attorney and conflict resolution professional. “Fifty-year-olds leave usually not because of a tragedy, but because they are unfulfilled.

“Unlike people in their 30s and 40s who want to start over from the very beginning, divorcing 50-year=olds have usually made a sober assessment, ‘does this relationship, on balance, bring me enough happiness and security that I will forego the heartbreak and uncertainty I would create for all the family members if I decided to jump ship at this stage?’” she said.


According to a 2004 AARP survey, 66 percent of divorces among people ages 40 to 69 are initiated by women.  The same survey found that infidelity wasn’t the overriding catalyst. Just 27 percent of those seeking a gray divorce cited infidelity among their top three reasons for doing so — which is on par with estimates of infidelity as a factor in divorce in the general population.

(This article is in full presentation at the link below. This blog merely presents portions of the longer article. It is not my original writing but that of



(My addition)

Still-successful celebrity marriages are an encouragement. See some of them below:

Denzel and Pauletta Washington – 29 years

Billy and Janice Crystal – 42 years

Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara – 58 year

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson  – 32 Years

Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach -31 Years

Ann-Margret and Roger Smith -45 Years

Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel -35 Years (talk and great sex)

Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber – 25 years

Sissy Spacek and Jack Fisk – 38 years

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross – 28 years

Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss – 51 years

Meryl Streep and Don Gummer – 34 years

Bill and Camille Cosby – 48 years

Alan and Arlene Alda – 55 years

Christopher and Georgianne Walken – 43 years

Do Not Give Up!


Change – it happens every day. Whether change is positive or negative, it does one thing every time . . .  it makes you re-evaluate your current position and either find a new path or alter the current one.

Let’s talk about big shifts ~

1) Some changes happen quickly but take a long time to work through afterward.

2) Other changes occur over a longer period of time and allow you to acclimate to those changes as time passes.

Abrupt changes are tough. They slam you in the face and say, “HERE! Sort through THIS!” That’s what happened to me when I realized my marriage of a quarter-century was slow-swirling in the bottom of a shallow well. A sudden realization of the enormity of my problems and the likelihood they’d not be resolved while in the marriage . . . well, it made me sick. I became mentally sick and there was an urgent need in me –  I ran away from home and didn’t go back.


Let’s talk about metamorphoses. I knew what started my mental upheaval. It was my first child moving out of our home. The two “kids” were my life – literally. That nuclear family had cracked down the middle and was threatening to drop me into the abyss of whatever lie on the “outside” of that shelter. After seeing, for the first time, that I had to make a radical revolution in the way I lived, my mind went numb. Autopilot kind of took over.

So, those of you who are new subscribers (about 80 of you), now know a little about my recent past. Here’s a quick lo-down –

Year one – Manic behavior. Spent a lot of money, promiscuous (had a boyfriend at the same time I was going through divorce), flunked out of college twice, drank (I’m not a drinker), smoked (yuck), did other stuff I shouldn’t have (nothing serious), and other classic symptoms of mania. Started anti-anxiety drugs. Aimlessly wandered. Felt blind.

Year two – four – Mania settled and  depression visited. Depression is a sneaky thing. At first, I had “bad days.” I couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t keep my mind working, so instead of finishing nursing school, I became a nursing assistant. Was so disappointed in myself. Just attending a few classes a week was tough. Gained  40 pounds, and tried half a dozen antidepressants. None worked well. Finally, I didn’t leave the house and barely left my bed. I didn’t attempt suicide but came extremely close twice. My support system kept me from leaving life. I was eventually on Bipolar II drugs.

Year five (present) – I have weaned off of all meds because I chose to do so (first time in five years!) with the help of my new doctor.  I have FINALLY found a counselor that I click with. I’m back in college and making As and Bs!! My decision-making is better, my memory is better, and I leave the house on a regular basis. 😉

I want to share my life with you because it’s been such a strange and difficult ride, and I hope it might shed light on some of your own problems. Three different people (friends and my mother- who doesn’t give accolades where they aren’t warranted) have called me courageous and brave. I didn’t see those traits in myself until recently.


It can be done, my friends. Wherever you find yourself at this moment . . . if you aren’t happy or healthy or satisfied . . . things can change. If I can go from Life A to Life B (two completely different existences, I promise you), then you can, too. It wasn’t a quick accomplishment. It wasn’t seamless. But, by gosh I am doing it. The little flicker of light inside me that REFUSED to give in or give up – well, it got me through and brought me to the other side. It’s where I am feeling thankful, stronger, and full of hope for the future.

Just a year ago, I was a patient with a Psychiatrist. I took mood stabilizers and antidepressants. I read about my disorder and saw many of my symptoms as classic. Just a year ago, I cried in my king size bed, avoided people, and wished to die every day. Just a year ago, I hated everything I was, saw no redeeming value in living, and planned how to make my savings last so I could continue being disabled and disconnected. It’s all I had.

Note: Not everyone who is going through a difficult life-change necessarily has developed a permanent mental disorder. I was just grieving the loss of my life and staring in the face of a new one that I didn’t know how to live.

Change . . .

It’s evil ~ and it’s heavenly


China’s “Cancer Villages”













China’s environment ministry appears to have acknowledged the existence of
so-called “cancer villages” after years of public speculation about the impact
of pollution in certain areas.

. . .  widespread production and consumption of harmful chemicals forbidden in many
developed nations are still found in China.

BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing says that as China has experienced rapid development, stories about so-called cancer villages have become more frequent.

And China has witnessed growing public anger over air pollution and industrial waste caused by industrial development.

Media coverage of conditions in these so-called “cancer villages” has been widespread. In 2009, one Chinese journalist published a map identifying dozens of apparently affected villages.


In 2007 the BBC visited the small hamlet of Shangba in southern China where one scientist was studying the cause and effects of pollution on the village.

He found high levels of poisonous heavy metals in the water and believed there was a direct connection between incidences of cancer and mining in the area.

Until now, there has been little comment from the government on such allegations.

Environmental lawyer Wang Canfa, who runs a pollution aid center in Beijing, told the AFP news agency that it was the first time the “cancer village” phrase had appeared in a ministry document.

Last month – Beijing – and several other cities – were blanketed in smog that soared past levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organization.

The choking pollution provoked a public outcry and led to a highly charged debate about the costs of the country’s rapid economic development.




Chinese tumor experts have confirmed that cancer has overtaken cardiovascular diseases, to become the top killer in the country.

Figures provided by the National Cancer Registry of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, reveal a more worrying ratio of cancer patients than that given by the World Health Organization. Every minute, 6 Chinese are diagnosed with cancer.

Many medical experts point to smoking as the main cause of 560,000 new lung cancer cases every year. Among female cancer patients, 17 percent are suffering from breast cancer. (see video here:

Investigative journalist Deng Fei used the term in 2009, when he published a map pinpointing dozens of toxic villages in China.













Cancer is now the country’s “top killer,” according to a recent report by China Network Television. Nevertheless, Ma Jun, a leading environmentalist in China, told The Telegraph that, despite China’s environmental problems and growing cancer rate, the government typically avoids making a connection between pollution and disease.

Environmental lawyer Wang Canfa told the AFP that this new environmental report is likely the first time the term “cancer village” has been used in a ministry document.

Campaigners have lauded the new report — which not only acknowledged that pollution could pose a risk to human health and the environment, but also outlined a plan to stop the use and production of dozens of toxic chemicals — as a step in the right direction.

“I do think this shows a positive development,” Ma told The Telegraph. “The recognition of the existence of problems is the very first step and the precondition for us to really start solving these problems.”













(re-posted from,, and Huffington Post. Not my original writing. Photos by Google images)