Getting “Unf*cked”

UNF.jpeg

So on July 4th, I wrote and did a short video about how messed (f*cked) up things are in the world today (of course, technology-aside), and I advocated for people being a good influence and for constructive change. 

On the positive side, I saw this neat bumper sticker to “Unf*ck The World,” and I checked out their website utwnow.org

It was impressive to see people advocating for, banding together, and engaging to do good things to help others such as assist the homelessness by giving them haircuts, doing laundry, providing “mobile hygiene,” and helping with a thrift shop and job opportunities.  

In contrast again, it was interesting in the Wall Street Journal today, there was an editorial on how Brexit (Britian leaving the EU) has nothing on Amexit (America’s disengagement from global affairs). 

Around the world, there is cause for not only pause, but great concern.

– From allowing Syria to cross the red line in using chemical weapons (on civilians!) to the recommendation to not charge the former First Lady, we are in moral and leadership retreat.

– Russia takes over Crimea and agitates in Eastern Ukraine and the Baltics, while China continues its island buildup in the strategic South China Sea.  

– ISIS continues to hold ground across the Middle East and Northern Africa and attacks targets literally everywhere in the world and routinely takes, enslaves, and sells women to the highest bidder on the Internet.

– North Korea and Iran test ballistic missiles, and nukes are a forgone conclusion for them. 

– South America and Europe are in economic and political turmoil with varying degrees of recessions, runaway inflation, shortages, impeachment proceedings, voter recalls, and fractioning. 

– The U.S. is struggling to maintain its leadership role as we fluctuate between recognizing the dire need and pulling back all around. 

In the election cycle, I think just about every single person I have heard from now says in near hopelessness something like, “If only there was another candidate that I could vote for.”

What we can do locally to help–and certainly there is a lot more to do there with poverty and homelessness–perhaps people can do nationally and globally in demanding more–not material things, but rather a real caring about others and not just ourselves, a genuine discourse on policy and not just punch lines for the next election or media soundbite, a solutions-oriented mindset rather than a gaming the system one, and a big vision to settle the stars, cure vicious diseases, pull everyone out of poverty, and resolve endless cycles of global conflicts.

Do you hear much of anything on this these days and is anyone taking the high ground or is it just who is more crooked and untrustworthy–this cannot be the answer. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bird’s Nest Surveillance

Birds Nest Surveillance.jpeg

I took this photo today of a bird’s nest on top of a surveillance camera. 


I find this fascinating!


The pure irony of a bird finding safety and shelter in a nest atop a surveillance camera looking out for bad things like criminals and terrorism. 


On one hand, safety and security.


And on the other hand, the fear and insecurity of it all. 


A bird may find a peaceful nesting place there.


But for the rest of us, the world continues to be a very dangerous place. 


Often walking the streets of a major urban city, I think to myself the chaos and danger that could so easily ensue if events took a sudden and serious turn for the worse where society as we know it can completely start to unravel, and as they say, “the sh*t hits the fan!”


I believe that many, if not most people are worried about this, hence the incredible popularity of shows and movies far and wide such as:

 (Fear) The Walking Dead

Containment

The 100

The Last Ship

Jericho

Mad Max

Road Warrior

I am Legend

The Book of Eli

The Postman

World War Z 

Waterworld

Children of Men

Outbreak

Armageddon

Oblivion 

The Day After Tomorrow 

and more. 


The camera is surveilling and the bird is watching from their perch. 


We go about our days like the post apocalyptic zombies that wander the Earth.


But not so deep down, in our minds and hearts is the terror of what can happen at any moment and what is likely destined to happen eventually. 


This is not about doom and gloom, but about what the threats are out there, what is being done or not done about them, and who will ultimately survive and would you even want to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Top To Bottom

Graduation Hat.jpegToys.jpeg

The the other day, I was walking through the grass.

I came across these toys horses that had been left in a pile.

I thought about the innocence and beauty of children.

How nice it is to just sit in the green grass and play with your horsies. 

Today, I was downtown and GWU has a big graduation going on.

This guy wrote on the bottom of his cap, “If youre reading this, I just graduated.”

Of course, this is America, and so he left off the apostrophe (‘) in you’re (you are).

Oh well–neither STEM nor spelling is apparently part of the education curriculum anymore. 

But how quickly the kids grow up and before we know they’re college graduates. 

From childhood innocence and dependence to adulthood independence and its colorful assortment of sin. 

All grown up and what we hope happens next…

…off to start a big career, continue with graduate studies, marriage and kids of their own…the sky is the limit. 

We need smart and enthusiastic people coming of age with big ideas, teamwork, and precision execution to solve the ginormous problems we face.

Still huge debts, hunger and poverty, dreaded old to frighteningly new illnesses, a unsustainable use of our planet with tongue in cheek efforts to change, rising social inequity and racial tensions, and raging terrorism and WMD that is making a global and more deadly comeback.

I have no grads this year, but we sure as hell need every person coming off the assembly line to step up and make a difference. 

Right now, the leadership in the world (commercial, spiritual, and government) is overwhelmingly deadwood (people lacking in caliber and  integrity like Steve Jobs, the Lubavicher Rebbe, Nelson Mandela, and Ronald Reagan).

From failing products and falling profits, to “religious” sex abuse, demagogues overseas, and plenty of lying and corruption at home. 

We need and should expect more, demand more, perhaps in the young people there will be more–that is our hope and saving grace.

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Seriously Big And Out Of Order

Out Of Order

I took this photo in Washington, D.C. and I don’t know about you, but I hate when things are out of order.

We count on everything to be in normal working condition, and for life in general to function with at least a modicum of structure, process, and according to basic laws of nature. 

But these days, the world is seriously off-kilter and here are just a few examples:

– Russia, post the Cold War Soviet Union, isn’t supposed to do a blitkreig and just take over Crimea and fight an undeclared war in sovereign nation, Ukraine. Additionally, our vital economic partner, China, presumably wouldn’t have near unfetterd access to our industrial and government secrets, including the personnel records of the entire Federal workforce. 

– The major world powers comprising the P5+1 normally wouldn’t treat Iran deferentially and as a negotiating equal or even more than than that with near open negotiations and crucial concessions, especially when dealing with no less than the proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. 

– Terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, and more wouldn’t be taking over swathes of the Middle-East, Africa, and Asia, and we are not sure what our strategy even is or whether we have one yet. 

– Advanced industrialized nations wouldn’t be polluting themselves and the rest of the world towards the environmental catastrophic brink all the while denying that our lifestyle is not sustainable and that global warming even exists. 

– Smart democratized nations wouldn’t be living incessantly beyond their means and borrowing themselves into national debt oblivion–from Greece to Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and right here in the United States of America. 

– The Center for Disease Control doesn’t handle deadly biological pathogens callously and negligently with the potential for a massive lethal outbreak, while admitting to a serious pattern of safety lapses.

– Medicine isn’t just another “business and medical treatments for the sick shouldn’t cost $250,000 a year for a regiment of one or two pills a day, medical professionals don’t simply extend quantity of life without weighing it’s quality, and those in hopeless cases with severe pain and suffering wouldn’t be forced to go on “living.”

– The richest 1% of the world can’t truly hold more than 50% of the world’s wealth, live in mega mansions and drive fleets of cars, yachts, and planes, while masses of people are malnourished, diseased, homeless or in substandard living conditions.

No life is not perfect and certainly, even those perfectionists among us wouldn’t expect everything is be in 100% working order all the time–things break down, accidents and mistakes occur, and sh*t happens–but when life is getting shamelessly more out of order than in order than we need to be asking ourselves some serious and potentially life-altering questions, like what the heck is going on around here? 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Back To The Future Car

Back To The Future
OMG, so cool…the Back To The Future car.



It’s the DeLorean sports car on display by Smithsonian Magazine in Washington, D.C.



I love the winged doors that go up, the cool muscle body, and of course being able to time travel. 



The past–I’d like to stroll through the Garden of Eden, witness the splitting of the Red Sea and the giving of Ten Commandments, see Samson bring down the pillars on the Philistines, meet King David and worship at the Holy temple, shake hands with Ben-Gurion, and talk with and hug my parents and grandparents again.



For the future…its got to include space travel to other worlds, the eradication of disease and hunger (and by the way the national debt too), and the coolest technology to do everything. 😉



(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)

Growing Shoes For Growing Feet

Innocent children around the world living in poverty are frequently forced to walk barefoot, without shoes, risking dangerous injury from hard and sharp objects as well as disease from contaminated soil. 



Now there are expandable shoes that can be adjusted in the front toe piece and side with snaps, as well as with a back heel strap.



The shoes are made to expand five sizes and last 5 years with high quality rubber soles and leather uppers.



A donation of one pair for a needy child is just $10.



No child–or adult–should ever have to go without the basics like shoes and this can help millions get to a higher standard of living, which everyone deserves. 😉



(Thank you to Michelle Blumenthal for sharing this with me.)

Amazing Advancements In Prosthetics


Watch this video…



Where a man who lost both arms over 40 years ago is fitted with these amazing dual prosthetics that he is able to control with his mind and muscle movements. 



Made with financing from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).



John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab shows the possibilities for the future for helping everyone from Wounded Warriors to those disabled from accidents and disease. 



G-d creates and we imitate and together we make an incredible flourishing world. 😉



(Note: My gratitude to Rebecca Blumenthal for sharing this video with me.)

Cancer 101

Cancer Incidence Stages of Cancer
I saw this in a doctor’s office and thought it was very educational on Cancer.



The first diagram has a brief definition of cancer and the incidence of cancer type for males and females.



The second explains the stages of cancer, I through IV, and is shown in the small intestine, as an example. 



This stuff is so scary and horrible. 



The “C” word…we should never hear it, say it, or know from it anymore!



G-d should help us find a cure to rid this world of this disease.



Save us from that which afflicts us, and send us a complete healing of body, mind, and soul, Amen!!!



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cure Cancer B4 It Kills Again

Stop Cancer 2 Stop Cancer
Nice seeing these signs and slogans against cancer posted today in Washington, D.C.



Looking at the 2014 statistics, there were almost 1.7 million new cases and almost 687 thousand deaths in the U.S. alone for cancer including of the brain/nervous system, female breast, colon/rectum, Leukemia, liver, lung/bronchus, non-hodgkin lymphoma, ovary, pancreas, and prostate.



Way too much suffering and death from cancer…we must fight this killer. 



Whatever we can do to raise money, caring, and empathy…we should do. 



Run, walk, give, support, remember…even just hold someone’s hand. 



Thank you American Cancer Society and everyone out there helping to find the cure. 



“14 million cancer survivors are celebrating birthdays this year.”



Won’t it be miraculous when everyone is a survivor in a world without cancer anymore. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Medicine Back When

Hospital BedHospital Wardxray   Operation
I thought you may find these photos interesting of how medicine used to be–not all that long ago.

 
I took these at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. 
 
1) The Circo Electric Bed rotates a patient 210 degrees to help them go from a prone to a vertical position; push the button and you go almost loop de loop. 
 
2) A Hospital Ward–no private or semi-private rooms yet; say hello to a dozen or so neighboring patients sharing a room, moaning and groaning, each their own. 
 
3) An X-ray–say cheese as this machine peers inside your body, hopefully not emitting too much radiation to the patient.
 
4) An operation–looks serious, almost like an alien abduction, hope they had plenty of anesthesia so it didn’t hurt. 
 
Okay, medicine has come a long way…but we’re not there yet, not by a medical tricorder longshot. 😉 
 
(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)