VALERIEMAHA   50,221
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Should Violent War Game Videos Be Regulated Just Like Hard Core Pornography?

Friday, August 20, 2010

I have a bumper sticker on the back of my little Honda Civic that says, "KILL your TV!" That gives you a purdy clear picture of my position on the quality of television and the miniscule amount of it that I think is worth watching. This segues easily over into the video games arena in the sense that what we are putting into our minds impacts our behavior and who we are in terms of our values and priorities. I feel strongly that the level of violence in this country can be closely correlated to these phenomena.

What is your position about all of this?


"A new video game set in modern-day Afghanistan coming out in October simulates war. The game's multi-player format allows some gamers to be in the role of the Taliban, while others play the part of the coalition forces. Karen Meredith, whose son died in Afghanistan, told Fox News, "My son didn't get to start over when he was killed. His life is over, and I have to deal with this every day...it's just not a game." Jim Sterling, a writer at gamer website Destructoid thinks the war game is fine, "No, war is not a game. But games about war...they are games. Nobody made Meredith's son become a soldier just like nobody will make Meredith buy Medal of Honor." Now you can blast to smithereens allied troops while news filters through on your radio or TV of another young soldier killed by a car bomb.

"This new Afghanistan war game raises two questions. The first, of course, is whether it's appropriate for a major corporation to be giving our children an opportunity to play the role of Taliban killing American soldiers. The second and larger issue, is whether these games of violence - which were first developed three decades ago by the US military to help train US soldiers learn to overcome the cultural prohibition against killing - should be considered as neurologically dangerous to young and developing minds as hard core pornography.

"Just as with pornography's influence on young people, there is conflicting science on both sides of the argument. But in the face of this uncertainty, shouldn't we regulate games that teach and show murder and violence the same way we regulate actual and even cartoon depictions of explicit sexual behavior?"
tinyurl.com/353w3ss


In the Dhammapada the Buddha taught:

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 8/23/2010 5:47PM

    My BF studied video game design in school and is looking for a professional job in the industry. He says many of these games do give you a special sort of feel for the atrocities of war, and the good ones are thoroughly researched and historically accurate. In that regard, they have (potential) merit. The interactivity can drive home the terribleness of war, not just glorify it. It's all in how the user interprets the medium and its content -- just like books and movies. Why automatically assume this game is meant to glorify? The U.S. Army created a war game as a recruitment tool. Is that any better or worse?

That said, I would never buy this game. I would never play it either. Of course, to be fair, I am not a video game fan. I have a hard time being interested enough in my Wii Fit! Still, I can't bring myself to support censorship of nearly any kind. I say let your dollar be your voice. Don't like it? Don't ban it -- just don't buy it. That's my humble take!


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VALERIEMAHA 8/21/2010 4:54PM

    Thanks to one of my friends for this powerful link...one of the blog posters, who commented to me --

"Some strong folks out there, speaking out against the madness:"

http://www.warresi
sters.org/node/1048

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KALIGIRL 8/21/2010 4:13PM

    Difficult issue - when is too much regulation too much?
I fear we all have become desensitized and the game industry has played a large role in the process.

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GOANNA2 8/21/2010 7:12AM

    I agree about the games. It is still up to the parents and like in the UK, even though we have restrictions on the games, kids will get it somehow.

Tahnk you for the lovely quote from Buddha. emoticon emoticon

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PWINCESSEMILY 8/21/2010 6:17AM

    In the UK video games are given age ratings like movies are. Violent games or other ones with concerning features are rated for 18+. Some games have been banned for being over the top. This means that children can't buy them, and in theory only adults with fully formed minds access them.

Unfortunately, as with DVDs and TV, parents will buy these things for their children/teens.

IMO that's not an issue for more government control or censorship - the system here is a good one - its an argument for parents to stop being so stupid and be responsible for their kids!

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_VALEO_ 8/21/2010 4:33AM

    (rephrased as it was way too long)

I work in the video games industry. I don't think I would have localized this game as it is meant to recruit new soldiers, and is designed by the Army, nothing to do with gameplay.


I think I have a stronger position towards wars and army than you, Maha. I don't think video games are responsible for all that violence, wars have sadly always existed even before the era of video games.

I don't think the games influence the young generation, but society.

Video games are played throughout the world. Why don't we have so many recruits across the pond, or more Colombine if they had such a great influence or violent effect on people?

Soldiers in the US are praised like heroes serving their country, and they are "blessed" and "thanked". Who wouldn't want to be a "hero" in that case?
Many American families are proud of having a son in the Army.
They are brainswashed by society, and even religion, making them think they protect " their freedom" (never got this one, but I guess it is cultural.)
Army and war have nothing to see with freedom, on the contrary.

I don't think it's the video games which should be regulated, but a change in mentalities would be great.

Comment edited on: 8/23/2010 5:08:15 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 8/21/2010 4:26AM

    I’m from the UK, so I’m commenting from a similar and slightly different culture.

I’m right there with you about violence breeding violence. In our country we have seen chilling examples of children torturing and even killing other children because they were copying on-screen violence. I detest the idea of war games and of violent images and I have a perception that public behaviour in the UK is getting worse.

That said, I think that in our country there is a distinction between the medium and the message when it comes to TV. The fact that violence and poor quality exists in books doesn’t make me hate books in general. The issue in the UK is about the quality of programming. There are some shocking ‘real life’ programmes that ‘normalise’ anti-social behaviour. 24-hour rolling news has led to more celebrity tittle-tattle and ‘newsertainment’ such as the extended live commentary on the last hours of a murderer who ultimately shot and killed himself on live TV. That said, There are also some wonderful factual programmes on travel and the natural world.

The comparison between junk and healthy food and TV programming seems spot on to me.

Thanks for a very thought-provoking blog and apologies for the long response.


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CMRAND54 8/20/2010 10:35PM

    At some point it's up to the parents to regulate what their children own and play with, just as parents need to monitor what their children watch on TV, listen to on the radio and read. If enough parents refuse to buy these games, they won't be sold. But sometimes the best thing to do is to keep your kids busy with other, better pursuits, than to forbid something out right. Forbidden things can be very appealing to children.

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WILDHONEYPIE1 8/20/2010 10:12PM

    I'm with some previous posters. This whole "war game" industry goes way beyond just our mentality and moves into our programming. My father used to rant when game stations first came out that the controllers themselves were war training. As a kid I rolled my eyes, but wouldn't you know I was listening to a story on NPR about drone warfare and the guy they were interviewing admitted that the controllers for the drones are modeled after game controls. "Just because it was convenient" of course. Having said that, I'm not sure violent war games should be regulated. At some point, we the people have to step up and regulate ourselves. We can step up and demand that our tax dollars not be spent to make video games. We can refuse to purchase them and not allow our children to play them. We can kill our gaming systems along with the TV's.
: )

Comment edited on: 8/20/2010 10:13:03 PM

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DDOORN 8/20/2010 9:35PM

    Horrible, horrible stuff! The military no longer needs the draft...it's far too insidious for that...besides, the draft got everyone's dander up in the 60's and 70's.

Let's just promote this war stuff as so COOL and IRRESISTIBLE that we will collect all the cannon fodder we need and THEN some!

I remember reading an editorial by a father who was OUTRAGED upon hearing his ELEMENTARY school aged son telling him about this "guest speaker" they had in class. *IT* was a Military Recruiter! Speaking about how COOL it was to "Serve One's Country" yadda yadda...! Let's plant these seeds of war at an early age...

Many of the military video games are SUBSIDIZED by OUR TAX DOLLARS as the US MILITARY hires game developers to create games which will entice all the young men necessary to continue to fuel their wars! Apologies for the rant...but this is all too frightening, maddening and crazy-making for me...

Here is another story to illustrate my points:

http://www.democracynow.org
/2010/8/20/debate_is_dream_act_
a_solution

I like your bumper sticker...but I'd add a line:

"KILL your TV!
Before It Kills YOU!"

Don

Comment edited on: 8/20/2010 9:45:54 PM

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DENI_ZEN 8/20/2010 9:26PM

    Oh, Maha, this is a terrible and very depressing phenomenon. Depictions of violence are searing themselves forever into the minds and souls of too many young people today. But whether we're young or old, what we take in through our eyes and ears is just like the food we eat: It cannot fail to profoundly affect us. Violence is the most devastating junk food! I've seen that wonderful bumper sticker you have on your Civic, and each time I have, I've smiled...or said, "Right on!" DH watches TV, but whenever he's not here, it's never on. News-wise, I get everything I need from the radio. The 1% of my time I do watch, it's the Food Channel...never a good idea! emoticon Thanks for a wise and provocative blog entry!

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GENKI_WARRIOR 8/20/2010 7:45PM

    ...makes me sad, the seeds of destruction we sow; I can--at the very least--work on my own attitude and my cursing "stupid" people to evolve into a more compassionate and tactful communicator.

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PUDLECRAZY 8/20/2010 7:28PM

    It is a sad commentary on what direction our society has turned. I have an odd combination of children under my care... some who have no TV or video games, and others who have unrestricted time with both and have some of the most violent video games, even though they are preteens. Can you tell the difference between the children? You bet!

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Just Say NOOOOOO! to Monsanto's FRANKENsugar!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Court Blocks Future Crops of Monsanto's Genetically Engineered "RoundUp Ready" Sugar Beets...

...Unless the USDA Completes an Environmental Impact Statement and Decides Again to Deregulate
www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob238
.htm



The Center for Food Safety has won an important legal victory in the fight to stop the spread of untested and hazardous genetically engineered crops. After ruling that the USDA (under president George W. Bush) shouldn't have approved genetically engineered sugar beets without assessing the Frankencrop's potential to contaminate conventional and organic varieties, a federal judge has blocked future crops of Monsanto's genetically engineered RoundUp Ready sugar beets. Monsanto's GE sugar beets now comprise 95% of the nation's sugar beet harvest.

The ball is in the USDA's court. The pro-biotech sugar industry is urging the USDA to rush through an Environmental Impact Statement so they can plant a new crop of Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beets next year.

The only thing that can stop Monsanto's sugar beets is a massive public outcry. The Center for Food Safety's legal work has given the USDA, under President Obama, the opportunity to do the right thing.

Now's our chance to press Obama's USDA to protect biodiversity and human health from contamination with FrankenGenes that never should have been released into nature or the food system!

To take action:
www.capwiz.com/grassrootsnetroots/is
sues/alert/?alertid=16048676&type=ML

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCESCANAZ 8/22/2010 1:33PM

    emoticonMaha! Gettin the word out. te amo hermana mia. emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 8/21/2010 4:52PM

    Thanks.

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ROBINSNEWNEST 8/20/2010 7:26PM

    Thanks for sharing this information... Took action and will pass it on...

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SLASALLE 8/20/2010 6:30PM

    While beets are one of the few veggies I do not like, I still don't like genetically engineered food, and I'm sure it's happening with more than beets!!

You go, girl ... !!!

Stephanie

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KALIGIRL 8/20/2010 8:38AM

    emoticon for letting us know.

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GOANNA2 8/20/2010 6:10AM

    Wow, 95% is not good. I agree that no one company should
have so much control. It makes me wonder what else we are
eating that has biofranken genes that we know nothing about.

Thanks for the info. Glad the court ahs blocked it.
Have a great weekend.
emoticon

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DENI_ZEN 8/19/2010 11:04PM

    P.S. - This blog entry of yours reminds me of the old Sonny and Cher song - "And the Beet Goes On." emoticon

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DENI_ZEN 8/19/2010 11:02PM

    I'm no fan of Frankencrops either, Maha; thank you for this heads-up! I just took action, and I echo RUSSELLORAMA's sentiments here. Was it on NPR that I first heard about Monsanto's "RoundUp Ready" genetically engineered sugar beets? That news depressed me...so it's good to have this avenue for voicing my concern! - Sandi emoticon

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CMRAND54 8/19/2010 9:18PM

    Thanks for posting this.

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RUSSELLORAMA 8/19/2010 7:20PM

    No one company should be allowed to control 95% of anything, including crops!

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SHERRY822 8/19/2010 6:44PM

    Thanks for the info. I took action ! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 8/19/2010 6:37PM

    "GE sugar beets now comprise 95% of the nation's sugar beet harvest"

That's truly shocking Maha and should definitely be drawn to people's attention.

Hope the campaign attracts a lot of support.



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Sister Love!

Monday, August 16, 2010

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Does it get any better than this: I pull in after three months *on the road* around noon yesterday, pull myself together, gather gifts and take off for festivities with dear friends for three birthday celebrants at Ellen's fabulous hilltop *Tree House* (so called because it's built on a hill up among them) whose kitchen window looks out directly at Pinnacle Mountain.


Ellen, one of the birthday girls, who is the hostess-with-the-mostest with Chloe!


Me with two of the birthday girls, former housemate Janice and Ellen.


The third birthday girl, Gail on the left, with Fritzie in the middle, and Pat, who shaved her head in solidarity with a dear friend who is grappling with breast cancer


Fritzie, Pat and (blinking) Janice again. The first celebration was for my birthday, held at Fritzie's place. I blogged about it back-when:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2912276



Anne Avant, famed and favorite Iyengar Yoga teacher, Ellen, and Amy (just back from 3 weeks in Bulgaria...and earlier in the summer yet another trip to China). After the February celebration, Anne sent an email out to everyone and said we should keep doing this periodically...and the next one was held at her place last May!


Johnye (Janice's mom and the matriarch of the group), Pam who, instead of completing her PhD in English Lit, got practical and picked up an accounting degree and ultimately became a CPA -- fortunately, I think, she has stopped playing with numbers and is back to playing with words...she is the quintessential wordsmith!), and Camille (who finished the semi-finals game of a tennis tournament in time to join us). Camille started the prison project and Pat, Gail, and I volunteer in it with her.


Some kitchen action.


Here Janice, just back from two months camping and volunteering for the National Park Service (she and her sister Judy lead light house tours where they stay at Devil's Island in Lake Superior) at the Great Lakes, is singing the song she wrote for Ellen and Monroe's wedding, was it three(?) years ago (one of those storybook romances...lucky Ellen!)

Unfortunately Judy missed the celebration because she was on-call at the hospital. (She's a pediatrician.) SparkFriend Sandra also missed it because she's in Wisconsin helping her mom post-op; Jean and Pamela are also in WI...visiting friends and family; Siaw Khian is visiting family in Malaysia and Marilyn is in Missouri, supporting her mom, whose partner is very ill.


At our next celebration Johnye will be celebrating her EIGHTIETH! I wish this was lighter...I swear she looks longer than me! (ROTFLOL!!! Gotta' leave that typo -- since at almost 6' tall, she is DEFINITELY "longer" than my 5'3" and she looks YOUNGER than me too.) Mid-life Johnye decided she wanted a PhD, finished it and proceeded to join the faculty of the English Department of U of AR and taught English Literature for many years there. And it makes my head spin to think of everything she's involved in now! Is that the formula Johnye???


Pinnacle Mountain at sunrise
www.visionmena.com/Arkansas_State_%2
0Parks/pinnacle_mountain_state_park_in
_arkansas.htm

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
A FRIENDSHIP BLESSING

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul
where there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.

May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.

May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
May they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth, and light that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.

-- John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara
(Anam cara is Gaelic for "soul friend")

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCESCANAZ 8/22/2010 1:36PM

    emoticon Maha! Livin life! Te amo mi hermana. emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 8/18/2010 8:21PM

    I am so glad you made it back for the birthday bash! It looks like everyone had so much fun. emoticon

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DARKTHOR 8/18/2010 12:30PM

    This is so wonderful. You are filling your days with greatness that stretches the seams.

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RUBIA_LIZ 8/17/2010 10:59PM

    Fantastic! I don't know what I'd do without my Sister Love either. Glad you've made it back home safe and sound! Have enjoyed following your travels. Great stuff!!

emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 8/17/2010 10:14PM

    I am so happy for you that you are back home again with your intelligent, interesting and loving friends! Thanks for the poem, too. I like it!

emoticon

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DENI_ZEN 8/17/2010 8:43PM

    Wow, Maha! Thank you for sharing this wonderful gathering with us! The sisterhood among you is palpable, too :) And oh, to have a treehouse like that! Thanks SO much with your help with my SparkPersona/Identity/Page! As you can see, I've had sooo much fun today! (And, I'm a kid at heart - so it's all good! :) - Sandi emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/17/2010 1:06PM

    What a marvelous group of sisters - you are blessed with their friendship as are they with yours.

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CMRAND54 8/17/2010 12:42AM

    What a wonderful celebration.

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GETDONE 8/16/2010 10:10PM

    Thanks for the party--I felt like I was there.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 8/16/2010 8:49PM

    What a joy filled celebration, Mahalakshmi, and a lovely homecoming for you. And a gathering of remarkable women. The love and warmth in the room comes across in your blog.
And thanks for sharing the anam cara blessing with us! Love it.
Usha xx

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MISS_VIV 8/16/2010 8:48PM

    What fantastic writings of a heart warming reunion/birthday/sisters get together.
You are truly blessed.

hugs

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COSMIC_ENERGY 8/16/2010 4:39PM

    What a wonderful homecoming!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/16/2010 4:14PM

    Thanks for sharing your celebration of friendship between some remarkable women. What a gathering of wisdom, strength, intelligence, empathy and generosity.

emoticon

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SLASALLE 8/16/2010 3:35PM

    Sister love, indeed. Often made even better with "chosen" sisters!! Don't know what I would do without the many "sisters" in my life.

Welcome home (to me, too!!). Enjoy. We'll talk soon!!!

xoxoxo
Stephanie

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VALERIEMAHA 8/16/2010 3:25PM

    THIS FROM JOHNYE:


Nice photos, Maha.

Just a couple of corrections to the text (you know, it's the editor in me--or maybe the English prof):

I was not really middle aged when I "decided" to get my PhD. That had been my intention all along. I was fulfilling a prenuptial agreement, made when I was 17, prior to our summer wedding before the beginning of our sophomore year. I was only 31 when I began the final phase, so it was hardly my middle age, as it turned out. (We both committed to being supportive of the other one's getting a PhD. He already knew he wanted to be a chemist. I told him I too wanted to get a PhD. Just didn't know what yet.)

My work history was with UALR, not U of AR (which is commonly understood to be the Fayetteville campus).

I continued taking classes virtually every semester until 3 years after my retirement, when health issues made it physically uncomfortable. (Then I began working at home editing two international haiku publications for 7 years, until that work became uncomfortable.)

Interestingl
y enough, we were given tiny boxes created from lovely greeting cards at the birthday celebration....The one I chose was filled with "comfort".

Peace, Love, and Joy to All.

Johnye


Comment edited on: 8/16/2010 5:51:01 PM

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FERRET_76 8/16/2010 2:55PM

  Wow - wonderful friends and a blessed celebration all in a gorgeous setting? Sounds great! Here's wishing you continued success!!

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VALERIEMAHA 8/16/2010 1:53PM

    Oh yeah -- Pat is DEFINITELY and INDUBITABLY an AMAZING woman!

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LYNNANN43 8/16/2010 1:10PM

    What a wonderful looking & celebration, MAHA!

And hats off to Pat for shaving her head in solidarity! What an AMAZING woman she must be to got to those lengths for a friend!

emoticon

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28/Summer10: Biking the Youghiogheny River Trail

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I left Pennsylvania a few days ago. I last stayed three days and two nights in Ohiopyle, an area incredibly rich with recreational resources, among them an awesome bike trail.

The Youghiogheny River Trail has 27 miles of trail in the park and is part of the Great Allegheny Passage that connects Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cumberland, Maryland (near Washington, D.C.). The flat, crushed limestone trail was once the rail bed for the Western Maryland Railroad.

I rode only 10 miles of the extraordinary trail (or 20 miles round trip) and it was a virtual wonderland! I really hope to return to the Ohiopyle area of Pennsylvania again. My PA friends Lew and Tracey are totally right!

As I rode, I sometimes heard the roar of the rapids over the boulders...at other times the still waters created a quietness that was mesmerizing. The topography varied on the trail and always the river was below, although it was difficult to capture it with my camera. It was cool in the woods during the entire ride...I was always shaded by the canopy of trees. I shot photos on the ride back, and here is the visual offering from that magical experience:













  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMDENCYCLIST 8/31/2010 12:58PM

    Spectacular photos! What a beautiful ride. I'll have to check that out some time. It's not too far from me!

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SUCHAHOOT 8/15/2010 11:53PM

    This may be my favorite yet! Your photos are fabulous. I can just feel myslef peddling along with you.

Stay safe & continue to live in JOY!!!

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AZIMAT 8/15/2010 2:27PM

    Hey you! still truckin' huh?

The Obamas were here this weekend, well, they were a half mile from here, down the street from us. Pretty exciting. I should write blog. My DH and I stood on the corner to see them off. Barack waved at us as the motorcade passed by.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/15/2010 1:14PM

    "I sometimes heard the roar of the rapids over the boulders...at other times the still waters created a quietness that was mesmerizing." sounds like a metaphor for a life well-lived.

You have certainly had a summer that was very well-lived indeed.

emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 8/15/2010 11:18AM

    THAT'S MAH HOME PLACE!!!!!!

You know... I don't know what it is about "home"... and I am sure there are many places on this sweet old world that look just LIKE this... but when I looked at the first picture you posted here, Maha, a smile broke across my face like Whoa!...

HOME!

I'd know the roll of those old hills anywhere... and you spent some time in the very best places this whole summer long... but I am SO pleased you got a few days there at Ohiopyle... it is truly a wonder and I'm so happy you got to see it!

MWAH! MWAH! MWAH!

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CORPUSANNIE 8/14/2010 11:37PM

    Have to let you know that this vicarious journey I've been taking with you is the highlight of my summer. Many sincere thanks! emoticon emoticon
peace
montie

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CMRAND54 8/14/2010 10:13PM

    Lovely photos! Your trip sounds wonderful.

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GENKI_WARRIOR 8/14/2010 7:40PM

    WOW--Gorgeous!!! I may have to venture out and find some good trails--I looooove bicycling!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 8/14/2010 7:19PM

    You are a wonder! Had a nice chat with Kathy today (AT). I'm trying to get my mojo motivation up for a new healthy eating plan. It used to be easier for me in the summer, but now I believe it'll be easier during the school year with more structure in place--My Gemini twins are fighting!

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PUDLECRAZY 8/14/2010 7:18PM

    I really love that part of the country. I used to go camping there with my kids - lots of fond memories. Thanks for the photos!

BTW - Are you home yet?

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27/Summer10: FLW's Kentuck Knob

Friday, August 13, 2010





















A few pieces from the sculpture garden:

























The Hagan House began in 1953 when the Hagans, owners of a major dairy company in Western Pennsylvania, purchased an 80 acres mountain just north of their native Uniontown, the county seat. As friends of the Kaufmanns, owners of nearby Fallingwater on Bear Run, the Hagans asked their architect Frank Lloyd Wright, then 86 years old, to design a deluxe Usonian home for them. The house was completed in 1956, and the Hagans lived at Kentuck Knob for almost 30 years.

In 1986 Lord Palumbo of London, England bought the property for $600,000 as a vacation home. Since 1996, the Palumbo family has balanced their occupancy with a public tour program, a method of historic property management more common to their native England than to the United States.

The Palumbos added a sculpture meadow to the site near the base of the mountain, where 35 sculptures by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Ray Smith, and Sir Anthony Caro are displayed. Found art pieces include a French pissoir, red English telephone boxes, and a large, vertically upright concrete slab from the Berlin Wall. The meadow is reached by a walking path through woods from either the house or the visitors center.

Wright employed tidewater red cypress, glass, and native sandstone to build the home and capped it with a copper roof at a cost of $96,000.

At 86, and hard at work on the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and about 12 residential homes, Wright said he could "shake it (Kentuck Knob) out of his sleeve at will" never even setting foot on the site, except for a short visit during the construction phase. This would be one of the last homes to be completed by Wright.

The crescent-shaped house curls around a west-facing courtyard, blending into the contours of the land. The anchor of the design is a hexagonal stone core that rises from the hipped roof at the intersection of the living and bedroom wings. The walls of the flat-roofed carport and studio burrow into the knob and define the courtyard's eastern side. A stone planter terminates the low retaining wall on the west side of the courtyard, and it features a copper light fixture accented with a triangular-shaped shade. To the south, the house extends beyond the hillside on 10" thick stone-faced concrete ramparts. As with other houses Wright designed during this period, the Kentuck Knob plan is based upon a module system, in this case an equilateral triangle measuring 4'-6" to a side creating an outside 240 degree L-plan house.

Interestingly, Wright did not select the top of the mountain knob, which would have provided commanding views. He chose a more challenging and less obvious site immediately south of the knob. The house is nestled into the side of the knob, a common practice for Wright, allowing the building to appear organic and harmonious with the landscape rather than dominating it. The house was oriented to the south and west for the best light throughout the year, something Wright often did when not limited by a city lot.

The name Kentuck Knob is credited to the late eighteenth-century settler David Askins, who intended to move from Western Pennsylvania to Kentucky, but then reconsidered and remained at this very property, naming his tract of land Little Kentuck. It subsequently became known the Kentuck District of Stewart Township, one of the county's several rural mountainous townships. Ever since the summit of the property has been called Kentuck Knob.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentuck_Knob

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COSMIC_ENERGY 8/13/2010 10:55PM

    emoticon Beautiful and so much interesting history.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 8/13/2010 5:40PM

    What beautiful pictures! I feel like I was there!

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GOANNA2 8/13/2010 5:19PM

    What a beautiful place. Thank you so much for sharing.
Namaste emoticon

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PENNYAN45 8/13/2010 3:33PM

    Beautiful! Thanks for the guided tour.
It's great to know that your travels continue.
Are you getting ready to return home soon?

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FRANCESCANAZ 8/13/2010 12:07PM

    Very intereting Maha. I just got your message. Kathleen has the DVDs now. I'll mail you the World Music right after I sahre it with my students. Gracias amiga. Vaya con Dios, Francesca

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PUDLECRAZY 8/13/2010 11:28AM

    Great shots! I had forgotten about the Oldenburg sculpture, and a few new sculptures have been added since I last was there. I hope you had as much fun as I did visiting the sculpture garden. I really like the Kentuck Knob house - I think because of its scale was well as its location.

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KAT573 8/13/2010 11:21AM

    Kewl! sorry Askins never made it to Ole Kaintuck! but he did good!
Kat

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AZIMAT 8/13/2010 11:18AM

    Oh so nice that you have connectivity! Thanks for the travelogue.

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LYNNANN43 8/13/2010 10:33AM

    My old HS boyfriend, (Hubs BFF), was just talking about here! He loves to visit & suggested we do the same:-)

Now I REALLY want to go!

Thanks for sharing, MAHA!

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VALERIEMAHA 8/13/2010 10:27AM

    The roof reminds me of the Marin Co. Civic Center...the copper-turned Pacific blue!!!

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MISS_VIV 8/13/2010 9:34AM

    Such breathtaking shots. Thank you for having your electronics with you so you can share all of this. What a fantastic opportunity you have afforded those of us that are unable to get out and around to these beautiful places.
Bless you



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