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Just for FUN! How smart is your dog?

Our dog rules…and dog lovers will know what I mean.   If we put on shoes; pick up the car keys…and we don’t spell out such words as “truck, ride, go” etc….she will sit by the door as if to say, “There is no way you are going to leave me behind!”

On the other hand, if we say that really bad sentence to her… “Go get on your bed…we’ll be back”, she will obediently do that, but will never look at us even if we call her name.  (pouting…I think they call it.)

A friend of ours sent this video clip, and just for fun…I thought I’d pass it along to my readers and especially those with dogs.   Yes, they are not only man’s (and woman’s) best friend, but they are truly smart!

Playing by the pool on a hot summer’s day can have a few challenges, but this little guy got it all figured out.   (Turn on your sound)

CLICK TO SEE VIDEO

Life Changing Experiences…FEATURING THE POSITIVE in human beings

Albino Girl by Gustavo Lacer

Albino Girl by Gustavo Lacerda

Life changing experiences…where do they come from?  Are they divine intervention or simply being at the right place at the right time?   Perhaps there is something in both possibilities…but also that we have our eyes…and our hearts…open at any given time.

One night when my sleep pattern was a bit off, I randomly found this man online. My love of photography perked my interest in what this man is doing with his talent.

Let me introduce him to you…Rick Guidotti.   I know nothing about him except that he had a career as a photographer in some of the hot spots of America and the world.  He was a photographer of the most glamorous…and then his life changed when he spotted an albino woman walking down the street.  Here is a short bio taken from his site named Positive Exposure. Certainly in this crazy world, we need something positive.

“Rick Guidotti, an award-winning former fashion photographer, has spent the past fifteen years working internationally with advocacy organizations/NGOs, medical schools, universities and other educational institutions to effect a sea-change in societal attitudes towards people

living with genetic difference; his work has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals as diverse as Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and Life Magazine.

Rick is the founder and director of Positive Exposure, an innovative arts, education and advocacy organization, working with individuals living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral difference. Positive Exposure utilizes the visual arts to significantly impact the fields of genetics, mental health and human rights.

Rick Guidotti’s photographic exhibition, Positive Exposure; The Spirit of Difference, premiered at the People’s Genome Celebration, June 2001, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in DC. and continues to exhibit in galleries, museums and public arenas internationally.

Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure photo and video presentation explores the social and
psychological experiences of people living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral conditions of all ages and ethno-cultural heritages.  Positive Exposure provides new opportunities to see individuals living with a genetic difference first and foremost as a human being with his/her own challenges rather than as a specific diagnosis/disease entity.

Rick Guidotti and Positive Exposure continue to celebrate the richness and beauty of human diversity.”

It may be hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, people in Tanzania were being murdered for their body parts because they were albino.  Being different…in whatever way…is a difficult life for many.  How a person feels about himself can make “all the difference”  and it seems that the life changing moment for Rick Guidotti is something that all of us need to learn.  Take a look around you, see people in a different light…see their beauty as a human being.

IN HIS OWN WORDS…changing the concept of self

 

After video click here to See Rick’s other Photography celebrating human diversity

Inspirational Woman from Segregated Alabama…. Condoleezza Rice

My last post featured one of the most recognized and honored songs, Amazing Grace.  Playing the piano was Condoleezza Rice.  Her story is one that all people should know about in these days of unrest and violence.  After reading this, one will come up with at least three thoughts:

  • The power of parenting and what it can mean in a child’s life
  • The power of being brought up in a home of faith
  • The power of determination to be the best that one can be

 

youngcondoleezza-riceWho would have thought that a young, black girl growing up in segregated Alabama would  have a whisper of a chance to be one of the most respected and powerful women in modern history?   This is her story. It is also a story of inspiration  for all those who think their chances are slim and life is not fair.  Never heard of her?  Well, you must be too young?  Now you have a chance to know about a woman of excellence.

(Taken in part from the World Encyclopedia of Biographies)

Condoleezza Rice

 

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address piracy off the coast of Somalia at the U.N. headquarters in New York in this file photo from December 16, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council

Condoleezza Rice became one of the most influential women in the world of global politics when President George W. Bush  named her as his national security adviser in December of 2000. Her role became extremely important after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and the Pentagon in Washington. Rice has played a crucial part in shaping the most aggressive U.S. foreign policy in modern history, with wars launched against Afghanistan and Iraq during her time in office.

Early history:

Rice grew up during a deeply segregated era of American history. She was born in 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, to parents who were both educators. Her father, John Wesley Rice Jr., was a football coach and high school guidance counselor at one of Birmingham’s black public schools. He was also an ordained Presbyterian minister in Birmingham’s Westminster Presbyterian Church, which had been founded by his own father, also a minister. Rice’s mother, Angelena, was a teacher and church organist. Angelena loved opera, and so named her only child after an Italian  term, con dolcezza. It is used in musical notation and means “to play with sweetness.”

Birmingham was clearly divided into black and white spheres during Rice’s childhood, and the two worlds rarely met. But her parents were determined that their only child would grow up to be an accomplished and well-rounded young woman. Rice began piano lessons at the age of three, and gave her first recital a year later. She became somewhat of a musical prodigy in the Birmingham area, performing often at school and community events. In addition to long hours spent practicing the piano, she also took French and Spanish lessons after school, and later became a competitive figure skater.

A child prodigy playing the piano...continues her music today

A child prodigy playing the piano…continues her music today

When interviewed, Miss Rice said this, “My whole community was determined not to let their children’s horizons be limited by growing up in segregated Birmingham. Sometimes I think they overcompensated because they wanted their kids to be so much better. I find football so interesting strategically. It’s the closest thing to war. What you’re really doing is taking and yielding territory, and you have certain strategies and tactics.”

 (This may have been her war on being left behind because during this time of her life, there were fewer opportunities for people of color in America.) Not surprisingly, Rice earned good grades in school, even at an early age. Attending segregated schools in Birmingham, she skipped the first grade entirely and was later promoted from the sixth directly into the eighth grade. 

 Her city became a battleground during the emerging civil rights movement in the late 1950s, and the strife directly touched Rice’s early life. In 1963 the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, situated in the middle of Birmingham’s black community, was the site of a tragic firebombing that killed four little girls who were attending Sunday school. Rice knew two of them.

Finished high school early:

(Moving to Colorado may have been a turning point in her life for the schools were not segregated as in Alabama.) Rice’s family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, around 1965, when she was eleven years old. Her father had taken a job there as a college administrator. They later settled in Denver, Colorado, where she attended an integrated public school for the first time in her life, beginning with the tenth grade. She finished her last year of high school and her first year at the University of Denver at the same time.

Smart, educated, and influential…turns to political science

U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has sometimes been described as the most influential woman in global politics. A university professor and expert on Russian history, Rice is known for her cool, calm manner. When Bush appointed her to the job in 2000, some wondered if she was qualified for it…A job such as Rice’s requires nerves of steel, and the French- and Russian-fluent academic, whose friends and family call her “Condi,” fits the bill.

She explained in another interview “My parents went to great lengths to make sure I was confident. My mother was also a great believer in being proper.”

condoleeza-riceAs an African American and a professional, Rice has experienced the occasional racial snub. She recalled one occasion when she asked to see some of the nicer jewelry in a store, and the saleswoman mumbled a rude remark under her breath.  (Condi was not afraid to stand up for herself) “‘Let’s get one thing clear. If you could afford anything in here, you wouldn’t be behind this counter. So I strongly suggest you do your job.'”

(Dignified in every way, yet much the woman)  The confidence that Rice’s parents instilled in her comes out in other ways, too. She favors suits by Italian designer Giorgio Armani, but the trim, fit national security adviser prefers her skirts to hit just above the knee. Her favorite lipstick comes from the Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics counter. When asked about her off-duty hours,  she watches sports and goes shopping. (One wonders how the secret service took this?)  Rice responded with a humor rarely on display in public, “They can handle shopping.”

For years Rice dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. At the University of Denver she was originally a music major, but eventually gave up on her dream after spending a summer at music camp. “Technically, I can play most anything.  But I’ll never play it the way the truly great pianists do.”

She fell in love with political science and Russian history after she took a class taught by Josef Korbel, a  refugee from Czechoslovakia. His daughter became the first female U.S. Secretary of State. 

Rice began taking Russian-language and history courses, and became fascinated by Cold War politics. The term refers to the hostilities between the United States and the world’s first Communist state, Soviet Russia, in the years following World War II (1939–45). Each “superpower” tried to win allies to its brand of politics, and in the process each side built up a large arsenal of nuclear weapons. After she graduated from the University of Denver in 1974, Rice enrolled at Notre Dame University in Indiana, where she earned a master’s degree in government and international studies.

Offered a fellowship at Stanford:

C RICERice was a promising new talent in her field even before she earned a doctorate in 1981. Her dissertation investigated the relationship between the Czechoslovak Communist Party and its army. Soon she was offered a fellowship at Stanford University. No other woman had ever been offered a fellowship to its Center for International Security and Arms Control. She eagerly accepted, and the following year she was hired by Stanford to teach political science.

Rice became a tenured professor at Stanford in 1987. She was also a rising star in U.S. foreign policy circles. She served as the informal campaign adviser to a Colorado Democrat, Gary Hart, during his 1984 bid for the White House. She came to know a foreign policy expert, Brent Scowcroft,  and was offered her first official job in government. Scowcroft had been named national security adviser by George H. W. Bush  who was elected president in 1988. Scowcroft then hired Rice as a staff member on the National Security Council.

Served as Stanford Provost and then in White House as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State:

The National Security Council helps analyze data and plan American foreign policy. It looks at potential global threats from hostile nations, and works to make strategic alliances with friendly ones. Rice eventually became a special assistant to the first President Bush, serving as his expert on Soviet and East European affairs. It was an important time in American foreign policy. The political system of the Soviet Union was crumbling, and by 1991 the Communist governments allied with Soviet Russia had been peacefully ousted throughout the Eastern Bloc (as the communist nations in Eastern Europe were known).

 Rice tired of the toll the White House job took on her personal life, and she resigned in 1991. She went back to teaching at Stanford, and in 1993 became the university’s first-ever  female provost, which essentially made her second-in-command at the school. She was also the first African American to be selected for the position.Condoleezza Rice Stanford Provose

“That was the toughest job I ever had.”  She was charged with eliminating a large budget deficit, and the university had also been accused of misusing government grant money intended for military research. There was internal turmoil as well, and some faculty members complained about Rice’s no-nonsense manner.

“I told people, ‘I don’t do committees,'” she explained.

Bush won the Republican party nomination and later was declared the winner of a hotly contested November election. The president-elect immediately named Rice as his national security adviser. Though she was not the first African American ever to hold the post—Bush’s new Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell, had held the job for a year in the late 1980s—she was the first woman ever to serve in the position. The national security adviser helps shape American foreign policy, both on the public front and behind the scenes, in strategy sessions with the president and his team.

Plotted strategy from underground bunker

Rice’s duties also included coming up with ideas to combat threats to American interests at home and overseas. This became an important part of her job on the morning of September 11, 2001. She was in a meeting at the White House when an aide notified her that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. She quickly ended the meeting and notified the President, who was in Florida. After a second plane crashed into the other tower of the New York landmark, she and other key personnel gathered in what is known as the White House “Situation Room.” When a third plane crashed into the Pentagon Building, which is the command center for the U.S. Armed Forces, Rice and the others retreated to an underground bunker. The attack was the deadliest ever to occur on American soil.

A great responsibility after the attack on the U.S.A.  on 9-11

A great responsibility after the attack on the U.S.A. on 9-11

Rice worked long days in the months afterward to shape U.S. foreign policy. The first order of business involved Afghanistan, which was suspected of harboring the shadowy Islamic fundamentalist group known as Al Qaeda. It was founded by a Saudi exile, Osama bin Laden, who quickly took responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Less than a month later, U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan. Rice also worked to create a new policy for dealing with longtime Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. 

The fourth year of the Bush Administration was a difficult one for Rice and other top White House and Pentagon personnel. Though Hussein had been captured and the war in Iraq was officially declared over, U.S. troops stationed in Iraq had become the target of repeated attacks by insurgents. And American military operatives had yet to capture bin Laden. In April of 2004 Rice was called to testify before a special panel that had been set up to investigate the 9/11 attacks, namely whether or not the attacks could have been prevented and how the emergency response to such an attack could be improved. There were charges that U.S. intelligence officials may have come across suspicious information but failed to put the pieces together. Rice sat before the official 9/11 Commission, in front of a barrage of television cameras, and held her ground.

“There was nothing demonstrating or showing that something was coming in the United States.  If there had been something, we would have acted on it.”

 Love of Football, but loved teaching more:

Rice lives in a luxury apartment complex in Washington known as Watergate. Her mother died in 1985, and her father died the same month that Bush named her to the national security adviser post. She attends church regularly, and is known to be close to the President and his wife, Laura (1946–). At the Maryland presidential retreat known as Camp David, she has been known to watch hours of televised sports with President Bush.

C Rice at FootballRice’s name has been mentioned as a possible future vice-presidential candidate. Although she has joked that she would love to serve as commissioner of the National Football League  (Which some said she would have been great at this job also.    After leaving the White House, Condi Rice wanted to return to teaching. She was always wanting to give back.)

 

 “I miss my kids. In a class of 20, there are always two or three for whom the lights go on. When that happens, I think I’ve done for them what Dr. Korbel did for me.”

Miss Rice went on to serve as Secretary of State from 2005-2009.   She is a black woman who never has forgotten her roots…her family…and her upbringing.  One may say that she has all the credentials for being the first woman president.  However, it is probably not what Condoleezza Rice will ever be.  She may be too smart to mix a perfectly good life with an unforgiving position.

Condoleezza_Rice_Secretary of State

 

The 4th of July and Amazing Grace

On this special day, we wish all the lovers of freedom and those who have served to give us lasting freedom, a very Happy 4th of July!

A Rainbow Suddenly Appears…a reminder of Faithfulness

Standing at my kitchen window, I can see our back yard and a meadow behind our fence. Suddenly, a rainbow appeared very close to the ground.VA house rainbow appears2

 

My camera was close at hand and I was able to get two pictures before it disappeared in seconds. Friends that I sent the picture to have commented on how unusual and my 92-year-old uncle said, “Perhaps God is telling you….” I pondered that for a while because I have been trying to focus on the beauties of nature here in the mountains of Virginia and not on other concerning matters. I decided to look up what the Holy Scripture has to say about the rainbow. There was one interesting thing I found:

Bible Question: What is the meaning of the rainbow?

Bible Answer: The Bible tells us that the rainbow did not occur until after Noah’s flood. God gave it to us as a promise that He would never destroy the earth with a flood again.

“And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (NASB) Genesis 9:11-15

The rainbow was not only a promise from God but it was a reminder of how rain fits in the Scriptures.- a scientific fact – when we realize the Bible tells us that there was no rain before the flood (Gen. 2:5 and Gen. 7:4, 12). When God caused the flood to occur, He also brought the first rain. Then God caused rainbows to start appearing in the sky when rain occurs. This is consistent with science since rainbows only appear when water droplets are airborne.  We can see rainbows in water fountains and in the midst of a rain storm…even in our water sprinklers.
When rain or mist is present a rainbow can appear. When it does appear, it is actually a full circle. A rainbow appears when sunlight reflects off the inside of a water drop. The full circle cannot usually be seen from the ground but only from above the earth. Someone in an airplane can see the full bow.

circular rainbow

circular rainbow

It is also interesting to discover that rainbows contain all the colors of the spectrum with the inner part of the bow being violet and the outer red.

colors of the rainbow

colors of the rainbow

The Bible did not say the rainbow occurred before rain starting appearing on the earth but afterwards. Clouds did not appear before the flood but after the flood. God’s design for a rainbow requires rain…and as we know from scientific study.

Food for thought: Why did God place violet in the inner portion of the rainbow and red in the outer portion? Is it possible that God uses red as a reminder of Jesus’ blood which was shed when He died and violet as a reminder of His future eternal Kingdom? Whatever the reason, God has created a wonder in the sky to remind us of His faithfulness.

Other rainbow pictures to remind us of God’s promises:

sixrainbows3 rainbow2

The fact is that we can look around us and see all the colors of the rainbow in the abundance of nature which God has made for our pleasure.

ANNA and the ATTIC … a new book by Nancy W. Boyer

It is my privilege to announce the 8th book in my Nanny Series.  It is called Anna and the Attic.  The entire book is based on the fears of a little girl and her visit to her Grandparents in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. ( appropriate for ages 8-12)   In our uncertain world, young people have many fears, real and imagined.  We know the importance of good mental health and with each book I give parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults the opportunity to go over some thought-provoking questions.

Anna and the Attic is now available on amazon.com under the author’s name, Nancy W. Boyer.   All the books in the series are listed  here.  It is my hope that it will meet the needs of young people everywhere.

Click forAnna and the Attic and other books in the Nanny Series

 

 

How much HISTORY can you recognize?

My love of history has lead me to show these rare pictures that I recently discovered.   Without looking at the answers shown at the end, see if you can name the person/persons/ or place or event:

Picture 1

Saving the babies from gas in England 1944Picture 2

Yankee stadium boxing 1923

  Picture 3

Survivor of Nagasaki bombying 1945

Picture 4

WWI  submarine washes ashore in England

Picture 5

WWII US soldier helps woman from cave 1944

Picture 6

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife day of assassination1914 begins WWI

Picture 7

Discovering Manets painting hiden in Merker Salt Mine

Picture 8

Construction of Mt. Rushmore Nationa Memorial 1939

Picture 9

Russian_Imperial_Family_1911

Picture 10

William Harley and Arthur Davidson 1914

Picture 11

Golden Gate bridge construction 1937

Picture 12

Hemmingway at bar

Picture 13

Howard Carter exams sarcophagus of King Tut

Picture 14

prohibition 1923

Picture 15

First New York subway ride 1904

Picture 16

Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr discussing quantum mechanics 1925

Picture 17German Communist execution in Munich 1919

Picture 18

Young Winston Churchill 1895

Answers:

Picture 1:   Saving the babies from gas in England 1944 Picture 2:   Yankee stadium boxing 1923 Picture 3:   Survivor of Nagasaki bombing 1945 Picture 4:   WWI submarine washes ashore in England Picture 5:   WWII US soldier helps woman from cave 1944 Picture 6:  Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife day of assassination 1914 begins WWI Picture 7:   Discovering Manet’s painting hidden in Merker Salt Mine Picture 8:   Construction of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial 1939 Picture 9:    Russian Imperial Family 1911   All were murdered. Picture 10:   William Harley and Arthur Davidson 1914 Picture 11:    Golden Gate Bridge construction 1937  in U.S.A. Picture 12:     Author Earnest Hemingway at bar Picture 13:     Howard Carter exams sarcophagus of King Tut Picture 14:     Prohibition 1923…Hiding the liquor in U.S.A Picture 15:      First New York subway ride 1904 Picture 16:      Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr discussing quantum mechanics 1925 Picture 17:       German Communist execution in Munich 1919 as young man remains defiant. Picture 18:      Young Winston Churchill 1895 Picture 19: Picture 20 _______________

From time to time, I will put a special Scripture that means a great deal to me.  This one, I consider to be my LIFE VERSE. Scripture quote for the day:  Proverbs 3:5,6    TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND DO NOT RELY ON YOUR OWN INSIGHT.  IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AND HE WILL MAKE STRAIGHT YOUR PATH.

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