Business Insider Report / U.S. – Russia Arms Sales

They say the Cold War is over, but Russia and the U.S. remain the leading supplier of weapons to countries around the world and are the two biggest military powers. Lately, tensions have been pretty high, too. The U.S. supplies much of NATO and Middle Eastern allies like Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Russia supplies other BRIC nations, as well as Iran, much of Southeast Asia, and North Africa.

We took numbers from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute for 2012-2013 to see whom the two rivals were supplying with weaponry. The U.S. dealt to 59 nations that Russia doesn’t sell or send weaponry to, while Russia dealt to just 15 nations that don’t receive U.S. arms. Fifteen countries received weaponry from both the U.S. and Russia, including Brazil, India, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The country that received the highest dollar amount of U.S. weaponry was the United Arab Emirates, with more than $3.7 billion in arms received over that period. Russia dealt the greatest value of weapons to India, sending more than $13.6 billion.

Overall, the U.S. sent more than $26.9 billion in weaponry to foreign nations, while Russia sent weaponry exceeding $29.7 billion in value around the globe.

Interestingly, the U.S. actually recieved roughly $16 million worth of weaponry from Russia. This was part of a $1 billion helicopter deal the two nations made so that the U.S. could supply Afghan security forces with equipment they were already more familiar with.

Importantly, SIPRI’s totals don’t measure the cost of the transaction but the cost of the weapons’ production. The numbers are listed as the production value of the weapons sold rather than the amount they were actually sold for. In addition, SIPRI does not track the transfer of certain small arms. How much of this weaponry is given away FREE by the U.S. ?

SIPRI gives several examples to explain their chosen method. In 2009, six Eurofighters valued at $55 million each were delivered by Germany to Austria. Therefore the delivery was valued at $330 million, even though the actual transaction likely netted a much higher total. For comparison, when The New York Times listed the total of weapons sold by the U.S. at $66.3 billion in 2011, SIPRI came up with a much lower total based off of production cost of $15.4 billion. As usual, accurate $$$$ is impossible to establish.

You can read the full explanation of SIPRI’s calculations here.

http://www.businessinsider.com – articles on how business interests see the news.

bi_graphics_usrussiaarmsrace-3 cost

Graphic Novels for Visual Thinkers / Educating Aspergers

Support a new Middle School project in New York! (from a site offering funding for teacher proposals)

Graphic Novels Motivate Readers With Asperger Syndrome

My students need a library of graphic novels to motivate readers because these books provide the visual cues kids with Asperger and autism need to truly understand characters.

 

My ten students are middle-schoolers who have Asperger Syndrome.

Students in my classroom have difficulty understanding people, so it’s not surprising that they also struggle to infer characters’ motives and purpose in books. Nonfiction, full of facts? No problem! But fiction? The majority of my students with Asperger Syndrome could leave it completely.

Vintage “graphic novels” were aimed at boys who didn’t like to read.

They like to follow rules – but they make a lot of their own. They like to be right, so they hate to admit when they don’t know something, and they avoid things that are difficult. Tough concepts, like characterization, theme and tone in a novel, make them feel uncomfortable – so they’d rather not read fiction. And, as educators know, the only thing that really improves reading once the school day ends, is more reading. Then I found the novel, The Inventions of Hugo Cabret. We only have one copy – I borrowed it from our library, and they want it back! But the students were riveted. Not only were they fascinated by the format of the book – half graphic novel, half traditional – but they understood Hugo’s emotions, portrayed as they were with matching drawings, moving incrementally forward! Experiments with other graphic novels are also proving successful, but we don’t have a lot of them to go around.

I am requesting class sets of popular graphic novels for my self-contained English class of students with Asperger Syndrome (and High-Functioning Autism.) The novels I request will be taught in the same manner as traditional literature, and I will compare each work with a traditional novel, which we will also read. This will help my students be on equal footing with their peers, because they will have more insight into concepts about characterization (as well as plot, theme, tone, etc.) when they rejoin their peers in high school reading more traditional works. I hope that, ultimately, these graphic novels lead them to enjoy literature in a way that many people without autism do – for the love of the story and the characters we would otherwise not know.

I was a MAD Magazine addict and a sucker for cats and rabbits dressed in charming clothing.

Please help me bridge the “understanding gap” for my students, who are so smart and fun and have so much potential. Help them understand literature by opening the door, using pictures with the text, and engendering a level of understanding that their disability would otherwise prevents them from obtaining. Thank you so much for reading my proposal.

Remember when all childhood schoolbooks had plenty of beautiful illustrations – stylized but realistic (not infantilized and deformed neotenic blobs) FOR ALL CHILDREN? Maybe our “old-fashioned” predecessors in publishing and education knew a lot more than we do about visual thinking being basic to the human ability to learn…

Using Numbers to Express Emotion / Chat Room Chat

Numbers / Empathy / Emotion

A chat group online. Who do you think these people are?

MOMBOY: My mom mentioned I don’t have much empathy. I told her it was a useless emotion. I said that I do help people sometimes to make up for it, minus the emotional baggage. I told her that I usually have an empathy of 2/100. I said it peaks at 20/100. Then she laughed that I use numbers to describe it. She implied that I pull these numbers out of thin air. I feel like these numbers are ways to express approximations. Does anyone else use numbers to describe feelings? Is this funny to you?

MR FORMAL: What works for you, works for you, but when communicating with others you should consider trying to stick with known contexts (words). Otherwise you get weird looks. The point is, there is an amount of conformism that should be observed in order to cleanly operate within soceity. Humans need a consensus in many different areas in order to get along with each other. Communication is one of the most basic consensus items we use to attain this. If you are communicating in another language (foreign, numerical, or invented) then you will be misunderstood by the majority around you. Predict your future if you stick with describing yourself in unconventional ways while in the company of others. The case for social conformity, at least in public.

MOMBOY: You make a good point. However, this is my mother so I can get away with it.  And saying “I don’t possess empathy for other humans and you’re not smart enough to understand why” would not score me any more social points than my fractions would. The use of numbers to disguise true feelings and thoughts?

MS LOGIC: It depends on how you think. Being left brained I always use numbers to describe things, but most people don’t. Being a person of math most things are approximations, only theorems are absolute after all. Approximations = shades of emotion.

MOMBOY: When I think of something that has a quantitative value (amount of empathy or something), I see a glass of liquid and I guage how full it is. Numeric is then the most logical way. Visual conversion of quantity.

MS LOGIC: I don’t see a glass of liquid, but I agree that numbers tend to be the most logical representation. That way you can organize things based on situation. Just to clarify, my give-a-shit meter works on a percentage scale. Your fraction based system is very similar though. (Fractions are percentages!) Visualizing quantities – numbers.

MR FORMAL: A perfect example of communication building based on associating language with context. Keep this up and you guys will be speaking half in numbers and half in words.

MOMBOY: I don’t use the numbers in speech unless someone asks me how much empathy I feel for a certain situation. That has yet to happen, so for now my mind just uses the numbers as markers. The numbers gauge things comparatively against what you think about other events, not comparing what you think to what others think.

MR FORMAL: You misunderstand me, however, I was thinking along the lines of you both developing a new way of expressing something through a hybridization of an old language and a new element. And I was running a social simulation in my head where human language used numbers instead of words to describe feelings. Creative compromise.

NEWBOY: The numbers are useless without context. 1/100 could be referencing happiness, grief, or relief. I don’t think a language based entirely off of numbers is practical. Unless of course you change certain numbers to be words. As in when I say “5” it holds the same meaning as the word empathy. That would be rather clumsy though. There are languages based on numbers – they’re called CODES.

MOMBOY: There is little difference between how we use numbers and how other people use terms such as a lot, somewhat, strongly, very etc…

NEWGIRL: We just use the numbers because they are more concise and pleasing to us. In reality there is almost no difference between these two “I strongly empathize with XXX” and “I empathize 90% with XXX” Even though to some it may sound foreign to some people.

MOMBOY: Exactly. Numbers allow thoughts to be clarified in ways that are often notable. By supporting someone’s actions 85 percent (instead of saying support them greatly), the 15 percent left speaks volumes. It leaves room for a lecture, (fudging between saying what you think and limiting the social blowback?) yet still conveys that you are not in terrible opposition to the person’s actions; thus they needn’t be too troubled by your critique. Numbers (in the right context of course) can say a lot to people.

MS. DAISY: Makes perfect sense to me. I usually either feel an emotion or I don’t, so I don’t think that quantifying them would help me very much. With that in mind, though, I think it’s a very useful concept, at least for introspection. I doubt most people would appreciate the numeric representation of emotions, as it probably comes off as being a bit cold.

MOMBOY: The touchy feely types may not appreciate such a mathematical approach to detecting emotion.

JOINER: To me, emotion is like a smoke or a fog that moves a bit like liquid. Emotion is very ethereal. Feeling emotion is like a mystical treasure. But deciding how important it is? That must done with the most precise logic. Very visual experience – but logical?

MR MATH: I describe feelings with numbers most of the time as well because it’s easier for me to explain feelings this way. I suppose it just depends on whom you’re talking to whether they’ll appreciate it or not. Most of the people in my life have gotten used to it. I can explain my interest in someone in terms of “Its 10% friendship, 20% …” Having to translate physical feeling (emotion) into numbers in order to describe it.

MR FORMAL: I have a couple of published papers on quantification of soft cognition: beliefs, hunches, biases, assumptions, uncertainty, emotional mood, etc. This is for research related to applications in artificial intelligence. Some of my recent research is based upon a “calculus” I have developed – Bias-Based Reasoning, which mathematizes mental percepts.

MS Daisy: Sometimes I do quantify a feeling in terms of how much i would spend on something. This I can relate to: if I want to limit calories to 1200 / day, the calories automatically convert to dollars and  I “spend them” on food. It’s very different to think of a 400 calorie chocolate bar costing $4.00 out of $12.00, which shows that it’s not a “bargain.”

MR MATH: My natural tendency is to use numbers. I think in terms of a horizontal line with 100% at one side and 0% at the other. I have learned to edit out the % with most people as I feel I come across very nerdy and I know most people don’t relate to it. Visual conversion of numbers. This is familiar to me as a visual thinker.

NEW GIRL: I would say my empathy can get to 8/10 at extreme conditions, usually falls around a steady 0.37/10.00 and coasts up to 3/10 sometimes. A bit wacky, but perhaps charming. LOL!

Anger Management / BS

anger-management-comic

Anger –

It’s as if even thinking or speaking about anger translates into “being angry”

Bring up the topic, and the adrenalin level in people around you goes through the roof. No one wants to talk about anger. Why?

 anger

Some titles of anger management articles:

“Anger – How to solve our anger problem”

“Anger Management is a psycho-therapeutic program for anger prevention and control” (which extends to and encompasses) “Alcohol and Drug Abuse” “Co-parenting and Divorce” “Domestic Violence”

“Are you a Powder Keg? ”

These titles, of course, are meant to drag the reader – any reader – into the sphere of THE PROBLEM, which traditionally is the subject of Sunday sermon rants about Original Sin and Disobedience to god. Anger is everyone’s cross to bear: “mankind” is  inherently sinful and “disordered”.

We may note without hesitation that none of these angry chastisements about how “bad” humans are, has had any positive effect on the most hopeless of projects; eradication of violence, anger, aggression, brutality, cruelty and all manner of destructive activities over millennia of human history, nor on aggression, revenge, war, crime, domestic battery, psychological cruelty, etc. Nor has the constant harangue against the dreadful state “being human” done anything to increase human happiness, security or health.

'In the interest of full disclosure, I should inform you that I define an hour as 40 minutes.'

‘In the interest of full disclosure, I should inform you that I define an hour as 40 minutes.’

From the Mayo Clinic – Intermittent Explosive Disorder Definition

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation. Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other temper tantrums may be signs of intermittent explosive disorder.

These intermittent, explosive outbursts cause you significant distress, negatively impact your relationships, work and school, and they can have legal and financial consequences. It’s an unusual use of pronouns in a “definition” – aggressive and accusatory, as opposed to “a person” may experience these behaviors.

Intermittent explosive disorder is a chronic disorder that can continue for years, although the severity of outbursts may decrease with age. Treatment involves medications and psychotherapy to help you control your aggressive impulses

Is there a pattern here? Of course: Anger is declared to be a “tangible thing” – barely distinguishable from the religious notion of being possessed by Demonic forces or the restless and angry spirits of the dead. In contagious magic, mere “contact” with the location of a violent death or murder is sufficient to “contaminate” a living person and make them deranged.  Today “bad genes” are often invoked as “causal” to “disorders” along with a “brain chemistry problems” “brain damage” “brain development defects” and being born with an antisocial personality. All of these are supernatural explanations, regardless of the label imposed – superstition, religious dogma, or psychotherapeutic theory.  Drugs as a treatment for anger (or any other taboo emotion or behavior) seek to “prove” that there is something “bad” going on inside your brain… PROOF? Look at how medication has become the default response to any behavior judged to be “abnormal-pathological” – dangerous untested (and often addictive) drugs which merely disrupt or mask so-called “symptoms” or worsen the person’s ability to function.

The destination for all of these myths and treatment practices is the same: CONTROL of unwanted human behavior. CONTROL, whether or not is expedited by torture, talk therapy, or the administration of sledgehammer pharmacology. There truly is no current attempt at understanding the brain, understanding the evolution of human behavior, or the obvious comparison with animal behavior, which we share.

There is one hapless nod to reality inserted in most of these articles: Anger is a normal and healthy part of being human, but… you have a problem.

Let’s see what the American Psychological Association has to say:

'The doctor will acknowlege your existance now.'

Controlling anger before it controls you.

We all know what anger is, and we’ve all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage. We don’t know what anger is; we know the “experience” of sudden adrenalin production. Adrenalin rushes are “judged” by word labels (emotion labels) in order to isolate a particular reaction as “good or bad” emotion / behavior.

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. The obligatory lame nod to reality. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion. This brochure is meant to help you understand and control anger. The default position is that YOU do not understand this “mysterious bad thing” that rampages inside of you, but WE DO. By virtue of being human, you are at the mercy of “bad you”, but we can fix you.

The Nature of Anger

Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,” according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This “explanation” is as usual, inverted: “Anger” IS the physiological occurrence of an increase in hormones, heart rate and other biological changes. Anger is not some “supernatural entity” that causes physical phenomena – it is a result of physical changes in response to interaction with the environment. 

Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. Good start – acknowledgement of cause; but you are an idiot, so we must explain what “event” means.  You could be angry at a specific person (such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings. We’re back to emotions being “things” that hang  around in your brain just waiting to go crazy.

Expressing Anger

The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats. It inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.

 Are these assumptions proven or even provable? NO. Isn’t this statement  formulated as an excuse for aggressive male behavior? Do animals “feel anger” when a possible threat appears? No. The fight, flight or freeze response is not absolute – there are options. These are judgements about the function of anger in MALE HUMANS: the insistence that violence is an inevitable outcome in response to threat and defense.

On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us. Again, anger is this “thing” inside us, like a big vat of poison, that MUST find expression – this is a MALE VIEW, as if anger=sexual desire that must be released, which DUH! may contribute to rape behavior. 

People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others. What a LOAD OF BS! It’s the typical social solution, and it’s a male solution: HIDE your aggression; call it “assertiveness” and you are off the hook of responsibility for consequences due to psychological aggression.

Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it, and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inward—on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression. The classic “you can’t win” scenario, building to the goal of “you need our help”.

Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven’t learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren’t likely to have many successful relationships.

Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.

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As Dr. Spielberger notes, “when none of these three techniques work, that’s when someone—or something—is going to get hurt.” You need us to intervene, because psychologists, like priests, are the know-it-all keepers, promulgators and definers of social reality AND your personal status as “approved or not approved” depends on our judgment.  

Are You Too Angry?

There are psychological tests that measure the intensity of angry feelings, how prone to anger you are, and how well you handle it. But chances are good that if you do have a problem with anger, you already know it. Let’s go for “self-diagnosis”, which is the effortless means to produce willing clients. If you find yourself acting in ways that seem out of control and frightening, you might need help finding better ways to deal with this emotion. Scare tactics? You are going to Hell, sister!

Why Are Some People More Angry Than Others?

According to Jerry Deffenbacher, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in anger management, some people really are more “hotheaded” than others are; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person does. There are also those who don’t show their anger in loud spectacular ways but are chronically irritable and grumpy. Easily angered people don’t always curse and throw things; sometimes they withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill. Wow! Anyone and everyone can be a closet threat to society! It’s amazing though, that with all their “expert” knowledge, psychologists can’t PREDICT who will be dangerous, but jump in after the fact to “profile; claim-to-know” just who these “bad” actors are.

People who are easily angered generally have what some psychologists call a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They can’t take things in stride, and they’re particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake.

Wow! Your problem results from totally inconsequential events; you are a selfish bitch. The tactic of devaluating the validity of a person’s “emotions” is truly standard abuse characteristic of tyrants. Example: how long does the average “client” have to wait for mental health service; for a scheduled appointment to begin 30-40 minutes late; with no consequence for abrupt cancellations on the part of the provider, but default billing and a “disobedient child” lecture should a patient have an unavoidable emergency? The “helping, caring, fixing” people are masters at creating frustration, just to let YOU know who is in charge and that YOU don’t count.

What makes these people this way? A number of things. One cause may be genetic or physiological: There is evidence that some children are born irritable, touchy, and easily angered, and that these signs are present from a very early age.

We all know, as ASD or Asperger children, that this means US. Call it original sin, demon possession, or a slew of concocted disorders, it’s all the same judgmental dismissal due to imperious social rejection. 

Another may be sociocultural. Anger is often regarded as negative; we’re taught that it’s all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions but not to express anger. As a result, we don’t learn how to handle it or channel it constructively.

Research has also found that family background plays a role. Typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications. That takes care of the liberal category of “poor uneducated people and minorities” !!

WOW! And who is it that has taught generations of American children (especially girls and minorities) that this “psychologically approved” scheme of emotional narcissism and helplessness is not only normal, but supported by “science” ? 

PSYCHOLOGISTS.

 

Fears, Phobias, and Anxieties in Dogs


It’s sometimes informative to compare the same physiological system in dogs and in humans, especially if you are ASD.

From http://petmd.com

Fear is the instinctual feeling of apprehension resulting from a situation, person, or object presenting an external threat — whether real or perceived. The response of the autonomic nervous system prepares the body for the freeze, fight, or flight syndrome. It is considered to be a normal behavior, essential for adaptation and survival; its context determines whether the fear response is normal, or abnormal and inappropriate. Most abnormal reactions are learned and can be unlearned with gradual exposure.

Moreover, the persistent and excessive fear of a specific stimulus, such as a thunderstorm, is referred to as a phobiaIt has been suggested (weasel words are standard now in “medical” articles) that once a phobic event has been experienced, any event associated with it, or the memory of it, is sufficient enough to generate a response. The most common phobias (in dogs) are associated with noises (such as thunderstorms or fireworks).

Anxiety, meanwhile, is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins (or real threats) that result in normal body reactions (known as physiologic reactions) associated with fear; most common visible behaviors are elimination (i.e., urination and/or passage of bowel movements), destruction, and excessive vocalization (i.e., barking, crying). Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs. When alone, the animal exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors.

Profound fear and withdrawal of unknown cause (so called idiopathic fear and withdrawal) has also been noted in certain dog breeds, including the Siberian Husky, German Shorthaired Pointer, Greyhound, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Border Collie, and Standard Poodle, among others. There appears to be a strong familial component, with the likelihood of a genetic influence. (weasel words)

Most fears, phobias, and anxieties develop at the onset of social maturity, from 12 to 36 months of age. A profound form of fear and withdrawal of unknown cause occurs at 8 to 10 months of age. Old-age-onset separation anxiety of unknown cause may be a variant of a decline in thinking, learning, and memory in elderly dogs. (Gee, sounds familiar!)

My 11 year-old female has been exhibiting symptoms of anxiety since the departure of FRED, a younger male.

Symptoms and Types of Anxiety in Dogs

  • Mild fears: signs may include trembling, tail tucked, withdrawal, hiding, reduced activity, and passive escape behaviors
  • Panic: signs may include active escape behavior, and increased, out-of-context, potentially injurious motor activity
  • Classic signs of sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity, including diarrhea
  • Anxieties: lesions secondary to anxious behavior (such as licking and biting at the self)

Causes of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs

  • Any illness or painful physical condition increases anxiety and contributes to the development of fears, phobias, and anxieties
  • Aging changes associated with nervous system changes; infectious disease (primarily viral infections in the central nervous system), and toxic conditions, such as lead poisoning, may lead to behavioral problems, including fears, phobias, and anxieties
  • Fear from a terrible experience; dog may have been forced into an unfamiliar and frightening experience
  • Dogs that are deprived of social and environmental exposure until 14 weeks of age may become habitually fearful
  • Phobias and panic may have a history of inability to escape or get away from the stimulus causing the phobia and panic, such as being locked in crate
  • Separation anxiety: history of abandonment, multiple owners, rehoming, or prior neglect is common; exacerbating the condition may be that the dog has been often abandoned or rehomed because of separation anxiety

Diagnosis of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs

Your veterinarian will first want to rule out other conditions that might be causing the behavior, such as brain or thyroid disease. The behavior could also be originating from a response to a toxic substance, such as lead. Blood tests will rule out or confirm such a possibility.

If your veterinarian diagnoses a simple fear, anxiety, or phobia, a prescribed medication may be all that is needed. But your doctor will most likely make recommendations based on your individual dog, the fear trigger, and types of beavhioral techniques that can be used to alleviate your dog’s fears and anxieties.

What Can I Give My Dog for Anxiety?

There are medications that can be given to dogs to help with their anxiety, but drugs are not for every pet and are typically implemented only as a last resort in severe instances. Talk to your vet to see what the best option would be for your pet.

How to Calm an Anxious Dog

If your dog has extreme panic and separation anxiety and needs to be protected until medications can become effective, which can take from days to weeks, hospitalization may be the best choice. Otherwise, you will care for your dog at home, and will need to provide protection from self inflicted physical injury until the dog calms down. You may need to arrange for day care or dog-sitting.

Affected dogs will respond to some extent to a combination of behavior modification and treatment with anti-anxiety medication. If there is a condition that causes itchiness and/or pain, it must be controlled. Your dog may need to live in a protected environment with as few social stressors as possible. These animals do not do well in dog shows.

Behavior modification will be up to you. You will need to teach your dog to relax in a variety of environmental settings. Avoid reassuring the dog when it is in the midst of experiencing fear or panic; the dog may interpret this as a reward for its behavior. Encourage calmness, but do not reinforce the fear reaction. Remember that not all dogs are calmer when crated; some dogs panic when caged and will injure themselves if forced to be confined. Absolutely avoid punishment for behavior related to fear, phobia, or anxiety.

Desensitization and counter-conditioning are most effective if the fear, phobia, or anxiety is treated early. The goal is to decrease the reaction to a specific stimulus (such as being left alone in the dark). Desensitization is the repeated, controlled exposure to the stimulus that usually causes a fearful or anxious response in such a way that the dog does not respond with the undesirable response. With repeated efforts, the goal is to decrease the dog’s undesirable response. Counter-conditioning is training the dog to perform a positive behavior in place of the negative behavior (in this case, fear or anxiety).

For example, teach your dog to sit and stay, and when your dog performs appropriately you can reward it appropriately. Then, when your dog is in a situation where it might show the undesirable response, have it sit and stay. The signs involved in an oncoming anxiety attack are subtle; learn to recognize the physical signs associated with the fears, phobias, and anxieties and head the behavior off before it has a chance to take over your dog’s behavior.

Living and Management for Fear and Anxiety in Dogs

As long as your dog is on medications, your veterinarian will want to follow-up by conducting occasional blood testing to make sure your dog’s blood chemicals stay in balance. If behavior modification does not work over the long term, your veterinarian may want to modify the approach. If left untreated, these disorders are likely to progress.

Most forms of treatment will be done over the long term, possibly years. It generally depends on the duration and intensity of symptoms, as well as the amount of symptoms the dog displays. Minimum treatment averages four to six months.

Prevention of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs

Expose dogs to a variety of social situations and environments when they are young puppies (up to the time they are 14 weeks of age) to decrease the likelihood of fearful behavior. Puppies and dogs that are deprived of social and environmental exposure until 14 weeks of age may become habitually fearful, which can be avoided with only a little exposure during this formative time.

 

Aphantasia / Unable to Produce Mental Images

Aphantasia: I noticed someone had used this search term and reached this blog. Having not heard of aphantasia, I looked it up.

Aphantasia: A life without mental images  By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website, 26 August 2015

“Most people can readily conjure images inside their head – known as their mind’s eye. But this year scientists have described a condition, aphantasia, in which some people are unable to visualise mental images.”

The article offered a short test – You scored 40 out of 40

This score suggests that your visual imagery is more vivid than usual. Scores at the upper end of this range are suggestive of ‘hyperphantasia’: exceptionally strong powers of visualisation. About 23% of people score in this range, the highest of our five bands. If you consider your imagery to be exceptionally strong, and would like to be included in future research, you can contact the team at Exeter University through this email: a.zeman@exeter.ac.uk

The test, though simple, made me aware that “demanding an image,” which is what the test does, makes visualizing even easier. I can zoom in on skin texture; see just a piece of clothing or the whole person, and can animate the person’s movement. I think this is because, as a visual Asperger, I view these details all the time, so they get saved in my memory. Someone who doesn’t pay attention to the environment simply wouldn’t have a detailed memory to “visualize.” Also, since I take many photographs, and have for years, I would imagine this activity increases visual memory; on the other hand, my interest in a wide range of images, from the entire landscape to detailed “natural” processes probably reflects my visual “hyperphantasia.”

On the other, other hand, I never photograph people, but can visualize people. It’s possible that visual Aspergers don’t look people in the eye (face) because the image is just too clear, detailed and intimate. (Like Fred’s nose) Do NT’s really want to know that this is how we see people?

How could I forget this face?

How could I forget this face?

 

Understanding Neurodiversity / Neuro-exceptional Reality

 

I doubt that social typical people “get it” – that is, that being Aspie is a “way of being” that unfolds-develops-becomes a person with an “exceptional” sensory and brain processing type. Exceptional, not meaning “superior” but out of the ordinary, just as an athlete or musician may demonstrate “exceptional” talents and abilities in those areas.

We are born this way; the result is necessarily our own diverse “psychology” that varies between individuals, just as it does across Homo sapiens, but we share certain characteristics that seem to be “hard-core” or “wired in” and this determines our “different” type of brain function. One is a dominant visual orientation. This in itself accounts for our peculiar-eccentric-strange affect and behavior in social situations. As I have outlined in other posts, like many Aspies I am adept at verbal language, but it is a “second language”, subordinate to my natural, inborn “intuitive” style of thinking. The crux is that Aspies are continuingly translating “picture ideas” into words; pictures are dense with information; images are cross-referenced and updated automatically, which makes “translation into word language” an arduous task. The amount of information “in our memories” is vast and our “pattern – structure processing and identification is suited to natural environments, which are products of specific matter energy “rules”

Modern manmade environments are like a “war zone” for our senses; this includes the seemingly never-ending bombardment of our awareness by harsh lighting, mechanical sounds, chemical irritants, and the intense “jarring” verbal exchanges between individuals and groups, which “sound like” ceaseless battles over getting attention and status seeking – conflicts which are never resolved, but must go on and on in order to maintan a hierarchical power structure that is rigid, but open to constant skirmishes “at the borders”. No one seems satisfied with stability; challenges and ugly attacks are acceptable. So is bullying, dishonesty, and rampant insincerity; inequality is required by the “structure” of the system; a pyramid of “who counts” necessitates discrimination, injustice and suffering.

So – you can see that the social order that we are tasked with fitting into, conforming to and embracing as “reality” encompasses a wide range of experiences, from physical environments to ethical and moral considerations. We spend a lot of time listening, observing and “self-protecting” – out of necessity. And yes, we “run away” when social conditions literally harm our precious equilibrium, which is a “totality” of feeling that derives from the natural world; from physical reality: that “bedrock of all existence” which social people ignore. The logic of forms, structures and forces which create physical reality is the environment that “matches” our physiology and sets the parameters of our psychology.

What is especially disturbing is that the “helping, caring, fixing industry” (which is what I call the profit-making industry that rakes in over $9 BILLION per year in the U.S. alone in “autism” revenues) is a mega-business that literally owns ASD-Autism-Asperger’s-Mental-Illness because its “priests” control the definition of “pathologic human behavior” and present these “socio-cultural judgements” to the public and to government agencies as “universal standards” – not true! The industry receives millions in tax-payer funding; fuels Big Pharma profits, and they really don’t care whose lives they “screw up”.

It is in their primary interest ($$$) to treat “us” like a commodity (like chickens, hogs or soybeans) – and to control that commodity in the “marketplace”. “Chronic illness” of every type, (such as diabetes, heart disease) is so profitable because each patient becomes a lifelong “slave” to the medical system. Ring a bell? That’s what has been done to “autism” – a manufactured epidemic sucking in billions and “trapping” hundreds of thousands of people, from birth to death, in the profit system. The last thing the HCFI want is accurate diagnosis or effective treatment. As it stands, almost any child can be thrown into the “autistic” pot because there is no “credible” diagnosis; autism in the U.S. today is no more “real” than the hysteria provoked by an ever-expanding intrusion into the lives of children and their families by the “helping, caring, fixing” industry which holds incredible power over the fate of children in the U.S. This “withcraft” type inquisition, in which children are labeled as “outcasts” from birth, merely for social reasons, is intolerable, and cheats children who do have disabilities that can be identified and treated from receiving care; limited funding turns treatment opportunities into a political competition, fueling more fear and hysteria.

Unrealistic demands that supposedly define “normal” childhood development and performance subject children and their parents to threats of social condemnation and exile. This is an especially cruel consequence for social typical Americans whose “value” depends on their status in the social hierarchy. The Social Pyramid is always the underlying measure of “who gets what” in our “land of opportunity” As for ASD “folks” we aren’t even on the pyramid; our indifference to status, our “world view” and way of being really do prevent us from being accepted as “legimate” human beings. Still – we inevitably are involved in surviving within a majority “magical-irrational-social reality” that dominates the U.S. Try to comprehend the accommodations this situation requires. It is “common sense” that we suffer “symptoms-reactions” that are not internal to our native “being” but are the result of severe challenges and “rejection” by people who cannot accept that Homo sapiens is a highly diverse species; and that modern social humans are not “the one and only” definition of what it is to be “human’.

 

Biology of Emotional Behavior / Neuroscience Article

Published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 2002 Sep; 4(3): 231–249.

The biology of fear and anxiety-related behaviors

Thierry Steimer, PhD (55 papers)
From the Abstract:

In a book published in 1878 (Physiologie des passions), Charles Letourneau, who was contemporary with the French neuroanatomist Paul Broca, defined emotions as “passions of a short duration” and described a number of physiological signs and behavioral responses associated with strong emotions.1 Emotions are “intimately linked with organic life,” he said, and either result in an “abnormal excitation of the nervous network,” which induces changes in heart rate and secretions, or interrupt “the normal relationship between the peripheral nervous system and the brain.” Cerebral activity is focused on the source of the emotion; voluntary muscles may become paralyzed and sensory perceptions may be altered, including the feeling of physical pain. (Note that this is a description of a physiological event) This first phase of the emotional response is followed by a reactive phase, where muscles come back into action, but the attention still remains highly focused on the emotional situation.

With the knowledge of brain physiology and anatomy that was available at the end of the 19th century, hypotheses on the mechanisms possibly involved in emotions were of course limited. However, Letourneau assumed that “the strong cerebral excitation” that accompanies emotions probably only concerned “certain groups of conscious cells” in the brain and “must necessitate a considerable increase of blood flow in the cell regions involved.” (Curious – can a cell be “conscious?)

He also mentioned that the intensity, the expression, and the pathological consequences of emotions were directly linked to temperaments” (which he defined within the four classic Hippocratic categories). Note that hypotheses and speculation by early investigators are often grandfathered in as theories, by default – and become the guiding “concepts” of contemporary science, often without question. The reverse is also common: “good science” from the past may be dismissed, merely on the basis that “new” is better: the myth of inevitable linear progress!

The fact that emotions are “intimately linked with organic life,” his precise description of the sequence of the physiological and behavioral reactions that accompany a strong emotion, such as fear, the idea that emotions involve specific areas of the brain, and the theory (hypothesis, guess) that activation of these areas is associated with an increased blood flow have all been largely confirmed (waffling) by modern neuroscience. The suggestion (mandatory waffling since the following statement isn’t provable by scientific standards) –  that temperament or personality traits influence the “affective style” and vulnerability to psychopathology is also an important aspect of our modern approach to anxiety and mood disorders. Is this a description of a physiological phenomenon or an opinion advanced by Hippocrates?

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See post: https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/brain-scans-dead-salmon  

Also search my blog: “neuroscience” “brain scans” for multiple related posts

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For a long time, emotions were considered to be unique to human beings, and were studied mainly from a philosophical perspective.3 Evolutionary theories and progress in brain and behavioral research, physiology, and psychology have progressively introduced the study of emotions into the field of biology, and understanding the mechanisms, functions, and evolutionary significance of emotional processes is becoming a major goal of modern neuroscience. But! The takeover of human behavior, it’s definition as “pathology” by psychology (not a science) is already defeating this revolutionary  science-based inquiry. 

Three fundamental aspects of emotions

The modem era of emotion research probably started when it became obvious that emotions are not just “feelings” or mental states, but are accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes that are an integral part of them. Technically this is backwards: the physiology of organisms’ reactions to the environment, as produced by evolutionary processes, preceded by billions of years the manmade practice of “naming” those reactions as “emotions” – and claiming that emotion is exclusive to humans. The “exclusivity” idea that “emotion” is a phenomenon that occurs only in humans is utterly preposterous. Animals (and all organisms) could not exist without reacting  to and interacting with the environment; it’s logically and physically impossible. 

The socio-religious belief that our species is a special creation, and the universe is merely a stage-set for his magnificence is obnoxious – and as yet, despite claims that this narcissistic focus on MAN has been magically removed from the “human sciences” is obviously not true.

The “levels” scheme below, is not a reformation of prior mistakes, but functions to retain the socio-religious “metaphysical” control of human behavior, but disguised as the pseudoscience of modern psychology. By piggy-backing onto neuroscience, “priestly” power to define and enforce the social stratification of behavioral privilege at the top of the hierarchy) and rampant inequality, is retained by pathologizing group after group of “lesser” humans. Nice trick!!!

This has progressively led to today’s view of emotions being experienced or expressed at three different, but closely interrelated levels: Here we go: everything must be split into levels, regardless of how nature – our brain – actually works. The mental or psychological level (dominated by “approved” socio-religious prescriptions) the (neuro)physiological level, (what the brain-body does) and the behavioral level (socio-religious enforcement – social control). These three complementary aspects are present in even the most basic emotions, such as fear.

more at PubMed

The History of Testosterone / Civilization = Feminization?

The few posts I’ve done that have any connection to Testosterone get a lot of visitors, so I’m going to add more – serious topic really. I’ll try not to be “snarky” or do any male bashing, even though it’s tempting. I will be commenting on the usual “lapses in logic” on the part of so many researchers, who in this case, are all males. 
 
ENDOCRINE ABSTRACTS / Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences in endocrinology
 
 
The history of testosterone / A little Background

 E Nieschlag, Institute of Reproductive Medicine of the University, Muenster, Germany, 2005.

2005 marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the term hormone by Ernest Starling. Although its biological effects were known since antiquity, the name testosterone (T) was coined only in 1935, when Ernest Laqueur isolated it from bull testes. The road to this isolation was long: John Hunter had transplanted testes into capons in 1786 and Adolph Berthold postulated internal secretion from his testicular transplantation experiments in 1849. Following his observations, testicular preparations were used for therapy, popularised by self-experiments of Brown-Séquard (1889), which can at best have had placebo effects. Nevertheless, testis preparations were consumed until quite recently for the enhancement of virility. In the 1920s Sergio Voronoff transplanted testes from animals to men, but their effectiveness was disproven by the Royal Society of Medicine in 1927. Modern androgen therapy started when T was chemically synthesized independently in 1935 by Aldolf Butenandt and Leopold Ruzicka.

Since T was ineffective orally it was either compressed into subcutaneous pellets or was used orally as 17α-methyl T, now obsolete because of toxic side effects. In the 1950s longer-acting injectable T enanthate became the preferred therapeutic modality. In the 1950s and 1960s research concentrated on the chemical modification of androgens in order to emphasise their anabolic effects. Although anabolic steroids largely disappeared from clinical medicine, they continue an illegal life for doping. In the 1970s the orally effective T undecanoate was added to the spectrum of preparations. In 1992 WHO, NIH and FDA postulated preparations of natural T mimicking physiological serum levels, a demand first met by a transdermal scrotal film. Non-scrotal skin patches followed and finally in 2000 transdermal T gels became available. The most recent additions to T substitution therapy, the short-acting buccal T and the long-acting injectable T undecanoate, also fulfil the demand for physiological serum levels.

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The Brow Ridge Thing Again:

Lower Testosterone May Have Civilized Humanity, Study Says

August 6, 2014

According to a new study, humanity might have become civilized after cave men got a little less manly. After measuring more than 1,400 modern and ancient human skulls, researchers have suggested that a 50,000-year-old boom in prehistoric human culture coincided with drop in testosterone and the evolution of a more feminine face shape. The hormonal changes may have also helped curb aggression, leading to kinder, gentler humans and the development of early art and technology. OMG! The first whopping “illogical” assertion and it’s only the first paragraph!

1. The researchers pretend to know the level of “manliness” (whatever that is) of males between 200,000 – 50,000 years ago. Does “manliness” include aggression, violence, hunting, abuse of “others”; intelligence, bravery, artistic talent and engineering chops- tool-making? Amount and distribution of facial and body hair; penis size? What about, making and wearing jewelry-clothing, and practicing medicine? What about “raising” children? What about rape, homosexuality and pedophilia?

2. Missing in Action: Of course, females were nowhere to be found and in no way were involved in “creating civilization” – not because the researchers “consciously” removed them from consideration, but because females have always been excluded from “the big picture” of “Homo sapiens” – what it is to be human. The assumption is that MALE behaviors, (that’s 100% of behaviors that “count”), constitute our species description as “The Pinnacle of Creation” Females are just standing around somewhere in the wilderness, waiting to be baby-makers, sex slaves and “attention providers” to egomaniacal males.

3. “Humans” were “changed for the better” by a drop in testosterone levels, which no one actually can measure in Archaic Males – whoever they were. Testosterone production is a measure of individual production of hormones; it’s not a collective property distributed across arbitrary groups of skulls! This is “fake news”. Once again – such over-generalization occurs because EuroAmerican males cannot get “over themselves” – Whatever they believe to be “true” about “humans” is so tainted by narcissism, that they continually project a “modern model -themselves” backwards into history: they believe that their self-defined (and inflated) superiority defines Homo sapiens as The Pinnacle of Evolution, therefore, all 3.5 billion years of evolution “predicted and prophesied” the EuroAmerican male. THIS IS EVOLUTION IN REVERSE; a typical “religious” misconception.

3. Ironically, what the researchers are implying is this: Women are the “kinder, gentler creative persons who developed art and technology, and everything “civilized” – men became civilized by “becoming more feminine” (and being around women!) Thank-you!

4. Testosterone levels can be “known” through comparison of skull measurements (in 1,400 skulls) which were chosen objectively of course – no one favored really “cave man-looking” skulls to include in the archaic group or “favored” more feminine modern skulls. This is the typical spurious correlation = causation fantasy that traps “magical minds”!

5. Female skulls? Where are they in all this mumbo-jumbo? For“feminization” of males to occur, females also had to “become more feminine” over this time period, otherwise males could become more feminine than actual females. Which specific female skulls are being used to model “feminine qualities and features”? Hint; try to find a true archaic HS female skull – one that wasn’t cobbled together from male fragments.

6. The Great Leap Forward: Just which Homo sapiens were around 40,000-50,000 years ago? Wouldn’t this “leap forward” have coincided with late “Out of Africa” migrations? Did these “new arrivals” already have more “modern, feminized” skulls and civilized behavior, which they introduced to Eurasia?

7. The biggest “whopper”of them all; that contemporary “civilized males” are “less aggressive; kinder and  gentler” than stone age Homo sapiens. This is where the question of selection for juvenile characteristics (see below) may be applied to the horrendous problem” of modern male obsession with all things “military, murder, mayhem and destruction”at the expense of “civilized” behavior. Males who are lower in testosterone (juvenile) than “adult” levels are dangerous: low-self confidence drives confrontation; young males are apt to “pick on” women and children as vulnerable substitutes for “stronger males” with whom they cannot compete; they need to “prove” their “manhood” with reckless, violent or criminal behavior. Males with adequate adult hormone production are stable and confident; they are “protectors” of communities and individuals, especially women and children. They are not murderous “thugs” – they are indeed, fathers, husbands, workers and creators – “civilized”. And then, there are “predators”.

Paedogenesis: reproduction by young or larval animals; the animal reaches sexual maturity while remaining otherwise immature.  Neoteny: retention of juvenile traits in the adult animal due to some aspect of the physiological (or somatic) development of an animal being slowed or delayed. Neoteny is a factor in paedomorphosis.

 

Next paragraph in article:

Anatomically modern humans first evolved some 200,000 years ago, but many of the traits we associate with early civilization—like bone and antler tools, grindstones, projectile weapons, fishing and the widespread use of fire (these are not traits; these are tools and techniques) —didn’t crop up until around 40,000-50,000 years ago, during a period often dubbed the “Great Leap Forward.” (See also the Great Chain of Being, another popular non-reality based ‘idea”) The reason for the gap is one of science’s most hotly debated questions, but according to a new study published in the journal “Current Anthropology,” the answer may be hormonal. (Oh no! Not hormones; those chemicals that make women unstable, crazy bitches!)

 

much much, more –

http://www.history.com/news/lower-testosterone-may-have-civilized-humanity-study-says/

The Real Housewives of the Paleolithic / Evolutionary Psych

Hey, Bitch - I ain't sharing my meat with no brunette.

Why do the blonds get laid, but not me?

You just can’t make this stuff up, unless you are an Evolutionary Psychologist.

Why do men find blonde women so very attractive?

Carole Jahme, THE GUARDIAN

Sexual selection would certainly have been a powerful driving force behind evolution in northern Europeans. Late Palaeolithic females in southern Europe and Africa could forage for food and feed themselves and their infants, with males occasionally supplementing their diet with meat. In northern Europe, however, where ice covered much of the terrain, people were dependent on meat. Bands of men went in search of herds of prehistoric bison or mammoth. These hunting trips were dangerous, resulting in many fatalities.

It has been suggested that as a result this was a time of intense sexual rivalry between females due to their numbers exceeding those of males.3 At any given time far more fertile women than men were left unmated, so females had to compete for mates and for a favourable share of meat. (No pun intended?) The theory is that when given the choice, Pelaeolithic males chose blondes, who stood out from their rivals. (Or were blondes simply sluts? Now that’s genius!)

Evo Psych: Always ridiculously entertaining.

Let’s see; we’re presuming that one woman – one man “marriage” was standard in northern Europe during the Late Paleolithic (who new that Christianity was so old!) Monogamy was strictly followed or enforced, and all those “leftover” women found that there were no males who would forgo their strict vows of monagamy and satisfy “brunettes” behind the big rock at the edge of town. Contrary to today’s rampant adultery, males had no interest in “bonus” sex or passing their “seed” to more children.