Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Zoo Review

I read the book, "Zoo" over several week due to school. Once school was over, I finished it in days. 

The overall gist of the book is that the animals get angry with humans and conflict arises. The conflict is called "HAC" (Human Animal Conflict) coined by the main character, Jackson Oz. He tries for several years to get scientists to listen and he tried to warn the people to be aware. The situation gets worse, and its global. He noticed it on a trip to Africa when the male lions were pacing up and actively hunting the humans. There he met the other main character, and later his girlfriend. He was able to get a video, and showed several scientists when he got home. 

Once he finally got the scientific community to believe that HAC was real and it was happening, the next big job was getting the political leaders to realize that this was heeppening, and get to work on fixing it. He was liabled as a conspiracy theories, "whack nut", "nut job" and others by the political leaders. During this time, his monkey attacked his ex girlfriend, destroyed his apartment, and escaped. All the while, Chloe (his girlfriend) was his constant support and was involved in the scientific community herself. 

The political community finally believes that HAC was happening after several dogs attack residents in several different big cities. Their first plan was to bomb the dogs, thinking that without the angry dogs, there would not be attacks. This just gets worse, because there are more dogs to take the place of the dogs that were blown up, as dogs were disappearing from their homes. The political leaders coined this oporation "ZOO".  Jackson, after following a dog and watching its activities, was able to form a theory. His theory was that the dogs are being controlled by pheromones, sort of like insects. His theory proved to be correct, and his solution to fix the problem was to eliminate electricity (cell phones, cars, lights, etc) so that the environment resets. 

The President (in the book- a lady) addresses the people and explained that for two weeks there will be no electricity. She explains the theory and asks everyone for their cooperation. For like 3 days, the American people were able to be without their electricity. First the political leaders broke the rules, then the rest of the population. During the ban, the animals were reverting back to regular animals, not wanting to hunt the humans. After the ban was broken, the animals went back to hunting the humans. Jackson, his girlfriend, and his son (he had a son before the ban) then moved with a few of the political leaders to Greenland, as there were no animals there and they were going to "wait out" the ban.

That's where the book ends. He mentions that a few of the leaders commit suicide, because they "were used to the posh life, and this new life was too difficult for them". The book is believable up until the author mentions that pollution and electricity combined will make animals attack humans. I get that pollution is bad for us and the enviromnent, and I am one to pick up trash, and recycle.  It felt like this book had an agenda, and they laid it down pretty thick. The scientific elements were barely believable. They did their best to explain how this could happen, but I was still left with a few more questions that weren't answered in the book. 

The story line was great and kept the pages turning. The political leaders messing things up, not listening to the scientific community and later breaking the rules was very accurate and believable. The fact that the president was a lady is worrisome, considering Hilary Clinton is running for president now. I hope this book doesn't play a huge impact in the current presidential race. 

Overall, this is a science fiction book, and pretty well done at that. Could use a bit more research in the science element, but overall the book kept me engaged and turning the pages..  


Rule Number Two

She was finally legal, and I got a friend to help me remember how to ride. I took her out and relearned how to turn, use my break (both the back break and the front) and when to use each one. I drove up and down the street, breaking, practicing leaning, and generally getting a feel for the bike. I loved it!  JJ left, probably feeling great. I picked up the lessons quick. We were only out for about an hour and he said that I was ready for the road. I almost felt ready. Mostly I was scared. 

I decided to take her out and ride the streets of the neighborhood a few times, just to make sure I was ok. The traffic is not very friendly with beginners, and getting out of my neighborhood and onto Inner Loop was a nightmare in a car, so I wanted to be sure I was ready on the bike.  

Eventually I was brave enough to cross the street of my neighborhood, over Maple, and into the new neighborhood.  The street was wider, and I planned to practice figure eights. Those are a series of turns (shaped like the number 8) designed to practice turns and mastering the bike overall.  I did great the first few, but those were wide, and once I decided to make the figure 8s smaller, I learned rule number two. 

Rule number two is basically this: When in doubt, grab the clutch. While trying to master the smaller loop in the figure 8, the bike wobbled, leaning closer and closer to the road.  I noticed a dark grey car getting ready to turn the corner, and I thought "crap, I'm still in the middle of the road.... I'm going to get squashed!!!"  I panicked, and instinct took over. I grabbed the clutch, before my bike lay completely  down on the road, and righted myself...  I pulled over to the side of the road to let the car pass so I can continue to practice, and the driver leaned out and said, "Well done. When in doubt grab a hold of that clutch.. That's your safety net." We talked for a few more minutes, and then he went about his way. 

Thanks, stranger, for rule number two. 

Juice Detox Attempt Day 1

I did some research about juicing detox, and the overall consensus is that it's healthy.  For 5 days, drinking juice and eliminating toxins from the body sounds like a good idea. I decided to give it a try after spending way too much money for cool sculpting to give myself a great start on my "new body". 

Cool sculpting is a safe, non invasive, way to eliminate fat from specific parts of my body. For me- it was my stomach. I decided to give this a try after years of eating right and on again, off again exercising. I get motivated, I work out, then I stop because I was not seeing the results. Then I would start back up again after missing the void in my daily routine. I wasn't losing many inches, although I felt great! A few months ago, I have committed to working out at least 3 days each week, but still wasn't seeing the fat leave my body. In fact, I gained weight.  My body was able to do things it previously was not able to do and I was proud of that. I was told that I would ever be able to walk, much less run, and currently I am able to run 2 miles, and I'm working on running longer distances and longer times. Eventually, I want to run a half marathon. Anyways, I focused on what my body can do, but the way it looked bothered me. I have a long history with my weight. 

It started when I was in the 5th grade (when I realized that I had bigger thighs that the other girls) into my teens (when I had an eating disorder to deal with it and other things in my life) and now, after having a child, shattering my leg, and squeezing a workout between school, family life, and work. I have tried over the counter diet pills, diet pills prescribed by a doctor, tests to make sure my hormones weren't out of whack (they're not), working out and eating right (but those have been constant). I figured "what else is there to do?" So I looked into liposuction- not my thing and way to invasive for me. With only 60% of the people who decide to do the liposuction keep it off. That percentage was not high enough for me. If I am spending that much money, I want the weight to stay off. So I looked further, and cool sculpting came up in my search results. It's expensive, but has a 95% success rate. You can't beat that!!!! So, cool sculpting it is. After fighting with myself about the cost (it was a doozy!!!) I decided that this was the next step in my weight loss journey, and possibly I'll get my self esteem back. So, I took the plunge. While I am healing from that, I decided to go on a juice detox for a few days.

The sugars in the juice are NOT the same as the sugars in candy, ice cream, coffee creamers, and the like. The fruits and veggies in the juice are designed to help my body detox (by feeding it only the things it needs) and eliminating toxins (such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, etc) simultaneously. It's focus is to teach my body to crave the healthy stuff, and not crave the unhealthy sugars and junk food. My diet overall is pretty healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats and limited carbs (rice, quinoa, corn and the like). Juicing for a few days will not create nutritional deficits (come on- it's for 5 days!) nor will I starve. I may feel like it, as the research shows that days 2 and 3 are the hardest. I plan to push through, blogging my way through these 5 days, and hope that this information will inspire others to become healthier. 

So, I've made the decision, I am inspired, and I'm ready..  Let's do this.