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Ed Ergenzinger

Humor

If you don’t have carbs on you you’re no good to me

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Like many people in the time of COVID-19, I’d put on a few pounds. I’d gone beyond adding my normal layer of winter padding to having to rotate between the two outfits I had left that fit.

And when I say they didn’t fit, I mean they physically hurt to wear. My stomach and belt looked like a tree that had grown for a hundred years around a wire fence.

I knew I wasn’t up for a lifestyle change, so I went with a fad diet instead. And because I’m a middle-aged man, I didn’t know what the latest fad…


Humor

And shame on you for suggesting them.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

You’ve seen the articles. “15 Foods That Are Bad for You,” or “Stop Eating This You Fat Slob.”

They’re usually written by a registered dietitian or nutritionist and contain such groundbreaking revelations as “too much sugar is bad for you,” and “bacon is a bullet that you eat.”

They then try to suggest healthy substitutes for your favorite foods, and it rarely goes well.


Health | Addiction | Cannabis

Marijuana found to be a potential tool to fight the opioid crisis, a drain on IQ, and a mixed bag for entrepreneurs

Image by David Cardinez from Pixabay

In an interview last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that lawmakers are in the process of merging various marijuana bills in an effort to prioritize some form of federal cannabis legalization.

Schumer indicated that a new bill could remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and allow states the freedom to determine their own policies regarding cannabis without federal interference. The bill could also direct cannabis tax revenues to invest in communities impacted the most by the war on drugs, expunge marijuana records, and prevent large corporations from monopolizing the cannabis market.

The proposed…


Cannabis | Health | Science

Two new research studies report evidence of toxic chemicals in marijuana smokers and withdrawal symptoms in most people using cannabis for pain relief.

Image by John Miller from Pixabay

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares for his inauguration Wednesday, stakeholders in the US cannabis industry eagerly anticipate the increasingly likely prospect of federal legalization of cannabis.

House Democrats intend to re-introduce the MORE Act, which would federally legalize cannabis, and pass it relatively quickly. Newly appointed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated the MORE Act will be a priority in the US Senate.

So things are looking up for US cannabis advocates and users. …


Growing Up

The story of a boy and his inner ear

Dolles Salt Water Taffy sign, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, image from Wikimedia Commons

In the summer of 1982, I was ten years old. And, being a kid in Delaware during the summer, my Mecca was Rehoboth Beach.

I assumed that all beaches had boardwalks with games, rides, and touristy t-shirt shops. That all beaches had their own family-owned multigenerational local institutions selling such summer staples as salt water taffy, pizza, and fresh cut french fries with malt vinegar.

The actual beach was a crush of people with blankets and umbrellas covering almost all of the available sand. It wasn’t until I was an adult living in North Carolina that I discovered the serenity…


Humor

Yes, your little angel is a Machiavellian psychopath

The Confidence Man by Guy Pène du Bois, image from Wikimedia Commons

I am a parent and I have a secret. I usually look at my kids with unbounded love and joy — their angelic faces instantly melting my heart. But I have also come to terms with the fact that they are unscrupulous little grifters just waiting to exploit any show of weakness for their personal gain.

Kids are natural con artists. Their cute exteriors lull unwitting marks, including their loving parents, into a false sense of security. Meanwhile, they’re running a flimflam scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.

Surely I’m exaggerating, right? Ignore my advice at your peril…


Humor

It didn’t go well

Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

By now you’ve probably heard about the hyperglycemic fever dream that is Peeps-flavored Pepsi. For some reason, this Frankenstein’s monster of soda isn’t named Peepsi, but who am I to question such gastronomic visionaries.

This carbonated affront to God will only be available for a limited time to a select few sweepstakes “winners” who are either seeking penance through flagellation of their taste buds or who just hate the natural order of things.


Psychology

Higher EQ associated with a greater ability to see through emotionally charged content of fabricated news stories.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A recent study in PLOS ONE by researchers at the University of Strathclyde reports that individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence are less likely to be susceptible to “fake news.”

The researchers asked subjects to read a series of news items on social media and determine whether they were real or fictitious, along with a brief description of the reasons behind their answers. Subjects also completed an emotional intelligence test to determine their emotional quotient, or EQ.

The real and fabricated news stories were about issues that included health, the environment, wealth inequality, and crime. …


Health | Science | Cannabis

Marijuana use linked to early heart disease in young adults and to increased rates of self-harm and mortality in youths with mood disorders.

Image by chuck herrera from Pixabay

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), seizures of cannabis along the southern border of the US have decreased by more than 80% since 2013. “[W]hen given the option, consumers choose their cannabis to be grown in America. States’ decisions to legally regulate cannabis has … significantly disrupted the illicit cannabis trade in Mexico,” said Justin Strekal, political director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

The US Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control also reports that 91% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized for either medical or recreational purposes. The Caucus’ report…


Humor | Poetry

I rode the bus to work, and I wrote haiku

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I used to ride to work on a commuter express bus line. It was an hour each way, and I started passing the time by composing haiku about what I saw.

These are my stories.

Ed Ergenzinger

Patent attorney with a PhD in neuroscience. Sometime adjunct professor. Writer. Carbohydrate enthusiast.

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