Theories behind superstition

May 12, 2011 Friday the 13th is considered by some to be an unlucky day, but why?The first mention of a Friday the 13th superstition — in English, at least — apparently was in a biography of Gioachino Russini written in 1869 by Henry Sutherland Edwards.Since then, several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, according to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.One theory is that it stems from a modern merger of two older superstitions: That 13 is an unlucky number and Friday is an unlucky day.

Bin Laden news trove

May 12, 2011 The news nuggets just keep on coming in the Osama bin Laden story, even as we wait patiently for the movie and the inevitable HBO documentary. For instance, we learned that the most wanted man in the world apparently dyed his beard — not as a disguise, but to look better on YouTube.

Rewiring your brain

May 12, 2011 We call it the hospital game.  I came up with it when my kids were little to help me cope with rush hour traffic.It turned out to be a life-changing experience.It started when somebody cut me off at an exit ramp. I was about to curse, but then realizing that I’m a mother and my kids are in the car, I decided to act like the person I want them to become.  Instead of shaking my fist in the air, I said, “Oh well, he’s probably on the way to the hospital.  That’s why he’s in such a big hurry.”

Never say never

May 11, 2011 Social media, new technology or even figuring out how to use my iPhone have made me feel a little over the hill lately. However, just as I was about ready to tweeter over the edge and give in to the urge to be old Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999 comes up with another great idea and pulls me back into the game.Newt has announced he’s running for office, again, this time for the presidency. Hope springs eternal regardless of the past or any current polls.

If lobbyists hate it …

May 11, 2011 It’s perfectly logical and reasonable to wonder what politicians who want to protect secret donations are hiding. You don’t want us to know something? Why? When it comes to public servants, especially our elected representatives, nothing financial should be “none of our business.”That is — unless you’re a House Republican.

Cow Psychology 101

May 10, 2011 It was springtime, and we were reaching the end of our winter’s hay supply. The pastures were not yet dry enough for the cows to graze, so we hoped that what we had would hold out until they were. Hay prices had nearly doubled during the winter, and if we had to buy more hay, our costs would exceed our income from the milk.At this critical time, we made a terrible discovery. The tarps that had been covering the last portion of the hay had frayed, and had leaked snow melt and spring rains through into it. My father assigned me to see if the cows would eat any of it.

Atheists and equal treatment

May 10, 2011 In case you missed it, on May 5 the president of the United States has called the nation to prayer — just as past presidents have done on the first Thursday of every May since 1952.Mandated by Congress, the National Day of Prayer was marked this year by events around the country, many of which are organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, an evangelical Christian group that maintains the self-described “official site” on the web for celebrating the day.

Say your prayers

May 10, 2011 It figures.The National Day of Prayer was this past Thursday — and I forgot to pray.I’m not very skilled at praying. Like a lot of folks, I don’t pray until things go sour or I face some daunting challenge.I pray on Monday mornings when I’m way behind on projects that are due — and I am behind EVERY Monday.I pray every April 15 — right after cursing.I pray when people I love are ill or worse.When I was younger, my best prayers followed long nights at the pub — what we call “praying to porcelain.”Plenty of folks struggle with prayer.

GWTW comes to Ark.

May 9, 2011 There it was in all its glory. The little gold man who many actors want and seldom get.Not only was this an Academy Award Oscar, for me, it was the most well deserved award ever presented to an actress who epitomized a character: Vivien Leigh who owned the role of Scarlett O’Hara in 1939’s “Gone with the Wind.” I have seen the footage of her receiving the Best Actress award many times, but here I was standing in front of it looking at it with my own two eyes in of all places, at the Arkansas Historic Museum in Little Rock.

Obama gets Osama

May 9, 2011 Pull the banner out of storage and string it back across the aircraft carrier. Because this time, Mission Really Accomplished. Barack bested bin Laden. Obama got Osama. Or as the right-wing talk shows probably reported it, “Alien President Murders Muslim Brother.” Though not a big fan of the whole killing thing, it would take a stupendously bloodless American to decline the pleasure of hammering a couple of nails into this particular coffin.