## Saturday, April 19, 2014

### Link Between Critical Thinking And Writing

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175 pounds

When you introduce competition into the public school system, most studies show that schools start to do better when they are competing for students.
--Bill Cosby

Dictionary definition for Common Core:

Common Core is a rigorous set of standards for the English Language Arts and mathematics curriculum that has been developed based on the best practices of schools and organizations around the country and the world.

While reading about Common Core (of which I knew absolutely nothing) I was (easily) diverted from this dull and seemingly unimportant subject to a more interesting one: "What exactly, is the link between critical thinking and writing?"

This new subject contained the following:

Here is a fairly familiar word problem: A bat and ball cost \$1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

After immediately answering the question, I read on and found that: A study found that fully 50 percent of undergraduates at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton and 80 percent of students at other colleges answered this problem incorrectly. That's because many of us jump reflexively to the wrong answer: 10 cents. (If we slow down and do the math, we see that the correct answer is 5 cents.)

I was astounded to find that it took me almost a half-hour to reconcile my mind to the correct answer being five cents... even though the answer was provided, and especially since I had previously encountered this cute and tricky little problem a few years ago. And had forgotten about it.

Sometimes it doesn't take much to jerk a fellow down a notch.

Anyone who might be interested in Common Core can find a hellish amount of information HERE

To my consternation I have discovered that I can no longer access at least fifty percent of the correct questions on Jeopardy before the contestants speak them. I used to be able to do that. Now, even though I know the correct answer (question) it takes too long for me to bring it forth. I am lucky now to retrieve, quickly enough, three or four of them per show.

Damn!

Getting old sucks.

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After studying 3,305 people ages 16 to 44, researchers found that the brain’s response time begins to decline at age 24. The descent is a slow, but nonetheless, steady one.

More . . .

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Did You Know . . .?

During World War II, a U.S. soldier was ambushed by 5 Japanese tanks. He single-handedly destroyed all 5 and was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On April 19, 1897, the first Boston Marathon was run in Boston, Massachusetts. John J. McDermott of New York ran the 24.5-mile course of the all-male event in a winning time of 2:55:10. The 24.5-mile route started at Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts, and ended at Boston’s Irvington Street Oval near Copley Square. Fifteen men participated in the inaugural race, known at the time as the American Marathon. It was held on April 19, Patriots’ Day, a holiday celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine in honor of the start of the Revolutionary War. In 1969, Patriots’ Day was officially moved to the third Monday of every April and the Boston Marathon has been run on that day ever since.

Today, the Boston Marathon, considered one of the world’s most prestigious road races, attracts professional and amateur runners from around the world. The event’s centennial running, on April 15, 1986, had 38,708 entrants and 35,868 finishers.

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WORD FOR TODAY

competition
noun
1. The act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry.
2. A test of skill or ability; a contest: a skating competition.
3. Rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customer or market.
4. A competitor: The competition has cornered the market.
5. Ecology: The simultaneous demand by two or more organisms for limited environmental resources, such as nutrients, living space, or light.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

(born April 19, 1979)
Kate Hudson is an American actress. She came to prominence in 2001 for her role in Almost Famous. She then starred in the hit film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in 2003. She has since appeared in films such as Raising Helen (2004), The Skeleton Key (2005), You, Me and Dupree (2006), Fool's Gold (2008), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) and Bride Wars (2009). She has played a recurring role on the musical comedy-drama television series Glee as Cassandra July.

(born 19 April 1946)
Tim Curry is an English actor known for his work in a diverse range of theatre, film and television productions. Curry first rose to prominence with his portrayal of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 1975 cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Curry garnered further acclaim for his film and television roles; as Rooster in the 1982 film adaptation of Annie, as Darkness in the 1985 film Legend, as Wadsworth in the film of the same year Clue, and as Pennywise in the 1990 horror miniseries It. Some more comedic roles include Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and Muppet Treasure Island. Other notable stage roles include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1980 Broadway production of Amadeus and as King Arthur in Spamalot in 2005.

(born April 19, 1937)
Eleanor Donahue is an American actress. The naturally red-headed Donahue played Robert Young's eldest/popular daughter, Betty Anderson, on the 1950s sitcom, Father Knows Best. Donahue was featured in several episodes of CBS's The Andy Griffith Show as pharmacist Ellie Walker.

(born April 19, 1968)
Ashley Judd is an American television and film actress. She is the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the half-sister of Wynonna Judd. Judd has had leading roles in such films as Ruby in Paradise (1993), Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996), Kiss the Girls (1997), Double Jeopardy (1999), Where the Heart Is (2000), High Crimes (2002), Dolphin Tale (2011), Divergent (2014) and Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). She also starred as Rebecca Winstone in the television series Missing in 2012.

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There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.
--Indira Gandhi

NASA TV

## Friday, April 18, 2014

### You're Who? -- Oh Yeah? Prove It!

____________________

175 pounds

I am absolutely opposed to a national ID card. This is a total contradiction of what a free society is all about. The purpose of government is to protect the secrecy and the privacy of all individuals, not the secrecy of government. We don't need a national ID card.
--Ron Paul

A couple weeks ago, when I first heard about the proposal to display a photo of the owner on all Social Security cards, I immediately thought, Social Security cards are issued just after birth these days, so will it be a baby picture that's displayed? Then what? Will the photo be updated on achieving voting age, and then at intervals as the citizen ages? How many billions of dollars will that cost? And who pays for it?

There are probably many other valid objections to this idea that I have never thought of.

It seems to be an unworkable idea.

_____

Did You Know . . .?

Two barber's poles placed next to each other spinning in opposite directions are used to signify a brothel in Korea.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1906 a devastating earthquake began to shake the city of San Francisco. The first of two vicious tremors shook San Francisco at 5:13 a.m., and a second followed not long after. The quake was powerful enough to be recorded thousands of miles away in Cape Town, South Africa, and its effect on San Francisco was cataclysmic. Thousands of structures collapsed as a result of the quake itself. However, the greatest devastation resulted from the fires that followed the quake. The initial tremors destroyed the city's water mains, leaving overwhelmed firefighters with no means of combating the growing inferno. The blaze burned for four days and engulfed the vast majority of the city.

Despite the utter devastation, San Francisco quickly recovered from the great earthquake of 1906. During the next four years, the city arose from its ashes. Within a decade, San Francisco had resumed its status as the crown jewel of the American West.

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WORD FOR TODAY

clandestine
Kept or done in secret, often in order to conceal an illicit or improper purpose.

A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed by the general population.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

(born April 18, 1947)
James Woods is an American film, stage, and television actor. After his breakthrough role in The Onion Field (1979), Woods starred in Once Upon a Time in America, the Oliver Stone films Salvador and Nixon, Ghosts of Mississippi, and in the legal series Shark. He has won three Emmy Awards - for television movies Promise and My Name Is Bill W., and for the animated series Hercules.

(born April 18, 1961)
Jane Leeves is an English film, stage and television actress, comedian, singer and dancer. She made her screen debut with a small role in the 1988 popular British comedy television show The Benny Hill Show, and appeared as a dancer in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Leeves garnered her first leading role in the sitcom Throb and then secured a recurring part in the television sitcom Murphy Brown. In 1993 she achieved wider fame as Daphne Moon on the television sitcom Frasier for the entire run of the series, from 1993 until 2004. She received further recognition for her performances in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Music of the Heart (1999) and The Event (2003). Beginning in June 2010, Leeves returned to acting, as Joy on TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland

(born April 18, 1953)
Rick Moranis is a Canadian actor. Moranis came to prominence around 1980 in the sketch comedy show Second City Television and later appeared in several Hollywood films, including Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Little Shop of Horrors, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (and its sequels), Little Giants, Parenthood, The Flintstones, and My Blue Heaven.

(born April 18, 1967)
Maria Bello is an American actress and singer, who has appeared in the movies Permanent Midnight (1998), Payback (1999), Coyote Ugly (2000), The Cooler (2003), A History of Violence (2005), Thank You for Smoking (2006), and The Jane Austen Book Club (2007). In television, she is known for her role as Dr. Anna Del Amico on the NBC medical drama ER (1997–1998). She starred as Lucy Robbins on the Fox series Touch alongside Kiefer Sutherland, in 2013.

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The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
--John F. Kennedy

NASA TV

## Thursday, April 17, 2014

### A Title Should Fit The Story... Right?

____________________

176 pounds

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
--George Washington Carver

I did finally get some feedback on my recently submitted 100-word single sentence story from my writers group. One of the replies was a cleverly written single sentence critique of the story in exactly 100 words.

So I buckled down and wrote another 100-word story, and titled it Anachronism.

Here it is:

Buried alive. Why? Sex with his wife? Not a capital offense. Not in today's world. Mere misdemeanor, possibly. She was good... unbelievably hot... multiple orgasms, each erupting liquid fire, engulfing me, overwhelming me, like this coffin that now entombs me.

He is only trying to frighten me. Won't go through with it. Murder? He wouldn't. He couldn't. Such a wimp.

But if he does. Was she worth it? Let me think about that. God, she was so good.

He won't. He can't.

I think the oxygen level is diminishing.

I told her she was breathtaking.

And evidently I was right.

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Did You Know . . .?

Anorexia is more lethal than any other mental illness.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

Heavy eruptions of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia let up on this day in 1815. The volcano, which began rumbling on April 5, killed almost 100,000 people directly and indirectly. The eruption was the largest ever recorded and its effects were noted throughout the world. The worst explosions were heard hundreds of miles away. The eruptions of Tambora also affected the climate worldwide. Enough ash had been thrown into the atmosphere that global temperatures were reduced over the next year; it also caused spectacularly colored sunsets throughout the world. The eruption was blamed for snow and frost in New England during June and July that summer.

Ten thousand people were killed by the eruptions, most on Sumbawa Island. In subsequent months, more than 80,000 people died in the surrounding area from starvation due to the resulting crop failures and disease.

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WORD FOR TODAY

penumbra
noun
1. Astronomy:
a. the partial or imperfect shadow outside the complete shadow of an opaque body, as a planet, where the light from the source of illumination is only partly cut off.
b. the grayish marginal portion of a sunspot.
2.
a shadowy, indefinite, or marginal area.

The umbra, penumbra and antumbra are three distinct parts of a shadow, created by any light source after impinging on an opaque object.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

(born April 17, 1972)
Jennifer Garner is an American actress. She gained recognition for her performance as CIA officer Sydney Bristow in the ABC thriller drama series Alias. While working on Alias, she gained roles in movies such as Pearl Harbor (2001), and Catch Me if You Can (2002). Since then, Garner has appeared in supporting as well as lead roles in projects including Daredevil (2003), 13 Going on 30 (2004), Elektra (2005), a spin-off of Daredevil, Juno (2007), The Invention of Lying (2009), The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012), and Dallas Buyers Club (2013). Garner is married to actor and director Ben Affleck, with whom she has three children.

(born April 17, 1978)
Lindsay Hartley is an American actress. She is known for her role as Theresa Winthrop aka Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald (Crane) on Passions, Cara Castillo on All My Children and for her role as Arianna Hernandez on Days of our Lives.

(born April 17, 1976)
Monet Mazur is an American actress. She has appeared in a number of widely released films in the past several years, including Torque, Dead Man Running, Monster-In-Law and Just Married. She has also appeared in CSI: Miami, Cold Case, Jack & Jill, Strange World, Chuck, Rizzoli & Isles, and Party of Five. Mazur joined the cast of NCIS: Los Angeles, playing Natalie, a confident secret service agent who's taken with Chris O'Donnell's character, Callen.

(born 17 April 1987)
Jacqueline Wood is a Canadian actress. She is best known for her role as Steffy Forrester on the long-running American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She is also known for her role in the Disney XD television movie Skyrunners and the horror film Final Destination 5 (2011).

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Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
--Mark Twain

NASA TV

## Wednesday, April 16, 2014

### Back Home Again . . .

____________________

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
--George Orwell

Well, I am back home inside the Tucson city limits and again have the use of my own computer.

I intended to write some of my thoughts on truth but found that I do not know enough about that subject to formulate (in words) anything new and has not already been done to death.

Even though I have been reading other people's opinions about what is truth, I simply cannot agree with most of them since they seem to have their base in Christianity or some other mythical religion. And that's not good enough. About a year ago I bought an expensive (scholarly) book about Lies and Untruths and how terribly dishonest most people are. I have intended to read it for the last few months. I suppose I should get busy and do so as soon as possible. To add to my overall knowledge.

Because I can't think of anything else I want to write about.

Not at the moment.

And that's the truth.

I think.

Maybe later.

_____

Did You Know . . .?

The giant redwood is so tall that in order to get water near the top of the tree, it uses 'air roots' to collect water out of the fog.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1947 at 9:12 a.m. in Texas City's port on Galveston Bay, a fire aboard the French freighter Grandcamp ignited ammonium nitrate and other explosive materials in the ship's hold, causing a massive blast that destroys much of the city and takes nearly 600 lives. Devastating fires burned for days, and on April 17 the freighter High Flyer, also loaded with nitrates, exploded, further devastating the port and causing a new string of explosions at nearby plants.

It was the most devastating industrial accident in U.S. history, with 600 people killed and more than 3,000 wounded.

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WORD FOR TODAY

ingenuous
1. Lacking in cunning, guile, or worldliness; artless.
2. Openly straightforward or frank; candid.

disingenuous
Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.
Synonyms: insincere, dishonest, untruthful, false, deceitful, duplicitous, lying, mendacious

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

(born April 16, 1965)
Jon Cryer is an American actor, screenwriter, film director, and film producer. He made his motion picture debut in the 1984 romantic comedy No Small Affair, but found greater fame in the 1986 John Hughes-written film Pretty in Pink. In 2003, Cryer was cast as Alan Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and 2012. Cryer received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television in 2011.

(born April 16, 1954)
Ellen Barkin is an American actress, known for her roles in the films The Big Easy, Sea of Love and Switch. She won an Emmy Award in 1997, for Before Women Had Wings and a Tony Award in 2011, for The Normal Heart.

(born April 16, 1965)
Martin Lawrence is an American actor, screenwriter, and comedian. He came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably in the films House Party, Bad Boys, Blue Streak, Big Momma's House and A Thin Line Between Love & Hate. Lawrence has had numerous film roles and his own highly rated television series eponymously named after him, Martin, which aired on the Fox network from 1992 to 1997.

(born 16 April 16, 1978)
Lara Dutta is an Indian Bollywood actress who was crowned Miss Universe 2000. She made her Hindi debut in 2003 with the film Andaaz. Dutta subsequently appeared in several commercially successful films, including Masti (2004), No Entry (2005), Kaal (2005), Bhagam Bhag (2006), Partner (2007), Housefull (2010) Chalo Dilli (2011). She has thus established herself as one of the leading actresses in the Hindi cinema and is a household name.

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Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
--Albert Einstein

NASA TV

## Tuesday, April 15, 2014

### Yoga, Meditation, And Other Stuff

Tucson Weather Today

____________________

You know what the secret to weight loss is? Don't eat much.
--Simon Cowell

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.”
--Amit Ray

At a blog you have probably never heard of(Sam Harris's Blog) I encountered some intriguing bits of information in an article titled Taming the Mind A Conversation with Dan Harris -- It presents a surprisingly different picture of Yoga, Meditation, and other things from Eastern philosophy I have usually discounted as being worthless.

Dan Harris is a co-anchor of Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America on ABC News. He has reported from all over the world, covering wars in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq, and producing investigative reports in Haiti, Cambodia, and the Congo. He has also spent many years covering religion in America, despite the fact that he is agnostic. Dan’s new book, 10 Percent Happier: 'How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works -- A True Story,' hit #1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

See more HERE

Yoga

1.  A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity.
2.  A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind.

meditate
1.  To reflect on; contemplate.
2.  To plan in the mind; intend: meditated a visit to her daughter.
3.
a.  Buddhism & Hinduism To train, calm, or empty the mind, often by achieving an altered state, as by focusing on a single object.
b.  To engage in devotional contemplation, especially prayer.
4.  To think or reflect, especially in a calm and deliberate manner.

There may be more to this meditation crap than I had previously considered.

But, then again, there may not be.

Oh yes . . . I am scheduled to return to my apartment in Tucson this afternoon.

_____

Did You Know . . .?

One chocolate chip can give a person enough energy to walk 150 feet.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American in the major leagues when he played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his first season in the majors, Robinson encountered racism from opposing teams and fans, as well as some of his own teammates. However, the abuse didn’t affect his performance on the baseball field. Robinson played in 151 games, hit .297, stole more bases than anyone else in the National League.

Robinson became the first African-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility. On October 24, 1972, he died at age 53 from heart problems.

In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his historic first game in the majors, Robinson’s uniform number-- 42 --was retired by Major League Baseball.

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WORD FOR TODAY

consummation
noun
1.  the act of consummating.
2.  the state of being consummated.
3.  end; goal.

Wikipedia says: Consummation or consummation of a marriage, in many traditions and statutes of civil or religious law, is the first (or first officially credited) act of sexual intercourse between two people, either following their marriage to each other or after a prolonged sexual attraction.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery
(April 15, 1933 – May 18, 1995)
Elizabeth Montgomery was an American film and television actress whose career spanned five decades. She is probably best remembered as the star of the TV series Bewitched.

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson
(born April 15, 1990)
Emma Watson is an English actress. She rose to prominence playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series; she was cast as Hermione at the age of nine, having previously acted only in school plays. She starred in all eight Harry Potter films. In October 2013, she was voted Sexiest Female Movie Star in a worldwide poll conducted by Empire magazine.

Michael George Ansara
(April 15, 1922 - July 31, 2013)
Michael Ansara was a Syrian-born American stage, screen, and voice actor best known for his portrayal of Cochise in the American television series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979–1981 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Commander Kang on three different Star Trek television series, Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on the NBC series, Law of the Plainsman, and providing the voice for Mr. Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series and several of its spin-offs.

Susan Ward
(born April 15, 1976)
Susan Ward is an American actress and model. Ward began modeling at the age of 13. She appeared in soap opera All My Children in 1995, and later in the teen drama Malibu Shores. In late 1996, Ward landed a role on Aaron Spelling's daytime soap opera Sunset Beach, where she played the virginal Meg Cummings. Sunset Beach aired between 1997–99.

In 1999 Ward began to pursue a movie career, and starred as the psychotic Brittany Foster in the erotic thriller The In Crowd. The following year, she played a supporting role in the hit movie Shallow Hal. She has also made guest appearances in various TV shows, most notably Friends.

__________

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.
--Philip K. Dick

NASA TV

## Monday, April 14, 2014

### Don't Eat Much

Tucson Weather Today

____________________

You know what the secret to weight loss is? Don't eat much.
--Simon Cowell

I know that I have used the quotation above in an earlier blog entry but it is such a brief and concise thought that it bears repeating. In fact, I probably should repeat it often, perhaps in every new blog entry.

And always keep it in the forefront of my consciousness.

Saturday I submitted a 100 word story, told in a single sentence, to a writers group... you can read it directly below:

The creature swallowed alive the toad and immediately vomited, which liberated its meal, turning prey into predator, turning the tables and reversing the resolution of the plot; the characters reacted to such an unexpected event with venomous activity and attacked in newly sprung force, digestive juices spraying the area, releasing foul odors reminiscent of hellfire and damnation that, according to biblical accounts, would instantaneously gratify, at least momentarily, the fickle but horrendous appetite of the anxious Satan lurking somewhat impatiently within the depths of Hell for just such a long awaited authorial twist that transformed supposed fiction into cruel fact.

I have not yet had even a single response to it. This is strange,as I expected several criticisms: some rejection, some ridicule, and perhaps one or two intrigued by replies.

Yes, receiving no reactions is quite a surprise, because I liked it.

Still do.

Oops! A few hours after I wrote this blog entry I received a response to the story from a fellow writer. I am still trying to understand it.

_____

Did You Know . . .?

The word 'utopia' literally means 'not a place.'

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HISTORICAL EVENTS

On this day in 1865 Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. Booth slipped into the president's box and fired his .44-caliber single-shot derringer into the back of Lincoln's head. Booth then leapt from the president's box to the stage below, breaking his leg as he landed. He shouted, "Sic semper tyrannis!" ("Thus ever to tyrants!"--the Virginia state motto) and ran from the stage. The stricken president was carried from the box to a house across the street, where he died the following morning.

ALSO

On this day, in 1912, just before midnight in the North Atlantic, the RMS Titanic failed to divert its course from an iceberg, ruptured its hull, and began to sink. Because of a shortage of lifeboats and the lack of satisfactory emergency procedures, more than 1,500 people went down in the sinking ship or froze to death in the icy North Atlantic waters.

The announcement of details of the disaster led to outrage on both sides of the Atlantic. The sinking of the Titanic brought about more stringent safety regulations were adopted on public ships, and regular patrols were initiated to trace the locations of deadly Atlantic icebergs.

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WORD FOR TODAY

reaction
noun
1.  an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event. "Carrie's immediate reaction was one of relief."
2.  (Psychology) a response indicating a person's feelings or emotional attitude.
3.  (Physics) An equal and opposite force exerted by a body against a force acting upon it.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

Sarah Michelle Gellar
(born April 14, 1977)
Sarah Michelle Gellar is an American actress. In 1983, she made her acting debut in the made-for-TV movie An Invasion of Privacy and went on to appear in Spenser: For Hire and Crossbow. Gellar had her first lead part in 1992's mini-series Swans Crossing and originated the role of Kendall Hart on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children.

Gellar came to prominence in the late 1990s, landing roles in 1997's horror films I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2. She portrayed Buffy Summers on the WB/UPN TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). She also gained recognition for her performances as Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions (1999) and Daphne Blake in Scooby-Doo (2002).

After Buffy ended, Gellar starred in the films Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), The Grudge (2004), and The Grudge 2 (2006). Gellar currently stars in the CBS television sitcom The Crazy Ones alongside Robin Williams.

(born April 14, 1960)
Brad Garrett is an American actor and stand-up comedian. He has appeared in numerous television and film roles. His first major role was Robert Barone on the CBS series Everybody Loves Raymond. Garrett's film roles include Stuart Little 2, Finding Nemo, Garfield, The Amateurs, The Pacifier, Night at the Museum, Tangled, and Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. Garrett also played the leading role of Eddie Stark on the Fox television series 'Til Death from 2006 to 2010.

Julie Frances Christie
(born 14 April 1940 or 1941)
Julie Christie is a British actress. Christie's breakthrough film role was in Billy Liar (1963). In 1965, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Diana Scott in Darling. That same year, she starred as Lara Antipova in Doctor Zhivago. In the following years, she starred in Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Far from the Madding Crowd (1967), Petulia (1968), The Go-Between (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), Shampoo (1975), and Heaven Can Wait (1978).

Anthony Michael Hall
(born April 14, 1968)
Anthony Michael Hall is an American actor who starred in several teen-oriented films of the 1980s. Hall began his career in commercials and on stage as a child, and made his screen debut in 1980. His films with director-screenwriter John Hughes, beginning with the popular 1983 comedy National Lampoon's Vacation and the coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles, shaped his early career. Hall's next movies with Hughes were the teen classics The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, both in 1985. His performances as lovable geeks in these three films connected his name and face with the stereotype for an entire generation.

__________

You know what the secret to weight loss is? Don't eat much.
--Simon Cowell

NASA TV

## Sunday, April 13, 2014

### Guest Blogger 4-13-14

The Case of The Electrified Lips

No, you haven't picked up a romance novel by mistake. We put the oddest thing in our saltwater aquarium last week. Deciding that we needed some red color, Harry and I visited the local pet shop and picked out two scallops. (I don't think they're the edible kind.)

The shells (scallops, uncooked, are shellfish, much like a clam or an oyster) are white, but won't stay that way. Everything which doesn't move in our tank gets covered by various alga -- most are green but there is one that looks like purple lichen -- so whatever the original color is gets lost rather quickly. The interior of the scallops, however, is red. Bright red. Flaming red. (They're even called flame scallops.)

During the scallop period of activity, which seems to be all day and all night, the scallop rests halfway open. Tendrils extend out from the mantle (the fleshy part of the shellfish) which adds to the "flame" image. The tendrils are on both the top and bottom half. (The mantle looks like it's in two parts, one attached to the upper shell and one to the lower. If you want to see what one looks like, there are some very good photos on the Web.)

The way these things are built, they appear to have lips. That's not so odd, because my clam has looked that way for months. However, upon close inspection of these new additions, we saw what looked like flickers of electricity running along the "lips" of both scallops. The flashes didn't come at the same time, and they're blue.

What do you know? I have two scallops with electrified lips. Who'da thunk it?

In other news, we got the house blessed last month, so it's officially no longer HexHouse. The search for a new name continues. I really liked "WineWrite Roost" suggested by Ilene, but no one can pronounce it. (Try it aloud.) We're still experimenting with "alaHouse," suggested by Chas, to see if it fits as well as it sounds like it will.

The California State Fair gave my hummingbird stitch not only First Place, but also Best of Division and Best of Show. The piece also took three specialty awards from local needlework shops. Along with the Best of Show award came a presentation event, which I wasn't expecting. When I attended, I was given a statuette of a golden bear. It's beautiful! What a surprise it was to receive it.

For those of you who remember the War of the Road, you might be interested to know that the fallout is finally happening. Yes, construction has begun. Now that I've been through those months with my house, I have a better idea of what we're in for.

The notice we got in the mail says they expect the "project" to run for 130 business days. I did the math -- that's six months ofconstruction! (And that's only if they're on time.)

During this time, my driveway may be inaccessible during working hours, and my mailbox will likely be moved somewhere "for better access."

I'm starting to wonder if we really won at all.