While the rest of the country is baking, even Washington and Oregon, here it is cool. It will not reach 70F today, and only just tomorrow. High 70s are predicted for Saturday. It's always said, It's a dry heat, but in fact the humidity has been high lately, especially at night when it has been sometimes 95%! Happily, this seems to occur only when the temperatures are low, so it is never as oppressive as in the eastern half of the country when temps and humids are both in the 90s. The moisture in... Sign in to see full entry.
Biden would probably have better approval ratings if he would: Support more definitively powering down the fillibuster. Use executive privilege more strongly to clean up more of the Trump messes and to counter the effects of this questionable Supreme Court. Expand the Supreme Court. What fuels disapproval of Biden is that he could be doing so much more for the American people. but apparently chooses not to. Seems to me, he is playing the game with political interests while Americans are bleeding... Sign in to see full entry.
I've just finished an old book by Margery Allingham: BLACK PLUMES. She was writing mysteries in the 1920s-50s, the same generation as Agatha Christie. She created the sleuth Albert Campion, though he doesn't appear in this first of her novels. I mention this book and writer for a couple of reasons. First, it is extraordinarily well-written even if only considering how she works the words, apart from the actual story and characters. It is such a delight to read the dancing of her metaphors, the... Sign in to see full entry.
Frankly, with the craziness going on with school shootings, I can understand not being willing to either expose my kid to that, or to try to justify to my kid why I am willing to send her into such risk. There is also the point that the current public educational system stinks, what with the wrong people controlling what's taught and how it's taught, and what is not taught that should be. I'd never have made a good home-schooling mom years ago, but there are resources readily available then that... Sign in to see full entry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.