Stop The Hate Before It Is Too Late For All Of Us

I’m going to get serious for just a moment. This came about because I saw an app for people who are Conservatives/Republicans to find a safe place to dine out. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but then, I also can’t believe it when total strangers gang up and terrorize people they have decided are bad and must be gotten rid of.. Because their political choices are different.

I never thought I’d see a day when people here were being attacked in public, shouted and screamed at until they fled a restaurant, barred from shops and eateries.

Below you’ll find a link to a great radio presentation of the science fiction story by Theodore Sturgeon, “Mr. Costello, Hero”. I’m presenting it as an example of a very frightening thing going on in our society right now, people labeling others as bad just because they have a different opinion. This has happened before… In Germany 1939.

I hope you will listen to it this radio show.

I hope you will still welcome all people into your world with an open heart and mind.

Mr. Costello, Hero

Google is planning to track billions of credit and debit card sales

This is the very reason I stay away from Google whenever possible… And yes, they look just like this..

From BBC Tech News 
Google is planning to track billions of credit and debit card sales to compare online ad clicks with money spent offline.

The company will allow advertisers to see whether online ad campaigns generate offline sales.

Announcing the service, Google said that it captures around 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the US.

Critics said it represented another blow to privacy.

Google also announced a separate monitoring product in a blogpost, saying: “For the first time, Google Attribution makes it possible for every marketer to measure the impact of their marketing across devices and cross-channel – all in one place.”

The company has vast amounts of data on net users, from services such as AdWords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search which combine details about the ads displayed on devices with what has been searched for in Google.
Google can also collect location information from phones, allowing it to work out when a user has seen an ad, and whether they have searched for the product advertised and gone to an offline shop to buy it.

Privacy concerns

It introduced store visit measurements back in 2014, using the location data on mobiles to track when people visited a store.

“In under three years, advertisers globally have measured over five billion store visits,” it said.

It added that Google’s “third-party partnerships” already capture approximately 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the US, but did not reveal who the partners were or how information was captured.

Google will not have access to the details about what individuals spend – instead they learn the value of all purchases in a certain time period.

“While we developed the concept for this product years ago, it required years of effort to develop a solution that could meet our stringent user privacy requirements,” a spokesman said.

“To accomplish this, we developed a new, custom encryption technology that ensures users’ data remains private, secure, and anonymous.” 

Can you do anything about it ? 

In the US, Users can opt out of the service by going to their ads setting page and unchecking the box that says: “Also use Google Account activity and information to personalise ads on these websites and apps and store that data in your Google Account”.

Users can also disable personalisation for all Google ads. And they can pause or delete their location history.
“The one thing people regularly state as ‘creepy’ online is when an advert follows them around the internet. These plans appear to extend ‘creepy’ into the physical world,” said Renate Samson from Big Brother Watch.

“If people want to avoid having their shopping habits monitored on the high street by Google, by shops or by banks they should restrict the amount of data they hand over.

“Companies track and monitor in order to advertise to us. If we don’t want them to do that, take control; don’t give your email address for a digital receipt, check the terms and conditions, avoid using loyalty cards and where possible choose to pay with cash.” 

How do you stop astronauts going mad?

Space Madness –

In the Eye of The Beholder

This has to be a face only a crested black macaque mother could love. 

Copyright National Geographic 2017

How to Handle A-FIB 

Since my diagnosis is new it’s only natural that I start hunting for words of wisdom as to dealing with the anxiety and heart sensations I get when out of rhythm.

I came across this article and it has some interesting ideas that I think are worth trying out. Mind you, we do not have a medical reason for my A-FIB at this point, there may be no other cause at all. The ideas in this article all seem safe and make sense so we’ll see what happens. If you’re dealing with A-FIB please let me hear you’re story.

ARTICLE : Emergency! How To Manage an Afib Attack
If this is the first time you’re having symptoms of atrial fibrillation— palpitations, rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, anxiety—you should consider calling 911. These symptoms may be indicators of a more serious problem, including heart attack. But if you’re confident that you don’t need to go to the emergency room, here are some tips that may help you manage atrial fibrillation in the middle of an attack.
➡️ First, note these warning signs of heart attack:
❗️Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
❗️Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

❗️Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.

❗️Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

—From the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s site, Act In Time to Heart Attack Signs

If you feel comfortable enough not to call 911, here are some alternative steps you can take that may help you convert to a normal sinus rhythm (normal heartbeat):

Drink a glass of water. Palpitations are sometimes caused by dehydration. Don’t drink any alcohol, coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Alcohol and caffeine can trigger atrial fibrillation, and the phosphorus in soft drinks can deplete magnesium (see below).
Eat a banana. Atrial fibrillation can be caused by a lack of potassium, usually because of too much salt in the diet. Bananas are high in potassium, as are tomato, prune, and orange juices. But read the labels; some juices have high amounts of salt. Stay away from salt! See this list of high potassium foods. Note: Most vitamin supplements that have potassium also include large amounts of calcium. I don’t recommend taking extra calcium if you have atrial fibrillation; calcium is excitatory to the heart.
Eat some pumpkin seeds. Magnesium is essential for a normal heartbeat. Try eating some pumpkin seeds, which are high in magnesium. If you don’t have any pumpkin seeds, try brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, or any of the foods on this list. If you have a magnesium supplement, you can take that, but only if it doesn’t include calcium. If you have some epsom salt, you can take an epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate; you’ll absorb it through the skin. If you can’t take a bath, try adding water to the epsom salt to make a poultice and apply it to your wrists.
Dunk your head in cold water. Fill a sink with cold water and plunge your face in it. Sometimes this little jolt can help.
Lie down. Or, do some exercise. Some people find that symptoms improve if they lie down and try to relax. Others find that doing a little exercise, which makes the heart beat faster and then slow down, helps even more. You’ll just have to experiment to find out if either of these suggestions work for you.
Try some belly breathing. Lie down or sit comfortably, and relax. Breath through your nose to a count of four, slowly filling your belly. Exhale through the nose or mouth for the same four count. Breathe deep into your belly, not your chest. Make the inhalations as long as the exhalations and breathe in a circle, i.e., don’t hold your breath on the inhale or exhale. You can also try breathing into the belly and holding the breath for a count of ten (stopping if you feel uncomfortable), then resume breathing rhythmically to a count of four.
Listen to a normal heart. If you’re not alone, ask someone if you can listen to their heart. I know this sounds strange—and you’ll want to be selective about who you ask—but I have found it surprisingly helpful. The phenomenon is known as entrainment. Your heart will tend to slow down to match the slower, normal heartbeat. Try it.
If your symptoms continue or worsen, go back to the top of this post. It may be time to call 911.
When you’re feeling better, come back and read my other recommendations for managing atrial fibrillation.

Let’s still share some Christmas enthusiasm

While diving in and out of bookstores, tea shops, chili parlors and ice cream palaces during Christmas week I noticed an unusual social pattern that was new and a bit disturbing. In and around Cincinnati people were very nice, lots of smiles but also more frowns and rushing about franticly than before. What surprised me was the lack of ” Merry Christmas” greetings both aimed at me and merrily tossed to strangers passing on the streets.

It wasn’t that people were acting like Scrooges, they were just so intent on getting from points A to B that they were not enjoying the people and scenes around them. I definitely got the sense that people were being reserved with their greetings, in a way that was opposite to how they had been in the past. Folks in my part of town were cheerful and many were spreading good cheer, the happiest and most forthcoming with their “Merry Christmas” sentiments were all the busy workers (mind you, they were serving up Skyline Chili, Graeter’s and Aglamesis brothers ice cream so who wouldn’t be happy doing that). But otherwise, it’s as if people had bought into the latest media propaganda of being afraid to say any holiday hellos.. much like the media has folks afraid to say what their political affiliations are.

Oddly, not too many miles into our return trip after we’d crossed south over the Ohio River, almost everyone we met wished us a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year and the exuberance increased as we got down through cave country into Bowling Green, Kentucky. We’ve still got a long drive ahead of us but I expect more cheer as we go.

I join in the merry making by greeting total strangers with Merry Christmas, especially older folk or people who look like they could use a kind word. Forget the media, the online hype or the latest gossip about it not being “socially proper” to say “Merry Christmas” because the person you’re saying it to might be of another religion. I was raised in a western religion, I now adhere to an Eastern religion but Christmas has become much bigger than it’ beginnings and I am happy to brighten someone’s day with an “MC and HNY”. It belongs to everyone and should be shared, spread about, shouted from the rooftops !

Come on, people, what do you say ? The season’s not over yet. Make sure your elderly neighbors get a heart felt “MC” from you and, if you have friends anywhere who are alone, give them a call and wish them good tidings of the season…. really CALL THEM IF YOU CAN. The human voice still has greater powers than email. I know you’ve got it in you, even if you just cheer up one person you’ll have done a great thing

The tree’s still up, the champagne’s on ice and the haggis is being prepared for the New Year’s parties.
Get out there and do me proud.

Oh and…A Very Merry Christmas to you all !
😉 Meg

Making Christmas

I was sick with a nasty cold all of November so I lost a lot of time that I would have spent making gifts. I’m not used to buying presents and my family is always disappointed if I don’t make at least one crazy gift. Now, I have to root around my studio and see what might be lurking somewhere…. An old knit project… Some weird spinning fiber… A dash of fabric and I’ll have a nutsy tea cozy in no time.

Anyone else making gifts ?
What would you like from St. Nicholas this year… Aside from World Peace ? I asked for a toy, a game and some marzipan. It’s just not Christmas for me without Marzipan.

😉 M

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