Monday, September 21, 2009

Finally took the plunge...

I finally, after all the decades of being on my anti-television high horse, have signed up for cable TV. Yes, I am now actually paying real money to watch television. I pick up about 20 broadcast channels--in high definition, nowadays--but now I am paying to view the same channels and a couple of dozen others, most of which I will never tune in to.

So what made me do this? Why, it's for the children, of course. Mine are too old for PBS kids stuff anymore, and there aren't any shows for their age on broadcast TV, to speak of. It's not like when I was growing up, when I could watch Saturday morning cartoons, and also the Three Stooges on weekdays before school. All that stuff has decamped to pay TV.

So, out of consideration of my kids' need to have a reasonable grounding in American youth culture, I've shelled out for them to watch Nick, Cartoon Network, and Disney. Now they won't feel like little foreigners when their friends are talking about what happened on Total Drama Island yesterday. And I confess: I would have been a big fan of Spongebob Squarepants if it had been on when I was a kid. If I'm lucky, I might get to watch the History Channel from time to time, after they go to bed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Philadelphia Library to close?

Well, this is drastic. It sounds like they're trying to force the state's hand, like the National Park Service closing the Washington Monument when they're threatened with budget cuts.

And when did Philadelphia become such a blighted slum?

Philly has an amazing number of poorly-educated adults. Sadly 22 percent of the 1.1 million adults who live here don't even have basic literacy skills. Almost 400,000 adults have not earned a high school diploma.

Who sucked the spirit and vision out of all those people?

Update: looks like they're going to escape the ax after all. Whew!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trapped Chinese Miners

Every so often I'll search "trapped miners" in Google's news aggregator. It always comes back with stories about trapped Chinese miners. Shows how much the worker's paradise cares about the workers....

Update: An explosion at an illegal coal mine killed 35 miners in central China’s Henan province Tuesday and left another 44 men trapped, the government said.

*Illegal* coal mine? How'd that happen?

14 Cows For America

NPR had a heartwarming segment this morning, about that Masai tribe which donated cattled to the U.S. after 9/11: 14 Cows For America. I had forgotten about that act of friendship, and how touched I was by it at the time.

(Picture swiped from )