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Saturday, May 23, 2015
Southern Weather Radar


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    sins of the flesh

    God and Being Naked

    by | Mar 6, 2015
    God and Being Naked

    The 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition came last week to the usual uproar. The magazine ran reminders for a month reminding anyone who didn’t want nearly nekkid swimsuit girls sent to their home to let them know. Simultaneously, the parent company ran endless ads on television making sure everyone else could get a copy.

    I saw my first naked lady picture when I was ten, in a man’s magazine in the Rexall Drug Store in Demopolis, Alabama. The front cover mentioned uncovered cover girls. I honestly had no idea what that was until I turned to that page.

     

     

    georgia sb 139

    Left Holding the Bag

    by | Mar 6, 2015
    Left Holding the Bag

    A healthy by-product of opening my mouth to criticize others is being forced to assess the risk of having to eat my own words. I’ve learned the hard way to find my weaknesses before others do it for me. It saves glass walls if I can just hit myself with the rocks inside the house.

    Last week, I tweeted disappointment with the Georgia Senate for passing SB 129 which blocks local governments from banning plastic bags.

     

     

    listen to the words

    Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me

    by | Mar 5, 2015
    Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me

    “I was wearing an orange bathrobe. She was leaning over me in a white men’s T-shirt and tiny white panties, shaking me by the shoulder. Her slender body seemed fragile, secure, childlike, with no sign of last night’s Italian excesses. Outside was not yet dawn.”

    As I wind down Haruki Murakami’s novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, I am deliberately slowing down my pace to savor the language and to listen to its tempo. The music is playing in the words.

     

     

    antisocial age

    Nobody Talks Anymore

    by | Mar 4, 2015
    Nobody Talks Anymore

    The first time I heard the phrase, “the Information Age,” I wasn’t sure what it meant. The best I could figure it meant an explosion in knowledge was on the way. That, it so happens, was true. Two weeks ago I came across this strange unpronounceable word, “paraskevidekatriaphobia.” I googled it and found an online dictionary that pronounces it. It has nine or ten syllables. I gave up trying to determine just how many but it’s a lot. (Read on if you want to know the word’s meaning.) For sure we have easier ways to learn things now, but “the Information Age,” to me means something else. People don’t talk on the phone much anymore. Maybe we are entering the Antisocial Age.

     

     

    part three

    Noah Langdale was key figure in Georgia State’s latter growth

    by | Mar 3, 2015
    Noah Langdale

    If George Sparks shepherded Georgia State University in its middle years, the major figure propelling the university into the future was no doubt Noah Langdale. He was president from 1957 until 1988, seeing it grow from two buildings with $1.9 million budget and 5,200 students, and offering one degree, to 22,000 students and 20 buildings, a budget of $118 million and with 50 degrees in more than 200 fields. Today GSU could soon have more than 50,000 students, as Georgia Perimeter College is to merge with GSU.

     

     

    friends

    Pat’s Last Book

    by | Mar 2, 2015
    "Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942" by Edward Hopper (at The Art Institute of Chicago). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

    Clearing away the receipts, letters, and documents that cover my desk I came across my own business card with a woman’s name, Pat, and phone number on the back. It brought back a lot of memories. It’s not what you think. It’s a true story that goes back a ways.

    I met Pat seven years ago. With no family in town, Pat, like many others, gathered with others at a neighborhood pub some evenings for conservation, a way to keep loneliness at bay. (For those who work all day only to face an evening alone, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. are the loneliest hours of the day. Meeting others provides a balm.)

     

     

    yin v. yang

    Burn Out or Check Out? Let’s Dance

    by | Mar 2, 2015
    Rights free image from WallpaperCraft.com.

    It’s a dance I know by heart, this shifting and swaying from the outward world of human entanglements to an inner place of calm reflection. I’m not sure I could stop this movement if I tried, caught between voices calling cause to action and others from far hillsides beckoning me to run away — to fly away and be freed.

    All around are people caught in conflict, their caring inching closer daily to anger, with words unheard, meanings misunderstood, and passions unrequited. On issues local, global, and universal, we have shouting like never before.

     

     

    reflections of the south

    Photo Journeys

    by | Mar 1, 2015
    Photo Journeys

    Traffic Jams:

    HIGHWAY 501 SC: April. Somewhere near Aynor. Having wrapped up a photo shoot in old Ocean Drive, we drive homeward through wind-driven coastal plain silt. Though dust devils obscure 501, a shimmering red and green mirage breaks through. But it’s no mirage. It’s remembrance. Winds subside, sands drop, and Dean’s Produce emerges next to a cornfield mown to beard-like stubble. Dean’s stand of glinting tin and yellow pine glows with honey, but the incandescent red and green jams gleam like St. Elmo’s fire.

     

     

    April 18 - 19, 2015

    Bear Festival Is Storytelling Spotlight Event

    by | Mar 1, 2015
    Bear Festival Is Storytelling Spotlight Event

    The Southern Appalachian oral art of storytelling has been a feature of the annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga., over the years. This year, storytelling will have an even more significant presence at the festival with the National Storytelling Network (NSN) awarding the 2015 Bear Festival the designation as this year’s Southeast Regional Spotlight Event for Storytelling.

     

     

    why it matters

    The Mission for March is the Marsh

    by | Feb 25, 2015
    Image: The Willet by Evangelio Gonzalez via flickr and used a Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgonzal111139/5982804651/in/photolist-a7Frok-a7JjUY-am1BqY-3ywU83-dsqcWy-3ysvoT-3ywTSW-dsqb9E-dsqaem-dsfppi-S3qTk-b256Tr-bXB549-auTonb-dDUGWA-4LDLpD-4LDHzX-mGmeX

    Community Forum on Marsh Buffers & Clean Waters, March 4 at 7:00 pm, Ballard Community Center, Brunswick, GA.

    And, because such events need to be sponsored and the environment can never have too many friends, we’re organizing a new group, the Sidney Lanier Environmental Advocacy Team or S.L.E.A.T.– sporting the unofficial slogan “Making sure our environment is good to eat.”

     

     

    part two

    For years, acrimony blossomed between UGA and GSU

    by | Feb 21, 2015
    Georgia State University with Chase Williams, Kevin Espinoza, Eli Epstein, Joshua Carter and Jordan Daley.

    Back when states were planting institutions of higher learning, these universities were not always located in what became the state’s major city. As a result, problems have arisen between forces in the major city wanting a state university and the major university located in a smaller town wanting to enhance their school’s prestige.

    It’s that same old story of jealously, while seeking to keep the state’s university as the major campus of the state.

     

     

    reflections lost

    Who Am I now?

    by | Feb 20, 2015
    Who Am I now?

    This evening I popped out to the corner store for milk. A woman was there with an older man. He was walking up and down the aisles as she trailed behind him – sighing and huffing and saying things like “Dammit, Dad! You dragged me out to get something with you and now you can’t remember what you need?” Her words seemed to fall like blows on his shoulders. He began picking up items in a random fashion and knocked over several cans of soup. I bent to retrieve them up and when I straightened I looked into his face. There it was: the panicked, lost look of a man who set out with clear intent… and lost his bearings along the way. I know this look – and it breaks my heart.

     

     

    part one

    Georgia State University was once a stepchild of University system

    by | Feb 20, 2015
    Georgia State University’s Panther from GSU.edu

    Now that the Board of Regents have decided to merge Georgia State University with Georgia Perimeter College, GSU will soon total more than 50,000 students, and will be the largest unit of the University System of Georgia.

    Not only that, but it is an urban university, as well as a research university, bringing in $58 million in 2011 in grants for study. It has conferred 192,785 degrees since its founding.

     

     

    value of liberal arts

    Stay A Little

    by | Feb 19, 2015
    Stay A Little

    When I read Frank Bruni’s column recently in The New York Times about the value of a liberal arts education, I was pleased at how he had honored a professor at Chapel Hill whose Shakespeare classes had been the most transformative educational experiences of his life. She had read the column and had written him, the first contact they had had since the mid-1980s, to talk more about the state of higher education in this country today.

    As I squirmed over their exchange on how so many politicians want to value education according to what kind of high paying job it can bring, I can still hear the concerns over half a century ago of my father…

     

     

    in a white racial frame

    American History is not Black History; Black History is not America’s

    by | Feb 13, 2015
    NAACP.org

    As taught in mainstream culture, American history propagates this nation as the womb of freedom, justice, and liberty. There are American creation myths as exemplified by the “Founding Fathers.” There are founding documents as revered as biblical texts for their promise of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    That is why the argument that ‘black history is American history’ is naïve to the point of insipidity. For most of this nation’s history, blacks were not ‘Americans.’ First, we were owned, and then we were barred from exercising the rights of citizenship…

     

     

    the job market

    It’s OK. The Kids Have Got It

    by | Feb 10, 2015
    So I asked hime what would you say are your weaknesses?

    I’m talking about the ones I know, like daughter Ruth, son-in-law Ben, their circle of friends, and a handful of nieces and nephews, who are all 30 or thereabouts and, I suppose, officially grown-ups, but, in any case, they flabbergast me.

    Ben, a cellist, teaches music in a charter school, gives private lessons, takes classes at Georgia State for his official K-12 teaching certificate, and performs several nights a week with a number of different alt-rock-jazz bands. A pack mule would collapse after half a day under his burden.

     

     

    one upgrade at a time

    Hooked on Apps

    by | Feb 6, 2015
    Hooked on Apps

    Hello, my name is Mike and I stand here today and admit to being an addict. Not sure why this happened. I’ve never had issues like this before. My Life Coach Desmond suggested this support group. He said Twitter or Instagram or something recommended you.

    I don’t smoke. Never been a drug user. Drink casually but not obsessively. I think claiming sex addition is BS. We’re all addicted to that. My problem is a little unusual and I hope you folks can help me. I’m addicted to apps.

     

     

    roadside attaction

    South Of The Border

    by | Feb 5, 2015
    South Of The Border

    First came the cars. Then the summer vacation stormed America in the late 1940s, becoming an institution that drove more car sales and vacation rentals. And it did something else. It fired up the imagination of people stuck on the road to “there.” Dreamers galore created roadside attractions to tap into the coins rolling down the road. All these years later, all across the United States, in the middle of lackluster nowhere, you’ll come across these wayside-hijacking places. Once upon a time, their spectacles gave America’s highways a bit of character, a rest stop kids refused to let their parents pass.

     

     

    knew the oldest secret

    Rita

    by | Feb 3, 2015
    Rita

    Several years ago, I read an article about a personality type that resonated so strongly with me I never forgot it. Except, I did—the title of the article, that is, along with its author, and the name of the type it described. The consequence of this memory lapse is that recently, when curiosity led me on a search for the article I never forgot, I had no means to find it. So there is a valid function for names after all. The personality type the article featured was this: a person, usually a woman, who is the more or less unwitting hub of a vast wheel of human relationships.

     

     

    decatur, ga

    Black History Month in the City of Homes, Schools, and Churches

    by | Feb 2, 2015
    Black History Month in the City of Homes, Schools, and Churches

    Color-blind racism is a tough nut to crack. Americans in recent months have confronted some uneasy truths about how race influences the way we see the world around us. It is easier to see and perhaps explain when it’s police racial profiling or some other symptom of structural racism that has immediate and almost always deadly consequences. Racism is less visible and harder to understand when it involves a city’s approach to preserving and communicating its history. And yet, a community’s public history conveys key messages about its values and identity.

     

     

    dreams

    Walter Mitty In The Woods

    by | Jan 29, 2015
    Walter Mitty In The Woods

    I read recently that “serendipity” is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering the farmer’s daughter.

    It would truly be a lucky boy who would find such a treasure in a haystack when he was just looking for his car keys. That’s the way I felt this morning after awakening from a delightful dream in which I had finally been awarded my PhD in ancient languages. The rub was that I have never sought such a distinction…

     

     

    divest/reinvest

    Global Divestment Comes of Age

    by | Jan 27, 2015
    xford Fossil Free Future demonstration

    “It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future. To serve as custodians of creation is not an empty title; it requires that we act, and with all the urgency this dire situation demands.”Desmond Tutu

    The climate battle is heating up. At a January 16 press conference, NASA and NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) jointly released independent analyses that confirm 2014 as the hottest year on record. Last year broke records set previously in 1998, 2005 and 2010. Except for 1998, the 10 hottest years have all occurred since 2000.

     

     

    tracks in the snow

    Threnody

    by | Jan 26, 2015
    our house in winter

    “Please hold my hand now. I am dying.” As this soul pulled me close to her, she looked up but just smiled. I had just finished reading “Walking Home From Oak Head” by Mary Oliver to her and she seemed to be pleased to hear some of the refrains again,

    There is something
    about the snow-laden sky
    in winter
    in the late afternoon
    that brings to the heart elation
    and the lovely meaninglessness
    of time.

     

     

    china 1972

    Waiting for the Red Rope to Drop

    by | Jan 26, 2015
    Waiting for the Red Rope to Drop

    The 31st Chinese Export Commodities Fair (Spring) was held from 15 April to 15 May 1972, and most of the foreign traders attended for the whole month. While the main purpose of the Fair was for China to exhibit and sell its products to the western world, buyers from the Beijing Government’s import agencies attended to negotiate the purchase of raw materials, metals, minerals and other commodities from the west, hopefully paying with Chinese goods.

    China saw itself as a potential exporter of machinery and equipment, automobiles and other manufactured goods. In reality most of what was on display at the Fair in 1972 was several decades behind…

     

     

    anything to win

    Say it isn’t so!

    by | Jan 24, 2015
    Say it isn't so!

    James Holland writes: Glynn County public works is at it again. I thought my eyes were lying to me when I observed the images in my photos. Tide coming in and you can see how high it is and it is still coming. Glynn County simply has to be the most unscrupulous county in the entire state. Why is it that they continue to do this when all the science is out there about what buffers do to protect our marshes and waters? If anyone knows the name of the single individual that gave the order to do this would you please enlighten me so I will know who is the dumbest person in this county….

     

     

    photo of the week

    High Tide Apparition

    by | Jan 24, 2015
    High Tide Apparition

    While men slumber, daring men trawl off the coast. Through dusk, midnight, into dawn their boats dance upon waves, major and minor. But what if a rogue wave or something gone awry scuttled an ill-fated trawler long ago. Does this surreal daybreak reveal that ghostly trawler? Could it be some phantom or mirage, a Fata Morgana?

    Look again. It is there absolutely true and believable. High tide has tempted captain intrepid to sift for crustaceans close to shore. To his west, a colossal curl of wind-borne gravity-stricken saltwater topples and the greatest white noise—falling surf—reveals Earth’s great exhaling.

     

     

    what might yours say?

    The Last Word

    by | Jan 20, 2015
    The Last Word

    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful, lest you let other people spend it for you.  — Carl Sandburg

    In my explorations along back roads, deep woods, and left-behind places, I come across forgotten graveyards. Their tombstones, like tragic figures in some sad drama, long ago surrendered to weathering. Stones cut from rocks softer than granite appear to melt. Their epitaphs, devoid of sharp edges, a bit chalky, and softened by time and the elements prove difficult to decipher, their words illegible…

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    Tragic Accident Near Savannah Raises Questions of Student Travel

    By: Elliott Brack

    The tragic vehicular pile-up on Interstate 16 near Savannah where five Georgia Southern University nursing students were killed has shocked our state, and has caused concern on the national stage. It may even lead to new legislation regulating heavy transport rigs to push safer highways. The nursing students were driving from college in Statesboro to Savannah (roughly 55 miles) to continue their clinical “rotational” training in order to become nurses. Georgia Southern in the last few years has developed an accredited nursing program, which now counts 185 students, 76 in the RN-BSN program, and 78 graduate students. Each semester, another 50 stu  Read on →

    The Thrill is Gone

    The Thrill is Gone

    By: Mike Cox

    When my cellphone rings, the opening notes of The Thrill is Gone signal me. I will have to consider changing that now. The author and singer of that song has moved on to Rock and Roll Heaven. B. B. King died in his sleep Thursday after nearly a year in hospice. I can’t imagine anyone was surprised; death happens to us all and this one has been imminent for quite some time. But hearing him tell me the thrill is indeed gone might be more than I want to hear every time my phone rings. The first time I saw B. B  Read on →

    All for a Jar of Tobacco

    All for a Jar of Tobacco

    By: Ken Peacock

    The European settlement of Australia began as a penal colony and about 162,000 convicts were shipped there between 1788 and 1870, most of them in the first 60 years. From 1831 to 1840, the free settler arrivals outnumbered convict arrivals and by 1850 there were 156,000 convicts in Australia and 187,000 free settlers. The largest number of free settlers (587,000) arrived in the 1851-1860 period, attracted by the Victorian gold rush. The convicts and free settlers were mainly from poor backgrounds in the London area or subsistence farmers from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Transportation to the penal colony was harsh  Read on →

    Rewarding Poor Planning

    Rewarding Poor Planning

    By: Monica Smith

    It has been hard to get timely, accurate information. In the early years of the 21st century, some group was tracking the transfer of dollars from the federal treasury to the states, which generally showed that the majority payments were in the form of various types of insurance subsidies: mortgage insurance, housing insurance, health insurance, flood insurance, crop insurance and higher education loans. The data collection stopped, perhaps because of objections from the insurance industries at having their transfer function exposed. Or maybe all of my computer crashes and software switches are the reason I no longer can find the information.  Read on →