I apologize for the delay; one of these links (the Health link) is time-sensitive--read it in the next hour. Anyway I think I've got the blogs currently in my blog feed showing up on the right side of your screen, down below the index to entries on this blog. Though this doesn't show feeds that aren't classified as blogs, like Google +, Twitter, e-mail newsletters, Reuters, CNN, BBC, or the online editions of the Washington Post, Washington City Paper (yes, still), New York Times, Miami Herald, Guardian, or WCYB news (all of which I follow when time allows)...it should give everyone plenty to read, as well as showing what a wide range of interesting people I follow (smirk, brag, preen). Categories: Agenda 21, Armed Citizen Fights Crime, Book, Cute, Education, Fun, Gardening, Green, Health, Phenology, Politics, Travel, Writing, Wsj.com.
Say whaaat? Y'mean the U.N.-loving Obamas aren't planning to move to a high-rise apartment?
Armed Citizen Fights Crime
This story is so rich, it almost seemed worth enabling Adobe Flash to watch the video. Make the baddies turn themselves in! I love it!
Thanks to @JonahNRO for sharing this review:
Libraries were not designed to be public meeting places, social clubs, or day care centers. They were designed to store things--specifically books--that people preferred to keep for occasional reference, share, and store in a public place, rather than using once privately and throwing away. My opinion is that adding short-lived electronic gadgets to libraries is a perversion of the original idea since these things don't last long enough to justify their purchase on a public library's budget. However, adding things like paintings, sculptures, maps, musical instruments, even machines, is not a perversion. (And it wasn't a unique "vision" in Sacramento, even if it seemed like one; Takoma Park, Maryland, was doing it in the 1980s, and Caroline B. Cooney wrote about the idea in a novel in the 1990s.) As long as libraries don't get rid of useful reference books to make room for the junk, I say storing and lending non-printed objects is a cute idea.
(Hmm, can I find that novel on Amazon? Cooney wrote so many short-lived paperbacks for teenagers...but although she didn't expect them to go into reprints, within the constraints of the genres she wrote them well. I think this was the one where one of the characters, a library volunteer, runs the "Toybrary.")
Stupidity is a choice...like the choice to be a monoglot. I saw one of those bumper stickers on a car last night. "Welcome to America--now speak English or leave." Somebody had to have been laughing at the suckers who'd buy this without thinking of the large chunks of "America" where the language of choice is Spanish, Portuguese, French, or something else. In some ways having only one language is like having only one leg, but how many one-legged people would refuse to use a second leg if they were offered one free of charge? If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, or maybe Swahili, Navajo, or Albanian, please do learn English...so you can teach us...those of us who don't choose to be stupid! Anyway, for those who can read Spanish, I think I've said this before but I'll say it again. +CNN en Español is free to follow on Google + and provides daily examples of both "standard" and slangy Spanish. It also provides different stories than you'd see if you watched CNN in English. (It's even the only reliable way I know to get the "tilde" mark over the N in a Spanish word, in Blogspot, without pasting a document in from Word!) If you can read this blog you probably have Google Chrome. If you have Google Chrome you have Google +. And if you have Google + and want more news stories than your local daily paper provides, the only reason not to follow +CNN en Español is that you didn't realize you had free access to it.
This is strictly for fun...had to mention it because there may still exist a photograph of me that reminded some people of Sitting Bull. (Couldn't they even find a face of the right gender? Of course they could have, if they'd looked further; the names that went with those faces aren't famous. My point here is that some "real," "full-blood" Native Americans have relatively light, sallow, olive complexions too.) And a friend and sponsor, who is Cherokee, was once recruited to play the part of Chief Benge, the half-Scotch, half-Shawnee misfit whose toughness and "woodcraft" earned him the rank of chief among a small group of misguided Cherokee warriors. Benge was a terrorist, a serial murderer; one of my home town's first claims to fame was being the home of the hero who finally killed him. Benge was also reported to be about 5'6" or 5'7", with "sandy," light auburn hair. Why would a man who is over six feet tall, and otherwise "looks Cherokee," be identified with Benge? "Because he looks like an Indian." Specifically, although Tecumseh wasn't quite that tall, this living man's face does resemble the best-known portrait of Tecumseh.
More about the neonicotinoids, including (I was wondering) how to pronounce the full-length word. (I've seen plenty of dead birds after somebody used "Roundup" (glyphosate); apparently neonics are even worse in that way.)
I'm not sure about this one. Glyphosate has many gross-out effects but how glyphosate would have caused a rash of deformities among baby animals recently born in Argentina, when it's not had that effect in the U.S., needs more scientific exploration and explanation relative to the gross-out photos. Was an unusually high level of exposure involved? Did other factors contribute to this effect? Anyway, for those who like a gross-out...here's one.
Will Americans let Russia corner the market on corn by choosing natural breeds?
Mother Earth News shares an excerpt from a vintage book about natural pest control. I could do without the clunky six-page format, which apparently can't be fixed, but if you have ants, bedbugs, or dust mites it's worth opening all six short pages.
McDougall "webinar" on weight loss--today:
This Illinois blog is what a phenology blog ought to look like.
Politics (Election 2016)
Is Jimmy Carter senile? I don't think this news item proves that he is. I think he's always been sort of out of touch with my generation, and I think a lot of us have learned something we hadn't known about the way Americans react to being asked for money after a few years of incessant wailing about "The Economy." There is a massive, unprecedented, lack of a sense of individual responsibility for improving the local economy, or even hope that it can be improved, by judicious use of money. The Republicans arguably had more and better candidates this year than they've ever had before, but whom did actual individual Republicans choose? The one who (they mistakenly thought) wouldn't ask them for money; the one who hadn't asked them for money yet. No matter how many of the things he's done flouted their values, the #BankruptcyBillionnaire was right about one thing. If it had been documented that he'd committed a murder, some Republicans would still support the allegedly "self-funding" candidate over the ones who asked them for money. Though now, of course, having bullied the viable candidates out of the race, he is asking people for money. That's been very clear to anyone who's been watching the Republican race. But of course ex-President Carter is a Democrat, so he doesn't need to bother watching the race; that "Republicans are racists" meme may lack a basis in the real world, but it's alive and well in the heads of party-line Democrats. (Why would they bother to consider the fact that the other two top-rated Republican candidates belonged to historically underprivileged "race" groups?)
Meanwhile, from a non-White Republican:
Would I ever vote for Trump? The Portal Paper named a local sponsor who had considered it. I should probably make a fair disclosure here. During my Associated Content years my main day job was running a booth at a flea market. All the local secondhand dealers are acquainted with each other; most are friends. Mr. Gilbert, who built the Gold, Gun & Pawn Shop that still bears his name, was the highest-rolling in the crowd, the one most likely to invest $100 at a time in maintaining good business relations. No doubt all of us wish we could claim him as a relative...but apart from that, he's shown solid business sense and heroic fortitude, and I do respect his opinion. It was, in this case, based on information that changed during that week about Trump's "self-funding" campaign. Nevertheless, there is one possible (though very unlikely) scenario in which I could vote for Trump. I know I promised to do a series about Bill Clinton at ipatriot.com; I know I slacked off and posted that vent about welfare-cheating there last week; I know I want to post only one article there in a week--and I think the "how I might be persuaded to vote for Trump" piece may be more timely than the next chunk of the Clinton biography. What do you think? Let me know through Google + comments, please, Gentle Readers.
Underground community in the Australian desert...this kind of thing actually works in a desert climate.
A warning to bloggers: blogging too fast can destroy quality. Don't ask me how I know!
Some questions of style preference, here, and some good reminders to all writers. (Personally, considering how many computer programs either do the dashes automatically or don't do them at all, I do not want to see the distinction between en and em dashes--which is important in Spanish--become meaningful in English. A hyphen between a range of numbers looks fine to me. And I really don't think even the drafts of things that are going to be printed need to look as awkward as what Microsoft has imposed on the world as Blog Format style--unindented paragraphs, extra spaces between paragraphs when proper indenting would do, spaces between lines, etc. This format may be easier to read on a screen but, to my eyes, it's ugly; if Microsoft Word needs to impose "styles" on anything, it should get rid of this "style," never impose it on a document that may have been typed in a more attractive format.)
My experience was that, although the subscription was free, wsj.com uses an occasional interesting article to attract subscriptions, then fills their mailboxes with articles about online stock-market gambling. Is this too much of a price to pay for reading the rest of Naomi Schaefer Riley's op-ed about more profitable ways for people like Ward Churchill to use their time? You decide. I subscribed, put gambling-related e-mails in the Bacon Folder for a few years, and now feel that, if they're asking me to subscribe again, seeing a headline with which I agree is enough. Then again, I am not an active citizen of the Cherokee Nation. I will subscribe if any Cherokee readers want the full-length printout of this article.