• “IT SEEMS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE, BUT THERE WAS ONCE A TIME when human beings did not feel the need to share their every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions, of complete and utter strangers… posting minute-by-minute details on a social networking site; and, if one made a fool of oneself at a party, one did not leave a photographic record of the sorry episode in a digital scrapbook that would survive for all eternity. But now, in the era of lost inhibition, it seems no detail of life is too mundane or humiliating to share. In the online age, it’s more important to live out loud than to live with dignity, having internet followers more treasured than flesh-and-blood friends for they hold the illusive promise of celebrity, even immortality. Were Descartes alive today, he might have written: ‘I tweet, therefore I am.’ – Daniel Silva  
  • TO SOME DEGREE, THIS CORRELATES WITH A 25-YEAR LOW IN EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING OF COLLEGE FRESHMEN, as they self-reported in a recent large-scale survey. “Elite schools like to boast that they teach students how to think, but they only train in the analytical & rhetorical skills necessary for success in business or professions, while the development of ‘expertise’ is ultimately justified in technocratic terms,” much ignoring that the relevance of college also is “to assist in building a ‘self’’ – an individual, unique being and soul – through books, ideas, works of art & thought, and pressure of minds around… Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart, talented and driven, but also anxious, timid and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it… Looking beneath the façade of seamless well-adjustment, we often find toxic levels of fear, anxiety and depression, of emptiness, aimlessness and isolation.”   [NEW REPUBLIC – July 21, 14] 
  • ‘SMART CHOPSTICKS’ – CHINESE CONSUMER INNOVATION FOR THE TIMES: built-in sensors that link to a Smartphone app which measures calories, nutritional info, temperature and whether “cooking oils contain unsanitary levels of contamination – since one of the country’s many food-quality scandals involves cooking oil made from recycled garbage & sewage used by some street vendors.”   [THE WEEK – Sep 19, 14] 
  • ONE REASON THAT DOMESTIC AIRLINES ARE STILL STRUGGLING and requiring federal support is that our tax dollars also subsidize their competition – foreign airlines like Air India, Korean Air & Emirates which also receive subsidies from their home governments. The U.S. Export-Import Bank provides credit guarantees which reduce financing costs for manufacturers involved in selling internationally; biggest beneficiaries are companies like Boeing, Caterpillar & General Electric. But the program then helps the foreign airlines acquire aircraft specifically for expanding flights in competition with U.S. carriers.  [NEW YORK TIMES.COM – Jun 27, 14] 
  • WHAT ‘SCARES’ THE AVERAGE GUY?  Newest studies suggest that 46% of men fear simply seeing their doctor; 37% that their hairline will vanish; 14% are in “constant fear” of unemployment; 13% say they have “recurring nightmares” of their teeth falling out; up to 10% fear things like thunder, the sight of blood, spiders or snakes; and one in five men have been “so startled, they felt they were having a heart attack. As kids, over a quarter admit they slept with the lights on.  [MENS HEALTH – Oct 14] 
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:   Nearly 47 million Americans now receive monthly Food Stamps, growing by some 125,000 households each month according to U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture…   The California workforce includes 2.6 million illegal immigrants who provide 10% of the state’s labor (over half in agriculture and construction industries)…    30% of California schoolchildren are “either illegal immigrants or do not speak English” according to Governor Brown.  

      Local freeway speeding is seldom worth the risk of a ticket or accident. On a 10-mile trip, saving two minutes requires driving 80mph (even if traffic allowed); saving five minutes on a 25-mile trip means driving 85mph.

          “Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.”  – Lily Tomlin