Gold Exhibit at the Fernbank

We went to the Gold Exhibit at Fernbank today, organized by the American Museum of Natural History.

Indeed, there were some lovely things on display, the most impressive being perhaps examples of natural formations of gold and quartz. If you are anxious to see old ingots lost in shipwrecks, purchase pirate hats and pan for gold for about $5 in the gift shop, you’ll not leave disappointed.

What ended up being interesting to me was the history on gold that was omitted. For example, in the section on the Black Hills gold rush, I pointed out to H.o.p. that they made no mention of the Black Hills gold find resulting in the bringing in of troops and theft of land confirmed as Dakota, Lakota, Nakota in the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie. A paragraph was given on the 1874 Custer Expedition but nothing as to meaning, absolutely no historical context. Instead, a yard away there was a little fake bridge with a slab of plexiglass in the middle through which one could look down and see a fake stream bed with a few gold sparkles glimmering.

Yet in the Georgia Gold Room they did have history on the Georgia gold rush and the dispossession of Cherokee land, a long film there flatly speaking of the stealing of the land. This room was put together by Fernbank.

So, I left questioning why Fernbank made this allowance but the American Museum of Natural History didn’t even begin to approach the real history of gold.

Alan Watts on Specialization

“The price that we pay for specialization in conscious attention is ignorance for everything outside its field…for if you concentrate on a figure you tend to ignore the background. You can, therefore, see the world in a disintegrated aspect. You take separate things and events seriously, imagining that these really do exist, when actually they have the same kind of existence as an individual’s interpretation of a Rorschach blot. They’re what you make out of it. In fact, our physical world is a system of inseparable differences. Everything exists with everything else. But we contrive not to notice that…what is noticed by us is what appears to be significant and the rest is ignored…and as a result of that we select from total input…of our senses a very small input and this causes us to believe that we are separate beings, isolated by the boundary of the epidermis, from the rest of the world. This is also the mechanism in not noticing that black and white go together…and what goes on inside your skin is inseparable from what goes on outside.”

Alan Watts – “The Coincidence of Opposites #1”

“We cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation…”

“[W]e cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society…. We must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone…Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family’s health shall never depend on the… size of a family’s wealth.”
1980 Ted Kennedy

Bag News Notes

I Didn’t care for this song when I was a kid, but I like it now.

The 70s Were Strange

In the 70’s, Dr. Frank Frank Md. Abc. Xyz. was there to tell you not to get your information on menstruation on the street corners. The video starts getting good at when Linda’s story starts and she informs her boyfriend, “Hey, Johnny, do I look any different? I got my first period today. That means blood is flowing from my uterus!” An educational film that tells you something about the…uhm…period. Yeah.

Saturation Point

The news in the big wide world out there is long past officially over the top for the Summer of ’09. Saturation point here was hit well over a week ago so every day I have to squeeze my brain out like a washrag. My absorbency is done did over.

As I noted elsewhere…

July 4th being a day for citizenship oaths, 1000 people today took that oath in front of the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. Complete with Mickey Mouse flag hand fans. Mickey Mouse and the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps welcomed and posed with them for a group photo. The fact that it wasJuly 3rd yet could be July 4th in Buena Vista, Florida, slipped by without media comment.

And, fully cranked, the Summer of ’09 sped along…

For me, this is the Summer of ’09 in a nutshell.

What’s next?

Film director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Huffington Post gives this translation:

The people of Iran, by phone and mails, have asked me to send their message to mister Moussavi.

This letter is a summary of what they have told me these past days from inside Iran and all over the world:

“President Moussavi:
give us your orders!
Political power is gained by making people act,
and is lost in the contrary case.
The liars and stealers of the people’s vote,
by buying time, are weakening people’s social powers.

President Moussavi:
do not keep silent, do not wait, give us orders !
What us people of Iran had lost was not information, but courage.
Our fear came from each one of us feeling alone;
but participating in the elections,
and demonstrating by the millions
proved that if we stand together we are invincible.

President Moussavi:
do not send people to their houses !
So that they are once again crushed by despair and fear
From a goverment that is itself illegal,
do not ask for a legal permission to peacefully demonstrate.

The majority of people of iran, who has voted for you, is waiting for your orders;
give us the orders to demonstrate !
give us the orders of a general strike !
give us the orders of resistance !

The people’s common need is your orders.
President Moussavi
give the people your orders !”

On the behalf of the people of Iran
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
the 6th of the month of Tir, 88

I took the stomach acid reducer, but laughter is the best medicine

Following Iranian news from the usual sources I’ve been noting. Now taking a stomach acid reducer.

* * * * * * *

Once upon a time, there was a Family Values governor whose wife and “Cubby Culbertson” knew he was having affair, and the gov and the wife and the “spiritual giant” were really working on this really hard in political back rooms, trying to make it all right.

Then the Family Values man thought “No one will pay attention to me while Iran is falling apart” and told his staff he was going hiking and he piled camping gear in his vehicle and drove to the airport and flew away to South America because, as he later told reporters, he needed to go somewhere exotic and get out of his bubble.

The Family Values governor’s wife interpreted this as Family Values husband deciding he couldn’t stand the public not knowing about his affair any longer, and the governor’s wife said to the press, “I don’t know where he is”, because she was passively-aggressively cooperating by throwing the press a game called Solve This Riddle.

The governor cried and cried in Argentina because he knew this meant he would never be president which was really unfair. He thought of Bill Clinton and how he’d demanded Clinton resign over Lewinsky and his betraying family values. And it still felt very unfair. “I know, it’s so unfair,” his lover said. And together, in Argentina, they cried.

The end.

Iran, the 3rd largest country of bloggers

Did you know that Iran is the 3rd largest country of bloggers? I didn’t. Here is the Vancouver Film School’s short animation, “Iran, a Nation of Bloggers”. Very well done.

My slow brain has had to go through some strenuous gymnastics learning how to pronounce Ahmadinejad. Plus I’ve heard it pronounced various ways. But I finally got it (I think) the other day. This sound file is from Wikipedia.

Check the sponsors

Reading on HuffingtonPost a piece in which a yoga instructor states she can learn things about people, like their ability to get what they want, in yoga. She says when your body tells you in yoga to quit because it’s uncomfortable, that’s your moment of choice.

When you actually notice those reactions, you get to choose what response is really best for you. If you learn to stay calmly with challenges (when your brain is so sure you must instantly quit) you will become stronger mentally and physically, in all kinds of situations. If you quit, well, you know the rest.

Oh. She’s the “Yoga Master” for Nissan’s Master the Shift program and has been featured in Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Target and Athleta campaigns. This perhaps says something about the power of positive thinking spin and her assertions (never mind the economy) that if you don’t have the perfect job, house etc., you have only yourself to blame.

I find it interesting how much of this has been going on in the health section at Huffington lately, the positive thinking, don’t blame the corporations or anyone else, you are the sole creator of your destiny thing.

And then I yawned and moved on…

Let’s see. Did any Atlanta schools rank in Newsweek’s list of the top 1500 public high schools in the U.S. I see one. Just one. North Atlanta High School came in at 865th and I see Dekalb School of the Arts came in at 307th. Plus a few from suburban/satellite areas.

North Atlanta High is in upscale Buckhead. It hosts the magnet International Studies Program and the magnet Performance Arts program. “The latter, however, saw its last class during the 2007-2008 school year.”

Well, so much for that.

A 2009 article states Georgia’s graduation rate is 49th in the nation. The SAT scores from GA’s high school students in 2008 led it to being ranked 47th in the nation.

Guns for Jesus

It’s called an Open Carry Church Service and not only does the Valley Station Road Church want you to carry your gun to church, they’ll give you an opportunity to win a handgun and listen to operators of gun stores and firing ranges while enjoying patriotic music. A red font resembling splattered blood is used on a promo poster, but it’s not meant to glorify bloodshed. The main impetus? Fear Obama will restrict guns.

Valley Station Church to Hold Gun Service

I love it that they insist the red bloodshed font is just “a font that somebody developed”, nothing more.

I’m looking at their website right now. It states the purpose for their church is growth in grace and “empowering people for service”. Their goals for 2009 include Ministry Outside the Box and Creating a Culture. The sermon available for download is “Greater Love” as in, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. In the news article the pastor states, “Not every church is pacifistic,” so I guess this greater love thing is down the order of “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends in a glorious gun battle blaze of glory”?

Now, I think I’m going to watch something intentionally ironic.