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December 2011

Hark, our better angels sing

Writing here in 2006, I suggested this possible definition of “civilization:” “...we can be said to be more or less ‘civilized’ as a society, culture, or species to the extent that intentional acts of violence are unnecessary.”

Dr. Steven Pinker, I suspect, would not only agree with that definition, he would say that as a species, we have made significant progress towards its fulfillment. Pinker, a cognitive neuroscientist and Harvard professor, recently published (to near-universal praise, by the way) a book entitled “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.”  Read more

Opening salvos

ORANGE COUNTY, NY — And so it begins, that zany, intense time when the rock rules in gyms across the region in the din of deafening cheers and chants. The subject, for those of you who haven’t gleaned it yet, is high school basketball, second to none in the frenzy it engenders on a near-nightly basis.  Read more

Coffee Shop

Our Hero comes upon the roadblock with disappointment but not surprise.

“Just keep going through,” he says to his female companion, ”I’ll meet you on the other side.”

And with that, he rolls out of the car in one quick motion, popping up on his feet behind an SUV.  Read more

Here comes Santa Claus!

Every year at this time, I read statistics regarding how folks from all walks of life fall prey to depression and sadness during the holidays, and I felt as if I was about to join the ranks this week. Being constantly bombarded by the commercialism of the season doesn’t help, since I know in my heart that the celebrations of different faiths really have little to do with money and that millions of people around the globe are rejoicing from a spiritual point of view.  Read more

HVAC indoor air quality

January 6, 2012

Learn about built-up mechanical systems & load analysis to promote healthy home filtration & controls at SJSEC, through 5/25, 10am-4pm, $1,099. 845/295-4037.

Solar thermal heating course

January 4, 2012

Learn to site analyze, plan & install systems at SJSEC through 6/11, 6-9:30pm, $1,899. 845/295-4037.

Voice & messaging certification course

January 4, 2012

Learn skills to program office phone systems at BOCES through 2/6, 5:30-8:30pm, $650. 845/295-4037.

PV installer's course

January 5, 2012

Develop knowledge & skills to install utility-connected & off-grid PV systems at BOCES (RPEC) through 1/10, 8am-5:30pm, $729. 845/295-4037.

The schools are alive,with the sound of music!

REGION — Elementary, middle and high schools in the region are gearing up for the holidays and sharing the gift of music with fellow students, parents and visitors alike as a variety of seasonal concerts are scheduled across the area. These musical presentations are designed to appeal and present a perfect opportunity for both children and adults to gather, celebrate and ring in the holidays, with programs that will inspire and entertain...Catskills-style.

Sullivan West celebrates the season  Read more

Chanukah wonderland

December 18, 2011

Go back in time & experience the Chanukah story at Landfield Ave. Synagogue, 2pm. Olive oil workshop, Chanukah crafts, edible dreidels, latkes & doughnuts. 845/794-8470.