Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Word by Painstaking Word

My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically.

Stealing The Scream

      by Monica Youn

It was hardly a high-tech operation, stealing The Scream.
That we know for certain, and what was left behind--
a store-bought ladder, a broken window,
and fifty-one seconds of videotape, abstract as an overture.

And the rest? We don't know. But we can envision
moonlight coming in through the broken window,
casting a bright shape over everything--the paintings,
the floor tiles, the velvet ropes: a single, sharp-edged pattern;

the figure's fixed hysteria rendered suddenly ironic
by the fact of something happening; houses
clapping a thousand shingle hands to shocked cheeks
along the road from Oslo to Asgardstrand;

the guards rushing in--too late!--greeted only
by the gap-toothed smirk of the museum walls;
and dangling from the picture wire like a baited hook,
a postcard: "Thanks for the poor security."

The policemen, lost as tourists, stand whispering
in the galleries: ". . .but what does it all mean?"
Someone has the answers, someone who, grasping the frame,
saw his sun-red face reflected in that familiar boiling sky.

from: Barter. Copyright 2003.

Monday, May 30, 2011


What was once a day to remember old men of long-past wars has become a time to honor kids who were killed just yesterday. 

A Poem For My Sister. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sis. And Welcome to the Other Side.

   by Joyce Sutphen

The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river, rain
soaking the fields, a hand
held out, a fire,
and smoke going
upward, always up.

from: Straight Out of View. Copyright 1995.


The Wisdom of WILL ROGERS, Part II


First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.

And, finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


  by Wislawa Szymborska

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the river.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love's concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms' fairy tales to the newspapers' front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven't mentioned here
to many things I've also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

from: Nothing Twice
translation by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Wisdom of WILL ROGERS, Part I

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman . . Neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Love it When A Comment Thread Breaks Out into A Spontaneous Prayer Meeting. Srsly.

close up of three goats with eyes closed as in prayer

Let she among us who has not eaten six brownies in one sitting hurl the first scone.

Srsly. Judge not lest ye be fudge.

For we pray as Jesus taught us to pray: "Give us this day our daily bread. And then smear some Nutella on it and pop it in the toaster oven for a few minutes so the edges get all crispy. For lo, that shit is good." 

Word. Amen. 

"and forgive us our bananas on the toast, for we need some nutrients and shit, as we forgive those who give us side-eye for our poor nutritional habits." 

"For thine is the chocolate, the peanuts, the nougat and the caramel, forever and ever. Amen."

Via  Jezebel.  

There's a Grandfather's Clock in the Hall

 by Robert Penn Warren

There's a grandfather's clock in the hall, watch it closely. The minute
hand stands still, then it jumps, and in between jumps there is
And you are a child again watching the reflection of early morning
sunlight on the ceiling above your bed,

Or perhaps you are fifteen feet under water and holding your breath as
you struggle with a rock-snagged anchor, or holding your breath
just long enough for one more long, slow thrust to make the orgasm
really intolerable,
Or you are wondering why you really do not give a damn, as they trundle
you off to the operating room,

Or your mother is standing up to get married and is very pretty, and
excited and is a virgin, and your heart overflows, and you watch her
with tears in your eyes, or
She is the one in the hospital room and she is really dying.

They have taken out her false teeth, which are now in a tumbler on the
bedside table, and you know that only the undertaker will ever put
them back in.
You stand there and wonder if you will ever have to wear false teeth.

She is lying on her back, and God, is she ugly, and
With gum-flabby lips and each word a special problem, she is asking if it is
a new suit that you are wearing.

You say yes and hate her uremic guts, for she has no right to make you
hurt the way that question hurts.
You do not know why that question makes your heart hurt like a kick in
the scrotum,

For you do not yet know that the question, in its murderous triviality, is
the last thing she will ever say to you.
Nor know what baptism is occurring in a sod-roofed hut or hole on the
night-swept steppes of Asia, and a million mouths, like ruined stars in
darkness, makes a rejoicing that howls like wind, or wolves,

Nor do you know the truth, which is: Seize the nettle of innocence in
both your hands, for this is the only way, and every
Ulcer in love's lazaret may, like a dawn-stung gem, sing--or even burst
into whoops of, perhaps, holiness.

But, in any case, watch the clock closely. Hold your breath and wait.
Nothing happens, nothing happens, then suddenly, quick as a wink, and
slick as a mink's prick, Time thrusts through the time of no-Time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


kitty with book and quill pen. Stop animal testing



If all schools taught their pupils how to do a double-blind control experiment, our cognitive toolkits would be improved in the following ways:

1. We would learn not to generalise from anecdotes.

2. We would learn how to assess the likelihood that an apparently important effect might have happened by chance alone.

3. We would learn how extremely difficult it is to eliminate subjective bias, and that subjective bias does not imply dishonesty or venality of any kind. This lesson goes deeper. It has the salutary effect of undermining respect for authority, and respect for personal opinion.

4. We would learn not to be seduced by homeopaths and other quacks and charlatans, who would consequently be put out of business.

5. We would learn critical and sceptical habits of thought more generally, which not only would improve our cognitive toolkit but might save the world.

IN OTHER WORDS: double-blind control experiments (scientific method) foster critical thinking skills, of which the world needs more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Please, Spare A Thought for Our Neighbors in the Midwest

At the time of this post, the death toll in Joplin, Mo. after the 5/22 tornado, is 117 and it's expected to rise, with no estimate yet on the number of injured. 

The death toll from 2011 tornadoes stands now at 455, the deadliest year for tornados since 1953. -- Lane Turner

Chue Vang reacts after coming home to discover that her home was damaged after a tornado struck northern Minneapolis May 22. At least one person was killed and at least 29 were injured in the storm. (Jerry Holt/The Star Tribune/AP
Residents begin digging through the rubble of their home after it was destroyed by a tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. May 22. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses. (Mike Gullett/AP)
Residents of Joplin, Mo, walk west on 26th Street near Maiden Lane after a tornado hit the southwest Missouri city May 22. (Mike Gullett/AP)

(click to embiggen)

  If you wish to donate:

A general donation to a charity you trust is the best way. This leaves the charity free to address the most pressing needs
in the best way possible. 

A couple of choices:

Several links live permanently in my sidebar
for whenever they're needed.


"The one function TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were."

OH. BUT, WAIT . . .

graffiti on wall, if graffiti changed anything it would be illegal

New Banksy In London:

If Graffiti Changed Anything – It Would Be Illegal, 

by Scott Beale.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Everybody Questions

cat on a ladder with caption saying are you there ceiling cat? it's me Jingles

Reexamining Assumptions

... [B]e careful what behaviors you extinguish -- there is likely some really smart thinking going on where you assume there is none.

I almost told this English Language Learner to put her paper away during read aloud, but, not knowing for sure how much she can even understand as she listens, I let her keep doodling while I read, ...

She handed this picture to me at the end of read aloud, when she leaves for an afternoon of extended ELL classes. ... This is EXACTLY what is happening in the story right now.

  - Mari Lee, at A Year of Reading.
red apple covered in dew

This is so true when limited communication ability is an issue.
Whether the cause is language barrier or disability, it is important to separate it from actual knowledge and understanding, a monumental task to be sure, but imperative nonetheless.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


How To (and How Not To) Write Poetry

Advice for blocked writers and aspiring poets
from a Nobel Prize winner’s newspaper column.
Japanese print with three yellow chrysanthemums and two finches on a branch

To Grazyna from Starachowice: “Let’s take the wings off and try writing on foot, shall we?”

To Mr. G. Kr. of Warsaw: “You need a new pen. The one you’re using makes a lot of mistakes. It must be foreign.”

To Puszka from Radom: “Even boredom should be described with gusto. How many things are happening on a day when nothing happens?”

To Kali of Lodz: “‘Why’ is the most important word in this planet’s language, and probably in that of other galaxies as well.” 

find MORE here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just A Quick Goodby to All Those Who Are Leaving Us Today

Some previous tries.

A Sunset of the City

 by Gwendolyn Brooks

Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
Are gone from the house.
My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite
And night is night.

It is a real chill out,
The genuine thing.
I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer
Because sun stays and birds continue to sing.

It is summer-gone that I see, it is summer-gone.
The sweet flowers indrying and dying down,
The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown.

It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes
I am aware there is winter to heed.
There is no warm house
That is fitted with my need.

I am cold in this cold house this house
Whose washed echoes are tremulous down lost halls.
I am a woman, and dusty, standing among new affairs.
I am a woman who hurries through her prayers.

Tin intimations of a quiet core to be my
Desert and my dear relief
Come: there shall be such islanding from grief,
And small communion with the master shore.
Twang they. And I incline this ear to tin,
Consult a dual dilemma. Whether to dry
In humming pallor or to leap and die.

Somebody muffed it?? Somebody wanted to joke.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Poet Christian Bök's The Xenotext is a poem that has been translated into DNA to be inserted into a bacterium.

So how is The Xenotext different to what's been done before?

Firstly, it's an original work that I've written. But it's also written in such a way that, when it's translated into this gene sequence, and then implanted, it can cause the organism it's implanted in to produce a viable protein in response - a protein that is itself a completely different poem. So I'm genetically engineering a bacterium that won't just archive my own text in its DNA, but also becomes a machine for writing a poem in response.

What is the verse that you've encoded?

It's a very short poem; a very masculine assertion about the aesthetic creation of life. The organism reads the poem, and writes in response a very melancholy, feminine - almost surreal in tone - poem about the aesthetic loss of life. The two poems are in dialogue with each other.

- from: Cryptic poetry written in a microbe's DNA, by Jamie Condliffe.


"According to Foucault,
the singularities that serve to rupture and renew normative discourse always emerge from the interstices – in other words, where nobody is looking. Almost certainly nobody was looking in the direction of Bury for the emergence of this significant project…"

The Click of a Mouse Brings the World to Our Hands.


Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I want to make sure every House Republican is protected from some kind of dishonest Democratic ad. So let me say on the record, any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.

- Newt Gingrich.
Meet the Press Transcript.


black and white photo of a woman with her fingers in her ears and her eyes closed


I worry that dissent is confused with a lack of etiquette.

And I particularly worry about the echo chamber effect, and the way that small groups of people who are just like each other can come to think of themselves as representing the opinions of everyone.

On the Internet, we all make the world in our own image.

by Freddie DeBoer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Old IS Old? Really.

Happy Birthday

to my 1st born.


"A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people---people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book,"

- E.B. White, writing to the children of Troy, Michigan, 
congratulating them on their new library in 1971.
(Which may be closing soon, due to lack of funds)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Thomas Silverstein, who has been described as America’s “most isolated man,” has been held in an extreme form of solitary confinement under a “no human contact” order for 28 years.

by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway.
The emphasis is mine,
as is the incredulity.

black and white drawing of a prison cell inside the back of a man's head with him inside


The Last Neanderthal's Love Song

by Caleb Crain
Steamboats are ruining everything.

O ancestors! Please hear my cry.
I'm eighteen summers old.
I need a wife, but evolution's
Left me in the cold.
I'm the last Neanderthal.
I have some woman friends—
Nice-looking, others tell me—but
They're Homo sapiens.
I'd like to meet a girl like Mom
With a rich potato form.
These sapiens are willowy;
They don't look very warm.
A woman looks her best, I think,
With low, protruding brow,
But the female forehead fashion
Is high and flat right now.
A lady's lower jaw should sink
Delicately in.
Beneath their lips, these girls have got
A pointy, prickly "chin."
A sideways egg's the pretty shape
That suits a female skull.
But modern girls have heads as round
As the moon does when it's full.
Alas, O ancestors! Alas,
Our race will not survive.
I'll never wed, and I'm the last
Neanderthal alive.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


On the loftiest throne in the world, 
we are still sitting on our own rump.

- French essayist,

There is Something to be Said for Straight Up, Honest, Untruth



Constantine the Great was born merely Constantine the Baby in what is now Serbia. His father was a cabbage farmer and his mother was a saint (although none were aware of this yet).

Constantine started off, like so many Roman citizens: whoring, drinking, taking the drugs and beating his slaves. And, like so many noble Romans before him, he had a shot at trying to be Emperor. There was quite a lot of competition back then in the massive Augustus Idol free for all and Constantine only entered because he thought it would impress a woman he fancied. ...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

WHY TEACHERS DRINK (Lemonade. Just Lemonade)

The rebel and onion armies showed grose negligence by having many of their battles right inside national parks, like Gettysburg.
pitcher and glass of icy lemonade

A Different Perspective on Education

If we can draw one lesson from the film, it is that America has the right DNA for a phenomenal education system, we just haven’t tapped into it yet. 
- E.D.Kain, American Times.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Paradoxes and Oxymorons

by John Ashbery

This poem is concerned with language on a very plain level.
Look at it talking to you. You look out a window
Or pretend to fidget. You have it but you don’t have it.
You miss it, it misses you. You miss each other.

The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot.
What’s a plain level? It is that and other things,
Bringing a system of them into play. Play?
Well, actually, yes, but I consider play to be

A deeper outside thing, a dreamed role-pattern,
As in the division of grace these long August days
Without proof. Open-ended. And before you know know / It The line began and ended with the same word when first published in the Times Literary Supplement (October 24, 1980):   know it / It
It gets lost in the steam and chatter of typewriters.

It has been played once more. I think you exist only
To tease me into doing it, on your level, and then you aren’t there
Or have adopted a different attitude. And the poem
Has set me softly down beside you. The poem is you.

from: Shadow Train.. Copyright 1980.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Generation Ago, Nearly An Entire Generation Was Lost.

So very much has changed since then.

So much, and yet today I mark the first anniversary of my son's death. 

Twenty eight year-olds don't die of aids.

No matter how many times I repeat those words . . .

We all miss you B.
And Dax & the fairies send their regards.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Elton John AIDS Foundation

 AIDS Research Alliance

It Gets Better Project



by Kevin Young

To allow silence
To admit it in us

always moving
Just past

senses, the darkness
What swallows us

and we live amongst
What lives amongst us


These grim anchors
That brief sanctity

the sea
Cast quite far

when you seek
—in your hats black

and kerchiefs—
to bury me


Do not weep
but once, and a long

time then
Thereafter eat till

your stomach spills over
No more! you'll cry

too full for your eyes
to leak


The words will wait


Place me in a plain
pine box I have been

for years building
It is splinters

not silver
It is filled of hair


Even the tongues
of bells shall still


You who will bear
my body along

Spirit me into the six
Do not startle

at its lack of weight
How light

from: Dear Darkness. Copyright 2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


      by Percy Bysshe Shelley

ruin of a sandstone statue with only legs left

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

FROM My Yard, TO Yours . . .

close up of flowering pink crepe myrtle blossoms


Save A Mother educates women about pregnancy, nutrition, immunization, delivery and care of the child. Save A Mother has a complementary benefit in saving the child.

Many other regions in the world are in a similar situation, and we hope to bring this special effort to  other countries with the help of contributors just like you.

We believe that one preventable death is one too many

We urge you to Save A Mother and together we can save a million mothers.


Monday, May 9, 2011


I think we have to be very concerned 
when we take small steps.

 - Michael Grodin, Evolution of 'Final Solution'

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning . . .

blue sky with sun and clouds


Strahov Library 40 Gigapixels

This 360º Panorama is the largest indoor Photo in the world 
as of March 2011.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Unconditional Love to My Daughters
- By June McAnoy

I may not have been
The perfect Mum
But this I have to tell
I will always to be there for you
Whether it is near or far
To lend a listing ear
Or give a hug
To wipe a tear and dry your eyes
But one thing I have to tell
Is my unconditional love for you
So when my time on earth is done
And I have gone to the heavens above
Please I ask you to remember
My unconditional Love for You
I won’t go very far away
So when you are feeling down
And see a butterfly
Or a star shining brightly in the sky
Then you will know
That it will be me
With my unconditional love For You.


from: Mother's Day Proclamation

We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I graduated with a newly minted Teaching Credential just in time for the sharpest economic down turn since the Great Depression. Needless to say, my job hunt has been . . . Well, it's been no different for me than it has been for countless others.

I did land part-time work as an ELA & math tutor, working with middle and high school students. I work with each student about 20 hours, depending on the school district. 

I love the work and this leads to My Wonderful News:

I just got the results of their post testing, and most of my students have improved at least two (2) reading GRADE levels.  In fact, one student improved by three (3) and one by four (4).

That's GRADE level, folks. In 20 hours. They did great.

A small piece from: Christina Rossetti's GOBLIN MARKET

Life out of death.
That night long Lizzie watched by her,
Counted her pulse's flagging stir,
Felt for her breath,
Held water to her lips, and cooled her face
With tears and fanning leaves:
But when the first birds chirped about their eaves,
And early reapers plodded to the place
Of golden sheaves,
And dew-wet grass
Bowed in the morning winds so brisk to pass,
And new buds with new day
Opened of cup-like lilies on the stream,
Laura awoke as from a dream,
Laughed in the innocent old way,
Hugged Lizzie but not twice or thrice;
Her gleaming locks showed not one thread of gray,
Her breath was sweet as May,
And light danced in her eyes.
Days, weeks, months, years
Afterwards, when both were wives
With children of their own;
drawing of a young woman kneeling at a stream with three scary goblin men behind herTheir mother-hearts beset with fears,
Their lives bound up in tender lives;
Laura would call the little ones
And tell them of her early prime,
Those pleasant days long gone
Of not-returning time:
Would talk about the haunted glen,
The wicked, quaint fruit-merchant men,
Their fruits like honey to the throat,
But poison in the blood;
(Men sell not such in any town:)
Would tell them how her sister stood
In deadly peril to do her good,
And win the fiery antidote:
Then joining hands to little hands
Would bid them cling together,
"For there is no friend like a sister,
In calm or stormy weather,
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands." 

Read the full text here.

Friday, May 6, 2011


We keep organized religion out of government, to protect the integrity of the government, and we keep the government out of organized worship, to protect a man’s freedom to worship God – or not worship God – as he pleases.

- Andrew Exum, Abu Muqawam

(Emphasis mine)


close up of green leaves on a calm, green tinted lake in the sun

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Where are the public places for mourning 
the mounting toll of today’s wars? 

Where is that feeling of never again?

The War That Didn’t End War and Its Unending Successors, 
by Adam Hochschild.


Be ashamed to die until you've won some victory for humanity.

 — Horace Mann,  
First President of Antioch College.

SOLAR AID helps combat
climate change and global poverty by bringing clean, renewable power to the poorest people in the world, and creating jobs and businesses for people to generate income.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011



These are the unintended consequences of well-intentioned standards-and-accountability education reforms.

- USA Today Uncovers Widespread Evidence 
of K-12 Test-Score Inflation,
by Donna Goldstein.

We should not care very much about a score on a particular test...What we should be concerned about is the proficiency, the knowledge and skills, that the test score is intended to represent. Gains that are specific to a particular test and that do not generalize to other measures and to performance in the real world are worthless.


His score could determine whether the school was deemed adequate or failing—whether it received government funding or got shut down.

DiMaggio soon learned that his boss was a temp like him. In fact, the boss was only the team leader because he'd once managed a Target store.

DiMaggio found out that the human resources woman who'd hired them both was a temp. He realized that their office space—filled with long tables lined with several hundred computer monitors and generic office chairs—was rented.

Eventually, DiMaggio got used to not asking questions. He got used to skimming the essays as fast as possible, glancing over the responses for about two minutes apiece before clicking a score.

Every so often, though, his thoughts would drift to the school in Arkansas or Ohio or Pennsylvania. If they only knew what was going on behind the scenes.

"The legitimacy of testing is being taken for granted," he says. "It's a farce."

- Inside the multimillion-dollar essay-scoring business,

(All emphasis mine)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Remember that the most beautiful things in the world 
are the most useless.

- John Steinbeck

FUNDING FOR THE ARTS Always Seems to be An Easy Target When CUTS Need to be Made.

But, perhaps we should rethink that strategy, because it seems that:

Arts don't just prettify science or make technology more aesthetic; they often make both possible. ...

[T]he computer chips that run virtually all our devices today are made using a combination of three classic artistic inventions: etching, silk screen printing, and photolithography. Data from NASA and NSA satellites is enhanced using artistic techniques such as chiaroscuro (a Renaissance invention) and false coloring (the Fauvists) to increase the contrast so it's easier to perceive the important information.

 Who woulda thought?

Monday, May 2, 2011


. . . about Ceiling Cat?

ceiling cat looking through hole in ceiling

I don want to prosteli . . . perstole . . . pesrializ . . . push mi beleefs on yu.

black and white cat reading book 


Hez teh one who napt on water 
an cured a leopard!

And he has a plan for your life.


He haz rulz.

Want to lern moar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . go to HERE.

ceiling cat ministries

(Az uzual,
clic on teh picshurs to embiggen tehm.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The Crazy Woman
by Gwendolyn Brooks

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I'll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I'll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I'll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
"That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May."