Dylan Farrow’s Open Letter: What Would You Do?

I was thinking, if I don’t speak out, I’ll regret it on my death bed.” Dylan Farrow Candle lit for victims of violence Dylan Farrow, 28, is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen. In 1992, at age 7, she accused Woody Allen of sexually abusing her. The ensuing custody battle case wound its way through the courts eventually giving Mia custody of the children and exonerating Mr. Allen of child molestation. Frank Maco, a Connecticut prosecutor on the case, ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”  Napoleon Hill Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond… The Woolworth Building & a Frank Gehry Building downtown Manhattan, NY Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond… BMW Headquarters in Munich Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond… Black Forest  with Alpsee view “Vision – It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be. Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.” Robert Collier I think ...

Traditional Easter Flowers & Symbolism

As you know, flowers are perfect for any occasion and for no reason at all. That being said, Easter is one of those times of year when flowers have significant meaning, especially for Christians. Traditional Easter flowers are often displayed in churches to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and new beginnings. These are the traditional flowers associated with Easter: Easter Lily The white Easter Lily is the most popular traditional flower for Easter,  symbolizing purity, hope and life. It has significant meaning ...

Peculiar Picture #16

Here’s a picture I painted a few years ago. The inspiration came from a photograph taken in a stairwell in Florence, Italy. The initial illustration seemed incomplete and I was at a loss trying to figure out what the composition needed. I set it aside. Several years later I dug out the unfinished illustration and figured out what was missing. Painted with acrylic on untempered masonite, I used glazes to build up the translucent darkness from a mixture of viridian green ...

Reflections: A Northern Lights Affair…

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” C.S. Lewis Reflections: A Northern Lights Affair... Aurora Borealis by M. Urwiller Reflections: A Northern Lights Affair... Aurora by Hinrich Baesmann Reflections: A Northern Lights Affair... Aurora by Brendan Alexander Reflections: A Northern Lights Affair... Aurora by Terje ...

On Life: Taking Risks…

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” Katherine Mansfield On Life: Taking Risks... requires walking through an unknown door Taking Risks… requires walking through an unknown door Life itself is a risk… Every day we step outside our door to carry on our daily activities, the potential for harm is increased. Sometimes, we perform actions that carry enormous risks. For instance, ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together…

“A year, ten years from now, I’ll remember this; not why, only that we were here like this, together.” Adrienne Rich Weekly Photo Challenge: Together... It all begins with us... Weekly Photo Challenge: Together... Weekly Photo Challenge: Together... Weekly Photo Challenge: Together... All animal shots taken at the Bronx Zoo I’ve been under some stress of late that has left me wondering about how we humans treat each other, in personal and professional relationships, and why. Then I came to the blogging community today and was reminded of what makes ...

The Mourning Widow

No need to be sad for this plant. The geranium phaeum (jur-AY-nee-um FEE-um) may have a somber name, but it doesn’t need any condolences. The name, Mourning Widow refers to the deep purple-black flowers it is known for, but colours can range from pure white to lilac to pink to purple. This clump-forming perennial is also characterized by its lobbed leaves with brownish spots. This delicate, yet hardy plant looks best planted in groups. It blooms small, flat, downward-facing flowers from ...

Fabulous Finds: Amazing Sisal

What could tequila and a sisal floor rug possibly have in common? I know. There are so many great punch lines that could follow, but there’s actually a legitimate answer. They both have the same origin: the Agave plant. Tigridia, also known as tiger flower or shell flower, is a genus of about 30 bulbous plants that belong to the Iridaceae family, which includes the iris, crocosmia, crocus, and freesia. Sisal is highly durable and strong, and has been used in the making of twine ...

Golf, God and Free Will

I’m horrible at golf. I’m horrible, despite the fact that I took 12 private lessons from a golf pro when I first started so I could learn to play the correct way. Even though I didn’t have any preexisting bad habits that the coach had to break, his best efforts only improved my game enough to ensure that I’ll continue trying to play and practice until I can’t swing a club. Despite my horrible golfing ability, I still enjoy playing. One of the interesting ...

My Latest FaithVillage Featured Article…

Logo for www.faithvillage.com I’m honored to have a featured guest post at FaithVillage’s culture section. The FaithVillage blog is the forerunner to a full-blown website that is intended to become a vibrant online community that expands personal beliefs, shares quality ministry resources and deepens collaboration between people of faith. Here’s the link to my FaithVillage article or read the entire article is listed below. I spent most of my Sundays growing up as a kid being dragged to some kind of charismatic church; tent ...

3 Must-See Movies for the Rest of 2012

As silly as it sounds, movies have played a significant role in my marriage. The first date with my wife was a movie, two dates later we kissed for the first time in a movie theater and I proposed marriage to her in a movie theater (that marriage proposal deserves a post of its own). My affinity for the “movie experience” was driven by the fact that growing up, I can count on one hand the number of times my parents took ...

Book Review: You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins is a friend of mine and he gave me an advance copy of his latest work titled, You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). Don’t let the “in-your-face” title throw you, Jeff is a super nice guy who has been a professional writer for a long time and achieved more success than most writers I know. In other words, he knows what he’s writing about. This book by Jeff reminds me of a quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Either write ...

We Need More Than Ourselves

I spent most of my Sundays growing up as a kid being dragged to some kind of charismatic church; tent meeting or guest-preacher service. Mostly I was bored. Often I would sleep under the seats. Sometimes I’d smuggle in Matchbox cars and drive them along the curvey armrests of the pews. And other times I would hear. Kids Hear Things Even as a child, I remember hearing the beautiful music that was elevated by all the voices singing together. In particular, there was a little ...

Will This Mean the End of Facebook?

James Best Jr./The New York Times In case you missed it on Tuesday, Google launched another attempt to out-friend Facebook. The service it launched is called Google+. It looks and functions a lot like Facebook, but a key difference is that under the marketing banner of enhanced privacy it allows you to share status updates, photos, videos, links...etc with exclusive groups of friends - not the entire Internet or even your entire list of friends. Currently if you click the "share" button on ...

My Favorite Part of Being a Dad

The kiddos and me on a fall hayride One of my favorite things about being a dad is experiencing the myriad of “first” with our kids. Whether it’s the first laugh, word, step, Christmas or first day of school – they are all precious moments that truly add meaning to life. Here’s the lasted in a constant string of “firsts” from our four-month old son  T.J.   Question: What’s a favorite first your family has celebrated?

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Easterrific: $100 Educational Toys Planet Giveaway!

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Are you a parent who loves buying smart toys for your kids? Do you sometimes find the marketplace overwhelming because of all the junky toys you see? Educational Toys Planet will put a smile on your face. Better yet, you can enter to win this Easteriffic $100 gift for your child to buy some new toys there. So go for it! With the holiday season now behind us and Easter just around the corner …

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Kidoodle.TV: A Safe Site For Kids

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Kidoodle.TV is a safe, ad-free streaming video service that offers the discerning parent many quality shows for their children to watch. They provide a generous list of educational and entertaining programs that can be customized for each kid in the family. Because the selection of videos are in an environment that parents control, kids can watch their pre-selected Kidoodle.TV shows on the go. …

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A Son Goes Astray: Risk Factors and City Kids

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A child’s exposure to violence can have consequences for his development. Children exposed to violence are more likely to have internalizing and externalizing behavior problems (Peled 1995). Risk factors have a cumulative impact and can span over 5 domains. In other words, the more risk factors spread out over multiple domains one has, the greater the likelihood for serious delinquency ang gang involvement. …

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A Witch Hunt on Childhood?

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My magical little niece Ember This post isn’t going to be one of my usual esoteric romps. This one is more of a rant, but if I don’t let out I just might explode. I’m really grateful that I got to be a kid back in the 1960’s before society turned into a neurotic knot of fear. …

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Time Changes Everything

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I, recently was talking to my trainer at the gym, who was telling me about a friend of hers that is expecting twins. Now that wouldn’t be that big of deal, I guess, when you consider people are popping out 4 and 5 kids at a time these days. What makes this sort of unusual …

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4 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Have a Baby Journal

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“…I don’t think it means what you think it means” – Inigo Montoya, From the Princess Bride There is a bit of confusion it would seem, in some of the more common expressions around parenthood. Before the birth of our son, my wife and I would always hear the comment: “Our child is the center of our …

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Committed to Keeping My Kids Uncool

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In elementary school, I had a pair of hand-me-down pants from one of my older sisters that I hated wearing. To be clear, this school-age cross-dressing was imposed by my parents as a cost saving measure since they had five kids to clothe and feed. Being that I had two older sisters, 50 percent of my “gender …

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