Sunday, February 22, 2009


The "War of Terror", the "Economic Depression/Recession" and all other social issues...where is the sacrifice? From the dawn of history, sacrifice for the common good has been essential for civilization, nations, businesses, and families to suffer through hard times.

Yet, during these current pressing times, where is the sacrifice? Sure, people are losing their homes, jobs, income, and retirement investments. But not by choice, not by self-sacrifice so that others may survive. Major company’s layoff thousands daily. How many would be laid off if all employees took a 25% pay cut, so that all may continue to work? Where are the people voluntarily offering to pay more in taxes so that projects, social services, and tax funded employees can weather the storm?

Citizens claim to be "Christians, Muslims, Jews, or other tenants of major or minor religions each holy day, but in practice, few follow their faith to serve others. Worldwide in the last 100 years people have become so self-centered, in their own little issues that helping others before self are merely a means to get on talk shows or reality television.

Sacrifice could be the solution for all of humanity to overcome war, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and all the ills of civilization. "The rights of the many do indeed outweigh the rights of a few." From a numbers view I would say it requires more than a tithe of 10% or 15%. I would estimate as much as 50% of an individual’s time/money/assets/help for the good of the group society, or mankind. OK, now that your jaw has fallen into your lap, think about what everyone would get from such an arrangement. If 50% of your efforts and time go to help others, then 50% of their time/efforts go to help you, help your community, your nation, your world. It seems like a win-win situation, a no brainer.

Will it be done...probably not. Should it be done, of course, the survival of mankind demands it.

The End is on the horizon...sacrifice for others is the only solution!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online

Here is another helpful article. The link has many more, writing related content.

Whether you are currently writing professionally or are looking to break into the field, formal writing courses can help you to hone your skills. If you don't have the money or the time for campus-based courses, there are plenty of universities offering free writing courses online.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (

Introduction to Fiction
Writing and Reading Short Stories
Advanced Essay Workshop

MIT offers dozens of free undergraduate and graduate writing courses online through its MIT OpenCourseWare initiative. Course topics include everything from writing fiction, poems and essays to analyzing all forms of literature. Lecture notes, videos, suggested reading lists and more will help you to become the writer you've always wanted to be. No registration is required.

2. Utah State University (

Intro to Writing Academic Prose
Intermediate Research Writing
Technology for Professional Writers

Utah State University's Department of English publishes three free courses devoted to the art of writing through the school's OpenCourseWare program. The courses are extensive and may take up to 16 weeks to complete if you study at the average pace. No registration is required. Courses are similar to the courses that might be found in a professional writing degree program.

3. Open University (

Fiction Writing Course
Descriptive Writing Course
Essay Writing Course

The UK's largest academic institution, Open University, offers a number of different writing courses through their OpenLearn website. The free curriculum includes both undergraduate and graduate level writing courses that are available to everyone regardless of country of origin. No registration is required.

4. University of Utah (

Introduction to Shakespeare
Introduction to Creative Writing

The University of Utah's English Department offers free courses to self-learners around the world. Currently, there are only two free writing courses. Both offer strong preparation in their topic and are built for beginners. No registration is required.

5. Western Governors University (

Rhetorical and Critical Writing
Language and Communications
Literature Course - Parts I and II

Western Governors University has made free course materials available through an open content license. There are several free writing courses courtesy of the university's Liberal Arts Department. All courses are split into convenient self-study modules. No registration is required.

6. Purdue University (

Pattern and Variation in Poetry
Proofreading Your Writing
Conquering the Comma

Purdue University brought their writing lab to life online in 1994 to offer a writing resource to students no matter where they were located. Online Writing Lab (OWL) materials are now free to everyone regardless of location or student status. The OWL site offers writing instruction, grammar and usage information, individualized help from tutors and much more. No registration is required.

7. Steven Barnes' UCLA Writing Course (

9-Week Introduction to Screenwriting Course

Best selling author and screenwriter Steven Barnes offers a free version on his website of the writing class he has been teaching for many years at UCLA. The course offers in-depth instruction on writing, which is why Barnes suggests completing each part of the nine-week course one week at a time. Nevertheless, the course can be downloaded all at once. No registration is required.

8. News University (

Cleaning Your Copy
Beat Basics and Beyond
Covering Breaking News

News University has a solid e-learning program designed to provide training to journalists and other professional writers. Most of the courses offered at News U are free, especially those that are self-directed. Courses cover everything from writing and editing to reporting and ethics. News U also offers a newsletter, a blog and other great resources. Registration is required, but the course is free for everyone.

9. E-Zine University (

Writing Clearly and Effectively
Conquering Confusing Words
Quick Ways to Clean Up Your Writing

E-Zine University offers quite a few courses written by Internet publisher Kate Schultz and visiting professors. Although the courses offered at E-Zine University are designed mainly for web writers and e-zine writers, they would be helpful to almost any scribe. Courses are very short and don't take much time to complete. No registration is required.

10. Wikiversity (

Introduction to Web Writing
Technical Writing Courses
Narrative Dialog Editing

Wikiversity is an active learning project that encourages people to create and benefit from online courses and tutorials. There are currently several different writing courses that can be found at Wikiversity, many of which focus on technical writing. Although these courses vary in length and content, there's something for everyone. No registration is required.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Latest Reads

Three books I recommend for the fans of horror, the supernatural, and conspiracy are "Adam" by Ted Dekker, "House of Bones" by Graham Masterton, and "The Book of Lies" by Brad Meltzer.

"Adam" is another supernatural based thriller involving the FBI, a serial killer, demons, and the usual Dekker twists. It is dark, creepy, not overly gory, and sustains one's interest till the end. I liked it.

"House of Bones" was an unusual pick because it is a relatively short (236 pages)and while hardcover, almost the size of a paperback, set in almost Large Print, which I liked for late night reading. It takes place in contemporary England, and the main creepy characters are Druids. It was intriguing, and a great short read. I'll be doing some research of Druids and ancient sites of England, inspired by this book.

"The Book of Lies" written by the author of "The Book of Fate" is one of my favorite themes, religious/political conspiracies. The Thule Society (Aryan/Nazis) want the Mark of Cain from the bible story for their own power and glory. It also included "Superman" and his creator as part of the central plot. What fun!