Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 19th, 2008

Interesting take on McCain

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Jack Cafferty has an interesting take on John McCain:

Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn’t bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. “It means I’m saved and forgiven.” Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we’ve all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

He was asked “if evil exists.” His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to “the gates of hell.” That was it.

He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question — his wife is worth a reported $100 million — he finally said he thought an income of $5 million was rich.

One after another, McCain’s answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has — virtually none.

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Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Daily life

Movie to see

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Official Website:

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 3:13 pm

It made me laugh

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Best with sound. Though there’s very little sound, it adds a lot. It’s a video.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Video

EdrawMax: Free for TODAY ONLY

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And, as usual, you must install AND register the package today. (Download includes the registration data.)

Lots of favorable comment on this one. Take a look. Brief description:

Edraw Max is a versatile graphics software, with features that make it perfect not only for professional-looking flowcharts, org charts, network diagrams and business charts, but also building plans, mind maps, workflows, fashion designs, UML diagrams, electrical engineering diagrams, directional maps, program structures, database diagrams… and that’s just the beginning!

With more than 4600 built-in vector symbols, drawing couldn’t be easier! Create a wide variety of business charts and presentations based on templates and examples while working in an intuitive and familiar office-style environment.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Software

Food-pairing guidance

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Pretty clever. Take a look. Click a food.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food

Zen koans

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Here’s a collection of 101 koans for your enlightenment.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Daily life, Education

How to realize the potential of gifted children

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Good article by Christian Fischer in the Scientific American. It begins:

Contrary to what many people believe, highly intelligent children are not necessarily destined for academic success. In fact, so-called gifted students may fail to do well because they are unusually smart. Ensuring that a gifted child reaches his or her potential requires an understanding of what can go wrong and how to satisfy the unusual learning requirements of extremely bright young people.

One common problem gifted kids face is that they, and those around them, place too much importance on being smart. Such an emphasis can breed a belief that bright people do not have to work hard to do well. Although smart kids may not need to work hard in the lower grades, when the work is easy, they may struggle and perform poorly when the work gets harder because they do not make the effort to learn. In some cases, they may not know how to study, having never done it before. In others, they simply cannot accept the fact that some tasks require effort [see “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” by Carol S. Dweck; Scientific American Mind, December 2007/January 2008].

If the scholastic achievement of highly intelligent children remains below average for an extended period, many teachers will fail to recognize their potential. As a result, such students may not get the encouragement they need, further depressing their desire to learn. They may fall far behind in their schoolwork and even develop behavior problems. Boys may turn aggressive or become class clowns. Girls often develop performance anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms such as stomachaches [see “Watching Prodigies for the Dark Side,” by Marie-Noëlle Ganry-Tardy; Scientific American Mind, April 2005].

One way to avoid such difficulties is to recognize that IQ is just one ingredient among many in the recipe for success. Children thrive or struggle in school for a host of reasons apart from IQ, according to psychologist Franz Mönks of the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. These include motivation and persistence, social competence, and the support of family, educators and friends. Emphasizing the importance of persistence and hard work, for example, will help a child avoid the laziness trap. Gifted children also need intellectual challenges—to teach them how to work hard. …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2008 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Daily life, Education

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