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Mississippi Shipping Continues, Despite Drought

Mississippi Shipping Continues, Despite Drought | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The river remains open for business, thanks to a remarkable feat of engineering that effectively lowered the bottom of the channel by two feet.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another example of how the federal government really does work in many situations.

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5 Professional Santas Reveal Their Secrets, From $800-an-Hour Pay to Beard Maintenance

5 Professional Santas Reveal Their Secrets, From $800-an-Hour Pay to Beard Maintenance | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
These Santa Clauses reveal all the secrets to their jobs including investing their own money in suits and having real beards all year long
Kenneth Weene's insight:
No, that isn't  Santa Clause, it's me in the photo. Of course, I've often been confused with the old gift-giver. I'm sure you can see why. 

The idea of multiple Santas confused me as a kid, way before I looked so much like him. It was rather obvious to me that the various bell-ringers around town couldn't all be the one and only Mr. Claus. I wanted to figure out which one was real. I'm not sure why since I knew he wouldn't be visiting our Jewish home anyway. But, I did want to know. 

I never got to figure out who was the read deal, but the folks at the Dew Drop Inne, when three Santas showed up at the bar, decided on a test. Want to read about it? Well, you can get Tales From the Dew Drop Inne in print, Kindle, and audiobook. Check it out at: 
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We went on a mass sausage dog walk in London where over 100 dachshunds gathered to frolic in the snow — take a look

We went on a mass sausage dog walk in London where over 100 dachshunds gathered to frolic in the snow — take a look | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Just for the fun of it.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Enjoy this wonderful community event, the sausage dog walk.
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Can Kim Jong Un control the weather? North Korea’s state-run media says so.

Can Kim Jong Un control the weather? North Korea’s state-run media says so. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Korean Central News Agency is known for making claims about its leaders that vary from mild exaggeration to “Chronicles of Narnia.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It's that time of year when reindeer fly and myths abound. 
As Heroic Leader knows, only he controls the snow atop Paektu. Fear not that he gone to far, he searches there for unicorns. 
His greatness astrologers foretold with double rainbows at his birth.

Yeah, okay, not great poetry, but I'm sure that the Noble Leader of North Korea will provide me with better inspiration once I've taken the medicine he discovered that will cure "AIDS, Ebola, many cancers, heart disease, impotence, the common cold, “harm from use of computers,” epilepsy, all forms of hepatitis, venereal disease and aging. It also, for some reason, renders its users 'anti-radioactive'". 

And, yes, the people  of North Korea believe this stuff. Meanwhile, China is building refugee camps in case the US attacks Pyongyang. Hopefully, as his last act Kim will transport magically his people to there refuge. 

Crazy as all this sounds, one last thing we should keep in mind about Kim: he's been selecting the best minds in his country and having them educated in cyber-warfare. While America is cutting back on graduate level education by denying students financial aid and even tax breaks, our adversaries are thinking about how to dominate the future. Anybody for smarter politicians in Washington? 
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Twitter reacts to Colts, Bills playing football in brutal weather conditions

Twitter reacts to Colts, Bills playing football in brutal weather conditions | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Twitter had some fun with the brutal weather conditions at the Week 14 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not a football fan or a fan of winter,, but this story putting the two together is just fun. 
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White House Says It Believes Saudi Arabia Will Open Yemen Port

White House Says It Believes Saudi Arabia Will Open Yemen Port | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
About 8 million people are on brink of famine with outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't often get to praise Mr. Trump, but in this instance I am glad that he is putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to end the blockade of Yemen's port. There are many innocent civilians facing injury, starvation, lack of medicines, and death because of the rivalry between the Iranians and Saudis that has led to year another brutal war. 

Certainly one way to reduce the problem of refugees in the world is to reduce the number of people needing to flee their homes. I'm sure they people of Yemen want a return to peace and to their own way of life. So, kudos to Mr. Trump for doing something positive. 

What would you like to praise the Trump administration for? Want to share your views on It Matters Radio. Come Walk On the Weene Side with me. Contact us via the show website www.itmattersradio.com or my website www.kennethweene.com 
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Why Jeremiah Risked His Life For A Notebook

Why Jeremiah Risked His Life For A Notebook | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Why he risked his life for a notebook.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Doctors Without Borders is one of the great organization of the world. Its doctors and other staff risk their lives every day to bring help and hope to people in the middle of the worst conflicts and conditions. This particular story is from South Sudan, a country that is in terrible turmoil. Jeremiah is an HIV and tuberculosis counselor with Doctors Without Borders. His story illustrates the dedication of that organization and reminds us how very precious such men and women are in a world that is given to so much strife.

If you're interested in South Sudan, you would love to read the memoir I helped my friend Deng Mayik Atem write about his experience as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. While the book is looking for the right publisher, you can watch the trailer here. 

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How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago

How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The prehistoric shift towards cultivation began our preoccupation with hierarchy and growth – and even changed how we perceive the passage of time
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A fascinating look at history and anthropology. The premise is that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were far less fearful of the vagaries of the gods or of the raids of enemies than the early farming communities that appeared so had less need for hierarchy. On the other hand, those farmers could, in good times, produce far more and live more comfortably. 

I wonder how many of the people who are preparing for the apocalypse are expecting to once again join bands of hunter-gatherers. Not may. I think they tend to expect more of that early farmer competition, which would mean starting over already in the wrong mindset. 

Not to worry, most of us won't survive anyway. But for those who do, I recommend you read Broody New Englander to get a better idea of what life in small towns is about. 

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Cold Moon, Meteors, and More Can't-Miss Sky Events in December

Cold Moon, Meteors, and More Can't-Miss Sky Events in December | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Get ready to see a stunning full moon, two meteor showers, and other celestial wonders this month.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you have a telescope or even a pair of binoculars, December is going to be a great month for looking up. 

During the twilight, when it's still a bit early to look at stars, consider some star reads. On of my favorites for the occasion, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. Available i Kindle, print, and Audiobook, Dew Drop's dark humor will set the tone for a great evening of imaginings. https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Drop-Inne-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B0070FZBQQ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
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Anglican Minister Urges Prayers for Prince George to Be Gay

Anglican Minister Urges Prayers for Prince George to Be Gay | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth said that the church might accept same-sex marriage if the prince, now 4, one day found the love of “a fine young gentleman.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So here's your bit of bizarro news for the day. The kid is four and here is this "minister" praying that he will grow up gay. How's that for putting one's personal agenda ahead of the rights of others. When people condemn the extremism of the left, this is certainly a perfect example. Meanwhile, do you or I care whom this toddler may someday marry? Of course not. By the way, who is the woman his uncle is marrying? I've seen it in the news but haven't bothered to read any of the stories. 
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White House library lowers the tones with its Christmas book tree

White House library lowers the tones with its Christmas book tree | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Apart from the fact that the president will never read them, the only thing the books in this festive display have in common is that they’re coloured green
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Yep, real evidence that the White House is shying away from a real Christmas feel. Too bad all you Christians who complain about a war on Christmas, this is your Trump White House. Yeah, you can google the Obama White House decorations if you want to see Christmas in the library. 

Back at the Trumps, the best part is that the books were chosen by the interior decorator for their color not for any meaning. Not that anyone things Mr. Trump reads anything over tweet length. 

Can anybody say classless? 
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Greece prepares to do away with compulsory sharia in Western Thrace

Greece prepares to do away with compulsory sharia in Western Thrace | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
AS PART of a passionate campaign to solve an apparently non-existent problem, American state legislatures have been presented, over the past decade, with at least 120 bills that sought to outlaw the practice of sharia, the Islamic legal system, and 15 of them have been enacted.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love the vagaries of history. How did this small section of Greece fall under the sway of sharia? Well, that's a long story, goes back to the early nineteen twenties. But is it reasonable to have that anomaly continue in a modern EU country? Certainly not when even the Muslim country next door, Turkey, has done away with it. But, the sisters of the dead man want their share of his inheritance. After all, that's what the sharia rule is, so they went to court, yes the regular court, to force his widow to pony up. 

Meanwhile, realistically and especially in the area of marriage—as if marriage and realistic can go together—many people all over the world opt to give religious authorities a say in their lives. In some places, like Chechnya, there is a movement to increase the role of the religious courts. And, in the US, let's not forget the Roy Moores who want to make the bible the basis of our law. 

Some stories are just, well good for the soul or at least for the little grey cells. Exercise yours and tell me what you think the proper role of religion is in regulating lives. 
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A Finnish Bakery Is Selling Bread Made From Crushed Insects

A Finnish Bakery Is Selling Bread Made From Crushed Insects | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Finnish bakery Fazer is rolling out loaves made with dried cricket flour, which it says are the first of their kind available to consumers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Fascinating topic, but can they make a dung beetle sacher torte called the Kafka? Perhaps a locust based croissant called the Napoleon? A tiny ant based Danish called the Anderson? How about a cockroach based burger bun called———I'll let you fill in your political candidate's name here. 

Meanwhile, having never been to Finland, I'm not sure what normal bread would be for people in Helsinki, how it would taste compared to the Wonder of American or the true wonder of French. But, as a said, kind of fascinating. Would you try it? I sure would.

While you're in the mood for trying the unusual, might I suggest that you try some of my books. You can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU ;
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This Company Is Offering A Limited Run Of Civilian M203 Grenade Launchers To A Few Lucky Collectors

This Company Is Offering A Limited Run Of Civilian M203 Grenade Launchers To A Few Lucky Collectors | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Colt Defense is rolling out a handful of genuine production-standard M203 under-barrel grenade launchers to the civilian market for the first time ever
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Now here's something to be truly thankful for. Only $2000 and you can have your very own grenade launcher for those days when you really want to kill a deer or maybe take out your neighborhood taco truck. What could possibly go wrong? I hope they are calling this the Charles Manson limited edition; it seems appropriate since that great leader just died to help others follow in his footsteps. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-guns only anti-gun-madness. 
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Which is better, Applebee's or Cracker Barrel? Our critic ranks America’s most popular chains.

Which is better, Applebee's or Cracker Barrel? Our critic ranks America’s most popular chains. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Which is better, Applebee's or Cracker Barrel? Our critic ranks America’s most popular chains.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Personally, I generally avoid chain restaurants. However, I have eaten at least once at most of these. I do have to say that Cracker Barrel is better than most.In my opinion, Olive Garden and Red Lobster deserve a bit better grades and IHop and Outback are really worse than the article says.

And, what are your opinions of these chains? 
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Invasion Of Mysterious Sea People -Enigmatic 3,200-Year-Old Luwian Hieroglyphic Inscription Sheds New Light On Ancient Puzzle | Ancient Pages

Invasion Of Mysterious Sea People -Enigmatic 3,200-Year-Old Luwian Hieroglyphic Inscription Sheds New Light On Ancient Puzzle | Ancient Pages | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
 In 1878, archaeologists discovered a stone slab covered with ancient symbols in modern Turkey. The 29-meter-long bears the longest known hieroglyphic inscription from the Bronze Age. It is a Luwian hieroglyphic inscription and only a handful of scholars have been able to decipher it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
About 3, 000 years ago The Sea People decimated the Bronze Age cultures of the eastern Mediterranean particularly in what is now Syria and Israel and wreaking havoc in Egypt in alliance with Libya. Who were these Sea People? History has never given definitive answers, butt now the puzzle may have been solved. For my part, I love archeology. Of course, I haven't a clue how to read this slab of hieroglyphics, but I am fascinated by what it can tell us. Interestingly, the bronze fabricators of that period relied on tin from what is now Afghanistan. I imagine that the wealth flowing back to Pashtun people intrigued those ancient warriors from Anatolia and sent them in search of wealth. 

Sometimes I try to imagine what life would have been like in other periods. I imagine myself on one of those raiding parties. The battle begins. The rams' horns are sounded and the drums and cymbals beaten. To arms, somebody cries. Thankfully, that's when i wake up. How about you? Do you ever dream of going back in time? Where do you end up? Funny, more likely I'd be a house slave in a Roman villa. At least I'd get to eat well. But, no, my dreams are always those raiding parties. Usually in the Mediterranean but occasionally I go Viking. 
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The Surprising Origins of 5 Hanukkah Traditions - Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season.

The Surprising Origins of 5 Hanukkah Traditions - Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
There's lots of history behind favorite Hanukkah traditions such as eating latkes, lighting candles and playing with dreidels.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
With Hanukkah starting tonight, it seemed appropriate to share this bit of traditions and their origins. So, as everybody sings Traditions from Fiddler on the Roof, eats potato latkes, and spins dreidels (an activity I abhor), let's remember that traditions are seldom reflections of real history, which is why they become fun. Seriously, who among us wants to camp out in the temple tending olive oil lamps and watching for the Syrian troops to come back and slaughter us? 

At any rate, here's hoping that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Now where can I get a good jelly donut? 

If you want a good read, of course you can find it at https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU
Did you know that books make wonderful presents for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, or any other occasion. 
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This Maine hunter could have left a deer in need. Instead, he helped - The Boston Globe

This Maine hunter could have left a deer in need. Instead, he helped - The Boston Globe | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
STRATTON, Maine — As a general rule, deer that find themselves in the immediate vicinity of Justin Wyman do not fare particularly well.
An avid hunter, the lifelong Maine resident has spent much of his 28 years tracking the animals.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is the kind of story that makes us realize how very much most hunters care about animals and nature. Cheers for Justin Wyman and the other hunters involved and of course for the deer. I wonder if Mr. Wyman has read Broody New Englander. I'd love to send him a copy just as a way of saying thanks for his love of that glorious buck. 

You can get your copy at 
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Ford Will Build Electric Cars in Mexico, Self Driving Vehicles in Michigan: Shifting Its Plan

Ford Will Build Electric Cars in Mexico, Self Driving Vehicles in Michigan: Shifting Its Plan | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The move will take advantage of lower costs and clear the way for a new Michigan plant to make driverless vehicles instead, which Ford said would mean even more jobs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Surprise, surprise, business will go on as usual. Big businesses are about profit and profit includes finding cheaper labor. Fine to invest in the more expensive American labor to build the new stuff, but let's head south of the border or across the Pacific to churn out the easier stuff, the stuff that they already know how to make. In this case, that means electric cars in Mexico and self-driving vehicles in Michigan. 

Of course, the one big problem that they may not have thought about is that making those cars in Mexico suggests a market nearby, which means electrical outlets for charging. That's hard enough in Mexico; in most of the rest of Central America forget about it. And, importing cars with a 300 mile range into Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona seems braindead to me. Has anybody looked at a map. The distances are way to huge. Still, I guess if they can be shipped cheaply enough or if say China or India were to decide to push EV. Well, who knows?

Speaking of electric cars, did you catch the Walking On the Weene Side show I did about driving a Tesla through Central America? Hey, if you missed it and like a great road trip, catch the podcast at 
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Ancient South African skeleton unveiled

Ancient South African skeleton unveiled | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
One of the oldest and most complete skeletons of our ancestors is unveiled in South Africa.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is that my great-great- to the umpteenth power grandmother? Probably not since she was too young to have kids when she apparently fell down that cave shaft some 3.67 million years ago. But this little Australopithecus maiden shows that human evolution goes back even further than we thought and that species of her genus were around even before that famous gal Lucy from Kenya. Anyway, I love physical anthropology.When I go to a natural history museum, that's one of the first departments I look for. 

When you go on line to Amazon, the first department you should check out is my author page. And if you like anthropology, check out my Kindle short read El Catrin. 

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How Neanderthal are you… and can you blame your DNA? – personality quiz

How Neanderthal are you… and can you blame your DNA? – personality quiz | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
If you’re brutish and promiscuous it could be your ancestors’ fault, says Ben Ambridge
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is one of those just plain fun moments for me. Of course, I took the test and found out that I lacked much of a Neanderthal side. But I can't help wondering about some of my characters. You'll have to read Memoirs From the Asylum to decide if the narrator is a disturbed Homo Sapien or a bit on the Neanderthal. What about the characters in Two Tales Of terror? You can find those fascinating folks at https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU ;

By the way, I know you looked. How much of a Neanderthal are you? 
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How To Tell A Turtle From A Tortoise

How To Tell A Turtle From A Tortoise | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
For one thing, tortoises have "tiny elephant feet."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sometimes I see a story that just has to be shared for the fun of it. By the way, just so you know that I do have some rudimentary knowledge, tortoises are a subcategory of turtles, but what a wonderful subcategory they are. So enjoy learning more about this hardbacked creatures with their enigmatic faces. 

While you're reading this article from National Geographic—no fair flipping the pages to find those fascinating pictures of women and/or warriors—I'll be making my slow way down the highway to my newest book. Have you checked out the ones that are already out there? Support your not-so-local author at:

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5 Stunning Natural Wonders You Can See in the U.S.

5 Stunning Natural Wonders You Can See in the U.S. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
From Yosemite National Park to the Mendenhall Ice Caves, here are 5 natural wonders in the U.S. that make for an amazing adventure.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Now I have to ask myself if I can ever forgive The Magazine for leaving New England's beauty off this list. Seriously, no autumn leaf-gazing in Vermont? No hike in the wonderful White Mountains? No gazing at Camden and then out to the Atlantic from high on Mount Battie? Well, that's okay because this Broody New Englander doesn't want this the best part of the world spoiled by too many tourists. Heck, stay home and just read about it starting with Broody New Englander. That's a lot less expensive than travel and in its way just as wonderful. 

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Most hated word in the English language revealed

Most hated word in the English language revealed | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Oxford University Press have undertaken a survey, based on a poll of people in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, to find out what the least favorite word in the English language is.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What is the most disliked word in the English language? Well, for me it has to be millennial. For two reasons. 

First, I fear the influence of millennialism on our society. I don't want the final days. Hell, I don't even want the walk-up to the final days. I'm perfectly happy leaving the Apocalypse and those who would bring it about someplace in unread fantasy literature. The same for post-apocalyptic movies and novels, although I did enjoy Cormack McCarthy's The Road and some of Doris Lessing's writing. 

Second, I hate the thought of the millennial generation. Seriously, how to make somebody born in the middle of the previous century feel even older and irrelevant. 

Nope let's get that m word out of the dictionary. Meanwhile, what was the most hated word according to the survey. Well, read the article and find out. While you're in a reading mind, why not also hit my website and look for a great book and all the other stuff you can read there.

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Cavalcade of Lights 2017 | Facebook

Cavalcade of Lights 2017 By Little Italy BIA · Updated 36 minutes ago · Taken at Little Italy BIA...
Kenneth Weene's insight:
sounds like fun to me. 
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This Type of Alcohol Makes You Feel Sexy, According to Science

This Type of Alcohol Makes You Feel Sexy, According to Science | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Different types of alcohol inspire different emotions, finds a new study. Here's when to order red wine and when to try spirits instead
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I enjoy wine, but my usual go-to drink is a margarita. Do they affect me differently? Absolutely, wine mellows me. That tequila energizes. Port, which I sometimes drink, makes me more introspective. What about you? What do you like to drink and how do different things affect you? 

By the way, I almost never drink beer, but when I did I had one reactions, to want to drink more. 
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