Standing on 1 foot

February 28, 2011 There are a few things on my bucket list that are very long term in nature. One of them was to successfully raise a child, which means he’s upright and out on his own. Check, that’s done. Louie is now 23 and out there conquering the world.Parenthood was one of those life events that took me apart till I was a million little pieces and put me back together again in a completely reconfigured way.

Fired up about lost arts

February 25, 2011 Erin Bried’s nonfiction book “How To Build A Fire And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew” is not intended to be controversial, but controversial it can be.This sequel to “How To Sew A Button And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew” teaches 100 valuable life skills (how to tie a necktie, how to break in a baseball mitt, how to read animal tracks, etc.) through interviews with 10 grandfathers, all of whom were born before 1927.

For pro-democracy revolutions, democracy is not enough

February 25, 2011 The revolutions sweeping across Northern Africa and the Middle East could mark the beginning of a historic advance for democratic freedom — ranking in significance with such milestones of liberty as the American Revolution of 1776 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.Or these upheavals could end with one tyranny replacing another, as happened after the French Revolution of 1789 and may yet occur in post-Soviet Russia.

Remember PATCO!

February 25, 2011 The turmoil and shocking thuggery we are now witnessing in Madison, Wis. is at a level seldom seen in America in this era. School teachers, of all people, are setting bad examples for their students. Some engage in outright fraud, aided by medical doctors giving them phony diagnoses of nonexistent illnesses to give them an excuse for near rioting instead of doing their job of teaching.

It’s in the mail

February 24, 2011 Shortly after 2 p.m. on Presidents Day, when government offices were closed, I dropped a Netflix envelope in the box outside our local post office. Fifteen hours later I was notified via e-mail that a Netflix branch, about 85 miles away, had received the DVD.

Catastropic events cause quick geologic changes

February 24, 2011 When the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state erupted on May 18, 1980, it created a huge laboratory that scientists are still studying.And, boy, are they learning a lot!For one thing, geologists have learned that stratified layers of stone do not take millions of years to form, that sandstone can solidify in a matter of weeks rather than hundreds of thousands of years and that canyons can be formed in a matter of days.

Solve conflicts without compromise or killing each other

February 24, 2011  In every conflict, there are really three sides to it (like a triangle) — your truth on one side, their truth on the other, and then the higher-level solution at the top.If you stay stuck on your side of the triangle, you never solve the problem.The Triangle of Truth, my new conflict resolution model, is a tool to help you break the stalemate. It’s not about “compromise” or “right vs. wrong.” It’s about being willing to engage in conflict in such a way that we allow something bigger, better and more inclusive to emerge.

Watson for president

February 23, 2011 Watson, an artificial intelligence program developed by IBM and eight  universities including CMU, performed so well on “Jeopardy!,” his supporters urged him to run for president. I sat down with Watson to discuss the presidency and the challenges America faces.Purcell: You’ve gained massive fame in a very short time. Some feel you are exactly what we need in a president: unemotional, logical and good with numbers.

And the rot rolls on ….

February 23, 2011 “Creation comes before distribution — or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.” — Ayn RandFor anyone truly interested in observing a concrete instance of ideas in action —of politics as an extension of ethics —Wisconsin’s current crisis of debt, budget cuts and union manipulation is a classic example of it.

George who? What happened to Washington’s day

February 22, 2011 “If we do this [change the date of the Washington holiday celebration], ten years from now our school children will not know what February 22 means. They will not know or care when George Washington was born. They will know that in the middle of February they will have a three-day weekend for some reason. This will come.” Theses prophetic words, passionately argued by Tennessee Congressman Dan Kuykendall over 40 years ago have come true. Ask most school kids today why February 22nd is special, and they will probably give you a blank stare.