How to Photograph Fireworks - what you need to have and what you need to know to get good pictures of fireworks.
A fireworks craft for kids. There are no actual fireworks involved, just paper, glue, and glitter.
Google Checkout looks like a handy service. Log in once with Google and buy from several online sellers without having to log in or give your full credit card number or email address to the stores.
Very tempting but I wonder if I really want Google to know more about me. With the search toolbar, Gmail, talk, and calendar is there much that they couldn't know if they wanted to? Not that they would do anything evil (#6).
|adopt your own virtual pet!|
(Clicking on the "more" button lets you feed or play with the kitty.)
Both of my mother's parents died when I was young. I regret that I didn't have a chance to know them better and learn more about their lives but when I read articles like this, I am also sorry that I didn't have the chance to thank them for leaving England and moving to the U.S.
Teaching packs entitled 9/11: The Main Chance, which invite pupils to imagine organising a terrorist attack, have been distributed to schools running the Government’s much-vaunted citizenship classes.
One worksheet asks the pupils to imagine what terrorist targets there are in their neighbourhoods. They have then to suggest what weapons and methods should be used to ensure the most effective results.
At the end of the worksheets, which are funded through the Government’s neighbourhood renewal programmes, a number of links to other terrorism-related articles are listed including one on food terrorism and how fast-food chains, for example, could be attacked. Another article is headlined “How safe is our water?” A series of links to websites on the September 11 atrocity, in which 2,986 people were killed when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed four planes, are also listed on the worksheets.
Many of the sites propound outlandish conspiracy theories on the atrocity including the suggestion that the American military shot down flight United 93.
Another link takes pupils to a website which suggests that Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, directed the attacks, while another “news” website the worksheets encourage pupils to visit includes references to images of Satan appearing in smoke over the Twin Towers on September 11.
Tim Window, one of the creators of 9/11: The Main Chance, said that the packs had been used with great success at a pupil referral unit he works at in East London before they were introduced across the borough of Waltham Forest.
Mr Window denied that the packs were culturally insensitive and said that they were about teaching pupils to bring “impartial and unbiased information” to a subject.
Lewis the cat gets home detention - the cat who is known for stalking neighbors and being a serial scratcher will have to remain inside from now on.
Wouldn't you think that this should have occurred to the owner already? Gee, maybe kitty-snuggle-uggle-ums isn't such a good neighbor and doesn't have the right to roam freely after all.
But here's the part that really caught my attention: Lewis was put on the antidepressant Prozac, but his owner was worried and took him off it because he became too sleepy.
Too sleepy? He's a cat! What was he doing, sleeping 20 hours instead of the more normal 18?
(Previous link to videos here.)
Congratulations, you're the valedictorian. Your school claims they want you to be an independent thinker...as long as you do and say what they tell you.
She knew her speech as valedictorian of Foothill High School would be cut short, but Brittany McComb was determined to tell her fellow graduates what was on her mind and in her heart.
But before she could get to the word in her speech that meant the most to her -- Christ -- her microphone went dead.
The decision to cut short McComb's commencement speech Thursday at The Orleans drew jeers from the nearly 400 graduates and their families that went on for several minutes.
However, Clark County School District officials and an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday that cutting McComb's mic was the right call. Graduation ceremonies are school-sponsored events, a stance supported by federal court rulings, and as such may include religious references but not proselytizing, they said.
They said McComb's speech amounted to proselytizing and that her commentary could have been perceived as school-sponsored.
If their only concern was that it might be perceived as school-sponsored, couldn't they just have introduced her with the statement that her speech was her opinion and didn't necessarily reflect that of the school?
It's common to have an announcement that the claims made during an infomercial are not those of the station that is broadcasting it. Would something similar have been so difficult? Does the peddling of crap to insomniacs deserve a higher standard of free speech than an address by a valedictorian?
The Clark County School Board's regulations even state that a speech "may not be restricted because of its religious (or anti-religious) content, and "[t]o avoid any mistaken perception that a school endorses student or other private speech that is not in fact attributable to the school, school officials may make appropriate neutral disclaimers to clarify that such speech is not school sponsored."
The district's legal counsel said that this just covers a discussion of religion but not preaching, which is what they believe she was doing. I don't see where they get "no preaching" (if that's what it was) out of "may not be restricted".
Do you think if she had agreed that what she was going to say was preaching and had put some of these adults in charge of passing around the collection plates that they might have been more amenable? If infomercial advertisers can make any claims they want as long as they pay, maybe a little cash was all that was needed here.
I have finally caught up with my Carnival of the Recipes recipe lists. They include a link to each week's host along with a list of that week's recipes. Where the original Carnival post was no longer available, I have tried to reconstruct the recipes from that week. Please leave a comment on this post (or the most current one if comments have been closed here) if you had a recipe that I’ve overlooked in my list.
I want to thank Beth for starting the Carnival of the Recipes, all the bloggers and others who have contributed so many good recipes, and VW for letting me know that I wasn't the only one who found lists of the recipes useful.
Miss the days when MTV played music? There's a large selection of music videos from the 80s here. I don't remember a lot of the ones listed (and am trying hard block out memories of at least a few of them) but I did find some others that I like.
The first commenter to this Engadget post calls it "the creepiest, funniest thing i've seen today" which sums it up pretty well.
An art teacher in Texas was escorted out of class after topless photos of her were found online. She was told that she had become an ineffective teacher.
Austen Clements, one of Hoover's students, noted that many artists have nude pictures, including Georgia O'Keeffe.
"If Georgia O'Keeffe wanted to teach at Austin High, I don't think they'd say, 'No, you have nude pictures online,"' Clements said.
I think that if Georgia O'Keeffe wanted to teach at the school the proper response would be, "I'm sorry, we prefer that our teachers have a pulse."
The CNN article referred to the photographer as the teacher's partner. It's difficult to determine anymore whether "partner" is a personal or business relationship but if it's the former I wonder if the fact that the photographer is named Celesta is an unspoken reason that contributed to the teacher's dismissal.
A polar bear at the Louisville Zoo.
Earlier today I watched President Bush answering questions from the press about his trip to Iraq. One question struck me as particularly stupid. (I wasn't able to watch the whole thing so there may have been others that were equally dense.)
Bush was asked if the lack of notice that he was coming showed distrust of the Iraqi prime minister and his cabinet.
If the president didn't trust them, he wouldn't have gone at all. The most obvious reason to me that there wasn't earlier notification of the visit is that it would cause Iraqi officials to alter their schedules in way that might be noticed by those who aren't trustworthy. A change in routine would be a clear signal that something was in the works and could endanger both President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki.
I would never have succeeded in politics. I don't have the patience to answer stupid questions diplomatically.
This picture is for everyone who laughs when I say we have "watch cats" guarding our home. Our cats don't have many opportunities to meet up with bears but they are territorial and don't like strangers.
A man who tried robbing a store is now suing for emotional distress. Those mean store employees hit him with a pipe and took his gun away from him. One good thing about our court system is that anyone with a complaint can sue. The bad thing is that "anyone" includes idiots like this guy.
Marine says the rules of engagement were followed in Haditha. The marines say one thing, the neighbors say another and regardless of whom you believe, both sides have a reason to mislead investigators. Either way, I believe that the ones that are ultimately responsible for the deaths of civilians are the terrorists who use these people's homes to launch attacks. When terrorists attack, they choose the time and place and they are the ones trying to hide behind women and children. When our troops are fighting enemies like that the truly amazing thing is that events like Haditha don't happen more often. That this isn't a daily occurrence shows that our troops are well-trained and act with restraint even if they overreacted this time (and I'm not yet convinced that they did).
Castro calls the killing of Zarqawi a barbarity.
Castro said if Cuba used the same logic, it could bomb the United States to kill its No. 1 enemy, Luis Posada Carriles, who is being held in El Paso, Texas on immigration charges.
Yes, it's exactly the same because Zarqawi was being held in prison...oh, wait....
I was still awake last night (early this morning) when the news of Zarqawi's death was announced. I was switching around among different news stations and it was interesting to watch the developing coverage. One mentioned that the announcement was greeted with "polite" applause from the media. The odd thing was that I had already seen the Iraq Prime Minister make the announcement on another station and the (Iraqi) reporters seemed pretty enthusiastic to me. (Later reports that I've seen changed this to "loud" applause.)
It didn't take long for the reports to begin adding speculation to the facts - this will cause an increase in violence by non-al-Qaida groups, it isn't that big of a victory because he wasn't as strong a force as he used to be since the Iraqi terrorists resented foreign terrorists coming into their country - just so we don't start thinking that this might actually be good news.
Pundits warn us that this isn't as great a victory as it might appear while the Iraqi police and citizens are dancing in the streets. We know that Zarqawi's death doesn't mean an end to the violence but as far as reactions to this news goes, I'm with the people who were targets of Zarqawi's attacks.
We've been making plans to visit Paramount King's Island later this month. It's about a two-hour drive to Cincinnati so we are planning on driving up the night before. We also wanted to spend the night of our day at the park in Cincinnati and stop at the Newport Aquarium on the way home.
When I came up with the idea for this trip I thought the most difficult part of it would be enduring the car ride with three children who can't get along with each other for more than ten minutes at a time. I'm still not looking forward to that part of the trip but they're going to have to outdo their normal disagreeable behavior to beat the frustration I had finding a hotel room that would accommodate all of us. I could have driven there and back in less time than it took me to find a place to stay. (I could have booked an additional room at several places but that would have meant another $250 - $300.) Are families of more than two children so unusual that hotels located near a theme park don't offer rooms for more than four people?
I finally found one that not only has two double beds plus a sleeper sofa but also provides a free hot breakfast and it's only four miles from King's Island.
Update: We tried going this weekend but as is often the case with my vacations, the weather was unseasonably cool and wet. We did go to the Newport Aquarium but decided to wait until another time to visit King's Island. We'll probably just make it a day trip...wait for a day when the weather is nice and sneak up on it before it knows I'm coming.
Yes, I do believe that the weather plots against me. On most other topics, I believe I'm reasonably sane...but I may not be the best judge of that.
When I get in the car I start button-pushing my way through the stations to find something I want to listen to. Frequently all I find are commercials or sucky music and I end up listening to the public radio news/talk station.
Most of the time I would have been better off (or at least my blood pressure would have been better) listening to inane commercials but lately something very strange has been happening. I've heard stories that support the troops in Iraq. I mean honestly supportive, not the "we support the troops but..." ones that are used as an intro for a rant against them.
I heard one opinion piece that said Haditha is not My Lai and Iraq is not Vietnam. The really weird part was that this wasn't followed by another opinion piece implying that the first speaker was (a) wrong, (b) insane, and (c) a moral deviant.
Another piece discussed the TV show The Human Behavior Experiments and compared treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib with a psychology experiment at Stanford in the early 1970s.
In this experiiment, students were randomly assigned into groups of either guards or prisoners. "In less than a week many of the guards had of their own accord turned sadistic, while prisoners grew anxious and disturbed. Some of the photographs from that study are eerily similar to the Abu Ghraib snapshots: naked prisoners posed in sexually humiliating positions with bags over their heads." This doesn't excuse the soldiers' behavior but it sends the message that none of us can be absolutely sure what we would do in similar circumstances.
All of this is so unlike what I'm used to hearing on this station. I don't know what to make of it.
My new computer arrived on Thursday. It has much wonderfulness to offer but the thing that I like best so far is that it has a flat-screen monitor that is large enough to let me see whatever I'm working on/playing with without my reading glasses.