Good Loving Woman

Good Loving Woman

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It takes 92 minutes for the ISS to orbit the Earth traveling at approximately 17,200 mph. That correlates to a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes that astronauts attend, or a total of 15-16 rotations per day on Earth. If you find that the live cam is dark–be patient–sunrise is just around the bend; however, it lasts only a few seconds!

Beam in LIVE on astronauts aboard the International Space Station > !

August 17, 2013

Dr. Wahls (doctor, researcher, and sufferer of progressive multiple sclerosis) began studying the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology, and decided to get her vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids from the food she ate rather than pills and supplements. This is her story about how she used functional medicine and Paleo principles to walk again. She breaks the (Paleo) diet down very simply into which foods provide what the body–and brain–need to thrive.

Eat for Your Mitochondria – Using Functional Medicine and Paleo Principles to Beat Her Autoimmune Disease

July 9, 2013 2 Comments

Sliced Bread

July 7, 2013

…was sold for the first time on this date in 1928. Up until that time, consumers baked their own bread, or bought it in solid loaves. Otto Frederick Rohwedder, a jeweler from Davenport, Iowa, had been working for years perfecting an eponymous invention, the Rohwedder Bread Slicer. He tried to sell it to bakeries. They scoffed, and told him that pre-sliced bread would get stale and dry long before it could be eaten. He tried sticking the slices together with hatpins, but it didn’t work. Finally he hit on the idea of wrapping the bread in waxed paper after it was sliced. Still no sale, until he took a trip to Chillicothe, Missouri, and met a baker who was willing to take a chance. Frank Bench agreed to try the five-foot-long, three-foot-high slicing and wrapping machine in his bakery. The proclamation went out to kitchens all over Chillicothe, via ads in the daily newspaper: “Announcing: The Greatest Forward Step in the Baking Industry Since Bread was Wrapped — Sliced Kleen Maid Bread.” Sales went through the roof. Rohwedder not only gave Americans the gift of convenience and perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but he also provided the English language with the saying that expresses the ultimate in innovation: “the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

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It’s the Birthday of the Man Who Said…

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” — Jean Cocteau (b. 1889)

July 5, 2013

July 3, 2013 1 Comment

July 1, 2013

It’s the birthday of American grammarian William Strunk Jr. (1869), born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was an English teacher at Cornell for 46 years, and edited works of Shakespeare and James Fenimore Cooper. In 1918, he self-published a little book for the use of his students, called The Elements of Style. It was a 45-page volume intended, according to Strunk’s introduction, “to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention … on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.” He revised it in 1935; and in the late 1950s, one of his former students, the writer and New Yorker editor E.B. White (Winnie the Pooh), revised and reissued the 1935 edition. It’s now colloquially known as “Strunk and White.”

The Elements of Style is full of helpful advice to aspiring writers and students everywhere. In it, one may find such wisdom as, “Instead of announcing what you are about to tell is interesting, make it so,” and “Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.”

American author Dorothy Parker once wrote: “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second-greatest favor you can do for them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” (The Writer’s Almanac)

Excerpts from Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (1918):

“The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to make occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by. A writer is a gunner, sometimes waiting in the blind for something to come in, sometimes roaming the countryside hoping to scare something up.”
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”

June 23, 2013

GirlHoldsBorzoiPuppy8883Do You Love Me?

She’s twelve and she’s asking the dog,
who does, but who speaks
in tongues, whose feints and gyrations
are themselves parts of speech.

They’re on the back porch
and I don’t really mean to be taking this in
but once I’ve heard I can’t stop listening. Again
and again she asks, and the good dog

sits and wiggles, leaps and licks.
Imagine never asking. Imagine why:
so sure you wouldn’t dare, or couldn’t care
less. I wonder if the dog’s guileless brown eyes

can lie, if the perfect canine lack of abstractions
might not be a bit like the picture books
she “read” as a child, before her parents’ lips
shaped the daily miracle of speech

and kisses, and the words were not lead
and weighed only air, and did not mean
so meanly. “Do you love me?” she says
and says, until the dog, sensing perhaps

its own awful speechlessness, tries to bolt,
but she holds it by the collar and will not
let go, until, having come closer,
I hear the rest of it. I hear it all.

She’s got the dog’s furry jowls in her hands,
she’s speaking precisely
into its laid-back, quivering ears:
“Say it,” she hisses, “say it to me.”

“Do You Love Me?” by Robert Wrigley, from Earthly Meditations: New and Selected Poems. © Penguin, 2006.

THE FOOL
Being but men, we walked into the trees
Afraid, letting our syllables be soft
For fear of waking the rooks,
For fear of coming
Noiselessly into a world of wings and cries.

If we were children we might climb,
Catch the rooks sleeping, and break no twig,
And, after the soft ascent,
Thrust out our heads above the branches
To wonder at the unfailing stars.

Out of confusion, as the way is,
And the wonder, that man knows,
Out of the chaos would come bliss.

That, then, is loveliness, we said,
Children in wonder watching the stars,
Is the aim and the end.

Being but men, we walked into the trees.

“Being But Men” by Dylan Thomas, from Collected Poems. © Norton, 1971.

June 5, 2013 1 Comment

May 20, 2013

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Word of the Weak: OMPHALOSKEPSIS

May 18, 2013

om·pha·lo·skep·sis [om-fuh-loh-skep’-sis]

(noun) contemplation of the navel for the purpose of attaining philosophic calm.

1925, from omphalo- + Greek -skepsis, from skeptesthai “to reflect, look, view”

Mystics of the Middle Ages practiced omphaloskepsis, believing that concentrating on a single focal point such as the navel would help them experience divine light and glory.

Greek mythology holds that Zeus released two eagles, one
from the east and one from the west, and made them fly toward
each other. They met at Delphi, and the spot was marked with a
stone in the temple of the oracle there, a stone they named
omphalos,” Greek for “navel” (it supposedly marked the center
of the world). Mystics have been practicing omphaloskepsis for
centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1920s that English
speakers combined “omphalos” with another Greek term, “skepsis”
(which means “examination,” not “skepticism”), to create a word
for studying one’s own middle and thinking deeply.

Little Girl, My String Bean, My Lovely Woman

May 16, 2013

My daughter, at eleven
(almost twelve), is like a garden.

Oh, darling! Born in that sweet birthday suit
and having owned it and known it for so long,
now you must watch high noon enter –
noon, that ghost hour.
Oh, funny little girl – this one under a blueberry sky,
this one! How can I say that I’ve known
just what you know and just where you are?

It’s not a strange place, this odd home
where your face sits in my hand
so full of distance,
so full of its immediate fever.
The summer has seized you,
as when, last month in Amalfi, I saw
lemons as large as your desk-side globe –
that miniature map of the world –
and I could mention, too,
the market stalls of mushrooms
and garlic buds all engorged.
Or I think even of the orchard next door,
where the berries are done
and the apples are beginning to swell.
And once, with our first backyard,
I remember I planted an acre of yellow beans
we couldn’t eat.

Oh, little girl,
my stringbean,
how do you grow?
You grow this way.
You are too many to eat.

I hear
as in a dream
the conversation of the old wives
speaking of womanhood.
I remember that I heard nothing myself.
I was alone.
I waited like a target.

Let high noon enter –
the hour of the ghosts.
Once the Romans believed
that noon was the ghost hour,
and I can believe it, too,
under that startling sun,
and someday they will come to you,
someday, men bare to the waist, young Romans
at noon where they belong,
with ladders and hammers
while no one sleeps.

But before they enter
I will have said,
Your bones are lovely,
and before their strange hands
there was always this hand that formed.

Oh, darling, let your body in,
let it tie you in,
in comfort.
What I want to say, Linda,
is that women are born twice.

If I could have watched you grow
as a magical mother might,
if I could have seen through my magical transparent belly,
there would have been such a ripening within:
your embryo,
the seed taking on its own,
life clapping the bedpost,
bones from the pond,
thumbs and two mysterious eyes,
the awfully human head,
the heart jumping like a puppy,
the important lungs,
the becoming –
while it becomes!
as it does now,
a world of its own,
a delicate place.

I say hello
to such shakes and knockings and high jinks,
such music, such sprouts,
such dancing-mad-bears of music,
such necessary sugar,
such goings-on!

Oh, little girl,
my stringbean,
how do you grow?
You grow this way.
You are too many to eat.

What I want to say, Linda,
is that there is nothing in your body that lies.
All that is new is telling the truth.
I’m here, that somebody else,
an old tree in the background.

Darling,
stand still at your door,
sure of yourself, a white stone, a good stone –
as exceptional as laughter
you will strike fire,
that new thing!

— Anne Sexton 1964

War or Peace

May 13, 2013

Today is Mother’s Day

May 12, 2013 3 Comments

Mahal kita, Consuelo

Mother’s Day as we know it — where we celebrate our own mothers, with flowers, gifts, and cards — is relatively new, but annual celebrations to celebrate motherhood are an ancient practice.

The motherhood festivities have historically been in spring, the season of fertility. In ancient Egypt, there were celebrations to honor Isis, the loving mother-goddess, who is often shown in Egyptian art with the baby Horus at her breast, much like Mary and Jesus in later Christian iconography. The cult of the great mother-goddess Cybele began in Turkey and soon moved to Greece and Rome, and she was worshipped in some form for more than a thousand years. Her priestesses led wild celebrations, full of drinking, dancing, music, and all kinds of debauchery.

As the Roman Empire and Europe transitioned to Christianity, the Church set aside the fourth Sunday of Lent as a day to honor motherhood. It was a day to celebrate the Virgin Mary, and for people to honor their “mother church.”

In the 1600s, England declared an official Mothering Day for that fourth Sunday of Lent. It was a time when families were encouraged to get together, and servants or workers were allowed one day off work to go see their mothers, since many working-class families in England worked as servants on separate estates and rarely got to see each other. Mothering Day was also declared an exception to the fasting and penance of Lent, so that families could have a feast together.

When the pilgrims came to America, they stopped celebrating Mothering Day, just as they stopped celebrating most holidays that they thought had become too secular.

Mother’s Day was reintroduced to America in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, who wanted to set aside a day of protest after the Civil War, in which mothers could come together and protest their sons killing other mothers’ sons.

But the woman who really created Mother’s Day as we know it was Anna Jarvis. Her mother had held Mother’s Friendship Days to reunite families and neighbors separated during the war, and when she died, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, worked to proclaim an official Mother’s Day to honor her mother and celebrate peace. And so on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebrations took place in Grafton, West Virginia, and at a church in Philadelphia. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

But Mother’s Day became commercialized very quickly, especially in the floral industry, and Anna Jarvis was furious. She said, “What will you do to route charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers, and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest, and truest movements and celebrations?” But flower sales and card sales continued to grow, and Anna Jarvis died in poverty and without any children of her own. (Writer’s Almanac. May 12, 2013)

Never-Say-Neverisms

May 11, 2013

* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
* Don’t use no double negatives.
* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t.
* Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.
* Do not put statements in the negative form.
* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
* No sentence fragments.
* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view.
* Eschew dialect, irregardless.
* And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
* Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
* Write all adverbial forms correct.
* Don’t use contractions in formal writing.
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
* If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
* Don’t string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
* Always pick on the correct idiom.
* “Avoid overuse of ‘quotation “marks.”‘”
* The adverb always follows the verb.
* Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.”

William Safire, Fumblerules: A lighthearted guide to grammar and good usage

May 10, 2013

eu·phe·mism

noun [yoo-fuh-miz-uh m]  1. a mild, indirect, or vague expression substituted for one considered to be offensive, harsh, or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing 2. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

Ex: She’s a little funny. 

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dys·phe·mism

noun [dis-fuh-miz-uhm]  1. a derogatory or unpleasant term used instead of a pleasant or neutral one

 Ex: She’s a nut job.

The Land of Beginning Again

May 10, 2013 2 Comments

I wish that there were some wonderful place
In the Land of Beginning Again.
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
and never put on again.
I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be there at the gates
like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.
We would find all the things we intended to do
But forgot, and remembered too late,
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken,
And all the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The day for one less fortunate.
It wouldn’t be possible not to be kind
In the Land of Beginning Again,
And the ones we misjudged
and the ones whom we grudged
their moments of victory here,
Would find in the grasp of our loving hand-clasp
More than penitent lips could explain…
So I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.

“The Land of Beginning Again” by Louisa Fletcher, from The Land of Beginning Again. © Nabu Press, 2011

“What? What? Where? Where? See it! See it!”

Indigo Bunting’s Song

May 7, 2013

Birdspotting on Catsilk Mountain

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Indigo Buntings migrate at night, using the stars for guidance. Researchers demonstrated this process in the late 1960s by studying captive Indigo Buntings in a planetarium and then under the natural night sky…

May 7, 2013

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“Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality; we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way.”

April 28, 2013