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I will be going on an un-vacation. My cousin Inga is going on a cruise of the Baltic Sea. While she is enjoying Russia, Germany, and Denmark I will be house sitting her six cats. While she is taking in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, I get to clean litter boxes.
I will be offline until around July 9th, at which point I hope I have enough sanity left to remember what a blog is.
I don’t know what Inga may bring back from her cruise, but the cats always leave me with the gift of cat hair on all my clothes.
See you in a couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy the next few weeks more than I will. I will be hard to enjoy the time less.
“St. Jude (Thaddeus)” by Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke
Finally a book in the Bible written for someone of my intellect, short and to the point.
My research into Jude introduced me to a new word, doxology (from them Greek doxa, glory + logos word or speaking) a short hymn of praise to God. Many biblical scholars consider Jude to be of the highest quality in the Bible.
Mathew Henry wrote:
“The apostle exhorts to stedfastness in the faith. (Verse 1-4)
The danger of being infected by false professors, and the dreadful punishment which shall be inflicted on them and their followers. (Verse 5-7)
An awful description of these seducers and their deplorable end. (Verse 8-16)
Believers cautioned against being surprised at such deceivers arising among them. (Verse 17-23)
Jude was one of Jesus’ four brothers, along with James, Joseph, and Simon. His letter deals with evil works as evidence of apostasy. ”there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires” – verse 18. “These are the men who divide you” – verse 19. This letter was written for the church in the end times. It was written for Christians today.
For me the focus of the letter is the “call to persevere”
17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
For a Christian perseverance is found in Glory to God.
24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
I wonder where they found the orange and blue pigs?
What is your favorite bacon dish? If your are a vegetarian what is a favorite meat substitute.
I don’t have anything against vegetarians, it just means there is more fatty beef & pork for the rest of us. I use to love BLT’s, but why waste sandwich space on veggies. My favorite is a BBB sandwich, or anythng wrapped in bacon.
2) I will guess that Jerry McCraney’s friend Cocheno loves vegetarians. Here Jerry is trying to coaxes Cocheno off their paddle boat, in Antioch, California.
3) I hope on any boating excursions you won’t have to witness a sight like these actors dressed in mankinis, floating on rubber rings on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London.
You would have to pay me a lot of money to wear a mankini. Actually you would pay a lot of money for me to not wear a mankini.
Do you dread trying on last years bathing suit, after a less than active winter? When was the last time you actually wore a bathing suit at the beach.
I only do walking at the beach. There is a state law against me wearing a bathing suit.
I give this idiot the Dumb/Bad parent award for using his child to make a YouTube video. I want to see the video where he pulls a tooth out using a rocket.
1) Clowns in the street and on the runway.
Two street performers rest in the midday heat, Seoul, Korea.
Two models on the runway for the Alexander McQueen 2009 Fall Paris Fashion Show.
Which of these outfits gets your vote for the silliest?
Have you ever bought clothes soley because they were the latest fashion trend?
Groovy bell bottom trousers with rhinestones. Well, it was the sixties.
2) Some insight from yesterday’s comic strips.
“Middle age men start losing their hair because it is attached to their minds.” Shoe
“You know taxes are too high when your paycheck is just as receipt for your deductions.” Graffitti
What is your best source for a good laugh?
3) Two of the poems that arrival daily from Poetry Org.
What was the last poem you read?
a) From Passage 1 by Maureen N. Mclane
Vermont shore lit
by a fugitive sun
who doesn’t believe
in a day’s redemption
at the expected hour
but the actual palette
still a surprise
gulls alit on the lake
little white splendors
looking to shit on the dock
kneading my chest
take your pleasure
where you can
not that I was alive
but that we were
b) Compendium of Lost Objects by Nicole Cooley
Not the butterfly wing, the semiprecious stones,
the shard of mirror,
not the cabinet of curiosities built with secret drawers
to reveal and conceal its contents,
but the batture, the rope swing, the rusted barge
sunk at the water’s edge
or the park’s Live Oaks you walked through
with the forbidden man
or the pink-shuttered house on the streetcar line
where you were married
or the green shock of land off I-10, road leading
you away from home.
Not any of this
but a cot at the Superdome sunk in a dumpster
and lace valances from a Lakeview kitchen where water
rose six feet high inside and a refrigerator wrapped in duct tape lying
in the dirt of a once-yard
and a Blue Roof and a house marked 0 and a
kitchen clock stopped at the time the hurricane hit.
Because, look, none of this fits
in a dark wood cabinet for safekeeping.
This is an installation
—never seen again.
Just a reminder that you can still get free Nabisco cookies via Facebook. Well not exactly free. Print the coupon, and then buy milk and one package of Nabisco cookies. The second package is free.
1) What I love about biology are the stories of the countless amazing organisms we share our planet with.
One, rotifers, Brachinous manajavacas, can have the best of both worlds when it comes to sex.
From an article about a recent study by Georgia Tech University:
“Barely visible without a microscope, rotifers eat algae and serve primarily as food for baby fish. But the females of certain rotifer species can do something quite unusual: they can reproduce asexually by creating clones of themselves, or they can initiate a process that allows sexual reproduction by producing male rotifers.”
“Most animals reproduce sexually, a method that makes a species more adaptable by facilitating the elimination of bad genes and creating potentially beneficial new gene combinations. Very simple organisms, such as bacteria, reproduce through cell division and obtain new genetic material from the environment.”
“The rotifer species Brachionus manjavacas is somewhere in between. During most of the year, the rotifer population consists only of females, which reproduce by creating clones of themselves. But when unfavorable environmental conditions threaten – such as the loss of algae food – about a third of the rotifer population switches to sexual reproduction, which is the only way the creatures can produce eggs able to survive through a long winter.”
What else are men good for anyway? Being a guy I am not complaining mind you.
2) With the worlds best football(soccer) players at World Cup in South Africa these kids are the ones who deserve to get more media attention.
From a New York Times article by Jere Longman:
Far from the World Cup, in this poor, rural village where there are no paved roads, no nets on the goals and no shoes for many of the players, Clement Nkala, 17, sat in a chair in his soccer uniform and held out his finger to be pricked for an H.I.V. test.
In a country where 5.7 million people are infected with the virus that causes AIDS — the most in the world — the problem is particularly acute here in the Nkomazi district of Mpumalanga Province, near South Africa’s eastern border with Swaziland and Mozambique.
Medical workers estimate that 65 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 in this area, slightly smaller in size than Rhode Island, carry H.I.V. and that 5,000 to 8,000 children under the age of 5 have been orphaned.
“I am thinking of my future,” Nkala said Saturday afternoon. “It is important to know your status.”
Sarah Kate Noftsinger seemed pleased and startled. A player volunteering to be tested in the open, with his friends playing nearby, would not have happened in this remote district 15 months ago, when she started a youth soccer league that has expanded to five villages and 2,500 boys on 160 teams in under-14 and under-17 divisions.
In this culture, parents seldom talk to their children about sex, medical workers said. Many are afraid to be tested for H.I.V., fearing that they might get their fingers pricked one day and die the next. Denial can be more comforting than the stress of knowing. Admission carries the risk of being shunned by a family, by an entire community. Nkala was a breakthrough.
“This is a big step,” said Noftsinger, 29, of Richmond, Va., who is director of sports and leadership for Triad Trust, a Boston-based charity that seeks to reduce AIDS-related deaths.
Subduing H.I.V. in this region of 500,000 people will not happen soon, it is universally agreed. But this is another fledgling attempt, by creating a sports league and educating players, to show that H.I.V. is preventable, that medicine is available for those who are infected and that there can be a big difference between living with H.I.V. and dying from AIDS.
“It’s a way to address something that nobody wants to talk about through a game that everybody loves,” Noftsinger said.
She is a small woman with the ebullient energy of a midfielder, which she was until the Women’s United Soccer Association folded in the United States in 2003.
She first came to this area to give a two-week clinic in December 2008. Five local advocates, in their mid-20s, pleaded with Noftsinger to help them start a sustainable league that could combine soccer and H.I.V. awareness and might prevent another generation from being lost.
Too often, said Zola Ndlovu, the league’s executive liaison, well-meaning Americans put on clinics then leave without training the locals to carry on in their absence.
“When they are gone, we are still dying,” Ndlovu said.
Triad Trust wewb site:
This photo shows an elephant walking on the road in front of the US soccer team bus outside the Bakubung Bush Lodge in Rustenberg, South Africa. The US team got stuck in a traffic jam caused by the elephant.
While some of my elderly friends drive like elephants, I don’t think I would care to try and pass this guy.
I knew a guy in Maine who hit a Moose, it smashed up the front of his car. He claims the Moose walked away a little dazed. I see dead deer by the side of the road all the time. I will try avoid any critter trying to cross the road, but if I have cars behind me, they had better be quick or their roadkill.
Would you eat roadkill, if it can be safely cook? I would have no problem eating roadkill, if I had confidence in the cook.
Crude oil from the BP oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Alabama. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess 4-6 inches thick in some parts.
The wave above looks like something I might see on some distant planet. If we don’t change our energy resources, where we get them, or how we use them, we may need to get use to more orange surf.
3) My favorite artist are the space telescopes bringing us pictures of our Universe that can match anything even our most imaginative artist, like Picasso and Dali, could create.
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) instrument aboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft obtained this false-color infrared image of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. A strong thermal source (denoted in red) is visible at the base of the Eyjafjallajökull plume. Above and to the right, strong thermal emission is also seen from the lava flows located at Fimmvorduhals, where lava first reached the surface, generating impressive lava fountains and lava flows. As the Fimmvorduhals episode was in a location with no ice cap, there was little of the violent interaction between lava and water that took place at Eyjafjallajökull and that generated the massive volcanic plume. To the east of Fimmvorduhals is the Myrdalsjökull ice cap, beneath which slumbers the mighty Katla volcano. Katla has erupted 20 times in recorded history, with the last eruption occurring in 1918.
This Envisat image highlights a unique cloud formation south of the Canary Island archipelago, some 95 km from the northwest coast of Africa (right) in the Atlantic Ocean. Seven larger islands and a few smaller ones make up the Canaries; the larger islands are (left to right): El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
This image of the Antennae galaxies is the sharpest yet of this merging pair of galaxies. During the course of the collision, billions of stars will be formed. The brightest and most compact of these star birth regions are called super star clusters. The two spiral galaxies started to interact a few hundred million years ago, making the Antennae galaxies one of the nearest and youngest examples of a pair of colliding galaxies.
Psalm 139 is David’s personal prayer to God.
Michelangelo’s Painting “Creation of Adam” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
verses 1-6 David is in wonder of God’s all-knowing awareness of his innermost thoughts. There is nothing about about his life that God does not already know, even before his thoughts are formed or spoken. David is overwhelmed by God omniscience.
verses 7-12 God is ever present, no heights or depths beyond his care. Nothing anywhere is hidden from God’s presences.
verses 13-18 David acknowledges the wonder of God the Creator, who knows and is a part of all things. God is greater than anything we can comprehend.
verses 19-24 David expresses his hatred of anyone, or anything, not aligned with God. He prays that God will root out any evil, or wickedness in his life, that might make him God’s enemy. He prays that God will lead him “in the way everlasting”.
Mercy Me’s version of Psalm 139
Psalm 139 (New International Version)
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
1) A boy carries hay in a field outside the village of Nakhonay in Panjwai district, Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Being a city boy I never had to do chores like this boy did. Mowing the lawn was as physical a job as I did.
What kind of chores did you have growing up. You farm kids don’t have to list them all. :)
2) A girl selling bubble-making toys, blows bubbles to attract buyers in Mumbai, India.
How can anyone not smile while blowing bubbles? I must admit I have not spent enough time with my inner child as an adult. I can’t remember the last time I blew bubbles. I also have never taken a bubble bath. I know, I need help. :)
When was the last time you blew bubbles? Had a bubble bath?
3) Politics – Gay couples adopting children.
I can understand why a person is opposed to gay couples adopting when the guidance of their religious faith says it is wrong. I can’t think of another reason. If you can please comment.
I have been looking for studies to address this issue and finally found a study reported in the New Scientist.
“The children of lesbian parents outscore their peers on academic and social tests, according to results from the longest-running study of same-sex families.
The researchers behind the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study say the results should change attitudes to adoption of children by gay and lesbian couples, which is prohibited in some parts of the US.
The finding is based on 78 children who were all born to lesbian couples who used donor insemination to become pregnant and were interviewed and tested at age 17.
The new tests have left no doubt as to the success of these couples as parents, says Nanette Gartrell at the University of California, San Francisco, who has worked on the study since it began in 1986.
Compared with a group of control adolescents born to heterosexual parents with similar educational and financial backgrounds, the children of lesbian couples scored better on academic and social tests and lower on measures of rule-breaking and aggression.
A previous study of same-sex parenting, based on long-term health data, also found no difference in the health of children in either group.
“This confirms what most developmental scientists have suspected,” says Stephen Russell, a sociologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Kids growing up with same-sex parents fare just as well as other kids.”
“The results should be considered by those who oppose the right of gay and lesbian couples to adopt children, adds Gartrell. A handful of states, including Florida, prohibit same-sex or unmarried couples from adopting, although many of the state laws are being challenged in the courts.
“It’s a great tragedy in this country,” says Gartrell. “There are so many children who are available for adoption but cannot be adopted by same-sex couples.”
Over 100,000 children are awaiting adoption in the US, says the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research and advocacy organisation based in New York. The institute estimates that just 4 per cent of all adopted children – around 65,000 – live with gay or lesbian parents, despite research suggesting that same-sex couples may be more willing than heterosexual couples to adopt.
1) A Chow Chow dog, dyed to look like a panda, is groomed at the Dahe Pet Civilization Park in Zhengzhou, China, on Tuesday. The park bought four dyed Chow Chows, and a Golden Retriever dyed to resemble a tiger, from a pet market in Sichuan as an attempt to attract visitors, local media said.
I doubt many people where fooled, and we can see this poor dog isn’t buying it either.
Any funny stories about dogs you would like to share?
2) On the Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats:
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
What does your summer reading list look like?
3) I was reading one my favorite poems, Howl by Allen Ginsberg, which was banned in the US when it first came out. There are many obscene lines in the poem.
It got me thinking about the controversy that one song created in 1963, the Kingsmen version of “Louie Louie”.
I remember me, my friends, and everyone else in America, trying to figure out the lyrics to the song, which of course everyone knew were dirty. Even the FBI, after a two year investigation, couldn’t interpret the lyrics, which had been intentionally slurred by the Kingsmen. Yes the FBI investigating a song. It was banned in several states. The Governor of Indiana, Matthew Welsh, personally prohibited its playing. What the heck would they have thought of Lady Ga Ga.
Louie, Louie is actually a fairly innocent Jamaican ballad about a sailor returning to see his girlfriend, Louie.
The actual lyrics:
Me gotta go
Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
Louie Louie, oh baby
Me gotta go
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home
Think of girl, constantly
On that ship, I dream she’s there
I smell the rose in her hair.
It won’t be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
Tell her I’ll never leave again
Let’s take it on outa here now
Can’t have such obscenities polluting the youth of our nation.
1) Five-year-old girls dance on the shoulders of women during the ‘Coca’ celebration in Redondela, in rural northeastern Spain, Sunday. The tradition of dancing with daughters on the shoulders is taken from a local legend, believed to originate from the Middle Ages, about two women who were saved from a dragon by dancing in this manner. The children are dressed in traditional costumes called ‘Penlas’
Picture is from a slide show on the Christian Science Monitor site:
When was the last time you danced with children?
2) Castrillo de Murcia, Spain: A man representing the devil, known as el Colacho, jumps over babies during traditional Corpus Christi celebrations
I hope those babies belong to the guys who are doing the jumping.
What use to scare you as a child?
3) Mexico City, Mexico: Performers prepare to take part in la charreria, the Mexican form of rodeo.
What was the most memorable costume you have worn?
Both 2 &3 above are from a Guardian Newspaper slide show
4) The most awesome football (Soccer) team in the world.
The women of the Vakhegula Vakhegula (Grannies Grannies) soccer team, ranging in age from 49 to 84, warmed up before a game last month near Tzaneen, South Africa.
From a New York Times story about them:
“Five days before the start of the World Cup, the stars of the celebration were a soccer team — a group of 35 women ages 49 to 84. After the speeches and ceremonies, the team, Vakhegula Vakhegula, would play an exhibition game.
Beka Ntsanwisi founded Vakhegula Vakhegula five years ago as a way of providing inspiration for older women.”
“Ntsanwisi’s decision to found the team came out of her own sense of personal challenge.
In 2003, she learned she had colon cancer; by 2005, she was using a wheelchair. In the process of her treatment, Ntsanwisi visited a number of public hospitals and was disturbed by the level of treatment of elderly patients, especially women. Many were despondent or confused. She thought that regular exercise would be beneficial. That exercise evolved into soccer.
When they were girls, playing sports was not a realistic option.
“In my generation, it was not like it is today,” Ntsanwisi said. “When you played soccer, you were a little bit afraid. Our culture was like that. Our culture would tell you that a woman has to be home cooking for the husband or cooking for the family.”
“The team’s leading scorer is Beatrice Tshabala, a relative baby at 49. Her nickname on the team is Lionel Messi, after the Argentine star.
When Tshabala’s husband died in 2005, the Grannies became her extended family to share the grief and sorrow.
“Even if we’re not playing, I go to their house, we talk and pray and whatever,” Tshabala said. “So at church I’m busy, at work and then with the grannies, I don’t have time to sit down and mourn every day.”
For Onica Ndzhovela, the Grannies helped her spirit from being broken. She had 12 children; 8 of them died.
“People were saying I was mad,” Ndzhovela said. “I was not mad; I had a lot of stress. It’s not easy to lose eight.”
The Grannies became her family; the soccer competition became an emotional outlet.”