will brady's ruminations
Holiday at Hubbard Park
Bill and I went to see the light display in Meriden's Hubbard Park | We arrived early Friday evening and there was a backlog of cars
waiting to drive in | It's an amazing thing to both be in and to observe | Some folks come to take their leisure, park the car and walk amongst the light displays | Others hurry the vehicle in front of them impatiently, eager to get the drive over with, so perhaps they can go
to the Mall, shopping | Who knows? | At any rate,
it was a beautiful thing | We didn't hurry | A little Peace on Earth |
THE MEASURE OF MAN
Scotsman Stuart Savory
shares important information [to some
] that arrived via e-mail from one of those helpful unasked of prolific letter writers |
...the US company Andromedical, a manufacturer of penis-enlargement devices (and probable spammer judging by my male box /////// mailbox ) reports on their international survey of penis measurements, which confirms the numbers reported by a local condom manufacturer.
Average size by country (measured along the erect topside), sample-size about 2000 men/country. Korea 9.6 cms, India 10.1 cms, Greece 12.2, Saudi Arabia 12.4, Venezuela 12.7, USA 12.9, Japan 13.0, Spain 13.6, Columbia 13.9, Chile 14.0, Brasil 14.5, Germany 14.7, Mexico 14.9, Russia 15.0, Italy 15.0, and France 16.0. No numbers were reported for Holland, probably due to the number of dykes there ;-)
France 16 cms and USA only 12.9 cms? That would explain why little Dubya is pissed off at the French; nothing to do with Chirac's refusal to go to war in Iraq!
And of coarse(sic!) we free-swinging, bare-bummed, kilted Scots ran out of ruler.
LAND USE PLANNING
We'll still have forests as the planet changes itself
| Things, however, might not be as we now recognize them to be |
A warming trend could shift the range for many North American forest species by about 300 km [200 mi.] to the north | If the climate changes slowly, warmer temperatures may enable the trees to colonize north into areas that are currently too cold, at about the same rate as southern areas became too hot and dry for the species to survive |
Actually, I write this now out of frustration with an individual who doesn't know t he forest for the trees, so to speak | As we endeavor to protect land from unnecessary sprawl, along comes a know-nothing know-it-all who thinks that the only forest that needs preserving is that which could be easily developed into lots or shopping malls | The individual has not displayed any real understanding about what forest stewardship is about, just in what a community purchase might do to the mill rate on one's own piece of property | Frustrating dealing with those smart enough to get an MBA but too dense to understand the complexities of natural processes |
| The Oil Wars can be fought on many battlefields | I know I keep harping about wind generation every now and again but let's be realistic | If it is evident that continuted reliance on corporate controlled imported oil is not going to be here forever [we either use it up or it gets priced out of the stratosphere
] then we must rely upon other souces of power |
Wind energy is a resource where the technology is readily accessible, the materials required to get into operation do not rely on buying everything from McMegaCorp, and much of the nation [if not the planet] is baseline mapped to show area most likely to be most productive | In other words, we can start doing this right now |
There are some challenges | We can expect to hear opposition from some property owners [most likely, the same folks who move next to dairy farms then complain about the smell of manure
] that wind towers might lower their property values ..a phrase than, less delicately put, translates into "I don't want to see the thing" | So local zoning needs to allow for wind towers and siting priorities ought to be established that identify the most likely locations for towers to be placed | Educating the public comes next, to show how the technology can be economical, efficient, locally owned |
It's not impossible to get out from under the yokes of tyrants
~ be they dictators in power, or the market dictatorships of corporate oligarchs | But it does take work | And it requires all of us
involved, though we can start with an Army of One | We can use virtually every kind of forum possible, from town meetings to websites to demostration projects | So, let's get to it |
Keep Yer Queer Books Out of My State!
| Alabama legislator, Rep. Gerald Allen [R] Cottondale, wants to ban books that talk about gay people
If passed, the ban would spare Alabamans such offensive travesties such as this
as well as upsetting images as seen here | The Alabama Birmingham News reports:
KIM CHANDLER News staff writer
MONTGOMERY - An Alabama lawmaker who sought to ban gay marriages now wants to ban novels with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries.
A bill by Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the "homosexual agenda."
"Our culture, how we know it today, is under attack from every angle," Allen said in a press conference Tuesday.
Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.
"I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said.
A spokesman for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center called the bill censorship.
"It sounds like Nazi book burning to me," said SPLC spokesman Mark Potok.
If the bill became law, public school textbooks could not present homosexuality as a genetic trait and public libraries couldn't offer books with gay or bisexual characters.
When asked about Tennessee Williams' southern classic "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," Allen said the play probably couldn't be performed by university theater groups.
Allen said no state funds should be used to pay for materials that foster homosexuality. He said that would include nonfiction books that suggest homosexuality is acceptable and fiction novels with gay characters. While that would ban books like "Heather has Two Mommies," it could also include classic and popular novels with gay characters such as "The Color Purple," "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Brideshead Revisted."
Aside from the moral debates, the bill could be problematic for library collections, said Jaunita Owes, director of the Montgomery City-County Library, which is a few blocks from the Alabama Capitol.
"Half the books in the library could end up being banned. It's all based on how one interprets the material," Owes said.
CULTURAL AWARENESS || MENTAL HEALTH
Jane Elliott was a part of a new training program
for staff where I work | The video documentary Blue Eyes
was shown to participants as the second part of today's training workshop |
The first part was an hour and a half where employees, briefly, assumed the role of patients on an overcrowded, understaffed ward, starting their day with agency police collecting their shoelaces, belts, watches and personal property |
The latter part of the day included a panel of former patients who spoke to what they found disturbing with here as inmates, things that worked for them, and placing a focus on recovery as a component of resuming their lives outside the walls |
As far as I can tell, the training is unprecedented in the realm of maximum security forensic facilities | So it's ground-breaking stuff |
In the wrap-up at the end of the day I was pleasantly surprised that folks in the training would like to see more of this
take place where I work | The training represents a pivot point | From here we go on to become something new; more humane, caring and dedicated to providing help, not in continuing in the key-keeper prison model | I know there are those who would disagree with this approach but ...let's face it | Even when individuals have committed egregious wrongs resulting in their coming to the facility, our purpose is multifacted | Public safety concerns must be met, sure | But sometimes the perception of what is safety
is far removed from the reality of what makes things safe | And making people safe is our charge, no matter the road this takes us donw, even if it isn't punitive |
Treating peole decently is at the top of the list |
OTHER NOTES: Not everybody agrees with this phenomena | Some, including the disingenious information spin folks at V-Dare think multicultural awareness is not legitimate | The site's big brained,but tiny soulled founders spend much of their time writing screeds that sound and look thoughful, but are really no more than re-hashes of age old prejudices | I don't endorse them, mind you | Their link here is to let you know that oppsing viewpoints exist | I won't vouch for whether or not they are "responsible." |
THINGS WE REALLY NEED
Beer Bottle Opening Belt Buckle
is on sale at Urban Outfitters
just in time for the holidays |
I don't know where these things are being manufactured, but it makes me wonder, as the value of the USA dollar goes down the tubes, just what the Chinese think of Americans borrowing their spending money from Asian banks to be able to purchase junk like this |
I also wonder if they might not be cheaper if I buy them by the case or truckload | Then everyone I know could get one as a gift |
POWER | RULE | LEADERSHIP
As the newly empowered in the USA rush to adopt new rules
it behooves us to reflect on the differences between what it means to be in power, imposing rules and providing leadership | The contrasts can be vast |
Any fool can impose rules and order people to adhere to them
| Under such a regime, there is no requirement that the rules have any bearing upon anything; be it social need, long term planning, good of the society... anything
except, perhaps, the caprice of the rulers |
As such, an arbitrary issuance of rules is one form of governance | Not a good one however | And the precedents for such governance are many | They embody the reigns of tyrants and madmen |
, on the other hand, requires thoughfulness, deliberation, tolerance ~ even encouragement ~ of dissent | Leadership requires, long term strategic planning, contingency planning, an abiding sense of justice and fairness | Leadership requires
a sense of vision, but one that factors into account that the leader's may not be the best direction for society, and if so, the ability to abandon that vision for one more tenable and just |
In some respects, the history of this time has already been written | Those in power would do well to reflect on the past, to identify their true roles in history | The picture, at the moment, isn't pretty, for either those in power, or their fiefs [that's us, folks] | We must be constantly watchful |
back to work
| Bridge wait again, thanks to the painting crew's lead paint removal before spraying | I don't mind | There's a crossword puzzle book on the passenger seat | Stuff to keep me occupied |
RECENT SURF RESULTS
worth sharing IMHO |
• J-Walk Blog | John Walkenbach's "stuff that may or may not interst you" | Inveterate author and researcher on MS Excel spreadsheets, he shares with us his photo caption humor and other "stuff" he's come across to catch our attention | Too bad he has been replaced by a dog so I don't know if the quality of the site will stay up |
• Steve Gilliard's Newsblog | Some of the most thoughtfully written copy on Fajullah and the Bushwars I've seen online | That Steve and his co-poster don't limit their postings to this subject alone makes the blog's value evern greater |
• Wood's Lot | Arts and Politics from a Canadian blogger with connsumate good taste | The content is dense with picture images, rich with links to orginal texts and artwork; all, thankfully free from the corporate copyright hoarders | Folks on dial-up will have to be patient while this site uploads |
• Rick Giombetti's Kangaroon Court | A remarkable effort at staying current on mental health/illness issues in the news | Provises a rather extensive list of state agencies, NAMI chapters, Big Pharma links, "anti-psychiatry" resources and more | All this in only a year of blog posting | Incredible stuff |
• y Sang's Loneliness is Tough | This is a relatively new blog effort, or so it seems | Life from the perspective of a 16 year old girl | A little giggly, nervous, but she's making an effort and I find it helpful to understand the teen-age psyche somehow | Glad my own kid has grown up |
• Arr, the Kraken | Personal site | Zack Birkenbuel's been doing this for a few years and has a lengthy archives to ponder through | His travel log to Australia is enlightening | While on the surface the site seems pretty everyday, I find myself intrigued at a project he's pursuing | That's a simulation game called
• Coming Out Straight | The premise here is to walk someone who is a sexual minority ~ heterosexual ~ in a society where the dominant culture is gay | The "game" is new, has only a few scenarios, but could have promise if it helps broaden someone's awareness to the subtleties of prejudice and bigotry | I've taken part in the project, and have "outed" myself as "Straight" under a pseudonym | Kraken's sit is not to be confused with the following;
• NARTH's "Coming out Straight" | Here you have the "ex-gay" perspective | "Reorientation Therapy" it appears, is probably not too far from the concept of Cult Deprogramming | Blissfully ignorant [or silent, I'm not certain which] of the gay ex-gay spokesmen who ever now and again get caught soaking in the atmosphere of a homo pick-up bar | they have a section of "ethics" but I'm not sure they understand the concept |
WHAT ATTRACTS PEOPLE?
Attribute this to a slow news day
, so to speak | That, or now that I have a new site meter I can see what queries brought folks here | If I know how each happened I'll make note of it | Short Notes shows up under google searches
for the following:
Scruffy's Laws | I've had a link to Scruffy's State Statutes ever since I came across it | A GREAT resource site for those looking for links to USA laws | In fact, you'll find it linked on the legal resources on the right side of this page |
beautiful short notes on olympics | Well, that's obvious, I wrote about the 2004 Olympics, but mostly I put up pictures | Tho' the words were not so sequenced, this resulted in being the first on 51,000 entries |
"kimimasa mayama" A REUTERS photographer, who worked at the Olympics |
"jason king" vermont | Dunno | I do have a link to the weblog of a graphic artist named Jason King, and I've commentd about Vermont | He wrote recently about a Warhol Retrospective, Intimate and Unseen at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, running through 6 February 2005 |
Chai Soua Vang | Oh, the Wisconsin "hunter" who blew away 6 hunters with a semiautomatic and a 20 shot clip | Recent news | I feel sorry for the grieving, and this includes Mr. Vang's own family and the Hmong residents of Wisconsin | Probably needed to take the NRA Hunter Safety Course before now, tho' this may now be moot |
Small+log+post+peeler | From Mamma Meta Search | Dunno | Probably some entry about wood splitting or firewood |
Benjamin Sisti | One of the "Principals" of Colonial Realty, a pyramid scheme real estate scam that fell apart in 1991 | Colonial Realty's Accounting Frim was Arthur Anderson | Sisti is now in federal prison | I used to work for a company owned by Colonial Realty and got cheated out of half a year's pay, health care coverage and unemployment benefits | I wasn't alone |
John Wayne Gacy | Dunno | Probably I was writing something about mental illness and the criminally insane |
Joe Ryan's Diary | I made note of right wing firebrand and pundit shortly after Abu Grahib prison scandal surfaced | Was intrigued that his boastful diary alluding to the abuses as the occurred were posted online | The original site got pulled but it got cached |
OPEN EXHIBITION ANNOUNCEMENT
v- Pix Credit: Hygienic Building | Hygienic Art Gallery Archives | Photographer Unknown |
New London, Connecticut
| 29 January 2005 marks the 26th year for the annual Hygienic
"no judge, no jury, no censorship" art exhibition |
The Hygienic Art Exhibition is Southeastern Connecticut's premiere fine art, film and performance artist celebration showing new and original artworks from the sublime to the outrageous | This year marks the 26th year of the art exhibition | Modeled after the Salon des Independants Movement
in Paris during the early 20th century, in which French Impressionist masters protested against the then art establishment and artists for fawning over the aristocracy exhibited there works in cafes in the seamy parts of the city | The exhibition is touted as New London's only winter tourist attraction and is notorious for it anything goes policy of no judge, no jury no fees, and no censorship | One piece per artist all are welcome |
The What, Where and Who to Contact info
: Hygienic Art, Inc. | 83 Bank Street | P.O. Box 417 | New London, CT 06437 | 860 • 443 • 8001 | firstname.lastname@example.org |