The Art of Lyme Disease

As part of our bucolic Pennsylvanian environment we have many deer traipsing across our property throughout the year. These pleasant little groups, especially when they have the fawns with them, are nice to see, although, despite the best attempts of Disney, they do have a few annoying, and even darker traits.

The most direct impact they have is their relentless browsing on many things in our garden. We have had many plants, both vegetables and flowers taken, and much damage done to young trees and shrubs too by these marauding hordes. In their defense, it’s understandable as to them we are nothing more than a provider of a herbivorous smorgasbord from which to dine, but it’s bloody annoying nevertheless.  

That being said, these hoofed visitors are generally harmless to us, though, with two notable exceptions. Firstly, they have a tendency to leap out in front of traffic, so injuring or killing not only themselves but many drivers who hit them and, secondly, they are a significant part of the lifecycle for the parasite that causes the Lyme disease that is so prevalent in our area.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete parasite Borellia burdorferi which is carried by the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and delivered when the tick is having a good blood meal on a human being. This little payload can cause a classic “bullseye” rash of concentric red rings on the skin as the infection spreads, although it does not occur in all cases. Once infected the victim exhibits flu-like symptoms of fever, fatigue, muscle aches and generally feeling unwell. If it is diagnosed quickly enough then one or two 28-day treatment cycles of oral doxycycline should take care of it, although there can be long term effects which include joint pain, arthritis and neuropathies.

The weird thing, from my perspective, is that a person does not obtain immunity from the infectious agent, but can be reinfected. I know this as I have been immunologically diagnosed with this twice in 3 years so far.

So, as I sat here over the weekend I thought I’d create some “Lyme inspired” artwork, in the style of those pop art posters. Lyme Disease – the gift that keeps on giving!

Lyme1

Lyme3

Lyme2

Richard

The Trumpinator

Having sat through part of the grate (sic) debate on Monday and then listened to the “highlights” over the last couple of days I remain convinced that we are teetering on the edge of a dystopian precipice.

Donald Trump truly seems to believe that he can actually rewrite the truth simply by denying his past statements and actions, even when they are part of official record. Welcome to DonaldSpeak, a true Orwellian phenomenon, albeit 22 years later than the author predicted. It will be an interesting ride if he actually pulls off a victory in November and becomes Commander in Chief…

thetrumpinator

~Richard

The Elephant in the Room

Many eyes and ears have been on the Donald, and many mouths left agape in bewilderment, over the last several months as he blusters and bullies his way towards his goal as Republican Presidential nomination. Others have fallen by the wayside over this time and his only main rival now appears to be Ted Cruz.

Now, I cannot be unique in finding it more than a touch ironic that the GOP logo is an elephant since it seems to me that the party is now so obsessed with beating Trump at all costs that they fail to address the other elephant in the room, that is – who this would put as their top guy if they succeed in derailing Mr T.

I could wax lyrical about my opinions on Ted’s big adventure, including the childish Dr Seuss filibuster episode, his religious zealotry, compassion-less views on immigration and women’s issues, and more, but instead I offer up a graphical statement that represents my opinion, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

160412_BigoTED2
~Richard

1/40 of a Picture

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is not, as oft thought, an ancient saying from a mystical eastern philosopher, but rather a construct of the advertising manager at Street Railways Advertising, Frederick R. Barnard.

In an advertisement in “Printer’s Ink” in December 1921 he used the phrase “One Look Is Worth a Thousand Words” with a fictional attribution to “a famous Japanese philosopher” to add gravitas to his copy which was, in the end, designed to sell photographic advertisements rather than to be particularly philosophical.

That being said, today I offer up perhaps one fortieth of my picture of the Republican front runner in the 2016 GOP presidential campaign:

160319_TrumpWords

~ Richard

6 sentence story – #1600

It had started off as a boast, born from a late-night party with his friends, and had somehow mutated into an unstoppable train. At some point he was bound to be derailed; at least that’s what the pundits had opined month after month. But now he had arrived; admittedly by the skin of his teeth, but a win was a win nonetheless. His offensive rhetoric and inconsistent fomenting had made no difference, or had it? He had played a dangerous game and was quite surprised by how far he had been able to rally people’s rage to achieve his aim.

He felt exhilarated as the director called one last time, “We’re ready for your address, Mr. President,” tears welling in her eyes.

160303_Donald

~ Richard

Earworms

I had not suffered an earworm for quite a while. I don’t know why this is but I have been grateful for it. Then, while browsing the web last night I stumbled across a youtube video of a couple of girls (twins, in fact) playing Stairway to Heaven on harps for some unbelievable reason. Not since disgraced Aussie entertainer Rolf Harris released his version with a bleedin’ wobble board have I been so appalled. Yes, I know they play their harps beautifully but there are some things that simply should not be done. And tampering with Led Zeppelin’s STH is one of them. Anyhow, that being said. I have now had that great rock classic buzzing around in my head all day. Thankfully, it is Jimmy Page’s ‘58 Telecaster version and not harps!

Last time this happened to me for a week or so it was to Pink Floyd’s, Shine on you Crazy Diamond. At least that time it inspired me to create some artwork based on the arpeggiated chord that became know as “Syd’s Theme.”

160227_SteelBreeze

This time, it only lasted a few hours.

So, what is an earworm?

Apparently the odd word is an Anglicization of the German “Ohrwurm” which, ironically, has nothing to do with the phenomenon and refers rather to the ancient practice of treating ear diseases by using ground up pieces of the insect we commonly call earwigs!

Very strange indeed.

The modern earworm simply refers to the phenomenon when you cannot get a tune out of your head or, more usually, a particular musical phrase. Interestingly there appears to be no definitive consensus of how or why this happens. Personally, I think it may be linked to human’s innate pattern processing that has evolved for our survival, perhaps akin, though totally unlinked, to pareidolia that I touched on in an earlier post. Most times the earworm will go away on its own, but it can also be replaced by other music or even by engaging the brain’s working memory in moderately difficult logic puzzles such as anagrams or sudoku, which seem to “wipe the biological RAM” so to speak.

In my case creating some art in GIMP did the job, and was a productive exercise too!

Now for the statistics: apparently 98% of us will experience these at some time, so be warned, and let’s hope it’s a great song at least!

~Richard

6 sentence story – Death Supreme

“He was an extraordinarily intelligent man,” they say, “someone who worked tirelessly to protect the people from change.” To me though, he lacked pragmatism. His bright mind, molded by his god-view, was distorted to defend a status quo established centuries before. Unyielding and narrow minded, his decisions would impact millions for a generation and beyond. I think he enjoyed in the notoriety. Personally, I didn’t like the man’s demeanor.

160218_Scalia

~Richard

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

From 1 Blogger 2 Another

Sharing Great Blog Posts

Journeys Through Pre-World War 3 Britain

Travelling the overcast isles

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Sara in LaLaLand

Welcome to my world.

Rustic Rumination

Mind over matter

Stephen Liddell

Musings on a mad world

thisisyouth

On the quest to live an interesting life.

GlobeTrotters: When Pig's Fly

Travel, Fitness, Northern. Three of the finer things in life! Join me in exploring the globe and telling a funny story along the way with a little piggy

Fictionspawn Monsters

Illustrated Short Stories

RPR Consulting, Inc

Success By Design

Back to Blighty

A returning expat's perspective of Britain

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

Jim Kayalar Photography

Photo Book Store

DADDY'S CUISINE

Happy Eating

in cahoots with muddy boots

Cooking, gardening, traveling and photographing around the globe

%d bloggers like this: