As is usually the case, I have a random bunch of stuff to throw at you today. My headache finally went away but is trying to sneak back in this morning. I am mainlining tea; I think I'm getting dehydrated, which is causing the headaches; I try to drink water through the night, but then I have to go pee, which means all the way to the basement. Maggie sleeps on top of me and is getting a little angry, and giving me a face that just says, 'can't you just hold it? I do'. So, pushing back the headache, again.
I promised two thinks. The first one, from Salon by Evelyn Nieves, is remarkable. If you watched Winter's Bone, which I hope you did because it was brilliant, or read it, which I hope you did, because it was even more brilliant, you will recall it was a bleak, harsh tale set in Appalachia, with the thread of meth running through it. Drug dealing and use has devastated this region, which admittedly didn't have far to fall. This piece deals with the explosion of abuse of prescription drugs. Read it. I guarantee it will blow you away. Factor in the math involved, and you will wonder how there is anyone left to populate North America. Our race to pharmaceutical bliss is destroying people, families, towns, and regions. And the big bad wolf at the door isn't hash or heroine or coke: it's the pills we have come to expect to help us ride out the pain. The problem now is the pain isn't having your wisdom teeth yanked or hernia surgery: it's the rot of the next generation of drug addiction that is aided and abetted by the medical profession, and fueled by profits to Big Pharma. We are sick indeed.
Okay, we can move on now to a very cool, quirky piece. In Slate, author Tom Vanderbilt goes for a walk. Literally.You know how when you walk down a crowded sidewalk, there are a series of unspoken bobs and weaves and steps you take in sync (usually) with everyone else? How crowded crosswalks seems to work? How everyone factors in their personal space, and knowing *just* when to move to avoid a collision? And, escalators. He talks about escalators. Don't get me started about the terror traps. I am terrified of escalators. BUT. This piece actually makes me understand why. It goes into how many falls take place, and how, on stairs and escalators. Your body makes automatic adjustments without you knowing it, so you don't fall down an escalator. I, however, have no sense of balance, so I bobble all over and clutch the handrail, then recoil in horror because I know that handrail never gets cleaned, and all I can imagine are the people who cough into their hands or wipe their nose on the their hand then hold that rail, then that rail becomes the only thing separating me from those churning, gnawing steps of death. So, germs or slice and dice. No wonder I'm scared.
Read the most dangerous parts of a staircase. Read why we do that jerky movement on an escalator that isn't moving. Too bad he didn't go into those conveyor things at the airport. I could do a whole post just on those. Maybe I will.
But. I promised you something funny. If you love dogs you will love this. If you hate dogs you will love this. There are some bad words in it. There's your warning, but it's hilarious.