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A Matter of Pride By Kenneth Weene

A Matter of Pride By Kenneth Weene | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

A look at the foible that is man. Dare we laugh at ourselves? Dare we not?

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Thoughts and comments about making life even better
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Spain set to leapfrog US in tourism table

Spain set to leapfrog US in tourism table | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The UN says Spain is set to replace the US as the world's second most popular tourism destination.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder how much of this shift is the result of Norwegian tourists deciding they don't want to visit this shit hole. My guess is tourism is going to suffer through the Trump years along with enrollment of foreign students in our colleges and grad schools to say nothing of sales of from our farms. (Mexico is now buying their farm products from Argentina.) Not to worry, however, we can sell bombs to North Korea. Sadly, I don't see much art in the deals but I sure see lots of farts floating in the breezes to come. And, I see a lot of disruption in the force.
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NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique That Will Allow Human-Made Spacecraft to Travel Beyond Our Solar System

NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique That Will Allow Human-Made Spacecraft to Travel Beyond Our Solar System | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

NASA has invented a new type of autonomous space navigation that could see human-made spacecraft heading into the far reaches of the Solar System, and even farther - by using pulsars as guide stars.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Imagine how difficult it must have been for those earliest mariners leaving from Asia to wander the Pacific, from the Northlands to pillage Europe, from China to circumnavigate the world, from Spain and Portugal to plunder the Americas. Even once the notion of longitude and latitude were fully developed, they continued to set their place by the stars, which meant the threat of clouds and the fact that starts aren't quite stable in a sky when the earth is itself moving and rotating (to say of the cosmos moving). Still, they did it. And, with the development of new and better tools, mankind became ever better travelers. 

Now, we are on the threshold of a new, vaster kind of journey, one to the starts themselves. How exciting and yet also how fearsome. Can we find out way in that vastness? Well, here's a new method. So astronomers, sci fi enthusiasts, and just those who wonder,  rejoice at this newest method of space navigation. Now, if I can find my way out of the mall parking lot without ten minutes' frustration, all will be well. 
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Denny's Is Giving Away Free Grand Slam Breakfasts This Month and that brings back some memories.

Denny's Is Giving Away Free Grand Slam Breakfasts This Month and that brings back some memories. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Denny's is giving customers a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast when they place orders online or via mobile app in January 2018.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I am not a Denny's fan, but I do have a few stories about the chain that are from time to time worth sharing. Perhaps the best and in some ways the worst was breakfast in Ft. Lauderdale. Yes, for those who know me I do hate Florida for both psychological and physiological reasons: family history and sinus issues from the humidity, part of the reason we ended up in the desert. Still, there we were visiting my parents. Our method. First, we would get there a couple of days early so that we could relax and set ourselves mentally for the challenge. Obviously, we would stay in a hotel, not with them. Leave that for my brother who...Well, I should let him tell his own stories. Right?! Of course, we had told them we were coming, but just given them the wrong date. 

We had to eat somewhere, and it was late in the evening and I really didn't want to think about it. So, there was a Denny's, just there, an easy walk from our rooms. What the heck? I mean sure it was a chain, and sure it had issues with Black people that. Still, those issues had been resolved and I did still eat at some chains. (Remember Friend;y's? I do with love.) 

I was, what in maybe XX. Still very busy in my profession. Earning enough that we could travel as we wished. Still, when the waitress came over and asked my age. I told her. 

"You know our senior discount starts at 50. You really should ask."

I said the only thing I could think of, "Thanks."

It was a bad moment for me, one I look back on even now over twenty years later and rue. It was the beginning of senectitude. 

NO!! 

I slept fitfully that night. The next morning I thought of going back to pay the extra. We didn't. The next time we had occasion to be in a Denny's was years later and we, my wife and I, were in Tuba City, Arizona, trying to find edible food on the Navajo reservation. All I can say was that by that point I was retired and no longer worried about growing old. So, I took the discount. 

At any rate, if you want you free breakfast, follow the link to the story and learn how to get it. For my part, I doubt my stomach could take a grand slam anything, but then it is now truly a senior stomach. 

Hey, you like the way I wove this story? Check out Sweet and Sour, a short Kindle collection of my stories. Here's the trailer:
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A tiny stone rattles our understanding of the solar system: Astronomy

A tiny stone rattles our understanding of the solar system: Astronomy | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Researchers Jan Kramers and Georgy Belyanin found mineral compounds unlike anything on Earth, or in known meteorites or comets, in these fragments from the Hypatia stone, which was picked up in south-west Egypt in the Libyan Desert Glass Field.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
From outside of our solar system and possibly from the very beginnings of the cosmos, a pebble found in Egypt opens doors to new ideas about the origins of the universe. Follow the link to read the article. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180109112437.htm ;
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An old dog - a poem for all those wonderful pets who have loved us. 

An old dog - a poem for all those wonderful pets who have loved us.  | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A short poem to honor all those dear animals we've loved. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
An Old Dog 

Her golden muzzle gone to gray, 
her joints no longer supple, 
 the old girl fixes a longing gaze 
as she staggers down the highway. 
Perhaps she knows where he has gone 
to hunt along the byways, 
that boy she’s followed all these years 
whom she would follow always. 
No, she will not remain behind 
although the scents elude her
 and sound and sight have given way
 to age and melancholia. 
But heart and will must still give in; 
to age the best of dogs must yield 
and now he’s with another hound 
rambling through her fields.
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Okay, some strange weather. It snowed in the Sahara and the photos are beautiful

Okay, some strange weather. It snowed in the Sahara and the photos are beautiful | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It's quite a time for weird weather, and it doesn't get much weirder than snow falling in one of the hottest places in the world.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not that the weather is getting weird or anything like that, but how about some snow in the Sahara? Cool pictures. 
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This Food May Help You Sleep Better -- Eat Fish and Live Better

This Food May Help You Sleep Better -- Eat Fish and Live Better | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Eating fish may help you sleep better and improve brain function, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Okay, how many fish eaters do I know? Personally, the fresh fish of the North East is one of the things I most miss in Arizona. Sadly, my wife doesn't cook fish so I have to go out to find it and seldom find any worth eating. Maybe, the realization that fish is really good for us will encourage folks here in the desert to eat more of our finny friends and that means more restaurants that serve affordable fish. 

If you have a suggestion where to go for good fish in Phoenix, please let me know. And, remember, what you eat can definitely affect your sleep and brain function. Of course, coming from New England, my fish of choice is cod, pronounced cawd. What's yours? 
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Latvia, a disappearing nation. People are leaving in droves to find a better future in the European Union. 

Latvia, a disappearing nation. People are leaving in droves to find a better future in the European Union.  | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Since it joined the EU, the country has lost one-fifth of its population.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I knew there was something wrong when this guy I know suggested I buy Latvian land. "It's a great deal," he assured me. "The prices have never been so good." 

Well, yeah. Probably so, since people have been leaving Latvia in search of the golden streets of the rest of Europe. Of course, they aren't finding gold but hard work. Still, at least it's work. 

All of which reminds me of the joke about this farmer who lived on the border. Under Moscow's rule, the borders of the various Soviet countries were stable, but when the Soviet Union broke apart, there were negotiations. The poor fellow rushed to Minsk to ask that they take his little corner of Latvia, just south of Daugavpils. "I can't stand another Latvian winter," he pleaded.

At any rate, with a population under 2 million, perhaps the government in Riga would consider giving a new home to some of the Pacific Islanders displaced by rising sea levels. Of course, there remains the question, would they prefer freezing by the Baltic to drowning in the Pacific. 

At any rate, since on of my grandparents came from Lithuania, I wish our neighbor well. Oh, and I wish you would check out my books. They, too, are lonely. 

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How Cold Is Too Cold For Pets? With some horrendous weather hitting the country, here are some tips taking care of those four legged members of the family.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Pets? With some horrendous weather hitting the country, here are some tips taking care of those four legged members of the family. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A common misconception is that dogs and cats are more resistant to cold weather than humans because of their fur, but the risks to animals can be greater during a cold snap than during extreme heat.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Our dogs were never big on the cold. When we took them to Vermont in the winter, Uncle expected to be carried when we went out, only being put down for a few moments during which she could relieve herself. 

Still, she and the other two loved to go on those trips. Jennifer, the airedale, was particularly fond of rolling in the snow. Afterwards, the wanted a rubdown and a good warm room, but at least the frolicking was worth it in her mind. 

As for our Corgi, Streaker didn't complain even though her tummy would be rubbing on that strange white stuff as she gamely pushed, like a plow, through the newly fallen whiteness. After such exertion, she and Jennifer deserved those treats we gave them. I must say the place we stayed was very kind, never charging us extra for cleaning the beef-fat from the carpets. (Nothing like a good boney after a bonny romp.)

While Streaker and Jennifer chomped and rolled on their new treasures, I would take Uncle, yes in my arms, over to the bar for her treat. Harvey's Bristol Cream by the fire if you please, served in a proper glass, no bowls for that pooch. 

No, dogless, we live in Phoenix where we are also happily snowless. As the weather swirls into the Northeast, I sit in warm memories. How about you?

By the way, if you like the way I tell a story, might I suggest you visit my website, maybe even check out one of my books:
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Jones Breaks Tradition, Chooses Biden As Escort For Swearing-In Instead of Senior Senator from Alabama

Jones Breaks Tradition, Chooses Biden As Escort For Swearing-In Instead of Senior Senator from Alabama | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Former Vice President Joe Biden will escort Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-AL) to his swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday morning, accordin
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I understand that they are family friends and that Biden supported him. Still, this may be one of the stupider moves that Doug Jones can make. Quite simply, Senator Shelby gave Jones the election by publicly refusing to vote for Roy Moore and by saying that he would write-in a different Republican. Simply put, the Republican (and possibly Independent votes that Shelby cost Moore were essential to Jones's victory. It isn't that Shelby expects eternal gratitude, but he has every right to expect cordial and protocol-driven respect. Jones could have asked Biden to join him for the event, but he should have asked Shelby to take him to the rostrum for the actual swearing-in. My guess, the senior senator will harbor this grudge and will bring his considerable prestige in their home state to undermine Jones when it comes time for re-election. And, even if Biden is the Democratic nominee in 2020, there is no way in hell that he'll win Alabama. This, to me, is typical of the bad political judgment of the Democrats as a party. And, I like Jones and especially Biden. 
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What We Get Wrong About Dying - Issue 55: Trust - Nautilus

What We Get Wrong About Dying - Issue 55: Trust - Nautilus | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
My first exposure to the death of a patient came during my third year of medical school, in Israel. It was my first clinical rotation,…
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Like most Americans I grew up being taught to avoid death and learning that it was a moment's event. Now, having aged considerably, I know that death is a process and that we dishonor not only the person who is in that process but ourselves when we avoid taking part in their journey. Still, it is so easy to be caught up in the swirl of events—including the mortuary requirements of law and ritual—that we ignore the humanity and the dignity of loss. I have seen film of elephants staying with and encouraging a dying member of the herd and then finally, having shown distress and loss, moving on leaving the leviathan's physical remains to nature. Often, it seems to me that we are more concerned with the proper disposal of the remains and not aware enough of how to share and feel loss. When I did, I hope there will be enough people who want to go to a pub or a good restaurant to tell stories about me. More importantly, I hope there will be a few who want to hold my hand and then let me go. What do you imagine for your own passing? 
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Tribe will move from shrinking island to farm in Louisiana

Tribe will move from shrinking island to farm in Louisiana | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Louisiana officials have chosen a sugar cane farm as the next home for residents of a tiny, shrinking island—a move funded with a 2016 federal grant awarded to help relocate communities fleeing the effects of climate change.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As sea levels rise, there will be many more people in need of new homes. At least these members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe who currently live on a small island that is rapidly growing smaller will have a new place that is somewhat higher above sea level. Of course, they will have to give up fishing in the gulf, or at least they'll have to travel to get to the water, but they won't live in fear of their homes, possessions, and even lives being washed away in the next hurricane. Sadly, there are entire island nations in the Pacific who will also be homeless and who lack the resources of the United States to help them find new locations in which to live. 

The real question before us is not if humans have the capacity to uproot and migrate but whether we have the hearts to welcome those who must relocate? What do you think, would the U.S. welcome the people from a Pacific Island? Or, would we give them one of the islands we own as their new homeland? 

Meanwhile, I have to wonder if you'll go to https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU ;
and buy a book? 
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Kids and chimps will pay to watch deserved punishment

Kids and chimps will pay to watch deserved punishment | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
You're nice. You don't enjoy others' suffering, except of course when they've done wrong and you want them punished for the transgression. Maybe you'd even pay to watch that justice meted out. That desire is apparently natural in humans and animals, and it starts pretty young. Small children and chimpanzees are gleeful when the
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Shades of Piaget and all the other great developmental psychologists, six-year-olds and chimpanzees have a sense of justice and feel rewarded when they see it administered. How about you? Would you pay to see a miscreant punished? Would you want to see a rapist executed? Or perhaps some other "just" torment? Should we bring back flogging? Is that why the teachers used to sit kids in corners with dunce hats?  What are your thoughts on public punishments? Do they work to justify people's conformity to the rules or do they encourage folks to find ways to beat the system? 

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Experience Outer Space: A Simulated Flight Through the Orion Nebula in Visible and Infrared Light [Ultra HD] 

This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible and infrared light. The sequence begins with a wide-field view of the sky showing the plan
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A must share YouTube. Here you go, Scotty. Experience the simulated joy of a flight through space and you don't even have to be beamed up. Meanwhile, back on Earth, let's celebrate the possibilities of science. 

One reason that many of us prefer science to religion is that while science offers possibilities, religion too often offers restrictions. While science challenges mankind to imagine and to do, religion sets limits and tells us what must be. 

Meanwhile, inside every head is there not a small voice singing "Fly Me to the Stars"? It is that voice I want to hear when I face death. It is that voice I want to believe in as my consciousness splits apart and my body fades. 

So, join me now as we journey to galaxies far, far away. 
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Saint John preschooler holds solo art exhibit

Saint John preschooler holds solo art exhibit | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Advait Kolarkar likes books about dinosaurs, running around after his big sister, Swara, and playing Angry Birds. He's also the youngest artist in the history of the Saint John Arts Centre to have his own solo exhibition.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What a joy this article is. Four years old, full of life, and a budding artist with a real sense of color and form. This young Canadian reminds us of the possibilities of life. At the same time, we mustn't miss that young Advait Kilarkar is an immigrant. Let's not forget that be it the U.S., Canada, or any other country, there are potential immigrants who will add wonderfully to a nation's life if we allow them to.

On the personal side, if you have read my essay "Joshua - How One Boy Changed my Thinking," that took place near St. John, New Brunswick. Reading this story took me back to that youngster, another child whose life started with great potential but ended... It reminds me that children not only bring joy and possibility to our lives but also the potential for great pain. That, perhaps more than anything, is the reason that I rejoice in this youngster's creativity. 

You can find that essay at http://www.kennethweene.com/joshua
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1,700-Year-Old Musical Instrument Found, and It Still Works

1,700-Year-Old Musical Instrument Found, and It Still Works | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The mouth harp was recently discovered in the Altai Mountains region of Russia and still makes music after well over a millennium.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I would love other this mouth harp played. While it is far from the oldest musical instrument found, the idea that music was a part of ancient life and was so widespread fills me with a sense of delight. Was the progression of human speech from the grunts and articulations of primates directly into words or was the use of melodic and rhythmic comments next in the evolution to language. 

Perhaps it is through music that we can someday bring mankind together in peace. Certainly, the sharing of music across cultures and across political differences does matter. 

For my part, I love music from India and Pakistan (yes there are differences), from the Middle East and Native American. I also enjoy European folks, especially Slavic and the throat singing of Tuva and Mongolia. While I haven't heard much traditional Chinese music and have no particular fondness for it, I would go to hear a good performance by a Chinese orchestra. Of course, I live just down the street from the Musical Instrument Museum here in Phoenix and love their cross-cultural approach. 

What about you? Do you enjoy world music? If so, what are some of your particular likes (and if you wish dislikes)? 
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Astronomers may be closing in on source of mysterious fast radio bursts. Sorry Science Fiction Fans, but it isn't alien spaceships. Darn.

Astronomers may be closing in on source of mysterious fast radio bursts. Sorry Science Fiction Fans, but it isn't alien spaceships. Darn. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Pulses may be from a neutron star cocooned by a strong magnetic field – though experts are not ruling out more unorthodox explanations such as alien ships
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So there are these new neutron stars surrounded by strong magnetic fields and the aperiodically give off bursts of radio waves, the kind that disrupt cellphones and the like here on earth. Nowhere near as much fun as a bunch of aliens searching for ET. I guess that poor bugger just has to stay in hiding. I'll bring him some more Reese's Pieces and a couple of books tomorrow. 

Speaking of ET's taste in candy and books, I hope you've sampled my writing at http://www.kennethweene.com 
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More businesses are now offering 'pawternity' benefits. We humans certainly love our dogs and cats. 

More businesses are now offering 'pawternity' benefits. We humans certainly love our dogs and cats.  | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Now some of these firms are offering the ultimate solution to the ultimate first-world problem: paid time off specifically for new pet owners.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
New puppy? Maybe your dog needs major surgery; of of ours did. How about when that faithful friend passes? Yes, humans are becoming more emotionally bonded with our pets. Have you seen people pushing perambulators with their furry children riding in happiness as the human does the walking? So why not benefits like this one. Pawternity so you can stay home with that new puppy. Bonding can be so much fun. 

What do you think? Could trend or over the top?
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The Sporting Rivalry Between Seoul and Pyongyang - A slight thaw in time for the Winter Olympics

The Sporting Rivalry Between Seoul and Pyongyang - A slight thaw in time for the Winter Olympics | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
As North Korea and South Korea engage in Olympics talks, here's a look at how sport and politics have intersected on the Korean Peninsula
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The Winter Olympics are coming and it appears that at least two North Korean athletes, two figure skaters, will appear. There will be a North Korean delegation complete with officials and cheerleaders. In many ways, that's great. It would be nice to see relations on the peninsula improve and even better to see Pyongyang interacting with other countries in peaceful ways. However, it isn't clear just how sportsmenlike the North Korean regime will be. This brief history of the sporting relationship between Seoul and Pyongyang suggests that there will be less than olympic ideals at play on the ice and slopes. At least, we can hope that Pyongyang won't try to sabotage any airlines bringing people to the event. Now, will that reassure enough people that those airliners will be filled? And, how will Washington react to this tiny bit of rapprochement across the 38th parallel? At any rate, I will blissfully watch other things as I do during all Olympics; just not a sports enthusiast. Although, I do enjoy curling and women's hockey. What do you look forward to watching during the Olympics?
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Oprah Winfrey Receives the Cecil B. DeMille Award - Golden Globes 2018 - Is this speech the opening gun in an attempt for office? Is she ready to be POTUS? 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
I finally got to watch Oprah's speech. It was very impressive. I don't know if she has the knowledge and personality to be a POTUS, but I would guess that her values would be closer to mine than the current occupant of the White House's. I would also guess that she would be more willing to listen to advice and council and to care more about the vast majority of the people. However, I still think that any movement to present her as a candidate would be premature. I would, however gladly hear more of what she has to say. 

What do you think about Oprah? Her possible role in politics? 
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The Second Amendment - What is this claptrap about an oppressive government? 

The Second Amendment - What is this claptrap about an oppressive government?  | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A brief discussion of the purpose of the second amendment. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I find it fascinating that so many of the conservatives whom I know believe that the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is about the right of the people to protect ourselves from an oppressive government. Nowhere in the document is such a reference made. Indeed, the reference is to a well regulated militia, which in those days referred to a standing army of citizen soldiers much like the Swiss have, a system in which every able-bodied man (in those days, men only) had a responsibility to take part if military action were required. 

Against whom? Certainly not the government of the state, which was to be secured by that militia. Clearly, the way in which Shea's Rebellion and the Whiskey Tax controversy were dealt with shows that the founding fathers did not see citizen military action against the government as acceptable. No, the government was not the target of those efforts to protect freedom. 

Then, who was it? First, there was the possibility that England would try to retake her colonies, quite possibly by attack from the north. Second, there was Spain, with Florida and her Caribbean holdings offering potential bases for operations. Even France, so recently an ally and caught in her own upheaval, could not be trusted. After all, the new country had great wealth to be exploited. Then too there were Indians, made more hostile by the Americans' determination to expand their territory. That had, in fact, been one of the aims of the revolution, to allow the colonists expansion past the Appalachians. Finally, and perhaps most importantly in the southern states, there was concern about possible slave uprisings. Again, the reason that the British government wanted to collect taxes was to pay for the troops garrisoned in the colonies; and one of the major roles of those troops was to protect against slave uprisings and attacks out of Florida by escaped slaves in alliance with the Seminoles. 

While I am not a proponent of repealing the Second Amendment, I think we should recognize its history and purpose for what it was. Realistically, were there to be a showdown between the civilians who believe this claptrap and the government, the end would be quick and sure. The only way such a revolution could take place would be like it did in Russia, where the military decided that it didn't want to attack civilians. One of my greatest concerns about freedom in America is not the notion of gun control but the formation of a volunteer army that is so separate from the rest of us. Therein lies the real danger of oppression. 
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Ancient Human Remains Document Migration From Asia To America

Ancient Human Remains Document Migration From Asia To America | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A discovery of the remains of two infants in central Alaska provides evidence of the earliest wave of people to move from Asia into the Americas.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While older remains have been found in the Americas, the burial of children suggests a migration, and these remains support the traditional anthropological view that people migrated here across some form of ice bridge in the Bering Straight. The theory is that this migratory group ended up splitting into two, one group that stayed in the frozen reaches of the north and eventually perished and another group that continued migrating south and populating the Americas. Somehow, I think these early humans had a heck of a lot of determination than I. Of course, in those days everybody walked or maybe used boats, no airplanes or busses. And, they didn't mind hunting a mastodon with a spear or trying to club a seal from a canoe. For me, unacceptably challenging travel involves Greyhound, Motel 6, and Burger King. Although, I did do some canoe tripping as a kid, carrying dehydrated food and sometimes with a guide. Yeah, really gutsy stuff that...NOT How about you, ever want to try living the primitive life? 
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Before Big Bang: Scientists discover what existed BEFORE the beginning of the universe

Before Big Bang: Scientists discover what existed BEFORE the beginning of the universe | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
IT has been the big question facing humanity since mankind crawled from the primordial ooze – where did the universe come from?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is what was here before the cosmos? The answer, the cosmos in another state or phase. Does that make the universe equivalent to god and the laws of quantum mechanics god's special language? Spinoza would love this story. And, as you may already know, I am a great believer in the Dutch Jew's theology. 

Have you read my essay on Spinoza? Here's the link. http://www.kennethweene.com/spinoza-and-me
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Does Drinking Alcohol Actually Kill Off Your Sore Throat Germs? Science Explains

Does Drinking Alcohol Actually Kill Off Your Sore Throat Germs? Science Explains | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Alcohol is a well-known disinfectant and some have speculated it may be useful for treating gut infections. Could alcohol be a useful agent to treat tummy bugs and throat infections?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Okay, it's winter and cold season. Secondly, I'm getting over a cold. So, this article of course interested me. My own view is that gargling with warm salt water works some, but so does sipping some good whiskey. Best of all is Mrs. Foote's cure, which I will provide below. 

What you will need: A four poster bed. A down comforter. A derby hat. A case of champagne.

Instructions: Hang hat on one of the posts at the foot of the bed. Get into bed under that nice comforter. Then drink champagne until there is a hat on both posts. Wake up cured.

Hoping that you stay well and healthy and with enough sense of humor to enjoy reading the great books you'll find at www.kennethweene.com 
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A Mom Accused a Mall Santa of Spanking Her Son. Santa Hired a Lawyer

A Mom Accused a Mall Santa of Spanking Her Son. Santa Hired a Lawyer | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Jessica Chandler, from Bloomington, Indiana, accused a mall Santa of spanking her son, who has autism. Now Santa is threatening to sue.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It's not easy being a mall Santa. Those kids can be difficult. So this one guy does his best for years. Turns out the woman, who went to the cops and on Facebook to claim he had spanked her son, hadn't been there and hadn't checked beyond the report of a babysitter who was probably afraid that she would get in trouble if the  kid said anything. Nope, this Mom didn't go down to the mall to ask or even call the management; she just acted. Turns out there was no spanking. Nothing untoward at all. The kid lay on the floor and refused to climb onto Santa's lap so this Santa, trying to be the good-guy we know he is, got down next to the child and patted him gently on the rump and say it was okay. 

Of course, the community is immediately torn apart between those who know the Santa for who he is and those who are upset by the very thought of Santa Claus administering corporal punishment. The guy loses his job—at least for the remainder of the season—and probably suffers some real mental anguish; after all, he's been a Santa at the mall for years so it must mean a lot to him.

Now the question: Should Santa sue? Should he even have to? Do you think this mother, who has at least enough money to hire a childcare worker to take her kid to the mall, should offer to recompense him for his lost wages? Should she take to Facebook to take responsibility for her false accusation? Should the mall have a welcome Santa event?

You know, of all these, the welcoming Santa back to the mall event after Christmas might be the smartest. The customers might flock there. The woman could be given a chance to apologize in person, which would get her off the hook. And, Kris Kringle would be vindicated. 

At any rate, it's good to know that Santa isn't in to B&D. I just hope that reading this you'll be reassured and not put any bear traps or other boobytraps in the way of the jolly elf as he makes his way around the world tonight. Oh, and Santa, it's okay with me if you leave some coal for that woman in Bloomington, Indiana. 
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