My Graduation Commencement Speech

I try different mixes in the nutribullet rather than follow any particular recipe. Last week I decided to lighten it up a bit and started putting in a handful of parsley leaves. To me parsley was in the same category as kale – mostly used to decorate an otherwise bland presentation. I thought about it yesterday and decided maybe I should do some research to find out exactly what I was putting in my body; maybe I could OD on parsley or get parsley poisoning. Turns out parsley is a good thing if you have kidney stones or other kidney issues. It’s a diuretic. I can personally verify that part and maybe it will somehow do something good for the stones. Another surprise, thyme is listed as one of the best nutritional things going. I happen to have a larger than intended position in thyme so into the blaster it goes.

After attending several graduations in the recent weeks and listening to the speeches and the advice being given to these young folks I pondered what I would say based on living 50+ years since my own graduations. I would start by saying that Chicken Little is alive and well and that the sky is still falling. Pay zero attention to the doom forecasters. They’ve been there since biblical times, probably prehistoric times and none of the forecasts have ever proven accurate or even true. I’ve lived thru forecasts of new ice ages, global famine, pandemic viruses that were destined to clear the earth; asteroid crashes, earthquakes so large they destroyed continents, Southern California drifting off into the Pacific, Yellowstone exploding in such spectacular fashion that the earth as we know it is gone; holes that were growing dramatically in the ozone that allowed killer rays to cook us in place. In the 50’s we all just knew life as we knew it would end in a giant nuclear event. There are people who are only happy when foreseeing doom; there are people who make their living forecasting doom. it’s their profession, it’s their bread and butter. For you new graduates, some of these professional doom and gloomers are called scientists and professors. In ancient times they were called seers, priests, shamans. History shows they are mostly full of themselves and always full of crap. There are always going to be large storms, always has been and, if you don’t believe me, ask Noah. Always going to be hotter than average seasons, colder than average seasons, wetter, drier, you name it and there will be record breaking days all the time. The polar ice caps will always be either growing or shrinking, at least for the last billion years. Since we’re now blessed with instrumentation that can actually measure wind speed and such, expect more record breaking storms. Don’t spend one microsecond worrying about what you can’t control. I’ve seen chocolate, coffee and wine go from bad to good to bad to good so many times…….. I think we’re in a good cycle right now where all of those previous killers are once again life savers. Vitamin A thru ZZZ supplements and fish oils used to be crucial to long life but are now deemed totally useless if not actually harmful. And always with very believable scientific data behind it. Chicken little lives on and always will just don’t get ensnared by it. My advice to all you new graduates is: If hurricanes bother you, don’t live on the beach; if earthquakes both you, don’t live in California; if you don’t like dry weather, keep away from the Southwest – a couple ancient peoples moved out of that area a thousand years ago for just that reason. The Pacific Northwest is cool and wet and don’t live in the shadow of a nuclear power plant. If tornadoes are not for you, stay clear of the Midwest in the spring.

The National Hurricane Dept or Weather Service or whoever it is that makes forecasts said that we should expect a milder than usual hurricane season this year. Last year they predicted the worst ever with 11 hurricanes. It turned out to be one of the least active with only 2. They admit that they are accurate only 50% of the time. Not sure how they measure accuracy but 50% puts them on the same level as a coin toss. If you predict 10 storms, are you 50% accurate if anything between 5 and 15 occurs? We all know they’re not even close so I wonder about two things – why do they make such a big deal out of it and who cares? I mean, what are you supposed to do with the information? Even if they were 100% accurate and say there will be 5 storms in 2014, what are we supposed to do with that information? Personally, I think they would gain quite a bit more credibility, something above zero, just letting us know when there actually is a storm and then keeping us up to speed with regards to data on it. I think they do a pretty good job of that. One forecaster mentioned that the expected season will be milder because the ocean waters are cooler this year. Cooler? hmmmmmmmm. What’s that all about? I don’t think he read the script – nothing ever gets cooler.

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