Browsing All Posts published on »December, 2013«

Lila’s New Year’s Celebration With “the Enemy,” 1988-1989

December 30, 2013

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A little respect and genuine interest goes a long way toward setting tensions aside, at least for one night. In February of 1988, two US grand juries indicted Panama’s de facto military dictator, Manuel Noriega, on drug trafficking charges.  It was a messy situation.  Noriega had been on the CIA payroll in the 1970s, until […]

The Common Denominator in Mass Murders Isn’t Guns. It’s Psycho-Social Isolation and Hostility.

December 27, 2013

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The question isn’t how to lock up all the guns.  The question is how to get people to come forward with their misgivings, and act on that.   After every Columbine, every Newtown, every Aurora or Virginia Tech, there is the outcry over guns.  Pundits and politicians debate limiting magazine capacity, or banning semiautomatic weapons… […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 25, 2013

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Merry Christmas, Amy Berman

December 23, 2013

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Way back in May of 2012, I pointed my blog to Amy Berman’s story in Health Affairs.   She had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2010.  As a registered nurse and a health foundation executive, she knew better than most what that meant.   Inflammatory breast cancer is incurable, and even with aggressive […]

One Tart’s Best-Laid Gold-Digging Plan Goes Astray

December 20, 2013

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As you know, I hold in contempt women who try to use sex to get ahead.  Those who go the extra mile and intentionally or negligently conceive children out of wedlock for the purposes of gold-digging or ensnaring a man deserve a special place in Hell for the havoc they cause to the man’s family […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Spending Christmas in Antarctica

December 18, 2013

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By Joan Larsen At this season, as another Christmas draws near, we find there are moments when we look back — back at a lifetime of memories of Christmas past . . . many times wishing they could be the simpler times we once had   I speak for all of us, longing – I […]

What Sleep Really Does, and Why You Shouldn’t Skimp

December 16, 2013

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A study by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Rochester found that “sleep’s critical function is to allow metabolic waste products to be cleared from the brain, which apparently cannot occur during waking hours,”  Medpage Today reports.   If you’re interested, you can read the paper at the NIH website; but essentially, the natural interstitial […]

Affluence, Toxic Parenting Buy Lenience for Horrific Teen DUI

December 13, 2013

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Texas teen who slaughtered four and injured nine gets probation because he is a victim of toxic parents and “affluenza.”  All right, then.  Lock the parents up and put any other kids they may have into state custody, and most importantly: take away that infectious wealth. Last Father’s Day, 16-year-old Texas teen Ethan Couch — […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Bringing Happiness by Sprinkling Stars on the Life of a Child

December 11, 2013

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By Joan Larsen Sometimes, a single story can change our lives. Though this personal tale takes place in the Christmas season, it is one that – once heard – is remembered forever.   The glories of nature in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana would be hard to match.  But in that wilderness live families whose […]

Paul Walker: A Cautionary Tale

December 9, 2013

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He starred in a series of movies about illegal street racing, until a high-speed crash killed him. Until his death in a fiery car crash, I had no idea who Paul Walker was.  It quickly became clear that he was the star of the movie franchise The Fast and the Furious.   Walker was not driving […]

A Mileage Tax in the Land of Suburban Sprawl? Not Likely

December 6, 2013

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Writes Tom Curry for NBC News:  “By driving more fuel-efficient cars and by driving fewer miles than they did back before the 2008-09 recession, Americans are starving federal funding for highways and commuter rail and bus systems across the nation.” Why, those inconsiderate jerks, with their accursed fuel efficiency!  How dare they! So, of course, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Killer Whales Come Up for Air

December 4, 2013

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By Joan Larsen It’s a rare moment to capture: whales taking a breather as they swim under polar ice. ANTARCTICA – In the Ross Sea portion of Antarctica, the American McMurdo base has been clothed in darkness for six months. Those “wintering over” spend that time frozen in by the ice until the spring months of […]

Nature, Nurture, and Free Will: Which One Rules Our Choices?

December 2, 2013

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A neuroscientist with a normal, loving life discovers that medically, he is a psychopath.  Now what? What drives our actions?  Are our choices really a product of exercising our free will, or are we just genetically programmed bio-automatons? Because of my own background, I ponder these questions more than most folks, perhaps.  Adopted as an […]