About a year ago I was watching a favorite YouTuber who does an ongoing series about missing people. I could write an entire piece about how well presented her information is and how abundantly honest her sincerity is. Her name is Kendall Rae, look her up on YouTube, I believe the series is called “Where Is…” At any rate, she led me to an organization founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore in 2012 that deals with putting an end to online child sex trafficking. The organization, called THORN, is where Kendall Rae puts some of the profits from her videos and merch sales, to date her channel has single handedly raised well over $100,000 for THORN. As I watched Kendall’s videos, I noticed that in most of them there were teary-eyed people missing those kids, desperate to see them again. I thought, “Damn, I wish someone had cared about me like that.”
“If this country is to survive, the best-fed-nation myth had better be recognized for what it is: propaganda designed to produce wealth but not health”
~ Adelle Davis
In 2011 I was tasked with writing a review of the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and his son Thomas M. Campbell II. This was some 6 years after the book was originally published and I remember there being a fair amount of controversy over it. Recently the book came up again for another piece I was writing. Over a decade has passed since its publication at this point and the debate only gets more heated. I set about doing research for the new piece and came across a lot of information. The book itself is turning out to be exactly as controversial as a person wants it to be. It is the nature of the content that seems to get people’s knickers in a twist. Vegetarianism, especially veganism, can be quite the hot button topic in many circles. Meat eaters and vegans alike have much to say about their dietary choices, and with a medium as vast as the internet it's hard to know what information is true and what is not. Since the underlying issue is health and quality of life people want their choices to be “right.” This sets up a “right or wrong” or “black and white” dichotomy when in truth, it really isn’t that simple.
Several years ago my daughter wanted to join the girl scouts so I did some looking around in our area. There was a local group of scouts and they met at the local Library which was a convenient walk from our house. My daughter was very excited for her first meet with the girls but came home rather despondent. When I asked her what was up she told me they prayed too much and she didn't want to go back. It could be my fault for not raising her to be heavily into prayer but this isn't about the assignment of blame, this is about imposing religion in groups that aren't religious. At the time we wrote it off, we were fairly new to the area and just figured that is what rural Pennsylvania is like. My daughter sent a thank you card to the girl scouts but said she wasn't interested. Instead, she found a non-religious activity in town and is now an advanced green belt in Tang Soo Do.
I read an article in the January/February issue of The Intelligent Optimist (formerly Ode Magazine) called "When Monks Rule" and found it very intriguing. The article, by Jurriaan Kamp, illustrates how "rigorous research shows that group meditation reduces conflict and violence in society." Being a huge fan of pointing out how many variables there always are when people make blanket statements, I had a hard time buying this one. Being a fan of meditation and a long time practitioner, there was something intriguing about the possibility of it being true.