Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Recalibrating the mindset

Town Musician

I already mentioned that there is only one way to think, and that way is "out of the box." But what about the mindset. Where can it be reset? To reset it we have to find out where the mindset is located and where it sits down and stagnates. Let's suppose it sits down in the box and bounces off its walls and doesn't even imagine the outside of the box. That must be it. But knowing that thinking only happens out of the box makes it necessary for the mindset to bounce of the walls so vigorously that the walls break down and the box gets obliterated. The mindset then sticks its head out and smells fresh air, and flies free.

Well, I am joking a little bit, but not all that much. I have been thinking about the mindset a lot lately. The mindset is a tricky little devil. It puts you into a mental prison and only lets you out when a really overwhelming experience necessitates a change. But finding that experience without the pain that it aches to break out, is very hard. It takes energy. Yes, that's what it takes. But freeing your mindset makes you truly free.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thinking in the box?

Town Musician

I just thought about this. Whoever invented the term "to think out of the box," must not have been thinking very clearly; they must have been, sort of, still in the box. There is no doubt in my mind that all real "thinking" is always "out of the box." Anyone ruminating "in the box" is not really thinking at all but merely rehashing old ideas. The term is mainly used to put a different spin on what used to be a simple memory game.

To think is to have wings, to soar over boundaries of any imaginary confinements. The term "in the box" is a sad reflection of our current state of affairs. How else could Erik's doctors have missed the fact for so long that the edges along the bone plates covering the brain are the growth areas for the skull, just as the epiphyses are the growth plates for the long bones. Erik has osteomalacia (to all those who need to know that is the same as Vitamin D deficiency). He probably had it since just after he was born. It never occurred to the doctors to look for a reason. Now it turns out that craniosynostosis occurs in rickets and osteomalacia.

Did they overlook this important fact because they thought that there was actually thinking going on "in the box?" My musings are a bit cryptic. I can't help that because to tell the whole story would take too long.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Which one is more important?

Town Musician

When I drove to work in my carpool this morning, I listened to the radio. They were talking about Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and our Vice President. As I heard all about lying and who did what and all that, I was wondering aloud what all this is going to do to our kids and future generations. I thought listening to all the lies and deception that goes on in high places in government, would cause the children to not only become cynical but also possibly not obey the law. At least some of them might think if Scooter or Cheney or Rove did it, it must be acceptable.

The person sitting next to me responded by saying: "Those kids don't listen to the radio. They don't care about any of that." Now, when I was not yet in school, I knew about Hitler, and he, too, lied to the German people, and I knew that from the radio; that was the "Voice of America" at the time. I thought Americans were better people then we were. Having lived in this country now for over forty years, I am wondering if I was wrong about the American people; or was I just naive? That brings me back to my title question: What is worse, knowing that our leaders have lied to us or knowing that our children don't care whether they lied to us?

The dog is getting very old

Town Musician

Zony, our dog, is getting senile, has been for several years now. I am wondering if we have mercury or another toxic substance around the house. She can't hear; she can't see; she is deaf. When she is lonely she starts to howl. She remembers the wild and wishes she were out there with the wolves. Our dog Pepper, who is dead now, did the same thing. She howled in complete unison with the police and fire-engine sirens. It's as if she had wanted to go back to her roots.

Mercury does things to us, too. It sneaks up on us in such a way that we can't recognize it as a poison. It doesn't work like ordinary poison. There is a delay, and mercury makes you lose your short term memory. So you won't remember that you got poisoned.

I read an interesting story to that effect today. A man, not identified by name, wrote to a Minneapolis newspaper responding to some letters to the editor. He wanted to know more about the subject of these letters, namely mercury. He wrote that when he was in high school in the '70s he did a science project that was titled "The Effect of Mercury on the Nervous System." In order to find out what effect mercury had on rats, he used a closet of a room at school to heat mercury so that it would evaporate. His test animals were rats. As his project progressed he noticed that his rats started to behave strangely. They became very aggressive, even cannibalistic. Several mornings in a row he found that some of the rats had been eaten by the others so that only parts of them were left over. His classmates thought that his project was gross. Things became very disturbing and he broke up the project before he had planned to do so. He took his report to the science fair and everyone was impressed. He said he couldn't remember whether he went on to the regional fair. But what was more disturbing was that at that time he didn't connect the experiment and its effect on the rats to any toxicity that might have affected his classmates. The man is now fifty-two and has multiple sclerosis. He is just now sorry that he exposed so many of his classmates to mercury fumes. I suppose he knows now that symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis are thought to be caused by mercury. But even though he saw the destructive nature of the mercury on the animals, he did not transfer that knowledge to a useful application on himself or his fellow students. He also wondered -- better late than never -- why his teachers even allowed him to do the experiment he did. His question in the letter was: Is there a doctor who can test for mercury? I can tell him that there are many. If he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, he probably won't find one. The subject is not on current doctors' minds.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Abduction stories

Town Musician

Since I punctured my finger with a sliver of glass, I can't write as much as I would like. It still hurts a little.

The story of the two boys missing in Missouri started me on thinking about a couple of Grimm's fairy tales. One is the Pied Piper of Hamlin. The other is the story of Hansel and Gretel. Both stories are abduction stories.

So how is it possible that children are unable to walk away from an abduction? Are they too trusting, or is there really something different at work. With Hansel and Gretel it is quite certain that they knew that no one wanted them. So, they knew that the witch was their only hope for survival as long as they were being fed. It was also quite plain that they were able to escape when the time was right.

So, why were the children in the Pied Piper story not able to save themselves? I think they were pulled along by the sway of the group, and they too needed the Piper for survival. The difference was that they were in a large group of children, and as such they felt safety in numbers.

Why did boys like Steve Stayner and the older Missouri boy Shawn Hornbeck not seem to be able to save themselves by walking away? They had no choice. Their survival depended on the man who had kidnapped them. Steve Stayner was told at the time that his parents didn't want him anymore. He believed the abductor. In the case of Shawn Hornbeck an equally discouraging story must have been told him. Kids have a way to interpret things that don't allow them to leave the person of authority. It must be a basic survival mechanism. It takes a lot of independence to strike out on your own.

Monday, January 08, 2007

"Feine Würze Dioxin"

Town Musician

"Feine Würze Dioxin" by Erich Schöndorf, which I translated into English was sent to the author last Thursday. I am now really curious if Margo Baldwin of Chelsea Green is interested in publishing it. I think the story would lend itself very well for a movie.