A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing?


Call it the Hazard of Learning Little…

Alexander Pope said:
“A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian Spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.”

A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing

“Pope is also renowned for being the third-most quoted English-language writer by The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, and the two couplets above are perhaps his most quoted lines.

The “little learning..”, or as commonly misquoted “little knowledge..”, is an excerpt from his monumental poem An Essay on Criticism. The poem discusses virtues and flaws which influence a sound criticism of a work of art. Pope was a great champion of…” [read more]

His argument is that “little learning” is a real hazard…

What can we do? Well, for one, check out this free “Memory Mastery” video
If you are a bit hesitant to do that, check out the post at The Ongoing Mind first…

“Education does not stop with a high school or a college diploma – our knowledge gets quickly outdated. Without a continuing conscious education we cannot notice the minor, or understand the major problems that we individually or collectively have to face, not to mention coming up with lasting solutions. We need to “drink deep”, or never stop “learning to learn”, all for the betterment of, if not the world then at least of the things and people we value the most.”

source: Hazard of Learning Little
via Kwik Learning

FDA Does Not Protect Us

As soon as I posted about the “cloned meat”, up pops another disturbing article about the practices of the FDA.

The FDA does not protect us as much as they should be doing. They seem to have their own agenda, with few concerns how, in the long run, the health of those in the U.S. is affected.

…that’s just my personal opinion, and this, the cloning, the GMOs, and a dozen other health related issues will keep me tossing and turning tonight, no doubt.

We’re largely helpless!

This one, posted at Common Dreams, has a long title…
FDA May Be Seeking to Use Untested Technology in Livestock Feed –
Agency wants to create products that make farm animals gain weight faster”

FDA  changing Livestock Feed

But the article, in its short one-page read says a lot…

FDA reports it “is “particularly interested” in using nanotechnology to change the chemical, physical, or biological makeup of livestock feed and drugs”.

…”the agency does not have enough data about potential safety issues of nanotechnology in food products for humans or animals”.

“The agency has come under fire several times in recent years… for its irresponsible oversight of additives in food and medicine, particularly on factory farms”. “…FDA was also found to use harmful additives like arsenic in order to make animals gain weight faster”.

FDA also knowingly allowed the widespread use of “high-risk” additives that didn’t meet the agency’s own safety standards”.

“…[lack of] public awareness of the presence of nanomaterials in food and products; and consideration of the ethics of nanotechnology”.

To get the full read, you are invited to click on through to the original article – it is a short read and mentions a couple of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that do fight for us!


source: Common Dreams

Are You Eating Cloned Meat?

Let me rephrase that…

Are you eating meat from CLONED cows or pigs? Did you even know that you might be…?

I certainly didn’t!

Or if it’s not the meat, is it the MILK from a cloned cow?

THIS IS UNSETTLING NEWS! Not even in my wildest midnight thoughts would I have suspected that the FDA approved it years ago…!

ClonedCows - YahooNews - Trans Ova Genetics

In 2008, the agency charged with US food safety, the Food and Drug Administration, approved consumption of meat and milk from CLONED cows, pigs and goats!

The article this came from goes on to say: “But the bottom line is you do not want large numbers of these animals for a number of reasons, number one being that cloned animals are generally unhealthy.

Why is it we don’t have much of a say in what we eat anymore?

Wheat and corn are both GMO (genetically modified organisms) now to such an extent that finding non-gmo sources is sometimes difficult – stores can not keep enough organic / non-gmo food on the shelves!

…you just have to read the full article on Yahoo News where

The idea of tracking such animals elicits a shrug from Blake Russell, who heads Trans Ova’s animal cloning division ViaGen.

“There are cattle in the thousands globally now”, and their offspring and descendants are “going to multiply every year,” Russell said.

“It would be next to impossible to go backwards.”

I want REAL FOOD, don’t you?

Let’s be sure to buy local!

~ Aden


source: Yahoo News re: Trans Ova Genetics, Sioux Center, Iowa


A Pooka for a Best Friend

Angela Booth, on Lifehack, has an article titled 10 Simple Tricks To Make Your Brain Do What You Want that starts:

“Do you feel as if you’re out of control? You need to take charge, and make your brain do what you want. Consider that your brain works like a computer. If your computer’s not doing what you want, you can change the programs.

Change the programs your brain’s running with some simple tricks.”

The last one of the ten I already do, partly out of necessity, partly out of the realization that it helps create “thoughts at midnight”… really! You’ll understand when you see the trick.

Of the ten, I’d be surprised if more than 20% of the visitors to Thoughts at Midnight have even heard of the movie referenced in #6, let alone watched it.

It’s the one chosen to be shared right up front with you:

#6. Think the best of people and make more friends.
The hero of the movie Harvey, Elwood P. Dowd, has for a best friend an invisible six foot rabbit, a pooka…

Harvey The Pooka

Elwood has a philosophy of life that’s very simple:
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Be pleasant. Not only will you make more friends, but you’ll also be happier. The next time someone is nasty, consider their action from their point of view. Maybe they’re just having a bad day.

The next two tricks, #7 and #8, are powerful:

Expand time by increasing the input to your brain:
Become actively involved in learning. Doing new activities, and learning new things tricks your brain into thinking that less time has passed. Time seems to expand. If you’ve always wanted to learn to cook, or to hang glide, or learn a language, get started; you have plenty of time.

Use autosuggestion:
Autosuggestion tricks your brain. French psychologist Émile Coué created the positive-thinking mantra: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”.

Giving yourself positive suggestions tricks your brain into believing them. We’re all suggestible. If we weren’t, marketing wouldn’t be a billion dollar global industry. Look at autosuggestion as positive advertising you do for yourself. Autosuggestion can make a huge difference in your life.

But to get all 10 tricks in their entirety, by now, if you have visited here more than once, you already know that the trick here… is to click on through
this time to the Lifehack article!


source: Lifehack

image source: blog.libero.it

Akasha – Give Yourself Some Space

It’s just the 2nd of 6 tips for self-healing from MindBodyGreen, but it is a point which by itself, makes plenty of common sense.


“Akasha. Space ya’ll. Give yourself some space. Physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically—give yourself the room, the perimeter to process and heal. Tend to yourself without interruption. Give yourself that. You deserve it. As much as you want to run from what’s surfacing, sit in the room with it. Grieve, mourn, shout, scream, cry, weep, be ecstatic, in joy, in bliss and find neutrality. Watch how giving yourself the space will allow the thing that is “coming up” to shift and evolve on it’s own. Don’t cling on to what’s happening, just watch it all play out.”

The others are all directed towards an emotional healing, yet I can see how a couple of these would be beneficial towards physical healing too:
Be gentle,
Ask for help,
Take care of yourself,

With those 5 being just as important in healing as giving yourself some space, you’ll want to read the entire 6 Tips for Self-Healing — each one is only a paragraph long.

And these tips, well, when you’re in need of self-healing, these may get you where you want to be even faster, to prove today’s quoted pic, “When you can tell the story and it doesn’t bring up any pain, you know it is healed“.

When You Can Tell the Story


source: MindBodyGreen
image source: Random Thoughts at Midnight on Pinterest

Facebook Surveillance

File this under Facebook Surveillance.

Blame the ‘Like‘ button. That very same little button I’m hoping (and really expecting) you will click on.

For years, people have suspected something about Facebook’s ‘Like‘ button… Its presence is widespread.

 FB Likes

Perhaps ‘suspected’ is the wrong word to use… Yes, FB has been tracking the sites you visit, and each time it was questioned about it, Facebook downplayed the purposes.

Suspect no more. It’s been verified with Facebook’s recent announcement that it will start using its ‘Like’ button (and similar tools) to track people across the Internet “for advertising purposes“.

That may not surprise most of us, especially knowing the long history of the issue and Facebook’s weak denials. For others, this may be a true eye-opener!

And with a timeline regarding all of this listed in the full read of “It’s Complicated: Facebook’s History of Tracking You“, you’ll find the ProPublica article very informative.

As for giving “Thoughts at Midnight” a big ‘Like’ on Facebook…? Well, we still have our fingers crossed!

source: June 17, 2014 ProPublica, by author Julia Angwin

Mistaken For a Person 30% of the Time

I think, therefore I am.

Descartes is probably rolling over in his grave. 

A supercomputer was remarkably able to adopt the persona of a 13-year-old boy well enough to convince judges that it is human – 30% of the time. According to the “Turing Test”, Eugene Goostman (the computer’s name), when quizzed right along with real, breathing, people, was mistaken for a person 30% of the time.

The article, on Yahoo, is titled: “Supercomputer emulates teenager to pass ‘Turing Test'”.

And it doesn’t end there. The creator of “Eugene”, Vladimir Veselov was quoted as saying “Going forward we plan to make Eugene smarter and continue working on improving what we refer to as ‘conversation logic’.”

I think, therefore I am

I think, therefore I am

image source: http://wordfromthewell.com/2012/12/01/you-think-therefore-you-are-arent-you/

What Meaning in My Life Will Remain?

#midnightthought “A hundred years from now, none of this will matter.”

I think it was about 35 years ago that my father made that comment – it made me pause to think. First, why the comment, then a realization of the truth of the comment. None of “this” will matter… He will have passed, just as those in the family did before him, and just as those in the family who remain will pass. Friends too.

100 years from now, we’ll have our name, date of birth, and death still etched to view on a headstone. But that’s about it.

Not even the internet as it exists today will much matter.

I think it’s about time to pass that comment on to my son. He is about the age I was when my father said it to me, a variation one of the Forest E. Witcarft quotes.

There is another way it can be expressed… it defines a “midnight thought”.

Leo Tolstoy (you know, the author we can thank for writing that War and Peace novel) once confessed: “Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?”

It’s certain, now, that, 100 years hence in a person’s life, that things may not matter, but lived correctly, they found meaning in their life that did remain, and influenced thousands of others.

 James Hartson Curtis - WWII London 1944