Saturday, July 26, 2008

Going Fishing

I am heading to Florida for a bit and will continue blogging if and when I find things of interest to tell readers about; remember, I wanted this chair so I could blog while traveling to the beach--so blogging might be light or not. In the meantime, let us know if you had a vacation this year, either with friends, family or on your own so we can live vicariously through your good times (or sympathize if they were not so good). Or if you decided not to take a break, why not? Do you dislike free time? Gas prices? Family squabbles? None of these?

Friday, July 25, 2008

College for the Non-PC

The Corner has a post on a book entitled All-American Colleges: Top Schools for Conservatives, Old-Fashioned Liberals, and People of Faith that looks good if you or someone you know is now looking at colleges:

It’s 450 pages of sheer wisdom and sound guidance: All American Colleges tells you the top 50 U.S. institutions providing programs that connect in a special way with the core values of the American founding and the vibrant intellectual traditions of the West — schools and programs that are, in fact, often transformative. If you have a kid or grandkid entering junior or senior year of high school, then you’ve got to get this book.

I wrote about a similar book here that also might be helpful for those who don't want the Indoctrinate U experience.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Every possible form of interaction between an adult and a child is perceived as yet another opportunity for child abuse."

Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent and author of Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring the Experts May Be Best for Your Child has an article at PJM on the paranoia over photographing children:

The assumption that pictures represent a significant threat to children has acquired a fantasy-like grotesque character. We rarely dare ask the question: what possible harm can come from taking pictures of children playing soccer? Dark hints about the threat of evil networks of pedophiles are sufficient to corrode common sense. Tragically, what the dramatization and criminalization of the act of photographing children reveals is a culture that regards virtually every childhood experience from the standpoint of a pedophile.

Every possible form of interaction between an adult and a child is perceived as yet another opportunity for child abuse. In a roundabout way society has normalized pedophilia. The default position is to always expect the worse — and therefore children should be placed in purdah.

Take a look at the comments too, they are illuminating and some commenters explore child abduction numbers; for example, here is an article from Slate that sheds some light on how many kids are really abducted--only 115 were "stereotypical kidnappings," defined in one study as "a nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger..."
Cooking the Books on Homelessness Stats: Are there really 3 million Americans wandering the streets?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"What's the Matter With Chicago? and Seattle and New York and Boston...?"

Reason magazine ranks the worst nanny-state cities in America:

From New York to Los Angeles, from the People’s Republic of Cambridge to the west Texas town of El Paso, city governments are using and abusing their authority to tell the rest of us how to live. Two decades of healthy economies and dropping crime rates have given many city councils the luxury of worrying about less urgent issues, from the last wisps of secondhand smoke to the discomfort of fatted geese. So even while self-styled progressives in Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston take a more relaxed approach to sex and pot, they’ve adopted increasingly restrictive laws regarding alcohol, tobacco, and junk food. It may be easier to smoke a joint today than it was 20 years ago (except in New York City—see below), but it’s getting much more difficult to enjoy a legal cigarette.

Is your city on the list?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beach Connection

I ran across an article about this hi-tech lounge chair for geeks and was both fascinated and troubled by it:

Holiday makers will soon be able to have all the electronic gadgets and entertainment they need from the comfort of their sun lounger.

Known as 'The Tech Chair', the lounger will have docking stations for cameras, iPods and laptops and harness solar energy to power them.

Designed by PC World, users will now have access to thousands of songs, films, podcasts, games, and photos, as well as Wi-Fi internet connection from the beach or poolside.

It will even allows people to upload their digital holiday snaps onto their laptop before uploading them onto social networking sites such as Facebook or My Space.

A few summers ago, I encountered this Lafuma lounge chair while on vacation and we bought one. I thought this was "high-tech" enough for me but I see I was wrong. I am fascinated because with the geek chair, one could take their work with them while sitting at the beach, particularly bloggers or those who use the internet for business. On the other hand, should people really be this connected to technology 24/7? How healthy is it? Don't people need real vacations to just relax and do nothing or is this too much to expect in our wired world? Is it awful that I want one?