The Watering Hole: August 31 — The Scream

The Scream

Expressionist painter, Edvard Munch, created The Scream, which was actually one of a series of paintings, in 1893–1910.

In a page in his diary headed Nice 22.01.1892, Munch described his inspiration for the image thus:

I was walking along a path with two friends — the sun was setting — suddenly the sky turned blood red — I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence — there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city — my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety — and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

Wow, that’s amazingly vivid.  *shudder*

On this day in history, August 31, one of the versions of The Scream, along with another Munch painting entitled Madonna, were recovered by Norwegian police after having been stolen in 2004.  Both of the paintings suffered damage, but they were restored and returned to display in 2008.

This is our daily open thread — got something to scream about?

Watering Hole: August 30, 2010 – Eggs, How I Love Those Eggs

Eggs are one of my favorite foods.  Fortunately, I am able to buy local eggs.  I even get to meet the chickens.  When these chickens were just newborns, they came from a small, local breeder.   Sometimes, the egg farmers end up with one or more roosters.  There are no guarantees in this local breeding industry.  Often times, the roosters are raised by the egg farmer and if they become too much of a nuisance, they end up in the soup pot.  These would be fully grown birds.

In order to produce enough meat and chicken to meet the demands of the fast food chains such as McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken, factory farming of animals was expanded and became a big industry.  The supermarket chains also played a part in the creation of factory farms.

The purpose of the above video is to call our attention to the treatment of factory farm animals.  After seeing how these chickens are mistreated, it becomes easier to understand how salmonella can occur in the food industry.  More about salmonella and caged chickens here.   You can learn more about factory farms here.

Join the Slow Food Movement and whenever possible, buy local.

This is what a chicken farm should look like.

Those were some fine looking fat hens and roosters.  With this many varieties of chickens, the egg basket is probably filled with naturally colored Easter eggs.

This is our Open Thread.  Feel free to Speak Up!

Sunday Roast: The President’s Weekly Address

The President and Vice President have a sincere desire to do right by our veterans, and I hope they are able to get their ideas in place.  It’s the least we can do for the troops and families we put in harm’s way for no good reason at all.

Of course, it’s fun for the whole family, since the Republicans will bar or gut any program the Democrats want to put in place for the troops — all the while professing more love and respect for the troops than anyone else in the whole damned world.

What’s on your mind this fine morning?  This is the place to vent!

“I Have A Dream”

This speech was delivered 47 years ago today.

“I Have a Dream”

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Delivered August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

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Music Night. Happy Birthday, Alex

Alex Lifeson, b. August 17, 1953. This is a tough one for me to post, not because Alex Lifeson isn’t a terrific rock guitarist. He is. He also, unfortunately, has spent his musical career with Rush, the Canadian rock band. And Rush is fronted by The Most Irritating Vocalist in Rock: Geddy Lee. Apologies in advance to any Rush fans out there, but I hate their music. It’s perfectly serviceable rock and, as noted, Lifeson is an excellent guitar player. So plug your ears during the vocal bits and unplug them when the focus is on Lifeson’s guitar. Rock out! And, being as it’s music night, feel free to add to the entertainment.

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Watering Hole: August 26, 2010 – Never Take Things For Granted

On August 26, 2010, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution celebrates its 90th Anniversary. It was a long, hard battle fought by courageous women.

We should not take our right to vote for granted. Yet, so many Americans do not vote. What would these non-voting people do if they were told that they were prohibited to vote? Would they then be protesting? Shame on anyone that stays away from the voting booth on election day. It is not only your right to vote, it is your duty as a citizen to vote.

There is a statement in the movie “Iron Jawed Angels”, “You can’t picket a war time president”.  They did and they were severely punished for it.

Alice Paul is the true hero and she should replace one of the dead presidents on one of our coins (This is just my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of other members of The Zoo).

Alice Paul was the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on behalf of women in the 20th century. Born on January 11, 1885 to Quaker parents in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Alice Paul dedicated her life to the single cause of securing equal rights for all women.

Few individuals have had as much impact on American history as has Alice Paul. Her life symbolizes the long struggle for justice in the United States and around the world. Her vision was the ordinary notion that women and men should be equal partners in society.

A great op-ed from Christine Stansall.

Happy 90th Anniversary, 19th Amendment, and thank you to the women that risked everything just for the right to vote.

This is our Open Thread.  Show courage and SPEAK UP!

Watering Hole – August 25, 2010 – How Sweet It Is

Humans are biologically programed to seek out sweets.  Our ancestors were aware that sweet foods contained lots of calories and that these foods provided the energy needed for survival.   Every day life was busy doing physical work.

But that was then.  Today, most Americans spend less time working in the field (there are exceptions  🙂   ) or hunting for food and spend more time in front of a computer or television.  As a result, our waistlines are expanding and more Americans are being diagnosed with type II diabetes.  But is it the cane sugar that is causing the problem?  I wonder.  We humans have been eating naturally occurring sugars for millions of years.  What changed?  In the past 50 years, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has gradually replaced cane sugar and has been added to most processed foods.  Even something as simple as ketchup isn’t immune to these HFCS.  Recent studies have shown that the insulin producing cells (wait for the video to start) in the pancreas are very capable of recognizing simple sugars (glucose).  Do the cells in the pancreas recognize  HFCS?  Could this lead to excessive sugar in the bloodstream which eventually leads to type II diabetes?  If left untreated, diabetes leads to damage to other cells and organs in the body.  One other very troubling thing is, pancreatic cancer cells grow and multiply in the presence of HFCS.

I’m not saying that HFCS cause type II diabetes.  All I’m trying to say is READ LABELS and try to avoid consuming HFCS.  The corn used to produce the HFCS is most likely genetically modified.  High fructose corn syrup is NOT real food.  It was first created in a laboratory and cannot be found growing in a field.

This is our Open Thread and how sweet it is.  I said my piece.  Now it is your turn to SPEAK UP!


Court freezes Obama’s funding of embryonic stem cell research

The Raw Story:

A US court on Monday issued a temporary halt to federal funding of embryonic stem cell research which President Barack Obama had authorized, saying it involved the destruction of human embryos.

US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled in favor of a Christian group that opposes the research, issuing a temporary injunction that will allow plaintiffs to bring their lawsuit before the court.

“ESC (embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed,” the judge said.

“To conduct ESC research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo,” he added.

In March, Obama lifted a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, lauding potential medical breakthroughs and a new era for US science shorn of political ideology.

The president’s executive order reversed predecessor George W. Bush’s ban, which critics say hampered the fight to find treatments for grave diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes.

Let me get this straight.. The Religious Right won’t allow embryos, that by the way are already slated to be discarded from fertility clinics, to instead be used for good in the research to find cures that will very likely save many lives.. AND YET, they have absolutely NO problem whatsoever with starting wars that kill hundreds of thousands of lives (many who are innocent), flying manless drones over countries we aren’t even at war with that drop bombs killing so many innocent lives, or even denying medical care in THIS country to those who can’t afford it.. Those lives don’t have any value I guess.. Or is it just that once the embryo becomes a live, breathing human being, their responsibility to ‘value’ life ends?? Or is it that they only value lives they consider valuable?

It seems to me that if the Right applied this fervancy to ‘preserve life’ at all costs, and to ‘do no harm’ across the board, wars would end and we as a nation would take care of all our citizens, the living, breathing ones who are the most vulnerable or at risk.

Hmmm, while I’m at it..

Is the way they ‘value’ life the same way they ‘value’ marriage between one man and one woman (well, one at a time I guess.., with others on the side)? I just can’t follow this logic..