Anthony Weiner’s Good Line on a Bad Day

30 07 2010

Just heard him on Hardball, telling Chuck Todd that Democrats too often “bring library books to a knife fight” lol . . . fits me too.

Except the GOP is loud and proud on fighting with guns, not knives, hmmm. . .





When Your Daugh- um, Your Olive Oil Isn’t Like a Virgin

25 07 2010

Ruminations of Olive Oil by Favorite Daughter (when she was 16 going on 17) —

I never really understood the concept of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to begin with. Is it made from olives that aren’t allowed to touch other olives? Are they modestly shielded from life’s elements by tarps?

And Extra Extra Virgin Olives – what on earth does that entail?

Or does the “virgin” refer to the oil itself? Has it never been mixed with another oil, commingling and developing new, brassy flavors? I certainly hope not, one takes for granted when one buys olive oil that it is, in fact, olive oil, and not some other hybrid. But then it seems that they shouldn’t have to bellow about its virginity so explicitly.

. . .It’s not just olive oil – women, too, now, are expected to come with a label that reads Extra Extra Virgin.

Much of society appears to have decided – rather abruptly, if you ask me – that it is not enough to wait for a person, time, and place that connote “right” and “safe” before you have sex for the first time. . .

I could say a lot of things about the abstinence program. I could say that repression, sexual or otherwise, isn’t healthy. (See this movie to learn how it leads to broken families, insanity, and arguably the Great Depression.)

I could say that it makes people ashamed of what’s perfectly natural, and thus leads to self-loathing.

But I think I’m going to focus mainly on how creepy it is. . .

(She was indeed a devout Disney Princess disciple growing up.)

Now comes news in the year 2010, finding Favorite Daughter a senior in college, age 20 and a student of power of story religious and not, are you ready to face facts? Your actual, literal (not metaphorical) olive oil may be acting all coy and innocent, telling you what it thinks you want to hear. But it’s lying!

A new study from the University of California- Davis claims more than two-thirds of random samples of imported so-called extra-virgin olive oil don’t make the grade. . .

“It’s become a very sophisticated practice, the adulteration of olive oil throughout the world,” Shoemaker says. He says the lab can prove defects, degradation and dilution in olive oil beyond what human taste buds can figure out.

Suppose two-thirds of supposed teenaged virgins are lying to us, too. And some of those who AREN’T lying, don’t think it’s any of your business anyway. Now what? Nobody much listens to Favorite Daughter even when Read the rest of this entry »





Can a Dog Receive Communion or Would You Complain? WWJD?

23 07 2010

“[I]n my opinion, Christ would have thought it was neat. It was just being human. And it made everyone smile.”

We’ve talked before about potential human life, about animals and even robots, how in the end the way we treat any of those is all about OUR humanity, not theirs. Not to mention how we treat each other, as enemy rivals or extended family and friends . . .
Read the rest of this entry »





New Fodder for Our “Choose a New Religion” Essays!

21 07 2010

Remember COD’s rollicking Thinking Parent essay prompts at the Evolved Homeschooler wiki?

If you had to pick a new religion, which one would it be, and why? You can not pick any religion that you have been part of in your past, and you can not pick none of the above. You can be as serious or as fanciful about this as you want.”

JJ responded first with It’s not just a religion, it’s an adventure and then Doctor JJ’s religion-choosing up in the air while Nance wrote Thinking about choosing my religion, and a good time was had by all. (Good as in fun, not necessarily good as the opposite of evil.)

But now I demand a recount, er, rewrite, retrial? — that’s it, I appeal for a retrial by reason and faith, to revisit my options and consider new evidence from Killing the Buddha, a revolutionary new choice rich in both science and story, that might fit my theory of the case perfectly: I coulda been a possibilian! Heck, I may convert before the end of this post . . .

Welcome to the world of “possibilian” neuroscientist-writer David Eagleman, to life in the space between what-is and what-if, between the facts we think we know and the fictions that illuminate what we don’t know.

Eagleman-the-scientist would love to rev up his high-tech neuroimaging machines to answer the enduring questions about the brain and the mind, the body and the soul. But Eagleman-the-writer knows that those machines aren’t going to answer those questions.

Eagleman rejects not only conventional religion but also the labels of agnostic and atheist. In their place, he Read the rest of this entry »





What America Needs to Be Free and Fit, Is Diverging and Then CON-verging:

16 07 2010

Cognitive science that says creativity is diverging and then CONverging:

“There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result). . .

All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive
to the ideas of others. . .

Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process. . . .

The new view is that creativity is part of normal brain function. Some
scholars go further, arguing that lack of creativity–not having loads of it–is the real risk factor. In his research, Read the rest of this entry »





Bipartisan Anger: Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

12 07 2010

(Comparing Britain’s fall from supremacy on the world stage, to America’s now)

“. . .America in 2010 hasn’t reached the self-deprecating Monty Python stage yet, but it’s not much of a stretch to see in Glenn Beck’s tirades, Lou Dobbs’s anti-immigrant screeds, and Sarah Palin’s faux nostalgia for the sunshine days, the nastiness and anger. . .
The offsets that used to restrict rage’s reach have started to break down; the walls sealing the anger off to a specific community or locale, or around a specific issue, have started to crumble. As a result, rage is becoming an ideology unto itself.”

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
July 11, 2010
Look Ahead in Anger:
Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

By Sasha Abramsky





Power of Story Isn’t In Red v Blue Anymore?

11 07 2010

“The sell-by date on ‘right vs. left’ has definitely expired.”





Celebrate 50 Years Full of Learning From “To Kill a Mockingbird”

7 07 2010

“It’s about race, it’s about prejudice, it’s about childhood, it’s about parenting, it’s about love, it’s about loneliness — there’s something for everyone,” Murphy says.

To Kill a Mockingbird didn’t change everyone’s mind, but it did open some. And it made an impression on many young people who, like Scout, were trying to get a grip on right and wrong in a world that is not always fair.

Harper Lee’s powerful power of story has been blogged at Snook through the years:

Happy Birthday Harper Lee

Choose Nine Books for Your Gift Box

Hey Mr. Cunningham a Must_Read at Meming of Life

JJ Makes Another Book Meme Her Own

Number Six : “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, because that was Favorite Daughter’s first love affair with a book as above, AND because Harper Lee supports homeschoolers, and she explicitly wrote Scout as almost accidentally learning to read well at home, which pissed off her officious second-grade teacher, AND also because it’s at least one impeccable cultural choice Read the rest of this entry »





How Does War Profiteering Smell By Another Name?

6 07 2010

UPDATE on accountability for thee but not for me, a la Cheney family values:

Harry Whittington saved the vest not just as a souvenir but as a warning. He shows it to friends, and to the children of friends, to illustrate the dangers of firearms. “It’s an education for them,” he says.

*************

Arianna Huffington:

There are two other words for what Halliburton did besides fraud: war profiteering. When “hundreds of millions of dollars” just disappear, while teachers and policemen are getting laid off, perhaps it’s time for a two-fisted investigation like the one Sen. Harry Truman spearheaded during World War II.

. . .In the end, this is not about me, or Liz Cheney, or even Halliburton. It’s about our accountability double standard. It’s actually not that complex, nor is it ambiguous. It’s plainly obvious and the American people know it.

And the refusal of our political and media leaders to acknowledge it is contributing to the widespread anger and cynicism sweeping the country right now.