A Slippery Slope

a slippery slope

A dozen or so years ago, we had a winter storm that produced an unusual effect. On top of many inches of snow, a freezing rain transformed every outdoor surface to a hard, icy glaze.

My grandsons (then around 8 and 11) had stayed overnight and were eager the next morning to get out and ride their snow discs down the frozen hill in our backyard. So we bundled up and carefully traipsed outside. Using the ice-crusted snow as a runway, those boys flew down that hill.

What fun! But as they tried to walk back up the hill, there was a problem. Every attempt at a step simply had them sliding backward. We all laughed until our sides hurt, but then reality settled in. The boys were stuck there. Laughter turned into fearful uncertainty.

My husband and I tried various options such as trying to walk around the outside edge of the woods to work our way down to retrieve them. But we were unable to find any traction.

Finally, my husband tied several ropes together and, holding on to one end, he tossed the other end so it could slide to the boys. They took turns holding on to the rope end and being pulled up the hill on their tummies.

That experience truly defined the phrase “a slippery slope” for me.

It was at this point in writing today’s post that I went online to search a slippery slope to explain how the phrase originated and ruminate a bit on the types of slippery slopes we might find ourselves on. That sounds interesting, right?

But as I researched the phrase, I was surprised to learn that it has meaning in the arenas of critical thinking, logic, and even case law.

The term Slippery Slope Argument is looking at a possibility and coming up with hypothetical outcomes, often extreme, without showing any proof for said outcomes. It’s common for scare tactics to be used to induce emotional reactions.

An oft used example is found in the topic of (human) euthanasia. Those who fight against legalizing euthanasia use a slippery slope argument like this:

If we legalize voluntary euthanasia, where a terminally ill patient desires death soon rather than later, it will lead us to other actions that are morally indefensible. We could move on to involuntary euthanasia or non-voluntary physician-assisted suicide. Eventually, it will be legal for people to have other people killed.

My guess is that many of you will find that argument unsettling.

The term fearmongering (or scaremongering) comes to mind: “The spreading of frightening and exaggerated rumors of an impending danger to purposely arouse fear in order to manipulate the public.”

It’s good to pause and then back away from slippery slopes.

~~~~~

Video on fearmongering from FOUR YEARS AGO by Dr. Susan David, one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist.

A site that explains common logical fallacies

Real Or Just An Illusion

illusion

Dictionary.com defines illusion as “something that deceives the mind or senses by creating a false impression of reality.”

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book Talking to Strangers brought up an interesting topic of which I’d never heard: the illusion of asymmetric insight. I hate to break this news, but (unless you are very highly evolved) you suffer from it. And so does everyone else. Me too.

Basically, the illusion of asymmetric insight means that we believe that we know others much better than they know us, AND that we understand others better than they understand themselves. This also occurs with groups; we simply assume that our knowledge of other groups is more expansive than the other groups’ knowledge of our group.

From the site YouAreNotSoSmart.com, “In 2001, Emily Pronin and Lee Ross at Stanford along with Justin Kruger at the University of Illinois and Kenneth Savitsky at Williams College conducted a series of experiments exploring why we see people this way.”

One experiment, which Gladwell put forth in his book, went like this. People were given partial words and asked to fill in the blanks. Here are a few examples; play along and write down your first response as to how you would fill in the blanks to make a word. Stop reading until you’ve come up with six words.

B O _ _   /   S T_ _   /   C H E _ _   /   S H _ _  /  G _ _  /  D E _ _

OK, STOP and write down your answers now.

For the record, here were my answers to the above:  BOOK / STAR / CHEER / SHOP / GAS / DEAL

When the subjects in 2001 completed the test, they were asked if their own responses pointed to any specific personality aspects. No, they couldn’t see any pattern or reveal any surprising tendencies; basically, it was just a list of words. But when provided with other people’s responses, and asked the same question, they came up with analyses such as that person must be unstable, he is vain, she is untrustworthy, etc.

For instance, if Person A analyzed Person B’s answers to the above quiz and found BOOM / STAB / CHEAT / SHOT / GUN / DEAD, they might offer the opinion that Person B is on the violent side. But maybe the person had watched an action movie the day before the quiz.

So while we “know” our own answers mean nothing, we believe we are able to “know” about other people from this little (but fun) quiz.

I think this goes a long way in explaining how people on social media get caught up in unpleasant behavior like name-calling, ridicule, taunting, contempt, bullying, and derision. The folks who behave like that believe they know the rest of us better than we know ourselves.

~~~~~~

Article from YouAreNotSoSmart.com

It Never Hurts To Ask

ask

It’s been nearly four years since I shared with my readers in “A Permanent Mark” that if asked for a motto that is important to me, it is this:  It never hurts to ask.

Because if you ask and the answer is NO, you’re no worse off than before you asked.

Singer/songwriter Zach Williams has a great story that truly illustrates this point.

Zach went down the wrong path when he hit sixteen. Drifting away from his Christian upbringing, he got involved with drugs and alcohol which cost him a Division 1 college basketball scholarship offer. He dropped out of high school and went to work for his dad’s construction company for a year. Then he moved away to attend a junior college and made the basketball team there. Unfortunately, he drifted back into drugs and alcohol. Then a foot injury took him off the team, but the downtime led him to pick up a friend’s guitar; thus began his music life.

Moving back home to work with his dad again, he was a functioning addict worker by day and musician by night. In a moving interview (link is below) he shares that he used drugs every day just to get through.

Living this life for years (working by day to pay the bills and partying like a rock star at night), he met the woman who would become his wife when he was 30. They married and, as the bad choices continued, his wife finally issued an ultimatum: Get clean or the marriage would end.

Just after that conversation, Zach went on a European tour with his rock band. Not wanting to lose his wife, he says that while on a long bus ride he prayed for God to send him a sign that God cared enough to help him. The bus driver had been scanning radio stations and he stopped on a contemporary Christian station where the song I am Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave was playing.

The song struck Zach as being just what he needed to hear. He continued to listen to the song over and over on his phone. Zach called his wife and told her he was quitting the band and coming home. They spent some time repairing their family’s relationship.

Eventually returning to music, he started writing and performing faith-based songs.  The turning point came as he understood that, “God spoke to me and said these are the songs, these are the people, these are the places, this is the music that I have for you to write.”

Zach reflects on the seasons of his own life to write from the heart. He says when someone tells him, “Your song saved my life,” that is better than any music award he could win.

When he recorded the demo for There Was Jesus, a woman sang the duet with Zach. Listening to the demo with his producer, he remarked that the woman had a sound similar to Dolly Parton’s. “Wouldn’t it be really cool to have Dolly Parton sing with me on this song?” He says they had a good laugh over it because, come on, Dolly Parton?

But his record label reached out to Dolly’s people and she said she would listen to the song. The words and music had such an amazing impact on her, she listened to just a part of it before she removed her headphones and agreed to the duet even though she had never even heard of Zach Williams!

And the rest is history. The song went on to reach #1 on the Billboard Christian Charts. The two performed a portion of the song on the 2019 Country Music Association awards show which impacted an audience the song might never have reached otherwise.

But what if they hadn’t asked?

What if?

~~~~~

The music video There Was Jesus

Big Daddy Weave’s I am Redeemed

Interview of Zack Williams on Jesus Calling podcast

Another version of the song There Was Jesus with Riaan Benadé and Demi Lee Moore (I love the dog who sleeps throughout the recording session! Apparently, the dog is an electric guitar fan.)

Lifted Up Post “A Permanent Mark” from Nov 1, 2016

From Similar Root Words

words

Some meaningful words harbor negative connotations.

Consider the word “humility.” From the Latin “humilitatem” meaning insignificance, humility isn’t an aspect to which very many people aspire to these days.

Anther similar root word, “humus” (earth), means “on the ground.” Since most of us have been encouraged since birth to aim for the sky, shoot for the moon, and reach for the stars, who wants to be grounded? Grounded is another word with two opposite meanings; the positive spin on the word means steady and stable, and the negative spin means being punished or unable to fly. (Presumably unable to fly to the sky, moon, and stars!)

Even Wikipedia says, “Dictionary definitions accentuate humility as a low self-regard and sense of unworthiness.” That’s certainly not healthy for us.

But the Christian sense of humility provides a different view of it. “A New Introduction to Moral Theology” written by the Church of England clergy says we can’t exist without a sense of selfhood and self-awareness; they’re essential for us to fulfill the gifts of our personality and talents.

Their further definition says this: “Humility is not an attitude which denigrates the self improperly; that is a false humility which can be dangerous. Humility is the virtue which we see in Jesus Christ, a true understanding of his own relationship to God and to others, a sure sense of perspective and proportion.”

Brother David Steindl-Rast includes humility as one of the blessings of life. (See a link to my prior post below.) And he admonishes us to never confuse humility with humiliation. The Latin “humiliare” is the root word of humiliation.

A person who attempts to humiliate another is trying to reduce that other person’s own self-view and/or reduce the person in the eyes of other people. A person who uses humiliation is attempting to shame others, hoping they will lose their self-respect and the respect of others.

In a business blog from six years ago on Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell shares twelve tactics that foolish leaders use to humiliate others. He says that “showing disrespect invites disrespect.”

Of Rockwell’s twelve examples of the destructive heaping of humiliation on another person, (link is below) I believe the four I’ve noted are key for ALL of us to avoid because no matter what our position is in life, we are EACH a leader. (I’ve kept Rockwell’s original numbering.)

#4 “Innocent” sarcasm. Sarcasm is a coward’s way of saying what they really think.

#6  Interrupting while someone is speaking.

#10 Over-generalizing issues by using terms like “always.”

#12 Stealing honor that belongs to another.

The Church of England clergy reminds us that humility “is the light of God shining in the human person.”

Yes, I agree that (in the words of singer Jackie DeShannon) what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

And we also are in dire need of an ample portion of humility.

~~~~~~

Prior post on Brother David

Leadership Freak blog on Humiliation

A portion of MICAH 6:8 says: What does the Lord require of you, but to seek justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God? Listen for these words in the song “Courageous” by Casting Crowns

What the World Needs Now

Does Not Convey

does not convey

Photograph by Norma Thatcher

When you’re selling a house, it’s important to note in the contract what fixtures are included (will convey) in the sale of the home. RealtyTimes.com suggests that the contract should incorporate wording that states “all items in the MLS will convey.”

It appears that many home buying/selling problems occur in the “Personal Property and Fixtures” arena. “Fixture” is defined as something that is physically attached to the property such as a ceiling fan. There are items listed in the contract with a Yes or No box for each one to confirm whether or not the item will convey.

You see, just because an item is in place in the home, it doesn’t mean it will stay. Refrigerators seem to be a big issue in the stories I’ve read. So, while that ceiling fan is likely going to remain, a refrigerator simply needs to be unplugged and lugged to the moving van. Or not.

While I’m not thinking about moving any time soon, I’ve already determined that my antique mantle will not convey. It’s one of those grey area items. The mantle is not part of any fireplace set-up; it’s simply nailed to the breakfast room wall.

I bought the mantle for $300 while our home was still under construction. We intended to install a fireplace in the bump-out in the family room and it appeared to be a perfect fit.  The lady at the antique store told me the mantle had come from a home that had been torn down in Grassy Lick, Kentucky. I like old stuff and wondered how many families had sat around a hearth graced by this mantle.

The mantle sat leaning against the bump-out for several months while construction continued around it. We finally decided on a pellet stove instead of a fireplace. When the sales guy came to the house to take measurements, he had some bad news; the mantle did not provide the necessary clearance for the larger size pellet stove we wanted.

Opting for a smaller stove wouldn’t provide the maximum heat output we deemed necessary to heat the first floor. That is why, on pellet stove installation day, I reluctantly had the workers move my mantle to the breakfast room just to get it safely out of the way.

The mantle sat there beside us, propped against the wall, as we ate our meals and tried to figure out where the mantle would be a good fit. I don’t have a lot of wall space because of the many windows we put in.

After several weeks it dawned on me that I liked the mantle just where it was. Now I can’t imagine the breakfast room without it. I use it for seasonal displays. Cut flowers in vases adorn it during summer. In December the Christmas stockings hang from its edge. It’s become part of the fabric of our home.

So yes, when we move, I’ll leave the new owners the refrigerator and the ceiling fans. But there’s no way I’m leaving this house without my mantle.

~~~~~

Article from RealtyTimes.Com

Going To The Chapel

Chapel

Photo by Norma Thatcher, October 2017

The tiny brownish-red chapel sits as a focal point against a massive rock formation, towering evergreens, and (when in a season of flowing) a waterfall. A photo of the church in a calendar many years ago intrigued me, and I added it to the bucket list of places I wanted to see with my own eyes.

And so it was on my first visit to Yosemite National Park that I visited the Yosemite Valley Chapel.

Built in 1879 with initial funding from the California State Sunday School Association and other contributions, the building costs were around $4000. It seats about 250 people.

The church was originally situated in a busy community referred to then as the Lower Village. As activity fell away from that area, a decision in 1901 had the church dismantled and moved to the upper Yosemite Village. (See map in the link below.)

In 1966 the interior was restored, and the foundation was raised several feet as a means of coping with spring flooding. However, that wasn’t enough to overcome record floodwaters in 1977 that caused damage. But repairs were made, and improvements continue in order to ensure the chapel will remain open.

The Yosemite Valley Chapel was recognized for its simple architecture in 1973 when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Noted as “a particularly fine example of the early chapels constructed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains,” that recognition helped put the chapel on the map, so to speak.

The chapel is typically open year-round for non-denominational worship services, but the entire Park is temporarily closed due to the smoke-filled unhealthy air from the wildfires.

The chapel is also a popular wedding destination. Renting for $850 during the peak season, it makes for a lovey minimalist venue. In order to maintain the pristine beauty of the building and surrounding area, there are, understandably, strict rules such as no throwing of rice or birdseed or flower petals or anything else. And your reception will need to be held elsewhere!

Here is a snapshot of a postcard I bought the last time we visited Yosemite in October 2017. The original photo was taken by Dan Warsinger.

chapel

But the calendar photo that originally piqued my interest is glued to the inside back cover of my blog idea notebook. Here it is:

chapel

The quotation accompanying the calendar photo is by Paramabansa Yogananda:

“You should be thankful for everything at all times. Realize that all power to think, and speak, and act comes from God, and that He is with you now, guiding and inspiring you.”

 And standing there at that church, gratitude and awe come quite easily.

~~~~~

Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups

Map showing the Lower Village location

For more photos and information, here’s the official chapel site

 

Cry Me A River

tear catcher

Pop Quiz:  “If a unit of data gets shared enough times, it is considered true.”  This statement was made in response to people refusing to believe which of the following:

  • a) In 2021, workers will have to pay back the 6.2% Social Security tax that President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily eliminated as of September 2, 2020. “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” – Wellington Wimpy, a character in the Popeye comic strip and cartoon show
  • b) Nancy Pelosi’s hair salon incident was a set-up. “Does she or doesn’t she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.” – Clairol advertising slogan from the mid-1960s
  • c) There is no such thing as a Victorian lachrymatory. Or a Roman, Greek, or Egyptian one.

Although a is true according to financial advisor Ric Edelman (and who knows about b?), the correct response is c. Now, what the heck is a lachrymatory?

Supposedly, small glass or terra cotta containers found in old Egyptian, Roman, and Greek tombs were “verified” as having captured the tears of mourners. The bottles were then left with the deceased as a sign of honor.

So, the term lachrymatory for tear catcher (from the Latin for tear – “lacrima”) was hatched, and really, it sounds so touching, doesn’t it? In reality, scientists determined the vessels had held unguents and ointments used during the burial process.

And then there’s the fabrication of Victorian lachrymatories. You know those Victorians and their fancy-shmancy stuff. It is perfectly believable that they would have their own fragile, beautifully etched glass tear catchers. But the thin bottles actually held perfumes.

There are also fictional stories of Civil War wives collecting bounteous tears in bottles to show how much they missed their husbands.

Again, no proof of any tear collecting through the ages, except for one reference from the Bible. And the tear collector here is God himself. In Psalm 56, verse 8, David is lamenting his sorrows and prays, “You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.” Bible expert Matthew Henry says this verse means that God observes us with compassion and tender concern; he is afflicted in our afflictions and knows our souls in adversity.

ZaksAntiquities.com wants us to “invest in Biblical antiquities.” They stretch the story of Jesus praying in Gethsemane shortly before he was arrested. They suggest that when Jesus prays for God to “take this cup from me,” he was referring to a tear catcher.

Uh, I don’t think so.

Googling the phrase tear catchers for sale brings up over four million results. Over 285 are for sale on Etsy. There are a few offered on Amazon, one with a matching tray.

It seems as if the very idea of catching our tears is symbolic enough to make us WANT to believe it, despite not being based on any truth.

I remember sitting on a park bench with a dying friend. As I read aloud my eulogy of him that I would be delivering at his funeral a few months later, tears ran down his cheeks. I reached out and caught them with my fingertips.

It seems the most beautiful version of a tear catcher is when we perform the act of catching them for each other.

~~~~

Atlas Obscura article on tear catchers

Debunking the myth of Victorian tear catchers

 

One Of These Is So Not Like The Others

One is enough

One of the flower boxes on the back porch was filled with tangerine-color geraniums. Facing southwest, they received the full blessing of the sun’s encouragement to flourish. They were quite the sight…until a single stalk of something else started sprouting up in among them.

Was it a weed? I’m not the gardener in the family so I had no clue. I considered just lopping it off since it detracted from the uniform height of the other flowers.

But then I decided to wait it out. Like the beanstalk in Jack’s tale, the stalk seemed to get taller every day with more leaves extending upward. Then a tight star-like bud formed.

Yep, it was a single sunflower. We figure the seed had been dropped into the planter by one of the many birds we feed.

The site FTD.com explains the life cycle of a sunflower. It begins when the seed is planted. The germination phase, lasting up to eight days, is when roots develop and a shoot bursts through the dirt’s surface. That shoot, like most living things, is searching for sunlight. That second phase of vegetative emergence lasts nearly two weeks.

The sunflower then goes through vegetative states called V1, V2, V3, etc., so named when one leaf grows to 4 centimeters, then two leaves grow to the same length, and so on.

The reproductive phase occurs next when a bud forms within the cluster of leaves. It takes a month or so after that for the sunflower to bloom. The blooming period lasts a little less than three weeks.

The final phase of the sunflower’s life cycle is the harvesting one. After the flower droops and turns brown, the flower needs to dry out if you plan on having sunflower seeds to munch on or feed to the birds. You can follow the link below to learn more about harvesting the seeds.

Sadly, sunflowers are annuals which means you need to plant new seeds each year; they don’t revive themselves from the cold and snow as perennials do.

A sunflower is heliotropic; in the early phases before the flower is too heavy with seeds, the flower turns to follow the sun’s movement from East to West, returning to the East at night, ready to follow the first sun of the morning and soak up its life-giving energy.

Since sunflowers are tall and gangly and can topple over in the wind, gardening experts suggest planting sunflowers low and slightly sheltered, such as against a house or garage. Since I live on the side of a mountain, the back porch where ours exists is about fifteen feet off the ground in the open air.

So, against the odds, I have one beautiful sunflower. One is not enough to cut for a bouquet. One is not enough for the neighbors to admire as they walk or drive by. One is not enough to post on social media to gain bragging rights.

But one is enough to remind me to follow the light each day from dawn to dusk, returning at night to face where I fully believe the dawn will arrive again tomorrow.  That means one is enough to offer hope.

One is enough.

one is enough

~~~~~~

Life cycle of a sunflower from FTD.com

How sunflowers follow the sun

Harvesting sunflower seeds

An earlier post from July 2016 about reaching toward the light

I Will Always, I’ll Never, Without You

Always, Never, Goodbye

Without You is a song made famous by Harry Nilsson. Released in late 1971, the song was actually written by Peter Ham and Tom Evans of the rock and roll group Badfinger. Their version of the song, never released as a single, appeared on their 1970 album No Dice.

Harry heard the song, liked it, and set out to record it. Originally, it was just him singing accompanied only by a piano. But the producers convinced him to include a full orchestra to make it a grand ballad. It was the right decision as it jumped to #1 in America in February 1972.

Tragically, the song didn’t produce happy endings for the writers or Harry Nilsson.

Ham and Evans lost out on royalties when their label (Apple Records) went belly up in 1973. They both committed suicide by hanging within ten years of each other. According to Songfacts.com, Harry couldn’t handle fame and fortune, took to drinking, and died of heart failure at the age of 52.

Mariah Carey released a version of Without You in 1994, a week after Nilsson died.

I Will Always Love You was written and originally sung by Dolly Parton. Released by Dolly in 1974, it was a super success. It tracked to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in June 1974.

Elvis Presley expressed interest in recording the song, but when Parton learned that she would need to sign over half of her publishing rights to Elvis, she declined. She shared the story of her friends and relatives telling her she was crazy not to do the deal. I mean, come on, it was ELVIS!! But, Parton notes, after Whitney Houston’s version came out, “she made enough money to buy Graceland.”

Kevin Costner, producer and co-star (along with Whitney Houston) of the 1992 movie The Bodyguard, chose I Will Always Love You as the signature ballad for that movie. Costner also suggested that Whitney begin singing it a cappella. Famous music producer David Foster originally scoffed at the idea but later delighted in being oh-so-wrong!

Whitney Houston’s version is one of the best-selling singles of all time. It spent 14 weeks as #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After Houston’s death in 2012, it soared to fame again, reaching the top three in the Billboard Hot 100.

Written by Lady Gaga, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey, and Aaron Raitiere, the song I’ll Never Love Again was the finale of the 2018 movie A Star Is Born. I love that movie (and in fact, wrote about it here ).

There is a gut-wrenching story behind the recording of that song in the movie. Just as they were getting ready for that final scene, Lady Gaga took a call that her best friend Sonja Durham, who had battled cancer for years, was dying. She left the set and drove to see her friend; sadly, Sonja died ten minutes before Gaga arrived.

Sonja’s husband told her to go back and record the song; that’s what Sonja would have wanted. Gaga says, as emotional as she was, that’s what she did. She sang for Sonja as well as for her (movie) husband Jackson who had penned the love song for her. The movie has him saying, “It just sort of fell out of me and onto this page.”

Lady Gaga’s performance of this song makes me cry every time.

So, what brings these three songs together? AnDy Wu is a Taiwanese filmmaker, creative editor, and music and film producer who creates mashups. In case you don’t know, a mash-up (according to Wikipedia) “is a creative work, usually in a form of a song, created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by superimposing the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another, increasing the tempo and pitch while adding or reducing gaps to make it flow.”

The last link below demonstrates Wu’s genius. He blends Whitney and Lady Gaga with a little Mariah Carey thrown in for good measure. So, here’s my recommendation to get the best results: Watch and listen to the first three videos in order. Then just LISTEN to #4, the mash-up. Watching the video distracts from the music.

The songs are sad, so this won’t perk you up. But in Whitney’s (or Dolly’s) words, “I hope life treats you kind, And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of. And I wish to you joy and happiness But above all this, I wish you love.”

~~~~~

Mariah Carey’s version of Without You

Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You

Lady Gaga’s I’ll Never Love Again

Whitney, Lady Gaga, and Mariah together by AnDy Wu

Open Wide!

open wide

The television show How It’s Made premiered on January 6, 2001. Currently, it runs on the Discovery Channel in Canada and the Science Channel in the US. The program is produced in Quebec by Productions MAJ, Inc.

Their website informs us they have filmed 24 seasons, a total of 414 shows, with the most recent premier being a year ago, August 6, 2019.

For those of you who aren’t aware of the show, this documentary series gives a behind-the-scenes look at how everyday objects are manufactured. Usually, each episode shows the magic behind three to four products and it’s typically a wide mix. For instance, one episode taught us how orthodontic retainers, orange juice, retractable saunas, and sawmill knives are made.  Another time they unveiled the secrets to making pita bread, spiral stairs, exhaust headers, and molded limestone artwork. So don’t try to play “one of these things is not like the others” with their choices!

My husband is a big fan of the show, and sometimes I’ll watch a segment or two with him or (more likely) just listen from the kitchen. Recently there was a segment on caulking tubes. Caulk is that rubbery substance used to seal gaps, seams, and cracks in various materials such as wood, tile, concrete, brick, stucco, and stone.

The part of the caulk episode that caught my attention is how the plastic tubes are filled. (If you’re THAT interested in the complete process, I’ve included a link below.) The narrator says, “Piston pumps lift four empty tubes at a time and nozzles fill each tube with 300 ml. of caulking. The machine can fill up to 1000 tubes per hour.”

Watching four empty tubes being squirted with the substance, then moved along to the next step while four more empty tubes are lined up for their doses, I thought about how those empty containers don’t really have a choice. They’re open and ready to be filled to the brim with what’s coming at them.

Thank God we get to choose what goes into our open minds. But choosing seems to get more difficult every day with all the fake online postings. It started with people posting pictures of a person/place/thing, and claiming that it’s something else entirely.

And when we don’t question the authenticity of something before we share it, we’re just like the baby birds pictured above, mouths wide open, ready to accept whatever gets dropped in.

For instance, CNN just posted that fake photographs and videos of the Beirut explosion are already surfacing with messages from folks who have their own agendas.

From Merriam Webster, deepfake is “typically used to refer to a video that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in the original video with someone else (especially a public figure) in a way that makes the video look authentic.” To see this demonstrated, check out the deepfake video link below. In one way it’s amusing, but in another, it’s terribly frightening.

I fear that eventually the phrase, “I can’t believe my eyes!” will be the norm.

~~~~~~

Link to the Science Channel show “How It’s Made”

The Caulking Episode

Deep fake video