Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fifth Saturday Fiction: In the beginning

By Anonymous

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fish for Friday

[Click to enlarge]
Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

"A Farewell to Maya Angelou." Maya Angelou, the memoirist, poet and author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, died Wednesday.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thor's Day: Missionary Kid


By Vic Midyett

When we visited with neighbors in the 1950s, in a part of Northeast India called Assam, the neighbors were usually tea growers. This was always a yummy and extravagant experience for me. Yummy, because we got to eat food we did not normally eat, although I can’t remember exactly what. Just that it was different.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ask Wednesday: What about the blog's background color?

[Click to enlarge]
White on green still, in a different font

By Morris Dean

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback comments on last Wednesday's column ("How easily, reader, can you read our white text on dark background?"). It persuaded us that we can confidently continue to publish white text on Jingle Jangle green. Anyone needing dark-on-white contrast has the easy option of subscribing to receive email notifications, which include each post's entire text, conveyed in conventional black on white, along with the graphics in color.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Voice: The third largest navigable river in the world

The Murray

By Vic Midyett

Shirley and I were recently at the Murray River near Mannum, South Australia, home to the River Queen, a very old icon on the river. You can see folks boarding for a four-night cruise up the river.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fourth Monday Susan Speaks

Thanksgiving family

By Susan C. Price

It happens almost every year. We are out at a nice place for dinner. We are talking, and drinking, laughing, eating. Sharing bites. It’s considered a crime to order the same thing as someone else; we want to taste it all. Basically, having a blast. The waitress grins bemusedly, leans over and says, “Hey, how do you all know each other?” We laugh, and reply...”We are stepbrothers and sisters.” People don’t believe it. Sometimes we are awed ourselves. That we have stuck together for so long, and get along so well.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fourth Saturday's Loneliest Liberal: Research methodology

...not hopeless

By James Knudsen

Have I mentioned that I was never a good math student? I think I have. Grandson of a physicist, took Algebra One three times, still don’t get it...any of this ring a bell? I think it’s the final refutation of spirits from the beyond. If they existed, Dr. Vern O. Knudsen, PhD., would have materialized long ago to voice his displeasure or whisper the answers in my ear during the mid-term. Higher math, no. Basic logic, research methodology...not hopeless.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

End the Bear Hunt - Environmental Action. Maine has some of the best habitat in the country for black bears. But these intelligent, wild creatures are extremely shy and are rarely seen. So rather than respect nature, vicious sport hunters resort to killing bears with dogs, bone-breaking traps, and piles of food to lure them from safety.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thor's Day: Just us here

Together or opposed

By Morris Dean

Theology: no subject matter there.
Religion: biggest hoax we've had to bear.
    What is: just Earth and us
    with all our daily fuss –
loving, hating, contending...everywhere.
Copyright © 2014 by Morris Dean

Comment box is located below

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ask Wednesday: How easily, reader, can you read our...

...white text on dark background?

By Morris Dean

Two people have told me of their difficulty reading our white text on the website's dark background. Both of these readers prefer black on white, and one of them routinely prints out longer pieces rather than peruse them on the screen.
    Horrors! Are you in that predicament? We want to know!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Missionary Kid


By Vic Midyett

I apologize ahead of time for this disturbing memory.
    Rabies was, and is, rampant in India. When I was about 5 or 6 years old (mid-1950s), one of the missionary wives was bitten by a rabid dog. I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was discovered too late, or no vaccine could be found in time, or something else terribly untimely happened. The horrible and devastating affects had taken hold in the woman's body.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Third Monday Musing: Metaphor

The dove-tailed world

By Eric Meub

Hugh Kenner, in The Poetry of Ezra Pound, gives us a formula for metaphor:
A/B : C/D
Metaphor, says Kenner, “affirms that four things (not two) are so related that A is to B as C is to D. When we say ‘The ship ploughed the waves’, we aren’t calling a ship a plough. We are intuitively perceiving the similarity in two dissimilar actions: ‘The ship does to the waves what a plough does to the ground.’” This gives us:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Review: Le Week-end

Philosophy, Ambiguity, and Humor

By Jonathan Price

Few films every year transcend the obvious categories and expected strategies and actually try to address the problems real people encounter in their lives, as opposed to a remake of Spider Man, another battle of World War II, or an inventive heist with many guns and the “heroes” escaping. Le Week-end (2013, directed by Roger Michell) does transcend these tired dramas. And its French-English title suggests both its location and its mixed heritage of British reticence and boredom and French liberation and sexual possibility. Even the title suggests the confusion of its heritage, since it is a legitimate phrase in France, incorporating an English phrase that is clearer and more direct than whatever French might cook up – but also a bit comic, casual, and offbeat and maybe puzzling.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

How hot was it? 98 here, 100 in Santa Cruz [California] – Global What the...!! I saw something in the last couple of days that said that North Pacific ocean temperatures were similar to those of the late 1970s, which was the worst El Niño event of the last century. Haven't seen any prediction about Atlantic Hurricane season. Likely worse to come for all. "Fasten your seat belts, kiddies, It's going to be a bumpy night!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thor's Day: That old, old story


By Anonymous

[Editor's Note: Today's material comes by way of Eric Meub, who dove deeply into the Thor Archive – he says the story is a thousand years old.]

Thor is in lust with a Nordic maiden.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan [& Jon]

In Moristotle's time of retirement crisis

By Susan C. Price [& Jonathan Price]

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

At times of late, I've felt as though my blogging days are numbered. I just haven't had the energy or the fluency of ideas lately. On several occasions I've almost missed a day, but somehow found "the reserve" to come through. Even then, though, I think I had "found peace" with myself and would have been okay with missing a day. Maybe I am wrong, for I didn't actually miss a day and therefore didn't have to deal with any let-down over it. But I haven't missed a day in over two years now, so the first day I do miss will be some sort of "big deal."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Second Monday Music: Seicento Baroque Ensemble

In consort

By Chuck Smythe

The Seicento Baroque Ensemble, a semi-professional early-music group from Boulder, Colorado, recently ended its third season with a set of performances titled “Voices and Viols.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Review: Prisoners

You decide

By Morris Dean

Last night was HBO's premier of the 2013 film, Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve, with Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano). It's a thriller, and was nominated for an award as such. It was also nominated or won for cinemaphotography, acting, and makeup. It's a dependably entertaining film, and my wife and I stayed up two hours later than usual to watch it on cable.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Second Saturday's Sonnet


By Eric Meub



Today I found the body of the deer
who used to eat my garden rose by rose.
I recognized her by the ragged ear
she flared once when I sprayed her with the hose.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

Your retirement accommodations seem attractive and beneficial; I'm still working on accommodations with varying degrees of satisfaction and success. I know there's a part of me that misses the implicit schedule and assignments associated with a job, albeit a pretty freewheeling one where in many ways I was my own boss.
    I've also come to realize that retirement differs for everyone. There's only one place where it seems to be on common ground in newspapers or various media, where the focus is nearly always financial: When do you do it? How do you afford it? and so on. Retirement's emotional-psychological challenges don't get quite the media attention that the financial gurus give to its finances.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thor's Day: At home

In the garden

By Morris Dean

When there are no words, I can still go into my garden and click a camera.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Officer Rodney Ward, Jr. on police work

A privilege and an honor

Edited by Morris Dean

The Police Department of the City of Mebane, North Carolina, practices “community-oriented policing” (COP) for the citizens in its jurisdiction. Officers are assigned to be the COP coordinator for particular communities. I live in the Collington Farms development and our coordinator is Officer Rodney Ward, Jr. Besides patrolling our neighborhood regularly and getting to know its residents, Officer Ward helped us set up our Community Watch network and has attended every one of our Community Watch Block Captains meetings.
    We are very grateful that he was willing to take the time to be interviewed. [Our questions are in italics.]

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuesday Voice: Missionary Kid


By Vic Midyett

I was about six years old when we got Raja, a half-grown elephant. He was about the same height as Dad. We didn’t have him long, because his appetite was bigger than Dad’s wallet. For several weeks though, I enjoyed his company immensely. I have no picture of Raja, so this one will have to do; Raja was about the size of the smallest of the three elephants.

Monday, May 5, 2014

First Monday with Characters

Edited by Morris Dean

Chuck Smythe, on the go
My wife skied into a mogul field in whiteout conditions (at speed, of course) and broke her leg. Ever since, she’s been stuck in rehab, and I’ve spent much of the month as a gopher, bedside sitter, and general morale officer. So you haven’t heard from me much lately.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Review: Blue Jasmine

Why does Jasmine have the blues?

By Jonathan Price

[Editor's note: We've been seeing so many ads lately for
Blue Jasmine, we're running this review again in case you'd begun to doubt the film because of all the hype.]

Woody Allen’s new film, Blue Jasmine, is his best in the last decade, perhaps a return to the heights of emotionally and intellectually challenging films like Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). Its title is both name and comment on its central character, played powerfully yet subtly by Cate Blanchett: a character whose given name was Jeanette Francis, but who changed it, like Allen himself changed his, to alter her sense of herself, to create a new identity.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

First Saturday as the World Turns

Parkinson’s disease

By Ed Rogers

As is the case in most things, we never really pay serious attention to diseases until we are confronted with them personally. That is how it was with my wife and me. Things were going along just fine. Then her right hand began to shake.
    Parkinson’s disease is not uncommon: There are over one million Americans who live with Parkinson’s disease. This surpasses the number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

The short video documentary that goes with the article "Animals Are Persons Too" follows lawyer Steven Wise’s effort to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thor's Day: Of humans and animals

Animal Protection Society of Durham, NC
Trestina on species relations

By Morris Dean

Who calls someone an animal lover?