PDA

View Full Version : "True" Story


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


David Orange
05-29-2012, 11:26 PM
After reading some of the truly unique approaches to "truth" and "spirituality" on another thread, I remembered something I've never told anyone before. I guess enough time has passed now that I can tell it. It happened just a few months before 9/11. Every word of this is "true".

I spent the winter of 2001 in a little village about 30 miles outside Moscow, beside a large frozen river. There was a major chemical factory there and the Brits were concerned that they were producing a neurotoxin. I was a member of the team tasked to find out.

I worked from a small overheated office, driving in before sunrise, barely able to see for the heavy snows, and prepared for "the doctor."

I don't know who contacted the workers from the plant, or who recruited them, but I paid them in cash when they answered my questions. And then I sent them in to see "the doctor". I don't think any of them were prepared for the electricity. I heard many cries of alarm behind "the doctor's" closed door. I never saw any of the workers again.

I was in and out a few times, totaling about six weeks onsite.

We finally determined that the plant was not producing a neurotoxin...though what else they were making was left unclear.

It was a unique experience but I have no desire to repeat it.

Mysteriously,

David

David Orange
05-30-2012, 12:18 PM
No takers?

Okay. Here's the key. This story simply shows how something can be presented to appear far different from the simple truth of the facts.

I spent the winter of 2001 in a little village about 30 miles outside Moscow, beside a large frozen river.

The little village was Muscatine, Iowa, about thirty miles outside a much smaller town: Moscow, Iowa.

There was a major chemical factory there and the Brits were concerned that they were producing a neurotoxin. I was a member of the team tasked to find out.

A US chemical firm was producing a common herbicide called Atrazine. They wanted to export their product to England, but the government there wanted proof that Atrazine was not harmful to the human nervous system. I was with a team of epidemiologists gathering information on a sample of workers at the plant, to determine if they had suffered any nerve damage from their time at the plant.

I worked from a small overheated office, driving in before sunrise, barely able to see for the heavy snows, and prepared for "the doctor."

We had rented a little medical office where we would do our interviews and nerve tests. "The doctor" was a neurologist.

I don't know who contacted the workers from the plant, or who recruited them, but I paid them in cash when they answered my questions.

I paid each person $200.00 cash to answer a series of questions about their work history, health history, smoking, drinking, drug use...etc.

And then I sent them in to see "the doctor".

The neurologist was in the next room and after our interviews, he conducted a standard neurological test of the speed at which an electrical impulse travels through the nerves of the arm.

I don't think any of them were prepared for the electricity. I heard many cries of alarm behind "the doctor's" closed door. I never saw any of the workers again.

The workers knew they were going to get this test, but it is always a little shock. The cries of alarm were usually along the lines of "Whoo!" "Yow!" or "Yah!"

Actually, they came back through my office after the nerve test, but after that, I never saw them again.

We finally determined that the plant was not producing a neurotoxin...though what else they were making was left unclear.

The test results for all workers, adjusted for confounding factors such as tobacco, alcohol and drug use history, cumulatively showed that Atrazine had not caused any nerve damage among long-term workers at the plant. I say it was not clear what else the plant was producing simply because I never heard what else they were producing!

It was a unique experience but I have no desire to repeat it.

I hate the winters in Iowa!

So, you see, a little innocuous experience can be phrased in such a way as to create a much different image in the reader's mind.

It's a common tactic among people who want to sound big. I always read people's statements very carefully, especially on such a topic as aikido and budo, which is why I tend to ask so many specific questions when people make claims.

Hope you enjoyed the little mystery--all true as the sky is blue!

Best to all.

David

Rob Watson
05-30-2012, 01:12 PM
Hope you enjoyed the little mystery--all true as the sky is blue!

barely able to see for the heavy snows

How does one know the sky is blue when heavy snow falls? Certainly the sky is not blue all the time. Does this imply that the 'little mystery' is only true partially as the sky is only blue sometimes?

David Orange
05-30-2012, 01:42 PM
How does one know the sky is blue when heavy snow falls? Certainly the sky is not blue all the time. Does this imply that the 'little mystery' is only true partially as the sky is only blue sometimes?

Well...maybe....

genin
05-31-2012, 06:02 AM
I didn't get it at first, but now I understand. It's called "spin". You take a boring and uneventful story and spin it into some provocative and exciting tale. Russians, Brits, chemical testing, electric shock, evil doctors... Sounds juicy!

David Orange
05-31-2012, 07:28 PM
I didn't get it at first, but now I understand. It's called "spin". You take a boring and uneventful story and spin it into some provocative and exciting tale. Russians, Brits, chemical testing, electric shock, evil doctors... Sounds juicy!

Yeah, it started when I was already up there, driving around, and I passed this tiny little place called Moscow. I couldn't believe it. I thought, "I'll tell everyone I just got back from Moscow. I spent the winter in Moscow!" And then, of course, I start saying it with the Tom Clancy kind of secret-agent voice..."I spent the winter in Moscow, looking for neurotoxins at a local chemical plant..."

The "big frozen river," of course, was the Mississippi.

Nice thing, the actual experience was a lot better than the spy version. The Mississippi looked to be completely frozen, though I think there were navigable channels open. I assume. Big eagles flew about over the ice. First time I ever saw so many eagles flying free. It was beautiful.