Re: To Wives: Before you Were “Mommy”

Stock photo, not me. ;)

Stock photo, not me. 😉

 

This is a response to another blog and blogger titled “scissortail silk.” You can find her article, and please do so, here. Be forewarned, some use of strong language and criticism to follow.

We researched together, shopped together and made every choice surrounding the arrival of our new baby together. I’m talking right on down to the discussion of which wipes would represent the Thompson household.

I opened this blog article with open arms, ready to hear some insight into relationships and wisdom pertaining to motherhood and marriage. With such an easily connectable hook, I had to continue reading. I smiled at the shared experience of the “doing everything together” aspect of relationships. Even before parenthood, many giddy new-couples experience this and many a older couple still practice as a reality of togetherness. It can be fun to do things in pairs, and to glean opinions from another concerning choices affecting the household you both share.

So, I delved in expecting another bullet-point blog of things a couple should not forget while the wear and tear of parenthood drains them of their romantic energies. I could already see most of them in my mind’s memory, but every perspective and individual experience sheds new light and wisdom onto something countless couples experience. So, I continued reading….

Until, something started feeling wrong. Not in the message. Not in the words. It was deeper than that.

It started here:

Ladies, there will come a day when your husband walks in the door and you do not turn around. You will be preoccupied with filling up sippy cups and wiping booties. You will shout over the running bath water….

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something felt off. I shrugged it off and nodded along with the general message that many of these blogs towards new parents presses: Don’t forget each other when it gets hectic. I’ve already seen many of my friends and co-workers go through the sleeplessness of baby-toddler reeling. I had seen what the 3am feedings can do, it can be slightly repelling to a child-less woman not presently in the “last egg” days quite yet.

Ladies, there will come a day when you spend every last ounce of yourselves on your children. The demands of life and the babies will come before any other priority. What little of yourself you have left at the end of the day will be used to crawl into bed before someone is awake to need you again.

There it was again. I tilted my head to the side as I read this and thought good and hard. I read and gleaned through the last of the article until certain words, phrases, and inbetween-lines started to pop out:

The husband that once completed your heart….

When you arrive home after meeting the demands of work, you will be expected to meet the demands of your family…

Remember that you are his wife….

Men, remember your bride. The care and love that she has given you will soon be spilled over to your children.

Repeating over and over again…. what is that? What is that feeling deep down in my stomach…? That itching against the inside of my skull?

Oh right.

I’m a fucking baby machine. Right? I cook, clean, and stay the fuck at home where I belong while my husband goes to work to provide for our family that is apparently trapped in the fucking 1940’s.

You know what WAS repeating over and over again in this article to the female reader? Two labels: Mother, and wife. There is something horridly wrong in that dichotomy. I do believe I am a woman and a human being as well, and am more than my vagina and my uterus.

I am absolutely baffled that this article speaks to the pre-child woman with such prophetic words, as if all women are going to be stay at home moms with husbands that work full time. I had to scroll up and make absolutely sure that this blog was written in 2014 because I could not believe it.

I have nothing against women who do this, nor would I ever tell a women what to do with their life. It’s theirs is to chose. Work, don’t work. Get married, don’t. I really don’t care. I would honestly hope that you remember that you have a mind of your own and that you are more than just a mom to your children, but I understand the demands get hard and if it makes you happy and fulfilled, by all means do it and do it hard.

BUT

This is not real life for the majority of women in our world today. More power to the women who become full-time stay at home moms,if that is their choosing. But… it’s not real life. Not anymore. Not today.

And that’s not a bad thing! It’s fantastic that a man can walk out on a woman when he gets her pregnant, and her be ok. It sucks, and he’s a dick, sure – but she doesn’t have to move in with her parents for the rest of her life with no hope of anything. She has hope.

Without being too overly verbose with where this is going: A woman can do things with herself other than get hitched, and get knocked up. I do not at all get the feeling that this blogger understand this, and that is what was itching against the inside of my skull.

The, of course, there was this:

“Let the Lord lead you both together. Because when the days are endless and the hours short, it will only be His love who keeps you together. It will only be His mercy that gently guides your hearts as one. Hold tightly to one another, and even more tightly to the Lord.”

Forgive me but… (or don’t, I really don’t care) I fucking knew it. This just had to be one of those conservative Christian type articles, didn’t it?
Sigh.

It’s times and articles like these, Scissortail Silk, that absolutely disgust and repel women away from religion and send us running for the hills. This is repulsive in every sense of the word to us Godless ladies. I hope you can see that. I don’t judge your life-choice, even though it makes me physically ill to my stomach, it’s yours to chose. Just… understand that it makes most real-life women want to stab themselves in the eye socket with a dull pencil.

No, we do not need God or religion or baby Jesus to have a loving, working, openly-communicating relationship. Mine has been going just fine without all that stuff. We’re actually operating worlds better than the marriage I had back when I was a born-again Christian. And the sex before marriage is just fantastic, really and truly.

I could offer multiple varying paradigms for parenthood and marriage/relationships that do not include God or the whole mommy-stay-home-all-day thing, that work for many couples. They’re all quite happy and functioning. I applaud the actual message of your article: Don’t forget each other. But everything else? Is not universally applicable. It only applies to those who agree with your life-choices. I do not

Overthinking Thoughts

overthinking

“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” Anthony Hopkins

What a strange concept: overthinking.I was contemplating the negative connotation behind the verb “to dwell” last night and could not help but wonder just what is so wrong. Dwelling seems to be connected with negative thoughts, and with distorting reality into something dark and distorted. But overthinking?

I ask myself: what can one overthink to the point of becoming negative? Is the act of the constant thinking the evil? Or is it, rather, the act of distortion that the mind can sometimes do unconsciously? Certainly, it can not be the former.

The first thing that comes to mind with the act of dwelling is on ex-‘s, be it friends, lovers, or loved ones through death. However, for me, the image that comes to mind with this is of a teenage girl dreading her latest infatuation’s abandonment. In that context, can I imagine a loving mother telling her not to dwell. Can this apply to a healthy, thinking, humanistic adult individual? What harm can come from thinking, contemplating, twisting and turning, prying, deducing, and gleaning from a prior relationship?

Surely, we can all quickly come up with examples of the harm it can cause… but perhaps there is also great good to be learned as well. Perhaps it is the good we should strive for, and not, as they say: throw the baby out with the bath water.

A penny for  your thoughts? I will gladly pay it, if needed, to atone for the pain perhaps uncovered from delving into the dwelling portions of the psyche.

Mind: Illness and Illumination

mental illness

John Nash, known best for his depiction in the film “A Beautiful Mind,” suffered from debilitating schizophrenia. He won the Nobel Peace prize for his work in Mathematics and the Game Theory.

Sylvia Plath, known for her dark poetry and many other works, suffered from depression until it pushed her to take her own life.

Vinvent Van Gogh, French painter and artist, although created many great works under the influence of absinthe, a careful review of his letters indicates he may have suffered from manic and depressive episodes. He committed suicide at the age of 37.

I write this post under the cloud of my own disorder. It is debilitating, confusing, and a constant battle that far too many understand all too well. Despite the fact that so many undergo such conditions, and so many end up leading brilliantly creative lives, the stigma towards mental disorders keep us hiding under a rug, afraid to talk to any about what we struggle through.

The words that we bear as the name describing what we daily fight through, find themselves as the punch line of jokes or the careless belittling of someone we do not like.

Over the past few days, I heard and even used the term “bipolar” to describe the behavior of individuals at my job who were not everyone’s favorite to work with. Upon careful inspection, it may become clear to any caring individual that, maybe – just maybe, they did struggle from bipolar disorder. The tragedy is that many go untreated because of the stigma, the name calling, and the poor treatment.

“A Beautiful Mind,” albeit not entirely accurate to John Nash’s struggle, portrayed the story of a mathematical genius inflicted with schizophrenia. It wasn’t until half-way through the movie that viewers uncover, along with Nash, that his adventurous escapades were not at all what he thought but were elaborate hallucinations composed out of the misconstructions of his own mind. It can be difficult to put what an individual with such a condition goes through without artistic methods, as too many who have this condition end up on the streets as “that rambling homeless man talking to himself on the subway.” The movie eloquently depicted a side of the condition that few ever see: the struggle.

Too few of us care to see that side, even among those of us who undergo it. The mind is a beautiful and terrifying thing, capable of pressing us to create marvels, and wreak havocs. With our minds we can create vaccines, invent airplanes, and paint pieces of art that inspire anyone who views it. With our minds we can also drown our new born infants, leap in front of trains, or lead a nation into believing another race is a blight on human kind and insight them all to commit atrocities against them.

Each individual is capable of creating and destroying. Each person we work with, see on mass transit, or making our coffee is capable of ending their infant’s life, or finding the cure for cancer.

Which will it be? Which will our words move another to accomplish? Will our haphazzard label of “crazy,” “bipolar,” or “depressed” push our fellow man over the edge to self harm? Or, perhaps, will we choose the higher road of listening and asking “How are you today?” while truly listening… and carry our fellow man through the storms?

A Penny for your Thoughts, or a penny for your fellow man?

Synaesthesia: What color is A?

The video, and the existence of this condition better depicts the cluster-fuck that I could not fully unwravel going on in my head.

My question: Is this truly a condition as we understand them, or is it a desirable status of thinking? Can it be taught or trained? Is it an understanding of true sensory perceptions to interpret them with each other?

Penny for your Thoughts? Your color, smell, touch, taste reactions?

[[ Video not mine. ]]

Color Perception

color-emotion

After having a conversation with a co-worker about color perceptions, I decided to delve into it as a thought experiment. Digging around on news articles, youtube videos, and the like didn’t quite answer the question adequately. She mentioned “thinking in color,” where not only herself, but her child, attached certain colors to concepts. For example: “March is blue,” “7 is green.” We understand the fully extended idea of this type of perception as synesthesia, a synthesis of perceptions.

We have this created concept we call “colors” which are not too much more than light refracting off of objects and into the lenses of our eyes which is then interpreted as an image in our brains. Most humans perceive objects on our understanding 4-color wheel of blue, green, red, and yellow.

Industrial Psychology, especially that which words in advertising, has long understood and discovered colors to create certain reactions onto our psyche. The discussion as to why we react to colors in a certain way is debatable, and seems to vary by culture (red being royalty to some, and evil to others). It could have very early evolutionary causes, such as “red” being attributed to blood and the pain attached to when that is seen.

Now, let’s throw an even bigger monkey wrench into this concept of colors. Meet, the mantis shrimp:

mantis shrimp

This colorful creature has 16 photo-receptors in which they are able to see a broader color spectrum, as well as UV, visible and polarized light. Conceiving of the possibility of seeing different colors than we conceive of, alone, is a mind-twister. Our minds simply can not quite grasp what it means to be able to see with our eyes more than what is currently available to us.

The whole discussion begs far too many questions: Does mass have within itself that which we call “color” or is it a perceived phenomenon, something our brains merely interpret? Why is it that we attributed, as a society, certain colors to certain concepts: ex feeling blue, red means stop, orange for hazards, only girls wear pink, etc. What of synesthetes, those who see colors in response to numbers, letters, or even smells.

Penny for your thoughts? What color is this post?

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Sources for more delving:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130731-helping-the-deaf-to-see-sound
http://limpingchicken.com/2012/09/07/deaf-news-glasses-invented-to-let-deaf-people-see-sounds/

http://phys.org/news/2013-09-mantis-shrimp-world-eyesbut.html

Chicken Macerator – Raw

Cute, fluffy, baby chickens.

Cute, fluffy, baby chickens.

Crushing up baby chicks ain’t that bad – article

Forgive the fact that the article I am responding to is old. However, I was looking into the legitimacy of there being a “Chicken Macerator,” a factory-purposed creation with the sole intent of instantly killing baby chickens, and found this article supporting its existence.
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Before I unleash my wrath, and hopefully lower my raging blood pressure, the disclaimers:

1. My “Raw” articles contain a profuse amount of profanity, vulgarity, and often anger. They are not threats of any bodily harm if and when they seem overly aggressive, they are expressions of anger and knee-jerk reactions and nothing more. You are warned. Enjoy.
2. Despite what it may seem, I do not argue with people for Veganism or Vegetareanism, although I myself refrain from meat. I am NOT an Activist for it, nor, at this time, do I have plans to be one. If you want my opinion, or if you want to argue with me over the validity of my stances on it that is yours to do and I welcome it. But please know that as an individual and a blogger, I will never attack anyone as a meat eater. I attack what I see as poor arguments, nothing more.

Let it begin:
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“”When you watch the video critically, and listen to the commentary, there’s a point that may be missed. The chicks do not suffer pain at all … If people want mass produced, cheap food, it’s never going to look pretty, but that doesn’t mean that the animals are suffering”

Was he fucking kidding? He had to be, right? I mean, this fucking asshole just wanted hits on his fucking piece of shit article, right? Write something that hits people’s heart strings: fluffy chicks being slaughtered in a modified fucking wood chipper cause I’m a fucking piece of shit that wants hits.

Fuck you. And no I’m not doing the fucking same thing, fuck you too.

Really, Mr. Pete Wedderburn of The Telegraph, you wanna make the argument that ” Oh, but the fluffy baby chickens don’t feel any pain. So, it’s worth it if we can can our fried KFC for cheap.” Really? Fuck you. Fuck your face.

“There is no big problem with this system from an animal welfare perspective.”

Fuck you. Baby chickens. Wood chipper. Fuck you.

” The methods used have been okayed by animal welfare groups such as the Farm Animal Welfare Council and the RSPCA.”

Oh. Okay. Point granted. Two well-respected organizations that no one gives two shits about says it’s “okay.” That means it’s okay cause I have no brain, no heart, and I just follow what big-money councils and organizations say. I also really love fried chicken and can’t give it up cause it’s so fucking tasty as fuck and I simply can’t live without having KFC in my life.

“If people want mass produced, cheap food, it’s never going to look pretty”

Ok, deep breath. In all honesty: granted.

I won’t be a stupid thoughtless bitch here, seriously, you are right. No sarcasm this time.

The sheer reality is that there are starving children and families on our planet. The reality is that mass produced meat will not look pretty, in all likelihood. You raise a good argument, and ultimately a good philosophical proposition:

Which is the greater evil: baby chicks instantly killed to reduce loss and thus increase production of chicken products, or starvation whilst understanding the slow, excruciating, painful process of malnutrition and hunger. Millions of people around the world suffer from hunger, and too many to think of die. What states do they die in? What filth and pain? Can I really, logically and reasonably, argue against ass-producing meat products IF it could lead to these people fed?

Of course, you are not making that argument (or perhaps you were?) but I am extrapolating from what I read. There is truth in your statement in its literal words. People will want cheap food, and it will not look pretty.

However, me, being the dreamer that I am, hopes for a world where people will realize that wants are sometimes not possible. Wants, are sometimes selfish. Wants and wishes are sometimes only fulfilled by great evils.

I am reminded of the story of the Monkey’s Paw…. but. I digress.

“, but that doesn’t mean that the animals are suffering.”

Jesus fucking Christ. So your argument is “It didn’t feel pain, therefore it is not wrong.” Surely, you see the fallacy of your argument. Surely, you are not that idiotic.

“I had a long discussion in the comments with Catrina, a committed vegan … Catrina’s attitude … it’s wrong to do anything to an animal that cannot legally or morally be done to a human. I ended up having to agree to disagree with Catrina.”

I… what? Let’s play this one out with some variables and hypotheticals.

Argument (A): It is wrong to do anything to an animal that cannot legally or morally be done to a human.
Argument (B): Who am I kidding, I don’t care what his argument is. I’m going to sum it up with it’s conclusion, “(A) is incorrect”.

Experiment:
1.) (a) It is wrong (legally or morally) to burn alive, torture, or otherwise methodically and intentionally cause pain to a human, (b) therefore it is wrong to do an animal.

Fact: (a) is true of our societal norms, and (b) current laws enforce this, and I know of few people who will argue otherwise.

2.) (a) It is wrong (legally or morally) to lie under oath to a human, (b) therefore it is wrong to do to an animal

Hm, let’s examine: (a) is true, (b) however… is half and half. As far as I know, society does not currently enforce by means of the legal system any oaths or promises made to an animal. So I will grant that one a false.

I’m in a pickle now. p is T, that has been established. However, inside both p and q is a V statement: legally (A) or morally (B). A has been granted F. If you have taken Logic 101 and aren’t totally and completely lost in this paragraph, then you can now see how my p –> q is hanging on (B) being T.
Does my philosophy reader’s brain hurt right now? Or is it just me because it’s 2am and I’m blogging after having a blood pressure spike from sheer rage?

I’ll summarize: basically, my second experiment ( 2.) ) being true is hanging on the statement “it is morally wrong to lie to an animal.”

This blog writing has accomplished the task of lowering my blood pressure, and bringing me back to a profanity-less ability to produce coherent and logical sentence by giving me the ability to, in the raw, vent my anger. Therefore, I shall bid adieu with an open topic of discussion:

Is it morally wrong to lie to an animal? If I say to my cat “I’ll get you food tomorrow” and I do not, is my lie (not the fact that I’m not feeding my cat) morally wrong? Why? Is it wrong because it is objectively wrong to utter non-truths? The creature, surely, does not understand so why would it be wrong? But… perhaps, surely it is wrong to lie in all instances?

A Penny for your thoughts?

A Request for the Pro-Life

I don’t have too many words for what this blogger has done for my mind, but it it fantastic.
It is always a pleasant experience to engage an argument and test its validity. Hensatri does this for both the pro-lifer, and pro-choicer, along with an outright challenge for feedback and critique of the arguments made. Do stop on by the blog and share your thoughts.

Memorize that Nationwide Jingle! Do you have to try?

"Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" Name that movie! Oh, who am I kidding. You may not have even seen that movie or read the book, and yet know the movie and who wrote the book.... don't you?

“Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!” Name that movie! Oh, who am I kidding. You may not have even seen that movie or read the book, and yet know the movie and who wrote the book…. don’t you?

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The ability of the brain to retain information is fascinating. A study of ancient history will show quite a few cultures, such as the Hebrew people, where memorizing word for word lengthy stories were quite common. Pharisees were done their title when able to produce a certain quantity of memorized portions of the Torah.

All of our brain’s have the capacity to memorize and retain at alarming quantities.

In my life, this rears its head most unfortunately in my religious upbringing rearing its familiar head. Almost all of us who’ve had strict, or even semi-strict, religious upbringing can recite, In KJV of course: Genesis 1:1, John 3:16, The Lord’s Prayer, and Psalm 23. If you were raised Jewish, then you assuredly know the Shema, assuredly many of the Siddur recitations, and, if you did good, your Torah or Haftorah portion from your coming of age.

After 4 years of being an out-of-the-closet Atheist, I still have knee jerk reactions to certain phrases or expected answers to a series of words. I’ll illustrate for any religious savvy reader’s entertainments:

“God is good” (Answer: “All the time”) “All the time” (Answer: “God is good”)

That’s one us Bible camp kids will know well. I still have the knee jerk reaction of “All the time” when someone says that God is good, to this day. There are many of such examples. Although, this IS subjective to one’s denomination as well. Different denominations have different songs and carrying-ons in their sermon. As such, my memorization are not Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, or other. I don’t know Hail Mary’s, but I can sing for you “Mighty to Save” by Reuben Morgan, and “Shout to the Lord” by Darlene Zschech along with an interpretive dance.

I digress and move on to the main experiment which everyone should enjoy, no matter what your faith or lack thereof.

I would like to do an experiment that many of you who’ve taken Sociology/Psychology 101 probably had the pleasure of being mind-blown with. These are phrases, jingles, and songs that many of us have lodged in our brains by well-paid and researched Advertisements.

Enjoy, see how many of these you can finish. Some of these might be dated, just for the pleasure of both our older souls and reader. So don’t go nuts if you can’t get one, and don’t you dare google! Those that are songs may be more difficult to recall, so my hint that sing-songing may help for these ones with me **. Not all jingles will be prefaced with it, only ones that we almost always sing when we recite and don’t say:

1. “Like a good neighbor….”
2. ” Melts in your hand… “
3. * * “I wish I were an….. “
4. “Double your pleasure…. ” Bonus: After your answer, if you got it, finish it: “with….”
5. ** ” I don’t wanna grow up….”
6. **”I am stuck on …. cause …. “
7. “An apple a day….”

Ok, fun? Another Experiment. Name the Advertising company, or what the slogan or catchphrase is advertising:

A. “Keeps going and going and going and going and going………….”
B. “Just do it.”
C. “The Happiest place on Earth.”
D. “Finger Lickin’ Good.”
E. “American by Birth. Rebel by Choice.”
F. “Between Love and madness lies obsession.”
G. “You can do it, we can help.”

For an ad that you will not see anywhere anymore from the 1920’s I bring you a BONUS QUESTION:

“I’d walk a mile for a…”

Go ahead and google that one if you can’t. I’d love to hear from anyone who has had that one lodged in their brain though!

Share your reactions and your non-cheating answers. Or, just respond with how many you got immediately and nauseatingly. Advertising works, doesn’t it? How does that make you feel?

Penny for your Thoughts? My apologies that I can not pay for them as much as advertising companies do.

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Sources and easy non-googling checking your answers:
http://www.advergize.com/advertising/40-best-advertising-slogans-modern-brands/
http://www.catchphrases.info/advertising.php
http://tvcomedies.about.com/od/listsrecommendations/tp/Best-Sitcom-Catchphrases.htm
And just for fun, another mind memory test with movie quotes. This list works great for having fun remembering classic movies with friends, and laughing how we all KNOW them:
http://geektyrant.com/news/2011/3/5/150-movie-lines-and-catch-phrases.html

The angel in the marble

Excellent article simply put. I could not find the words to question this succinct description of what art is. Aesthetics and the philosophy thereof, can be a wonderful rabbit hole to delve into.

Had to share: Penny for YOUR thoughts? What do you think, is it an adequate description or definition of art? Are there any problems with it?

Ancients Among Us

Image

Bless you, Evelyn Kottman. You are too amazing for me not to fear you are a troll. If you are, I will find you, and I will destroy you. If you are not – you have done what my heart of hearts has dreamed would become of the internet. You are my absolute hero, bless you.

1930, Birdseye frozen veggies becomes the very first frozen food to hit the shelves in America.
1931 America, 25% of the population was unemployed.
1946 the bikini was introduced, but prudishly rejected by American culture until the 1960’s.
1947 brings the dawning of commercial television to the public with 13 channels to choose from.

TODAY – Current rate of unemployment falls around 7%. Convenience food is no longer a convenient modern marvel, but increasingly being seen as unhealthy with Raw and Organics trending. In NYC, it is legal for a woman to walk topless if they so choose (and they do), and throughout the world are increasingly having equal rights as men. Thirteen channels would drive the modern adult insane with boredom, with millions of High Definition color videos at our fingertips on our cellular phones.

Born in 1920, a person would now be alive at the ripe age of 94. S/He would have been 17 when television first premiered with its glorious 13 channels. These individuals are amongst us, living time capsules of a history that can see disturbingly archaic to 20-somethings.

Yet, one of the oft expressed regrets of the elderly is: “Missing the chance to ask your Grandparents questions before they die.”

As one who has but one grandparent still living, it terrifies me to have the era from which she lived (which is not the 1920’s, mind you) removed from my immediate contact forever. Yet, in my lifetime, it will be unaccessible to all of us through first-person perspective for all time. In 20 years, there will no longer be a single person who lived their single digits in the Roaring Twenties.

What wisdom is available to us! How quickly it will leave us for the rest of time, with only our books and documentaries to educate us.

An admonishment to all: Seize ahold of the past and learn from it, so we may better enrich our tomorrow for ourselves and our descendants.

Oh, and after I had written this article, this became a thing on Reddit and it seems that all my dreams that I had behind this blog article became true: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1tlbwk/iama_103yearold_bamf_ama/

“I’m Evelyn. I’m 103 years old and I speak my mind. So ask me anything: love, life, career . . . I’m here to field your most important questions.”

And it is blowing up on reddit with people asking questions, and this individual answering. If this is a troll, I have but one wish for this world: an elderly person, rise up and do this for real because the interchange of wisdom and information is simply amazing.

To the elder readers: A Penny for your stories!? To everyone, your thoughts?
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Sources:
http://www.history.com/topics/1930s
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/bikini-introduced
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_history_%281930%E2%80%9349%29
http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade40.html
http://negosentro.com/index.php/negosentro-blogs/37-things-youll-regret-when-youre-old