Monday, October 15, 2018

Suspicious Vehicle Story

Where I live is generally considered to be a safe area but one day I noticed a suspicious vehicle parked behind a group of garages on the property. At first I thought it was a bit of an odd place to park but I didn't think much of it. It wasn't until I noticed a pattern of this vehicle pulling in and going behind the garages at the same time each day that I began to look into it.

I was fairly certain the owner of the vehicle did not live here which raised more suspicion. Each day the car would pull in, go behind the garages for about 20-30 minutes and then leave. Considering this pattern and the fact that this location was concealed from view, I figured there might be something going on. It might be nothing, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry so I called in a suspicious vehicle report.

They sent out police to investigate the vehicle. After checking it out, they met with me to discuss the findings. They said there was no one in the vehicle at the time so there was not much they could do about it. They did run the plates and confirmed that the car was registered to someone who did not live there. They said if the car continues to park there for an extended period of time, we should contact the property management to arrange for the car to be towed.

I thanked them for checking on it and said I would continue to keep an eye on it. The next day, again the same car pulls in and goes behind the garages. This time I went to our manager on duty and let them know about the situation. Together we went out to check on the car. I was a bit nervous but at least I had someone with me in case there was any issue.

As we approached the vehicle which appeared to be empty, we saw a woman emerge from the wooded area near by. We asked her if it was her car and she said yes. We asked why she was parking back there and she said she was feeding the cats. It so happens that we have some wild cats that hang around that area so the story checked out. Apparently she goes there to feed them each day.

I left feeling relieved to learn that there was not something worse going on back there. In my mind, it could have been something illegal that was happening but it turned out to be nothing to worry about. I still find it kind of odd that she keeps going to this place which is a residence considering the fact that she does not live here, but maybe she just really likes the cats.

Reflecting on the situation, I think I did the right thing. Maybe I could have approached the owner of the vehicle first before filing a report, but I didn't want to take the chance of putting myself in a situation that could have potentially been dangerous. If anything it was good practice on what to do if you see something suspicious going on. Yes, it may turn out to be nothing, but it's better to make a report and have it be nothing than to ignore it and it turns out to be something.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Concept of False Cause and Result

As educated human beings, we are able to make predictions about what will happen as a result of an action. Sometimes the results of actions are very clear and can be attributed to the action with 100% certainty, but other times, this may not be the case.

For example, sometimes something may happen and you think it is a direct result of something else when in fact it is unrelated and just happens to be a coincidence. When this happens, it is easy to mistake the result as being caused by the initial action. I will explain this concept here with some examples.

Say you eat a big meal and you feel full. Then you see a dessert that looks good and you are considering eating it. You might decide to skip it because you think if you eat it, you might get a stomach ache. So you decide to skip it. Then a little while later you end up with a stomach ache anyway. If you would have eaten the dessert, you would have blamed the stomach ache on this action, when in fact, the same result occurred even when skipping the dessert. In this situation the result is blamed on something that was not necessarily the cause.

Another example, say you are driving somewhere and you consider taking an alternate route, but at the last minute, you decide to take the usual route. Then maybe there is an unexpected delay on the usual route. You might think about how the alternate route would have been faster, but it is just as likely that the alternate route could have been just as slow if not slower. You might blame your choice for making you late, when in fact, you might still have been late even if you took the alternate route.

One more example, say there is an update available for your phone but you decide to put it off. Then later that day you have some trouble with your phone. If you had done the update, you probably would have blamed the problem on the update when in fact, the problem occurred even without doing the update.

Examples like these can happen all the time where we blame a result on something that may not have actually been the cause. Have you noticed any instances like this in your life? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Observed Effects of Diet on Health – Sodium, Saturated Fat, Sugar, Water

With so many foods available to us these days and so much conflicting advice on what to eat and what not to eat, it can be hard to know what to do when it comes to diet. Not to mention, people's bodies react differently to food so a certain diet that works for one person may not work for another. I am not an expert on nutrition but I have studied it over the years. I have also noticed patterns in how certain foods affect my health. In this article I will go over my finding in relation to sodium, saturated fat, sugar, and water.

In the past I used to eat a fair amount of processed foods that had a lot of sodium. I would pick these foods because they were easy and convenient, but I noticed they did start to have an effect on my health. My blood pressure began to get too high. I could also feel it physically as my heart would beat harder and I would start to feel twitches in my feet.

To fix these issues I started to cut down on the amount of sodium in my diet. I stayed away from salty foods and highly processed foods that have a high amount of sodium. I also steered clear of sauces that tend to have a high amount of sodium. As a result of these changes, my blood pressure dropped down to a healthier level and my body no longer had the twitches or feeling that the heart was pumping too hard.

Another element of nutrition that I have been better at managing over the years is saturated fat. This is the kind of fat that is thought be unhealthy and one that can cause issues such as clogged arteries. I tend to be pretty good about avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat, but every once in a while I may have something that is high in this fat content.

After I eat foods that are high in saturated fat, I have noticed it has an effect on my circulation. Often that night or the following morning I will wake up with a limb that has fallen asleep with the pins and needles feeling. This is often because the circulation is not good and I believe it is due to the increased amount of saturated fat. Sometimes I also notice mild pain in the chest area after eating too much saturated fat which I think is also related. When getting back to my diet which is low in saturated fat, these symptoms go away.

One of the other ingredients in food I tend to get too much of is sugar. It can be hard to avoid because sugar is one of those ingredients that seems to be added to almost everything. I never really felt any health issues directly tied to sugar, but nonetheless I decided to try to cut down on the amount of sugar I have been eating.

Since cutting back, I have noticed a decrease in desire for sugary foods. Before I would always want something sweet with a meal or a dessert afterwards, but since I have been trying to reduce the amount of sugar in my diet, I have less desire to eat sugary foods. Physically I don't know that I necessarily feel any different, but I believe it is healthier to keep sugar intake to a minimum.

Water intake is another important part of diet and one I have been observing and studying recently. From doing research I realized I may not have been getting enough water in my diet so I started to keep track of my water intake to try to improve it.

With the increase amount of water each day, I did notice a reduced amount of headaches. In the past I would tend to get headaches on days where I would be out and about and not getting enough water. When I follow my regular schedule and get plenty of water, I tend not go get any headaches. So for me it seems to be related where if I do not get enough water, I start to get a headache.

These are just a few of my personal observations on how changes in diet have affected my health. Feel free to take these findings into consideration when looking to make changes in your diet. Keep in mind this is not a substitute for professional advice but can be used as a supplement.