Peggy Keener: Things you need to know

Published 5:15 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye ! It’s time for all the news that’s fit to print as comes to us through ‘‘The Week” magazine.


The U.S. national debt amounts to almost (hold onto your seat …. your hair?) $35 trillion. For the first time in our history we are expected to spend more this year on the interest payments alone. This comes to $870 billion! (We, by the way, spend $850 billion on defense.) This debt comes to more than $100,000 per American. You may now cease pulling out what hair you have left and get out your checkbook.

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China is in trouble again. Seems their zoos have a lack of their iconic panda bears. So what did those clever folks do to fill the gap? Well, what all clever folks in China would do. They rounded up a herd of Chow Chows (dogs), then trimmed and dyed their hair to look like pandas. The trick almost worked until state media found out they were misleading visitors. (Shame, shame! Imagine China misleading folks!!!) It leaves me reeling while wondering what would have happened if they had run out of giraffes?


Are you aware that humans throughout the planet do not give plants their duly earned respect? No, we do not! For Pete’s sake, we are completely dependent on them for our lives, and yet we ignore their feelings. Isn’t it enough that they create earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere, plus through the magic of photosynthesis, turn light and air into consumable fuels? And yet we snub their sensibilities.

Botanists are realizing that plants display a form of consciousness. If you cut one of their stems an actual electrical charge passes through it. If a plant is exposed to a predator or pollinator, it will emit chemicals to defend itself. It leaves us thinking that plants may have a kind of intelligence. I just wish that along with nourishing our bodies, do plants also contribute to our brain cells? If so, pass the veggies!


And speaking of intelligence, Rakus (a wild Sumatran orangutan) was seen applying a known medical plant to a wound on his face. It’s apparently the first time anyone has ever witnessed this astonishing act. You see, he wasn’t just monkeying around. No! He was doctoring himself.

In Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser National Park, a researcher spotted the primate ripping leaves from a vine known as akar kuning, chewing them and then applying them to his injured cheek. Wouldn’t you know. This plant is actually known in our human world! We traditionally use it for its antibacterial and pain-relieving properties. Two months after the sighting, the ape’s wound was no longer visible.

The only explanation (so far) is that he may have brushed against the leaves and felt some relief from his hurt, so he went back for more. It just makes me miffed, though, that I have to drive all the way to Walgreens whereas he can just climb a tree. And, if you ask me, the smartest thing about this smarty pants simian is that he has no medical school loans to pay off.


Before Beethoven died, he wrote a letter asking that the mysterious condition that caused his deafness be studied after his passing. It has taken nearly 200 years for that request to be fulfilled. Two authentic locks of his hair that had been clipped and stored, were found to contain 64 and

95 times respectively the normal amount of

lead levels in the human body. If you walked into any emergency room today with those kind of lead levels, you would be hysterically carted off to undergo chelation therapy.

So, how did Ludwig get into such a state by the young age of 30, you ask? For goodness sakes, by then he had gastrointestinal problems, liver disease and adult onset hearing loss that had progressed to deafness. What we know is that this ailing party boy was a famous drinker, guzzling down a bottle of cheap wine every day. The wine was no doubt sweetened with lead acetate or “lead sugar.”

Gosh. What more could he have given this world if he’d only joined AA … or known about the good hearing aid deals at Costco.


Are you planning on getting married any time soon? Would you believe that last year, the average price of an American wedding was … are you ready? … $35,000! I’ll wait till you start breathing again.

Do you realize that is a good down payment on a home? A nice nest egg to put toward your new life? A good investment into starting a business?

And what’s more, a study last year found that couples who spend under $1,000 on their weddings have a better chance of NOT getting divorced than those that pay over $20,000.


And, it’s not too late if you’ve always had an itch desire to sky dive. Your time has come. A 106 year-old Texan named Al Blaschke just did it. Yes, indeed, he did it when he took the leap and bested the record that had been set before him in 2022 by a 103- year-old Swedish woman. Al’s message to all of us is, “If you think you can’t do something, you’re just underestimating yourself. Everyone is more capable than they think.” My comment to Mr. Blaschke is, “Try having a baby, Al.”


In case you missed it, April was foot health, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, STIs, Parkinson’s, limb loss and frog awareness month. And to give you a heads up …

July is Fibroid Awareness Month, not to be confused with National Fibroid Awareness Week which was in April. Finally, and not the least of all, to add to your bewilderment this was overlapped by National Infertility Awareness Week.

Whatever. Yours truly, Peggy