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Sunday, November 19, 2017

PLEASE MR. POSTMAN


My posting on 9 November 2017 indicated that some day in the future I would report on who recorded Please Mr. Postman first:  The Beatles or The Marvelettes.  This was a memorable period of my life, for I was getting to be a senior at Stanford and in mid-1962 moved on to my first real job, with the sugar industry in Naalehu on the Big Island of Hawaii, where not only was there no television, but also no radio reception.  Got married and suffered through Army basic training.  These transition periods result in memorable songs.  

There were various girl groups/singers those days hitting #1 on the Billboard Top 100:  The Shirelles with Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Connie Francis / Where the Boys Are (click on THIS to get a flavor of youth immaturity, which could have led to my demise), Sue Thompson / Sad Movies, Dee Dee Sharp / Mash Potato Time, Shelley Fabares / Johnny Angel, Little Eva / The Loco-Motion, Joanie Sommers / Johnny Get Angry and Chiffons / He's So Fine.

Please Mr. Postman thus came in this frenetic year which established my life.  Written by Georgia Dobbins (borrowed an unfinished blues composition of William Garret and, never having any songwriting experience, reshaped it overnight to reflect doo-wop), Freddie Gorman (who, interestingly enough, actually worked as a U.S. Postman), Brian Holland and Robert Bateman, this classic, released by the Marvelettes in 1961 when they were 15 year old high school students in a suburb of Detroit, was the first Motown song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.   Marvin Gaye played drums on this recording.
The company has had 57 reaching the top, and the final one was twenty years ago. However, in 2008, the latest version of this company released Motown's No. 1 Hits in a box set to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  The announcement indicated that 191 tracks reached #1, plus an additional 10 cover tracks.  There are three new sets left, each for $800 from Amazon.  Motown is synonymous with Detroit, where it was first formed in 1959, but moved to Las Angeles in 1972.

The Marvelettes kept changing, but the original had Gladys Horton (as lead singer), Georgeanne Tillman, Georgia Dobbins, Wanda Young, Wyanetta (Juanita) Coward and Katherine Anderson:


They first called themselves the Casinyets, mostly because they were just beginning and agreed they can't sing yet.  Dobbins, who helped write that song, had to quit because her father forbade her to sing in night clubs. The Marvelettes even lost their name because a New York businessman, Larry Marshak, was first to register it, and promoted other groups touring as The Marvelettes.  The originals had other problems anyway, like drugs, sickness and mental breakdown.  As a result, they have yet to make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Tillman married Billy Gordon of The Contours, while Young married Bobby Rogers of The Miracles.

What makes Please Mr. Postman particularly notable is because the Beatles recorded it in 1963.  Interesting story on why they chose this song, and note that they were not the first.

However, The Carpenters' cover reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975.  It has been reported that nine songs have this distinction.  My favorite is Venus, with Shocking Blue (Dutch band) in 1970 and Bananarama (British female trio) in 1986.  Why I can't imagine.

So anyway, I get religious or nostalgic on Sunday.  So to further extol the virtues of living in Purgatory, here is a rainbow scene from the Ala Wai Golf Course on Friday, plus, turning around 180 degrees, a scene in the Waikiki direction:


I took a bath, and it was dark, so I chose to dine indoors on Japanese Wagyu Beef and Otoro Maguro (ahi or yellow-fin tuna) Sashimi, with an assortment of mushrooms:


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

OUR WORLD OF SEXUAL PREDATORS

My Chapter 1 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity was entitled, CRIME AND WARS.  Even though the Kindle version only costs $3.99, you don't need to buy the book, for this blog site began serializing that chapter with Ending Crime and War Forever.  However, there was very little about sexual predation in this publication, a depravity that until Harvey Weinstein and religious clerics, was generally shrouded by society.

Two years ago, it was reported that just for U.S. Catholic churches, priest sex abuse had cost them MORE THAN $2.3 BILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE PAST THREE DECADES.  Multiplying those numbers, you get a figure of $69 billion.

Then again, maybe it's not so bad, for USA Today in 2013 reported that there have been 6,905 accused priests since 1950, 16,463 victims and "only" $2.5 billion in settlements.  As the USA has 5% of the world population, you'd need to multiply those above figures by, maybe not 20, but a significant number.

And you know this exploitation has been occurring all throughout history by clerics of every religion.  In some Muslim countries, for example, this could well be accepted practice.  Further, sexual predation is hardly the monopoly of the religious sector.
However, this notoriety somehow never affected predators in other professions, until Harvey Weinstein, who is now up to 80 accusers.  What he did was to remove the shame of victims in the U.S., and, perhaps world, too.  Woody Allen's escapade might have been history, but he does have a new film coming out, and who knows...  Arnold  Schwarzenegger says he is just a naturally rowdy guy.  You couldn't have missed Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, but new in the spotlight:

  • Director James Toback (right), almost 300 women--said they're pathetic liars
  • Author and TV analyst Mark Halperin, 8 accusers--promises to make amends
  • Chef John Besh, more than two dozen--he said everything was consensual
  • Director Oliver Stone (right), whose victims were a Playboy Bunny and actress Patricia Arquette--has not said much in response
  • Former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier--has apologized to his victims
  • Actor/Director Ben Afleck, groped women on the red carpet, including a reporter--has apologized
  • Former editor of Artforum Knight Landesman, nine--not sure if he, or his victims, wrote an open letter
  • Actor James Woods, tried to pick up on actress Elizabeth Perkins when she was 16 and he was in his 50's--no comment
  • Creator of Nickelodeon Chris Savino, about a dozen--I am deeply sorry and ashamed
  • BOB WEINSTEIN, Harvey's brother, with only one accuser--denied through lawyer
  • Director Lars von Trier, who was accused by actress Bjork
  • Comedian Andy Dick, known to have indecently exposed himself, groped and licked women--said he might have licked, but never groped anybody
  • Actor/Producer Jeremy Piven, accused by actress Ariane Bellman of groping her breasts--unequivocally denied anything
  • Actor Louis C.K. (right), masturbated in front of at least five women, plus--yes, I'm guilty, so his I Love You, Daddy film scheduled to be released yesterday was shelved--only got a 38% Rotten Tomatoes reviewers rating, anyway
  • Actor Kevin Spacey, accused by actor Anthony Rapp of sexual advances when he was 14 and Spacey 26--he not only apologized but "came out"
  • Produced Brett Ratner, six women, mostly actresses--denied everything
    • Actor Dustin Hoffman, sexually harassed a production assistant--no reported response
    • Actor and musician Ed Westwick, three women of serious sex assault--no response
    • former President George H.W. (the father) Bush, groped at least seven women--has sincerely apologized
    So we now come to those political headlines:
    • Senator Al Franken:  wrong, dumb, he apologized, she accepted, a non issue, but perhaps the Democratic Party might want kick him out of the Senate so that they can look good next November, as the Minnesota governor is a Democrat and will name another Democrat as replacement.
    • Former judge Roy Moore:  will lose his sure-shot seat for U.S. Senator because he made inappropriate sexual advances on a 14-year old girl almost forty years ago.  This issue will seriously damage Republican efforts to retain control of Congress and the White House.
    • President Donald Trump: truly serious allegations, with the payoffs and judicial compromises now re-surfacing.  He has been accused of rape three times, with one victim only 13 years old.  Sixteen women have been victims of our President.  That underage rape incident could well be why he gets impeached.  The prospects of Robert Mueller nailing Trump also cannot be discounted.  In any case, the odds are high now that he will not finish his term.  Betting.Betfair now has Trump's early exit more likelier than not.  Kathy Griffin got fired for showing Donald Trump's head.  Shame she won't be on CNN with Anderson Cooper for their New Year's Eve telecast.  Looks like her replacement will be Andy Cohen, his "best" friend.
    Where are the female sexual predators, anyway?  You know they exist, for it is reported that more than half of male college students in one study reported at least one sexual victimization experience since age 16.  Half of the perpetrators were female.  One reason is that 86% of victims of female sexual predators aren't believed, so most crimes go unreported.  Then there, is that hmm, it wasn't so bad, after all, attitude of men everywhere.  

    The Guardian has written that up to 64,000 women in the UK are child-sex offenders.  So as that country is slightly less that 1% the world population, make that 6.4 million female child-sex offenders the world over.  Unless the UK is unique.  When was the last major scandal you read about one of them?

    Ah, in desperation, I finally found one.  In the list of 35 famous people charged with sex crimes, Britney Spears was the sole female.  A former bodyguard claimed the pop star flashed him and invited him into her bedroom when she was nude.  Check on that list.  Interesting.

    The bottom line is that social standards change, and tolerable practices in the past, as immoral as they might have nevertheless been, might not be so today.  But there remain a few universal lines you just cannot cross that can prove fatal. What will ultimately exonerate Spears and Franken legally will not apply to Moore and Trump, the former because he was 32 and she was 14, but for Trump, rape is rape, especially if this was a virgin of 13.  What could once be shunted aside because of power and money can return to haunt, as these Trump passive victims have now been transformed into piranhas with seasoned lawyers.

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    Friday, November 17, 2017

    MY OPTIMAL DIET

    Literally, there are thousands of diets.  MedicalNewsToday lists the nine most popular:
    • #2  The Zone:  balance of 40% carbs, 30% fats and 30% protein--loves olive oil, avocado and nuts
    • #3  Ketogenic:  reduce carbs, increase fat (lot of fat in coconuts, avocados, nuts and oily fish...but they are all good)
    • #4  Vegetarian:  vegetables and no animal-based, except for eggs, dairy and honey
    • #5  Vegan:  only consume plants (in the USA, 70% of those who tried, gave up)
    • #6  Weight Watchers:  diet, exercise and support network (but the company is struggling because most diets are free...but don't work)
    • #7  South Beach:  unrefined carbohydrates, plus some fat
    • #8  Raw food:  no processed foods, with 75% uncooked (including, as one specific diet, raw carnivores)
    • #9  Mediterranean:  plants, fruits, beans, olive oil, some fish and poetry, (my computer stuck that in--should be poultry) and 4 eggs/week, plus wine (click on the right graphic to actually read it)
    U.S. News and World Report provided the following:

    1. DASH diet
    1. Mayo Clinic Diet
    1. Weight Watchers      
    2. Mediterranean diet
    1. Weight Watchers
    2. Jenny Craig 
    3. MIND diet
    3. Jenny Craig
    2. Volumetrics



    1. HMR Program
    1. DASH diet
    1. Fertility diet
    1. Weight Watchers
    2. Mediterranean diet
    1. Mediterranean diet
    3. Biggest Loser
    3. MIND diet
    1. MIND diet


    1. Weight Watchers



    1. DASH diet
    1. DASH diet
    1. Mediterranean diet
    2. Mediterranean diet
    1. Ornish diet
    2. Flexitarian diet
    2. Vegan diet
    3. TLC diet
    3. Ornish diet


    3. Vegetarian diet

    Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) matches well with my posting yesterday on hypertension.  There are numerous variations of this concept.

    I digested some of the above, crystallized the melange into an ideal essence for me, and arrived at My Optimal Diet, where I emphasize the MY.  You don't need to be old, and it would help if you are un-poor, but My Optimal Diet is, essentially, my lifestyle :
    • Contrary to many experts, I believe that your weight can be controlled by neutralizing any energy (food) input with sufficient exercise.  There are also collateral benefits to moving about.  My biochemical engineering PhD knowledge is at the base of this fact.  You need to be able to control your mind, too.  Sitting too much will kill you over time.
    • While I'm at this, sleep is really important:
    • Minimize white foods:  rice, bread, salt and sugar, while avoiding substitutes like aspartame.
    • Abstain from trans fats (some margarines, shortening--naturally occurs in diary products, but minimally)
    • Balance your input.  Not too much of anything, but eat what you like, within reason, even bacon.
      • For example, I splurge on foie gras, Japanese wagyu beef, caviar and the like, but only in small (now and then, one-eight of a pound of foie gras, quarter pound of wagyu, half a teaspoon of caviar, for example) amounts.
      • And, incidentally, I do ingest white rice, but not as much as before.  I blame Rainbow Drive-In and Zippy's for their bentos, but some minor bingeing makes life wonderful and worthwhile.  Sure, bread, even white, with sandwiches, but drastically reduce cured meats with nitrites and other bad stuff.
    • I love seafood of all types, and the more fat the better, great for Omega-3 fatty acids.  I need to reduce the sodium added to sashimi and poke.  Someday.
    • I drink two alcoholic drinks/day, and sometimes more.
    • I once never drank coffee, but have upped that to one cup/day.  In combination with tea, I might have two cups combined/day, and hope to attain a total of 4 cups/day in the future.  While caffeine in them might actually increase your blood pressure, something about these potions prolongs your life.
    • I don't drink the equivalent of 8 glasses of water/day, but on days when I walk on a golf course, I easily exceed that amount.
    • I now consume a lot more salads, nuts (macadamias are my favorite) and fruits (but minimize fructose as much as possible), especially berries.
    • I eat too many forms of chips, and will someday soon need to reduce this amount.  But this is part of the social structure at 15 Craigside dinner tables.
    • I consume chocolates, dark and in moderation.  A slight worry is that most of the news you read about the healthfulness of chocolates are studies paid for by chocolate companies.
    The best part about my diet is that it is not a diet but a lifestyle.  I don't measure or calculate anything.  I merely eat what I want (one reason I go through the ordeal of walking on a golf course) and enjoy life by maximizing pleasure, being aware that there are certain limits:
    • body requirements
    • finances
    • whatever else
    My dining articles tend to be among my most popular, so you can get a flavor of My Optimal Diet just by referring to them.

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    Thursday, November 16, 2017

    HOW TO CONTROL YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

    I CAN'T OVEREMPHASIZE FOR YOU NOT TO FOLLOW MY SOLUTIONS.  OF COURSE, SEE YOUR PERSONAL DOCTOR BEFORE DOING ANYTHING, AND TALK ABOUT WHAT I AM SUGGESTING.

    I have had more than half a dozen postings on blood pressure.  Here was my latest, four months ago.  Then, of course, if you keep up with these things, the medical profession has again changed it's mind.  What was once okay for 140/90 has now been reduced to 130/80, adding 30 million more Americans to those in possible jeopardy.  Oh, that also means an additional 600 million endangered souls worldwide.

    My initial reaction was, Big Pharma has struck again.  But, then I learn that this is one of those ailments where almost all the prescribed drugs are now generic, meaning relatively cheap.  Thus, perhaps this adjustment was made mostly to extend longevity, for there is little doubt now that hypertension does increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral disease, vision loss and kidney disease.

    An important consideration, however, is that someone just added to the unsafe category does not necessarily need to go on pills.  Lifestyle changes can make a big difference:
    • reduce salt intake
    • sensible physical exercise
    • healthy diet
    • weight control--don't be morbidly obese, although, interestingly enough, a controversial posting I had last year suggested that OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE LIVE LONGER THAN NORMAL PEOPLE
      • I should indicate, though, that my personal doctor, and another physician, my neighbor, don't accept my contention
      • however, the latest evidence suggests a Body Mass Index at the high side of normal, even into the low side of overweight (around 25), could well increase your life expectancy
      • read this Journal of American Medical Association article
    The above comes from the Mayo Clinic.  However, contradictory to their ten ways to reduce blood pressure, it is more and more appearing that caffeine from tea and coffee--four cups/day appears to be ideal--lowers blood pressure.  I, however, think Mayo is stuck on moral principles, for studies seem to also indicate that two drinks/day for men (only one for women) also lowers blood pressure.  I've personally made various tests (I carefully do experiments with my body, which I refer to as Pat the White Rat, as you'll see in the next paragraph) with wine and scotch to verify this assertion.

    My problem is that my blood pressures have been mostly too high at home, but also, too low on a golf course:
    • 150-160 / 85/95 when I first awoke, with a pulse rate of 49-54
    • 160-180 / 90-105 when I missed a meal and got really hungry
    • 135-145 / 80-90 as my normal rang
    • 80-85 / 50-55 around the sixth hole when I quickly walked
    So how can one both lower and raise your blood pressure?  I've largely succeeded:
    • Don't miss lunch, or any meal.  I fail a couple of times annually, but at least I know what to do about quickly dropping my pressure:  just eat something.
    • The waking up in the morning lows were long worrisome.  Here you have a worst case situation:
      • I'm hungry.
      • There is the shock of awakening.
      • My blood pressure increases when my pulse rate is low, and this is when it is the lowest (50 beats/minute).
    • However, I'm taking two blood pressure pills, Irbesartan-Hydrochhlorothiazide (12.5 mg) and Amplodipine Besylate (2.5 mg), which are at minimal prescription size.  The solution: 
      • While I'm not supposed to do this because the temporal adjustment is affected, I cut the larger AB in half, take one piece in the morning and the second at dinnertime.  Yes, my cutting technique is faulty, but they add up to one pill/day.
      • I wake up once or twice/night, so at some point around 3AM I take the IH, with three gulps of cranberry (there are more effective berries, but the cranberry at 15 Craigside is free) juice.  Apple juice and milk are not as effective.
      • When I wake up, my blood pressure is now around 135/80, which is 20 points lower on the systolic and 10 lower on the diastolic.
    • The golf course problem is something that was affecting me for long time without my understanding why.  When I walked on a golf course, I got dizzy picking up my ball in the hole around the 6th hole.  
      • I bought one of those wrist devices, and this is what I found on average:
        • before the first hole:  145/85
        • after second hole:  125/80
        • after sixth hole:  90/60 (and as low as 80/50)
        • after ninth hole:  100/65
        • after 18th hole:  135/80
        • at home after a bath:  110/65
        • after dinner:  130/80
      • What I was doing was to eat a large lunch, typically, a Rainbow Drive-In or Zippy's bento, then immediately went to play.  So I instead had a large breakfast, waited a couple of hours, then only had an apple for lunch around the 8th hole.  The results:
        • before the first hole:  140/80
        • after sixth hole:  110/70
        • after 18th hole:  130/75
        • at home after a bath:  110/65
        • after dinner:  125/75
    I'm getting hungry, so I'd better listen to my body.

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