Up & Coming Weekly

August 12, 2014

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 19 of 24

AUGUST 13-19, 2014 UCW 19 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM ADVICE GODDESS I'M WITH STUPOR A close friend has a drinking problem. His wife kicked him out, he lost his job, and he's been a lousy father to their 1-year-old son. He begged to stay with me (his only single friend) and has been sleeping on my couch for months. Despite my lecturing him a thousand times, he's still going out and getting wasted — while trying to talk his wife into taking him back. She called to ask how he's been. I said "pretty good," though the truth is, I just want him out of my apartment. — Feeling Guilty Welcome to the dark side of empathy: empathy that backfires, ultimately causing harm. Dr. Barbara Oakley, who studies this "pathological altruism," explains in a paper that empathy is a knee-jerk emotional response rooted in our fast-responding intuitive thinking system. Empathy jumps right in, shoving us into action. Perhaps contributing to your unhelpful empathy was the myth (not supported by science) that addiction is a "disease," a condition that, like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's, people are powerless to overcome. Sociologist Lee Robins first dispelled this disease myth with her 1974 research on heroin-addicted Vietnam vets. Robins found that one-fifth of the American soldiers in Vietnam had become addicted to the heroin or other narcotics they used to escape the horrors and lack of control they experienced while over there. Yet eight months to a year after returning home, about 10 percent had used opiates, and less than 1 percent were still addicted. What made the difference was no longer needing to escape. Outside a war zone, addiction is adult baby behavior. As clinical psychologist Dr. Frederick Woolverton explains in Unhooked, addiction involves ducking into a substance or activity to avoid experiencing uncomfortable emotions that are a normal part of adult life. Rather than try to figure things out, your friend resorts to child abandonment in liquid form. You can't lecture a guy out of addiction. To overcome one, a person needs to realize that it "interferes with their deepest values or goals," explains addiction expert Dr. Stanton Peele in Recover! It's also time for some healthy kindness — the sort that feels bad in the moment but, in the long run, may get him on the road to contributing to a college fund. Give him some deadlines. First, he has to tell his wife the truth, or you'll at least tell her you weren't completely honest. Next, inform him that your apartment is retiring from its stint as the Motel 6-Pack. Give him a move-out date, and be prepared to stick to it. Remember, your being cruelly kind is his best shot at getting a handle on more than the sides of your toilet bowl. It's also your best shot at charming a woman into bed without the added challenge of explaining the guy in your living room who can't figure out whether to hit on your plant or vomit into it. WEEKLY HOROSCOPES ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 Aries, you may have to make a few minor changes to your original plan, but other than those minor adjustments there is nothing standing in your way this week. TAURUS - Apr 21/May 21 Home improvement projects continue to pile up, Taurus. Use this week as an opportunity to get everything in motion and on the path to completion. GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 A few more tweaks and your master plan will be complete, Gemini. Now you just need a few able-bodied volunteers to work with you through some of the hard labor. CANCER - Jun 22/Jul 22 Cancer, a late-summer trip makes the perfect finale to a few good weeks of recreation. A little adventure is in your future, so make the most of this opportunity. LEO - Jul 23/Aug 23 Leo, once you have your mind made up, it is extremely difficult to sway your opinion. Others will try this week to get you onto their side. But you're just not feeling it. VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 Virgo, whether you have been lucky or unlucky in love as of late, this is the week for some romantic surprises. Your entire perspective could be turned on its head. LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 A small disappointment has you out of whack, Libra. Don't let it get to you for too long. Family members will help pull you out of a brief funk and get you on your feet. SCORPIO - Oct 24/Nov 22 Scorpio, you may be ready to make some really big changes. Forge ahead with the plans you have created, and you will be glad for having done so. SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 Financial issues come to the forefront of a relationship, Sagittarius. Keep arguments from escalating by being open and honest about all purchases. Things can be worked out together. CAPRICORN - Dec 22/Jan 20 Few things can wipe away the smile on your face this week, Capricorn. You are in an eternally good mood, and your positivity is intoxicating to others around you. AQUARIUS - Jan 21/Feb 18 Aquarius, you will have an enormous sense of accomplishment when you finish a task you thought above your skill level. Always believe in yourself. PISCES - Feb 19/Mar 20 There is little room for things other than work this week, Pisces. Now is not the time to take on new chores. Save them for later. NEWS OF THE WEIRD by CHUCK SHEPPARD Facial recognition software, increasingly important to global anti- terrorism operations, is being brought to ... cats. Taiwanese developer Mu- Chi Sung announced in July plans for marketing the software as part of a cat health device so that owners, especially those with multiple cats, can better monitor their cats' eating habits. Sung first had to overcome the problem of how to get the cat to stick its head through a slot in the feeder so the software can start to work. The device, with mobile apps for remote monitoring by the owner, may sell for about $250. [CBS News, 7-22-2014] Government in Action The Environmental Protection Agency is already a News of the Weird favorite (for example, the secret goofing-off "man cave" of one EPA contractor in July 2013 and, two months later, the fabulist EPA executive who skipped agency work for months by claiming falsely to be on secret CIA missions), but the agency's Denver Regional Office took it to another level in June. In a leaked memo, the Denver deputy director implored employees to end the practice of leaving feces in the office's hallway. The memo referred to "several" incidents. [Government Executive, 6-25-2014] The federal food stamp program, apparently uncontrollably rife with waste, has resorted to giving financial awards to the states that misspend food stamp money the least. In July, the Florida Department of Children and Families, beaming with pride, announced it had won a federal grant of $7 million for having blown only $47 million in food stamp benefits in 2013 (less than 1 percent of its $6 billion in payments). Vermont, the worst-performing state, misspends almost 10 percent of its food stamp benefits. [Fox News, 7-8-2014] The Way the World Works: The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration came down hard in July on West Virginia's Freedom Industries for violations of chemical safety standards in January 2014 that resulted in the 10-day contamination of drinking water for 300,000 residents. OSHA issued two fines to the company — one for $7,000 and the other for $4,000. [West Virginia Gazette, 7-7-2014] Amy Alkon Chuck Sheppard

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