Thursday, June 28, 2018

Audience size

I realize the number of followers, fans, supporters, readers, listeners matters.  When we look at YouTube videos and see that a given person has 100 followers and someone else has 1 million, of course that means the two people are quite different. Most people involved with large audiences of one kind or another are professionals whose livelihood or a large part of it comes from their work with audiences.  

I have had distance education classes on television that can reach large audiences.  Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) can include 20,000 students or more. Similarly, books can be purchased by small numbers of buyers or by millions.  

I am writing to advocate for the idea that it can be helpful to ignore audience size.  When I had large online classes, I invited students nearby to come to the classroom during the scheduled class time if they wanted to.  Since all the materials for learning were online, few did. However, once in a while a student would show up in person, sometimes out of curiosity and sometimes out of academic need.  With one or two students, I could get very specific about their knowledge, their questions, their reactions to the class.

I know that many people feel very challenged by speaking to a group and that means that preparing a talk for a presentation is often a scary job.  Putting one's heart into a presentation, working carefully on every sentence and every slide is likely to make the creator happy if a large crowd shows up.  However, the way life works, one listener, one note-taker, one student or audience member who takes what is said seriously can make a world of difference.

It can be depressing to be an instructor.  I taught in college for 37 years and I had many students during that time.  Some watched canned lessons from tape or DVD. I never saw them. There are times when someone says,"I had you as an instructor."  Since I taught a wide range of classes, I ask, "What course did you take?" About half the time, the student, now decades older, can't remember.  They can't remember what they learned from me.

Maybe I did them some good and maybe I didn't.  Neither of us can remember every instance where my teaching helped.  We can't ever remember what my teaching was about. So, I advocate for delivering the best material possible and not worrying about audience size.  You never know who is going to really benefit or when.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pain Science

This week's New Yorker has an article "The Neuroscience of Pain" by Nicola Twilley.  It focuses on the British scientist Irene Tracey's work on getting an objective measure of pain and what could happen if such a measure were to be obtained.  Brain imaging offers some hope of better understanding pain. Part of the problem is that pain seems to be located in several parts of the brain, not just one.  Another part is that attitude, anticipation and other mental states have a strong influence on one's experience of pain.

The article touches on people who cannot feel pain and their plight:

While in Oxford, I met one of her frequent collaborators, the neurobiologist David Bennett, whose research involves patients who, because of rare genetic mutations, cannot feel pain. "You might wonder, Why are humans born with this system where they have to feel pain?" Bennett said. "And these patients give you the answer to that very quickly, because not feeling pain is a health disaster." Often, he told me, such people die young.

Bennett said that patients of his have chewed off the tips of their own tongues and scratched their corneas. They suffer hearing loss from untreated ear infections, unwittingly rest their hands on hot surfaces, and walk on broken legs, which leaves their limbs deformed. In an evolutionary context, Bennett explained, it makes sense that we are built in anticipation of pain: we are soft, and the world is a dangerous place. Undergoing an extremely unpleasant response to harm helps us avoid further injury in the moment and teaches us to reduce its likelihood in the future.

When I suffered attacks of painful diverticulitis, I found that if I stayed in bed and concentrated right on the pain, I could make it stop.  Many of the pains I experience seem to be reminders or notifications from my body. The pains tend to occur on the edge of my awareness, as though I am not supposed to forget about a condition.  When I focused steady, undivided attention to the pain, I didn't need a notification and temporarily, I had no pain.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Deploying little gray brain cells

I want to write about "deploy".  It is a word I had never heard over decades of using American English.  Then, I heard that the Pentagon, our military headquarters, would "deploy" troops or ships or planes or supplies somewhere.  I could have look the word up and one of these days, I will, but I inferred from the context that it means "send" or "distribute" or "place" or "ship". The word might be a good example of language change, a process that goes on all the time and sometimes surprises people.  

I had planned to write and think more about "deploy" but I just read the Harvard Medical News newsletter and an item that caught my eye says that a tuberculosis vaccine seems to be doing a good job helping people with Type 1 diabetes with their problem.  I think that as humans get a worldwide food supply that is tasty and reliable, diabetes emerges as a danger. Type I, being born with a body that doesn't handle carbs well, is a very severe disease, I guess. Type II, growing older and less able to handle carbs, especially the concentrated energy of sugar, can result in blindness and amputations.  Progress in handling either disease matters very much.

I recently found out a little about who James Clapper is.  The man is 75 years old now and has been the head of US intelligence.  I have been interested in intelligence (spying and calculating important factors about a country's enemies and rivals) for years.  Clapper has a book called "Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence" and I am curious about it. But, I am curious about too much.  I can see that more in-depth knowledge about national intelligence or politics or cell biology or car mechanics or air conditioning has its limits. I will use the same strategy I have used before and wait.  I have some kind of knack for remembering what I should forget about and reminding myself periodically to buy the book or borrow it from one of our libraries.

Staying away from intricacies of politics or science or math or intelligence might be a good thing for me.  I am confident that my sense of wonder at the world gets refreshed very well every time I see a little kid. Digesting the probability of this or that, or the reliability of that group or this, can use energy and time that results in very little after a few years.  I admire those who help us all by juggling the ifs and maybes, but I may continue to focus on my corner of the world. In writing this post, I was searching for information that was hot and desired at one time but then faded from importance. Sometimes, last month's news or last week's weather report fit that description.  Since the World Cup tournament is being played now, I thought maybe some old scores from previous years would be an example of once-exciting news that has lost its relevance.

This Wikipedia description of jockeying and sport politics for the first World Cup in 1930 might once have been hot news but seems like a good example of backshelf info now:

In an attempt to gain some European participation, the Uruguayan Football Association sent a letter of invitation to The Football Association, even though the British Home Nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) had resigned from FIFA at the time. This was rejected by the FA Committee on 18 November 1929.[5] Two months before the start of the tournament, no team from Europe had officially entered.[6] FIFA president Jules Rimet intervened, and eventually four European teams made the trip by sea: Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The Romanians, managed by Constantin Rădulescu and coached by their captain Rudolf Wetzer and Octav Luchide, entered the competition following the intervention of newly crowned King Carol II.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Michel, Michael and barn boots

I am not a barn boots guy.  But Michael Perry keeps them on my mind.  Perry lives in Wisconsin and writes about life there.  He often writes about farming, the type Wisconsin soil, climate and rainfall support.

My wife is a potter and pottery is heavy.  So, the other day, she asked me to carry a crate of her pieces to the Q Gallery on Main Street as part of her exhibit.  I spotted Perry's latest book "Montaigne in Barn Boots" in the window of the Kindred Spirits bookstore. I couldn't believe the simultaneity of his book launch.  My philosophy friends and I are using Sarah Bakewell's look at Montaigne's essays in her book "How to Live".

I try not to buy books in paper since they are usually more expensive than Kindle books, more trouble to handle and house, and more trouble to highlight.  But I am grateful to Kindred Spirits for showing me the book's existence. I gave them one dollar less than the cost of a paper copy to ease my feelings.

Perry's Montaigne book shows signs of spying on me and how I behave:

In Montaigne's time, memory and intelligence were seen as one, and the phrase "he has no memory" meant "he is stupid." "When I complain that my memory is defective [people] either correct me or disbelieve me, as though I were accusing myself of being daft," says Montaigne, referring to every person who ever said, "We just talked about that!" "We went over this yesterday!" Or, "Why don't you just write yourself a reminder?"* Trouble is, many of these failures occur within time frames and situations in which writing one's self a note is impractical. In the category of driving off with things on my car roof I count one wallet (circled back and found it in the Culver's drive-through; celebrated my good fortune with a second order of curds), one iPhone (heard it thump the luggage rack, then watched in the rearview mirror as it pinwheeled down the highway), and an infinity of coffees, each of which I placed on the roof "just for a second" only to forget it in two.

Perry, Michael. Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy (p. 65). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mushrooms, LSD, research and society

I didn't expect to read a book on mushrooms with strong effects on the mind and LSD.  I certainly didn't expect to read it aloud to Lynn. I didn't expect that the book would be such lovely, gripping writing.  And, I didn't realize how far the topic reaches.

"How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence" by Michael Pollan is a powerful book that covers a wide range of topics and shows how they are related.  I am not tempted to smoke anything, nor "vape", nor get "high". I am a somewhat plodding person who gets a big kick out of plodding along, happily, merrily, contentedly. It seems unlikely that I will ever eat "magic" mushrooms or "drop acid" or visit the toad.  That last bit is something I only learned about yesterday. Certain toads with certain glands can, I read, be squeezed just so and one can catch the chemical that those glands expel on the surface of a mirror. Allowed to dry and crystalize, the bits can be smoked and somewhat like LSD, psilocybin and mescaline, they can produce very unusual thoughts, mental and sensory sensations.  

I think anyone would be impressed with a professor of journalism and author of several books on plants and foods who conveys his experiences trying out psychedelic drugs so beautifully.  I didn't feel before reading that I wanted to try them myself but now, halfway through the book, I feel that Pollan has done so for me. Pollan has not, so far, said much about the role of mind-affecting drugs on ancient societies and some current ones who make use of such chemicals for religious and spiritual purposes.  He does a fine job, though, showing that from the late 1930's and on, the drugs have had a place in chemistry, medicine, politics and social movements.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The big persuasive lie

Sometimes, I hear Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, quoted about the big lie:

If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.

When we are frightened by a tyrant or a group of them or simply hooligans and thugs, we can see that speech has power.  Our speech, their speech, victims' speech, perpetrators' speech - they all have power. Thus, lies have power, including some persuasive power.  I suppose that anyone who has a parent or ever had a parent, a child or ever had a child, a partner or ever had a partner, has a feeling for the power of others' speech, beliefs and habitual actions.  

But I want to point out to all involved that the statement refers to "A" lie.  In today's high communication arenas, we have messages zipping back and forth in great numbers.  The statement above refers to an older situation, one in which, believe it or not, public media other than writing, was a new thing.  Heck, it is still a new thing. What with a good portion of the world being without electricity, television, internet, Facebook, email, Instagram, Pinterest, many parts of the world right now are relatively free of life with lots of messages.  However, some of us really live in a communication jungle, overgrown with vines of lines, waves of wags, corps of communicators, piles of propaganda. We have ads, notifications, texts, reminders.

Yes, when Mommy told me something over and over again, and I didn't see any conflict between her statement and my daily experience, I believed what she said.  As a teen, I did come to question a few things, but I was mostly busy questioning my own thoughts, my feelings, my readings, my teachers. I had little reason to doubt what she said.   Adults sometimes worry about what the schools are teaching their kids but usually without reflecting on how much of what they "know" is what their own parents were


A shortcoming in the US today, at least the part I experience, is repetition.  In other words, many things are not reliable. What I see and hear today is not what I saw and heard yesterday.  New, ??better?, ??improved? is what many things and people claim to be.

You might be able to convince me of a big lie but you are going to  have to stick to it. I only have a limited capacity. If you have a big truth, you better repeat it and only it.  You better not throw in a few auxiliary ideas. Sorry, but you have to concentrate and stick to a few lines. It is going to be difficult since what is reliably the same is easy to question and doubt, but that is the best you can do.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Fwd: Numlock News: June 22, 2018

This is the writer who used to write "Significant Digits" for the Nate Silver website, "538".  He launched his own weekday newsletter about numbers in the news.  This one strikes me as one of his best "Numlock" issues so far.  It is free if you are interested. Bill
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Walt Hickey <>
Date: Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 5:00 AM
Subject: Numlock News: June 22, 2018

By Walt Hickey
Due to the switch to the new format, there were some problems with a few links in yesterday's newsletter. Click to read the original stories about "Gotti," smoking, Fox, Puerto Rico and guns. I'm sorry for the transition issues!
Americans appear to be waking up to the fact that it's extremely weird for grown ups to drink milkshakes randomly in the middle of the day, as Starbucks' Frappuccino sales are down 3 percent year-over-year to date. Revenue growth has been slimming over the past three years as people presumably take a long look in the mirror and admit that adding some coffee flavor to a chocolate milk shake does not make it part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast. ​
Sarah Halzack, Bloomberg
Northern Europe has been hit with a carbon dioxide shortage at the worst possible time. Food-grade CO2 has lots of important uses, including extending the shelf life of meat and putting fizzy bubbles in soft drinks. In Europe, 45 percent of the carbon dioxide comes from ammonia plants, with the gas a by-product of fertilizer production. A European heat wave, increased booze consumption for the World Cup and cheap ammonia from outside the E.U causing fertilizer plant downtime have all conspired to bring about an extremely tough supply problem in the European bubble biz. 
Joana Sampson, gasworld
A new survey of Americans found that many groups did not think that the president had respect for people like them. For instance, 81 percent of black respondents said President Trump has not too much or no respect at all for people like them. Other subgroups where majorities believe the president does not have respect for them include women (57 percent), Hispanic people (67 percent), women aged 18 to 49 (62 percent), people aged 18 to 29 (57 percent) men and women age 50 or higher (51 percent), Catholics (53 percent) and black protestants (81 percent). ​
Pew Research Center
Trafficked Turtles
WE GOT HIM: Steven Verren — described by prosecutors as "ringleader of an international syndicate of wildlife smugglers" — has pleaded guilty to smuggling 46 turtles in 2016. Verren's grift was based on the fact that both American and Chinese customers were dissatisfied with their native turtles and wanted turtles from the other nation, which is super illegal. Investigators believe he sold American turtles to Chinese customers and Chinese turtles to Americans. This is his second guilty plea for smuggling turtles after getting nabbed for trafficking the majestic reptiles from exotic South Carolina to buyers in the lawless and troubled region of Florida.​
The Associated Press
Famed New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre has thrown his support behind an Illinois bill that would make it illegal for kids under 12 years old to play tackle football. The iconic Vikings player's support of the Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE could push it over the top. Favre was only formally diagnosed with concussions three or four times in his career but has since estimated that over the course of his time behind center he may have suffered thousands of the head injuries. 
Charean Williams, ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Sales Taxes
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can collect taxes on goods sold online from entities that don't have any physical presence in their state. Gosh, that must have been some distressing news for, say, somebody poised to roll out a membership option for a nation-spanning newsletter operation in just a few weeks. This 5-4 decision — which, full disclosure, might affect me — won't cause too many issues for big sellers, as the top 100 online retailers already pay an estimated 90 percent of the state sales taxes they'd owe. The Government Accountability Office estimated states all told collect 75 percent of the potential taxes from online purchases, and estimated the untaxed portion could total $13 billion per year. ​
Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, and Matthew Townsend, Bloomberg
Handbag Money
Privately-held Chanel Ltd. has for the first time opened up its books in an attempt to quash rumors of a takeover. The French fashion house made $9.6 billion last year, with sales up 11 percent. This is higher than previous estimates, and means Chanel's sales beat Prada ($3.6 billion), Hermes ($6.4 billion), Gucci ($7.2 billion) and are just shy of Louis Vuitton ($10.8 billion). The reveal also upped Bloomberg's estimate of the net worth of owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and makes them the fourth and fifth richest people in France. ​
Robert Williams  and Katya Kazakina, Bloomberg
A Pile of Money That Could Be Spent On Other Stuff If We Had Literally Any Campaign Finance Laws In This Country
Political independent and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will contribute at least $80 million this coming election. Bloomberg's got a long history of supporting members of each party, and will support both Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but his primary goal this cycle is to aid Democrats winning the 23 seats necessary to retake control of the House of Representatives. ​
Dominique Mosbergen, Huffpost
Thanks for bearing with me through one whole month of Numlock News. I really appreciate it. There are more exciting things to come!
If you're enjoying the newsletter, forward it to someone you think may enjoy it too! Send links to me on Twitter at @WaltHickey or email me with numbers, tips, or feedback at

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A place

Yesterday, I read a good article by Adam Rogers (@jetjocko on Twitter) called "Big Tech Isn't the Problem, It's All of Us".  The problem he is talking about is homelessness.

It happens that tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of our moving into this house, built for us by our amazing son-in-law.  The man is great with kids, adults, materials, ideas and skills. Recently, Lynn made a list of all the places she has lived since she was born.  Both of us moved fairly often as children and both of us have lived in 20 different places during our lives.

When we have traveled to Seattle and San Francisco, the homeless population was noticeable.  Adam Rogers says in the article linked above that the laws on building, and the political and administrative authorities like cities and towns guided by those laws, differ on the East and West coasts, a difference that contributes to the problem.  Of course, the sort of weather a place experiences matters, too.

Our small city has a building that shelters people in trouble, but before that got started, we heard from the police department, that the dugouts on the baseball diamonds at a high school was the best place for police to leave homeless people.  Since our winters often have below zero degree temperatures in the day and colder at night, shelter can be a life or death matter.

Rogers relates that many politicians such as mayors, experience the combined will, laws and zoning regulations, practices, and pricing that constitute in aggregate the forces that produce homelessness in our country.  Some have even quit their jobs in frustration as "not in my backyard politics" make problems that many people know how to fix.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A better way

In personal projects such as exercising or losing weight or maybe practicing attention training, I often see how people sabotage themselves by trying too hard.  I have a poorly supported theory that a nation of immigrants have a tendency toward trying hard and then harder. I realize that Ecclesiastes (9:10) says whatever I put my hand to, I should try with all my might.  Maybe there is a cultural force, something social that we imbibe as children, that success only comes from effort, hard effort, teeth-gritting effort.

The usual way of trying "with all my might" calls for me to exert maximum muscular effort.  That can translate into also setting a high goal, something challenging. I often read that we get what we ask for, try for, demand, and if we want good success, we need to aim high.  But I often observe this sequence

  1. I try doing X and I don't let myself just dab my toe in the effort.  No, sir, I jump in whole heartily.

  2. Later that day, or the following day or the day after that, I am a bit sick or stiff or both.

  3. Just what I expected!  Do I let myself off? I certainly do not!!!

  4. I jump in with even more heart.  

  5. Later that day, or the following day or the day after that, I am sicker or stiffer or both-er.

You can probably see where this leads.  Don't just picture the pain or chagrin, the shame, the embarrassment.  Also, consider a likely internal conclusion: "I wasn't cut out for this.  It is part of the grand plan of the universe that I should not achieve this goal."

Reaching such an internal conclusion can create a very strong inclination to listen to the pain and stop trying.

There is a fearful adolescent inside our heads.  This person fears success and expects to fail at anything important.  If that disastrously ambitious person can be sidelined, or sent on a tour of the Outer Hebrides or some place, a different sequence that can used.  

  1. Dip my toe in speed walking or fasting or whatever.

  2. Toast my toe-dipping effort.

  3. Tomorrow, dip two toes.

  4. Again, suppress the urge to go faster, to calculate how long before I will conquer. Instead, toast the progress I am making.  Savor that progress, Baby, and look forward to tomorrow's more toes and more dipping.

  5. Keep building slowly but steadily.

Moral: start small, stay small and win.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Wisconsin writer gets involved

I didn't plan to be an essayist, a blogger.  I started with the idea of discussing meditation and being more aware of what is on one's mind.  What can be more apt for examination, rumination, philosophizing that what just happened? I was aware of Michel de Montaigne long before I learned to see him as one who examined his life and times.  Over the years, I became more aware of his reputation and the example he set for many subsequent writers.

I have been focused on the London writer and librarian Sarah Bakewell and her book "How to Live", a question to which she give 20 answers she found in Montaigne's writings.  Each answer or set of answers has its own chapter in her book. Here are Bakewell's first four answers:

1. Q. How to live? A. Don't worry about death  

2. Q. How to live? A. Pay attention  

3. Q. How to live? A. Be born  

4. Q. How to live? A. Read a lot, forget most of what you read, and be slow-witted

Bakewell, Sarah. How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (Kindle Locations 29-36). Other Press. Kindle Edition.

I was very surprised to pass a downtown bookstore today and see in the window "Montaigne in Barn Boots: A Amateur Ambles through Philosophy" by Michael Perry.  First chance I got, I downloaded the Kindle version of the book. We read his "Population: 485", non-fiction about living a western Wisconsin town and being part of the local volunteer fire brigade.  We read his novel "The Jesus Cow", a calf is born on a Wisconsin farm with the silhouette of Jesus on its side. Perry is a good writer and a good speaker. He is original and intelligent, much like Montaigne several centuries earlier.   

Asking myself what has happened today and writing out an answer in civil, honest language tends to give me a chance to think about what I think.  When I reflect and compose at the computer, I have good access to my previous writings, to my books and to Google and other search engines.

The musing of Montaigne, Bakewell and Perry make me feel I am in good company.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Kindle-istics, part 9

On the web page for this blog,, there is a search window in the upper left corner.  I used it to see how many of the 3202 posts have the word "Kindle" in them.  I counted eight so this is the 9th time I have written about the electronic ereader from Amazon.  I started this blog to write about a simple, 10 minute or less practice to increase mindfulness and enrich the experience of living.  Nowadays, there are dozens of wonderful books about meditation, yoga classes that include meditative practice, free videos online and other tools.  Just about the same time that I started this blog, I got my first Kindle and downloaded my first ebook.

I have been asked by friends if I am a secret agent working to promote the Kindle.  I am not. I get no money from Amazon, Google or any of the other giant firms sometimes said to be endangering the world's freedom and future.  I live in a fairly quiet corner of the US so being able to tell the object in my hand to acquire a book out of the blue, by means of what amounts to a cellphone call, is a mindboggling feature.  So, what does it cost? The most popular Kindle is still highly recommended, the Paperwhite model. The price varies with sales but right now it is 1 cent less that $120. The cost of a book is often around $10 but many cost less and many cost more.  

Many of my reading friends say they like to hold the paper book in their hands.  I do, too. After a lifetime of reading actual books, it is indeed an adjustment to use a Kindle.  I have found that a large part of that adjustment is learning to concentrate on what I want to read and not letting the other books right at hand call for switching to them.  My Kindle reader currently contains 187 books. I have needed to learn a little extra discipline to stay with the book I am currently reading ("How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence" by Michael Pollan) when I have many other delicious ones right in my hand.

A purchased ebook can be read on all of your devices.  It can sit in your Amazon archives indefinitely.

I often hear about the joy of highlighting.  Kindles make it easy and quick to make a highlight.  A file of the highlights from a book can be downloaded and printed or sent.  A highlight can be immediately sent to Facebook or Twitter or other social media.  In several ways, the highlighting and note taking possibilities are richer than with paper books.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Late breaking news

Some of my friends, often those in their late 60's or early 70's, show such energy and wisdom in their faces, that I feel I am looking at living examples of greater longevity and health than in previous generations.

I am still focused on the use of personal writing as a tool for examining one's life, thoughts and experiences.  You may have heard of the Socratic saying The unexamined life is not worth living. I feel that writing is a superior tool for examining what happened in the world, in my head and what I feel about all that transpired over the last day. The book by Sarah Bakewell called "How to Live", an examination of the writings of Michel de Montaigne, is much about observational writing.

This is a time when many different businesses are attempting to create superior algorithms and intelligent machines.  So far, I haven't personally run into any of these that strikes me as super smart. I saw a headline touting Netflix as unusual an producer of funded shows.  The article went on to say that Netflix knows what I like. I think in truth neither Amazon nor Netflix knows much about my tastes. I don't know much about them myself.  I change and at the same time, I persist and continue unchanged. Sometimes, my purchases and choices are dictated by Lynn's interests and sometimes not.

We do get unusual products these days.  Chinese manufacturers, American entrepreneurs, money seeking to be made into more money, startups wanting to be big hits, all produce unusual products.  Take Jane Austen socks. Don't be the only one in your neighborhood without a pair! You know Jane would be delighted to see you in a pair of socks celebrating her stories. Jane lived from 1775 to 1817 but we all feel better wearing Jane's socks, don't we? Wear them for Mr. Darcy if not for Jane.

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