Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sandy Hook, School Security, Identifying Problems

Watching Nova, they were discussing the brains of killers, Brainparticularly those who go on rampages in schools. They have been watching families for many years to see how they developed and how their children developed. They have also done MRIs of known killers to try and understand how their brains differed from those who didn’t do any killing. There was a lot of interesting stuff including an interview with Liza Long who wrote the blog “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” which I remember reading after the Sandy Hook shootings. In fact she didn’t title it that, it was Thinking the Unthinkable.

A follow up talked of security in schools, what they could introduce and what was really effective. As well as trying to identify potential problem kids. With the many programmes in place Assault weaponsthey seem to be achieving something. But, a problem arises when students are being treated for mental health problems and then reach the age of 18, beyond that point, no-one can enforce treatment or medication. There was a frightening interview with one couple who had had to take an injunction against their son and who were seriously afraid of him, refusing him permission to be on their property. This same son didn’t think there was anything wrong with him and couldn’t understand all the time he had spent in mental hospitals and why they expected him to take drugs. That’s scary. After watching this Matt said he didn’t realise it was so bad in the States, but is it just in the States or is the rest of the western world experiencing similar problems? A large proportion of Americans state they need to have weapons to protect themselves. An acquaintance said how awful to have to live in fear. That statement was refuted but…. It is a fact that having lived in two countries where weapons are not readily available I have never felt the need of a gun in my home and nor have my friends and neighbours. Arlee Bird has blogged about banning guns, I wonder if he saw these two programmes on Public Television?

I am posting this recipe for a meatless chilli especially for blogging buddy Stephen Tremp. I have no idea what the recipe was called originally, I have had it for years, and gave it my own name. We have made it several times and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Chilli Sin Carne

Eating Well

This truly tasty half-hour vegetarian chilli is made possible bChili sin carney using convenient canned beans and tomatoes (no pantry should be without them). Whole-grain bulgur adds another layer of toothsome texture and nutritional heft. This chilli is relatively mild, so it’s a good crowd-pleaser. If you like it spicy, add extra chilli powder or serve with hot sauce.

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 medium onions, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed

1/3 cup bulgur (see Note)

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt for garnish

1/3 cup chopped scallions for garnish

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, jalapenos, garlic, chilli powder, and cumin. Sauté for 5 to 7 mins, or until the onions and carrots are soft. Add tomatoes with their juice and the sugar; cook for 5 mins over high heat. Stir in beans and bulgur wheat and reduce heat to low. Simmer the chili, uncovered for 15 mins or until thickened. Serve with yogurt, green onions and cilantro or parsley on the side.

Servings: 6

Tips & Notes
  • Note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Don’t confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which is simply that—cracked wheat. Since the parboiling step is skipped, cracked wheat must be cooked for up to an hour whereas bulgur simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at,

Have a great day



  1. The gun issue is a worrying one, especially with regards to these school 'rampages'. If we knew what the answer was then the authorities would have done it I suspect... I hope! I hate the way that all kids play for hours on the computer shooting replica people. I'm sure it must desensitize them. And that case you recount of the youngster not recognising that he was ill is so frightening.
    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

    1. They are working pretty hard trying to find an answer Rosalind, lets hope they will do so. Yes, I agree with you about all the shooting games, plus what they see on TV.