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FSogol's Journal
FSogol's Journal
January 25, 2019

RWingers gotta RWing: Fire at Comet Ping Pong was intentionally set, fire and police officials say

A small fire that burned curtains and forced the evacuation of the Comet Ping Pong pizza shop Wednesday night in Northwest Washington was intentionally set, according to D.C. police and fire officials.

A police report says investigators found several burned matches on the floor under where the curtain had hung in a backroom. The report says they also found a box of matches and an open, partially full plastic bottle of lighter fluid on a table.

The report says the curtains were destroyed in the fire, which was extinguished by staff members. Police had no detailed description of a possible person of interest.

No one was injured in the fire, which occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m. at the restaurant. The popular shop in the Chevy Chase neighborhood combines pizza with ping-pong tables.


This of course, is the pizza shop from the RW pizzagate conspiracy theories.
January 23, 2019

Is it possible to resurrect civility amid a tsunami of toxicity? This group is trying.

A president slams a table and walks out of a meeting. A longtime congressman consistently makes racist comments. A gubernatorial candidate threatens to stomp on his opponent’s face with golf spikes. Family members no longer speak because of political differences. Twitter fights seem constant. Cable news panels are filled with shouting.

While it might seem that civility has been completely lost in politics and significantly eroded in both public and private life, one organization is trying to push back against the tsunami of toxicity and contention sweeping the country. It’s a development that, according to polls, Americans desperately want.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse is urging Americans to be respectful of one another again. The institute and its new executive director, Keith Allred, are behind an attempt to move elected officials and citizens toward civility at a time when discourse is degrading, with the hope that people will remember how to disagree with one another in good faith.

They're been training people to be more civil and running workshops.

Allred is the former Democratic nominee for Gov of Idaho. Former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) is the co-chair.

More at:
January 23, 2019

Why are you littering?

January 22, 2019

Along with shave and a haircut, this dementia-friendly barber offers 'a bit of dignity'

At 17, Lenny White worked in a care facility in his native Northern Ireland, washing dishes and serving food. He found he had a knack for talking with dementia patients.

“I used to love working with them and getting into their world,” he recalled. “They would say, ‘I’m only 30,’ or ‘I want my mummy.’ I’d say, ‘Your mummy will be back soon;’ you wouldn’t tell them, ‘Your mother’s dead.’"

Even after he grew up and became a marketing consultant, he never forgot how good talking to dementia patients had made him feel. Two decades later, after getting divorced, he took a barbering course. A friend who worked in a care facility mentioned how there was a salon for the women there, done up in pink, but nothing equivalent for the men. So White decided to do a men’s day. He brought in a barber’s pole, put on an old-fashioned barber’s apron and sprayed the room with a lemon-scented cologne. He turned on the music of Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, and a group of men was brought in for haircuts.

They loved it. “The staff noticed a big difference,” White recalled of that day, a little over two years ago. As the music played, he chatted with the men and snipped away. Some who had been agitated became relaxed and tapped their feet. Word spread to other care facilities, and thus White, who lives in Bangor, Northern Ireland, became Lenny the Mobile Barber, traveling around the United Kingdom and beyond to deliver an old-fashioned hot towel shave-and-a-haircut to men with dementia.

Really nice article by Tara Bahrampour at https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/01/18/along-with-shave-haircut-this-dementia-friendly-barber-offers-a-bit-dignity/?utm_term=.071d2de0363a&wpisrc=nl_optimist&wpmm=1

Lenny travels around Ireland and makes trips to New Jersey cutting dementia patients hair.

January 22, 2019

Saw my first "Lock Him Up" bumper sticker today.

The first of many!
January 22, 2019

A 10-year-old boy had an idea to help poor people. 14 years and 8,000 bikes later, he's still at it

In 2005, Winston Duncan was traveling with his mother in southern Africa when he saw an old lady and a young boy walking down a road together. He thought of his own grandmother, who used an oxygen tank, and wondered how he could help the old lady and others he had seen enduring long walks in Africa.

Duncan, who lived in Arlington, was 10 at the time, and his solution was to give them bikes.

Unlike most 10-year-olds with crazy ideas, he actually did it. With his mom, he started Wheels to Africa, an organization that for the past 14 years has taken bicycles donated from residents of the Washington metropolitan area and shipped them across the world to people in need.

Most of the 8,000 bikes they have collected have gone to countries in Africa, helping cut down hours of walking for students and other recipients. But this month, Duncan, now 24, and his mother, Dixie Duncan, traveled with a handful of volunteers and 400 bikes to a destination much closer to home yet still in dire need: Puerto Rico.

More by Tara Bahrampour at
January 22, 2019

Have old broken stuff? These people will fix it for you - for free

A little more than a decade ago, Martine Postma, a journalist in the Netherlands, noticed something had changed since her childhood in the 1970s. When a household item — a clock, a vacuum cleaner, a chair — broke, people used to try to fix it. Now, their first impulse was to throw it away. As a writer focused on sustainability issues, she was disturbed by that.

“Why do we make so much waste on a daily basis?” she recalls asking herself. “Because we no longer do repairs. So I had this idea to reintroduce repairs as a normal and attractive activity in daily life.”

She came up with a solution that led to a career change and inspired an international grass-roots movement: a regular gathering at which people with broken items can bring them to a place where other people can try to fix them. In 2009, she did a trial run in Amsterdam — and it drew many more people than she expected. Word spread, and soon a network of what became known as Repair Cafés began to spread across the Netherlands and beyond.

Turning her attention to it full time, Postma started the Repair Café International Foundation. She wrote a manual on how to organize the cafes and put together a starter kit. There are now nearly 1,700 cafes in 35 countries, including 75 in the United States, 30 in Canada and 450 in the Netherlands.

More by Tara Bahrampour at

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