Wild Neighbors: Not Your Father’s Bird Guide?

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 22, 2011 - 08:16:00 PM
Ducks: Black scoters, probably at the Jersey Shore.

Birding, for such a quiet occupation, seems unusually prone to revolutions. In the old days, BP (Before Peterson) the custom was to shoot any bird of interest so you could examine the fine points of its plumage in the hand. Roger Tory Peterson’s first field guide changed all that. With somewhat schematic paintings and concise text, Peterson offered the ability to identify most birds through binoculars or a spotting scope. -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: Europe’s Austerity: A Grimm’s Fairy Tale

By Conn Hallinan
Monday March 21, 2011 - 02:59:00 PM

* In the Greek town of Aphidal, people have stopped paying road fees. In Athens, bus and metro riders are refusing to cough up the price of a ticket. On Feb. 23, 250,000 Greek protesters jammed the streets outside the nation’s parliament. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Time to End the U.S. Economic Embargo of Cuba

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday March 21, 2011 - 02:34:00 PM

The United States is the last country in the Western Hemisphere with no formal relations with Cuba. It is time for the United States and Cuba to mend fences. For a start, the U.S. should end the economic embargo against Cuba. The embargo makes it illegal for U.S. corporations to do business with Cuba. U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba are also a form of economic sanctions. -more-

On Mental Illness: the Effects of Collective Disasters

By Jack Bragen
Monday March 21, 2011 - 03:01:00 PM

I had a friend/adversary in the mid- 1990’s with whom I sometimes shared delusions. We had a tendency to get one another into trouble. His delusions were mostly of a military-government-secret agent theme. When he was well, this man was very kind, and worked in the psychiatric self-help field to help others. He had gotten well after a lengthy stint of wild mania in which he frightened a number of people, including me, and in which he was fairly destructive. He was back at work, and I didn’t have much contact with him because of how bad our encounters had been. -more-

Senior Power: Nihon Elderly

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday March 22, 2011 - 08:55:00 PM

You may have noted many old persons in photos from the Tōhoku ("northeast")region, a geographical area of Japan. It occupies the northeastern portion of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. The population estimate of Tōhoku as of 2008 was 9,708,257. The region consists of six prefectures: Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata. Sendai ,is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, and the largest city in the Tōhoku Region. The city of trees was founded in 1600 by the daimyo Date Masamune. Here, abstracted from “Fourteen elderly die after evacuating Japanese hospital,” by Associated Press medical writer Margie Mason (March 17, 2011), is news: -more-

Dispatches From the Edge: China & the U.S. :Things That Go Bang

By Conn Hallinan
Sunday March 20, 2011 - 11:28:00 AM

Reading the headlines about U.S.-China relations might lead one to conclude that current tensions between the two have less to do with political differences than chemical imbalances: “The Chinese Tiger Shows Its Claws” vs. “China Helps Defuse Korea Crisis”; or “America is far too soft in its dealings with Beijing” vs. “Blaming China will not solve America’s problems.” What comes to mind is a dose of Thorazine, or maybe a Lithium regime? -more-