Paranormal Investigations Should Be More Than Jittery Night Vision Video

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I will admit this out loud: I find many supernatural topics, especially the concept of ghosts, interesting.

However, my education and training in the education and medical fields requires me to consider such things as the scientific process, logic, and the avoidance of assumptions.   The entertainment value drops significantly when any paranormal show becomes a video collage of untrained, emotionally volatile and easily scattered people leap around in allegedly haunted places.  Television shows like T.A.P.S. and Paranormal State are more aligned with my need for some application of a systematic approach.  The T.A.P.S. members include those who were in HVAC or some such related field that allows them to understand the science of what might be causing some phenomenons in their research.  I also appreciate their approach as cynics; “Is there a logical, perhaps easy explanation for what the homeowner is experiencing?”  Paranormal State, which as far as I know is no longer on the air, also had some reasoning behind the investigations.  They would do research on the site, but not necessarily reveal anything to the owners until after the investigation.  They would also not tell their mediums (who would do readings of the alleged haunted areas) the background or history either.  I will say that Chip (the guest medium on Paranormal State) was overly dramatic, most of the time.  Oops, I think I spoke too soon. Apparently, Paranormal State was caught faking an investigation.  

I have watched The Haunting, which are like documentaries about various supernatural events.  When Ghosts Attack is another show that I have watched.  Then there is one on the Animal Planet Channel that features animals that react to alleged supernatural events.  Those tend to be less dramatic than The Haunting show.

Anyway, my point was more about Zak Bagans. I believe he is part of a show called Ghost Adventures.  He and his buddies find an alleged scary place, lock themselves in for the night, record stuff, then present their findings.  Zak Bagans, who looks more like someone who spends a great deal of time in gyms looking at his own reflection, does little to dispel that notion.  His background includes graduating from a film school, and being a Wedding DJ in the Las Vegas area.  There was no mention of formal training in any science field that I saw on his website.  I have seen the show, but really can’t get past the jittery night vision filming.  He and his cast members react to alleged supernatural interactions, such as objects moving or hearing voices.  They also experience the supernatural as alleged scratches, or goosebumps on their skin.  The Electronic Voice Phenomenons (EVPs) do not strike me as being all that clear.  I have yet to see anything on their video clips that appears to be truly supernatural.  As for assumptions, Zak makes them by the truck load.  When he is not blathering his way through an investigation, he is antagonizing ghosts by mocking them.  Essentially, locker room trash talk – a theme that I am sure he is familiar with – with his buddies during lifting sessions at the gym.  I am guessing that the ghosts he’s trying to contact are probably just ignoring him, at that point.

Personally, I think that the probability of some type of spiritual residue may be left in this realm when people die.  I do not know if we are not destined to ever interact with those forces, much like not likely being able to travel anywhere near the speed of light. However, it is interesting to speculate on the possibilities.  I have spent some evenings going through youtube videos of alleged apparitions/poltergeists/etc. Some videos seem more legitimate than others, but it does get you thinking. Either way, Zak Bagans is….well, I will let you put your own word here.

-D

 

For Hospitals, High Quality Care And Success Depend On The Happiness Of Nursing Staff

Nurses are the lifeblood of a hospital; now there’s just a study to prove it.

Source: For Hospitals, High Quality Care And Success Depend On The Happiness Of Nursing Staff

Author note: I would love to see the data that supports this statement in the article:

“Magnet hospitals are also known as exemplary health care systems, recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a great place for nurses to work.”

I will have to do some research. Please feel free to add sources in the comments.

Top 10 Things That I Love About Nursing

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10) Patient Education –  I have always wanted to be a teacher.  As it turns out, nursing includes quite a bit of that.  The good news is that the audience is only patients and/or their families, instead of 35 bored, distracted teenagers.

9) Patient Advocacy – There is something very empowering about being the voice of a patient, especially one that is not able to speak up for themselves.

8) Teamwork – There is something very synergistic about working with others, especially if there is a good sense of teamwork.  Coworkers go beyond being other people at work.  They become friends (or work family, at times) and everyone looks out for each other.  The support and encouragement from them can give you more energy to get through a rough shift, as well as make an smoother shift seem even better.  It is also empowering to be able to share insight and discuss how to manage new issues as they arise.  Unfortunately, not all employers provide and/or maintain this kind of environment. Sometimes, you have to work to find them.

7) Scrubs – Having spent decades in the corporate world, I can speak from experience that dress clothes and neckties suck.  Scrubs rock.

6) Improved Time Management Skills – The constant practice of assessing the situation, available resources, and knowing how long it takes to complete a task carries over into my personal life.  Juggling family demands, as well as academic and social demands seems easier, if that makes any sense.

5) Confidence – I am far from being an experienced or expert nurse, but I have faced down some fairly emergent situations that do provide some perspective on what it means to be in a crisis.

4) Doing Something Meaningful – Some people look to make a difference in the world. It is not a requirement, but when applicable, can add an extra layer of satisfaction.

3) Respect – Nurses rank as the most respected and most trusted profession.  I chose nursing because of the overwhelming desire to take care of others.  However, it is nice that I am in a profession that is respected.  It can be troubling, and sometimes annoying when new acquaintances (and even strangers) solicit me for my medical opinion.  A cashier at a gas station, one morning, started rambling on about changing medications. I did not know her.  I just wanted to finish my drive home to get some sleep.  I told her to ask her primary care physician.

2) Evidence-based practice – Anything a nurse does is based on evidence-based practice. In other words, nurses study an issue…..do research….test the findings….then use that data to shape our practice.  Not only does science rock, nurses use it to support their work.

1)Plenty of opportunities to learn – There are so many aspects and layers to nursing that the learning process is always on-going.  Our profession requires continuing education credits, but there is always formal training at work (on-line/in-person classes) as well as informal training (getting a patient with an illness/injury that you’ve never seen before).  For those of us who pursue more education, there are always classes toward a bachelors, masters, or even doctorate.

The Walrus: Dissolving The Dead

Dissolving the Dead.

Unpleasantness aside, both traditional methods are also environmentally damaging. According to DeathLab research, cemeteries in the United States put more than 3 million litres of toxic embalming fluid in the ground every year, some of which invariably seeps into the soil and contaminates groundwater systems. Building the caskets that (at least temporarily) contain those fluids takes 82,000 tonnes of steel, 2,500 tonnes of copper and bronze, and 71,000 cubic metres of wood annually. Cremation uses fossil fuels and releases toxic gases into the atmosphere. And, while the effluent from bio-cremation can be used as fertilizer, flame cremation ­renders corpses ecologically useless.

This is an article on a topic that I find interesting.  It discusses the impact the funeral industry has on the environment, and the better (yet, controversial) means of disposing of dead people.  I remember reading about this in Mary Roach’s book, Stiff.

One of the things mentioned in Mary Roach’s book was the Body Farm, if I remember correctly. It is part of the University of Tennessee. They place donated bodies in various conditions to study how they decompose. Morbid, perhaps, but still interesting.

Sparkonit: Are You A Genius?

http://sparkonit.com/2014/01/10/are-you-a-genius-read-these-signs-and-find-out/Sparkonit: Are You A Genius?

Have you ever wondered what geniuses have in common? A number of experiments have been conducted to find that out and some peculiar behaviors have been observed among people with high IQ. How anyone turns out to be genius is due to their genetics. So genetics of geniuses definitely differ from “not so genius” ordinary people, but these brainy people do have similarities in their genetics that lead most of them to possess similar qualities. How would you recognize a genius if you come across one?

I liked this article. The content does hit, somewhat, close to home. I am not saying that I am a genius. I do consider myself creative, but I do feel that my mind works differently than others. I am not about to share details about some of the more personal things the list reveals, but I will say that #3 which has to do with socialization rings true.

However, I am horribly disappointed with the accuracy of one point on the list. If only #18 were actually true. =(

18. Being Skinny

Obesity has been shown to decrease IQ over time. A research led by French scientists found that people with Body Mass Index of 20 or below do better in vocabulary test than people with BMI of 30 or more.

Proof: High BMI Tied to Poor Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged Adults

Setting Unrealistic (Medical) Expectations

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Laser Spine Institute Commercial

Being in the medical field, I take care of wide range of patients….including those with joint and spinal problems.  Pain not only can make doing everyday tasks difficult; it can also be difficult to manage.  Sometimes, pain management is finding the right combination of the type of pain medicine, physical therapy, and even other non-invasive procedures.  Surgery can be an option, but it shouldn’t be the first choice.  Doctors are required to present patients with information about what the surgical procedure is, what the possible benefits are, what the risks are, and what to expect afterwards.  There is ALWAYS a risk with surgery.  It can happen for any number of reasons, including allergic reactions or extrapyramidal responses to medicine, comorbidities with the patient, or any complication during the procedure.  Every person is different; therefore, their response to the medicines, treatment, and surgery can be different, as well. Here is where I begin to have a problem with commercials with the Laser Spine Institute.  It presents all of the benefit with none of the risk. Setting expectations really high….unrealistically high, in my opinion.

I found one website that gives patient reviews about the organization. Granted, I am not completely sure of the credibility of the website….or those who present any information about it.  I am not gullible enough to believe that any presence of data on the Internet means it is true. I also found a Bloomberg Business article about lawsuits against Laser Spine Institute, so I would think there may be more credibility with this information. I will leave it up to the reader to check its veracity of its statements.

Speaking of veracity of its statements, I am reminded of a similar “rosy picture” painted by commercials produced by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  I have read articles that say that their success rates are heavily influenced by not taking on patient cases that may have more serious, more aggressive forms of cancer (that may not be as likely to survive).  Quoting a Doctor interviewed for an article from Reuters News Service that Iinked to:

Accepting only selected patients and calculating survival outcomes from only some of them “is a huge bias and gives an enormous advantage to CTCA,” said biostatistician Donald Berry of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

This is more than just a nurse pointing out nonsensical responses to medical crises on Grey’s Anatomy (Don’t get me started!). This is irresponsibility among those whose motives are financially-oriented that patient-driven.

 

 

 

 

The Media Figures (pun intended) Out Women Can Have Curves…..Almost

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Author Note: This is an academic discussion about womens’ issues.  Yes, I am male. Yes, I appreciate women. But I am a husband, and most importantly, father…including a pre-teen daughter.  There continues to be a major disconnect between societal norms between what the media presents us and the reality we experience in our lives.  This issue is more that just a talking point. The attempt to keep up with the unrealistic and arbitrary societal expectation generates incredible amounts of emotional damage. I am speaking up.

I have been on the planet for quite some time. I have been aware of the female form for several decades. Apparently, so have scientists, evolutionary theorists, and Playboy Magazine editors. I also know that models used to advertise consumer goods do not share the concept of the “ideal hip-to-waist ratio” and- by comparison – are anorexic. The malnourished supermodel standard war continues, but a recent battle victory has occurred.  Sports Illustrated Magazine has selected three models for their 2016 swimsuit issue, which includes Ashley Graham.  The significance being Ashley has one of the nation’s most common, yet unrecognized resources: curves. This isn’t necessarily a pivotal moment in the history, but a step towards normalizing normality.

Google on your own to see how the “ideal female figure” has changed, even by decade. Note: the 1960s and 1980s appreciated curves, but the 1970s (See: the model named ‘Twiggy’) were much like the “heroin chic ” phase that occurred in the 1990s.

 

Exploring The Apocalypse: Economy

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If something were to affect our access to our wealth (like money), I doubt it would last long. The scarcity of money may occur if financial institutions are inaccessible.  People would, at first, try to fall back on a system they are intimately familiar with – however, I believe it would quickly shift to a barter system.

Goods and services would gain value among the masses, as they vie for what is actually needed. Supply and demand would shape the perceived value of anything, as it always has been.  Food, clothing, shelter building supplies, and items for basic needs would have the most value. Followed by the anything for social or emotional survival, such as comfort goods (coffee, alcohol, etc.)  Those possessing skills that would have meaning in the apocalyptic world, such as construction, manufacturing (both limited by power and tool issues), as well as medical, food prep, and other basic life skills.

Medicine and medical supplies would dwindle. Those dependent on lifesaving medications (heart/respiratory/diabetes-related meds) would not likely survive long – depending on the acuity and comorbidities involved.  Those physically injured or unable to ambulate independently, as well as the very young/very old/immunologically compromised would likely die quickly, as well.  Especially if the power grid were not able to provide energy for heating and cooling, as well as fire fighting and emergency services were no longer available.  Speaking of healthcare, it changes focus during global disasters.  The concept of “triaging” patients, or deciding which should get some of the limited resources to be saved – and those “beyond hope” where using resources would not likely alter their demise.  That is not going to sit well with most people.Surgeries will come to a screeching halt. Also, other medical interventions will also stop – including those to prevent or reduce the chances of death.  Complications during birth, come to mind, as well as any serious health issues with babies or complications with the mother’s health. We are going to be revisiting the late 1800s/early 1900s medically. On a lighter note, health insurance and deductables will become a thing of the past. However, waiting to be treated could ultimately be extended well beyond anything we’ve experienced in a doctors office.

Vaccinations would help keep some pathogens at bay, but will eventually lose efficacy when they are not repeated or given to prevent illness and disease that occurs naturally.  There is also pathogens that become more apparent when food and water supplies co-mingle with human and animal waste.  Especially those who do not take steps to reduce/prevent illness transmission with standard procedures such as handwashing. Speaking of medications again, stockpiling meds – even those doomsday preppers who advocate for using “fish medicine” (as shown within Pinterest SHTF boards) to treat human illness.  The medical knowledge needed will be limited to those with training. The side effects of too much medicine will cause additional, even potentially irreversible health problems (many drugs are toxic to the liver and kidneys).  Once also needs to know the specific germ and whether or not it is susceptible or resistant to a particular medicine. Taking something that does not kill a pathogen will not only waste that drug, but it will allow germs exposed to it to become resistant to it.

Ultimately, the threat of other people taking our supplies may not be the most plausible or likely one if we are trying to emotionally adjust ourselves to the new reality of survival mode.  I would guess that people might be more risk-taking at first, only to find themselves injured beyond the resources available. The rest of us will be left to fend for the leftover resources not contaminated or damaged. Not amount of youtube viewing now will mitigate that either. Our new economy will not only look different than our current system; healthcare workers or those with training may find themselves more in demand than originally planned.

Keeping it (too) real

-D

Author edit: I don’t see the value of gold or gems, necessarily, having value in the collapse.  Having shiny objects will mean nothing if one does not have their basic needs met. Wealth is not just having stuff.  So, those info-mercials pushing the hype of buying precious metals are even more speculative.