Monday, February 26, 2007

The Names Have Been Changed . . .

50 years ago today the last episode of Dragnet aired on the radio. But it was followed by several popular TV series.

Most of us are aware of the Dragnet TV series that changed the way police dramas are presented on TV, adding realism to the story: shooting, interviewing, paperwork. We learned real police jargon, terse presentation and the black-and-white moral system. And the bad guy was always caught and we learned a lesson.

Everything is more complex now. But everyone knows Dragnet and Jack Webb.

technorati tags: , , ,

Friday, February 23, 2007

Did You Have a Happy Valentine's Day?

Did you have a nice Valentine's Day? Did you get a good message? From that special person? I know it was a week ago, but it is such an emotional day, I thought I would wait awhile before sharing. The intention was probably sweet, but sometimes it just doesn't turn out quite right.

You probably didn't get one of these
. Be sure to read the captions with these cards, too.

I found these cards on a link from Lady Bracknell's blog. It is lots of fun and very easy to read. Her style is reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse.

technorati tags: , , ,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Love Your Pet

Today is Love Your Pet Day. Actually, I also found Love Your Pet Day was yesterday. Whichever date is right doesn't really matter -- I'm sure most pets out there were loved yesterday, and they will be loved again today. They probably didn't even need a special day.

One Christmas, after all the gifts had been opened, I went upstairs and brought down one last surprise. The white one was a skinny little kitten rescued from the ASPCA, Sherlock. The black one was a little roly-poly puppy, Strudel.

Take your dog for a walk, give your cat an extra cuddle, sing with your bird, coil up with your snake, put an extra treasure in the fish aquarium, or do whatever you and your pet enjoy together. It's Love Your Pet Day today (or maybe yesterday).

technorati tags: , , , ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Mark Twain

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day.

At a loss for what you can do? The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has some ideas. There are inspirations for schools and communities, lists of kindness days dates, and a large archive of newsletters. Look around.

Don't stop at just one. You have the whole day -- use it over and over. Wouldn't it be nice if kindness becomes your new habit? And you should perform your random acts of kindness for whom?

"Be kind to unkind people -- they need it most,"
Ashleigh Brilliant

technorati tags: ,

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dr. House - a Wheeler?

An interesting plot on the TV program -- Garry and I watched House last week and I keep thinking about it. Dr. House, although disabled himself, lost his handicap-reserved parking place to a wheeler. To get it back he bet he could spend the week in a wheelchair.

He actually did a very good job of staying in the wheelchair, even when he could not reach to put up his folders, even when he was impatient with a slow elevator. However, we saw him only at the hospital. Did he continue the experiment when he was home? Or did he stay in the chair only when someone was likely to see him? The week was almost over when he finally did stand, and it was a heroic effort to save his patient's life.

This episode sparked a wave of online discussions and critics. House pointed out the ease, comfort and safety of using a wheelchair as opposed to his difficulty of getting around with the use of a cane. Assignment of the parking space, he thought, depended on determining who was more disabled. Most of the comments concerned the question "which is harder - a cane or a chair?" My question would have been "don't they both qualify for a prime parking spot?" I know, I know, then the entire story line would not work.

And the story brought out clever paradigms. After all, isn't it easier for a wheeler to get around than it is for just about anyone else? If not, maybe it should be. House commented on the perspective difference between a sitter and an upright. Even though House faces problems with his own disability, not only mobility but also pain, he encountered a completely different set of challenges with life in a chair.

Some points may have been missed by an upright audience. Others were clever. For example, he struggled to get in his car, scoot over on the seat, and then discovered he could not reach to close the car door.

House is a popular show and it highlighted some problems, both simple and not so simple, with daily life in a chair. It was a good venue for an important point.

technorati tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Movie Guidelines or Censorship?

This week we saw the documentary This Movie Is Not Yet Rated and it made me think.

I was not aware the movie rating system was under such strict secrecy and with no effective recourse for movie makers who disagree with the rating. This is the movie industry, and it's just not fair. What exactly puts a film in one rating category or another? The criterion appears to be very subjective and the guiding force seems to be the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).

Watching this documentary made me wonder about movie ratings. A rating gives guidelines for parents when deciding if their children can see a particular movie. Another rating hints that this one might be violent or sexual or wholesome.

Who decides if the film is suitable for children, or teenagers, or boys, or girls, or church-goers, or intellectuals, or politicians, or any category of potential viewers?
Film ratings affect distribution and is actually a crude form of censorship.

Guidelines are welcome, but the system that provides these guidelines is secret and unquestionably against our freedoms.

Garry's recent post looks at the general topic of freedom of speech in America, Iran and China.

technorati tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, February 05, 2007

Money, Money, Money

Have you ever needed to save for something -- something big like a new car or something more critical like your next meal? Here's some inspiration from a girl worth saving. She is learning to manage her financial future and she is sharing that lesson with us.

Kelly shows us her goals for saving, for a nest egg, and to become a savings star, and she shows us her progress. In a nice, conversational style she works through some decisions, recommends sources for financial tips both online and hard copy, and sprinkles her posts with personal experiences.

These are personal stories from a self-described average Jane, not a professional financial advisor. She is simply blogging. We can learn something or we can just enjoy her blog. And maybe give her a little support by following her in her journey. I think she's doing great.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chalk on the Sidewalk

Remember when we drew squares on the sidewalk in front of the house to play hopscotch? Most of us put away our chalk, but some artists took that genre to another level.

Notice how the people avoid the "hole"
Julian Beever is an English author who creates pavement 3-D drawings that demand a closer look. Some of the pictures look so real until you see the lines of the brick where it was drawn. He has an incredible range of subjects, including some self portraits. Check out his wall murals and fine art paintings, too. Kurt Wenner is an American artist of the same genre.

Art by both of these chalkers has graced the pavement around the world. These pictures certainly show a new perspective. Wow.