Sunday, December 15, 2013

Karl Pierson Has Been Identified As The Arapahoe Gunman

Police allege that Karl Halverson Pierson entered Arapahoe High School with a shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails and ammunition strapped to his body, likely intending to track down Librarian who served as a debate coach, Tracy Murphy, who had disciplined him, authorities said.
In what police have deemed a "wise tactical decision" Mr. Murphy left the building.
Pierson shot a Claire Davis, 17, was shot in the head at point-blank range.  Davis just happened to be sitting nearby with a friend as Pierson headed toward the library.  Davis remains hospitalized in critical condition. 
The school resource officer--an Arapahoe County deputy sheriff--immediately went looking for the source of the gunfire.  By the time he located it, Pierson had shot and killed himself. 

Just who is Karl Pierson?  At first glance he appears to have been the kid you'd have wanted your kid to befriend.  He was said to be very intelligent, ran on the cross country team, was on the debate team, worked on an Eagle Scout project and aspired to go to the Air Force Academy. 

Pierson was said to be socially awkward and was subjected to ridicule and physical confrontations at his old school, Highland Ranch High School.  His mother then transferred her son to Arapahoe High School to escape the bullying.

What is perhaps not surprising is that many on the Left immediately sought to paint Karl Pierson as a rabid conservative with an itchy trigger finger.  In fact we learn from Pierson's Facebook page he routinely mocked Republicans and described himself as a "Socialist". 

Ironically Pierson was also an outspoken proponent of tighter gun laws.

Personally, I would be interested in learning whether Karl Pierson was on psychiatric medication of any kind.  It seems a common element in at least 14 of the last school shootings.  The fact that one of the most common side effects of psychiatric drugs is violent outbursts and thoughts of suicide. 

We can keep yelling and arguing about gun control but we fail to recognize how untreated mental illness or psychotropic drugs often play a part in these tragedies.  If we truly wish to stop the violence in America we need to examine what we as a country are doing to help the mentally ill. 




Friday, December 13, 2013

A Shooting At Arapahoe High School

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School  in Newtown, Connecticut.  The shooting in was the second-deadliest mass shooting in US history. 

Now in the shadow of this tragedy we are faced with yet another school shooting, this time at a high school located within a few miles of Columbine.

According to reports, the teenaged gunman entered the school armed with a shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails, and ammunition strapped to his body.  It is rumored that his target was a librarian who had disciplined him. 

Police are saying the gunman was found dead inside the school, with what appears to be a self-inflected gunshot wound. The police say they have the suspect's identity and that he was a student, but they have not released the name yet.



Friday, November 22, 2013

Fernbank Museum Announces Holiday Programming, Events and Annual WINTER WONDERLAND Exhibition

This holiday season, Fernbank Museum of Natural History features several ways to celebrate with fun and unique events. Fernbank’s holiday programming includes the annual Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World exhibition, a Winter Wonderland Celebration Day, Fernbank’s Holly Jolly Film Fest, Winter Wonderland evening viewing hours during Martinis & IMAX, and holiday shopping in the Museum Store.


On view from November 22, 2013 through January 5, 2014, the fourth annual Winter Wonderland exhibition includes more than 30 festive trees decorated by cultural partners to reflect traditions and holidays celebrated by cultures everywhere. Twinkling with lights, glimmering with color, and shining with a variety of cultural objects, Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World recognizes the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events that cultures recognize here and abroad. Cultures highlighted in the exhibition include cultures from North America, South America, Africa, Europe, The Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Middle East.


Special festivities kick off with a Winter Wonderland Celebration Day on Saturday, November 23 from 10 am – 2 pm, where families can enjoy a special day of cultural and holiday-themed performances and activities inspired by Winter Wonderland.


The fun continues on Saturdays from November 30 through December 21 with the Holly Jolly Film Fest, hosted by Santa-saurus. See some of your favorite holiday films in Fernbank’s auditorium theater during this special family-friendly celebration. The festival includes film screenings, holiday-themed crafts, giveaways, a Dinosaur Dance Party with Radio Disney, and a chance to take a picture with the holly-jollyest dinosaur of all, Santa-saurus.

Screenings for the Holly Jolly Film Fest include:

Saturday, November 30
A Charlie Brown Christmas
10:30am, 11:30am and 1:30pm

Saturday, December 7
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
10:30am, 11:30am and 1:30pm

Saturday, December 14
The Year Without Santa Claus
10:30am, 11:30am and 1:30pm

Saturday, December 21
A Charlie Brown Christmas
10:30am, 11:30am and 1:30pm


Fernbank’s Museum Store offers a variety of gift ideas, including dinosaur merchandise, jewelry, activity books, science kits, games, toys, ornaments, and more. The Museum Store’s annual holiday sale offers an additional 10% off store purchases for members only from November 30-December 7, 2013.


Adults can enjoy music, films, small plates, a nip from a yuletide toddy and more as they enjoy evening viewing hours of Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World during Martinis & IMAX on November 22, November 29 and December 20 from 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m.

All Winter Wonderland activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. Evening viewing hours during Martinis & IMAX are included with cover charge tickets as well as with IMAX film tickets. The main Museum Store is available for shoppers without the need for a ticket.

Museum admission is $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students/seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children ages 2 and younger, and free for Museum Members. Martinis & IMAX prices are $7 for cover charge or $13 for an IMAX® film ticket, which includes a free cover charge.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Tickets and visitor information are available at and 404.929.6300.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Everyone's a Scientist at Fernbank Museum's Science at Hand Day Nov. 9


Oct. 31, 2013—ATLANTA—Astronomy, biology, chemistry—oh my! Which of the sciences will you try? On Saturday, November 9, 2013, Fernbank Museum of Natural History gives visitors a chance to explore everything that’s cool about being a scientist with its annual Science at Hand Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. visitors will discover a variety of scientific fields and investigate what it’s like to be a scientist. Guests will enjoy one-on-one opportunities to talk with scientists and community volunteers, learn more about sciences through hands-on activities, and more.

Scheduled Activities and Partners Include:*

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute - Georgia Tech Chapter

Build structures and test their stability in earthquakes. Simulate earthquakes and observe their impacts. Is there such a thing as an earthquake-proof building?"

Clayton State Chemistry Club

Marvel at the magic of chemistry—make electrons flow through clay, and separate mixtures to reveal beautiful pictures.

Clayton State SEEDS Chapter

Explore the science of ecology and how everything on our planet is connected.

Astronomy Club at Georgia State University

Investigate the wonders of our solar system and all the remarkable objects within it.

Clayton County Water Authority

Learn more about the water we drink and where it comes from.  Why are wetlands important for water, animals and plants?

Emory University – NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization

Caffeinated Chemistry? See what happens when a slow reaction gets a boost through a process called catalysis.

Georgia Tech Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Experience a game that simulates a range of driving experiences. Also enjoy a "What's wrong with this picture?" game to show how designs can be confusing to users.

Georgia State Neuroscience Institute

What do brains do? Check out animal brains, and build one of your own out of dough.

NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution

Get messy and hands-on with scientific paradigms. How would you expect sand to behave in water? What about cornstarch and water?

Authors of Roadside Geology of Georgia (Roadside Geology Series)
Meet the authors of the new Roadside Geology of Georgia (Roadside Geology Series), Dr. Pamela Gore and Dr. Bill Witherspoon. Pick up your copy of the book in Fernbank’s gift shop and have it signed by the authors.

The ArchaeoBus is a travelling emissary for the Society for Georgia Archaeology, bringing dynamic educational programs to students and people around the state. Come explore Georgia’s Mobile Archaeology Classroom!

Walk Through Time with Roadside Geology of Georgia
1pm, A Walk Through Time in Georgia, Entry Level
See the Fernbank exhibition A Walk Through Time in Georgia in a new light as co-author of Roadside Geology of Georgia, Dr. Bill Witherspoon leads guests through the exhibit.  Meet at the exhibition Orientation Desk for what is sure to be a one of a kind experience.

All Science at Hand Day activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. Tickets are $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students/seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and younger.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Tickets and visitor information are available at or 404.929.6300 (info) / 404.929.6400 (tickets).

Events, activities and chances to win are also posted on Facebook ( and Twitter (@fernbankmusuem).

Support for Fernbank’s Science at Hand Day provided The GM Foundation.

*Activities are subject to change without notice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fernbank Museum Becomes Fernbank Boo-Seum for Annual Halloween Event

Dust off those costumes, practice your monster-mash and prepare your teeth for sugar overload. Fernbank Museum of Natural History will be full of festivities as it hosts the annual family event, Fernbank Boo-seum, on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include Halloween-themed activities, tricks, and treats for kids in costumes.*
Activities include: ** Halloween Treats Beginning at 10 am, while supplies last Look for special treat stations throughout the Museum. Treats vary from candy to small toys. (May contain small parts.) Radio Disney noon – 2 pm, Great Hall Enjoy kid-friendly entertainment for the whole family. Games 10 am – 2 pm, Great Hall Try your hand at Scary Boo-ling, Pin the Eye on the Monster, Monster Toss and more. We’ll also have a Creepy Coloring Corner perfect for little monsters. Georgia Bubbleman 10 am – 1 pm, Dinosaur Plaza Those aren’t ghosts floating around the plaza. They are giant bubbles courtesy of the Georgia Bubbleman. Giggy Mascot 10 am – 2 pm Fernbank’s own dinosaur, Giggy, will be roaming throughout the event for fun and pictures. Dem Bones Counting Contest 10 am – 2 pm Check out Argentinosaurus, the world’s largest plant-eating dinosaur. Tell us your best guest for the total number of bones in Argentinosaurus for a chance to win a special Dinosaur Prize Pack. Temporary Tattoos 10 am – 2 pm You don’t have to be a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater to enjoy these whimsical temporary monster tattoos. Cost: All Fernbank BOO-seum activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. Admission to Fernbank is $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students and seniors with ID, $15.50 for children ages 3 to 12 and FREE for children 2 and under. Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. For tickets and visitor information, visit *Treats available while supplies last.  
**Activities subject to change without notice.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ted Cruz's Epic Filibuster Against ObamaCare Ends

Ted Cruz's Obamacare ended his extended  oratory after twenty-one hours.  Shortly thereafter John McCain ripped into him insisting that the people had spoken and we shouldn't try to be closing down the government.

Perhaps McCain didn't read the legislation sent by the House which seeks to defund Obamacare while at the same time keeps open the government and allows it to continue running.

I for one am proud of my Senator from Texas because he has demonstrated that he has the cajones to stand up to the entrenched bureaucracy of elitists on both sides of the aisle. Cruz refused to be bullied by Harry Reid, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, or Lindsey Graham.  

I stand with CRUZ.  He's absolutely correct when he states that Congress needs to do a better job at listening to the people of America.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Make DC Listen

Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, began his filibuster at 2.40pm  ET today.  Cruz has vowed to speak as long as possible to stop the “cloture” vote in hopes of putting the brakes on Obamacare.

While Cruz acknowledges that his efforts will do little to block Obamacare funding, he makes clear that he is echoing the voices of his constituents that have been pleading to "make DC listen".

Cruz dressed down his fellow Senators by letting them know that  the American people are frustrated because their elected officials do not listen.

"Most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington.  Almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad chair cuts."

Polls tend to show that a pluality of voters disapprove of Obamacare and do NOT trust the government to run their healthcare because it was sold to us on fairy dust and lies.  Many Americans understand Obamacare is too intrusive on our privacy and they do NOT wish to have the government deciding their family's healthcare.  Many Americans have already had their insurance rates raised and seen the quality of the medical care reduced.

There are many polls that show that Americans don't trust the government to run their healthcare; Because it was sold to us on lies; Because it's too intrusive on our privacy; Because its not even implemented yet, and it has already raised insurance rates and reduced the quality of my medical care; Because Americans don't want the government deciding my family's healthcare; Because it is a threat to jobs and our economy

Ted Cruz can't hold the floor for more than 15 hours according to Senate rules

Democrats, who control the Senate, said they plan to move ahead with a bill that would fund the health care program--and the rest of the federal government--through December 15th.  If the GOP-controlled House which voted to cut Obamacare funding balks, the federal government will shut down October 1st.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Americans for Whatever Barack Obama Wants

Who doesn't love the smell of Kool-aid in the morning?  Let's get that money rolling in Comrades!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Baby Levon Body Removed From Mohawk River

A container with what appears to be an infant’s remains inside  was recovered from the Mohawk River in North Utica police said.

Police Chief Mark Williams did not reveal too many details during a news conference outside the Utica Police Station, . He declined to say what type of container the remains were in, where they were found in the water and whether anything had been done to keep the container submerged.

Police are awaiting an autopsy to confirm whether the body is Levon who has been missing since May 29.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hannah Anderson Has Been Rescued

Finally good news in the case for missing fifteen year old Hannah Anderson.  Hannah Anderson was successfully rescued and "appears to be in good shape," according to San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore.

She and her kidnapper, James Lee DiMaggio were located in a remote area near the town of Cascade known as the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.  This area is a steep and mountainous terrain and is the largest roadless area in the lower 48 states.

According to reports DiMaggio was killed by an FBI tactical agent.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Burned Body Identified As Missing Girl's Brother

Sheriff's officials say the child's body found in a burning house in Southern California is that of 8-year-old Ethan Anderson, whose mother was killed and whose sister is believed to have been abducted by a family friend.

The body was found Sunday along with the body of the boy's mother Christina Anderson, who investigators say was murdered.

Ethan's 16-year-old sister Hannah Anderson remains missing, and the search for her and her alleged kidnapper is focused on Idaho.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


NASA’s Curiosity Rover, a car-sized, six-wheeled rover, landed on the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012. One year later, Curiosity is halfway through its planned 2-year mission, learning more about the Martian environment as it makes its way toward Mount Sharp.  The Adler Planetarium's celebration will feature  NASA's full-size model of Curiosity, a life-sized balloon sculpture, workshops with astronomers and more.

WHAT:   “Discover Your Curiosity” Celebration!

WHO:     Dr. Mark Hammergren, Astronomer

WHEN:   Tuesday, August 6, 2013
        9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

                *All activities are included in paid admission

Welcome to Mars: ?Fly through Valles Marinires and see Mars through the eyes of Curiosity like never before using the technology of Microsoft's World Wide Telescope in the Clark Family Welcome Gallery.

Roving Rovers: ?Get up close and personal with a full-size model of Curiosity, and learn about all the revolutionary equipment and tools the rover is using to explore the red planet.

Where is the Water?: Curiosity has found evidence that mars had a watery past. Find out how we know there was water on Mars in this hands-on family workshop perfect for all ages!

Seven Seconds of Terror: ?How hard is it to land a one-ton rover on Mars? Find out at this activity by building your own parachute to deliver a miniature model of the Curiosity rover to the Earth's surface!

Curiosity Balloon Installation: What better way to celebrate Curiosity's one-year anniversary than with a life-sized balloon sculpture? Check out Chicago's award-winning balloon artist Smarty Pants as he builds a giant rover assembled entirely out of balloons right in front of your eyes! Balloon model construction will start early morning ending early afternoon.

Space Visualization Laboratory (SVL): Join astronomers in the SVL to look at some high-resolution images of Mars taken by Curiosity and learn about the science being done on and around mars.

Monday, August 5, 2013

AMBER ALERT: Hannah, 16, & Ethan Anderson, 8,

An Amber Alert has been issued for Hannah Anderson (16 years-old), Ethan Anderson (8 years-old).  Hannah and Ethan were abducted fro the city of Boulevard, San Diego County, California.

Hannah is a 16 year-old white female.  She has blonde hair and blue eyes.  She is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds.

Ethan is an 8 year-old white male.  He has sandy blonde hair.  He is 4 feet 11 inches and weighs 65 pounds.

A person of interest has been identified.  He is James DiMaggio, a family friend.

Age now: 40 years-old
Sex: Male
Skin: White
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Weight: 150 pounds

Nissan Versa, Blue, 4 door
California license plate #6WCU986

Police are serching for DiMaggio after a body was discovered when a log cabin-style home burned to the ground in a rural community east of San Diego on Sunday Night.

If you have information, contact:

Call: 858-565-5200

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fernbank Museum Adds Two New IMAX® Films to Schedule “Penguins” and “Hidden Universe” Both Open September 6

Fernbank Museum of Natural History will debut two new films in the IMAX Theatre on September 6, with the highly anticipated opening of Penguins and Hidden Universe. The films will play on Fernbank’s five-story, 72-foot-wide IMAX® screen, featuring stadium seating and surround sound digital audio.


September 6, 2013-January 2, 2014*

Narrated by David Attenborough, Penguins is a live-action film that celebrates the destiny of a very special King Penguin, who returns to his birthplace in the sub-Antarctic. Known as Penguin City, the island is home to hundreds of albatrosses, fur seals and brawling elephant seals—as well as six million penguins.

Somehow our hero must earn his place among the island inhabitants and fulfill his destiny by finding a mate and raising a family. What follows is the story of the most challenging time in a King Penguin’s life, when he is driven to nurture and defend his offspring against harsh weather and fierce predators. This heartwarming drama plays out in one of Earth’s last great wildernesses, amid steep mountain ranges and windblown plains half buried beneath snow and ice. “Penguins” is an unforgettable tale of one King Penguin’s journey through his species’ central rite of passage.

Penguins was produced by Atlantic Productions in association with British media powerhouse BSkyB and US-based Galileo Digital Entertainment. The action takes place on the remote island of South Georgia, a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It was filmed entirely on location over a five-month period. The film is distributed by nWave Pictures.

Hidden Universe

September 6, 2013-January 2, 2014*

The giant-screen documentary adventure Hidden Universe takes audiences on an extraordinary journey deep into space. With the full power of IMAX cinematography, the deepest reaches of our universe are brought to life with unprecedented clarity through real images captured by the world’s most powerful telescopes—seen on screen for the first time.

Stunning, high-resolution images of space allow moviegoers to explore the earliest galaxies, watch stars being born in vivid clouds of gas and dust, tour the surface of Mars, and witness images of distant celestial structures, including stunning views of the Sun. These dramatic new images offer fresh insight into the origins and evolution of the universe.

Narrated by Golden Globe winner Miranda Richardson, Hidden Universe is a December Cinema Productions film produced in association with Film Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology, and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The film is executive produced by Emmy®-award-winning producer Tony Wright, in association with MacGillivray Freeman Films. The musical score is by Dale Cornelius.

Penguins will show daily from September 6-January 2 with the following schedule*:

•  Monday-Saturday at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
•  Sunday at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
•  Martinis & IMAX® special screenings: Fridays at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (Through November only)

Hidden Universe will show daily from September 6-January 2 with the following schedule*:

•  Monday-Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m.
•  Sunday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
•  Martinis & IMAX® special screenings: Fridays at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. (Through November only)

IMAX tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, $11 for children, and $8 for Museum Members.  Double-Feature IMAX tickets are $21 for adults, $19 for students/seniors, $17 children and $13 for Museum members.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Visitor information and tickets are available by phone at 404.929.6300 and online at

*  Dates and schedule are subject to change without notice. Current film schedules are always available at

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Anthony Weiner Is Tweetin' Dirty - AGAIN!!!

It appears that former Senator Anthony Weiner is back to his online hanky-panky this time going by the name: Carlos Dangerous.

Is this an example of the "Democrat's War Against Women" or just another case of perverts behaving badly?  

At a press conference today with his wife Huma by his side, Weiner responded to the new tweets saying, "I said tat other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have.  This behavior is behind me.  I've apologized to Human and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness.  I want to say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused.  As my wife and I have said, we are focused and moving forward" 

Huma is still standing by her Weiner despite the fact that her husband's tawdry virtual affair involved exchanging naked images and phone sex.  

Isn't it ironic that Weiner's great reveal comes on "National Hot Dog day"?  

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's A Royal Baby!

A royal baby boy was born Monday to Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton

The child was born at 4:24 p.m. London time, about 10½ hours after Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, entered St. Mary’s Hospital in central London in the early stages of labor. Palace officials said the infant weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Free Treats, Special Activities -- Fernbank's Last Blast of Summer

ExcExperiments 78

Summer has been extreme at Fernbank, and now the museum is celebrating with the Last Blast of Summer series. Each day through August 8, Fernbank will offer special activities guided by the Museum’s scientists, educators and youth volunteers. To beat the summer heat, Fernbank will also host Popsicles on the Patio on select days with free popsicles.

Special activities are posted every week at the greeter station and offer a variety of offerings, including Live Animal Encounters, Nature Walks, Weekend Wonders, Discovery Carts, Excellent Experiments, Tadpole Tales, and Popsicles on the Patio.

•  Live Animal Encounters

Get up close and personal with a member of Fernbank’s live animal collection.

•  Nature Walks

Go on an adventure with Fernbank Museum Educators as we delve into the wild world of Fernbank’s own backyard. Strollers will not be permitted on this walk. *weather permitting

•  Weekend Wonders

Enjoy a variety of hands-on learning fun!

•  Discovery Carts

Visit special interactive carts around the Museum where Fernbank’s youth volunteers engage with visitors to discuss dinosaurs, ancient sea life and archaeology with hands-on activities.

•  Excellent Experiments

Explore the amazing world of chemistry through fun experiments in a live presentation!

•  Tadpole Tales

Preschoolers can enjoy story time with a Fernbank educator, along with a special activity or song.

•  Popsicles on the Patio

Join Fernbank on the back patio from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 23 through August 8 for a free popsicle while supplies last. (Available to the first 500 visitors who show their Museum ticket.)

Visitors will also want to explore the most amazing mammals of all time in the special exhibition Extreme Mammals, on view through August 18. More extreme experiences are offered through daily IMAX® screenings of Under the Sea and Titans of the Ice Age. Other highlights include the world’s largest dinosaurs, fossil-filled floors, hands-on learning, artifacts, fossils, and the award-winning children’s exhibition, Fernbank NatureQuest.

Fernbank’s Extreme Summer of Fun runs through August 8. All activities are included with Museum admission (separate ticket required for IMAX films). Tickets are $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students and seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children ages 2 and younger, and free for Fernbank Members.

For tickets and more information visit or call 404.929.6300.

Fernbank is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. The museum is accessible by Marta and offers free parking

Friday, July 19, 2013

Not Only Is Trayvon My Son, I COULD Have Been Trayvon

Back in March of 2012, President Obama leaped into the Zimmerman case proclaiming that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon.  Today, less than a week after George Zimmerman was found not-guilty Obama announced that he could actually could have been Trayvon 35-years ago.

You will find the text of Obama's speech below:

President Obama:  I wanted to come out here, first of all to tell you that Jay is prepared for all of your questions and is very much looking forward to the session.  The second thing is I wanted to let you know that over the next couple of weeks, there's going to obviously be a whole range of issues-immigration,economics, et cetera--we'll try to arrange a fuller press conference to address your questions.

The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, bt to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last wee--the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling.  I gave a preliminary statement right after the rule on Sunday.  But watching the debate over the course of last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.

First of all I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers as well as michelle's to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they've dealt withthe entire situation.  I can only imagine what they're going through and it's rearkaable how they've handled it.

The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there's going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case--I'll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues.  The judge conduced the trial in a professional manner.  The prosecution and the defense made their arguments.  The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.  And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works.  But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot i said that this could have been my son.  Another wy of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.  And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here.  I think its important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and history that doesn't go away.

There are very view African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store.  That includes me.  There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.  That happens to me--at least before I was a senator.  There are very few African Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she has a chance to get off.  That happens often.

And I don't want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African American community interprets what happens one night in Florida.  And it's inescapable for those people to bring those experiences to bear.  The African American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws--everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws.  And tat ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

Now this isn't to say that the African American community is naive about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system ; that they're disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence.  It's not to make excuses for that fact--although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.  They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in tis country and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

And so the fact that sometimes that's unacknowledged adds to the frustration.  And the fact that a lot of African American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given well, there are these statistics out there that show that African American boys are more violent--using that as an excuse to see sons treated differently causes pain.

I think the African American community is also not naive in understanding that statistically somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else.  So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys.  But they get frustrated, I think they feel that there's no context for it and that context is being denied.  And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white male was involved in the same kind of scenario, that from top to bottom both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

Now the question for me at least, and I think for a lot of folks, is where do we take this?  How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction?  I think it's understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent.  if I see any violence, the I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family.  But beyond protests or vigils, the question is are there some concrete things that we might be able to do.

I know Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it's important for people to have some clear expectations here.  Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code.  And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

That doesn't mean though that as a nation we can't do some things that I think would be productive.  So let me just give a couple of specifics that I'm still bouncing around with my staff, so we're not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.

Number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, I think it would be productive for the Justice Department, governors, mayors to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local level in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists.

When i was in Illionois, I passed racial profiling legislation, and it actually did just two simple things.  One, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped.  But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.

And initially, the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way that it would allow them to do their jobs better and the communities would have more confidence in them and, in turn be more helpful in applying the law.  And obviously law enforcement has a got a very tough job.

So that's one area where I think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive.  And I think a lot of them would be.  And let's figure out are there ways for us to push out that kind of training.

Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it--if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.

I know that there's been a commentary about the fact that the "stand your ground" laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case.  On te other hand, if we're sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there's a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace an security and order that we'd like to see?

And for those who resist that idea that were would think about something like these "stand your ground"  laws.  I'd just ask people to consider, if Trayvon martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?  And do we actually think he would have bee justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?  And if the answer to the question is at least ambiguous, then it seem to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.

Number three--and this a long-term project--we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys.  and this is something that Michelle and I talk about.  There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement.  And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

I'm not naive about the prospects of some grand, new federal program.  I'm not sure that that's what we're talking about here.  But I do recognize that as President, I've got some convening power, and there are a lot of programs hat are being done across the country on this front.  And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they're a full part of this society and that they've got pathways and avenues to succeed--I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obliviously a tragic situation.  And we're going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.

And then finally, I think it's going to be important for all of us to do some soul-search.  There has been talk about should we convene a conversation on race.  I haven't seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations.  They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have.  On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there's the possibility that people are a little bit more honest and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I  wringing as much bias out of myself as I can?  Am I judging people as much as I can, based not on the color of their skin but the content of their character?  That would, I think be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Believe Trayvon Hit (Zimmerman) First - Rachel Jeantel

Rachel Jeantel, star witness for the prosecution, said that Trayvon threw the first punch when Zimmerman and he met face-to-face.

There was much debate as to who initiated the fight that lead to Trayvon's death and whether Zimmerman shot Trayvon in self-defense but it is interesting to learn now that Jeantel believes that Martin struck the first blow.

Remember the media has continuously fed the masses the story that Zimmerman attacked Martin when in fact the opposite is true.  In the end Trayvon paid the ultimate price for his decision to go "whoop ass" on George Zimmerman.

Despite the aggressive push to paint Zimmerman as a card-carrying-KKK-racist, this case was NEVER about the color of Martin's skin.  Even the Martin family's attorneys announced that this case was NEVER about race.

In other news, Gabe Finger, a high school intern, asked Jay Carney a very relevant question considering the multiple death threats that have been made against George Zimmerman in the wake of the not guilty verdict.

Finger asked, "Because of the death threats received by George Zimmerman and his parents, is the president going to take any action for THEIR security or are they on their own."  Good question Gabe considering the fact that the DOJ has recently begun soliciting email tips in the Zimmerman civil rights probe.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jimmy Carter & I Agree On Something - UNPRECEDENTED!!!!

Probably no one is more surprised at this moment than I am to learn that Jimmy Carter & I are actually in agreement about ANYTHING.

After the George Zimmerman trial it seemed that politicians and celebrities were quick to announce their disappointment in the verdict of Not Guilty in the Zimmerman trial.

Hillary Clinton said that told an African-American sorority about her "deep heartache after hearing the Zimmerman verdict." Alec Baldwin (yeah the one who said he'd never tweet again) tweeted "Florida is a parallel universe. A (expletive) one" Liberal talk show host, Tom Heartmann announced that "Zimmerman was on slave patrol and he got away with it..."

I suppose that's why I was shocked to learn that former President Jimmy Carter actually acknowledged that the jury's decision to acquit Zimmerman was correct.

Carter said, "I think the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented because the prosecution inadvertently set the standard so high that the jury had be be convinced that it was a deliberate act by Zimmerman and that he was not defending himself and so forth."

Carter also explained that the the jury listens to the evidence presented and then they come to a verdict that answers a legal question rather than a moral question.

When asked if he race was a factor in the Zimmerman case, Carter said that this was not necessarily true.  He pointed out that the prosecution did NOT bring up any alleged racial motivation during the trial.

I absolutely believe that this trial was politically motivated, fraudulent, and warrants a special investigation.   The case was clearly one of self-defense.

Bill Lee, ex-Sanford Sheriff, admitted that the investigation into the Zimmerman case was high-jacked in a number of ways.  Lee admits that he felt pressured from city officials to arrest Zimmerman in order to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.

As a matter of fact, the case against George Zimmerman was so weak that the local Sanford District Attorney REFUSED to bring charges against Zimmerman. This is why, on the orders of Governor Rick Scott, an outside District Attorney, Angela Corey, had to be brought in to handle the case.

 Just as frightening, there is evidence that the State withheld material evidence that supported Zimmerman's self-defense claims.  This includes withholding photographs of Zimmerman's injuries.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

We Are A Nation of Laws And The Jury Has Spoken

President Obama has made the following statement concerning the "NOT GUILTY" verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman:

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy.  Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America.  I know this case has elicited strong passions.  And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher.  But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.  I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.  And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.  We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.  We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.  As citizens, that’s a job for all of us.  That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

I am so glad that Obama is concerned about gun violence and preventing tragedies that he addressed the 1.5 murders a day that occur in Chicago. It is estimated that about 80% of the homicides in Chicago are gang related.

It broke my heart when Obama talked about the tragic death of Jonylah Watkins who was only six-months old.  She died when Koman Willis tried to shoot her father Jonathan Watkins.  Don't wait for Al Sharpton, et all to tell you that the alleged motive for this shooting was that Willis believed that Watkins had stolen a video game system and drugs from him.

Surely you remember the protest marches with people chanting "No justice. No peace."  You don't?  Well maybe you remember how there was a bounty put out on Willis.  You're right, that didn't happen either.  Surely you remember when the President said, "If I had another daughter, she would look just like Jonylah Watkins." I didn't hear that either.  

I also NEVER heard Obama express concern about the violence that occurs on a daily basis in his adopted hometown of Chicago using the public platform that is afforded a President.

Last night, defense attorney Mark O'Mara was asked if George Zimmerman had been black and Trayvon had been white how would the case have been different.  I was kind of surprised when he articulated what many people suspect.

Mr. O'Mara said, "I think that things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason.  He never would have been charged with a crime."

O'Mara also acknowledged the racial elements of the case and blamed the media and civil rights group attention on this case for twisting the course of justice.

Now today, the President of the United States speaks out about this case asking people to honor the decision of the court.  This may be laudable until one realizes that the Attorney General Eric Holder continue this circus by bringing forth civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

I for one would NOT be surprised in the least since we already know that the Department of Justice under the direction of Eric Holder joined the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and others in creating pressure to prosecute Zimerman despite the fact that the investigating officers did not feel they had the evidence to go forward in the case.

We have also been assured by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that this isn't over and he has asked the Justice Department to prosecute George Zimmerman.

This despite the fact that the Justice Department has already conducted an exhaustive investigation to determine whether Zimmerman killed Martin out of racial animus  Yes I said NO EVIDENCE.

But don't worry, Obama has assured us that we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Verdict Is In - Zimmerman Is Found Not Guilty

Like millions of others I awaited the verdict in the George Zimmerman case with the realization that regardless of the outcome there are no winners.  On that rainy night on February 26, 2012 two lives collided and resulted not just in the death of an unarmed teenager but also unleashed a media storm that morphed a neighborhood watch volunteer into a fearsome creature.

In the media, social and otherwise, some questioned why there was a trial when it was "obvious" that George was guilty.  Still others wondered the need for a trial for different reasons.  Those people saw this case as a textbook case of self-defense.

All day I listened as HLN replayed the "highlights" of the case and I wondered again and again just how we got here.  Of course I knew the answer.  Former Sheriff Bill Lee had admitted that he felt pressure from cit officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.

Lee insisted that based on the evidence at hand, arresting Zimmerman would have been a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.  Protests and petitions for arrest only managed to prevent the department a chance to complete their investigation.  Lee still takes issue with the media portraying his department as apathetic or lackadaisical in this case.

Ultimately Lee was given a vote of no confidence and asked to step down due to these same outside pressures.

I think this case has been confusing to many who watched as prosecution witnesses were called to the stand only to shred the case for the prosecution.  Even the lead investigator stated under oath that he did not think Zimmerman was guilty.

Still Judge Debora Nelson refused three times to dismiss the case against Zimmerman insisting that there was "substantial evidence and circumstantial evidence to merit that the case be sent before the jury.

On Friday the jury was given the case to deliberate and they did so for three and a half hours before retiring for the evening.  Only one question had been sent to the court and that was actually a request for an itemized list of evidence exhibits.  Some media commentators saw this as a positive sign for the prosecution.

The jury came back today and worked straight through lunch,

When asked how I thought the case would be decided an vacillated.  I looked upon the question that the jury sent to the court today as saying that the charge of Second Degree was off the table and that the jury was considering a verdict of manslaughter either as a compromise verdict.  I was not convinced yet that the jury would find George Zimmerman not guilty.

I told my husband, "If the jury plans to find Zimmerman not guilty they will make that decision tonight before they leave.  If the jury plans to vote for manslaughter, I believed that they would sleep on the decision before coming forward with the verdict the next day."

Finally the jury came back with the verdict and my husband and I said a prayer for the families of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.  We prayed that each family could eventually find peace and healing.

After sixteen and a half hours of deliberation the jury came back with a verdict of "NOT GUILTY".

After  the verdict was read, George Zimmerman hugged his family.

“(George Zimmerman) A man who believes in the system… A man whose dad was a judge, who maybe wanted to be a cop or a prosecutor and then gets a system… Two systems went against George Zimmerman that he CAN’T understand. You guys, the media, he was like a patient on an operating table where mad scientists were committing experiments on him and he had no anesthesia. He didn’t know why he was turned into this monster, but quite honestly you guys had a lot to do with it, you just did, because you took a story that was fed to you and you ran with it and you ran right over him and that was HORRID to him.

Then, he comes into a system that he trusts… Let’s not forget SIX voluntary statements, voluntary surrender, and he believes in a system that he really wanted to be a part of, right? And then he gets prosecutors that charge him with a crime that they could never ever prove. It’s not like they… they didn’t lose evidence along the way, right? So, I don’t think anyone would argue with me in this room, that they had evidence of 2nd degree murder. This “in your heart” kind of stuff, that’s not what we’re supposed to do and it’s not what they’re supposed to do. SO, those 2 systems failed him!”

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Waiting Game - The Jury In the Zimmerman Case Deliberate

The prosecution often appealed to emotion and asked the jurors to listen to their “heart” when deliberating

The prosecution used their final comments in an attempt to appeal to the emotions of the jurors.  He asked jurors to listen to their "heart" when deliberating.

This case should be decided based on the facts and the evidence, not emotion. Not simply because a seventeen year old was unarmed and not simply because a twenty-eight year old was armed. The jury needs to look the the circumstances, look at the facts and evidence then come to a decision.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Charge Of Child Abuse Against George Zimmerman A Leap Too Far?

In another watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat moment, the prosecution in the George Zimmerman case tried to add a lesser charge of of Aggravated Child Abuse to the jury instructions.

The state argued that since Trayvon was seventeen at the time of the shooting.  In such cases the fact that the perpetrator did not know the victim's age is not considered a defense.

According to Don West, the defense was not notified until 7:30 a.m. this morning.  I'm sure there were many who viewed this as a Hail Mary pass to get a conviction, any conviction, at any cost.  Frankly after learning of this charge I wondered why the state didn't toss in a parking violation or a charge of jay walking.

Thankfully these charges were tossed by the judge.

In yet another WTF moment in the trial sideshow, Bejamin Crump, the lawyer for the Martin family lets us know that 'who" screamed doesn't matter when asked about the state's concession that Trayvon Martin was probably on top of George Zimmerman during the struggle.

Then again this is the SAME Benjamin Crump who said that this case was never about racism despite repeatedly stating publicly that this case was absolutely about racism.

We only need to look as far as the former police chief, Bill Lee who testified Monday in this case to see that the arrest of George Zimmerman was indeed racially motivated.

Lee admitted to CNN's George Howell in an exclusive interview that he was pressured by city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than a matter of justice.

He claims that "It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest.  They didn't care if it got dismissed later.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Raise Your Voice! And Not Your Hands

The "twitter-verse" is rife with threats of riots looting, and racial violence if George Zimmerman is acquitted.  As a matter of fact, the New Black Panthers have promised to oversee a "rebellion" if Zimmerman is acquitted.

Around noon, dozens of Miami Police officers lined up for riot training.  Police were armed with batons and horses and ran through various formations preparing for the worst.  The fact that this "training" happened at a time when the jury will soon be deliberating the fate of George Zimmerman is purely coincidental we are told.

In Broward County the sheriff’s has released a series of public service announcements to preempt any possible violence.  In one video a group of teens are lined up in front of the camera.  Two teenagers shout out lines such “Raise your voice!  And not your hands.  We need to stand together as one, no cuss, no guns.  Let’s give violence a rest because we can easily end up arrested.”

Sheriff Scott Israel then comes in behind the teenagers and wraps up the video with the line, “I’m Sheriff Scott Israel and law enforcement does have your back.”

Sheriff Israel is quick to reassure citizens that they have no concrete reason to believe that a specific violent incident will happen if Zimmerman walks free.  He does argue that it's better safe than sorry and encourages everyone to keep any protest peaceful.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Cannot Remember Anything On The Day Of Autopsy

In viewing the testimony of Dr. Shiping Bao I'm having a Sergeant Schultz. moment.  For those not familiar with Hogan's Heroes, I'm referencing the bumbling who would often claim that he "Saw nothing!"

In this case, Dr. Bao could remember nothing much of the time.  He couldn't even remember the conversation he had with the lead prosecutor the day before he testified.

One of the more what the hey moments was when we notice that Dr. Bao actually was actually reading his answers off personal notes during his testimony.  When the defense requested copies Dr. Bao's notes he appeared to be very frustrated and told West that he'd rather not.

Judge Nelson then instructed him that attorneys on both sides were entitled to view his notes.

Here is an example of Dr. Bao's testimony:

 Bao:  "No one knows the autopsy better than me."

Don West: "And you don't remember anything about the autopsy, correct?"

Bao:  "Correct."

In my opinion Dr. Bao was ultimately a disaster of a witness for the state.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Objection Your honor. My Witness Is Detrimental To My Case

Can you un-ring a bell?  Most would say no and that's why it was pretty powerful that court ended with a statement from Detective Chris Serino saying that he found Zimmerman's account of the events leading up to the death of Trayvon Martin credible.

Today, before the jury was lead back into the courtroom, prosecuting attorney Bernie de la Rionda asked the judge to strike Detective's Serino statement arguing that the statement was improper.  De la Rionda's position is that one witness isn't allowed to give an opinion on the credibility of another witness.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued it was proper because Serino was vetting Zimmerman's veracity in his probe.

After hearing arguments, Judge Debra Nelson told jurors to disregard the statement made by Detective Serino.  While technically this can be seen as a plus for the state the jurors have already heard this testimony from Detective Seriono as to his professional opinion as to Zimmerman's veracity.

Dr. Valerie Rao was called by the prosecution to provide her assessment of Zimmerman's injuries based on PHOTOS.  Dr. Rao said that Zimmerman's injuries were insignificant and could have been the result of a single blow.

On cross, Dr. Rao acknowledged she was appointed by state attorney Angela Corey, who is overseeing the prosecution of Zimmerman.  She also conceded that while Zimmerman's injuries were consistent with one punch it was possible that he may have been hit repeatedly.

It's interesting to note here that Dr. Rao has been the subject of recurring complaints from coworkers dating back to 2009.  The complaints include:  touching cadavers with her bare hands, washing her feet in the autopsy sink, and performing autopsies on inmates to create a revenue stream.

Prosecutors asked a judge to allow them to introduce school records indicating that Zimmerman took a class that addressed Florida's self-defense law.  Prosecutors claim that this will prove that he had knowledge of the law, even though he claimed he didn't in an interview with talk show host Sean Hannity.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

20,000 Days And Counting

Nearly 40 years ago, Robert D. Smith, author of 20,000 Days and Counting learned the one business lesson that became the foundation of every success he's ever enjoyed.

Robert Smith, (THE Robert D) was out of college for the summer and working as a door-to-door educational material salesman for the Southwestern Company. He learned that there is no better introduction to the feeling of rejection than having a door slammed in your face over…and over…and over again.

He was truly on the verge of packing his bags and quitting when he got an idea that totally revolutionized his way of thinking—what if, instead of making his goal about the number of sales, he made it about the number of sales pitches he did every day?

From that moment on, he stopped focusing on getting sales. Robert Smith's single focus was on the goal of doing 30 sales pitches every single day, no matter the outcome. So, even if he did 30 pitches and was rejected all 30 times, he would still accomplish my goal.

But here’s the funny part—he never could get 30 “No”s in a row. When he succeeded in doing 30 pitches, he always got at least one “Yes.” Robert Smith ended up becoming one of the best salesmen…simply by not caring whether he made the sale or not.

Eating “No”s for Breakfast

Years later, Robert Smith took this concept to another level. He had just started managing a young comedian, and was trying to get him bookings in the college market. Smith's goal for each day went beyond simply doing 30 pitches. Smith was now trying to literally receive 30 “No”s every day. On each phone call, I would actually say, “You wouldn’t be interested in booking a comedian would you?”

Inevitably, someone would always end up saying, “Yes, actually, we ARE looking for a comedian.” Smith truly never succeeded in reaching his goal of 30 “No”s per day.

By making rejection his goal, Smith got to the point where “No”s meant absolutely nothing to him. He was eating them for breakfast. Worrying about rejection became a thing of the past. And when that happened, the “Yes”s started rolling in, one after the other.

Sounds crazy, right? How in the world could this have possibly worked? Here are five reasons why:

1.  Seeking rejection makes you fearless.

If you truly commit your mind to getting 30 “No”s every day in whatever goal you are trying to achieve, whether it’s making a sale or finding an investor, you can train yourself to actually feel happy when you get each rejection.

2.  It forces you to do something.

When you take fear out of the equation, it becomes much easier to take action and pick up the phone, write the email, make the sales pitch, etc. Taking action is always better than doing nothing. Even if you’re doing it wrong, just do it so wrong that it looks right!

3.  It will make you stronger in all areas of your life.

This concept goes beyond your business. If you get good at seeking rejection, that fearlessness and boldness is going to sneak into every other area of your life as well. Pretty soon, you’re going to become a fearless friend, a fearless parent, a fearless spouse. You can become the person who steps up and takes bold action.

4.  You will feel massively motivated.

You know what happens when you force yourself to do something 30 times in one day? You end up feeling crazy productive. You know what happens when you feel crazy productive? You end up doing even more! Real motivation is always the result of intense action and productivity. Motivation doesn’t lie within a self-help book; it lies within you.

5.  You’ll get rich.

History has proven this again and again. Show me a successful person who didn’t spend years trying things that ended up being massive failures and I’ll show you a dancing unicorn. Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple. He came back and made them the most valuable company in the world. Michael Jordan got cut from his eighth grade basketball team. He won six titles in the NBA. You know the stories. Why can’t the same be true for you? It’s time to believe.

Whether you seek it out or not, rejection is going to find you. Why not meet it head on? If you’re ready to succeed tomorrow, you better start by failing today. What 30 “No”s will you find before the sun goes down?

Get Robert D. Smith’s free eBook, Battle-Tested Branding, at

Robert D. Smith is the author of 20,000 Days and Counting, a crash course in living each day with maximum purpose and intensity. He also writes about entrepreneurship, personal growth, and more at

This short, easy to read book is full of practical, take-action advice designed to give you a new perspective and it has the power to change your life if you apply it.

Robert D. Smith, known affectionately to those around him as THE Robert D, is a leader in providing life-changing entertainment resources, a global customer service rep, and a favorite uncle.

For more than three decades, he has managed and overseen the career of Andy Andrews, a three-time New York Times best-selling author and in-demand speaker. He has served as a private consultant to numerous best-selling authors, speakers, entertainers, and cutting-edge organizations, educating them on the unique methods he has employed to sustain massive success and growth across multiple industries for the past 30+ years.

Characterized by his never-say-die attitude, Robert has made a habit of powering through adversity and closed doors at every turn. He was rejected 51 times while pitching Andrews' first manuscript, "The Traveler's Gift." While most would have quit, Robert persisted through "no" after "no."

"No's don't scare me...I eat no's for breakfast," he says. "All a 'no' means is that you're one step closer to a 'yes.'"

The Traveler's Gift, of course, went on to become a New York Times bestseller and a featured selection of ABC's Good Morning America. It is now available around the world in over 25 languages, another volume in a catalog that continues to sell at an impressive rate. "They tell us that a book by Andy Andrews sells every 60 seconds somewhere on the planet," he says with a grin.

His unique lifestyle, magnetic personality, and uncanny ability to get the best out of those with whom he works shine through in his debut book "20,000 Days and Counting," which he describes as a crash course for anyone wishing to get the most out of each and every day, hour, and minute they spend on Earth.

"20,000 Days and Counting" shows you how to maximize every moment and live purposely with tremendous certainty of who you are and what you are here to do.  I definitely give it a solid 3 1/2 stars!  

Robert spends his spare time mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers, teaching them lessons in business, finances, and living lives of meaning. He enjoys creating lasting memories with those around him by seizing opportunities for magic moments in seemingly ordinary settings. If you find yourself out to dinner with him, he will insist that everyone order dessert first.

He currently resides in the countryside of Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Under The Sea Splashes Into Fernbank Museum’s IMAX Theatre

Experience the sea and its marvelous marine life in the giant-screen film Under the Sea, returning to the IMAX® Theatre at Fernbank Museum of Natural History from May 25-September 5, 2013. Through the visual majesty of the IMAX® format, audiences are transported to the crystal blue domains of diverse underwater dwellers, including the Leafy Sea Dragon and the Flamboyant Cuttlefish.

Under the Sea journeys to some of the most exotic and isolated undersea locations on Earth, including South Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Coral Triangle islands of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Audiences experience face-to-face encounters with some of the most mysterious and stunning creatures of the sea. It offers a uniquely inspirational and entertaining way to explore the beauty and natural wonder of the oceans, as well as the impact global climate change has on them.

“Most people will never encounter these creatures face to face in the wild, and IMAX is able to bring audiences as close to swimming alongside them as they’ll ever get,” said producer Toni Myers.
The film is narrated by Jim Carrey. Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Corporation present Under the Sea, which has been rated G for general audiences and has a running time of 40 minutes and 45 seconds. Under the Sea will show at Fernbank Museum from May 25-September 5, 2013.

Fish Face Contest

To celebrate the return of the family-friendly underwater IMAX® adventure Under the Sea, Fernbank Museum is having a “Fish Face” photo contest! Send us your wonderfully wacky, flippingly funny or just plain silly photos showing your best “Fish Face” and you could win one of several great prizes including tickets to see the film, a “Sea to Shore” prize pack from the Museum Store and more.
Contest closes June 30, 2013. Winners will be announced on Fernbank’s Facebook page.
Send your photos to or post on Fernbank Museum’s Facebook page. Please read the full contest rules before taking the fish face plunge at

Ticket and Visitor Information

Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s IMAX Theatre is located at 767 Clifton Road in Atlanta. IMAX tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, $11 for children ages 3-12 years old, $8 for Museum members, and free for children ages 2 and younger. For tickets, please call 404.929.6300 or visit  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sylvia Browne - DEAD WRONG AGAIN

In 2004 Louwana Miller appeared on the Montel Williams show in hopes that psychic Sylvia Browne would help her locate her missing daughter, Amanda Berry.

"She's not alive, honey," Browne told Miller on the show. "Your daughter's not the kind who wouldn't call."
Louwana Miller died a year later from heart failure or perhaps heart break believing that her daughter was dead. Louwana spent three years searching for her daughter and the stress and emotional turmoil took a toll on her mind, body and soul.

On Monday, Berry was found alive after she broke free from a home in Cleveland where she says she has been kept a prisoner for the past decade.

In 2003 Browne famously told the parents of  of missing teen Shawn Hornbeck that their son was dead, and his body could be found somewhere near "two jagged boulders," according to her premonition.  Furthermore, according to Browne, Hornbeck was kidnapped by a very tall, “dark-skinned man, he wasn’t Black, more like Hispanic,” who wore dreadlocks.

In fact, Hornbeck and another boy were found very much alive January 16, 2007, in the home of Michael Devlin, a Missouri man accused of kidnapping them. Hornbeck had been missing for four years, but his parents had not given up hope of finding him despite Browne’s misinformation. Devlin, a Caucasian, is not Black, dark-skinned, nor Hispanic and almost certainly did not have dreadlocks at the time he allegedly abducted Hornbeck.

Sylvia is a carnival fortune teller and not a very good one.  She's predatory grief vulture.  Her narcissistic personality enables her to look into the face of a bereaved or desperate person seeking answers about their dead or missing relative and spin a story to enrich and aggrandize herself.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fernbank Museum Hosts Butterfly Bash on May 4

Grab your wings and prepare for a soaring good time as Fernbank Museum of Natural History celebrates the giant screen adventure, Flight of the Butterflies, with a family-friendly Butterfly Bash on Saturday, May 4, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live butterflies, special activities, crafts and cultural performances will be part of the fun.

Scheduled Activities Include:

Live Butterfly Tent
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Stand among live butterflies and see these remarkable insects in action.
Specimens courtesy of Jaap de Roode of Emory University.

Day of the Dead Display and Craft
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Learn about the Day of the Dead and its role in discovering the monarch butterflies’ overwintering grounds, then decorate your own Day of the Dead paper skull. 

Brought to you by the Instituto de Mexico and the Consulate of Mexico in Atlanta.

The Georgia Bubbleman
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Butterflies won’t be the only things soaring. Join us outside for big bubble fun.

Butterfly or Moth?
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Do you know the difference between butterflies and moths? This fun activity will test your identification skills.

Chicahua Yolotli- Aztec Dance Troupe
11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
You will be immersed in the music, movements and attire as authentic Aztec dancers demonstrate the beauty of this ancient dance tradition.
Brought to you by the Instituto de Mexico and the Consulate of Mexico in Atlanta.

Tissue Paper Butterflies
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Create your own beautiful tissue paper butterfly.
Brought to you by Macaroni Kid.

Butterfly Tattoos
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
After you become a butterfly expert, you’ll earn your wings with special temporary tattoos.

Book Signing
10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Museum Store
Meet Vicki M. Fisher, author of Cambio: The Best Blue Butterfly. This children’s book tells the story of a caterpillar trying to discover who he will become. The author will be signing copies of the book, which are available for purchase in the Museum Store.

Butterfly Life Cycle
10am – 2pm, Great Hall
Metamorphosis comes to life! Investigate living examples of a butterfly’s life cycle and discover the important role milkweed plays in caterpillar biology.
Live specimens provided by the Monarch butterfly lab at UGA's Odum School of Ecology

Flight of the Butterflies*
Showing in Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
Enter the enchanting world of monarch butterflies, in this film that follows their annual migration and the moving story of a scientist’s decades-long search for their winter home. Soar a mile high alongside one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world, as half a billion Monarch butterflies head south on an epic journey up to 3,000 miles long between Canada and Mexico.
(*Separate IMAX® ticket purchase required. See Value Pass prices below.)

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Museum admission tickets, which include Butterfly Bash activities, are $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students/seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for Museum members and children 2 and younger. Value Pass tickets, which include Museum admission, Butterfly Bash activities, and IMAX® admission to see Flight of the Butterflies are $23 for adults, $21 for students/seniors, $19 for children, and $8 for Museum members.

Tickets are available online at or by calling 404.929.6400.