Friday, October 7, 2016


I have many interests. Music, English history, linguistics and dialect by region (yes, that's a thing), science and technology. I'm especially interested in technology related to AI, or Artificial Intelligence. 

Wikipedia defines AI as:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, an ideal "intelligent" machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal.

The term "artificial intelligence" is applied when a machine mimics "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving". As machines become increasingly capable, facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. For example, optical character recognition is no longer perceived as an exemplar of "artificial intelligence" having become a routine technology.

Capabilities currently classified as AI include successfully understanding human speech, competing at a high level in strategic game systems (such as Chess), self-driving cars, and interpreting complex data."

So, basically it is AI if it can interpret. Siri understands my Southern accent (most of the time), but can also understand the speech of a man from Boston. We sound nothing alike. Siri interprets. Self-driving cars interpret something suddenly appearing in front of it. If it's a leaf, it will keep going, if it's large/dangerous/living item, then it will slow down or stop. Interpreting.

Yes, I think we will have some sort of robot-like items soon that will do tasks for us we don't want to do or don't have time to do. I'm still waiting on that laundry-bot myself. Yet, it is a completely different type of AI I'm hoping to see in the not so distant future. AI that can "make up" for a possible lack of synapses in the human brain, thereby mimicking neural pathways. 

Why? Because one of the most difficult parts of Autism is communication. It's thought to be difficult due to a lack of brain synapses that should have been formed early on in life (if you need more explanation on synapses, I have a post explaining them here:
Without those crucial synapses the brain cannot send the thought correctly to the body or other region of the brain it needs to go to. The thought cannot be interpreted.

If you want to "cure" Autism, just stop reading now and please don't come back. Autism makes up part of my son's personality. Claiming you want to cure autism is like saying you want a cure that would make your child happy all the time. If she's happy all the time, that's not her personality. That would be a different person. Get it?

If not, click here and don't come back: http:/

I want a way that would make things easier for my son, not change him. Visually impaired children can receive glasses, a hearing impaired child may receive a cochlear implant. Why couldn't a form of AI assist my son to communicate? Yes, we have sign language, speech therapy, augmentative devices and are blessed to have them, but...  what if an attempt at speech is made at one part of the brain and a device could interpret that thought?  It could speak the thought. Maybe it could replace the missing synapses and the child could speak themselves. This really isn't out of the realm of possibilities. 

I'd gladly trade my laundry-bot in for something that could make it in any way easier for my son to communicate his needs. 

One in 65 children is a big number. At one point no one thought you could repair eyesight with surgery. No one thought you could put a device in a body that would regulate a heartbeat. No one thought people with type 1 diabetes could wear a device that gives them the insulin they require.

Things are changing daily. It used to be the race for space. Now it's the race to create. 

I like that race.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Quick Tips

I've recently lost a pretty good amount of weight and I feel soooo much better. Several people have asked me how I lost the weight and the "I go to the gym, don't over eat and make better food choices" answer seems to be unsatisfying to people. I can't really give any magic secret because it's just simple mathematics 

Calories you need each day (ex. 1800)
-calories spent by normal activity and/or exercise (400)
-calories ingested that day from food/drinks (1200)

1800 - 400 - 1200= 1600

You want to meet or be below your needed calories. No other part to it. No secret. If you eat a high calorie breakfast, eat a lighter lunch. I can't say if the following advise/tips will work for you, but it helped me a lot. 

*** Do not begin an exercise program or diet change without speaking to a physician.
***These are descriptive tips I use. I am not encouraging any of the information below.

At first, I needed to learn how to gauge calories and how many calories certain exercise burned.

1. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app (it's free) and entered what I ate into the food journal. It really made me see how many pointless calories I had each day: drinks, that one donut, cream for my coffee. After logging my food I realized I'd rather skip the donut and use those calories for a veggie pizza. I logged my food daily until I got used to being aware of calories automatically throughout the day.

2. I bought a Fitbit. Fitbit actually can connect to your MyFitnessPal app and subtract the calories you spend during the day. This makes it so much easier! You enter your food, Fitbit subtracts all the movement you've done and you can see if you're in the right range. Yes, the Fitbit is about $80 for the most basic one, but would you rather spend $80 and fit into those old jeans, or spend it on fast food and feel like crap. Totally your choice. I chose to spend the $80.

The Fitbit and MyFitnessPal apps.

The basic $79 Fitbit at Walmart.

3. I joined a gym once the weather got too hot to exercise outside. There are gyms like Planet Fitness that cost $15 a month. No excuses there.

4. I made some better snack options.

Tea! Tea is great. Sometimes you feel hungry when in reality you're thirsty. A cup of hot tea is good for you, it adds to the water you need each day and it curbs snacking-hunger (for me).

It says rice crisps, but they're so much more. They have sweet and salty flavors and you can eat around 15 for under 200 calories. Love these.

I have cashew milk. Not soy or almond. If I want something creamier than water in my coffee or oatmeal, this is my thing. The unsweetened vanilla has only 25 calories in a cup. So awesome.

When I'm on the go and want that donut, I eat a couple of these. You'd be surprised how much it helps curb the sweet tooth. They cost less than a dollar and have only 5 calories each.

I also take a good multivitamin for a ton of health benefits. The Ultra NourishHair is optional. I take it for healthy hair skin and nails. 

That's about it! It's just about commitment. I worked out more in the beginning because it was hard to change my eating quickly. My diet changed, so I don't have to work out as much. 

After 6 months I found out the clothes I bought 2 years ago didn't fit, but this time it's because they fell off me, not because they were too tight 😊

Good luck!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sometimes I just want to shake humanity and scream WAKE UP.

However, I don't do this due to legal ramifications.

Let me give you some advise. Real advise. 

If there was ONE thing, be it chemical, natural herb, essential oil, something in pill form, extract, or whatever that could POSSIBLY give non-verbal children with autism the ability to speak...Do you reeeeeeally think no one would have capitalized on it yet?


1 in 65 boys. That's a lot of kids. A lot of parents. Parents that would somehow find a way to buy whatever it was in order to help their child even if it meant selling their house and cars.

You don't think pharmaceutical companies don't know that? You really think Pfizer is sitting on the ability to sell this? Seriously? Dude, if you believe that I got something to sell you. Great property. Oceanfront. Located in sunny Arizona.

I have **no** issue with maijuana. It's ridiculous it's not legal everywhere. 

But if you think for one second there was something out there that could be marketed to even potentially help these kids you may be the definition of future Social Darwinism. If so, good luck with that.

Examples of horse crap:

1. Vaccines cause Autism! I know it! It's the Mercury! It's a conspiracy!

2. One sort of Mary Jane extract giving speech to non-verbal kids
"Boy gains ability to speak after just two days of cannabis oil treatment!"

3. Essential oils (do you guys really not know what a pyramid scheme is? Why don't you google it (and also how the FDA has never approved that crap to be digested).

Homework: Read these responses to the above:


A. The doctor that "discovers" vaccines cause autism:

"On 28 January 2010, a five-member statutory tribunal of the GMC found three dozen charges proved, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally challenged children.[12] The panel ruled that Wakefield had "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant", acted both against the interests of his patients, and "dishonestly and irresponsibly" in his published research."

B. Jenny McCarthy may have been a playboy bunny, but she's right!!

"In the panic created by the Wakefield article, England saw MMR vaccination rates fall to 80 percent in 2004 and Wales to 78 percent. In 2012, England and Wales had the highest number of measles cases in 18 years.

These are dangerous illnesses, and the victims of an outbreak are often infants too small to have yet received vaccinations. Jenny McCarthy styles herself a “mother warrior.” If so, the kids sickened in the fallout from reduced vaccinations are the victims of friendly fire. Nothing good can come from undoing one of the miracles of medical progress."

2. Mary Jane for kids is a miracle!!  ***Please read this article

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is opposed to the use of medical marijuana for children, regardless of diagnosis, and research into its use on either adults or children with autism is nonexistent. Anecdotal evidence abounds, however, with Autism Daily Newscast citing the heartbreaking case of Alex Echols, an 11-year-old boy from Oregon whose story is chronicled in the blog Alex Needs Help."

Sounds great…except if you look at the most recent blog post of Alex Needs Help, his family is no longer finding success with treating their son with marijuana. I’m not judging Alex’s parents at all here. I understand the desperation and the need to go beyond the standard medical offerings when things are just not helping your kid."

What’s missing from the coverage of Alex’s story, and other stories like his, is the explanation that his parents aren’t actually trying to treat autism, they’re trying to deal with a behavior. It may not seem like a big difference, but I think it is."

3. Essential oils can help kids with autism! Or cure it!

"Along with the rise in people using “essential oils” as an alternative remedy for what ails them, incidences of children being exposed to toxins in these oils has risen as well.

A Tennessee poison center reports that between 2011 and 2015, 4 out of 5 harmful exposures to these oils involved children."

Wake up. Take a step back and really think. Could this help, or is someone taking advantage of our guilt/fear/pain for monetary gain?

When you figure that out, you'll stop passing around this crap over and over year after year. 

If the above evidence isn't enough for you:  Just send your kid to me. I'm not mother of the year, but I at least try not to administer toxic chemicals into my kid.