Long one today, with links from the blog feed as well as the e-mail; tomorrow I may even get to Google + (hello, +Sandy KS and +Andria Perry and all). Categories: Animals, Art, Disaster, Education, Faith, Gardening, Nature, Obit, Poetry, Politics, Psychology, Sports, Writing, Zazzle.
It's Tortie Tuesday and the human of Mudpie, an especially cute "tortoise-shell" cat, reviews some cat treats that are overpriced because they're being marketed to support a wild animal sanctuary.
Penguins...the real-life inspirations for Opus, even though he wasn't drawn to look like a real penguin:
Nice drawings by a teen artist...also some words of wisdom about asexuality. (Many people my age have grandchildren Emily's age, and if I had grandchildren I'd pray for them to be asexual up to age 25.)
For those of us whose talent runs to inking in other people's drawings...
Sorry, Petomane, despite the resemblance to a funny movie in the pictures, the actual news story is not funny.
Students and parents, here's another chance to tell the Department of Education you don't want them shoving the "Common Core" boondoggle through your state's "back door." (First-time readers, Common Core is a scheme for enforcing minimal educational standards on states that may have had higher standards by using more complicated math materials and more expensive computer gadgets. If your state has said no to it, your state had good reasons.)
Thanks to The Vagabond Tabby for sharing this link, which picks up on a bit of history mentioned here yesterday: Anne Boleyn, poster girl for easy divorce, was one of Britain's most hated royal figures of all time, mostly just because she was a homewrecker, but also because she "looked like a witch." There are at least three ways to look like a witch:
1. In countries with high levels of inbreeding and ignorance, look like an outsider, a different physical type. Anne Boleyn was considered pretty, but suspiciously "sallow and swarthy," by the British. She was also a polydactyl--a genetic quirk that was never common even in Africa, and extremely rare in the rest of the world. Other physical quirks, like scars, birthmarks, and warts, were also sometimes pointed out as "witch marks" when people wanted to kill or banish unpopular property owners in medieval Europe. While her extra finger was what Anne's enemies identified as her "witch mark," her long black hair, which she had in common with a distrusted minority of Welsh Pagans and Gypsies in Britain, became a standard feature for caricatures of witches ever afterward. In Africa, pale coloring or whitened skin were identified with the kind of "witches" who were blamed when bad things happened...and Reuters has reported that occasionally, in Tanzania, they still are. (I should have a bonus link for the Reuters story I have in mind; I've misplaced it.)
2. In fantasy fiction (Xanth probably being the best known example), belong to a truly alien species that may or may not be able to pass as human or crossbreed with humans. Since it's fantasy fiction, the author sets the limits for how improbable witches can look or their powers can be.
3. In our world, be one of a community of people who are expressing rebellion against mainstream religious teachings by trying to reclaim/reconstruct a lost Pagan religious tradition. The English word "witch" derives from a lost goddess name, Wicca; some living people have chosen that specific name for their concept of God, or "that which is sacred" as they understand It, to express how different their understanding is from what they were taught about God. They can be any type of human whatsoever.
Wasn't that enough of an interfaith message for one day? Apparently not. Avaaz just sent this link around. If we have any Muslim readers, and I'm sure some of our hundreds of readers in Russia and Turkey are Muslims, youall need to sign this petition. I signed it, but I'm a Christian, so some might want to discard my opinion. Muslims have a better right to say that the "honour killings" are evidently ineffectual and are a disgrace to Islam worldwide.
Video gamers and their relatives need to see this:
And here's one for memoirists:
Bottle gardening for the tiny house...David's Garden is not Dave's Garden:
Lovely wildflower picture:
Sad news: e-friend Tim LaHaye has left us behind. He always looked so "young" and wrote so "old"...I knew he was a lot older than the photos he chose to share, but I had no idea he was all that close to the age of Billy Graham!
Here's an interview with a poet:
...and here's where to click if you'd like to participate in her next live phone interview:
Cliff Kincaid's review of Dinesh D'Souza's movie is at least equally hard on both sides. Is it fair to label the Democrats as having "racist roots" because some well-known racists used to be Democrats? It's exactly as fair as labelling the Tea Party movement as "racist" because supposedly some racists tried to get in on the movement, early on. Such a big, odd lot of Americans agreed that we're Taxed Enough Already that I don't doubt that there were racist Tea Parties, but I personally haven't found one...and I have connected with Tea Parties that were organized by members of ethnic minority groups. Anyway, this link is worth checking out if anybody tries to dredge up the stupid old "Tea Party = racist" meme...
...or if you hear much more of the word "dark" being used as a smear during an election contest among a bunch of, er um, natural blue-eyed blonds. I expect their campaign staffs look more like America, as will the winner's cabinet...but yes, this is a rotten election that does happen to be characterized by an unusually high level of pallor.
Speaking of minority/multiracial Tea Parties...I will admit that the concept of mutual submissiveness, discussed here in Lloyd Marcus's anniversary post, brings back fond memories. (My husband was the coffee maker. I was the masseuse who set up the foot bath beside the front door. One person's "I would never do that even for someone I love" is another person's "I would do that as a job, much less for someone I love," but if you can't work out a trade-off for these things, why even think about getting married?!)
There's a meme with a little more of a toehold on reality--"fiscal conservative = stingy, ungenerous, etc." See how easily Jim Babka debunks that one!
Breitbart's Joel Pollak has written a whole book debunking the "lefties = nice guys" meme, and their link goes directly to Amazon, so here's our Amazon photo link du jour:
Politics (Election 2016)
We knew this had to happen...some clueless student aide, or mindless computer program, just sent the penniless widow known as Priscilla King an e-mail appeal for money for deep-pocketed Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hah. Hah. Hah. At least they included a link some may consider historic:
Whereas at least this election song promises, for those who choose to listen to it, to be short:
Dave Barry volunteers to endure another convention. Better him than me.
Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing this list of "universal human needs." My comment at ysabetwordsmith.com is that the authors probably included solitude under "space," but I'd include it right at the top, under "Health."
Michael Jordan steps out of retirement to share the wisdom of his years. (Warning to European readers: The Blaze is a very U.S.-specific site with high political content and masses of ad cookies. It may not even open in some countries. It's an annoying site in the U.S. too; those of us who read it put up with the annoyance for the news coverage. The Huffington Post is similar.)
If you use Twitter to promote your business, do you use Twitter Analytics?
In honor of the cafe, here's a Zazzle coffee mug:
In the spirit of which, I suppose: "Fix facts first. Feelings follow. Coffee may help."