Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fwd: There's a better way to talk about love

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From: This week on <>
Date: Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 7:48 AM
Subject: There's a better way to talk about love

Catch up on TED Talks from this week. January 14, 2017
This week on

Mandy Len Catron: A better way to talk about love

15:17 minutes · Filmed Nov 2015 · Posted Jan 2017 · TEDxSFU

In love, we fall. We're struck, we're crushed, we swoon. We burn with passion. Love makes us crazy and makes us sick. Our hearts ache, and then they break. Talking about love in this way fundamentally shapes how we experience it, says writer Mandy Len Catron. In this talk for anyone who's ever felt crazy in love, Catron highlights a different metaphor for love that may help us find more joy -- and less suffering -- in it.

Playlist of the week

Talks for the hopeless romantic

Who doesn't love love? A collection of 8 talks for those who can't get enough of it. Watch »

8 TED Talks • Total run time 1:51:25

This week's TED Talks

Dan Bricklin changed the world forever when he codeveloped VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet and grandfather of programs you probably use every day like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Join the software engineer and computing legend as he explores the tangled web of first jobs, daydreams and homework problems that led to his transformational invention. Watch »

Every year the silicon computer chip shrinks in size by half and doubles in power, enabling our devices to become more mobile and accessible. But what happens when our chips can't get any smaller? George Tulevski researches the unseen and untapped world of nanomaterials. Could they hold the secret to the next generation of computing? Watch »

Stories are necessary to tell, but they're not as magical as they seem, says writer Sisonke Msimang. In this funny and thoughtful talk, Msimang questions our emphasis on storytelling and spotlights the decline of facts. During a critical time when listening has been confused for action, Msimang asks us to switch off our phones, step away from our screens and step out into the real world. Watch »

Nature is wonderfully abundant, diverse and mysterious -- but biological research today tends to focus on only seven species, including rats, chickens, fruit flies and us, says biologist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado. In this visually captivating talk, Alvarado calls on us to interrogate the unknown and shows us the remarkable discoveries that surface when we do. Watch »


Money: Would universal income save the world? Maybe. But why not try these three (slightly easier) options first >>
The idea of universal basic income (UBI) is so hot right now! But it might not be the only, or the best, way to create more opportunity for all

Culture: The two kinds of stories we tell about ourselves >>
And how to rewrite your narrative to live with more meaning and purpose

Quote of the Week


The history of life on this planet is a history of rule breakers. Life started on the face of this planet as single-cell organisms, swimming for millions of years in the ocean, until one of those creatures decided, 'I'm going to do things differently today; today I would like to invent something called multicellularity.' And I'm sure it wasn't a popular decision at the time -- but somehow, it managed to do it. Then, land masses began to emerge from the surface of the oceans, and another creature thought, 'Hey, that looks like a really nice piece of real estate. I'd like to move there.' 'Are you crazy? Nothing can live out of water.' But life found a way. Once on land, they may have looked up into the sky and said, 'It would be nice to go to the clouds, I'm going to fly.' 'You can't break the law of gravity, there's no way you can fly.' And yet, nature has invented -- multiple and independent times -- ways to fly."

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado
To solve old problems, study new species

TED RADIO HOUR: networks

Networks surround and sustain us, in nature, in our bodies, in relationships, in the digital world. This week, TED speakers explore how we rely on networks -- and how we have the power to shape them. Listen to the latest TED Radio Hour on iTunes »


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Friday, January 13, 2017


From our motel window in Sierra Vista, AZ.  The mountains in the background are light colored stone.  We have no snow. 63 degrees outside but 45 tonight.

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From: Bill Kirby (olderkirby) <>
Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 4:14 PM

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fwd: Arizona 1/12/17

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lynn Kirby <>
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 9:04 PM
Subject: Arizona 1/12/17

Yesterday we drove from our house to Central Wisconsin Airport. It was not a fun drive, because it had snowed a LOT the day before, and the snow was not off the roads. Instead, it was packed down and slippery. We drove at 40 mph all the way, and it took about twice as long as usual. But the flight had not been canceled, and when we got off the ground on time, we were pretty sure we'd make it to Phoenix. We did! 

We did all he usual things: got our car, found our motel, and checked in. Then our friends Phill and Nancy Berg came and picked us up, and we went out to dinner together. It was a lot of fun to see them again. They moved away from Stevens Point a couple of years ago, and we miss them. 

I don't want to forget to tell you that we ate outside, although the area was somewhat heated, and we did get chilly by the end of the time. But that certainly wouldn't have happened in Point on January 11!

This morning we got some groceries and a charger for charging the iPad in the car. We needed that charger because we use the iPad as our GPS, and we would have more trouble finding our way without using it.

We drove over to Papago park and walked around for about 45 minutes. It was lovely. The temperature was in the 60s, and we really enjoyed that! The park is right beside the zoo, but we didn't go in the zoo because it cost too much ($40), but also because we really went there to walk. The scenery is very, very different than in Wisconsin. It's dry, speckled with mountains, and mostly brown. We did walk by a pond that had a lot of waterfowl in it, and we watched a great blue heron eat a large fish that it had caught. Wow!

Our goal for the day was to get to Bisbee. It is a small town in southeast Arizona, and we drove through part of it in 2005 too quickly to really see it, but it stuck in my mind as a place to go. It's about 200 miles from Phoenix, and we took our time getting there. First, i'm not especially comfortable driving at 75 mph, so i stayed behind trucks most of the time that went a bit under 70. We stopped at a rest area and ate the groceries I bought, rested, and made plans for the rest of the day. Then we stopped in a town called Sierra Vista--not an especially interesting town, but it was a good break. We went to a coffee shop and a park, and then drove the last bit to Bisbee.

The scenery between Phoenix and Bisbee was gorgeous in parts, and varied--mountains and a wide variety of types of desert. But when you're on an interstate you can't stop to be taking pictures. Well, you can't on very many roads, for that matter.

We finally made it to Bisbee and found out that the old part of town is on the historical register. The streets are narrow and steep, and the buildings are old. We got a room at the Copper Queen Hotel, a place that they say is not modern. But it has an elevator, individual modern bathrooms, TV, and internet. But except for those amenities, it really is like a hotel from the early 1900's. Very charming. 

We had a great, very modern dinner at Bisbee's Table. When we got back to the hotel, we met 3 couples from Maryland and had a little conversation. Two of them went to Towson State, where we went, and one of them knew Bob Anastasi, a good friend from college.

The pictures are from Papago Park.
​ [Sorry, not available with a poor internet that we have right now.]​

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yes, I read the book

I remember sitting and looking at all the words.  Ok, not on all the pages.  I didn't read the back of the title page, that information about the publisher and the editions and so on.  

Ok, not with equal attention.  There were some words I emphasized, as when I came to the sentence stating the identity of the murderer.  Naturally, as a user of English since my early days, I would probably notice if the identifying sentence said "a murderer" instead of "the murderer".  In English, we take our articles seriously and there are important crime-solving difference between being THE murderer the police seek and being A murderer they haven't even known about.  

It would have taken much longer and not have been as interesting or helpful if I had given each word or even each paragraph equal attention.  My attention seems, like most people, to be built to hop and jump.  Probably derives from evolutionary history and better survival if I can my surrounding for approaching tigers.  I feel as though my attention was on the book thoroughly and I want to get credit in your course and in my mind as having read it.

So, you want to test me on the book, eh?  You have written a set of test items related to the book and its meaning and you feel that anyone who has read the book can answer those questions to your satisfaction.  Further, you feel that not doing well on your test is good evidence of my not having read the damned book or having only read it poorly or partially or without good "comprehension".

You wrote the book, right?  So, let me ask you a few questions.  What is the first word in the first sentence?  What is the last word in the last sentence?  Sorry, you did not answer such simple questions about a book that you yourself wrote.  Ok, you wrote it ten years ago.  And yes, in writing it and working on it for publication, you did read and re-read it over many times.  

As a reader of your book, I was surprised that you made the murderer left-handed.  You know, I have several loved ones who are left-handed and am not happy to see left-handedness associated with anti-social behavior, the political party the villain supports or her liking for basil perfume.  I assume "you didn't mean anything by" the association you built but you know, I got me thinking.  I bet your parents never really loved you, did they?  

To go on with this topic, consider this page and the statements made:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Have you read the book?

Recently we read Victoria Houston's "Dead Water" and we are now reading "The Survival of the Sickest" by Sharon Moalem.  For more than 50 years, I have read aloud to Lynn while she assembles jigsaw puzzles or knits or something else.  I like to read aloud, although I suspect that sometimes my comprehension and retention is better when I read to myself silently.  '

A very eye-opening book was "Space Between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading" by Paul Saenger.  The author described just what we did in 10th grade Latin class reading Caesar's Gallic Wars.  The words were written without capital letters at the beginning of a sentence and without periods, question marks or exclamation marks at the end.  It took plenty of effort and thinking and looking and comparing to find a subject and its corresponding verb.  We had already learned to read silently and we considered it to be poor manners if different readers in the room, reading or trying to decipher, spoke aloud what they were working on.  Before the modern layout of words, spaces, capitals and end punctuation, a room of readers, as in a library reading room, was a noisy place.  Those trying to decipher would use their voices to say aloud what they thought they were onto.  

One other thing I didn't mention was the effect of writing words without the invention of spaces between them.  Youcanseethatitwouldbeslowerandmoreworktoteaseoutwhatiswrittensoittakesmoretimeandefforttogetmeaningfromwriting. When you are writing in longhand, and the letters just flow, once you are in the habit, you can just keep scribbling along, without the bother of lifting the pen to space words.  Spell checkers and other parts of modern word processing software don't like continuous writing.

Our modern conventions make reading faster and easier. Our way allows interesting, exciting concepts to just flow into our head.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Contribution from Richard L. Evans

I met my wife at a teacher's college.  Teaching seemed a good thing for me.  I have been associated with American public school teaching all my life.  I am scheduled to give a talk to older people about several decades of teaching college students about to become teachers.  This "Toward the Light" issue from Richard Evans reviews the usual duties and expectations for American public school teachers and most other teachers and professors here in the US.  The editor's email address is included. This isssue is reprinted with Mr. Evans' permission.  Whether or not you like fish, let the shad story at the end reel in your heart.  Keep your spirits up and don't wind up on squid roe.

January 5, Toward 2017 Volume 24 Issue The 14

Toward the Light

Your comments or contributions are welcome. Contact the editor at Books by the editor: Life of the Eagle The Short Happy Life of Davey Monroe

Humor and inspiration published weekly (or whenever the editor feels like it) Fare: $ Priceless


TEACHER (author unknown)

Let me get this right . . . You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with love for learning.

Not only that, I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, and observe them for signs of abuse and T-shirt messages. I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns and raise their self-esteem. I'm to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play; how and where to register to vote; how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job. I am to check their heads occasionally for lice; maintain a safe environment; recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior; offer advice; write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships; encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others and, oh yeah, always make sure that I give the girls in my class 50% of my attention.

I'm required by my contract to be working on my own time summer and evenings at my own expense toward advance certification and a master's degree and, after school, I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my employment status. I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics and to my current administration. I am to incorporate technology into the too personal relationship with each student. I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions.

I am to make sure all students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned. Plus I am expected to make sure that all of the students with handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal

education, regardless of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate frequently with each student's parent by letter, phone, newsletter and grade card. I'm to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute, more-or-less, planning time and a big smile—all on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states. Is that all?

And you want me do all of this—but you also expect me NOT TO PRAY?

Birthdays this week: Robert Duvall (86), Diane Keaton (71), Margaret O'Brien (80), Charlie Rose (75), Walter Mondale (89), Nicholas Cage (52), Rand Paul (53), Kim Jong-Un (33), R. Kelly (50), Stephen Hawking (74), Yvette Mimieux (78), Joan Baez (76), Crystal Gale (66), Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (35), Pat Benatar (64), Rod Stewart (72), George Foreman (69) and Naomi Judd (71).

THE SHAD TALE OF THE STURGEON by James Thom (adapted)

There was once a brilliant sturgeon on the staff of the local community health fishility. He was, in fact, one of its flounders. He was a whale of a guy—a fin fellow who would never shrimp from his responsibilities. He was successful and happy, always whistling a cheerful tuna.

One day, for no porpoise at all, a crabby patient decided to drum up a story. He told the sturgeon that his treatments were full of abalone, and had actually made him eel. He even conched him with a malpractice suit!

Buoy!—wasn't the sturgeon in a real pickerel? Without taking time to mullet over, the board demanded his oyster. The case smelt to high heaven, so at the herring the judge, with the wisdom of Salmon, denied the plaintiff's clam. Such a fishy story just would not stand up when perched on the scales of justice.

When the board then tried to hire the good sturgeon back, they found that he had hit the bottlenose pretty hard and had wound up on squid roe.

Holly mackerel!—Wasn't that a fine kettle of you-know-what?

© copyright 2017 R.L. Evans all rights reserved

Toward the Light is published and distributed without charge by the Editor: Richard L. Evans, 704 Country Club Court, Morehead City, NC 28557

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Renting some money

Don't think I will refrain from thinking about something just because I don't know much about it.  My friend introduced me to the book "Debt: The First 5000 Years".  It sounds interesting and informative.  Unfortunately, I can't read it or even start reading it for a while.  I have too many other very good books that I have already started on and been distracted by other things before finishing them.  

Most of the last few centuries have included more widespread use of interest, the explicit debt I incur when I rent money.  I guess both Christianity and Islam have at one time or another forbidden followers from charging for the loan of money.  I haven't read enough to know just what it was that prompted the prohibitions or what reasons have weakened or changed the rules to allow the use of interest.  I have a book that intrigues me called "Pious Property" which is described as the story of how Muslim immigrants to America have been able to see their way clear to home ownership through modifications to the language and terms of a mortgage.  When I discussed the book a bit with my friend with a financial career and background, he slipped in the comment that "interest makes the world go 'round".  

As is often the case, the terms of the deal matter.  If I borrow $100 from you and you agree to accept only the very same bills and coins back to close my debt, having the money for a while may not be very helpful to me.  I probably won't bother borrowing from you.  Maybe, like the wicked witch of some stories, you will hound me or worse unless I give you my child.  The general idea of virtuous activity is that you can use the money I loaned you to create some expansive idea or business or project and earn enough to repay the debt and the reasonable interest I charge for having loaned you my money.  Hopefully, I will still have a profit after paying the rental on my money and giving you back your loan.

The business of debt can be transacted in "favors" instead of money.  I can do you a favor and inform you afterwards that you owe me.  I can make it clear that what I expect in return is undecided at this time but when I know, I will spell out the terms of repayment.  In this arrangement, I can communicate to you that repayment as specified will forestall unpleasant visits from my brothers.

A different angle on the subject of stewardship of money is told in the Gospel of Matthew 25 14-30.  The parable of the talents seems to be a clear support for capitalistic activity, using money to get money.

I have been listening to "Outsmart Yourself" a Great Course by psychologist Prof. Peter Vishton.  He says that several studies have explored people's natural feelings about interest.  The experiments ask about giving you $10 now or a greater amount in a day or so.  How high must the later amount be for you to choose waiting?  Many people want the tenner now unless they will get maybe $13 or $14 tomorrow.  That is asking 30% or 40% in one day, not annually.  If I say you will get $10.70 tomorrow, you will probably choose the money now if you are like most of the study subjects.

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