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Archive for August, 2015

To become really mature is to return to the age of five, to be able to recapture the capacity for absorption, for learning, to recapture the tremendous hunger to master skills that you had at five years.
   —  Eric Hoffer
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On This Day In:
2014 Touching The Past
The Supreme Question
2013 Children Will Judge
2012 Liar, n.
2011 Freedom To Doubt

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Children must know that it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their altitude.
   —   Jesse Jackson
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On This Day In:
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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An apology is a friendship preserver,
an antidote for hatred,
never a sign of weakness;
It costs nothing but one’s pride,
always saves more than it costs,
and is a device needed in every home.
   —  Dag Hammarskjold
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On This Day In:
2014 Go
2013 Well, Does It?
2012 Near Misses Aren’t Successes
2011 Uncomfortable Feelings
2010 San Francisco (favorites)…
Bullets or Butter?

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Both tears and sweat are wet and salty, but they render a different result.  Tears will get you sympathy, but sweat will get you change.
   —  Jesse Jackson
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On This Day In:
2014 Trapped (Again)
2013 Someone Else Believes
2012 The Practical Value of Science
2011 Seize Gladly The Difficult Task
A Constitutional Conversation
2010 The Fierce Urgency Of Now…

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Much of the population is desperately trying to educate its way out of a terrifying cycle of downward mobility.  But students are fighting strong structural shifts in the economy.  While technology-driven productivity used to be what economists said would save us from jobless recoveries, technology these days removes jobs from the economy.
   —  Rana Foroohar
From her editorial / commentary column (“The Curious Capitalist“): “The 3% Economy
In Time Magazine dtd: October 6, 2014
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On This Day In:
2014 Rights
2013 Do Bold Things
2012 Seven Causes
2011 I Feel A Tingle Coming On

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Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
   —    Zora Neale Hurston
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On This Day In:
2014 Sweet Songs
2013 The Wife Of An Ordinary Man
2012 Three Words
2011 Know Anyone Like This?
2010 Apoplexy??
When Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
Sibling Awareness

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Movie Review:
Today’s movie review is for the documentary: “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” (2008).  This documentary is about three brothers who want to be famous, bigger and stronger.  Two of them, the bookends, are willing to use anabolic steroids to get what they want.  The third (the middle son) thinks using is “wrong” and doesn’t want to use them (steroids).  The story is an examination of the use of steroids.
The movie is interesting because although the speaker (the middle brother) is against the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), he’s willing to take a “honest” look at them.  What he finds is surprising: there is no proven scientific link between steroids and “roid-rage” and there are virtually no data supporting the harmfulness of their use.  The documentary states there are perhaps three deaths per year which can be attributed to steroid use in the United States.  This is interesting because there is almost no supervised use outside of formal medical prescription and yet there are estimates that the majority of athletes at all levels are using them.  This means untrained medical application (pills and shots) result in virtually no deaths even though steroids are thought to be “dangerous”.
I, personally, have never used steroids as a PED and I have frequently (well, several times) been asked if I would take them.  I would say, “No”, but obviously, my opinion has been based on biased data (at least as reported in this documentary).  Given the reportage in this film and assuming it is honest and accurate, my response would now be a qualified, “Yes”.  I don’t take this statement lightly, but I now feel we (the American public) have been led down another primrose path that drugs are bad (except when they’re not) and only cheaters use them.  Well, the later part of that may be true, but if there really is little or no scientific proof of their danger, it is only a matter of time until they become “legal” for performance enhancement – if not for everyday use.
Final recommendation: Highly recommended!  This is not a movie which I would think has a large audience.  That’s a shame.  I believe it is one of those rare movies (or books) which offers up information contrary to popular opinion and, as such, needs to be viewed by the masses and fact checked by the competent (and I am not claiming to be one of these).  Watch it and think…
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On This Day In:
2014 Real Ideals
2013 A Happiness Weapon
2012 An Eagle Has Departed
Ummm
And In My Prayers
2011 Welcome Doubt
2010 Talk, Talk, Talk…
Every Day At Least
Democratic Suicide
Pleasurable Reading
Loose Joy
Do, Er, Write – Whatever
This Glorious Company
Relax With A Good Book
Neither Vice Nor Weakness
That’s Rich!
Man Will Prevail!!!
Frankly Speaking to Arizona
Brother By Another Mother

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You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
     —   Eleanor Roosevelt
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On This Day In:
2014 Devouring The Present
2013 But So Far…
Twice Moved
2012 Just Like Bubbles
2011 Caring and Driving
Achieve Greatly
2010 Unwise To Trust
Attitude
If The Mind Is Not Tired
Irrationally Crazy
2nd Pair – Shoe Review
Ahnu – Gesundheit!
2009 As for me…
Health Care Reform Now!!

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Children growing up in any modern culture have an opportunity to learn to become conceptually fluent by becoming verbally fluent.  It’s that simple.  Although many people have the impression that the ability to spin ideas into meaningful webs of persuasion must be an in-born skill, probably determined by IQ, the simple fact is that conceptual fluency is largely a matter of verbal fluency.  A person who has a limited vocabulary has a limited ability to speak — and think — conceptually.  Conversely, a person who has a large and diversified vocabulary, and who’s willing to use it appropriately in various conversational situations, has a high level of conceptual skill.
   —  Karl Albrecht
From his book: “Practical Intelligence
[Click on book title to see my review of the book.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Familiar
2013 Unbending
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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A few weeks ago I finished binge-ing on the first two seasons of “Arrow” on Netflix.  The series is an adaptation of the “Green Arrow” comic books series by D.C. Comics.  First, a little background bias aka “full disclosure”:  I am not really a D.C. person.  When I was growing up, the comics were basically D.C., Marvel and everyone else.  D.C. had (mostly) single issue stories which were generally run of the mill superhero fare.  Marvel tended to tell individual stories, but within story arcs which could last six or more months.  This made Marvel seem more like literature than “just” stories.  Anyway, even within the D.C. universe, there were major and minor characters.  Green Arrow was one of the most minor of characters.  He was essentially a low budget Batman in a Robin Hood suit, shooting arrows (and little else).  Bottom line: I started off with very low expectations I would like this series.
Because the comic book wasn’t one I followed, the T.V. series is a “new” story for me.  When I say “new”, I mean only for the “Arrow” character as the storyline is basically lifted from Batman “The Dark Knight” movie series.  This doesn’t make it bad, just not very original.  Here goes: rich / spoiled, under-achieving college student is in a shipwreck and gets stranded on an island for five years where he learns a number of martial arts and survival techniques from various folks on the island.  He returns to civilization and becomes a vigilante trying to clean-up the city his father loved.  He starts off as a killer, indiscriminately disposing of bad guys, but at the end of the first season he resolves to try to avoid killing anyone while still bringing them to justice.  All the while, there is an over-arching soap-opera going on about his love life and the love lives of the people around him.  And, of course, all while trying to run the company which makes him a billionaire.
Does the series work?  Surprisingly, yes!  At first I found the soap-opera-ish-ness tiring, then I kind of got used to it, then it was boring, then I had kind of an acceptance of it as a means of bringing a humanizing facet into the show.  I’m sure it (the humanizing) could be handled in a different way, but I guess the soap is there to keep the teen-and-tween audience tuning in.  The action scenes are mostly pretty good.  Not up to the level of Daredevil, but still pretty good.
All in all, pretty good entertainment for TV – certainly better than “Marvel – Agents of SHIELD”, but I digress.  So, now I wait for season three to become available on Netflix and then season four, which I understand is still broadcasting.  A final note: I’ve found this serial (as in one after another) binge-ing makes the series enjoyable in a way that going week to week would probably have never been for me.  Once again, a big “yes” vote for “the binge.”
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On This Day In:
2014 Overdone
2013 The Courage To Remake The World
2012 Minor Gifts
2011 I Love It When A Plan Comes Together…
2010 Eloquence
Cleaning the Chalk Board

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I want to know how God created this world.  I want to know His thoughts.  The rest are details.
   —  Albert Einstein
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On This Day In:
2014 Here’s One…
2013 Non-Fungible Commodities
2012 Hope And Tears
2011 Just Long Enough
Meaningful Thoughts

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The most fundamental problem of politics is not the control of wickedness but the limitation of righteousness.
To seek to achieve [American values] by military occupation in a part of the world where they had no historical roots, imbued the American endeavor in Iraq with a Sisyphean quality.
Long ago, in youth, I was brash enough to think myself able to pronounce on ‘The Meaning of History‘.  I now know that history’s meaning is a matter to be discovered, not declared.
  —  Henry Kissinger
The three quotes are from the article “The Lion in Winter
Written by Walter Isaacson
In Time Magazine, September 22, 2014
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On This Day In:
2014 Be R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T
2013 Lacking
2012 So Small A Thing
2011 Is Your Time Valuable?

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Whether it’s because we’re scared or lazy or time-pressed, or simply that we think the food we cook won’t taste as good as the junk we buy, we have allowed others to feed us, rather than taking charge of feeding ourselves.  For the sake of our health, our well-being, or palates and the environment, that has to change — and you don’t have to be Giada De Laurentiis to get on board.
   —  Mark Bittman
From his article “How To Eat Now
In the October 20, 2014 edition of Time Magazine
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On This Day In:
2014 10 Commandments Of Logical Arguments (Fallacies)
2013 Sociology Of The Future
2012 1010
There In The Sunshine
2011 Not Enough Time

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Education is what most people receive, many pass on, and few have.
    —  Karl Kraus
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On This Day In:
2014 Even When It Ain’t, It Is
2013 Still Happens
2012 Possessing Eternity
2011 I Thought We Were Talking About Afghanistan

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
    —  Eleanor Roosevelt
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On This Day In:
2014 And Yet I Still Study
2013 Use Your Own
2012 Strengthen Freedom
2011 Attrition = A Lack Of Imagination
2010 Mind The Fire, Love
Just Beyond My Reach…
Even A Life Of Quiet Desperation!
Acts Of Courage

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