Stop the presses! There is something out there so terrifying, so mind-boggling, why this isn’t the headline of the day? The world is running out of chocolate! By as early as 2020 we could be low on chocolate or more specifically cocoa. I don’t mean to be shallow, but this is Cocoapocalypse! Chocolategeddon!
Turns out cocoa farmers are producing less cocoa than we’re consuming. I shouldn’t be shocked, we’re do our best impression of a locust plague instead of a society with everything. Prices are already climbing and will go higher still, and eventually, the world will be chocolateless. The Aztecs, who believed cacao beans were a gift from the God of wisdom, Quetzalcoatl and even used it as currency would be all like, what?!?A once bitter drink, chocolate has come a long way, especially after the Europeans added sugar to it and then figured out how to produce it in solid form, in the 1800s. Chocolate, once a treat, once a drink only for the rich now soothes, stimulates, motivates, smiley-faces, and sometimes balloons the masses. Now climate change, fungal diseases, people eating more dark chocolate, war, and mostly, over-consumption are changing the amount of chocolate that is available and its price. I realize this is happening with other food as well, but some things hit harder than others.
I’ve noticed chocolate has slipped into the text and titles of my posts from the place where it lives, my heart. I may or may not have an addiction, but if so, it looks like the world is conspiring to break my habit. I’m not ready.
Not scary enough? We’re running out of coffee too.
I don’t have 20/20 vision, so how can I have 20/20 hindsight? If I did, I’d probably have learned everything I needed to learn and stop making mistakes. Or not.
Christmas stuff in the stores, Christmas movies and ads on TV, people are starting to eat like it’s Christmas, another downside to an extended holiday season, including for Americans, Thanksgiving…extended holiday over-eating.
We could feed starving counties on the billions upon billions spent each year on: diets, diet aids, books, special foods, pills, surgery, exercise, and programs, most of which don’t work for any length of time. We’ve gotten used to things not working, we expect it. Gone are the days of quality, we’re interested in quantity and that goes for food as well, which brings us back round to obesity and the massive industry it feeds. Diets are expensive, restrictive, impractical, then again, if it was easy wouldn’t we all just do it?
I did get a chuckle after borrowing a digital copy of Dr. Phil’s new diet book, The 20/20 Diet (bird St. books) from Netgalley.com for the low price of an honest review. The best thing I can say about this book is he’s quite the showman and has great editors and layout artists. The advice, hackneyed and basic; not saying it’s not good, but it’s been done. If you’ve ever read a diet book, you know it all already. We don’t need books or experts to tell us what we already know, being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese is a First World Problem. We have enough food to be gluttons and we’re taking full advantage of it. Blaming the big fat make-work projects like: fast food restaurants, governments, corporations, diet industry is pointless. No one is forcing us to eat too much, it’s just another drug of choice. No 20/20 anything required to figure this out. We want what we want when we want it. This holiday season give thanks, enjoy, but start a new tradition – moderation. Then we need to start a rebellion, a revolution, an insurrection – we need to tell corporations and the governments they run to give us clean and healthy food, clean air, clean water, we need to demand it!
China managed to make their smog (and their homeless) disappear for the APEC Summit yet the smog has returned, APEC blue skies have disappeared and people have accepted it. Why? Why accept the bad stuff? Say no.
Only say yes when it’s good. Quality not quantity.
Our society has too many corners full of dust, hair, and dirt. How can we clean it up or stop them going there in the first place when even those who make the rules don’t follow the rules, or make rules just to profit and gain power?
On a day when the only Big Bounce we should have been paying attention to was the landing of the Philae on Comet 67p hurtling through space, instead, we focused on celebrity fakeness and what shirt a scientist was wearing. A 10 year mission to find the possible origins of humans, learn about comets, and we cared more about if a butt can break the internet, or if a scientist has poor fashion sense? Let me help with this, the internet was broken the minute we started caring what Kardashians do and duh, he’s a scientist, he helped make something that has been in space for 10 years, then landed on a comet, I’m just impressed he remembered to put on pants.
Know how the Rosetta and Philae are powered? Solar energy, yet we continue to pollute and poison the world with fossil fuels because some rich guys want to sell it to us. The world has rising debt, inequality, illness, war, terrorism, poverty, hunger, disease, pollution, extreme weather, and corruption yet leaders focus on taking a G20 vacation, holding koalas.
Like society, every time I look, there, they’re back, lurking, skulking in the corners, waiting to get in the game so they can cause more problems. Ever notice how dust, hair, and dirt magically head to the corners of your home? It’s not like I’m that particular, although it is weirdly annoying; it’s not like I’d say no if the staff of Downton Abbey turned up to clean my house. According to Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff by Mr Carson (Justyn Barnes) with a forward by Julian Fellowes (St. Martin’s Press) they have cool approved directions and guidance for staff to discharge their duties correctly and with efficiency. Of course, the book also has ways to clean, cook, stop shoes from creaking, fold linens, do hair, etc. Particular attention was impressive, as were the principles the DA staff tried to live by: Respect, forethought, carefulness, good temper, listening, learning, frugality, and honesty.
Let’s take a page out of the DA household staff book and clean out the corners, polish things up, and most of all, take out the trash.
Looking out my window last night, into the dark, still night as I always do before bed, you know, as everyone does to make sure there are no zombies, aliens, purges, or other issues, I noticed a new menace!
This was a foe I’d met before.
Sneaky and untimely, it had arrived.
On the surface it was bright, sparkly and gave the street a contemporary Currier and Ives appearance, but I knew it for what it was!
Snowmg, this was too soon.
I thought, Oh Hell Snow!
The only dashing I wanted to do was down to the park to play some tennis or to take a long walk, in shoes.
No jingling. No jangling. No turtledoves or French hens.
No lords leaping or otherwise.
No fat man with a hidden address going on my roof. What is with Christmas anyway? Having children sit on some strangers’ lap and tell him the thing they want most in the world so he can break into their house, eat their food, drink their beverages, leave them gifts after watching them sleep. That’s just freaky.
I don’t want wassail or fruitcake, wait, it’s cold, I’ll take the wassail, but not the wassailers, too early.
4 cups apple cider, or apple juice, or 6 cored apples & 4 tbsp. sugar, honey, or maple syrup (or a combination depending how sweet a tooth you have)
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups water
4 sticks of cinnamon or 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. Cloves, ginger, nutmeg (or not)
All the ingredients in a large pot, on low for 6-8 hrs; all day in a slow cooker.
Add wine or brandy or rum for adults.
Orange slices and cranberries for decoration.
I was enjoying other people’s posts on snow, then it got real. How can I originally be from near Sudbury and still be this traumatized by snow? No idea.
Fine. Bring it on.
Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. Snownado. Snowzilla.
Snow wars. Snow conflict. Snowpocalypse. Quietus snowus. Snow-nihilation. Snowreaper. The oncoming snowstorm.
Just know that I will grumble. I will say, How about this snow? Brrr, it’s cold and the classic, Is there more snow than last year?
Snow there, Mother Nature, snow there!
Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking,
Socrates, Bach, da Vinci, Mozart,
Darwin, Tesla, Kepler, Galileo,
Newton, Van Gogh, Pythagoras,
Bell, Homer (obviously not Simpson),
Shakespeare, Hippocrates, Marie Curie,
Gandhi, Edison, Kant, Plato, Banting,
High IQs or gifted in immeasurable ways?
Does a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) =
success, fame, fortune, or happiness?
Does having high IQ matter if you can’t use it effectively?
Traditional definitions of intelligence can be restrictive, but thankfully, that thought process is being widely challenged.
The world is now all about: smartphones, smart cards, smart bombs, smart TVs, smart water, smart cars, hmmm, does this sound like we might be overcompensating? Is our stuff getting smarter than us, and does that matter?
I had to know, what is Beyond IQ, so being a nosy parker, I read the book of the same name by Garth Sundem (Three Rivers Press). Countless MacGyver references and quizzes later – I didn’t include my scores, I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad also, I, umm, forgot to keep them, and a dog randomly came into my house and ate them, but I assure you they would’ve made Stephen Hawking so totally jealous. This entertaining and enlightening book vividly highlights how practical intelligence can be even more important than standard or analytical intelligence, but then why are we so obsessed with knowing everyone’s IQ?
There’s even a new CBC show, Canada’s Smartest Person, loosely based on Harvard professor and psychologist Howard Gardner’s absorbing 1983 book, Frames of Mind (Fontana Press) where Gardner outlines his theory of multiple intelligences. Obviously they didn’t waste time on politicians, if they’re intelligent most of them are hiding it well. Gardner and others have suggested our abilities, aptitudes, skills, and even quirks make us intelligent in a way that can’t be measured on a standardized test.
We know negative factors can lower our intelligence so can adding positive factors make us smarter? It’s worth a try.
Still don’t know all the answers, but I’m going with this, intelligence shouldn’t be measured in how smart you can be on a test, but about how you can use your smarts. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!
For me, TV, movies, books are quite similar – it’s all really about the interactions of the characters. All that other stuff: zombies, vampires, aliens, history, police, demons, doctors, monsters, lawyers, drug dealers, Santa, lords and ladies, time travelers, soldiers, spies, it’s all added to keep your attention, but it’s really about the story and the characters. Those characters show us how people are beyond fascinating, I don’t often understand them, but still, they’re fascinating.
I have eclectic tastes to say the least. I’ll watch Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, and documentaries while reading books about mystery, murder, romance, string theory, the environment, politics – all the same evening. There’s one taste I’ve been mocked, teased, and derided for, my love of ‘happy’ movies, TV series, and books. Why? Don’t know, maybe because they have enough pure corn to make fuel for all the Nascar cars and make-up for all the Real Housewives. Yet for me, the campiness makes them relaxing. Your favourite character isn’t going to be slaughtered, or succumb to an illness, get chomped on by zombies or anyone else…they’re going to find second chances, redemption, something or someone they lost, meaning, hope, and probably happiness. You just can’t get that many places these days.
Doesn’t matter whether it’s Christmas, prairie, first love, lost love, true love, family bonding, or overcoming the odds. No particular actor or storyline. The only requirement, feel-good.
5 Things we know for certain about feel-good movies:
1. More predictable than a political party who just heard their opponents did something wrong.
2. They have actors/actresses you sometimes didn’t even know were still alive, and still may not after the movie is over.
3. Values and lessons that remind us the world doesn’t have to be the way it is.
4. There’s a good chance nothing is going to make you startle or wince.
5. If you’re not sniffling, pretending not to cry, or having a full ugly cry, they’re not doing it right.
Feel-good movies or series let me watch knowing it’s all going to be ok. Sometimes that’s what I like to pretend.