Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Now onto Hitler Youth

Wow! What a powerful book!! I am only a few chapters into this non-fiction book about the German children and teens in Hitler's Nazi youth groups. Never even knew most of this stuff. Scary the parallels to today and the various groups around, and the way politicians try to harness the power of children, whether in Islamic training camps or in Facebook groups. Pair this book with the beautiful, amazing _The Book Thief_ for a brilliant combination.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

going, going...

going bovine, the Printz Award winner for best young adult book, is going nowhere fast. I want to like it, I really do...but after about 100 pages I could easily put it down and grab the half-dozen other books clamoring for my attention on the bookshelf.

Today, I shall force myself to plow ahead and get this one under my belt so I can move on!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

on global warming

So hey, I'm getting a little perplexed by the nastiness of those who refuse to believe in global warming. I have often said that it would be easier to believe that Mother Nature and God would take care of everything, and to believe global warming was some sort of hoax cooked up by those pesky smart people with letters after their name, using "science" to take over our lives by Big Brother government. God calls us to be good stewards of His planet, and science and religion are not in conflict here.

To me, this is simply a case whereby people who have already arrived at their conclusions twist the facts around to fit those predetermined ideas. Soooo...if you're someone who distrusts govt., likes big business, and is suspicious of intellectuals, then you're going to believe there is no such thing as global warming. If you're someone who believes government can look out for the common good (and in fact we need it to do so because capitalistic greed just isn't going to), needs to hold big business in check, and believes in the scientific method, then you're going to believe that global warming is happening. We may not know the exact specifics, but it's happening. Although it is harder to accept that fact, hiding our heads in the sand is not going to save the planet for future generations or the vulnerable who share the planet with us (animals, plants). God calls upon us to take care of His planet, to be good stewards, and care for the less fortunate among us.

Furthermore, blizzards like the ones we've seen this past week actually help to confirm the fact that our planet is heating up. Warmer air means more moisture and more precipitation. These weather extremes have been cited for decades as evidence of our planet being out of balance. I've been reading this literature since college (my apologies to the people out there who distrust universities....there I go again) and it has been consistent. We will have extremes: droughts in summer, blizzards in winter. hurricanes and flooding in between.

From the New York Times on 2/11/10:

"A federal government report issued last year, intended to be the authoritative statement of known climate trends in the United States, pointed to the likelihood of more frequent snowstorms in the Northeast and less frequent snow in the South and Southeast as a result of long-term temperature and precipitation patterns. The Climate Impacts report, from the multiagency United States Global Change Research Program, also projected more intense drought in the Southwest and more powerful Gulf Coast hurricanes because of warming.

In other words, if the government scientists are correct, look for more snow."

Saturday, February 6, 2010


or snowpocalypse. Whatever name you give it, this is an epic snowstorm, the likes of which I haven't seen since my freshman year at Wisconsin attempting to walk to class in a blizzard! There is something surreal about the white softness that surrounds us and the forced peace of that snow upon upon upon snow. Work closed this Saturday; we're all home safe, with electricity, food, gas, water and an amazing awe of nature.

Snowed in with some good books: Crazy Beautiful, a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast; and Gateway, another YA book that I just started at lunch yesterday. It has begun well, and is in the time travel/fantasy/romance vein. Still halfway through Vive La Paris, which is quite good and has a funny narrative voice, but still makes me a little sad because it is about bullying.

Jacob just commented, as he put down his unfinished breakfast: "I've lost my appetite...with all this excitement!" Yes, snowpocalypse indeed! Let's grab that shovel.