Monthly Archives: April 2014

All in a day’s time

I remembered that I was in Honduras once. That’s strange because I don’t really know where Honduras is. I think it’s in Central America but there’s just as good a chance of it being in South America. But why would I have been in Honduras? I can’t think of any reason.

I read recently that if you think you are forgetful, then it’s probably worse than you know. That actually makes sense. After all, if you forget something, you don’t know that you forgot it. I used to worry about forgetting things but not so much anymore.

Forgetting can be a good thing. Maybe something has been a problem or has been troubling you. If so, wouldn’t be best to just forget about it? (literally) I’m not talking about conscience sedation or the use of any of the hypnotic drugs that help people to forgot a painful medical procedure or some other experience that they don’t want or need to remember. 

This kind of forgetting is a lot  like “forgetting” how much a tattoo hurts. After you get the tattoo, especially a long time after, you don’t remember the pain. You remember that it hurt, but you don’t actually remember the pain. This is a good thing because otherwise you might not go back for another one.

Death and Dying

Unfortunately, you can’t delete memories at will. At least not yet. Eventually, scientists will come up with a way to do that. I’m sure of it. The only problem with an ability to forget something at will is that remembering something that you purposefully forgot may not be possible. After all, where would the forgotten memory be stored? And if you could bring the memory back couldn’t it be said that the memory wasn’t really forgotten?

This, to me, is the same thing as when people say that they “died” for some period of time (the longer they’re “dead” the more awesome the miracle is). Then, they are resuscitated and brought back to life.

No. If you are able to be resuscitated, then you weren’t dead. The definition of dead is, well death. Lights out. Sayonara. Won’t be seeing you again. Ever. If you stay dead then you have died. If you don’t stay dead, then you haven’t yet died.

Where's there's sand!

Somehow I’ve segued from memory to death. Not sure how that happened; I know there’s no return.

Speaking of taking turns, I think it’s my turn to be frustrated with the supposedly simple matter of transferring a TLD (Top Level Domain) from one person to another. I still don’t have the domain misophonia.com safe in my corral of wild domains. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I filled out forms, paid good money, sent about 20-25 emails back and forth with the selling party, received and sent secret authorization codes (3 of them) and once I stood on my head and whistled Dixie.

I called my domain registrar (GoDaddy) and they’ve tried to soothe my serious doubts about whether the transfer is truly in process as the transfer messages I’ve seen seem to be promising. I don’t know if I believe the nameless cold silicon soldiers of Host Monster and Go Daddy as they spit codes and timetables at each other. It’s a mess.

Go Daddy did, however, have some good news. If the former registrar fails to approve and finalize the transfer process – ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) takes matters into their own hands and simply takes the domain and transfers it. So in the end, no matter what else I have to do or however long I must wait, eventually I will have the domain at my disposal all safe and sound in Go Daddy’s domain of domains.

Let’s end this post with a prayer, shall we?

Don't freak out

Who will people hate after atheists are generally accepted?

Kathy Griffin: She calls herself a “militant atheist,” and she said while accepting her Emmy,

“A lot of people come up here and they thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn’t help me a bit. … So all I can say is suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.”

This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society…
Atheist: 39.6%
Muslims: 26.3%
Homosexuals: 22.6%
Hispanics: 20%
Conservative Christians: 13.5%
Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
Jews: 7.6%
I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group….
Atheist: 47.6%
Muslim: 33.5%
African-American 27.2%
Asian-Americans: 18.5%
Hispanics: 18.5%
Jews: 11.8%
Conservative Christians: 6.9%
Whites: 2.3%
– See more at: http://newsjunkiepost.com/2009/09/19/research-finds-that-atheists-are-most-hated-and-distrusted-minority/#sthash.wBiGcEPq.dpuf

Who do Americans hate?

Atheist: 39.6%

Muslims: 26.3%

Homosexuals: 22.6%

Hispanics: 20%

Conservative Christians: 13.5%

Recent Immigrants: 12.5%

Jews: 7.6%

Atheist: 39.6%
Muslims: 26.3%
Homosexuals: 22.6%
Hispanics: 20%
Conservative Christians: 13.5%
Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
Jews: 7.6%
I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group….
Atheist: 47.6%
Muslim: 33.5%
African-American 27.2%
Asian-Americans: 18.5%
Hispanics: 18.5%
Jews: 11.8%
Conservative Christians: 6.9%
Whites: 2.3%
– See more at: http://newsjunkiepost.com/2009/09/19/research-finds-that-atheists-are-most-hated-and-distrusted-minority/#sthash.wBiGcEPq.dpuf

A Message from Beyond

I recently read an eBook by Wendy Aron. She sent it to me so I was compelled to read it. It was 1,529 pages long. OK, not really. The eBook was funny and I enjoyed it very much.

Here’s some BIO info on Wendy (taken from her website):

Wendy Aron is an award-winning humorist (Society of Professional Journalists), television sitcom writer (Writers Guild of America, West), and comic playwright (McLaren Festival). Her writing has been published by the New York Times, Psychology Today, Newsweek, Pick the Brain, The Change Blog, IndieReader, and Elephant Journal, among many other print publications and websites. She is also the author of a comic memoir about depression, which was published by an award-winning independent press just prior to its bankruptcy announcement. Despite this career trajectory, Wendy’s greatest satisfaction comes from working with young people who are motivated to write simply because they find it fun, as well as reading thoroughbred racehorses’ minds to gain insight into how fast they plan to run in the Kentucky Derby.

Here is my response to Wendy after reading he eBook (edited):

Dear Wendy,

(Disclaimer: This is a long email but you did make me read an entire eBook. So I think fair’s fair.)

I heard that the name Wendy was invented for the book Peter Pan. Of course, others believe it is a derivative of the name Gwendolyn, who was the mythical queen of the Encyclopedia Britannica. But I believe the name was awarded to a young Welsh woman who won it in a game of Words with Friends. In any case, this is my official response to having read 24 Hours without Health Insurance, an eBook by an eWoman with sophisticated thumbs.

Firstly, let’s get the basics out of the way. I do not live in the UK. I couldn’t live in a place where they have signs that say Mind Your Head. The thought of Minding My Head creeps me out because one cannot (in my opinion) think about your mind. Also, an outlet provides electricity, the absence of one does not constitute a dead end and a rotary is not a round-a-bout. There is no such thing as a round-a-bout. Besides those grievous affronts to American colloquialismness, if one needs to live in an English speaking country–England is probably the way to go. Oh yes, I should mention where I DO live. I live in Hemmingway Woods. That is a place that I totally made up but it’s OK because I own the land and I can call it anything I want.

Another topic that needs to be covered is whether or not I have soundrage. I do. I think that the woman who wrote the book Sound-Rage: A Primer of the Neurobiology and Psychology of a Little Known Anger Disorder coined the term soundrage. But she used a hyphen between the words sound and rage so I created a website (soundrage.com) and trademarked the word soundrage (without the hyphen). I know this makes me a total jerk. But if she were to contact me about the slight similarity between Sound-Rage and SoundRage, I would de-trademark the word and play nice but I’m hoping she never notices my website. So mum’s the word.

I have had misophonia for many years, perhaps as many as 30. I don’t know when it started but I know it has gotten worse over the years. My worst misophonia trigger used to be the sounds in the background of those haunting alternate audio Captchas. But now I cringe at the sound of light cream being added to decaffeinated coffee.

OK, that’s not really true.

My worst triggers are those sounds that are associated with eating. Unfortunately, since I am around my husband more of the time than anyone else, he gets to be the one to annoy me with eating noises. This is really unfair to him, of course, but it’s not something I have control over.

Then there are the sounds of the truck keys clinking as we drive, any squeak or tapping or clinking noise made by the truck that cannot be remedied and any other noise it might make that I cannot eliminate or escape. Other sounds that make the hit parade: coughing, sneezing (especially if there is more than one in a row), sniffling, excessive sighing or yawning, saying “mmmnnnnn” more than once (as in liking the taste of something) and any other sound a human being can make with their mouth except the phrase ‘come here, I wish to give you millions of dollars.’

Yes, I did just say husband. You know what that means, I have an earring in my right ear (remember that secret code?). Actually, I have two earrings in all of my ears. And even though you didn’t ask, yes, I have tattoos. I can no longer tell people how many tattoos I have when they ask (and they do) because there is tattooing in between some tattoos and some blend into each, etc. I have no other deformities unless you count the emotional scars from my childhood.

Allen and I have been together for about 22 years. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to have any children of our own but I did bring two with me when I appeared on the scene in 1992.

1992 was a really, really, really interesting year for me. It was the year in which I:

1)    Had a major manic episode that would years later be identified as the defining event confirming my currant diagnosis of Bipolar Type 2. I know bipolar is very chic today but back then it was just a garden variety mental illness.
2)    Came out of the closet and told everyone I was wearing an earring in my right ear (wife, kids, parents, siblings, co-workers and anyone else who would listen) all in the course of about a week.
3)    Moved out of my house which triggered a psychological about face resulting in GAD and depression.
4)    Met Allen two weeks later and moved in with him 2 weeks after that. Of course, everyone said we were doomed. But this year will mark our 22nd year together…
5)    Saw a psychiatrist for the first time. He listened to me for about a half hour then said “it’s good you had girls instead of boys because if you had boys people would have been worried that they could have been sexually abused.” Yes, he actually said this. This experience soured me on so-called professional help and although it was probably really needed at that time in my life, I didn’t get treatment of any kind for many, many years after that experience (unless you count self-medicating with vodka).

OK, yuck. Enough wallowing in bitterness and complaining about the past; I have today to get through and that’s enough.

Did I mention that I recently had to fight with the dentist to forgo Novocain because it makes him wince? It’s the same damn argument every time I go in to get a cavity filled or have any other minor procedure done. We have different concepts of what constitutes a minor dental procedure. I define it as a procedure that does not involve the removal of a tooth or my tongue and he defines it as any event in which I open my mouth. In the end, we arm wrestled and I won, he may have been dazzled by my earrings and tattoos.

There is a law here in Massachusetts (the state in which I live) that requires me to disclose the number of grandchildren I have. I have two. One calls me Pepere (French for grandfather) and the other calls me “grrr uh heee sprah” because he is 4 months old and is having trouble with French.

One last thought, you (or someone else who sent me an eBook a couple of days ago who was also named Wendy) mentioned an elementary school’s security system consisting of a series of brown paper bags propped up against the door. That was a really great visual. Bravo.

Grammar ain’t not always my strengths – but you may have noticed that I DO like to put things in parenthesis.

Warm Regards,
~Paul

Face Book

misophonia has its own FaceBook page
I just took over the misophonia Face Book group. I’m going to need to learn how to use Face Book and fast! I need Face Book instructor!!!!!!!
If you don’t know about misophonia, then check out the FaceBook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/misophoniasupport or soundrage.com (although the site isn’t complete yet).

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag

You may know that the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag was changed to include the words “under God,” but did you know the words were actually changed three times?

 

 This is the original Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
44 STARS ON THE FLAG

 

The words “my flag” were changed to: “the flag of the United States.”
48 STARS ON THE FLAG

 The words “of America” were added.
48 STARS ON FLAG

 The words “under God” were added.
48 STARS ON FLAG

 The Pledge of Allegiance remains the same when in January 1959, Alaska is admitted into the union and the flag gains one star (49 star flag).

 The Pledge of Allegiance remains the same when in August 1959, Hawaii is admitted into the union and the flag gains one star (50 star flag).

You probably think these are Nazi school children.
But they’re not. They are American children saluting the American flag.


The Bellamy salute is a salute that you may not have ever heard about. It was the original salute made while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had the same form, resulting in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States.

 It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.

The current manner in which to salute the flag when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Magic Wishing Well

Visit the TickCentral Magic Wishing Well

The Tick Central Magic Wishing Well allows visitors to make three wishes and drop them into the well. Also, there is a fortune telling component on the site that answers yes or no questions by Baba Rae Saba, the irreverent prognosticator of the magical realm of Tickcentraldom.

Here are some recent Questions to Baba and wishes that were dropped into the well. I’ve decided to comment on them this time around…

1) will lemmings fall in love with me?
I don’t think so. It’s unlikely. Maybe they will love you if you lead them AWAY from the cliffs.

2) MY ENEMY HAD HIT ME SO KINDLY GOD SHOULD PUNISH HIM
I don’t think God will be punishing them anytime soon. He’d first have to create himself.

3) That every time I go to church it ends really fast
That makes perfect sense to me.
 
4) i wish i didn’t have overwhelming anxiety while driving
So do all the other drivers on the road around you.

5) I wish for all girls to become obsessed with me
Yes, I believe this will definitely come true.

6) baba if i watch porn will you give me above 90 percentage
I have absolutely no idea what that means. But go ahead and watch porn, it builds character.

Misophonia Website

I’ve contracted with the current owner of the misophonia.com website and the domain should be mine within 2 weeks! misophonia.com is the number one site listed in a Google search for misophonia.  It even lists before the Wikipedia page on that subject.

I’m writing an introductory email for the current owner to send out to the mailing list when he announced the sale of the site and the new owner.I’ll publish the email here after I write it.

I’m really excited about this project!

UPDATE: HERE’S THE LETTER

Hello to the users and visitors of the Misophonia website and its forum, mailing list, and associated Face Book page. My name is Paul N. Dion and I am the new webmaster of the site and I wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little about me and my experience.

I am no stranger to website design or running an interactive website. I like to work on a project at a slow but steady pace to keep the information relevant and updated. The field of study in regard to misophonia is a young one, and new information and studies continue to be developed. It will be my goal to keep you informed on the latest news as it becomes available.

My background is in both occupational therapy and social work. I have worked in human services for over 20 years and have a wide range of skills associated with those two occupations.

Additionally, I own and operate an incentive travel company providing corporate incentive travel services to large corporations wishing to reward their top salespeople.

In regard to the website, I welcome you to email me with your thoughts and ideas so I can provide a site that is a cooperative effort and includes input from readers, visitors, people who have misophonia and those who know someone that does.

And yes, I too have misophonia. I’d say I have a fairly serious problem with my unique set of trigger sounds. I’ve had misophonia to some degree for many years, perhaps as many as 30.

As time goes by, it is my wish that we all learn about better coping mechanisms and possible treatment options. I look forward to hearing from you and I am very excited to begin this project!

Best regards,

Paul


Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute

Some people have a deep abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country and some don't. People start pollution, people can stop it.

In the seventies, there was a anti-littering campaign that included TV commercials in which a Native American is shown paddling a canoe on a small river. He passes floating litter and then there’s a montage of huge smokestacks spewing out air pollutants. When the Native American comes up to the water’s edge, there are many bottles and other trash littering the ground. He then walks up to a highway and there is a shot of many cars speeding by (showing air pollution) and then a shot of a huge bag of trash/garbage being thrown out of a  car window. The bag lands immediately in front of the Native American literally splashing up onto his feet.

Then comes the money shot (shown above) in which we see him turn to the camera with a tear rolling down his cheek.

The commercial in its entirety can be seen on You Tube by clicking the link below the picture.

Here is the narration that is heard as the images in the commercial are shown:

“Some people have a deep abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country and some don’t. People start pollution, people can stop it.”

I have two problems with this commerical.

1) Through the depiction of this one individual, the commercial portrays all the Native Americans as romantic caretakers of the natural environment and wildlife. While that may be true to some extent for some particular tribes, many historians believe that the Native Americans were just as good as squandering resources as any other people.

To me, the portrayal of the emotional Native American’s reaction to pollution reinforces the ideation of the Native Americans as either a peaceful and kind people or vicious wild savages. Contrary to the popular perception of the nature of the Native Americans, the evidence I’ve come across suggests that they were not at either end of those extremes.

2) It shows that after more than 40 years, people have not used their “power to stop pollution.” In fact, they’ve come up with all kinds of new ways to pollute the planet.

A side note: do the people really have the power to stop pollution? Its not like people can oust the corporate bigwigs from office by not voting for them in the next election.

Today, I did some investigation into today’s level of pollution when it is in the form of littering. I usually jog for 55 – 65 minutes each day and cover about 3.5 miles. Along the way I’ve seen a lot of plastic bottles. My route is not along a busy street or highway, it is along the road in a very sparsely populated area. For the most part, the people driving on this road are not coming or going anywhere but from or to their homes. These are the people throwing trash out of their windows!

I bought what is called a tally counter on Amazon for under $3. As I ran, I counted the plastic beverage bottles.

As I made my count, I realized that another large proportion of the litter was in another form. Without looking ahead, can you guess what other type of litter I found common? I was really surprised at the source and number of these pieces of litter. There were the usual suspects; things like beer bottles and cans, soft drink cans, and strangely enough (to me) nip bottles. Of course, there were some unusual items as well.

OK, time to check out the tally:

1) Plastic Water Bottles: 134
2) Dunkin Donuts Plastic and Styrofoam  Cups: 122
3) Nip Bottles: 12
4) Hard Liqueur Bottles: 4
5) Assorted Soft Drink and Beer Cans: 41
6) Plastic Pails: 1
7) Shoes: 3 (none matching)
8) Day-Glo Glitter Pinwheels: 1
9) Bags of Discarded Used Kitty Litter: 3
10) Unidentifiable objects that were not part of the natural environment: 12

Clearly, plastic water bottles and Dunkin Donuts disposable cups are the bulk of the litter I encountered. Weird thought: if the plastic bottles are thrown on the side of the road, does that reduce the number of them in the great Pacific Ocean garbage patch?

Close Your Mind While You Can

expanding iPhone battery life:

iPhone extending battery life tricks 


Scan a brain, read a mind?

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Sat April 12, 2014

“What we write online may be intercepted, filtered and publicized, but we’d like to think that the thoughts and images in our heads are totally private. For better or worse, science may change that.”
Elizabeth sees it coming. Science will be able to read your mind. She reports that a “prominent neuroscientist”named Jack Gallant says: “How this would work is still at the very early stages of development. But, given what we can already do, it’s not a huge leap to imagine that one day we could read the words of people’s internal streams of thought”
Given what we can already do? What does that mean?  Maybe making a movie about mind reading is what he means. (the 2002 movie Minority Report)
Professor of neuropsychology, Barbara Sahakian says: “neuroscientists in the field are very cautious and say we can’t talk about reading individuals’ minds” but continues with “it’s not going to be that long before we will be able to tell whether someone’s making up a story, or whether someone intended to do a crime with a certain degree of certainty.”

Wait, that’s is the plot of Minority Report.

Do you think that scientist will devise a method to read minds? I don’t.

If they do, do you think it will become part of the judicial system and people’s intentions or memories will be used to determine guilt or innocence?