Here is a really cool online publication put out by the Oregon humanities council. It contains interesting articles of wide appeal to readers with eclectic curiosity.
Mother Jones, that bastion of liberalism, has run an article that overlaps almost perfectly with what we Second-Amendment gun nuts have been saying all along: the problem with violence in American culture has little to do with the weapon at hand and everything to do with our abysmal mental health care system.
Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey calls a crime like Houston’s “a predictable tragedy.” That’s what he has also called the Gabrielle Giffords shooting; he says the same thing about the Virginia Tech massacre, the Aurora movie theater shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, and dozens of other recent homicides, some of them famous mass killings or subway platform shovings, but many of them less publicized. Ten percent of US homicides, he estimates based on an analysis of the relevant studies, are committed by the untreated severely mentally ill…. And, he says: “I’m thinking that’s a conservative estimate.”
While you’re there, check out this blood-curdling map of state-by-state cuts to mental health care.
Here’s a fun new-to-me blog that reflects the current rage for small-scale farming. Lookit this idea for herb jelly — what an interesting flavor combination! Sure goes beyond mint… The proprietor’s “farm” was part of an “edible garden tour” in an upscale district of Phoenix. KJG and I were planning to go to this, but they sold out of tickets very early.
And in the home farming department, 101 Centavos is still doing battle with late-season frosts. He’s got a couple of very interesting ideas for protecting young plants from low temps.
Crystal isn’t looking to turn the front yard landscaping into lunch, but she is thinking of ways to create nice gardens and landscaping for her beautiful new house.
Normally I’m none too fond of infographics, but Evan’s lead into this one at My Journey to Millions is startling. The graphic itself tends to confirm one’s suspicions about the megacorporatization of your daily lives, and then he follows it with another eye-opening chart.
At Blue-Collar Workman, guest writer Ronald J. Curell expresses a certain jaded skepticism about the marvels of the GPS.
Loving that twice-a-day trudge through the rush-hour traffic? Can’t think of a better way to start the day than by bolting down a toaster waffle as you fly out the door, or to end it with a Burger King grabbed on the way home from picking up the kids at day care? Looking forward to spending another day sitting in a cubicle breathing in your neighbors’ cold germs and listening to their banal phone conversations? No? Well, then you need to read this post at Afford Anything. Absolutely.
Edward Antrobus posts a series of involved strategies to avoid the extra gouges airlines inflict on customers with ever-increasing frequency. We really need to vote in a Congress that will do something about this — like bring back regulation. What a nation of sheep we are!
At Planting Our Pennies, Mr. & Mrs. PoP contemplate a strategy for getting rid of a paid-off HELOC line of credit originally used to help finance their real estate empire.
Money Beagle has a close call but avoids having to pay dumb tax for not having followed a crucial checklist.
As usual, Blogger will not let me post at Frugal Scholar, Google having decided you must sign up for Google+ for the purpose. I have enough “social media” invading my privacy, thank you. Frugal Scholar has posted an interesting piece in which she describes a scheme to increase the number of points available to her students to 1000. This comes in response to complaints on Rate My Professor (a site where students may post anonymous libels against faculty members and rate their sex appeal) that “there aren’t enough points” in her class. The scheme is to multiply the number of points per assignment by 10; at the end of the semester, the vast total will then be divided by 10 to calculate the final grade. She compares this, with perspicuity, to J.C. Penney’s recent decision to increase prices on its retail goods and then have sales and distribute coupons, because consumers would rather imagine they’re getting a bargain on an artificially inflated price than get a fair price every day. The problem with applying that psychology to the classroom is that it requires the instructor to come up with flurries of small assignments (which, as Frugal says, she already does), an issue I’ve addressed at Adjunctorium in response to Frugal’s post. Since in fact you could assign as many or as few points as desired to any number of assignments, you certainly could generate upwards of a thousand points simply by giving every 10-item assignment 100 points. Or…by giving 250 points to each of four essays and holding the busywork. And yes, students who have to break out a calculator to divide by 10 will very likely be dazzled if you snow them with numbers.
At I Pick Up Pennies, Abby and Tim are off on an anniversary minivacation — not before a fine new plumbing bill, of course. Murphy’s Law strikes again.
And at NZMuse, eemusings is off on an extended honeymoon. If you’d like to see what she and her handsome hero look like, she’s posted two adorable photos at her site. Mazeltov, eemusings!
As for the rest of you, Happy Mother’s Day. I’m cutting choir to go to a Mother’s Day Brunch with M’hijito, and so to play…