Satellites have ushered in a new era, along with all the technology they enable in one way or another. The first one was a real big deal, and had a name that stuck in a lot of people’s minds long after it had fallen to the Earth to burn up in the atmosphere. Sputnik was launched in 1957, and hung out in low orbit for nearly three months.
The batteries in that first satellite lasted about three weeks, transmitting radio pulses on four different channels so esteemed scientists and amateur radio enthusiasts could go all gaga over the event. After that, it continued to orbit silently until our planet’s gravity got the best of it. Sputnik traveled over forty million miles, orbited the Earth more than fourteen hundred times, and ended dramatically as a fireball when it tried to return to Earth. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #078 – They’re Filling Space With Junk!”
Many social issues can be likened to a pendulum, and have been by plenty of people before me; every swing of the blade in one direction leads to a swing in the other, leading popular opinion to do the same. The most classic example is the office of president, in America; the collective mind gets tired of leaning right for four or eight years, and decides to lean left for the next four or eight. We have a pretty strong history of swinging every eight years or so, especially in my lifetime; but that might just mean we get used to the devil we know, and it’s hard to break old habits even when they’re not serving us as we might have hoped. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #077 -The Pendulum Is The Problem!”
The powers that be in this country have been battling mind altering substances for quite some time now. Even before publicly declaring war on drugs, the government took plenty of shots at most of the things that fall under that umbrella. Alcohol prohibition was short-lived in America, from most people’s standpoint; but it’s still going on in many parts of the nation, and no one shows any signs of changing things in those areas. Rumors abound concerning the relationships between illegal moonshiners and the local law enforcement, and how they may not have evolved any more than the laws have in those counties; but for the most part, alcohol is legal to purchase and drink in the United States. It has been for some time. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #076 – Psychedelics are a Major Threat!”
Altering your consciousness is a natural instinct. People do it, and always have. So have monkeys, and otters, and bugs and…well, pretty much everything. Interrupting old thought patterns is essential to all life, and perhaps the worst fate any organism can suffer is staying in one place mentally for an entire lifetime. The only way to create change in the world is to create a change in your own thinking, even if other organisms think personal exploration should be forbidden.
Psychedelic enthusiasts often claim pretty much every good thing came from mind-altering substances. In some cases, they even theorize that one likely led to another. Mead might have been discovered when folks were looking for ways to preserve mushrooms containing psilocybin, which may or may not have been a pleasant surprise in the moment. It would be pretty hilarious if it were true, since alcohol ruins and ends a lot of lives while natural psychedelics have still killed a total of zero people.
I guess gateway drugs are real after all. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #075 – Life Seeks Higher States!”
Mount Everest is so tall, you can see it from pretty far away. This created a bit of a problem for British surveyors, back in the day; so many people who lived in the area could see it, and everyone had their own name for it. Unfortunately, all the different names were far from similar. Since they liked to name things so much, often without regard for the local language or people, they went ahead and dubbed it Mount Everest.
Sir George Everest had a problem with that, and did not see the situation as the honor the guy who suggested it probably thought he would. He argued that there was no way to spell his name in the languages spoken nearby, and pronouncing it would be even harder for the locals than spelling it. Despite his protestations, the name stuck; we don’t pronounce it the same way he did his name, but we shouldn’t feel too bad about that. The locals get it wrong, too. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #073 – Mount Everest Is An Open Graveyard!”
You might think I’m here to mess with Christians, but I’m really not. Organized religion has a lot of benefits, and many of the most morally upright and friendly people I have known have been subscribers. Just because I choose a more solitary path in fulfilling that part of me doesn’t mean I don’t see the value in other people having that option. Most religions have practical day to day applications that can definitely lead some folks to a better place. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #072 – Most Christians are Lutheran!”
I can’t say exactly how long I’ve known decaf coffee has caffeine in it, but there was definitely a time when I thought it didn’t. Maybe this is one of those things we all learn when we’re kids, and take for granted the rest of our lives; but even if that were the case, it would still qualify as a thought that hurts to think. Why the hell do we call it decaf, if the caffeine hasn’t been removed?
Good God, folks…is nothing sacred? Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #071 – Decaf Coffee Has Caffeine In It!”
You might expect something as boring as the food pyramid to have a pretty dull history, and you’d be mostly right. Some of what I found while reading up on all this surprised me, though; and it might surprise you as well. One thing I didn’t know is that America did not come up with the food pyramid, or officially adopt anything along those lines until 1992. That idea originated in Sweden, although I remember it being taught when I was a kid as if it was our own; but that was long before 1992, so I may not have been paying as much attention as I could have been.
Actually, that’s a pretty likely scenario. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #070 – The Food Pyramid Was Wrong!”
Food is extremely important for pretty much everyone. There are supposedly people throughout history who have reached a level of spiritual enlightenment that has enabled them to leave the need for physical nourishment behind, but that’s just something I’ve read. Everyone I’ve met so far eats food.
Or do they? Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #069 – All Food is Genetically Modified!”
A leading newspaper blew the lid on this so long ago, and news of it spread so fast, this particular item fell from outrageous story to another common piece of knowledge that makes us slightly uncomfortable with pretty alarming speed. Rather than call the people who duped us out for doing the duping, we all collectively shrugged our shoulders and filed it away in our own mental category that may well be labeled Thoughts that hurt to think.
It’s a great title for a mental category, after all. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #068 -They Lied To Us About Sugar!”