Saturday, July 21, 2007


Someone committed this vandalism on my truck last weekend. There is nothing more cowardly than senseless destruction like this. There is a spree of vandalism going on in this part of Shippensburg. I hope it ends soon!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Come study at the Conakry Airport

This Washington Post article describes hundreds of students of all ages flocking to the Conakry Airport in Guinea to study under its fluorescent lamps. Guinea follows a French-style education system, based on high stakes exams. So, students really have to succeed to advance. Also, with the lack of textbooks and other educational resources, students become really good note takers. They also have to learn how to memorize well, skills we are losing in the United States.

When I visited Guinea last December, the airport is one of the most striking features. It is hot, dusty, and noisy. Conakry is located on a long peninsula. The airport is at the base of the peninsula. The city has grown right up to the edge of the airport. There is a blackened mosque right outside the airport terminal. I thought, at first, that it had been destroyed or burned. But I learned later that it had never been completed.

Ironically, Guinea should have more than enough electricity for everyone. the Fouta Djalon highlands have a lot of water and good locations for hydroelectric dams. The mineral wealth in Guinea, if used properly, would buy enough electric power. I worked at the C.E.E.D. (Center for Environmental Education and Development) in Kinkan, right next door to a working dam. One of the advantages to using this school for workshops is that it always has electricity. My overwhelming impression of Guineans, of all ages, is that with just a few more resources and opportunities, they can compete with and excel anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Faith Based Action Figures Coming to a Walmart near you

Today Walmart announced that it will start selling a line of faith-based action figures in stores where they sell many bibles and other religious items. The toys are produced by a company called One2believe. Our local paper said that the Carlisle store is one of the chosen.

I guess if people want these toys, and the sell, than why not? I am always amazed that "Christians" or "fundamental Christians" want to create their own parallel society. It's a doomed effort. They will always be struggling with how much of the dominant society do they want to include in their parallel one.

There was a story in the Washington Post this morning about whole series of fantasy books to replace Harry Potter. It's great if the stories are well written. If the children feel they are just propaganda, then they won't succeed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Celtic Fling

A few weeks ago we went to see Enter the Haggis perform at the Celtic Fling at the Renaissance Fairgrounds. It was a great day with a great performance by the band. Another group, The Elders, that I hadn't heard before also was on stage. Here are the pictures.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I tried the special fireworks setting on my Panasonic DMC-FX7 camera. It is a long exposure setting that requires a tripod. The manual suggested using manual focus and I found that is very good advice. The other important thing is to center the fireworks in the viewfinder, which I didn't do so well.

Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.