Cluster Map

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pollyanna is back for a visit

Remember Pollyanna?
Pollyanna has become jealous of Titan, who has had a chance to blather at you.  She would like to celebrate Succot with you.
Image result for succoth

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site. Pollyanna  hopes that you will visit there, take the actions and make the donations.


Yogi Berra (1925-2015) , one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankees championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and the Mets to the World Series —but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.
He may or may not have said all the things attributed to him and he certainly was no fool or dummy.
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) (1946–63, 1965), all but the last for the New York Yankees. An 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player, Berra had a career batting average of .285, while compiling 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times. Widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

He was also an astute businessman and a supporter of many causes. He supported the Yogi Berra learning center with the idea to teach children important values such as sportsmanship and dedication, both on and off the baseball diamond.

He is famous for many malapropisms most of which are apocryphal. He himself said "I never said the things I said." We link you  to a collection of quotes or non quotes. RIP Yogi, you exemplified worthy values both on and off the field. Mike Luckavich puts it well:


The Pope is doing a good job of rattling the cages in the US and making people look at themselves.

Cheers Your Holiness! says Pollyanna.


Thanks to Judy who posted this article on Facebook. It appears that Israel is a major focus of research on the medicinal use of cannabis. Researchers come from other countries to work in the relaxed atmosphere. Israel's approach to cannabis is more liberal than those of most countries, but it is far from a free-for-all. The drug remains illegal for recreational use (although there are signs that this may be changing). Israel also refuses to export cannabis to other countries, despite plenty of interest.
Many researchers consider that this kind of balanced approach may be an important factor in why cannabis research in Israel is taken seriously; the herb is treated as a drug that needs to be studied in order to be safely used, just like any other.  We cannot but be reminded of the cancer patient who was told by his oncologist that he could get cannabis to alleviate the effects of the chemotherapy. His reply-"Doctor, I am 56 years old. Where were you 40 years ago when I really needed you?" Titan recently discussed cannabis and Shakespeare.


Of course, we cannot go without a rant. Pollyanna  chooses to rant about the status of women and girls in Burkina Faso. Imagine not knowing that sex could make you pregnant. Imagine finding out how to prevent a pregnancy only after you’d had your third or fourth child. Now imagine being refused contraception – the pill or condoms – just because you don’t have your partner’s or in-law’s permission. This is the reality for many women and girls in Burkina Faso today. Even if they have permission, they may not have enough money to pay for it: emergency contraception can cost as much as one-fifth of your monthly income if you are earning minimum wage. The consequences of these barriers to contraception are unwanted, unplanned and sometimes risky pregnancies. In the end, women and girls are denied the right to make crucial choices that belong to them – an abuse of their sexual and reproductive rights. Pollyanna asks you to open the link and to take action to end this sorry state of affairs. She also would like to link you to an interview on gender equality with  Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the  UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN  Women.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women


Far too often, students and the public, fall into the trap of believing that the conventional wisdom at any time on any subject is the full extent of knowledge about that subject. The truth is that the gaps in our knowledge, be they in medicine or in physics or whatever, are the engine that drives our curiosity and motivates our efforts to carry out research in order to learn more. In a NYTimes article, Jamie Holmes makes the case, with ample references, for the need to emphasize the interface between the unknown and the known. In our experience, the Voyager, Galileo and Cassini spacecraft projects confounded our expectations and the old received wisdom in an wonderful way. Yes, Titan, we hear you chuckling out there...


Pollyanna brings you reviews of the film Ex Machina by Alex Garland. This is a challenging sci-fi that we intend to see.  The Guardian gives us a discussion by Mark Kermode and Metacritic  sums up the reviews of 42 critics, most of them positive.


Tim Parks reviews the latest translation to English of a collection of stories by Antonio Tabucchi (1943-2012) in the NY Review of Books. In the process, as a translator of Tabucchi, he draws on several other books to fill in the background on this interesting writer. Tabucchi was a major figure in the anti-Berlusconi camp. He also would have no truck with the attempts to rehabilitate Italy's Fascist past. Interviewed in La Stampa he declared that: "This correction of history which is frequently produced by a rich, cynical society, totally insensitive to moral questions, is repellent to me … I think that fascism is a great historical wound which is not yet healed." Pollyanna says a great Amen to that.
David Clifford/4SEE/Redux Antonio Tabucchi, Lisbon, Portugal, November 2011


What IF? What if the Earth were made entirely of protons, and the
Moon were made entirely of electrons?

—Noah Williams WOW! Nothing like this has ever come up in What If?
and it is about as destructive as you can imagine, but fun to think


Woody Allen, writing in the New Yorker over 40 years ago, introduces us to a different kind of call girl, with a university degree  and the kind of stimulation that you never find elsewhere.