Recently I was shocked to discover that I was observing and ignoring a major shift in American speech patterns.  For some reason, I had decided it was just a part of  “Young folks” speech.  Woops!

This August I was in 14 performances of Shakespeare’s MacBeth.  I was one of two actors able to sit in the front row with patrons until my entrances.  Sometimes they did not realize I was in the play.  Just an old guy wearing a “dress”. I usually wear hearing aids, but neither glasses or hearing aids in the performances.  (My company indulges me with smaller parts nowadays at age 80. I was “old man” and “Doctor” .)

I noticed that sometimes I was not able to understand the actors 20 feet away.  I put this down to age etc. and ignored it for about 7 shows since I knew mostly what they saying. So I was kind of startled when, after performances audiences members I did not know came and thanked me for being able to hear and understand me.

It took me awhile to process these complements.  What was different here. Then I realized I had been trained as to pace, delivery, audience size, etc. differently than many today.  Automatically I just speak more slowly and with my emphasis varying.  According to our director, it is really hard to persuade young folks today not to speak very rapidly.  It now is an automatic speech pattern.

I knew school age kids here do speak in a rapid fire delivery and volume. As a foster grandparent in classrooms often ask the kids to repeat.  This is not just because I wear hearing aids. Even when looking directly and carefully, sometimes I have trouble separating their speech into individual words.

Then I watched all younger folks doing the same.  Then I watched panels of trained political and media types discussing the daily events on TV.  Not only did they often speak very rapidly when getting their views across, but they constantly interrupted and tried to drowned out their panel members. Many media types are properly trained.  It seems that they mostly are older folks.

This is a culture and generational shifts as to what is normal and expected in speech patterns. Now I see it all over.

Fr. Orthohippo


Addendum to USA changing speech patterns

Watching Aretha Franklin funeral today. Almost all the adults who spoke were trained in pace, diction, etc. except for a few who used some “cultural cant”, and the youngest children who actually managed to be understandable.
Sometimes I missed the intent because I got caught up in deliveries. Again, almost all the speakers were older.
A joy to appreciate this speech clinic even if a probable support for younger speech speed, etc.


Posted in childhood rearing, cultural shifts, culture differences, history, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lest You Think Only USA has School Curriculum Problems

Claim Simon Bridges’ sister teaching creationism

31 Jul, 2018 3:47pm

2 minutes to read
National Party leader Simon Bridges says complaints about creationism being taught by his sister are a
National Party leader Simon Bridges says complaints about creationism being taught by his sister are a “cheap hit”. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A complaint about creationism being taught at a private Auckland school is a “cheap political hit”, National leader Simon Bridges says.

Bridges’ sister Rachel O’Connor, who is married to National MP Simon O’Connor, is a science teacher at Mt Hobson Middle School.

A former student at the school has told Newsroom that creationism was being taught in preference to evolution.

The student said that in 2016, O’Connor showed a science class a video called Science Has Found Proof of the Existence of God, which “twisted” scientific argument.

“It strikes me in terms of whoever’s involved, there’s a bit of a cheap political hit here. It’s a private Christian school. I don’t know the ins and outs of the rules on what should be taught but that school should be teaching the government curricular in this area. Everything I’ve seen and understand suggests they are.”

Bridges said he didn’t know what his sister’s beliefs were but “she’s a New Zealander and she should be able to believe whatever she wants”.

He said he believed in evolution but that had nothing to do with the issue. He would “absolutely not” talk to his sister about it.

“I’m not going to deign to do something like that on a cheap political hit job.”

Mt Hobson Middle School is run by Villa Education Trust, which also has two charter schools.

Alwyn Poole, a Villa Education Trust board member and principal of Mt Hobson Middle School, said Rachel O’Connor was a superb teacher and “very balanced and open in all that she presents”.

Posted in education methods, freedoms lost, government discrimination, politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Albinos ‘must actively participate in political leadership to defy hostility.

Albinos ‘must actively participate in political leadership to defy hostility’: Groups

2018-06-28 15:11

Six candidates living with albinism will contest the elections next year, a rights groups has said, defying hostility in Malawi where 21 albinos have been murdered since 2014.

“One of the issues contributing to the violation of our rights is our invisibility,” said the Association of People with Albinism (APAM) which confirmed on Tuesday that six members would contest either parliamentary or council seats.

Albinism is a genetic hereditary disorder that causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, the hair and the eyes, so that those affected have a bleached look.

Apart from violence and discrimination, albinos are also exposed to eye problems and a heightened risk of skin cancer.

“In the past, we have never actively participated in political leadership, development activities and even government programmes,” said APAM director Overstone Kondowe.

“So this is one way of breaking out of that eggshell where we will put some of our members in decision-making organs.”

Kondowe suggested the surge of albino candidates was down to the “reluctance of government and other authorities to take action” on attacks targeting the community.

Albino candidates have never before contested Malawian elections in such great numbers, or with central coordination.

Rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday that since November 2014 there have been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism that have claimed at least 21 lives.

“People with albinism deserve to see justice for these vile, hateful crimes against them. That it takes so long for cases to be investigated or heard in court is a sobering indictment of the systematic failures in Malawi’s criminal justice system,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty’s southern Africa director.

Violent attacks

Just 30% of the 148 attacks against albinos since 2014 have been properly dealt with, according to official statistics, and only one murder and one attempted murder have been successfully prosecuted.

Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries, has experienced a spike in violent attacks on people with albinism since late 2014.

In many cases those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

Of the 600 cases of violence against albinos in 28 African countries, Malawi accounted for nearly a third.

“As a first step, (Malawi) must ensure all pending cases are dealt with without undue delay, and in line with international standards of fairness,” added Muchena.

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3D-printed corneas for the blind



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    3D-printed corneas for the blind

    This may solve the shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight againThis may solve the shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight again   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives


    This could solve the shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight again.

    In a first, scientists have created 3D printed human corneas that could solve the shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight again.

    As the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision. Yet there is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant, with 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder.

    Increased visually-impaired

    In addition, almost 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease. The proof-of-concept research, published in the journal Experimental Eye Research, shows how stem cells from a healthy donor cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, a ‘bio-ink’

    Posted in Medicine, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Pope Francis Is Beloved. His Papacy Might Be a Disaster.

    Bruce Kirkpatrick
    The New York Times


    Here is a look at the state of the Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, and a bit of Protestantism among each other, and how this author views the effect Pope Frances is having. . Certainly, few will accept entirely his views, but it gives me and others a different insight into this Christian world. Worth reading. Rare for the NY Times.

    Pope Francis opened the Holy Door to mark the opening of the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in 2015.CreditMax Rossi/Reuters

    The conversation has become predictable. A friendly acquaintance — a neighbor, a fellow parent, our real estate agent — asks about my work. I say I’ve been writing a book about the pope, and the acquaintance smiles and nods and says “Isn’t he so wonderful?” or, “That must be an inspiring thing,” or, “I have a friend who would love to read it.” And then eventually I find myself saying, uncomfortably, “Well, they should know that it’s not entirely favorable.”

    A pause, puzzled and slightly crestfallen. “But you’re writing about the nice pope?”

    The consistency of these exchanges is a testament to the great achievement of Pope Francis’ five years on the papal throne. He leads a church that spent the prior decade embroiled in a grisly sex abuse scandal, occupies an office often regarded as a medieval relic, and operates in a media environment in which traditional religion generally, and Roman Catholicism especially, are often covered with a mix of cluelessness and malice.

    And yet in a remarkably short amount of time — from the first days after his election, really — the former Jorge Bergoglio has made his pontificate a vessel for religious hopes that many of his admirers didn’t realize or remember that they had.

    Pope Francis celebrating a Mass in Rome in February.CreditRemo Casilli/Reuters

    Some of this admiration reflects the specific controversies he’s stirred within the church, the theological risks he’s taken in pushing for changes that liberal Westerners tend to assume Catholicism must eventually accept — shifts on sexual morality above all, plus a general liberalization in the hierarchy and the church.

    entire post


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    It’s OK to shoot down drones says Swiss Legal experts

    ‘It’s OK to shoot down drones’ say Swiss legal experts (but only Swiss drones?)

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    'It’s OK to shoot down drones' say Swiss legal experts
    File photo: Andrew Turner
    If a drone is invading your personal privacy you are entitled to shoot it down and aren’t liable for damages, according to new findings by Swiss lawyers.

    Drones are increasingly popular with private individuals in Switzerland for recreational use and to take aerial videos.

    But the remote-controlled craft can also be used by for spying on individuals or taking unauthorized photos – for example of people sunbathing on their balcony.

    Until now legal opinion has held that victims of drone surveillance cannot defend themselves.

    But Basel lawyers Jascha Schneider-Marfels and Sebastian Kaufmann say that according to their interpretation of the law, people who are being spied upon by drones are justified in shooting them down, 20 Minuten reported.

    “A drone pilot who goes against the law by invading people’s personal privacy can expect that the person affected will defend themselves – whether with a high pressure water jet or a net gun,” Schneider-Marfels told the paper.

    If a private detective uses a drone to spy on an adulterous couple or a jilted lover takes topless photos of his ex on her balcony this constitutes an attack on the personal sphere in which case self-defence is justified, the lawyer said.

    There would be no liability for damage caused to the drone.

    “Personal rights outweigh property protection rights in such cases,” Schneider-Marfels said.

    But a drone must not be brought down where injury could be inflicted to people in the area, he said.

    In February a company in the south-eastern canton of Graubünden unveiled a net gun designed to bring down small drones. 

    The compact defensive weapon which resembles a pistol fitted with a large silencer has a guaranteed range of up to 30 meters and operates by “shooting” nets that entrap drones, bringing them to the ground.

    Also in February, police in Geneva said they were training two eagles to take down rogue drones.

    The plan is for the eagles to be fully operational by the end of the year.

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    Sweden Plans to Ban All Religious Schools

    After lax immigration policies have enabled a flood of Muslim immigrants from war-torn countries such as Syria and Iran to take up refuge in Sweden, the European country must now contend with several troubling issues.

    Among those is the rise of Muslim schools in Sweden who are engaging in acts such as segregating male and female students on the bus and in the school. Instead of speaking out against these specific incidents, Swedish officials have instead moved to ban religious schools entirely.

    Thanks to this new policy, 70 religious schools must now close their doors. This includes 59 Christian schools and 11 Muslim schools. What’s worth noting is the fact that one religious school in Sweden – its sole Jewish school – will be allowed to remain open for the reason that Muslim students refuse to integrate with Jewish students, and having a Jewish school still in place will prevent Muslim-Jewish integration from becoming an issue.

    The way in which Sweden is handling the problems posed by certain Muslim schools is sickening. For 1,000 years, religious schools have existed in Sweden. Now, they are being forced to close their doors for good.

    Sweden officials believe that they have a problem with religion, when in reality it is a problem with immigration that is to blame for the issues they are facing.

    For more information on why Sweden is banning religious schools, be sure to check out the video below.


    ~ Liberty Video News

    Posted in childhood rearing, christian education, culture differences, Education, education methods, Islam, politics, refugees, religious exclusion, Uncategorized | Leave a comment