Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My niece Natalie and my nephew Gavin love to draw and paint. Not surprising, since everyone in my immediate family is artistically inclined. (Many in the extended family too) Gavin has a penchant for drawing little houses in a triangular shape, with windows floating in the air around the house. He's also gotten into drawing multiple versions of his family--- Mom, Dad, Zack, Gavin, Natalie, etc. Usually the 3 cats are not listed. Natalie seems to enjoy more color in her paintings. She seems to be a natural in combining striking colors. My sister takes their drawings very seriously and has a gallery of their framed works.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
1. American Experience: The Assassination of President Lincoln
2. Masterpiece Contemporary: Collision Pt. 1 &2.
3. Secrets of the Dead: The Airmen and the Headhunters
4. Secrets of the Dead: The Hunt for Nazi Scientists
5. Nova: Alien From Earth
I suppose you can see that I have some special interests?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
My dastardly fellow blogger and friend J.D. will be pleased to know that an 1827 volume of Edgar Allen Poe's first book sold for 662,500 dollars last week. A collection of poems that Poe compiled at age 18, it's entitled: "Tamerlane and Other Poems." At the time Poe only published 50 copies. Apparently, there are only 12 first editions left in the big wide world.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
At the turn of the century Cushman began manufacturing more substantial furniture. For example, they made 'smokers,' which were stands to store smoking supplies, and the Shynezy chair, which had a storage space for shoe shining supplies. Another piece was the 'Betumal' 'Beat em all" telephone stand, which I acquired from my friend the other day. This unique piece has a hinged stool which fits under the small stand when not in use, and has a glass top inset. I would surmise my telephone stand was made between 1911 & 1913. Underneath the table there's a label that says: "H.T. Cushman. #207."
H.T. Cushman Manufacturing Co. was in business until 1980, and was largely family owned and operated.
MK enjoying the chair.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
We were also talking about Carol King the other night, while singing karaoke. She turned Maurice Sendak's story into a great song.
In January it's so nice
While slipping on the sliding ice
To sip hot chicken soup with rice
Sipping once, sipping twice
Sipping chicken soup with rice
In February it will be
My snowman's anniversary
With cake for him and soup for me!
Happy once, happy twice
Happy chicken soup with rice
In March the wind blows down the door
And spills my soup upon the floor
It laps it up and roars for more
Blowing once, blowing twice
Blowing chicken soup with rice
In April I will go away
To far off Spain or old Bombay
And dream about hot soup all day
Oh, my, oh, once, oh, my, oh, twice
Oh, my, oh, chicken soup with rice
In May I truly think it best
To be a robin lightly dressed
Concocting soup inside my nest
Mix it once, mix it twice
Mix that chicken soup with rice
In June I saw a charming group
Of roses all begin to droop
I pepped them up with chicken soup!
Sprinkle once, sprinkle twice
Sprinkle chicken soup with rice
In July I'll take a peep
Into the cool and fishy deep
Where chicken soup is selling cheap
Selling once, selling twice
Selling chicken soup with rice
In August it will be so hot
I will become a cooking pot
Cooking soup of course-why not?
Cooking once, cooking twice
Cooking chicken soup with rice
In September, for a while
I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soup-y Nile
Paddle once, paddle twice
Paddle chicken soup with rice
In October I'll be host
To witches, goblins and a ghost
I'll serve them chicken soup on toast
Whoopy once, whoopy twice
Whoopy chicken soup with rice
In November's gusty gale
I will flop my flippy tail
And spout hot soup-I'll be a whale!
Spouting once, spouting twice
Spouting chicken soup with rice
In December I will be
A baubled, bangled Christmas tree
With soup bowls draped all over me
Merry once, merry twice
Merry chicken soup with rice
I told you once, I told you twice
All seasons of the year are nice
For eating chicken soup with rice!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Gardner's theory expanded human intelligence to include other areas such as artistic, kinesthetic, and musical. Of course these areas are more difficult to test, but exist as strengths and weaknesses in all of us. For example, many of the students I work with have linguistic weaknesses, and reading and learning problems, but have have superb artistic, musical, kinesthetic, or interpersonal skills. Here are the various aspects of Multiple Intelligences, according to the BBC Science & Nature Homepage.
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Other Logical-Mathematical Thinkers include
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Other Linguistic Thinkers include
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Other Interpersonal thinkers include
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Other Intrapersonal thinkers include
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Other Naturalist thinkers include
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Other Existential Thinkers include
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Other Musical Thinkers include
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Other Spatial Thinkers include
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Other Kinesthetic Thinkers include
I took the "What Kind of Thinker Are You?" quiz to find out which multiple intelligence is my strength. Here is the result.
You are an Intrapersonal thinker
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Other Intrapersonal thinkers include
Sunday, November 8, 2009
When the state uses religious beliefs to govern, tyranny ensues. Think of Queen "Bloody" Mary in England in the late 1500's. When she became the Catholic queen, hundreds of Protestants were burned at the stake and persecuted. The opposite occurred when her sister, Elizabeth I, became queen. Throughout history, very few positive examples of a church dominated state can be found, in which certain minorities or groups are not oppressed or even murdered. Think of the Inquisition and the Crusades.
Along with religious belief comes deeply held moral thoughts about right and wrong, philosophical beliefs about the origin of life, and beliefs about how to conduct one's life. (By the way, nonreligious people have these ideals too!) I am passionately in support of an individual's right to decide what those religious beliefs might be. However, at the same time one person's religious fervor should never infringe on another person's access to state and federal institutions.
Should a religious majority be able to vote to strip away civil privileges from a minority? Any American's answer should be a resounding no way! However, this is exactly what just occurred in Maine last week, and has occurred in 30 other states. The voters of Maine repealed a bill that allowed gay people to get married legally in their the state. This law was passed by the Maine state legislature in the spring of 2009. The vote to repeal gay marriage passed by a 53% to 43% margin. When polled later, the majority of folks who voted to repeal gay marriage rights cited religious reasons for their vote.
Marriage is indeed an 'institution' associated with religious rites, but that is a matter of choice. Many people do not marry in a church, nor do they have to. Yet, along with marriage comes many civil benefits from the state and the government. Throughout history, this may not have been the case. At one time marriage was just recognized by one's chosen church (in the 17th and 18th centuries). Today, however, there are over 500 civil benefits, rights, and privileges associated with marrying a spouse. The solution is either to allow all people access to state benefits, or have marriage only be a church rite with no civil associations.
Would heterosexual married folks be willing to give up all the state and federal associated with their marriage? Hardly likely. Some people scoff and belittle the importance of these rights, and say, "Well, some of those 'rights' are burdens too! Gay people are lucky not to bother with them!" Still, I do not see any heterosexual couples lining up to ask the state to strip away their 'burdensome' property, tax, legal, medical, and child-care privileges once they marry. Of course people wish to keep these privileges. How many widows are begging the government to stop paying them their deceased husband's social security benefits!
It is the purpose of the state and federal courts and legislatures to act as neutral and non-religious parties to interpret the state and federal constitutions, and to make laws to protect the rights of all-- minority or majority. The Maine legislature did its just job by granting a minority group equal access to an institution that provides civil and federal benefits to its citizens. Civil rights issues should not be subjected to the popular vote. In fact, all throughout American history most civil rights advances have been the result of court or legislative rulings. In most cases, the court has deemed a group's lack of equal access to certain state and federal institutions (schools, universities, voting, marriage) unconstitutional. If women's rights, property and voting rights for people of color, and equal access to schools and public facilities for minorities had been put to the popular vote, America would still be in the Dark Ages regarding civil rights.
It may be okay for the majority to rule in cases of trash collection, electing representatives, raising taxes, or changing the name of the state, but the popular vote should not determine citizen's access to state and federal benefits. To me, this is a gross injustice. It is especially ironic when people (usually the majority) vote to take away a right from others, that they themselves possess and enjoy! How pompous and self-righteous!
The fact that the United States is a 'Christian' nation is simply a matter of historical consequence. For the sake of example, how would Maine voters feel if the tables were turned? What if Maine suddenly became dominated by an influx of Buddhists? Would the people mind if yoga and meditation practices were instituted in all schools? Would the people mind if the Buddhist majority voted that the state would not recognize any marriage conducted in a Christian church? Of course these propositions seem absurd, yet this is exactly what has occurred in many states.
We are left with the words of the great Thomas Jefferson, who is quoted as writing: "though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." Amen sister!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Ardi, a 3.5 foot female Ardipithecus that walked on two feet and lived 4.4 million years ago, predates Lucy by a million years. Some revelations about Ardi are that she did walk on two feet, and yet had feet which could also grip tree limbs. This makes bipedalism much earlier for hominids than thought. For whatever reason, bipedalism must have had a tremendous evolutionary advantage for primates that evolved into humans, since it is a poor way to amble. Scientists are theorizing that bipedalism freed the hands for carrying food. (I thought also perhaps for carrying infants) An upright position then paved the way for other advantages such as social interaction, tool use, and speech, and was reinforced.
Though I don't quite understand, Ardi also separates humans from the ape and gorilla branch more than once thought. Although we come from the same root as apes and gorillas, I guess the first hominid creatures developed on the hominid branch, not on the same branch as the gorillas and apes. They evolved separately. Still, we share 99.9% of the same genetic material as our primate friends. Another revelation is that Ardi has small teeth, unlike chimpanzees.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
It's difficult to imagine that once upon a time I spent a week in Montana. It's taken me a long time to upload these photos. One, I did lose the USB connector for my camera, but two, I think I did have that 'can't go back there again' feeling. It was a beautiful experience for an outdoor lover. Hard to imagine. Here's our first day hike at Glacier National Park. I've also included our travel diary entries for that day.
August 22, 2009 Today was an incredible day. This park is amazing! We stayed in West Glacier the first night. Accommodations were rustic but we slept. Then we drove to Apgar Village and did some shopping and got a map. We parked at the Avalanche trail head then entered the trail of the cedars. It was very similar to the trees we saw in Olympia National Park, but smaller. We continued on to Avalanche Lake. The trail was a little climbing of 2 miles. We got to the lake and it was amazing! We stayed there a couple of hours, ate lunch, took pictures, walked around. The water was that glacial turquoise in parts. I found an injured bat and tried to help, but he was doomed with a clipped wing. What fascinating little creatures! He was so small and had this tiny dog-like face and teeth! We also saw a mink! CT
Indescribable beauty..... Spectacular views open up at every turn. Everything is big and spread out and high up. The water is melted ice but refreshing on the hands and feet. I'm out of shape but just did 4 miles of hiking. Loved every minute of it. The boat ride on Lake McDonald was relaxing and I'm hoping to get some color from the brilliant sun. A million stars shown down tonight! Hoping to see some more wildlife before the week is out. The mink was so adorable! MK
Monday, October 12, 2009
Below is Roberta Flack singing "Killing Me Softly" in the early 1970's. (Unfortunately I can't tell if this studio footage is live, or matched with a recorded version of the song) The second video is 'The Fugees'" version, with Roberta Flack, 39 years later, joining them on stage.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The shroud is a long (14 ft.) linen cloth with a ghostly 3D image of the body and face of a man (both back side and front) that looks a lot like our depiction of Jesus, and a man that has been crucified. To make matters more convincing, there is also blood caked on the cloth, and the image is not painted on.
In 1988 scientists did carbon testing on the shroud, and dated it to the Middle Ages (1260-1390). At this point I put the shroud out of my mind, and deemed it a medieval forgery. During the 1300's, Europe was rife with the display of religious relics and icons, in order to encourage pilgrimages and raise money for the church. In addition, the provenance, or historical record of the piece, was dated to the 1350's.
Recently some scientists challenged the accuracy of the earlier carbon dating. Burns on the shroud, which we know occurred in the Middle Ages and were fixed by nuns with patches of cloth, may have affected the outcome of the carbon testing. Most importantly, no one had yet to duplicate or explain how the image was created. It was intriguing to wonder: "How could people from medieval times have such sophisticated methods that even modern scientists can't explain?"
Last week an article appeared, reporting that an Italian scientist Luigi Garlaschelli had duplicated the image by rubbing pigment on a model with a mask, then baking the pigment off (very simplified version). This technique leaves a faint stain similar to the shroud image. Others scientists have now successfully used other methods, that have also produced eerie images.
I must say that I'm slightly disappointed, but bow down to the God of science. One thing that always bothered me about the shroud was that Jesus looked exactly like Jesus. We know in reality the real Jesus living in the Middle East at the time probably would have been short, with an olive complexion, and curly dark hair. This is what always made me suspicious that the shroud was of European origin.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I should be paired with the right, fairly high maintenance person. Only one friend called me high maintenance once, in reference to my 'emotional intensity.'
Click on the image to take the quiz yourself.
Second to the bible, Anne Frank's diary is the most translated document in history. When I went to Anne Frank's hiding place in Amsterdam, I was amazed at all the translated versions of her story, which the museum had on hand.
I hate that her father originally censored parts of her diary, deeming them improper. Just like an authoritative middle-aged man to squelch out a young woman's budding sexuality. At the same time, kudos to Otto for recognizing the miracle of his daughter's words, and sharing them with the world. Fortunately the full version of her diary is now available.
Anne Frank beat out Hilter's "Mein Kampf" by millions of copies. What utter irony. Who wants to listen to the rants and ravings of that old black heart? The man that murdered her. What a contrast between beauty and evil--- Anne Frank and Hilter.
Some moving pictures of Anne Frank have been released on the internet. Would she ever dream these images of her would be available worldwide in such a format, 60 years later? I think she would have been delighted.
I have seen these images before. Anne is up on the balcony watching a neighbor's wedding, a year or so before her family is forced into hiding. In the film, you catch a little of her spirited personality. Click on link.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Just curious. This list compiles the unsung heroes of the World Book of Records.
1. 10TH LARGEST US CITY
San Jose, Ca. population 939,000 as of 7/1/2007
2. 10TH TALLEST US MOUNTAIN
Mount Bear, Alaska 14,831 ft.
3. 10TH TALLEST ANIMAL
Percheron Draft Horse 7ft.
4. 10th HEAVIEST ANIMAL
Bison 1,764 lbs.
5. 10th LARGEST METRO AREA IN THE WORLD
Shanghai, China 16,650,000
6. 10TH OLDEST PERSON TO LIVE EVER
Kamato Hungo, Japan 116 years, 45 days
7. 10TH OLDEST PERSON NOW LIVING
Eunice Sanborn, Texas, US 113 years, 68 days born in 1896
8. 10TH TALLEST MAN EVER
John F. Carroll 8ft. 0 in.
9. 10TH DEEPEST OCEAN OR SEA
Japan Sea 12,276 ft. deep
10. 10TH SMARTEST PERSON LIVING
Judith Polgar Chess Champion IQ 170
Friday, September 25, 2009
A few sightings have occurred in the Northeast. In fact, my friend J.D.'s Mom is pretty sure she saw a puma meandering in the hills of NH. While others may have thought she was going "off the deep end," she was later vindicated by an article in a nearby newspaper confirming that other folks had seen a mountain lion in the area. Naturalists, however, do not think there's a viable population of mountain lions in New England. The cats are likely escaped pets.
________________________________________National Geographic Data