Archive for July, 2009


History has been replete with rhetoric justifying the bloodiness of wars that have littered its landscape. Just wars, self-defense, attacks supposedly done to defend the defenseless, and strategic alliances are uttered in some distant capitol while the young are sent to war. How effective has all this been? Many who are pro-military night cite some of this bloodletting as regrettable but necessary. Sometimes, a country is just pushed to the brink. It is imperative then to take up arms.   Read more….. »

Albany International Airport

One of the nicest airports I have dealt with is the Albany International Airport. Located just outside the city proper, it is a medium-sized airport that provides many connections to major hubs like O’Hare International in Chicago, as well as Toronto and Philadelphia. My flight to Chicago was on a United flight, and I found getting to the airport easy, and the staff helpful. I’ve heard people say that they have had a terrible time flying, but my experience with the airport was very pleasant.   Read more….. »

“Caliban and the Yankees”

Most times when I see that a book is by an academic, I tend to expect the text to be dry and boring. This kind of work tends to be full of obscure details, footnotes, and endnotes sure to put me to sleep just as quickly as a second-year course of statistics did back in my university years. Such was my expectation when I encountered “Caliban and the Yankees”, a book by the academic Harvey R. Neptune about Trinidad. Instead, I received a pleasant surprise.   Read more….. »

“The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes”

Many people have had the experience of wanting to run to a place far, far away when a personal crisis hits. In “The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes”, Barbara J. Scot recounts how she did this when she faced the empty nest of her children leaving. On some level, she needed to redefine herself as an individual rather than switching roles with the adults she raised by living solely through them. An avid naturalist, runner, and climber, she sought this redefinition halfway a world away from her Oregon home by going to the country of Nepal. Here, she hoped to find the self that she felt that she had somehow forgotten along the way.   Read more….. »

“Tears of the Desert”

Too often the conflicts around the world become mere sound bites. They mesh together with infomercials and entertainment gossip on twenty four hour news channels, and it becomes nothing more than so much white noise. What really happens there in these places no longer seems real. Sometimes it takes a personal account for it to make it real again, a reminder of what goes on in the world outside the hectic rush of every day life.   Read more….. »

Beaches and other attractions on Hawaii’s Big Island

To tell you the truth, when I first talked about going to Hawaii with my husband, we weren’t talking much about beaches. I have never been one to hang out in the sand and catch some rays. Ironically, I have spent a great deal of my life hanging out at sandy shores. Mostly, the beaches were background scenery for what I really came to the place for: the water. Oceans, lakes, sounds, bays: I would either swim in them or walk beside them, the water being the star, the beach being nothing more than an understudy.   Read more….. »

Nature has a funny way of teaching lessons

Nature has a funny way of teaching lessons, it seems. Recently I received some instruction in this, although I was too thick in my human ways to realize this was the class I was taking. But that is also a lesson: too wrapped up in my plans to see past them, needing to have it all swept away for me to realize how little my designs matter in the scheme of things.   Read more….. »

Is natural gas drilling in Central NY a good idea?

Gas drilling is being considered for many parts of Central New York. Leases have been issued and approved. Marcellus shale, the bedrock which comprises much of the area, has been found to hold considerable deposits of natural gas. Municipalities in the counties of Chenango, Madison, and Otsego have been informed that they need to prepare their communities for this new venture.   Read more….. »

Human Rights Issues in the U.S.

Human rights in the United States has been a somewhat controversial subject over the years. One might think that a country that was founded on breaking away from the “tyranny of monarchy” seeking “justice and liberty for all” would naturally be a bastion of human rights for all people. But the history of this democracy has shown human rights to be more complicated when transformed from ideal to practice . American human rights reflect that this issue, in practice, is hard to balance when one tries to combine it at a national and a personal level.   Read more….. »