7 Quick Takes: TED Talk Edition

7 Quick Takes

While I was editing my parish’s devotional book and trying not to play Taonga, I listened to a lot of TEDx talks as I needed some background noise. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed.

— 1 —

Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin is the person behind the “Ask a Mortician” YouTube channel. I decided to check out her channel more thoroughly after watching this talk.

— 2 —

Christian Picciolini. It’s unnerving to me that Christian was recruited to the White Power movement by someone seemingly expressing concern for him. He also admits that some of his music helped to radicalize Dylan Roof, the shooter in the attack on Mother Emmanuel church in South Carolina.

— 3 —

Darryl Davis. How many people would meet with someone who hates them to try and understand the reason behind that hatred?

— 4 —

Eric Hodgdon. He had a really positive message on how to get through after the death of a loved one.

— 5 —

Lucy Hone. This was helpful in seeing behaviors in my life that are beneficial in dealing with adversity. Lucy’s daughter was killed in a car accident, and all of her psych training had to ber sifted through to help her cope.

— 6 —

Greg Boyle, S.J. Because kinship.

— 7 —

Sue Kleibold. How do you heal from your son and a friend killing 13 people before killing themselves. Sue explains.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Internet Rabbit Hole Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Fauci spills the tea. Dr. Anthony Fauci did an interview with the New York Times over the past weekend on what it was like to work with Donald Trump, and it explains why a lot of misinformation (especially the fallacy about hydroxychloroquine being effective) was spread.

If you can’t get behind the paywall for the New York Times, the Seattle Times has it here.

— 2 —

Media bias. As we are still in a very polarized country, I wanted to share the media bias chart as it’s helpful in evaluating the media you consume. When I saw it a few years ago, I stopped sharing articles from the Huffington Post because they skew left. When I read an article online that sounds too good to be true, I check it against Reuters, NPR, or the Associated Press as they tend to be closer to bias-free.

— 3 —

Holy Internet rabbit hole, Batman! YouTube recommended this video to me…

Which led to others…

And then to this…

This is a bad site for me to know about!

— 4 —

Richard III reburial documentary. This documentary was last night’s rabbit hole. The music for the service is amazing.

— 5 —

COVID vaccine. A lot of people in my church are getting their “Fauci ouchies” this week and next. My parents will get theirs on Sunday. They are already allowing the tier before mine to start getting their vaccines this week, so I’m hoping to get mine sooner or later.

The side effects I’m hearing about from those who have received theirs is arm pain for 24-36 hours after, and only one person has had fever or chills. (Those went away after 24 hours.) I’m absolutely used to arm pain after flu shots, so I’m not worrying too much. I’m also fine being watched for 20 minutes after my shot because that’s absolutely normal for me anyway. (I have weird allergies and sensitivities.)

— 6 —

Double-masking. I’m seeing people on Twitter complaining about double-masking meaning that masks aren’t effective, and I’m kind of wanting smack people. The reason this is called “novel” coronavirus is because it’s “NEW”. We are learning more and more about it daily, and the new information means that recommendations change from time to time. Also, if we’re being advised to double-mask, doesn’t that underscore the importance of wearing a mask in the first place???

— 7 —

Choir get-together. One of the altos hosted a Zoom meeting for all of us in choir to get a chance to socialize this evening. We can’t have choir practice over Zoom, but it was good to get together and talk to people, especially as one of our members is hospitalized with COVID and we’re all worried about her.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Inauguration Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Much better situation on Inauguration Day 2021 than Inauguration Day 2017. I’m not even talking about the person being inaugurated. In 2017, I was dealing with a kid who had a stomach bug that landed him in the E.R. because he couldn’t even keep water in his system. (It’s not like I would have watched the Inauguration that day anyway.)

In 2021, I do still have 10 loads of his laundry to do (not even kidding), but at least he isn’t on an E.R. gurney sobbing because he wants apple juice.

— 2 —

Inauguration thoughts. So much hope. So much class. So much emotion. Stephen Colbert sums up my feelings beautifully:

— 3 —

“The Hill We Climb”. If anyone missed Amanda Gorman’s amazing poem yesterday, here it is again:

— 4 —

Andrew Lloyed Webber vs. sea shanties. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, the genius behind CATS and Phantom of the Opera, decided to do a duet with Nathan Evanss on “Wellerman”. Nathan was quite chuffed.

@officialalw

##duet with @nathanevanss Anyone for Fisherman’s Friend? – Team ALW ##seashanty

? original sound – N A T H A N E V A N S S

— 5 —

Explanation of the mRNA COVID vaccine. One of my favorite YouTubers, Violin M.D., made a wonderful video on how the COVID vaccine works.

— 6 —

Another vaccine take. My parents were able to make appointments to get their first COVID vaccine. They get their shots on the 31st, as Washington will be at Tier 1b starting on January 26th. I am Tier 1d, so I’m thinking my first vaccine appointment won’t be until late March/early April.

— 7 —

Bliss. My precious panther has decided to sleep next to my pillow. I am honored.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Sea Shanty Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Duuuuude… “Wellerman” is addictive, and I am greatly amused that sea shanties are giving people joy. They are fun to sing, and it’s definitely not the worst thing we could all be binging now. There’s also an emphasis on harmonies, so yay part singing!

I have definitely gotten into Nathan Evanss on TikTok, and I even downloaded TikTok on my phone so I could listen to his stuff while working on my laptop.

— 2 —

Ummm… wow. My latest YouTube binge is “My 600-lb Life”, and it is rather… shocking. My Coca-Cola habit pales in comparison to people who eat multiple pizzas at a meal!!! Still, you see the really massive pain that drives people to eat compulsively, and I can definitely understand drowning your sorrows in food. Then again, you also see spouses and family members who are enabling the patients for some unhealthy reasons, and you want to shake some of them and ask them how they could be so stupid or selfish.

— 3 —

Another sea shanty take. I had no idea that “Awesome God” works for harmony with “Wellerman”. Like, seriously, mind blown!

— 4 —

Jim Jordan. I’m repulsed that House member Jim Jordan got the Presidential Medal of Freedom after Bill Belicheck declined it. (Not quite as repulsed as I was at Rush Limbaugh receiving it, but close.) Jordan hasn’t done anything noteworthy other than covering up Richard Strauss’s sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State and being Trump’s yes man. His House district is the dictionary definition of “gerrymandered” too.

Ugh.

— 5 —

Work take. My boss added another student to my tutoring load today, so I have officially maxed the numbers I can work during the week. 6 hours of it is drop-in tutoring, and the other 9 hours is split between a few different students.

— 6 —

Yet another shanty take. I love Nathan Evanss’s cover of “Bully in the Alley” but this one led by John Bromley of the Kimber Men is also pretty lovely and very addicting. The chorus works well for group singing.

— 7 —

Pizza for troops at the Capitol. There’s a pizza place in DC called We The Pizza that will let you donate toward feeding the National Guard troops at the Capitol. Order here, select “Curbside”, choose the donation option under “Pies” and put a note in your order about it being for the National Guard troops.

This Twitter thread, by the way, makes me simultaneously proud of all those “kids” (young soldiers) guarding the Capitol and sad that they have to be there in the first place.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Getting A Few Things Straight Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Who Antifa is. Just a head’s up:

Cadet Bonespurs is an idiot.

— 2 —

On defunding the police. This is what it means. This is what it can look like.

By the way, this is who a lot of the looters are.

— 3 —

Let’s get something straight. Breonna’s killers have yet to be brought to justice.

Say her name.

— 4 —

On dealing with racism. Aside from being completely on target, this gentleman’s penmanship is exquisite.

Dang...

— 5 —

Worthy. Beloved. Needed. He is right. “Matter” is the minimum.

The truth.

— 6 —

There’s work still to do. This is not an overnight process. We’ve got 400 years of horrible history to rectify.

We are only just beginning.

— 7 —

And because it still needs to be said… Y’all still need to wear a freaking mask.

Do you believe me now???

— Bonus—

One of my most recent facepalms. Apparently, nobody in Trump’s administration knows why it is racist to hold a rally in Tulsa on June 19th. Or… they just really don’t care.

(Tl;dr of the links is that there was a race massacre in Tulsa in the early 20th century that annihilated black-owned businesses, and Juneteenth is a day celebrating the enforcement of the end of slavery.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Lessons from Live PD Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been dealing with utter stupidity on the part of various people on Facebook today (so much so that I finally started reporting posts and photos for hate speech, anti-vaxx information, and COVID-19 misinformation) as well as a child who woke up in an exceedingly vile mood, so I’m foregoing posting about politics this week for my Quick Takes. Fear not! The political posts will probably happen this weekend, and I’m sufficiently irritated enough to need to work my nerves.

And for my trolls, I have a new policy for this election year. Every time you troll me, I will make a donation to various political campaigns in order to make sure your House districts are controlled by Democrats, flip the Senate, and elect Joe Biden. So please, keep being horrible human beings and help me to kick out the Republican swamp creatures in DC that you so love! (It’s even better right now because there are 450% matches going on for various Democrat campaigns.) Don’t worry–I’ll email homemade honor cards to all the email addresses y’all are using to try and push comments through. 😀

Because my life involves a lot of focus and concentration these days, I’ve been watching “Live PD” to give my brain a break. Here are some lessons I’ve learned from bingeing it on YouTube.

— 1 —

If you’re going to traffic in illegal substances, you shouldn’t commit any traffic infractions. Seriously, it seems like one of the police officers pulls someone over for an illegal turn/speeding/broken tail light, and whoever they pull over has a meth pipe or their car smells like marijuana. Had the person not sped or made that illegal turn, they never would have gotten caught.

— 2 —

If you’re drunk, the officer will be able to tell. I don’t care how well you think you do at looking sober–you WILL fail the nystagmus test among the other “sobriety” tests. People invariably also seem to reek of alcohol in all of those cases.

I have nystagmus and balance issues from two bad ankles and some other medical issues, which is one of the reasons I don’t ever drink alcohol–it exacerbates them. (Any of you who have ever seen me on Zoom can tell this immediately. My sleep medicine specialist picked up on it within a second of meeting me.) If it is ever called into question, not drinking means that I can probably pass those tests with flying colors, which would *NOT* be the case after even a small glass of wine in my case.

— 3 —

Nobody ever does the walk-and-turn test as well as they think they did in the above situation. It would be comical if it wasn’t so infuriating that they were putting others at risk by driving drunk or high. People either stumble like mad, don’t take the correct number of heel-to-toe steps, fail to turn 180 degrees (usually just 90 degrees), or they fall while turning. Then, they act completely shocked when the officer tells them to put their hands behind their back and arrests them for DUI/DWI (depending on the jurisdiction).

— 4 —

You are responsible for whatever is in your car. This means that you probably shouldn’t be dating a heroin addict because any heroin in the car is your problem unless your addict partner fesses up. It is kind of interesting how many people express complete shock that they have heroin or weed in their car, especially in their glove compartment or in their back seat. Ditto with people riding with you drinking open cans/bottles of beer. You can’t have any open containers in the car, even if you aren’t the one drinking them.

Also? It’s a bad idea to dump your crack into your open soda can because it means that instead of just being liable for the weight of the actual crack, you are now liable for the weight of the crack AND the weight of the soda can (can + liquid). What was only a jail felony is now prison-worthy.

— 5 —

Narcan does not feel good to receive. Of the 500+ YouTube videos I’ve seen of “Live PD” on YouTube as well as the episodes I’ve watched live on TV, a couple of them have incidents where someone overdoses on heroin and has to be given Narcan to reverse it. It doesn’t seem pleasant, and I looked up what it feels like. Apparently, it’s true. It makes people feel really agitated, which is something they are using opiates to prevent.

— 6 —

There are people dumb enough to believe there is a difference between “driving” and “traveling”. Sovereign citizens are funny to watch because they are so convinced that they are above any U.S. laws… kind of like those idiots who stormed state capital buildings with AR-15’s to protest for their “rights”… which are more their rights to be stupid twits. (Also, those idiots with guns on their backs are not funny to watch–they make me want to reach through the computer screen and slap them upside the head a few times because their stupidity knows no bounds.)

Anyway, it’s fun to watch SovCits because you can just imagine them with aluminum foil wrapped around their heads to prevent the government from reading their thoughts.

— 7 —

K-9 officers are the coolest. It’s fun watching them work their dogs, and it’s always fun to watch how fast people give up once the dog appears. I have learned some cool German dog-handling commands, and the best episodes are when the dogs are let loose to go find the people.

Also? Dogs are trained to sniff out your contraband, so just give it up to the nice police officer already. It astounds me when I see people who are *SHOCKED* that the dog alerted to the weed in the glove compartment. I mean, dogs have hypersensitive senses of smell–it’s why they use them instead of cats!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Mount St. Helens Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

The source of these Quick Takes. On Saturday afternoon, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across this picture:

The Mount St. Helens eruption had idiots too!

I generally don’t share stuff from Occupy Democrats because while I agree with them a lot of the time and they are mostly accurate, they get really mean-spirited about things. (I will admit that my first thought when I saw the wording was that the way they worded it was a bit catty.)

However, this piqued my interest enough to fact-check it. I mean, did people *REALLY* want to do something as stupid as go near an active volcano?

— 2 —

Did it check out? Surprisingly, it actually did! I found a newspaper article talking about cabin owners being salty about the ban on people coming near the mountain. There was also this one reflecting on it 40 years later. I found a Twitter thread from Washington Emergency Management (basically the Washington National Guard) that provided a basis for the text in the Occupy Democrats picture and another one from USGS Volcanoes that provided information that backed up the text in the image with the name of a book containing eyewitness accounts of this.

This episode of the old A&E series “Minute by Minute” even has interviews with at least one person who professes anger at not being allowed into the area:

— 3 —

Fabulous webinar. This is the webinar that I watched on the night of May 18th that I *REALLY* recommend watching. They have professors from Oregon and Washington talking about volcanoes, Mount St. Helens, and the Cascade range, including the seismologist who was tracking Mount St. Helens at the time as well as the current seismologist/scientist-in-charge of the Cascades Volcano Observatory.

— 4 —

A couple of important things to take away from the webinar. Steve Malone (the seismologist tracking Mount St. Helens at the time) made some points that were worth sharing.

Parallels with today.

He also made an interesting analogy with this picture here:

Malone's analogy

Scientists tend to have a lot of models and data types and inputs that they are using to try to figure out what is going on. Civil authorities who are having to make these decisions want a yes/no answer. It’s why governors who are putting their trust in scientists and medical authorities are not able to give a specific answer as to when things will go back to “normal”… especially since we are looking at an entirely new normal now!

— 5 —

Where I am seeing a parallel. Governor Dixy Lee Ray did sign an order to keep people out of the “red” and “blue” zones around the mountain, but she allowed Weyerhauser trucks in for logging purposes because logging was a big part of the economy. Among those killed in the eruption were members of at least one logging crew. Had it not been a Sunday when the mountain erupted, more logging crews would have been in the area, and the death toll would have been much higher. There was a volcanologist named David A. Johnston who was killed in one of the pyroclastic flows, and that was a bitter pill for the person for whom he was standing in and the UW researchers monitoring the volcano. (Johnston Ridge Observatory is named after him.)

There’s also kind of a sad story about a man named Harry R. Truman who refused to leave the lodge he owned on Spirit Lake. He became a folk hero of sorts because of it, and his body was never found. They think that he was killed in a pyroclastic flow and that his lodge and his body and his cats are all buried under something like 150 feet of ash. His attitude reminds me of some of the people protesting in states to get the economy reopened. I look at them and ask myself “why???” because what they’re doing is endangering themselves, but it’s their decision to put themselves in danger.

This kind of thing is why I’m getting so salty about those who are more concerned about the economy than actual human lives. We can take steps to put the economy back together, but we can’t bring people back from the dead. I’m hearing on my local news about states that have “reopened” reporting the highest COVID-19 case count ever for that specific day while I’m watching the curve flatten out in Washington and in my own county where we’re still sheltering-in-place. It’s a balancing act for sure, and it irritates me that some people are trying to make it into a simplistic issue because their situation is merely one of inconvenience.

— 6 —

A really cool story. There’s a photographer who goes to Goodwill and finds exposed film from old cameras to develop. She ended up finding some that had pictures of the Mount St. Helens eruption. Even cooler is that the grandson of the person who owned the camera now has pictures of himself with his parents and grandmother that he didn’t know existed.

Seriously, this is a happy story.

— 7 —

Why I have this fascination. Well…

1.) Both sides of my family are geology junkies. My maternal grandfather was a geology major before he had to leave college due to illness and World War II, and my paternal grandfather enjoyed the geology classes he took as general education credits. I have a cousin who majored in Geology and did graduate work in it (digging dinosaur bones in Montana and working with Jack Horner), and my parents both grew up getting roadside geology lectures from their fathers. As a result, we’re full of amateur geologists, especially on my mom’s side. (I think my mom’s family keeps the Roadside Geology publishers in business.)

2.) My entire family is from Oregon and Washington originally. This was a big deal.

3.) My mom went into labor with my twin brother and me as Mount St. Helens erupted. We were born 24 hours later. Twin births are often complicated, and mine was no exception. My brother was almost twice my size, and my heart stopped mid-birth. I required resuscitation and spent my first week of life at Stanford Children’s Hospital, 45 minutes away from my parents in San Jose, before being transferred back to Los Gatos Community Hospital for another two weeks to get bigger. My brother came home after three days. I came home after three weeks.

My family always makes jokes about Mount St. Helens and our birth. We have newspapers from Yakima from the day of our birth talking about all the ash falling. When we were 25 years old, my dad got some ash from the volcano and sent it to my brother and me. (Mine is sitting on the bookcase next to my desk.) My parents visited the volcanic monument that year and took a picture of themselves at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. My brother and I were photoshopped into the picture (along with their cats), and it was used as the Christmas picture that year. 🙂 Because of my connection to the mountain, I tend to geek out on documentaries on it at this time of year.

And yes, I did just turn 40 years old this week. 🙂 I had a quiet day, my dad made me one of my favorite meals, and my parents got me a carrot cake. We did candles and presents with my evil twin over Facebook messenger. It wasn’t what we usually do, but it was pretty fabulous.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.