Category Archives: Stories

Adventures and encounters

Are we getting sicker or is it just a coincidence?


Is it me, or does it seem like sickness is worse this year than ever?

Every time you turn around there is someone either sick or getting sick. I know that this year the flu was a bit worse than other years but even common colds, sinus infections, ear infections, etc. have taken its toll on everyone. And every time you go to your doctor an antibiotic is normally prescribed.

Is it just coincidence or is there something happening?

I don’t remember this much sickness when I was a kid, and I certainly wasn’t sick as much as a kid as I am now (granted I am getting older, but still). Chicken pox back in the day meant several days spent at home in front of the T.V. wearing oven mitts on your hands and taking oatmeal baths. Now it means mothers rushing their feverish, itchy babies to the hospital. Getting the flu meant staying out of work, eating chicken soup and getting lots of rest. Now, you call your doctor and mention symptoms of a flu and you’re required to come in for blood work and a flu test, and end up with an antibiotic to boot (which will do nothing if the infection is viral).

One might blame the health and well-being of our country. Let’s face it, the fast foods and the lack of exercise doesn’t help matters much. And lets not forget the smoking, drinking and drug use either. However, are those things truly to blame for our illnesses? I mean, I’m sure they deserve at least an honorable mention, but is there another culprit out there?

Antibiotics are prescribed for almost every cold, sinus infection and other common ailment and as a result, our immune systems are becoming weaker and weaker. Our bodies no longer know how to fight diseases on our own. They rely on these antibiotics, which our bodies (and the diseases themselves) become immune to. Then each course of antibiotics must be stronger to achieve the desired results.

Doctors today hardly ever counsel you on how to get healthy again with natural treatments. There is no reason healthy people should be treated with antibiotics, steroids or dozens of other commonly prescribed meds for mild illnesses.

Or is there?

What if…by making us believe that we cannot get better on our own without the help of antibiotics, they create business. More people come in for doctor’s appointments, more people get lab tests and more people fill prescriptions. The meds seem to help or the illness runs its course, there’s really no telling, and then we attribute getting better to our recent doctor’s visit.

In turn, we become more reliant on our doctor and the prescribed medications to make us well again every time we are sick. The problem is that the antibiotics become necessary over time, because the immune system no longer knows what to do without them. I’ve been saying this for years but now it’s really starting to sink in more and more as the years go by.

So as we go on, doctors will continue to prescribe more and more antibiotics when natural remedies would work just fine, if not better, and our immune system becomes weaker. Then we continue to rely on the doctor every time we get sick, which in turn creates long-term residual income for the doctor in lab tests and appointment fees. Is this all just a coincidence? Or is the healthcare industry making us sicker (or at least not helping us to get better naturally) in order to turn a profit?


Would you want to live to be 114 years old?

Misao Okawa receives a certification from an official of Guinness World Records in Osaka, Japan

Misao Ookawa was born in 1898! She was recognized as the oldest woman alive! Can you even imagine that? – See Reuters article
I’d say it’s pretty hard to imagine, so I dug a bit to see what I could put together and give this some perspective. First, here’s a list of inventions that occurred during her lifetime. Most of these we take for granted everyday. She lived without them…patiently waiting for them to arrive as she lived.

Some added trivia before we go on – The oldest living man is 115 years old and he is also Japanese. In fact, Japan has the most living centurions on the planet. I think they’ve figured out the secret to longevity. We should eat more rice! 

1900: the Zeppelin is designed, an airship
1901: Radiotelegraph service is instituted for the first time in Hawaii
1902: neon lights invented, AC and refrigeration
1903: the Wright Brothers first flight in a heavier-than-air craft
1905: Einstein’s Theory of Relativity published
1906: Will Kellogg introduces corn flakes
1907: the Lumiere brothers invent color photography
1908: gyrocompass invented by Sperry
1909: instant coffee invented
1910: Edison shows the 1st talking motion picture
1911:  Kettering invents the 1st automotive ignition system
1912:  LifeSavers candy introduced
1913:  the modern brassiere and crossword puzzle are invented
1914:  gas mask invented in time for WWI
1915: Pyrex invented
1916: Model T Ford prices fall to $360 — half the 1911 price
1917: stainless steel invented
1918:  modern zipper invented
1919:  short-wave radio invented
1920: Band-Aid invented
1921: 1st robot designed
1922: insulin invented
1923: Garrett Morgan granted patent for the traffic signal
1923: Clarence Birdseye introduces frozen food
1924: spiral-bound notebooks first appear
1925: Baird’s mechanical TV demonstrated
1926: Robert Goddard’s first liquid fueled rockets tested in Auburn, MA
1927: Farnsworth’s electronic TV demonstrated
1928: Fleming discovers penicillin; Schick patents the electric shaver
1929: Zenith Radio starts year as lowest priced stock on NYSE — ends year as highest priced stock due to demand for its radios; Paul Galvin (later president of Motorola) invents the car radio
1930: Scotch tape invented at 3M; first jet engine designs
1931: electron microscope invented
1932: good year for photography: Land invents the Polaroid process; zoom lens and light meter are also invented
1933: stereo records developed
1934: first magnetic tape recorders for broadcasting
1935: Dupont invents nylon; radar first developed; beer is canned the first time
1936:  Colt’s revolver patented
1937:  photocopier invented
1938:  ballpoint pen and Teflon invented
1939:  Sikorsky’s first helicopter flown
1940: Jeep designed
1941: aerosol spray cans developed
1942: turboprop engines designed
1943: synthetic rubber invented, along with the Slinky and Silly Putty; Cousteau co-develops the Aqualung
1944: synthetic cortisone developed
1945: atomic bomb developed and used
1946: microwave oven invented by Percy Spencer
1947: Schockley-Brattain-Bardeen invent the transistor
1948: Velcro and the jukebox invented
1949: prepared cake mixes introduced
1950: Diner’s Club introduces first credit card
1951: Super Glue invented; so is first video tape recorder
1952:  first bar code patent issued; first diet soft drink developed
1953:  transistor radio invented at Texas Instruments (TI); radial tire developed
1954:  oral contraceptives invented; Ray Kroc starts franchising McDonald’s
1955:  tetracycline & optical fiber invented
1956:  first use of computer hard disk
1957:  Fortran developed
1958: Noyce (at Fairchild Semiconductor) and Kilby (at TI) both submit patents for integrated circuits
1959: important to generations of girls — the Barbie Doll is introduced
1960: halogen lamp invented
1961: Valium invented
1962: audio cassettes developed
1963: pop-top cans
1964: BASIC computer language; permanent-press materials
1965: Astroturf; Kevlar; soft contact lenses
1966: electronic fuel injection developed for cars
1967: first handheld calculator
1968: Douglas Englebert invents the computer mouse
1969: ATM invented; bar code scanners developed
1970: Alan Shugart (chairman of Seagate) invents the floppy disk
1971: Intel’s 4004 is first microprocessor design; dot-matrix printer, VCR and LCD displays also invented
1972: first video game — Pong — invented
1973:  gene splicing invented; Ethernet networking invented at Xerox; BIC develops disposable lighter
1974: Post-it Notes and liposuction invented
1975: laser printer developed
1976: ink jet printing invented
1977: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) invented
1978: Visicalc spreadsheet introduced for PCs; first PC models appear
from Heathkit, Apple, Radio Shack
1979: Walkman invented by Sony; roller blades developed; Seymour Cray
designs the supercomputer
1980: vaccine for hepatitis-B invented
1981: IBM introduces the PC and MS-DOS appears for the first time
1982: human growth hormones genetically engineered
1983: soft bifocal contact lenses introduced
1984:  Apple Macintosh popularized the graphical interface; CD-ROMs invented
1985: Microsoft brings out Windows 1.0
1986: Microsoft’s initial public offering (IPO); first disposable camera introduced
1987: disposable contact lenses invented
1988: Doppler radar invented; first patent issued for genetically engineered animal issued
1989: first HDTV broadcasts in Japan
1990: Tim Berners-Lee develops protocol for both World-wide web (WWW)
and the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
1991: first digital answering machine
1992: smart pill invented
1993: Intel introduces Pentium family of 32-bit microprocessors
1994: first Internet audio broadcast from Interop, Bluetooth
1995: DVD invented; Java language launched by Sun Microsystems;
RealAudio broadcasting introduced
1996: WebTV introduced
1997: gas-powered fuel cells developed
1998: Viagra developed
1999: is formed and the search engine goes into beta test publicly
2000: mapping of human DNA completed
2001 – AbioCor Artificial Heart, Wikipedia
2002 – Wireless Headset
2004 – Facebook
2005 – GPS commercialized
2006 – YouTube
2007 – iPhone
2008 – The Retail DNA Test
2009 – Retinal Implants for the Blind
2010 – The iPad is released
2011 – The Stark Hand – Bionics
2012 – Google Glass

Ok, next. Check out this 10 minute video of events that occurred over the last 100 years that she lived. It’s seriously incredible to try to wrap your head around how long this lady has been around: Click Here

And finally, I want to list just 5 Achievements that I would love to see occur for the next 100 years or sooner.
1. The end of all Wars. A peaceful coexistence between all races and religions and having no International boundaries.
2. Elimination of all hunger, Poverty and Unemployment.
3. Funding to be no problem for all worthwhile sciences
4. The ability to control or somehow alter weather to benefit agriculture and to prevent disasters.
5. The Solar System to be “occupied” by Humans throughout with numerous scientific bases on Moon, Mars, and moon’s in Saturnian system. The beginning of  humanity living and venturing out to the Stars.

I think I would love to live in a world like that, but I don’t think I want to live 114 years!


Does it “Pay” to be homeless?


I ran across an interesting article today (Click here) “Donations Pour In For Homeless Man Who Returned Ring He Got By Mistake”. It’s a warm story of a woman who threw a homeless guy some change and accidentally dropped her engagement ring in along with her change. The homeless guy apparently didn’t notice it until hours later but instead of pawning it decided to keep it. The woman noticed the next day and traced her steps back to him. When he was approached by her he gave the ring back. Sweet story right?

Well, the next day the husband apparently reported this event to a local news station that created some good publicity which then prompted the husband to create a “Pay it Forward” donations page for “Billy Ray Harris” that to date has generated over $168,000. Yes, you heard me. ONE HUNDRED and SIXTY-EIGHT THOUSAND dollars.

Now don’t get me wrong here,  I am all for the nice story and the pay it forward thing. But have we become the type of society that by giving back something of value to its rightful owner has become such a HUGE deal? To me, I think that this should be second nature to everyone. Yes, he should be praised for not pawning the ring and giving it back. But this is a bit much in this readers opinion.

I hope that Billy Ray enjoys his new-found fortune and cleans himself up. But I also hope that he values what happened here for what it is and not for what it has become. Go out and continue paying it forward Billy!

I’ll leave all of you with this….Acts of Kindness should not be rewarded, they should be admired and copied. I would rather have seen the reports of this event spark 168,000 single acts of kindness than $168,000 dollars of payment for one nice deed. But that’s just me.

What do you think?