Perspectives on Modern Reproductive Biology, Biological Clocks, Freezing Eggs and Sperm, and Increased Vasectomies

“I intentionally said potential unintended consequences above because economists such as Thomas Malthus and scientists such as Paul R. Ehrlich once theorized that the world would become overpopulated with human beings. I suspect they were not alone then and today.”

A Brave New World

It goes without saying that we were living in unprecedented times. Something I ponder and state frequently on my original YouTube channel, Big Discussions76 is that it is a very different world than it was 60-70 years ago when my parents and their peers were young. People from 100 years ago furthermore would not recognize today’s world. A major change has been in gender roles and relations. An unintended consequence of the political and social changes put into place in the 1970s has been added complexities to family creation and reproduction. It likewise is no longer a simple calculus nor is it a forgone conclusion that everyone will form families in the traditional sense and create progeny.

Do Culture and Environment Impact Behavior?

I could say that it is simply societal changes but concern about whether planet Earth will be here in another 20 years is also affecting people today. I have started covering the climate debate on my science and technology YouTube channel entitled, Big Discussions76 Science and Technology. As with many things there have been potential unintended consequences from the debate, particularly the Climate ‘Alarmist’ side. It seems fear of the world burning up and not being here in future has dissuaded younger people from having children. I intentionally said potential unintended consequences above because economists such as Thomas Malthus and scientists such as Paul R. Ehrlich once theorized that the world would become overpopulated with human beings. I suspect they were not alone then and today.

By the way the United States and other western countries are at negative replacement levels, something not openly discussed though the fruits of which many of us will witness in our lifetimes. I first learned about Paul R. Ehrlich from the late Dr. Joseph Fail, Jr. as an undergraduate at Johnson C. Smith University. I did not understand the significance of Mr. Ehrlich’s fear/theory though I do currently wonder if his and Mr. Malthus’ concerns have undergirded the social and policy decisions that have shaped our current world.

Biological Reproductive Clocks and Freezing Eggs and Sperm

On my science and technology YouTube channel, I am trying to forge a path as a science influencer. As often as I can, I create content on novel science topics. Something that’s flying under the radar for much of our population, particularly the older generations, is the reproduction of the population described above. Some of the Baby Boomers are seeing younger people not pairing up and reproducing the way they did and are scratching their heads. Again in 2023 it is not a forgone conclusion that everyone will reproduce or wants to do so today.

A dynamic that has emerged is that of waiting until the right time in life to reproduce due to career or personal preference. This dynamic has brought to the forefront the principles of biological reproductive clocks and freezing eggs and sperm. Below are three livestreams I created on my science and technology YouTube channel. The first involves the science of freezing eggs. The second looks at the flipside and discusses men’s biological clocks and the potential need to freeze sperm. I did not cover it in my live stream but according to an article from Forbes, the cost to freeze sperm can range from $250 to $775, and costs of storage can range from $100 to $500 per year. As a bonus, I am going to also embed my video discuss increased vasectomies among younger men as an unintended consequence of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs Wade.

“There’s TOO many men, TOO many people, causing TOO many problems, and not much logic around!” Just as I finished this piece, I heard Phil Collins’ iconic lyrics from the 1980s song, Land of Confusion performed by Genesis in my head. Along with men like the late great Carl Sagan, Phil must have seen the future. I think these lyrics are also an appropriate way to end this piece.

I have also started a newsletter. The information is below the three embedded videos below. Please consider signing up. By the way if you watch any of the videos, please hit the like button and consider subscribing to either of the two channels.

A Discussion On The Science Of Freezing Eggs

Do Men Have A Biological Reproductive Clock And Need To Freeze Sperm?

What Is Behind The Increase In Male Vasectomies?

The Big Words LLC Newsletter

For the next phase of my writing journey, I’m starting a monthly newsletter for my writing and video content creation company, the Big Words LLC. In it, I plan to share inspirational words, pieces from this blog and my first blog, and select videos from my four YouTube channels. Finally, I will share updates for my book project The Engineers: A Western New York Basketball Story. Your personal information and privacy will be protected. Click this link and register using the sign-up button at the bottom of the announcement. If there is some issue signing up using the link provided, you can also email me at . Best Regards.

The University of Michigan Department of Pharmacology hosts 2023 Pharmacology in Color Symposium

“Once you are maxed out, you need to learn something new!”

On June 9, 2023, the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan hosted its Pharmacology in Color Symposium. Alumni were invited back to the department to share their career paths and experiences for the first time in person since the Covid-19 Pandemic. On Thursday June 8 there was a dinner gathering for alumni, current students and faculty. On the morning of Friday June 9, students gave seminars on their research and alumni gave talks on their educational paths and current careers throughout the rest of the day. In the afternoon there were breakout sessions where students asked direct questions of alumni before the address by the keynote speaker (described below). Finally, there was a happy hour and a second dinner in the evening.

The students that presented their research included:

● Anthony Garcia, Osawa Lab, “Pharmacological Modulation of Hsp70 Selectively Removes Misfolded nNOS”
● Juan Valentine-Goyco, Auchus Lab, “Biochemical Characterization and Pharmacological Inhibition of Aldosterone Synthase”
● Chanté Liu, M.S., Satin Lab, “Understanding the Mechanisms of Pulsatile Basal Insulin Secretion”
● Loyda Morales-Rodriguez, Puthenveedu Lab, “Location-Biased Activation of the Proton-Sensor GPR65 is Uncoupled from Receptor Trafficking”

The alumni invited back to the department to speak included:

● Colleen Carpenter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Biology, University of Richmond (Keynote Speaker)
● Nnamdi Edokobi, Ph.D., Patent Agent, Choate, Hall & Stewart
● Mohamad Shebley, Ph.D., Head of Clinical Pharmacology Neuroscience, AbbVie
● Rashonda Flint, Ph.D., Office of the Dean, School of Medicine and Advocate Health, Wake Forest University
● Diamond Thomas, M.S., Clinical Research Coordinator, University of Michigan
● Anwar Dunbar, Ph.D., Pharmacologist, Health Effects Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, United States Environmental Protection Agency
● Tigwa Davis, Ph.D., Director, Health Economics and Outcomes, Inovalon

Opening remarks on June 9 were given by Dr. Lori Isom, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Dr. Steve Kunkel, the Executive Dean for Research and the Chief Scientific Officer of the Michigan Medical School. Closing remarks were given by Dr. Alan Smrcka of the Department of Pharmacology who played a key role in organizing the symposium. The sessions were moderated by alumnus Dr. Chiamaka Ukachukwu and student Hongyu Su.

“Once you are maxed out, you need to learn something new,” said Dr. Mohammed Shebley of AbbVie, a native of Southeastern Michigan. As with all the speakers, Dr. Shebley discussed his journey to and through the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan. He further discussed his career at AbbVie and keys for success for working in the company. His quote involved the importance of professionals continuing to evolve and figuring out new career directions, particularly when levels of personal and professional comfort are achieved. Dr. Shebley worked under Dr. Paul Hollenberg for his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan where he worked on projects involving Cyrochrome-P450s.

“I was blown away by everything, the commitment to students – all of it,” said Dr. Colleen Carpenter discussing her arrival at the Department of Pharmacology. Dr. Carpenter worked under the tutelage of Dr. Margaret Gnegy in the areas of Amphetamines and Dopamine signaling. Dr. Carpenter discussed her introduction to science in her native Jamaica, her educational path before arriving at the University of Michigan and her research afterwards. She is now an assistant professor at the University of Richmond where she uses Zebrafish and technologies like CRISPR to screen new drugs.

The alumni in attendance worked in multiple sectors including academia, industry, government, and patent law. One of the key themes that emerged in all their talks was that no career path was a straight line. That is all experienced some form of adversity or made decisions to explore other parts of the Pharmacology world and beyond. The students in the audience were further encouraged to enjoy and take advantage of the expertise and training available to them. Dr. Anwar Dunbar who worked under Dr. Yoichi Osawa for his doctoral training, noted in his talk that science is a culture, a craft, and a way of being which is unique and not well understood by other segments of society. Dr. Dunbar’s thesis project involved the inactivation and cellular degradation of Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase.

The department endeavors to provide the best science training for its students. While academia is the classic career path following Pharmacology doctoral training, it attempts to expose them to all the career options. To learn more about the University of Michigan Department of Pharmacology, its stellar faculty, students and research, visit the department online at: .

Essays on the Science of Drugs and More

Pharmacology is the science of drugs, specifically how they modulate biological processes to treat disease and sickness. If you want to learn more about this exciting science, there is an essay discussing Pharmacology and its many aspects right here on this platform. There are similar essays on ADME/Drug Metabolism, Toxicology and Inhalation Toxicology. There are also essays describing the world of Basic Research, and the Transferable Skills learned from science training. Finally, there is a personal story regarding the challenges surrounding doctoral training as a minority.

The Big Words LLC Newsletter

Thank you for reading this piece on the Pharmacology in Color Symposium hosted by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan. There are several other science-related essays here on my blog with more on the way. As a writer, I have started a monthly newsletter for my writing and video content creation company, The Big Words LLC. In it, I plan to share inspirational words, pieces from my writer’s blog and this blog, and select videos from my four YouTube channels. One of those channels is a science and technology channel. It is entitled, Big Discussions76 Science and Technology. Finally, I will share updates for my book project entitled, The Engineers: A Western New York Basketball Story. Click this link and register using the sign-up button at the bottom of the announcement. If there is an issue with the sign-up form, you can email me at Best regards.

In Case You Missed It: My Interview With Dr. Antony Davies And James R. Harrigan Regarding Immigration

As many of you know, I’ve branched out from the Big Words Blog Site into YouTube where I now have four channels. My original channel is Big Discussions76 where I now discuss general topics. I’ve had several guests visit my channels. Two recent guests on Big Discussions76 are Dr. Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan, the authors of Cooperation & Coercion and the founders of Words & Numbers Podcast. In this interview, we talked about the controversial and polarizing topic of immigration. It is a complex topic with multiple moving parts and Antony and James shared perspectives on it, that are not often discussed. Parts one and two are below. Please note that in order to like and comment on YouTube videos, you must be logged into a Gmail account.

Thank you for watching, and if anything in our discussion resonates with you, please like, share and subscribe to my channel. Also please consider joining the Big Words LLC newsletter. There you’ll get updates on my book project The Engineers: A Western New York Basketball Story and all my content. You can access it through this link. If there is an issue with this link for any reason, you can email me at and I will add you. Best regards.

A Discussion On Immigration With The Words & Numbers Podcast Part One

A Discussion On Immigration With The Words & Numbers Podcast Part Two

In Case You Missed It: My Interview With Dr. Antony Davies And James R. Harrigan Regarding Their Book, Their Podcast And Current Events

As many of you know, I’ve branched out from the Big Words Blog Site into YouTube where I now have four channels. My original channel is Big Discussions76 where I now discuss general topics typically rooted in education and or current events. I’ve had several guests visit my channels. Two recent guests on Big Discussions76 were Dr. Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan, the authors of Cooperation & Coercion and the founders of Words & Numbers Podcast. In this interview, we talked about how they started working together, their book, their podcast and finally some of the important issues facing our nation that are not being openly discussed. I split the interview into three parts and the links are below. Please note that in order to like and comment on YouTube videos, you must be logged into a Gmail account.

Thank you for watching, and if anything in our discussion resonates with you, please like, share and subscribe to my channel. Also please consider joining the Big Words LLC newsletter. There you’ll get updates on my book project The Engineers: A Western New York Basketball Story and all my content. You can access it through this link. You can also request to be added at

Antony Davies And James R. Harrigan Discuss The Words & Numbers  And Cooperation And Coercion Part One

Antony Davies And James R. Harrigan Discuss The Words & Numbers  And Cooperation And Coercion Part Two

Antony Davies And James R. Harrigan Discuss The Words & Numbers  And Cooperation And Coercion Part Three

Careful Of These Troubles Rocking The Medical Industry

Three focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. As with every sector, the medical sector is facing its own sets of challenges. Whether you’re interacting with it as a patient, a professional, or an investor, it’s important to be aware of what’s happening. The following contributed post is entitled, Careful Of These Troubles Rocking The Medical Industry.

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Various problems are impacting businesses operating in the medical sector today. Here are some of the top concerns that you should address.

Pexels CCO License

Data Theft

First, you need to think about the problem of data theft in your medical business. Data theft has become an issue across every industry and it is rocking the medical field too. In fact, the medical industry is more exposed due to the level of personal data that is kept on patients. This leaves them vulnerable to various problems including identity fraud. One of the ways that you can avoid this situation is by making sure that you do invest in the latest technology including blockchain. Implementing blockchain tech into the medical sector is considered to be the best way to protect businesses against fraud.

Delays In Care

When it comes to offering patients the necessary care and attention they need it is essential they are not kept waiting for a long time. The issue that arises when patients have to wait weeks and even months for care is that their conditions could deteriorate quite fast. A lot of clinics and appointments had to be canceled or pushed back due to rising problems of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hospitals needed all staff on hand to deal with the outbreak so there was nobody left for the outpatients.

Cases Of Fraud

Unfortunately, cases of fraud in the US are not showing any signs of slowing down when it comes to the medical industry. For example, one of the most common types of fraud committed at the moment is Medicare fraud, which is causing countless problems throughout the medical industry. In this case, fraud is where the claimant is claiming back expenses that they are not entitled to under the medicare program.

There are many types of fraud that are used, and it’s a problem that you need to protect yourself against if you are a medical business. The best way to do this is to have a strict and rigorous system in place for every claim that comes in. It’s also best to ensure that you have a dedicated team going over claims, rather than simply relying on a program.

Loss Of Talent

Finally, the medical industry as a whole is struggling with a loss of talent right now. The reason for this is simple. Professionals such as nurses believe that they are not receiving the right level of pay that they deserve or require. Particularly as the cost of living continues to rise.

One of the ways that you can avoid this issue in your medical company is by ensuring that you are paying team members a fair wage. This will help ensure that you continue to attract more fresh talent to your company and avoid the issue of churn. Don’t forget, problems with churn can cost your company an absolute fortune if they are left to fester. Another way you can avoid this issue is by ensuring that you offer medical staff the right long term incentives.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the troubles that are rocking the medical industry right now. Take all the necessary precautions to protect your business against these issues to ensure it’s as safe as possible.

How To Stay Positive When Everything Feels Difficult

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and Health/Wellness. When things get difficult, it is often times hard to remain hopeful. Regardless, it’s important to figure out how to do so. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Stay Positive When Everything Feels Difficult.

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The last couple of years has been a wild ride. Catastrophic bush fires in Australia, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the new administration in the White House and claims of election rigging, Brexit in Europe, climate change crises, and now, of course, the terrible situation in Ukraine. On top of that can be all the personal difficulties you are going through – health, finances, relationships, injuries which you are getting sorted with the help of this personal injury law firm and so on. So it is little wonder that people are on edge and feeling the uncertainty of the world around us, and mental health is a big issue.

Many of these events are pretty much out of our hands, but that doesn’t help when you feel scared and anxious. The main thing to remember is that you are not alone if you feel like this. It can be hard to feel optimistic with so much going on around you. However, while much easier said than done, staying positive can help you get through the more challenging times and keep your mental health on a more even keel. Here, we look at some tips to help bolster your positivity.

Image via Unsplash

Make a gratitude or happy list at the end of every day

Invite your family and friends to do the same. Maybe you could even start a private group on social media and encourage people to share theirs to brighten up everyone’s day. It just needs to be a shortlist of things that have made you feel grateful or put a smile on your face that day, from a film that you enjoyed watching to receiving a parcel in the post or enjoying a superb cup of coffee. It is essential to celebrate the joys of the smaller moments in life rather than always waiting for the big things to be happy and excited about.

Stay away from the news and social media for a short period

You should take a break if the world is becoming too much for you, and you can tell that social media and the news are having a detrimental impact on your mental health. When struggling, many people find it helpful to mute their news notifications and turn off particular keywords in their Twitter stream.

Take some time to listen to some highly upbeat music

You would be shocked at how powerful music can be. Try to remember how good music makes you feel and remind yourself of them. There are many ways to stream different playlists these days, so set up some happy ones for when you are having a terrible day. Have an impromptu dance party – they can lift the spirits and can not help but make you smile. The release of something positive into your body through music and dancing can divert you and bring you positive feelings, even if it is only a brief fix.

Communicate with your friends, even if it is only online or over the phone

When we are locked up inside and feeling the world’s weight, it is easy to lose sight of the people who care about us. However, it is possible to connect with other people in various ways, and there is nothing quite like hearing the reassuring and diverting voice of a friend to speak with to return to a more positive frame of mind. Regular voice or video talks with your pals can significantly impact your ability to remain cheerful and joyful.

Concentrate on your current hobbies or learn more

Having hobbies may altogether remove you from the real world and provide you with some much-needed momentary escape, which we all desperately need from time to time. Remind yourself of the things you appreciate and the reasons why you enjoy them; spend some quality time enjoying your hobbies; and rekindle your passions after a long period. We guarantee that having a strong passion for a particular hobby will make you feel more positive about yourself.

Declare to yourself that your being positive and happy and that today will be a fantastic day for you

Finally, think of a short slogan that you can repeat to yourself. Every morning, tell yourself that today will be a nice day and that you will look for the positives in everything. Try to put a grin on your face and be thrilled about one aspect of your day. Give yourself a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Take a shower, put on a nice outfit, and make your bed. Start your day off on the right foot and strive to maintain a positive attitude.

4 Tips For Improving Your Political Campaign

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and Political Discussions. If you’re thinking about getting into politics and you want to run an effective campaign, there are several factors you want account for. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Tips For Improving Your Political Campaign.

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Whether you’re running for house elections, local elections, or another type of election, your campaign strategy can make the difference between winning and losing.

The size of the electorate, the geography, the public’s mindset, the timing of the election, and the methods of voter communication used should all be considered when developing your campaign strategy.

Image credit

A specific election campaign strategy, influenced by the political climate in which it is conducted, is required for every election campaign, in short. And in a local election, gaining supporters is primarily a matter of winning over the voters in one’s community.

This post looks at some ways you can improve your campaign strategy.

Competitor Analysis

The evaluation of competitors is critical in any competition. A thorough understanding of your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses can provide you with a significant advantage in developing your campaign messaging, participating in head-to-head debates, and undermining their campaign message when it becomes necessary.

Make a spreadsheet with the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates, including yourself. Each candidate’s position on the critical issues in the election should be listed on a single spreadsheet. So you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and where you are vulnerable concerning your competitors, and you can communicate more clearly with your customers.

Phone Calls

Talking to your local community and the wider population will be essential to your victory. You need to be able to speak to and reach as many people as possible to persuade them to give you their vote. Working with Kaplan Strategies can streamline your phone calls and help you provide efficient outreach to your phone call plan.

Improve Your Campaign Message

The goal of a campaign is to establish the candidate’s personal identity. This includes the candidate’s educational and professional background and what makes them a good fit for the position for which they are running.

Your campaign will only be successful if it is tailored to the specific needs of its target audience. It informs voters about the critical issues and policies of the candidate. It is necessary to consider the viewpoint of the voter in this situation. Demonstrate that your victory will improve their quality of life to gain their attention and vote.

Creating Multiple Fundraising Channels

One of the most challenging tasks when running for a local office is raising funds. How are you planning on expanding the necessary funds to make yourself a viable candidate in the election?

Your campaign costs could range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on where you are running and the demographics of the area in which you are running. That’s why it’s so critical to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to contribute to your campaign as possible.

From selling merchandise to asking family and friends to setting up social media fundraisers and more, please find out how your demographic prefers to donate and make sure you have the suitable options available for them to do so.

An Inside Look Into Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

Three focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill has been in the news for quite some time. Most citizens don’t have time to understand what’s in it though as is often the case with politics. The following contributed post is entitled, An Inside Look Into Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill.

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2021 has been a year for the books for so many reasons, and not all of them were bad, but from a landmark news perspective, if you’re anything of a news nerd or politics junkie – you’ve had one of the best years ever.

Controversial courtroom rulings like the Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdict, to the bizarre story of Jussie Smollet – and we haven’t begun to look at all of the ongoing Covid news stories that just never seem to end. If you’re not an avowed optimist, you’d be having a very hard time indeed.

But, somewhere in between all of the madness of the year that was(n’t), came news of what some are calling the best thing to happen to domestic spending in history, and what others have called the biggest disaster to spend in the United States, but whatever you views on this landmark announcement are one thing is for certain, it is going to leave America physically changed. It is the massive infrastructure bill recently passed into law, and it effectively amounts to $2 trillion, although the amount in the discussion was actually $1 trillion. Well, that also depends on who you believe because some forecasters believe that the final bill will be closer to $3 trillion. That’s $ 3,000,000,000,000 to you and me.

With all of this lovely money swishing about, already questions are being asked about where this money is going to be spent? Who stands to benefit? Who decides where this money gets spent, and perhaps most importantly – where is this money going to come from? We’re going to try and unpack some of these questions now.

Image By Pexels

Essentially, President Biden’s (officially) $2.3 trillion (or that may actually be $1.8 trillion) infrastructure plan has prioritized spending on transportation, drinking water as well as broadband projects and it comes after the American Society of Civil Engineers released a report in 2021, some call it the report card, on which American infrastructure scored a dismally low, C-minus.

This prompted massive studies across the nation conducted by various government agencies and local authorities to determine which areas had the biggest and most urgent need. The question many wanted answering though, is just why has our infrastructure been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair in the first place? You may find that that, is a very loaded question, but what all sums have been done and all arguments made, the answer is written rather succinctly by the American writer, Kurt Vonnegut:

“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

And that is quite the crux of it all, as administration after administration since Regan have all just about had ambitious plans to revitalize America’s roads, bridges, urban centers, schools, rapid and mass transit systems, and more.

That in turn, leads us to the next very important question – how much of our infrastructure needs to be fixed or upgraded anyway, and why is it so outrageously difficult to get politicians to agree on it?

As with all things political, there are a few answers to that question.

Firstly, roads, bridges, etc. are all designed (in principle at least), to have as long a life-span as possible and with the knowledge that at some point, their ‘parts’ are going to wear out. The longer something is intended to last, the more expensive it’s going to be to build.

For example, the bridges that form America’s Interstate Highway System, which was started during the Eisenhower administration (more than six decades ago), are now very much nearing the end of their intended lifespan and worryingly, in the case of some of them – are probably beyond their lifespan. Sixty years is a long time for any object to take the pressure and pounding that these bridges take every day – without significant investments in maintenance and upgrading.

Then there is the real reason and if you’ve been thinking it’s all money-related – you’re right. America’s infrastructure is controlled by the public sector – in other words, taxpayer-funded. A lot of the funding for the maintenance of these giant projects like highways and bridges is provided for by federal and state gasoline taxes. To effectively maintain these projects, a lot of money is needed – money, that comes directly from taxes. Taxes that will have to be increased to afford these upgrades and maintenance projects, tax increases, that can cost politicians – their careers.

Then you have the legacy issue. Politicians are not huge fans of making their successors look good. It takes a long time to get approval from all the moving parts in government to get this spending into place, and often it looks like it may happen just as a Presidents term is about to end. That would mean that the next guy gets to take the credit for what his predecessor effectively put into place, and to turn a phrase, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Then, there is the question of visibility. While bridges, tunnels, and roads are in plain view, some other parts of America’s infrastructure are not so easily noticed, until they stop working. Think sewer lines.
So, which states are going to benefit the most?

According to this report by CNBC, the states that are likely to win big (that means cash in the most) are, New York, Texas, and California with critics citing that it is rather some of the more underpopulated states with less developed rural economies like Montana and Alaska, that should get a bigger share to compensate for much fewer tax revenues.

Well with all of that being said, we’re certain that there will still be lots and lots of quarreling and across the floor back and forth to determine that amount.

There will also be various sustainability groups looking to improve the environmental impact of any proposed building projects, both for human health and climate change. We’re going to see senators arguing about tunnel fans, concrete usage, and diesel emissions on the left and right. We’re also going to hear plenty of arguments about how it damages the U.S.’s ability to become a carbon-neutral country over the coming years.

Meanwhile, all is not entirely silent in Washington. It appears that there is something of a brouhaha about it all, and more than just a little dose of déjà vu happening too. It all started with Donald Trump’s term in office. He pledged to spend $1 trillion specifically focused on rebuilding America’s roads and bridges. That amount was eventually upped to $2 trillion, but despite all his enthusiasm for the plan, it wouldn’t amount to much, and the term infrastructure week (the period when all of this debating was happening), would become used as something of a euphemism for, futility. Not our nation’s best work.

So, just to create some understanding of what we’re talking about when the word infrastructure is used in this context, we agree that the term infrastructure is something of a ‘hold all’ term that refers to roads, bridges, tunnels, rail lines, dams, buildings, systems that supply water and electricity for example. It basically covers all of the systems that the American civilization needs to function.

Joseph Schofer, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University says that infrastructure is “the built environment that supports our lives”.

OK, so let’s go a little deeper, where is this money going?

Roads and bridges: At the very top of the 2,702-page bill’s spending outlines, roughly $110 billion of new funds will be allocated to improving America’s roads and bridges, as well as investment in other major transportation programs. Everything from Asphalt Resurfacing to major upgrades and new road construction.

Public transit: This spending program also includes the largest-ever federal investment
program of its kind in public transit with a massive $39 billion going to modernizing systems, improving access, and repairing over 24,000 buses, 5,000 railcars, and thousands upon thousands of miles of train tracks.

Amtrak: Biden’s plan hails the largest investment in passenger rail since the
creation of Amtrak, over 50 years ago. There is an eye-wateringly, giant $66 billion that’s heading to Amtrak for the development of high-speed rail, safety upgrades, Amtrak grants as well as ‘modernization’ of the route that connects Washington, D.C, and Boston.

Added to that list are massive investments in airports, broadband internet, urban center regeneration, green initiatives, clean energy, electric cars, buses, and ferries, clean drinking water projects, and road safety.

Perhaps this is a good time, to start a construction company then.

What do we really love about this program? The massively long-overdue investment into our Great Rivers and Lakes. The bill has more than $50 billion for water infrastructure improvements and about $1 billion is slated for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. An initiative that proposes a major clean-up program that targets toxic hot spots (areas of shockingly bad industrial pollution), with a further $17 billion going to ports and waterways.

Love it or hate it, there is no denying that if these plans are implemented as they’re intended to be, that America’s infrastructure will enjoy more investment than it ever has, and with around 19 million jobs that are anticipated out of this program, the overall economy should see a significant boost too.

Whichever way one looks at it, it’s probably very much overdue, and about time.

You’ll find a detailed and in-depth look at the bill on the White houses’ website, here.

Bringing Your Business Through The Pandemic

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Current Events. My businesses were obliterated by the Covid-19 Pandemic while others made it through, thrived, or were even started. If your business is still alive, you want to consider how to keep it going as the pandemic may be nearing it’s end. The following contributed post is entitled, Bringing Your Business Through The Pandemic.

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Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Many businesses have been impacted by Covid-19, and while things are improving, firms are still battling to get back on track. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you may help your business grow stronger during this difficult time:

Keep Track Of Your Cash Flow

Identify any cashflow issues as soon as possible, and predict with the worst-case scenario in mind, ensuring that your company is ready for any future socio-economic shifts. Employees should be assigned to procedures that are critical to cash flow, even if this implies cross-training. Many businesses lack a proper, regularly updated cash flow projection, resulting in a lack of awareness of their finances and potential consequences; if this is your company, make it a point to build one. Using tools such as Wefunder Agency could help.

Examine The Dangers In Your Supply Chain

You must prepare for the worst, just as you must for cash flow. What if one of your suppliers is unable to supply you with the things you require? If possible, ensure you have viable backup providers, speak with them, and confirm that they can deliver what you require, as things may not be as advertised on their website at the time. You might also need to make certain strategic supply chain decisions, such as concentrating on your most profitable products or services while reducing other offerings and supply chain risks. While these may be temporary decisions given the current state of the economy, it is always necessary to risk analyse your supply chain.

Keep Yourself Updated

As a business leader, you must stay up to date on the newest COVID-19 developments on a daily basis, as the advice is constantly changing. However, double-check official recommendations, avoid sensationalised news and social media posts, and carefully consider what to tell your employees, suppliers, and customers. Avoid panic and perplexity! When planning your strategy for the coming months, keep in mind the government’s response and business assistance policies. The most recent advice can be found here.

Be Flexible And Open To New Ideas

Many firms that survive and prosper through a crisis like this will have open-minded CEOs who can adjust swiftly to change and inspire their employees to do the same. Given how our lives have significantly and rapidly altered recently, your business model may no longer be feasible and will need to be updated. There may also be fresh prospects for you to take advantage of and diversify your business. Check out the rest of my essay on how to adapt and diversify your business.

Make Preparations For The ‘After’

Start thinking about how you want your business to look once the pandemic is ended once all of the big obstacles have been addressed. It is preferable to begin planning now rather than face the shock of returning to ‘normalcy’ with no awareness of the significant changes we have all through. Make a list of everything that is functioning well for your team and that you might want to keep in place in the long run, as well as anything you want to get rid of. Are you looking for ways to work that are more productive and cost-effective? Is your team collaborating more effectively? Have you taken steps to reduce your company’s environmental impact? Consider how your customers and suppliers will function in the future and include them in your strategies.

How To Teach Children About Tolerance

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and General Education. A key term into today’s modern world is “tolerance” which means to become accepting of other people’s differences. In order achieve this society-wide, the population must become educated on it. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Teach Children About Tolerance.

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We can all take responsibility for teaching tolerance, whether we are parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, or just neighbors to a child. We must begin with children if we want to make the world a more empathetic place. They are the impressionable ones who are still establishing their worldviews, and it’s critical that they have strong role models and positive influences in their life. Tolerance is promoted not just in terms of religious and ethnic diversity, but also in terms of gender, physical and intellectual disability, size, shape, and everything in between. With words like woke and discrimination being part of our daily lives, we must make the world a more tolerant place. Read on to find out more.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Watch What You Say

Aside from never allowing your kid to bully or taunt others, be mindful of what you say yourself. Children are like sponges, and if they hear you say something disrespectful, they will feel it’s okay to say it; after all, you are their role model.

This is why, if you want your child to be a good, tolerant person, you must also respect others; your child will do the same. And remember, this isn’t just about talking about other people. Even remarks about your own physique (such as saying you look fat or that you’re stupid for not thinking of something or that you don’t like a particular part of yourself) might cause a youngster to form opinions about the people in their environment or even about themselves.

Encourage Self Confidence

A youngster who is secure in themselves is more inclined to accept differences and appreciate the worth in others. You will often hear that bullies are those who are unhappy in their own lives and have to lash out against others because they are afraid or worried about their own personalities.

The more confident a child is about how they are and what they can do, the less chance there is of them bullying or worrying about anyone else. As a parent or guardian, this is something that you can control – you can help your child be much more self-confident.

Talk About Differences Respectfully

Discuss the distinctions and differences between your family and friends (hair color, skin color, personal likes and dislikes, special traditions, and so on), and take the chance to discuss why it’s wonderful that people are so diverse. You might also talk about how people might be different, but that there will always be similarities. This can help a young child understand that differences are just a part of life and that there will always be something you have in common with someone, whether this is how you look, what you believe in, or something else entirely.

Answer Their Questions

Children might ask difficult questions about tolerance and discrimination, and if you don’t give them an answer, your lack of action can teach them that it is not acceptable to discuss differences or ‘uncomfortable’ things. This leads to more intolerance and misunderstandings.

Even if you’re stumped for words, assure them that you’ll come back to them with a response later. And make certain that you do. This is the ideal opportunity to learn something important yourself.