An Elegant Time-Waster ~ Very Early Morning Thoughts

America’s Got Talent is an OK show – but when I was introduced to the “outside the US” versions, I came to realize there are some very good versions of that show around.   Several things define it for me, but perhaps the biggest on of all ~ there is no 90-second time limit.  The acts take as long as necessary to show what their talent is and how it works.  Here is the winner from 2009 who introduced me to real sand painting.

BTW, this really does have something to do with this post – I promise …

I have been watching sand paintings/painters for several years … until I ran into this interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. To quote:

” And today, we bring you the live-action sand animation of Hungarian artist Ferenc Cakó, who projects his work on a screen for a theatrical audience. These more sculptural forms may be more painstaking than traditional cel animation, and for that reason more rare, but they are also often much more interesting.”





And to give proper credit – here’s the site I found this…I have it bookmarked and visit it daily…It’s call “openculture” for a reason.

Very Early Morning Thoughts ~

It’s so dusty and messy in here, I had a problem opening the door.  I think I can say, that’s what happens when I go away for as long as I did! But, I’m back how – and need to get things back in order!


OK, maybe this place isn’t “quite” that bad, but I can’t really get going unless I work for a bit to make sure this blog I call my 2nd Life doesn’t end up looking as the next  one did.  >was having a little trouble believing these pictures…until I did a larger search – Oy!!


But now, I’m back …  A lot has gone on, and I’m ready to start sharing my stories!


It’s A Combination Of Remembering (AND reading) ~ Late Evening Thoughts…

By now, we all know the cover that uncovered a huge stream of hate/hysteria ….

I'd also direct your attention to the Willie Nelson story in the left hand corner ...

I’d also direct your attention to the Willie Nelson story in the left hand corner …

. Now, I have no argument that the picture is one of a self-confident, somewhat attractive youth.  The look of a lot of college students.  But, even as the picture hit the internet, before distribution – the flames began to fly.   OK, here’s where one of my points comes … IF the cover was only to glorify the bomber, then I don’t think they would have included this statement:


The article itself – which hopefully some people read online – while not exactly the world’s greatest journalism – attempted to deal with the question – why would someone who seeming had everything going for him do something such as this?  What failed him? Did his brother “turn him to the dark side”.  Some of these questions we may only get answers to at the trial…if ever,

I want to wander back in recent history a bit, and take a look at a moment in time and TIME magazine.  When this cover was published, TIME was pretty much everywhere and if not in most homes, was probably read somewhere by someone in that home.

Here’s a cover about Timothy McVey ….

The explosion killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others.

The explosion killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others.

Here’s a good-looking fellow, who lit an explosion that killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others. And TIME is having a debate about should he die.  I don’t recall a huge uproar over the photo or the story.  I don’t recall people wanting to burn the issue or stores refusing to carry it.  It was published, distributed and seemingly “forgotten” as a major issue for people to deal with …

OK, let’s go to another TIME issue a little more recent…Osama Bin Laden

3,460: Approximate number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including firefighters and paramedics (New York Magazine /Guardian ) 20: Percentage of Americans who knew someone “hurt or killed” at the World Trade Center (New York Magazine )  422,000: Estimated number of New Yorkers with symptoms of PTSD post-9/11 (New York Magazine )

3,460: Approximate number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including firefighters and paramedics (New York Magazine /Guardian )
20: Percentage of Americans who knew someone “hurt or killed” at the World Trade Center (New York Magazine )
422,000: Estimated number of New Yorkers with symptoms of PTSD post-9/11 (New York Magazine )

So, just looking at the photo as a photo, here’s a fairly handsome person with a slight smile, piercing eyes – and to my untrained eye – has been slightly airbrushed.  Just slightly. And yet –

  • 3,460: Approximate number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including firefighters and paramedics (New York Magazine /Guardian )
  • 20: Percentage of Americans who knew someone “hurt or killed” at the World Trade Center (New York Magazine )
  •  422,000: Estimated number of New Yorkers with symptoms of PTSD post-9/11 (New York Magazine )

Now, admittedly you might think I’m begging the question with this one, but in a sense, it was presenting a very pretty picture of a very evil person …

Which brings me to the Rolling Stone cover … warts and all.  One of the Boston Police was so upset at the cover he released some shots of the capture (which has now gotten him suspended) .  Sgt. Sean Murphy, Massachusetts State Police photographer really might not have wanted his photos to be used as the cover but was trying to counter-act what he perceived as the glorification of the bomber.  Here’s his picture … and my comments below ..

 caused injuries and death totaling 3 spectators killed and 264 casualties whose injuries were treated in 27 local hospitals

caused injuries and death totaling 3 spectators killed and 264 casualties whose injuries were treated in 27 local hospitals

There actually people today demanding (on Facebook and other places) that Rolling Stone should reissue the magazine with this picture on the cover.  Here’s my problem with that.  Go ahead, enlarge the picture for a moment…. I’ll wait …

This picture does as much to glorify him as the other might.  You have the handsome – albeit blood spattered – youth, with his shirt pulled up above his abs and a laser target on his forehead.  For an arrest photo, it’s also quite well-lit. It could actually pass as a fashion advertisement in a glossy magazine. [if you didn’t know who it was] Certainly, nothing that would tell you “this is an evil, scary killer” …

Here’s where I’m at with this … people didn’t like the photo because it didn’t reach their preconceived notions of what a killer should look like.  It also struck deep into the biases and dislikes that people have.  And sadly, there is no arguing with that.  Let me repeat that – there is no arguing with folks who are biased, discriminatory or yes, even racist.

S. I Hayakawa in his landmark book “Language In Thought And Action” talked about the idea that once we have cast someone in the role of the enemy all communications and actions are immediately suspect and forced to fit the narrative we’ve given them.

Seem familiar? We’ve seen it at two MLB events in the last couple of weeks.  I was watching on Twitter someone attempting to counter someones frankly bigoted argument with the truth Puerto Ricans indeed are US Citizens (have been since I think 1917). the discussion went about as well as you would think … nowhere.

More on this anon ….

Sorry About That ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts ~

Yes, it’s several (ahem) days AFTER April Fools.  I had every intention of getting the answers to the videos posted – but a bit too much got in the way.  I’ll admit that a nasty cold/cough illness played a great part in it ….


In The video from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus” …. It certainly looks as if there were cell phones in 1928 …. right?

Chaplin's The Circus 1928

In staying with the comments on YouTube, which is a fascinating/horrifying place to be for any length of time.  It was suggested and confirmed that this is nothing more than a compact hearing amplification device that was available and was actually quite expensive.  Personally, it seems to be nothing more than something to replace cupping your hand behind your ear ….

The video from 1938 causes more  “conspiracy” theories … It looks like a cell phone, she’s talking on the phone and THEN she puts it down from her ear.

1938 radio phone 1938 radio phone2

The film itself is, evidently, part of a longer film from DuPont .. who at the time was working with the concept of radio phones – think walkie-talkies (walking and talking – having nothing to do with the famous BBC series which introduced the world to “walkie-walkies”.)

The problem with this device (as there was NO infrastructure at the time) It would only work within a very small radius and for a very short time … the batteries evidently sucked as well.

Sadly, I’ll have to put my Dr. Who fantasy back in the drawer for a while, but I’m sure there’s other fascinating videos out there …..

And It’s That Day, Once Again ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts ~

First off some thoughts in picture …..

blog April Fools Day1

blog April Fools Day2

There, now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way ….

Along the years, I’ve gotten to enjoy some really bizarre “conspiracy theories”.   Some are in the category of >banging head on keyboard> while others actually make you stop and go “Hmm.”  This is one of those.

In spite of what my Grand-kids might think, cell phones are a rather new invention … or are they?

the way back machine

[NOTE: the two videos that follow have NOT been doctored, they are as they were … ]

OK, let’s set the way back machine  to the year – well close to the year – 1928 and Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus … watch and you might think that Dr. Who had been there ….

Really? A cell phone in 1928(ish) …. To quote the infomercials: “But wait there’s more…..”

Skip the record ahead just a few years to the somewhere toward 1938(ish) ….

Totally flummoxed? As always, there are some explanations….. I’m just not going to include them now.  I’ll post about it tomorrow after you’ve dealt with them ….

Happy April Fools Day everyone ….

And Happy Easter … Egg ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts

happy easter egg

happy keester

for gary

Happy Easter to all ~ Yes, to all …..

No matter your beliefs, there’s something amazing about taking a moment and just being thankful … for a new day, a new start, new hope … or just that you’re breathing!!!!
I’ve always loved the Hallelujah Chorus more at Easter than Christmas. I discovered the Silent Monks several years ago. They’ve adopted a total vow of silence, but yet – how do they “Make A Joyful Noise Unto The Lord” … click play and see …

Odd Thoughts Because It’s Been An Odd Day ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts.

There’s been a lot going on this week.  I have a friend at Stage (end) cancer, another friend that is facing what could be heart failure.  I’ve been strong and uplifting until last night …. that’s when I discovered that the well had run dry.  I’ve been around long enough and through enough (look back through this history of the blog for those episodes that really revitalized my outlook) to know that it’s bound to happen.

Even counselors know that a sponge can only absorb so much, and then all that has to be squeezed out or the sponge becomes of no use.

Today, then – became a quiet and reflective day.  However (comma) I really wanted a few things to possibly 1) kick me in the behind to make me move (LOL) or 2) make me laugh and/or 3) inspire me ….

Here’s the laugh factor …. as a preface – the Mouse House (AKA Disney Studio) is NOT known for their sense of humor in regards to what others might do with their material.  I’ve been surprised at some of what on YouTube is allowed to remain and not so surprised at what they’ve wanted removed.

In this case, they took the recording outtakes/bloopers from The Lion King and animated them and included them (evidently) in The Lion King DVD … I’m still chuckling over parts – especially the last one.  I have to admit when I saw the film the first time (and the stage show) a part of me wondered if that had ever happened.

And now – THIS video made my day just to be able to watch these folks fly … and what a rush it must have been for them …..

Let me quote:

Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuits, first developed in the late 1990s, create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. A wingsuit may be referred to as a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit, or bat suit.

A wingsuit flight normally ends with a parachute opening, so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points, and to allow a parachute to deploy.

The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. The flier deploys the parachute at a planned altitude and releases the arm wings, if necessary, so they can reach up to the control toggles and fly to a normal parachute landing.

Now that my heart has stopped racing … enjoy…..


Come Let Us Reason Together ~ Early Evening Thoughts ….

Often, for me anyway, I get somewhat random thoughts as very random times.  Unfortunately, it’s often when I either can’t pursue the thought (just drifting off to sleep) or where writing the idea down is either impossible or unfeasible (inside a very noisy club or … well … you get the idea!)

One of the reasons I enjoy the TED talks and TEDEducation videos, is so often they manage to hit one something I’ve had a stray thought about and never thought about again.

I also have decided that if my teachers had presented concepts this way, my grades would certainly have been better.  I can only hope, that when I was teaching in India ~ some of my students felt I had reached out this way ….

This video tackles invisibility … what, where, when and quite a bit of why … bear with the beginning – it will pay off shortly after the video starts.

Mid-Morning Thoughts ~

Hopefully, everyone’s weekend was somewhat better than this one …

(h/t to

For my part, I had a delightful weekend…I connected with a dear, dear friend that I had not seen for a number of years!! You know it’s a dear friend when you can catch up on the fly, and not feel as if there’s been a huge space since you’ve been together!!!

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus
A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
Arnold H. Glasow
A good friend will bail you out at 2am.  A true friend will be sitting there with you saying: “Damn, that was fun!!! – (unknown)

It also reminded me that life is indeed short, and our purpose is NOT to arrive at the grave all pretty and posed – to be lowered gently into the ground.  Life is to be lived so that at the very last minute you slide in all tattered, worn saying: “What a ride!!! WHAT A RIDE!!!”

And We Got Here How? (Part 1) ~

When I first began to gather my thoughts for this “ramble” … I was concerned with discourse, or lack of discourse.

As I thought and worked through how I want to try and connect my thoughts – yesterday, THIS report was released by the PEW foundation – which has been polling the polarization of America since 1986.  This report, which I’m going to link to in it’s entirety, shows that we are more polarized than we’ve been since they began tracking.  This does not surprise me in the least.

As I’ve said before – I’m a member of several forums, follow an insane number of blogs and news sites (and the comments) as well as being part of World of Warcraft and Pogo games.

I cut my computer “teeth” – so to speak – in the AOL chat rooms of all kinds – where one had to have an advanced degree in AOLese or AOL speak or you would be five conversations behind everyone else.  (For those who may not know, you had to learn to read through the typos/spellings and strange constructions because people were typing so fast and thinking so quickly that sometimes things didn’t quite match-up.)

All of this introduction is to simply say, I didn’t need the PEW organization to let me know “There’s Trouble In River City”, all I’ve had to do is be around people on-line and even in real life.

What has happened over the years is a steady decline in the ability of people of differing beliefs, hopes, dream, ideas, lives to even civilly approach each other.  At one time, personal opinion, you either were willing to listen to another person or you didn’t interact with that person at all.  Much of time now, I feel it has become a game of seeing who can one-up another in either hate/degradation/intimidation/provoking (not to be confused with trolling – that’s a special sub-set of behavior!!)   or proving how much more someone knows than anyone else.

Just the other day on Facebook, I entered into what I thought was a discussion involving the concept of gay marriage (how’s that for a hot button at the beginning of these postings?) and the difficulty someone had found in talking to someone else about it.  Those of us who are friends with this person and know the overwhelming love in her heart for all people, commiserated with her and offered some light-hearted and yes, even snarky thoughts to help.  Another person had entered the conversation and within two posts it had devolved into 1) necrophilia 2) pedophilia and 3) bestiality.  Even with AOL speak, I couldn’t figure out how we’d gotten there.  It became very obvious that the person simply wanted to anger everyone and bait everyone into an “argument” so that they could present themselves as a 1) winner 2) extremely knowledgeable and at the same time 3) the victim.

So, how did we get here? There were news events from when PEW began tracking the polarization: 1984 The Aids Virus is identified it is not the worldwide problem it is today. Following on from the PC Apple releases the Macintosh computer. Following the Widespread Famine in Ethiopia many of the top British and Irish USSR pop musicians join together under the Name Band Aid and record the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Following the boycott by the US of the Moscow Olympics the soviet block boycotts the Los Angeles Olympic games. Recession continues to be a problem in the US and 70 US Banks fail in just one year.  But I think it goes back to even before that.

Here are three images and comments that will start this series of posts ~ and hopefully, you’ll forgive the length of this one…

At this point in time, we as a people were pushed into the realization that those dedicated to protect us, could indeed seem to turn against us.

Kent State by John Filo

Add to that another realization that perhaps our view of life wasn’t quite so quaint as we wanted to believe.

Birmingham Alabama 1963
I don’t know whose picture this is


And lastly – an event that shook our already shaky belief in our government.

So bear with me, and more on this journey of thought over the next few days ….