Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

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Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
From InfoAve Premium Issue #107
November 4, 2005
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Oreos, Twinkies, and The Bird Flu

When I was a kid I wanted to be a weatherman. Nothing excited me more than watching the power of nature (from a distance of course). I can remember keeping meticulous records of temperatures, wind direction, wind velocity, snow and rainfall amounts - all kept for posterity (or so I thought) in various stenographers notebooks.

Back in those days, it seemed we had more thunderstorms, all of which, in my naiveté, I thought could develop into a tornado. I have always wanted to see a tornado, but never have. Don't get me wrong. I never wanted to see any destruction or anyone hurt. I just wanted to witness the power of nature. I just wanted to witness something man could not control.

To me there was something comforting about knowing that mankind could not control everything. Well, I grew up, and "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans". Obviously, I never became a weatherman. You'll never see me on the Weather Channel®.

Well, I am not sure that I ever grew up, because I still find something oddly comforting about watching man stand helpless in the face of nature. I hope you'll excuse me for that thought. I certainly don't want to see anyone harmed in any way. It's more of a nebulous feeling that I cannot explain. To me the universe needs to remain somewhat of a mystery; it needs to have elements that surprise and make all of us wonder; it needs to keep us in awe - to keep us guessing.

This year we've had more named hurricanes than in any previous year. At least since humans started keeping records. The destruction caused by Katrina and the other hurricanes was terrible and my heart goes out to those affected by these storms. We learned that even in this new computer era and age of enlightenment - there are still some things that man cannot control. And maybe that's the way it should be. I think that is how it is supposed to be. I for one would hate to see man in control of everything. Can you imagine how horrible things with be if man could control everything. Imagine greedy corporate entities dictating the weather. Like everything else man does control, those with the most "dinero" would get the sunshine; and the rest of us would get the rain and clouds. Let's just hope man never learns to control the weather.

I've had my share of Oreo® cookies, Twinkies® and Pop Tarts®. I'm not proud of it. It's just a fact. Of course I've learned more about what foods are good for you and what things are bad for you during my years of self-enlightenment. Trust me, there's nothing that I'd like more right now than a gallon of ice cold milk and a whole package of Oreos. Yum! Eating those crunchy, creamy treats and washing them down with ice cold milk - right out of the container. You can't drink the milk from a glass. You must drink it from the carton. It's better that way. But, of course you could pour the milk in a cup and put your Oreos in it and wait until they get soggy - then attack them with a spoon. That is my second favorite way to eat Oreos. Thank you, Nabisco.

It surprised me when I learned that medical doctors know very little about nutrition and the role it plays in good health. Apparently, anyone who knows a little about nutrition knows more than most American doctors. I think this will change soon though. The Medical community is now aware that there's a close correlation between one's diet and one's health and that doctors need to know about food and the role it plays in our physical well-being. (They might have to give up a few games of golf and go back to school. Ya think?)

Sure, we're all told to eat high fiber, low fat diets now. But, when you think about it, it's just good common sense, right? Well, the recent and now dead "Low Carb" craze proved that wrong. I have a friend who had high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and all kinds of other food-related precursors to bad things. His doctor had him on a high fiber, low fat diet for years, but couldn't control his cholesterol except through medication. After being on the "Low Carb" diet for two years, his doctor was astonished that by eating a high fat, low sugar diet, his cholesterol and triglycerides are much lower than ever before. Medical science scratches its collective head once again.

A huge gap still exists in knowledge about and viable research on the role nutrition plays in health and preventing or mitigating the affects of many diseases. And before you go off on me for recommending a high fat, low sugar, "Low Carb" diet, I'm not. You eat what you want! Or what your doctor tells you. Just make sure if you do eat Oreos that you drink the milk from the jug. I'm telling you it's much better that way.

I can't help but think diet has a lot to do with a lot of other diseases besides heart disease. I think it has a lot to do with diabetes and cancer too. And, speaking of cancer, how many of you wonder why, after all these years, we still haven't found a cure for it? That's one thing I hope medical science and man (woman) will soon be able to conquer. I'm a cynic by nature and I hope with all my heart that something like greed isn't the reason no cure for cancer has been found.

Now, we're facing, according to so-called experts, a pandemic worse than any humankind has seen since the so-called "Spanish" flu of 1918. Dire predictions of hundreds of millions of deaths are being made by so-called "experts". Other expects don't agree. News reporters, of course, side with those who fear the worst (The 24-hour news channels love the doomsday stuff, don't they? ) And, our government is going to spend over seven billion dollars to "protect" us from this potential global scourge. That's far less than we've spent on the war in Iraq, of course, but it is a considerable sum. Rather than trusting government to protect me, I think I would feel more comfortable praying it never happens. No offense to our politicians, but I really wouldn't want my life (or yours) in their hands. You'll forgive me for my skepticism. I just haven't seen much proof that my government can handle catastrophes (or anything else - except for maybe wars) very well. And, all you conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, save your emails. When I say "government" I'm talking about the institution, not a political party or ideology. So relax.

Sometimes though, I am comforted by the knowledge that there are forces at work in this grand universe that man will never be able to comprehend or control. We need to be ready for surprise - for events that we cannot foresee - for mysteries we cannot solve. I happen to think that's the way things were meant to be. That doesn't mean that humankind shouldn't keep trying to learn. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying to cure diseases and end human suffering. I just think that somehow things are always going to remain just beyond our collective grasp and always just slightly out of our control.

May the universe never give up all its mysteries. The more humankind learns the more arrogant we get. Arrogant that is until nature throws a Katrina at us - then we run around, confused, and blaming each other. Then government does what it knows how to do well - throw money at it and hope it goes away. After all, when you can steal all the money you want, you can always get more! (Kidding!) Maybe it's just the way I look at things, eh? Maybe I'm out-of-the-loop and out-of-sync with the rest of the world. Oh well. It wouldn't be the first time.

I hope the bird flu pandemic never happens. I hope they find a way to make Oreos, Twinkies, and Pop Tarts nutritious and good for me. Then the nutritionists would put them at the base of the food pyramid along with fruits and veggies and whole grains and advise us to eat seven servings of Oreos, Pop Tarts and Twinkies a day for good health.  I sure miss them. Especially the Oreos and the ice cold milk - right out of the jug. Sorry, mom!

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