Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Elephants on PBS' Nature: Echo and Her Family. Sweetest Elephants.

It seems that each animal species embodies some collection of traits that we humans have and/or recognize. Elephants have a lot of the best of us. Care, sacrifice, love, playfulness, stamina, endurance, determination--and grief, depression, and longing as well--if you don't admire elephants, get a check up.
A recent PBS special on Nature was an emotional wellspring of insight into elephants.
mt kilimanjaro
A matriarch elephant, Echo, and her family are chronicled through many years including a heartbreaking famine near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her wisdom leads to the survival of her family even after her death.
The story of little Elijah is amazing.
Born with poor legs, the elephants love him with great patience.
 he is speared in the rear haunch at age 8 but survives.
the women of the preserve weep as he reappears many years later. (more about the women of the amboseli trust HERE
did i mention you may weep most of the show? a good purge...

Watch this. you can see it all online here.
more on elephants, their language, poaching, etc. HERE

More about Mt. Kilimanjaro HERE

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Funnies and Relaxation


Government Forcing Religion, Freedom of Religion, the Constitution, and the Hypocrisy of the Political Media

President Obama is forcing his Christianity on us!! The media must be Up In Arms. He says we must take money from the rich and give it to the poor, because of the Christian religion's precepts.* (not individually, but the governmental WE.)
Holy Smokes!! 
David Gregory must be licking his chops preparing some Serious Questions about the Fear we are feeling that President Obama is trying to create a theocracy, Forcing us to act with Christian precepts!
david gregory picture

I mean, it's one thing for a person to decide their own behavior, but government mandates?
If i am an atheist, and do not believe in any religious precepts, or if i am simply a selfish person who is doing fine evolutionarily speaking, or simply do not believe in "sharing" or "compassion"--wasn't this government designed for me?
 I thought the constitution allowed people to practice whatever they wanted but does not allow the gov'mint to force me to practice it too.

Is that why thoreau went to jail rather than allow his taxes to be used for something that violated his conscience?

In the middle of the worst economy in memory,
 a coupla wars being fought, american women and men dying overseas, etc., George Stephanopoulos  asked a 2012 primary debate question that left everyone scratching their heads--

Would you ban birth control? or Can States ban birth control or something like that- video here:
don't watch tv, it all crazy

from all sides, the story of The Contraception Question was reported as big news

the Daily Beast has several articles about it.

But it seemed a weird quesiton. Romney cocked his head like a confused dog and indicated that no one was thinking of doing it, and why ask such a question. Then, a few weeks later, comes the insurance mandate to have birth control included in insurance, and the rest is history

Have you stopped beating your wife?

 * here are two instances that President Obama has referenced:

1. To whom much is given, much is expected...

2.   “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,f you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 more politics HERE and HERE and also here:

So--what is your opinion? Shall our government be one motivated by Christian Principles or Not? Some but not all?
Why do we spend the way we spend, act the way we act, or refrain when we refrain?
Is there really such a thing as love, afterlife, souls, and morality? Or are we really just random bits of flotsam and jetsom mathematically mutating though time?

David Gregory turns Meet the Press into the morning cringe; How I miss Tim Russert

While i prefer to watch Stop-Interrupting-Me Eleanor Clift argue with the McLaughlin Group (and her secret footsy with Pat Buchanan), i still check in with Meet the Press A.T. (after Tim) from time to time. But David Gregory's amateurish journalism skills and blatant bias embarrass me and like a punishment send me elsewhere most Sunday mornings. 
Let Me Finish!!!
Every time i watch i end up cringing-- it's like watching a 2012 republican primary--whether i am in agreement with him or not on any particular guest. I have ignored this but today i say it. Gregory stated in his first show he would try to maintain the standards of Mr. Russert. He needs to watch some of the archives and do some continuing ed training. David Gregory: It's alright to have an unspoken thought...
His questions are longer than the answers he allows before cutting off the guest, he argues in a nitpicky way, as if trying to herd his guest into a preordained answer, his obvious disdain for republicans colors his questioning in a way that disempowers and demeans the show.  [example here]
  Tim, we miss you!!!

Young Tim Russert with young son Luke 
more family pics here

the McLaughlin Group

Tim Russert, 1950-2008

Regardless of political or religious or national ideologies, good journalism is good journalism. (See Jim Lehrer) I am a fan of pure journalism as well as of the great or funny or sarcastic opinion writers. I can laugh reading ann coulter as well as maureen dowd. But i am not a fan of those who are acting as journalists who clumsily or otherwise are pushing an agenda. Any show come to mind for you? It becomes unwatchable.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Holy Cow! You never know...

I put some bird seed on this window ledge (HERE)  today to feed the three squirrels there today,
( THESE squirrels  and HERE)
and i went back and sat down and within 20 seconds i looked up and saw the K-State HAWK, "spread-eagled" in the window -- i saw the underbelly and claws open
and i am pretty sure a squirrel was breakfast and became hawk today...
i ran to the window but they were gone...

You never know dude. the hawkbell tolls for thee.....

ksu hawk (more  here)

Says wiki: "The title of [Hemingway's] book is a reference to John Donne's series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness (written while Donne was convalescing from a nearly fatal illness) that were published as a book in 1624 under the title Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, specifically Meditation XVII:
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the SeaEurope is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were;
 any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."
No Man is an island-- pics from  this site

Monday, February 20, 2012

16 dogs. amazing.

 so are kids as smart as dogs?
My brother in Alaska told me re this video, "that's Heini Winter, a musher from Germany. All of the sled dog teams have to be very well trained in order to do well at the sport. And of course in the summer you have to keep them fit! As you might imagine there are quite a few of these teams up here. He is a "mid-distance" musher so he doesn't do the races like the Iditarod.

some running dogs...