Saturday, October 21, 2017

Some Surprising Reasons Why Identifying Psychopaths is Harder Than You May Think

  by Nomad

Confessions of a Psychopath-Spotter

I recently found this extremely interesting and amusing TED talk by Jon Ronson. Even though you've probably never heard of him, Ronson's career covers a lot of ground: a journalist, author, documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, and radio presenter. And one other thing,  he is also a certified psychopath-spotter. He's taken the course and everything.

His TED lecture begins with Ronson stumbling across a DSM manual, the comprehensive manual of mental disorders. If you don't know, the DSM Manual is produced by the American Psychiatric Association and serves as the official authority on mental health diagnoses (and related insurance claims).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Distraction: A Video Tour of the Turkish City of Izmir

by Nomad

Not too long ago, I posted some photos of Izmir which some of you found interesting. I thought I would follow up with a few video clips. These clips come from the city of Izmir only and not from the more beautiful outlying areas. Still, it's a lovely town, I think.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump and de Tocqueville: America's Battle Between Two Types of Patriotism

 by Nomad

Patriotism and What it Means

In 1831, the French diplomat, political scientist, and historian Alexis de Tocqueville made an excellent observation about patriotism in his masterwork "Democracy in AmericaDemocracy in America."

Strictly speaking, the term, patriotism means an attachment to a homeland. The word "patriotism" is derived from the Greek word πατρίς (patris), meaning 'fatherland.'
And with that comes all the loose connotations of a patriarchal system, defined as "a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authoritysocial privilege and control of property."  Historically, the term patriarchy was used to refer to autocratic rule.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Songs by Neil Young

 by Nomad

The spotlight of this week's Sanity Sunday shines on the classic hits of Canadian singer/songwriter, Neil Young. His biography is much too long and detailed to go into here but his Wikipedia bio covers all of the high points.
In November, Young celebrates his 72nd birthday (unbelievable, right?) and that makes him one of the surviving "greats" of the 60s.
A rare honor for a rare kind of artist.
Here's my selection of Young hits.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Film Friday: A Story about Hope and the Bookmobile

by Nomad

We all have stories to tell. It's one of the best things about having an online community: the stories you share. These are stories that make us who we are and what we believe. Stories about experiences that shaped us, for better or worse.

The animation below comes from the StoryCorp archives. The mission of this non-profit storytelling organization "is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs." 
We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.
In that regard, StoryCorps follows in the great tradition of oral historian Studs Terkel and the interviews of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930s. Its weekly podcast should be on your list of things to listen to.
Below is a true story which has been made into a short film.   

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Good News Round-Up for Week Two of October 2017

by Nomad

With ugly events happening every place you turn, with stupid insensitive people running the show, and with so many people affected by man's inhumanity to man and all living things, you might sometimes think the world has gone to shit.

You might think that last remaining thing on the to-do list is to shovel the whole mess into a trash can and walk away.
That's one plan.

Giving in to despair might seem like the easiest thing to do. No question about that. That course, however, never made the world a better place, never saved a life and never inspired anybody to be a better person.

To remedy that, it is time for a round-up of the despair-immunizing news for the month. Let's start our search for good news in what might seem an unlikely place. The Carribean.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reddit's AMA Reveals What Life in Post-Maria Puerto Rico is Actually Like

by Nomad

If you aren't a regular Reddit user, you might not be aware of some of the interesting things going on there. One of the topics- called subreddits- is AMA, which stands for "Ask Me Anything."

The premise is simple. A person with inside information, whether they be a scientist, celebrity or politician or an Average Joe or Jane willing to share with first-hand or eye-witness information.  He or she attempts to answer questions from the curious.
Like a virtual press conference for the world with the general question: "what's it like to be you?"

This particular subreddit has become one of the most popular on the site. As of May 2017, Barack Obama's AMA is the highest rated on the site. Wikipedia notes that the increased traffic for Obama's AMA brought down many parts of the website when it occurred on August 29, 2012.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sanity Sunday - The Music of Ian Randall Thornton

by Nomad

Ian Randall Thornton, a touring indie folk artist from Norfolk, Virginia, produces comfort music, precisely what is required for a Sanity Sunday musical break.

A review at Billboard magazine had this to say of Thornton:
"...beautiful vocal and instrumental layering, solemn and thoughtful lyrics, and a rousing chorus. The song’s stoic themes are also given a heavier weight with the impressive, breathy power of Thornton’s voice."
Hard to disagree with that.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Altruism or Anarchy? More Reasons Why Facebook Deserves Closer Scrutiny

 by Nomad

Facebook CEO

In Praise of Facebook

Until recently, most people believed that social media's influence on politics and on society was overall beneficial. It was the world forum for discussion. It allowed people a voice in nations where free speech was limited. Facebook supporters have often sounded like technocrat crusaders, determined to save the world through CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Louisiana Parish's Ignorance of Constitution May Cost Taxpayers in Legal Fees

by Nomad


Taking a Stand in Louisiana

Last week, a Louisiana parish school district took a controversial step to support President Trump and his stand against the NFL players who refused to honor the American flag.  

Superintendent Scott Smith of Bossier Parish notified 34 schools that standing during the national anthem prior to sporting events would be mandatory for all student-athletes. Smith said he would support decisions taken by school principals to make sure athletes stand.
According to his statement, it would be up to individual schools to discipline any defectors. Potential punishments range from “extra running to a one-game suspension.” 

To make this policy clear, a letter to athletes and parents describing the school’s rules during playing of the national anthem. Smith said:
"In Bossier Parish, we believe when a student chooses to join and participate on a team, the players and coaches should stand when our National Anthem is played in a show of respect. It is a choice for students to participate in extracurricular activities, not a right, and we at Bossier Schools feel strongly that our teams and organizations should stand in unity to honor our nation's military and veterans."
That might have been music to Trump's furry ears, but it, as we will see, extremely misguided.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Trivia Quiz: How Well Do You Know the 70s?

by Nomad

Time to take a short break from all the bad news. You've punished yourselves enough for one week.

I thought I would challenge you with this 15-question trivia quiz. The subject this time is the 1970s.
I have questions on news, culture, and even a sports question.Some of the questions are slightly obscure but all of them are multiple choice. There's no rule that says you can't guess.

Actually, there are only two rules: No Googling please. And after you've taken the test, don't spoil the quiz for the late-comers. It's only fair.

If you enjoy this quiz, please be sure to pass it along on social media so you can show your friends how clever you are.