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Their Just Deserts

French physicist Blaise Pascal once wrote, “This letter is long because I hadn’t the time to make it short.”

Even though Pascal’s comment seems contradictory, it isn’t, as demonstrated in great short stories that have withstood the test of time by delivering essential elements — time, place, setting, plot, and characters — in a minimum of words.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

The making of medieval bling

Gold has long been valued for its luxurious glitter and hue, and threads of the gleaming metal have graced clothing and tapestries for centuries. Determining how artisans accomplished these adornments in the distant past can help scientists restore, preserve and date artifacts, but solutions to these puzzles have been elusive. Now scientists, reporting in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, have revealed that medieval artisans used a gilding technology that has endured for centuries.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Key odorants in world’s most expensive beef could help explain its allure

Renowned for its soft texture and characteristic flavor, Wagyu beef — often referred to as Kobe beef in the U.S. — has become one of the world’s most sought-after meats. Now in a study appearing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that they have detected several key odorants that contribute to the delicacy’s alluring aroma.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Ancient Roman theater uncovered next to Western Wall

Jewish historian Josephus Flavius told of a small Roman-era theater built in the vicinity of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But no one had seen it for nearly two millennia. Archaeologists beginning with Charles William Wilson have been searching for that theater for 150 years to no avail.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Amoris Laetitia: Conscience Recognizes that we can Break the Commandments

Yes, yes, I know what the Bible says about adultery. But what does Francis say?

There has been much controversy in recent months over Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and its hot-button topic that adulterers can be admitted to Communion without a prior commitment to amend their life.

By use of ambiguous wording, Amoris Laetitia insidiously argues that because of “concrete circumstances” and “concrete realities” (being hardened in sin) which supposedly limit freedom of the will, people living in adultery through cohabitation or illicit marriage could be guiltless and even “be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.” (Paragraph 305)

Dramatic moment dog being swept out to sea is rescued

This is the dramatic moment a dog being swept out to sea is rescued after it was spotted by a coastguard helicopter on a training flight.

Footage shows a cockapoo swimming desperately in the Moray Firth, north-east Scotland at 10.45am on Sunday.—More…

By News on the Net -- Daily Mail- Monday, October 16, 2017 - Full Story

Dog stays behind with family’s goats as California wildfire destroys property

A guard dog is on the mend Sunday after heroically protecting eight rescue goats and several small deer from the wildfires raging through California’s Sonoma County.

By Fox News - Sunday, October 15, 2017 - Full Story

Betting on HIGH, or LOW?

Just in case you are wondering what this about, it’s about the small town of Show Low in Arizona with a population of around 10,000. If you want to read up on more details, see Show Low, Arizona .

Some years ago, we were visiting the place and had a pleasant experience. What intrigued me though was the name of the town. Our waitress explained that it stemmed from a long-ago poker game, where the LOW card(s) were going to win, NOT the HIGH card(s).

As in any game of luck that has a 50/50 chance of being right or wrong, the former owner of that tract of land (some 65 square miles of it, I believe) lost out and the new owner renamed it in memory of his call and win.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Mohican Molly

When Molly asked what she must do to become a Mohican, chief Deadly Dagger laughed in her face.

“Females cannot join the Mohican club,” he said. “We are male warriors! You are nothing but a girl. Even our own sisters are forbidden membership in this band of men who are fearless in battle and give no quarter to enemies.”

Pointing upward, he said, “That tree house is our sacred meeting place. No female foot has ever sullied its hallowed floor. Girls are beneath our manly stature. Depart from my presence!”

By Jimmy Reed - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Thank You Tom Petty 1950-2017

Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong

Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong

Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay

Well it’s all right, every day is Judgment Day

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze

Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please

Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine

Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

—Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne “End of the Line”

The world lost one of its premier rock singer/songwriters with the recent death of Tom Petty.  His music and lyrics have played on the background soundtrack of my life for decades – beginning with the song “Breakdown” in 1978

By Jim ONeill - Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - Full Story

Disney jumps into 4K disc market with a bang

Disney’s first two 4K disc titles, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean Volume 5 are welcome additions to the burgeoning 4K title library, though one is much better than the other as both a home video presentation and as a movie.

Still, it’s nice to see Disney stepping up to the 4K world. The company may be many things, but stupid it is not. And it knows how to make money.

But there was a time when the company misunderestimated the marketplace so badly that it ended up suing a tech company for having the audacity to create a new technology! That was after Sony introduced the Betamax, ushering in the home video age - and Disney (and some other studios, if I remember correctly) sued them, ostensibly because they thought they’d lose a pile of money due to piracy, home taping, whatever.  It made no sense then and looking back on it now (and considering the percentage of its income Hollywood makes from video releases these days) Disney looks pretty silly.

By Jim Bray - Friday, September 29, 2017 - Full Story

You’re An Insolent Jerk!

Nowadays on many college campuses, if a teacher is not a secular progressive liberal new-world-order globalist, his colleagues may view him as a pariah. If he is a pro-life, pro-America, anti-political correctness, Southern white heterosexual male capitalistic Christian conservative, as I am, they will likely view him as a walking hate crime. 

Toward my college teaching career’s end, I learned how true this was after scolding a wimpy, coddled kid for disregarding my insistence on punctuality, preparation, proper classroom behavior, and attire.

He complained to his father, who complained to my supervisor, who called me on the carpet and warned me that if I didn’t go along in order to get along, he would issue me a pink slip reading, “So long.”

By Jimmy Reed - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - Full Story

Major League Baseball…extend the protective netting so this doesn’t happen to another child

If you read this column regularly you know that I am a big baseball fan. I go to a lot of games. This year alone I’ve attended 30 Detroit Tigers games in addition to another eight minor league games. In my lifetime I’ve gone to hundreds of ballgames.

And I’m going to confess something to you: I don’t like to sit close to home plate, especially not in the area right behind the dugout. Why? Because I’m terrified of the sort of rocket line-drive foul ball that last night struck a two-year-old in Yankee Stadium. It sounds like she is going to be OK in the long run, although everyone is being somewhat cryptic with the information they’re releasing.

By Dan Calabrese - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - Full Story


In T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock,” the narrator, Prufrock himself, deals with a number of problems aging men face, and toward the end of the poem, ponders two of them.

Speculating on ways to disguise the fact that his plumage is thinning, he asks, “Shall I part my hair behind?” And because his bowels — no longer young and supple, but rebellious toward any foods less milder than corn flakes, asks, “Do I dare to eat a peach?”

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, September 18, 2017 - Full Story

Mitch Wolfe Gives Four Thumbs Down to TIFF 2017!

This was the absolutely worst Toronto International Film Festival in terms of movie selections in its 41 years history.*

I have been attending and following TIFF since its inception in the fall of 1976 in Toronto, as the Festival of Festivals, co-founded by wild+ crazy film geniuses, Bill Marshall and Dusty Cohl.

By Mitch Wolfe - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - Full Story

Francis empowers bishops to establish their own liturgical regulations

Pope Francis has issued a motu proprio Magnum Principium, a modification of Canon Law 838, which grants bishops’ conferences greater control over the translation of liturgical texts. This includes the power to make adaptations which the bishops deem appropriate for their regions. 

Until now, Canon 838 (§1) stated that “The direction of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See.” Paragraph §2 said: “It is for the Apostolic See to order the liturgy of the universal Church,” but now the Apostolic See has the task of “recognizing adaptations approved under the law of the Episcopal Conference.” (§2) In other words, the power of the Curia is reduced from authorizing to approving texts that are generated by episcopal conferences.

By David Martin - Monday, September 11, 2017 - Full Story

Seven years in transit(ion)

Today is the seventh anniversary of surrendering to an unanticipated call on my life – that of selling off most everything, packing what was left into the back of the truck and leaving what had become my home… for?

That was the question. I really didn’t know to what or where I was beckoned but I was certain that it was necessary to be obedient to God’s prompting. For anyone who thinks it’s a relatively simple operation to pull up roots and drop your life in the Lord’s hands, turning you at will, His will, to travel where you’ve been invited to minister, the short answer is: it isn’t.

By A. Dru Kristenev - Sunday, September 10, 2017 - Full Story

The Dunleithians

The word “boondocks” describes most Mississippi Delta locations, especially Dunleith, where I grew up. Its remoteness provided an ideal environment for a secret society known as the Dunleithians.

To attain membership in this exclusively male warrior cult, boys must complete several grueling requirements. First, they had to read The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn and pass an oral examination administered by the club’s elders, all fifteen to eighteen years of age.

By Jimmy Reed - Thursday, September 7, 2017 - Full Story

Fear, chaos and the kindness of strangers in the eye of Hurricane Harvey

First published on ConservativeWoman:
We’d booked a trip to see the solar eclipse in Nashville. My husband worked there many years ago and wanted to show me around. We thought it was a good idea to follow this with a short break in Galveston, Texas.

After two lovely days there I woke in the early hours of Friday, August 25. Staring out of our hotel window, I saw Hurricane Harvey bending palm trees and churning the sea right past the shoreline. We had decided the night before to pay heed to the voluntary evacuation notices and risk driving to Houston International Airport before the storm got any worse. I naively thought we would be able to catch our flight out the next afternoon. The next 48 hours were a lesson in patience and compassion.

By Karen Harradine - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Full Story

Peggy Pokechop

My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird always kept a housecat or two, especially master mousers, and was never without a pack of hunting hounds, but above all he preferred the company of an animal that is ranked just below humans in intelligence: the pig.

Over the years Jaybird befriended a slew of swine, including such notables as Hortense Hamhocks, Clarabelle Chitlins, Teresa Tenderloin, and Ophelia Oink, but the pig he loved above all others was Peggy Pokechop.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - Full Story