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Plunging into Death

Two Jersey City police officers, Shawn Carson and Robert Nguyen, were killed on Christmas night when they were called to the Lincoln Highway Bridge over the Hackensack River to help set up road flares to protect drivers from motoring off the middle of a unique “vertical-lift” bridge that had its safety features disabled by a truck crash two days earlier.

Repairs would take two weeks of intensive construction so during that time police officers were called in to shield the public from the dangers of the bridge as it was raised for boat traffic. Some call this kind of bridge an “elevator bridge” because the center of the bridge rises straight up into the sky to allow boat traffic to flow below. Maritime law requires preference be given to commerce boats over motorists. The bridge is raised only at the radio request of boats and not on a predictable schedule. There are no angled ramps to indicate the bridge deck is no longer fit for cars and trucks — the middle of the bridge just disappears up into thin air.

Lincoln Highway Bridge

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Daughters and Sexuality

Few realize there is always a sexual component at work in a family but that sexual component must be understood and accepted as part of the natural growth of children, especially daughters, in the midst of their parents and siblings. The power behind the sexual realization of a daughter in a family belongs to the mother and not the father. The mother is the sexual ideal modeled for the daughter — that doesn’t mean sexual intercourse — it simply means the daughter learns how to interact and grow on greater level of femininity while discovering for herself a deeper form of human intimacy.

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Examining Moral Homilies

In the graduate school class I teach, I open the semester examining moral homilies — stories that are used to manipulate behavior in childhood for the greater good of society — and, I ask my students, why are most of those homilies rooted in religion and culture instead of the law or the economy and what were the moral homilies that formed you growing up?

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Reaching Beyond the Front Row

Annette Lareau discusses in her fine book, Unequal Childhoods, how parents with money use “Concerted Cultivation” as a weapon to make their kids well-rounded and aggressive in society and to challenge adults and teachers and doctors by “speaking up” when they feel they have been wronged.

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Pareidolia and a Face in the Cloud

Pareidolia is an interesting phenomenon that reveals how our human minds are programmed to give randomized visual and audible forms experientially recognizable features like faces, spoken meaning and known objects.

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Acquiescence of Values

For awhile now I have been thinking about the Acquiescence of Values from the personal to the commercial. We’d never sell our souls, but our values… name your price. Values are deeply held beliefs in “doing the right thing” and most of us share those black and white ideals without needing to lower the conversation to a political or religious level.

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Anyone for Technorati?

If you have an embedded Technorati account set up on your blog and you would like to swap links to support each other, let’s do it!
If you want to link up, please post a comment here or send me a note in email letting me know you forged a link to “David W. Boles’ Urban Semiotic” or — if you must for design or aesthetic reasons — just “Urban Semiotic” if that fits better. 

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