Tag Archives: MRI

Up to No Good

Mrs. N. was out and about yesterday… Up the Rockfish Valley and over the Blue Ridge…  Down into the Shanandoah Valley she went in the hope of observing a yearly cultural event that takes place just a bit up the road.  Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, or, great sea turtles returning in their multitudes to the very beaches where they themselves began as eggs, the Mennonites come together in an orgy of Capitalism known as The Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale… once a year.

Welcome!  (the advertisement said)
Each year, thousands of volunteers come together to raise money at Relief Sales for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for the relief of suffering in the world. MCC works at home and with people around the world to ease oppression, poverty, and conflict. They lead natural disaster relief efforts, community development and peace work in more than 50 countries.  
Relief Sales offer a little bit of everything—quilts, artwork, homemade food, antiques, crafts, music and activities for the whole family. We hope you’ll join us!

As Mrs. N. expected the place was crawling with pick-pockets, Gypsies and fortune tellers of every stripe.  The donuts were superb.  In the Big tent, quilts, hand sewn by women held prisoner and forced to wear dull dresses and bonnets covering all but a few square inches of their flesh, were auctioned off at enormous prices.  Was it just Mrs. N. that perceived vaguely pornographic outlines and motifs in the patterns and the intricate stitching?  We don’t think so.

Organ trafficking, obvious to those of us trained in spotting it, by knowing where and when to look… was rampant!  All the bruised and sour spots of just what it means to be human were there, festering in the early Autumn sun, at the Fair Grounds, just outside of Harrisonburg, in the valley long known as “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy”.   By the end of the day enormous amounts of money were taken in and turned over to the MCC.  The Mennonite “Central Committee”…  Now, where have we heard THAT term before?

Starving children will be given Bibles to read and the unfortunate and wretched of this earth will be comforted with nonsense.  The rich will be rewarded with lower taxes and even more of what they already have too much of… for this is pleasant and pleasing in the sight of The Lord.

God spelled backwards, as we all know, is dog…

This very morning, while giving her orchid friends a “tubby” to enable them to soak up enough water to face another week of life on this doomed planet, Mrs. N. came upon an article in the Sunday New York TIMES that… well..

It was called    Dogs Are People, Too

If you don’t want to be bothered, or, don’t have the time to read it yourself, I will give you the beginning…  

FOR the past two years, my colleagues and I have been training dogs to go in an M.R.I. scanner — completely awake and unrestrained. Our goal has been to determine how dogs’ brains work and, even more important, what they think of us humans.  Now, after training and scanning a dozen dogs, my one inescapable conclusion is this: dogs are people, too.

You see?  This is what poor old Mrs. N. gets for reading the paper.  Now I have to live with the knowledge that highly educated people thought they could look inside a dogs head with a MRI and learn what that dog was thinking.   The article goes on to say…  “The ability to experience positive emotions, like love and attachment, would mean that dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child. And this ability suggests a rethinking of how we treat dogs.”  The article ends by saying…  “Perhaps someday we may see a case arguing for a dog’s rights based on brain-imaging findings.”

OK… Mrs. N. has come to accept the idea that the acquisition of language is what provided human beings with the ability to think.  What is thinking, after all, but a conversation we have with ourselves within our heads?  Without language that conversation could not begin, let alone end in something meaningful.

Mrs. N. found herself, while reading this article, wishing that she could have been there, at the very start, before all the time and money was wasted on MRI’s and the training of dogs to be still, and not afraid of the noises made in the process of “looking” inside their hairy little heads at “what” they might be thinking with a MRI machine.   Mrs. N. can’t help but think that the “scientists” performing this research must be terribly unfamiliar with the creature we call the dog.  If not, I ask you, why oh why would they choose to study, when looking for what dogs think, what was going on at… the WRONG fucking END of the animal?  When a dog is happy it wags it’s tail.  When a dog is sad, or afraid, it puts it’s tail down to a degree dependent upon the level of anxiety it is experiencing.

This is what a dog looks like when it is happy!  Who doesn’t know this?

Fucking crazy stupid people “think” that you can look inside a head to see what is being thought in there.  The whole idea is ridiculous, and the so called “scientists” who ran this absurd bit of neurological folderol KNEW IT from the very start.

Now, those of you who take the time to read the musings of Mrs. N. found on this blog know full well that you have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over this Old Girl’s eyes.   Have you spotted the flaw in this baloney science yet yourselves?

Let me help you out.

Any real scientist worth a dime, “IF” they thought they could “REALLY” look inside a dog’s head and see what they were thinking would NEVER waste time and energy trying to find out what they were thinking when their owner entered the room.  Why would they care?  Who gives a shit?  How is that interesting?

If these “so called” scientists had the one indispensable attribute common to all TRUE men and women of science (real science) they would have done what scientists do and attempted to answer an IMPORTANT question.  They would have sought the answer to the one and only question worth asking when it comes to man’s best friend.

Not IF…… but WHAT is a dog thinking when he is licking his ass?

The fact that they did not is proof positive that they were not really scientists at all, but jerks, who found themselves with the opportunity to fuck around with dogs & a MRI machine.

Between you and Old Mrs. N.  I’m betting there was beer involved too.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

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It Ain’t Rocket Surgery

My wife has been telling me that, as of late, I have been “cussin” more than usual.  My response to her is that it is only natural and to be expected in times such as these.   There are so many things that seem to upset me these days and going with the idea that when it comes to stress and aggravation it is better to let it out than keep it in… I see myself with little choice.  As the saying goes, “some artists work in oils, others in clay”, but, as of late at least, profanity is my medium of choice.

I’m getting old and the old are not as patient with nonsense and foolishness as the young.  I’m not anyway.  It doesn’t mean that I am not a pleasant person to be around, it just means that my fuse is shorter.  I find that I don’t laugh any less than I always did… and that’s a lot.  It is the in between time that seems to have lessened.  The time when you are not amused and you are not pissed off either.  The in between time I call that.  Those hours seem to make up much less of my waking hours than I remember they used to.  Those hours that used to be in between time all seem to be made up of pissed off time now.   I seem to fluctuate perpetually between laughing and being pissed off at something or somebody.   I don’t know what it means.  Perhaps I just feel the need to pay more attention.

A little over two years ago a kidney stone got my attention.  I was laying in bed reading a nice book and a strange pain began in my right flank.  It began as a feeling of pressure and progressed steadily to the point where it became impossible to stay unmoving in one place.  The pain made me move.  I had never had a kidney stone before, BUT, I knew exactly what it was!

This morning I was reminded of that unpleasant experience by a TV news personality discussing how hard, nearly impossible, it is to “get a handle” on skyrocketing health care costs.  BOY!… Did that get me cussing like a sailor.

It brought back memories of my visit to the emergency room on what I like to remember as “The Night of the Stone”. After practically crawling into the emergency room at 1:00am on a sunday morning and being subjected to a battery of indignities I am finally given a place to recline.  My wife is told that a doctor will be along soon, but, first there are a few things that need taking care of.  As I lie there, flipping around in much the same way that fishermen are accustomed to seeing newly released trout or bass flip around in the bottom of the boat, my wife and I both are informed that they will be unable to do ANYTHING for me without a CT Scan and, before they can do that, my wife will have to write them a check for $1000.  Our health insurance has a deductible that was unmet and, well, this was their policy.  (I), we, were in no position to argue with the nice lady.  She had the drugs.  I wanted the drugs.  I wanted the drugs FUCKING BAD!

You know, now that I think about it, it was around that time that my “cussin” increased, but, I digress.  I passed the stone the next day, but, that isn’t the point.  The point is that in “Civilized” places so called health care professionals don’t get to hold people hostage like that.  They don’t get to charge what ever they like for things like CT Scans & MRIs.  They see all this health care business differently.  They see themselves all in it together.  They don’t see other people’s misfortune as a golden opportunity to skin them alive economically.  We are trained to hate them for that.  We call them names like “communist” and “socialist”.   Those words are almost “cuss” words here in America.

So here is the deal.  It isn’t “hard” to find ways to reduce health care costs.  We can use me and “The Night of the Stone” as an example.  The grand my wife had to pony up before they would agree to help me down at the kindly hospital was only a fraction of the cost of the CT Scan.  It was more like $2000 in the end.  To get to the hospital that night we had to drive over a bridge that spanned a river.  Crossing over the river, on the bridge, was free.  We built the bridge and maintain it with taxpayers money, so, when we need it we have it.

So now imagine this.  Imagine you are flipping around like a trout, in pain, and you have to cross a bridge to get to the hospital.  Your wife is driving and when she stops to pay the toll on the bridge the man says… “What’s up with the guy moaning in the back seat?”  Your wife says, “That’s my poor husband and it looks like he has a kidney stone, won’t you please let us through?”

What would you think of the system (and the man) if the toll booth guy says…. “Nothing doing lady, write me a check for a grand and THEN you can pass.”

That’s how we do things in America.

In no other country in the world are CT Scan and MRI machines owned and operated for PROFIT.  Operating rooms are owned, like the rest of the modern machinery of health care, AND BRIDGES, AND AIRPORTS, AND HIGHWAYS ….. BY THE PEOPLE!  

The one simple action of admitting that it is WRONG to make huge profits from the suffering of others is how it must begin.  It isn’t rocket surgery.  It’s common sense.  I have come to understand that few people in America have any.  That’s probably the root of all my cussing if the truth be known.

 

 

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