Friday, April 17, 2015

A Pondering Weekly Link Round-Up

For the past week or so I've been sitting out in the back garden by the pool just to watch all the butterflies. I never get tired of them. All they are is beautiful. They don't bite or sting. They help pollinate plants. And I get to see them almost every single day here in Phoenix.

Every time I visit the Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden, there is usually at least one grade school class visiting, too. My heart hurts each time I see a child who's scared to death of butterflies, and it's usually because they've never seen them before. I just can't imagine my life being so completely out of touch with the natural world.

My mind has been comparing the human world versus the natural world. Of a world with no agendas and the most basic of needs-- many of which can be met without harming anything else. Of a human world that seems bent on destruction and hate. If the haters can't ban people due to their sexual orientation, then they turn to trying to strip things from the poor. After all, we all have to hate poor people, don't we? If you're poor, it has to mean you're a loser, and America is all about winners, right?

A rather catchy song has a line that says "haters gonna hate."  Why?

I'm a rotten philosopher, so let me round up some links!

Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
  • They're now letting us take a look at the cover of the fourth book to feature Lisbeth Salander, The Girl in the Spider's Web.
  • A 20-year-old claims he can rid the world's oceans of plastic. It certainly needs to be done!
  • Kevin Macdonald is set to direct the Stephen King mini-series 11/22/63.
  • Finland-- with one of the best education systems in the world-- is doing away with the teaching of "subjects."
  • Amazon has filed the first-ever suit over fake product reviews.
  • President Obama will be asked to put one of four women on the face of the new $20 bill. (I never have thought Andrew Jackson was a good choice.) The Women on 20s website is where you can vote for your choice.
  • A New Yorker copyeditor dishes on the wacky side of her job.
  • Do our children think there are moral facts?
  • What the world was like 90 years ago when The Great Gatsby first appeared.
  • Truth is stranger than fiction: a man in the UK retired, moved, and discovered his doppelganger
  • Construction has begun on the new Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
  • Book collecting is still going strong.

Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones
  • Archaeologists have unearthed a medieval graveyard beneath one of the colleges at Cambridge.
  • Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient "spooning" couple in Greece
  • A 4-year-old boy found rare 100-million-year-old dinosaur bones in Texas. 
  • Paleontologists have uncovered a tyrannosaur skull that bears the scars of a fierce battle.
  • Artifacts lost in a shipwreck 191 years ago are being returned to Hawaii.
  • Hand me the aspirin. A medieval man may have had his head drilled in an exorcism
  • I don't think I'd want one of these terror birds stalking me!
  • The battered remains of a medieval knight have been discovered in a UK cathedral. 
  • More metal detectors in the UK are finding treasure. One in Hertfordshire, and another near Kirkcudbright in Scotland.
  • Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring: Who was she?

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • The world's first octographer? (I have to admit that this one blew my mind!)

►The Happy Wanderer◄
  • The Happy Wanderer isn't quite so happy over the persistent rumors of a mega-mall/entertainment/hotel complex at the Grand Canyon. To cut to the chase... where's all the water supposed to come from?
  • Improbable libraries- unusual places to bury your head in a book.
  • Saving what's left of Utah's lost world
  • 5 must-do American road trips.

►I  ♥  Lists◄ 

That's all for now. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure!

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I've never understood the hate either, Cathy. I mean, I understand it intellectually, I suppose, but never really been able to wrap my mind round it. I think that spending time in contemplation is healthy for us, so I'm glad you took some time to do that. And your mention of butterflies reminds me of the time that my daughter and I raised some Monarchs. What a great experience that was. Oh - whoops! - thanks for the links!

    1. That would be a wonderful experience, Margot!

  2. That Butterfly Pavilion is so wonderful. We enjoyed visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens and seeing it. One of the many fun things to do in the Phoenix area.

    As to the hate, well, I just try to remember "love your neighbor as yourself". The one who said it didn't promise it would be easy. Most worthwhile things aren't.

    1. The Golden Rule is easy for me to remember, and I don't hate the haters. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that so many people spend so much time doing it. They must love all the hate they get in return.

  3. I don't understand the haters. I remember when I was in college I had to write a paper about what groups I couldn't tolerate -- and I said "those who hate others." How hard is it to be open to everyone, kind, respectful? I grew up with that attitude and it's part of me.

    However, I see in some people I knew the teaching of certain words to their children that I think are problematic, and I worry how quickly those kids could become intolerant and also say things that some others might find offensive -- and I don't mean the worst words. If I heard those, I'd say something right away. But this is more subtle. And I hope this doesn't develop more.

    Love the Butterfly Pavilion. But I must admit that I never encountered anyone who is afraid of butterflies. I wonder why, when they are such a beautiful part of nature.

    Barbara Kingsolver's most recent novel has a central theme about Monarch butterflies and their flying to the wrong location due to global warming problems.

    1. There's more than one problem with Monarchs. People are planting "Monarch food" thinking that they are helping the butterflies, but they are really harming them because they're delaying the migration. Fewer and fewer show up each year.

  4. Wow. That article on moral facts really makes you think. I had no clue they were teaching kids that there were no moral facts. I've been saying for years that public education was one big social experiment, especially in the last 40 or 50 years. People who have no clue what they're going to be unleashing on society when those kids leave school are in charge of the curriculum.

    Enjoyed the interview with the copy editor.

    1. I have to admit that, out of all of the links in this post, the moral facts link is the one that blew my mind, Pepper.


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