Thursday, February 22, 2018

Columbus today

From the Daniel canticle, just for Columbus today

Cold and chill, bless the Lord

Dew and rain, bless the Lord

Frost and chill, bless the Lord

Ice and Snow, bless the Lord

Nights and days, bless the Lord

Light and darkness, bless the Lord

Lightings and clouds, bless the Lord

Let the earth bless the Lord

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

(If you're not familiar with this beautiful song, it's because it is in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, Daniel 3:64-72, but not Protestant.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How to teach English spelling, a review

I used to think that if you learned a few rules for the exceptions, and memorized a few words that made no sense at all, English spelling wasn't that outlandish. Then I received this book to review. The author has 52 rules and 151 lists. And by my count some of the rules have sub-rules, like rule 20 for the suffix pronounced SHUN: tion, sion, ssion, tian, cian, cion, shion, xion, sian and cean. Because my computer often corrects me, I think my spelling has become impaired. I may be looking for a teacher who will give this one a good home after I finish it.


John J. Fulford, How to teach English spelling, Astoria Press, 2018.  ISBN 978-09963799-2-2, 125 p. PB, $15.95

He also has a title, “The complete guide to English spelling rules” 2012.

Fulford has lived and worked in several countries and has spent his life researching and perfecting English spelling rules while he taught grades K-12 through college, adult ed and ESL.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Who spends more in lobbying, NRA or Planned Parenthood?

"NRA has contributed $4.2 million to current members of Congress since 1998. But Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest #abortion seller and recipient of half a BILLION dollars in taxpayer funding every year, spent $38 million on the 2016 election alone.” (DAILY CALLER)

Although I think these numbers are a bit squishy (NRA has spent more than that if you count ALL members of Congress since 1998, not just current) and Planned Parenthood has spent more if you count all the organizations and state campaigns (and it makes money selling fetal body parts). But even the left of the left HuffPo says $30 million in 2016 campaign to fight Trump. The end result, NRA spends a fraction on lobbying that PP does, and has never killed any one. Yet Planned Parenthood has killed millions and left broken, damaged women in its wake and launders our tax money to give to Democrats' campaigns.

Good-bye microbes

I’ve dropped the on-line class from Coursera, Gut Microbiome.  It was just sort of creepy, although very interesting.  I’d finished the first week’s video lectures and outside readings and assignment, and aced the first quiz.  I learned a lot even then, but thinking about 100 trillion microbes and all the medical problems they help and hinder was just not a peaceful way to live.

The What Ifs of the Florida school shooting

There are a lot of "what ifs" in the Plantland high school shooting. What if the shooter had been black--people would said he was responding to racism. Blame Trump. What if the shooter had been Muslim--people would have said he was responding to anti-Islamic hate. Blame Trump. What if he'd been LGBTQ--people would have said he was bullied. Blame Trump. What if there had been no "gun free zone" and the school guards had been armed and changing their route every day? Perhaps no shooting, or authorities could have been called before the fact. Tiny mention on news.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Settle in for a great movie, Door to Door

There's just nothing like being from a small town. Someone on Facebook asked: "Does anyone who lives or lived in Mt. Morris remember who the Fuller Brush Man was that came to town once a month?" I hadn't thought of him in years, but remember his coming to the house.

Do you remember the movie, Door to Door, starring William Macy? He was a Watkins salesman, not Fuller Brush, but really a great movie of persistence and love. I didn't remember his assistant was Kyra Sedgwick.  If you need something to watch these long winter evenings, “that’s your ticket.”

Finger pointing

According to Washington Post: "The [FL social services] investigation [in Sept. 2016] detailed several unnerving behaviors from Cruz, including that he had cut his arms on Snapchat, had a Nazi symbol and a racial epithet on his backpack and intended to purchase a gun for unknown reasons, according to a Florida Department of Children and Families report obtained by The Washington Post. Ultimately, the investigation was closed in November 2016, just months before Cruz bought the AR-15 assault-style rifle that police say he would later use in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla."

The investigation, which disclosed a poor relationship with his mother, his girlfriend and other erratic behavior, was closed a year before his mother died. I believe I read somewhere she was 68--old enough to be his great grandmother and his father was deceased. He was never on welfare, or in foster care. He had been diagnosed with mental illness and was on medication for depression. His mental health deterioration appeared to worse after he was an adult, and that's when DCF services end.

Lots of finger pointing, state services, county services, FBI, NRA, DCF, the school, his mother, the Snead family who took him in when he was orphaned, "social" media which promotes anti-social, criminal behavior, the gun seller, and the lax Florida gun laws. I'm supposing any confidential records of his mental health will be leaked.

I think we all know the proposed march in March will be just one more anti-Trump vehicle for the left to express its rage that Trump is our President. There were so many laws broken or ignored both by the assailant and the government at 3 levels, it's hard to see how one more or 10 more could have prevented this or something like it.

The breaking point

“Poll reveals Americans are hitting their breaking point on the environment” screamed the headline from a librarian source, beSpacific. EEK! How awful!! A breaking point!

Of course, going to the source, Gallup poll, you see it is a 2% higher dissatisfaction than when George Bush was in office, (sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level) and the change from 2016 is among Democrats. Nothing has changed for Republicans' view of the environment in 18 years. The survey was to be about quality of the environment, and nothing has changed except Trump’s policies, which are to free business from Obama’s strangle hold executive order regulations.

Everything President Trump has done is being fought by Democrats in an organized resistance aided by our media, including what he has done for the economy (crumbs) and security (racist). And we all know he was responsible for the hurricanes and fires of 2017—which were reflected in the dissatisfaction poll. He’s that powerful!

The renewed campaign against President Trump

It’s interesting to see how the anti-Trump media spins the new Russia report. "See, it's not a hoax" they clap and jump up and down. All while knowing the witch hunt and hoax was always about the Russia, Russia, Russia scheme to claim Trump stole the election from Clinton. There is no evidence that even one vote was changed, or that Trump was anyway involved, or ANY American, and the report vindicates him completely.

The Obama administration knew about Russia's attempts and did nothing to protect our election system—except toss out a few sanctions and point fingers just in case their chosen candidate didn't win. Blame Trump, of course, for her lame campaign. That was known in 2014 long before the report and only as she fumbled did the O-team take notice. Meanwhile, the Democrats fought every measure to insure clean elections by stonewalling proven methods to protect us from our homegrown criminals who try to steal elections.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The report on the Russians and the election

Russians election

"With their paid, activist-trained protesters at virtually all Republican townhalls, the violence these resistance PACs foment on our university campuses, their Soros-funded protest marches, their almost venal pro-abortion litmus test, their blatant hypocrisy re: the firing of Comey, the media and the Democrats may think they are winning over all those ignorant Trump supporters. But they are not. They are demonstrating for all to see just how elitist they are, how dismissive they are of those of us who voted for him, and how disparaging they are of the US Constitution. They are confirming that they value illegal immigrants over citizens, Muslims over Christians, criminals over law-abiding persons. They support calculated gender confusion, speech codes, the tyranny of political correctness, and the construction of victim groups. All humans, with the exception of heterosexual white males, are victims of oppression of one kind or another. The left revels in pitting people against each other.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Instead of fake news, we have truth decay

Defining Truth Decay

Heightened disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of data
There have always been differences of opinion within the American electorate. But disagreements about objective facts and topics for which data are reasonably definitive have become increasingly common. Examples include the benefits of vaccines and the safety of genetically modified foods.
The Blurred Line Between Opinion and Fact
Changes in media content and the media business model have contributed to the jumbling of fact, fiction, and opinion. Examples include journalistic content that fails to distinguish between opinion and fact, news programs that rely on commentary rather than factual reporting without clearly labelling them, and social media platforms that allow anyone to become a source of information.
Increased Volume and Influence of Opinion and Personal Experience Across the Communications Landscape
The growth in the volume of subjective content relative to factual information increases the likelihood that audiences will encounter speculation or downright falsehoods. That makes it more difficult to identify key pieces of factual information.
Diminished Trust in Formerly Respected Institutions as Sources of Factual Information
Polling data from across the country show a significant drop, and continuing decline, in public trust in such institutions as the government and the media. Amid confusion about what is fact and what is falsehood, where people should turn for objective, factual information also becomes unclear.

Paula on blaming the NRA for Florida shootings

February 16th – The least surprising headline of the week comes from the Daily Caller: “Leftists Blame NRA For Florida School Shooting” And naturally they blame Trump too. Here are some possible reasons these leftists will never mention:

1) LA Daily News 2017: “Is this the most violent movie year in history?”

2) Reuters 2017: “Social media linked to feelings of isolation in real life”

3) CBS DC 2014: “Psychologist: YouTube Has Become Tutorial For Kids On How To Act Violent”

4) US News 2015: “Overprescribing and Underperforming” Subtitle: “Mental health care for youth in the U.S. relies too heavily on antipsychotics and too little on comprehensive treatment.”

5) Foundation for Economic Education 2018: “Fatherless Families Are Far Too Common.”

6) The Atlantic 2017: “America’s Empty-Church Problem.”

So who’s responsible for Nikolas Cruz? Not us says Hollywood, social media billionaires, YouTube, medical professionals or a pop culture that for decades has mocked traditional values. Simple-minded leftists love blaming imaginary villains to avoid blaming themselves! Paula Priesse

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The homework assignment #1

Based on what you already know about the human gut microbiota, what do you think are the most important factors influencing a person’s gut microbes? These factors can be anything from lifestyle factors to health status. List three factors and explain (in three sentences or fewer for each) why you think each might affect gut microbes.

The human body is like an ecosystem with many distinct habitats for microbes.  The mouth, nose, lungs, skin, vagina, and gut all have unique microbiota, with the gut being  the center of most of the microbial activity in the body and thus the research.  Three very early factors influence the gut microbiota of an individual over time.

First, in a newborn baby the microbiota are less distinct. As she grows her microbial communities begin to develop, the results depending on whether her birth was vaginal or c-section.  Obviously, from the beginning of time, the most common source of  human microbiota in a newborn was the birth canal of our mothers.  With surgical intervention the theory is that a child is exposed to the mother’s skin microbes instead of vaginal microbes, the genus lactobacillus, important for human health. C-section babies appear to have more diseases like asthma and allergies.

Second, after about 2.5 years, the baby’s gut microbial community should be like a healthy adult, but it has already been influenced by microbes on the parents’ skin, breast milk from her mother or formula from a cow or plant based, and choice of solid foods some of which may be processed.

Third, the child’s microbiota develop within a particular culture--perhaps Finland or Haiti--which includes both home environment and medical care. The home may expose her to animals, siblings, dust and dirt, exposure to rural or city air quality, travel, day care and the neighbor’s kids who will do their share of exchanging microbes.  If the child grows up in the U.S. or other developed nations she will receive  medical care which may include vaccines, antibiotics and nutritional supplements depending on the culture.  This can either assist or disrupt a healthy microbiota.