HUMOR ó You Donít Know Jack!

Oh, the stuff that comes out in the news everyday. First I read that multivitamins may not have any health benefits, and then I read that vitamin D lowers the risk of heart problems in teenagers. Forgive me for biting the hand of science, but does this apply to Flintstone Vitamins, too?

After years of hearing that coffee is bad for you, now I hear that it may help prevent Alzheimerís. The sun can cause cancer, yet the sunís rays can be good for you. Many say that drinking alcohol is hazardous to your health, but others suggest that a glass of red wine clears your arteries. I donít know what a glass of wine can do, but I can get pretty stoked on a whole bottle, after that, Iíll believe anything.

The guys in the lab coats flip flop on everything. Who knows whatís really going on out here? Who can we trust? Everyday theories and studies that so-called intellectuals were previously certain about, now get smacked down. Science is like my wife: It thinks it knows everything, and is constantly changing its mind.

Everyday I hear about global warming. Some blame it on humans, others attribute it to the earthís cycles. One day I hear that the polar bear population is declining, the next that there are more polar bears then there were 20 years ago. Enough of the double talk; I need to know whatís really going on with those pesky ice caps. I mean, recently, they stumbled upon an iceberg that they never knew existed, which wouldnít seem odd, if it werenít the size of California. Couldnít their gazillion dollar Hubble telescope spot such a huge glob of ice? One thing for sure, all this so-called science is making my brain melt.

Itís not just scientists that I have a hard time trusting, itís also economists, and industry and financial execs. Letís talk dollars and cents, here. Last year I watched the stock market plummet. Many times I thought about pulling my meager life savings out of the market, but no, I continued to listen to ďthe expertsĒ- renowned economists and Wall Street gurus-who kept saying that weíd reached rock bottom and the worst was behind us. But weíre still tumbling down, down, down, through what feels like a bottomless hole. I mean, I donít need an analyst to put some spin on why people are losing their jobs, their houses and their life savings. Thatís why Iíve put the pocket change left I have from my battered 401k account under my mattress, and it will stay there until further notice. Brother can you spare a good stock tip?

This kind of confusion has been dogging us for millennia. The city of Troy was thought to be a legend until it was eventually discovered. We still donít have an answer for how the pyramids were built. Was it ramps, large kites, slaves, aliens? Did Adam and Eve ever really hang out in the Garden of Eden? We donít have hard evidence. Yet, at some point, an archeologist will find a bone or a fruit core, make some stunning claim, and the media will trip over its shoelaces to rush this ďknowledgeĒ into the next news cycle.

Donít get me wrong, I believe that experts make their best educated guesses, but Iím amazed at how often what we thought we knew is quickly thrown out the window. Every day history is erased and written back in again. Maybe historians should put away their pens, and start to pencil in their ideas, because, to put it bluntly, we donít know Jack. Sometimes ďmaybeĒ is the most accurate answer that we have.

One thing I know for sure is that knowledge constantly changes. In the olden days, doctors swore up and down that leaches help to alleviate all kinds of medical problems. Later, we came to view these people as loons. But like bell bottoms, leaches have come back into style for their ability to ease swelling. Thatís cool, I just donít want anybody leaching off of me. And besides, if medicine is so smart, then why canít it cure the common cold or the destruction of cellulite?

So my advice is to stay open-minded about what you hear. Studies come and studies go. We are constantly learning, gaining new facts everyday that cause us to change our minds. Take orangutans. Last week one started whistling. It wasnít anything cool, like the theme to The Andy Griffith Show, but it was a noise that a bigass monkey isnít supposed to make. Scientists have been studying apes for a long time, and none of them ever whistled. Not even if a male monkey was trying to hit on a hot female monkey. You see, orangutans were only thought to be able to make 32 types of sounds. But then, voila, the beast whistled, and it was time to rewrite the Cliff Notes on orangutans.

So, now, when I hear about some ground breaking discovery in the news, whether it be on diet, dinosaurs flying or horse manure, I donít take it too seriously. Because when the next report comes out and turns that theory on its bald head, once again Iíll feel empty and deceived like a jilted lover. Itís like having a lying friend. After awhile you lose confidence, and youíre left with no choice but to kick him out of your Fav Five.

by Jeff Charlebois

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ABILITY Magazine
Other articles in the Kristi Yamaguchi issue include DRLC — Seeking Global Human Rights: Headlines — The Accidental Advocate: Green Pages — Ready To Save Money?: Humor — You Don’t Know Jack!: Senator Harkin — Let’s Stop Workplace Abuses: Women’s Health — Give Your Ticker Some TLC: Ashley Fiolek Pt ii — More With The Teen Motocrosser: United Cerebral Palsy — My Child Without Limits: Scott Hamilton — On The Ice, In The Boardroom: Major League Baseball — Playing With A Disability: Sickle Cell Anemia — One Woman’s Story: Crossword Puzzle — Guess Your Best!: Events & Conferences; ABILITY's Crossword Puzzle; Events and Conferences...subscribe

More excerpts from the Kristi Yamaguchi issue:

Kristi Yamaguchi ó Here Comes The Neighborhood

ABILITY House at Los Al ó A Place Military Families Can Call Home

ABILITY Builds ó New Accessible Homes

Moses deGraft Johnson, MD ó Ace Of Hearts

Dancing with Sickle Cell Anemia

DRLC ó Seeking Global Human Rights

HUMOR ó You Donít Know Jack!

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