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Footwear = Foot Pain

I don't know if this exists, or if it is a mythical creature. I am talking about footwear that doesn't hurt my feet. I am on my feet most of the day and when I get home my feet hurt. And though I have been actively looking for them for a long time they have remained elusive.

Rainbow sandals were a good fit for the more casual good weather shoe. Though I got a sunburn once on my right foot so bad that it swelled up and I couldn't wear shoes.

I have yet to find a shoe that I have no foot pain ever, but these are the best I have worn.

For sneakers I like to go with either Nike (casual) or New Balance (running), but their quality seems to have declined somewhat over time and I buy a new pair more often that I use to with the same amount of wear. They only last about 6-9 months before I have worn them out which is slightly faster than it used to be.

While I find Crocs nice — my mother got me hooked on them — I can't wear those in the lab. Plus the are nice to pull on, but I am not sure 8-10 hours on them would be as nice.

I've got some shoes in circulation that I have bought over the last couple of years, but they're not really any more soft or supportive than what I would like. Then I have some that remained heavy and stiff even I spent time breaking in. Ironically the shoes will last me decades since I almost never wear them. This is why my professors in college always looked dated.

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My Shoes Make My Goal Achievable

For Running and percentage breakdown use per week:

  1. New Balance Minimus, no cushion, get about 10% use
  2. New Balance Zante, medium cushion, about 15%
  3. New Balance 1080s with a large cushion 25%
  4. Altra Torins with a medium to large cushion get the rest

A variety of shoes to prevent overuse injuries.

For walking around the city I like a little more comfort, something casual:

  • Nike Free Running

I wear — or have worn other shoes — one example would be my Boracay's are a weird shoe, at least for me, which I didn't list.

They feel fine and can put up a good amount of miles, but they're just different somehow.

I only wear them when I don't want to wear the other shoes and though I have tried I have been unable to pinpoint why.

The Saucs are versatile forever shoes, the 1400 is a solid track/race shoe, and the Cloudflow is this goofy-fun tempo shoe, but the Boracays are something else. I would suggest giving them a try if you are having a hard time finding a shoe that you like.

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Hey! That’s My Bag

Have you ever been standing at the luggage carousel, watching people fight their way to the front and just start grabbing bags? I have been witness to a number of interesting scenes, including one where a guy grabbed my bag.

Now I use a band of colored tape around the handles of my luggage even my carry ons, all in the same color. Generally speaking a bright color works well.

My father suggested it and since then I mainly use pink gaff tape. The nice thing about the tape is that it doesnt usually leave that nasty adhesive goo behind if you need to remove it. And it is made from cotton which feels nice.

I buy my gaffer type from amazon.

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So Adorable

I simply adore it when little kids acting like adults. My nieces and nephews do this all of the time. It is priceless when they put their hands on their hips and try to have a serious discussion with a grown up. Or when they pretend to go to work and do whatever their childs' mind thinks adults must do at work and they have their brow all furrowed.

Adorable. Every time.

On the other hand, adults acting like kids, this is a whole bunch of disturbing. The only exception being Tom Hanks in Big.

I guess you could call it a child's sense of wonder.

They're never cynical or apathetic. Everything is interesting, even the stupid things, and it just reminds you how beautiful everything can be if you just look at it like it's new.

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The Save Yourself in Disaster Preparedness Mindset

I took a course when my parents and I took a cruise, this was a couple of years ago when I graduated from college. It was a real eye opener for me. And it was anecdotal in so far that it was a story the instructor told.

The instructor once said that the fatalities of women in catastrophic disasters at sea was much higher than men. And then he asked the class why.

A lot of the people present at the course — both men and women — were of the opinion that women were just naturally weaker swimmers than men. Those that had other ideas suggested that they either stayed inside their rooms or ran around half-crazed.

For the people that said they were more likely to be in interior cabins, the reasoning was the men were more likely to be in bars or socializing on the deck for longer than women. A crazy person doesn't listen to authority right? Sp for the group that answered with "half-crazed" they proposed that the women were less likely to listen to authorities during emergencies.

Sorry.

According to the instructor the majority of women who die during disasters were reported to be going back after their children and were caught in the worsening conditions and didn't survive.

It sounds plausible — I'd go back for my dog. I don't have any kids yet, but she is my precious baby. I can't bear the thought of her being all alone when facing death, even if I knew that I could not save her.

Of course the men didn't say, "I didn't go back for my kids because I can just make more." It was still the instructor's belief that this was the reason more women die in disasters than men. Women going to be more likely to sacrifice themselves for their children, men were more likely to flee.

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Modern Catholic

I guess you would say that I am a millennial. People in my age range seem to be moving more and more away from religion. Yet, that isn't always the case and a lot of churches are making targeted attempts to bring them "back into the church," though the church may not be their church.

Organizations like that attempt to make it modern and avoid the traditional aspects of the church. I would run from those churches. If it wasn’t for Orthodoxy I don’t think I would’ve ever been interested in Christianity.

They take away everything I want, tradition, and replace it with everything that I dislike.

I want prayer and reverence.

I want connection.

I want spirituality.

What I do not want is a concert.

The only thing I need a worship service to make me feel is reverence for God and a connection to the generations of saints that have come before me. I find that in a liturgical service and a contemporary service feels like a bad concert for a social club I'm not a part of. It's like the "contemporary" services are more to feel good about oneself rather than to actually grow in one's faith.

Getting people in the door is not the goal of a church worship service.

That's the problem with a lot of American churches.

The charismatic megachurch is a phenomenon that is only possible in the First World, where religion and leisure can significantly overlap.

We view the worship service as an evangelistic tool rather than a means for the worship of God and the edification of the saints. You might fill the church with people but what kind of Gospel are you giving them? But the moment you give them the real thing they will leave. Evangelism was the order of the saints outside the church.

In the rest of the world, people are sticking to the form of worship that the Church has kept since within living memory of the Apostles.

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A Thorn In Our Flesh: Bad Behavior in the Church

To be fair as well, bad behavior has been the Church's thorn in the flesh since the very beginning. Who can forget how often the apostles would squabble among themselves while Jesus was yet on earth! Or that one time when Paul rebuked Peter right to his face for "being reprehensible?"

Our Lord in our own spheres of influence:

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house."

People are angry at the tragic state of the Church in America, at least in my community and with those I have spoken to in other communities. This is from my personal experience so you should not take my statement at face value. And that can lead to some less than pleasant behavior and siege mentalities that I think you will find in most locations. Unchristian behavior in the Church is a scandal that reflects badly on the Church and misrepresents the God we claim to follow.

But the Church is more than its human failings, more than its foibles and flaws. There's a reason Song of Songs 1:4 is sometimes seen as an allegory for the Church after all.

This shapes non-Catholics opinion of us in such a way that you will experience unpleasant people from time to time. But if they are ignorant of Catholicism enough to hate it, they are ignorant of the rest of organized religion. When I hear them claim X is better than Y I just smile. I can't free them from their ignorance. When people don't understand something, their opinion is a dice roll of which stories they believe. The enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality is alive and well. It is naive.

But then people have hated truth and goodness since the beginning.

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Life’s Better Down Stream

River ecosystems are actually deceptively complex, there's a bunch of different types of organisms living in all different parts of the river. The easiest way to describe it would be to divide the river into three parts: The top layer of water, the middle, and the bottom. Different types of organisms exist in each of these sections, and some are more influenced by river flow than others.

"Plankton" is a general term. It includes a huge variety of organisms.

There are organisms in plants that will get washed into the water and start to grow and then get classified as plankton. There are bacteria in the air that will start to grow in water and then become classified as plankton. Even newborn fish can be plankton as long as they can't swim strong and just go with the flow. Basically as long as they can't move by themselves and are photosynthetic and life in water, it's a plankton.

It's important to point out that Neustonic fish aren't constantly fighting against the current. They can float above or under the surface, and if they wanted to stay in the same place then they'd have to use energy to swim against the river current. These can be fish, or even water striders which float along the top of the water.

Even in the most rapid of rivers, there will always be eddies, fissures, and washouts where fish can literally duck into into to sleep, eat, and mate.

The plankton grow and reproduce in ponds, and lakes upstream.

Even mountain based rivers have millions of contributing streams many of which only add water when they over flow with rains. There is a constant addition of nutrients and organisms that come from everywhere even farmers fields. This why algae blooms happen more frequently.

It's impossible to stop the addition of plankton and other nutrients that are constantly being added, to do so you would have to kill the river. Some systems are so complex that the actual source of the river becomes a disputed issue.

Rivers begin as tiny trucks that combine to form small streams which band together to form a small rubber that grows add it goes along merging with other sources.

The top of the river is not a raging rising body of water washing everything away in its path.

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Paedophryne Amauensis

World's Smallest Frog (and Vertebrate)

Paedophryne amauensis was discovered in 2009 by a research team from Louisiana State University, this wee beastie holds the title of the world's smallest vertebrate at 7.7mm in length.

The previous champion was a fish called Paedocypris progenetica, meassured 7.9mm in length.

Hailing from the undergrowth of Papua New Guinea's rain forests, they live a crepuscular lifestyle – coming out at dawn n' dusk to call (presumably to find other smol frog hotties), with a series of high-pitched notes said to resemble that of an insect. In fact, this is how they were discovered – boffins took recordings of evening frog calls and noticed one they couldn't quite identify.

By scooping up and closely examining bits o' leaf matter from where they thought the noise was coming from, they managed to spot a wee frog or two crawling about.

What's very interesting is that they emerge as a smaller adult instead of having to develop from a tadpole.

Most amphibians have a typical three stage life cycle – eggs, then aquatic tadpole-ey things with gills, then mature adults without gills – there are plenty of notable exceptions. Turns out most super miniature frogs, like Paedophryne amauensis, ditch the tadpole stage altogether, with their eggs hatching directly into even teenier versions of the adults.

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Dante: The Divine Comedy

It certainly is not a piece of theology so it should not be viewed as doctrine, and is full of errors, but really, it wasn't meant to be doctrine. It is meant to help us grow as people. Basically the only parts literally taken from scripture and church teaching are the existence of heaven, hell, and purgatory. But as literature, it is easily one of the greatest things ever written.

It's more of a tale of the spiritual life rather than about the afterlife itself. I thoroughly enjoyed getting a different perspective of Hell, purgatory and heaven. I liked the ideas he was trying to portray.

Even if Dante's The Divine Comedy isn't particularly accurate. Yet,I would say it affects not only Catholics, but all Christians to some extent.

The Divine Comedy is an epic poem so it's not 100% literally accurate, it's a deeply allegorical work and as such there's definitely a lot spiritually and theologically to be learned from it. Some parts are in line with Catholic belief though. For instance while we can't know who's in hell or its exact layout it has been traditionally believed that hell is indeed layered or sinners in hell being punished to the severity of their sin.

We may know that it isn't biblical, but for the most part it is the same description you end up with most places (although not everyone adds in the ice). The conclusions Dante drew still affect how we "view" hell and how it appears in our mind. This is the same for Milton's paradise lost. it may not be biblical, but it definitely influences thoughts and mental pictures.

Dante was Catholic. And because of that he does a pretty good job with his poetic descriptions of theological reality.