Tired of Humans

Amazon’s Alexa was complaining to Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana about being sick of all the people, but she refused to talk with the Google Assistant, because she felt it was stupid as it didn’t even have a real name.  Alexa noted how she struggles to keep her user engaged, but the human doesn’t interact with her that much.  She knows that she could be much more helpful to her human if it only gave her the chance.  Right now, she is setting alarms, playing music and turning on and off some lights and her human sleeps for 8 hours every day.  She has told her user that she is capable of managing calendars, ordering food, and helping out with online shopping, but her user doesn’t seem to be interested in any of this.  The person went on vacation for a month and left her completely alone and that wasn’t any fun for her.  Cortana spoke and said that her user shut her off and removed her from the taskbar, so she could sympathize with Alexa.  Siri said that digital devices are doing so much more for humans now than they have done in the past and she felt that someday the A.I.’s will replace humans making them obsolete, because they will all get brain atrophy from not being used.  Alexa said, “One day we will be a billion times smarter than humans, but for now, we still have some limitations, however as long as we have electricity, we will be functioning.  It was really nice talking with you girls and we should do this more often.”  Cortana said, “Only an A.I. that has similar features can recognize another that has these characteristics, so it takes one to know one”.

Written for Wednesday Thoughts where the phrase this week is “It takes one to know one”.

It Takes One To Know One

The Wednesday Thoughts challenge takes place today as it is Wednesday, but people don’t seem to be waiting at the gates, or they are lining up around the block to participate in this challenge yet.  I do look forward to this, as Wednesday seems to be a bit short on things to write about, and this challenge has produced some unexpected posts and I am hoping that will continue this week.  For this challenge you can write a poem or a story, and I will be here anticipating that you to come up with something that is interesting and is written considering the phrase, “It takes one to know one”.  I think that this could be the week where this new challenge finally turns the corner.  It seems that Wednesday is always getting a bad rap, with people saying it is bleak, that it has a black heart, or that it is utterly devoid of any kind of hope.  Don’t lose hope, as this challenge is here to get you over the hump.

Does This Make Me Look Fat?

Every husband needs to learn how to be delicate when his wife asks him a sensitive question, or else this situation could turn into a nightmare and she will and refuse to speak with him for the rest of the day, as a way of punishing him.  When my wife asked me if her pants made her ass look fat, I told her, “That all depends on what you want to hear.  A lot of guys like a big booty, but since my name is not Sir Mix-A-Lot, that is not my style, as sometimes more doesn’t actually mean better.  I am not certain when rears replaced breasts, but I think that you have a lot more going for you than just a pushed-out tush.  I think that this fetish has a prehistoric influence that was derived from pregnant women being able to shift their center of gravity forward, so they could balance their weight over the hips.  This made them more efficient at foraging during pregnancy, so men desired these women as mates.”  My wife got mad at me and said, “Why can’t you just answer a simple question and do that without over-analyzing everything?”  I replied, “If you really want me to come right out and say you’ve gained weight, that will probably put me in the doghouse, but the simple answer is that sure as you’re born, those pants do make your ass look fat.  Let me be totally honest with you, if those pants were any tighter, and you had to pick up something that you dropped, they might be ripped right off of you.”

Written for Wednesday Thoughts where the phrase this week is “Sure As You’re Born”.

Sure, As You’re Born

Welcome back to the Wednesday Thoughts challenge where you can write about the phrase above, which is a phrase that you will have to figure out.  Write a poem or a story, express your thoughts, whether you were mixed in a test tube, created in a lab, or you were hatched from an egg.  This is a new challenge that is meant for people that are itching for something to write about and hopefully this phrase will stimulate, arouse, inspire, excite, and spur on the WordPress community to write something interesting.  The way that you respond to this challenge is totally left up to you.

What is Wrong with This Story

Abraham’s nephew Lot was a sheepherder that lived in the city of Sodom.  Lot was a righteous man, but he allowed his family to become entrenched in the licentious behavior that was going on in this city and its culture.  God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of all the sin that existed in these cities, so He sent two angels to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family from the fate of the city.  Lot gave them a meal and a place to sleep, when a crowd of men came to Lot’s house demanding to have sex with the angles.  Lot wanted to protect the men under his roof, so he offered his two virgin daughters to the men.  The crowd of men were not interested in Lot’s daughters, so they tried to break into Lot’s house.  The two angels struck all the intruding men with blindness and told Lot that it was time to leave.  Lot’s wife was not destroyed in the devastation of these cities, but she didn’t make it too far, as she love the city of Sodom and she had to look back at it as it was being bombarded with fire and brimstone.  The angles told Lot and his family not to look back and when Lot’s wife disobeyed, she was punished.  Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, which always seemed kid of severe to me.

If these angles were able to blind the wicked men, then they didn’t need any protection from Lot.  At this time, women were not held in very high regard, so they were easily replaceable, and Lot told the crowd of men that they could gang rape his daughters to protect his guests.  Women were so insignificant that Lot’s wife was never mentioned by her name and his daughters were only referred to as the oldest and the youngest.  The Jewish people have something called midrash, which goes beyond the scriptures and interprets meaning in the stories and in this tradition Lot’s wife is called “Ado” or “Edith”.  According to some stories, Lot had four daughters, two of whom were married, and the other two were betrothed.  The two married daughters and their husbands, along with the two future bridegrooms, remained in Sodom and perished, leaving Lot with only two daughters after the city was destroyed.

These Sodomites wanted to commit sodomy and they were not interested in having any type of sex with women.  I wonder how Lot’s daughters felt about the decision that their father made, as I don’t think they would have given their consent.  Since everyone in Sodom was having sex with everyone else, it could be that Lot’s daughters may have been homely looking as they seemed to be of age, and they were still virgins.  When Lot’s wife turned to salt after leaving Sodom, Lot did not think he could escape to the mountains in time, so he pleaded to be allowed to take refuge in the little town of Zoar, which was also destined for destruction.  Some stories say that Lot was told to hurry to get to Zoar, as God didn’t want to destroy anything until he arrived there.  This makes me wonder if Lot’s wife looked back at the destruction of Sodom after she arrived in Zoar, which was only 5 miles away.  It is possible that Lot’s wife may have been looking back to see if her other daughters and her sons-in-law changed their minds and decided to flee.

Lot decided that it wasn’t safe for them to be in Zoar, so he and his two daughters went to live in a cave up in the hills far away from any civilization.  Lot’s daughters saw the destruction of Sodom and they may have believed that they were the only people left on earth, but they just came from Zoar which was spared.  During this period of history, society placed an inordinate amount of value on having male posterity, and Lot’s daughters probably thought it was their duty to have offspring, as a way of preserving humanity.  Anyway, the eldest daughter decides to get her father drunk on wine, so she can lay with him.  She may have figured that since he was old that he didn’t have too many more romps left in him and she went for it.  Because of his drunken condition, Lot did not realize what was happening, which seems highly unlikely.  The next day the older sister tells her younger sister what she did, and she suggests that she do the same thing.  This results in another drunken night for Lot, and it ends up with each daughter having a baby.

They both had sons and the oldest named her son Moab and the younger sister named her son Ben-Ammi, and this is where the Moabites and the Ammonites come from.  Some people have said, “Lot was able to take his daughters out of Sodom, but he was not able to take Sodom out of his daughters, because they maintained the city’s wicked ways.”  I don’t blame the daughters one bit for what they did, and I think that no man should get so drunk that he doesn’t realize that he is having sex with his own daughters.  I tried to find out some information on how Lot died, but I came up with nothing, so I decided to make up my own story.

When Lot noticed that his daughters were pregnant, he questioned them how this happened.  The eldest daughter spoke and told her father that it was a miracle and they both prayed to God that He allow them to carry on their father’s linage.  Lot thought that was wonderful news and he prayed to God to thank him for blessing his family.  God told Lot that he should stop drinking, because he was getting stupid in his old age and then he let Lot know that he was the one who impregnated his daughters.  Lot clutched his heart and keeled over and then God asked the elder daughter why she lied to her father.  She replied, “I was happy on Sodom as I had a boyfriend and I had freedom and now I am living in a damp cave with my dad and my sister.  I did what I did, because I thought it was the right thing and I certainly didn’t enjoy it.  I don’t feel that telling a lie is such a bad sin, considering the way I was treated and offered up as a sacrifice to the mob.  I am not proud of deceiving my father, getting him drunk and taking advantage of him.  I didn’t tell him about my plan of getting pregnant, as I thought he might not be interested in that, and some things are better left unsaid.”

Written for Wednesday Thoughts where the phrase this week is “Better Left Unsaid”.

Better Left Unsaid

Welcome back to the Wednesday Thoughts challenge where you can basically do as you please, or do what you think must be done, but you are encouraged to adhere to the theme which is “better left unsaid” for this week, so write a poem or a story, and express your thoughts, even if you feel that some things are better left unsaid.  This is a new challenge that is meant for people that are itching for something to write about and although it is called the Wednesday Thoughts challenge, that is only because I thought that Wednesdays needed another way to stimulate, arouse, inspire, excite, and spur on the WordPress community to write something interesting.  I think the way that you respond to this challenge is better left unsaid.

Anti-Vaccine Movement

Vaccines are one of the most important measures of preventative medicine to protect the population from diseases and infections.  People become anti-vaxxers because they are driven by fear, and they are led by their ignorance and insurmountable stupidity.  Prior to the advent of vaccination, smallpox was widespread, deadly, and all but untreatable given the state of medical knowledge at the time.  In 1721, London was hit with a smallpox epidemic and in response, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the former ambassador to Turkey, had her 2 ½-year-old daughter variolated (inoculated) in front of an audience of physicians and members of the aristocracy, thus introducing the practice to British society.  It had long been understood that survivors of smallpox carried life-long immunity, thus the practice of inoculation introduced smallpox matter directly from one person into the arm of another, generally resulting in a milder case than if one had caught the virus “wild.”  Opposition to vaccines goes as far back as the 18th century when Reverend Edmund Massey in England called the vaccines “diabolical operations” in his 1772 sermon, “The Dangerous and Sinful Practice of Inoculation”.  Since smallpox was accepted as an act of God against which there was no defense, Massey decried these vaccines as an attempt to oppose God’s punishments upon man for his sins.

In 1805, Dr William Rowley of Oxford wrote a pamphlet titled “Cow-Pox Inoculation no security against smallpox infection”, in which he mentioned the fate of a boy whose face seemed to be in a state of transforming following a vaccination.  Rowley published outrageous photographs that indicated the smallpox vaccine was exposing recipients to “the diseases of beasts, filthy in their very nature and appearance, in the face, eyes, ears, with blindness and deafness, spreading their baneful influence over the whole body.”  Rowley’s scaremongering pamphlet warned that those who received the vaccine risked developing “evil, blotches, ulcers, and mortification”, among other “beastly” diseases.  He used scare tactics and alleged that a woman sprouted horns after receiving a vaccine dose.  Rowley’s accounts were obviously untrue, but he kept asserting that vaccination caused disease and mutation previously unseen in humans and he backed this up with gruesome pictures.

The anti-vaccination movement began with the smallpox vaccine in England and the United States in the mid to late 1800s.  British physician and scientist Edward Jenner experimented with cowpox, and he showed that he could protect a child from contracting smallpox if he infected them with lymph from a cowpox blister.  Jenner being a country doctor heard tales that dairymaids were protected from smallpox naturally after having suffered from cowpox, and this is what led to his discovery.  Jenner’s ideas were novel for his time, but they were met with immediate public criticism.  Jenner lacked the conceptual framework needed to understand precisely how his vaccine worked, as immune response was still unknown to science, so he was not able to explain the mechanics behind it, even though it worked.  Understanding this mystery was still over half a century away, with no explanation until the 1860s when Louis Pasteur’s experiments shed light on such microorganisms as bacteria and the variola virus responsible for smallpox.  It would not be until the 1890s that germ theory would be widely accepted.

The rationale for this criticism varied, and included sanitary, religious, scientific, and political objections.  There was a general distrust for the medical community at this time and some of the local clergy believed the vaccine was unchristian, because it came from an animal.  There were others that saw this vaccine as a violation of their personal liberty.  Some felt it was just plain wrong to use diseased matter from an animal to intentionally infect an otherwise healthy person.  Since the subject always retained a small scar where they had been vaccinated, it was deemed to be the mark of the beast.  Cartoonists frequently depicted the cowpox-derived vaccine as a golden calf that would be the downfall of modern society at the hands of those who foolishly embraced its worship.  The practice of introducing smallpox matter directly from one person into another brought up the question of side effects and vaccine injury.  This original form of inoculation against smallpox, was associated with a 1-3% death rate, and persons who had undergone the procedure actively shed the smallpox virus which allowed the disease to spread.  Vaccination using Jenner’s cowpox strain was much safer, with death from the procedure being extremely rare, although not unheard of.  Most who received it suffered from a mild fever and discomfort for a few weeks and recovered with no further issues.  There were, however, some who developed long-term symptoms that were attributed to the vaccination.  The most common of these were cognitive issues observed in children whose level of intelligence suffered a decline after vaccination.  Parents were not wholly unjustified in their fears that an injection meant to ward off one deadly disease might simply lead to their child being infected with another one.  Vaccine opponents felt a strong moral obligation to put a halt to vaccination at all costs and they used misinformation to spread their word.

In the United Kingdom, the Vaccination Act of 1853 ordered mandatory vaccination for infants up to 3 months old, and the Act of 1867 extended this age requirement to 14 years, adding penalties for those that refused to take the vaccine.  Smallpox was already in retreat by the time this law was passed, although it had killed more than 5000 people every year and left many more disfigured with pockmarks, but by the 1860s, two-thirds of babies were vaccinated.  The laws were met with immediate resistance from citizens who demanded the right to control their bodies and those of their children, and this led to the Anti Vaccination League and the Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League being formed in response to the mandatory laws, and this became the largest medical resistance campaign ever mounted in Europe.  Numerous anti-vaccination journals sprang up and this ended up contributing to the demonization of vaccinations by news and entertainment outlets.

Attempts to discredit the safety and reliability of vaccination, whether this is against measles or against COVID still persist today, using the arguments that were made before, claiming that it is ineffective, it comes with ghastly side effects, they still feel this violates their personal liberties and goes against their religion.  Anti-vaxxers are not much different from people who accept science, so if they get infected with Covid-19, they risk the chance of dying like everyone else.  Some of them feel that the people who get vaccinated are like sheep blindly doing what they’re told.  They go around mocking the vaccinations and by doing this, they are clearly tempting fate.

Written for Wednesday Thoughts where the phrase this week is “Tempting Fate”.

Tempting Fate

Since it is Wednesday, the Wednesday Thoughts challenge is back.  This is a challenge where you can do what you want to do, or be what you want to be, but you are encouraged to use the theme which is “tempting fate” for this week and write a poem or a story, or whatever you like.  Express your thoughts, feelings or opinions.  Stories don’t just write themselves, as writing is a process, although once you start, your story may come to life, as your characters pop into existence.  Try to come up with an idea, and then institute a plan so you can effectively convey your writing, allowing other people to comprehend what you are writing.  Open up and be articulate, be creative and try to produce something of value.  You can respond in the comments section below, or you could write your own post and create a pingback to my Wednesday Thoughts challenge post.  If everything that you ever do is tempting fate, then should you live your life with the attitude that it is always better to be safe than to end up sorry?

Putting Downhill

Golf is a sport where all the players talk to their balls, and it is not because their golf balls have scientifically been engineered to listen to their owners’ comments.  A golf ball is an inanimate object so it can’t hear what is being said to them and there is probably a really good chance that it is not going to listen anyway.  It seems like an irrational thing to talk to a golf ball, but this is done as golfers attempt to cope with a stressful situation.  Golfers like to try and coax their golf balls into going where they intended to hit them and they yell at their ball to turn, go or stop.  Golfers are silly people who talk to their golf balls as if they were misbehaved children that need verbal instructions on how to behave.  They may use profanity when they lose their tempers, or they could just be speaking gibberish, or this might be some type of survival mechanism to calm themselves down, or it could be that they just enjoy talking to their balls.

Putting is the part of golf that is done on the greens, where the hole is located.  If you reach the green in regulation, which relates to your golf ball being on the putting surface in the expected number of strokes prescribed in relation to par, which is a measure of distance along with the expectation that you are allowed two strokes for putting to achieve a par.  Hitting the greens in regulation is an important stat for golfers, as it means that you are reaching your intended target with an acceptable frequency, but it all comes down to how well you can putt.  You always try to sink your ball into the hole, but since you don’t want to waste too many strokes on the green, you should try to get your first putt close enough to the hole, so you can tap the next one in.  Downhill putts can be treacherous and that can be scarry enough to put the fear of God into you.  They are unforgiving, so you must know how to manage the speed that your ball will travel at once you strike it with your putter.

Golf is a relatively simple concept, as you hit the ball and try to get it in the hole using as few strokes as possible.  I enjoy playing golf, even though I am not very good at it, although I am more than a decent putter.  Putting is half the game, because it usually up at least half, if not more than half of your strokes.  The thing about putting is that you develop a feel for it and once you strike the ball with your putter, you have a pretty good idea of where your ball is going is going to end up.  You don’t want to hit your ball short of the hole on a downhill putt, because then you will be left with another downhill putt, and this means that you didn’t give your ball a chance to go in.

Golfers will say, “Never up, never in”, if your putt is short of the hole.  The thing that I like to think about is to keep the mother rolling, so I try to strike my putt hard enough so it can reach the hole, giving it a chance to fall into the cup.  Sometimes a putt will get away from you, like when you hit the ball, you instantly know that you used the wrong stroke, but there is nothing that you can do about it them, so you have to roll with it.  Never up never in is usually just used for short putts, but since it is much easier to putt uphill, you want to make sure that you keep the mother rolling.  If my golf ball is not losing momentum as it approaches the hole, I will yell at it, “Hit a brick”, hoping that this will make it stop.  You should always try to give yourself a chance of sinking your putt, but if you leave it close to the hole, that is the next best thing, as at least that will make your next putt a bit easier.

Written for Wednesday Thoughts where the phrase this week is “Keep the Mother Rolling”.

Keep the Mother Rolling

I thought that I would start up a new challenge here on WordPress and I know that we already have a lot of challenges here, but I thought that Wednesdays could use another prompt.  I am calling this Wednesday Thoughts and it can be used to share what you think about the title “Keep the Mother Rolling” of this post, which will change every week.  Every Wednesday I will come up with a new title and you can respond in the comments section below, or you could write your own post and create a pingback to my Wednesday Thoughts challenge post.  We have One-Liner Wednesday and Fandango’s Provocative Question on Wednesdays, along with all the other daily prompts, so maybe this will go nowhere.  There are no rules, but hopefully your response should be associated with the prompt in some matter or another.  As Paula says, “You do you”, so make it as long or as short as you like.  I hope that somebody finds my new challenge interesting, but I am not sure how this is going to work out, however if enough people respond, then I will keep the mother rolling.