America today….

As we look at our government and our inability to fight a war for a reason, I see shared sacrifice associated with war thereby improving equality followed by loss of freedom associated with terrorism. America today differs considerably from early days in terms of shared sacrifice when we have more than half the budget in transfer expense – some, who pay taxes, support many who don’t. Today’s wars are more about minimizing casualties than concluding a conflict. We could rail about government abuses, as noted, but also observe the government meddling in nearly every aspect of American life – all well intended by unwanted by many. So many of us feel our taxes are not used wisely and providing more simply produces higher deficits to be paid by ‘others’. Our criminal policies may be unfair to some but not enough for others so perhaps our society is balanced. All in all, we can improve by interfering less.

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

We are living in interesting times. That has been stated throughout every generation. The fact is all of them have been right. The world is moving faster today than ever before. The written word and spoken word is seen and heard almost instantaneously if we want it to be. But now we are seeing an influx of people becoming involved in activities that have been stagnant for a long time. These activists have created a new discourse into talking to each other and particularly on how to have a national discussion when people disagree.

Politics Permeates our Discussions

One of the most common topics in this country is politics and it has become apparent that there is a problem with how we are sharing our ideas with one another. Who we vote for should not define who we are. We should not be judging others for who they are just because they may have views that oppose our own. We live in a country that was built on the idea of being able to have controversy without conflict. The concept of being able to have a rational debate on educated ideas is what America’s structure consists of. Agreeing to disagree peacefully has become a lost art.

Aside from all the social media trends and endless blogging that contains no factual information, it is obvious that the majority of people are failing to have the drive to learn new ideas. The thought of having views that are your own and not being able to sustain a conversation with someone with opposing views shows a lack of confidence in what you believe in. If you have beliefs that are supported by facts, then there should be a drive to first, spread your ideas and reasoning, and second, absorb and understand the reasoning behind the views that you are opposing.

Personally, I believe that it is a sense of embarrassment that drives this failure to peacefully communicate in our society. People are ashamed of the lack of factual knowledge that they have; therefore, this leads them to becoming hostile when someone tests their ignorance. This can also be compared to the saying, “Ignorance is bliss”, which seems to be growing in popularity in the younger generation. But that is another problem of its own.
If you want to live in ignorance, that is your right as an American. It is not a right however, if within that desire lies a sense of entitlement for their ignorance. While all Americans are free to follow whoever and whatever ideas they please, they should not discredit all other ideas merely out of ignorance about them. I find it ironic when someone desires to spread ideas but refuses to obtain any new ones. How did that person learn that information in the first place if all they are interested in is people accepting their ideas or convictions?

The point here is Americans are residing in a country that is able to contain a world of opposing ideas in one place, under the banner of freedom. We are free to believe in what we want as well as what we do not. We are free to spread and accept all ideas we interact with. We are free to obtain any knowledge we want even if we do not agree with it. We should not allow conflict to have a crippling effect on our awareness.

 

Just my thoughts on that!

Irritations I Have Driving on the Interstate

Irritations I Have Driving on the Interstate

Just a blog to allow me to express myself with my thoughts.

The Drive

I can’t say that I drive a lot on the interstates but sometimes I am on them for multiple hours. We have made several drives to Orlando in the recent year or so and that is 17-18 hours with most of it interstate driving. That always reminds me of The Eagles song “Take It Easy.” 

I understand I am getting older and crept into the mid 60’s in the age category but I still believe I am a decent driver for the most part. I will admit my biggest drawback at this moment is getting into a parking spot and appearing to be straight. Not sure how that skill can become diminished but I can see that after I get out.

The Speed

I kind of like getting out on the road and moving along at a good clip. I usually get into the flow of the traffic and then bump my cruise control to about 7-8 miles per hour more than the speed limit. I know that is not daring or anything but that is what I do.

From time to time I find myself usurping the cruise control and I am flying along between 80-85 mph. I don’t know how that happens :). But then some (I usually call them an idiot) comes out of nowhere and uses all the lanes to go past me at a much higher rate of speed. Then I realize how fast I am going and bump it down some. I secretly am wishing that a few miles up the road a state trooper has that car pulled over for speeding. Would it be impolite to toot my horn? There is an old adage that says, “no matter how fast you are driving, someone is driving faster.”

Another group of drivers are those that are in 4-lane traffic and they are sitting in the 2nd or 3rd lane driving about 50 mph. It happens constantly in larger cities like Nashville or Atlanta. Cars are darting all over and you need to change lanes and you get into their lane and have to do a “whoa Nelly” or you will run into them. If you are going to run with the Bulls, then keep up!

The Flashers

I get so irritated when I am driving down a crowded interstate which is one that is jammed up, moving along but there are about 4 cars in each of two lanes and they are driving about the same speed. Then you look in your mirror and a (made this part up) a black sports sedan is quickly approaching you from behind and they are flashing their lights to get out of the way. What am I supposed to do, jump over the vehicles in front of me? Those kind of drivers I would love to ask them how they are so self-important that they believe everyone in front of them should get out of the way.

Left Lane Drivers

I suspect some of you read that title and smiled. Yes, you and I know people that do this. This can be very irritating on the interstate as you approach them. Are they going to dart over to the right as you get there? When you are passing a few cars and are in the left lane and then suddenly, BAM, they are sitting in the left lane driving 60 mph and now you are stuck. Don’t they know that slower traffic to suppose to be in the left lane? I guess not. What advantage do they see in driving over there? I have never understood this.

Semi Trucks

Ok, before truck drivers get on my case I understand this can go both ways. I am in a car so this is my rant. Truck drivers tend to be in groups on the interstate. All are driving down the road in the right and left lane and you approach a semi and decide to pass. There is no one behind your to impede your progress and suddenly the semi driver decides to pass the semi in front of them. He pulls out without warning because he knows he has the bigger vehicle and start to pass….and continues to pass…. And continues to pass. My point is he is about 2 mph faster than the one he is passing and it takes 3-5 minutes for him to get around. I had no one behind me so he could have waited to pass a bit longer and allowed me to go through. That’s not happening.

Another gripe I have actually has happened several times while navigating around and through Chattanooga. They have hills. Real mountains, actually. The Department of Transportation in Tennessee has put a slower lane to the right when going up the incline. Many drivers use that which allows the cars and pickup trucks to pass with ease. However, some truckers decide to pass them going up the hill. Again, it is about 2-3 miles per hour faster and with it going up hill it really slows things down. It doesn’t sound good on your car, either.

I am sure semi drivers have many stories about cars on the interstate.

Is There Really Construction?

You see the sign that reads, “Road construction for the next 12 miles.” I understand that roads need to be repaired. It seems about 2 miles before the intended construction they begin placing road construction cones on the highway to get the traffic over. Cars and trucks jockey for position and now you are driving on one lane. Now the signs tell you that you are in a construction zone. More cones and barricades. More slow traffic. On the side of the road you can see Caterpillar equipment. Lots of it. There in the lane that is barricaded off is…nothing. There are no people in sight. So how do they plan to do road construction on this road without people? Maybe it is a new process using robotics. No, that’s silly. It is just 12 miles of one lane road in preparation for road construction when they decide to get to it. Frustrating.

I have shared with you many of my frustrations when I drive the interstates of this country. Rest assured I have never really experience road rage. I don’t flip anybody off when I drive nor do I honk my horn at other vehicles. I just drive and complain to my wife. Until now. I have added you to my rant group through a blog.

Isn’t this a wonderful country?

Website of the Day- October 27th

Today I bring to you a website that deals with creativity.  It is called 99u

99u

The 99U  delivers the best insights on making ideas happen in a premium-edition printed magazine, designed by their creative team. Each issue comes packed with practical advice on idea execution, including in-depth profiles of artists, designers, and entrepreneurs, the latest research on getting things getting done, and road-tested tips for building your career. Check it out HERE.

 

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February 10, 1863 Fire Extinguisher Patented

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First US fire extinguisher patent granted to Alanson Crane, Virginia

 

Fire safety was somewhat of a contradiction in terms of centuries past, when everything from cooking to heating to lighting relied on open flames, and building codes were considerably looser. Fire suppression systems became considerably more advanced by the late 1700s. More than just water, they utilized chemical reactions to smother the fires, first just with plain saltwater and then with carbon tetrachloride for electrical fires. The technology of the fire retardant delivery improved much, too.

On this day, February 10, in 1863 the first fire extinguisher was patented in the United States, by Alanson Crane, of Virginia. The tube-container was a step up from the fire suppression glass “grenades” that were previously the most popular form of emergency firefighting.

Little is known about Crane himself, and numerous patents were granted to fire extinguisher inventions around the same time as his. But it is very likely his worked on the same oxygen-deprivation principle of firefighting. Very many early extinguishers contained soda water and bicarbonates, creating carbon dioxide foam from mixing the two (think baking soda and vinegar).

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