History

Goodbye

Sad face

I am sorry that I have not been posting much to this blog, I started three other blogs on more specific topics, All Things Chocolate is  about chocolate and desserts:

https://chocklutworld.wordpress.com

The Lemon Life,  about turning life’s lemons into lemonade:

https://lamonaide.wordpress.com

and The Virtual Virtuoso, my business blog where I write about marketing, entrepreneurship, and small business related topics.

These blogs take a lot of my time, so I am going to delete this blog. I am going to be moving several of my posts to either The Lemon Life, or The Virtual Virtuoso, and reposting them there. I hope you will follow one of those; happy reading!

Coline

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Categories: Chocolate, Christianity, Current Events, History, Humor, Life, News, Perspectives, The Lemon Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fine Line, part 4, by guest essayist Amy Fernaays

Besides his family, the reservists’ has the added worry concerning his job. In our economic climate today, it is very possible that his job could be phased out or the company could close. Many National Guardsmen work for fire departments, police, and in hospital; which can cause a hardship for a small community when a unit is called up. (Jim Garmone 2004)
“’Large corporations have the depth to absorb a year-long loss of personnel,’ Said a state Guard official. ‘Smaller companies do not.’ Some companies have continued the Guardsmen’s medical coverage. Still others have made up the difference between the Guardsmen’s civilian pay and their military salaries.” states Garmone.
Some reservists’ take a pay cut when they are activated because their civilian salary is not connected to their military pay. The soldier must be prepared for the loss of certain income, benefits, retirement contributions and other investments.
Even though reservists are worried about their jobs, and benefits the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) does try to protect reservists. Judy Greenwald reports, “’Typically, the employer must reinstate within two weeks of the application for re-employment,’ Ms. Farmer said. ‘If there’s been several years of active duty the regulations recognize that it may take a little bit more time because you have to open up a position, which can mean laying off another employee or transferring someone else.’”
Judy Greenwald discloses, “Thousands of veterans could return to the workforce given President Barack Obama’s commitment to withdraw 23,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the summer and his plan to turn security entirely over to the Afghan government by 2014.”
This could spell trouble for businesses because some issues have already surfaced. One of those problems is that the USERRA is ambiguous in its wording. As troops begin returning home; reservists wishing to return to their civilian jobs are faced with employers unprepared to re-instate them. (Greenwald 2012)
Judy Greenwald asserts, “’Employers have to pay close attention to deadlines regarding how soon they have to bring the veterans back, which depends on factors including the length of time the service member was deployed and whether he or she was injured,’ said Shannon D. Farmer, a partner with law firm Ballard Spahr L.L. P. in Philadelphia.
It may seem that this act favors veteran’s and be a hardship for businesses, but this act doesn’t help veteran’s if there job has been completely phased out due to the recession or if the company has shut down. For a reservists income is only obtained through employment. Once they are out-processed from their active duty tour their income, and benefits come from a civilian job. This puts a large amount of stress on a returning soldier to become re-employed as quickly as possible. Knowing that you will have to fight for your job after spending a year fighting for your country is a hard pill to swallow for most reservists.

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Joining The Conversation

Two semesters ago I took Introduction to Literature; one of the textbooks we used was called Joining the Conversation. That meant reading what has been written about each topic we chose to write about, and then writing with the idea of adding something to the “conversation” that had not already been said; in other words, adding our unique viewpoint to the ongoing conversation about our topic. I am joining the conversation about a topic that has been widely discussed and argued by both sides. A lot of people had voiced their opinions on this topic, and it is one of the hot button issues of my generation. This is the most difficult blog I have had to write so far, but it is one I feel needed to be written.

My topic is abortion. Anyone willing to be honest will agree with me that abortion is wrong. Those who call themselves pro-choice have successfully moved the debate away from whether the act of abortion itself is right or wrong; now the debate is about a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body; but this is not the removal of an appendix, or one’s tonsils that we are talking about here, if it were, then they would have a case; but we are not talking about a body part, we are talking about a living human being, a baby who is its own person, not merely an extension of its mother. So that is my first point, let’s bring the abortion debate back to the ground it belongs on; the question is, is it right or wrong to take the life of an unborn child? Did it become right when it became legal? Why is it wrong to have the death penalty? Is it really wrong to put a convicted criminal to death, but right to put an innocent child to death for the weakest of reasons?

My next point; who profits from abortions? The answer is, a lot of people; abortion is big business, and from what I can see, it is a growing industry. If abortions were legally free, and abortion providers were no longer making money off this procedure, would they still fight as hard to keep it going? I think not.
My third point is the most powerful, and will convince all but the most hardened. A picture is worth a thousand words. These speak volumes. Most of these photos came from http://www.amightywind.com

This is a picture of aborted babies stuffed into a garbage bag.

This is a picture of a mother in China who was a victim of a forced abortion, performed by the state. Her murdered child is lying next to her. Sure, this picture could have been faked, but please ask yourself why anyone would fake a picture like this? Anyone who has morals has to agree that abortion is wrong, and a person with morals is not then going to turn around and lie.

Write to me and tell me how this is right.

Or how about this one, can you justify this. I believe this are real pictures, the truth of abortion portrayed in this picture is worse than anything a person could make up.

There are not enough words in the world to describe how awful this is.

Categories: Christianity, Christianity, History, Life, News, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Memories Pour From My Veins

Continue reading

Categories: Christianity, History, News, Perspectives, The Lemon Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Blogs

I’m making some changes to my blog: I will be posting blogs about chocolate here:

http://chocklutworld.wordpress.com/

Lemon Life blogs will be here:

http://lamonaide.wordpress.com/

I will keep writing about my college experiences at this blog site. I figured this way it will be easier for people to find only the content that interests them. Oh, I almost forgot…The Self Employment Chronicles will now be posted here:

http://thevirtualvirtuoso.wordpress.com/

Categories: Chocolate, Christianity, College Life, Current Events, History, Humor, News, Perspectives, The Lemon Life, The Self Employment Chronicles, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate

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Ah, chocolat, chocolat, comment je t’aime ! Permettez-moi de comte les façons! (French)

(Oh, chocolate, chocolate, how I love you! Let me count the ways!)

I love chocolate, all things chocolate. (Well almost–some things would not taste good chocolate-covered; but I’m not going to go there.) For my very first chocolate blog, I will answer the question, where does chocolate come from?

Chocolate has been around for about 2,000 years. It starts as a bean from the cacao tree, which grows in tropical rainforests in South America. South America is also known for producing the best coffee in the world: which also starts as a bean. I don’t think there is any connection, but it is still interesting to think about.

Natives such as the Maya and the Aztec mixed the cacao beans with various spices to make a drink. No one knows for sure how the Mayans and Aztecs discovered the tasty properties of the cacao bean, but, when they did discover it, it began a treasured treat. Their artwork often depicts people gathering the beans, and enjoying drinks made from the cacao.

To make the chocolate, the Mayans removed the outer husk, and fermented and roasted the seeds inside. The seeds were ground into paste with a stone. The paste was then mixed with a variety of other ingredients, including chili peppers. They did not have any sugar back then, so they probably used honey to sweeten this drink.

Next time, I’ll look at some of the ways that the Mayans used chocolate.

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The Lemon Life

The idea for this started with a comment I made on my Facebook page:

“When life hands you lemons…”

I didn’t finish it, because everyone knows the second part; “make lemonade.”

I made this comment on my Facebook after finding out I did not pass one of my classes, and I would have to go to college for one more semester in order to finish my degree. I decided to add a couple of classes toward a second degree, to make in more worth my while, since I had to be there anyway. That was how I planned to make lemonade out of the lemon I was handed.

A few weeks later, a good friend of mine, inspired by my post, gave me a graduation gift (I was able to walk across the stage in the ceremony on May 19, I just can’t get my diploma yet) which included a lemon. I loved it! I put it in my freezer, where it stayed for about two weeks.

I’m going through a season of uncertainty right now; I do not have a job yet, and I am getting concerned about that. My husband and I are surviving on unemployment, and a student loan, which is now dwindling fast.

So how did I make lemonade with these ingredients? I’ll tell you later.

First, a few weeks ago, after a tiring day, I decided to make some iced tea. I boil it, so it takes about twenty-four hours, but I figured it would be a nice treat for the next day; I love ice-cold tea. So I started making it, then I remembered that lemon, in my freezer. I thought, ‘that will go good in iced tea.’ I pulled it out. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cut it up while it was still frozen, but surprisingly, it wasn’t hard to cut.

All of this time, I was thinking about lemons, and making lemonade, when all of a sudden, I had an idea.

‘Why not blog about how people have overcome difficult situations—in other words—made lemonade?’ And “Lemon Life” was born. Lemon Life is where I will write about true inspirational stories: my own and other people’s.

Right now, I have the time, because I am not working yet. So that’s how I’m making lemonade with the ingredients I have been given.  

And this has been my first inspiring story! Thank you for reading it. Oh, I almost forgot—the iced tea turned out great! About the picture—I don’t like my smile, so I borrowed Julia Roberts’s. I realize the picture doesn’t look professional, but since I can’t afford fancy photo editing software, I did the best I good with the Paint program on my computer.

Categories: Christianity, College Life, Current Events, History, Humor, News, Perspectives, The Lemon Life, The Self Employment Chronicles | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Eve And Her Daughters

Part II: The Amazons

From The War Against The Amazons by Abby Wettan Kleinbaum

“The Amazon is a vision of women doing the art and work of civilization. Western literature abounds in tales of women leading armies, building cities, founding nations, and establishing powerful and long-lasting civilizations. These stories belong to the realm of myth: the Amazon is a dream that men made.

For nearly three millennia Western men have been fighting a war against the Amazons. Their opponents are make-believe but the battles are nonetheless real.” (Front cover).

“Yet she is tough to defeat. Men made her strong, fierce, beautiful, and desirable, a superheroine whose fall would clearly signal the transcendent and heroic quality of her conqueror.” (Back cover).

“Through the Amazon idea there is a glimpse of women as the builders of civilization. But many women approach the Amazon with caution and insist on taking a long pause for reflection. The Amazon is, after all, a dream with a past, a vision originated by men. As surely as no spider’s web was built for the glorification of flies, the Amazon idea was not designed to enhance women, but to serve the needs of its male creators.

This book is an attempt to investigate the long war against the Amazons. Its data are not mythical women, but the artistic and literary artifacts of Western culture that document the long struggle against them. It is not a survey of dead Amazons, but of the high endeavors for which the imaginary women were sacrificed. Not surprisingly, the women who have used the Amazon image have opted not to fight the Amazons, but to join them.” (Introduction)

When I first read this, I was surprised; I never thought about Amazons being an invention of men. When I was growing up, I had an interest in Greek mythology, and as I read books on the subject, I read occasional mentions of Amazons, but I did not focus on them. Most of what I read focused on the Greek gods. But, the idea of Amazons was interesting to me. What woman hasn’t at one time or another identified with, or at least wanted to identify with, these warrior women?

But I can see how this could be a myth made up by men.

The war between the sexes has been going on for a long, long time; ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden. The author is saying that men, not satisfied with oppressing ordinary women, as they have since the Fall, now had to invent a stronger, larger-than-life group of women to be their opponents. The Greeks were the first to do this. Ancient Greek artifacts are full of depictions of Amazons.

Women desire to use the Amazon image for a different reason; they want to identify with women who are not easily conquered or oppressed by men. The idea of the Amazon brings out the feminist in all of us women.

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Eve and Her Daughters: The Myths, the Legends, and the Truths

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Part 1: The First Woman

There are several good articles online about the interesting and complex subject of Mitochondrial Eve. According to the first article, Mitochondrial Eve, believed to be the common ancestor of all living people, was a woman who lived in Africa thousands of years ago. The scientists who discovered the mtDNA call her Eve.

 “So what about all of the mtDNA of the other women who lived during “Eve’s” time? What happened to it? Simply this: Somewhere between now and then, they had female descendants who had only sons (or no children). When this happened, the passing on of their mtDNA halted.”

This explanation seems flawed; there is no proof or precedent; such a thing has never happened before or since, that I am aware of, but there is a ton of proof that the bible is true.

This is an interesting article, even though it seems to be biased to one viewpoint.

Mitochondrial DNA is a huge, complicated subject; one I don’t plan to go into detail about (You’re welcome). However, the findings seem to support what the bible teaches.

The writer of the next article takes the viewpoint that Mitochondrial Eve is not our common ancestor. However, the writer seems to be eager to prove that Mitochondrial Eve could not be the Eve of the bible. Also, he or she is guilty of using some contradictions:

The Mitochondrial Eve of 200,000 years ago (ME for short henceforth) is NOT our common ancestor, or even common genetic ancestor.”

Then in the next sentence, the writer says that M.Eve is our most recent common ancestor. Potato Patahto, as if the words “most recent” make a difference:  an ancestor is an ancestor is an ancestor. Then the author goes into this wild what-if story:

“Consider an extremely prolific woman living today. She has many daughters and takes a vacation to a remote Caribbean island for a week. During the same week, a plague of a mutated Ebola virus sweeps the Earth and drastically decreases the fecundity of all living women…Only this one woman and her daughters who were off in this Caribbean island are safe from the viral plague. Also, assume that the viral plague consumes itself within that fateful week. This woman and her daughters are now free to breed in a world where their reproductive potential far outstrips that of every other woman alive (and to be born of these women). Soon, almost every one on Earth will be related in some fashion to this one woman. Finally, when the last woman who was born to one of the matrilineal descendants of an infected woman dies, the non-infected Caribbean tourist takes on the title of the new Mitochondrial Eve. Every human alive on Earth at that point in time is now related via the mitochondrial line to her.

This is just as far-fetched as the theory in the first article, which it only seems to mimic without adding anything new. What he or she is trying to say makes sense, but it is not plausible. Chance and chaos are by definition random, and never as orderly as what the writer is trying to describe. The argument is further flawed because the hypothetical woman still would not be the most recent common ancestor of everyone on earth. Finally, the writer concludes with discussing a Y-chromosome Adam:

“I mentioned the Y-chromosome Adam (YcA for short) earlier in discussing patrilineal descent. The YcA has also been identified (by the careful sequencing of a small region of the Y-chromosome that all men carry) and has been dated considerably more recent than the ME (yet another slap-in-the-face for bibliolaters—their Adam and Eve lived many tens of thousands of years apart).”

If they lived many tens of thousands of years apart, what happened to all the men who lived before this Y-chromosome Adam? The writer doesn’t even attempt to address this, important question.

Here is another what-if story: What if we can trace our DNA back through our male ancestors? The bible says that the Great Flood wiped out everyone except Noah and his family. If this is true, and it is, then the above-mentioned “Y-Chromosome Adam” would really be Noah, because there would be no one else left for us to be descended from. Also, Noah lived many years after the biblical Eve. However, the next article gives an even better explanation.

This article looks at the other side of this issue, from a creationist point of view:

“the dates assigned to mitochondrial Eve had been said by evolutionists to rule out the biblical Eve….But these dates were based upon ‘molecular clock’ assumptions, which were calibrated by evolutionary beliefs about when certain evolutionary events occurred, supposedly millions of years ago. When these assumed rates were checked out against the real world, preliminary results indicated that the mitochondrial ‘molecular clock’ was ticking at a much faster rate than evolutionists believed possible. That is, it directly ‘challenges’ the evolutionary long-age claim. If correct, it means that mitochondrial Eve lived 6,000 to 6,500 years ago, right in the ballpark for the true ‘mother of all living’ (Genesis 3:20).”

This explanation makes a lot of sense; it simply states the fact that the dates given for Mitochondrial Eve are incorrect. Nevertheless, people will believe what they want to believe, in spite of overwhelming evidence that disproves what they choose to believe. Still, truth is not subjective.

Some people say that Eve is a myth. The bible says that she would bring forth children in sorrow, which was part of the curse on her. I want to look at some of the sorrows that the daughters of Eve have faced in the past, and are facing today.

Next: Part 2: The Amazons:

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Resurrecting Anastasia Part II

Anna Anderson was by far the most convincing of the imposters. She allegedly was able to recall things that her supporters claimed only the real Anastasia would know. For example, when Anastasia’s friend Gleb Botkin visited Anna, she asked him if “he had brought any pictures of his funny animals.’” When Gleb and the real Anastasia had played together as children, he had drawn pictures of imaginary animals for her, and the fact that Anna knew this was enough to convince Gleb Botkin that she really was Anastasia; immediately after this he became her strongest supporter (King and Wilson 175).

Anna Anderson was the same height as Anastasia, their eyes were the same vivid blue and they suffered from a similar foot deformity, but there the resemblance ended. To some people who have seen side-by side photographs  of them, it is obvious that the shape of their faces are very different, with the biggest difference being in the shapes of their mouths; Anna Anderson has large full lips, but Anastasia had a small mouth with thin lips.

In spite of this evidence, many people were convinced that she was Anastasia. Gleb Botkin and his sister Tatiana believed her, but those who had been closest to Anastasia, such as her aunts, Olga and Irene, who visited Anna Anderson, were convinced that she was an imposter (Massie 167).

Then in the 1940s, this already complex story became even more challenging.

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