an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest
Sunday, September 14, 2014
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE GRUESOME
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. This has been a potpourri week and an eventful one, with the anniversary in America of 9/11; the evolving anti-terrorism alliance and a truce in the Ukraine, which seems to be holding and in which Olya Bereza, our window on that nation, comments favorably.
We have also initiated what we hope is a useful feature under WORLD NEWS. We have incorporated a map into each region or nation’s subhead. I am not exactly sure how to explain this but knowing where something is happening makes it more real to me.
We are also glad to report that Olya is back among the living. As she explains in FROM THE UKRAINE, she went on a trip to the western part of her country and totally unplugged from all media. The email she sent letting me know she was going on holiday did not reach me because of the latest Russian incursion.
It was for me a reminder of how close people can become even though they have not formally met. There is an entire generation bonding through, if you will, synthetic contact. That they are doing it successfully strongly suggests to me that they are either engaging extra senses or adapting the conventional ones to the technology.
Historically, people have become friends or fallen in love exchanging letters and then sometimes over the telephone. Love, like other emotions, seems to be where one finds it. A growing body of academic evidence strongly suggests that one’s Internet behaviour, from email protocols to chatroom behaviour, is what one is actually like, if not in fact, than certainly by intent.
Chatrooms themselves have become a marvelous laboratory for the study of human behaviour. The ones on America Online are like coffee shops seating 36 people, all capable of talking and listening at once. Typing and reading quickly replace the need to observe and listen but that is the only real difference. If you are interested, I can send you the links to the three I have nicknamed “the good, the bland and the gruesome,” just in time for Halloween.
Okay, that’s it for now. Thanks for the ear, gang. Have a great week, eh?
Welcome this little dude (or dudette) into the world. Puget Sound orca pod welcomes newborn calf
Well, this Ebola outbreak is certainly not good news. However, in my life time, we have won the war against worst diseases. We apparently just needed to reach the point where our survival depended on working together as a species regardless of flag. That time is clearly now for this. U.S. Scientists See Long Fight Against Ebola
Well, ISIS has executed someone else, this time a British aid worker. That, to me, is incontrovertible proof that these yahoos may be vicious and techno-savvy, but in the end, they are going to prove very self-destructive. Each one of these horrific acts of cruelty and cowardice persuades even more people that ISIS is no more Islamic than the Ku Klux Klan is patriotic Americana. So good luck with that one, you bloody flipping morons.
ISIS & THE WAR ON TERRORISM
A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
In one week, on Sunday September 21, we will be joining the People’s Climate March on the streets of New York City to demand world leaders turn talk into action when they meet at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
All of our country’s big social movements are amplified and then won largely by collective action and people getting out into the street to demand change: women’s voting rights and the civil rights movement are two great examples. Now it is time we create the same momentum for climate change.
Disruption is a fast-paced journey through climate science, impacts on the environment, solutions, and the stories that define this pivotal point in human history. And most importantly, it shows why this moment is so ripe for us to seize with an action like the People’s Climate March.
So this weekend, as you gather with friends and family, consider watching this film and hosting a discussion about why climate change action is so important.
Together, we can make a difference.
Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach
World Wildlife Fund
FROM THE UKRAINE:
These are the thoughts, observations, wishes and dreams of a family woman in a war zone. We are well aware that on this planet, her numbers are legion. We believe, however, that she speaks for more than a few of them.
Rusty, maybe that is your prayers that helped too Sorry I should inform you that everything fine but I didn’t follow the recent news and media. I wrote in previous letter that I’m on a journey so didn’t expect you to worry. On the way I met a fantastic girl from Shahtersk. Pregnant on 6th month she experienced months of uncertainty and 10 days bombing and I was astonished of her being so positive and in good spirit. I felt myself a coward for all that worries and panic that felt from time to time. I believe in a disposition of Providence. If the peace continues everything will be fine here. Not worry as I am feel confident now all be good. Your friend Olya
Lest anyone ever doubt Canadian courage, Canadian Ebola mobile laboratory team heads back to Sierra Leone
We will survive but this is still not good news. Canada’s fourth-quarter hiring outlook hits four-year low point
This is something in which the nation itself can take pride. Vogue declares Toronto’s West Queen West second hippest ‘hood in the world
Felina: Good morning, love of my three life times. You look exceptionally well groomed this morning, my love. He will be very impressed with you.
Sam: Thank you, Sweetheart. But don’t get your hopes up. He’s been the alpha of my family for three generations now.
Felina: He sounds like a true mensch.
Sam: Like your mother’s ancestors at the Masada, Felina. Only goy.
Felina: I had no idea. He looks so gentle in his photographs.
Sam: Cute, Sweetheart.
Felina: Thank you, my rapacious rapscallion. A little sugar helps the macaroni go down, so I am told.
Sam: That’s what they say, Luv. However, we digress.
Felina: We are the General George Armstrong Patton and the Robert E. Lee Custer of digression. And the I Like Yike of the smooth segue.
Sam: Which would also all describe the Colonel.
Felina: I have read the book about him and found it absolutely fascinating. He began as a private in the secret American Mountain Lion Forces ~ not to be confused with the Dolphin Brigade, by the way ~ and rose through the ranks as it were.
Sam: He’s got more metal on his chest than the Tin Man, yep.
Felina: When he retired, he joined the American Animal Protection Agency, supervising agents in the field.
Sam: Them bears don’t knock those trash cans over and the cougars don’t play with clothes lines just to get on YouTube, nope.
Felina: Since we are on the subject, Arnold told me something interesting about the Colonel.
Sam: Arnie, our talking television set told you something about my grandfather?
Felina: Brace yourself, mate of my three lifetimes. He has just taken a mate a third his age. She is accompanying him on his holiday to that Seattle place and then to the North American Cougar Conference in Stanley Park.
Sam: That would also be Grandpa. His adrenalin gland is immortal and he has outlived two mates already. This one is younger than you are.
Felina: Be careful, Samuel.
Sam: You, however, are eternal.
Felina: And capable of making your life a living Hades if that is what it takes to keep you humble.
Sam: Yep, that too. The Colonel is no respecter of age. He’s still doing things that defy every self-preservation instinct ever bred into our species.
Felina: As a result, he has lived a long, full and meaningful life. He has certainly been an inspiration to you.
Sam: Excuse me? Me and the Colonel have about as much in common as an anteater does with an asteroid, with all due respect, Lass.
Felina: Think about it, my love. He has courage; you have audacity. He is honest. You are realistic. He is analytical. You are devious.
Sam: The longer this list gets, the better I’m looking, Felina.
Felina: Then I will, as you Americans say, cut to the chaste. You are very much the Colonel’s offspring, Samuel Alexander. And I will remind you that if you are good enough for me, you are bloody well good for this outrageous brass hat with the chest full of tin. Break out the smoked Chinook, my love, and welcome him as one to another.
Sam: When you put it like that, how could I possibly refuse?
Felina: How incredibly astute of you, Samuel. I absolutely love it.
Sam: Then on that note, Felina?
Felina: And on that note, Gentle Readers, until next week, then, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.
She makes me very proud to be from here. Seattle humanitarian heads to Syrian border
In the wake of a Department of Justice report on the SPD that was far from flattering, this is nice to read. Report: Seattle among ‘balanced’ police departments in US
We sure hope this catches on. CVS Stores In New York Stop Selling Tobacco
I went into the hop fields at 16, so I know this has to stop. Just 13, and Working Risky 12-Hour Shifts in the Tobacco Fields
Things like this and Fukishima are NOT helping Japan’s image in the Family of Nations. Sea Shepherd activists arrive at Taiji Cove in Japan to document annual drive hunt dolphin killing
There is absolutely no excuse for this. Racism is still a problem in the Great White North
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
I would love to see this. A Nomad’s Find Helps Solve the Mystery of the Spinosaurus
This was a little eerie. I wonder what else we are going to discover like this. The women with super-human vision
I love anything which “de-mystifies” science and brings it back to the Mr. Wizard level I enjoyed as a lad. The Radical Homemaker’s Guide to the Wonder of Science
The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.
THE GREEN AGENDA
Here is the kind of news we like to read. Crews raise sails to support breast cancer research (Photo Gallery) (Video)
We have long suspected this. Research finds low-carb, low-fat plans both work
Why is cancer so common? This fascinating article from the BBC explains.
We have collected what we consider the most wholesome, family-oriented and genuinely humorous comic strips we could find on the Net. They include Adam@Home, Calvin & Hobbes, Emmylou, For Better or For Worse, Foxtrot Classics, Garfield, Get Fuzzy, and Peanuts. Click either the banner or this link.
BEST OF THE NET
It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders. A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.
This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew. Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.
Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient. Deliver the survivors to the Bellingham Re-Education Center.
A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament
Classified and other Advertising Copy Writing
Humour: Jokes & Monologues
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
It looks like we are going to find out what is in their belfry. New study gets inside the brains of bats
Here is someone we have been following for quite awhile. Nice going, Big Buddy. Oregon Wolf OR-7: Lucky In Love
Here is another opportunity to oink out on cute. Adorable Baby Elephants Play With Tires, Ride Away With Our Hearts
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Only in Canada. Sigh. Nine-year-old boy steals Saskatoon city bus, no charges laid
I wonder which of them was the more flattered. Ancient swamp pig named after Mick Jagger for its luscious lips
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Thank you very much. Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed. Rusty