Monday, July 23, 2012

The Highs and Lows of Human Potential

When a person makes the decision to take so many lives - as happened in Aurora Colorado early Friday morning - it can lead to many questions that no amount of evidence collection, witness interviews, or the inevitable and seemingly unending media attention can answer.
Of course, there have been many devastating examples of senseless violence in recent US history. The 9/11 attacks, acts of arson, and bombings such as occurred in Oklahoma City are just a few examples. The effect of these events is difficult to overstate. No discussion of other tragedies can or should be allowed to diminish the horror of these events in anyone’s mind.

Finding recent examples of murder on a grand scale is made easier by the fact that three-quarters of the deadliest mass murders in the United States have occurred since 1980. And while mass murder comes in many forms, most of these deadliest acts involved firearms as the exclusive or primary weapon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Review

I haven't reviewed any books on this site, but I could start. Read my review of Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change by clicking on the title. Leave a comment below to tell me how I did and I will be grateful and maybe even try this again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Curse You, Binomial Nomenclature

Bear with me here, because I need to talk about flowers for a minute. With apologies to flora-lovers - the mother of my children, chief and foremost - I must apologize for the next couple of sentences. Often, my reaction to flowers is, "Yeah, you're right. That is kinda' pretty." Being olfactorily impaired - I'm capable of smelling, just not with my nose - flowers don't always capture my attention. That being the case, I'm learning to appreciate them.

Yesterday, I helped drive my daughter's class on a field trip to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (No, I was not in Buenos Aires.) for a great hike on a fairly easy trail. When I saw this flower.

Pretty, huh?

I remembered the effect that the same flower had on me about this time last year when I saw it on the grounds of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The BANWR park employee said that the flower was named prickly poppy or cowboy egg. Another called it fried-egg flower, but I remembered the name being something different, maybe australian, having made some cursory research the previous year. See! It really made an impression on me, and I couldn't find a sign with the name on it. Anyway, somewhere along the hike, one of the park employees asked if the students knew anything about binomial nomenclature. I joked that since they are taking Latin, they are learning nomenclature and working their way up to binomials.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Read This, for Yourself

My twitter-friend, Eric Sipple's post "Fragments of Where I Am" really spoke to me, today. I always get something out of his blog. Even though I don't always understand some of the programming challenges and technical glitches he faces, those are only a small part of his writings and there's always something I can relate to in his posts. He writes conversationally, but deeply and I am very partial to his movie reviews.

"Fragments" is special. Here, Eric takes an extremely personal experience and shares it in a way that is completely affecting and, for me, eerily familiar in the same way that some of his aunt's revelations were to him. His journey toward understanding himself and as a consequence, understanding that he needs help is every bit as inspiring and engaging as his willingness to share this evolution with the reader.

Eric is a writer. It's incredible when his passion for writing becomes a tool for healing. What person that loves to write will not be moved when he shares, "...writing gives me a power over it that speech does not." I feel I know exactly what he means. There is a freedom that the written word affords, a compact between the writer and the reader that's lost with mere utterance. It's one of the reasons I avoid the telephone when I can.

Go now, read a post that contains the sentence, "The truth of it is that I’m only beyond help because that’s where I’ve been holding myself." You just might be better for it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012