Peace In Our Time


A little quote I forgot I even wrote, and was reminded of today by Julien of ‘Mirrors Of Encounters’.

“Peace is a conundrum; often sought and rarely found”
Bex 2013

I feel that these words are ladened with relevance at this moment in time, considering the heated debate regarding the fate of Syria.

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Breaking Bad Becomes Child’s Play


Breaking Bad 'Lego' set :)

Breaking Bad ‘Lego’ set 🙂

What do thinking of these ‘Bricking Bad’ toys?

These ‘toys’ have been modelled upon the Breaking Bad series. Yes, the Crystal Meth lab, and all the characters of the series included; in fact, every last detail has been faithfully recreated in miniature LEGO format!

Crazy fun ‘eh?!

‘Bricking Bad’ was being marketed to the ‘LEGO’ company, but strangely they refused to see the the funny side of it all.

LEGO therefore turned down the opportunity, of what would no doubt have been lucrative sales, deeming association with such a ‘rip-off’ product as akin to sleeping with the devil.

The tweeters were twittering with indignation over the inappropriate nature of it all too (no doubt what eventually swayed LEGO’s final decision). All the social networking tribes set to work to shun ‘Bricking Bad’, before it could filter through to corrupt the young people of today!

I think this is totally off the mark, I mean what six year old’s toy box would be complete without such a unique item? How to cook Meth, isn’t it what every parent hopes their child will learn, and then recreate in their teen years! Don’t ridicule, it could be a good option in such an economic climate!

For me, I see this as an adult/collectors item, obviously! It was never likely to be marketed as anything more than a novelty item for a model shop, rather than a toy shop.

Yet, to be serious, with all the uproar this product has received you’d think the young of today led sheltered lives, instead of being the informed and savvy socialistas they really are.

Good God, they learn about sex from the ages of five now, so, Crystal Meth is far from off limits for topics of convo, surely!!!

Anyway, I’d have bought a ‘Bricking Bad’ set, I can definitely see the cheeky side of it! Can you?

Are You Being Served?


In the UK, probably like any other country, monetary transactions in a commercial shopping environment is marred by blatant rudeness. I hear people moan how the sales people in the UK just aren’t quite what they used to be; efficient, pleasant,  polite and helpful. Well, lets be honest they don’t all offer the same level of customer service as that provided in the U.S for example!!!

Yet, is this always the case? Are the sales people really the problem or is there more besides to consider?

Now I understand 1st hand what it is to be a sales person, having worked in retail during my time in college and university. I understand disaffection, dissatisfaction, resentment amongst staff, terrible working hours and wages. Many sales people who serve you in shops, supermarkets and take your telephone calls everyday, are also no doubt college students. Students feeling just as I did; bored and sick of inane complaints over inconsequential things (bad attitude right? Well that’s every college students prerogative)!

Although in mentioning a bad attitude, rudeness for the sake of it is NEVER excused. I was never a surly, lazy or nasty, that is not my style. Yet, this old adage too that “the customer is always right” is completely WRONG!!!

There are those customers who are the thoroughly horrible, nasty, rude, ill mannered, intimidating and threatening type. I know as I have experienced these people. There is something about ‘shops’ in general that induce customers to act in a way completely alien to their normal behavioural types. In fact if such behaviour transpired on public streets, they’d often be arrested for it! I mean what sane person, a grown man for example, is willing to threaten a 18yr old girl?? Only in a shop where the older man is a customer, and 18 year old is a sales person (me).

What right has any customer to call a sales person stupid, a bitch or threaten them with violence??? Is it just because the customer is annoyed with the shop, the products, or annoyed with their own lives and inadequacies? After all the sales person doesn’t own the shop, has no control on the stock and tries their best to do what they can for a customer, even a rude and nasty customer!

I mean even murderers have human rights so why doesn’t a sales person too???

What crime have they really committed except for working for a terrible company that won’t protect their own staff’s safety, by advocating a no tolerance of customer abuse and violence against them. Is it their fault they have ineffective and un-supportive managers, who allow customers to rule the roost?

All of this abuse happens more often than you’d even think too. I KNOW AS I’VE seen it all happening. Appalling,  yes it is as stores think this is OK – that their staff should be OK with this lack of support from people responsible for them, and take such abuse with a smile.

This barrage of name calling and so on can occur on a daily basis, and the customer is never ‘pulled up’ on it. Yet, if the staff say one thing deemed inappropriate, they can face discipline or even the sack. Isn’t it only fair; if you can give abuse you should expect to receive it in return, customer or not?

So, next time you are in a shop and the sale person is a little unhappy, not cheerful, and doesn’t have a fake smile plastered over their face, is a little short tempered or perhaps ill-mannered; give a thought as to why. Consider this  before you jump to conclusions, for vexing your ideals of perfect customer service.

Perhaps just before they served you they had been victims of verbal abuse, threatened with violence, not supported by their management. Perhaps they have been made to feel like garbage just because they are sales people and not Doctors or Lawyers somewhere.

Sales people are only people too; they have feelings, rights, families and aren’t there to be abused.

Think about it!

Suicidal Star


320175-mindy

Mindy McCready tried to commit suicide FOUR TIMES in seven years before she ultimately took her own life.

  • McCready shot herself at her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas, on Sunday
  • Singer was released from rehab last week after spending just two days at in-patient facility
  • Doctor found her clean of drugs and alcohol and ‘mentally stable’
  • Sex tape of her will not be released (why would it be – surely there is some respect for the dead)
  • A shadow was cast over country star after the recent death of live-in boyfriend David Wilson

What went so wrong that Mindy felt she had call the curtain on her life of fame and fortune??

Is this another gun tragedy? 

Why was there no real intervention before such a devastating act could take place?

Is it a case of another star merely seeking attention? Or, was Mindy crying out for help and being ignored? Perhaps, the signs of what she felt were well concealed?

She was a person first and a mother too, and now her children are left behind to wonder why.

No-one is exempt from Depression or even suicide, this proves that clearly enough. It also proves that regardless of money and status, real help is not always available.

If the support networks had been there, would Mindy have lived? Learned to cope?

Are there any real answers for things like this that occur in life? Maybe not.

However, any life lost is truly sad.  

Read more on this topic:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2282243/Mindy-McCready-tried-commit-suicide-FOUR-TIMES-ultimately-took-life.html#ixzz2LXpsRKPM

He Was A Person. He Had A Name.


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This immediately drew me in – so significant is the message, a message we fail to often realise, until it is too late.

At least this man had his name returned to him, his identity restored in some way. He was being reclaimed as not just another ‘object’ – faceless and nameless wandering past us, inhabiting a subsidiary world, we choose to ignore. He was no longer to be lost to us and the world we are submerged in.

He was Emory. He was a person. He had a name.

 

 

 

How To Be Immortal


DNA

DNA

What if ageing were many symptoms of a disease called death?
What if a cure could be found for those symptoms and the demise could be avoided forever?

Well, there are those out there who believe they have found that cure, although they won’t be the first to claim so. Many before have sought and been offered an ‘elixir of life’ (in one form or another); however when the time arrived they too have all faced the inevitable, death.

So, why is modern science taking up the banner and perusing the realms that once belonged to the protoscience alchemy? Why do they or we feel so strongly about postponing something that is natural, something which defines us as humans?

SENS Research Foundation has begun this quest into immortality; led by the ‘pioneering’ founder Dr Aubrey de Grey.

Although the work has some under scrutiny, heavy questioning and speculation, Dr de Grey has not faltered in his claims that humans can obtain immortality. He has worked steadily from 2005 to gain respect, following and funding to prove his theories, which cannot be disproved. In fact, some of his theoretical ideas have already been adopted into science and medicine.

SENS (Dr de Grey) worked to identify 7 key pillars of ageing; major causes of cellular and molecular damage resulting in ageing and then death. These are;

Cell loss and atrophy of tissue

Nuclear mutations

Mutant Mitochondria

Death resistant cells

Tissue stiffening

Extracellular aggregates

Intracellular aggregates

If these can be cured via vaccination, drugs to target cell suicides, stem cell transplants, and so on and so on, then people have an improved chance of indeed being immortal. To be immortal a body requires tissue immortality, which can be derived by merely replenishing the pool of stem cells indefinitely.

Sounds sci-fi, well, not so.

In Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, they are already growing human tissue from; cartilage to whole body organs.

There are labs that harvest stem cells from children’s teeth, so in the future if you require a replacement body part, they can grow it from stem cells.

“We now understand how to fix all of this damage (the above 7 pillars of ageing). For each major class of ageing damage, a strategy for its removal or repair either already exists in prototype form, or is foreseeable from existing scientific developments: see the specific “Rejuvenation Biotechnology” listed for each kind of ageing damage”.

“Even after we use these new therapies to repair an ageing tissue, metabolic processes will continue to cause new damage. This simply means that rejuvenation biotechnologies are not a one-off fix, but will need to be periodically repeated to preserve youthful function. Just as cars need regular rounds of oil changes and spark plug replacements to keep them running smoothly, people will need to go in to rejuvenation clinics to keep up with their regenerative treatments to continue postponing age-related disease”.

Above extract taken from SENS Institute web page: http://www.sens.org/about

So, isn’t future or further progress in the techniques of prolonging life merely just a step on from what methods are currently being utilised??

Implants, bionic body parts, stem cell technology, artificial skin; medications like statins, insulin, blood pressure tablets, HRT and so on and so on – already modify the human body, already prolong life. What is so different with taking this further, fixing every flaw and removing all the ‘junk’ that creates ageing and then death – so that humans could live forever????

Or, is this a case of technology exceeding our humanity?

Perhaps humans are taking control of their own evolution though??? Instead of waiting for some random pick and mix dictated over aeons, to finally reach completion, if it ever does; humans just make themselves evolve.

Yet, do we know enough about evolution and how it works to interfere?

Do we have a right to remove death as a get out clause? Who wants to live, work, love and pay taxes forever?

Is there even a place in the world for someone who is immortal? What new ideas and developments could immortals offer humanity??

What about children and over population if everyone chose to live forever?

Are we playing a game of perfection selection with our bodies – enhancing what we choose and eliminating what we don’t want?

Is it ethical to intervene? Or these ‘experiments’ merely trial and error which is normal to help us progress?? If we don’t explore these new technologies are we ‘cutting off our noses to spite our faces’ and remaining in the dark ages?

Should we live forever? Who would want to?

Would this be the option of the wealthy only? Therefore, allowing them to maintain tenure of power for always with no inroad for a newbie??

If these ‘cures’ were practised what would occur – how would they actually work, or succeed?

Would they alter the human body, genome, and trajectory too much? Would this interfering backfire and produce monsters?

Would it interfere with the normal progression of life too much? Would it impact negatively and possibly kill the human species or the world around us?

Would it trigger new diseases which are only more resilient?

Is this a miracle been made out as invalid science because science is afraid of what progress it could bring?

Is what SENS hope to achieve all theory and no practice?? Too complicated to replicate and reproduce in actual terms within a lab, let alone real life? Is it all pie in the sky?

OPINIONS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tell me what you think about immortality and how you would feel about living forever.  

Also, notice I haven’t mentioned a thing about religion on this topic. Perhaps it too has relevance I.E: the soul of a person?? Are we playing God?

Let me know what you think about this science and how it could be effective or detrimental to human nature, life and progress.  

Not What The Doctor Ordered


drugs

Four million people in the UK have an addiction to opioids. Only these aren’t the usual class A varieties we maybe familiar with. They are not the drugs whose vice like grip is reported as ruining people’s lives, destroying communities and killing young people; No, these are the lesser know, but socially accepted prescription variety.

The fact is that in the home of the ordinary everyday person a secret resides.

Many people begin taking opioids after injury, operations, for illness and untreatable conditions; but then this normal and everyday action slips suddenly into an addiction.

Why?

What is it about these ‘safe’ prescription medicines that are leading ordinary everyday people into the territory of the shunned drug addicts of the world?

What is it that makes these painkillers so tempting to our brains?

What is it that allows these drugs to grab hold of people to a point that before they realise it, their addiction is entrenched just like any other ‘junkies’? 

Well, opioids, from codeine to diamorphine (which is basically heroin); all act on the central nervous system. They induce a miraculous feeling of well-being; banishing anxiety, inducing a sense of security and easing pain. It is these facts that have made these drugs, these legal class A drugs, popular for many decades.

Just ask the Hollywood film and television industry; they are no strangers to the short lived delights these little pills have to offer.

In fact many of these seemingly innocent painkillers people take everyday are actually so powerful that some of the brands have been affectionately labelled as “hillbilly heroin” (in America).

Yet, the demand for these opioids is still as fresh as the poppy they all originate from.

There has been no slow down on prescriptions; in fact from 1999 to 2008 dispensed opioids have increased from 6.2 million to 14.8 million. Those number equate to a lot of possible future addicts.

Yet, what other options are available for pain relief via the NHS??

Well, not much – either take these drugs or be left with run of the mill Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and Aspirin.

So before we condemn people for taking these heavy duty painkillers think about it; which would you choose if had to,  heroin based pills or excruciating life impairing 24/7 pain??

Not much of an option then.

It is either no pills or take heavy duty painkiller prescriptions and run the risk of becoming a junkie (albeit a self respecting and socially adept junkie).

So is this what the doctor ordered??

Or are the patients to blame for their own addictions by demanding these drugs, when it is made clear often enough they can produce addictive side effects?

What is the solution when this acceptable addiction spirals out of control???

With addiction creating such bad press and negative ideas/stereotypes how does someone exactly admit to the whole world, the world that thinks they are an upstanding and level headed person; that they are in fact addicted to drugs????

What help is out there for these ordinary people hooked on such drugs???

Do they ever receive the help they require or is it merely a case of having to continue to mask their addiction to save face??

What do they do when the pills eventually run out???

OPINIONS PLEASE!!!!!!!

What are your thoughts on prescription medications?? Help or hindrance?

Are these potentially lethal drugs too often dished out like party favours without real pause for thought?

Are patients to blame for demanding the drugs in the first place??

Who is really monitoring the intake of these drugs; GP or patient??