“I Feel Good” AIN’T Wrong

For those of you riding height-advantaged horses, please dismount: You think that, when you ask us punier-pony riders “How are you?” if we answer “Good”, we are wrong.


Here we go, doubters:


Opposite “good”, the word “bad”:
You either feel bad now, or good.
Opposite “badly” is “well”,
To say if hands feel what they should.

A Dangerous Job

Which is Glass and Which the Ice? If You Feel Well, You Don’t Think Twice.

We’re sorting clear glass
Out from ice,
Whoever’s fastest
Wins a prize.

“I feel badly,
My hands are numb,
I feel bad,
‘Cause I can’t come.”

“I feel well;
My hands are fine;
I feel good;
That prize is mine!”

Grammar Goddess:
“I feel well”.
Means touch is good;
Your fingers feel
Just what they should.

“I feel good.”
Means health’s at peak.
(Or fingers work,
But grammar’s weak.)

What More Appropriate Prize Than a Handwarmer?

Icky-poo. Designed for guys to hide in public that which should be done in private?  (I know: Sexist.)

Now, I AM the Grammar Goddess1, but I detect rightness based upon pattern-matching–my younger-day schools were too “advanced” to believe in teaching that old-fashioned grammar stuff–whereas Grammar Girl explains, and clearly, the rules and reasons behind feeling good and bad.

I may be (and am!) Grammar Goddess, Spelling Sorceress, and Punctuation Princess-, but my awesome powers take effect only when I preach, or edit the writing of others. When I generate my own pieces, some mysterious force pulls me from those pedestals and plunges me into the Chasm of Error, from where I can extricate myself only long after my pieces are published.

Hat-tip to: The Byronic Man, a blog with a whole buncha meaty, thought-provoking posts. Browsing over there gave me the idea for this post.

2014-03-23–changed title
2014-03-03–removed second superfluous superscript (and alliterally commented thereon).

The Big Coffee O.

You think that Starbucks coffee’s now uncool,
You’ve switched your loyalty to Coffee Bean and Tea;
I say by switching, not that you’re a fool,
But that you’re missing out–and sexually.

I am grateful to God every day for this: Oh my gosh, does anyone else, when they stick their nose deep into a Starbucks bag of Columbia roast and sniff deeply, oh, so very deeply, and again, and pull those heady, intoxicating vapors up into their whole being…

Nasal Ambrosia

…well, for me, it is almost orgasmic–I mean literally almost orgasmic.  This is the best part of every morning–and will continue to be, until that glorious day Denzel leaves his wife and wakes up next to me (without cringing, that is).

“Mmp-mmp-mmph. You'd Best Not Be Covetin' There, Missie!”

That first dose of aromatic bliss is even better than drinking the liquid coffee (not that drinking it isn’t also a wonderful and essential part of my day).  Thank you, God, for Starbucks Columbia coffee, medium grind: For the pleasure I derive from smelling it–and for my oversized nose.  (But Denzel, you know I’d get it fixed, for YOU.)

(I’m sorry, Ms. Washington.   I didn’t mean it.  Clearly it’s the flesh that is willing and this Babe’s spirit that could use some work.)
(That’s right, Denzel, this Babe’s flesh is so very, very willing… and silky-soft…and I know just what to do with that overbite of yours. Give it here, now.)
This is O. Babe’s boyfriend. I’ve taken her keyboard away for the night and cut off her Starbucks supply for the rest of the week. I have only her best interests in mind. You all just go back to what you were doin’, now.

Crow Faces

Freakish Fact:

The pioneering animal behaviorist Konrad Lorenz wore a devil costume when he performed experiments with crows* so that they wouldn’t recognize him at other times.

By Überseemuseum_Bremen_2009_002.JPG: Sterilgutassistentin derivative work: Satanás va de retro (Überseemuseum_Bremen_2009_002.JPG) [GPL (www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

“NOW I’m Ready for Some Serious Science!”

Who’s the madman dressed in red,
Blackbirds dancing round his head;
Cloven toes point dartfully,
Mincing oh so artfully;
While he swishes pointy tail,
Drawing birdseed from a pail;
Happy birds and happy man,
Can devil care? Indeed he can!
Colonial Devil With Goodwife-Or Konrad Lorenz

Surprised By His Wife

It is well established that crows are highly intelligent.  The Clark’s nutcracker crow, for example, caches up to 100,000 nuts in dozens of different locations at the end of spring, and can find them all again up to nine months later, even if they are covered with snow.

By Jmturner (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Typical Crow Headstone

Researchers investigating the possibility that crows can recognize human faces devised an experiment using rubber masks. Students went out on a campus and in surrounding areas wearing either “caveman” or Dick Cheney masks. Those who wore one mask caught and banded crows and then let them go, but those who wore the uglier mask (Cheney 😈 ) didn’t bother crows–they just walked around scaring people.
In the following months, students went out again wearing the same masks. This time, nobody bothered the crows.
The result?
The crows consistently harassed anyone they saw wearing the caveman mask, scolding them with loud squawks and even mobbing them.  This happened regardless of the size, sex or walking style of the person wearing the mask; even when the mask was partly hidden under a hat or worn upside down. The crows ignored the Cheney mask.
Nearly three years later, crows continued to attack students masked as cavemen, and even some unmasked freshmen: Average teen males, some of whom shamble about glowering from under lowered brows. (I may have made up that last part.)
(The lead investigator) claims that he has been scolded by far more birds than had been originally trapped, suggesting that crows not only recognized the mask, but had successfully somehow transmitted its description and perceived threat status to their offspring and other birds in the flock.
And the people say:
This facts in this post (other than the dancing devil doggerel, written by yours truly) are lifted shamelessly from the below two NYT pieces about honest-to-gosh plans, later abandoned, to find Osama bin Laden with the help of spy-crows:



Hey, Konrad! Misdirection Cuts Both Ways!: Clever Crow Sheik Disguise

Special Link To Crow Happiness


Yawns: The Social Glue of Me and You?

Yawns are weird.

They’re more contagious among family and friends than strangers. Why?

They’re NOT contagious with babies. Why not?

We yawn more when we’re stressed. Since you have to close your eyes when you yawn, wouldn’t that make cave-dudes and -dudettes MORE vulnerable to attack?

Hah. Not If You Do It Like THIS.

Contagious Yawning

Yawns are only HALF-catching: Only about half the people in a group will start to yawn when one person yawns, BUT:

They catch more easily among family, people who feel close, or with people who are more empathetic or compassionate.

Either Contagious Yawning, or Xeroxes of Foxes.

So, what I want to know is: WHY did we evolve this way? Is there some advantage to a family to be able to catch each other’s yawns?
(“The family that sleeps together keeps together?”
“The family that snores together does more together?”)

Most babies and toddlers won’t catch yawns at all. They start catching at around age 2, and by age 5 about half of kids catch ’em (like with grown-ups).

Why did we evolve THIS way? If there is some advantage to yawns catching in a family, why aren’t they contagious right from birth? Is it that, until toddlers start to be independent, their moms give them whatever advantage catching a yawn might provide?

(Or does something magical about a new baby’s biology try to protect it from catching EVERYTHING from the outside world: Nasty viruses and bacteria, and prions, and who knows what-all? “If babies caught yawns, they’d get germs and pri-ons (get it? pri-yawns?”) [Hey, it rhymes as good as rap does. It “crap-rhymes”.]

When the baby gets older, its body defenses loosen up, and those sneaky contagious yawns are able to get to work? Silly, but what if it were TRUE!

Even after toddler age, Asperger’s and autistic kids don’t catch yawns much, but if they’re told to focus more on people’s eyes, they do better because eyes are important in yawn-catching.

(In one study, two groups were shown a photo of the same yawning guy–one with his mouth blurred out, the other with his eyes blurred out. It’s interesting that the group that saw his yawning mouth did NOT start yawning. The group that saw no yawn at all–no mouth– but only the guy’s eyes DID start yawning.) Why is THAT?!

IF part of the function of yawning is to strengthen bonds between us, it makes sense that eye contact would be involved–doesn’t it?

(BTW, schizophrenics also catch yawns less than other people–and they catch less laughter, too, the poor things.)

Sexual Yawning

Among most mammals, males yawn more, because yawning has links to testosterone production. In rats, most of the hormones that produce yawning and stretching also produce erections. (So THAT’s why you guys always fall asleep afterward!)

And He Looks So Young and Innocent While He’s Getting It On…

(Let’s pause a moment in sympathy for the lowly researcher who got stuck with documenting ratty boners.)

“…humans may be unique in that both sexes yawn equally…” WHY?
(Ladies, are we just more BORED with our males?)
“Men–You boys are just so HOT you just wear us ladies out and make us TIRED!”

Stress Yawning

  1. “I have also noticed that under slight fear there is a strong tendency to yawn” (Darwin 1872:291).
  2. In primates, yawning appears in stress or conflict situations (Altmann 1967).
  3. Yawning is seen in uneasy or aggressive chimpanzees, gorillas, gibbons, baboons, rhesus monkeys, patas monkeys, and (rarely) vervet monkeys (Lawick-Goodall 1968).

Okay, so we get it, already. We yawn when we’re nervous. WHY??? Peeing (and worse) makes sense–let’s get ready for action–but yawning?

Yawn Rhymes With Bond…Sorta Kinda…

We now know yawning cools the brain. If an ice-pack is put on the forehead, yawns are suppressed. One theory is that this cooling effect reduces stress.

I Don’t Know About That. Personally, An Ice Pack On My Head Would WAKE ME THE F#CK UP.

This still does not explain why we yawn–why we were evolved to yawn, or to have contagious yawning.

Most of the info in this post is courtesy of the book “curious behavior” (sic) by Robert R. Provine. Dr. Provine theorizes, partly because our yawns happen with many “states” (sexual arousal, waking up, and going to sleep) that yawning happens when we’re about to change from one “behavioral or physiological state” to another–that yawning helps us do this.

I’m going to modify the doctor’s theory:

“Yawning functions as a de-stressor and social bond-strengthener.
It cools the brain to a receptive or readiness state to prepare it for a change in focus by the mind or body, AND, through its contagious nature (the driving force of which is not yet known) it helps enlist the same state from nearby individuals.”

AFTER I wrote that, I found on the blog “Mind Hacks” a pertinent comment within a post. A dog owner and her spouse were advised to yawn in front of their nervous dogs to calm them. The strategy was successful:
The Dog Owner’s Comment on Mindhacks

Puppies jumpy?
Dancing ’round?
Fake a yawn–
They’ll calm right down!

NEVER Give Doggies Coffee (But Isn’t She So Cute?)

Trivia: The Yawning Cure
Around 80% of people paralyzed on one side of their body because of a stroke have that side move when they yawn. (Trippy, huh?)

Trivia: The Yawning Curse
Chroniclers of the late Middle Ages reported yawning and ejaculation as symptoms of the terminal stages of rabies.

Vsauce Vid

2014-02-17–As usual, the first version of this post was one big yawn (tee-hee). Revised opening to make slightly less boring and changed “I” to correct “Me” in title ’cause never made the pun I intended with it.

Ekhart Tolle: A New Science For a New Earth?

I WANTED to have an open mind, REALLY.  But right away, on page 2 of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Tolle claims flowers played “an essential part in the evolution of (human) consciousness”. 


Tight Lips, Tight Waist, Show Elevated Consciousness


(From whence does he draw this remarkable conclusion?  He doesn’t say.)

Then, on page 3, he follows this with, “Any life-form in any realm–mineral, vegetable, animal, or human–can be said to undergo ‘enlightenment’.”

(Minerals are a life-form?  Show me mineral poop, mister.)

Continuing on to page 4, he adds:  “Since time immemorial, flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds have held special significance for the human spirit.  Like all life forms…

((Crystals and stones are living?),

…they are, of course, temporary manifestations of the underlying one Life, one Consciousness.

(“Of course”.  Goes without saying).  

Their special significance and the reason why humans feel such affinity for them can be attributed to their ethereal quality.”

(Of course.)
(See what I did there? Anything may be attributed to anything you want.)

Rocks, Alive? Stones, Ethereal? Even I Think That's Stupid.

On page 7, we see a classic example of Cult-speak:  “This book is about you.  It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless.  It can only awaken those who are ready.  Not everyone is ready yet…”

(Translation: Accept this book’s principles, or you are an immature outcast of the chosen elite.)

On page 20, in a description of the evolution of a land-dwelling creature rising from the sea, Tolle states the following:

“It would perhaps crawl a few inches at first, then, exhausted by the enormous gravitational pull of the planet, it would return to the water, where gravity is almost nonexistent…”

(Bizarro-me wonder:  “Why gravity-lite rivers and oceans no fly out into space?”)

But the real capper is found on page 22:
“If evil has any reality–and it has a relative, not an absolute, reality…”

Tolle's Portrayal of Evil: It's Solely a Matter of Contrasts

Okay, Tolle.  You keep telling yourself that.  Meanwhile, although you may have many vital data to impart, this reader has left the building.



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