Intimacy Denied (2)

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Updated. What do you think?

lyncrain

For a brief interlude

two bodies 

entwined,

each rolling dissonance

with the need

to create

dissembling obfuscation

in a sweet moment

of contentment.

The twinkling stars

bear witness

the wind imitates

the rub of limbs.

Their intimate moment

betrayed.

The boundaries 

established once more.

Legs, arms declare

personal space

while lyrics of love

face doom

as the distance

grows

and the bedding

yawns.

I want to thank Victor Alemar and Bill Waters for their suggestions. I can’t wait to hear your input on the changes.

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Living with Uncertainty: commentary

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Absolutes don’t exist in nature. Franklin made exceptions for death and taxes, and the tax part is man-made. So maybe death is the only absolute in nature, but there are scientists and theologians who question even that.

I found this thoughtful paragraph in a white paper from Deloitte’ UK offices:

We should avoid placing too much weight on the latest fevered headline or market moves. Just because something is in the news doesn’t mean it is important – and vice versa. Media old and new do not necessarily give prominence to what shapes our lives. Looking at the hard data yourself, rather than relying on someone else’s conclusions, helps. Thinking against the crowd, in a contrarian way, provides new perspectives. But perhaps the best antidote for short-termism is simply to read more history.(1)

That may be simplistic. History isn’t destined to repeat itself.  Science is confident that there will be a time when all life on this planet ends, and that’s never happened before (to out knowledge). So history is on a course that may appear to repeat in short intervals, but not indefinitely.

Some people take refuge from uncertainty in one faith or another.  We want to believe that if we don’t know the future, someone does.  That may or may not be true.

Some take refuge in power, guns, money or military might.  The more they think they have, the safer they feel.  Amusingly, that’s like the gunslingers of the old American West.  There’s always someone sneakier or with a faster gun.  Power like religion is intangible.  You can’t know when you really have it, but you certainly know when you don’t.  Even the most powerful fall — Robespierre and Hitler come readily to mind.  And nobody wins a nuclear war.

Another option is to recognize that nothing is certain — not your life, your health, your job or your relationships. You have what you have today, but there is no certainty that you’ll have it tomorrow. So hitch up your belt and deal with it.

Does that change what matters to you? How you think about yourself? How you deal with others? How you use your time? How you view your politicians?


Sources:

  1. Ian Stewart, “Thoughts on Living with Uncertainty,” Deloitte. http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=571116&email_access=on&chk=1668600&q=1097484

Langston Hughes and me

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Are both poems odes to persistence?

lyncrain

Dream Deferred By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
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Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.Or does it explode?
I’ve asked myself that very question numerous times. I know more than once I’ve seen my hopes fade like the sun on a horizon. But I rose just like the sun refusing to accept my dream was deferred or over. I knew I was ready to share my story.

black-gloveBlack Glove by Lyn Crain

One single black glove left on the porch is all that is left a union of two.
The vivid, intense orange torch in their marriage flickered, now a black hue.
Angry words tossed into the flame, smothered immense passion.
Apologies spoken only…

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Alzheimer’s — latest news

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This is in an early stage of testing, but is worth knowing.  A Greek research team is experimenting with a virtual reality game that can be used as a self diagnostic tool for detecting early stage mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  MCI is a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Early detection of MCI can allow medical treatment that can either delay or prevent the development of Alzheimer’s.

“MCI patients suffer from cognitive problems and often encounter difficulties in performing complex activities such as financial planning. They are at a high risk for progressing to dementia however early detection of MCI and suitable interventions can stabilize the patients’ condition and prevent further decline.”

The the virtual supermarket remote assessment routine is able to classify individuals with MCI 91.8% of the time, on a par with diagnostic tests administered by professionals.

And that, people, is a remarkable step in dealing with one of the most horrific diseases among humans today.


Sources:

  1. Stelios Zygouris, Konstantinos Ntovas, Dimitrios Giakoumis, Konstantinos Votis, Stefanos Doumpoulakis, Sofia Segkouli, Charalampos Karagiannidis, Dimitrios Tzovaras, Magda Tsolaki. A Preliminary Study on the Feasibility of Using a Virtual Reality Cognitive Training Application for Remote Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2017; 56 (2): 619 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-160518
  2. IOS Press. “Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) detected with brain training game: A condition that often predates Alzheimer’s disease (AD), can be remotely detected through a self-administered virtual reality brain training game.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170224092544.htm>.

 

Harriet Tubman

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The Tubman quote has implications far beyond what she intended, especially when we recall Jefferson’s comments about “wage slaves.” Just who really is the slave in our modern world?

The Black History Month Project

I must confess, Harriet was not on the list of people/events/ideas I had originally intended to cover this month. In fact – worse so – I had entirely forgotten that she existed, although I suppose the whole point of this blog is to help me reconnect with these stories.

Tubman came to my attention twice in the first few days of Black History Month; first, when a coworker mentioned that her son had recently been assigned to write a paper about her (I smiled, I nodded, I knew I had some research to do); and, second, a great Tubman quote began making the rounds on Facebook.

Harriet Tubman was a conductor on the underground railroad, a spy for the Union forces and, a tireless champion for Women’s suffrage.

As the best known of the Underground Railroad conductor she ferried countless slaves to freedom, repeatedly risking her own life and freedom…

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Alternative Math

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17456_1269532813224_1076952025_30803996_7657050_nWe have “alternative facts” and now we have alternative math.

The Trump administration has proposed changing how the balance of payments number is calculated in order to support their case for trade restrictions and tariffs (taxes on imports).

Now the administration is projecting 3% annual growth in GDP for the next three years.  That’s substantially higher than the 1.9% estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for average growth over the next decade.  At best, the CBO estimates 2.3% growth in 2017, which is in line with the estimate from the IMF.  Kiplinger is forecasting 2.1% growth.  The Conference Board has a 2.2% forecast for 2017.

The last time tax cuts spurred major economic growth was in 1962, under a very different economic environment.  The record since with cuts has been erratic and overall much less productive.  Giving people money that they then invest in overseas markets does nothing for the US economy.

Why does the higher figure matter?

Higher growth means higher tax revenues to the government.  These higher revenues would offset reductions in tax rates for corporations and the wealthy.  Without the higher revenue, the current proposals aren’t “revenue neutral” and will produce a massive increase in the Federal deficit.

Which is precisely what fiscal conservatives don’t want to see.


Sources:

  1. Nick Thornton, “Economist cautions against lavish growth projections,” Benefits Pro, 24 February 2017. http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/02/24/economist-cautions-against-lavish-growth-projectio?kw=Economist%20cautions%20against%20lavish%20growth%20projections&et=editorial&bu=BenefitsPRO&cn=20170227&src=EMC-Email_editorial&pt=Daily
  2. International Monetary Fund, “World Economic Outlook Update January 2017”. https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2017/update/01/
  3. “Kiplinger’s Economic Outlooks,” Kiplinger, February 2017. http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/business/T019-S000-kiplinger-s-economic-outlooks/
  4. The Conference Board, “The U. S. Economic Forecast,” 8 February 2017. https://www.conference-board.org/data/usforecast.cfm