Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2013«

Head in the Clouds: When The Picture in Your Mind is Not Reality

May 31, 2013

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Okay, here’s a bit of weird news to close out the week:  “Couple Plans Dolphin-Assisted Birth.”  Adam and Heather Barrington of North Carolina have traveled to Hawaii to plan a dolphin-assisted birth at the Sirius Institute.  Seriously?  Why? Apparently, this is some kind of New-Age, “natural-childbirth” thing.  “Dolphin-assisted childbirth is an option that some expectant […]

Putting the Victim on Trial

May 30, 2013

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It used to be pretty standard practice in the bad old days to tarnish a rape victim’s reputation in court in order to invalidate her claim of rape, or at the very least, to cast doubts as to whether the act was consensual.  Was she a virgin?  Was she sexually active?  How many boyfriends had […]

Joan Larsen Encore: On the Road in the Canadian Rockies – Close Encounters With the Rutting Elk

May 29, 2013

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By Joan Larsen Showered with a world full of bad news, to me it seems – more than ever before – we need a special change of scene.  Speaking for myself – but, I expect for just about everyone – I want to once again know that there lies a most beautiful world not that […]

What if Your Car Ends Up in the Water?

May 28, 2013

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The rather disconcerting collapse of a bridge span on I-5 in Washington State should be a wake-up call about our nation’s infrastructure, says the National Transportation Safety Board.  We were lucky this time; no one was killed, although at least two vehicles did end up in the water along with the bridge wreckage. It’s not […]

Before There Was an Official Memorial Day…

May 27, 2013

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Before there was an official Memorial Day, people well knew how to mark it; few were untouched by the Civil War (or War Between the States, if you prefer).  A century and a half later… well. HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868 The 30th day of May, […]

Paul Tudor Jones’ Comment: Moms Don’t Have the Focus for Macro Trading Career

May 24, 2013

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Outrageous!  But Is He Right? Here we go again.  At a symposium on large-scale trading and investment  at the University of Virginia last month,  the question came:  why was the panel composed solely of rich, white, middle-aged men?  Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones answered that in his experience, emotional distractions – such as divorce – would […]

Justin Bieber: Slipping

May 23, 2013

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“If you have to say you are, you aren’t.”  – Margaret Thatcher You know, I’m really not one to follow celebrity news, but once in a while a celebrity will do something so outrageous – or a series of such outrageous things – that the headlines are just unavoidable.  Yes, Justin Bieber is back, and […]

Joan Larsen Reflects: The Third Chapter of Our Lives

May 22, 2013

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By Joan Larsen Happiness is like a butterfly:  the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and softly sit on your shoulder.  Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)   Writing a heartfelt, personal letter to a friend — so dear that I […]

But I Can Dream, Can’t I?

May 21, 2013

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Lauriate Roly ponders:  is all that we see and seem but a dream within a dream? By Lauriate Roly I knew it would never happen, but each time I bought a ticket, I thought about it. Even if the whole thing came about as it would in my daydreams, I knew it wasn’t possible because […]

“War on Terror” Humor: An Untapped Niche

May 20, 2013

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Why is there no sitcom about bumbling terrorists and counterterrorism agents? Last Thursday, I wrote about the rather cartoonish arrest of Ryan Fogle in Moscow.  To illustrate that cartoonishness, I settled on Maxwell Smart from the 1960s sitcom Get Smart, but I also ran across this image of Boris and Natasha with a big bomb […]

The Idiotic Messages We Send Our Kids About Violence

May 17, 2013

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Ever notice just how wrong our authorities get things?  Specifically, I have been noticing the complete, nonsensical, total disconnect of any kind of reason or consistency between “school violence” and “bullying.”   We have been conditioned lately to think of “school violence” as Columbine or Sandy Hook (never mind that Adam Lanza was not a student).  […]

Spy vs. Spy?

May 16, 2013

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I am honestly not sure what to make of the Moscow arrest and PNG (persona non grata) removal of US Embassy employee Ryan Fogle.  Fogle was arrested by the Russian FSB (successor organization to the old KGB), accused of espionage, and filmed with his supposed spy kit, which consisted of two really cheesy wigs, some […]

Joan Larsen’s Quest for the World’s Most Remote Islands: Close Calls on Sub-Antarctic Enderby

May 15, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   Lying between New Zealand and Antarctica, a series of rugged and remote islands sit like silent sentinels in the harshest seas on Earth, those of the Great Southern Ocean.  Centuries ago, people gave up trying to live on them, surrendering them to their animal counterparts who learned to survive on them.  […]

The Big… Balloon?… In the Sky

May 14, 2013

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Lauriate Roly recalls a strange phenomenon. By Lauriate Roly In 1952 I lived in the Town of Mount Royal, a sub-division of Montreal. I had just left home at about 8 o’clock in the morning for my drive to work. It was a lovely clear warm day. I drove a convertible in those days and […]

The Cicadas are Here!

May 13, 2013

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We East Coast residents have been hearing the warnings for some days now:  a brood of 17-year cicadas (Magicicadas) is due to arrive at any moment!   Prepare to be overwhelmed! Well, Saturday afternoon I saw the first heralds of the brood, at least the ones who have been lurking beneath Lila’s lawn for nearly two […]

The Unsanitary Swim Diaper: Not in My Pool, Please!

May 10, 2013

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Even the manufacturers don’t claim that “swim diapers” will contain a mess. Memorial Day is fast approaching, and that means the neighborhood pools will soon be opening for business.  As we wrote last year, the whole concept of a diapered child in a communal swimming area is  revolting, and for good reason!  Every summer, we […]

As Featured on HuffPost Live: Take Charge of Your Dental Health!

May 9, 2013

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Dental care is like any other kind of medical care.  When in doubt – and even if you’re not – consider getting a second opinion. I was very surprised and pleased to be invited last night to participate in a discussion group at HuffPost Live on the perils of shady dentistry (isn’t technology wonderful?).  Of […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Lost in Another World – Exploring Australia’s Top End

May 8, 2013

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By Joan Larsen We were young and adventurous when this wilderness beckoned us.  Crocodile Dundee walked in our footsteps sometime later… but we paved the way.  For the most part, the roads in the Top End were not paved.  The largest national park in Australia lies there, a “must-be-seen” wilderness called Kakadu… a journey to […]

Hughie’s Story

May 7, 2013

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Lauriate Roly recalls a compelling story from an unlikely source. By Lauriate Roly Hughie was a hermit. He was about sixty years old at the time. He was completely uneducated, couldn’t read, nor write, and how he managed to survive was a mystery. He lived in a tumble-down shack, without walls and almost no roof. […]

Burial, Belief, and the Forgotten

May 6, 2013

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It is only the mourners who believe in the sanctity of any particular grave… or person. The Jamestown colony certainly had a rough start in those early years of 1607-1610 or so, and cannibalism was described in various chronicles of the time.  Recently, archaeologists discovered hard evidence that supports that history: the bones of a […]

Imagined Sins of the Father: Don’t Visit Them Upon the Kids

May 3, 2013

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Don’t be that kind of adult who shuns the kids who are hurting the most. The bizarre case of Brenda Heist, the wife and mother who went missing for 11 years only to resurface recently, was of only passing interest to me until I ran across this quote from her husband, Lee Heist: “The hardest […]

Colonizing Mars: Like Going on a One-Way Trip to Hell

May 2, 2013

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I had a nightmare once that I had died and gone to Hell.  There wasn’t much to the dream; Hell consisted of a dungeon-like construction, and every soul was chained in a little alcove in the gloom.  “Huh, this isn’t so bad,” I thought.  But then it occurred to me:  This is all there is.  […]

Joan Larsen’s Adventures Off the Beaten Track: Between a Rock and a Hard Place in Utah

May 1, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   Reimagine a walk in the park… as we all know that the wonderful feeling we get when we “discover” the incredibly beautiful places in our world that just may take us a few steps off the beaten path — or the paved road.  In the Americas, I have kept the national […]