home-alt May 20, 2015

Christian Fundamentalists Treat Females Just as Badly as Muslim Fundamentalists

May 25, 2015



Odd that Westerners fear the patriarchal extremism of Islamic Sharia law, but tolerate or even praise the exact same principles when they are espoused by Christian extremists like the Duggar clan. How very strange.   There has been much flailing recently over revelations of Josh Duggar’s molestation of girls – some of them his own […]

I Do Not Want a Nurse With a “Stress Disability”

May 18, 2015



You want to talk lawsuits, honey? You are one big walking lawsuit waiting to happen for any hospital that hires you. In the news: nursing student Jennifer Burbella is suing her college because she has twice failed a class required to get her nursing degree. Did the professor fail to teach her the material? No… […]

Joan Larsen Encore: North Into the Never-Never

May 13, 2015



By Joan Larsen Flying by small plane, low over Australia’s Northern Territory, we are present- day Crocodile Dundees, wanting to be one of the first to go exploring a desert world that most travelers will never see. Our delightful, agreeable pilot seemed more than happy to chase down the only large inhabitants in the empty […]

A Wasted Organ Transplant: Why Patients’ Social History and Potential SHOULD Matter

May 11, 2015



If you were faced with 100 dying people, and could only save 79 of them, how would you choose? Back in 2012, 15-year-old Anthony Stokes was denied a lifesaving heart transplant. Doctors ruled him a bad candidate because of a “history of noncompliance,” meaning he was unlikely to follow doctors’ orders concerning medications and follow-up […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Birds Do It, Bees Do It… A First Look From Above at Nature’s Baby Boom

May 6, 2015



By Joan Larsen You do know how babies arrive, don’t you?   I looked at my mother with those innocent eyes as she told me about the stork flying over our rooftop with that little wrapped bundle swinging from its beak, delicately placing it on the chimney top for us to find. I seem to remember […]

Posted in: Interests, Joan Larsen, World

Baltimore Riots: “Mom of the Year” Wouldn’t Be, Under Other Circumstances

May 4, 2015



It is not lost on me that under other circumstances, the famous Baltimore mom might be in jail for child abuse.   By now you have seen the headlines praising Maryland mom Toya Graham for her smackdown of her masked 16-year-old son who was among the rioters in Baltimore, throwing rocks at the police. “Baltimore […]

Joan Larsen Encore: To Big Sur With Love

April 29, 2015



By Joan Larsen How could any one of us resist a world that is totally breathtaking?  Just a plane’s flight away to California – not that many hours from any of our homes – lies a piece of heaven on this earth called Big Sur.  A warning though:  once seen, once under its spell, and […]

God as Martyr: I Don’t Understand

April 27, 2015



Last week, I pondered the Pope’s words calling the childless “selfish.” That got me to thinking, and there are some things about Catholicism and Christianity I just can’t get my head around… despite having gone to a Catholic school in my youth. I am thinking of the Holy Trinity and of the concept that God […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: North America’s Ultimate Escape – The Uncharted Wonders of the Bugaboos of British Columbia

April 22, 2015



By Joan Larsen My helicopter has landed. . . and with that first step into a world completely unknown to most humans, I could find no words that could express the feelings of beauty – beauty that seemed to stretch to the heavens no matter in which direction I looked. What was this feeling I […]

Explain: How is Remaining Childless “Selfish”?

April 20, 2015



Back in February, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s position on child-bearing: “Not to have children is a selfish choice.” Ummmm, really? Adjective self·ish \ˈsel-fish\ :  concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others (Merriam-Webster). Amazingly enough, childless people are not always […]

Joan Larsen Shares: Once in a Lifetime – the Extraordinary Friendship Between a Fox and a Cat

April 15, 2015



In one of the most remote and hard-to-reach places in the world I have ever visited – the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia – I was shown photographs of a beautiful cat living at a reserve there who had made a true friendship with a lone fox who came to visit every day.  The story — […]

Tax Day Cometh, and I’m Not Using TurboTax Again

April 13, 2015



It’s kind of great, but too scary for me Lila is a big fan of the stubby-pencil method for doing taxes. I download all the necessary forms and instructions from the IRS website, I read the instructions and do my own math (even though math and I don’t get along well). In a good year, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Communing With Giants – A Magical Day in California’s Muir Woods

April 8, 2015



 By Joan Larsen   2015 . . . and with it another return journey to the West in early spring – to The City By The Bay, San Francisco. Once again the city has exceeded my expectations. It always does. That city pulls out all stops – and then continually adds some more – – […]

Final Exams Looming? Here’s Lila’s Personal Anxiety-Reliever

April 6, 2015



Spring Break and Easter mean that finals can’t be far behind. Believe it or not, Lila was once a college student and is well acquainted with the stress that comes with knowing that in just a few weeks, you will sit down to a final exam that may well make all the difference between passing […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Living Through the Rogue Wave in the High Arctic

April 1, 2015



Even now, more than a decade later, that wave – a wave coming out of nowhere, heading toward our ship with such incredible speed –will forever remain indelibly in our minds. All of those passengers on our ship that were with me that day were seemingly mesmerized by the height and the speed of the […]

Natural Easter Egg Dyes!

March 30, 2015



For anyone looking for something a little out of the ordinary, natural, and educational for this holiday weekend, consider experimenting with natural plant dyes for your Easter eggs!  Check out these websites and others for more ideas to put some extra fun and interest into your Easter activities. Here’s just one of many resources explaining […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Falling in Love With Fallingwater, America’s Most Extraordinary Private Home

March 25, 2015



By Joan Larsen Can a person really fall in love with a house? I have. . . and I want to share my discovery with you. It seems almost like a fairy tale:   there once was a private home called Fallingwater, hidden in the forests of southwestern Pennsylvania, that even today I wish were mine. […]

Tesla’s Autopilot: Don’t Lie. It’s Not for the Alert, It’s for the Distracted.

March 23, 2015



Nobody is going to watch like a hawk as their car does all the driving.   Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla would offer a self-driving electric car by this summer. According to him, a software update will allow drivers to cede control to the “autopilot” mode, at least on major highways. […]

Our Third Anniversary at Forming the Thread

March 20, 2015


Hello, all! Next week we are up to the third anniversary of Forming the Thread. I started out in 2012 with a rather ambitious (perhaps too ambitious) schedule of publishing something five days per week. Thank God for Joan Larsen, who soon stepped in to fill my Wednesdays; and to all the guests who have […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: A Floating World – Breathtaking Images of Antarctica’s Summer

March 18, 2015



By Joan Larsen The waves of the world’s Southern Ocean had turned into a rare mirror-like calm as our ship glided into Antarctic waters. The passengers, strangers still, were out on the decks or bridge, watching the first icebergs stand tall on the horizon – looking like city skyscrapers that had mysteriously lost their way. […]

Lila in the Land of the Giants

March 16, 2015



What if pickle jars came with lids that were 8″ in diameter? What if countertops were four feet high? What if chairs and toilets were three feet high? What if leaf-blower handles were as big around as mayonnaise jars, or steps were a standard 12″ high? Welcome to my world.   It has been noted […]

Some Grads are Unemployed Because They Can’t Be Bothered

March 13, 2015



Ah, spring approaches, and a young man’s fancy turns to… internships.  Alas, I’m losing patience with all the sad headlines about unemployed young college grads and their tough circumstances.  Here’s why. I am of an age that for a few years now, my old high school friends have been going through this with their own […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Africa’s Mighty Victoria Falls, One of the Seven Wonders

March 11, 2015



By Joan Larsen Sometime in your life, you should stay at a grand British colonial hotel befitting of the grand old days.  And sometime, too, you should see one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World,  the stunning Victoria Falls in southern Africa. Tranquil, shaded, with a chorus of frogs in the courtyards, with […]

So Dogs Have Bad Short-Term Memory? It’s Better Than Yours.

March 9, 2015



A Swedish study making the rounds in the news this week allegedly notes that many animals have “terrible short-term memories.” Guess what? It’s better than ours. Somehow, the media picked up a University of Stockholm study and concluded that animals are dolts who never remember much of anything. The public is deluged with such moronic […]

Lila’s Best Jacket for Cold, Wet Weather

March 6, 2015



Last year, we moved a bit farther south on the Eastern Seaboard, and this has brought us a bit of a change in the weather. Oh, we have had our snow and single-digit temperatures this winter, but that is not normal for the area. Usually, if it’s cold enough to snow, then it will be […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Tender Gifts From Birds – The Girl Who Gets Gifts From Crows

March 4, 2015



By Joan Larsen Many thanks to Katy Sewall for alerting us to this wonderful story! Gabriella – a 4-year-old child living in Seattle, Washington – was prone to dropping food – when she was getting out of the family car or just munching in her yard. So very typical of children that age. But, the […]

Plastic Surgery: The One Thing Men are Not Allowed to Ask For

March 2, 2015



They’ll let some guy have 100 operations to look like a Ken doll, but by God, don’t ask for a penis reduction, because that’s abnormal.   So The Daily Mail reports that a US teen has just had the world’s first penis reduction surgery. If you’re not real squeamish, or if you’re not a guy […]

Top 20 Film Performances of 2014

February 27, 2015



By Luther Elmo As promised on Monday, here are the top 20 performances in film for 2014. Like the films themselves, there was a very strong lot from which to select, but unsurprisingly, most of these were drawn from films that I highlighted previously (proving that in most cases, it’s the characters we respond to, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: A Landscape of Superlatives – A First Look at Yosemite

February 25, 2015



by Joan Larsen Only a morning’s drive from San Francisco lies one of the world’s truly great wilderness areas – a place of plunging waterfalls, snow-capped lakes, stark stone cliffs of stunning beauty, and a natural cathedral of ancient Sequoia trees that are among the largest on Earth. Its name: Yosemite National Park, its beauty […]

The Top 20 Films of 2014

February 23, 2015



By Luther Elmo   Once a year at Oscar time, I compile my own list for the best films of the previous year. I used to just pick from within the group that had actually received Oscar nominations; however, it soon became apparent that the Academy did not necessarily reward nominations based solely on achievement […]

Posted in: Interests, Luther Elmo

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