Hello again, American Pie

The song American Pie was, despite its unusually long 8½ minutes, a big hit for Don McLean when he released it in 1971. It was a big hit in Sri Lanka too and I liked it a lot. The words were strange, lurching from one mental image to another seemingly with no connection, but I didn’t worry about it, just enjoying the bouncy beat. You can read the lyrics here or read it along with hearing the song below.
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Consent explained

The issues of sexual harassment, assault, and rape have been much in the news recently. It should be obvious that there should clearly be mutual consent. But for many people, the issue of what constitutes consent seems to be a little unclear. This video tries to clarify the issue, using other everyday exchanges that have none of the tension of sexual interactions, to illustrate the point.
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Protecting children too much

Thanks to the relentless scare-mongering by our news media, parents nowadays are terrified that their children will suffer harm, either due to accidents or at the hands of strangers. This has led to them placing very strict limits on their children, to the extent of some never letting them out of their sight, not having play dates with other children, or letting them have sleep overs at friends homes, riding bikes, and so on.
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At last, a desk designed for really lazy people

I live a very sedentary life. Most of my working day and even leisure hours are spent seated, looking at a computer screen. News report after news report say that this can lead to all manner of physical ailments including bad posture, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle atrophy. But since so many jobs now involve using a computer almost all the time, what is one to do?
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Beautiful glass blown objects

There is something uplifting about watching creative artists like sculptors and painters at work. How they take raw materials that have no shape or beauty of their own and then use them to bring to reality the vision that existed just in their minds, is something that fills me with wonder. Just take a look at this piece of art where every single part of it is made entirely out of blown glass.
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The fickle world of retail malls

When you live in a single area long enough, you notice changes in the environment and one significant one in my area is the shifting of retail centers. When we moved here in 1989, it was the era of the large indoor shopping mall. The Randall Park mall nearby was, when it opened in 1976, the largest in the country, and its opening was graced by the presence of many celebrities. We used to go there regularly and the holiday season would see it packed with attractions for children like little trains.
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