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Neanderthals

Way out in the farthest, least populated back reaches of the Mississippi Delta, rows of wrecked automobiles, engines, transmissions, and tires crisscrossed a huge junkyard owned by four brothers.

Everybody in the Delta knew where the junkyard was, and referred to its owners, not by name, but as the Neanderthals. Antisocial, they seemed to have no use for females, who were terrified of them (as were no small number of men), not to mention children, for whom they were the source of screaming nightmares.

By Jimmy Reed - Friday, August 18, 2017 - Full Story

Education Created and Promoted Progressivism, ANTIFA, and BLM

As a parent who struggles to pay the tuition for their child at the average university in America, or goes into debt borrowing the money, consider what your child must face in order to finish a four years of college education, which may or may not help them get a job.

The American campus is no longer the place of learning, to discuss and exchange ideas, it has become a place of indoctrination, of fear, a place where your children are further indoctrinated, and are not prepared to deal with or function in real life and in the job world.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - Full Story

Why durian is the smelly ‘king of fruits’ (video)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2017 — Durian is known as the king of fruits in Southeast Asia, but it’s also banned from many public spaces due to its powerful odor. This week’s Reactions video explains the unique chemistry behind durian, and features fellow YouTubers from PBS Digital Studios reacting to this stinky delicacy as they try it for the first time:

 

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - Full Story

Dyslexia, My Gift

I wrote this column to encourage others with dyslexia.  The layout is simple.  The paragraphs without parenthesis are my original words.  The paragraphs with parenthesis are my editor’s corrections.  Please share with others who struggle with dyslexia!

Growing up I didn’t know I had dyslexia.  I couldn’t read until I was in the third grade.  I’ve struggled my entire life to comprehend what I’m reading, to spell words properly, to understand the meanings of words and enunciate them.  Having to go back and read something three, four, five or more times is frustrating.  Especially when I still don’t understand it.  Now, if I hear something I don’t have the same struggles.

(For some kids, school always came easy. Reading, and even writing, seemed to be second nature to them. But in my case, school was a constant struggle. I couldn’t read until I was in third grade. I struggled to comprehend what I read, to properly spell words, to understand the meanings of words, and to enunciate them. Reading something three, four, five or more times was frustrating—especially when I still didn’t understand it. I dreaded tests. In fact, I hated them. My palms would sweat and my stomach hurt. To this day, I still hate the thought of taking a test.)

By Nathan Tabor - Monday, August 14, 2017 - Full Story

Grant Hall and the Fate of Eight Conspirators

Grant Hall is located on the green and perfectly manicured grounds of Ft. McNair, near the banks of the Anacostia River and the Washington Channel of the Potomac River.

Building 20, Grant Hall, was part of the Federal Penitentiary that was built on this site in 1829. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch, the same architect who designed the Capitol. In 1831, a women’s ward was added to accommodate female prisoners. The Old Penitentiary was built on the Arsenal Grounds, formerly enclosed by a high brick wall.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - Full Story

Natural preservatives on the rise

Beginning this year, Oscar Mayer stopped adding artificial preservatives to their hot dogs. Taking their place is celery juice, a natural source of the preservative sodium nitrite. This week Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, examines the trend toward “clean labels” and natural preservatives, and the efforts to incorporate them without sacrificing the quality or shelf-life consumers have come to expect.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Full Story

Cookin’ And Eatin’ Crawdads

When my three daughters invited me to eat crawdads with them, I was thrilled — nothing boosts my ego more than being seen in public with my pulchritudinous progeny. After devouring a huge pile of the succulent crustaceans, we bid good evening to each other, and I strolled homeward, reflecting on how blessed I was to be loved by those girls.

I also thought about the first time I ate crawdads. My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird invited me to join him for an afternoon of fishing at a creek near my father’s Mississippi Delta farm. As we walked down a railroad track toward the stream, I was carrying a can of night crawlers, dug from his compost heap, and he was toting a black pot, a few bricks, a box of salt, and several bags of spices.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Full Story

Three old dudes go out with a bang - while Unforgettable and Arthur blow up in their own faces

A remake of an old comedy and two movies I hope are never remade are on tap for this week’s Blu-Ray releases. “Going in Style,” “Unforgettable” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” come from Warner Brothers (“Going in Style” is being released this week, while the other two appear to have escaped, rather than been released).

Let’s tackle the old dudes first, since it’s easy for me to identify with such seasoned folks. This new 2017 version stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin in the roles first occupied by George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. I never saw that first film but, since Hollywood seems to have difficulty remaking a successful film these days without adding left wing dogma, I went into this one anticipating very little worth recommending. But I was surprised.

Oh, I get the politically correct stuff here, in that these three musty steers are at their financial wits’ end and are being screwed royally by a big bank, and I understand how rewarding it could be to stick it to the Man in such a way as the guys here do.

Mulling over the aromas of wine

A fine wine has an ideal balance of ingredients. Too much or too little of a component could mean the difference between a wine with a sweet and fruity aroma and one that smells like wet newspaper. To help wineries avoid off-aromas, a team reports in ACS Sensors a sensitive device for detecting a compound that can affect the beverage’s fragrance.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, August 4, 2017 - Full Story

Some As Grace; Some As Mercy

For my stepdaughter Jennifer and me, a stroll around town on Sunday mornings was a big event. Often she would spot coins, give them to me for safekeeping, and race ahead, pigtails swishing, searching the sidewalk.

Before heading for church, we always plopped down on padded benches in front of a café, I to enjoy coffee; she, a soda.

On one of those mornings I challenged her to a little game: “Jennifer, if you find enough coins to make a dollar before we sit on this bench next Sunday, I will double it.”

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, July 31, 2017 - Full Story

American Civil War Museum and Historic Tredegar

Nestled on the bank of the James River in Richmond, Virginia, near the American Civil War Museum, the Tredegar Iron Works began operating in 1837. The name Tredegar honored engineers Rhys Davies and his crew who were recruited from the Tredegar Mills in Wales. The proximity to railroads and canal boats made this location ideal.

On this very hot and lazy Saturday afternoon, with temperatures upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, locals were sunbathing on the beach nearby.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Friday, July 28, 2017 - Full Story

Ghost in the Shell a surprisingly watchable sci-fi Blu-ray disc

It may have started life as a Japanese comic book, but Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell is a compelling and eye-dazzling adventure that’s much better than I had expected going in.

The movie, debuting on 4K and conventional Blu-ray (our sample was the Blu-ray, darn it, which comes with a DVD and digital code in the package as well - and a 3D version is available, too) hearkens more than a little to Blade Runner, in its look and overall storyline, but more in an "inspired by" or "homage" manner than being a complete rip-off.  It made me curious to see how the Blade Runner sequel will turn out when it debuts later this year.

Speaking of a not-too-distant future, Ghost in the Shell is set in just such an environment. Look at the streets, with their obtrusive (but perfectly logical given the way our society is going) holographic ads all over the place - and the abundance of neon and other signage, and it looks exactly like a 21st century take on the 21st century envisioned by Ridley Scott and his collaborators back in the 1982 Blade Runner (though I don’t remember seeing flying cars in "Ghost"). There’s less rain in this vision of the future, it seems, but that’s okay because perhaps it means the seas didn’t really rise after the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate accord.

Good mood food: A fresh start

On Sunday at the British Open golf tournament, Jordan Spieth had one of the worst front nine of golf ever by someone leading the tournament. He eventually lost his two-stroke lead to Matt Kuchar, and many golf observers had to concede that Jordan didn’t have it that day, and would probably lose the tournament.

Hole number 13 was an even bigger disaster for Spieth, and even he expected to shoot a double bogey or worse. He managed to shoot an unlikely bogey.

By Herman Cain - Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

A bigger Kong hits the smaller screen

The good news is that Kong: Skull Island isn’t as bad as I had feared it would be. The bad news is that it isn’t as good as it could have been. However you slice it, however, it’s an excellent example of how good home video can look and sound in 1080p HD.

Warner Brothers’ latest take on the giant ape theme comes courtesy of some of the folks who made the last Godzilla remake, so if nothing else it shows they have a history of remaking "classics" for better or worse. Yet this Kong has very little to do with the "Kings Kong" that preceded it, which was one of the things that had me more than a tad scared going into this review (I thought they’d be painting a moustache onto the Mona Lisa).

I love King Kong. I have the 1933 original and Peter Jackson’s exquisite remake/homage in my Blu-ray library (both are part of my "desert island disc" collection), and I’m possibly one of the few people who didn’t hate most of the 1970’s version with Jeff Bridges.

The story of King Kong is basically an action-packed thriller leavened liberally with the romance between the big ape (Kong, not Jack Driscoll) and Ann Darrow (Faye Wray and Naomi Watts, respectively) - a Beauty and the Beast-type of classic story. And while Kong was big and ferocious, he wasn’t a villain;  he was just a big guy defending his turf, then ripped from his home and plunked down where he didn’t belong -  kind of like the Ymir in Ray Harryhausen’s 20 Million Miles to Earth.

Crime Never Pays

No doubt American humorist Mark Twain could not resist stealing a few watermelons because as he once said, “The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took. We know it because she repented.” 

I couldn’t agree more. Nothing tastes better than sweet, juicy watermelon. It’s good store bought, better home grown, best stolen.

“You won’t believe the watermelon patch we found hidden in a bend of Deer Creek,” my pal Clyde said one Saturday morning. “Let’s rob it tonight.”

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - Full Story

K-12: Sight-Words are Hoax Words

Hundreds of websites broadcast the same misguided message: children must memorize Sight-Words.

This message is false. Probably the most aggressive falsehood is that such memorization is easy to do.

One popular site proclaims this malarkey: “Because many Sight-Words are phonetically irregular, tend to be abstract, have limited visual correspondence, or even easily understood definitions, students must memorize them to read quickly and fluently.”

By Bruce Deitrick Price - Sunday, July 16, 2017 - Full Story

VIDEO: Tebow hits walk-off home run in Florida State League

I’ve said all along that if Tim Tebow is going to succeed in baseball, it’s going to be because God anointed him to do it, for God’s purposes. A lot of people thought Tebow was so bad that he would flame out in the low minors.

He is hitting .327 in 10 games at the Advanced Class A level, and he shows signs that he’s capable of big things, and never more so than last night when his St. Lucie Mets played a home game against the Daytona Tortugas. We’ll take you to the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Mets trailing 4-3 and Tebow at the plate:

By Dan Calabrese - Friday, July 14, 2017 - Full Story

The Paper Towel Pilot

My Piper Cub airplane was due for an airworthiness inspection at a large airport, but since the little airplane had no radio equipment, I called the control tower and requested permission to fly in from a nearby crop duster’s strip.

The controller assigned an arrival time and said that he would blink a green light if I was clear to land. What should have been a routine procedure turned out to be one of the most bizarre incidents in my flying career.

Since the day was warm, I locked the airplane’s doors in the open position and strapped myself into the rear seat. Directly behind my head in the cargo area, I had stuffed three large bundles of paper towels, the kind that overlap so that when one is pulled from a dispenser, the next one is available.

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, July 10, 2017 - Full Story

Wimbledon Tennis: Feminists Preach Equality While Enjoying Inequality

Could you imagine lightweight boxers complaining they don’t get the money and exposure of the heavyweights, calling the different treatment “staturism”?

This is essentially the situation at the Wimbledon tennis championships this week, with, for example, Hannah Wilks at the Guardian writing, “A new analysis of matches scheduled on Centre and No 1 courts shows that Wimbledon organisers routinely favour male tennis players over their female peers.” She calls this “sexism” and “sex discrimination.”

Actually, it’s called marketing.

By Selwyn Duke - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - Full Story

Jewelry discovered in Crusader-era kitchen in Israel

If you ever wondered who did most of the cooking in medieval Israel, a Crusader fortress in the city of Modi’in will put those doubts to rest: it was the women.

While excavating an archaeological site called Givat Tittora, diggers uncovered a treasure of coins, rings, bracelets and cosmetic tools among the cooking pots, jars, serving dishes and ancient clay ovens.

Most of the jewelry was found by a volunteer archaeologist, Mati Yohananoff, a regular participant in the Givat Tittora excavation. “These finds indicate the kind of activity traditionally associated with women’s domestic work,” he said.

“It seems that the cooks of the time were not sufficiently careful with the jewelry they wore while cooking and baking,” explained Avraham Tendler, excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - Full Story