Browsing All Posts published on »March, 2013«

DOMA Is Teetering. Let It Fall!

March 29, 2013


The Supreme Court is hearing arguments this week on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and I’m hoping that the law will be struck down.  It’s sort of hard to support something that denies basic Federal allowances and benefits to folks like Staff Sergeant Tracy Dice Johnson, whose spouse was killed in Afghanistan.  Not […]

Natural Easter Egg Dyes!

March 28, 2013


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! Here’s just one of many resources explaining how to get various colors of dye from ordinary items you probably already have in your pantry (or can easily […]

Joan Larsen Writes: Live Life to the Fullest – A Room of Our Own

March 27, 2013


By Joan Larsen So often, we do not have time to smell the roses, do we?  Sometimes, it feels as if we have just run a marathon  .  .  . and yet there is still more to do.  Perhaps I am prejudiced, but women are responsible for so many things in our world of today.  […]

The Dream Merchant

March 26, 2013


Lauriate Roly makes a discovery about his mother’s imagination, years later. By Lauriate Roly When I was a child, my mother owned a “Dream Book” which she got after sending in a great number of box tops from RINSO. She learned about RINSO’s special Dream Book offer, listening every day to “Big Sister”, her favorite […]

When Health Care Isn’t the Healthiest Option

March 25, 2013


Why do we routinely sentence doomed patients to more pain and suffering and degradation of the quality of their remaining life? Last year, we noted the story of Amy Berman, who was diagnosed with a highly lethal form of breast cancer in 2010.  As Theresa Brown writes in the New York Times, Ms. Berman consulted […]

Happy Anniversary, Forming the Thread!

March 25, 2013


25 March 2013 marks Forming the Thread’s one-year anniversary.  I resolved, when I started this, to publish something five days per week for at least one year.  I’d like to say “I made it!” but that’s not really true… the proper exclamation is “we made it!”, because Joan Larsen has been faithfully publishing every Wednesday, […]

More Bad Science Trying to Promote Panic Over Sodas

March 22, 2013


If a Harvard study says it, it must be true, right?  Not so much! In her ABC News article “25,000 US Deaths Linked to Sugary Drinks,” Katie Moisse opens with the sentence, “In a study that’s sure to shake up the soda ban debate, Harvard researchers have linked the sugary drinks to 180,000 deaths a […]

How is “Workplace Bullying” Different From Harassment?

March 21, 2013


It isn’t, really. There is a new push on to combat workplace bullying, and I am all for it.  “Unless it’s discrimination, bullying is almost always legal,” reports Chris May for CBS. But, wait a minute.  Why is it not OK to bully someone over race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and other “protected categories”… but […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Over the Top – Africa’s Victoria Falls

March 20, 2013


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 […]

And How Does Your Garden Grow?

March 19, 2013


As the Vernal Equinox arrives tomorrow, Lauriate Roly contemplates the joys of the garden. By Lauriate Roly We had a kind of “End Of Winter” evening at my house last week. I like to do this at this time of year for my neighbors.   These friends whom I have not seen since they began hibernation, […]

Ovarian Cancer Wake-Up Call

March 18, 2013


Read this NYT article.  It could save your life. Suppose you have just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  This is a disease which is usually caught late, with a poor prognosis.  You’re scared, you don’t know too much about your options, and frankly, you aren’t sure what to do. Bottom line, most women stick with […]

St. Patrick’s Day Thoughts on Dining

March 15, 2013


By Lauriate Roly What is your favorite restaurant in the entire world? If you could visit it today, what would you order? That’s a heavy question to ask anyone who has been fortunate to travel different lands, but on March 17th? St. Patty’s Day? Well, St. Patty’s Day, of all days, is a perfect day […]

Lila’s TV Series Review: “The Americans” – Excellent!

March 14, 2013


“The Americans” is an exceptionally well-written and well-presented Cold War drama. In the wasteland of “reality” TV and cheap-laughs sitcoms, it’s hard to find entertainment for actual thinking people.  Even those shows which purport to take a serious look at, say, history, forensics, or nature are so dumbed-down, simplistic and repetitive as to drive me […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Tales From the Edge – Walking With Grizzlies

March 13, 2013


By Joan Larsen A very large grizzly bear, standing in the water, greeted us as our tiny float plane  landed on the calm waters of Naknek Lake and coasted toward the shore of Katmai National Park in Alaska.  Snapping pictures like mad from the windows, we watched him lumber off to tell his friends that […]

Falling Not Far From the Tree

March 12, 2013


By Lauriate Roly I was taught that I would be a better person if I could restrain myself accordingly. So I tried, from a very young age. Admittedly, there were times I recall, but only too well, being corrected, quite severely along the way;  but eventually it became almost second nature, though never completely easy […]

…and They Wonder Why People Don’t Want to Register Their Guns

March 11, 2013


Existing confiscation programs erode public trust and may ultimately make gun control more difficult In the perennial gun-rights vs. gun-control debate, gun registration is one of those measures inevitably brought up as a reasonable requirement for law-abiding citizens to own guns.  And just as inevitably, there are those who push back, saying that requiring gun […]

How Can We Accommodate Transgender Children?

March 8, 2013


Can we accommodate transgender children without freaking out about the whole thing? We have previously explored what “transgender” means, and how young is too young to know that one is transgendered.  I confess I had doubts about that last, and I still think parents and educators need to listen carefully to a child and not […]

Thoughts on Rape Prevention

March 7, 2013


As long as we act like men are the entire problem and our own risk-taking has no bearing whatsoever on the crime, we will continue to have sky-high rape statistics among young women. There has been a bit of a flurry in the press lately on the subject of rape, following some misguided discussions about […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: For the Love of Books

March 6, 2013


By Joan Larsen “Hidden gems”…  such an irresistible phrase to me.  When the “gems” are bookstores and I am on the road, going off the beaten path for a few miles is going to be a given.  They are safe haven from inclement weather, a respite from a long drive, and the independent bookstore owners […]

Kudos to the Wagasky Family: Debt-Free on $14000 Per Year

March 5, 2013


It often happens, in discussing general financial well-being, that someone will say:  “But these days, families neeeed two incomes just to get by.”  I have always disagreed with that statement, if only because childcare expenses demolish most of the second income.  For my example, I habitually point to one of my former Army colleagues, who […]

When Nursing Homes Don’t Nurse, Why Pay to Live There?

March 4, 2013


A 911 dispatcher pleads, an employee** refuses to perform CPR, and a resident dies (updated) My Dad’s greatest fear was The Nursing Home.  Thanks to my brother, he was able to stay in his own home until his final brief illness.  But what about those of us who don’t have kids, or whose kids are […]

Mike Firesmith: The Backwards Calendar

March 1, 2013


By Mike Firesmith Someone once told me the control panel for a 747 was so complex that pilots were trained to check certain areas and certain readings at a time, look up to see where the plane was going and then scan the next area of instruments. I often wondered if they installed them in […]