Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
Members: 878
Latest Activity: 10 minutes ago

Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

Nobody here is into mind games. A discussion started with a loaded guilt-throwing question will be deleted.

This group is not intended to compete with other groups on topics they cover but to "fill in the cracks." Whenever a discussion dwells at length on a topic for which there's an existing group, we urge you to provide members a link to that group to continue along their tangent.

A comment is a shout-out, which will get lost in a few days, because the comment wall is just a random stack.

Please start a discussion to share stories, photos, and videos. Replies will pop up in your "latest activity" and a conversation can develop from the feelings and thoughts you contributed. Groups are built on discussions.

Discussion Forum

Saving Number 90 - From Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller yesterday. 10 Replies

Seth says himself that the following is a departure from the usual fare his YouTube channel features.  Personally, I think it's a positive and constructive move, because it demonstrates that no, we are NOT just about atheism.  We're also very much…Continue

Tags: abuse, animal, puppy mills, Henry, The Thinking Atheist

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia (NY Times)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Joan Denoo on Sunday. 4 Replies

WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against…Continue

Tags: Russia, Putin, investigation, FBI, James Comey

exposing abuse | Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial | part 1 (TheraminTrees)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Patricia Jan 4. 31 Replies

There really is no other way to say it: prepare to be revolted, disgusted, and made sick to your stomach.  Our good friend, TheraminTrees has had a considerable look at a recent commission executed by the government of Australia, digging into…Continue

Tags: Jehovah's Witnesses, child abuse, TheraminTrees

The Stanford Prison Experiment,

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Dec 22, 2018. 3 Replies

the Zimbardo experiment: The experiment was conducted from August 14 to 20,1971 by a team of researchers led by…Continue

Tags: change, Experiment, Prison, Stanford, Zimbardo

Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of Our Universe (Eric Whitacre)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Dec 9, 2018. 10 Replies

We've all heard about the Deep Field observations of the Hubble Space Telescope, how, almost on a whim, the device was aimed at what was thought to be an empty, unoccupied section of sky and a long time exposure was taken.  What they discovered was…Continue

Tags: NASA, Hubble Space Telescope, Deep Field, Eric Whitacre

Canada Not a Loud Nation

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Patricia Dec 2, 2018. 11 Replies

Canada is a proud nation but not a loud nation.British newspaper salutes Canada . . . this is a good read. It is funny how it took someone in England to put it into words......Salute to a brave and modest nation - Kevin Myers , 'The Sunday…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Idaho Spud on November 14, 2017 at 11:56am

I remember Randy saying something about wanting to see gardens in China.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2017 at 11:50am

I don't understand Chris' botany question either. I saw no reference to it in your preparation to go to China nor in your reports of China. 

Thanks for your comments about China's right of Eminent domain. An interesting difference of perspective which may explain some of the confusion we westerners have about China's culture.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 14, 2017 at 7:06am

I don't mind the questions and comments (Joan and Chris). I'm happy to share my experiences.

The "botany" part (Chris), I don't understand. Like I said, I would have liked to see more of rural China, but so be it. The temples, etc., were part of the package--just a wee bit too much for my atheistic taste. I refrained from taking tons of photos of religious places and things.

And to Thomas, I sorta forget what that middle picture was. Sorry. 

Joan, some peanuts, watermelon served commonly as dessert. And I read "The Ugly American" years and years ago. From what I could tell, Chinese people really admire and want to copy American culture. And I think black is their favorite color!

A few words and photos regarding "relocation" due to new buildings and the 3 Gorges Dam project.

World view of the Chinese government running roughshod over the people in order to modernize, etc., was negative. Eminent domain is a priority over there. But, it works. The people are heavily compensated for being forced to move. New homes/apartments are built and lots of money is given to those relocated. They grumbled at first, but now seem happy with their lives much improved. Below is a photo of a 60 yr old grandmother who we "interviewed" about her life then and now.

I've also added a photo or two showing "new" cities (within the last 20 years). The last photo is of Shanghai (not "relocated")

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 10:46pm

Randy, I am truly sorry if I am pushy about hearing of your experiences in China. I would love to sit down and have a face to face conversation and compare notes. It seems China has changed a great deal since the early 1980s. I am sad to think you didn't see the surprise and excitement the Chinese of my time had; on the other hand, perhaps seeing "round-eyed, fair-skinned people may be common everyday events for them. I hope the "Rude American did not change their happy welcome. 

By the way, I hope you read "The Ugly American;" it is a reminder of our historical legacy of American pompousness, ineptitude, and unscrupulousness in Southeast Asia. Not a very honorable image to carry. 

I have another question, we had peanuts served at every meal, did you? 

And one more, I was in China in late summer and the streets were piled high with watermelon rinds. Trucks hauled the rinds away and yet the piles kept growing. It was an amazing sight. Did you see such a events?  

Comment by The Flying Atheist on November 13, 2017 at 8:22pm

I like your photos, Randy.  Thanks for sharing.  I can imagine that seeing temple after temple could become boring, if not irritating.  But I hope you had positive experiences with the people and the culture.  How's your cold doing?

Comment by Chris on November 13, 2017 at 8:10pm

Sorry If I'm picking on you Randall Smith.

Was the oblective of xploring of China botany?

The tour you took sound inappropriate for you goals.  It sounds as though you took a tour of  "exploring eastern religions" 

I don't thing Asians are anti-religious in an European dominance way.  It's a different phylosophy.   Perhaps if you continue your studies you will find methods of botany that may enlighten you.

Sorry, If I'm making too many assumptions.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:28am

Regarding the posted photos: The first is a "monk student" I met when I was roaming the streets of Beijing. Nice young man.

The last photo is in a Buddhist temple with a guide on the right (a modern Buddhist) and two curious native Tibetians wondering what the heck the guide was talking about. 

The middle photo is of just another alter. 

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:20am

Back to China and religion (sorry).

I'm not sure why Road Scholar deems it necessary to highlight religious places as prime tourist attractions. Despite China being "anti-religion", there are a lot of worshipers of the 3 main religions, especially Buddhism. We toured our fair share of temples and monasteries. Really, I was repulsed by the plethora of sites we attended and icons we "had to see". And there were great numbers of worshipers, especially in Lhasa. Of course, the Dalai Lama is banned there, but, if anything, that increases the devotion to him. Like Mecca, the masses come from all over to "pay homage" to their Buddha and exiled leader. (Hope I'm describing this properly.)

PS , Spud: those two students in my photo were from Xi'an, not Tibet. They were learning English (as do most students) and we got to "converse" with them--not easy!

Comment by Plinius on November 13, 2017 at 1:49am

Great music!

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 12:42am

Chris, this music is lovely, and with so many musical instruments unfamiliar to me. Thanks for sharing. 


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