Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May 31 Link Log (disgracefully delayed, sorry)

This should have gone live around 8 p.m. yesterday. It didn't, because I let myself be distracted by phone calls. Better late than never, I hope. Categories: Animals, Books, Family, Food, Health, Language, Obamacare, Psychology, Venezuela Update, Women's Issues, Writing.


Free-ranging cats do not, in my part of the world, multiply that fast. Nature allows them to reproduce at the rate they do because, without human help, relatively few kittens survive...and social cats, at least, can and do use birth control (in at least three natural ways). Sterilization is a priority only if humans (or the occasional medical issue) make it one. Nevertheless, Joi Ellis seems to have the general idea of what a Cat Sanctuary is all about. Fund hers...after you've funded mine. (To fund mine, either e-mail Saloli to get the Paypal address for this site, or send real mail to the P.O. Box, at the bottom of the screen. Or, if you're in the tiny minority of people for whom "i-frames" work, you may see a button at the top of the screen; it has worked, once, for one reader, although it does not work for me.)


Neil Gaiman's nonfiction book should be in the stores now.

Hmm. She doesn't say whether this new book is part of the Humane Cat Genocide Society propaganda machine.

This one, well, the review provides a fair warning. Would any young adults out there like to read some conceptual fiction that's not dystopian? I wrote some, years ago. If you want it, fund it.


The RFM editors have valid points here. Muslims and Christians have been at war; Muslims and Jews are at war, still; during those wars a lot of people have done things that dishonored the Holy One and discredited their faith. If you believe that the things ISIS goons are doing represent what Islam is really all about, may I remind you of Dungeon Fire and Sword? Read it, and then get back to me on how well the Christian crusaders represented what Christianity is all about.

Nevertheless, no religion, not even passivist Buddhism, has ever succeeded in immunizing humans to the temptation to seek power over other humans. The United States was founded on the premise of religious freedom to all people--including Satanists as long as they're not doing material harm to others--but it owes its success to a solid Protestant Christian majority. Even the Mormon and Catholic churches, which have strong central organizations and don't stress individual freedom, are potential threats to our religious freedom if allowed to achieve majority status. Islam is potentially a greater threat to our way of life, if allowed to achieve majority status. Muslims who accept their minority status in the U.S. are usually good neighbors. If we don't want to become a Muslim country--and we don't!--then all of us, including the Jewish, Mormon, Catholic, Neo-Pagan and Buddhist minorities who have experienced it as a mixed blessing, need to reaffirm our Protestant majority and celebrate the blessings the Protestant tradition has brought all of us. I am not saying any non-Protestant reader needs to join a Protestant church. I am saying that, even if you remain active in an organization you joined or organized out of active dissatisfaction with your grandparents' Protestant church, you should affirm the practical benefits of the Protestant influence on our culture, such as the concept of religious freedom.

(In Neo-Pagan circles there's a widespread belief that Pagans never imposed their beliefs on others. It may be widespread but it's false. Historically the majority of Pagans did not belong to successful empire-building cultures, and many Pagans did worship merely local or tribal gods, but the minority of Pagans who did belong to empire-building cultures required people to make material sacrifices to the rulers' ancestral gods.)


Teenagers...should leave home and get jobs while they still know everything. Meanwhile, a good rule for teenagers is, "It's not really about who you's about who owns the house where you are." The link below is for parents of teenagers.

For parents (and baby-sitters) of toddlers, here's another thought. I personally think that the gorilla who killed a human child got "justice," and the other gorillas needed to learn: hurt a human and die. However, a commenter shared an excellent idea--"tot reins." These are straps that snap around a toddler's chest and keep him or her in contact with an older person, especially valuable in exciting, confusing, or crowded places. One of my sisters even successfully marketed them to one of The Nephews as the youngest child's "backpack": big brothers and sisters carry schoolbooks in their "backpacks," but you, as the youngest child, get to lead a grown-up around in yours! The child's parents, aunt, and grandmother were very cool about this, following the toddler's lead whenever it was safe, so the toddler was proud of having a "backpack" up to age five. "Tot reins" are easy to make...they can be sewn, knitted, or crocheted, and I can make them to order for $15. The soft, chest-wide band of sturdy fabric would be another excellent idea for Zazzle prints!

Food (Yum)

More ways to use dandelions...basic, or with Euro-chic. (Thanks to +Barbara Radisavljevic for sharing.)

What about some Virginia-grown lamb? I'd edit out a lot of the authentic Greekness, and all of the bread and cheese, myself. Would you?


Want to get frugal curtains and also support your favorite e-friends? I have not received the funding to keep myself or this web site alive through the month of June. Technically, what I'm doing this month is ensuring that nobody who's been hoping to inherit the Cat Sanctuary can ever get it; I don't so much care what happens to it after I'm gone, as want to make sure I don't reward undesirable behavior, such as, well, acting like vultures. But this post prompted me to throw in a Zazzle link, which involves thinking outside my usual brain circuits...if you want quick, cheap, customized curtains, that's one thing I can sew up for you, fast, and you can order anything our more visual-thinking e-friends have posted on Zazzle as fabrics. My "Fix facts first, feelings follow" print fabric was just an idea that flitted through my mind when I was exploring the site, although I wouldn't mind seeing it in one of +Marsha Cooper 's quilts...but seriously, I could make curtains from any image MC cares to share that way. Or one of +Ruth Cox 's, or +Jasmine Ann Marie 's, or any of yours. Zazzle pays a higher commission to the Zazzle Affiliate who shares a link to someone else's stuff than to the one who originally downloaded the image, so if you want to support another Zazzler more than you do me, I'd suggest reminding those Zazzlers to publicize each other's work too. (Yes, that's a postcard; it could be printed, life-size or postcard-size, in repeating motifs or just one motif in one place, on a curtain.)

Health News 

Hypothyroidism is often a symptom of gluten intolerance. So why did Pfizer add wheat gluten to its thyroid supplement drug? (Biased web site alert, but this misjudgment is the kind of thing that provokes accusations.) This was cruel. I inherited Dad's hyperthyroid genes (although it works through the same physical quirk that enabled Mother's hypothyroidism) so I might not have known about this without the Internet, but...

So cruel that I want to fight back. This book worked for my hypothyroid mother even before she went gluten-free. The techniques described here are for anybody who wants to boost thyroid function, whether their goal is to reduce the amount of medication they need, to get through midlife without going on thyroid supplements, to control weight, or to be annoyingly perky and cheerful without necessarily even drinking coffee. It won't work for everybody, but it may help some of the people who have to change or drop their meds. The more this book can hurt Pfizer, the better, heh-heh.


70 virgins? 72 raisins? It's symbolic language anyway. Does it matter whether the words were spoken by, and to, men who were starving for food, for sex, or both? Though I still like the old joke where the terrorist goes to the afterlife and is surprised to find himself surrounded by unfriendly-looking men, and gets told blandly, "There was a translation error. This is not Heaven, but you've been assigned to the custody of 70 Virginians."


Everybody needs an "Uncle Tim":


Can you really care about more than 150 people? I mean, really. Not just boggle at the size of numbers, but, say, if you belong to an extended family the size of mine, care about a first cousin you've not seen often in the same way you care about your parents, spouse, children, or best friend. You don't. I don't. I can tell myself, "Tracy is my first cousin," if it suddenly becomes relevant, and I listen...but most of the time I don't think about Tracy much.

(And, in business dealings? Because I'm a Christian and a Real Virginia Lady, if I hand the cashier $30 to pay for $22 worth of groceries, and s/he hands me $68 in change--enough to jeopardize his/her job--under normal circumstances I do tell myself, "This is not just a corporation, this is a person who probably has bills to pay." Normal circumstances, of course, being that the cashier has kept his/her mind on the job while doing it and said "Thank you, Ma'am" when s/he reached for the cash. If the cashier tried to chatter at me, resented my pointedly withholding eye contact and watching the cash register, and snarled "Have a nice day, honey," not only am I keeping the extra cash, I'm likely to gloat about it. If you're not content to be part of the crowd in the background, it's possible to force me to notice you as an enemy.)

Venezuela Update

People in the United States do care about Venezuela, but...if I were in Florida I'd want to be very sure the Venezuelan "refugees" had learned their lesson. The late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn behaved well in the U.S. though.

Women's Issues 

This news item posted on the Blaze is too graphically violent (and inflammatory) for this site. You've been warned.


Megadittos to +Lyn Lomasi :

About this one...the thing is, although search engines love big splashy pictures, some readers will not be able to visit your site if it's full of big splashy pictures. Images are memory hogs. I know I've promised that, if I live long enough, this blog will one day become two blogs in different formats, one with at least one affiliate marketing image link on every page (for U.S. readers who can use those links) and one that'll be image-free (for foreign readers, and also for readers using slower or smaller computers). It's not happened yet, but it's a goal.

Here are some interesting thoughts on blogging. Readers differ; I disagree with this one on several points:

(1) Wordpress is a nasty site...they try to "manage" comments for users, not by filtering for obnoxious words or links, but by stalking readers across the Internet and pressuring readers to have Wordpress accounts. I would encourage bloggers not to use Wordpress--unless of course a Wordpress-hosted site, e.g. Blogjob, is paying you. And even then, look at the statistics on what Blogjob's done for my readership!

(2) Blogspot provided a slider for your convenience, Gentle Readers. You can find anything in chronological order on the right side of the screen; below that, you can now check up on the latest posts in my blog feed and perhaps beat me to the best links. If your blog doesn't have slider and index features, it should.

(3) But please resist the temptation to make your opening page a big glossy picture album with separate links to open each actual post. It looks messy to me if it does open, and from many computers I use it will not open. Always remember that some readers, even if they like your pictures, need at least part of your site or one of your sites to be image-free.

(4) Please use the comment section! That's what I installed Disqus for! I've mentioned this before--my introduction to the blogsphere, and my role model for blogging, was the Ozarque blog, which was really a forum to which other people almost always contributed more than Ozarque did, herself, for that day. If you printed it out, there'd be--in the frugal format I use--typically a half-page blog post by Ozarque and anywhere from three to fifty pages of comments and links. She learned that technique from the great but mostly retired Making Light blog, and they've passed it on to Scott Adams' blog now. It's what makes a blog better, Gentle Readers. No matter how gifted writers are, all by ourselves, or how excellent our books are/were, a blog is by nature different from books--more interactive, more guided by readers' interests and backgrounds. A book is what Adams or Elgin or whoever, and some publishing house's editor, thought you might want to read. A blog is, or should be, what you want to read; your chance to pick (and thereby stimulate) our brains. At a blog you're part of the inspiration. And you also get to know people and find other bloggers and writers to inspire. Why waste it?

How embarrassing...either this web site is still too little-bitty to attract this kind of issues, or Saloli's spam filter--admittedly we set up the tightest security setting for our Message Squirrel!--has successfully kept the undesirable offers away. Anyway, for those who do get this kind of offers in their e-mail...

Here's what Cyn was talking about...I've not bothered to "add rel nofollow attribute" before. Should I?