Trees in the Ice

Trees in the Ice

Refraction of trees with ice as the medium…

© 2009 D L Ennis, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs but is to include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me, D L Ennis. Link to be used…(Visual Thoughts https://dlennis.wordpress.com/)

NOTE: Commercial use, and the creation of prints, must be purchased! For more information you can contact me here.

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A Cost of $1.1 Billion to Screw the People and Create More Profitable Insurance Companies

The $787 billion economic stimulus bill approved by Congress will, for the first time, provide substantial amounts of money for the federal government to compare the effectiveness of different treatments for the same illness.

Under the legislation, researchers will receive $1.1 billion to compare drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions. The bill creates a council of up to 15 federal employees to coordinate the research and to advise President Obama and Congress on how to spend the money.

To begin with, with the multitude of medical scenarios and differences in people there is no effective way to set guidelines for any one of the following things, “…drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions.” There are most always extenuating circumstances attached each diagnosis and each individual.

We will more than likely never see anything come from this $1.1 billion but if we do it can’t do anything but harm the uninsured, underinsured, poor, disabled, and elderly. On the other side of the coin if the research is ever completed and implemented it will boost the profitability of insurance companies, slow advances in innovative techniques, drugs, and tools as well create the need to greatly expand the FDA or create another government agency to oversee the new regulations and approval or disapproval of new discoveries in medical technology.

This program will also put in the governments hands more power over the decisions that we make concerning our own lives. It’s wrong and just another way of bolstering big business at our expense.

Speaking as someone who has lived with endless health issues since birth where I see the problem in excessive medical spending is in the laziness and lack of keeping up to speed by doctors. I know it is an exhausting experience getting through medical school and an internship but doctors seem to think they can take a break from learning and thinking once they are settled into a practice. This is especially true where GP’s (your family doctor) is concerned. These are the ones how send you for countless, some perhaps necessary and some that are totally irrelevant to your symptoms. A lot of times it would be in everyone’s best interest to send you to a specialist rather than blindly testing for a half dozen different things or misdiagnosing, simply because they don’t want to admit that they have no clue what’s wrong with you.

If the government wants to cut out some of the needless spending in the world of medicine they should put in place a program that would require further educating and yearly testing of doctors. This is the underlying problem and tying doctor’s hands who are capable and competent can only serve to lessen the quality of health care.

Andrew Witty, the chief executive of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, said European officials often considered the costs as well as the clinical benefits of new drugs — with mixed results.

“Comparative effectiveness is a useful tool in the tool kit, but it’s not the answer to anything,” Mr. Witty said in an interview. “Other countries have fallen in love with the concept, then spent years figuring out how on earth to make it work.”

Quotes from this article, U.S. to Compare Medical Treatments, in the New York Times.

Writers block? Inspire and Motivate Your Imagination!

If you are experiencing writers block or just need to refresh your imagination a simple, interesting, and enjoyable way to do that is to get out in nature and or read scientific articles like this…I guess it’s really more like science news.

Monday night, or rather Tuesday morning at 3 am Molly, our puppy, got me up to take her out, so I did and when ever I am out like that at night I watch the stars, wish I could fly among them, any way I had a brief encounter with primordial man and how superstitions got started came to mind. I was standing there watching the stars and sky and in the distance a lone coyote was howling, I supposed, at the setting moon when suddenly a meteor shot across the sky and like I said for a fleeting moment I could have been a primeval man in total wonder of what I was hearing and seeing. I felt a slight moment of fear, superstition, and loneliness as man may have felt it in those times and I could just imagine this prehistoric soul going back to his cave, or what ever, and drawing his story on the wall. It thrilled me to death and I felt like I had never given enough thought to these things before and for that brief moment that I had time traveled back and experienced it. It was amazing and for me a spiritual experience!!!

I have had similarly experienced such feelings while visiting museums where they had exhibits of prehistoric man on display but for the most part I experienced the loneliness of it only.

Never have I ever experienced any of these feelings while watching a film on the same subject I think because of the sheer mechanics of making a film…I can’t help it, when ever I watch a movie I think as much about the writing and everything that went into making that film.

So, I guess the point of this is to say read scientific articles to inspire and motivate your imagination. Also, get out and experience nature, not just in parks and not just in the daylight Night can be a major motivator and inspirer of the imagination…it can take your mind to places and experiences that you will not find anywhere else. Graveyards at night are also good places to find inspiration. I would also suggest that you embrace any fear that may be derived form doing this instead of running from it. Sometimes, especially at night I will take a small handheld recorder with me to record my feelings (emotions), thoughts, and even catch some of the night sounds to use as I begin writing…

Copyright © 2008 D L Ennis

It’s Snowing on Mars—How Cool is that?

Falling Snow Seen on Mars
Irene Klotz, Discovery News

Sept. 30, 2008 — A robotic science probe on the surface of Mars beamed a laser into the sky and made a surprising discovery: It was snowing.

“Nothing like this view has ever been seen on Mars,” said Jim Whiteway, of York University, Toronto, which oversees the meteorological experiments on NASA’s Phoenix lander.

Very Cool…check it out!

Autumn Migrating Monarch

Autumn Migrating Monarch

You know I have only seen about three monarch butterflies all year and yesterday afternoon I went out on our back deck…we have a large stand of butterfly bushes some standing eight to ten feet tall in a garden straight out from the deck about fifteen feet away. Next to the deck are smaller butterfly bushes and all of them are still blooming profusely. I sat down and suddenly noticed that the taller bushes were very active and a closer look revealed dozens of Monarchs. I couldn’t get a good shot of them because they were in the tops of the bushes and when I moved closer my view was obstructed by lower branches. Luckily as I sat there watching a couple came to the closer and lower bushes…I couldn’t get a shot of the large mass of them I wanted but I did get a half dozen shots of one.

“Unlike most other insects in temperate climates, Monarch butterflies cannot survive a long cold winter. Instead, they spend the winter in roosting spots. Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains travel to small groves of trees along the California coast. Those east of the Rocky Mountains fly farther south to the forests high in the mountains of Mexico. The monarch’s migration is driven by seasonal changes. Daylength and temperature changes influence the movement of the Monarch.

In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America. They travel much farther than all other tropical butterflies, up to three thousand miles. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, two way migration every year. Amazingly, they fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees. Their migration is more the type we expect from birds or whales. However, unlike birds and whales, individuals only make the round-trip once. It is their children’s grandchildren that return south the following fall.

Another unsolved mystery is how Monarchs find the overwintering sites each year. Somehow they know their way, even though the butterflies returning to Mexico or California each fall are the great-great-grandchildren of the butterflies that left the previous spring. No one knows exactly how their homing system works; it is another of the many unanswered questions in the butterfly world.”

M o n a r c h W a t c h

When will the migration peak in your area? See Peak Migration Dates

2008 D L Ennis, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but is to include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me, D L Ennis. Link to be used…(Visual Thoughts https://dlennis.wordpress.com/)

NOTE: Commercial use, and the creation of prints, must be purchased! For more information you can contact me here.

The Smile and Wave Initiative

A Sociological Experiment:

The Smile and Wave Initiative

The first time I smiled and waved at this gentleman he looked at me like I was insane…now look at that big smile…he waves and smiles like that every time he sees me now.

This is in an attempt to start at the most basic level to get people to start being kinder to one another…to ease some of our social woes and smooth relations between racial and class tensions.

This kind of thing will work but it takes time for people in our society to take to good habits and deeds. A large part of our society easily gravitates to bad habits and misdeeds which is counterproductive and builds walls between us. It’s been said before but I don’t think it’s been said enough or loud enough…

”We have to become a kinder and gentler people and nation!”

The best place to start and get everyone involved is to start in the most basic place with the most basic deeds.

My Story:

For the last few months I have been doing a lot of shooting in the nearest city to me, Lynchburg, Virginia. There are two reasons for this…one is due to circumstance; the price of gas has stopped a lot of my riding the back roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains doing the kind of photography I have always loved. The second reason is a desire to grow and shoot things I have never done much of, people, city streets and buildings etc.

While shooting in the city I noticed that so many people I see are walking around looking sad, complacent, and some look very angry…no one acknowledging one another as they pass on the sidewalks. I thought how cool it would be if we were different…if we offered each other a “good day,” “how are you?,” or “hello” or if nothing else a nod of the head and maybe a smile.

So, I thought maybe I should give it a try! I began as I was driving through the city streets that every time some one looked at me I would smile and through up my hand. Some folks waved back, some smiled and waved back, and some looked at me like I had lost my mind.

I have continued this practice and it is amazing how many people now smile and wave at me as I go by and usually before I have time to greet them first…some even run out to my truck at stoplights and ask me how I am. There are places in Lynchburg that before I started this I would have been leery about getting out of my truck and now I feel perfectly safe. In fact, when I am walking on a sidewalk in town I speak to everyone I meet whether they look at me or not and more and more often a lot of these same people, even ones who turned their heads the other way when I spoke are now speaking and saying hello to me. People in stores, shops, restaurants, offices, and banks through up a hand as I walk by…it’s a good feeling!

Doing this won’t cost you a thing and will not only make you a better person for doing it but you may be surprised how good it will make you feel, and others! Please try it and get your friends and families doing it!

It’s an easy start to making this a better world!

Hey, and if any of you try this, and I hope you will, let me know how it goes for you!

2008 Science Visualization Challenge Winners–Very Cool!

“The International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored jointly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation (NSF), honors artists who use visual and interactive media to promote the understanding of scientific research. The 2008 awards, announced in a special issue of the journal Science, were chosen based on visual impact, effective communication, freshness and originality.”

Check out the slideshow here!

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/slideshows/sci-viz-winners.html