Hang With Friends

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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.

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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

maggie and milly and molly and may (Edward Estlin Cummings & Eric Whitacre)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Nov 20. 2 Replies

It's amazing what you discover when you go looking for something you had no idea you'd find.  On an impulse, I pulled up Eric Whitacre's website to see if he had created any new pieces.  It would seem that he has: a song cycle called The City and…Continue

Tags: e e cummings, Eric Whitacre

There Is Only One Way to Destroy ISIS

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Randall Smith Nov 18. 1 Reply

There Is Only One Way to Destroy ISISGrowth in population, policies and practices that create a gap between the typical person and the wealthy,…Continue

Passive and Active voices

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 16. 1 Reply

Have you noticed that much of the discussion in families and with friends, in the print media, on TV, and now on the internet is in the Passive Voice? Many people whine, complain, gripe, accuse, blame, call names, ridicule, grumble, bitch, rebuke,…Continue

Tags: and, behaviors, communication., attitudes, learned

Detroit Businesswomen Team Up to Get Rape Kits Tested

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by The Flying Atheist Nov 14. 2 Replies

Detroit Businesswomen Team Up to Get Rape Kits Tested"In 2009, a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney noticed…Continue

Tags: women, Enough, SAID, black, victims

Something Beautiful – Nathan Phelps & Seth Andrews

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Nov 10. 7 Replies

And it is beautiful, too, indeed, I think some of Seth Andrews' best work.  Interesting point: rather than Seth's dulcet baritone doing the narration, this piece presses Nathan Phelps' deep bass intonation into service, bringing a different flavor…Continue

Tags: Nathan Phelps, The Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews, beautiful, something

Your favorite photobombs?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Oct 27. 14 Replies

Running of the bulls photobomb.Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Plinius on May 29, 2013 at 1:59am

Holiday stories for Joan, and for everyone who likes them.              Naples is so beautiful. Most buildings are painted in earth colours, red, yellow and green, and the strong sun bleaches everything into an endless variety of shades. Many people make their outside space on balconies or terraces into another livingroom, so every apartment block is a display of chairs, tables and sunshades, decorated with pots of agave and bougainville. All that greenery is astonishing to me, even though the Netherlands are fertile. In and around Naples you can see orange and lemon trees and cactus figs in the smallest spaces, and it all grows like weeds. The mix of wealth and poverty also jumped at me: when I stepped outside our good hotel there was a boy with deformed feet on the pavement and a row of probably illegal immigrants wanting to sell whatever they had - umbrellas, lighters, sunglasses fastened on a piece of cardboard. One time I saw a signal going through the row - carabinieri I guess - they picked up their cardboards and were gone in seconds.

A trip up the Vesuvius is also a wonderful thing to do, quite an adventure for a flatlander like me! At about sea level you take a bus and in a quarter of an hour you're driven higher and higher through some villages and through many hairpin bends - you feel your ears popping now and then. Now you enter the national park of the Vesuvius, and a smaller bus brings you still higher, through the woods on the slopes - more hairpin bends, popping ears and dazzling views! In another quarter of an hour you're at 1100 metres, close to the top. Now the crater is only a 20 minute walk up a path of black volcanic stuff. It's not too steep, but bring a sweater! There's often a cloud on top of the mountain, and you climb into the cloud... On the crater rim you find a small shack where two young men in thick coats sell drinks, souvenirs and postcards (discoloured and curled up by the mist). They ask where you come from, and then they know the footballteam: Rotterdam - Feijenoord! Luckily my husband knew their team - Juventus.

In Pompei I spent most of my time trying to see what isn't there anymore; the people, their belongings, and the way of living there - strange, but a beautiful experience. Many of their belongings in the archeological museum, where I made this picture - Hadrian (if is was him) seems much more awake than his unknown visitor....

Comment by Ian Mason on May 29, 2013 at 1:51am

Thanks, Joan. I work in a nursing home and am used to the worst sides of aging but it's still a shock when it happens to those close to you, especially the dementia that's descended on my mother. It's also been a shock that the British system is so slow in doing anything re. diagnosis and treatment. Step-mum is physically weakened after 12 weeks in bed but is begining to move a bit again, so may well recover some of her mobility.

If the site in Turkey is the one I've also seen a documentary on, the decline in living standards coincides with the beginning of organised religion and a rigid class structure. 9,000 years later and we're still trying to remove those problems.

Having re-read my earlier post: the nature of your weapon is unrelated to my good wishes :-D

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 28, 2013 at 11:18pm

Ian, I think it is especially difficult in this era to walk with family members facing the end of their lives. When I was a little girl, both my grandmothers provided care, Grandma Denoo was a registered nurse and delivered many of the babies in our village. Grandma whitehead was a midwife, and so between the two of them, Tekoa had their help. They both helped care for the elderly or taught families how to provide care. We didn't have nursing homes in those day, even though we did have the Poor Farm where farm workers went to die. It was a smelly place and I will never forget the stench.  

I wasn't until about the time I was in high school that people started taking relatives to nursing homes. In fact, my two grandmothers were the first in my family to go to a nursing home.

The elderly lived at home, family and friends offered dinners and helped care for them. So, ageing was very normal, common, and was a part of living. 

I understand this little, wee bit of history, doesn't make your situation any easier. I just want to invite you to relax into the process, knowing there is nothing you can do to change what happens to your loved ones. 

And also, this support group offers great comfort. We are so fortunate! 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 28, 2013 at 11:09pm

Great quote from the original Star Trek screenplay draft!

Love the "cat scan".

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 28, 2013 at 10:41pm

Ian, I read the same thing by an Egyptian archeologist who stated the bones, ligament connections and body shape was different in the hard laborers. 

It was like going to Catal Huyuk, a Neolithic village in Turkey that had 22 known layers built on top of each other. In the bottom layers, the oldest, the bodies showed no sign of hard physical labor, the bones were strong and no wounds to heads, shoulders and limbs. There were no weapons of conflict and no fortifications. They were well nourished. 

A few layers up, the people clearly were malnourished, revealed many deadly skeletal wounds and signs of ligaments and muscles pulled away from bones, indicating heavy weight bearing activity. There were many remnants of stone, then bronze axes and knives. Heavy and high walls were found at those layers. 

"Gimbutas believed that the expansions of the Kurgan culture were a series of essentially hostile, military incursions where a new warrior culture imposed itself on the peaceful, matriarchal cultures of "Old Europe", replacing it with a patriarchal warrior society,[17] a process visible in the appearance of fortified settlements and hillforts and the graves of warrior-chieftains:

"The process of Indo-Europeanization was a cultural, not a physical, transformation. It must be understood as a military victory in terms of successfully imposing a new administrative system, language, and religion upon the indigenous groups.[18] "

"In her later life, Gimbutas increasingly emphasized the violent nature of this transition from the Mediterranean cult of the Mother Goddess to a patriarchal society and the worship of the warlike Thunderer (ZeusDyaus), to a point of essentially formulating feminist archaeology. Many scholars who accept the general scenario of Indo-European migrations proposed, maintain that the transition was likely much more gradual and peaceful than suggested by Gimbutas. The migrations were certainly not a sudden, concerted military operation, but the expansion of disconnected tribes and cultures, spanning many generations. To what degree the indigenous cultures were peacefully amalgamated or violently displaced remains a matter of controversy among supporters of the Kurgan hypothesis."

Gimbutas maintained that the digs support her hypothesis and not those who challenged her. The old school archeologists dispute her peaceful matrilineal, matrilocal hypotheses, even as the grave goods, carvings, and pictographs support her.  

One additional thought, Gimbutas said the earlier matrilineal, matrilocal people were not matriarchal. Traditional archaeologists maintain the patriarchal replaced matriarchal cultures. She said those earlier cultures did not have a hierarchy of female over male, but rather men and women recognized the generative ability of women to bleed without dying, give birth and suckle. Grave goods reveal an equality of genders. Cave art and figurines played a part in her hypothesis.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 28, 2013 at 10:03pm

sk8eycat, I just love the photo of your aunt and kitty. That looks like a good idea to have such a soft treasure to touch. 

I loved: 

"My Dinner With Andre" "actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with friend and theater director André Gregory at an Upper West Side restaurant, and the two proceed into an alternately whimsical and despairing confessional on love, death, money, and all the superstition in between."

"Mindwalk" "A physicist, poet and politician, (Liv Ullmann, Sam Waterston, Thomas Harriman)at crucial points in their own lives, discuss the world's many problems, attempting in the process to redefine the way the universe is perceived."

If you come across others like these, please let me know!

Steph, these words must be repeated: 

“If this is your god, he’s not very impressive. He’s got psychological problems. He’s so insecure; he demands worship every seven days. He creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He’s a pretty poor excuse for a supreme being.”

~ Spock, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. 

Loren, I like your Trailer to "The Unbelievers" and hope they come out with it on DVD soon, or download on internet. Dawkins and Krauss make a great pair. 

Mindy, how is your daughter doing with her classes? I wish I could give her a pep-talk about mastering these subjects. There is a trick to it, and it involves having a great teacher. In any event, I take small bites out of the problem, wee little steps and take the time, have a nice walk, visit with Mom.  Loren, I bet you have some ideas to help crack the codes of these classes. Who is the other math teacher here? Sorry, I forgot.

Comment by Ian Mason on May 28, 2013 at 9:36pm

Joan, that's a viscious looking weapon you've got there. Hope your body starts to right itself soon.

I'd heard the same about pyramid workers too but there was also something that came up recently on how many Egyptians PAID to become temple servants in order to "escape the draft" when pharoah needed labour on a big project. There weren't any health and safety laws in those days and, even though the workers were respected, well-paid and well-fed, their lives were notoriously short and could end painfully. Sounds a bit like oilrig workers or deep-sea fishermen in our time: super macho with a high mortality/ injury rate.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 28, 2013 at 9:18pm

Mindy, sorry about your retiring Gastro; have you met his replacement? 

We continue to have rain as well; it feels like living on the Seattle side of the state. Everything, weeds and all, grow like a jungle. I don't have my machete arms yet. 

Looking forward to seeing the colors your husband paints. 

Cat scan is great ... a keeper. I'll put it in my file. I have so many damned chemicals in my body, I feel like a Chinese herbal packer. I feel awful. The only things that get my mind off this old body is reading and writing on Atheist Nexus, and watching science videos. Thus, you good folks get to tag along with me on my little jaunts through time and space. 

My computer loads the videos for about a minute, stops, waits and then loads another minute. I talked to Com Cast today and guess I will live with it, or pay more for more whatever it is they call it. Right now, I am on the cheapest program I can get. Get what I pay for ...!!!!

Cary fixed me the most delicious scrambled eggs I have ever had! Oh yes, there are pleasures, still.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 28, 2013 at 6:15pm

Egypt: New Find Shows Slaves Didn't Build Pyramids

Egyptians, not Jews, built pyramids, in spite of what religious claim. The Egyptian builders were honored trades people, given honorable burial beside the pyramids and burial tombs of pharaohs. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 28, 2013 at 6:11pm

Great Spock quote Steph!


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