Americans spend over $300 billion annually on illicit drugs and alcohol

A new RAND study claims that Americans spend nearly $15o billion a year on illicit drugs. Another study finds that Americans spend $158 billion a year on alcohol. Imagine: over $300 billion a year just to get high, or low, if your’e into that. That is almost half of the amount the US spends on education per year ($706 billion).

Missing from the report is how US spending compares to the rest of the world, like Latin America or the EU. That would have been interesting to know. My preliminary research shows that Americans are world champions in both areas: illegal drugs and alcohol. Add to that the estimated 250 to 300 million guns owned by private individuals and the US is the undisputed drug, alcohol and gun capital in the world. Is that the eigendynamik that keeps the US going? Is the Chinese plan of undermining the US by pumping in fentanyl through Mexico failing? Are illegal drugs making us stronger in some twisted Darwinian way by weeding out the illegal drug users through premature deaths?   In 2016, approximately 174 people died every day from drug poisoning, outnumbering deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide and homicide. Let that sink in for a while.

On another front one can see the tax numbers dancing in the eyes of certain politicians: if only we could declare these drugs legal, like we did for marijuana, we could tax the hell out of them and realize our dream: free everything for all!

That day will come, maybe sooner than you think. Already, a judge in Mexico has legalized recreational use of cocaine. These drugs could be declared legal just like the federal regulations allow “emotional support animals” on airplanes, including pigs and rats. I look forward to somebody making the connection between needing illegal drugs for emotional support while citing the emotional support animals case as legal precedence and finding a federal judge crazy enough to support that motion.

Just connecting some dots here…

Is it time to say goodbye to artificial grass?

The Guardian carries an article about the evils of artificial turf and how it is being used more widely in the UK for various reasons, one of them being for keeping up with the Joneses. Who would have thought the the country that gave the world the ideal of the perfect lawn would stoop so low? The evils are plentiful: from the degradation of the product into microplastics, denying insects and creepy-crawlies their natural habitat and subsequently birds a source of food, to the difficulty of recycling the acres and acres of worn out, shaggy plastic grass.

The claimed environmental benefits to using artificial grass, like it doesn’t need to be mowed (with fossil fuel mowers), or watered (water stress due to climate change), nor does it require fertilizers or herbicides is only correct to a point. Mowing is necessary, for sure, but lawns can also be maintained without those negative practices and products. It would also help if neighbors and various home owners associations wouldn’t be such sticklers for the perfect lawn. Even golf courses are going back to a more natural, sustainable look.

I haven’t watered or fertilized my own lawn in 30 years. Sure, it not pure grass out there. There is clover and some weeds but it is green and maintenance free except for weekly mowings. Let nature rule.

Is Michelle Obama Really the World’s Most Admired Person?

A recently published You.gov survey claims that Michelle Obama is the world’s most admired person. I don’t know how counting is done in the world of surveys but if you count only in how many countries Michelle Obama was the number one choice then the statement is not correct. Then the count is 23 No and 17 Yes (the survey says 41 countries were surveyed but the site only shows results for 40).

I suspect that the survey also took into account how often Michelle Obama was rated near the top, like in the top three. Then you end up with 5 second places and 4 third places for a total of 26 countries in her favor.

I did a quick analysis of the data available on the You.gov site and this is what I found.

17 countries chose Michelle Obama as number one. 14 of these countries are first world countries. 23 other countries chose local talent 16 times and foreign talent 7 times over Michelle Obama. Melania Trump beat Michelle Obama in Russia. Angelina Jolie is still the number one foreign choice.

What does this tell us? That 13 of the first world countries prefer Michelle Obama over local talent. Why is that? Are these countries really so intellectually bankrupt that they have no locals to be proud of? What does Michelle O. represent to these countries that makes her their number one choice? I suspect media exposure played a large role in their decision to make Michelle O. number one.

My conclusion is that Michelle Obama’s popularity is a limited first world phenomenon, nothing more. Certainly not global.

Women dream about sex!

The Germans have found the real reason so many women are dreaming about sex. Women aged between 16 and 30 have erotic dreams most frequently — 22.1 per cent of all their dreams, similar to their male counterparts, and triple the amount of their grandmothers’ generation. Today’s young women feel entirely comfortable admitting having sexy dreams — whether to themselves or other people — which helps with remembering them in the first place.

The rather lengthy article explores other aspects of sexual dreams. For instance, unlike in their everyday lives, women’s erotic dreams haven’t been influenced by social media, where physical perfection is so prized. Finally, the article reveals the secrets of three women and their erotic dreams.

Women have always dreamed about sex, but apparently now more so than ever. More power to them!

How to wash your underwear and wipe your bottom

The media is never short on articles on how to do this or that. The British paper The Daily Record cites the “Hygiene Doctor“, a Dr. Lisa Ackerley, as saying that you should wash your undies above 60°C (140°F) to kill all those pesky fecal bacteria and don’t wash your tea towels in the same load. The doctor also has a pleasant looking blog with all kinds of useful hygiene tips.

The Daily Record article also mentions a brief survey conducted by the Tap Warehouse, a British plumbing store, titled British Bathroom Secrets. The survey not only reveals that 1 in 3 British women wipe their bottoms the wrong way, potentially exposing themselves to urinary tract infections, but that the 63% of women who don’t wee in the shower are missing a chance to build strong pelvic floor muscles. Strong pelvic muscles can lead to more sensations and orgasms during sex, the survey claims. I will take their word for it.