Loosely Speaking

Friday, June 10, 2022

How dumb is the US?

Was in a chat with Charlie about America has Dumbed-down. Are we dumber as a nation? What do kids need to know? What are they learning instead? My contention is that our society has replaced a solid diet of education with 'fast-food' and 'sweeties' of entertainment and superficials. That schools are teaching to standardized testing and parents are not teaching the skills of life. Neither are teaching the skills of civil behavior, like boundaries and manners. This is, of course, not true of all... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Great Courses: Mesopotamia

This is one of the best of the Great Courses I've watched so far. The presenter is very good at talking about the ancient times and places in a way that makes them very clear, easy to engage with a sense of being there. If you're interested in the passage of mankind from hunter/gathering wanderers to settled farmers, to communities, to empires, this one is one I think you'd enjoy. She clearly knows her stuff, and doesn't have annoying verbal or physical mannerisms to distract from the... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Great Courses: Russian History

The Great Courses lecture series available on Am Prime right now--I just finished watching the one on Russian history from medieval to present time. It isn't the most stimulating in terms of production values, but I am finding it very interesting to learn the history and put the current situation with Russia into a wider context. When I was a kid, during the Cold War years, I had the vaguest idea of what Russia was, beyond being the villains and great threat of the times. I knew some of the... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A loss to literature.

Sorry to hear of the passing of one of the great fantasy writers: Patricia McKillip, who gave us THE RIDDLE MASTER OF HED trilogy--one of the most beautiful, romantic, and imaginative fantasies of the 20th Century. I read later that her great inspiration to write fantasy came from reading Tolkien, but you won't find Tolkien in her writing. She had true originality and imagination, and created some of the most wonderful landscapes, characters, and peoples in all of fantasy literature. She wrote... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Twisting Reality

So, the right-wingnuts have sneered and scorned "wokeness" and adopted "woke" as their latest derogatory term... self-righteously defending their right to ignorance and benightedness, as if those are actually virtues in any world. Awareness is power in one's life. Knowledge is power. Understanding nuances, appreciating differences and distinctions, tolerating what is outside one's own experience... All these things are the power that those people oppose. Their idea of power is simple brutality... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

binging again

My latest tv binge is a show from the UK called NEW TRICKS. It's about a group of three retired coppers who, under the management of a middle-aged woman copper, take on cold-cases to finally solve. I don't find the overall premise or the stories particularly compelling, but I do like the characters and their relationships. One of the actors in particular drew me in. Alun Armstrong has often played heavies, and mainly unsympathetic types. He is not a pretty face by any means, but always totally... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

How would UBI change your life?

Universal Basic Income... Imagine the government providing every adult with an allowance that is enough for survival in the world we live in. The gut reaction is opposition: That people wouldn't work because they wouldn't have to. It's in our basic indoctrination, that 'work ethic' inherited from our ancestors that said If you don't work, you don't eat. In fact, UBI would not be enough for more than survival, so in order to have more in your life than the utterest basics, you would still need to... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Listen up!

I sat through another Real World reunion yesterday, again observing the people dynamics as they re-gather 30 years later. It's interesting to see how those years have changed them, their physical appearance, their lives that they had yet to live the first time. The Activist is still the Activist/provocateur, and like the dominant woman in the one I spoke about a couple of posts back, he dominated the group with words and manner, or so it seemed at first. Just about everyone was with him, wanting... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, March 7, 2022

What do you mean, there's nothing to watch?

I don't know why this copy/paste from a message I sent someone today insists on presenting itself this way. There's a movie available on Prime: The Velocipastor Enter You sent "After losing his parents, a priest travels to China where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to tunr into a dinosaur..." Enter You sent Llamageddon: A killer llama from outer space crash lands on Earth... Enter You sent Bingo Hell: A feisty senior citizen fights to protect her beloved neighborhood from and... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Listen...!

Do you listen to podcasts? My daughter the dog-trainer has been creating one called The Deal With Animals which focuses on topics of anthrozoology. As she explains in her introduction, Anthrozoology is the study of the relationships between humans and non-human animals, especially how these relationships are changing as we learn and appreciate more and more the minds and feelings of non-human animals. On her podcast, she interviews various people, experts in their particular corner of the... Sign in to see full entry.

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