Monday, December 7, 2015

Gas, Liquids, and Solids

Our human existence maintains life in an environment that surrounds us.  Our lungs exchange gases.  Our gastrointestinal system takes in liquids and solid; and in addition, our urinary tract along with this gastrointestinal tube eliminates the waste products.  There are a few other things in this environment that affect us such as ambient temperature, atmospheric conditions,  and various other items that make our existence an unique experience. 

Now the basic gases are oxygen and carbon dioxide.  The basic liquid is water.  The basic solids are a host of items containing nutrients that provide the fuel.  Everyday, everywhere, every time this exchange of gases, liquids, and solids keep us going.  A common thread to our human existence it is.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Am I

Who am I? = Homo sapien

What am I? = a biochemical platform

When am I? = from the beginning

Where am I? = in a biosphere

Why am I? = why not

Common threads we all seek to answer.

Monday, September 28, 2015


For most of us, we had very little to do with selecting our ancestors.  You know, the ones that came before us.  The ones from who we are descended.  They have provided that chromosomal material called DNA which make us unique among the worlds population.

Webster defines "ancestor" as "one from whom a person is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandparent."  A great-grandparent and beyond it would be.  Not many of us ever met our great-grandparents in person.  Perhaps there are family items that have been past down through time to us that were part of their lives, but we still carry a portion of their genes as we walk around this earth.  A family we are from the beginning of time...a common thread indeed.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Human existence provides each of us certain things that are uniquely our own.  That genetic code which directed the formation of this existence is the only one walking around, that is unless your a twin, etc.  Fingerprints are another item that belongs to this set of things that are one of a kind.  Psychology would teach us that personality is "...the unique organization of enduring attributes of the individual."

Now Webster defines this as the organization of the individual's distinguishing character traits, attitudes, or habits.    As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates thought that certain "humors" [blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm] produced a certain temperament within the individual.  Now a days, we have certainly expanded our concept of this thing called personality, but each of us has one...another common thread.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


The "Adam's Apple" we use to call it.  We all have one.  You know, that place in the neck that sticks out in the front, ever since Adam took that first bite, and a piece of the apple got stuck in his throat.  The larynx I believe it is officially called.  It is especially adapted to act as a vibrator to the air that passes thought what we now call the "voice box".  Phonation (sound) and articulation (speech) are the processes by which we learn to speak. 

There are specific speech nervous control centers in the brain as well as various breathing control centers of the brain.  These centers, along with resonance structures of the mouth and nasal cavities produce our speech.  The stretching and motion of the vocal cords are central to this activity.  You then add the soft palate, the tongue, and lips to this process of air movement, have speech.

What a wonder it is. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Limbic System

Webster tells us that emotion is "a psychic and physical reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling and physiologically involved changes that prepare the body for immediate vigorous action".  It seems the French word emouvoir is the root, which means "to stir up".  You might say that we all get "stirred up" frequently as we go about our daily lives.

My old psychology text teaches that human beings rarely seek goals without fear or joy or happiness or jealousy or anger accompanying that seeking.  A quote from the text:

"We live our daily lives in the midst of what may feel like a whole and ever changing symphony of emotional experience."

The physiologist [ different from "psychologist"] teaches that "The Limbic Association Area" is the region of the brain that is concerned primarily with behavior, emotions, and motivation.  We all have one in the midbasal regions of the brain. It is the limbic system that provides most of the drives for setting the other of the brain into action. 

Another common thread it is... this limbic system.
 For other definitions see:
   Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merrian Co., Springfield, MA, 1981, p.369

For a broad discussion see:
   Psychology A Scientific Study of Man, Second Edition, by Fillmore H. Sanford, pp. 253-275.

For those interested in the medical side, see:
   Textbook of Medical Physiology, by Guyton, Eighth Edition, p.637.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


For most, around 30% of our human existence is spent in unconsciousness.  Yes sir, that's right.  My textbook of medical physiology defines this unconsciousness as sleep, and lets one know that a person can be aroused from this state by sensory or other stimuli.  [This state is to be distinguished from coma, which is a state of unconsciousness from which the individual cannot be aroused.]

It is recognized that there are multiple stages of sleep, ranging from a very light sleep to a very deep sleep.  It has also been shown that a person goes through two different types during this period of unconsciousness.  One type is called "slow wave sleep", and the second is called "REM sleep". [Stands for rapid (R) eye (E) movement (M) sleep.]  Each night approximately 75% of sleep is the slow way type.  It is during REM sleep that dreaming is usually associated. 

Now sleep produces its effects on the nervous system itself, and on other structures of the body.  It is part of the cycle called "sleep-wakefulness".  How about that, we all share this cycle [consciousness to unconsciousness] on a daily bases.  It is a common thread of our human existence.

My text is:

Textbook of Medical Physiology, Eighth Edition, by Arthur C. Guyton.  It was published by W.B. Saunders Co., 1991.  Pages 659 - 663 discuss this topic.  It was the 1971 edition that accompanied me through medical school.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Priorities and/or Pressures

Multiple factors draw our attention.  We respond to these factors from innate attitudes that direct our responses and behaviors.  What we view as important (priorities) is often outweighed by the stressful factors (pressures) that demand our attention.  Before we know it, the pressures become the priorities, and our attention is directed away from our original preferential ratings.  Pressures to priorities, or is it priorities to guide the pressures?  A common thread are these priorities and/or pressures.  What we give our attention is a result.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Being about midway between extremes is considered "average".   Not out of the ordinary, or common is included.  Just an "average" day, or "average" hair, or "average" feelings about this post.  We all experience "average" as we go through our existence.  From the bell shaped curve of the last post, it can be visualized as follows.

The midpoint of the bell shaped curve is considered "average".   Half of the folks are to the right of the line, and half of the folks are to left.  This is called the "mean" in some languages [like statistics], but is generally found to hold true for large populations around the world.  Ho...hum...being "average" is a common thread we all use as a measurement to judge our existence.  A common ground it is as we go through this experience called life. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Bell Shaped Curve

The "vital signs" [physical measurements] presented last post list a series of items that we all share. [Threads That Bind]  Each item represents a "normal function" of the organic platform which is in constant motion as we experience our life events.   These various activities may be slightly different for each individual, and if measured in large numbers, they follow a pattern know as "the normal distribution".  A "Bell Shaped Curve" it is often called.  It would look something like this:

Of course, there is an entire family of these "normal curves", but they all follow a similar pattern... a bell shape.  A large sampling of the various items [my biostatistic background would call these items variables] produces a curve which follows this pattern.  Such harmony occurring in the real world...this thread that binds...a bell shaped curve.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vital Signs

The organic platform functions by series of activities which has come to be called "normal".  Body heat, resulting from all that ATP releasing its elections [see post of  9/25/14], produces a temperature that says fairly constant at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit . [considered normal]  The heart pumps at a rate of 60 - 90 times per minute [considered normal].  Breathing takes place roughly 12 - 16 times per minute, [considered normal for an adult].  Blood pressure varies a bit, but on average ranges 140/80, [which is considered normal].  Weight moves up and down as diet permits, but an "average" [normal] for males is 154 lbs. [At least that was the normal when I attended medical school!]  Height is another measurement that varies greatly among the organic platform of the world, but normal is 5 foot, 8 inches.

Each of the variables listed above represent what we all share.  On good days, things can go pretty well.  On bad days, we generally know when something is not right.  Concerned with or necessary to the maintenance of life are these vital signs... threads that bind.

Friday, March 6, 2015


The ability to act or produce an effect that influences or commands thought, opinion, belief, or behavior, can be called "authority".  A convincing force that helps direct these thoughts will in effect impact the manner of conducting oneself .  Competency, capacity, or strength [in the sense of ability] to impact something conceived in the mind, is the foundation of this authority.  Helping to explain the various phenomena that surround us, it establishes the things that are of primary importance.  An orderliness to our experiences in this organic platform results.  What a deal, this common thread called authority.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions are a group of common threads that bind us.  To take into one's mind is a continuous activity.

Something conceived in the mind can be called "concepts".

"Theories" are the general principle or body of principles that are put together to try and explain phenomena that we take into the mind.  These theories form a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action.

From the theories, "principles" are form as a matter or thing of primary importance.  These principals become the most consequential or influential items directing the beliefs and opinions we form in the mind.

"Methods" are derived from these principles that produce an orderly or habitual way for doing something.  They may be techniques, or processes that give an orderliness and regularity to our lives.

"Tools" then are formed, and become a means to an end.  The manner of conducting oneself is a result. methods... and to tools, form a framework our thoughts utilize.  Common threads we all share.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


A common thread that binds us all is time.  You know that measured period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.  We generally experience this common thread as our events succeed one another from past through present to future.  The various languages of the world express this thread in terms of their verbs as "past tense", "present tense", and "future tense".  It is how we experience our "present tense" that more often than not plays the major role in defining our past, and will affect our future.

Now the organic platform allows us to experience this thing called time [in the "present tense"], and can be viewed as follows:
                                                        Input ..... Process .... Output .

Our senses provide the input.    Our central nervous system operates the process.  Our organic platform operates the output.  It is the "process" that analyzes, interprets, judges, and activates a host of internal systems to produce the "output".   Thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions, all influence our ability to act or produce this "output".  Hum... what an important thread is this "time", and our organic platforms experience of it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


The environment that surrounds us provides scores of information brought to us through our senses.  Multiple systems operate in concert to help organize and filter this information.  The central nervous system (CNS) ultimately will process this information, and we have thoughts, emotions, opinions, actions or reactions (movement), feelings, desires, memories, and all sorts of things processed in this CNS. [ the skeletal system, muscle/joint, skin, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, waste removal, and reproductive systems are a few other]  Once we have these systems up and running, a series of beliefs defined as "a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing" is formed.   Mental acceptance it might be called.  A "belief system" evolves producing firm convictions that we hold to be true.  Hum...we all share this common thread...convictions.