From Brian Williams to Vincent Van Gogh to Hellen Keller to you and me

a sky so blue the song sings itself” I SWEAR I did not write this line but I can find no attribution of it to anyone but myself. Go figure!

The brain is sooooo cool!

The author talking with in-laws on family vacation in Sunshine Coast, BC. Retelling stories is an experience in its own right. Who took this photo? Who knows? The author talking with in-laws on family vacation in Sunshine Coast, BC. Retelling stories is an experience in its own right.
Who took this photo? Who knows?

Here are my two cents on Brian Williams and the malleability of memory. Let’s start by fully acknowledging the limitations of perception. Perception of the world outside is very different from the record produced by a camera or audio record. Perception of our innards is even farther from accurate: is that a knife in my stomach or gas? So the information coming in to the brain, information from which memories are formed, is no great shakes to begin with.

Moving on from the dicey veracity of perception, let’s think about remembering. Stories are remembered and retold and remembered and retold. The more impactful the experience, the more iterations of remembering and retelling occur. Now consider the question: In what way is the retelling not an experience? Well in no way. To…

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At least Europe’s Mulsims are hated less than its Roma… so far. – Islamophobia gains momentum in France


While there are detailed laws against anti-Semitism and racism, there are no laws which explicitly protect Muslims. Despite the increase in violence against Muslim citizens, there is no apparent political support for the creation of such protections. It was only recently that Islamophobia gained general acceptance as a form of discrimination which could possibly exist in supposedly-secular France.

via PressTV-Islamophobia gains momentum in France.

Cycling Is Everyone’s Business


“I’ve seen some of the highest performance bicycles in the world, but I believe the most powerful bicycle is the one in the hands of a girl fighting for her education, or a mother striving to feed her family.”   – F.K. Day, Founder of World Bicycle Relief

The rainbow jersey, Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, or Vuelta a Espana—that’s what usually comes to mind when we think of cycling. However, elite cycling is only one small spoke of a much larger wheel.

Survey: NPR’s listeners best-informed, Fox viewers worst-informed


Fairleigh Dickinson University
People who watch no news at all can answer more questions about international current events than people who watch cable news, a survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind finds.

NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative news outlets, while exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge.

People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox did much worse. NPR listeners answered more questions correctly than people in any other category… more

European Views of Roma, Muslims, Jews


Many people in the seven European Union nations surveyed express negative views about minority groups in their country. In particular, negative attitudes toward Roma (sometimes also known as Gypsies) are common, while many also give Muslims unfavorable ratings. Negative attitudes toward Jews are less pervasive, although substantial minorities express an unfavorable opinion about Jews as well, especially in Greece where nearly half the public hold this view. Negative sentiments about all three groups are consistently more common among people on the ideological right.