AND FINALLY, LOVIN’ LIFE…
AND FINALLY, LOVIN’ LIFE…
THIS IS AN OCCASIONAL BLOG FEATURING GOOD, OFTEN UNDER-REPORTED NEWS STORIES ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT.
When you think about the Beatles, the most famous band on popular music history, it’s hard to believe that they toured for just a little more than two years before pulling the plug on concept performances.
John, Paul, George, and Ringo certainly had many good reasons to stop going out on the road, mainly their own personal safety.
The conservative political website The Weekly Standard has a very interesting piece on why the four got out when they did.
Here are my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday – Saturday:
It’s the great debate in schools. And it’s been sparked by a young teacher in Texas who sent the following home.
This policy is getting all kinds of support with educators and parents enthusiastically embracing taking it easy, real easy on today’s students. Check out this CBS News report that lacks any tough inquiries questioning this policy.
The concept of no homework is not an original thought. The idea has been bandied about before.
Keep in mind what advocates like Alfie Kohn are pushing. Don’t simply reduce the amount of homework or rethink the types of assignments being handed out, despite the positive effects homework can have.
“There are simply no compelling data to justify the practice of making kids work what amounts to a second shift when they get home from a full day of school,” says Kohn. “My general suggestion is to change the default: No homework should be the norm. Six hours of academics is enough—except on those occasions when teachers can show strong reason to infringe on family time and make these particular students do more of this particular schoolwork.”
To critics like Kohn homework is akin to a nauseating ailment, almost destructive in the negativity it can cause. From an intro to Kohn’s book:
Death and taxes come later; what seems inevitable for children is the idea that, after spending the day at school, they must then complete more academic assignments at home. The predictable results: stress and conflict, frustration and exhaustion.
So why do we continue to administer this modern cod liver oil – or even demand a larger dose? Kohn’s incisive analysis reveals how a mistrust of children, a set of misconceptions about learning, and a misguided focus on competitiveness have all left our kids with less free time and our families with more conflict.
Cutting back on excessive assignments? Go for it.
Getting rid of so-called “busy work,” unnecessary assignments? I’m in.
An all-out ban on homework. No way.
I’m completely turned off by the assertions that homework is evil. Eliminating homework is yet another signal of the wussification of education, lowering the bar, demanding lesser standards. It’s just too hard. It’s just too much. The lil’ darlins simply can’t handle it.
Angela Downing, an elementary school teacher in Newton, Massachusetts takes, in my view, a wonderful approach. She posts examples of excellent homework on the walls inside and outside of her classroom. It’s like a badge of honor, and it works.
“This practice sends the message to students that their work and their learning are important and valued,” Downing says. “Students take special care to do their best work when they know that the final piece will be displayed in the hall or on the classroom bulletin board.”
Many times we over-analyze. Forget the books and scholarly studies. An online submission by a man named Dave Clark is blunt and for me just about nails it.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!
In an effort to shed a few pounds (successful I might add) I’ve cut back dramatically on sweets. Occasionally I will cheat and treat myself. I’m not talking a cookie or a candy bar. I’m talking something special.
A fancy-flavored custard.
There’s a dessert I love that I rarely indulge in.
It supposedly was first made by bakers in a sultan’s palace in Istanbul. As good a cook as my wife, Jennifer is she’s intimidated by it because it can be difficult to make. Let’s take a look.
Epicurious.com lists ingredients for baklava as water, sugar, honey, lemon juice, light corn syrup, cinnamon, whole cloves or ground cardamom, blanched almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or any combination, finely chopped or coarsely ground, (about 4 cups), phyllo dough, melted butter or vegetable oil. The website also says “Although purists disdain anything except the classic nut filling, some cooks innovated by adding such items as dates and chocolate chips. Hungarians make an apricot version.”
Can you tell where this is headed?
Remember the wise words of that noted food expert, “Fonzie” in “Happy Days”?
Fonzie once said that ketchup and ice cream, when they’ re apart are, well, AYYYYY, two thumbs up. But put them together? Thumbs down, baby.
Pictured is Theo Stephan who founded the gourmet food company Global Gardens in 1998 in Los Olivos, California. The Global Gardens Facebook page describes the business as “Santa Barbara wine country’s only complete food product line featuring healthy, easy to use products with worldly flavors. Our oils come from harvests we procure–over 2000 Certified Organic local trees and over 15,000 Pesticide-Free, Organically grown trees in Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo counties. We love to educate you on Extra Virgin Olive Oils, Fruit Vinegars, Organic Mustards, Glazes, Savory Snacks, Confections– 50+ products and growing!”
Stephan has an obvious affection for food. She was just featured in the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Stephan told the magazine, “I’ve traveled and tasted a lot of food around the world. It is a joy to see people enjoy, and for me to be a part of people’s dinners, conversations and parties (through food).”
As part of the article Stephan provided her recipe for baklava. And this is different. Looks like this:
Stephan’s recipe uses kalamata olives, feta cheese, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s designed to be savory, not sweet, an appetizer, not dessert.
There’s very little I won’t eat, and I’m gregarious enough to give this a try.But I’d be missing the rich, sweeter than sweet variety for sure, leading me to think…
That Fonzie is a great philosopher.
BTW, you can find the recipe here.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
1) A broken crucifix hangs inside the damaged church of Santa Maria della Misericordia in Accumoli, central Italy, Aug. 24, 2016, after a magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (Photo: Andrew Medichini
2) Search and rescue teams survey the rubble in Amatrice, central Italy, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), that struck at around 3:30 am. The quake was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic center felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (Massimo Percossi/EPA)
3) Rescuers search through rubble following an earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, Italy on Aug. 24, 2016. Crews using bulldozers and their bare hands raced to dig out survivors Thursday from a strong earthquake that reduced three central Italian towns to rubble. The death toll rose to 267, but the number of dead and missing was uncertain given the thousands of vacationers in the area for summer’s final days.Photo:
4) A man leans on a wall as the collapsed village of Pescara del Tronto is seen behind him. Photo:
5) Crews rescue a man buried in rubble in Amatrice on Aug. 24. Photo:
6) Firefighters carry the coffin of 9-year-old Giulia Rinaldo outside the gymnasium where the state funeral service for some of the victims of the earthquake that hit central Italy last Wednesday took place, in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, on Aug. 27, 2016. Mourners in Italy prayed, hugged, wept and even applauded as coffins carrying victims of the country’s devastating earthquake passed by at a state funeral Saturday, grieving as one nation after three desperate days of trying to save as many people as possible. Photo:
7) Relatives mourn near coffins of some of the earthquake victims prior to the start of Saturday’s funeral. Photo: A
8) Relatives mourn near coffins of some of the earthquake victims prior to the start of the funeral. The caskets of 35 people had been brought to a community gym — one of the few structures in the area still intact and large enough to hold hundreds of mourners. The local bishop, Giovanni D’Ercole, celebrated Mass beneath a crucifix he had retrieved from one of the damaged churches in the picturesque area of medieval stone towns and hamlets. Photo:
9) People attend the funeral service in Italy. President Sergio Mattarella and Premier Matteo Renzi joined grieving family members, stopping to speak to some of them. When the caskets were brought out of the gym, the mourners applauded, a traditional Italian way of honoring people who die in tragedy. Photo:
10) Marcia Thompson surveys damage in her neighborhood Monday in Concord, Massachusetts. A tornado briefly touched down in the historic town, uprooting trees, knocking out power and causing damage to dozens of homes. There were no reports of injuries. Photo:
11) A charred truck is seen near the home of Julie Thayer and her husband, Art, on South Yale Road near Valleyford, Washington. The Thayers had been hiking over the weekend and returned home Sunday night to find their home destroyed. Photo:
12) Mark Martinez wipes his face after speaking with Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Aug. 25, 2016, in Kokomo, Ind. Martinez home was hit by a tornado that passed through the area Wednesday afternoon. (AP Photo)
13) President Barack Obama talks with a young boy while touring Castle Place, a flood-damaged area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Obama is making his first visit to flood-ravaged southern state as he attempts to assure the many thousands who have suffered damage to their homes, schools and businesses that his administration has made their recovery a priority. Photo:
14) Flowers are laid near the scene where a passer-by was killed after being hit by a driver playing “Pokemon Go” while driving in Tokushima, Japan. Photo: Reuters
16) Former Mississippi firefighter Patrick Hardison gets teary-eyed under television lights, during a press conference marking one year after his face transplant at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York. Hardison was disfigured while trying to save people from a house fire in 2001 and received the face of a Brooklyn cyclist who died in an accident in July 2015. Photo:
17) Miami-Dade mosquito control inspector Yasser “Jazz” Compagines sprays a chemical mist into a storm drain in Miami Beach, Florida. Gov. Rick Scott has announced that the state Department of Health is allocating another $5 million in funding to Miami-Dade County for Zika preparedness and mosquito control. Photo:
18) Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump dressed in costume prison uniforms as Bill and Hillary Clinton sing the U.S. national anthem before a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, August 23, 2016. Photo:Carlo Allegri/REUTERS
19) People look at the milky way from the summit of the Grande Dent de Morcles (2,969m) above Morcles VD, Switzerland, on Aug. 23. Photo:
20) This photo provided by the National Park Service shows people on the National Mall in Washington, looking toward the World War II Memorial, Aug. 25, 2016, creating a giant, living version of the National Park Service emblem. Participants used brown, green and white umbrellas to create the emblem. (Photo: Tim Ervin/National Park Service/AP)
21) Gwen Jorgensen of the U.S. wins the women’s triathlon. She finished 38th in London in 2012 after her bike suffered a flat tire but avenged that with a 48-second victory Saturday. Photo:
22) LaShawn Merritt crosses the finish line in first place to secure the gold medal for the U.S. men’s 4x400m team.
23) Matthew Centrowitz crosses the finish line and makes history ahead of Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria and Nicholas Willis of New Zealand in the men’s 1500m final.Photo:
24) U.S. women’s volleyball players celebrate a bronze medal win over the Netherlands. Photo:
25) Members of Italy’s team throw their coach Alessandro Campagna into the pool as they celebrate their bronze medal victory over Montenegro. Photo:
26) Seimone Augustus of the U.S. shoots during the gold medal match against Spain. The U.S. team won its sixth straight Olympic gold medal. Photo:
27) Brazilians react during the second half before their team defeated Germany to win the soccer gold medal during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games while watching a live broadcast on Leblon beach on Aug. 20 in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil won their first gold medal in soccer and avenged their humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup. Photo:
28) Fireworks explode above the Maracana Stadium at the end of the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic games on Aug. 21, in Rio de Janeiro. Photo:
29) Carnival dancers perform during the closing ceremony on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photo:
30) Artists perform during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
31) Model Izabel Goulart and Renato Sorriso dance during the closing ceremony.Photo: Getty Images
32)Photo: Getty Images
33) Flag bearer Simone Biles of the United States walks during the “Heroes of the Games” segment during the closing ceremony. Photo:
34) The message “see you in Tokyo” is displayed on the floor as fireworks go off at Maracana Stadium during the Japanese portion of the closing ceremony. Tokyo will be the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Photo:
35) Competitors get emotional during the Diaper Derby race at the Surherlin Blackberry Festival in Oregon. Photo: Splash News
36) Nils Olav the penguin inspects the Guard of Honour formed by His Majesty the King of Norways Guard at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. Already a knight, the most famous king penguin in the world was given the new title of Brigadier Sir Nils Olav. Photo:
37) A one-year-old female giant panda cub Nuan Nuan reacts inside her enclosure during joint birthday celebrations for the panda and its ten-year-old mother Liang Liang at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur. Photo:
38) A koala joey debuts at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Splash News
39) An Australian rainbow lorikeet cools off in a sprinkler in a Pessac, France, zoo. Photo: Georges Gobet / AFP / Getty Images
40) A squirrel cools off with a water bottle in East London. Photo: Splash News
41) A porcupine rescued from a Gaza zoo sits inside its enclosure at the New Hope Centre, an animal refuge near Amman, Jordan. Photo: Khalil Mazraawi / AFP / Getty Images
42) A zoo worker clutches a recovered hedgehog before its release near Kecskemet, Hungary. Photo: EPA
Here are interesting articles from the past week that are worth a read (even if, on occasion, I do not agree with the author).
Abandoned factories and decaying smokestacks cast shadows over rusting rail yards, weed-choked lots, heaps of junked automobiles and small mountains of sand, coal and salt. The odor from the slaughterhouses, a massive coal-fired power plant and, especially, a yeast factory wafted up to the traffic, while waste from a century and a half of tanning leather, pouring steel and butchering beasts seeped into the river below. Once the beating heart of this great industrial city, the Menomonee River Valley had become, in the words of a mid-1980s Milwaukee Journal reporter, “an ugly, rust-colored lesion on the city’s midsection.”
Fast-forward two decades and Wisconsin’s most visible eyesore is barely recognizable.
Our media high priests — the guardians of the political establishment — come to us with reasoned explanations for the urban tinderbox. They tell us of hopelessness and despair. But they ignore the one thing that binds them all, the one inconvenient truth of things.
A friendly and round-faced guy with glasses, Sykes, 61, doesn’t even try to conceal his disgust, but a large segment of his listeners, like Audrey from Oshkosh, are eager to defend ideas that Sykes believes violate fundamental conservative principles…
Sykes ends the call (with Audrey). He’s silent, broadcasting dead air. He looks upset, like he’s stopped breathing. He goes to a commercial break.
“OK, that doesn’t happen very often,” he says off-air. “I’m not usually absolutely speechless.” He says his listeners never talked like this until recently.
As a proud Latina, the daughter of two Cuban immigrants, who lives in a heavily Latino, blue-collar neighborhood, the question I’m asked all the time these days is: Wait, how is it you support Donald Trump?
Are civil rights groups who sued the state contending that poor and minority people are so inept that they can’t apply for an identification card? If that is their position, how are they able to apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program) benefits, which require a photo ID? Why is voting the one category in which you don’t have to prove your citizenship and legal residence?
Get this: According to The New York Times, some wives are threatening to divorce their husbands if the fellows vote for Donald Trump.
Sheesh. It makes one long for the good old days when a fellow had to run off with a cocktail waitress before his wife called in the lawyers.