Later On

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

Archive for September 4th, 2008

Teach your kids to be naturalists

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As I was reading my Aubrey/Maturin novels (I’m now in the penultimate volume), I got to thinking about naturalists, since Maturin is a dedicated naturalist. It occurred to me that children might be induced to describe, say, plants that grow in the neighborhood: bushes, trees, and the like. The descriptions at first are apt to be general, but as they are encouraged to look closely, look at the leaves, identify other instances of the same plant, and so on, they might be induced to learn more and more details and look more and more closely.

So I thought I might blog about the possibility, but then I found this excellent post on the same topic: “The Littlest Naturalists, Part I: Teaching Your Child The Art of Outdoor Observation”. It begins:

Children love nature. Nothing is better than a toy-free day enjoying the outdoors with your child. And nothing is more frustrating than a day spent with a bored child in the wilderness.

I am a stay-at-home dad and also a naturalist. As an outdoor educator, I took groups out on trail for two or three days and nights straight. So my bag of tricks — fun outdoor activities with little or no equipment — is pretty vast. Several of my games can be played with as few as two people: the guide (parent, caregiver, naturalist) and the learner (child or otherwise).

I’m going to start sharing some of the outdoor games I’ve played with kids as young as four years old. Before I jump in, though, I want to point out some ground rules I always stick to: …

Written by Leisureguy

4 September 2008 at 9:55 am

Posted in Daily life, Science

8 protestors charged as terrorists

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Of course, being suspected of being terrorists, they can now (under Bush’s rules) be imprisoned indefinitely without legal process, tortured if desired, and so on. But it seems as though normal procedures of law will be followed. The story begins:

In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.

Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC,  assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence.

“These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the Defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience, he said.”

The criminal complaints filed by the Ramsey County Attorney do not allege that any of the defendants personally have engaged in any act of violence or damage to property. The complaints list all of alleged violations of law during the last few days of the RNC — other than violations of human rights carried out by law enforcement — and seeks to hold the 8 defendants responsible for acts committed by other individuals. None of  the defendants have any prior criminal history involving acts of violence. Searches conducted in connection with the raids failed to turn up any physical evidence to support the allegations of organized attacks on law enforcement. Although claiming probable cause to believe that gunpowder, acids, and assembled incendiary devices would be found, no such items were seized by police. As a result, police sought to claim that the seizure of common household items such as glass bottles, charcoal lighter, nails, a rusty machete, and two hatchets, supported the allegations of the confidential informants. “Police found what they claim was a single plastic shield, a rusty machete, and two hatchets used in Minnesota to split wood. This doesn’t amount to evidence of an organized insurrection, particularly when over 3,500 police are present in the Twin Cities, armed with assault rifles, concussion grenades, chemical weapons and full riot gear,” said Nestor. In addition, the National Lawyers Guild has previously pointed out how law enforcement has fabricated evidence such as the claims that urine was seized which demonstrators intended to throw at police.

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

4 September 2008 at 9:39 am

Posted in Daily life

Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap

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MWF this morning, and with the Rooney Style 2 it creates a wonderful lather. I used a Gillette TV Super Speed with a previously used Treet Black Beauty blade. Very nice shave indeed. Jojoba oil for the oil pass, and finished with Booster’s Polar Ice aftershave. Very pleasant indeed.

Written by Leisureguy

4 September 2008 at 9:34 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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