Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When the car become a status symbol.

We go back to the 1920s when the car also started to become the new mode of transport.

Below is an amusing true story well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. It is about the time when cars in USA started to become a status symbol.

In Australia the trend for the family car only started to take off in 1950s.
The manufacture of the first all-Australian motor vehicle in 1948 not only signified an important moment in the country's industrial development it also produced a brand of vehicle - the Holden – (part of the General Motors USA stable) that occupies a special place in the hearts of many Australians. Many of you could probably relate to the story below, when others had a car, but not your family.

With all the troubles in this world today, and everybody is struggling to make ends meet there is not too much to cheer us up those days.
The following true story may just give you temporary relief from your daily stress and put a smile on your face. There is also a lesson for us in this story. If you need just a bit more than just a smile then see how they test waterbeds in Germany at the end of this story.

Following is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. I would like to share this with you  and I hope you enjoy reading it.- Werner
                               * * * * * * * *  
“My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet. (Cars have come a long way since then.)

"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull!" she said. "He hit a horse." "Well," my father said, "there was that, too." So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbours all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the Van Laninghams across the street a grey 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none. Can you relate to this? - Werner)

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

 My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbours had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.  But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

 But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.  It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother.  So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

 Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.  (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

 After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlour, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."

 If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"  "I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre. “No left turns," he said. "What?" I asked. "No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happening when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.  (Let's see if this works in Australia. :-)

 As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn." "What?" I said again. "No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."   "You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support.

 "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works."
But then she added: "Except when your father loses count." I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.  "Loses count?" I asked. "Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."  I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked. "No," he said. “If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."

 My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.
She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102. They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)
He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when asked to give a talk in a neighbouring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

 A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer." "You're probably right," I said. "Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated. "Because you're 102 years old," I said.

"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day. That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: "I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have." A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.  I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns."

 Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it."

Source of this story:

And for a good laugh click here for waterbed testing in Germany.

My thought for today: - Werner

You’re never fully dressed without a smile. Martin Charnin
                        * * * * * *
How to make a comment? Read annotation; click on it to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Who Can You Trust With Your Health?

Following is a contribution from Sonja Hardy, a high school teacher (retired). Sonja is an avid reader and researcher; she is well versed on a myriad of subjects, especially on health, healthy food and healthy living. She doesn’t eat junk food, is a strong proponent of natural health and alternative medicine, and totally opposed to water fluoridation, because it is unsafe, ineffective and takes away our right to informed consent to medication.
Mandatory water fluoridation was imposed on Queenslanders by the now deposed and discredited Anna Bligh, Queensland’s Premier for the last four years, who lost the election on the 24th of March 2012 in a landslide with her Labor party representation now reduced to 7 seats. This happens to governments who don't consult with its electors or  fail to listen to them.  As a mater of fact; a Toyota Tarago has more seats than the Labor party in the Queensland parliament.

Inform yourself  about silicofluoride, on the links below, about this toxic waste product from China that they put into our water supply, which is not reducing tooth decay nor is it cost-effective. If you want this insidious practice stopped; then speak to your LNP Member of parliament and demand  that you want it stopped.

Campbell Newman, the new premier has promised to stop government waste, well; here is his opportunity. Fluoridation was supposed to cost  39 million dollars and this has blown out so far to 113 million and that is not the end of it yet. Who is this cost passed on to? YOU, the rate payer, of course.

Australia's Water Fluoridation Disgrace. 
Fluoride Action Network.Fluoride Action Network.

If you have something interesting to contribute to this blog that fits my publishing criterion, send me your e-mail address through “comments” and I’ll go in contact with you. Your e-mail address will not be published. - Werner 
                 * * * * * * *
Take responsibility for your own health – because the ‘health system’ is corrupt, and you can’t trust the government to protect you.

It continues to astound me that authorities that are supposed to be looking after our best interests often fail miserably to do so, yet most people seem completely unaware of this.  So ingrained is their ‘worship’ of doctors and trust in the various government agencies and ‘health authorities,’ that some people become quite hostile if anyone dares try to ‘enlighten’ them.
Now, I’m not suggesting doctors are to blame.  I have a lot of respect for doctors and the life-saving work they often do – but when it comes to promoting patient ‘wellness’ some of them have a lot to learn.  Just like their patients, many of them are victims of the way ‘the system’ operates. It often takes a health crisis in their own family for a doctor to realize conventional medicine doesn’t hold all the answers.
I recently came across an interesting article, "The Dangers of the Medical Industrial Complex," which goes some way towards explaining this situation.  It was written by Dr Mark Hyman, a medical doctor, who exposes the deceptive ‘scientific’ practices and government policies that protect the very profitable drug industry rather than the public.  Included is an eye-opening discussion of various cholesterol-lowering drugs and their effects.  That alone should convince people of the need to do some research, and take responsibility for their own health.

Though this article is about the USA, the situation is the same here.  Our TGA, (Therapeutic Goods Administration) which is entirely funded by the drug companies it is supposed to regulate, usually just accepts FDA rulings.

Here are some excerpts, but it is well worth reading the article in full.  Find the link at the bottom of  the excerpts. -Sonja Hardy,  BEdSt DipT

YOUR DOCTORS THINK they make decisions based on medical evidence. But they don’t! In fact, half of medical evidence is hidden from your doctors. …When a drug company designs and performs a study, it has to be registered with the FDA and ALL the results must be submitted to the FDA.  But it doesn’t work that way.

Instead, the pharmaceutical companies ONLY submit the data they want to get published to medical journals.  That means that any negative studies are hidden from the scientific community and from the public.

And when drug studies are sponsored by drug companies – as most are – they find positive outcomes at 4 times the rate of independently funded studies. This is also true for nutrition studies funded by the food industry that show the benefits of dairy or high-fructose corn syrup. …Since drug companies fund most of the research in the world, other therapies that work better – such as diet and lifestyle or nutritional therapies – never get enough funding.   …

Most doctors don’t even have time to read the medical journals they receive. They get tiny bits of information from drug reps, who come to their office with free lunch and a sound bite about their drug.They get slightly more information from researchers who are funded by pharmaceutical companies and present their findings at conferences sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, using presentations prepared for them by pharmaceutical companies.  Not exactly independent, evidence-based medicine!

…   drug companies are aided by the FDA, which suppresses, hides, and doesn’t publish negative studies on drugs, only positive ones. This leads doctors to think they have all the evidence when they don’t.
… doctors, patients, and the media believe they have the whole truth, often until it is too late, like with Zetia or Premarin or Vioxx.

The evidence was there, but no one looked or publicized it.  This makes it very difficult for consumers to get the best treatments for their health and the whole truth about drugs.
Here’s my advice on how to make sense of things.

1.    Follow the money. Look carefully at who funded the study. Be suspicious if it was funded by drug companies.
2.    Call or email your congressperson or Senator to demand better legislation providing an easy-to-navigate database of all drug trials, with consumer-friendly summaries of both published AND unpublished data submitted to the FDA so you can look up the drug you are prescribed and have a balanced opinion.
3.    Don’t assume that drugs are the answer to your health problems. Heart disease is NOT a Lipitor deficiency but the result of your lifestyle interacting with your genes.
4.    Learn to ask the question “why?” – And search for the answers. Dealing with lifestyle and environmental factors (the basis of UltraWellness) almost always works better for chronic illnesses. Drugs are there as a backup only if needed.

The Dangers of the Medical Industrial Complex. Posted by Dr Mark Hyman on April 29th, 2011. Click here, to read the Full Story.

My thought for today. – Werner
Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. - Sir William Osler

How to make a comment? Read annotation; click on it to enlarge.