Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Silver Lining

Can there be a silver lining to drug dealers keeping a lion, tiger and bear cub as status symbols? Of course there can! That's why I titled this post A Silver Lining.

According to an article in, dated December 7, 2009, three normally mortal enemies that rank high on the food chain were being raised as status symbols by drug barons in Atlanta, Georgia. You can read the entire article by clicking here.

That was eight years ago. The young predators were delivered to the Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center in nearby Locust Grove, Georgia, where they decided to keep the young animals together. Look at them today:

I particularly like this one as Baloo the bear puts his paw on his buddy Shere Khan the tiger's back.

This picture begs the question, "Where does a 1,000 pound American black bear take a nap?" Answer: Anywhere he wants!

Now, I know you are thinking, "Okay, Mike, that's cute, but what's your point?"

I am glad you asked. We all know these three species in the wild would never get along because they would have learned to "Kill or be killed" if confronted by a member of one of the other two species. They would have learned to be aggressive and became violent killers. It is the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest. They would have learned to hate their adversaries in order to survive.

We all know hate is a learned emotion. How great would it be if humans never learned to hate?

I look forward to your comments.



P.S. If you are a new reader to this blog, have not read my November 8, 2009 post on hate, and would like to, you can go directly to it by clicking here. There are a few interesting comments there too.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Public Education Done Right

Once again we see what education can accomplish when done properly. Thursday night the CBS Evening News chronicled the success of one Washington, D.C. public charter school, Thurgood Marshall Academy. TMA not only graduates 100% of its students, but also guarantees each one will go to college! Then, they assist their alumni to assure they graduate with a post-secondary degree. You can learn more about Thurgood Marshall Academy by clicking here.

Check out the story, and see what is happening:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

If the video will not play, you can watch it by clicking here.

I love watching what young people accomplish when given an opportunity and support they need to succeed! It is an inspiration to me to see a young man cry when he achieved something not even he thought he could do. He not only graduated from high school, but college as well. Now he plans to go to graduate school and earn a Ph.D. Watch him succeed at that too.

As always, I welcome your comments.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Life Lessons

The Difference NETWORK is an ongoing program offered through Marquette University and regularly posts speeches on a variety of subjects. This one is given by their basketball coach, Buzz Williams. You can listen to other speeches by clicking here.

The Universe gives us inspiration when we need it, and often does so in ways we never expect. I started out today doing research on a completely different subject and through a series of links, ended up here.

I find it a bit ironic I find a story about a college basketball coach who is running his program his way, the right way, just a week after my post on the most celebrated college basketball coach of all time. Coach Wooden probably knew of Coach Williams and his philosophy, but if he did not, I am sure he would have been happy to see how he is running his program and developing his young student/athletes into fine young men. I think it would be great if more coaches on all levels thought like Coach Buzz Williams.

Check out this video and see if you agree with me:

If the video does not open, click here.

I welcome your comments.



Saturday, June 5, 2010

John Wooden 1910-2010

It seems I have started a trend lately writing obituaries with my posts on Darcy Pohland and Gary Coleman. I do not want to write any more after this one, but I feel compelled to share a couple videos, articles and my thoughts on the passing of the greatest coach of all time in any sport. At least that was the conclusion of a poll in the July 29, 2009 edition of Sporting News. You can read the article of the list of sports' 50 greatest coaches of all time, as selected by a panel of 118 Hall of Famers, championship coaches and other experts by clicking here.

John Wooden truly was a legend. He was the standard by which ALL other coaches are measured. And he remained humble and modest until the day he died. Here is a portion of a wonderful interview he did at age 98 just last year the day after the poll came out:

If the video does not open, click here.

One of my favorite comments he made was when he called Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "Lewis." If you are not a college basketball fan like I am, you may not know before he converted to Islam, Abdul-Jabbar was Lew Alcindor. At least that is what everyone else called him; Coach Wooden still called him "Lewis."

Here is the video obituary ESPN ran after Coach Wooden passed away yesterday:

If the video does not open, click here.

The reason both he and Alcindor were three-time All Americans was back then freshmen were not eligible to play on a NCAA team. It was not until 1972 freshmen were allowed to compete. There is also a good article by the Associated Press that should appear right after the video.

An interesting note for all of us Minnesota Gopher fans is in 1948 when Coach Wooden went to UCLA, he was set to take the job at the University of Minnesota, but because a snowstorm knocked out telephone communication, he went to UCLA. You can read about it in David Nielsen's informative article from Scripps News Service by clicking here. It has a great list of all of the accomplishments of the Wizard of Westwood, as he was affectionately known.

He not only coached ten National Championships, he also played on one and even played on an Indiana High School State Championship. He won at every level he ever competed.

I was fortunate to see him coach two games when I was in Berkeley in the 1974 and 1975 games against UCLA as UCLA beat up on Cal in what was then the Pac-8 Conference. 1975 was his last year and when he was introduced before the game, everyone that could, gave him a standing ovation. Everyone respected Coach Wooden.

He will be remembered not only as a great coach, but also for his philosophy on life. He is often quoted about his thoughts on sports and life. Click here to see a partial list of his quotes.

I wish I could have played for him. From everything I have heard and read about him, every life he touched became better because of him.
He remained sharp as a tack mentally and mentored coaches and his former players until the day he died.

RIP Coach.

I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Access For All Is On The Air

This Is Cool! If you like talk radio and are interested in disability issues, there is now a radio show for you. Access for All is on the air Sunday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on AM950 KTNF Radio in Minneapolis. If you are outside the Twin Cities listening area, you may also listen to the show at the station's website by clicking here.

According to their website, "Hosted by Mike Chevrette, Access for All focuses on topics and issues that Minnesotans with disabilities face. We take a non-biased approach to discussing the true barriers that must be knocked down in order for all citizens to be a full part of society."

Like me, Mike is a Cervical quadriplegic who got hurt about the time I did. I have known him for many years and I am anxious to listen to what he has to say. Who knows, maybe I will learn something new? They have a call-in number I may have to put on speed dial! I have always said this blog was about learning. Well, here is another opportunity to learn.

I look forward to your comments.