Saturday, September 11, 2010

Women 90 Years Ago - A Bite of History

I never knew the details of the things that happened to women as they fought to have their voices heard.
This is not common knowledge, but it should be......
'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' This is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.>
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women. Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press. So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?
Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)
Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.' HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman's Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace] [ Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right)) It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.')

In Memorium

I'll never forget where I was when I heard about 9 11. Just like I'll never forget when JFK was assassinated, or MLK, or Bobby Kennedy, or when the Challenger exploded or Columbia disintegrated, or . . .

National tragedies are seared into our consciousness by mass media.

Pretty Planets and Moon

Just a quick pic. The crescent Moon, Venus and Mars after sunset.

If you missed it tonight, give it a shot tomorrow night. The Moon will be to the left of Venus and it will still be a nice sight.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Four for Fridays

Hello everybody! A short week and it's Friday already! Now that school is back in session, here are some questions...

1) Did you go to college?

2) If so, where did you go?

3) What was your major?

4) What was your favorite class in high school? In college?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Weekend Version

A short workweek makes for smiles.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Good Samaritan thwarts Wis. bank robbery attempt"

"ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — A good Samaritan has thwarted a bank robbery in Wisconsin by jumping on an armed man.

"The Associated Bank's surveillance video shows the man at a counter when the masked robber carrying a gun rushes to a teller at the bank in St. Francis at about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"Within five seconds, the man approaches the robber from behind. A second later he puts his arm around the robber's neck and jumps on his back.

"The robber then tries to run with the man on his back."

In the story, the Police Chief says that "he appreciates the effort, but police don't want people intervening in robberies. He would rather bystanders be good witnesses."

I can understand that. But I have to admit that I like seeing the robbery foiled. Unfortunately, the bad guy got away.

Scenes from Shawano

This summer, I spent some time traveling Up North visiting family and friends. During this five hour drive is a pit stop in Shawano. Shawano is a city about 37 miles northwest of Green Bay. It has a population of 8,300. It's not a big city by any means, but it retains that small town feel I enjoy and love.

Historical marker

Shawano Lake

Statue in downtown Shawano

Ferris wheel at Shawano County Fair

BTW Mr. Biggie D-It's pronounced Sha-No, not Sha Wano :P

What's Your Consumer Profile?

Marketers would love to know and probably do. They collect all that credit card data and shoppers club data to figure out how to get more of your dollars.

Marketplace put up a fairly simple tool to find your consumer profile. It's pretty short, so the results I am sure are only approximate. I scored 5/5 for two profiles

City Lights: The Murphy Browns! You are educated, have a great job and are in solid financial shape. You’re a bona fide urbanite and spend much of your time and money on entertainment, sprucing up your home and going to the movies. You’re fit, healthy and like to get your yoga on (oommmmmm). You like to travel and you enjoy the arts. You’re very savvy about clothes and jewelry, and a lot of your money goes to those areas. You also like to get in touch with your inner gambler — playing the lottery and visiting casinos. Just remember, you’ve gotta know when to fold 'em.

Metropolitans: Bond. James Bond. Well, maybe your pen does not double as a bazooka, but there are many similarities! You're young, a swinging single city-dweller, you're finishing up school or getting your hooks into the working world. One thing you do not do is sit around. When you're not exploring exotic reefs or tearing up the slopes, you're doing home improvement projects and helping to save the environment. You're on solid financial ground—with some investments offsetting the inevitable student loans. You're ready to be shaken AND stirred.

I'll let you figure out which parts are right and which are wrong. With such a short questionaire, I think this is almost like a horoscope!


Saturday is fast approaching!!

Cookout is this Saturday at noon.
Details were just emailed out.
If you did not get the email, please let me know
so I can re-send it to you.

Please use this as our RSVP and what everybody's bringing spot

See you Saturday!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?

And all the science that goes with it. NBC Learn, along with the National Science Foundation and NFL, are producing a series of videos on the science of football. The first two are already up and new ones will be posted every Friday through the end of October. Unfortunately, they don't give nice embed code for these videos.

Dr. Tim Gay at the University of Nebraska did a series of Football Physics videos that are available online. His videos have been shown on the jumbotron before Nebraska football games.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my windswept wonders. How are you? Has anyone notified Mother Nature that autumn doesn’t begin until September 23? I am not fond of these sudden switches in seasons. I believe that I was in the middle of one of those hazy, lazy, crazy days when the wind suddenly chilled and the night grew cool. I prefer a much more gradual transition. Or maybe I just prefer more summer.

An article appeared in last Thursday, and I just had to draw everyone’s attention to it. “In the Crystal Ball: More Regulation for Psychics” -,8599,2015676,00.html Oh dear, they paint such a negative picture of those who ply my trade. Yet it is interesting to note that “about 1 in 7 Americans consulted a psychic or fortune teller in 2009, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That could be 30 million or more people.” Ahem, 30 million people aren’t just smoke and mirrors. I can understand why the government wants to get in on this market: more fees and taxes. Already the $150 fee (plus $10 background check) for a one-year license. It will only go up. It will only grow. That is the way of bureaucracy. Not even my powers are capable of stopping it. Soon the very fees and taxes that we pay will be used against us. Then, when all of our psychics are out of business and their jobs have been outsourced to “telepsychics” who speak indecipherable English from call centers in India, only then will you begin to understand what was spawned here. But then it will be too late. Unfortunately, that is my professional prediction.

While in a somber vein, I’d also like to draw attention to some other recent news. “Protest over French gypsy crackdown” -

“Thousands of people all over France have marched to protest at expulsions of gypsies and other security measures adopted by President Nicolas Sarkozy's government.

“Protesters blew whistles and beat drums in Paris, the largest demonstration among those in at least 135 cities and towns and elsewhere in Europe on Saturday.”

In response to those who support the expulsion of my people from France and other countries, I again draw your attention to the calm, well-reasoned retort to your position which I posted in my blog last week:

That’s it for this week, my dear Irregulars. Thank you so very much for making me part of your day. I love visiting with those I know and with those I don’t know. As it said in my ex’s watering hole, “You are a stranger here but once.”

Please send your political screeds to:

Hold onto your hats, Irregulars – literally. You never know when a gusty pre-fall breeze will take a swipe at you. The times, they are a-changing. Vorticity!

Open Blog - Wednesday

It's been a shorter journey to hump day this week.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Bible Flip

"The first double backflip on a wheelchair, landed by Aaron Fotheringham. After landing the double on his wheelchair, he named it the Bible Flip, because it takes a whole lot of faith to throw a double."

Oh yeah!

Huck, are you going for the triple? Maybe with jet assist?

Fire Waterfall

A rare sight!! Yosemite National Park, California, USA

This park was gazetted as a national park in 1890. It is world famous for its rugged terrain, waterfall and century-old pine trees. It covers 1200 sq km and the "fire" waterfall ofEl Capitanis one of the most spectacular of all scenery.

The spectacular view of the waterfall is created by the reflection of sunlight hitting the falling water at a specific angle.

This rare sight can only be seen at a 2-week period towards the end of February.

To photograph this rare event, photographers would often have to wait and
endure years of patience in order to capture them.

The reason is because its appearance depend on a few natural phenomenon occurring at the same time. 1st, is the formation of the waterfall, the water is formed by the melting of snow and ice at the top of the mountain. It melts between the month of December and January and by the end of February there might not have much snow left to melt. 2nd, is the specific angle of the sunray hitting the falling water - The sun's position must be exactly at a particular spot in the sky. This occurs only in the month of February and at the short hours of dusk. If it is a day full of clouds or something blocking the sun, you can only take pictures of your own sorry faces on the waterfall.

It coincides with the fact that the weather in the National Park at that time of the year is often volatile and unpredictable. It compounds the difficulty of getting these pictures.

All credits go to original photographer(s)

The Ballad of the Queen Berets

A video based on the song by the Capitol Steps for a non-politically correct laugh on this week's "Monday".

The Capitol Steps don't seem to mind that people do this with their music...I found this vid because the Capitol Steps put in on their twitter feed!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Reflections on Labor Day

As you know, I was involved in a major accident last week. On Labor Day, it's a good time to take stock of the things I don't have to worry about.

I am fortunate to have good insurance. I wasn't sitting on the side of the road worried about how I was going to pay for the helicopter evacuation, emergency room visit, or hospital stay. My employer has generous sick leave so I was not worrying about lost wages or how I was going to pay the bills during recovery. My employer has been very helpful in a lot of ways the last few days including sending someone over to the towing company to retrieve my personal belongings from my car (including my glasses which were in there...I can't wear contacts right now due to a small corneal abrasion).

But how many workers are fortunate enough to be in this situation? Not nearly enough. Life is full of peril. It's not like I was out skydiving or something. Things can happen which are not your fault that can cause someone to lose their house or go bankrupt. That's part of the reason universal health care and basic job protections are important. Many people could be fired for missing a week of work regardless of the circumstances. They would then be left with all the bills and no job...and there are people that would just say pick yourself up by your bootstraps (even when your employer does his best to cut off those bootstraps).

I am lucky. My situation should be the rule, not the exception for hard working Americans.

Open Blog - Labor Day

Here's to Labor!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Family needs communities help - Wanted party on the run with children."

Bumped, because she is still on the run, more pictures are available at the link below, and the Racine Post is now linking to the story.

Originally posted September 1, 2010, at 2:08 PM:

"The Racine District Attorney has issued a warrant for the arrest of Deva Keuffer. She is charged with 2 counts of Misappropriate ID Info – Obtain Money Felony H and 1 count of Theft-Movable Property >$5000-$10,000 Felony H. The family is concerned because she has not been seen in a few weeks and does have her 2 younger children with her. The family doesn’t know the condition of the children, their welfare and if they are even in school at this time. She is known to have abuse problems."