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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.


The Revolution of Vatican II was Misinterpreted?

It is often voiced by conservatives disheartened by the changes in the Catholic Church that Vatican II was a good council, but that it was misinterpreted. If these good people were better informed as to what took place at the Council, they would never say any such thing. Though Vatican II started with the best resolves, it was hijacked in the opening session by rebel bishops because the pope had planned the Council without their advice and against their designs.

We gather that Cardinal Tisserant, the key draftsman of the 1962 Moscow-Vatican Treaty who presided at the opening session, was part of this plot to usurp the Vatican Council. According to Jean Guitton, the famous French academic, Tisserant had showed him a painting of himself and six others, and told him, “This picture is historic, or rather, symbolic. It shows the meeting we had before the opening of the Council when we decided to block the first session by refusing to accept the tyrannical rules laid down by John XXIII.” (Vatican II in the Dock, 2003)

By David Martin - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - Full Story

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

Can One Be Good Without God?

Atheists have always resented Christians binding goodness to God although we insist that there is a necessary connection. In fact, atheists adamantly insist that they are as decent, kind, good, and altruistic as Christians are. I don’t believe that for a minute. Some atheists may be fairly good people, but generally, one cannot be good without God!

While anyone may choose to be kind, decent, and gracious, there is no compelling reason for him to choose to do so if there is no God. With God, there is obligation. If there is no God then how one treats others is inconsequential. His mistreatment of the innocent and weak will not be faced in eternity since there is no eternity–according to their perverted view.

But there is a God and eternity is in the future of every person on earth.

By Dr. Don Boys - Sunday, July 23, 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.


Notorious Abortionist to Speak at Catholic Church in Italy

Abortionist Emma Bonino is proud of the 6,000,000 babies she is directly or indirectly responsible for killing since 1968, and remains an avid abortionist to this day. This is not to mention her continued rant as a political activist to promote divorce, homosexuality, transgenderism, gay-marriage, the abolition of the armed forces, the disbanding of NATO, the liberalization of porn laws, mandatory sex education, and the Communist insurgence of the west under the guise of immigration. No repentance whatsoever.

Yet, Pope Francis in 2016 told an interviewer for the Corriere della Sera that Bonino was “among the great ones of Italy,” and defended her on the grounds that she “thinks very differently from us.” He recommended “patience,” saying, “You have to look at people, what they do.”

By David Martin - Friday, July 21, 2017 - Full Story

Benedict XVI: The Barque of Peter is Sinking

The Church continues to lament the passing of Cardinal Meisner of Cologne, who was an outspoken opponent of Amoris Laetita which breaks with tradition by allowing divorced and civilly remarried people to receive Communion. Surprisingly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sent a letter of tribute to be read at Meisner’s funeral on July 15. In the letter he says:

“What particularly impressed me from my last conversations with the now passed Cardinal was the relaxed cheerfulness, the inner joy and the confidence at which he had arrived. We know that this passionate shepherd and pastor found it difficult to leave his post, especially at a time in which the Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination. However, what moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

By David Martin - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - Full Story

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