Archive

Archive for April, 2010

Remembering

I recently forgot to do something that was important (well to me). After thinking and addressing the facts, I felt that we all forget to do things, even important things. It is a quirk of human nature.
However, today there is one thing we should all try to remember.
On April30, 1975, Saigon was captured and renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The last American civilians were airlifted out of Saigon on this date. This marked the final and complete end of the Vietnam War.
The end of war is always a good thing to remember.

 Here are a few images to remind us of that.

Categories: History Tags: , , , , ,

Love and Chocolate

 

“All you need is LOVE. But a little CHOCOLATE now and

then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles M. Schulz

I think sometimes there isn’t enough CHOCOLATE in the world to produce the same feeling I would get, being with ____; NO substitute or consolation prize known to man.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE chocolate.

I am sorry, there are just some things CHOCOLATE  CAN’T do that LOVE CAN.

Yet, they say that CHOCOLATE is supposed to produce natural opiates in the brain to give the similar feeling of euphoria, as we find in our feelings of LOVE.

CHOCOLATE contains approximately 380 known chemicals, so it’s no wonder it’s difficult to figure out why CHOCOLATE is such a favorite treat. And who’s to say that it’s only one or two things in CHOCOLATE that cause us to feel happy? Many of the chemicals in chocolate are found in other foods, yet we don’t buy heart-shaped bananas to show that special someone that we care for them.

” When you’re in LOVE you can’t fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams”
— Dr. Seuss

I would much rather have the real thing than the dream…. or CHOCOLATE.

Categories: Psychology Tags: , , ,

Tribute to Modern Art

Enjoy the imagination; the possibilities are endless.

Categories: Art Tags: , , ,

A good read?

Here is a review of a current book I am reading, Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London.

(The review):

In the 1880s, fashionable Londoners left their elegant homes and clubs in Mayfair and Belgravia and crowded into omnibuses bound for midnight tours of the slums of East London. A new word burst into popular usage to describe these descents into the precincts of poverty to see how the poor lived: slumming. In this captivating book, Seth Koven paints a vivid portrait of the practitioners of slumming and their world: who they were, why they went, what they claimed to have found, how it changed them, and how slumming, in turn, powerfully shaped both Victorian and twentieth-century understandings of poverty and social welfare, gender relations, and sexuality.

The slums of late-Victorian London became synonymous with all that was wrong with industrial capitalist society. But for philanthropic men and women eager to free themselves from the starched conventions of bourgeois respectability and domesticity, slums were also places of personal liberation and experimentation. Slumming allowed them to act on their irresistible “attraction of repulsion” for the poor and permitted them, with society’s approval, to get dirty and express their own “dirty” desires for intimacy with slum dwellers and, sometimes, with one another.

Slumming elucidates the histories of a wide range of preoccupations about poverty and urban life, altruism and sexuality that remain central in Anglo-American culture, including the ethics of undercover investigative reporting, the connections between cross-class sympathy and same-sex desire, and the intermingling of the wish to rescue the poor with the impulse to eroticize and sexually exploit them.
What are your thoughts on this and how it relates to the social politics of today?

Categories: Politics

National Park History

Did you know, today is the birthday of Hot Springs National
Park, Arkansas? In 1832, the U.S. Congress established
the Hot Springs Reservation, thus establishing the
precursor of the current national park. Hot Springs
National Park is the oldest park in the current National Park
system.

It was first discovered by a Spanish Explorer, Hernando de Soto, in 1541. He called it the Land of Vapors. Much later, having been placed in a reservation southeast of Hot Springs in the 19th century, on August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Indians ceded the land around the hot springs to the United States in a treaty. After Arkansas became its own territory in 1819, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature requested in 1820 that the springs and adjoining mountains be set aside as a federal reservation. Twelve years later, in 1832, the national reservation was formed by Congress, granting federal protection of the thermal waters and giving Hot Springs the honor of being the “first” national park. However, Yellowstone national park,  founded in 1872 is still considered by most to be the first. 

It may be America’s smallest national park, yet it is beautiful isn’t it?

Categories: History Tags: , ,

Critic’s Review

The advertisement said it was to start at 6pm. Yet, it was 6 pm and things were still moving to get under way. Many more places were having to be produced to seat the arriving guests. It seemed even mention of the fact it was a “sold out” show, couldn’t keep the fans from coming in droves.
Why you ask?
The writer and director of the play, Dan Rogers, has the natural talent of any playwright you might come across in the big leagues. Yet, he brings the mastery of his talent to the local community college of Cedar Valley to inspire all students who aspire to greatness.
For this the students and staff have grown to love him in all sincerity. His dedication to his work goes above and beyond at most times. He proves this with another outstanding program.
Does this answer your question as to the droving fans?
Now, back to the play.
The introduction of each character, held it’s own. With humorous bantering and one liners, to overdone dramatics. There was no way any actor could fail to be remembered. It was priceless. Smiles and laughter could be heard throughout.
In a turn of events, the main character, the actress, Judith Cavanaugh, was pushed off the balcony of her apartment to her death. Or, was it suicide?
As the story had progressed, the tricky, sneaky details of the “whodunnit?” had begun to unfold. Clues were around the corners of each line. And just as it was starting to get better,… Dunh! Dunh! Dunh!…Intermission.
Around and around we go and what do the dinner guests suppose?
Pam Evans hadn’t formed any decisions, however she did say that she liked the play very well. Her husband, Dr. Evans chimed in as well, saying, “it’s all very mysterious”, pointing to the relationship of the character in the play of director and his, now deceased, leading lady. The director had been very passionate (yelling and bashing the table with his fist) about his dislike of his actress’s coming marriage to the screen writer, feeling he had been lead on and used. Then, Dr. Evans said it could be the obsessed fan who would go to any lengths for the actress.
You were right Dr. Evans, very mysterious.
Jotting over to see what the rest of the guests were pondering, I overheard Professor Pharr and his dinner date speaking highly of the performance of Judith Cavanaugh. Indeed.
So, what did Professor Rolling have to say to that? He seemed to be enjoying the crazed fan the most, so far.
Intermission was soon over and the dinner guests had been pampered with a feast from Macaroni Grill. Delish! On with the show!
Here was more of a chance to get to know a few of the other characters and their motives. There was the alcoholic, playboy, star, Geoff George, with an ego 10 miles high. Jealousy, was that his motive? He was quoted during intermission as having said about his co-star’s death and his taking of the award, “Naner, naner, naner”.  Next, we had the fired film crew member whose mother was not going to stand for her baby getting fired. Let me tell you, Antionette Hawkins’ character was one bad mama! You did not want to get on her list! But then, wait! What about the supposed jealous actress and her girlfriend who had “reportedly” met in Med school. Had they slipped poisoned tea to the actress before she fell to her demise? Or maybe it was the “so-called” police officer who had been seen playing the role of a cop in another film.

Just when you think you have an answer, The victim’s ever so troubled and heartbroken fiance whips out a gun and refuses to let anyone leave. Screams ensue. The characters are driven to face their accuser in the very place his love was killed…the balcony of Ms. Cavanaugh’s apartment. The excuses fly. The alibis leap from every tongue and,…..THE LIGHTS GO OUT! One character finds the flashlight, a little too quickly. It was time for another five minute break and the final guess for all.

In the end it boiled down to the whole thing being a set up to oust the real killer. The motive? Desperation, jealousy and blackmail, pushed things one time too far. The perfect end to a great murder mystery dinner.

Definitely more shows like this should be on the menu.

Afterwords, when asked what he thought about his crew, the true director, Dan Rogers, had this to say, “Awesome! They are a great bunch of students!” Yes, they were and the writer and director of the play did not fall below those same words.

Thanks to you all for a great time!

Categories: Theater

The Politics of School

It used to be that a school focused on the quality of what they taught and not the quantity. Lessons used to remain with the students as part of life lessons and not just a task to quickly move through and be done with. The old saying, ” in one ear and out the other”,  comes to mind when thinking on the education of today’s students.
The students are taught to pass the state tests and move on to the next test, not necessarily to grasp and retain intellect or knowledge. As much as we see this today, it is not a new subject for concern in the educational field.
There is a book in which the author, Henry Adams ( grandson of John Quincy Adams-former U.S. President ), strongly criticized 19th century educational theory and practice. After his death in 1918 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work.
This work entitled, The Education of Henry Adams, explores the limits of formal education, and the belief of there being too much emphasis on memorizing and too little cultivation of true intellectual curiosity.
Through political policies, changes have currently been made to our nation’s school policies. Many argue this as cause that the new generation of leaders will be less qualified for the workforce or positions as leaders of communities. In essence, they would argue we are becoming a nation of idiots. Is this true? Is the lack of intellectualism and curiosity that is cultivated in the classrooms a problem in this country? Or, is it just a phase, as we can see this comment is mentioned before in Henry Adams’ book, at the turn of the last century?

Categories: Politics