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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,012

Journal Archives

Kicking at a hornets nest: Westboro hints that they will picket Nimoy's funeral.

I can only believe that these people want to be hated.


As Star Trek fans mourn the death of beloved actor and ‘geek grandfather’ Leonard Nimoy, another group is expressing a different stance. The Westboro Baptist Church hinted Friday at plans to picket Nimoy’s funeral, using a variety of slurs too offensive to be repeated here.

It’s worth noting that the Westboro group doesn’t always show up when they threaten, and, perhaps more encouraging, that when they do show up, there are frequently counter-protesters, who hold up their own signs, or even block access so that the group can’t get close enough to the event to cause extra pain to the family.

Cat plays dead to avoid going for a walk...

Homeless in Orlando: Rethink homelessnes

But can the dog get back out again?

I have a different take on life... More and more, I believe Everything is sentient...

That the whole universe is one ginormous connection of sentient entities.

We've seen videos of turtles showing empathy (and the Golden Rule perpaps), in helping another turtle get back on its feet when it flipped on its back.

Scientists have discovered that crops and other plants send out super sonic screams for help during droughts. The ants that invade the classrooms when the rains come show self-awareness and knowledge that each individual is in danger when a finger comes at it as it tries to hide under a book or paper on a desk.

I am sometimes haunted by the memory of a young live oak tree that grew very swiftly in our back yard. Our drain field was no longer working and we had to have a new one built. The health department, which issued the permit for the new drain field, said the live oak had to go.

As the tree surgeons began to first trim off the large branches, the tree began to tremble and shake. Even when the saws were silent and the men stepped away from it to adjust the ladders and other eqipment, the tree did not stop shaking until it was down.

I believe that the whole of everything is on a constant cycle of life, chage, death, renewal and rebirth. "Therefore," as John Donne once wrote, "never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for there."

New research: Raising children without religion may be a better alternative.


[div class="excerpt"
[div class="excerpt"Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion,” writes Zuckerman, “secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children, according to Vern Bengston, a USC professor of gerontology and sociology.” Bengston oversees an ongoing study called the Longitudinal Study of Generations, the largest study of families and their religious affiliations in America. After noticing an uptick in nonreligious households, Bengston added secularism to his study in 2013. “Many nonreligious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious’ parents in our study,” said Bengston in an interview with Zuckerman. “The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”

L“Many nonreligious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious’ parents in our study,” said Bengston in an interview with Zuckerman. “The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”

“For secular people, morality is predicated on one simple principle: empathetic reciprocity, widely known as the Golden Rule. Treating other people as you would like to be treated. It is an ancient, universal ethical imperative. And it requires no supernatural beliefs.”

And check this out: according to Zuckerman, atheists “were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s,” accounting for less than half of one percent of inmates according to reports by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. “This echoes what the criminology field has documented for more than a century,” he writes, “the unaffiliated and the nonreligious engage in far fewer crimes.”

Additionally, a troublesome report from BBC last year found that religious children were less likely than their non-religious peers to distinguish fantasy from reality, based on a study conducted by Boston University. Presented with realistic, religious, and fantastical stories, children were then asked whether they thought the story was real or fictional. Researchers found that “[c]hildren with a religious upbringing tended to view the protagonists in religious stories as real, whereas children from non-religious households saw them as fictional.” And why is this problematic? Because it muddies the waters of a child’s differentiation between reality and fiction, says the study, and even the spiritual from the fantastical.

Rescuing Mufasa; or the difference between rescuing a dog and a cat.

One thing I can't help noticing in every rescue video Eldad posts is that the dogs are almost immediately grateful and show instant adoration to their rescuers.

We've been feeding Precious, a mostly feral cat for two years, and she had only just began letting my husband pet her. On her terms only. She really enjoyed being touched. My son and I were able to touch her only one or two times and just that, touch her.

Then, as fall was closing in, my husband decided he wanted her to come into our entrance hall (which is long and narrow). He wanted her to have a warm place to sleep on cold nights.

So I started putting her food on the porch, then just inside the door. She would come in and eat only if the door was left open behind her. I got the plate of food half way down the hall. Then, one late afternoon, my husband opened the door when she came to be fed and he lured her in. Somehow, he closed the door behind her just as I opened the inner door to bring out her food.

Precious, startled, ran into the house and has since made it clear that she is not leaving. She has taken over (and is in the process of destroying the rug) a loft that we haven't used in about five years... A knee problem I have makes going upstairs difficult, but downstairs darned scary. She only comes down at night when she thinks we are asleep and runs back up if she sees us up.

My husband is making the trek upstairs most days now (she likes him) to pet her and try to get her willing to come down with the rest of us. It will take time. She has already been in the house for about three months and is even more stand offish than she was a few weeks ago.

She doesn't seem to be in good health, but I cannot take her to the vets until I (or my husband) can pick her up...

Meanwhile, all Eldad has to do to get unreserved devotion from his rescue dogs is feed them cheeseburgers and give them a bath...


We are Dead Stars...

Fascinating video. The only point I think she is wrong on is that one day there may be people who talk about when the stars rained down power and energy after all the stars burn out. I don't think there is life without the stars.

Now that doesn't look so bad, does it?

Who needs vaccines?

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