Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Monday, May 04, 2009

What interests me:

A variety of topics have piqued my interest for much of my life. I am a curious soul and my regular contributors, Betmo and Jon are good about adding information into my consciousness via sending me links. Since I am a photographer and a political news junkie, Jon# sent me this from The Huffington Post "300 Photos From Obama's First 100 Days: Behind The Scenes." And here are some more links to interesting photographs that I really enjoyed. "In Pictures: Easter Worldwide," from the BBC News.

Native Americans -- First from the BBC News (4/12/09): "From Our Own Correspondent" at "Cultural balance." Summary: How native and modern America are working together. In a related story comes from The Washington Post (4/14/09): "Professor Picked for Indian Affairs," To quote:

A Native American who served as the attorney general of Idaho was nominated yesterday to become the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Betmo* forwarded this e-mail from Diane Laughlin, because she knows of my love of anthropology, as well as my upbringing on an Indian Reservation in Wyoming. To quote:

Study claims single ancestry for Native people.
April 29, 2009
Filed Under: Education

A study published in the May issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution claims all modern-day Native people descend from a single group. Researchers examined the DNA from 20 Native groups in the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Central America and South America. They found a common genetic marker in all of the populations. The genetic marker was not found in the DNA of 31 modern-day Asian groups, leading researchers to conclude that the ancestors of modern-day Native people lived in isolation before expanding to the Americas. The study estimates the most recent common ancestor lived somewhere between 7,325 and 39,900 years ago. The marker was found in two Native groups in Western Siberia, in Russia, that are closely linked to Alaska Natives. Get the Story:
Native Americans descended from a single ancestral group, DNA study confirms (Physorg.Com 4/29) Get the Study:
Haplotypic Background of a Private Allele at High Frequency in the Americas (Molecular Biology and Evolution 2009 26(5):995-1016; doi:10.1093/molbev/msp024)

NASA -- I have been a "space junkie" since the beginning with the Mercury program in the 1950s. The U.S. space program is run by NASA and partners with 11 other space agencies all over the world. Our first partner was Russia and they are still the most significant. I found this very interesting set of photographs at The BBC News - "In Pictures: Russian Space school." And from Reuters (4/15/09) comes this fun little story: "Colbert lost in space when NASA names station node," To quote:

NASA on Tuesday named its new living quarters on the International Space Station "Tranquillity," denying television comedian Stephen Colbert his attempt to get the new Node 3 named after himself.

In a more serious vein, this is an earlier piece from The Washington Post (4/7/09): "NASA Awaits Word on Where It Is Going Next." By Joel Achenbach. To summarize:

NASA has a space station, three space shuttles, two moon rockets under development, a fleet of robotic space probes, dozens of satellites, tens of thousands of employees and a budget that is creeping toward $20 billion a year. What it needs is a boss.

Crises of survival -- If the survival of NASA could now be in jeopardy, so are our nations newspapers, for several reasons including the power of the Internet. It is an issue of vital importance to the health of our nation's Fourth Estate. Related is this article from The New York Times (4/8/09): "Is Yahoo! a better Friend to Newspapers than Google?" Summary: "Some newspaper executives say Yahoo has done more than Google to help newspapers." Also, we are in the middle of an economic crisis of historic proportions. Betmo* sent me this related link because we both care deeply about the environment. Titled, "Introducing the Orion Project by Steven M. Greer M.D.*," it is from Dandelion Salad (4.18.08). Summarized: "A non-profit foundation created to transform the current energy, environmental and social crisis into a world of sustainability and enlightened abundance."

Naturally curious -- From StumbleUpon comes this fascination: "Rare all-female ant society that reproduces by cloning discovered." Also from Flikr via StumbleUpon comes this amazing photo of a little Pufferfish and of a wonderful happy child. As I am interested in the sciences, I was led into nurse's training after High School. I did not finish that course, but my interest in science is still keen. I remain curious about a variety of issues in biology, including this item from CQ-Politics: "Cloning heats up as next bioresearch fight" (4/27/09) To quote:

As the Obama administration prepares to greatly expand the government’s investments in embryonic stem cell research, the next big biomedical research debate in Congress is shaping up: whether to allow government funding of experiments using cloned human embryos.

In conclusion -- After I turned 50, I went back to school and earned a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work, the practive of therapy. After learning more about relaxation and a bit about meditation, I have maintained an academic interest in Eastern religions. So this article caught my eye and shook up my therapist assumptions a bit. I recommend this piece from the New York Times (3/5/09) "Being and Mindfulness," by Judith Warner, a skeptic. To quote:

I have no doubt that this meta-connectedness feels real, and indeed is real, in the abstract at least. But in real-life encounters, I’ve come lately to wonder whether meaningful bonds are well forged by the extreme solipsism that mindfulness practice often turns out to be.

. . . For one thing, there’s the seemingly unavoidable problem that people who are embarked on this particular “journey of self-exploration,” as Pipher has called it, tend to want to talk, or write, about it. A lot. But what they don’t realize — because they’re so in the moment, caught in the wonder and fascination and totality of their self-experience — is that their stories are like dream sequences in movies, or college students’ journal entries, or the excited accounts your children bring you of absolutely hilarious moments in cartoons — you really do have to be the one who’s been there to tolerate it.

For the truth is, however admirable mindfulness may be, however much peace, grounding, stability and self-acceptance it can bring, as an experience to be shared, it’s stultifyingly boring.

. . . Some of us experience our emotions always in capital letters and exclamation points. This isn’t always pleasant but, to go all mindful for a moment, it is what it is, and if you are one of these people then probably one of the great pleasures of your life is finding others like you and settling in with them for a good rant. A world devoid of such souls can be cold and forbidding, and above all terribly, terribly dull.

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are Betmo*, Dan'l+ and Jon#. Most of their links are published at my brand new blog is called "Behind the Links." Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for my websites.

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.