Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kindle vs. Books

I’m an advocate of online learning! I’m also an advocate of using “modern tools” to bring about more learning. Given that, I’ve been concerned about learning to read from an electronic book (i.e., Kindle, iPad, Nook, etc.). I’ve wondered if comprehension rates were the same for both types of books or reading experience. Kim Komando, one of my favorite online computer gurus, sited a source today saying it is NOT. Click here to find out more.

To read more about the fact that paper beats screen, click here. And for those who want to read the article in Norwegian, click here.

I believe that electronic books are good for experienced readers, but beginners need the advantages of print on paper! More research is needed, as the study mentioned above involved a very small group of people. As they say in “academe” more research is needed. This is true...but in the meantime, schools should pay heed to this line of research as they are putting a lot of educational $$ in iTablets that might be better spent on traditional paper books.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Burger Search Continues

Thinking we had found a reasonable burger at Bubba's, we returned for a second opinion. The result was a very dry tasteless burger. The fries were still good. The burger looked good it just tasted terrible.

We've been told to try The Bird -- so that's the next restaurant on the agenda.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Torgau was a small town I had never heard of before...but it was where the Soviet and the American forces met on April 25, 1945 and a few days later Hitler committed suicide...of course a lot of other stuff happened in between. At first the village was held by the Americans, but by July, 1945, it was given to the Soviets in order to be in compliance with the Yalta agreement.

There’s a huge Russian Memorial at Torgau celebrating the meeting of the two armies. Nowadays, Torgau is no longer part of East Germany--Russian is not being taught in the schools--and people are wondering if they should take down this monument to the 40+ year occupation of Russia in this little corner of Germany. Since there are few reminders of the horrors of World War II in this part of Germany, the people have decided to let the memorial remain, even though it is written in Russian and no one can read it any more! It still reminds folks that one time there was a ruler even worse than the Soviets!

Long before World War II, there was a castle in Torgau, called Schloss Hartenfels. It was renovated during the Renaissance! A huge set of stairs and windows were added to the Schloss, and apparently they have not been changed since then. Our guide said the windows still have their original blue paint on them. Is there a way we can manufacture paint that will last 400 years?

The Schloss was built on a slight hill, surrounded by a moat, and in the old days, the moat had 16 brown bears living in it, protecting the castle. A few years back, the citizens of Torgau decided they wanted their bears back and today 2 brown bears live in the moat. They are cared for by “Bear Mamas” local volunteers who make sure the bears are fed well (with bear food, not human food) and are given a stimulating environment to keep them active. Our guide said that many people volunteer to be Bear Mamas, but only a few get the chance.

I’m out of room for pictures! Who knew there was a limit. So I set up another blog. It’s called CruzTalking Two and it’s located at Maybe it will allow me to post pictures. If not, I’ll have to think of another way to post pictures online. I will not be allowed to add any more pictures to this, the original Cruztalking blog.

I hope to see you at my new blog! Thanks for reading!


 Can you tell that these are rooftops from two cities? One is Meissen the other is Prague. Can you guess which is which?
Both are old cities. Both are on the River. Both have an old church high above the city. Both have terra cotta roof tiles. 

If you look carefully, you will see that one city is a bit bigger...and that’s Prague, which is the bottom picture. I love the way the houses are “jumbled” together, packed ever so densely over a gently rolling landscape. BTW, I liked both cities! 

The Year is 1517

The Elbe River goes through Protestant Eastern Germany. The Rhine and Danube flows through Catholic Western Germany. While the country is now united, East and West are together as are Catholic and Protestant...the history of these areas is different. The seat of that “difference" is in Wittenberg, the home of a modest Theology Professor named Martin Luther who turned the religious world upside down. 

In 1517 Martin Luther wrote Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences with the idea that the “Church” (i.e., The Catholic Church) would reform it’s ways. In those days, if you wanted your opus read,  you posted it on the door of the church! So, Professor Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the Castle Church door. He had no idea that he would start a revolution. As we all know, those 95 Theses were part of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation!

It’s hard to view Wittenberg without learning something about Luther. He’s everywhere...there’s even an actor playing Luther who walks around the town (during the summer I guess). As you can see, modern Wittenberg has a “tagging” problem.

We saw the famous “door” where the Theses were posted. 

We walked into the BOC (Big Old Church), which started out as Catholic and now is Lutheran. There’s something about these BOCs  that I like. The craftsmanship shown in all the one builds a church (or any other structure) like this anymore!

After leaving Wittenberg we all had a better idea about Luther and how his ideas changed the country. The city is being “spiffed” up as in 5 years they are going to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the theses to the church door!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peter The Great

Peter the Great (1672 to 1725) ruled Russia for 42 years. During that time he was determined to build a capital city to rival the capital cities of Europe and St. Petersburg was born.  In 1697 he started his “Grand Embassy” tour of Europe, incognito. One of the places he visited was Wittenberg. At the University in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther taught a century before, he sought more knowledge about “Lutheranism” and to prove that he was there, he signed his name on the lintel. Now Peter the Great was 6 feet 8 inches tall, so signing a doorway was not a stretch for this giant of a man! His signature has been preserved for all these years!


I’m trying to organize my pictures from the last trip and having little luck! My first problem was moving stuff off my hard drive so I would have room to download the pictures. I have managed to free up 47 gigs of today I downloaded 659 pictures from one SD card...still have another 400 to go. I did not take a ton of pictures on this trip! But, it looks like the ones I took are interesting.

I love to look at doors. In the village of Tangermunde, outside of Berlin, I found some amazing doors. Tangermunde is a restored medieval village. While not everyone has restored their home to 17th century standards, many have. Take a look at these cool doors.
This doorway is dated 1619! You have to take this into perspective! The Pilgrims landed in what is now Massachusetts in 1619. This is an old home! 

This cute doorway looks at a house built in 1618,  just a wee bit older than the previous door and every bit as pretty! 

Not every home has been restored in Tangermunde. Here’s a block that is waiting for some very tender loving care (not to mention a lot of Euros)!
And then, there are some people who have decided that restoring a door to it’s former glory will happen...but it might take some time. In the meantime, enjoy the cat!