Archive for June, 2011
Did human life gradually evolve from lower life forms or was there a Master Designer who created each individual species, including mankind? This has been debated ever since Darwin first developed his theory of evolution over a hundred years ago. If you’d like to gain a full understanding of both sides of the question, you can use these websites for reference.
Yay: Evolution is the only sensible answer
- Vuletic.com – You will find a very thorough and scientific response to the charges of creationists on this site created by Mark Vuletic, who holds a PhD in philosophy.
- Panda’s Thumb.org – A site dedicated to defense of evolutionary science and the critiquing of anti-evolutionary claims.
- Edward Babinski.us – A personal website with many articles by this author in defense of the evolutionary stand.
- CreationTheory.org – In spite of its name, this site is all about arguing against creationism.
- AcademicEarth.org – This link will take you to a video from Stanford that provides the lecture of Dr. Eugene Scott as he explores this issue and provides the argument for evolution.
- FreeThoughtDebater.com – Identifying itself as an ‘atheist’ site on its About page, provides a quick clue to where they might stand in this debate.
- ScientificAmerican.com – A special report of the controversy claims that it can help you ‘win all your debates with creationists’.
- Infidels.org – They chose the name, I didn’t. They are defenders of naturalist beliefs, which are ‘naturally’ opposed to creationism.
Nay: Creationism a more logical thesis than evolution
- AllAboutCreation.org – A discussion of the issues involved in the debate are listed on this site, which concludes that evolution remains in the defensive stance with creationism as the default.
- ClarifyingChristianity.com – This site provides a side-by-side comparison of Biblical creation to the evolution theory.
- WiebeFamily.org – This website provides an argument against evolution and includes a large list of references for support of its arguments and links to Creationism sites.
- Institute for Creation Research.org – Creation science news, articles and resources of many kinds can be found here.
- ParentCompany.com – A review of the debate from the Biblical view.
- NWCreation.net – This site is obviously pro-creationism but provides an extensive list of transcripts of debates held on the subject, affording both sides of the issue. It also provides links to a large list of anti-creationist sites.
- Creationism.org – All things creationists, and available in multiple languages.
- Answers in Genesis.org – A very thorough website designed to answering questions about creationism and evolution through Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
Middle of the Road Options:
- Theory-of-Evolution.net This site begins by distinguishing between the theory of intelligent design and creationism. It asserts that creationism starts with the Bible and applies theological beliefs to nature, where intelligent design theory works on the same scientific axioms as the theory of evolution. It then goes on to defend their preference for the intelligent design theory over that of the evolution theory.
- IntelligentDesignNetwork.org – This site promotes the scientific discussion of intelligent design versus evolution.
- CARM.org Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry provides a brief synopsis of the variety of creation related beliefs within the Christian camp, including literal creationism and intelligent design, but not limited to those ideas.
- Evolution versus Creationism Forum is a site that attempts to provide a neutral format for both sides of the debate to enter into discussion, and has done so for a number of years.
As you read through this list of blogs discussing the issue of school district consolidation in rural America, you will quickly realize that the list contains only one blog that seems to favor consolidation. The rest of the blogs are opposed, or at least opposed to state mandated consolidation. The more that you read on the topic, the more you realize that it is the forced consolidation of schools that is the issue, not the consolidation itself. But even when looking at it from a non-mandated perspective, you will find it near impossible to find proponents for consolidation outside of political office. As you browse through the following blog listing you will find that parents, teachers and most school officials agree, that forced consolidation of districts is not the answer for school funding.
- Greg Hinz on Politics – This political blogger says it was ‘too bad’ that Illinois Governor Quinn got shot down on his plan for school consolidation, but it didn’t have the support of the people.
- Desert Beacon – Nevada based blog regarding public issues, says consolidation doesn’t make sense in their rural areas.
- Idaho Department of Education – The state Superintendent of Public Instruction in Idaho posted his stand against forced consolidation of rural schools on his department’s blog site.
- OK Policy – This blog discusses the ongoing controversy of consolidating schools in Oklahoma, a primarily rural state. The article challenges the idea that consolidation of administration will increase the funds available for direct education.
- Fred Klonsky’s Blog – This Illinois public school teacher blogs about many interests related to his profession, consolidation issues included. He agrees with the stand that he feels most parents will take, which is against forced consolidation of districts.
- Education Week – This blog refers to a study by the National Education Policy Center, which raises serious questions about the benefit of consolidation of schools.
- Mlive.com This blog addresses the faulty basis of the calculation used for the estimated savings by the State of Michigan if they consolidated their school districts.
- Burlington Free Press – Vermont is another state that has been battling over the consolidation issue, as shown by this 2011 blog. Political leaders have not been able to convince the voters of its benefits.
- Oak Forest Patch – This blog provides the run down of an evening’s meeting of citizens concerned about the proposed consolidation of schools in Illinois.
- Voices of Change – This is the blog of the Ohio Education Association. The OEA does not advocate consolidation due to financial considerations, and questions whether consolidation would even be a true solution to those issues.
For a thorough discussion of the topic, we recommend that you read the article located on AcademicLeadership.org.
When the sun is out, many of us like to shed our socks and winter shoes and give our toes some fresh air in pairs of sandals. When we expose our feet to the public, we naturally want them looking their best. Here’s ten tips for keeping those feet beautiful during sandal season.
- Remove old polish – When your nail polish begins to chip on your toe nails, remove it. Nail polish can be a great asset when it is fresh and shiny. When it starts to show wear and tear, it is no longer attractive. Get out the polish remover and make sure you have every bit of it removed.
- Foot soak – Once you’ve removed your old polish, freshen your feet up with a good long soak in warm water with epson salts. Give them at least 10 minutes. Some scented bath oil or bath salts can also add to your home pedicure experience.
- Calluses – After your feet have been softened by the soaking, you’ll want to exfoliate them with a pumice stone. This is especially important for your heals that can get rough and build up calluses.
- Moisturize – Use a good foot moisturizer on your feet and use it at least daily. Feet easily become dry and need to have the moisture replenished on a regular basis. Putting moisturizer on and then socks over it while sleep or put your feet up, can be a great way to keep them soft and supple.
- Clip the nails – Don’t let those toe nails grow too long. Keep them clipped straight across, just at the edge of the toes.
- Cuticles – While your feet are still soft from a soak is the best time to use an orange stick to push back cuticles and use a nail brush on your toe nails.
- Polish – Give your toes a little extra flair with some polish. Apply a clear coat and then a nice thick top coat. Use toe spacers to hold your toes apart while you apply the polish and allow it to dry.
- Professional Pedicure – If you really want your feet and toes looking their best, make an appointment at a salon for a professional pedicure. Choose some nail art to add on top of the polish and enjoy a little pampering as well.
- Nail Fungus – If you start to see a discoloration or thickening of your toe nails, you may have contracted a nail fungus. It is important to see your doctor to receive treatment for this condition as it is contagious. Salons will generally refuse to perform a pedicure on someone who has evidence of nail fungus because of this. It is also the reason that they either sterilize or use disposable items when performing pedicures.
- Shoes – If you want your feet to look beautiful in sandals, choose your other shoes carefully. Choose shoes that have plenty of toe space and don’t pinch your toes together. This will help prevent bunions and hammer toes that mis-shape your feet.
Keeping feet clean and moisturized daily is one of the simplest and most important tips for maintaining beautiful feet, all summer long.
Times sure have changed when it comes to sports. It used to be that kids would play sports in school or the occasional little league team. Kids were allowed to be kids. Today it seems like parents are enticed to join the rec league to teach the kids to play soccer or volleyball. That’s great, but then along comes a different coach that tells the parents their kids have a lot of talent and they are wasting it in a rec league. The parents have a decision to make. Check out 10 reasons parents find sports clubs for their kids.
- Better coaching: There’s nothing wrong with a mom or a dad coaching their kids’ sports team, but there comes a time when the kids have learned everything that mom or dad can teach them and they need a professional. This is a coach’s only job. He’s not constantly out of town on business and canceling practice. The skills that the coach teaches the kids are the skills that will take them to the next level.
- Top-level players: If your kid is the best player on the team that’s great, but does it offer him or her any challenges? Can they play to their potential if the other players aren’t at their level? When all or most of the players on the team are good players then that encourages each player to become better. This level of players can be found at a sports club.
- More opportunity: College scouts don’t go to high school games anymore to recruit. They go to tournaments with high-level players such that you would find at a sports club. Scholarships to college are given to the best players and one way to be the best is to be trained by a professional on a sports club.
- Bigger venue: Sports clubs play against other higher-level teams from different sports clubs. These tournaments are not exclusive, but they might as well be since it’s usually filled with other sports clubs as competitors.
- Private coaching: More time is given to each child at a sports club and the coach is available to do private coaching to teach the kids higher and higher skills.
- Better practice opportunities: Most sports clubs have team practices twice a week by the time the child reaches the age of 10. Then there are open skills sessions on other nights where each players can learn and improve their skills.
- Competition: Healthy competition between the players for a spot to be a starter gives the players incentive to continue to give it their all every time. Most rec teams don’t even keep score. Well, they aren’t supposed to, but I bet every kid and parent there knows what the score is.
- Being part of something bigger: Sports clubs have many teams and to keep a club going they have fund raisers and banquets. The work that is involved in keeping the club going often have a bonding effect so the parents become a family.
- Better facilities: Sports clubs have their own fields so you don’t have to fight for a spot to practice at the local park are other place. Many clubs also offer indoor and outdoor options for some sports.
- More stability: Sports clubs have more stability in that if the coach has to leave for some reason or quits the team doesn’t disband. The club just finds another coach to take the team. It’s very frustrating to find out at the last minute that your coach isn’t going to continue coaching next season and you don’t know where your kid is going to play next season.
Home is where the heart is, and that’s what differentiates it from all other places or states of mind a person may find themselves’ abiding. As you may well know, a home is beyond a physical structure, and has more to do with a place that provides the ultimate comfort and security for someone. Whether it be a plot near a lake, a village of birth, a cardboard box in an alley, or a memory of a moment and time; home is always the best place to be.
Permanence – Life transitions from one challenge to the next, while a home constitutes a sense of endurance against such challenges and is therefore considered permanent. Some may choose to relocate mind or body, but the reference of home will always accompany them wherever they go.
Acceptance – Nowhere else may one experience the true freedom of their personal spirit, without any apology, than in their own private space. A home intimately understands its residents and accepts, willfully, all strengths and deficiencies equally.
Safety – Whether achieved structurally or emotionally, a home portrays the ultimate fortress against foreign elements that would invade or corrupt the sanctity that lies within.
Security -A home is the purest embodiment of security. Within the confines or parameters of that which is considered ‘home’, an individual or family may thrive in the peace and harmony that they create in this atmosphere; and they are able to enjoy this freedom without fear or intimidation.
Nurture – Within each home there is a beauty that is unique in this life. The mere presence of a place that is considered ‘home’, becomes a self-generating energy for the inhabitants within its boundaries.
Prosperity -The true value of the home is often measured by goals and dreams achieved by those who respect ‘this’ as their home. The prosperity may only be realized by those who participate in this ideal; and that may be the most intrinsic beauty of all.
Communal – One of the most invigorating attributes of a home is that it is, quite frankly, meant to be shared. With this sharing, a visitor may experience the uniqueness of this foreign home while exchanging and sharing elements of that which they hold as their own home.
Strength – The best example of strength generation may clearly be found in the home. There, in safety and acceptance, a person is able to rejuvenate, heal, and energize when external forces have chipped away at that which is held sacred by the home.
Wellspring -The home has the distinctive function of quenching the thirst of those who seek relief within the home. There and there alone teems a spring that will endure and satisfy as it replenishes and refreshes its residents.
Sanctuary – Only within a home may we come to know and experience a place or state of being that embraces and celebrates our most personal endeavors. Within such confines, we may explore the uninhibited realms of our faith, dreams and aspirations; and retain the confidence that is a provision of our home.
Home is a relative term. What becomes most important is that each, and every one of us, has such a place—a place to call ‘home’.