Archive for the ‘Unrelated to incarceration’ Category

Ten Grammar essentials

1. alright is not a word. All right is two words.

2. alot is not a word. A lot is two words.

3. To split an infinitive is wrong in the formal sense, but sometimes it is okay to occasionally split an infinitive because it sounds better to do so. Six infinitives that express time relationships are listed here.

4. Avoid the word “which” in favor of “that’,” if possible. Chicago Manual of Style debate on which versus that. (I always favor that if possible)

5. Do not end a sentence in a preposition, unless you are asking a question (what horse did you bet on?)

6.Do not start an essay with a dummy subject such as There or It.

7.Unless you wish to kill the essay outright, use the active voice. Proofread and eliminate passive voice.

8. Unless you are quoting dialogue, contractions are too informal for quality writing.

9. “Lay” is a verb.
lay – definition of lay by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and … 1 (l ). v. laid (l d), lay·ing, lays. 1. To cause to lie down: lay a child in its crib. 2. a. To place in or bring to a particular position: lay the cloth over the painting.

10.Lay is the the past of lie.
Laid must have an object: He laid the fork down.

He laid down is a grammatical mistake.

11. Get a copy of Struck and White: Elements of Style.

Remember the Stephen King quote, “The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.”

Has this been helpful?

BTW: Four places that you likely will not find grammatical errors in are: The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, Harper’s and The National Geographic.

Here is a recent Christian Science Monitor article on grammar.


This video is inspirational, and if you have not seen it, you must. These guys make me want to keep going and never give up.

I will be blogging another Frog Gravy today. In the meantime, please have a look:

Here is an animated 11-minute animated lecture by academic and cartoonist David Harvey. It is worth the watch, particularly if you are a visual learner. The lecture is on YouTube, with the quote:

In this RSA Animate, renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?

This is based on a lecture at the RSA (

I will be blogging a Frog Gravy sometime today; thought you may find this interesting in the meantime.

Written by Masoninblue and re-blogged here, full-text, with permission, from the site

I will be blogging sometime today.

We wish our readers a peaceful and joyous holiday season.

We Can Never Go Back

I cannot shake the feeling that most people still believe that we can return this country to what it was before the big fall. This belief is delusional nonsense.

For more years than I care to remember while millions of people all over the world were starving to death and millions more were barely eeking out a subsistence living, we the people were gorging ourselves on food and throwing away enough of it to feed all of the starving people in the world. We also participated in an orgy of consumption buying new stuff to replace perfectly good stuff that we threw away.

How can anyone desire to return to such grandiose selfishness as millions starved and continue to starve in increasing numbers as climate change inexorably turns breadbaskets into deserts?

I can see it so clearly now that I am unemployed and unemployable, a member of this nation’s new caste of untouchables. I participated and I am ashamed. I no longer want to engage in or be a part of the self-indulgent orgy of consumption for the sake of consumption.

I like my life now and I like myself.

Like many others, I am developing a new vision of a sustainable future based on conservation, using renewable energy, and following the Golden Rule.

Do you long for the past or are you creating a new future?

The jobs are never coming back and it will never be the same.

Depression/The Blues

Depression/The Blues by Joana Roja under Creative Commons on flickr.

The holiday season is generally a time to rejoice, be thankful and count the many blessings, large and small, that we have. For many people who suffer from depression, however, the joyful season can actually magnify feelings of emptiness and decreased self-worth.

For people who may be experiencing depression, I would like to share some suggestions.

A Mayo Clinic article.

Do the best you can. (perfection is not attainable)
Give yourself the gift of positive self talk (don’t repeat negative message from the past that are not true)
Truly believe in yourself, including your goodness and self-worth
Accept that life is not perfect. Injustices and suffering occur. It is normal at times to feel angry and to grieve. Get help on how to manage these feelings.

The CDC reports a 6.6% rate of depression among adults. Co-existing conditions that can exacerbate depression include: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma [2,3], arthritis, and cancer [3]) and among those with unhealthy behaviors (e.g., smoking, physical inactivity, and binge drinking [2])

On the last note in the paragraph above, binge drinking will not drown any sorrows. All of the sorrows will still be present, with a hangover to boot. Alcohol is a depressant. Speaking from experience I would rather be sad and sober and dealing with the transient sadness, than sick and ashamed because of uncontrolled drinking.

That said, Psychology Today has ten suggestions:

1. Keep your expectations balanced.

2. Don’t try to do too much.

3. Don’t isolate.

4. Don’t overspend.

5. It’s appropriate to mourn if you’re separated from or have lost loved ones.

6. Many people suffer depression due to a lack of sunlight because of shorter days and bad weather.

7. Watch your diet and remember to exercise.

8. Be aware of the Post Holiday Syndrome.

9. Plan ahead.

10. Learn forgiveness and acceptance.

If you tend toward a baseline of depression (like I do), The Psychology Today article elaborates on the ten suggestions; click on the link if you are interested in learning more. If you are a person who has experienced tragedy or loss during the holiday season, please reach out to someone. I find that if the ‘someone’ is anonymous, it is easier for me to open up. The bottom line is, no one is alone.

What works for me is to identify and be thankful for the many blessings that I do have, and then bundle up in some warm clothing and go for a peaceful walk in the woods. I also find music to be very helpful.

I would like to wish everyone a peaceful and gratifying holiday.

PS: When all else fails you can try some Sad, Sad Larry:

Pepper Spray Can Cop vs. Mt. Rushmore

photo by electricspacegirl on flickr under creative commons

by eyeliam under Creative Commons on flickr:



My versions. Inspired by:

from this:

Also by eyeliam:



My versions. Inspired by:

from this:

by bigiain under Creative Commons on flickr:

Lt John Pike - The Pepper Spraying Cop

Lt John Pike – The Pepper Spraying Cop

To ensure the safety of that child, I’m going to have to pepper spray him!

from under creative commons on flickr:

Davis Occupy pepper spray cop Lt. John Pike now a meme (imagery may offend)

Davis Occupy pepper spray cop Lt. John Pike now a meme (imagery may offend)

We must keep our communities safe! Don’t mess around. Build your own backyard Justice Shed today:

A photograph by digitalART2:

Hyacinth Macaw

This beautiful photograph is under Creative Commons on flickr: attribution, noncommercial, no derivative works.

The magnificent Hyacinth Macaw is the largest of all parrots. This bird is endangered. From wiki:

The Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), or Hyacinthine Macaw, is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long pointed tail) of about 100 cm (3.3 ft) it is longer than any other species of parrot. It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species, though the flightless Kakapo of New Zealand can outweigh it at up to 3.5 kg. While generally easily recognized, it can be confused with the far rarer and smaller Lear’s Macaw. Habitat loss and trapping wild birds for the pet trade has taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, and as a result the species is classified as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, and it is protected by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Dichrioc glass wall by cobalt123 on flickr:

Century Glass Glow

Under Creative Commons on flickr.

cobalt123 says:

Century Glass Glow

A glowing corridor, with a dichroic glass wall casting blue light across the polished floor. Always inspiring to see this glow while the family goes to and from Drew’s hospital room when he is in the Neuroscience Tower of St. Joseph’s, in Phoenix, Arizona. If you look at a large view, you will see that the textured glass has the pattern of gigantic Century plants, common in Arizona.

Blue Man Group:
under two minutes.

Blue Poison Dart Frog by Rastoni under creative commons on flickr:

Blue poison dart frog

BBC Blue Planet, Blue Whale:

Blue, by Trois Tetes( TT) under creative commons on flickr, with a beautiful poem:



Blue is the color of night
When the red sun
Disappears from the sky
Raven feathers shiny and black
A touch of blue glistening down her back
We don’t talk about heaven and we don’t talk about hell
We come to depend on one another so damn well
So go to confession whatever gets you through
You can count your blessings I’ll just count on blue

Lucinda Williams

Thanks to Dobak for the raven

Blue Origami Spiral by Mammaoca2008 under creative commons on flickr:

Blue origami spiral

With an explanation:

Blue origami spiral

Since plotters where invented, architects use tracing paper rarely. Tracing paper used to be very expensive and because we needed a lot, when you eventually found a stock at a good price you would buy a lot! That’s what my father did 15 years ago, 14 years ago he bought a plotter…. now we have stocked at the studio rolls and rolls and rolls of unused tracing paper so I’m experimenting how to do something with it. Here’s experiments for a lampshade. Origami spiral with inside IKEA baby night light in green and blue, and a head light bulb (experimenting lightning hats).
Enjoy and try!

Wonderful idea. And on that note, blue lighting, an Anti-Suicide lamp in a Tokyo subway by ykanazawa under creative commons on flickr:

Anti-suicide Lamp in Tokyu Yoga Station

Here is the explanation:

Anti-suicide Lamp in Tokyu Yoga Station

Trains in Tokyo are often delayed by a person jumping in front of a train. More than 30 thousand people commit suicide every year in Japan. The ratio of railroad suicide is not so high. It should be about 1%. But one suicide makes so many trains delay.

Some time in last year, it was reported that a blue lamp on the platform can reduce suicide. The desperate railroad companies were quick to adopt the idea. The picture shows blue lamps installed at the end of a platform in Tokyu Yoga station.

Perhaps we should remove the cause of the suicide. But what can a railroad company do other than installing blue lamps?