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Showing posts from November, 2008

Got Art?

Art historian Lee Sandstead has his own show on the Travel Channel called Art Attack . You can see bits of the upcoming shows there as well. Its season starts tomorrow morning, Sunday, November 30 at 9am. Here is an interview with Lee, not about the show, but about his passion about art and artists. In the show, he's more like the Billy Mays of the art world, but I guess he can't help himself. Art is cool.

New World Peanuts

Am I the only one who has never seen the Peanuts version of the Voyage of the Mayflower? It was on last night after the 1973 Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. Apparently, it was part of a series called This is America that ran between 1988 and 1989. Somehow, I missed the entire series. I don't know if it's the presence of the adults, or the Peanuts Gang in semi-historical clothing, but I found it slightly disconcerting. Not nearly as good as Schoolhouse Rock, but worth a watch.

Jane and Baseball

Recently, I was introduced to a blog for Jane Austen fans . I stopped by and had to share this hilarious tidbit (beginning at 1:50) from Stephen Colbert. This is good stuff, so I've added the blog to my sidebar. Thanks, Fiddler .

Random Six

Really, I’m nothing if not compliant. Okay, so I’m not usually compliant at all. In fact, what is the opposite of compliant? Pain in the ass? Yes, that’ll do. Normally, I’m a pain in the ass, but as the request from AmyMossoff is just one of the little things , I figured I’d give it another shot. Here are the rules: 1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on your blog. 3. Write 6 random things about yourself. 4. Tag 6-ish people at the end of your post. 5. Let each person know he/she has been tagged. 6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. Numbers 1. and 2. are taken care of above. 3. 1) My left eye is tremendously far-sighted with a serious astigmatism. My right eye is slightly near-sighted. This means that when I wear my glasses my left eye appears quite a bit larger and my right eye appears somewhat smaller than they really are. Yup. Just call me googly-eyes. Don’t really. I won’t respond. 2) My pre-teen alias was Jacqui NestlĂ©. 3) I hold my pen as if I h

Thought for the Day

(courtesy of Word a Day) "The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873)

A Popular Oxymoron

"I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. "Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. "T

Inherit the Wind

I had the distinct pleasure of watching a fabulous local production of Inherit the Wind this weekend. Despite my love for all things Spencer Tracy (and Katharine Hepburn), I had never seen the movie. Here for your viewing pleasure is Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond, the fictionalized Clarence Darrow role of the Scopes "Monkey" Trial . As the authors of the 1955 play, Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee said, "It might have been yesterday. It could be tomorrow".

Things I Have Recently Discovered to be Lost

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My quintessentially-fall orange scarf, My favorite black velvet dress, My Precious Metal Clay, Our Nancy Drew 1930’s/ 1940’s DVD collection. I wore the scarf early in the month of October, but couldn't find it toward the end. It's bright, but small, and could have easily been misplaced within the house. It may show up yet (passive, I know, but I've looked!), but it runs the risks of having been worn outside the house into the big, big world. The PMC was left in a box on my desk in the kitchen for about a year because I didn’t know what the heck to do with it. I finally cleaned off my desk and it is nowhere to be found. I’m guessing that we lent out the DVD’s, so I’ll do some asking around but, seriously – how does one lose a dress? Picture this: You own two expensive velvet dresses – synthetic velvet, but they’re expensive nonetheless. You really like those velvet dresses. But you don’t like the expense and effort of getting the velvet dresses dry-cleaned. So you buy a w

My Own Central Planning

I just got an interesting newsletter from the local Superintendent of Schools. It reminded me that I should be making or updating our 72-hour emergency kit. I waffle between being bitter that I would need such a thing (for no reason other than I don't remember thinking I needed to have one as a child) and thinking, now there's a really good idea. Of course it is a good idea. What's the downside to it? We've gone through the exercise in the past, though incompletely, and have now let our emergency kits get old. I downloaded the lists and suggestions (I've included the links below for you), and am determined to get it started this weekend. Here are some links to help build your Family Emergency Plan and Kit: Overall Family Preparedness Family Emergency Plan Tri-fold personal plans to carry Check list for Emergency Supply Kit Building Your Family's 72 Hour Kit That last link is good because it suggests 20 weekly activities to build your kit over time. A

Road to where, exactly?

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I think this little friendly snowman with the sticks full of money says it best: I'm from the government and I'm here to help. This is the image that eHow has used to help explain the Bush Mortgage Bailout Plan - 2007 ! Not the latest and greatest plan . Is anybody reading this stuff? Exactly how does this help? "To qualify for the new program, homeowners whose loans are owned or packaged by Fannie and Freddie must be 90 days or more past due on their payments for single-family dwellings in which they live. They must prove hardship, can't be in bankruptcy and their outstanding loan values must be at least 90 percent of their homes' current values." "The goal could be achieved three ways: The loan could be stretched into a 40-year fixed-rate mortgage; the interest rate could be reduced; and/or money going to the mortgage balance, called the principal, could be deferred interest-free until the end of the loan and recaptured in what's known as a b

Blogect: Sorted Books

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Inasmuch as I find "blog" to be an ugly word, I think "blogect" is cute. I found this project on Homeschooled Twins blog and thought it was really a fun idea. As I am not the fun homeschooler, I kept the idea for myself rather than share it with my child as Shez suggested (okay, I’ll share it with the wee lass later today.) Here are just a few sorted books in my home right now. The secret of my success: The worry and wisdom of middle-age: And a political one for good measure: Now that I look these over, I might have to change the order of the titles for clarity (and work on better lighting). Most importantly, I have to restack those books! If you try your hand at sorted books, post your efforts and let me know.

Why I am an Objectivist

I am a human being who values her life on this earth above all other things. The right and good is that which contributes to my life and the wrong and evil is that which destroys it. Every action I take must pass through the gates of identification before being pursued as a value which I understand will contribute to my life. Happiness is my ultimate goal. I understand the importance of identifying, applying, pursuing, and achieving those values which will contribute to my life, not just in the immediate sense (which every child understands), but in the long-term sense (which develops with experience). This is not to say that I’m really good at always identifying, pursuing, and achieving those values, or that I remain consistent in my applications of them; merely that I had already understood that this selfishness was the key to my happiness when I was relatively young. The importance of the fact that I understood I was responsible for my own happiness can not be overemphasized here.

Happy Birthday Kay Thompson

Are you a fan of the Eloise books? Are you a fan of Audrey Hepburn movies? If you are, you should really know that Kay Thompson , the writer of the Eloise books is the same Kay Thompson who plays the indomitable Maggie Prescott in the musical Funny Face . Okay. I wouldn’t give up black or be quite so quick to dismiss chartreuse, but you have to love her. She steals the scene from eveyone but Paris itself in this number "Bonjour Paris!" As a fan of the Eloise movies, and of Audrey Hepburn, I was thrilled to discover this information only yesterday and be able to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this remarkable woman’s birthday.

42nd Street

For our friends who were unable to join us today but love a good tap dance number, I present to you a montage of 42nd Street at the North Shore Music Theatre. Who knew that Lullaby of Broadway , We're in the Money , Shuffle Off to Buffalo , let alone I Only Have Eyes for You (or as Stephen says, I have eyes for only you - it's one of his pet peeves)were in it? I didn't! Sure, the story set woman's lib back a good 30-40 years, but the song and dance numbers were great. Enjoy! I know I did.

The New Scientists on the Block

Here are President-elect Obama's science advisors. Four out of the five are experts in life science, but that doesn't seem to stop the rush to regulate climate change. He seems to have stacked the deck with non-creationists. Have we come that close toward government sponsored mysticism that that's really necessary - in science advisors? If you're interested, one of the advisors, Sharon Long, was interviewed in a SciAm podcast . She says she knows nothing about economics or politics and then goes on to talk a little about both. Overall, I liked what she had to say (probably because I like well-spoken scientists). While she didn't say anything about Global Warming, its spectre hung about when she spoke about the limits of science, and Obama's promise to step-up government research funding with our tax dollars. I just hope she wasn't suggesting that regulations should precede the scientifically proven, but somehow, I think she was. Another little fright

I Hear America Singing

by Walt Whitman I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear; Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong; The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work; The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck; The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands; The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown; The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else; The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs. Today, somehow, this poem makes me sadder than all of Emily Dickinson's strung together. I think it's the implied p

You're Selfish.

You can't help it. Your mother never taught you right from wrong, apparently. She never told you that you must share your toys and be kind to everyone you meet - regardless of your judgment or developing sense of justice. Now you want to keep the money that you've earned for yourself and for your family. You nasty, selfish bastard. You should have learned that by giving ever increasing amounts of money you've received and saved from your labors (earned) to other people for the simple reason that they have less money than you do (unearned) that you will encourage them to buy things, or encourage them to think they can afford those things...all on your dime. You will not only stimulate the economy you will also feel good about yourself: in fact, you might even feel virtuous . What fresh hell is this? No, it's not the ghost of your mother's misguided efforts at raising good Christians or her second-handed "what will the neighbors think of my spoiled children&quo

Am I Missing a Chic Gene?

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I got this interesting email Halloween morning and it got me to wondering. I really do like shoes, bags, and other accessories (oddly, not jewelry) as much as the next woman, but c'mon! Are these bags really that attractive to anyone for the mere price of $2450 (the Jimmy Choo, top center)? Does anyone actually consider the purchase of these grossly overpriced practical items as an investment? Are handbags the new real estate? Am I just missing the point because I don't have that kind of cash to fling around? Is this an urban vs. suburban vs. exurban priority thing? Am I just a cranky old witch? Just wondering.