Friday, August 7, 2015

Massive Link Log for August 7

This looked like being another short one since I spent most of the day doing actual work, but then car-pool arrangements shifted at the last minute so I get to catch up on other people's blogs after all. Categories: Animals, Books, Christian, Crafts, Employment, Food, Health, History, Nice Things, Phenology, Politics and the Tackiness Thereof, Psychology, Race Issues, Writing.


Puppy love.

Lions don't usually attack humans...unless they're overcrowded, and motivated to reduce the competition for food. Bears, ditto. This summer, while some people were wailing about a lion killed by a tourist in Africa, a boy was attacked by one of those wonderful tourist-attraction bears in Tennessee. Efforts have been made to reintroduce bears (and rattlesnakes) into my corner of Virginia...I can relate to Goodwell Nzou's point of view here. A Zimbabwean needed to say it about Zimbabwe but the corollary is certainly true in Virginia.

If a runaway bus was hurtling toward both a foreign tourist and my dog (or cat), which one would I save? It may not be very Humanist, but...I'm responsible for protecting my pet. Also, the tourist is probably at least as strong, as fast, and as sophisticated as I am; most pets are none of these things, and even if I had a dog who was stronger and faster than I was he wouldn't be as sophisticated about things like motor vehicles. Also, I'm not a Humanist. So if I had time to think it through and also do anything to help either of the two, it'd be my pet.

If I had time to think it through and the choice was between either of my (taller, stronger, younger) sisters and a pet, it would probably still be the pet. If I had time to think about it, a human would have to be severely handicapped in some way--a wheelchair user, a toddler--to need more rescuing than a pet. Then again, if the choice were between sharing a meal with a hungry foreign tourist and a pet, I'd probably reason that the pet could find food in the woods...

Animals known for extreme longevity...


Although What You Should Know About Masons is a Fair Trade Book you can buy secondhand here, +Ed Decker is not all about the money. An updated version of the story from that book is now available an "e-book."


Although our Hebrew word for the day is taatsumah, I'm thinking that this post seems to explain the concept expressed by the word-group that includes our President's given name--baraka. Words in this group convey the meanings of blessing, kneeling down, power, energy, glory, thunder and lightning...


+Lyn Lomasi offers more original drawings like this one, in aid of animals:

"Ali" claims that she doesn't know how to knit. Bah. She obviously knows how to knit quite well. What she's not demonstrated the ability to do is purl--make a knit stitch turned backward. All other knitting techniques are combinations of, or variations on, plain (knit) and purl stitches. Really.

How to crochet a simple hat:


Help wanted, M.D.: John McDougall seeks another doctor for a clinic in northern California.

(messy temporary link: if it doesn't work the position has probably been filled)


Check out how far the watermelon has evolved. (Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for the link.)

In Alabama, Beth Ann Chiles visits a restaurant Dr. McDougall would probably not endorse. (Remember, comments on this blog are being used to raise funds for a local charity.)

Health (and Food and Employment) 

For those who aren't familiar with the work and teachings of Dr. McDougall, this temporary link should work a little longer than the job ad link. It can be used to sign up for "Webinars" or summaries thereof that explain how naturopathic physicians use food as medicine. They've probably been extensively updated since McDougall's Medicine, too.

(temporary link)

Health, Revisited 

+Coral Levang glues on zebra-striped fingernails for cancer awareness:


The strange history of Arlington:

Nice Things 

Liz Klimas reports a random act of kindness:

DaddyTypes report a cool T-shirt for men to wear while parenting. (This web site loves patriarchs--respected elders, the male equivalent of matriarchs; this web site deplores patriarchy--the idea that any random dude should be considered a patriarch, without earning it, even before age thirty, just for being male.)

An Alabama botanical garden has a new attraction:

The Hebrew (and Arabic and Amharic) word-group applicable here is nabil. (Our word "noble" is vaguely related to this group.) Words in this group convey the meanings of honor "earned" by acts of generosity. And here is how that was traditionally done:


In Newfoundland, beachgoers capture an iceberg "calving" (breaking up) on video:

A wet autumn is forecast:


Online social group for Rand Paul supporters. (My statement of ambivalence should be there...I'm hoping it's already been buried, but anybody who really cares should be able to scroll down and see it.)

The +Allen West Republic shared this quote from the +RealBenCarson ...My Man. I'm very ambivalent about these independent conservative-type Republicans. I want to vote for both of them.

"I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins. The only one to operate on babies while they were still in their mother’s womb. The only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think if you went to Washington that someone had beat me to it. (applause) But I’m very hopeful that I’m not the only one who will pick up the torch of freedom. Because freedom is not free!”

They also shared the video clip where Carly Fiorina confirms something I suspected before the debate:

Liz Klimas "curates" an AP report on the errors of fact that were made...Dr. Carson misstated or mispronounced one number. "1947" was heard and/or spoken as "1940." Hands up if this reminds you of the Olympic silver medalist having a point knocked off for landing awkwardly after an awesome gymnastic performance.

Speaking of veering from the truth...The President's quoted here as making the argument that he knows people don't vote in other people's names, because few people have been caught and prosecuted for doing that. Well,'s been after elections that follow-up calls to voters have determined that some alleged voters were, in fact, dead. We don't know who voted in their names, but somebody did.

This web site doesn't trust photo ID requirements either, actually, although some of our correspondents do. This web site wishes the President had dared to present an honest, respectable argument against photo ID requirements, rather than falling back on one that's not even logical. And he knows what a flimsy argument it is. Note the peculiar expression on his face. Does it nonverbally say, "Something's wrong here...must have a word with that speech writer"?

In the end, could Google steal the election? (Al Gore is a major stockholder in Google.)

Politics, Total Tackiness Of 

Why Americans hate elections...This guy is not rising in the polls because of me. If he's rising in any polls, it's in spite of me. I like candidates Carson, Paul, Rubio, Cruz (if the birther types will accept him as a viable candidate), Gilmore, possibly Fiorina, possibly Walker--and even if I like somebody in eighth place (possibly Jindal), does eighth place even count? We have too many qualified Republican candidates for this presidential election. Republicans need coalitions. Some of them need to focus on the Senate and other positions from which they can support our next President. (Who should be a Republican, if only to give the Democrats time to back gracefully away from the neo-fascist pit they've dug and fallen into.) The fact that the eldest candidate, who should logically be the presidential nominee, happens to lack political experience creates enough complication...without a saboteur being dumped into the mix, too.

I don't like getting smarmy, pseudo-chummy e-mail from strangers. I cringed at an e-mail in aid of our mutual e-friends at Freedomworks signed "Your pal, Glenn Beck"; I've gained respect for Beck's success as a writer, but I've never met him, so what I thought when those lines scrolled up on the screen was something like "Oh, mercy, Glenn Beck shouldn't have to do that kind of thing!"

Well, coming from someone I've never endorsed in any way, it's even worse.


Dear Priscilla,

Please find below a special message from our friend Donald J. Trump. He has some important information to share with you.

[contact information for an obviously distant e-friend]

Dear Priscilla,
Are you ready to Make America Great Again?
Since I announced my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president I have soared to first place in the polls, defying the mainstream media and the GOP establishment.
I am rising in the polls because of you —and the fact that I am offering the American people an alternative to the inept career politicians who talk big but never produce results. [etc. etc. etc.]


Just in case the link above didn't work for you: Don Trump is an old friend of the Clintons...and his "calling" to enter the presidential race came from Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton remembers what Ross Perot did for him in 1992. Trump could do that for Hillary Rodham Clinton if the Republicans let him. Ick, squared. But what I'm really ranting about here is the idea that somebody out there might be so new to politics, or the Internet, or fundraising, as to be flattered by e-mail like this. Ick, cubed.


Jeffry Harrison makes it sound so easy...

For creativity...I have had the experience of working in synergy. Rarely. Good athletes, I understand, do it in team sports; I can't even imagine how that might work. One might hope that every couple could achieve synergy in sex, but apparently some never even manage that. Despite many years without synergy, I've been incredibly blessed: I wrote fiction with my brother while he was alive, wrote songs with my best friend in college, shared the odd jobs service with my adoptive sister after college, did some collaborative writing and research and tape-reading and book-midwifery, and was married to my partner in odd jobs for several years. So I have had the experience of working with other people and actually accomplishing more and better work than either they or I were doing alone, at the time. It's awesome; it truly is better than sex.

But most of the time, when people work in groups, the well documented phenomenon of "social loafing" sets in. (I learned about "social loafing" at Berea College, where it was defined in the textbook for one class, and my project group in another class furnished an example...that's another story.)

Race Issues 

Lloyd Marcus works very very hard to be objective, face the facts, and encourage others to do the same. Hard to match--although we try. I'll add this because I'm legally White: Black lives do matter. And, yes, stereotypes, about age and gender and accent and body shape and hair color and so on as well as race, do affect the way people behave toward strangers. White Americans notice this if we pay attention: almost any woman, but especially an older woman with an upper-class accent, can get away with all kinds of behavior that'd get a young man arrested if not shot. But there are things even young Black men can do, not grovelling, standing their ground in a respectable-gentleman sort of way, to avoid becoming victims of stereotypes. Lloyd Marcus does those things.


This writer sounds so young...I think it's a mistake for very young people to identify themselves in sexual terms, even when they're asexual. Sexuality is a function of hormones. Hormones change constantly. But I think it's wonderful for young people to affirm the fact that they have asexual moods, phases, or whatever. For however long they last, those times allow people in their twenties to recapture the innocence of childhood and anticipate the clearheadedness of maturity.

Real Writers invite people to events via sonnets:

For those of us who merely blog... +Sandy KS has set up a tutorial page. Although it currently seems to contain only one tutorial post, those new to Blogspot/Blogger may want to bookmark this page for future reference; it will be growing.