Yes, I am posting this one twice – it is that important.
In the early summer of 2020, as the world went into lockdown during the early days of the SARS CoV-2 (Corovavirus/COVID-19) global pandemic – I noticed many individuals declining to wear masks stating personal reasons and evidence-lacking “reasoning” as to why they would not comply with the recommendations of infectious disease experts all over the planet.
I also noticed several stories of different scientists testing masks to show how they were effective in reducing the spread of respiratory droplets/aerosols between people therby reducing the spread of the potentially deadly virus (as well as far less deadly but yet still annoying viruses such as the common cold).
I decided to perform a similar mask test for my students in my science education classes.
To do this I acquired some Petri dishes (from an Amazon supplier), then – with the mask off and a petri dish held at arm’s length – I coughed, sneezed, sang, and yelled at the open dishes. I then put on a two-layer cotton face mask and repeated the demonstration using a new petri dish. I labeled the dishes and let them incubate for a few days in a warm area – I did not have an incubator at the time but it was June so it was warm in the classroom, therefore – growth happened…LOTS of growth, far more than I expected…it was really gross and it smelled really funky.
The odd thing was that, while the dish that was exposed to my respiratory droplets/aerosols without a mask did in fact have more colonies of growth – so did the plate I had coughed on while wearing a mask. At first, it appeared that the mask did little to stop the spread of respiratory droplets.
I wrongly assumed the error was in the growth media of the Petri dishes so I acquired some new dishes (Amazon) with the same growth media used by many of the other researchers – 5% sheep’s blood – and I repeated the demonstration. This time I also added a table and placed several dishes out at .3, .9, and 1.5M (1′, 3′, and 6′) in an attempt to show how droplets travel outward from the body.
Again, the results were the same – not much difference between masked and unmasked.
I was perplexed.
I compared my results to the others and came to the only possible conclusion: my samples had been contaminated by the classroom environment. The natural dust and dirt on our feet, bodies, and hair that the students and I bring inside with us from the nearby forest and garden, our sloughed off human skin cells and hair, animal/bird dander (we have several free-range chickens), the fact that the building is an old log cabin. Along with all this fun with particulates – the classroom is host to many different species of reptile, amphibian, fish, arachnid, and sometimes even an Opossum. Then there are the billions of free-floating fungal spores and pollen grains from the forest all around us as well as the occasional wandering house fly or gnat – and all the fun little friends that hitchhike on their feet and faces. All these contaminants and contaminant vectors were, well – everywhere. So, my first two experiments were contaminated by the nature of nature.
What to do? How could I reduce the natural contamination factor of my classroom environment to produce a more un-contaminated result? A room air filter you say? Yes, I already had one of those – a big one. Obviously, it could only do so much.
Since it would be next to impossible to make my classroom free of natural contaminants – the only option was to build a Cleanroom to rule out some of the contamination in the hopes of obtaining a better result – so, that is what I did.
The video below shows the results of my efforts and I hope it serves to demonstrate the how and the why of why masks work and why it is important to wear them during a global pandemic. Watch to the end if you are interested in learning how I built the Cleanroom.
This video is long because I choose to be thorough and transparent. To demonstrate this requires procedure and patience. If you are in a hurry and want to bypass all the “meat” of the video and go directly to my findings – then feel free to do so by skipping ahead to the time index of 39:17
This weekend, in Sweetwater, Texas – thousands of Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and other rattlesnake species will be ripped from their home habitats – often using gasoline pumped into their hiding places which causes the snake to vacate the safety of the hide allowing it to be captured. The dozens of other animals that share the hole with the snake are then overwhelmed by the fumes and die. The toxic nature of the gasoline then goes on to poison the environment – and possibly even the local groundwater supply – the captured snakes are then put on display/parade then publicly slaughtered and eaten without hesitation.
This is the largest wildlife massacre happening on any single day.
The weekend starts with a “Sweetwater” beauty pageant where the winner gets to kill the first snake of the season. Then it’s followed up with two days of non-stop torture and death as snakes have their mouths sewn shut for grotesque “selfies,” and are then decapitated by people and yes, even children – who are told the snakes are “overpopulated,” “evil,” “bad,” “demonic,” “the devil” etc. – then the snakes are skinned, chopped up, deep fried, and eaten for public dollars.
Something also tells me that this being Texas, and this being 2021 – I would also predict that many of those who visit the roundup will be mask-less, in close proximity, drinking, cheering, preaching, and unvaccinated – making this another COVID-19 super spreader event…
Please do not support these disturbingly sick, destructive, events in any way, they are the last vestiges of a brutal practice that needs to end immediately.
Evidence follows – some of it is very hard to watch if you are sensitive to blood and/or animals being slaughtered. Some of the videos are age restricted and viewable only on YouTube via the embedded links.
This last link has a map showing all the locations where rattlesnake roundups are held. Some of these events – such as the Whigham, GA Rattlesnake Roundup and the San Antonio, Florida Rattlesnake Festival – have stopped the collection and killing of wild snakes and instead, use their public platform to educate attendees on the unique biology, beauty, and environmental value of rattlesnakes. If those in Sweetwater and the others would just convert to this format…
I do not have any issues with hunting as long as it managed scientifically to support the health of the wildlife and the ecosystem, and it is carried out legally and ethically. The Sweetwater Texas rattlesnake roundup is none of these things. It is time we end this type of Rattlesnake Roundup as fast as possible. Just imagine if this were a roundup, slaughter, and feast of dogs, cats, dolphins, manatees, Bald eagles, horses, rabbits, goats, turtles, – whatever – the public outcry would be unbelievable and the perpetrators of those acts would be arrested and heavily fined under animal abuse/cruelty charges and obviously wildlife protection laws. However, because it is rattlesnakes and because it brings so much precious money into the community of Sweetwater – so many people just look away, sit on their hands, and stay quiet ignoring the heinous animal cruelty and abuse that happens in this horrible mass murder of wildlife. On top of all this madness the perpetrators of this insanity, the Sweetwater Jaycees and all others who support them with their support of this mass murder event or through their inaction to stop it, are using this horrible program to teach children that this is an accepted way to treat wildlife.
I was bitten by a wild rattlesnake and yes, I still support their conservation.
If you do not see a problem with this sickness then my friend, you have a serious problem.
This needs to stop now.
Do all in your power to fight this madness.
DO NOT support rattlesnake roundups, coordinated animal cruelty/poaching/ wildlife/ecosystem destruction, and trafficking in threatened and endangered wildlife.
Recently I read this article in The Guardian that really hit home with me how urgent the need is to stop burning things for energy.
Sadly, until our species stops burning long-dead life-forms – fossil fuels – as our primary sources of energy for our homes, businesses, and transportation systems, this trend will only continue. More people will sicken and die due to atmospheric, land, and water pollution directly and indirectly due to burning fossil fuels for energy. Then there are the anthropogenic climate change implications – but that is another can of worms for another day.
If you do not understand the issues and the connections between burning fossil fuels, pollution, climate change and the health and continuation for humans and wildlife then it is possible that:
– you may not understand the problem.
– you may understand the problem but feel that it is hopeless and that nothing you do will change anything.
– you may have the desire to make a change, but do not believe you have the ability or the means to start the change.
– you may not want to understand the problem.
– you may for some bizarre reason actually believe the rhetoric of the corrupt politicians who are in bed with fossil fuel corporations.
– you may be listening to and trusting those with agendas.
– while choosing to ignore those with the peer-reviewed evidence.
– you may have money invested in fossil fuels that you do not want to loose.
– you might be comfortable in the way things are – or were – and you do not want to change – even if that change would make you more comfortable, happy, wealthy, and provide your children and grandchildren with a better world.
– you may actually believe the ancient scribblings in a dusty old story book that tells you the earth and its resources are somehow “imperfect” “corrupt” or “evil” and are here for us to dominate and squander without any consideration for future people, wildlife, or the balance of nature.
– you may even somehow believe all of the above.
This is all really very sad.
These limiting, restrictive, erroneous, and destructive beliefs will only serve to make problems such as this far more malignant and deadly.
The cold, hard, inconvenient truth is this: our species must stop burning things for energy and transition as fast as possible to local, energy secure, clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, gravity, tidal and wave energy, and eventually – fusion. We must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground and use them only as fuel for systems and projects that do not play well with renewables such as rocketry – as well as keeping them in reserve as backups for when emergencies happen and as feedstocks for reusable, recyclable products that are made from them – such as plastics.
If we want our species to continue much longer into the future – we must listen to those with the evidence.
I just learned of another “event” that is predicted by many “woke” “thinkers” and “researchers” to happen on Feb 21st. 2021.
A zombie apocalypse.
Yep, you read that right.
A friggin zombie apocalypse.
I am not ready for this.
If you go to Wikipedia and search for “end of the world predictions” you will find a treasure trove of hundreds of terrible, horrible, violent, “evil” civilization-ending disasters that were certain to occur.
You know what?
They didn’t happen. None of them.
The prophets (profits), doomsayers, soothsayers, and end times gurus were wrong every single time.
No, zombies aren’t real. They are fiction. They are, in fact, biologically impossible.
No, there won’t be a zombie apocalypse this year – or any year…well, except on TV, at the movies, and in the brains of some people who have never opened their mind to reality…oh wait, I forgot about that small cadre of walking dead brainless zombies who followed the insane dictates of their idiocy-tweeting führer and stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 in a lame attempt to start a “civil war” or some other such nonsense.
If there had been “real” zombies (who are far more intelligent than any of the Capitol rioters or their führer) they would not have promoted their “civil war” on many social media outlets and taken selfies and videos of themselves and their friends in “action” – then post them all over the internet as an invitations to identify, locate, and arrest they and their comrades – then toss them in the jailhouse to rot like the gray matter lacking, putrid, slimy, worm-ridden filth that they are.
…oops, sorry…where was I…zombies, right.
As the gang from Scooby-Doo found out – the real monsters are always us.
Nope, zombies are not real so there will be no zombie apocalypse this year…or any year.* However, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the only apocalypse and/or other bizarre conspiratorial evidence-lacking fabrications predicted this year (“Jewish space lasers” anyone) and, like this one, all the others have been or will be revealed to be total fabrications and/or non-events as well. (Except for all the book-writing and DVD/movie “documentary” producing, prepper product selling, soothsayers, doomsayers, and end times preaching pontiffs, charlatans, swindlers, and conmen – for them, it’s all just more of your money on their pockets.)
See you on the 22nd for just another day on this water-soaked rock we multi-colored primates call planet earth.
*There is one sure way we could create an apocalyptic situation for the population of our planet: not listening to the findings of the world’s experts and scientists, putting myth, magic, mysticism, and money above common sense and reality. I believe Carl Sagan said it best:
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
I test several common protective face masks in a cleanroom of my own design.
This video is long because I choose to be thorough and transparent. To demonstrate this requires procedure and patience. If you are in a hurry and want to bypass all the “meat” of the video and go directly to my findings – then feel free to do so by skipping ahead to the time index of 39:17
The back story: in the early summer of 2020 I noticed many mask tests being conducted by different scientists to demonstrate the effectiveness of wearing masks to protect us from COVID-19 (and other nasty infectious diseases such as Influenza). Below is an example of one of these mask demonstrations from Dr. Rich Davis -the regional director of microbiology at Providence Health Care in Spokane, Washington.
Dr. Davis’s example along with others (listed below) inspired me to attempt a similar mask test in my classroom for my students in the attempt to show the effectiveness – and the necessity – of wearing a mask during a global pandemic.
To do this I acquired some Petri dishes (from an Amazon supplier), then – with a mask off and a petri dish held at arm’s length – I coughed, sneezed, sang, and yelled at the open dishes. I then put on a two layer cotton face mask and repeated the demonstration exactly as the first time.
I labeled the dishes and let them incubate for a few days in a warm area – I did not have an incubator at the time but it was June so it was warm in the classroom, therefore – growth happened…LOTS of growth, far more than I expected…it was really gross actually and it smelled really funky.
The odd thing was that, while the dish that was exposed to my respiratory droplets/aerosols without a mask did in fact have more colonies of growth – so did the plate I had coughed on while wearing a mask. At first it appeared that the mask did little to stop the spread of respiratory droplets.
I wrongly assumed my error was in the growth media of the petri dishes so I acquired some new dishes with the same growth media used by many of the other researchers – 5% sheep’s blood – and I repeated the demonstration. This time I also added a table and placed several dishes out at 1′, 3′ and 6′ in an attempt to show how droplets travel outward from the body.
Again, the results were the same – not much difference between masked and unmasked.
I was perplexed.
I compared my results to the others and came to the only possible conclusion: my samples had been contaminated by the classroom environment. The natural dust and dirt on our feet, bodies, and hair that the students and I bring inside with us from the nearby forest and garden, our sloughed off human skin cells and hair, animal/bird dander (we have several free-range chickens), the fact that the building is an old log cabin. Along with all this fun with particulates – the classroom is host to many different species of reptile, amphibian, fish, arachnid, and sometimes even an Opossum. Then there are the billions of free-floating fungal spores and pollen grains from the forest all around us as well as the occasional wandering house fly or gnat – and all the fun little friends that hitchhike on their feet and faces. All these contaminants and contaminant vectors were, well – everywhere.
So, my samples were contaminated by the nature of nature.
What to do? How could I reduce the natural contamination factor of my classroom environment to produce a more un-contaminated result?
A room air filter you say? Yes, I already had one of those – a big one. Obviously, it could only do so much.
Since it would be next to impossible to make my classroom free of natural environmental contaminants – the only option I could see was to build a Cleanroom myself in the hopes of ruling out some of the environmental contamination in the hopes of obtaining a better result – so, that is what I did.
The embedded video shows the results of my efforts and I hope it serves to demonstrate the how and the why of why masks work and why it is important to wear them during a global pandemic.
Watch to the end if you are interested in learning how I built the Cleanroom.
No, actually – it is not…I was just trying to get your attention 😉
I am sharing this link not because I was one of these people, I am sharing because many people have found themselves in this position and have been able to recognize the trap they were in and then get themselves out of it before it was too late. The link is a story of great advice from one of these individuals who recognized the danger and got out – others, however, are not so lucky and will need help from friends and family in finding their way out of the deep, dark, pit of conspiratorial thinking they have fallen into. Without a ladder or a rope of loving support from their loved ones – and sometimes the long arm of the law – they will dig themselves in even deeper and the ever-increasing depth of the pit will increasingly prevent them from escaping the gravity well they have fallen into – a gravity well that is crushing the life out of them and often, everyone around them.
IMHO, intentionally denying verifiable, peer-reviewed evidence and instead choosing to support conspiracy “theorist” “thinking” and belief systems – is one of the most dangerous threats we face in working toward a prosperous future for us all.
Have you unfortunately found yourself stuck in that bizarre world of conspiracies where you actually fully believe everything is a lie, a cover-up, a hoax?
You know what I’m talking about – but just in case you need a refresher – here are a few of the more common examples:
Area 51 is hoarding and hiding alien bodies/artifacts
The Apollo moon landings were staged/produced by Stanley Kubrick…
The earth is flat…or hollow…
Australia does not exist…
Lizard people are controlling our government…
Giants once existed…
Dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time…or dinosaurs never existed and their bones are a manufactured to give scientists a job…
Chem-trails are real…
911 was staged…
The “deep state”…
Climate change is a hoax…
Covid 19 is a bioweapon and was manufactured in a lab by Bill Gates and friends, and/or Bill Gates is putting tracking devices in vaccines to track/follow/control you…
Vaccines cause autism…
The democrats/republicans/greenies are plotting to take your freedoms…
The virus is not real and mask mandates are about control…
College brainwashes people to become liberals…
All that Qanon nonsense…
…yada, yada, yada…
If you believe any of these and/or similar bizarre claims and beliefs – without seriously analyzing and questioning the authenticity of those claims and beliefs…the what and the why of what and why you believe what you believe – and especially if you believe these things without any verifiable evidence to support your claims and beliefs – then you may have inadvertently become stuck/trapped in a cultish following that has hijacked your brain.
Ask yourself some serious questions:
Is this belief system taking up a large portion of my time?
Have I ended friendships or am I fighting with family members over it?
Have I dropped out of school or lost jobs because of it?
Am I living in constant fear of friends/family/neighbors/strangers that I once respected?
Am I afraid – terrified – of what may happen next?
Am I stockpiling food and weapons?
Am I always online “learning” and “researching” the latest claim, “theory” or “truth”?
Am I worshiping an ideal or a person in power/politics/prestige as a “savior” of humanity or our “tribe” or way of life?
Am I worried that friends who listen to and support the recommendations of science are the ones who have been duped?
Am I concerned and/or do I believe that education and knowledge are work of “the left,” “evil” or “the devil?”
Do I believe that I am 100% right about my beliefs because simply my belief system, my friends online, and/or that loudmouthed “woke” guy on YouTube, or my favorite end of the world/prepper/echo chamber website (that interestingly is always asking for money to support their cause) – tells me so?
If any of this sounds like you then please, get professional help now before it is too late.
The fact is this: if no evidence exists to support their/your claim, “theory,” or belief system – then in all the probability that exists – that claim, “theory” or belief system is – most likely – simply wrong/erroneous and/or manufactured – probably to make some slimy, smelly, troll in a dim, dank basement somewhere – loads of money – your money.
Sadly, you may have already lost your freedom to whatever the belief system it is that is controlling you and you will see everything and everyone as a lie, a hoax, a threat to you and your freedom.
Again, if any of this sounds like you then please, get help now before it is too late – before the gravitational pull of the lunatic fringe pulls you past the point of no return and you disappear over the event horizon into the black hole of darkness never to return to the land of the living.
If you can find the inner strength to realize you made a mistake – as the brave woman in this story did – then you can rescue yourself from the toxic world of conspiracy theorists and lies. Next is a story of a man who realized he was conned by the Qanon crazy and got out before it totally controlled his life.
Personal freedom comes when you find the inner strength to break the molds imposed upon you by the conspiratorial, religious, and political conditioning that ended your childhood trust in others and destroyed the insatiable curiosity all children have in the natural, real, observable, measurable, and so very fragile connections between all things in the cosmos.
Until you are able to shed the toxic skin of your past – or the mind predators of your present – you will run the risk of remaining easily controlled, divided, fearful, and under the thumb of the charlatans who want to own your life for their own personal gain.
True freedom does not come from without, it comes from within. It comes from letting go of all the things that have a hold on you, that control your thought process – and replacing them with only reality – even if the reality is that no one is really in control and we are all working, fighting, clawing to exist on a tiny, inconspicuous, remote, wet rocky speck of a rather ordinary planet orbiting just another ordinary star in just another ordinary galaxy in this vast ocean we call the cosmos.
We may not be all that special when it comes to the vastness of the cosmos, but each and every one of us are unique, special, one of a kind individuals and we each have wonderful gifts, talents, generosity, compassion, and love to offer to those around us. Let go of the imaginary things that control you and open your eyes and see reality as it really is – and then you will truly be free to live, share, and enjoy the life and time you have.
Life is not about the ending, it is about the living.
One of the most important things I have learned over my over 1/2 century of life on planet earth – is how incredibly important the methods, tools, and findings of science, (and engineering, and technology) are to my very existence – and to the existence of everyone who is reading these words.
Without the discoveries, methods, and tools of science, we would still be living in the “dark ages” surrounded by filth, sickness, decay, and death. In all likelihood, many of us would not be living at all because our very lives, and the lives of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and possibly even farther back – have been saved and or supported many times over by the findings, tools, and methods of science. How have I come to this conclusion you may ask? The answer is in the evidence I see all around me and in what I know best – my own life story, so I will use my story as an example.
July 1968. I was born. I was a bit premature yet I am alive and healthy today, why? Because doctors, medical science and engineering, and life support technology saved my helpless, somewhat premature-born life and therefore, I was able to begin my growth and development.
I was never sickened or harmed/disabled/disfigured or rendered into compost by deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, polio, hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, rabies…why? Because my parents listened to the medical professionals and had me – and my pets – vaccinated when we were young pups. They listened to the science that supports the evidence that vaccinations work, they protect us, our food, and our companion animals (and therefore again – us) from the hordes of microscopic infectious invaders that only seek (but not desire) to cause us harm (but not intentionally) for only their own uncaring, unthinking, benefit – the continuation of their life cycle and their species.
Ask almost any person older than 60 alive today and they will tell you the only thing vaccines cause is healthy adults, long life, and grey hair.
In light of current anti-vaccination related events I feel that I must expand on this subject a bit.
For the moment, put aside your preconceived notions – good or bad – about vaccinations and just think about the thousands of times a week you come in contact with other people and their human residue – their exhaled breath and flatulent out-gassings wafting on slight breezes, their constantly shedding germs that become the floating motes of the melting pot of humanity before joining forces with the minuscule bits and pieces of everything else to become a microscopic menagerie of human/floral/faunal/bacterial/fungal/viral/chemical and technological atmospherically delivered effluent that – with the help of your need to breathe to live – finds its way into the tacky folds of your nasal cavity before paying a visit to the fragile, warm, humid depths of your oh so sensitive lungs.
How many times do you ride in a friend’s car, a public bus, train, taxi and share this air with others?
How often do you open a door by grasping the handle – what grimy, nose, and buttocks picking, crotch-grabbing, bipedal naked ape fondled that handle only moments before you did? Where had they been? Who had they been with? Exactly what form of nasty had they been doing only moments before? Did they wash their hands after they did whatever or whomever they did? Did they just blow or wipe their snotty, runny, dripping, mucus, and booger-filled nasal cavity and then use their soiled paw to grab the doorknob/fuel pump handle that you just grabbed moments after them!?! Is that why it was sticky when you touched it?!!?
How often do you ride in the confines of an elevator/subway/taxi/Uber/Lyft/handsome cab with strangers? How often do you use rental bicycle, Lyme or Bird electric scooters? When was the last time you used an escalator or elevator? When was the last time you pumped gas or used an EV charging station? How often do you visit a public toilet? How often do the others visiting that toilet wash their hands…how often and how well do YOU wash your hands after touching your face, your genitals, and/or excreting your bodily waste products? How often do they/you then walk out into the restaurant and grasp the serving spoon on the buffet line – I shudder at the thought…
When was the last time you shared space with a friendly stranger in a coffee shop, a restaurant, bar, airplane, cruise ship? Where were they from? Did they just come from a trip to a highly populated city where they visited a crowded street market or maybe even a “bushmeat” vendor or “wet market?” Did they just come from a tour of duty doing humanitarian work in disease, war, or climate refugee camps on the other side of the planet? Did they just come from an ultra-orthodox anti-vaccination community on the other side of town? How would you know? They may be really interesting and very nice but now you are inhaling the air they just breathed out, and you are in-taking a portion of their germs – wherever they picked them up – yikes. How many times per day/week/month/year are you exposed to countless invisible invading armies of microorganisms that have been evolving alongside humans and the animals they hunt, eat, or keep as pets for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years? I am sure the numbers are truly staggering.
Food for thought from the Mythbusters.
The good thing for you my friend is this: evolution gifted you with an incredible immune system and it is constantly at work in the background protecting you from a large percentage of the armies of microscopic invaders that you are constantly assaulted by from all sides, surfaces, foods, beverages, strangers, friends, family, pets and even wild animals. Without your immune system doing its job, you and I would have passed away long ago. However, even though our immune systems are very good at what they do, sometimes an infectious agent comes along that beats our defenses and sickens us. Our immune systems then go into overdrive and eventually destroy the invader, remember it, and hopefully, we are never sickened by that particular baddy again. Then there are the germs that are hell-bent on the all-out destruction of their host. Germs that your body has little defenses to overcome. The high-yield nukes of the germ world. To fight these bad guys your body needs a little outside support from science, it needs some training in how to identify and fight these new enemies so when they try to get in again the immune system will remember them and be able to fight them off effectively without making you severely ill. This is where the science of vaccines come in. The fact that your parents (hopefully) chose to trust science and have you vaccinated when you were a young child now allows your silent army of immunity to quietly and quickly identify and fight off the invaders, therefore, allowing you to carry on with life as usual – blissfully protected and unaware of the microscopic turf wars going on inside your own body.
However, if you are not vaccinated, I wish you only the best of luck – but luck will not fully protect you – only science and common sense will. So please, use some common sense, wise up, and go get some science and go get yourself vaccinated!
In fact as I write these words (early fall 2019) only a few hours ago I received my Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccination and yes, a few weeks before that I received my Influenza vaccination.
Yep, I am “vaxxer” 100% – and I am alive, healthy, and have gray hair in part because of it. I trust vaccines, I trust the medical professionals who invented them, I trust the professionals who administer them, and I trust the science behind why they work.
Why do I trust them?
1 – I trust them to protect me from the uncaring microscopic nasties that “want” nothing more than to use my body as an incubator for their offspring and then use me as an unaware, robotic-zombie-like delivery system to spread more sickness, pain, suffering, and death to all those around me…
2 – I trust them to protect me from the “anti-vaxxers.” The unthinking, irrational, the dangerously overly skeptical, and often conspiracy “theory” following, FUD spreading, individuals who choose to NOT trust medical science and then choose to NOT receive their vaccinations for themselves and for their offspring. These individuals are intentionally making very bad choices that make life much more hazardous for themselves, for their families, their friends, and for all of the other humans beings they come in contact with – directly and indirectly.
These anti-vaxxers either lack accurate knowledge, are resistant to facts, or they may lack the common sense and the highly developed critical thinking skills to understand that getting a vaccine will protect you and your loved ones from some of the nastiest, ugliest, most harmful, painful, diseases that have been all but eradicated since the invention of modern medicine. Diseases that are sadly making a comeback because of the bad choices of a small number of uninformed and/or irrational individuals.
3 – I trust them to NOT “give” me autism. Vaccines do not cause, give, or instigate autism. That is a myth perpetuated by Andrew Wakefield and his followers and they have no verified evidence to support their erroneous, fabricated claims.
Your future is in your hands and, if you are vaccinated – it is also in your bloodstream.
Being vaccinated I now feel a bit like a superhero with a force field around me – a force field of immunity driven and augmented by the findings of science!
Come at me now ugly germs – my immune system is armed and ready and you don’t stand a chance.
That brings us to today, and now there is COVID-19 to be concerned about. Luckily, just a few days ago I received my first COVID-19 vaccination (see next photo) and soon will receive my second and will join the millions of people all around the world who are working together with science to fight this new deadly viral scourge.
Next,more food for thought – this time, on Tetanus and what it does to the human body.
If you are still questioning how vaccines work check this out:
Speaking of germs and sickness, I am not free from all of them – no one is. In fact, we need our germs, the good ones, to keep us functioning and healthy – this is our Microbiome. Science is discovering that our microbiome is a huge part of our health and when your microbiome is suppressed or unhealthy due to stress, imbalance, or illness it can lead to other more life threatening conditions and infections.
I had have had many of the common – and some uncommon – ailments and issues that attack humans everywhere. Mononucleosis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, many episodes of allergy-induced acute and chronic sinus infections, exercise-induced asthma, labyrinthitis, and reoccurring eczema-like skin conditions – all these conditions and situations could have developed into more serious conditions (and/or even death) had I not been given professional medical care and treatments, medications, professional recommendations, and allergy immunotherapy that combated all of the previously mentioned ailments bringing me back to a state of nominal health. So yet again, that branch of science we call medicine and those scientists we call doctors came to the rescue of this blood, bone, and meat-filled sack that I pilot around the planet daily and refer to as my body.
It is important to note that none of the before mentioned conditions were caused by my childhood vaccinations – or any other vaccination. They were products of my genetic susceptibility coupled with my childhood exposure to infectious viral, fungal, and bacterial organisms that are not dangerous enough to have a vaccine…yet. These germs – AKA the common cold and other similar yet rather mild infections – were shed by others around me while I was in school and I was infected by them but recovered using my natural immunity. However, how many times was I exposed to more virulent and destructive microorganisms lurking in the public environment of school, church, summer camp, the movie theater, the beach, the birthday party, the mall, etc…? Organisms that would have rendered me dead or disfigured had I not been vaccinated and therefore protected from those nasty little armies of vampiric little buggers that are only out to invade and use our warm, moist, meat-robot, bodies as incubators for their multitudes of dastardly little offspring…we may never know. But I do know that I owe my long, healthy life to those thousands of doctors and scientists who worked tirelessly to develop, perfect, and administer those life-saving vaccines and other medications – and to my parents who opted to have me vaccinated as any good parent would and should do.
Then there were the environmental and chemical irritants and pollutants that I was exposed to over my younger years. These irritants came to me in the form of “natural” pollen, dust, and dander while the pollutants came in the form of household chemicals and agricultural chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that were used by my family in our house, greenhouses, and on our farmlands. I was a child and had no knowledge that the toxic soup of chemicals I was being exposed to on a daily basis was harming my health via the oils, particulates, and VOCs I was inhaling as well as taking in through direct contact. My parents had no knowledge these chemicals were potentially harmful as it was the early-mid 1970’s and many of these chemicals were only just beginning to be used on a large scale so their impacts on human and wildlife health were not yet known to science. As a child, I was also exposed to even more diffuse/concentrated chemical pollutants that were the toxic by-products/emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the form of lawnmowers, tractors, old inefficient cars, and diesel school busses which, at the time, had limited to none of the emissions controls required today. Then there were the local energy generation operations – all of which were coal-fired at the time. These fossil fuel emission-based toxic atmospheric pollutants, combined with the chemicals and natural irritants I had been exposed to earlier in life, worked together to compound and exacerbated the damage to my young respiratory and immune systems resulting in the conditions that I suffer with to this day.
These allergies, sinus, skin, and other health conditions are now mostly non-existent but the ones that do occasionally resurface can be mitigated with the peer-reviewed recommendations from my doctors and their methods, tools and findings of medical science. Yay science!
Not that long ago I was possibly exposed to the Rabies virus while rescuing an injured animal. I quickly received a preventative Rabies vaccination series, and I am still alive and healthy – and now have a higher than your average human’s resistance to Rabies – again – yay science!
Later, I developed appendicitis – had my faulty appendix removed – and live on to this day. Again – yay science!
Then there was the time I was accidentally bitten by a wild Timber rattlesnake. I took an ambulance ride to the hospital, received antivenin (anti-venom), and made a full recovery. Yep, science yet again. Take a look at the video below if you are interested in my rattlesnake bite misadventure.
My point here is this: without science – I may not have been born and I would have died or been disfigured many times over.
Without science, I would not be telling you the story of my life so you can hopefully use my insight to help you make good choices for your life.
For all these reasons and so many more I choose to trust science.
If you are still here, and you are interested in what was going through my brain on the day I received my first COVID-19 vaccination – then feel free to watch the next video. It is my long-winded commentary on the value of science ending with my first COVID-19 vaccination.
Like Bishop Spong, I do not believe in the traditional Christian version of a hell.
However, a hell on earth – now that is quickly becoming a measurable, visible, living, breathing, reality that we humans are quickly making for ourselves and all living things on terra firma…
Overconsumption of the planet’s resources.
The illegal wildlife trade for bushmeat, traditional “medicine, “pets,” and stock for wildlife parks.
Fossil fuel emissions creating a warming planet.
Nuclear weapons poised to launch.
Garbage/plastic and toxic chemical/biological/radioactive/pharmaceutical wastes/residues poisoning the soil, the waters, the air we breathe, and the foods we eat.
Wildlife species going extinct at a greatly accelerated rate.
An exponentially growing human and livestock population methodically eating the planet’s resources faster than they can recover.
Diseases jumping from wildlife to humans.
Then we have the lunatic-fringe humans. Those misguided, conspiracy “theory” driven, doubt, fear, and hate-spouting religious/political/hate-focused cult-like groups creating all kinds of crazy and supporting crooked mega-rich con-artist politicians/religious leaders/influencers out only for personal power, wealth, and control – all while building walls between each other and reality. Some of these radicalized extremists are even going so far as to recruit innocent others from obscure echo-chamber internet “social media” sites (such as the late Parler) with the apparent goal being to build armies of fearful, untrusting, often hateful, violent, and racist, followers and – if the events of January 6th, 2020 were any indication of their intent – are working to try and break down the foundations of our own democratic government and society in the misguided attempt to bring about their idea of a perfect world…and even in some extremely bizarre cases their bizarre idea of the “end times” – whatever that is. (It is really strange how fascinated and motivated many of these people are with death, and endings while at the same time their ancient belief systems keep them tied to the past, keeping them from accepting facts, evidence, reality, and therefore, keeping them from moving forward and truly living.)
It seems obvious to me that we humans are working very hard to create a living version of a hell – and there is no evidence of a god or devil pulling any strings to make any of this happen…it is only us. We are the hateful, selfish, and evil, demons, and devils and we are building a toxic hell in which to spend the rest of our days.
As Giordano Bruno stated before he was burned at the stake for believing other suns and other worlds existed and for thinking and sharing his knowledge with others –
“Your god is too small.”
IMHO as a lone human observer on the outside who once was on the inside – I feel that many religions are so very limiting of their god…whatever a god is. Is god a living (as we understand what it means to be alive) being…or is it living on a totally different level…so incredibly different and/or more advanced in its evolution than us that we are unable to recognize, communicate, or understand it with our limited intelligence and biology? Maybe it is a “force,” a Lucas-esque energy field existing outside our frame of reference…mabye it is a deeply intricate interwoven web of interconnections of mycelium-like structures sharing energy and knowledge between all living things – on a level we do not yet and may never begin to understand…or is it something to do with quantum entanglement, or dark/matter energy…mabye it exists on/in another dimension…or as an understanding/consciousness/awareness – something as far above/beyond our understanding/consciousness/awareness as we exist far above/beyond the understanding/consciousness/awareness possessed by the Chimpanzee, ants, or bacteria…I am open to the possibility that it may somehow, somewhere exist…and whatever “it” is, if it does in fact exist – and in all probability, it may not – but if it does, it may exist, resonate, as something we have not been or may never be able to “see”, measure, experience, or even postulate about….
…it is very possible that we, in all our superiority and hubris, are as the bacterium living upon the inner wall of the intestine of a random human being living upon a pale blue dot of a planet floating in the unfathomably vast ocean of space – a mere mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. Like that single-celled creature living its entire short life on the gut lining of you, or me – that creature cannot imagine or even dream about the thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, and desires – or even the very existence of the human being that it lives inside, the earth that human lives upon, the vast cosmos that blue marble floats within…but without all of these things working together that bacteria would not be able to exist. Therefore, we cannot and we should not try to describe “god” or “gods” without any concrete evidence to guide us in our attempt to describe and understand such things so far outside of our realm of understanding.
To think that we – a species so young in the history of the planet and the cosmos – with so much deep time behind us – to think that we puny, naked, multi-colored, bipedal, thinking apes can actually believe we have the intellectual ability to explain it all out by making up a few thousand evidence-lacking stories and creator beings and then calling those beings and stories the one and only ultimate truth and that, if you do not follow those stories exactly to the letter and constantly pay your homage, your time, and your hard-earned money to your chosen deity – that, if you do not do these things exactly as dictated in the ancient texts – that your “soul” will burn forever in agony in an imaginary lake of molten lava/fire/brimstone overseen by a grinning red warlock with a forked tongue, pointed tail, dragon-like wings, and a really bad attitude…all that, all of it is the ultimate form of hubris. It is also a complete and total cover-up, a camouflage, for the perfect business model designed long ago with the prime goal being to control gullible frightened people who were ignorant of the facts of how nature works in order to keep them in line and under control – and then take their money for the emperor/lord/king/headman/politician/pontiff gets richer and everyone else gets poorer. It was and still is; a business run by charlatans, hucksters, and snake oil salesmen out to get rich off the fears and doubts of the common people.
Sadly, so many good people are intentionally kept entirely ignorant of the amazing wonders of nature by the very design of the narrow-minded religions (and political institutions) they blindly and unquestionably follow – religions and institutions that suppress and censor real facts and knowledge as if it is somehow an unpardonable sin to know how nature really works. They then substitute their own manufactured fear, uncertainty, and doubt – their own version of the “facts,” – feeding them to their ignorant, bleating, chanting, followers…and the money keeps flowing into the hidden coffers of the rich elites running the show at the top.
However, once a person learns, understands, and accepts facts, evidence, and knowledge – that knowledge is powerful and it soon conquers their old fears and they wake up from their stupor, cast off their past, and are no longer a “sheeple” blindly following along in lockstep with the “flock.” They have become an enlightened, critically-thinking, awake, concerned for others, nature, and the future, person who can think with an open mind and open heart, and explore the amazing wonders of nature, life, the universe, and everything without the controlling, fearful, constricting, stifling, filter of a knowledge-limiting religion or political system making their decisions for them. They have become a truly free human being. A great example of this is what happened to the woman in the following video.
If you find yourself stuck in a dangerous cultish “religion” or toxic political following…
– please –
get out and get help.
But then, all my commentary is just my humble opinion based upon my ongoing observations of the world and the other humans around me and their actions toward one another and nature. There are 7.5 billion other “me’s” on planet earth – and they all have their own observations and opinions so it is not my place to try to force them to change their opinions or beliefs. I will, however, share my observations and my story and hope it gets some of my readers thinking about what this thing called life is, what it may be all about, and where we are all going.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Fellowship of the Ring”
Shifting gears a bit, some of you may think of volcanoes as hellish, destructive landscapes but it is most interesting to note that – after a fire, smoke, and lava-spewing hell-on-earth volcano erupts in the ocean it creates new land we humans call islands. This new land is later colonized by plants, animals, and people. This is nothing but a good thing – a gift from the god(s) if you will.
If a volcano erupts on land it may, for a time, lay waste to the surrounding countryside and the life therein – but soon – the countryside recovers and then, due to the nutrients brought fourth from deep within mother earth, it soon becomes one of the most fertile, life-producing places known.
So, “hellish” volcanoes bring future life and prosperity through the destruction of the past and the creation of the future and, if you are smart enough to get out of their way when you observe and understand their warning signs, then you. your species, and your society will benefit from the aftermath of their “hellish” nature.
Mother nature always knows best.
Maybe the “hell” we are going through on planet earth right now is only the death throes of a dying animal – the ending of an old, outdated, toxic way of thinking, governing, believing and living. Maybe, hopefully, after all the strife, craziness, and sickness has passed – a new type of human condition will, like the mythical phoenix, arise from the ashes of the fires of the ending of its hellish past and usher in a new era of enlightenment and freedom guided only by reality, evidence, logic, understanding, acceptance, and love.
I am frustrated at the apparent willful ignorance of so many people – people I thought were smart – acting like it is all a hoax, ignoring the science, promoting and sharing lame-ass conspiracy theories that have the potential to harm – or end – those who choose to believe, follow, and promote them.
In recent weeks the infection numbers have been rapidly growing and are higher than ever before. Yet – in many areas the restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, bleachers, beaches, party venues, churches, and streets are packed with people – many maskless and in very close proximity.
In the USA the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are fast approaching as is winter. I have a great concern that many will ignore the recommendations of the experts and will chose to gather inside with family and friends to celebrate these traditional holidays. I fear that if this happens the infection rate will climb even higher and many more innocent people will suffer and die all because people chose to put their own wants over the needs of everyone around them. They will chose to willfully and deliberately ignore the recommendations of science as if they actually believe they will somehow be magically protected by their deity of choice.
Life does not work that way no matter how much you want it to.
Nature does not care about you.
You must care about yourself and those around you.
In grocery and hardware stores I have seen everyone from toxicically masculine macho men to young parents with their kids – all unmasked – closely mingling with others and acting as if nothing is wrong.
I have spoken to mask-wearing front-line workers in these stores and asked them how they deal with these maskless bandits stealing the health and lives of others. They say at first they were told by their superiors to enforce the mask mandate – but then, after extreme push backs and verbal attacks from these maskless partons – they were told to just let them in the door and stop enforcing the rule. Why? Are the store owners afraid of losing profits? Are they afraid of confrontation or litigation? Whatever the reason it just boggles the mind that a store owner would choose possible contagion over doing what is right – tossing the whining, tantrum-throwing, maskless bandits out on the street and telling them to not come back in their store until they are following the rules set by the store owner, the authorities, and by science.
When I visit any store/shop I always wear a mask. In fact, as I have an elderly mother and other family members who are more at risk, and as I am a school teacher – I must limit my chance of bringing an unwanted hitchhiking virus back to my students/coworkers and loved ones. So, when I enter places where I have noted low mask use – such as WalMart and Hardware stores – I opt to wear a 3M N100 full face mask custom fitted with an exhale filter. Yes, I get many odd looks from the maskless bandits but I do not care.
They look at me as if I’m some kind of fearful nutjob.
The reality is that I am not living in fear – I am living with facts.
I look back wondering what is the matter with them – are they really so blind to facts, do they really have no care in their hearts for themselves or their fellow human beings, could they be some of the blind followers of any number of the anti-science, bible waving, greedy ego-maniacs in politics, religion, and on the internet who think it is all a hoax and/or a way for the government to impart control on the population and/or are just using the pandemic as a way to profit off the fear and uncertainty of their followers? Are they all getting some kind of mental fix from this game of Russian roulette they are playing with their lives and with the lives of countless others?
I do not know the answers. What I do know is that I have given up trying to educate those people because no amount of knowledge I share will make them change their minds and listen to reason. It is almost as if they are part of a dangerous anti-science, masochistic, pseudo-religious, cult of toxic self-centeredness.
Sadly sometimes, we thinking types just have to toss up our hands and walk away.
We must continue to protect ourselves by staying as far away as possible from the maskeless bandits.
We must not give up or give in and we must continue to follow the knowledge and recommendations of the science from the experts.
We must do all these things as well as just curl up in the safety of our caves and just sit back and let natural selection run its course.
Who out there with an ounce of grey matter would actually decide to change who they vote for/support because they saw a name/slogan on a sign on the side of the road, on a bumper sticker, on a flag or banner, watched a mudslinging TV spot/interview attempting to harm a challenger, believed someone else’s gossip or manufactured drama, or put on an article of clothing with their insignia/motto stamped upon it?
Who with an ounce of grey matter would actually give their own money to these people so they can litter the planet with even more of their propaganda? The majority of these people have far more money than any of us will ever be able to even imagine and yet, somehow, they have conned good people to give them even more money. The insanity of it all boggles the brain.
I see all this me me madness as a pathetic and wasteful attempt to prop up all these insecure humans in perceived high places who seem to have a great need for attention, for competition – it is a truly weak attempt to satisfy a pathological need, an unhealthy all-consuming lust to win – at any cost.
What is this bizarre preoccupation some humans have to win, to be in control, to feel powerful, to be important, to be worshipped? I believe it is an evolutionary hold over from our – eat or be eaten us vs. them tribal days.
It is an illusion.
It is not working for us any longer.
It is time to stop the madness.
It is time to evolve out of the vestigial evolutionary tools of the past that have become dangerous delusions of the present that now work to control our minds.
It is time to grow up out of our tribal us vs. them childish evolutionary mindset.
If all these flag, banner and sign waving politicians and pontiffs would just stop trying to prop themselves and their followers up with hollow promises and just stop and think for a moment and use the brain they often boast that they have – maybe they would then realize how much time, energy, and money they have spent on all the ridiculous boasts, lies, signs, flags, banners, ads, commercials, and other single-use litter that serves no real purpose.
What if they actually decided to stop the endless competition, put their heads, hearts, knowledge, maths, and monies together, and started to work together to solve the big problems we have as a species?
What kind of amazing things could be accomplished if we could only stop competing with each other and start working together?
Sadly it seems that many of us are stuck fast in a deep rut. We are taught from an early age that we must compete with “the other” to get anywhere in life. We are taught that our side is “good” and the other side is “bad” and we are fed this illusion from all “sides” – at home with controlling parents, at school with grades, bullies, and competitive sports, at work with bosses and subordinates and climbing ladders, in religion with fathers, kings, gods and devils, good and evil, in politics and the military with the us vs. them mentality – until we are programed and conditioned to believe it is all true. We then blindly distrust those from the other “side” or the “middle” who show us any evidence to the contrary, we blindly ignore their facts, we choose to ignore common sense, we quickly toss out the science, we stop trusting and loving friends and family who do not fit into or follow our limited world view, we put our politics and religion above observable facts, love, and humanity – this is when we have become nothing more than mindless automatons controlled by the matrix that we ourselves created.
It is time to destroy the matrix.
It is time to wake up out of the bizarre mindset that politics and religion are the only way to exist as human animals.
There is more to life than this madness.
John Lennon famously asked us to Imagine.
Now is the time to Imagine what we could become if we could only step out of this destructive toxic box we have locked ourselves within.