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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MY BODY IS LIKE THE UNITED NATIONS: Part One--Overview

Actually, my body is worse than the United Nations, for I should mash in the U.S. Congress, aliens and a deteriorating biochemical factory.  But, symbolically, I use the UN as the analogue because this is an important, but nearly hopeless, organization of 192 countries headed by a pitiable Secretary General.  

Let me explain why.  All my life I've sort of thought that I had control over my actions.  As I approach the end, it has occurred to me that I really don't:
  • There is my 3 pound brain, with 100 billion neurons.
    • A sperm whale has a brain six times larger, so bigger brains don't mean higher intelligence.
    • While our brains are 1/40 the weight of our body, a mouse also has a 1/40 ratio and small birds actually come in at 1/12.
  • Then there is my mind, which has to do with feelings, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and so on, and has no mass, as such.  I equate my mind with current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his effectiveness.
  • The communications system includes nerves and chemical reactions.
  • Then there are the various parts of the body keeping you alive, functional, etc.
  • Here is the alien part that is icky, but true
    • We share our body with 3-5 pounds (heavier than our brain) of bacteria, 100 trillion of them just in our intestines, with more than 99% anaerobic (meaning they don't need oxygen).
    • These bacteria would fill a large can of soup.
    • There are 10 times more bacterial cells than personal cells.
    • While only 1-2% of our body mass, bacteria make up half our body's waste.
    • Bacteria are 60% the dry mass in our feces.
    • There are something like 1,400 different strains of bacteria in and on us, including E. coli (above, and I show it because I liked the color, even though there isn't all that much of this microorganism in our alimentary track), and there could be many more, because some can't be cultured. 
Well, sorry, I got carried away.  Anyway, here is why my body is like the United Nations:
  • You would think my mind could control my coordination to play better golf.  Nope, my whole body cannot be convinced to act in controlled synergy.  Unless you golf, you can't appreciate this statement.
  • I get a sore throat, and tell my body to prevent the expected cold.  Actually, sometimes this works, but I wonder if that is because this early signal was more closely connected to some allergy that comes and goes.
  • Then there is the matter of blood pressure.  Mine goes shooting up when I'm hungry, is very high went I first awake and drops precipitously when I'm quickly walking on a golf course.  There are things happening in my body that can't be controlled by my mind.  I can, though, eat, and an hour later I'm back to normal, and walk slowly on a golf course and my pressure would remain relatively normal.  Certainly, there is a definite relation to pulse rate, as they seem to be inversely proportional.  I read that transcendental meditation can raise or lower pressures by 3-5 mm.  However, I'm dealing with ten times those numbers.  
Next, my latest experiments on my body with blood pressure, pulse rate and the affect of food (including salt).
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There are three hurricanes surrounding Hawaii.  Genevieve is at 85 MPH, will strengthen into a Category 2, but passed us south and, while moving north, is far west of us:


To the east of Hawaii are Iselle and Julio, and both will affect us beginning tomorrow through the weekend:


Iselle actually just strengthened and now is expected to hit the Big Island as a hurricane, while Julio  is still expected to weaken, and take a northernly route.  However, there are signals that an adjustment might be taking Julio much closer to the islands.  For sure there will be a lot of rain, but, hopefully, without any truly damaging winds.

To the far west in the Pacific is Typhoon Halong, still on track to strike Shikoku as a Category 1, then over Okayama and into the Sea of Japan:


Flooding will be a major problem, for this region is already soaked from previous storms.

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