Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring Deep in the Heart of

When I think of Bluebonnets I think of Texas, we rule. There is an unspoken ritual some of us indulge in here, deep in the heart of. It is the shooting of bluebonnets. I mean with a camera. The quintessential bluebonnet portrait is as Texas as well let me think, big hair. Bluebonnets bloom in April. This year they arrived a tad early; today to be exact… much to my surprise and delight. The blue sky after our tornado weather that we in Texas are know for also, lured me out of the house with my camera. I took off to look for wildflowers. Pulling over and parking my car next to Plano’s Bluebonnet Trail. I joined my fellow Texans in the ritual. It is community thing. We talked of years gone by as we shoot away. I asked some fellow bluebonnets aficionados if I could take their group picture for this story. It is their third year of bluebonnet portraits. I understand. We all agreed we would be back again next week to see if the Indian Paint Brush would be ready to bloom. That adds a whole other dimension to the experience. You won’t want to miss it.

When I came to Texas I read numerous articles complaining about this ritual. “People trampled the flower in order to get pictures!” those stories stated. I lived in fear for years and never entertained the idea of getting a close look, much less walking in them. But let me ask you, “have you ever walked in a meadow?” It is easy to step around the flowers. All good bluebonnets aficionados in Texas do.

Bluebonnets are the official Texas state flower. I say bluebonnets because there are five species of bluebonnets that are the official state flower. This was due to the Bluebonnet War of 1901. The Texas Legislature inadvertently chose the Lupinus subcarnosus to be the state flower to the dismay of the Lupinus texensis supporters who want this sturdier species of deeper color to represent the state. It took until 1971 for the problem to be resolved. Not daring to start another Bluebonnet War they chose every known species of bluebonnets for the state flower. They are as followed: Lupinus subcarnosus, Lupinus texensis, Lupinus Havardii, Lupinus concinnus and Lupinus plattensis.

Just goes to show that you learn something new everyday. And to the relief of my conscious I learned: IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to pick bluebonnets in Texas. It is not illegal to pick wildflowers in Texas. That is an urban legend probably propagated by parents who told us to eat our vegetables because there were starving kids in China.

by Ruth Eshbaugh
Good News Now

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Now that I got that Rant off my chest.........

USA Today did it this month, MySpace announce their intent this week to go with interactive news. That means news with reader comments. Good News Now will be going interactive Monday, March 18, 2007. When you click on a news story link you will go to a new summary page. That page will give you a brief summary of the good news story, why I think it is good news and a link to the full story. It will have a place for you to sign in and leave your comments. At Good News Now we are always nice, well most of the time... we try.

We are also hosting a Good News Now Forum page. It goes online NOW! Our goal is for you to share and comment on good news. We are looking for the local, grass roots stories the press doesn’t cover.

Everyday we search the internet for good news, but we know most good news doesn't get reported. We want to know about your organization, church, school or family. Have you done something news worthy that we should know about? Let us know. We will post the best on our main site.

Methodist panel backs Bush library

Methodist panel backs Bush library

When Ronald Reagan died and people began to talk about his legacy, I wasn’t sure if I was on the same planet I had been when he was president. Could they be talking about the same man?
I think SMU considered this phenomenon when deciding to approve the Bush library. Why is this story under reported? Because Bush is unpopular at the moment. I think a presidential Library is a plus for any university especially when it is the First Lady’s alma mater. I say, “Shame on the faculty for their short sightedness, hooray for the panel and the school's Board of Regents who approved it.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Fav story today

My favorite story today is about an artist! I found him in the Washington Post. I am a big Washington Post fan because of stories like this one:

A Breath of Fresh Art
Graham Caldwell, Blowing Hot and Cool

Graham Caldwell is a glass artist, but not in the traditional sense. This means the works he exhibits has no function and is not necessarily beautiful the way we know “beautiful glass.” Caldwell uses the medium of glass good and bad and transforms it into contemporary art. Good in its beauty does not override the statement he is making and bad in that glass wears and tears and breaks. All are a part of his work.

His currents show is:

February 17 - March 31, 2007
Opening reception: Saturday, February 17, 2007, 6:30-8:30pm

1515 14th St NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005
Hours: Tue - Sat 11 AM - 6 PM

Check out his work there. Click on artists and the on Graham Caldwell and let me know what you think. I say, “enchanting.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Blind Faith

Americans believe in religion -- but know little about it.

I found an interesting book review in the Washington Post this morning. At first glance it seems like it could be bad news for Americans. The author, Stephen Prothero in his book Religious Literacy What Every American Needs to Know -- and Doesn't
calls us ignorant. The good news is he says we don’t have to be. So for me this was an encouraging statement. We have it in us to educate ourselves on important issues concerning faith. The author of the article, Susan Jacoby and Prothero say Americans have room for improvement in there overall knowledge of what Prothero called “general cultural illiteracy.” Why is general cultural illiteracy which includes knowledge of religion important? The book review addresses this.

Prothero’s plea for improved knowledge of religion rises above the need for understanding of our culture because the nature of faith gives power to the ideas of faith. Faith issues can be channeled into forces for great good or for great evil as history has proved. If we are ignorant of these issues we walk blindly and have greater room for making erroneous assumptions and decisions.

Jacoby argues:
A 2005 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that nearly two-thirds of Americans endorse the simultaneous teaching of creationism and evolution in public schools. How can citizens know what creationism means, or make an informed decision about whether it belongs in classrooms, if fewer than half can identify Genesis? No doubt the same proportion of Americans think that Thomas Edison said, "Let there be light."

How can we make informed decisions if we can not define the simplest of terms. Even worse Jocoby laments:

It is less surprising but more dangerous, given America's role in the world, that the public knows even less about Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism than it does about Christianity and Judaism. As Prothero notes, President Bush repeatedly declared that "Islam is peace" in the months after 9/11, while the prophet Muhammad was called a "terrorist" by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. "Who was right?" Prothero asks. "Unfortunately, Americans had no way to judge."

Prothero suggests various remedy for the reeducation of America on religious issues including required high school courses. Whereas Jacoby see the lack of reading in general as a great obstacle to the new generation of new media reared young people.

I think the reeducation of America is a great challenge for the people of faith to articulate their faith as never before. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is time.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

We are going interactive soon

The Good News Now portal has been online for eight months. Good news stories are chosen by this criterion: when you finish reading a story it should make you feel better, about yourself, the world and how you view it. It includes stories that inform and enlarge your knowledge of the world. We love art, science and insight into how people relate to each other. We think faith plays a very positive role in people’s lives so we cover faith issues.

We are looking for daily input into our site and invite reader to submit stories and original photos. We are going interactive soon so readers will be able to post stories and comment on the ones we have chosen. We would like to expand our site to include reader written articles on good news stories at the grass root level. We would like to know what impact your church, club or organization is having on your community, nation or the world.

Our site covers news on the following topics:

World Relief & Humanitarian Aid
Faith Issues
Business & Technology
Space & Science
Personal Finance
Human Interest
Connecting with Others
The Arts & Music
Entertainment & Sports
Blog News
Home & Garden
Good News Iraq