Browsing All Posts published on »April, 2013«

Moving Situations Can Be Horrifying

April 30, 2013

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The angst of moving a most beloved possession. By Lauriate Roly When it comes around to May 1st, my mind journeys back to my days living in Montreal. The reason is because in Montreal the first day of May was popularly known as “moving day”. Almost everybody moved on that day. No one has ever […]

A Tale of Two Cockatoos: A Love Story

April 29, 2013

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I can’t take credit for this story, which starts in Queensland, Australia somewhere around 1998.  All the credit for the story and images goes to photographer Julius Bergh.  The story really resonated with me, though, because a friend has a pet cockatoo, and let me tell you, that bird is smart. Mr. Bergh’s story started […]

Harsh Reality is No Reason to Cut Back on Fictional Horror

April 26, 2013

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Ultimately, we may be doing ourselves a disservice by avoiding troubling themes in fiction. As a fan of the movie Silence of the Lambs, I was curious to see what the TV series Hannibal would be like.  The series explores the developing relationship between  fictional serial killer and cannibal Hannibal Lecter and his patient, colleague, […]

Surveillance Cameras: Good or Bad?

April 25, 2013

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While some argue against a creeping Big-Brother-like atmosphere, surveillance cameras undeniably help solve crimes. Neil Richards, writing for CNN, argues that our camera-happy authorities pose a risk to our freedom and privacy.  While he concedes that surveillance recordings were a key in the swift identification of the Boston Marathon bombers, he lays out his arguments […]

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

April 24, 2013

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By Joan Larsen Even now, more than a year and a half later, the 2011 Japanese tsunami – that wave coming out of nowhere, heading ashore with such incredible speed, eating up the landscape and its people – will forever remain indelibly in our minds.  Videos that we still remember – film played over and […]

Google Street View: Sometimes the Joke is on the Viewer

April 23, 2013

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“Google Street View Shows Two Horny Lovers Going At It in Dressing Room,” blares the headline.  The article is accompanied by a screen capture of the alleged act in question. My goodness, we are so naive.  It’s a gimmick, people!  It’s meant to draw attention to the store, and obviously, it’s working.  The suggestive feet […]

A Timely Pick-Me-Up

April 22, 2013

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As we gradually gain perspective on the Boston bombing, Lauriate Roly examines the emotional impact such events have on people everywhere. By Lauriate Roly Sometimes things going on around me can really knock me flat. I mean things that I simply can’t do anything about. Like wars, or terrible earthquakes happening somewhere on the planet, […]

… Like the Birdies Sing

April 19, 2013

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By Lauriate Roly Do Birds Recognize Humans – And Know When To Come Around? I recently read that birds recognize humans and that they will come around if they think you might feed them or even if they just enjoy being near you for some reason. I have a feeling this is actually a fact […]

Margaret Thatcher Didn’t Promote Other Women in Politics. So What?

April 18, 2013

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Do powerful women owe other women a a seat at their table?  I don’t think so. Lesley Abdela, a senior partner in Shevolution Consultancy, recently wrote an article for CNN lamenting the fact that Margaret Thatcher did little to change the male-dominated political landscape in Britain.  “Thatcher had such command over her Conservative Party that […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: The Wonder of Journey’s End – Easter Island

April 17, 2013

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By Joan Larsen A dream had played in my head since childhood.  Books of the time tantalized me with the stories of what I was soon to read was ‘the most isolated inhabited island on our earth.’   I knew even then that I must set foot on Easter Island.  But it was well over half […]

The Age of Fear and What to Do About the Next Boston Marathon

April 16, 2013

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Yesterday, bomb blasts shattered the excitement and exhilaration of the home stretch of the Boston Marathon.  Two killed.  Dozens injured.  The President promised the “full weight of justice” against the perpetrators. But then what?  How will America’s leaders, bureaucrats, and administrators respond? Our country has had a worrying trend lately toward zero tolerance for just […]

Tax Day

April 15, 2013

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I know everyone’s pretty busy and stressed today, what with it being both a Monday and Tax Day, so I will keep this short. I am reminded that in the early 1980s, there was much talk of simplifying the US Tax code, or at least the torturous process that ordinary citizens were subjected to as […]

Drew Barrymore – Putting Parenthood First

April 12, 2013

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Drew Barrymore isn’t the first or last new mother to conclude that women “can’t have it all.”  But if a high-powered, successful woman married to a high-powered, successful husband can’t “have it all,” can anyone? Drew Barrymore is a riches-to-rags-to-riches Hollywood story all her own.  The granddaughter of the famous John Barrymore, she had a […]

Kids Raping Kids and Then Bullying the Victim – What the Hell is Wrong With Us?

April 11, 2013

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Parents need to talk to both sons and daughters about rape.  The message is:  “Son, don’t do it,” and… unfortunately… “Daughter, never let your guard down.” There was the Steubenville, Ohio rape case:  a girl passed out drunk at a party, two boys sexually took advantage of her and took photos of their actions, laughing […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Journey to the Far North – Home to the Polar Bear

April 10, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   It was to be a journey to the far north – the lands far above Norway that are the stepping stones to the North Pole – an island group called Spitsbergen on our world’s far edges. There is only a tiny window in summer when the ice opens up enough to […]

What Do You Hear Outside Your Windows at Night?

April 9, 2013

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As warm weather finally arrives, Lauriate Roly laments the mysterious disappearance of a neighborhood phenomenon. By Lauriate Roly The question would have more meaning to me if I would be asked what I don’t hear. I would tell you how I miss the cute and mysterious musical sound of the “peepers”. I live in the […]

Everyone Just Loves to Be Offended

April 8, 2013

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The latest people to be annoyingly offended are Turkish Muslims, who just now noticed a Star Wars set…  30 years after it debuted in Return of the Jedi. I’m all for courtesy, consideration, and respect, but an awful lot of people have been way too easily offended in recent years.  I’m not sure when this […]

D.C.’s Unique “Slugging”: Carpooling With Random Strangers

April 5, 2013

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It’s something in between organized hitchhiking and anonymous carpooling, but strangely, it works. I recently ran across a CNBC story lamenting the fact that even as gas prices spike, more people prefer to drive alone.  This should “make you scratch your head,” writes Philip LeBeau. Not really!  When Hubby and I were first assigned to […]

ADHD: Medical Problem, or Parenting Problem?

April 4, 2013

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I am more convinced than ever that ADHD is over-diagnosed for the convenience of adults. The headlines are not helping my bad attitude toward ADHD diagnoses.  On Monday, CBS News published a story titled “Report: 11 Percent of School-Aged Kids Diagnosed With ADHD.”   On the exact same day,  Medpage Today carried the headline, “Parent Training […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Finding New Zealand’s Mt. Cook

April 3, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   Can you imagine a country where the only roadblocks you encounter are beautiful sheep blocking the road?  Welcome then to New Zealand — with its two islands holding 3 million wonderful people . . . and 60 million sheep – a proud welcoming committee, actually posing for what looks to be […]

Remembering Woolworth’s

April 2, 2013

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By Lauriate Roly I’ve been fortunate enough to have dined in some of the greatest restaurants. None sticks in my memory more than Woolworth’s. From where I worked to my night school classes was about two miles, and I would have to walk that distance, if I expected to use the money I had on […]

Tax Time: Why So Complicated?

April 1, 2013

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Tax preparation shouldn’t be a choice between paying a “professional” or losing a couple of days of your life every April. Most people grouse about the high cost of taxes (and how the government spends the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars).  Another big gripe, though, is how complicated they are. “Just use some software,” was the helpful […]