“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Passive Aggressive Political Blogging

Literature Fact

J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.

 She was born today - 31th of July,  1965

Monday, July 30, 2012

Did you know???

When sharks bite down, their eyes automatically close in case their prey starts squirming trying to get free, and thereby cause damage to the shark’s eyes in the process.

Friday, July 27, 2012


 Picking veggies for dinner out at Si's grandma's house was a lot of fun. So is eating friend green tomatoes!
 Silas and cousin Deakin play in an old barrell that may soon be for the recyclables.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What child prodigies and autistic people have in common

Child prodigies evoke awe, wonder and sometimes jealousy: how can such young children display the kinds of musical or mathematical talents that most adults will never master, even with years of dedicated practice? Lucky for these despairing types, the prevailing wisdom suggests that such comparisons are unfair — prodigies are born, not made (mostly). Practice alone isn't going to turn out the next 6-year-old Mozart.

So finds a recent study of eight young prodigies, which sought to shed some light on the innate roots of their talent. The prodigies included in the study  [PDF] are all famous (but remain unidentified in the paper), having achieved acclaim and professional status in their fields by the ripe age of 10. Most are musical prodigies; one is an artist and another a math whiz, who developed a new discipline in mathematics and, by age 13, had had a paper accepted for publication in a mathematics journal. Two of the youngsters showed extraordinary skill in two separate fields: one child in music and art (his work now hangs in prestigious galleries the world over), and the other in music and molecular gastronomy (the science behind food preparation — why mayonnaise becomes firm or why a soufflĂ© swells, for example). He became interested in food at age 10 and, by 11, had carried out his first catering event.

All of the prodigies had stories of remarkable early abilities: one infant began speaking at 3 months old and was reading by age 1; two others were reading at age 2. The gastronomist was programming computers at 3. Several children could reproduce complex pieces of music after hearing them just once, at the age most kids are finishing preschool. Many had toured internationally or played Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall well before age 10.

Six of the prodigies were still children at the time of the study, which is slated for publication in the journal Intelligence. The other two participants were grown, aged 19 and 32.

The study found a few key characteristics these youngsters had in common. For one, they all had exceptional working memories — the system that holds information active in the mind, keeping it available for further processing. The capacity of working memory is limited: for numbers, for example, most people can hold seven digits at a time on average; hence, the seven-digit phone number. But prodigies can hold much more, and not only can they remember extraordinarily large numbers, but they can also manipulate them and carry out calculations that you or I might have trouble managing with pencil and paper.

Working memory isn't just the ability to remember long strings of numbers. It is the ability to hold and process quantities of information, both verbal and non-verbal — such as, say, memorizing a musical score and rewriting it in your head. All the children in the study scored off the charts when tested on measures of working memory: they placed in at least the 99th percentile, with most in the 99.9th percentile.

Surprisingly, however, the study found that not all of the prodigies had high IQs. Indeed, while they had higher-than-average intelligence, some didn't have IQs that were as elevated as their performance and early achievements would suggest. One child had an IQ of just 108, at the high end of normal.

There was something else striking too. The authors found that prodigies scored high in autistic traits, most notably in their ferocious attention to detail. They scored even higher on this trait than did people diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that typically includes obsession with details.

Three of the eight prodigies had a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder themselves. The child who had spoken his first words at 3 months, stopped speaking altogether at 18 months, then started again when he was just over two-and-a-half years old; he was diagnosed with autism at 3. What's more, four of the eight families included in the study reported autism diagnoses in first- or second-degree relatives, and three of these families reported a total of 11 close relatives with autism. In the general population, by contrast, about 1 in 88 people have either autism or Asperger’s.

Other unusual parallels between prodigies and those with autism: they're both more likely to be male (though that finding may be due in part to the failure to recognize either girls on the autism spectrum or, perhaps, girls' hidden talents) and both are associated with difficult pregnancies, suggesting that uterine environment may play a role in their development. In the math whiz's case, for example, his mother "started labor nine times between the 29th and 37th weeks of her pregnancy and required medication to stop the labor. During the 35th week of her pregnancy, her water broke and she had a 105-degree fever from an infection in her uterus. The child prodigy did not have a soft spot at delivery," the authors write.

When Asperger’s was first described in 1944 by Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, he referred to children with the syndrome as “little professors” because of their prodigious vocabularies and precocious expertise, and because they tended to lecture others endlessly without being aware of their own tediousness. Poor social skills and obsessive interests characterize the condition.

Yet, despite the obvious similarities, very little research has been done on the connection between autism and extreme talent. One previous study, published in 2007, did find that close relatives of prodigies — like close relatives of people with autism — tended to score higher on autistic traits, particularly in problems with social skills, difficulty switching attention and intense attention to detail. Other than that, however, the issue hasn't been studied systematically, beyond the observation that autism is often seen in savants, or people with exceptional abilities who have other simultaneous impairments.

Prodigies, in contrast, appear to benefit from certain autistic tendencies while avoiding the shortfalls of others. On a standard assessment of traits associated with autism, the prodigies in the current study scored higher than a control group on all measures, including attention to detail and problems with social skills or communication (though this result was not statistically significant, probably because the sample was so small). But they also scored significantly lower than a separate comparison group of people who had Asperger's — except on the attention-to-detail measure, in which they outshone everyone.

“One possible explanation for the child prodigies’ lack of deficits is that, while the child prodigies may have a form of autism, a biological modifier suppresses many of the typical signs of autism, but leaves attention to detail — a quality that actually enhances their prodigiousness — undiminished or even enhanced,” the authors write.

In other words, these children may have some genetic trait or learned skill that allows them to maintain intense focus, without compromising their social skills or suffering from other disabilities that typically accompany autism spectrum disorders. Comparing these children with those who have full-blown autism or Asperger's could therefore potentially help pinpoint what goes wrong in those who develop disabling forms of autism and what goes right in others with similar traits who simply benefit from enhanced abilities.

The current study doesn't tread that ground, but its findings do fit in with the intense world theory of autism, which posits how the disorder may arise. The theory holds that certain patterns of brain circuitry cause autistic symptoms, including excessive connectivity in local brain regions, which can heighten attention and perception, and diminished wiring between distant regions, which can lead to a sort of system overload. In both animal and human studies, this type of brain wiring has been associated with enhanced memory and also with amplified fear and sensory overstimulation. The former is a good thing; the latter may cause disability.

The intense world theory propounds that all autism carries the potential for exceptional talent and social deficits. The social problems, the theory suggests, may ensue from the autistic person's dysfunctional attempts — social withdrawal and repetitive behaviors, for instance — to deal with his heightened senses and memory.

It's possible, then, that the wiring in prodigies' brains resembles that of an autistic person's, with tight local connections, except without the reduction in long-distance links. Or, their brains may function just like those with autism, but their high intelligence allows them to develop socially acceptable ways of coping with the sensory overload.

Although some researchers — and much of the public, influenced by popular books like journalist Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers — argue that prodigious expertise can be acquired with sheer effort, 10,000 hours of practice to be exact, the current findings suggest that natural talents can blossom in far less time. “[Many prodigies] displayed their extreme talent before reaching 10 years of age, undercutting the nurture-based theories that credit contemporary training techniques and upwards of 10 years of deliberate practice as the root of all exceptional achievement,” the authors write.

That doesn't mean all is lost for the rest of us, notes Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive psychologist at New York University. “There is research showing the positive benefits of working memory training,” he wrote on his blog on Psychology Today's website, suggesting that practice could take us closer to perfect.

The current study is a small one, and much more research needs to be done to elucidate the connections between highly gifted children and those with autism spectrum conditions. But the findings strongly suggest that such connections exist. They also caution against characterizing the genetic roots of conditions like autism — or other potentially disabling problems like mood disorders, which have been linked with exceptional creativity — as wholly negative. If the same "risk" genes may lead to both debilitating autism and great intellectual gifts, we need to understand them far better before we label them as unwanted.

Maia Szalavitz is a health writer at TIME.com. Find her on Twitter at @maiasz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME Healthland’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIMEHealthland.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

This day in history

1893 - Katharine Lee Bates writes "America the Beautiful," in Colorado


1926 - 105°F (41°C), Waterbury, Connecticut (state record)
1926 - 108°F (42°C), Troy, NY (state record)

 1967 - Jimi Hendrix quits as opening act of the Monkees' tour

This day in history

1775 - George Washington takes command of US troops

 First US President George Washington

This day in history

2010 - The Stonehenge World Heritage Site announces the discovery of a possible new henge, the biggest discovery at a major monument in over 50 years


 Picture of what a second henge near Stonehenge might have looked like.
Evidence of a timber henge, shown in an artist's reconstruction, has been found near Stonehenge.
Illustration courtesy University of Birmingham
Magnetometry picture of Stonehenge's newest sister circle.
Magnetometry reading of underground pits near Stonehenge. Image courtesy University of Birmingham.
James Owen in London
Published July 23, 2010

Britain's Stonehenge once had a long-lost twin just a stone's throw away from the prehistoric monument, archaeologists announced Thursday. (See pictures of the new Stonehenge discovery.)

The discovery, made completely without digging, suggests that now solitary Stonehenge may have been surrounded by "satellite Stonehenges," archaeologists say. 

"This finding is remarkable," said survey-team leader Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist the University of Birmingham in the U.K. "It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge."
Using the latest geophysical imaging technology, Gaffney's team captured digital impressions of the now buried remains of the newfound henge formation, just over half a mile (900 meters) from its world-famous neighbor.
Measuring 82 feet (25 meters) wide, the circular feature had a segmented ditch dotted with 20 or so large holes—suspected to have been postholes for a timber, rather than stone, circle, the team says. (Also see "Wooden 'Stonehenge' Emerges From Prehistoric Ohio.")

The circle's estimated date of 2,500 to 2,200 B.C. suggests "it was operating when Stonehenge was in its final and most dramatic form," Gaffney told National Geographic News (interactive Stonehenge time line).

Currently the leading view is that the immediate area around Stonehenge was a sacred, off-limits area where only a select few, such as high priests or nobility, were allowed. (See "Stonehenge 'Hedge' Found, Shielded Secret Rituals?")

"If [the newfound henge] was there at the same time, it demonstrates there was massively more activity going on in the landscape adjacent to Stonehenge," Gaffney said.

That isn't to say Stonehenge was open to anybody, he added, "but we are saying there seems to be more activity inside that boundary.

"Stonehenge," he added, "is one of the most studied monuments on Earth but this demonstrates that there is still much more to be found."

Stonehenge and Sister Circle Linked to Solstice
The team suggests the supposed wooden henge, like Stonehenge, performed an important ceremonial role for ancient Britons who gathered at the summer and winter solstices to mark the passing year with sacred rituals.
Also like Stonehenge, the now vanished henge is oriented toward the solstice sunrise with entrances to the northeast and southwest.

"This new monument is part of a growing body of evidence which shows how important the summer and winter solstices were to the ancient peoples who built Stonehenge," said Amanda Chadburn, as archaeologist with English Heritage, the government agency that manages the Stonehenge World Heritage site.

More Stonehenge Circles to Be Found?
The suspected new henge—or ring-shaped mound with an adjacent ditch—adds to a growing number of stone and timber circles found in the area.

One of the best known Stonehenge sisters, Woodhenge, was discovered in 1925 and lies about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from Stonehenge. In 2009 the remains of a 33-foot-wide (10-meter-wide) circle of 25 stones, dubbed Bluestonehenge, was uncovered just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Stonehenge.

An English Heritage geophysical survey last year uncovered another Stonehenge-area circle, though it hasn't yet been revealed to the public, according to Joshua Pollard, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol.

New Circle May Have Been a Stone Henge—Not Timber
The age and full significance of the latest Stonehenge discovery won't be known until actual digging takes place, according to Pollard, who isn't involved in the new Stonehenge survey.

"The less exciting interpretation is that it's just a peculiar Bronze Age barrow"—a type of burial mound—he said.

Or, if the monument does prove to be an ancient temple, it could be that, like Bluestonehenge, the newfound site held a long-gone stone circle, not a timber one, he added.

Pollard said scattered fragments of bluestone have been found in the same area as the new henge. Prehistoric builders transported bluestone—a collective name for stone not native to the Stonehenge region—more than 155 miles (250 kilometers) from southwestern Wales to the Stonehenge area to build the massive stone circles.

"People have suspected there may have been a stone circle there which no longer survives," he said. "There's an intriguing possibility that what they might have picked up is actually the site of another stone circle."
Survey leader Gaffney doesn't rule out the idea that Stonehenge's smaller twin was also made of stone. But he said he would expect the pit holes and surrounding ground to look more disturbed if they had held stones that were later dragged out or broken up.

"To me they look like timbers which have rotted in situ," he said.

Swifter Surveys at Stonehenge
For this first ever systematic geophysical survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, the survey team employed a new, faster method of surveying beneath the ground using a combination of radar imaging and magnetometry, a technique that maps changing patterns of magnetism in the soil.

The new henge was found in just the first two weeks of a three-year project to map 5.5 square miles (14 square kilometers) of the Stonehenge landscape.

Assuming the find wasn't a fluke, the team's swift success hints that such circles may have been fairly common around Stonehenge.

"If we do have a number of small timber and stone circles in that landscape—which on current evidence is looking quite likely—then I suspect the survey will pick them up," the University of Bristol's Pollard said.
"We could be looking at a very different perception of the kinds of monuments within the Stonehenge area than we have at present," he added.

In fact, survey leader Gaffney said he expects other monuments to turn up, sites that, like the newfound henge but unlike other known circles, are visible from Stonehenge.

Archaeologist Andrew Fitzpatrick, who wasn't part of the survey, said such prehistoric sites are easily missed, having been "ploughed flat over many thousands of years."

Given the survey team's almost immediate success, added Fitzpatrick, of the nonprofit consulting group Wessex Archaeology, "we should expect many more exciting discoveries as the project continues."


More states hit by heat wave

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011
CINCINNATI -- Hot weather that has plagued the Plains for days spread eastward Thursday, blanketing several more states under a sizzling sun that made people sick, shut down summer schools and spurred cities to offer cooling centers and free swimming.

Associated Press
Associated Press
The temperature could soar to 101 in Toledo, Ohio -- 2 degrees above a record set in 1930. Combined with the humidity, it could feel as hot as 115 across Ohio.

"It feels very sultry, very uncomfortable, and it's just very dangerous," said Jim Lott, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, Ohio.

Government forecasters issued excessive heat warnings for a huge section of the country, from Kansas to Massachusetts, while some southern states were under heat advisories.

Thursday shaped up as the hottest day of a steamy week in Ohio, with temperatures climbing to 97 in the southwestern part of the state. Farther east, the worst of the heat waited for Friday and the weekend.
Scattered deaths have been blamed on the heat nationwide. The Ohio Health Department said emergency room visits have been three or four times higher than usual this week, mainly due to heat exhaustion and heat stroke cases.


8 Sneaky Signs Your Child’s Being Bullied

By Dawn Papandrea

teenage girls bullyingteenage girls bullying


 Your child would tell you if he's being bullied, right? Maybe not. "It's painful to say, 'I'm being targeted,'" says Cynthia Lowen, producer and writer of the documentary film, Bully, and co-author of the forthcoming book The Essential Guide to Bullying. While there's more bullying awareness than ever (who hasn't heard about the bullied bus matron?), children still fear their parents' response to the harassment can make the situation worse, says Lowen. Another reason kids may keep this info to themselves: "They may worry that admitting they're victims will disappoint their parents," says Jerry Weichman, PhD, a licensed psychologist specializing in teens and tweens at California's Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, CA, and author of How to Deal. That's why it's important to know how to spot the signs of bullying, which aren't as obvious as you'd think. Here are some surprising red flags to look for. Photo credit: Thinkstock


1. Sharing bullying euphemisms
When you ask your child about his day, and he says there's "drama" at school or kids were "messing around," it could be code for "I'm being bullied," explains Cindy Miller, a New Jersey-based licensed school social worker, psychotherapist and Lowen's co-author on The Essential Guide to Bullying. If you hear that language often, ask for specifics, she suggests. For instance: "When you say 'messing around,' did anyone get physical with you? Did someone spread a rumor about you or call you a name? How did you feel when the 'drama' occurred?"

If your child still doesn't open up, tell him the difference between reporting and tattling. "Reporting is stating that someone's hurting you and you're trying to get help. Tattling is trying to get someone in trouble," says Miller. This way, he knows there's nothing wrong about giving facts.

2. Coming home hungry
Before you assume your little luncher is simply sick of PB&J, consider what else might be going on in the cafeteria. Perhaps another student is taking his food. Or maybe your child is giving away items voluntarily to become better-liked-or avoiding eating because he fears being ridiculed about his weight or what he's eating, says Miller. Again, asking direct questions in a non-threatening way here is key, says Lowen. Try: "Who did you sit with at lunch today? Did you like your food? What did you and your friends talk about?"

3. Coming home from school late
You may think he's hanging out with friends, but he may be taking a longer route home or skipping the bus to avoid bullies, says Miller. A change in after-school routine is how Tara Kennedy Kline of Shoemakersville, PA, realized something wasn't right. "He started calling me from the bus and asking me if his older buddies could come to our house after school," she says. Normally, her son was only allowed to have friends over after homework was done, and not at all if his parents weren't home. "Blatantly disregarding our rule was a red flag for us," she says. Soon after, she learned about a bullying incident that happened on the bus. So trust your instincts and dig deeper if your child does something out of character.

4. Frequently losing or damaging his things
Sure, kids can be careless and clumsy, but missing or torn/broken belongings can be signs of bullying. "Bookbags getting ripped. Someone takes something. Shoes thrown out of the window of the bus. These are all things bullied kids have told me happened to them," says Lowen. What's worse is that children are afraid to tell their parents about things like broken glasses in tough economic times, she says. Lowen also points out that some children give possessions away to win favor with the popular kids. "Parents should keep an account of what's missing and follow up on their child's excuse with other parents, teachers or school administrators," suggests Dr. Weichman. If there's a discrepancy between your child's excuse and the explanation an adult gives, your child may be covering for someone's bad behavior.

5. Becoming upset after getting a text or going online
In the age of cyber-bullying, the end of a school day doesn't always offer taunted kids a reprieve. "If a parent suspects that cyber-bullying may be going on, she should first confront her child with her concerns, but also verify with monitoring software," advises Dr. Weichman. Beyond using parental spyware, it's important to keep computers in common areas at home, such as in the kitchen or family room, says Lowen. "If your child is in his bedroom for two hours and a situation is getting larger than life, he can feel like the entire world is turning on him," she warns. And it's hard to prevent your child from responding negatively if you can't see the situation unfolding.

6. Wearing long sleeves all the time or covering up when it doesn't seem warranted
Don't shrug off your child's desire to keep covered as shyness or a fashion statement. There might be visible signs of physical bullying he's trying to conceal. And here's why: "One reaction that parents often have is, 'you have to stand up for yourself' or 'hit him back,'" says Lowen. But a child may not be capable of or willing to follow that advice, so he hides bruises and cuts rather than face his parents' judgment. If you suspect your child is hiding injuries, don't react in a shocked or confrontational manner. Phrases such as "Tell me who did this to you right now!" should be avoided, says Dr. Weichman. Instead, put on your poker face and ask what's going on that might have contributed to the injuries.

7. Disappearing friends
Most parents know who their children pal around with: who calls every night, who they join forces with for school projects, who's sleeping over. If the usual suspects are MIA, it might be more than the clique simply growing apart. "If your child's circle suddenly isn't around, ask, 'Where are your friends? What are they doing?'" suggests Lowen. When the Mishra family moved back to their old neighborhood in North Carolina, their teen daughter was excited to reconnect with her grammar-school friends. Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way. "One former friend decided she didn't like my daughter anymore and told the host of an upcoming party that my
 child shouldn't be invited," says Mishra. "That was when I realized that this was not harmless 
jealousy but outright bullying." Mishra's daughter is now considering moving in with 
her grandparents in Michigan for her senior year.

8. Claiming that after-school activities were cancelled or practice ended early
Cancellations happen, but if they're happening a lot, your child may be hiding that he's dropped out of an activity because of bullying. Changes in routine and a loss of interest in favorite hobbies are usually good indicators that something's amiss. "Kids send out distress signals when they're in trouble," says Miller. It's up to you to stay attuned, and get your child to open up. And when he clues you in, keep two things in mind. "You have to believe him, and it's probably worse than he's letting on," says Lowen.

Whether or not you spot these signs in your child, start an open dialogue about bullying so he knows you can be counted on, says Dr. Weichman. "Kids need to be reassured that sharing what's going on with their parents is both safe and non-judgmental."

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The making of little readers

The granddarlings LOVE books... so we buy them lots of them!
Plus they have all their parents books from when they were little too.

Teacher tip. Lol.

This day in history

2010 - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces that 500 million people all around the world are actively using Facebook.

Where Is the Milky Way?

Posted: 21 Jul 2012 02:00 AM PDT
Milky Way_shutterstock_44212696 Join us in Wonderopolis today to find out exactly where in the world you are!

Have you ever wondered…
  • Where is the Milky Way?
  • How big is the Milky Way?
  • How many stars are in the Milky Way?
Did you know?
Where do you live? If asked that question, you might respond with the name of the street you live on. Or you might tell someone what town you’re from. If you’re on vacation, you might even respond with your state or country.

But what if aliens asked you? If you told them Earth, they might have no idea what or where Earth is. You might have to tell them what galaxy you live in. Have you ever thought of yourself as the resident of a galaxy? Well, you are! And it’s called the Milky Way.

A galaxy is a huge group of stars that are bound together by gravity. How huge? Consider this: our star — the Sun — is just one of approximately 200 billion stars in the Milky Way! Just about everything we can see in the sky is part of the Milky Way.

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy. This means it is like a thin disk with arms that radiate outward in a spiral shape. Our solar system can be found on the outer edge of the Milky Way on one of the spiral arms.
The Sun is about 25,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way. Overall, the Milky Way is between 80,000-120,000 light years wide, but only about 7,000 light years thick.

It’s hard to understand these measurements, so you can think of the size of the Milky Way in this way: if you reduced it to the size of a football field, our solar system would be about the size of a grain of sand and located at one of the outer edges.

Our solar system orbits around the Milky Way at the rate of about 155 miles per second. That’s fast! But the Milky Way is so huge that it still takes our solar system about 200-250 million years to orbit once around the Milky Way!

You may see pictures of the Milky Way from time to time. These are not actual photographs, because we’ve never sent a spaceship outside of the Milky Way. However, special telescopes allow astronomers to know a lot about our galaxy. Its hazy, “milky” appearance gave rise to its name.

As big as the Milky Way is, it’s only one of several galaxies in a group of galaxies that astronomers call the Local Group. To make you feel even smaller, astronomer Edwin Hubble showed in the 1920s that the Milky Way is only one of about 200 billion galaxies in the universe!

And, as galaxies go, the Milky Way isn’t nearly the largest. Astronomers believe the nearby Andromeda Galaxy contains as many as one trillion stars!

Try it out!
Ready to take a tour of the Milky Way? No, you won’t need a spacesuit. Just grab a friend or family member and a computer and jump online to check out the 3D Milky Way Tour.

If you want to see more images of the Milky Way taken by NASA, check out these cool online photo galleries. Isn’t it cool how telescopes help scientists take pictures of things so far away?

We think it’s neat how the pictures of the Milky Way look like art. If you want to make your own version of the Milky Way, follow the directions to make your own Milky Way Night Light!

Wonder words to know and use:
  • Milky Way
  • galaxy
  • barred
  • spiral
  • radiate
  • solar
  • orbit
  • astronomer
Still wondering?
Science NetLinks’ Looking at the Night Sky interactive helps children understand that the patterns of stars in the sky stay the same and different stars can be seen in different seasons.

Wonder what’s next?
Tomorrow’s all-new Wonder of the Day will have you swinging between the trees!

American Indians Remember the Massacre at Wounded Knee Whenever Mass Murders Take Place

Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition.

Friday morning America woke up to learn about yet another horrific act of violence. This time we woke up and discovered 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a cinema. It was one more venue disturbed by violence.
American Indians Remember the Massacre at Wounded Knee 
Chief Big Foot and His People Frozen in Our Memory
The footage coming out of Aurora, Colorado reminded me quickly of Columbine, not far from Aurora.
By 11 pm Friday night, CNN's Don Lemon was calling the incident the deadliest massacre in American history.

I was trying to write for today's edition, but that erroneous statement made me pause for a moment to think:
He must not remember Wounded Knee where some 150 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by the US Calvary. We, American Indians do!

Of course, American Indian history is not really part of required curricular, so I guess Mr. Lemon never learned about Wounded Knee. I always remember Wounded Knee whenever there are mass killings, especially when they occur on American soil. Wounded Knee is on American soil.

Without learning American Indian history, the average American never fully understands that the United States is a nation that was built on violence.

To paraphrase the Bible, "we are reaping what we have sown." And, I am not rejoicing over it, so don't get mad at me.

Personally, I would hope we could move forward as a society free of violence. We may have tougher gun control laws though. We may have to eliminate more automatic weapons - the kind that can spray a magazine full of ammunition in seconds. We may want some computer to keep track of why certain people feel as if they need to build a personal arsenal of deadly weapons with ammunition.

We may have to have more regulation on violent video games. Frankly, I am always amazed at how and why children are taught at an early age it is okay to murder people in video games. The points keep going up as more people are killed by shooting them or blowing them up in these violent games. I find those games appalling.

We may have to learn that terrorism is terrorism whether it is committed by an American citizen or non-American. It seems as Americans, we want a quick assurance that acts - such as what happened in the Aurora cinema - was not an act of terrorism by some anti-American group.

Somehow, we take comfort in the fact we were not attacked by a foreign enemy. It is almost as if the network media talking heads breathe a sigh of relief when it is disclosed by Homeland Security that violent acts were committed by a deranged gunman who acted alone.

Yet, Friday was a sad day in America.

We all need to pray for the families of those who were killed and those who were wounded. We need to pray for peace and all work together for a society free of hatred and violence.

And, all Americans should learn about and remember Wounded Knee.

posted July 21, 2012 9:50 am edt


Friday, July 20, 2012

Passive Aggressive Political Blogging

Today in history - First Special Olympics held

On this day, July 20, in 1968 the first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. Eunice brought together a thousand children and adults with intellectual disabilities from 26 U.S. states and Canada to compete in various sporting events.

The event grew out of Eunice’s sponsored “Camp Shriver,” held in her backyard, that gave disabled children from around the area a chance to participate in all the regular summer camp activities. The camp was an instant success, and grew in popularity over the subsequent years, giving Shriver leverage with the Olympic Committee in obtaining their imprimatur on the sports event.


Today in History!!

1881 - Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull, surrenders to federal troops


1921 - Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson became the first woman to preside over the US House of Representatives.

 1927 - Lindbergh begins NY flight (Spirit of St Louis)


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today in History!!

64 - Great Fire of Rome begins

 Though the infamous emperor Nero ruled Rome for less than two decades, his reign witnessed tremendous changes to the empire's capital city. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus -- more often known as Nero -- was a great-grandson of Caesar Augustus. When he was a child, he and his mother, Agrippina, were exiled by Agrippina's brother, emperor Gaius Caligula, to the tiny Pontian Islands. Two years later, however, the banishment was lifted when Agrippina's uncle, Claudius, took hold of the empire. Nero's mother soon convinced Claudius to marry her and make Nero his heir. In 54 A.D., Claudius was murdered, purportedly a victim of poisonous mushrooms given to him by Agrippina. Nero became the emperor of Rome at age 16. Several years later, Nero had his power-hungry mother moved to a separate residence; shortly thereafter, he allegedly had her killed. There was no end to Nero's ambition. One of his grandest plans was to tear down a third of Rome so that he could build an elaborate series of palaces that would be known as Neropolis. The senate, however, objected ardently to this proposal. Exactly what happened next has remained a mystery for nearly 2,000 years.

On the night of July 19, 64 A.D., a fire broke out among the shops lining the Circus Maximus, Rome's mammoth chariot stadium. In a city of two million, there was nothing unusual about such a fire -- the sweltering summer heat kindled conflagrations around Rome on a regular basis, particularly in the slums that covered much of the city. Knowing this, Nero himself was miles away in the cooler coastal resort of Antium. Yet this was no ordinary fire. The flames raged for six days before coming under control; then the fire reignited and burned for another three. When the smoke cleared, 10 of Rome's 14 districts were in ruin. The 800-year-old Temple of Jupiter Stator and the Atrium Vestae, the hearth of the Vestal Virgins, were gone. Two thirds of Rome had been destroyed.

A crumpled iron gate

A crumpled iron gate, melted by the force of Rome's great fire

History has blamed Nero for the disaster, implying that he started the fire so that he could bypass the senate and rebuild Rome to his liking. Much of what is known about the great fire of Rome comes from the aristocrat and historian Tacitus, who claimed that Nero watched Rome burn while merrily playing his fiddle. Gangs of thugs prevented citizens from fighting the fire with threats of torture, Tacitus wrote. There is some support for the theory that Nero leveled the city on purpose: the Domus Aurea, Nero's majestic series of villas and pavilions set upon a landscaped park and a man-made lake, was built in the wake of the fire.

"It would have been seen as very inappropriate on the part of the elite in Rome," says art historian Eric Varner. "They would have been happy if Nero had built the Domus Aurea out in the country, but to do it here in the city really was an extraordinary kind of statement."

Tacitus was a member of this Roman elite, and whether there is a bias in his writing is difficult to know. Indeed, Tacitus was still a boy at the time of the fire, and he would have been a young teenager in 68 A.D., when Nero died. Nero himself blamed the fire on an obscure new Jewish religious sect called the Christians, whom he indiscriminately and mercilessly crucified. During gladiator matches he would feed Christians to lions, and he often lit his garden parties with the burning carcasses of Christian human torches. Yet there is evidence that, in 64 A.D., many Roman Christians believed in prophecies predicting that Rome would soon be destroyed by fire. Perhaps the fire was set off by someone hoping to make the prediction come true.

Twenty centuries later, is there a way to establish who or what started one of antiquity's most destructive conflagrations? Is there any truth to Tacitus's insinuation? Or to Nero's? Archaeologists, historians, and contemporary fire investigators try to pinpoint the cause of this monumental tragedy of the ancient world.


Today in History!!

1860 - 1st railroad reaches Kansas

 1875 - Emma Abbott, a floating hospital for sick kids, makes trial trip, NYC

 1879 - Doc Holliday kills for the first time after a man shoots up his New Mexico saloon.

1880 - SF Public Library starts lending books

 1912 - A meteorite with an estimated mass of 190 kg explodes over the town of Holbrook in Navajo County, Arizona causing approximately 16,000 pieces of debris to rain down on the town.

Today in History!!

 1553 - 15-year-old Lady Jane Grey deposed as England's Queen after 9 days



Lady Jane Grey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lady Jane Grey
The Streatham Portrait, discovered at the beginning of the 21st century and believed to be a copy of a contemporary portrait of Lady Jane Grey.[1]  
Queen of England and Ireland (disputed) (more...)
Reign 10 July 1553 – 19 July 1553[2]
Predecessor Edward VI
Successor Mary I

Spouse Lord Guildford Dudley
Father Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk
Mother Lady Frances Brandon
Born 1536/1537
Died 12 February 1554 (aged 16–17)
Tower of London, London
Burial St Peter ad Vincula, London

Lady Jane Grey (married name Lady Jane Dudley; 1536/1537 – 12 February 1554), also known as The Nine Days' Queen,[3] was an English noblewoman and de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553. She was subsequently executed. The great-granddaughter of Henry VII through his younger daughter Mary, Jane was a first cousin once removed of Edward VI.

In May 1553 Jane was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, a younger son of Edward's chief minister, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. When the 15-year-old King lay dying in June 1553, he nominated Jane as successor to the Crown in his will, thus subverting the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth under the Third Succession Act. During her short reign, Jane resided in the Tower of London. She became a prisoner there when the Privy Council decided to change sides and proclaim Mary as Queen on 19 July 1553. She was convicted of high treason in November 1553, though her life was initially spared. Wyatt's rebellion in January and February 1554 against Queen Mary's plans of a Spanish match led to her execution at the age of 16 or 17, and that of her husband.

Lady Jane Grey had an excellent humanist education and a reputation as one of the most learned young women of her day.[4] A committed Protestant, she was posthumously regarded as not only a political victim but also a martyr.

Come and Boogie on the Bricks in Athens Ohio!!

Boogie on the Bricks is Athens' ultimate summer festival! It's an all day party on the beautiful bricks of Court Street in Athens, Ohio! Court Street is completely closed off for this fabulous event.
Enjoy live music, beer, games, contests, art vendors, jewelry, local food and so much more!

Address - Court Street Athens, Ohio45701

Local Number: 740-592-1819

General Information: Ric@ThePigskin.com
Packaged Travel: jdill@athensohio.com

Hours Saturday: 1:00 PM - 2:00 AM

Admission FREE

Events Dates:
7/21/2012 - 7/21/2012


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lemuel Haynes

Lemuel Haynes

Born in West Hartford, Connecticut July 18, 1753. Lemuel Haynes was the son of a black man and a Scotch servant girl, Alice Fitch, who was employed by John Haynes of West Hartford. In Lieu of an orphanage, he was bound out when 5 weeks of age to a Deacon Rose of Granville, MA. Enlisted as a Minute Man in the Colonial Army, 1775; Volunteer in expedition to Ticonderoga, 1776. Supplied, Congregational church, Granville, NY 1780. Ordained, 1785. Pastor, Torrington, Connecticut 1785-1787; Rutland, Vt. 1787-1818. Removed to Manchester, VT, 1818. Pastor, Granville, NY 1822-1833. Author: "Divine Decrees, an Encouragement to the Use of Means" and "Universal Salvation," his response to Hosea Ballou a popular preacher of the day. Lemuel Haynes was married to Elizabeth Babbit, 22 September 1783 at Hartland, Connecticut by Rev. Samuel Woodbridge. She was born 29 February 1763 at Dighton, Massachusetts and died 8 February 1836.


Today in History!!

1743 - 1st half-page newspaper ad is published (NY Weekly Journal)

 1753 - Lemuel Haynes, escapes from slave holder in Framingham Mass

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Today in History!!

 1585 - English secret service discovers Anthony Babingtons murder plot against queen Elizabeth I

 Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
 English Monarch Queen Elizabeth I

1762 - Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.

 Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 9 July [O.S. 28 June] 1762 until her death at the age of 67

Somebody needs to go BACK to (two) school!

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