What we don’t know will kill us, Early Morning Pictures, An Heron & 003 A Puzzlement

Good Morning Ted and Jody:

This morning I awoke remembering a lecture my 7th Grade History teacher, Mr. Dobson, gave about lead in the pipes and pottery of the Roman Empire.  Mr. Dobson relayed how the Romans poisoned themselves with lead and didn’t have a clue: ruining all their drinking water through lead pipes and using lead pigments to fire their dishes and drinking cups.  Unlike us, Americans, in the modern 1950s who were still poisoning ourselves with lead-based paint in our homes.  I recall him vividly waving his arms and shouting, “all because it is easy to clean.”  He actually stood on a chair and said, very loudly, “We have a clue, people, but we keep doing it for profit.”  I suspect this memory was triggered by an article summarizing some research on the impact of sugar-free soda on dementia and strokes I read the day before. Being a prolific consumer of sugar-free beverages, I get enough Aspartame to preserve my entire body, daily, in the formaldehyde, it produces in human beings according to the purveyors of alternatives to it and sugar.  My first reaction to the article, was “It is a little late to tell me now, guys. Where were you with this information back when sugary drinks had turned me into a diabetic?”  Towards the end of the article, it cautioned that the findings, that I was 3 times more likely than a non-daily consumer of Aspartame sweetened beverages to have a stroke and or dementia, were only associations.

OK, back in the 60’s I took statistics courses at Indiana University (a little-known fact is that I have a minor in Economic-Statistics from that institution) and philosophy of science courses from Milton Hobbs of the then Department of Government at IU at the graduate level.  Further, in my career, I taught statistics to undergraduate political science majors who majored in political science to avoid taking any math or science courses (that made me the professor to avoid at all costs).  So, basically, I have a fair understanding of what associations are.  They are a way to get around the fact that science cannot prove anything.  Or to put it differently, associations are pretty strong evidence that something is going on at some level.  So, here I am in my 70s with information that my lifestyle (at least in the form of my beverage of choice) is giving me an increased risk of dementia and stroke over the next ten years.  Since I have been swilling down sugar free cola since the mid-1980s (I gave up caffeine in those sugar free drinks the 1990s and have no idea of what adverse effects that will have), I am thirty years past that stroke and dementia, so when it hits, it will probably be the stroke and dementia equivalent of a magnitude 10 earthquake that will separate California and the Pacific Northwest from the rest of North America (which, I think is the plan to succeed from the pestilence dominated nation to which we have sunk.  Do you suppose the stroke and dementia I am courting is my way to avoid dealing with the reality of the pestilence?). All I know to do at this point is to switch back to peppermint tea and pray no one does a study of associations with bad things with it.

On a positive note, yesterday morning was supposed to be rainy.  So, I slept in past the time to get out for sunrise shots.  So, it is very difficult to explain how I got these shots yesterday morning—indeed, it was past sunup. 20160422 0638 4 shot Panorama 0 email.jpg20170422_0633 13 shot Panorama 2 c email.jpg20170422_0636 10 shot Panorama 1 c email.jpg I guess the rain in the west made the sun a bit reluctant to make a timely appearance in the east—it can’t like this much rain any more than we do.   The last shot was taken with the Nikon P900 using a beanbag type tripod on the tunnel cover on the Ridgeline. DSCN0384 c 2017 04 21 2000.jpgSo, every time a car or truck went by; I got extra vibration; so, I have not reached the lack of shake in this portrait of the heron.  But I will get there.

I trust this finds you not drinking non-sugar beverages (healthy), happy and ready to take on the day.

Warmest regards, Ed

003 A Puzzlement

Fiction in 1132 words by T. Edward Westen

Captain Batan scratched his head and said, “Every time I try to add two and two, in this case, I come up with double and triple digit answers.”

“What do you mean Captain?” asked Detective First Class Eddie Philipson.

“Andy Kellog claims the dead woman just appeared in his cab,” replied Captain Batan. “The paramedics say that based on rigor mortis, the woman has been dead for at least four hours.  To be in the position the woman is in that cab she had to be placed there before the rigor mortis set in—four hours before Andy called it in.  But Andy didn’t start driving that cab until 90 minutes before he called in.  The driver who had the cab before Andy says there was no dead woman in it when he clocked out.  The dispatcher, claims she didn’t see a body in the can when it left the garage.  The old guy who cleans out the cabs between shifts says nothing.  Indeed,” looking down at his notes, Captain Batan said, “his exact words were ‘Nothing, I saw nothing.’ The passenger,” again looking at his notes, “Frank Millard, a reporter for the Enquirer, backs up Andy’s account.  He says they were talking and the woman ‘appeared out of thin air.’  The Prophet only knows what story he will write.  The crime scene unit extracted the woman very carefully and reports that other than a few traces of her skin on the meter and seat, which they admit they could have caused when they exacted her, there is no evidence she was killed in or near the cab. Finally, the autopsy shows the woman died from the impact of a two by two-inch square shaped solid object, like a fence post or railing, which left no trace of its composition in the four inches it penetrated the woman’s forehead.  The final piece of non-information we have is no one vaguely fitting the woman’s description has been reported missing in the two days since she, er, well popped into Andy’s cab.  No one has called in to say they recognize the reconstructed photo of the woman we released the day she showed up. So, where do we go to find out if she was killed, died of an accident or is just a figment of my imagination”

Detective Philipson silently handed Captain Batan the latest copy of the Enquirer.  The Headlines read ‘MURDEROUS MAGICIAN MAKES VICTIM APPEAR IN CAB.’ Scanning the article Captain Batan read ‘this reporter was present when the magician’s victim suddenly appeared in Andy Kellog’s cab.  Andy Kellog was abducted by aliens some months ago but says they were not aliens.  Could the time travelers he claims abducted him have exiled a murderous magician into our time?’ . . .’Police are baffled.’ . . .’When will the murderous magician strike again?’ Captain Batan shook his head.  Handing the paper back to Detective Philipson he said, “At least he has the part about us being baffled right.”  He paused for a moment and then asked, “Do you read this regularly?”

Detective Philipson laughed out loud, “That fellow who wrote the article personally brought it in.”

The Desk Sergeant walked over and handed a note to Captain Batan and said, “There is another one, on 38th.”

Captain Batan, looked at the address and said, “This is next door to Phil’s Bakery.”

The Desk Sergeant shook his head yes, “Another dead naked lady. This one in a delivery van.  The driver came back after leaving a package and found the woman sitting in his seat.”

Captain Batan turned to Detective Philipson, “Eddy you are with me on this one. You drive.”  He told the Desk Sergeant over his shoulder as he was following Detective Philipson to the stairwell, “Call the responding officer and don’t let anyone touch anything until we get there.”

Arriving at 38th Street just south of the light on Mulberry,

Detective Philipson left the car blocking the intersection with the lights flashing. “I wonder why the responding officer didn’t block the street?”

Captain Batan recognized Officer Diggs and said, “Because it is Officer Diggs.  I suspect he is still rattled from his gunfight with the coffee pot and windows not to mention holding Andy at gunpoint two days ago.  Remind me, how long before he can retire?”

“A few weeks, as I recall,” replied Detective Philipson.  “Maybe it would be safer for coffee pots and windows if you put him on a desk until then.”

“You may not believe it, but the Chief turned down that very suggestion,” replied Captain Batan.  “It seems the Chief’s wife is Elmer’s cousin and wants him to go out with dignity.  I didn’t have the guts to ask the Chief what his wife thought about him working behind a desk.”

As they approached Officer Diggs, Detective Philipson said, “I hear that.”

Officer Diggs asked, “Hear what?

“That we have another naked woman popping into a vehicle out of thin air,” replied Detective Philipson.

“If you can believe these guys,” said Officer Diggs. Pointing to the delivery truck, Office Diggs said, “No one saw the woman in the Van until the driver came back after making his delivery.  He first thought some of the guys in his union were playing a prank on him as tomorrow is his birthday.  Then when he touched the woman’s arm and found it stone cold and saw the hole in her forehead he went back in and called us.

Captain Batan walked to the van double parked on 38th Street in front of Glenn’s Shoe and Leather Repair.  The dead woman was leaning against the steering wheel and was indeed stone cold.  To him, the hole in her forehead matched the hole in the head of the woman pulled from Andy Kellog’s cab.  As he was contemplating the scene, someone cleared their voice behind him, “Ahem, Captain, you done?”

Captain Batan turned to find Lieutenant Mathew Bohme of the crime scene unit.  “Yes, just trying to get a feel for what must have happened.”

Lieutenant Bohme raised an eyebrow, “At least this one we can get out before her rigor relaxes.”

“Why is that Lieutenant?” asked Captain Batan.

“While she is in an almost identical sitting position as the one in Andy’s Cab,” said Lieutenant Bohme, “this one is not wedged in tightly.  You can thank the fact that the driver of the van is three times Andy’s size and the sliding doors.”

“Did you take photos of the other one so you can do an overlay?” asked Captain Batan. “Identical positions might be important.

“Yes, we did,” said Lieutenant Bohme.

Captain Batan nodded, “I hope that helps.  Now let’s get this street open for traffic”

On the sidewalk, Frank Millard was snapping photos with his cell phone.



About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
This entry was posted in birds, clouds, dawn, fiction, medical stuff, photographs, statistics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What we don’t know will kill us, Early Morning Pictures, An Heron & 003 A Puzzlement

  1. Eddy Winko says:

    Very impressive crane picture, as are the sun rises.
    Thankfully I managed to avoid the cans of pop habit so I should be dementia and stroke free, or maybe I have the former and just cant remember any of it, who knows?
    I think even Sherlock would be struggling with this one! Good to see ‘the Prophet only knows’ I can’t say that I ever remember it said in any film I have ever watched, despite the fact that it is probably said more often than ‘God only knows’ Or is it actually a phrase used?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      I love the light at low angles morning and evening for photos. Too often I am engrossed in the sky to find shots like the heron.
      I switched to the diet soda from the American addiction to coffee, when the doctor took me off caffeine back in the 80s. Oh well.
      I don’t know if it is a phrase used. For Detective Captain Batan it just seemed appropriate. If Sherlock were involved, I can hear him telling Watson to get his pipe and gun and off to the Castle on the Moor they would go.
      Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    Aspartame is something I have done a great deal of research into. I have used sweeteners in my tea and coffee every day for well over 35 years now. I also drink ‘sugar-free’ Pepsi Max, though rarely these days, Many years ago, I read that Aspartame was being blamed for a rise in bladder cancers (in men) in the UK. I contacted the company, ‘Canderel’, and they took my complaint very seriously indeed.
    I received a huge amount of paperwork about the claimed research, alongside a lot of their own findings too. It seems that they had been feeding male rats the equivalent of their own body weight of Aspartame every day, over a very long period. When a high percentage of those rats developed bladder cancer, they triumphantly released their ‘findings’. The company did similar research, and made many of the same conclusions.
    I can remember when doctors suggested that smoking was good for your lungs, too.
    And it is worth noting that there is no Aspartame in red wine… 🙂

    The story is developing really well. I am hooked on these mystery corpses, right from the start!

    And the heron photo was very good. We can always try for sharper shots, but the opportunity is what’s important.

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you:
      I should think in one fed anything its weight in anything problems would develope rather quickly. 🙂 I have always wondered at testing at the extremes. I too remember the doctors advertising cigarettes. Money talks, it doesn’t say anything but send me more money and it has a variety of ways to say it (lies mostly).
      Delighted you like the story.
      Yes, opportunity is the key to photography, just as location is in real estate.
      Warmest regards, Theo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been using sweeteners in my tea for donkey’s years and diet fizzy lemonade so I too will probably end up in the knackers yard shortly. Love the heron shot, not easy to get, well done! Awesome start to the story! 2 nekkid lady corpses already and we’re only on episode 3! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      neither of us is in knacker’s yard yet. I once put down knacker as my profession when I applied for home insurance. The salesman said the firm would not like to issue a policy to such an occupation. However, I suspect he alone in the firm knew what it was because I told him. I got the policy.
      Thanks, I tool like the heron shot.
      I got to chuckling about body count being the road to writing fame. 🙂
      Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Marie says:

    Good day, Ed

    I am glad you saw that article about the artificial sweetener in diet sodas. I just saw it as well, and immediately thought of you. I wanted to share it with you, but just as you pointed out, it may feel a little too late for that. And I have often come across such types information I want to share with my older loved ones, but do not want them to feel deep regret, overstressed or angry about what they have been doing for most of their life. I usually just throw some info out in front of them and if they take the bait I encourage and support. I was quite surprised you took seriously the plant-based diet! Are you still practicing it?

    Although, I am surprised if this info about the diet sodas is really the first you’re hearing about it. I have been reading for many years from legitimate sources that say as bad as regular sodas are for us, they are not nearly as bad as the diet sodas. Plus, it would seem to be common sense that all that man-made chemical wasn’t good for you. But I ascribe to all sorts of things like: I’m an all-things coconut lover. Who knows what atrocities they will discover coconut oil does to us when I am in my later years.


    I hope you are doing as well as a formeldehyded man can be doing.




    Liked by 1 person

    • I prefer to think of the vegetarian diet as a transition to, rather than staying on. The biggest impediment is that I have an adult supervisor (although she would vigorously deny it, it is a fact all men live with if they are straight and not single). I have to tell you being sneaky about eating vegetables, especially cooked, is not easy as a lot of them are green and show up on one’s plate. It is not like being a secret ice-cream eater or secret drinker, there are no breath mints that cover all vegetables. But I do try. I now eat a majority of my meals at the kitchen counter so I can get them in without giving away my treason to the carnivore I live with. Eventually, I will get fully transitioned and then . . .
      As you age and believe me it will happen, you may choose to enter denial and inflexibility or you can become enlightened. I used to deny things that were good and bad for me as, well, they were their pleasurable and someone wanted to deny me or they were pleasurable and I wanted more. Now that I am in danger of having consequences, I am having second thoughts and try to avoid both denial and inflexibility (however, my adult supervisor is not so, shall we say, flexible and open minded, but again she will deny this as well after all she is in denial).
      Now, if I have properly worded this I have laid the framework for laying off blame. We who have adult supervisors have to very sneaky about this so I deny any such attempt.
      Love Dad, AKA Ed


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s