Today is Halloween, a day for tricks and treats, a day in which people dress up in costumes, and children go around asking relative strangers for candy. My parents weren’t fond of this day when I was a child, so I was never able to go trick or treating, but as an adult I am always sure to make up for the candy I’ve passed on. Today, on the day that many are dressed as somebody else, I think it is important to remember to be yourself. Everyone loses part of who they are while growing up, sometimes it is due to necessity and other times it is because they have been drawn away from interests they once held. In a sense we are all a product of our environments and circumstances, but that is no reason to lose sight of who you actually are. It is hard to pinpoint exactly where we lose our way in terms of our individuality, but it is important to realize that we are individuals and that we much value our differences. Today as I walk streets full of people pretending to be who they are not, I will put forward my best effort to be the most authentic version of me for Halloween.
I recently read a news report about a teenager in Oregon who was recently diagnosed with the Bubonic plague. This story seemed as a shock to me since I fully believed that this disease was extinct, but it seems like it has managed to hang around, we have just found advanced ways of treating it. The Bubonic plague is a disease that is commonly heard of in history class, it was known in Europe as the Black Death due to the effects it has on the human body. Back when the Bubonic plague was at the height of its devastation, it killed one third of the known population of earth. In the 14th century this plague was a certain death sentence and there was nothing anybody could do to save themselves or the ones they loved. Today, we know that the bubonic plague is spread by fleas and rodents, and we have drastically improved in our cleanliness since the Middle Ages, we also have antibiotics that can fight the effects of the plague, leaving it little chance to cause the damage it once did. It is astounding to think of how far we have come in terms of medical and hygienic technology, hopefully we will be able to look at all disease as ghosts of the past one day. Only 23 people have contracted the bubonic plague in the United States from the year 2010 to 2014, so it seems like this disease is well contained. This girl’s case is rare and unfortunate, but at least she has a cool story to tell her friends when she recovers.
Week seven is in the books, and now we are officially at the halfway point of the NFL season. Last week, I managed to be correct on the usual 10 out of 14 picks, and while I expect perfection I am starting to feel ok with the consistency, for now. This week starts with an interesting one on Thursday night as the undefeated Patriots face off against the resurgent Miami Dolphins. I expect this game to be close and high scoring but the Pats will definitely win. In the early morning game from England, I expect the Lions to defeat the Chiefs in blowout, the Chargers will defeat the Ravens, and the Cardinals will beat the Browns. The Bengals will win a close game against the Steelers, the Vikings will win against the Bears, and the Texans will end their losing streak with a win against the Titans. The Giants will win against the Saints, and the Rams will defeat the 49ers. In what looks to be a massive upset the Buccaneers will defeat a very strong Falcons team, and The strong Jets defense will secure a win over the Raiders. The Cowboys are looking to bounce back from a four game losing streak but unfortunately they have to meet the reigning champions of the NFC, the Seahawks, I expect the Cowboys to lose this one by at least ten points. This week’s night games are going to be massive, with three undefeated teams playing in the games, I’m sure there will be some fantastic football. In the Sunday night game the Broncos will end the undefeated run of the Packers, and in the Monday night game the Panthers will keep it perfect with a win over the Colts. I am still hoping for perfection, but I think I will be fine once I get past this hurdle of ten correct picks. I would love to make this the start of my weeks of perfection, either way, enjoy the games everybody, I sure will.
On this day, as it is “raining cats and dogs” here in the city, I started thinking about which pet is actually the better option. I know the Internet is obsessed with cats, and they can come off as pretty cute, but dogs have been regularly labeled as “man’s best friend.” I have never actually had a pet other than a small creature such as a fish or a hamster, but I have always been drawn more to dogs than cats. I guess my issue with cats is their air of indifference. Cats are great pets for people who have little space, but they seem to walk around like they own the place, and they often ignore the wishes of their owners. I know that cats can be affectionate at times, but I am used to dealing with cats that really don’t care much for people, unless food is involved. Dogs don’t come problem free, they must be trained well to avoid in home mishaps, and they can be too clingy at times. If a dog is not trained well it could be big trouble for its owner, as some poorly trained dogs have been known to bite strangers and ruin important documents. Even though there are negatives to both dogs and cats, the positives of well trained pet ownership far outweigh the negatives. To be honest I don’t think one is better than the other when it comes to cats and dogs, each of these creatures has their separate perks, but they are both known for being solid companions to their owners when they need them most. The great debate of cat or dog has no clear winner, and since it is so hard to look at this topic objectively, I think it is time for us to realize that these animals are equally as qualified to be the perfect pet.
I often find myself thinking about the future, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It is interesting that everyone has an idea of how the future looks, but we rarely ever consider the extreme changes that could occur between the present and the future. I understand that nobody wants to think about the bad, and that our wishes for the future are often only positive, but change is not always bad. The fact of the matter is things change, and we can never correctly predict tomorrow from the vantage point we stand on today. The human’s ability to plan and visualize for the future is rare, but flawed. Many animals can store up resources for later, and even remember where they left these resources but none have as intricate a thought process about the future as humans do. The flaw in our ability to plan comes with the fact that we don’t plan well for what we don’t expect, but if everything was expected, there would be no benefit to planning. It is important to plan, but the most important thing is to remember that things change. What was normal yesterday is now no longer in existence, so it seems like we may have to work on adaptation rather than on planning since we can not perceive the future. In order to properly plan for the future we have to learn to accept change and to expect the unexpected. I will continue to plan for and think about the future even though my plans and thoughts may be only a past dream when the future actually comes around.
The Major League Baseball World Series will finally begin tomorrow night. In this seven game series the two best teams in baseball will face off to see who is worthy of raising the championship trophy. The team that is representing the NL is the New York Mets, while the AL will have the Kansas City Royals as their representative. Both of these teams are very talented and they both seem to be on an unquenchable hot streak, but unfortunately one of these teams must lose. The Mets are coming into this match up with some of the best young pitching talent that has ever been seen in the playoffs, and along with the stellar batting performances of Daniel Murphy, they have been defeating teams before the game reaches its half way point. I expect the Mets to continue to pitch well, but I just can’t see Murphy keeping up this pace of hitting throughout the playoffs. The Royals have a couple of great pitchers, but their strength comes from their hitting. There have been countless times during the playoffs when the Royals have had their backs against the wall, only to be saved by the clutch bats in their lineup, and they will likely need a few clutch performances to defeat the Mets in the World Series. I can’t make a pick for this series since both teams are extremely talented, but what I can say is that in order for the Mets to win, they need to pitch well early and keep hitting late in the game. If the Royals want to win, they have to keep the score low, and force the Mets’ relief pitchers to try and contend with their generally hot late inning bats. Tuesday night marks the beginning of the end of the MLB season, it has definitely been an interesting one. I’m sure this World Series will be like sweet frosting on top of the already appealing MLB season.
Recently, I have found myself thinking about places that I have visited. I have been to quite a few interesting locations but this is a big planet, and there are many places I have yet to go. This post will be about a few places that I would love to travel to very soon. The first interesting location that I definitely need to see is the Seagaia Ocean Dome in Japan. Japan’s ocean dome is an indoor beach that has artificial surf and sand, as well as year round perfect weather. I am not a beach person, but a spectacle like this dome seems too awesome to skip. The next location that I have been planing to see for some time is the Pyramids of Egypt. The pyramids are cultural and architectural masterpieces that can be seen as some of the oldest links to the past we currently hold. I would have gone to the pyramids a year or two ago, but with the unrest in the region at the time, I decided that the trip must wait for another day. The last place that I need to visit very soon is Nigeria. Nigeria is the country of my origin, my parents were born there, and I have plenty of family there, but I have never actually had a chance to visit. There are many misconceptions about Nigeria, but much like many other west African countries, it is extremely modern and commercialized. I can’t wait to finally get to meet my cousins who I have only spoken to over the phone and on the web. There are many places that I would love to see that aren’t listed in this post, but the world is large and I have to start somewhere. As I knock these locations off my list I will certainly be adding new ones. As long as I am healthy, I am always ready for an adventure, and I can’t wait to start traveling once again.
Younger siblings are great, as kids they are playmates and living action figures, but as adults they can be somewhat annoying at times. I am speaking as a middle child, I know how it feels to be a younger sibling as well as an older one. I don’t necessarily hang out with my older siblings often, but when I am around them I kind of expect them to give me stuff, or pay for me, and as an older sibling I don’t mind doing any of that for the younger ones. It is almost as if we are conditioned to always treat the “babies” like babies even when they are older and doing pretty well for themselves. As a younger sibling, I respect the older ones and use them as a reference, I remember their mistakes and I ask them for advice, even though I rarely heed their advice. I am sure my younger siblings don’t listen to me either, but it is always a treat when they ask me for advice so I can see how their situation ends up when they ignore it. Older siblings can be seen as extra parents who often happen to be more lenient, you can speak to them about more than you feel you can speak to a parent about, and you can expect a more practical approach to life’s many issues. A younger sibling is like a “practice child,” it is almost as if you have a hand in raising them, but are less liable for the mistakes they make. I have the joy of being a middle child, and while there are many negative things said about this birth position, I am happy that I have a chance to take a step back and interact with my family in the many complex ways that are only possible when you are born in the middle.
A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.
There is far too common a misconception that it is selfish to desire things, or to work hard for anything, and often times people settle for much less due to the fact that they don’t think they deserve more. Selfishness is an unlearned trait, as children we are inherently selfish, we want all of the food, all of the toys, all of the time from others. Somewhere along the way, as we are trained away from selfishness, we lose sight of self worth. I have seen many people fail to attain a goal due to the fact that they don’t want to seem selfish, while in fact they are being selfish by withholding their talents, knowledge, and contributions from society. As I have grown, I have learned that one of the quickest ways a person can be derailed from their path is by calling them selfish. If a man is working hard to support his family, and somebody ignorantly calls him a selfish workaholic, he may get discouraged and start to question the worth of his work. This quote centralizes the true theme of the idea of selfishness, and in my opinion perfectly defines it, we are not selfish for desiring to go places or do things, true selfishness is when we decide to do all of these things merely for ourselves while disregarding the lives of others. If you are working hard towards a goal, there will be times when you can not be as personable as desired, but as long as your success will lead to the success of your family and community, you are on the right track.
Before I start my NFL picks, I would like to say congratulations to the New York Mets on making it to the World Series. I am a Yankee fan, so naturally I hate the Mets, but they have shown great tenacity and drive in this playoff push and they deserve some sort of recognition even from a cross town rival. Now on to football, This week’s games starts with a Thursday night matchup of the once powerful 49ers and the Seahawks. I expect the Seahawks to easily win this game. The second game of the week will be played early on Sunday morning for us Americans, as it is the second of the NFL’s tour of England games. The Jaguars will be playing the Bills, and I expect the Bills to return stateside with a victory. The Rams will defeat the Browns, The Vikings will defeat the Lions, and the Dolphins will keep their hot streak going with a win over the Texans. Both the Colts and the Saints have been having a tough year, and I expect the year to keep getting worse for the poor Colts as they will lose against the Saints. The Steelers will defeat the Chiefs, the Buccaneers will beat the Redskins, and the Falcons will get the win against the Titans. Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots will face what may be their toughest competition of the season so far in the Jets, but I expect them to come away with their perfect record intact in a close game. The Chargers will defeat the Raiders, and the unbeaten Panthers will defeat the Eagles in a big Sunday night matchup. The Giants and the Cowboys will face off for the first time since the Giants’ opening night debacle, and I will be making the same pick but I expect a different outcome, as the Giants will most definitely win this game. Week seven will round out with a somewhat boring Monday night game in which the Cardinals will defeat the Ravens in what could be a high scoring “shootout.” Last week, I once again got 10 out of 14 predictions correct, It seems impossible to get a perfect week, but if anyone happens to be putting any stock in a few of my weekly picks so far, I’m sure they are seeing dividends. Try to get out and enjoy this fine weekend and get ready for some football.