Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Murdered Christian South Korean Hostage

Michelle Malkin continues to blog on the heart-rending story of the South Korean hostages in Afghanistan as the second murdered body is found. What kind of people are the Taliban to kidnap and murder South Korean volunteers to the downtrodden of Afghanistan? (Rhetorical question.) Another question, not so rhetorical: did the Taliban target them for abuse because they are Christian workers or did they just hit the jackpot with their abduction? And another: do they think this will endear their faith or their cause to our hearts?

DDT....Where are You?

According to Dr. Mitra, Massachusetts is in a cyclical outbreak of the EEE virus. Although extremely rare, it was responsible for five deaths in Massachusetts last year, three of them in SouthCoast towns.

Source: SouthCoastToday

We know how to deal with mosquitoes: DDT!

Kill them. Kill them all.

It's us or them.

See also Environmental Fraud and Fanaticism

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Faith-Based Fighter

I don't think there are any surprises here....

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are a Faith-Based Fighter, also known as a religious conservative. You believe in Judeo-Christian values, restoring God’s rightful place in the public square, and in showing all the unwashed and unsaved liberal sinners the path to salvation, or at least to the GOP.

I suppose I could have registered as something else, though, as I thought the questions were darn hard to answer--so many good choices. The last question, however, was disgusting, both morally and aesthetically. I wouldn't choose anyone for that.

h/t: Jeff and Paul

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Childhood Outcomes

Summary of July's Top Ten Findings of Early Childhood Outcomes from familyfacts.org

1. Infants in married families are more likely to exhibit positive behavior than those whose mothers are single or cohabiting.

2. Children in cognitively stimulating home environments are less likely to exhibit hyperactive or antisocial behavior.

3. Three-year-olds who are less securely attached to their mothers are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems.

4. Children who received more sensitive care from their mothers as preschoolers tend to have stronger social skills as first graders.

5. Six-year-old boys who experience conflict in the home are more likely to engage in disruptive behaviors.

6. First graders and kindergartners whose parents attend religious services exhibit higher levels of self-control.

7. First graders and kindergartners whose parents attend religious services are less likely to experience anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness

8. Maternal employment in the first year is associated with lower levels of cognitive development at ages three through eight

9. Children who spend more time in daycare in early childhood are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems, even through the sixth grade.

10. Among five-year-olds in child care, those who received more sensitive and stimulating care in the first three years exhibit, on average, higher cognitive ability

Some of these seem like no-brainers. Yet in an age that demeans the role of motherhood, especially the choices of stay-at-home moms, reminders and proofs of mom's significance are necessary. While many families experience crisis to the detriment of their children, there is still no substitute for even an adequate home life.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Staying Young

Prevention cites twenty-five ways to retard the aging process. They are enumerated below in condensed form, but take a look yourself. The article claims that only 30% of factors influencing life expectancy are genetic so it's worth taking care of yourself.

  • Stay the weight you were at 18, if that was a healthy weight.
  • Supplement daily with 800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid and 2,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine. These "chemicals boost the energy output of mitochondria, which power our cells."
  • Reduce caloric intake. (They suggest skipping a meal.)
  • Get a pet to reduce blood pressure and ward off depression.
  • If you experience pain, seek a doctor's assistance.
  • Walk 1/2 an hour a day.
  • Fight nice.
  • Have plants.
  • Weight lift.
  • Do good deeds. (Be kind to others.)
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Eat fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and lake trout.
  • Enjoy music.
  • Drink tea, especially green tea.
  • Watch your waistline.
  • Supplement with Vitamin D.
  • Eat curry (or more specifically tumeric which has curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance).
  • Watch your iron intake, or donate blood.
  • Take care of your eyes. (Supplement or eat foods with omega-3s, lutein, and zeaxanthin.)
  • Take extract of the South American fern Polypodium leucotomos for healthy skin.
  • Practice deep breathing to reduce stress.
  • Avoid regular exposure to loud noise.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid high glycemic foods like potatoes.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.

        Again, read the whole article with explanations. If we have to get older, at least we can take responsiblity for maintaining our health and well-being as much as possible.

                Friday, July 13, 2007

                If You Blow It: A 'Bama Tale

                Last week we traveled down to Alabama to visit my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nieces.

                It was a seriously long drive but worth it to see my family. They did the "Southern hospitality" cliche proud.

                There was lots of talking, threats to push me into the pool but I stared those family members down, really big bugs with which I did not engage in a staring contest (better not to make eye contact), mule rides, blueberry picking, a walk around the lovely campus of Auburn University, and a Fourth of July picnic.

                Oh, yeah, the picnic.

                There were many interesting people there from varied backgrounds. At one point, I'm told, my sister-in-law looked proudly upon her "diversity pool"--which I was not in because it was still not hot enough for a pool to look even remotely tempting to me.

                Night approached and Mr. Venger, Venger Jr, and Vengerette mosied off to the middle of the front yard far away from the house where they had earlier built a staging area for the fireworks display Mr. Venger had carefully planned. Fireworks of all kinds are perfectly legal in 'bama--- as long as it's not too dry. I kept my promise and brought enough rain to diminish any fire hazards to the drought-stricken area, and Mr. Venger paid a little visit to Shelton's and purchased some totally cool stuff, so we were all set.

                The first few were unimpressive. But my hubby was just teasing us. Soon there were awesome explosions and colorful flashes of light across the sky that made the grown-ups get off the porch to see. Cars slowed to watch. Then one car stopped. And never turned off his headlights. Spectators were more than welcome, but headlights were not. We Northerners were none too pleased. "Yo, Dude! Turn out your lights!" I shouted as politely as possible, but my voice wouldn't carry that far. My little niece, sitting on my lap, echoed "Yo, Dude! Turn out your lights!" She was so cute! It was an incredibly proud moment for me--corrupting the sweet Southern-belle-in-training with my Northern ways and all.

                Referring to the famous line from "Field of Dreams", my sister-in-law in total innocence said of those cruising by, "If you blow it, they will come."

                Hey, Reader! Get your mind out of the gutter!

                Alright, in all fairness...

                The teenagers were the first to giggle. Next, the adults got it and chuckled. Then Freud laughed--at least, I think it was him. It wasn't until afterwards, however, that the full implication of the sentence finally dawned on her. Upon her conscious mind, that is.

                Anyway, everyone had so much fun that there was talk of doing it all again next year. Also, there was some discussion of printing t-shirts with "If you blow it, they will come" emblazoned on them. Or maybe we'll just say "Blow II" and leave it at that.

                Thursday, July 12, 2007

                A Conflicted Moment

                I've long disliked the whole beauty pageant thing. But Miss Utah Jill Stevens sounds kinda cool.

                h/t: Jeff