New: Eclectic Rant: Will Contributions Negatively Influence Super Committee?

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday November 17, 2011 - 10:21:00 AM

The Budget Control Act of 2011created the 12-member, bi-partisan Super Committee with extraordinary powers with the goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years. What they ultimately decide -- or fail to decide -- by the deadline of November 23, 2011, will shape the economic future of this country for many years to come. Thus, it is important to know the identity of interest groups seeking to influence the Committee members. -more-

Wild Neighbors: At Least One Leg to Stand On

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 02:30:00 PM
Greater white-fronted goose: why doesn't it fall over?

Someone once asked the science fiction writer Barry Longyear where his ideas came from. “Schenectady,” he replied. I think he eventually published a book called It Came From Schenectady. The column-writing process is similar. Ron and I recently had an article on the autumnal florescence of garden, AKA pumpkin, spiders in another publication. It drew a fair amount of reader response, one of which could be paraphrased: “If you know so much about spiders, how do birds manage to stand on one leg?” -more-

Eclectic Rant: Thoughts on the Penn State Pedophile Scandal

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:11:00 PM

I am an indifferent viewer of sports. If another activity such as a movie, a concert, the theater, or a social activity beckons, I choose that activity over watching a game. However, I am interested in how the 49ers, the Raiders, Stanford and Cal football did. I therefore read the sports section of the newspaper or turn on ESPN for the latest scores. Recently, the media -- ESPN in particular -- has been overly absorbed in the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) scandal where Jerry Sandusky, a long-time assistant to now former PSU football coach Joe Paterno, allegedly molested eight troubled young boys over a 15-year period at times at PSU satellite campuses. PSU administrators knew about it but allegedly covered it up. -more-

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:18:00 PM

oh, celestial, soothing, sanctifying process, with all the high, sane forces of the sacred time, fighting through it, on my side. Henry James (1843—1916) -more-

The Public Eye: Why Occupy Wall Street Won’t Make a Difference

By Bob Burnett
Friday November 11, 2011 - 09:01:00 AM

Occupy Wall Street is getting positive reviews and is viewed favorably by most Americans. Does OWS indicate the US political process has hit bottom and Americans are ready for radical change? -more-

On Mental Illness: Relapses, Big and Small, Revisited

By Jack Bragen
Friday November 11, 2011 - 09:13:00 AM

Many people think that the main cause of relapse for a person with mental illness is noncompliance with taking medication. However, much of the time, persons with mental illness are doing everything they’re supposed to do (including taking medication, attending therapy, and being a participant in life) and yet a relapse still takes place. Furthermore, when noncompliance is a major factor in a relapse, it is not always something that happens on a mere whim. Often, the person with mental illness first deteriorated to an extent, and this led to the poor judgment of choosing noncompliance. A very large percentage of people with schizophrenia, possibly more than half, will have a relapse within a year of getting stabilized—and this is despite being medication compliant. -more-

Senior Power: Alone

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday November 11, 2011 - 09:24:00 AM

Living alone, in fiction, nonfiction and even children’s books, is generally regarded as unfortunate, something to be avoided. Being alone is assumed unpleasant, probably the result of misfortune. Aloneness is often associated with consolation, solitude, even secrecy -more-