March 31, 2009

Kellie Pickler – Best Days Of Your Life

Category: Music — jerry @ 9:02 pm

Hey, my brother-in-law and I are huge Pickler fans. Deal with it! (She’s so cute!!)

Zombie-Themed Music Video Of The Week

Category: Music — jerry @ 10:58 am

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Teaching Your Baby To Sign

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 5:31 am

One of the things I’ve been spending a lot of time on since retiring is language-learning, in anticipation of doing a lot of traveling (once the market goes back up!) Also, language-learning supposedly helps keep one’s aging brain from failing before it should.

Thanks to SuperMemo I’ve made some good strides in several languages, and a couple of months ago I started (slowly) working on ASL (American Sign Language) just for fun. In the course of looking around on the Internet for materials to import into SuperMemo, I came across a number of sites–and found a number of books–discussing the teaching of sign language to non-deaf babies to allow them to communicate earlier. I’m sold! I wished I’d know about this kind of thing when my own kids were young. I think it’s a great idea.

Anyway, here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

March 30, 2009

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (*****Five Stars)

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 10:52 am

One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen–and certainly the most moving. This is a documentary about murder, and it is not for the faint of heart.

But see it. See it, see it, see it. (With a box of Kleenex© at your side).

It is available from NetFlix (and, indeed, available via their “Watch Now” feature).

The trailer does not do it justice.

Great movie. See it:

Rep. Shimkus Calms Our Fears Of Global Warming

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 5:54 am

March 29, 2009

Thinking About Butterflies

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 11:40 am

Just Saying No

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 9:41 am

And Then Man Said…

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 5:41 am

(In honor of the new UN resolution…)

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March 28, 2009

American Idol 2009 (Season 8)–Current Las Vegas Odds

Category: Movies/TV,Music — jerry @ 11:52 am

A few shakeups in the standings this week.

The Bodog site still has Lambert in first.  I was very impressed with him (finally) this last time out and have to agree he’ll be in the Top Three–although I don’t think he’s going to win.

I thought Lil Rounds would be in the Top Two with Gokey–I don’t think so any more.  Allison Iraheta has consistently been being incredible and I think she’ll be the last gal standing.  I still think Gokey’s going to win.  I predict Scott McIntyre to be the next one out, not Corkrey.  There’s something appealing about her, and I think she’ll last longer than she probably should.  Anyway, here are this week’s odds from Bodog:

Adam Lambert 1/1
Danny Gokey 11/4
Allison Iraheta 5/1
Lil Rounds 10/1
Matt Giraud 10/1
Anoop Desai2 0/1
Kris Allen 20/1
Scott MacIntyre 40/1
Megan Corkrey 60/1

For the most current odds use the Search box in the sidebar for “American Idol”

Is Foreign Aid Hurting Africa?

Category: Books,Opinion,Travel — jerry @ 11:08 am

Not saying that I agree with the WALL STREET JOURNAL article below.  But it is an interesting point of view:

A month ago I visited Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. This suburb of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is home to more than one million people, who eke out a living in an area of about one square mile — roughly 75% the size of New York’s Central Park. It is a sea of aluminum and cardboard shacks that forgotten families call home. The idea of a slum conjures up an image of children playing amidst piles of garbage, with no running water and the rank, rife stench of sewage. Kibera does not disappoint.

What is incredibly disappointing is the fact that just a few yards from Kibera stands the headquarters of the United Nations’ agency for human settlements which, with an annual budget of millions of dollars, is mandated to “promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.” Kibera festers in Kenya, a country that has one of the highest ratios of development workers per capita. This is also the country where in 2004, British envoy Sir Edward Clay apologized for underestimating the scale of government corruption and failing to speak out earlier.

Giving alms to Africa remains one of the biggest ideas of our time — millions march for it, governments are judged by it, celebrities proselytize the need for it. Calls for more aid to Africa are growing louder, with advocates pushing for doubling the roughly $50 billion of international assistance that already goes to Africa each year.

Yet evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that aid to Africa has made the poor poorer, and the growth slower. The insidious aid culture has left African countries more debt-laden, more inflation-prone, more vulnerable to the vagaries of the currency markets and more unattractive to higher-quality investment. It’s increased the risk of civil conflict and unrest (the fact that over 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under the age of 24 with few economic prospects is a cause for worry). Aid is an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster….[Rest of article]

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Ah, I see the author has written a book about the topic. “Dambisa Moyo makes a compelling case for a new approach in Africa. Her message is that Africa’s time is now. It is time for Africans to assume full control over their economic and political destiny. Africans should grasp the many means and opportunities available to them for improving the quality of life. Dambisa is hard—perhaps too hard—on the role of aid. But her central point is indisputable. The determination of Africans, and genuine partnership between Africa and the rest of the world, is the basis for growth and development.” —KOFI ANNAN, former Secretary-General of the United Nations