It would be nice to remember that the majority of us are civilized.

I love stumbling upon a word I’ve never heard before, especially when it’s one that is apropos to our current reality. Commensalism is such a word. We all need to practice commensalism more often.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this word has been around since at least the late 14th century, and it means, basically, the act of eating at the same table. The mere thought of it makes me feel cozy. Some of my most delightful experiences in life have occurred while dining with someone.

The dictionary then expanded upon the definition. Once scientists got ahold of the word around 1870, it became slightly more complicated. At that point a commensal was, “one of two animals or plants which live together but neither at the expense of the other”.

But then if you look at modern medical dictionary definitions, it becomes “1. living on or within another organism, and deriving benefit without harming or benefiting the host individual. 2. a parasitic organism that causes no harm to the host.”’

It’s almost as if commensalism has become more selfish over time. That would be a shame. But I refuse to comply. I’ll stick with the “eating at the same table” definition.

Even if it has been around for centuries, this word couldn’t be more timely. Now, more than ever, we need all the benefits that humans derive from social dining. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more of a challenge.

Let’s start by focusing on families in all their many shapes, colors, and sizes. Families don’t sit down to a meal together as often as they used to. Few of us can say we live like the Waltons in this day and age. Our world is so fast-paced that it’s hard to coordinate these get togethers. Kids have a variety of extracurricular activities. Both parents are often working. Even when people do sit at the same table, they are often eating different things, and their noses are buried in their smart phones.

But according to this article, eating with your family gives you the opportunity to touch base and really talk about what’s going on. It promotes bonding, and causes children to feel more confident, because this communal act demonstrates that someone cares about them. Some studies show that eating together results in a healthier diet that includes fruits and vegetables, and it may also play a part in reducing obesity. There is also a strong link between family dinners and improved academic performance. In addition, the experience allows children to adopt the social skills that their parents are modeling at the table. People are also more apt to open up to one another when they can look down at their food when they need a break from looking each other in the eye.

But I would argue that dining with people, whether you are related to them or not, has a broader social impact. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarized, it is important that we remember how to talk to people who have different opinions than our own. It’s much harder to be rude to someone when you are face to face with them rather than interacting anonymously online.

The more people you dine with, the more you will learn. Everyone has a story. Everyone has unique insights and experiences. Dining with others reminds us all that there is more than one way to live.

I particularly enjoy dining with people from other countries. If you find the opportunity to do so when you travel, I guarantee that it will be one of the most memorable and satisfying elements of your trip. It’s really hard to hate a group once you have broken bread with some of its members. I still maintain that all Americans should be required to spend time in foreign countries. If we did, we wouldn’t have such an annoying sense of exceptionalism and such an overwhelming feeling of xenophobia.

You often hear that only 10 percent of Americans have passports, but according to this article, that hasn’t been true since 1994. Now that figure is 40 percent, and that’s largely due to the fact that after 9/11, we stopped being able to enter Canada and Mexico without passports. Millennials also have a great influence on this trend, because that generation would much rather put their money into experiences than things. I’m sure this pandemic has flattened the upward curve considerably, but now that so many people believe (rightly or wrongly) that the worst of COVID is over, they’re anxious to get out in the world and do things they haven’t been able to do in years. And the growth of social media has introduced more people to more places than ever before, so the travel bug is becoming a bit of a pandemic of its own.

I genuinely believe that Commensalism is the primary recipe for world peace. Diplomats shouldn’t face one another over stark expanses of an empty table. They should have meals together. Talking about food is a great ice breaker.

If Putin had ever made it a habit to sit down with Ukrainians, if only to compare and contrast Borscht recipes, I think he would have a much harder time ordering them to be shot in the head en masse. His isolation is the very bedrock of this heinous war.

Let’s all embrace commensalism. Only good things can come from it, and the world would become a much more pleasant place. It would be nice to get back to the belief that the majority of us are civilized, wouldn’t it?

A book about gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving!

Say It with Me: Forced Haircuts Are Assault.

I can’t believe this is happening again.

I can’t believe this is happening again. (Actually, though, yes I can, because people can be cruel and stupid. And that’s being generous.)

About this time last year, I wrote a blog post titled “Body Autonomy” about 7-year-old Jurnee Hoffmeyer, whose teacher cut her hair without gaining permission from the parents, or even notifying anyone. Jurnee is biracial, and has a head of beautiful curls. Or she had, anyway, prior to the scalping she received from her teacher. I hope it has grown out at least a little bit since then, but that still wouldn’t make it right.

While looking for updates about Jurnee’s story, I discovered that the school has done an independent investigation of the incident, and has decided that the haircut, while inappropriate, was not racially motivated. The people involved were given a stern talking to. They’re still employed.

I have to call bullshit on the school’s conclusions. If it wasn’t racially motivated, they’d be chopping off the hair of every little white girl with long straight hair, too. They’d open up a hair salon on school grounds. They aren’t. They haven’t. They never would.

Jurnee’s father filed a lawsuit against the school and that teacher toward the end of last year, but I could not find anything about the status of the suit at the time of this writing. I hope they get everything they’re asking for. They should also ask that that teacher’s hair be chopped off so it will dawn on her what she did. One way or another, I’m hoping that there will be #JusticeforJurnee.

And then I stumbled across yet another forced haircut. According to this article, this time the unnamed victim was a 12-year-old boy in Minnesota. His afro was chopped off by a teacher, again, without consulting anybody.

When this child’s mother cut to the chase and contacted the police, they blew off her concerns. They said her son gave consent, something he’s not legally old enough to do, and something that he’d quite easily be intimidated into doing due to the unequal power dynamic between student and teacher. The police said it was just miscommunication and that the mother should take it up with the school.

I’m disgusted with the Minnesota police for deciding this was not assault. Would they be saying that if the teacher had cut off this kid’s fingers or toes? Of course not. It’s a little bit harder to ignore blood.

But here’s the thing. (And yes there’s always a thing.) No one has the right to manipulate or change someone else’s body without consent. It’s important that we teach our children this from the very beginning.

No one, family members included, has a right to touch anyone else in any way without permission. This umbrella statement covers a whole range of behaviors, from brutally violent acts right on down to the most well-intentioned hug. No tickling, no hitting, no groping, no pushing, no folding, no spindling, no mutilating. Not even a pat on the back.

No means no, and if you don’t want to be touched, even if you are too intimidated to articulate that no, then you still should not be touched. And if the person in question is a minor, then you also need the no or yes from that person’s guardian. Any toucher should confirm that their touch is acceptable before touching. Why is that such a hard concept for people to understand?

Yes, hair grows back. Yes, haircuts aren’t usually known to hurt. But your hair is part of your body, so you have a right to have autonomy over it. Granted, we all sometimes could use a haircut, but the parent and the child should be the only ones making that decision. And the child should be coming at that mutual choice with an increasing amount of negotiating power as they age, within reason. The lesson they should be learning is my “body, my choice”. Otherwise they’ll never have the tools to stand firm against the many violators in this world.

Children should also be constantly reminded that everyone on earth is different from one another, and that’s not only okay, it’s wonderful, and they are wonderful. We seem to overlook the importance of teaching that. (Perhaps that’s a blog post for another day. Back to the subject at hand.)

These forced haircuts, which I suspect are a lot more common than we care to believe, aren’t about haircuts. They are aggressive. They are quite often racially motivated. The lesson the child learns is, “The way you look is wrong.”  “I know better than you do how you should appear.” “I can do anything I want to your body, and you can’t do anything about it.” “You have no control over what happens to you.” “You can’t be allowed to feel safe.”

As someone who once had her hair chopped off as a child, I can tell you that it does major damage to your self-esteem. A lot of our ego is wrapped up in our hair. And people of color in this country have to contend with the societal pressure that comes with having natural hair that doesn’t conform to preconceived standards. They are often teased and humiliated over something they can’t, and shouldn’t have to, control.

This is why I go out of my way to compliment people with curly hair. It really is beautiful. But because it’s unique, people with curly hair have probably been teased. My compliment, maybe, will counteract at least one of those childhood teases. Being shamed for your differences is awful enough, but to then have someone physically alter you based on their concept of what constitutes bad hair is a violation. It’s humiliating, it’s aggressive. It’s assault.

Even the state-sanctioned Russian terrorists who are invading Ukraine know this. I came across this photo recently, and it is proof positive that these animals are aware of the damage that forced haircuts can cause.

The caption for this photo reads as follows: There were 15 women among the 86 Ukrainian captives released today in a prisoner exchange for Russian soldiers. The Russians shaved them in an attempt at humiliation. Funny though, they do not look the least bit humiliated. Never will you humiliate Ukrainian women, they are the bravest in the world!”

And I do have to say that these women seem to be bearing up well under this assault. I hope this was the worst thing that happened during their captivity, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it wasn’t. They shouldn’t have to bear up well, though. That’s the point. No one has a right to take their bodies and do whatever they want to them. Hopefully they’re too focused on the project at hand, defending their freedom, to be too psychologically damaged by what happened to them. That, and they’re adults with better coping skills than a child might have.

But the bottom line is that what happened to these children and these women is not okay. It needs to be taken seriously. It needs to be acknowledged by society at large, not just by this blogger, who is currently full of outrage and righteous indignation.

Keep your hands to yourself. It’s that simple.

Like this quirky little blog? Then you’ll enjoy my book!

“Love Will Prevail”

Because of splashes of hate, this message of love went further than expected.

Gig Harbor is on the Puget Sound here in Washington State. The town itself is charming, with its historic waterfront, and its many boutiques and restaurants. It has a population of around 12,000 people, but if you want a big city experience, it’s only about a 12 mile drive to the much larger Tacoma. Like Tacoma, Gig Harbor is somewhat liberal. But you have a very good chance of finding like-minded people there, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.

According to Neighborhood Scout, you are much less likely to be a victim of a violent crime in Gig Harbor (1.5 violent crimes per thousand people) than you are to have that experience in the Seattle area (6.6 violent crimes per thousand people). For reference, the national median is 4 violent crimes per thousand people. So Gig Harbor sounds like a wonderful place to be.

Yet oddly enough, both Gig Harbor and Seattle exceed the national median for property crimes, which is 19 per thousand people. Gig Harbor is the victim of 38.07 property crimes per thousand people, and Seattle weighs in at a hefty 52.5 per thousand. Don’t get me started on my theories about Seattle, but I suspect the increased numbers in Gig Harbor are related to the fact that it is part of an urban cluster but has a lot of rural areas as well. So there’s enough of a population and tourist base to commit these crimes, paired with enough isolation so that there is an increased potential for fewer witnesses.

That unfortunate mix came to the forefront recently in an extremely disappointing way.

A local artist, Hillarie Isackson, decided to paint a beautiful mural on the side of a Gig Harbor business with the city’s approval. Isackson bought all the paint herself, and worked all day long, often in the rain, and into the night on the mural, which was of a Ukrainian flag, with an outline of the country over that, and a giant sunflower, the flower of Ukraine, over it all. She came in the next day before dawn to apply the finishing touches. Its message was “Stand with Ukraine.” Many people who worked in the building have ties to Ukraine, so they were thrilled by this artwork.

Unfortunately, not everyone was as thrilled with this mural as those working in the building. Late that night, two scumbags wearing black hoodies spent 4 short minutes destroying the artist’s hard work by splashing the white, blue and red of the Russian flag all over the wall. They were caught on the security cameras of several businesses, and several residents took videos, but at the time of this writing, they have yet to be identified. The fools even left their own footprints in the paint, so I have high hopes that they’ll eventually be apprehended.

If justice is ever served, it is estimated that they did about a thousand dollars’ worth of damage, so they would definitely be charged with vandalism, but there’s a very good chance that they’ll also be charged with a hate crime, which would not bode well for them at all. IMHO, it would certainly serve them right.

But the best part of this story came after their heinous acts. When word got out about the damage, people immediately stopped by with donations of paint and cash for other supplies. They also provided spotlights so the artist could once again work through the night. In addition, there are now more security cameras trained on the revitalized mural.

And what Isackson did to transform the splashes of hate has made the mural even more poignant than before. She took that hate and turned it into love. She restored the Ukrainian flag, the country’s outline, the sunflower, and the message, but she also used the haters’ handiwork to add an American flag, and was inspired to include the national flowers of all the many countries who support Ukraine. (The national flower of the USA is the rose. I didn’t know that.)

But the part of the mural that makes me get tears in my eyes is the message Isackson added below. “LOVE WILL PREVAIL

Isackson’s determination to make something beautiful out of her vandalized mural is a sort of microcosm of the current Ukrainian situation. Like Ukraine, this was an undeserved attack that left discouragement, destruction, and profound sadness in its wake, but she didn’t give up, just as the Ukrainians haven’t given up when faced with the Putin-inspired hellscape of death they are now forced to occupy. In Gig Harbor, people came together to make it possible for this artist to renew her efforts, to show support to fellow human beings who are suffering, just as many of us, all around the world, are doing what we can to stand with Ukraine.

Love will prevail, indeed. And that right there is why I still have hope for mankind in general and the Ukrainian fight for freedom specifically. I genuinely believe that those who are fighting because of love for one another have a much better chance of triumph than those who are fighting from a place of hate.

There is now a mural in Gig Harbor that allows me to say, with renewed vigor, слава Україні  — Glory to Ukraine, and любов переможе — Love will prevail.

Let it be so.

Sources and further reading:

‘Love will prevail:’ Ukraine mural vandalized in Gig Harbor takes on new message

A mural supporting Ukraine was destroyed in Gig Harbor. Here’s how the artist responded

Vandals deface Gig Harbor artist’s mural of support for Ukraine

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Why the Ukrainians Are Fighting So Hard: Remembering the Holodomor Genocide

Somewhere between 3.8 million and 10 million Ukrainians died during Holodomor.

This poignant statue, at the entrance to the memorial park in Kyiv, Ukraine, is how I first learned about the Holodomor Genocide of 1932-33.

I first saw this photo just two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. I have to specify the year, because Russia (in one form or another) has been invading, annexing and generally mistreating Ukraine (in one form or another) since the 1700’s. (In case you’re feeling superior, remember that we Americans began committing genocide against Native Americans at about the same time. Our country, too, has much to answer for.)

The more I learn about the suppressed history of the world, the more horrified I become by man’s inhumanity to man. No one taught me about Holodomor in school. In fact, the United States only got around to recognizing Holodomor as a genocide perpetrated by the Russians in 2018, 86 years after this Russian-coordinated terror/famine occurred. (I am proud to say that my state, Washington, was the first US state to recognize Holodomor, nearly a year and a half earlier than the country did. But still, that’s a long period of silence.)

Ukraine’s history is complicated. Its pieces and parts have been under the purview of various tribes, kingdoms and countries since Neandertals first entered the area around 45,000 BC. This well-written article, including maps, can give you a better idea of the tug of war that has been happening in this region throughout history. What we now call Ukraine has been a geopolitical faultline between democracy and authoritarianism since its inception.

To understand the Holodomor Genocide, one must look at least as far back as the declaration of independence of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1918, toward the end of World War I. Needless to say, the Russians were not amused. It is a grave oversimplification to say that Ukraine was swallowed back up by the soviets in 1919, and became an unwilling founding member of the USSR in 1922. This period was a long, exhausting one of fighting and resistance for the Ukrainian people.

1n 1932, Stalin decided he had had enough of the Ukrainian shenanigans. This area was too important for the Russians. It was, and still is, Europe’s breadbasket. This land produces five times more grain per hectare than can be produced on Russian soil. Stalin felt the need to bend these people to his will, and he did so in the most heinous way possible.

First, he took away all the farmland from the Ukrainian people, and forced them to work on collective farms for free. And then all the food produced by these farms was systematically removed from Ukraine, leaving the people to starve. By the spring of 1933, 17 Ukrainians died of starvation every minute, which is nearly 24,500 people every single day. Many would simply drop dead in the streets.

Most Ukrainian cities had buildings where orphaned children were housed. These places were effectively children’s concentration camps. The Russians did not allow them to have clothing or bedding, even in the dead of winter, and many were given only a teaspoon of milk a day. Most of these children were too weak to walk. They crawled. And the only reason they expended the energy to crawl was to find grass to eat. During their short, brutal lives, they were prohibited from speaking Ukrainian, and were subjected to political brainwashing to make them hate their own country.

Meanwhile, out in the countryside, many farms continued to resist collectivization. Those that did were confronted with what was called the Black Board Regime. If your village made the blacklist, it was surrounded by Russian troops. Its shops were emptied and closed. The food and livestock were confiscated. Village leaders were purged. If the people tried to steal grain from the fields, they were often shot on sight. They were deprived of the internal passports the Russians required you to have to travel anywhere. Some people resorted to cannibalism. Basically they were starved out. There was a 50 to 70 percent mortality rate in the 400 villages that were blacklisted.

The Russians denied (and still deny to this day) that this famine was happening. They refused all international aid. They made it illegal to even talk about this brutal reality that they themselves intentionally created, and as of this writing Russia has not been charged with war crimes for any of it.

Somewhere between 3.8 million and 10 million Ukrainians died during Holodomor.

Wherever villages were left deserted, Russians moved in to take up residence. About 17 percent of all Ukrainian citizens are now ethnically Russian. This is why much of Eastern Ukraine has a strong Russian Nationalist movement. Much like ours, this is a country bitterly divided.

Ukraine was not able to withdraw from the Soviet Union until 1991, and therefore they were not legally allowed to talk about Holodomor until that time. That’s nearly 60 years where an entire nation could not discuss or process its collective trauma. That’s got to leave a mark.

Since 2009, Ukrainians have observed a Holodomor remembrance day, and the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide was opened in Kyiv at about that same time. I hope those efforts have helped the people move a little bit closer to healing…

…for a short while, anyway. Then Russia stole the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and nothing was done by the international community to stop it. In fact, after a brief burst of outrage, we have all apparently forgotten all about it. And then Russia invaded Ukraine as a whole starting this February, and the international community, while sympathetic and willing to provide aid and weaponry, refuses to get involved militarily for fear of sparking off WWIII and/or nuclear devastation.

And so, as has often been the case, Ukraine is left to battle Goliath on its own. Is it any wonder they’re fighting so hard? After all they’ve been through, they certainly have adequate motivation.

We must all stand with Ukraine. They are the front lines of a much bigger struggle. If they lose their freedom yet again, rest assured that ours will be under threat as well.

Now that you know about it, never forget Holodomor. To find out more, if your heart can take it, I highly recommend a documentary entitled “I Will Remember Them”, which was presented by the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide, and is available to view on YouTube.

Wishing you peace, dear reader. Wishing us all peace.


Most Americans can’t be bothered to care about Ukraine.

The people of Ukraine are on my mind a lot these days. We Americans have no idea what they are going through, and likely never will. Most of us can’t be bothered to care. And it shows.

Imagine this. You’re sitting in your living room, doing your thing, minding your own business, harming no one, when you hear explosions in the distance. And those explosions come closer and closer and closer. You look out the window and see the images below (which are actual photos of what is going on in Ukraine even as you read this.)

As you realize that there are people coming who want to kill you, you give up your entire life in an instant. You know you won’t be going to work tomorrow, dropping the kids off at school, visiting the local market, or returning books to the public library. All these things, your routine, your method of living, are gone.

Your hierarchy of needs gets stripped down to the basics. How will I get food and water? How do we stay warm once the electricity goes out? How will I keep my family safe? What about all the other loved ones who are scattered throughout the country? How do I gain access to my money? What do I do about my dog?

You do have a few options. You could evacuate. This would mean leaving behind your home and all your possessions to GTFO. And odds are there will be looting and bombing and you’ll lose everything. That, and many of the roads are closed. The airport is definitely closed. And where will you go and what will you do if you have to abandon your job?

You could also sign up to defend this beloved country of yours, with its government that you helped elect. But you’ve never held a gun in your life. And your enemy is about 1000 times more equipped than your country could ever hope to be. No other countries are willing to step in and help you out. Deep down, you know it’s just a matter of time before your world is occupied by an invader that wants you dead, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Of course, you could choose to stand by and do nothing and hope you aren’t killed, and hope your home remains intact. Hope you’re not tortured. Hope you don’t starve. Hope you wake up and find that this is all a bad dream.

No matter what you decide to do, this is bigger than you. It’s beyond your control. That’s it. You’re done. Just like that.

Meanwhile, we Americans sit in front of our televisions, secure in the knowledge that we don’t share a border with a country that’s more powerful than we are, and it’s a safe bet that we never will. We’re also pretty confident that tanks will never roll past our houses, and if we hear an explosion in the distance, it’s most likely a transformer that was struck by lightning, or a pesky teenager shooting off illegal fireworks.

Most of us will never be surrounded by total strangers who are intent upon our demise. With a few rare and horrifying exceptions, no one is trying to kill us at all. Our democracy may be circling the drain, but that’s our own doing. In fact, when there actually is an insurrection in an attempt to overthrow our elected government, most of us can’t be bothered to take it seriously. It feels like a mere gnat that is jumping around at the periphery of our vision. A nuisance. We’re just too big to fail. So the perpetrators of that insurrection don’t even get a slap on the hand, despite all the footage of the violence, destruction, and death.

The odds are pretty darned excellent that the majority of us will never have to leave our entire lives in the dust with no notice whatsoever. The majority of us will not have to dig foxholes and hunker down and prepare to kill another human being for the first time in our lives.

Our biggest concern is how inconvenienced we are by the concept of wearing masks and getting vaccinations so that our loved ones might survive. Many of us can’t be bothered to make that sacrifice. Oh, no. We’re too busy anxiously awaiting the results of the fantasy football game we’re engaged in. We can’t raise our eyes from Wordle long enough to even open the door when the neighbor comes by to borrow jumper cables. We don’t even know their name. Don’t know, don’t care.

Do I think this blog post will make a difference? Not at all. I write it in hopes that some future historian might stumble upon it and realize that we did see what was happening. We just couldn’t suffer the massive inconvienience of doing anything about it. Shame on us.

Relatively speaking, the average American is so fat with entitlement that they could probably make foie gras from their own livers. But I suspect that it wouldn’t taste very good.

Have We Forgotten the Ukraine?

I get it. We have neither the money, the time, the moral currency, nor the manpower to intervene in every international atrocity. God knows we’ve left Tibet dangling since 1951, Burma since 1962 and I could talk for hours about various coups in Africa and the Middle East.

But what stuns me is how quickly we’ve stopped talking about Ukraine. It was only a little over a year ago when unmarked Russian soldiers began entering that country and took over the Crimean Peninsula. Outrageous. Irrational. It would be just as insane if the US suddenly decided to take over Vancouver, just because we have more military might than the Canadians. Many Americans live in Canada after all, so let’s just take it because we can.

And yet no one says a word about the Ukraine anymore. Did we just decide that it would be easier to look the other way instead of getting into a big international kerfuffle? Or is our attention span that short? Are we simply stretched too thin in wars of our own making, or do we just not care about anyone other than ourselves?

I suspect that we’ll spend more time discussing Caitlyn Jenner than the people who have been driven out of their homes in the Crimea. What does that say about us? Putin knows exactly the thickness, or lack thereof, of our moral fiber, and that’s why he knew he could get away with such a b***h move. He knows us too well. So does the rest of the world. And that’s scary.

[Image credit:]
[Image credit:]

Valeria Lukyanova: Whacko Poster Child for Breatharianism

For those of you who don’t know Miss Lukyanova, she is a Ukranian model who promotes herself as a human Barbie doll, and she also is, in my humble opinion, the world’s greatest media whore.

If you want true insight into her disturbing self-absorption, I suggest you watch the video on Youtube, made by Vice, called Space Barbie. In it, she discusses her anorexically thin figure. She doesn’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with it.

She believes that looking like a doll is a good thing, because “Dolls are based on the image of refined girls”. Actually, no, Valeria. Dolls, especially Barbie, have shapes that no human being could ever achieve or should ever strive for. She admits she’s had breast augmentation surgery and wears contact lenses to enhance her strange image. She also says, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with girls who try to look like me.” She says to her sister, who is also abnormally thin, “Don’t smile so much, or you show your double chin.”

According to Wikipedia, she is an educator at the School of Out-of-Body Travel. She also believes she is from another planet and has traveled back in time to teach us. She claims to keep in regular touch with beings from other planets. She has been filmed wearing a beard and speaking in a creepy voice, but her director has also been filmed saying to her, “Okay, this time let’s do it in a normal voice.” That speaks volumes about her sincerity.

In her latest grab at media attention, she has recently announced that she is training herself to be a Breatharian, and plans to live on nothing but air and sunlight. She says she hasn’t felt the need to eat in weeks. Assuming you’re stupid enough to think you can defy the laws of nature and simply stop eating entirely, I feel the need to say, “Don’t try this at home.”

To be clear, food is the only thing that stands between you and death. Not only that, but going without food when it’s available to you is insulting to the millions of people on this planet who are genuinely starving through no fault of their own. According to, 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. If that doesn’t debunk Breatharianism 21,000 times a day, nothing will.

Now, normally I would just dismiss this woman as being bat sh** crazy, but unfortunately she has more than a million followers on Facebook. I find this extremely disturbing. The last person a young girl needs as a role model is a mentally disturbed woman who advocates self-absorption and eating disorders and is now telling people to stop eating altogether. In the video she also calmly mentions that in a past life she immolated herself in front of her students. Don’t try that at home, either.

I am so angry at this woman I can barely speak. Do the young girls of this world not already receive enough messages that make them critical of their own bodies? The fact that Miss Lukyanova is so desperate to be idolized that she cares not one whit for the well-being of the young girls who look up to her will tell you all you need to know about the true nature of evil.

I can only hope that having this nut as the most visible and outspoken advocate of Breatharianism will help destroy its credibility before it takes too many victims to that great insane asylum in the sky.


[Image credit: Huffington Post]

Where is China, Greenland and the Whole of Africa?

Since I haven’t been able to afford international travel in the past several years, I travel vicariously by checking out the countries of origin of the people who visit my blog. WordPress is even kind enough to provide a nifty little world map, with the countries that have visited colored in for me.


When I get a new country visitor, I’m always so excited. I imagine someone from Bangladesh, for example, sitting at their computer on the other side of the world, looking at something I’ve written. What is that person like, I wonder. What does the room in which they’re sitting look like? What sounds are they hearing out their window? What drew them to my blog? Did I make them think about something in a different way? If it’s a country that I know very little about, I rush off to Google and learn a thing or two.

It’s a particular thrill when it’s a little tiny country, because I figure the odds are a lot longer that someone there would visit. I’d love to get Andorra or Lichtenstein, for example.

I’ve had visitors from 49 countries so far. In addition to the countries visible on the list from my screengrab picture above are Switzerland, Chile, Singapore, Austria, Greece, Ukraine, Slovenia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Finland, Mauritius, Israel, Guatemala, Iceland, Thailand, Croatia, Turkey, Viet Nam, France, Lithuania, Nepal and Brunei Darussalam.

I was particularly excited when I got my first visitor from the Russian Federation, because that REALLY added color to my map! What I can’t figure out, though, is why I haven’t sparked any interest at all from any nation on the African continent. What does a girl have to do? I’d also love to get Greenland and China. I’ll really know I’ve arrived, though, when I get someone from North Korea. But I won’t hold my breath.

So if you are a new visitor, welcome! I am waving hello to you from another part of the planet, and I’m really glad you’re here! Come back soon and bring your friends!