Home-8-BC April 22, 2015

God as Martyr: I Don’t Understand

April 27, 2015

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bible

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 […]

Explain: How is Remaining Childless “Selfish”?

April 20, 2015

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Adoption

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

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cat-cover

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

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GovernmentvsTaxpayers

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

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Home-MuirWoods

 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

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Education

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

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alternate

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

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EggDyes

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

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cover-falling

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

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Distracteddriving

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

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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

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1-iceberg

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

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gullivergiant

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

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Job-Interview

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

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Cover-Victoria-Falls

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

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Dogface

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

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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

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crowcover

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

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Health

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

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film-reel2

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

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Yosemite-cover

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

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film-reel2

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

Welcome to the Plutocracy: S**t Flows Downhill, and You are on the Bottom

February 20, 2015

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MoneyJar

Rude little rich boy Conrad Hilton is an overgrown spoiled brat, but he may have been on to something by referring to everyone on BA Flight 269 as “peasants.” Wake up and smell the plutocracy! Americans like to think we are all equal under the law, that we all have equal opportunities, that we all […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Winter Rescue – Luckiest Moose in the World

February 18, 2015

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Photo: Uralhelicom

By Joan Larsen It is a frozen winter in the higher altitudes of our world. From the vantage point of a helicopter, flying over the frozen taiga of northern Russia, the three passengers only saw below what was ice and snow. But then – then – one man spotted an animal struggling – a large […]

Getting Pretty Tired of Extremist Violence in Europe

February 16, 2015

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MuslimProtest

Don’t like the local culture? Peacefully use democratic mechanisms in place, or LEAVE. Your hurt feelings don’t justify murder and mayhem.   Decades ago, when I was in college, we had a European student in our class.   He didn’t seem to have much good to say about America; there was always some pointed observation criticizing […]

Friggatriskaidekaphobia

February 13, 2015

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Calendar-13

It’s a mouthful for sure, this fear of Friday the 13th.  And it can be serious business, at least for those so affected by it that it disrupts their lives, or for those who provide the treatments for this phobia, whether that is serious psychological counseling or more lighthearted programs designed to help people reason […]

A Valentine From Joan Larsen: Love Letters

February 11, 2015

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2-letter

By Joan Larsen Now, all but past the middle age of life, I still remain a total romantic.  I don’t expect to ever get past that phase.  .  . and I often wonder how many others feel the same way.  I feel a life without love is no life at all.  And, as the years […]

10-4, Driver: CB Radios Still Have Their Uses

February 9, 2015

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CD_CB

Many years ago, when cell phones were still as big as your head and probably cost as much as your car, my husband and I were reassigned from one coast of the US to the other coast.  We decided to drive our two vehicles in our own mini-convoy, and bought two CB radios for this […]

Animal Altruism is Real, and So is Their Appreciation

February 6, 2015

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3-oryx-antelope

Anyone who doubts that animals can have sympathetic, altruistic emotions need look no farther than these videos. In the news last month, I ran across a video from the Taipei Zoo, showing a tortoise very deliberately and methodically bumping an upside-down, stranded tortoise until the stranded one is back on his feet. Yay! Smiles and […]

Joan Larsen: Let’s Run Away – Three Beautiful Places to Get Lost

February 4, 2015

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Cover

By Joan Larsen Let’s be honest here. It’s February – hearts and flowers time – and a reminder that the familiar theme –telling us that “love is in the air” –may well be bypassing us big time. Sure. . . if we are lucky, we have LOVE in our lives. But again, let’s be honest […]

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