Letter from Sandy Hook Mom
I am a mother of three girls, ages 2, 6, and 8. Two of them are Sandy Hook School students – one in first grade, one in third grade. I would like to share with you our experience with Dec 14th and my feelings on gun control ... Look at the pictures of the 26 innocent lives taken so needlessly and wastefully, using a weapon that never should have been in the hands of civilians. Really think. Changing the laws may “inconvenience” some gun owners, but it may also save a life, perhaps a life that is dear to me or you. Are you really willing to risk it?
In the wake of the unthinkable massacre in Connecticut, pro-gun ideologues are once again calling for ordinary citizens to arm themselves as a solution to mass shootings. If only the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School had possessed a M-4 assault rifle she could've stopped the killer, they say. This latest twist on a long-running argument isn't just absurd on its face; there is no evidence to support it.
America’s seems to be in for another debate over gun regulation ... so it’s worth reviewing five made against regulating gun ownership in the United States
Over the weekend, the annual holiday gift-shopping season kicked off here in the U.S. with the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally known as Black Friday.
[Yesterday was] called Cyber Monday, as people return to their offices after the long Thanksgiving weekend, and take a bit of time to do some online shopping. But there’s a new “day” in this post-Thanksgiving period I’m excited about: Giving Tuesday.
Over 1,000 charities, community organizations and businesses in the U.S. have banded together to promote this Tuesday as a day to give back, and to encourage people to give more, give smarter and celebrate the spirit of giving.
Beloit College's Mindset List
Fragrances include Riding Mower (cut grass), First Down (orange & leather), and 2X4 (freshly cut wood and sawdust).
But there is a deepening sense that this nation’s challenges have grown so large that they exceed current capabilities. Reflect for a moment on the magnitude of the challenges America confronts. For example, in a 20-country group of America’s peer countries in the OECD, the U.S. is now worst, or almost worst, on nearly 30 leading indicators of social, environmental, and economic well-being.
To our great shame, among the 20 major advanced countries America now has
yet accompanied by the highest
- the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
- the greatest inequality of incomes;
- the lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
- the lowest number of paid holiday, annual, and maternity leaves;
- the lowest score on the United Nations’ index of “material well-being of children”;
- the worst score on the United Nations’ gender inequality index;
- the lowest social mobility;
- the highest public and private expenditure on health care as a portion of GDP,
- infant mortality rate;
- prevalence of mental health problems;
- obesity rate;
- portion of people going without health care due to cost;
- low-birth-weight children per capita (except for Japan);
- consumption of antidepressants per capita;
Let me tell you a little about the truck driver you just flipped off because he was passing another truck, and you had to cancel the cruise control and slow down until he completed the pass and moved back over.
"For the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan."
"You've won the Nobel Prize--Wait, Don't hang up!"
What it's like to be the first to contact the Nobel winners."
They make a good doorstop...
The political chemistry of oil
Quoted for Truth:
- One in five Americans believes our President is a Muslim. Equally scary, 25 percent of Americans believe that Muslims are not patriotic Americans. Three cheers for the combo platter of ignorance and intolerance! (Somebody please listen to what Colin Powell says at 4:40 of this video.)
- Nearly 20 percent of New York City’s public schools lack a certified teacher in even one of the arts disciplines, reports The New York Observer. My guess is that other school districts around the country, especially in a time of tight budgets, aren’t much different. (Meanwhile, China is a taking a very different approach.)
- But it doesn’t seem that de-emphasizing art education is boosting other literacies. According to The Wall Street Journal, “fewer than 25% of 2010 graduates who took the ACT college-entrance exam possessed the academic skills necessary to pass entry-level courses.”
Hungry? "there's always the neighborhood dumpster"
How do racists get to be that way? Why? Who benefits from feeding off their fear? ... How would I feel if I were a brown student at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona?
Roger Ebert's Journal: How do they get to be that way?
When AJ Jacobs learned multitasking was bad for you, he decided to kick his chronic addiction to mental juggling. Get ready for Operation Focus ...
AJ Jacobs: My colossal task burden
A good way to celebrate the first day of Spring
Today, March 20th, would have been Fred Roger's 82nd birthday. Now friends and colleagues are promoting a national day of volunteering on this date. It will be called Won't You Be My Neighbor Day.
A Snapshot of America
I received my official 2010 Census Forms in the mail yesterday, and had the whole thing filled out and back in the mailing envelope inside 5 minutes. Somehow it seemed like something so important should have taken longer!
Silver vs bronze medals Silver may come before bronze on the Olympic podium, but it lags behind on the happiness scale. Psychologists have discovered that bronze medalists tend to be more satisfied with their prize than silver medalists.
"I think if I was an Olympic athlete, I would rather come in last than win the silver, if you think about it. You know, you win the gold, you feel good. You win the bronze, you think, well, at least I got something. But you win that silver, that's like congratulations, you almost won. Of all the losers, you came in first of that group."
---- Jerry Seinfeld, comedian
A Corn-cob pipe, a button nose, two eyes made of coal
Like some of man's oldest forms of folk art, the snowman is, and always has been, a byproduct of man’s primal instinct to depict himself in art, be it a cave painting or a sculpture made out of snow. A frozen Forrest Gump, he's a reflection of our own development. The snowman's history spans the Renaissance, the early years of the American colonies, even the Franco-Prussian War. But one of his most intriguing eras was the "Dean Martin Years," a period of excessive drinking and questionable activity.Smithsonian: Snowman Gone Wild
The Big Sort is a catchy name given to American's tendency to prefer living with like-minded persons. We cluster together and miss out on diversity.
The domino effect
Home foreclosure is hard on many levels. Families are fractured, pets may be abandoned in empty houses, and now honeybees are beginning to build nests in abandoned houses. This is better than being colonized by squatters, collegiate revelers, or methanphetamine cooks, which are also problems. All this is definitely more than a bump in the economic road.
When Jena Slosberg of Bedford, N.H., gave birth in March, she endured a labor that lasted 17 hours. But her discomfort was ultimately worth it, quite apart from the arrival of her daughter, Marin. In the recovery room, her husband, Paul, presented her with a pair of diamond earrings.A Bundle of Joy Isn't Enough?
Scenes from the Westlake District of Daly City, California. One of America's first master-planned postwar suburbs, Westlake was the "inspiration" for Malvina Reynolds' song "Little Boxes," which became a hit for folkie Pete Seeger in 1964.More information in this blog post from Telstart Logistics
Morning in America. This is the United States. This is the TSA.
What today's youth DON'T know
Roam where you want to
Children's "roam area" has significantly decreased over four generations a report in the Daily Mail finds. Some say this reduction is detri
Where your tax dollars go
Death and Taxes: a visual representation of where your tax money goes.
Haven't we made ANY progress?
Good Doll, Bad Doll I find this a very sad and disturbing report, recently aired on ABC News.
How to Be Interesting
russell davies: how to be interesting. 10 rules to make yourself more interesting to others.
... the core skill of any future creative business person w
More on Scooter Mania
New 7 Wonders of the World
From the Stanford Childhood Roundtable
Growing Concerns: "Six Stanford faculty experts weigh in on aimless adolescents, media messages, and why raising kids really does take a village."
We "need" the bags for all our stuff!
quoted in the book "Affluenza:The All-Consuming Epidemic and the Way Out"
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Accelerating speed with which we multiply
And subdue the Earth, nor the growing number
Of things we possess and cling to.
It is a way along which to search for truth,
To find seren