Browsing All Posts published on »April, 2014«

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Gorillas in Our Midst

April 30, 2014

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By Joan Larsen   The world is still in semi-darkness when we were awakened at 6am in the almost unknown country of Africa’s Rwanda, settled into vehicles, and off to what can only be described as one of the most magical encounters on our planet. To be honest, I do not believe I slept last […]

Planespotting in an Electronic Age

April 28, 2014

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People also laughed fifty years ago when they were told someone would fly over Berlin.  I remember the excitement in the year 1910 when Count Zeppelin first came to Berlin, and now the Berliners scarcely look up when something sails through the air.  Besides the giant airplanes and the planes for fighter pilots, there are […]

A SWAT Team for Every Home!

April 25, 2014

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Back in September, around the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attack, we pondered the nation’s dangerous slide into a mentality of sacrificing some of our freedoms – so hard-earned back in the 1770s – for a little temporary security, and not even very good security at that. One of the worrisome developments we noted was […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Ghostly Remains – Drama On The Ice

April 23, 2014

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By Joan Larsen   Each time I return to Antarctica, it is, of course, an ever changing panorama of breathtaking beauty – always, always with unexpected encounters with animals and nature that seem to touch my heart. Only there have I come to expect the unexpected. A largely unreported story of the sinking of a […]

The Ethan Couch Case Revisited: More Outrage, But One Fierce Victim

April 21, 2014

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Remember Ethan Couch, the Affluenza Boy? The spoiled rich kid who slaughtered four and injured nine (some permanently) while drunk and speeding on a dark residential road? Whose parents had never disciplined him for anything, ever, no matter how serious? Whose lawyers argued… successfully… that young Mr. Couch couldn’t be held responsible for this horrific […]

Is Your Weight Your University’s Business?

April 18, 2014

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In a poorly-executed attempt to forestall eating disorders, Yale University has established a history of tormenting underweight students Back when Lila was a mere wisp of a college student, she was 5’0″ and weighed all of 95 pounds. Sometimes it might even be a bit less. When she joined the Army several years later, her […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living With Giraffes

April 16, 2014

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By Joan Larsen Enchanting. . . and as you glide up to Kenya’s Giraffe Manor, you will find that your breath is actually taken away by the sight of a stunning estate – made of bricks from long ago — with beautiful vines covering it. But your eye is actually caught by a bevy of […]

Lila’s Olive and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

April 14, 2014

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All, if you love olives you will love this. (If not… meh, not so much). It’s also a pretty quick and easy recipe.   8 ounces of rotelle or rotini pasta 12 frozen pre-cooked meatballs of your choice Half an onion About half of a roasted red pepper, from a jar (I like Mezzetta) About […]

Grampa on a Gold Chain: No Thanks

April 11, 2014

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If you opt to keep your loved ones’ ashes close to your heart, what will eventually happen to them when you die?   There have always been some folks who kept their loved ones’ ashes enshrined in fancy urns on the fireplace mantel. Then there was the hair jewelry of the 19th century. Now, we […]

Joan Larsen’s Best Life-Changing Trip of 2014: The Rocky Mountaineer

April 9, 2014

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By Joan Larsen The tantalizing call of “All aboard,” chimed by the conductor at Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station had us scurrying down the platform toward the sharply-uniformed train staff, waiting to warmly welcome us aboard “The Rocky Mountaineer”.   Yes, we have always heard about “Classic Rail Journeys” but not in my wildest dreams did I […]

To Thank Our War Vets, Lila Will Be Boycotting Macy’s For a While

April 7, 2014

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Bad stereotypes: “I’m not hiring you for this job because you are black, and I know you will spend all your time shuckin’ and jivin’ instead of working.” “I’m not hiring you for this job because you are a woman and I know you will just get pregnant and quit right after we get you […]

Rowan Williams on Climate Change: the Part He’s Missing

April 4, 2014

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I applaud Dr. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, for warning us that climate change is real, that it is devastating, and that the continued burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor. I agree with him that we desperately need to get off fossil fuels (for security reasons as well as environmental ones), […]

Joan Larsen: Aloft in the Outback – the Royal Flying Doctors Service

April 2, 2014

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By Joan Larsen England’s Prince Charles and his Camilla, both smiling brightly, waved as they stepped off the last stair of the plane into what Americans would call “nowhere”. . . but actually is a stop in Australia’s Outback. The sun beat down mercilessly, the wind was blowing up more dust than we see in […]