Learning Languages to Greet Strangers in the Street: Empathy or Insanity?

Context, Critical Thinking, Continuous Learning: Project Do Better

R. Nachman of Bratslav said that “The whole world is a very narrow bridge.” If so, then maybe that explains why people tell us not to talk to strangers. I am still glad, though, that I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And even more recently.

Less short version of the story:
When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (in DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept…

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What 9 Noteworthy Things I learned On 9th

On a mission

1. You can’t make an exception from a norm and try to make it a rule. It will die a natural death.

2. What we think theoretically would work because it has worked in the past does not guarantee anything. Check it on your own.

3. What is slow is smooth, what is smooth is fast, and it’s the result orientation.

4. The disease of 100 years old is all taken care of by Vaccination. A few examples which come to my mind are smallpox, measles, polio, etc

5. Today we have more lifestyle diseases. So what started will also end it as well. Of course, one has to take medicine in short term to cure it. One has to be sure it’s helping in curing the cause, not the symptoms.

6. Speed of thought is called stress. Acceleration to thoughts is good but there has to be a brake…

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Pied Piper Of Pojhi

Great tale! Thank you for sharing…

Weekend Stories by Trishikh

Tracts of fertile agricultural land stretched as far as the eyes could see. With the changing seasons, the colours of the harvest varied from shades of green to brown to golden to fluorescent yellow, yielding bounties of rice, maize, potatoes, mustard, red gram, and rapeseed. A mix of some thatched huts and other unplastered brick houses of the poor and a few brightly painted and well-done rural bungalows of the affluent scantily dotted the topography.

While patches of groves amidst the vast farmlands provided shade, deep wells and shallow ponds quenched the thirsts of both man and beasts. Cows, buffalos, goats, ducks, chickens, dogs, foxes, mongooses, snakes, frogs and the occasional nilgai Indian antelope often found themselves on the asphalt Patna-Parsa-Siwan State Highway 73 that cut across the region.

Various shops and small businesses haphazardly sprouted on both sides of the highway, bringing a subtle commercial flavour to the predominantly…

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After Europe’s latest Covid surge, will the US follow suit? | Coronavirus | The Guardian

But scientists warned this week that the coronavirus will continue evolving to evade immunity, causing future surges that will be difficult to predict.

Covid-19 has evolved faster than expected, and “we should expect a lot of evolution going forward,” Trevor Bedford, a professor of biostatistics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, told a panel of independent FDA advisers on Wednesday. “Those viruses will do better and will spread locally and perhaps regionally and perhaps globally.”

The US has generally followed surges in the UK three or four weeks later, but reported cases are holding steady at an average of about 26,000 a day. Although deaths have declined significantly from the Omicron peak, more than 500 Americans are still dying every day.


Source: After Europe’s latest Covid surge, will the US follow suit? | Coronavirus | The Guardian

Republicans are coming after same-sex marriage – and won’t stop there | Arwa Mahdawi | The Guardian

Republicans are aggressively undermining gay marriage

An adult marrying another adult of the same sex? Outrageous; the Lord will smite thee. An adult marrying a child of the opposite sex, on the other hand? Totally fine with God, apparently.

Such is the perverse logic of the always righteous Republicans, a number of whom recently sponsored legislation that would legalize common law marriage in Tennessee. While that sounds innocuous on the surface the legislation is a shameless attempt to undermine same-sex marriage, which has been legal across the US since 2015. The bill’s mastermind, the Tennessee state senator Janice Bowling, explained that the bill declares “that the marriage between a man and a woman is not a creation of the state government or its statutes, it is a common law right”. Bowling also noted that the bill provides “an alternative form of marriage for those pastors and other individuals who have a conscientious objection to the current pathway to marriage in our law”.

These conscientious objectors were so busy being homophobic that they didn’t have any time to be concerned about minor things like child marriage, it seems. The original iteration of the bill essentially eliminated minimum age limits to get married and paved the way for child marriage. As another state senator, Raumesh Akbari from Memphis, told reporters: “It’s ugly enough Republicans are advancing an unconstitutional bill to undermine marriage equality, but the fact that this bill reopens the debate on child marriage is outrageous.” The Republicans backing the bill didn’t seem too bothered by the whole child marriage thing when it was first pointed out but, after international backlash, they inserted an amendment adding a minimum age requirement of 17. Very noble of them.

Source: Republicans are coming after same-sex marriage – and won’t stop there | Arwa Mahdawi | The Guardian

Column: For two years, I’ve tried to protect myself from COVID-19. Now I’ve tested positive – Los Angeles Times

What this past week has taught me is that we are just pretending to understand this virulent, mysterious and unpredictable pandemic.

We bury ourselves in statistics, as if that gives us a sense of control. But what does the case count even mean now that so many folks are testing themselves at home and no one is tallying those results?

I appreciate all the work the researchers are doing. Rutherford said there are now tantalizing hints that blood type may be linked to COVID-19 immunity. That kind of revelation might lead to new ways to prevent or treat the disease. But even a perfect understanding of the big picture won’t mean we can predict the course of an individual infection.

“From a public health standpoint, we’re not worried about you. … You’re a good outcome,” Rutherford said. “Not as good as having no infection. But having an asymptomatic infection, we’ll chalk that up as a win.”

And right now, that sounds pretty good to me.

Source: Column: For two years, I’ve tried to protect myself from COVID-19. Now I’ve tested positive – Los Angeles Times

The Missed Poem #poetry #blogging #friends

penned in moon dust

Like a cherry blossom

you fluttered on my cheek

with a waft of fragrance

the smell of pink

you lingered for a day

perhaps it was two

tried to catch up

with the poem and you

you vanished with the sunset

you flickered out of sight

no sign of the poet

you had taken flight

Reflecting on a dear talented poet Jackie Dick who passed several years ago. We met in the blogsphere and I am glad we had a cherry blossom moment. This poem is dedicated to her and other poets who have taken flight.

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Who By Fire: תכירו את הדמות :Hopkins / Meet the Characters: Hopkins

Context, Critical Thinking, Continuous Learning: Project Do Better

Our next meeting from my Work In Progress: Who By Fire: I Will -Book 1, is Hopkins :

  M. אני לומד את האלפבית העברי מחברי  

I am learning the Hebrew Alphabet from my friend M.

Our dear Hopkins is a man of very few words. 🙂

Hopkins is a Free Man of Color, eager to learn the language of the Bible, in 1838 Baltimore, and our hero’s particularfriend.

I’d planned to start drafting in time to finish 100k words of a 1st draft as part of NaNoWriMo last year, but Do Better took precedence. I’m starting #WhoByFireIWill drafting again, still working out the various character voices.

I am currently outlining the scenes as a historical urban portal fantasy, sub-genre of either suspense or thriller.

I began writing this historical portal fantasy novel in June, 2020, when certain characters would not let me alone, and my ancestors seemed to…

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