Are we getting so conditioned to annoyances, big and little, that we don't even react to them any more? How much does it take before we start complaining? For instance:
Is anyone complaining yet about the annoying logo at the bottom of the screen on every TV channel? Or about the annoying little guy constantly running across the screen to let you know what is coming up next hour? Could this be to condition you, the viewer, to someday allow commercials to run constantly at the bottom on your screen?
Last year, when oil sold for $140 per barrel, gas sold for $4 per gallon. Today, with the price of oil at half what it was then, is gas selling at half last year's rate? No, it sells for $2.77 per gallon - a profit increase for the oil companies that supply and demand cannot explain.
There are no hurricanes, no terrorist attacks, and no oil shortages. The law of supply and demand went out the window when Wall Street speculators came in. And oil company profits continue to rise.
Last month, our government contributed $600 million to rebuild the Gaza Strip. We had nothing to do with the damage done there, yet we send them money that could be better spent at home. New Orleans still is not rebuilt four years after Hurricane Katrina. But is any one complaining yet?
On June 3, The Blade ran a story about a supplier who, unbeknownst to the customer, was filling a 20-gallon propane tank with 18 gallons of propane and leaving the price the same as a 20-gallon fill-up. When challenged, the supplier's response was: "There have been no customer complaints."
I enjoyed the May 31 article on summer reading picks for kids. The oft-heard lament, "Kids today just don't read anymore," is simply untrue.
As a junior high school librarian (and formerly a high school librarian), I have seen firsthand that given reading materials interesting to them, time to read, and teachers and librarians to offer good suggestions, kids and teens today do read - a lot.
Throw in some fun ways to help them select good books and talk about what they read, such as the Library Thing Web site, a reading club Wiki, and audiobooks on Playaway MP3 players, and reading is actually cool.
In my school of about 450 students, we have circulated over 6,000 items this year. I have overheard 7th and 8th graders passionately recommend certain series to their friends. We have an active reading club and certain books were in such high demand that students waited weeks or even months to get their copy.
A few noteworthy examples: Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider Adventures series.
School, public, and classroom libraries need support to keep an ample supply of current, appealing titles in stock. Schools need well-read teachers and school library media specialists to stay up to date on the highest quality and most interesting reading materials for kids.
And kids need encouragement to discover high-interest books and to set aside time for reading.
Study long and hard. Sacrifice. Stay in the upper tenth of your class. Don't ask what your country can do for you. Have lots of hope. Be industrious. Be inventive.
Build a better mousetrap, and China will sell them to you for one-fourth of the cost of your material.
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