Legacies is the name of The Vampire Diaries and Originals spin-off. It follows Hope Mikaelson and her adventures at The Salvatore School for the supernatural. Hope is the Daughter of Klaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall from The Originals. Hope is a Tri-Byrd or a Witch, a Vampire and a Werewolf combined. The Salvatore School named for Stefan and Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. Alaric reprises his role as teacher and monster hunter. His Gemini Witch Daughters Lizzie and Josie also go to the school.

Think of Legacies as a combination of Harry Potter, Grimm and Fablehaven series. We have a boarding school like in Harry Potter, but it isn’t just Witches and Wizards that go there. Vampires and Werewolves are also welcome. Later, we find out there are Fairies and Phoenixes as well. Very little time seems to be spent studying or learning things from books. Hope has to battle a variety of monsters each week, which reminded me of Grimm. However, there is a bit of Supernatural sense of humor in the show. Her battles ultimately lead to the discovery of Malivore. Malivore is known as the Eater of the Dark. He effectively erases mythological creatures from existence. The tar pit portal reminded me of the Demon Prison of Fablehaven.

Overall, the series is a little more humorous and lighthearted than its predecessors, but there is still plenty of drama. I missed watching it when it originally aired, but have watched Seasons 1and 2 on Netflix the past couple of weeks and I am looking forward to Seasons 3 on Netflix and Season 4 on The CW this Fall!

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QUBO ran from 2006 to 2021. It began as a block of cartoons on NBC on Saturday mornings. Then it moved to a free digital over the air channel for kids. We discovered it when we purchased a digital antenna when we lived in Denver. It was a lifesaver when PBS Kids switched to regular PBS around 5pm each weekday. We didn’t get The Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon or Disney at the time, so PBS kids and QUBO was it from 2011 until 2013. Of course we got DVDs from the library, so the kids weren’t totally out of the loop on popular shows, but we weren’t able to watch new episodes.

QUBO aired reruns of older kid shows along with some of their own original programming. My kids enjoyed Jane and Dragon, Mona The Vampire, Madeline, 3-2-1 Penguins, Zula Patrol, Jacob Two Two, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego, The Magic School Bus, The Mysteries of Alfred The Hedgehog, Pipi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables Animated Series and Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Occasionally they would watch Artzooka, Bob The Builder, Babar, Animorphs, Animal Atlas, Franklin, Pecola, Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse, Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs and The World of Richard Scary.

Jane and the Dragon was based off of a book by Martin Baynton. The Canadian-New Zealand cartoon was done in a unique style and was well written. The plot revolves around Jane, who is a red head adolescent girl who lives in the late 8th or early 9th century. Kippernia Castle in a small fictional kingdom called Kippernium located in southern England. According to the backstory explained in the opening theme song, Jane was being trained to become a Lady-in-waiting, but had always dreamed of becoming a knight. When the prince is kidnapped by a dragon, Jane sets out to slay the beast. When Jane brings the prince back, the king makes her a knight apprentice. Jane and the dragon end up becoming best friends.

Jacob Two-Two is a Canadian Cartoon as well. It was based on the books written by Mordecai Richler. The youngest of five children, Jacob got his ‘Two-Two’ nickname because he always had to say everything twice to be heard by his large family when he was smaller. Jacob does not repeat himself as often as an older kid, but still frequently falls back into this old habit. He inadvertently causes trouble because he always tells the truth. The plot usually revolves around some mystery Jacob Two-Two has to figure out or task he has to complete.

Mona the Vampire is a Canadian-French-Chinese children’s animated television series that was created by Sonia Holleyman. The series is based on a series of 1990s children’s books of the same name that was written and illustrated by Sonia Holleyman. The series follows the adventures of Mona Parker, who refers to herself as “Mona the Vampire”, as well as her two best friends, Lily Duncan (“Princess Giant”) and Charley Bones (“Zapman”), and her pet cat, Fang, as they imagine themselves confronting a new supernatural foe, or solving a supernatural mystery, in every episode, but there are always rational explanations for what they see.

3-2-1 Penguins! is an American-Canadian sci-fi computer-animated Christian children’s television series, initially launched on November 14, 2000 as a direct-to-video episode Twins Jason and Michelle are spending summer with their British Grandmum in The Poconos region of Pennsylvania. Grandmum has a collection of kitschy ceramic figurines, the most prized of which is four penguins in a rocket ship (a honeymoon gift from her deceased husband). In the first video, the twins accidentally drop the ship, but instead of breaking, it flies into the air and reveals the four penguins are actually the crew of a real spaceship. One of the twins is then pulled into the ship, using the crew’s Galeezle (shrinking) device, and taken on a galactic adventure. Zidgel, Midgel and Fidgel are the main penguins, along with Kevin.

Both Zula Patrol (American) and The Magic School Bus (Canadian-American) aimed to teach children science in a fun way. Zula Patrol, where the characters all travel in a space ship, explores astronomy and physics, while The Magic School Bus covers a wide range of subjects. In The Magic School Bus Miss Frizzle embarks on adventures with her class on the eponymous school bus. As they journey on their exciting field trips, they discover locations, creatures, time periods and more to learn about the wonders of science along the way.

Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego, which is an American Cartoon, taught Geography and History, which was cool. Carmen Sandiego is an international thief and the head of V.I.L.E. Despite the name of her organization, she has a strong code of morals and only steals for the challenge of it. She was a former agent of the ACME Detective Agency. Carmen Sandiego is based on an 80s video game!

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is a British/American animated television series in which Sherlock Holmes is brought back to life in the 22nd century Set in the 22nd century in New London, Inspector Beth Lestrade of New Scotland Yard is chasing the grotesquely deformed French rogue geneticist Martin Fenwick, when she realizes that his companion is none other than the 19th century criminal mastermind, Professor James Moriarty. They go on to discover that this is not the original Moriarty, but is in fact a clone created from cells taken from his corpse, which Sherlock Holmes had buried in a Swiss ice cave. Lestrade knows that Holmes survived and actually lived to a ripe old age and further knows that his corpse is preserved in a glass-walled, honey-filled coffin in the basement of New Scotland Yard. She takes the body from the basement and delivers it to biologist Sir Evan Hargreaves (who looks just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) who has just invented a process of cellular rejuvenation. The biologist then uses his cellular rejuvenation technique to return life and youth to Holmes’s body so that the detective can again battle Moriarty. Holmes also returns to his Baker Street rooms, which had been preserved as a museum. Lestrade’s compu-droid reads the original Watson’s journals and assumes his name, face, voice and mannerisms in order to assist Holmes in both his crime-solving duties and his difficult assimilation to Great Britain in the 22nd century.

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Chasing The Scream

Chasing The Scream

by Johann Hari

Chasing The Scream

Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari came out in 2015. It was the inspiration for the Hulu movie Billie Holiday vs The United States. Hari questions whether or not he is an addict and decides to go searching for answers to questions he has. “Why did the drug war start, and why does it continue? Why can some people use drugs without any problems, while others can’t? What really causes addiction? What happens if you choose a radically different policy?”

Hari spent the next three years in search of answers, traveling across nine countries including: The United States, Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Uruguay and Vietnam.

The book begins with Henry Anslinger, who began the War The On Drugs. Anslinger ran The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which later became the DEA. The Bureau was originally set up to bust bootleggers during the Prohibition, but once Alcohol became legal again, Anslinger turned his attention to drugs. He targeted Billie Holiday, who had a well known Heroin habit. Hari sees Anslinger as a hypocrite with some misguided notions. It seems that Anslinger was more motivated to stay in business and keep his job then he was to truly end addiction. In fact, Anslinger would later develop his own Morphine habit.

The repercussions of prohibiting drugs were bad. Outlawing them created more problems than it solved. It drove thousands upon thousands of people to break the law in order to feed their addiction. It drove the business of dealing drugs to the mafia, to cartels and to gangs instead of letting doctors prescribe drugs legally. The War on Drugs created more crime instead of preventing it. For over 50 years the government struggled to keep drugs off the street, but the zero tolerance approached failed miserably.

In recent years, countries around the world began to ease their restrictions on drugs and started legalizing them. Places like the Netherlands and Portugal have seen a sharp drop in crime as soon as they stopped throwing people in jail for doing drugs. Once the governments began to regulate the flow of drugs, clinics replaced jails. Freely given assistance began to help the people in need and life improved greatly in those countries. The United States has slowly followed suit with a number of states legalizing marijuana, but we still have a long way to go.

As many as 90% of people out there have tried drugs, but only 10% of them will develop a long term habit or an addiction. While there is a chemical component to addiction, chemicals do not actually hijack our brain. Addiction is more psychological than physiological. The truth is addiction is adaption to external factors in life. It is not a character flaw or a weakness or a disease. It is not you, but the cage you live in.

The number one predictor of addiction is not genetics or personality, but childhood trauma. Childhood abuse and neglect increases the likelihood of addiction. Addiction is often born out of loneliness. If someone has strong family support or a close knit community they can rely on, they are less likely to become addicts.

When we punish those who do drugs, we isolate and alienate them and that only makes it worse. The current system of dealing with addiction is broken and downright backward. Negative consequences do not deter those who seek refuge in various illegal substances. Punishment, which includes shaming them, putting them in cages and making them unemployable, traps them in their addictions.

Hari comes to the compassionate conclusion that legalization is the best way to deal with drugs. People are going to do drugs no matter what, why not make it safe and secure for them? Why not give them the tools to help themselves rather than destroy their lives? Recovery from drug addiction must be a Social Recovery. It is not up to the individual to be strong all on their own. We need to create safe spaces for those who are struggling and provide support, not punishment. We must change how society treats drug addiction and drugs.

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YouTube came out in 2005. At the time, I didn’t give it much though. It was mostly people uploading video clips of random things like cat videos and pranks. My oldest child was two and my youngest hadn’t been born yet, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. Several years went by before I checked it out.

Today YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users. 74% of adult use YouTube. It isn’t just for kids, although 80% of parents say their kids younger than 11 years old are watch YouTube frequently. Slightly more males watch YouTube than females, but it is pretty even. The US makes up 16% of all YouTube traffic, which is considerable. YouTube is second only to Facebook in terms of Social Media usage.

When I finally logged on and explored, I found that I loved the fact that I could watch all my favorite music videos via Vevo. It had been something like ten years since MTV had stopped playing videos and I had missed them. Later, I had a book publisher create a trailer for my book My Perfect Drug, which was pretty cool. I have been on YouTube, but I am not on it with any regularity. Despite that, I have become familiar with it because of my kids.

When my kids first got online I had them play games on the PBS Kids website or the Nickelodeon website. My daughter discovered Doll Divine and spent hours designing not just outfits, but characters.

It was probably 2014-2015 when they both discovered YouTube. Now they have it running in the background constantly. It reminds me of how when I am home alone that I put the TV on just to have some background noise. My kids no longer care about Disney, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. They don’t watch cable any longer. Instead, their entertainment is primarily YouTube these days, with some Netflix, Hulu and Disney + thrown in occasionally.

YouTube has evolved over the years and there are millions of channels run by people with a wide variety of interests and topics. My kids began by watching mostly Minecraft videos. They learned how to navigate the Minecraft Universe by watching other people play. Some of their favorites are ForgeLab, Fundy, Good Times with Scare, Grian, Iskall85, Jeracraft, Markiplier, MumboJumbo, Ph1LZA, Sbeev, TechnoBlade, TrixyBlox, WadZee and Xisumavoid.

This is no surprise given that there are over 200 million active gaming channels on YouTube. Minecraft videos are, by far and away, the most popular followed by Roblox.

Now my kids have expanded and diversified their YouTube experience. My oldest also watches videos about politics, cartoons, movie reviews, kill counts, cooking, doll making, crafts, LGBTQ topics, art, science, history and other things. My youngest watches a lot of science videos and cat videos.

Some of the YouTube Channels they subscribe to are: Actual Joke, Alex Myers, Amanda the Jedi, ASMR Bakery, Cinema Therapy, Corpse Husband, Creep Show Art, Cynic Snacks, David Seymour, Dollightful, Dominic Noble, Draw Free Show, Evan and Kaylen, How to Cook That, Illuninaughti, Jamie Dodger, Jazza, Jimmy Snow, Just Stop, Kathus, Kristina Maoine, Kiwi, Kyle Hill, Lavender Town, Legal Eagle, Lil Nas X, Love Gone Gulch, Observe, Philosophy Tube, Rach Loves Life, Saberspark, Sad Milk, Safiya and Tyler, Sam Collins, Samantha Lux, Titania, The Theorists, The Queer Kiwi, Thought Slime, Trix Mattel, Vizziepop’s Helluva Boss, Wild Spartanz, Xanderhal, Xian Jay Zhao and others.

I generally don’t watch these videos, but I hear all about them! My kids will tell me about their favorite content and discuss their favorite channels. I have become familiar with how YouTube works with the monetization and algorithms. I even helped my youngest create his own channel.

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Cable Conquers TV

Cable Conquers TV

Cable TV

Cable TV began in the 1940s and 1950s, but did not become the standard until the 1970s. In the 1970s we see the TV Top Box appearing in homes all over the world. Cable might have become bigger earlier, but the FCC believed that Pay-TV might harm the current broadcast television stations. ABC,CBS and NBC did not really suffer even when cable became standard.

Lack of original programming or lack of a sufficient production budget kept cable second rate for many years. In recent years, however, Cable TV programming has surpassed much of what the original broadcast stations have to offer. With more lenient rules and less regulations from the FCC, the Cable TV Station have more freedom to produce what the public wants. Sex, violence and profanity can be found not just on the Premium Channels these days, but on channels such as AMC and FX as well.

I remember getting Cable in the early 80s. We had 13 channels and then something like 35 and then 50. By the 1990s customers could purchase over 100 channels. Today, I’ve seen the numbers go up to about 1,000 channels. Early on, I enjoyed the likes of TBS, WGN, USA, Nickelodeon, The Discovery Channel, Lifetime Network, The Nashville Network, VH-1 and MTV.

There were a number of Home Shopping Networks that I actively ignored. I didn’t pay attention to News or Sport Networks either. I already did a whole blog on just Nickelodeon, so onto other channels now….

USA offered reruns of shows such as McGyver. Later, they offered new shows such as Covert Affairs (2010-2014) and La Femme Nikita (1997-2001). TBS offered reruns of shows like The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie in the 80s as well as original programs like Heaven Help Us. Now TBS reruns shows like Friends, 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory.

I used to watch The Nashville Network before it became Spike and then Paramount with my ex-husband in the late 1990s. On Sundays we’d watch Horsepower TV, Car and Driver Television, Shadetree Mechanic and Trucks! On the Discovery Channel we’d watch Monster House and Monster Garage. My ex-husband also loved Battlebots. I would sit down with the kids and watch Mythbusters when it was on the Discovery Channel in the early 2000s as well.

In the 90s and early 2000s I remember getting excited at the launch of such channels as AMC, A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Comedy Central, The Cartoon Network, MTV-2, HGTV, The History Channel, The Learning Channel, TCM and SyFy.

AMC has consistently put out quality programming. They started out airing classic movies, but switched to original programming in the 2000s. I have enjoyed Madmen (207-2015), The Walking Dead (2010-2021), Breaking Bad (2008-2013) and Better Call Saul (2015-current).

The Family Channel became ABC Family, which became Freeform in 2016 and then went on to produce a lot of good television as well. There was the ambitious, but short lived Shadowhunters. From silly Secret Life of the American Teenager to the very relevant shows like The Fosters and Good Trouble, they have aimed at pleasing the bold and open minded younger generation. They make an effort to be all-inclusive and have shows that deal with minorities, people with disabilities and the LBGTQ community.

TNT had some good shows like Saving Grace, Raising The Bar, Franklin and Bash and The Librarians. They also rerun good shows like Bones, Charmed and Castle. FX is known for good movies as well as shows like The Americans (2013-2018), Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014) and The Mayans. I also loved You’re The Worst (2014-2017)

The Sci-Fi, later stylized as SyFy, carried a lot of favorites as well. I enjoyed the mini series Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000) as well as Alice (2009) and Lost Room (2006). Perhaps my favorite show from them is Warehouse 13 (2009-2014) though. The Canadian import Lost Girl was also awesome. I have caught reruns of Quantum Leap, Star Trek The Next Generation, Xenia Warrior Princess, The X-Files, Lost, The Twilight Zone and CSI on SyFy as well.

About the only thing I watched on Bravo was Inside the Actor’s Studio (1994-2018). I was never fond of all those Real Housewives shows. Yawn. On Lifetime the only thing I watched was Army Wives (2007-2013). And my one guilty pleasure on The Learning Channel is Hoarding: Buried Alive (2010-2014). The History Channel currently has a number of shows Ray and I enjoy, including: Alone, American Pickers, Forged in Fire and Pawn Stars.

This past year, I have gotten hooked on HGTV or Home and Garden Television. My favorite shows include Fixer Upper and Property Brothers. Good Bones and Hometown are pretty good as well. Not a huge fan of Flip or Flop and Love It or List It though.

Recently, I have enjoyed watching reruns on LAFF and Antenna TV. LAFF features shows like Grace Under Fire, Night Court, Home Improvement and How I Met Your Mother. Antenna TV features 80s shows like Growing Pains, Who’s The Boss and Head of the Class. There is also a a channel called H&I, which for stands for Heroes and Icons. They feature reruns of shows like Wonderwoman, Xena Warrior Princess, House MD and Star Trek The Next Generation and the Original Star Trek.

There are a ton more channels and shows, but I believe I have covered the majors ones. Even with 100 or more channels, most people watch 25 channels or less on average. This blog should give you a good sample of what is available and what I like.

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Premium Channels

Premium Channels

Premium Cable Channels

HBO has been around since 1972 and Showtime has been on the air since 1976. Cinemax, nicknamed Skinemax, began it’s run in 1980. Then came The Disney Channel in 1983. Starz came late to the party in 1994.

Growing up, I felt out of the loop for not having of the Premium Cable Channels. I suppose I didn’t miss a whole lot back then, but I remember kids at school talking about Fraggle Rock (1983-1987) on HBO and wishing I could watch the show. And it wasn’t like I could run out and get it on DVD or stream it.

It was around 1988 that Mom got a subscription to The Disney Channel. We watched a lot of old Disney Movies on it like The Parent Trap and That Darn Cat as well as some new programs—including Good Morning Miss Bliss (1988-1989). My favorite new Disney Movie was A Friendship in Vienna (1988)with Jenny Lewis. Mom canceled the subscription in 1990 or so. We never got another Premium Channel while I was living at home.

In the late 90s, The Disney Channel became included with regular Cable and you didn’t have to pay extra for it. In the early 2000s my kids watched a lot of Hannah Montana (2006-2011) and The Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012). Not to mention Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015), Kim Possible (2002-2007)and Gravity Falls (2012-2016).


My Uncle Steve subscribed to HBO. Occasionally, I would request that he record a movie for me. I had him record Willow when HBO ran it in 1989. My mother and I did not own a VCR at the time, but that didn’t stop me from starting my own VHS collection. From the late 80s until the Mid-90s we had to get a VCR from the library or watch videos down at Grandma’s house. Mom didn’t get a VCR until 1995, but the record function didn’t work, so all we could do was watch movies we rented from the video store.

Eventually, I moved out and got my own VCR and then DVD player in 1997 and 2000 respectively. I started getting DVDs from the library of my favorite Premium Cable Shows. Now, I pretty much stream whatever I can from Disney + or Hulu or Netflix.

I did, however, subscribe to HBO briefly while Game of Thrones was on. After watching the first couple of Seasons on DVD, I was hooked. I wanted to be part of the conversation and see the shows when they premiered. So, I got a subscription for two months and dropped it. And I did that for the last couple of Seasons.

Here are some of my favorites Premium Cable Channel Shows over the years: HBO gave me Sex and the City (1998-2004), In Treatment (2008-2010), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), Girls (2012-2017), Westworld (2016-2021), Big Little Lies (2017-2019) Chernobyl (2019), Watchmen (2019) and His Dark Materials (2019-2022) . Showtime had Dead Like Me (2003-2004), The L Word (2004-2009), Weeds (2005-2012), The Big C (2011-2013), Shameless (2011-2021), Homeland (2011-2020), The Tudors (2007-2010), The Borgias (2011-2013), Masters of Sex (2013-2016)and The Affair (2014-2019).Starz had Pillars of the Earth (2010), Camelot (2011), Black Sails (2013-2017), Outlander (2014-Present), American Gods (2017-2021) and The Spanish Princess (2019-2020).

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Nod To Nickelodeon

Nod To Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon Orange Splat Log

Nickelodeon was available on cable in 1979. I remember watching the network in the early 80s when we first got cable. Back then we only had maybe 35 channels. Nickelodeon was like channel 25. I watched their flag shows You Can’t Do That On Television (1981-1990), Mr. Wizard’s World (1983-2000) and Double Dare (1986-1993) in the early days. There was also Turkey Television (1985-1988) and Today’s Special (1982-1991). Not to mention Saturday afternoon movies. There was a British series that had to do with a kid having supernatural abilities. I think it was called The Tomorrow People.

Nickelodeon got most of their television from other countries at first. That included my favorite cartoon The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1986-1990), which was French Produced and Japanese Animated. Then it was dubbed over in English. Other favorites from that era included: Spartkus and The Sun Beneath the Sea (1986-1991) as well as Belle and Sebastian (1984-1989).I also watched The Magical World of David The Gnome (1988-1995), Inspector Gadget (1987-1992), Heathcliff (1988-1993), Count Duckula (1988-1993), Danger Mouse (1984-1994) and the short skits of Bananaman. I enjoyed Star Trek The Animated (1985-1990) series as well. Later there were live actions shows like Hey Dude (1989-1991) and Clarissa Explains It All (1991-1994).

The Mysterious Cities of Gold

My friend Elizabeth loved The Muppet Babies (1992-1999) Loony Toons (1988-1999) and Tiny Toon Adventures (1995-1999). She also watched Double Dare religiously for years. We often watched different shows, but we both loved Nickelodeon in general. It was a part of our friendship growing up.

Who could forget Nick At Nite? I watched Lassie, The Donna Reed Show, Dennis The Menace, The Patty Duke Show, Mr. Ed, The Monkees, Flipper and The Brady Bunch with my Mom.

Then I became a Mom in 2003. I would get videos of Max and Ruby (2003-2019), Blues Clues (1996-2006) and The Rugrats (1991-2004) for my kids from the library. My daughter liked Dora The Explorer (2000-2019) and my son enjoyed Go, Diego, Go (2005-2011). Then they began to watch Sponge Bob Squarepants (1999-2021) and The Fairly Odd Parents (2001-2017). Anastasia loved The Winx Club (2011-2016) as well. We watched Avatar The Last Airbender (2005-2008) and The Legend of Korra (2012-2014) together, but we watched it on DVD and later on Netflix.

Avatar The Last Airbender
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Top 5 Funniest Diary Openings

Top 5 Funniest Diary Openings

This Zombie Apocalypse Has Been Brought To You By Pizza Hut
  1. This Zombie Apocalypse has been brought to you by Pizza Hut
  2. Ever feel like you just hit a wall in life? Well, I did. Literally.
  3. Today sucked, but tomorrow I am going to get my head examined. Seriously, I am going to get a CAT Scan Friday.
  4. Yep, my week was full of sneaky bastards.
  5. Am I The Monster At The End Of The Book? Am I lovable, fury and neurotic Grover from Sesame Street?

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Notes From An Apocalyse

Notes From An Apocalypse

A Personal Journey To The The End of The World

By Mark O’Connell

The Cold War last from the 1940s-1980s. Nuclear Fallout Shelters were built during this time. The threat of global nuclear war was serious and create a fear of a looming apocalypse. Doomsday Preppers came out of this time.

They often talk about SHTF or Shit Hits The Fan. They create bug out bags and bug out boxes. Mark O’Connell was curious, so he read DIY Survival Hacks! Survival Guide For Beginners and How To Survive A Disaster By Using Easy Household DIY Tricks. Also How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It. James Wesley and Rawls were two Preppers from the US Army. They often abbreviate it TEOTWAWKI for The End of the World As We Know It. Some of them fly the Don’t Tread On Me flags with the rattlesnake on it.

Preppers believe there will be an economic crash, an electric grid crash, war or disease that will collapse civilization. These Preppers don’t trust cities. They prefer living in the country, away from the chaos. On page 30 he says, “Prepping is rooted I n apprehension of an all consuming decadence. Society has become excessively reliant on systems of distribution and control whose vary vastness and complexity renders them hopelessly vulnerable.” They believe that the wars will be between Sheep Dog Gangs and Urban Gangs. Some believe it will be between Blacks and Whites.

Mark O’Connell checks by NuManna’s website, which is full of survival gear. There are luxury bunkers in South Dakota for sale. Robert Vicino specializes in this type of Real Estate. You too can buy one for 1.7 Million Dollars! A good book to read on this subject is One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture by Kenneth D Rose.

The other part of the story revolves around Right-Wing conspiracy theories. Some of the theories attached to the apocalypse include: the Earth having a tendency to shift on its axis abruptly. This shift will cause major earthquakes and tidal waves. Some believe in a rogue planet called Niburu that is on course to crash into the earth. Others focus on the idea of everything converging into One World Government. Then there are those who believe the Democratic Party has been taken over by Jews who seek to exploit the gullible minorities.

During the apocalypse people believe that there will be raping, pillaging and even cannibalism. The word apocalypse means unveiling. Some people take this to mean that the apocalypse will be a time to embrace a universal truth. The veneer of civilization will fall away and people will see what is really underneath. This will be a time that will shed light on the haves and have-nots. It will highlight the struggle between the rich and the poor in its extremes. This will be a time where it will be the survival of the fittest.

New Zealand has become a place of interest. It will be the refuge of billionaires during the collapse. They plan hold up in their Hampton-like neighborhood of mansions. German-American Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, is part of this big movement. He believes in The Sovereign Individual. Also read The New Zealand Project by Max Harris New Zealand not far enough away? Why not focus on a new colony on Mars. People are already signing up to be apart of it even though the technology to get there is still in development.

There is a certain fascination with the death and decay of our world. A prime example is the Chernobyl Exclusion Tour. “It was astonishing to behold how quickly we humans become irrelevant to the business of nature.” O’Connell mentions Czeslaw Milosz’s Poem “A Song On The End of the World.”

In conclusion, the future is a source of fear not because we know what will happen, but because we know so little and have so little control over what happens. The best advice is to expect the unexpected.

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Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting

Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting

by Lisa Genova

You remember special things like a first kiss, but you are less likely to remember your tenth kiss. To become a memory you will later recall, all that previously unrelated neural activity becomes a connected pattern of neural activity. To create a memory you need four things 1) Encoding or capturing the information 2) Consolidation or linking of unrelated bits together. 3) Storage where the chemical structural structure of the brain changes and 4) Retrieval or being able to recall the memory.

The Hippocampus is essential for memory consolidation. You need your Hippocampus to function in order to form new memories. Damage to this part of the brain will keep you from remembering any thing new, like in the case of HM or Henry Molaison. He had his Hippocampus cut to help prevent seizures and he was never able to make new memories again.

We don’t read memories like a laser reading a DVD. We can’t hit start and just play a scene in our mind. It is more complicated than that. The key to creating and later retrieving information lies in simply “Paying Attention” Two people having different memories of the same event comes down to what aspects of the event they paid attention to. We tend to ignore the things we don’t find interesting. Anything new, meaningful, consequential or emotional we will pay attention to.

Visuospatial Scratchpad is your Temporary Memory. If you are trying to remember the WiFi password you will repeat it over and over until you can type it in or write it down. Then you will most likely forget it. A Phonological Loop is the working Memory of sound. It is the world’s shortest soundtrack! It will last 15-30 seconds max. Chunking of information helps. That is why we break up a 20 digit phone number.

Semantic Memory relates to the memorization of facts. It helps to attach meaning to facts in order to remember them! Tools To Help with Memory: Repetition, Spaced Learning, Self-Testing, Meaning and Spatial Imagery Episodic Memory is the what we call the memory associated with Events. We don’t tend to remember our routines or the mundane very well. Big world events or disasters like 9/11 create a Flashbulb Memory. Everyone remembers where they were at or what they were doing when it happened.

To enhance Episodic Memory get out of your routine, get out of your device and look up from your phone, feel it with strong feelings, rehash it, keep a journal, log events onto a calendar, use social media to document your life

Muscle Memory is different from Declarative Memory. Muscle Memory improves with practice, but you don’t lose skill like you lose other memories over the years. Malcolm Gladwell theorized it took repeating an act 10,000 times to go from novel to expert level.

Why We Forget: We often end up in a game of telephone with ourselves and others. We don’t pay attention or get things mixed up. We can be given false memories by people who were also there. They may add information to our memory and we claim it as our own memory. 25% to 50% of people remember details of events that never happened. It is easy to manipulate memory. Witnesses can be lead into remembering something they didn’t see, hear or do.

TOT is Tip of the Tongue. We might not remember the name of an actor or something. We know we know it, but can’t spit it out. The Ugly Sister is when we remember a similar name, but still not the right name. You don’t have to be a Memory Martyr. If you don’t remember it, Google it. It won’t harm your memory to look up the information.

Perspective Memory is the To Do List of the Mind. Perspective Memory is like the flaky friend who says they will meet you somewhere, but totally forgets. Out of Sight means Out of Mind. If you don’t write down your To Do List, you probably won’t remember it—or very much of it at least. So write things down, use a calendar, write post it notes and post them all over the place, be specific with your plans and be aware if these plans will interrupt your routine.

Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve: Without deliberate attempts or strategies to retain what you learn, you will forget most of what you experience right away. If you want to retain the information you’ve managed to store in your brain, you will have to keep reactivating it. Revisit the information, reminiscence about events, rehearse what has happened or you want to happen, repeat the information frequently. The two keys to memory are Repetition and Memory.

Alzheimer is caused by amyloid plagues forming on the gilal cells. Eventually the neurons die off and kill you. What can help prevent Alzheimer’s? Sleep is one the biggest things you can do for yourself. Adults need 7-9 of sleep per night. Just getting 5 to 6 hours a night can impact your brain function. When you sleep, your brain cells are “cleaned.” When you don’t sleep as long as you should, the excess stuff doesn’t get swept away and can build up. Another huge risk is age. Anyone over 65 has an increased risk. Lower levels of Vitamin D and possibly lower levels of B12 can impact your overall neurological health. Whatever is good for the heart, is good for the brain.

Memory is not EVERYTHING. When our memory goes, we still have our emotions. We may not be able to understand why we feel like we do or when we began to feel that way or even who we feel that way about, but we will always remember the feelings of loss, pain, fear, love and joy. Those emotions stay with us until the end.


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