On one thing I agree with Putin, Russia is a unique civilization, apart from Europe. So are we, Britain, Canada and lots of others. Russia, like Britain, is figuratively as well as literally on a pole of Europe, sharing some aspects, differing in others. Treating Russia like another France is a mistake.
Still, resurgent nationalism, such as Putin seems to be fanning in Russia, may threaten to world peace. Especially when neighbors with delusions of grandeur bump.
A friend in Colorado Springs was an Army Ranger exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. (If we tell you where he was operating, we have to kill you.) Agent Orange was a unique health issue. He can’t go to a regular doctor (even if he could afford to). Many veterans’ health issues are similarly unique and complex. He has suffered all the reported appointment problems, added to the logistical issue of the “local” VA hospital being fifty miles away in Denver.
If we aren’t caring for the people who put their lives on the line to protect and defend us–local police, fire and EMTs as well as the military services–all our talk about integrity and responsibility is just that–talk.
Memorial Day was celebrated for many years on May 30th, not the last Monday in May (to create a three-day weekend). That’s no great matter as supposedly the 30th of May was chosen to remember the fallen of the Civil War because no significant battle occurred on that day. Not that many other battles weren’t fought on May 30th.
I, however, have reason to remember the 30th. As I explained before, I followed my grandfather, Rev. John Hodge, around the Easton, Kansas cemetery setting flags in front of the stones of veterans.
May 30th was John Hodge’s birthday. He would have been 112 years old today. (It seems so unlikely that I knew, as a vibrant, living person, someone who would have been over a hundred years old.) He died in 1976.
May 30th is also significant because on that day in 1969–forty four years ago–Treva Parsons became my wife.
Robert Genn died this week. Many never heard of him, but he visited a circle of artists twice each week by an email letter. His postings were both encouragement and instruction, leavened with a fair measure of philosophy.
His daughter Sarah plans to continue–has already started to continue the art letters.
“We live our short spans in the vortex of a miracle, and while we may not be the center of that vortex, it is magic to be anywhere in there.” Robert Genn
I especially noted the chart on how many books we read:
The offset between the mean and median numbers of books is caused by all those folks who read a hundred or more books a year.
You do remember the difference between mean, median and mode, don’t you? Time for a statistics review? Don’t feel bad, obviously the folks who write the evening news and political ads don’t know how to tell the truth with numbers either. Mark Twainsaid, “Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.'”
So far as the skewed curve of books read per year, we know who we are, don’t we?
A chart elsewhere in the article indicates we’re reading more books than in the past.
“What I think fiction … ought to do, more than anything else [,is]: Illuminate the way, shine a spiritual beacon, tell us that there is a bright point in the darkness, a light to guide the way, when all other paths are cast in shadow. If our stories can’t do that for us … what’s the point?”
In his essay “On the Growth of Fantasy and the Waning of Science Fiction” author Brad R. Torgersen notes that modern science fiction has become a nihilistic exercise in pessimism (my terminology) while fantasy has retained the buoyant optimism of the last century. A notable except is the science fiction of Torgersen himself.
What makes the dispute between Amazon and Hachette different is that Amazon’s tactics have no obvious consumer benefit, a key antitrust consideration.
The group “deplores any attempt by any party that would seek to injure and punish innocent authors — and their innocent readers — in order to pursue its position in a business dispute. We believe that such actions are analogous to hostage-taking to extort concessions, and are just as indefensible.” — Gail Hochman, president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives
What kind of entity in a competitive market would willfully drive customers into the arms of its competitors unless it believes it doesn’t really have any competitors? Can you imagine Best Buy refusing to deliver for a period of weeks what’s available from its competitors? But Amazon behaves as though they’re the only game in town. And increasingly they are. It’s a head-scratcher why anyone with…
If you’re like me, you’re daunted by the massiveness of Facebook and the potential for embarrassing yourself or those you love—not to mention identity theft—through inadvertent posting or routing.
In May, c/net published a helpful guide to controlling your privacy on Facebook. (here)