Sunday, August 29, 2004


"MUNICH, Germany (AP) -- There's more good news for chocolate lovers.
Scientists have found that eating dark chocolate appears to improve the function of important cells lining the wall of blood vessels for at least three hours."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

"TORONTO, Ontario (Reuters) -- Somewhere in Canada there are thieves with nearly 50,000 cans of beer they will have a hard time selling, although police said Thursday the truck driver who disappeared with the loot has been arrested."

"Very little of the stolen beer has been found. Four cans, three of them empty, were found in various parts of the New Brunswick province, according to the police and media reports."

Please, read the rest of the story... its hysterical. Really, it sounds like a movie.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I opened Time magazine this afternoon, and was surprised to find an article entitled "The Right's New Wing" -- about conservative youth.
Interestingly enough, their stats show that 55% of college freshman support abortion rights... depressing, but then, in 1992 it was 67%.
Politically, there are surprises as well:
At the National Conservative Student Conference,
' "No one mentioned Bush. Which brings us back to this year's race. Although students are moving right on many issues, the President isn't necessarily benefiting. In 2000 Al Gore beat Bush among 18-to 29-year-olds by only 2 percentage points, but recent polls show Kerry with a double-digit lead among the young. (The race is a virtual tie overall.) Of course, very few conservative students will vote for Kerry, but most of the kids who attended the conference didn't seem eager to become field troops for the President either. As National Review editor Rich Lowry noted on the conservative magazine's website the day after he spoke at the conference, "What was most notable about this year was just how many smart young conservatives out there seem to think that there are no important differences between Bush and Kerry." '

Also, student quote:

'One student laid out a conservative case for Kerry: "When a Democrat is in office and proposes the same policies that Bush has proposed, Republicans act Republican and kill them," said Aakash Raut, 23, a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, in a heated debate with pro-Bush students. "And you have actually more conservative government than you do if a Republican is in the White House." '

I thought I recognized the name, and I was right-- Aakash Raut guest blogged at now closed Deux Ego, which was were I remembered his name from, and blogs himself at University Blog.

I'm surprised at Time magazine...they actually published something interesting and educational that wasn't Iraq war news (not, mind you, that I complain about the amount of Iraqi coverage—it not only it takes up space that would otherwise be filled with drivel about famous people or sickening movies, but also serves as a sobering reminder that the war continues.)

Someone should check the editors' temperatures.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

' PATRAS, Greece -- Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir scored ... Wednesday night, setting off a rousing celebration among the 1,500 Iraqi soccer supporters at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium...
Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself." '

The unwilling poster children of Iraq's experiences with the American empire.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

CNN story on homeschooling.
"About 1 to 2 million school-age children -- who make up 2 to 4 percent of the school-age population in the United States -- were home-schooled during the 2002-2003 school year, according to statistics collected by the National Home Education Research Institute."

Of course, they also quote criticism of homeschooling:

' "Unless we are prepared to keep our children in bubbles their entire lives, we have to give them an opportunity to have some exposure to real-world problems so they can develop coping strategies," says Ted Feinberg, assistant executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists..."It's one thing to read about it," he says. "Much of what we learn in life is a matter of interaction. I just wonder how that takes place in a home school environment."'

Unbeknownst to Mr. Feinberg, homeschooled children across the US are learning about real-world problems. Does he imagine that all homeschooled families are independently wealthy people who isolate their children on ranches and spoon feed them, therefore depriving them of the interaction that leads to learning? Please.

Most homeschoolers I know interact, on a regular basis, with people -- ok, here's where it gets shocking, people -- who aren't in the same exact age group!

That way, they learn how to interact with adults, like the little old lady they talked to when out taking a walk with their siblings and mom during recess. That way, they learn how to take care of little ones by watching mom and helping her out. They also learn how to interact with all age groups through family friendships, something that isn't peculiar to homeschooling, but does seem to be endangered in modern school systems.

Socially, of course, there are drawbacks: they may not meet drug pushers in junior high. Obviously sheltered, therefore, when, at the age of 35, they encounter one, they'll be ill prepared.

"Oh, no!" they'll be thinking, "I can't deal with this! I'm no longer an omniscient teen!"

However, if encountering drug pushers in j.h. is what's needed to expose them to real-world problems, then why are schools so upset about drugs on campus? Surely that too is just needed real-world experience, right?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Irony hearing "The Last DJ" played on a radio station in Germany playing US music.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Well, I'm home. I've been awake for most of the last twenty four hours, thanks to the time changes, and now I'm wide awake and its really late at night. Here.
Not in London. In London, its eight in the morning.
It was a simply wonderful trip. I loved getting to know my traveling companions, and meeting my relatives, and watching European fashion. Which was really funny at times.

Paris was hot, expensive, and really crowded. I've been once, I don't need to go again.

Edinburgh was lovely. I would enjoy visiting the area again.

Germany was amazing. Of course part of that is that we stayed with my extended family, but we weren't in tourist areas anymore. And that was wonderful. Food was cheap and good, the Tiergarten was unbelievable, certainly the best zoo I can remember ever going to, and the castle and churches were beautiful.

London was nice, but I was a little burned out by then. Also, it was harder to find things to do that weren't absolute tourist traps but were still interesting. The British Museum and the National Gallery were nice, as was just sitting in Trafalgar Square on the stone steps and watching people go by.
I did appreciate the fact that in London, men stood up and gave little old ladies their seats on the metro.