Wood Pallet Fires Blowing Up America

I was online yesterday, and I came across this insane graphic showing all the wood pallet fires across the country the past two years.
Wood pallet fires
Wood pallet fires
When I used to work at Home Depot, I would constantly get huge splinters in my hands from unloading wood pallets…. plastic pallets are far superior & safer.
Wood pallets piss me off, they’re bad for the environment and eyesore around my community.
What are your thoughts? What are the alternatives?

Venice Beach Glass House

I really want this glass house located a block away from my present apartment.

Buy Oxytocin: Cuddle And Bonding Hormones

National Public Radio (NPR), New York Times, WebMD and other websites have been running a lot of articles recently on new discoveries related to the hormone Oxytocin. Studies are showing that Oxytocin causes people to trust and bond with other far more easily.  For example, one study by scientist Dr. Paul Zak showed that college students who had the bonding hormone Oxytocin squirted into their nostrils were 80% more likely to give money to strangers.

Scientists initially began digging into Oxytocin because of Williams Syndrome, a disorder that among other irregularities, causes people to become pathologically trusting and loving of other people.  Many children with this disorder hug strangers and offer to go home with them (obviously not a good thing for kids to be doing!).  According to researchers, this is caused by a disregulation of the bonding and love hormone Oxytocin in the brain that causes people to essentially “overdose” on love and trust.

Here comes the fun part: after reading about this bonding hormone Oxytocin on NPR & Psychology Today & New York Post, I wondered if you could buy Oxytocin.  Turns out you can buy Oxytocin here:

Unleash the Power of Liquid Trust

Seeing this ad really to buy the bonding hormone Oxytocin really cracked me up… It essentially is hinting through it’s advertisement that you can land a girl like the beauty in the white bikini by buying Oxytocin and somehow slipping it into her food or swapping out her allergy sprays or something.  Pretty ridiculous… but it does make you wonder if Oxytocin would be effective in these situations right?

Another interesting study at Stanford showed that buying Oxytocin for children with autism can actually help regulate their disease.  Evidently, children with autism have brains that are unable to properly regulate the flow of Oxytocin, but when you give them supplements of this bonding hormone they become much more socially aware and capable of interacting with others around them.

Is trust really something so simple that giving someone Oxytocin bonding hormone supplements will make them much more loving & trusting?  I’m not sure, but the science seems to be pointing in that direction.

These conclusions are really frightening if the wrong parties (government, criminals, scam artists) buy Oxytocin and secretly insert it into the water supply or the air in a building.  What easier way to rob a bank than by putting Oxytocin into the vents and then walking in and asking to see the vault?

Oxytocin nasal spray is supposed to be the most effective way of administering the love & bonding hormone.  It’s only a matter of time though before scientists make the same breakthroughs they did with steroids and find ways to get the powerful bonding hormone into people’s bodies without their knowledge or consent.  The fact that Oxytocin is available for purchase is a potentially dangerous and scary fact.  I certainly wouldn’t want it used on me.

Sports is Like a War Without the Killing

Ted Turner has a famous quote: “Sports is Like a War Without the Killing”.

Is it true?

Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant, and Mike Tyson, all among the greatest in their respective sports, show that is definitely not true of rape.

Ray Lewis and OJ Simpson are just the most famous NFL players accused of murder.

Most athletes are able to buy their way out of criminal charges by paying off the defendants or their families in sealed deals.  OJ was the only one dumb enough to get caught.

I don’t think it is really true that “Sports is Like a War Without the Killing”… it’s just the killing doesn’t happen on the field or court, it happens in the bar or nightclub afterwards.

The Benedict-Crosset Study of sexual assaults at thirty major Division I universities reported that athletes commit one in three college sexual assaults. The three-year study concluded that while male student-athletes comprise 3.3% of the college population, they represent 19% of sexual assault perpetrators and 35% of domestic violence perpetrators.

National statistics show that college athletes are only convicted in 38% of the cases they are charged with, compared to an 80% non-athlete conviction rate.  Thank you boosters!

Kicked Out at 15 Years Old

I was extraordinarily fortunate to get kicked out of my parents house at the age of 15.

Why?

My kindly grandparents took me in and did a wonderful job of raising me till I left for college (though technically they are still raising me with their good advice & love).

At the time though it felt like one of the worst things that had ever happened to me.

After my mom had broken up with my dad and married a man named Forest Newsom, Randy (my dad) was a broken man.  He spent the next seven or eight months working long hours and then coming home and watching TV all night.  The four of us brothers were left more or less to our devices and as the eldest I took on a much stronger role in the household.  So when my mom divorced Forest and remarried Randy and moved back in I felt like the traitor was being let back in… and she wanted her old role back.  Randy has always been a fairly weak and easily dominated person, while my mom is extremely dominant and manipulative.

At first I was happy to have my mom back, but I soon realized that she was still acting crazy (much of it was the drugs she was on).  Not only was she crazy, but she wanted to have full control of the house and me again.  I was a hormonal angry teen and had no intention of giving it to her, so we went to war.

Six months of constant fighting with my mom and dad (when my mom sent him after me) led to me very rarely leaving my bedroom other than to go to school.  When I did leave, I would glower at everyone until I could get back to my castle in my room. Generally I was a very unpleasant person to live with, and my mom was even worse.

The day finally came when I got into an argument with her and told her she was a bitch.  Instead of getting angry, she became self-righteous and told me I had to move out.  The wind was knocked out of me… I felt like I had been hit in the belly by a baseball bat.  I had no idea what I was going to do or what would happen to me.  When my dad got home from work she told him they were going to kick me out and he of course went along with it.

I was told by my parents that I was ruining their attempt to make their marriage work and I had to go.

Half an hour later, I had my clothes in a suitcase and my parents dropped me off at my grandparents on South Hill.  My grandparents were good to me and set me up my own room with a desk and ancient alarm (that I still use to this day).  Two weeks later, my mom and dad begged me to come move back home but by that time I could see that what was best for me was to stay put with my grandparents.  I was really homesick for months, but it faded and I matured as a person.

Five important lessons were learned from this experience:

  • The only certainty in life is that things will change.
  • Relationships may be the most important key to a full life, but they are replaceable.
  • If you are ever in a bad situation get out.  There will always be new opportunities & people that will be better.
  • Once you have been rejected by your own mother no other person can hurt you that much again. It’s a superpower.
  • Don’t be such a damned pussy. Not really relevant, but a good lesson nonetheless.

Prompt Global Strike: Hit Anywhere on Earth in Under an Hour

Amazing new technology, dubbed “Prompt Global Strike”, enables the U.S. government to hit anything on earth in under an hour with a cruise missile carrying a huge conventional (non-nuclear) warhead.  These bombs can be directed with GPS to hit a target accurately down to a few feet away.

Lots of problems though with this project:

  • These missiles are very similar to missiles that carry nuclear warheads. If we fire one at North Korea, how does China know that they aren’t about to be nuked and respond in kind?
  • The expense is enormous… all of the research & development, then $60 million per missile.
  • The Pentagon does not have a good plan for deploying it effectively yet.

Red Bull- Difference Between Love & Obsession

I rarely ever drink caffeine.  In my opinion its a powerful psychotropic drug that is very similar to cocaine.  Yes, I just ruined my chances at public office by admitting that I tried coke (a few times in college… not my cup of tea though).  Anyways caffeine is a drug that too many businesspeople I know can’t function without a cup of every morning.  I prefer to control my own mental states thank you very much.  Alcohol is my vice of choice.

When I do have a cup of coffee or even tea sometimes, I can definitely feel a strong buzz- I get jittery and very talkative.  It can be fun.

One night I was out at a bar with some of my buddies and one of them ordered each of us a touchdown (vodka dropped into red bull then chugged).  Then he ordered each of us another.  And another.

For someone who never drinks coffee, this gave me quite a jolt.  I was feeling a little spacey.

We went onto the dance floor and were dancing with a group of girls we knew when I spotted Her.

She was the hottest girl in the bar and she was dancing with her cute little friend.  I stared.

I walked over and opened my mouth to talk to her… ordinarily I’m pretty charming and able to carry on a conversation well, but what popped out was, “What is the difference between love and obsession?”

She looked at me funny, then surprisingly answered very earnestly.  Only I couldn’t hear hear her over the Boom Boom Boom of the music, so I just faked it and nodded.  Eventually she trailed off and I just stared.  She bailed.

I went outside and sat on a bench and stared at the sky till my friends were ready to go.

Why I Don’t Hit Women

Other than spanking “naughty” girls, I don’t hit women.

A couple of guys I know occasionally slap or even punch women.  These guys are usually little dorks with some anger problems from a lifetime of rejection.  They gross me out.

Here’s why.

As a small, skinny kid my parents would occasionally slap or hit or throw things when they got angry.  Around the age of eleven though their lives started to go haywire and they had much shorter fuses with me… plus I was entering puberty and becoming a rebellious little brat.  Whenever they hit me I would get deeply angry that there was nothing I could do about it at the time… I was too small and they held all the power of an adult-child relationship.  Occasionally I would fantasize about getting a bat or a gun to defend myself, but of course never acted on it (hence why this story isn’t titled “Joel’s Juvie Joys”).

It continued getting worse and worse as I fully entered puberty and passed through junior high and my parents marriage fell apart. I promised myself I would never hurt anyone weaker than me in anger many times during this period.  That promise soon was tested.

I was fifteen years old and was bigger and stronger than my mom now.  She however had the demonic powers of methamphetamines on her side.  We got into a fight about whether or not I could use the computer and were standing toe to toe in the hallway between the white carpeted living room and the computer room of our old house in Graham.  Screaming like a banshee and spitting in my face, I rolled my eyes at her and she started to slap me with bonejarring hits in the mouth.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been as angry as I was at that moment.  More than anything else I wanted to unleash hell on her for her insane behavior at that moment and all of the bad things she’d done to me before.

A combination of my promises to myself not to ever hit women and my grandfather’s teachings on honor held my hand.

I’m not sure I would even have that level of self control now that I did at that moment, but I managed to sneak around her and go to the relative safety of my bedroom.

A couple of months later, I called her “Bitch” and she kicked me out.

Clothes At Dry Cleaners For Two Months

Doh!