|David J. Kirk||
Author R.J. Burroughs just released the third book in his “Boys” series and has put out another hit. “The Boys of 1960” is hilarious. It continues the coming of age of a group of young boys in rural Oklahoma, their experiences and their stories. The third edition features their introduction to girls.
I once referred to Burroughs as a cross between Mark Twain and Will Rogers. A wonderful storyteller, this writer’s trademark is his mastery of dialogue. His presentation of the boys’ conversations makes a reader feel right there in the story. If you’re up for some old fashioned laughs, read this book.
I have read all three books in this series, and will read future editions as quickly as the author puts them out. Tired of politics and traffic jams and the daily grind? Get the slippers on, hit the couch, and hang out with “The Boys of 1960.”
Mystery, betrayal, murder, and passionate love were things Sofia Lazar only experienced as a movie producer. All of that changed after her grandmother’s sudden death when she comes face to face with an unwanted revelation contained in a tattered box. The meager contents of the box take her back to her childhood and the fantastic bedtime stories that Abuela, her grandmother, used to tell her of a heroic warrior girl named Franzisca. Now, two decades later, fragments of Franzisca’s stories creep back into Sofia’s life, tying Franzisca and her grandmother to an unknown past. With the memories of her childhood bedtime stories to guide her, Sofia sets out to piece together her grandmother’s mysterious history leading her to discover the truth behind her life.
Set against the backdrop of World War II Romania, the immigration of Nazi criminals into South America, the later years of the Military Regime in Argentina during the 1980s, and present-day California, Franzisca’s Box is a story of war that ultimately affects three generations of women who will never find peace until they call for a ceasefire in their own wars and surrender to forgiveness and love.
"What do I think? I think it's not well thought out."
Her remark annoyed him. "I can always count on an honest answer from you, Prudy, but your usual open mindedness seems to have taken a powder."
"I am being opened minded. You're nuts! Out there, the way things are today? You can be a star ten miles from home just as easy as a thousand."
"It has nothing to do with that. I'm stuck on average. Things are slightly good one day and slightly not the next. I want some extremes. Every Friday after lunch we get milkshakes and sit on that flower bed in front of the A&P and watch grain dust blow down the street. We know everyone who walks in that market and have ever since we were two."
She did not know how to proceed. She certainly didn't want to admit those conversations with him in front of that store made her whole week. She thought about saying she was madly in love with him, if that had been the case. Harry would never win state champion in the looks department, but he was no door knob either. He dated a lot of girls, some of them even rather classy. But she didn't know how to stand out to him. The thought of being on his list of "so-so" x-girlfriends he was constantly bitching about was unsettling. He was nice when he wasn't thinking about things too much. She wanted him to stay, but couldn't put together a convincing argument.
As far as staying or leaving, Harry thought the latter was the best option. Prudence couldn't decide which was worse.
"I sure hope you got that message and read it. If you haven’t, I hope you do.
That’s it. Like I mentioned, it’s purely a historical matter, a static snapshot of a state of being that has no bearing on anything past its conclusion. There are no issues to discuss or argue, nothing to reconsider, and certainly nothing to cause concern in the present.
One has to take into account the level of development at the time. That was before pre frontal cortex and executive decisions were usually less than ideal. Things were hot or cold in those days, up or down, a song on the radio was either good or it wasn’t.
I could only exist at the poles. After being demoted into that purgatory of mundane gradation in between, I was on new ground. I had no map. I couldn’t even believe it happened let alone comprehend your motive. Spoken words, even written and signed statements, had value to me. There couldn’t have been any intervention by a higher force because none existed. While this was my biggest weakness, it certainly wasn’t yours.
I’m not sure how you felt about it; it was never explained. Certainly not anything to give you cause to reconsider. Everything and anything to say about it is in that message. I hate to think that that’s all there is, but that’s all there is."
-from Message in a Bottle
I especially liked Mike LaBossiere's latest article on public universities. In this article, he directs attention to the increasing cost of higher education. It appears that state legislatures are cutting funding to public universities more so in these tight times.
He goes on to attribute these budget cuts, especially in conservative legislatures, to the view that the purpose of higher education is purely economic. One gets a degree to get a good job and make a lot of money. This is a "selfish value system - that value is measured solely in terms of how something serves a narrowly defined self-interest."
LaBossiere points out the name for this: ethical egoism, that people should act solely in self-interest. He then goes into a number of other, and I agree more important, reasons for the need for a strong public education system. Please go to the article and see what these reasons are.
LaBossiere, M. (2015, July). The value of public universities. Talking Philosophy. Retrieved July 7, 2015 from: http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=8644
The New Horizons spacecraft will do a flyby of the planet Pluto on July 14 of this year. The launch took place in January 2006. It's taken a long time to get there.
I refer you to the great article by Nadia Drake in the July 2015 issue of the National Geographic magazine entitled "Pluto at Last." In it Drake told the story that it was an 11-year-old girl from England who proposed, in 1930, the name Pluto after the Roman god of the underworld. Some people suggested that she got the name from Walt Disney's cartoon dog. However, although the dog did make his premier in 1930, he didn't acquire the name Pluto until 1931, a year after the girl proposed the name.
Be sure to watch the National Geographic Channel for Pluto Encounter on July 15 at 8 p.m. for a film about the mission.
Drake, N. (2015). Pluto at last. National Geographic, 228(1), 112-123.