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Showing posts from September, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Beards, Part 2

Wordless Wednesday: Beard, Part 1

Options for Our Relationship with Iran

The Current Flag of Iran As I wrote last week, I support the nuclear deal currently on the table between Iran, the U.S., and the U.N.  I know that the United States went into the negotiations wanting to end all nuclear activity in Iran, while Iran wanted permission to not only continue nuclear activity but to research nuclear weapons. Neither side got exactly what they wanted because they compromised. I am not certain how it came to be, but a lot of Americans think that "compromise" is a bad word.  As if attempting to reach an accord between two disparate parties through the process of give and take somehow signals weakness of character.  Nevertheless our country was founded on compromises; the biggest one I know about being the legalization of slavery in the southern states. Point of fact, a two-party political system only works when both sides agree to compromise.  Refusing to yield any part of your demands in order to gain what you really want reeks of arroganc

We Need To Stop Institutional Racism

Racism: poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race the belief that some races of people are better than others Institutional Racism:  any system of inequality based on race. In my opinion, racism is immoral.  People are people, regardless of where they come from or who their ancestors are or what they look like.  In fact, the amount of DNA responsible for how a person looks is infinitesimal compared to our entire genome.  So, really, who cares? Sadly, a lot of people do.  I think part of a person's racism comes from their environment.  If a person grows up around racists, that person will pick up racism, similar to how the children of smokers tend to be smokers themselves.  Also, if a person grows up in a homogeneous environment, for example a neighborhood where everyone is either black, white, Latino, Asian,..., it is easier for that person to believe rumors and rhetoric about other races. I don't know what we as a society can do t

Book Review: "The Science-Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book" by Joseph McCullough

The Science-Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book by Joseph McCullough My rating: 5 of 5 stars "The Science-Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book" by Joseph McCullough is a fun and entertaining book to read. Mr. McCullough covers everything from television shows, to movies, to comic books, to short stories, to novels. In the first few sections alone, I saw questions about "Star Wars", "Star Trek", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Game of Thrones", and the old "Battlestar Galactica". I could easily see a bunch of geeks sitting around a table, drinking home-brewed beer, and using this book to play a homemade game of trivia. Also, I like that the questions range from multiple-choice, to short answer, to true or false, to matching related things, e.g. captains with their ships. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for entertainment value; and I recommend this book to any fans who like to test themselves on trivia. Disclaimer: I was

Book Review: "Ryker" by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett My rating: 4 of 5 stars Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "Ryker" by Sawyer Bennett follows closely behind the events in "Zack" (Cold Fury Hockey, #3). Towards the end of "Zack", Ryker moves to North Carolina as a goalie for the Cold Fury team because his soon-to-be-ex-wife had an affair with one of Ryker's teammates in New York. Because Cold Fury made the play-offs, Ryker sat on the bench, waiting for the season to end and with no plans on playing, since the current goalie was excellent at his job. But in the last period of the last game, the Cold Fury's goalie received a game-ending injury that spawned a penalty shot for the other team. With the score tied, all Ryker had to do was to stop the puck. But with no current ice time, Ryker missed and Cold Fury lost. Zack, Alex, and Garrett don't blame Ryker, but Ryker partially blames

Thought for the Day

I am starting a new posting schedule next week, but I am previewing the new Thursday post today.  It's called "Thought for the Day" and hopefully will contain a quote that makes you think.  Please let me know what you think. If you can believe in Santa Claus for 8 years, you can believe in yourself for 5 seconds.

Why I Support the Iran Nuclear Deal

There is a lot of rhetoric being spewed about the Iran nuclear deal, about how horrible this deal is, how the U.S. will be somehow harmed, about how this deal give Iran free reign to create nuclear bombs.  My two favorite quotes come from Senator Lindsey Graham and Rep. John Boehner, directly after the deal was announced.  Both men claimed that this was the "worst possible outcome" but both men also admit that they hadn't read the deal yet.  In fact, several of the nay-sayers are just spouting off either without knowing the details of this agreement or knowing but ignoring the details. So, I think we need to disseminate the details of the Iran Nuclear Deal, not the emotional, manipulative balderdash currently inundating the airwaves. Before the Deal After the Deal Iran maintains a nuclear stockpile of 10,000 kg of low-enriched (up to 20%) UF 6 .  This gives Iran enough material to potentially make 10 or more bombs. For the next 15 years, the Iran stockpile is

Book Review: "Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral" by Tim Seeley

Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral by Tim Seeley My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received a copy of this graphic novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral" by Tim Seeley relates the tale of what happens after Dick Grayson is publicly tortured, unmasked, and presumably killed. Lucky for us, he secretly survives both physically and mentally. Now Grayson works for a clandestine organization called Spyral. Spyral masks its agents using technology that erases their faces from biological memories, and makes a strange spiral appear as the face in technological memories. Oh, it can either show a face or show a spiral when meeting an agent in person, but regardless you won't remember the face. Both the writing and the artwork exceed expectations. To be honest, I expected Grayson to perform some incredible physical tricks that rely on his acrobatic skills, and I was not disappointed. But the novel contains s

Book Review: "Letters to Zell" by Camille Griep

Letters to Zell by Camille Griep My rating: 4 of 5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "Letters from Zell" by Camille Griep is a collection of letters from CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Briar Rose, known as Sleeping Beauty) to Zell (Raphunzel) who moved rather suddenly to Oz to raise unicorns with her husband, Jason. The premise behind this book is that fairy tales are created through human imagination, and that all the people in fair tales must finished their "Pages" before moving on the the rest of their life. I find this an interesting premise, especially because we humans don't agree on who each fairy tale person in specifics. Does Cinderella like cleaning, or is she OCD about dirt? Does Raphunzel adore long hair or does she secretly hate to spend the time washing and conditioning it? Is Snow White built like Twiggy or a 1940s pin-up girl? This book ha

Author Interview: Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez

Today, I have a special post to share with you.  Recently, I spoke with Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez, two of the three authors behind the book, "Devil's Daughter:  Lucinda's Pawnshop".  I interviewed them about the book and themselves, and we had a remarkable conversation. First, a little background... Hope Schenk-de Michele Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez have been best friends since either kindergarten (according to Paul) or college (according to Hope).  What we do know about Hope and Paul is: have lived in southern California since they met;  both love being in the television and film production business;  both belong to Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), and International Thriller Writers (IEW); worked on dual language programming, such as producing "Humphrey" for Galavision; both are persistent! Hope exudes enthusiasm and energy that translates int

Kim Davis - A Tale of Mistaken Beliefs

Kim Davis: the county clerk from Kentucky who captured headlines news and continues to hold it as she protests the legalization of gay marriages through her illegal actions. Religious conservatives applaud her actions.  Liberals scorn her actions.  Gay people just want their bleeping marriage certificates so that they can get married.  Actually, everyone in Rowan County wants their marriage certificates, because Kim Davis refused to give out any marriage certificates after the Supreme Court ruling. What I don't hear a lot of out there are the basic facts. Fact #1:  The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the government, or anyone representing the government, from preventing the worship of any established religion and from establishing a state religion or creating laws that favor one religion over another. Fact #2:  A county clerk is by the nature of the job a representative of the government.  So are police officers, school teachers, mayors,... Fact #3:  The

Wordless Wednesday: Oops!!!!

A West Virginia Fire Truck Accidentally Breaks Firehouse

Wordless Wednesday: When A Ruler Isn't Big Enough....