Justice Going To Pot

Our Minnesotan boys in blue have been caught green-handed pulling some peculiar police work. Fox 9 news out of the Twin Cities had the story last night and the video below is definitely worth a look. Last April, several police officers from around the state were taking part in a program designed to help officers…
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Life At A Funeral

Grandma’s funeral was Wednesday. When she was being lowered into the ground, I looked over and saw my three brothers and sister standing by. “Gosh”, I thought. “This is really happening.” We five were once all children–Grandma’s grandchildren–and she was the living, breathing, active woman in our lives for summer visits, holidays, and all the…
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Election Reflection: Why We Voted The Way We Did

The either/or (Republican or Democrat) aspect of U.S. elections provide voters with the fewest of options. Yet with so many issues to consider, it hardly seems like two is enough. It also makes it difficult to make sense out of what happened last week because there are multiple reasons why one might vote for, say,…
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The List: 10 Most-Spoken Languages

Lists are fun. So here’s one that occurred to me while researching for my book. I was reading up on some of the different ethnicities I encountered in China–and then saw the numbers of Earthlings speaking their languages… It’s a trivia contest here on New Plateaus. 🙂 Step right up, and give this a try!…
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The Vote…and Our Biology

Many of us voters were never really on the fence. We’ve been decidedly decided on who/what we’re voting for on this election months ago, before the first debates, and only hardened our choice as this day arrived. Though not with all these voters, it is within this population that there exists a tendency to allow something…
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Adventures In Subbing Pt 1: From The Mouths Of Babes

Because I’m yet to make millions from my blog, I decided to start working as a substitute teaching assistant (TA). Boy, do kids say the darnedest things. It’s a pretty common thing these days for teachers of younger students to have a helper in their classrooms, and the beauty of being a substitute TA is…
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The Panhandling Indian Woman

She was as innocuous as a tree or road sign—just another person at the top of the freeway exit ramp here in south Minneapolis. It’s a popular place for panhandlers. As I drove closer, though, her sign this morning stuck out: Most say something about being hungry, anything will help, and God Bless. Plus, for…
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Minnesota Is Being Laughed At

I suppose every state in the U.S. would be guilty of creating laws that ended up biting them. Or perhaps they just don’t enforce them the way Minnesota recently did. Regardless, Minnesota was mocked for interfering with free online education. Why the heck would a state like Minnesota, known for top-5-in-the-nation academics, prevent something so obviously…
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The Doctor Who Went To Heaven…and Came Back

Arguing the legitimacy of a religious experience takes on an interesting twist when such an experience makes a believer out of a skeptic–especially one who operated on the brain. Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon in Virginia, recently publicized his account of a miraculous experience he had while in a coma. So drastic and vivid was his experience…
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Beyond Politics

In China, I remember explaining the concept of campaigning to my adult English students. They laughed as I walked from one to the next, energetically shaking their hands and smiling. “See class? That’s what we get to do in America that you all miss out on here.” Well, that and political ads and debates and…
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