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JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Here is the place for miscellaneous chat


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Here is my miscellaneous chat contribution. Did anyone notice how fast summer turned to fall? Here in the mid-Atlantic, it happened overnight. One day last week.... it was suddenly much cooler, and the days got shorter, very abruptly! Wonderful but horrible (like life).


message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo It was the same here in England


message 4: by madrano (new)

madrano | 444 comments This is NOT happening in Texas. Although i must admit we've had a fairly mild summer. I do not believe there was a single 100 or higher degree day in August out where we live! Still, that morning freshness, which is the harbinger of autumn to me, has not yet arrived.

deborah, eager for her favorite season to begin here!


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo I would love some Texas weather! Our summer was aweful


message 6: by Bunny (new)

Bunny | 254 comments Oh, yes - we went from summer to fall overnight last week here in Southern California. Last Thursday afternoon about 4 PM our usual breeze started and there was an edge to it. It's still warm outside but I can feel autumn in the air.


Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) DH and I drove 400 miles north to Michigan's UP on Monday and got back today. Though the weather was sunny and warm, it really looks like fall is arriving up near Lake Superior, much more than here. That, plus they are an hour ahead of us, so waking up this morning I had to turn on a light - a real shocker!


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Chilly, was it? One of the coolest Julys on record in Philadelphia -- which was great. Apparently the earth has been cooling for a couple years now, however. Some of the scientists are talking about global cooling, at least for the next 10 to 20 years, owing to much less solar radiation from low sunspot activity. Who the heck knows? I think our biggest problem is that we still think we DO know, when the subject keeps proving it is way beyond all those computer projections.


Jo wrote: "I would love some Texas weather! Our summer was aweful"




message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo The hottest we got was about 28 which i guess is about 70 something fahrenheit. And for about 70% of the summer it was cloudy and ocassionally rainy.


message 10: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Michael wrote "I think our biggest problem is that we still think we DO know, when the subject keeps proving it is way beyond all those computer projections."

Amen!

Global cooling and warming have waxed and waned as long as the earth has existed. That is ALL we know for sure.


message 11: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 257 comments Is this the right place for this? If not, please put it where it should be. Tahanks

What I Read in September 30 Years Ago (1979)

1533 The Life of Samuel Johnson L.L.D., by James Boswell Esq. (read 7 Sep 1979) I am glad to say that before I became 51 I am able to say I have read Boswell's Life of Johnson. I have been reading it for almost a month--it is a full 1200 pages long. The book is not too bad--it is rather amusing to read Boswell on Boswell, which there is a lot of in the book. There are also a lot of things one should remember in this book, but I doubt I can locate them. I won't find it, but too I was struck by (1) If a person prayed all the time, he'd be considered crazy. But someone who never prays, is not even noticed; (2) If a wife continually talked about the Arian heresy she'd be hard to live with. Johnson is the most famous person born on Sept 18. He was born in 1709 and died Dec 13, 1784.

1534 Hard Times For These Times by Charles Dickens (read 10 Sep 1979) This was published in book form in 1854. It has the usual Dickens defects: awful dialect, awful speech, contrived people poorly drawn. Louisa Gradgrind and her brother Tom are raised fancy-free by their marionette father, and then Lou is married to Josiah Bounderly. Stephen Blackpool is an honest hard-working laborer whose wife is a drunk and who loves Rachel. He falls in an abandoned mine and dies. Really a stupid book, and not an effective protest against the ills of industrial England. I have so far in my life only read seven of Dickens' novels. That isn't very many. Should I read more? [I did.:]

1535 Peveril of the Peak - Redgauntlet - The Betrothed, by Sir Walter Scott (read 29 Sep 1979) I had never heard of Peveril of the Peak, and it really isn't well made. It reads as easy as most Scott novels but it really creaks, and there are few surprises. It is laid in the reign of Charles II and deals with the time of the Oakes plot. Julian Peveril, one of those flawless Scott heroes, seeks to win Alice Bridgeworth, daughter of a Puritan. Alice is a faultless Scott heroine. Julian has many adventures as he seeks to help his Cavalier father and his Catholic patroness, the Countess of Darby, who holds sway over the island of Man. The Duke of Buckingham and Charles II are prominent in the story, and all ends happily. Readable, but worthwhile?

Redgauntlet was finished in 1824. It is laid about 1765 and deals with a supposed visit of the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, to England at that time. It is all fiction, of course, since the Young Pretender never came back after 1745, or at least did not come in 1765. Alan Fairford is a young Scot lawyer and a friend of Darsie Latimer, who turns out to be the head of the house of Redgauntlet, and whose father died for the Stuart cause in 1745. His uncle;le is the chief instigator of an attempt to rally a new try for the Stuarts, which disintegrates when Charles Edward refuses to forsake a mistress who is a sister to a woman at George III's court. It--the story--maintains one's interest well, but of course is not one of Scott's great novels. Why do I read it? Well, I am going to finish this book. The third and last novel in the book deals with the Crusades, which is a period which interests me much.

The Betrothed was written in 1825. I like it the best of the three novels in this volume. [[SPOILER follows.:]] Eveline Berenger is saved by Hugo de Lacy and consents to be his bride, though he is old and she is in love with his nephew Damian. Hugo goes off to the Crusades, and Damian is left to guard Eveline. Randal de Lacy, an evil kinsman of Hugo's, plots to have Eveline kidnapped by bandit Welshmen, but Damian scares them off and is wounded, Eveline is rescued from her earthen prison by Flammock, a faithful Fleming summoned by Damian's horn, and Damian, to recuperate, is taken to the Berenger castle. The peasants revolt, Damian is thought to be supporting them, and he is outlawed and imprisoned. Hugo comes back almost alone, his minstrel seeks to kill him but instead kills Randal, Hugo disguises himself and goes to Damian in prison, tests his sincerity and innocence, and then steps aside and Damian weds Eveline. An obvious happy ending which brought tears to my eyes! Scott wraps his endings up so neatly, and untimewastingly. Much stilted language, but the tale, laid in the closing days of the reign of Henry II, I found very easy to read, and enjoyable.






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message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 18, 2009 03:51PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) FYI -- in case you want to get on the library list before a million others.

Oprah selected her new book selection today.

http://www.amazon.com/Say-Youre-Them-...

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Description
Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.

A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family’s struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle’s attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees—a microcosm of today’s Africa—a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.

Uwem Akpan’s debut signals the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer who gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances in stories that are nothing short of transcendent.

About the Author
Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. My Parents’ Bedroom, a story from his short story collection, Say You’re One of Them, was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2007. Say You’re One of Them won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region) 2009 and PEN/Beyond Margins Award 2009, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2007, Akpan taught at a Jesuit college in Harare, Zimbabwe. Now he serves at Christ the King Church, Ilasamaja-Lagos, Nigeria.

Product Details
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books (September 18, 2009)

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message 13: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 257 comments I believe I will read this book Oprah picked, not because I necessarily read her picks--though I have read a goodly number of them, but the fact the author is a Nigerian Jesuit makes me think I should read it.


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) Re: Say You're One of Them

Schmerguls: but the fact the author is a Nigerian Jesuit makes me think I should read it.

--------------------------

That is one of the reasons I want to read it, too. It sounds very interesting.



message 15: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy...

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read !

September 26−October 3, 2009


Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities
100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy...

Banned and Challenged Classics
http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy...

Judith Krug, the librarian who was responsible for founding Banned Book Week, died this year in Evanston, IL. at the age of 69.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them."-George Orwell, author, c. 1945

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too." - Voltaire

Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." -Lyndon Baines Johnson

"Every burned book enlightens the world."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." - Benjamin Franklin, 1730


"Can't you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we'll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind

-Henry Drummond, a character in Inherit The Wind"
— Jerome Lawrence





message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Is this doing more harm than good? Is it misleading?
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read !
September 26−October 3, 2009


Answer: Yes, I think so, to both questions. It's a case of the boy who cried wolf, at its most benign. Why do I say that? Well, if you go to the links, you discover that these long lists of books are of "Banned and Challenged" books. And if you check what a challenge is, it's just that -- somebody asks a librarian to restrict access to a book.

The vast majorities of those challenges are from a parent, or parents, according to the ALA's data. Not from elected officials, school board members, or pressure groups, whose actions are minuscule in number. Moreover, the reasons for the challenges are pretty obvious -- from the ALA's list, again:

The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:

1.the material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
2.the material contained "offensive language"
3.the materials was [sic:] "unsuited to any age group"

Is there something scary about those concerns? Or are they actually pretty reasonable?

How many books are actually banned anywhere in the US? Maybe it's in there somewhere in the ALA's materials, but I couldn't find it.

There are other problems with the way these data are being presented. Two-thirds of the challenges were made to schools and school libraries, so it's obviously a question of whether materials are considered appropriate for certain age groups. But the ALA immediately starts raising the issue of freedom of expression. How is that involved? No one is preventing any of these books from being published or sold. Expression, in our society, is about as unrestricted as it is possible to be, as anyone with cable television knows well.

The ALA also quotes Nat Hentoff, and maybe we should pay more attention to what Hentoff actually has to say. As Hentoff writes, some of the main enemies to freedom of expression in our society are well-meaning but misguided institutions like universities, with their speech codes and other repressions. The ALA, however well-meaning itself, is not doing the cause of free speech any favors with this sort of campaign, in my opinion. Free Speech for Me--But Not for Thee


message 17: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
I think the "Banned Books" brouhaha is much ado about nothing. Hardly anything is really banned and like Michael said, "challenged books" are challenged by such a small number of people and rarely does nothing come of the challenge.

I am much more concerned about too much freedom of expression/speech for people like this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/19/us/...


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) The Banned Books Week is a marketing campaign, as is clear when you look at the link and the last two pages of it are selling T-shirts and other stuff. There are undoubtedly one or two books yanked permanently off the shelves of some library in America, but if anyone can name a book that has actually been banned in this country, please do so! I'd love to hear about it.

As for what you linked here, JoAnn -- I understand what you mean, but I assume you're not serious about wanting legal limits imposed. We don't limit the KKK or the Brown Shirts -- let them walk around in public and make perfect fools of themselves, what could be more sanitizing? (So why do so many universities need speech codes? Why do the very institutions founded on free inquiry feel it necessary to limit speech? What a bad example to set.)

JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "I think the "Banned Books" brouhaha is much ado about nothing. Hardly anything is really banned and like Michael said, "challenged books" are challenged by such a small number of people and rarely ..."




message 19: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Michael, the thing I linked to was not free speech as I define it! If these people continue doing what they do, it is all about cruelty to animals....not letting them make fools of themselves (which I am in favor of). But why should innocent animals suffer so these idiots can have what they call "free speech"?


message 21: by Michael (last edited Sep 26, 2009 06:54AM) (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Unless the activity shown in the movies is illegal, JoAnn, how could there be any cause to act against this fellow? And even if the activity WAS illegal -- we see footage of illegal activities on news and reality-TV shows all the time. So I don't know what the legal status of his pit-bull movies might be, but the descriptions that I looked through quickly in the article claimed he was not showing cruelty. This seems like one of those same kinds of cases similar to the KKK, in which freedom requires us to tolerate stuff most may despise. Those who may have directly violated cruelty-to-animals laws could and should be prosecuted, obviously.
P.S. Are we talking about the same thing here?


JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Michael, the thing I linked to was not free speech as I define it! If these people continue doing what they do, it is all about cruelty to animals....not letting them make fools of themselves (whi..."




message 22: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Here is what I believe, Michael:

the Humane Society of the United States said that “gruesome depictions of animal mutilation targeted” by the law “simply do not merit the dignity of full First Amendment protection.”

I think this deserves no more protection than does child pornography.


message 23: by Michael (last edited Sep 27, 2009 10:30AM) (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Was that something they said about this case specifically? I don't think anyone is going to argue with that -- protect animals that cannot "consent" -- seems an easy call to make, to me. The problem is, did this man's movies do that? Or did they not show cruelty, which was his defense. A history of the pit-bull breed could be quite benign in itself. We're tempted to ban anything that we don't like, but the strategy may not only violate the First (or other) Amendment; like Prohibition, it may also backfire on the objective. In any event, that's all I've got to say on this one, JoAnn! Except, as a general rule -- Let's be darned careful about what we want to ban or prosecute. It's awfully easy to abuse government power.

JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Here is what I believe, Michael:

the Humane Society of the United States said that “gruesome depictions of animal mutilation targeted” by the law “simply do not merit the dignity of full First Ame..."





message 24: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Was that something they said about this case specifically? "

That quote from the Humane Society was part of the brief that the organization filed, supporting the government's position. It was in the NYTimes link that I provided in post #17

Aren't depictions of animal cruelty and depictions of child porn both wrong? Child sexual abuse is illegal and so is mutilation of animals. Why should anyone be allowed to film or show films of either thing?




message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Aren't depictions of animal cruelty and depictions of child porn both wrong? Child sexual abuse is illegal and so is mutilation of animals. Why should anyone be allowed to film or show films of either thing?"

Aside from the disputed facts in this case, it seems to me that there are parallels and also important differences between child pornography and depictions of possible cruelty to animals. One difference is that children are people, and animals are animals.

Should movies about bull-fighting be banned? How about fishing?

Do you ever eat lobster tails? Look into those sometime. Or, how about veal? I occasionally eat veal, albeit less than I used to. Should you and I be prosecuted for enjoying the benefits of the sometimes-cruel treatment of calves?

Is it worse to eat them, or just make movies about them?






message 26: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Michael, I am talking about depictions of things that are ILLEGAL, which is why I mentioned child porn and animal mutilation.

As far as I know, fishing and bull-fighting are not illegal, not is lobster-eating.


message 27: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) They all involve cruelty, though, don't they, JoAnn? Why pick on one thing when there are so many cases to deal with? The breaking-off of some lobster tails is a dodge to avoid an illegality--the fishing, or harvesting, of young, under-age and undersize lobsters. Break off the tail, throw back the body, nobody can tell the difference.

So maybe what's cruel to you is not what's cruel to me. Or to our children. Or to the guy making the movies about dogs. Or to the vegan down the street. Etc., etc.

JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Michael, I am talking about depictions of things that are ILLEGAL, which is why I mentioned child porn and animal mutilation.

As far as I know, fishing and bull-fighting are not illegal, not is l..."





message 28: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Yes, Michael, there is cruelty all around us. The woman you see slap her child in the grocery store. The kids who taunt a mentally ill person on the street.

But I was only referring to illegal things, Michael. I do not have the energy to fight cruelty...just what is clearly illegal.


message 29: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Our exchange has made me think, JoAnn, which is always good. And here is what I think.... The world is built on cruelty. Even though only the sick, the depraved, and the ignorant actually enjoy any of it. But history shows us that freedom is rare, and precious. We are fortunate to enjoy so much of it right now. And I am wary of limiting it for this cause, no matter how worthy it seems. And then for that cause, which seems almost as worthy. And then for.... whatever the next cause will be. A few already say we shouldn't be allowed to question global-warming-prevention, because that shows a depraved lack of respect for the planet and the future of the human race. Good intentions can be dangerous. When it comes to circumscribing our freedoms, we should err on the side of caution, even if that permits some occasional abuses.


JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Yes, Michael, there is cruelty all around us. The woman you see slap her child in the grocery store. The kids who taunt a mentally ill person on the street.

But I was only referring to illegal t..."





message 30: by Michael (new)

Michael Canoeist (michaelcanoeist) Michael wrote: "A few already say we shouldn't be allowed to question global-warming-prevention, because that shows a depraved lack of respect for the planet and the future of the human ..."

In fact, check this out -- another case of censorship against scientists who dare to disagree on this subject. The e-mail quoted in the article linked below is an amazing piece of work.

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/ima...







message 31: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (debatl) | 105 comments OK went to Orthopedist this morning, and he said if I hadnt had a stroke and had use of my right arm he would have operated and pinned and plated my elbow. But no, keep just splint and wraop on and come back in 10 days for more xrays. Yeah. I feel good,


message 32: by Bunny (new)

Bunny | 254 comments Richiesheff wrote: "OK went to Orthopedist this morning, and he said if I hadnt had a stroke and had use of my right arm he would have operated and pinned and plated my elbow. But no, keep just splint and wraop on an..."

This sounds really uncomfortable - what's happened?


message 33: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Michael, worthiness aside, these acts of which I wrote are illegal. And that makes them different from plain old ordinary cruelty, despicable as it is.




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