Christmas or Winter’s Night Solstice

Personality theorist, George Kelly is best remembered for his theories regarding Personal Construct psychology. Everyone has their own opinions and perspectives of the world that they personally construct. Some are learned and some are natural – but different through the eyes and ears of each beholder.

In western civilization, Christmas has become more than Jesus’ birthday. It’s a massive commercial empire more than a religious holiday. Christmas is often preceded by the Winter Solstice. This is a natural event of the longest night and shortest day. Stemming back thousand of years before Jesus, what are referred as pagans believed this to be a very special day.

Christmas and the Winter Solstice is very integrated into our collective unconscious, enforced with many stimuli. These deep memories are stirred with more connections than everyday occurrences. These are special events but, like all memories, are personally constructed with different meanings and associations. As with all memories, there may be distortions and wavering thoughts that are clouded by myths, legends, folklore, and forgotten history. Christmas and the Winter Solstice are very real constructs and, in many ways, shared. Are they faithful and true?

Do you know what you did yesterday? How about last week or last month or last year? Most of us only remember small percentages. So, based on the New Testament, how accurate is our belief that Jesus was born December 25, Christmas? We are born with acceptable suppositions that may or may not be true or false? Yet, with the aid and sharing of the Internet, we can collect fragments of history and render opinions. Is it likely that Jesus was born December 25 or is the Son’s birth confused with pagan perceptions of the Sun’s birth? When is Christmas?

Are we celebrating the birth of the Son or the Sun? December may be marked by Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but for pagans it’s the time to celebrate Yule. The holiday marks the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (Sunday, Dec. 21, this year) and celebrates the rebirth of the sun and beginning of winter. It is one of the oldest winter celebrations known.

The pagans were pantheists, believing in the observed environment. Goddesses were esteemed because they could bring new life to their world. Yule is deeply rooted in the cycle of the year, it is the seed time of year, the longest night and the shortest day. The Goddess once again becomes the Great Mother and gives birth to the new Sun. The Yule festival was already closely associated with the birth of older Pagan gods like Oedipus, Theseus, Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Dionysus, Apollo, Mithra, Horus, and other pantheistic religions worshipped by the plain folk. The birth of the Sun might easily be confused with the birth of the Son. In a way Christmas and Winter’s Night may be brethren of uniquenesses and contrasts that were mutually supportive in historic contexts.

During the times of the Roman Empire, Roman pagans celebrated Saturnalia around December 25. The celebration holiday endured for over a 1,000 years. The story of the Saturnalia focuses first and foremost on the god Saturn himself. This deity is often linked to a Greek model like Chronos, but when examining the origins of the ancient Roman version we see there is a loose affiliation. For the Romans, the god Saturn ruled over the area of Latium in a kind of golden age, before mankind had to toil for their livelihood. As with most pagan roots, Saturnalia has a Garden of Eden basis. Saturnalia was an agricultural deity, the god of fruitfulness and fertility.

Saturnalia was a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration.

The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week.

At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman. Those Romans!

The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth. The earliest gospel – St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus. This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.

Luke 3:1,23 indicates that when Jesus turned 30 years old, it was the 15th year of Tiberius reign. Historians believe that the reign of Tiberius was from September 14-AD to 37-AD.

The New Testament also implies that Joseph and Mary were travelling to register for the Roman census and tax collection. This would likely be at harvest time. That would claim Jesus might have been born near Autumn – September or October.

In the third century, a document known as the Pascha-Computus cites opinions that were going on at the time. According to their calculations March may have been Jesus birth.

There were no standard calendars available to pinpoint whether it was December 25 or another time. At the time of Jesus, there was the Hebrew biblical calendar, the Egyptian calendar, and the Roman calendar. All were different.

In that region, paganism reigned supreme. The Jews and a few other monotheists (Baal was popular as a god) were minorities. In English or American, it seems easy to confuse Sun with Son. English, as we know it, wasn’t yet born. It’s only in the movies that the Romans spoke with perfect English accents! The sun goddesses had different names, as did sun gods and they were many.

We know that the early preachers of the Jesus’ story had some rough times. Many were former Roman slaves. Slaves with religions might be rebellious. Perhaps many of those slaves were Carthaginians. The Carthaginians fought Rome with the support of the Greeks and lost.

Emperor Constantine I ruled Rome from 306 to 327 AD and certainly was no Christian. The Phoenician and Greek language influences might have confused Constantine as he favored the Sun god – likely Helios. Could the Phoenician Jesus have sounded like Helios? Constantine went on to adopt Christianity.

At this time, the Christians were still a fledgling quasi-monotheistic group and, like other monotheistic groups, had to contend with older, strong pagan influences in the region. In the 4th century CE (around 370 AD), Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

The first 1000 years of the church dealt less with Jesus’ birth than how to unite Christians. There were struggles of different factions with differing attitudes. Islam originated and its expansion was seen as threatening. Aristocrats played more significant roles in construction and rule, as a way to manage rebellion of the masses. Celibacy and Confession hardly existed and were debated. As varied factions faded and as Rome separated from the East Orthodox, the Western church in Rome is where Catholicism was probably born.

Early Popes, like Gregory, began to micromanage the flock in the 11th century. It would be around the early 1200s that Pope Innocent III began targeting the pagans and other faiths as heretics. Under his papacy, the ground work of inquisition developed. Any non-Catholic was open to being arrested, tortured, and killed.

The 15th-century medieval church took a holocaust stance as the inquisition grew grand. attempting to eliminate all disbelievers, pagans and monotheists. This would be a dark era of the Catholic church history. Pagans were burned and slaughtered. To quench and satisfy Christian disciples, the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city.

Pagans, Jews, Islam and other non-Christians still feel the scars of this era. The modern Popes and Catholic churches have tried to make amends but we still see wrinkles of distrust. Islam is starting to win the wars it lost.

David Petts (2011) writes extensively about this conflict of Pagans and Christians in medieval era.

Many of the Christmas traditions we hold dear are derived from pagan rituals. Romans kept trees indoors during the winter – Christmas Tree.

Modern traditions span over the pat 150 years. The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. Christmas Cards appeared in the United States of America in the late 1840s but were hand designed and very expensive. John C. Hall made his mark in 1915 when he mass produced cards on his Hallmark brand.

The shift from Jesus birth and his messages of peace, compassion, and humility factored only a little in the shaping of Christianity and Catholicism as a power base.. Peace on Earth may have originated as a miracle during World War I in 1914. On Christmas day, the allies and the Germans put down their swords and brought out a soccer ball. For one day there was Peace on Earth. The next day, regular fighting resumed.

As a commercial wildcard, Christmas lent itself well to the new large department stores that began in the 1850’s. They had large windows displaying their wares. In the late 1800s, the widespread availability of plate glass allowed store owners to build large windows spanning the lengths of their shops where merchandise from the store could be appealingly displayed to draw in customers. Thus the notion of “window-shopping” was born. Department stores cropped up in all major cities, including London, Paris, and New York. They employed many for seasonal help.

Jerry Seinfeld dubbed this winter holiday season as Festivus. Chanukah is not associated with it and Kwanzaa is relatively recent. Traditions, nonetheless, intertwine through exposure.

Be it gory history mired in conflicts, myths, legends, and miracles, many people are still in awe of Christmas and the Winter Solstice (or Winter’s Night). From eras that predated electricity and the night sky was aglow with wonders, these events have been constructed to make the cold of winter feel warmer.

Academic debate will continue as to when Jesus was born. The pagan winter solstice is probably the most valid source. Anyway, the 12 days of Christmas from 12/25 to 1/6 remain a period of togetherness, sharing, and kindness. At a point where the lack of light may cause feelings of depression, it is nice that Christmas is around.

Christmas may not be the grand birthday party and Winter’s Night may not be the immediate usher of spring. They are times to bring people of the Northern Hemisphere together sharing happiness, joy, and peace.

These are languages of our winter. They are promises that warmth is coming. In a world where war and conflict seem to be perpetually driven, Christmas and Winter’s Night are brief periods of calm and introspection. Peace on Earth, if only for a day, is essentially what Jesus might have wanted.

Coney Island has digital ball drop New Year Eve

Miles away from the crowded, tumultuous streets of Manhattan, tourists and outsiders hardly consider that Brooklyn’s Coney Island has a digital ball drop New Year Eve. New Yorkers enjoy celebrating holidays. Manhattan has a “private” fireworks display in Central Park. Brooklyn has fireworks at Prospect Park and now Brooklyn adds Coney Island. While Times Square may be the star attraction, New Yorkers have their own ways of celebrating. And do we enjoy New Year’s Eve.

Manhattan’s Time Square continues to attract huge crowds witnessing the ball drop on New Year’s eve. Two innovations that would completely transform the Crossroads of the World debuted in 1904: the opening of the city’s first subway line, and the first-ever celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square. The area was originally called Longacre Square for an area hotel. In 1904, Longacre Square is no more. Leaving Park Row, the New York Times Tower on West 42nd Street was under construction. The city changes the name to Times Square. While other areas enjoyed New Year celebrations, Times Square would be the largest draw.

With the new IRT subway rumbling beneath the sidewalks, electrical wiring was no longer on poles in the area. It was underground and electricity was an exciting show of its own. 110 years later, Brooklyn gets in the spirit with a digital ball drop at the Coney Island shore. It’s a morale booster and nightlife jolt to an area where urban blight spread from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. It’s a sign that things are changing for the better.

Coney Island was originally two separate islands that, with landfill, became a huge Brooklyn beach and entertainment area. The site was formerly an outer barrier island, but became partially connected to the mainland by landfill so it is a peninsula instead of an island.

The mainland was Brighton and, like nearby areas, was mostly wetlands and swamps. In 1868 entrepreneur William A. Engeman began to purchase land in the area and transformed a tract of marsh land and sand dunes into fairgrounds, hotels, and a bathing pavilion.

In the 1870’s elevated railroads were constructed to take people back and forth from Coney Island. There were several routes. What is now the F train, was originally part of the Culver line. The original Culver Line was opened by the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad, along the surface of McDonald Avenue (then Gravesend Avenue because of Greenwood Cemetery) where it connected with horse car lines including the Vanderbilt Avenue Line to Coney Island, on June 25, 1875. By 1890, the elevated line was extended directly to Coney Island.

Until 1898, the borough of Brooklyn was a group of 6 separate towns, not part of New York. Coney Island was THE major tourist summer destination. Its amusement parks were legendary. New Yorkers often rented bungalows for extended stays.

After decades of neglect, Coney Island has become part of a vast renovation and restorative project, attracting more residents who have found other near-Manhattan Brooklyn neighborhoods places to call home. The LED ball drop at Coney Island will likely be a more intimate event than tourist-filled Times Square. Boardwalk bars and restaurants will open for the evening and host after parties to celebrate till dawn.

For over 20 years, Manhattan neighbors on the upper west and east sides have enjoyed an often overlooked event called the Emerald Nuts Run by New York Road Runners. It’s a 4K run in Central Park followed by spectacular fireworks.

Brooklyn residents, especially those when Brooklyn was one of the 6 cities in the borough, enjoy Prospect Park Fireworks on New Year’s Eve at Grand Army Plaza. The annual event starts with a pre-party at Grand Army Plaza, with free entertainment, and some light refreshments.

Apart from the tourists, New Yorkers really know how to celebrate New Year’s eve and Brooklyn has many areas to host them.

Manhattan’s Time Square will continue drawing the biggest crowds and, like the Central Park New Year’s Eve ritual, will remain the main event. It’s nice to know that people in Brooklyn have fun alternatives.

While tourists can jam streets along Broadway for a glimpse of the New Years ball drop, Brooklyn residents enjoy New Year celebrations that aren’t dwarfed by the Times Square spectacle. They are just off Manhattan. In many ways, Brooklyn is very much as cosmopolitan in New York flavor, with senses of more space and less media coverage. Many people find that attractive.

Coney Island remains miles away and a long ride from Manhattan. Some prefer not taking the subway at 2AM after the party. That is why, on December 31, Coney Island will remain a local affair for many years. Folks from Brooklyn won’t mind.

Heart Health relies on sugar intake

The winter holidays are upon us. There are family gatherings and all kinds of festive sugary snacks to help us brave the cold. Why consider hear health? It seems that a research study last year cited evidence that foods and drinks with added sugar may be heart health threatening. Who knows what the future brings? Eat, drink, be merry, and sit. In this gambling game of life, enjoy a happy holiday season and a very happy new year.

Mary Poppins believes that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Do you regularly add spoons of sugar to your morning tea or coffee? While those spoonful or packets may help those beverages go down, they may also be hurting your hear health. According to an article in the Journal of American Medical Association or JAMA, getting too much added sugar in your diet might significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in January 2014.

The study concluded that. “Most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet. We observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD mortality.”

While there are many risk factors that may lead to an eclipse of the heart or some form of heart failure, the results point that added sugar rather than salt may probably influence cardiovascular health and possible mortality (or life reduction).

The American Heart Association recently updated a section devoted to heart health issues and added sugar. They indicated that sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the American diet, often as many as 9 teaspoons of sugar as carbohydrate calories. Those excess carbohydrates may also lead to weight gain and diabetes – other potential risk factors against heart health. The problem is many people consume not one 12-ounce can but as much as 2 liters or nearly a half-gallon of these beverages daily.

That prompted a Congress representative, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), to propose an excise tax on sugared soft drinks, much like those already imposed on cigarettes and alcohol. While there are many supporters of The SWEET Act, there are many that oppose the act from passing.

We are not only talking about sodas and iced-teas/fruit drinks but also sweetened energy and sports drinks. I might accept electrolyte enhancing sport drinks if you exercised intensely but many are consumed while sitting in front of a TV or at a desk.

Can you have your cake and eat it too? I was sitting at Starbucks and noticed someone ordering coffee and a cupcake. A typical cupcake weighs about 3 ounces. It is about 235 calories, mostly from fat and sugars, based on 1 ounce. That’s 700 calories. Keeping in the Christmas spirit, the person ordered an Espresso with steamed milk and caramel brulée flavored sauce. The 16-ounce beverage contains 52 grams of sugar. Then the customer went to the convenience stand and added 3 more packets of sugar. I was drinking an espresso straight with 5 calories.

So, here we are, armed with a study that heart health may be compromised by adding sugars and beverages aren’t the only culprit. Then there are foods that add high fructose corn syrup that say “no added sugar.” Sugar is deemed as sucrose. The problem lies in economics and taking sides with the investment quotient.

Mary Poppins may have been correct about adding sugar to medicine. You’re only sick for a brief time. Not adding sugar is an acquired taste and often requires lots of adaptation.

Few people below the age of 30 would never consider heart health issues as threatening. Most of them continue their dietary habits and, with age, start noticing the consequences. Is it likely that added sugar will shorten your life with deteriorating heat health? Who knows? There are many habits and diseases that make up the ingredients.

This JAMA study on added sugars from last year has stirred new debate amidst health concerns, tastes, and economics.

Whether added sugar will result in diseased heart health over time may still be an open case. One can always say that life is a gamble. Any threatening research may lead with “not me” responses. So smoke, drink booze, and have sugar-rich foods. If you encounter diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular issues along the way, there are always treatments (or not).

Happy holidays! May this be a year that leads to many others with increasing happiness. We hope this won’t be your last.

Being kinky is healthy kind of odd

We adore our individualities and our common bonds. We also share our uniquenesses and discriminate those that are uncommon. We grow with and form groups and attachments. In the “We” of things, day-to-day living is fairly normal and normality is defined as average. Then there are those that are different. They may be revered or hated, admired or disdained. Those aren’t usually part of normal. They might make up less than 4% of the total population. Those are so far out that they might be considered kinky and their kinkiness either impresses or disturbs. Both coexist. Yet some among the kinky, over time, do passively or actively influence those that make the majority. Who are they? How have they changed your ways of living?

Apart from intimate relationships, we love our icons. Artist, publisher, and performer Andy Warhol was quoted as saying “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Some say that he might have been referring to game show contestants. In a world seeking icons, some people are barely famous for 15 minutes while very few “famous” people are remembered for longer periods. Those, I believe, are beyond average. In an interview on PBS’ American Experience, Mel Brooks discussed some of the pitfalls and peaks he experienced before achieving historic fame as a comedy writer and director.

There are normally famous people who pass in moments, some longer than others. Then there are those unique people who think and behave out of normal. They are those with special creative personalities, often less appreciated in their own time. They were and are not normal but some have helped shape new norms. These may be (statistically) viewed as kinky. Being kinky may be a healthy kind of odd even when normal people feel it’s speculative, risky, or crazy. Being kinky is a healthy kind of odd, at least among the kinky. Kinks do occasionally affect the normal world in progressive, positive, and exciting ways. Think about your tablet, PC, or smartphone. Weren’t these once one’s fantasy? Kinky opportunities help make fantasies come true for one and for many.

In statistics, when you’re collecting characteristic data world-wide, you find zig-zags and the largest one (where the most are) is considered the average. Then there are other bumps called modes. The modes farther from the average get smaller, with fewer numbers of data scores. These are the deviants, heading toward 2 or more deviations from average. In one of them there are those represented as having certain exceptional qualities. These may be the odd folks behind the machines you use and the policies you follow. These may be some performers and sportsters you admire. This mode is called a kink in the chart and, those in it, may be kinky.

It could be you. It could be one of your parents, siblings, children, friends and business associates. It is often very private or a secret. There’s one person in over 10,000 that could be kinky. There may be more that want to be kinky. Kinkiness is odd but being kinky may be a healthy kind of odd, far away from average. With the exception of sickness or criminality, being kinky makes you special and a healthy side of odd.

Normal people, as average, tend to think within the box, no matter how diverse that box is. Kinky people, despite upbringing, usually think beyond the box. Successful kinky people are often remembered as major historical figures. They are the creators beyond the average. Their relationships and associations may not conform well with those in average groups. They usually find other kinky people but, out of the box.

Kinky people often don’t find their matches and many are moody and prone to predispositioning swings. In the balance of nature and nurture, nature often wins among kinky people for better or worse. Prominent psychologist, Maslow may have admired them as being self-actualized but this psychologist’s looking glass targeted a very narrow vision of humanity. Maslow is also remembered by psychologists as a father of a humanist approach to psychotherapy.

Maslow’s earliest works on Power Relationships might have been seen as notoriously kinky. Maslow believed that the power relationship is biologically determined; for Maslow, male domination and female submission are inevitable for sexual pleasure and self-esteem. For some obvious reasons, these small studies from the late 1930’s to early 1940’s aren’t generally accepted today and hidden from undergraduate textbooks. His later studies and books on hierarchy of needs remain very popular.

Indeed, in the rational world of psychology, all of the memorable masters were on the kinky side. Is being kinky the healthy side of odd? Are these the wizards of odd we dream about?

In a word association test, if presented with the word “Kinky”, your association might be “Sex”. Kinky is referred to something deviant, or not normal. Is it normal or kinky? In this live and let live, dog eat dog world, being average is revered. It’s part of survival. You could be near average. Kinky might refer to those who are deviations from average. These are the thinkers, discovers, inventors, and creators that aren’t like everyone else. These are the Michelangelo, DaVinci, Mozart, Gershwin, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lennon, and others who have set their marks by being different. Those marks were unique and individual. In a word, kinky means not average. Being kinky is a healthy kind of odd. It is being odd nonetheless.

“Kinky” is a rare breed, possibly less than 10% of the population. It’s actually far less and does not include the statistics of the sick and disabled, though someone like Stephen Hawking might be kinky too. George Lucas, Stephen King, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) may be kinky too. They each reshaped the average world but they are far from the average when you consider how they did it.

At any time in civilization, concepts of normal have been constantly redefined. The normal practices of paganism were often at odds with monotheistic beliefs in early civilizations. Those that became a minority and deviated from majority thoughts were ostracized, punished, and slaughtered. Yet oddity seems to help move things forward. Steve Jobs had this kinky idea of a pocket computer, his iPhone and competing smartphones redefine the norms of 21st century society. Practically anyone in history that uniquely opposed normal ways of thinking might be called uniquely kinky.

The peculiarity of the kink was often historically accepted if it was not considered abusive. Standards of abuse also changed over the years. More people seem to have kinky ideas about realizing the impossibles. Emerging technologies are changing normal ways of accessing and using things and those changes are often challenged as being abnormal. Being kinky is often a subject of mass debate.

At the exceptional deviated range of a statistics scale, you might find great artists and musicians. A couple of points, such as mood swings and disinhibition, may stand out as personality characteristics but they are also extremely outgoing and social. Like artists, a recent survey showed that, besides sensitivities and mood swings, kinky people reported higher levels of well-being in the past two weeks than people outside it, and they reported more secure feelings of attachment in their relationships. They exhibited more positive attitudes. They rend to share many of the attributes found in the creative personality type. Smart but naïve, it’s reported that creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility. Some of these elements show why sexually kinky people may be drawn to BDSM play. It isn’t an exclusive trait but exceptionally creative people tend to do things differently than normal people.

Yet kinky things tend to have leaked into the normal average range. There are some interesting things going on.

Now, in fashion, novels, movies, and television, there seems to be growing interests in kinky sex practices. Has kinky sex or, rather, kinky sexual fantasies shifted to some kid of normal?

The results of a 2013 Dutch study made conclusions that those engaging in a BDSM sexual lifestyle might be healthier than those that engage in normal sex on some levels.

At one time, homosexuality was hidden and considered kinky. Today, some States and Cities allow homosexual marriage. In a recent government survey by the Center of Disease Control about 4% reported being homosexual. A larger British sexual survey noted some significant changes in what defines sexual normality.

The Journal of Sex surveyed 1500 Canadian adults on sexual fantasies and found that kinky fantasies were more normal than previously thought. The Lelo Global Sex Survey seems to indicate that, following the bestselling 50 Shades of Gray, respondents reported a normalization of sex. More respondents did note that toys and erotica were used in greater frequency. This might have been considered kinky 30 years ago.

The e-book boomer women write and read the ever-changing scopes of erotica fantasy books. Many, like the Shades of Gray”, involve dominant and submissive fantasies. The eros game is no longer the exclusive world of men. It is not considered sleazy by many women.

American women, with religious backgrounds, appear to have a voracious appetite for e-book erotica, driving sales to soar each year. Being kinky and romantic seems to add new flavors to modern fantasies. Perhaps one of the many surprises from the past came from the Kinsey reports that seemed to reflect that, as far as sex was concerned, normal might actually have been kinky by most social standards.

In the more competitive world of women, kinky is often a fashionable touch of freedom. Yet, compared to women’s romantic erotica, dominant fashion belies submissive fantasies.

When discussing any form of non-marital sex, consensuality is as hotly debated topic over many levels. When it comes to kinky sex, the term rising at colleges and other meeting areas is RACK or Risk Aware Consensual Kink. The point is clear. Kinky behavior is not to be mistaken with abusive behavior. A RACK relationship is not abusive. It is, however, not normal by any means.

BDSM and fetish play tries very hard to distinguish its mutually consenting kinky fantasy roles from normal domestic violence. Domestic violence, sometimes called battering, family violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, economic abuse, and/or sexual abuse. Abusers use threats, intimidation, isolation, and other behaviors to gain and maintain power over their victims. On average, there are 20 victims per minute suffering from domestic violence.

People who engage in kinky sex play take many precautions that distinguish what may seem violent to domestic violence. Use of safewords allow for breaks when play seems too rough. Because it is mutually consented supporting play, these kinky scenes are thoroughly discussed between partners prior to initiating the play. Virtually anything that might be expected has been anticipated in advance. Domestic violence doesn’t have these safety nets and most definitely are not games. Kinky sex play can be controlled whereas domestic violence can’t. Kinky play is done by trusting couples as ways of acting to fulfill mutual fantasies. Domestic violence is an act of crime.

Kinky fantasies are generally about supportive love and attention at sharing within an intimate association. It’s more play and is seen by women’s lifestyle media and women’s internet sites as a type of fun. Unlike domestic violence, there is no victimization. It’s partner play and the mantra is Absolute Trust between them.

Those involved in creating safe and consensual BDSM or other kinky relationships are definitely two or three deviations from normal. Yet, according to a February 2014 article in Smithsonian Magazine on BDSM, many admit to using blindfolds and other kinky toys during sex. According to the 2005 Durex Global Sex Survey (PDF), 36 percent of U.S. adults have had sex using masks, blindfolds, or other forms of bondage (compared to 20 percent worldwide). These numbers may reflect those who admit they “experimented” as an enhancement. As to a BDSM community that routinely has these relationships, some research indicate that actual numbers are roughly less than 4% and many have incomes of more than 1 million dollars per year. Now that’s kinky!

With all this eager fantasies and play with BDSM, over 50% of men and women admit they have submissive sexual fantasies but don’t necessarily act on them. These fantasies are rarely shared with partners.

Erotic fiction by female authors (and geared for women) follow themes of being captured and being saved by a sort of antihero who takes the woman on a massive sexual adventure beyond dreams. Ultimately, the woman turns the martial relationship into a marital relationship. What is erotically kinky eventually becomes quite normal. The plot is generally living happily ever after with Prince Charming, in an uncommon uniform and large castle.

Neurocognitive studies, though rather small, find that sexual fantasies in mind and act may release key neurotransmitters that help enhance mood, focus, and drive. There are somewhat significant variations in brain responses among men and women. Sex and fantasy do drive rich interlobe functioning within the brain. Unusual or kinky fantasies may be more food for thought.

Fantasies of all kinds may be seen as personal and many are kinky. They are alternate realities, semi-conscious vacations that help manage stress and support longer cognitive lifespans. While many feel it is normal to keep fantasies personal, partners sharing fantasies may find therapeutic values. An underlying problem are the consequences of sharing your fantasies with your partner or spouse, especially if they have kinky flavors.

The inability to easily share or act-out fantasies with a trusted love partner may be one source of marriage break-ups. While it may be healthy to think of someone else in a fantasy, not having (and sharing) fantasies could lead to separations and divorce. While sharing or acting out kinky fantasies may be somewhat more normal than you think, the normal is only 54 percent of men and 60 percent of women had married once. The alarming normal about marriage sanctity is that The median number of years a first marriage lasted which ended in divorce was about 8
years for men and women overall. Miscommunication and not sharing are more normal confounders of marriages than sharing kinky fantasies.

Popular counselor for women and couples, Dr. Laura Berman discusses sexual fantasies as not only being normal but also healthy for women, including the popular theme about being ravaged and taken control of. In business, however, women fight to achieve more control in leadership positions, with a velvet glove.

Like most things in life, the quest for everyday normal work and leisure is the common adult fantasy and hopeful reality. Much of industry has supported the stable family with school programs, commuting conveniences, comfortable housing and wage benefits. In bible-conscious communities, women still learn that home is the center of life and thrive to maintain and beautify it.

Vacations and vacation leave from work help add spice and flavors to the everyday normal existence. Vacations are alternate realities and are considered supportive to healthy living and stress management.

The normal ecclesiastically forbidden notions of not acting out fantasies often result in angers and frustrations when vacations less available. Under questionable economics, the inabilities to take vacations or to not “live” alternate realities can lead to breakdowns.
Economic and political instability threaten normality with rising unemployment and socio-economic woes of inflation. These are the kinkinesses that threaten the illusions of normal living that can throw people, marriages, and families over the edge.

As people age and body conditions and endurance undergo changes, the conventional fantasies of youth may be unconventional. Yet, sex after 60 is also considered healthy. Obsessing and regretting about old fantasies may be depressing. Seemingly kinky, sex after 60 offers many cardiovascular benefits. During sex, your heart races, your metabolic rate increases, you burn calories, and stretch and strengthen muscles. Sex has also been shown to boost the immune system and provide stress relief, just like a good cardio session. Moving away from the normal missionary position and shifting to kinky explorations, you may be able to churn away up to 100 calories in 30 minutes. Engaging in erotic massage between the two of you also reaps many benefits, especially women. There may be sensual areas rarely explored before. Engaging in sensual massage with your partner offers new twists in an aging spectrum. Is it kinky? Maybe. When the orthodox methods fail, you may not need a pill. You may find greater power in touching.

As ideas that change the world at large or your personal world, being a little kinky may be attributable to healthy characteristics for you. There are many abusive acts carried out bodily and mentally and BDSM fantasies and acts have long ways to go to being considered normal behavior. Fantasies are the products of dreams and help build cognitive processes through those dreams.

There are healthy associations with kinky sex play. There are also many kinky personalities, scientists, engineers, and politicians whose visions beyond normal help expand our world to meet new challenges and experience greater joys. Sometimes being kinky is not a choice but, if you think about it, being kinky may be a healthy kind of odd.

Barring addictions, disease and crime, kinky behaviors are still seen as rebellious dissents from normal. Only time can bring normalization to kinky behaviors. The first monotheists were probably seen as kinky by the pagans. Early Christians endured vile punishments from pagan Rome. Oddly, a few hundred years later, Rome was chosen for the formation of the Catholic church. People who searched for herbs and made alchemy potions were treated as criminals by the medieval Catholic church. Today they are alternative specialists. Certain old church practices regarding divorce and homosexuality are being reconsidered in Pope Francis’ current reign at the Vatican. Based on th3e moirés of the day or era, differences arise as to what is kinky and what isn’t. As with homosexuality, uniquenesses and kinky behaviors are often beyond therapeutic reach.

Kinks exist as deviations from the average that may be attractions and therapeutic in their own ways. They lie in art rather than science and remain so immeasurably small that they can’t be studied. As such, kinkiness often excites curiosity. What we know from quasi-scientific surveys is that more than few people think about kinky behaviors, sexual or technical. If someone would have told you in 1960 that people would be using notebook computers, the internet, and pocket phones that use apps and texting, would it have been credible? Geniuses, beyond the average, perhaps kinky geeks, helped create this new level of normality. Deviations from normal often help shape tomorrows.

Evolutionary biologists note that there are kinky-like behaviors in the animal kingdom. It isn’t exclusive to humans. Or are we adding our own perceptions of kink?

Kinky behaviors and kinky sex are still things that should be restricted to consenting adults. Anything else would be a crime. Kinky is odd and unique. Some kinks lie at the roots of progress and some may be stoic, forgotten as passing fantasies and ideas.

Being kinky is a healthy kind of odd but be wary that it can also be frosted with criminality and sickness. Kinky rests deviantly beyond the range of average normality, as long as it remains kinky and perceived as some form of taboo. The significances of kink and kinky behaviors are often researched and discussed. They seem to be popular topics. At best, some are transient with passing time, while others merely remain kinky.

Kinky has nothing really to do with kinky sex. Some who fall into that kinky mode on the statistical scale are high-level professionals that are very different than those in the average group. While kinky behaviors have somehow absorbed into society through the various media, kinky play is still a small splinter among the overall that are curious or interested. As a statistical mode, the bump is much smaller than those who are involved in domestic violence. There are fewer kinky people.

Being kinky might be associated with adopting abnormal lifestyles like veganism, running, yoga, and other lifestyles that few ever follow-up or integrate or even select. Those that choose a quick-fix diet (and stop) are normal. Those who stay the course might be considered kinky.

In any age there will be a normal average and a kinky variance from normal. There will always be exchanges, albeit reluctantly. Kinky people will always be a small minority. Negating kinky influences, existences or their contributions to normal reality are counterproductive. They are open to questions. They are parts of the unknown that people continue to explore with unabated curiosity. For all that matters or doesn’t, beneath the planks and behind the corners, kinky behaviors and fantasies might questionably be a creative and healthy kind of odd, at least, for those very few. And, sometimes, enjoyed by many for (at least) 15 minutes.

Eric Garner justice is mobile precedent revolution

There are outcries and turbulent demonstrations in the streets of New York City. It’s nothing New York City hasn’t witnessed before. Through mobile technology, the arrest of Eric Garner for a minor non-violent offense has been seen by millions of viewers. The usual grand jury process, a root of our judicial system, chose not to indict the police officer who held Eric Garner down with an illegal choke hold. That choke-hold may have contributed to the death of Eric Garner.

Not since the O.J. Simpson nationally televised murder trial has a case been so publicized and debated. The arrest was caught by a witness using a smartphone that recorded audio and video. The raw, unexpurgated footage and wide media distribution has had over 1 million views on YouTube alone. Here we have a new precedent where mobile technology fuels multiple perspectives. Then, when we also see smiling photos of the Eric Garner and his family, one (and many) can see beyond belief that something went horribly wrong with this simple arrest.
The Eric Garner situation, via mobile technology, fuels opinions and protest that something is more than amiss as to how our judicial system can deal with neutrality in view of mobile media distribution.

New York City is not immune to protests and rallies. There are several held each week attracting very little attention.

I am reminded that 150 years ago, there were New York City Draft Riots among Irish and Germans that refused a federal draft edict to aid the emancipated blacks during the civil war. By the late 19th century, the Blacks, Irish, Italians, and Germans worked as sandhogs digging tunnels that helped create New York’s infrastructure.

Was racism apparent? Yes. It wasn’t just directed toward blacks but over all ethnic lines and slangs were often used to referring to certain neighborhoods.

With all the freedoms being toted around, women were hardly considered. In 1911, the Triangle Fire in Greenwich Village. The garment manufacturing building, consisting of mostly sweatshops went aflame and killed over 120 women and over 20 men. As Eric Garner was digitally recorded, silent movie cameras caught this blaze.

Like Eric Garner, the two owners went to trial and were aquitt3ed by jury and fined only $20. Surviving casualties received a mere $400. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had earlier protests, including a major demonstration by, mostly women, 20,000 people. Both the demonstrations and the fire helped build ILGWU or International Ladies Garment Workers Union into a major force for improving labor conditions and rights. The ILGWU was also a major contributing advocate to help bring the Women’s Equality Amendment and right to vote in 1920. It was about 60 years after Lincoln emancipated the African slaves. The first visible public demand for equality for women came in 1848, before Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation, but the law took 70 years.

Jews were also discriminated in the United States by Christians and some Jews that arrived earlier. Hotels, resorts, schools, and businesses clearly excluded Jews as late as the 1960’s. Gradually, local and State laws helped allow Jews greater opportunities to enter those areas that were previously exclusionary. A 1992 survey by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith showed that 20 percent of Americans—between 30 to 40 million adults—held antisemitic views, as against 29 percent in 1964. An Equal Rights Amendment was finally added by Congress in 1971.

United States also came about through protests, rebellion, and Revolution. After the declaration of Independence in 1776, the colonies (aided by France and Spain) defeated the British. Wars and revolutions are embedded in USA history. So are protests and rebellions.

Whether the grand jury verdict of not indicting the police officer in the Eric Garner case was right or wrong. It is a system in place before technologies became available. The purity of the technological products may also be risky. Cameras are more frequently used to capture events. Yet, with media distribution, each person has their own personal constructs. As with most, further investigation is needed and is being ordered. The grand jury was not tasked as much about whether Garner was right or wrong or why he was arrested. It was charged with whether the officer should be indicted for homicide. It was more likely criminal negligence of a lesser nature. That will likely happen.

The key point is that protests are allowed provided they follow local and federal rules of behavior. The protest should not deny juris-prudence and rights to anyone.

In the bigger picture, bias and discrimination continue to exist behind closed doors and tightly closed minds. Equal opportunities under law isn’t always equal in a broader sense of the human condition. History proves that this recurs over and over.

After venting, each individual or each group has the right to influence government leaders and representatives by e-mail, social media, meetings, and votes. We are among a handful of countries that have these opportunities. Violent protests won’t cure inequality and discrimination. Hard, persistent, and focused work in communication will. Mobile technology delivers many benefits. The users, you, need to make possible that your representatives really know how you and others feel. That’s where technology really helps. Realities change even in slow increments.