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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #077
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Dog-eared pb copies of his books in 60s and 70s stuck out of the backpockets of Levis on campuses everywhere in USA. ] ~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #077 Published July 1, 2007 ~~~
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Quote for the Freedom Month of July:

It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
Lewis Carroll, Author of "Alice in Wonderland"
(Follow link to Remember the Future)

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~~ Click on Heading to go to that Section (Allow Page First To Fully Load). ~~
THE GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #077, July 2007
Archived Digests
Table of Contents

1. July's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for July
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen
6. Poem from The Sun Mystery Review : "Poetic Autobiography"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for July:

8. Commentary on the World
9. Closing Notes - our mailing list, locating books, unsubscribing to Digest
10. Gratitude

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THE GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #077
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ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB
 
~ ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ~
2000: INAUGURAL YEAR: Jun  
#1 Jul  #2, Aug  #3, Sept  #4, Oct  #5, Nov  #6, Dec  #7
2001: Jan  #8,  Feb  #9,  Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
2005: Jan#051,Feb#052,Mar#053,Apr#054,May#055,Jun#056,Jul#057,Aug#058,Sep#059,Oct#05a,Nov#05b,Dec#05c
2006: Jan#061,Feb#062,Mar#063,Apr#064,May#065,Jun#066,Jul#067,Aug#068,Sep#069,Oct#06a,Nov#06b,Dec#06c
2007: Jan#071,Feb#072,Mar#073,Apr#074,May#075,Jun#076,Jul#077,Aug#078,Sep#079,Oct#07a,Nov#07b,Dec#07c
2008: Jan#081,Feb#082,Mar#083,Apr#084,May#085,Jun#086,Jul#087,Aug#088,Sep#089,Oct#08a,Nov#08b,Dec#08c
2009: Jan#091,Feb#092,Mar#093,Apr#094,May#095,Jun#096,Jul#097,Aug#098,Sep#099,Oct#09a,Nov#09b,Dec#09c
2010: Jan#101,Feb#102,Mar#103,Apr#104,May#105,Jun#106,Jul#107,Aug#108,Sep#109,Oct#10a,Nov#10b,Dec#10c
2011: Jan#111,Feb#112,Mar#113,Apr#114,May#115,Jun#116,Jul#117,Aug#118,Sep#119,Oct#11a,Nov#11b,Dec#11c
2012: Jan#121,Feb#122,Mar#123,Apr#124,May#125,Jun#126,Jul#127,Aug#128,Sep#129,Oct#12a,Nov#12b,Dec#12c
2013: Jan#131,Feb#132,Mar#133,Apr#134,May#135,Jun#136,Jul#137,Aug#138,Sep#139,Oct#13a,Nov#13b,Dec#13c
2014: Jan#141,Feb#142,Mar#143,Apr#144,May#145,Jun#146,Jul#147,Aug#148,Sep#149,Oct#14a,Nov#14b,Dec#14c
2015: Jan#151,Feb#152,Mar#153,Apr#154,May#155,Jun#156,Jul#157,Aug#158,Sep#159,Oct#15a,Nov#15b,Dec#15c
2016: Jan#161,Feb#162,Mar#163,Apr#164,May#165,Jun#166,Jul#167,Aug#168,Sep#169,Oct#16a,Nov#16b,Dec#16c
2017: Jan#171,Feb#172,Mar#173,Apr#174,May#175,Jun#176,Jul#177,Aug#178,Sep#179

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1. July Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to the Digest, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons! Check it out at: http://www.doyletics.com/vjtoons.htm Also note the rotating calendar and clock that follows just to the right of your mouse pointer as you scroll down the page. You'll also see the clock on the 404 Error page if you make a mistake typing a URL while on the doyletics.com website.

The Violet-n-Joey Cartoon page is been divided into two pages: one low-speed and one high-speed access. If you have Do NOT Have High-Speed Access, you may try this Link which will load much faster and will allow you to load one cartoon at a time. Use this one for High-Speed Access.

This month Violet and Joey learn about Smart Reply.

#1 "Smart Reply" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/02010704.gif

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2. HONORED READERS FOR July:
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Each month we take time to thank two of our good readers of Good Mountain Press Digest, books and reviews. Here's our two worthy Honored Readers for this month. One of their names will be in the TO: address line of your email Digest notification. Our Honored Readers for July are:

Ray Haiduk in Texas

Jennifer Terranova in New Orleans

Congratulations, Ray and Jennifer!


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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:


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Out Our Way:

June started off with our monthly CODOFIL breakfast where we get to speak and sing in Cajun French with our friends, eat a Cajun breakfast of scrambled eggs, grits, boudin balls, cracklings, cous-cous, pain-perdu, sausage, and café-au-lait. Unfortunately, even though my Grandma Babin spoke Cajun, she had taught herself English by the time I was born and always spoke it to us. So I got some nouns, verbs, and adjectives plus a few cuss words as my only legacy of my childhood growing up in South Louisiana. I remember a sharp change in how names were pronounced when at fifteen we moved about 20 miles west of our home in Westwego to Mimosa Park in St. Charles Parish where there is a larger concentration of Cajuns. Suddenly the common names Champagne turned into “SHAM-PYNE” and St. Pierre into “SAN-PYAH”. So these CODOFIL breakfasts give me and Del both a chance to add some French-speaking to our repertoire.

Another salient event of early June was receiving one of Doyle Henderson’s first emails. He’s been able to receive emails in his motor home in California via the satellite link but was unable to send them, up until now. See his email below in Section 8. with the most recent photo I have of him during his 2002 visit to Oregon. His health is fine and he may yet motor his home over to New Orleans for some oysters on the half shell, one of his favorite treats, and some boiled Crawfish at Sal’s Restaurant where they still pour the boiled seafood on top of your newspaper covered table.

Del and I finally carved out some time to visit our friend Armand St. Martin and his wife Patty Lee where he holds out on the piano in the Library Lounge of the Ritz Hotel in the old Maison Blanche Canal Street building. Armand is a composer, singer, and piano player extraordinaire, so drop over to see him from 6 to 11 pm on most Friday and Saturdays, and Sunday Brunch. There’s no cover charge, drinks available at the bar, and valet parking for your car. If you know Armand and haven’t been there, make plans to go. If you haven’t met him, you’ll be delighted. Another plus is the Library Lounge is on the third floor lobby area where there is a beautiful open air patio area surrounded by the beautiful exterior of the MB building. A classy piano player in a classy venue.

My nephew Dean Patrick Matherne invited us to a deployment party. He’s going to Bagdad with the US Army for a nine month’s tour of duty (after about 3 months of training) to help rebuild the local infrastructure there. My Aunt Azelda Musso lives in Thibodaux also and I talked to my cousin, Teeny, on the phone and told her we’d be coming about 2 or 3 pm. She said that was fine. We drove directly to Dean and Inger’s party. It was at her sister-in-law’s place on Lagarde Street. Had a double-wide lawn behind her place with three large tents and place to park all the cars. We were among the first to arrive and had a long talk with Dean. I had told Del he was active duty Army, but she claimed he was National Guard. Amazingly we were both right! He is active duty Army National Guard. Governed currently by Section 32 as NG, Dean will be governed by Section 10 or full Army for the 9 months he’ll be stationed in Bagdad. About a dozen people had on “Mr. Incredible” T-shirts with Dean’s photo on it. It was also the day before his birthday, which they didn’t announce, so we got to wish him Happy Birthday as well. His sister Robin was there with husband Mark and her son Hunter. Dean’s brother Mark and wife Becky were there with their two daughters, Abby and Ella. Both cute as a bell. We hadn’t expected to stay more than a few minutes, thinking it would be a simple open house, drop in and leave, not a large lawn party with so many folks. We stayed for two hours and caught the CD slide show of Dean’s life, but had to leave to visit my Godmother (Nanny) Aunt Zelda before my brother Paul and his wife, Joyce, dropped by Dean’s place. They stayed until about 6 which we might have had we not had other plans. We wish Dean and Inger all the best and look forward to the Welcome Home, Dean! party when Mr. Incredible returns successfully from Iraq. Hard to believe that he’s only four years or so from retirement. Dean’s grandfather, Buster Matherne, also came to the party. Buster was also in the National Guard during WWII, but I think that mine and Paul’s birth in 1940 and 1942 helped keep him from being dispatched overseas.

Paul and Joyce celebrated their second grandson’s birth this month. Born to Jason and Monique in Alexandria, Louisiana, his name is Brayden Matthew Rachal, born June 13, 2007 at 6:30 AM, 6 lbs 4 oz, 18'' long. Congratulations everyone. This has been a long and at times difficult pregnancy for our niece Monique, but now her daughter, Taylor, will have a little brother to play with. I just received a photo of the two of them from my nephew, Greg Matherne (Brayden's uncle) which was taken on Father's Day when Brayden was only 4 days old.

The very next day, I had another goodbye type party to attend. This one was a retirement party for Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Jefferson Parish Schools, Mikie Ehret. I had met her at the two Superintendent Conferences that my daughter, Maureen Bayhi, led. Mikie’s pirate costume with the eyepatch for the first one was memorable. Her warm welcome of me to her retirement party made me feel special and I knew that she had a way of making all those she worked with feel special. There were large red cardboard stars hanging from the ceiling of Bayou Barn on Bayou des Familles off the Lafitte-Larose Hwy and Barataria Rd intersection. These stars were a thanks to Mikie who was renown for sending people who did a good job a special note of thanks, always accompanied by a star on the top. For the second day in a row, I got to watch someone’s life pass before their eyes, this time the CD slide show for Mikie Ehret highlighting her career as teacher, administrator, wife and mother. Good luck to you, Mikie!

A live alligator about nine feet long was near the shore of the Bayou with its head our of the water. The photo I too of it graces the masthead of this Digest issue. The gal who owns the Bayou Barn told me that if you measure the eyes to tip of the nose and convert inches into feet, that’s how long an alligator is. This, it seems to me, is as useful for measuring a live alligator as putting salt on the tail of a live bird is for catching one. If you can get close enough to measure the eye-nose distance, the alligator might jump out of water and you could measure the whole length — if you survive its leap at you. You’d probably have to kill it in order to measure that distance. She said the gator was 9' but I think it was more like 6'. But I’m no Alligator Dundee, so it remained in the water, unmeasured and undisturbed, while I settled for photographic evidence.

Del flew to St. Louis to meet her brother, Dan Richards, who flew from NC. They went to an all-day seminar and work session on estate-planning provided for them by A. G. Edwards. Since we have accounts with A. G. Edwards and Edward Jones, we were glad to see that A. G. Edwards is being merged into Wachovia, so that we will have only one “Edward” broker instead of two. She left in the morning and got back the next night. The night she was gone was the Republican debates and I watched them with some interest. Most interesting thing was that the one candidate missing, was being interviewed on FOX News by Sean Hannity at the same time the debates were on. When Sean asked Fred Thompson, if he would pardon Scooter Libby, he said simply, “Yes, absolutely.” Compare that to all the other candidates who tap-danced around the question, with responses like, “If the appeal doesn’t over turn the conviction. . . blah, blah, blah.”

I had a chance to read President Reagan’s journal and found very interesting how the US decided to invade Grenada during his term. They called him up and told him our people were being held and Reagan said, “Go get them out!” No public debate, no focus groups, no polls to wait for, just a quick, effective decision. Such decisions usually lead to quick, effective victories because they are made by decisive leaders not wimps. No doubt which of the candidates are wimps and which one is a decisive leader.

June is nearly gone and this citrus farmer is still picking grapefruit from his one tree. It has about 4 dozen or so grapefruit left. One day I got up on a long ladder and picked those fruit hanging over the concrete path. Any fruit which falls on the path is split open and any on the ground is usually intact. I squeezed about two quarts from half my picking, and have about two quarts still to squeeze in the fridge. Between pickings, I scout each morning when I pick up the Times-Picayune for any windfall fruit and add them to the larder for later squeezing. I just yesterday began to notice the first tendril about an inch long coming from a seed inside a grapefruit when I cut it in half to eat. This is how grapefruit propagates — tendril grows until it burst through the rind and finds it way into the ground as a root. I plan to be eating grapefruit, God willing, until almost November when the new crop begins to ripen. The new crop is about the size of baseballs already on the grapefruit tree and golf balls on the navel orange tree.

Went to grandson Sam’s baseball game and it was a sad one. His Yankees were down 10 to zero by the end of the second inning. The other team’s scoring stopped when Sam moved to pitcher because he was throwing the ball to the catcher (a novel approach) instead of into the dirt and allowing every runner to advance on the base pads. Seems to me Sam should have started the game as pitcher. With so many runners advancing on wild pitches in the first three innings, the Yankees lost heart and lost the game. We hear that they have now won enough games to play for the championship, but Sam seems spooked when all four of his local grandparents show up for a game and his team seems to lose, so we’re pulling for Sam from a distance.

Del invited me to dinner one night, and we went to the Gulf Stream Restaurant on St. Charles Avenue, a new seafood-themed Houston’s restaurant. Our first time. They now have a live jazz combo from 6:30 on. The artichoke-oyster soup was superb – three large whole oysters in the soup. The grilled Artichoke was excellent, if a bit messy, but not as great as our own artichoke flowers. Del had a Waldorf salad and I had the locally-smoked salmon — good Houston’s quality food and service at a restaurant closer to us than Houston’s in Metairie. All it needs is for the St. Charles Avenue streetcars to begin rolling by outside their large windows to make it perfect. About six months as I last heard.

We met our friends, Renee & Burt, for lunch at Whole Foods on Arabella. We were in line at the checkout when Renee called me from her cell. I told her where we were and when she said they were late and had just come in, I looked across the registers to the entrance and there she was in one of her brightly colored dresses. I waved at her and she came over to talk to us while waiting for Burt to join her. Del and I took our cart and food over to a table and sat down and ate while waiting for them to join us. They told us all about how they’re redoing their Katrina-flooded Meraux house. Burt said that they have 7 houses under construction in Jumonville North, his subdivision development. That is far short of their pre-K plans, but still a great step forward. Now if Renee could just get her kitchen sink re-installed which is waiting on the new flooring.

One Thursday night we took Rosie Harris with us to hear Tom McDermott play in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters in City Park. Rosie and Del are so much like two sisters that I had to take a photo of them going into the Two Sisters Pavilion. It’s included in this Digest. We got there early had time to walk over to check out the Train Garden and I’m happy to report the electric trains and streetcars are still running through the large outdoor Train Garden. Tom McDermott is a great piano player both classical, jazz, and ragtime. He spent a lot of post-K time in Brazil and has written several pieces in a Brazilian form of ragtime. He played a couple of examples of the musical form for us. Ragtime with a samba flair.

Father’s Day found us at the BBQ at our son John’s in Prairieville. Bill and Carol, Rod and Marty with his wife and daughter, and Bill’s nephew, Jesse, his wife and son, Bryce. Told Jesse his son will be surprised when he grows up to find he has a National Park with his name. Jesse didn’t know that and asked me where it was. Jesse’s the same age as our son, Stoney, who had never heard of Stephen Foster. I explained to Jesse that Zion and Bryce were two National Parks in Utah, Mount Zion and Bryce Canyon. He said he’d have to take his son there someday.

Bill loaded up his Ford F-150 with visqueen and filled it with water to make a swimming pool for our grandsons Collin and Kyle. His wife Carol drove the truck around the subdivision with the Bill and two grandson in the swimming pool splashing up a good time. Had to get a photo of that.

Father’s Day was good to me. Del gave me a couple of shirts, six new tank tops, and a pair of bathing trunks. John brought me an LSU straw hat. I have added a chin strap to keep it from flying off and molded its wire brim to my liking. Every time I walked out on the beach in Galveston in May I had to hold onto my hat to keep it from flying away. Now I have a straw hat for the summer with a chin strap at the ready. Next I will work on my everyday black fedora to add a chin strap to it. I took it to Meyer the Hatter to get it cleaned and bought another one to use only on dressy occasions.

On the way home from John’s we stopped at Dillard’s in Oakwood to swap the bathing trunks for some that fit me. Then we changed into comfortable clothes. I had just settled down to finish reading “I Won’t Learn from You” when Pat Clark called and they were coming over to see Doris. Del’s mom, Doris, wasn’t up to company, but we told them to come to Timberlane anway, and Del would take Doris’s sister, Lois, directly over to visit with her sister anyway. Lois is now living in Tennessee and doesn’t travel very much, so Del over-ruled her mom’s wishes and the visit went very well. While Del was at Woldenberg with her mom and Aunt Lois, I visited with Lois’s three sons, Pat and his wife Cherie, Dennis, and Clem. Del found a pecan pie from her Honey Baked Ham visit for the Reunion, and I cut two small pieces for her to take for Doris and Lois. Then Pat and Cherie said it’s their favorite pie, so I cut everybody a piece. We drank coffee and ate cheese and crackers. We sat at the bar, and then knowing Clem was itching to see the grounds, I took them on a tour of the yard and the citrus orchard. At one point Cherie became interested in the bromeliads, so I cut her a pup from the pink flowering bromeliad, and told her how to plant it, water it, and reproduce it. Put it in a quart ziplock with some moss and some water and sealed it. After the Clarks had gone, I told Del that her Legendre cousins were a delight — as much fun as my own Matherne cousins.

Monday we had Steiner groomed and found that he was covered with fleas. We’ve been working to rectify the problem. He is restricted to the indoor utility room and taken for walks in the front to keep him away from the backyard fleas. He’s adjusting well. Likes the life of an apartment dog just fine. It will mean that we’ll probably put him in a kennel while we’re in Orange Beach late in July. We’re planning a week with all of our eight offspring together in about five units in the same complex. Two large swimming pools and a short walk to the beach. We had 28 a couple of years ago and now we’re looking to top that number. We will fill up one of the pools ourselves.

That same Monday was the premiere of the new “Closer” series on TNT. We watch hardly no first-run network series, preferring to catch them on re-runs and skim over the ads, but we fell in love with this fine program. Not a klinker in the cast, so we felt a tug on our heart when Brenda Lee Johnson has to let one of her staff go. Not Provenza! was all we could think. He made the cut through some creative task budgeting that Gabriel came up with. If I reviewed TV series, this would get a DON’T MISS HIT rating across the board. The DVR is ready to record next Monday’s episode if we’re not able to watch it live. High Definition picture and High Quality entertainment.

On Thursday night, we opted to go to the NetFlix Live! concert at the Riverwalk stage with Dennis Quaid starring in Dennis Quaid and the Sharks. Dennis played guitar, ran up and down the stage singing, strumming and yelling. He ran through the audience near us at one point. His love for New Orleans was fostered during the two years of filming of “Big Easy” and “Undercover Blues”. Hard to imagine that his co-stars Barkin and Turner could display the energy he did on that stage!

Del and I didn’t expect we’d stay for the whole show. We didn’t bring along comfortable chairs to sit on. But we found that NetFlix, our DVD rental service, took care of us with bright red cloth fold-up chairs with the low beach level seats. We had just gotten comfortable as the crowd was building up and a couple sat down in the vacant space next to us. We began talking and I found her to be a newly retired school superintendent from Ohio while he was a painter from Dublin, Ireland. We all four enjoyed the concert and stayed to the end. John and Joy lived right across the river a short walk from the Canal Street ferry which is still on restricted hours and its last trip to Algiers was 8:30. Dennis got a late start and still going strong at 8:30, so we offered to drive them home on our way home across the river. We stopped for a drink with them at the Dry Dock Café and Bar near the Algiers ferry landing and when we said goodnight, we felt like we had made some new friends.

I’m typing right now on an extension table for my keyboard which I had bought a few weeks ago and have now installed. I followed the 7 step instructions without problem. The shortest instruction was the final one: 7. Install under desktop. Wow! Talk about easier said than done! There were 12 hole to be drilled and 12 screws to be inserted and screwed in tightly and everything had to fit perfectly. All this had to be done while I was lying on my back looking up in the dark! It was easy enough — all I had to do was decide where I wanted it, hold it up with two hands, and while holding it fixed in one place, drill twelve holes with my other two hands. Ooops, where was I going to get the other two hands? Not really room for two people under there anyway. I used Post-It note paper to stick in the spot where the brackets should be, then I decided to drill only two holes near the center of balance of the keyboard platform. I then attached one screw and while holding the platform up, attached the other screw, and that did it. Job done with only two hands, two very tired hands. First 6 steps of instructions took 15 minutes, Step 7 took 3 hours to get all the tools, lights, screws, and whatevers together and at least one do-over when the mouse pad table got in the way of that second screw.

Ah, JUNE!!! JUNE in New Orleans and Creole Tomatoes! ! ! I have lived in East Tennessee, Southern California, and New England, and eaten tomatoes at various times of the year in all three places. Mostly bland red pulp, useful for hamburgers and salads. But in New Orleans during June, we eat tomatoes by themselves, they are that good! Creole tomatoes are such a treat and just not obtainable anywhere else. I know, I tried to find some equivalent the other places I lived. Here’s how we eat them. The recipe for Del’s Special Sauce for Creole Tomato is obtainable here: http://www.doyletics.com/digest065.htm So good, you’ll likely drink the leftover juice!

Our grandson, Sam Hatchett, played third base and pitcher for the Pelican Park team in Mandeville, the Yankees. His team has had some challenges in baseball this year, but it ended the season on a high note by winning the Championship Game. On the last Tuesday of June, Sam plays in the All-Star Game and we plan to be there.

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New Quotes Added to quotes.htm this month:
  • There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.
    Old Swedish Saying

  • Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.
    — Leonardo Da Vinci, (thanks to 25 June 2007, Patriot Vol. 07 No. 26 )

  • New Stuff on the Website:
  • UPDATED DIGESTS: In the table below are newly updated versions of Digests already published on-line. You can find them in the Archived Digests List. I have added more photos from the time of the Digest where space permitted, so take a new look at these upgraded Archived Digests.

          Digest #18.   November, 2001
          Digest #19.   December, 2001
          Digest #20.   January, 2002
          Digest #21.   February, 2002
          Digest #22.   March, 2002
          Digest #23.   April, 2002
          Digest #24.   May, 2002
          Digest #25.   June, 2002
          Digest #26.   July, 2002
          Digest #27.   August, 2002
          Digest #28.   September, 2002
          Digest #071. January, 2007
  • NEW TIDBITS Pages:

    ZOOM World

    LEAVE REALITY for A WHILE
    Submitted by Max Green on June 29, 2007. Thanks, Max !

  • Rodney Dangerfield Gags
    Many thanks to Clem "Mountain Man" Clark (Guy in Green Shirt below) for sending along these Rodney Dangerfield Gags on June 22, 2007. "How I miss Rodney," he wrote. If you can't hear these lines in the voice of Rodney "I get no respect" Dangerfield, I pity you. Get one of his movies and watch it as soon as possible.
  • Kids Say the Funniest Things
    Many thanks to Dennis Clark (Guy in Blue Shirt below next to Bobby) for sending along this addition to my Parent & Grandparent Stories Tidbits page on June 25, 2007.
  • Kids Write the Funniest Things
    Many thanks to Fritz & Michael for sending along this addition to my Parent & Grandparent Stories Tidbits page on June 26, 2007.


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    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, and all of the original dialogue.
    P. S. Any rumors that Netflix doesn't deliver DVD's promptly is hogwash so far as I am concerned. Our new DVD's are delivered with a couple of days of the old ones being put out on my mailbox.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):
    “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006) Will Smith in a true story about Chris Gardner who raised his son while an intern at Dean-Witter without an income for six months. He sold his leftover bone density scanners and they lived on the street and in homeless shelters until the end of the movie. Note: Del and I saw Chris Gardner on the Hour of Power recently and note that Hollywood removed every aspect of Chris's reliance on Jesus Christ during his long ordeal with joblessness. Only a ten-second clip of a church service which it seemed like Chris was required to attend in exchange for his food and lodging. Thanks Hollywood! Another obfuscation for the ages!
    “The Package” (1989) A Gene Hackman thriller with Tommy Lee Jones as the bad guy attempting to assassinate the head of the USSR in Chicago. Full of hopeless dead ends and a unstoppable Hackman. A DON’T MISS HIT !
    “Brotherhood of War” (2004) stars two brothers who are pressed into the South Korean military when the North invades. Their interpersonal battles overshadow the bloody battles they become embroiled in. We know at the beginning of the movie that one won’t return, but which one? A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “Breach” (2007) which loads Robert Hanssen into the CIA and FBI’s chamber, ready-to-fire as soon as he makes another drop of classified material to the Russians. The key lies with the young agent assigned as his clerk to spy on him. Spy on a master spy. Quite a job, can he pull it off and remain alive? Pray for him.
    “Cold Comfort Farm” (1995) Flora Poste is orphaned and leaves her socialite London crowd to live with her rustic relatives. She finds shriveled up and pathetic people scratching out a living who are trapped like potatoes rotting in the musty root cellar that they call Cold Comfort Farm. But Flora sees only potential and won’t stop until all are released from the thrall of Grandma who saw something horrible in the cellar. Stick with this movie and watch this family as Flora takes each member into the light of day where they can bloom.
    “Venus” (2006) is the name Peter O’Toole (Maurice) gives his friend Ian’s niece’s daughter who has left the farm for London, but hasn’t a clue as to how to find a job. He and his two cronies seem in a race to be the first to die, but Maurice has spent his life getting comfort from women and Venus is just the latest challenge. His goodbye to Vanessa Redgrave is one of the most touching moments — it is spoken heart to heart, Peter to Vanessa, friend to friend, as much as Maurice to his estranged wife. It may be their last moment together in this world, a wonderful world to which they have each added much wonder to. A wonderful movie.
    “The Italian” (2007) is a Russian — named Vanya — a gritty six-year-old orphan who is sold to an Italian family, but escapes the clutches of the mercenary broker and her henchmen, and completely on his own takes a train and a bus to find his birth mother.
    “The Painted Veil” (2006) Ed Norton is an MD infectious disease specialist who volunteers for duty in mainland China. His unfaithful wife follows him. Can the love which was lacking before and after the wedding begin to grow and bloom in a rural region devastated by cholera?
    “Harrison’s Flowers” (2002) Andy McDowell in a vivid dramatic portrayal of a wife of a missing and thought dead photo journalist in Yugoslavia. She needs to get to Vukovar which was under siege and everyone said it was impossible. Defying all odds, she and three colleagues of her husbands brave the gauntlet of rockets, tanks, and embattled armies — but what will they find when they arrive?
    “Marvin’s Room” (1996) Meryl Streep is called to Florida from Ohio to help her sister Diane Keaton who needs a bone marrow transplant. In the process Meryl gets a “heart” transplant and learns to love her estranged family of sister, aunt, and father as well as her own two sons. (with DeNiro, DiCapricio, Hume Cronyn, Gwen Verdin)
    “I Am David” (2003) 2nd Viewing and worth another look. Amazing 12-year-old kid escapes from prison camp in Bulgaria, smuggles aboard a freighter to Italy, walks across Italy, catches ride to Milan, then into Switzerland. What is in the sealed envelope he is told not to open till he reaches Denmark? It’s sure to bring a smile on his face. (See digest055)
    “Confetti” (2006) Three couples designed their own weddings: tennis, musical, and nudist weddings. Sponsored by Confetti Magazine, this is a marvelous and funny spoof of weird weddings.
    “The Spanish Prisoner” (1997) an obscure, but likable Steve Martin film in which he plays either a friend or a con man.
    “The Package” (1989) A Gene Hackman thriller with Tommy Lee Jones as the bad guy attempting to assassinate the head of the USSR in Chicago. Full of hopeless dead ends and a unstoppable Hackman. A DON’T MISS HIT !

    Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off.

    “Daddy’s Little Girls” (2007) can help stomp this one before anyone else has to suffer through the movie. A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
    “An Amazing Couple, II” (2002) Forget parts I and III of this trilogy. The guy thinks he’s seriously ill by misreading his doctor’s prognosis, his wife misreads his intentions and thinks he’s having an affair, he misreads his wife’s intentions and thinks she’s having an affair with the detective she hired to spy on him. Sounds fun? Maybe if it was Steve Martin or Peter Sellers, but this web of lies farce goes nowhere and stays there, so it was no problem stopping the DVD before the end of the movie.
    “Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker” (2006) Highlight of movie was when the fat oriental in a suit took off his hat and frisbeed it across the room. That was an obvious admission that this kid flick stole most of its ideas from James Bond movies and made a third-grade ripoff. Give Alex a bottle of Ritulin and let him finish school and become a hockey coach.

    Your call on these — Your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:

    “The Last King of Scotland” (2006) was the last thing a Scotsman would expect to find when he runs away to Uganda, but this young doctor did, and was soon Idi Amin’s personal physician and confidante, right up to the point where he slept with Idi’s wife. Then things got a little dicey. Blood, violence, and enough funny bits to keep you attuned to the behind-the-scenes life of the despicable dictator.
    “Scoop” (1987) is a movie made from the Evelyn Waugh novel I reviewed last month. Was fun to watch the novel fleshed out in detail. Boot was a hoot, all three of them. Boot Magna was the epitome of a needy manor. Kätchen was a delicious sex kitten. And the foreign correspondents were a clueless lot. For Waugh enthusiasts only.
    “The Ice Storm” (1997) with Tobey Maquire, Josiah Wood, Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, etal, in a fateful 1970s post-Thanksgiving feast of booze, sex, and crazy behavior with an ice storm as a catalyst to return everyone to their senses.
    “Alpha Dog” (2006) Bit parts for Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone couldn’t save the life of this movie anymore than good intentions could that of the teenager whose maniacal brother ripped off a drug dealer. A lugubrious movie useful only as a documentary on the life and times of the youngest man ever on the FBI’s most wanted list. Who would want to be part of an organization who wanted a creep like that? A scumbag possessing as much thinking ability as morality. Sad to the very end as we watch Sharon weeping over the parts she gets nowadays. A barely Your Call.
    “Bridge to Terabithia” (2007) Young boy and girl jump a stream on a rope and land in Terabithia, a fantasy land they create. This movie provides a journey into the adventure world of pre-teens. A Disney tale in which kills off humans, not animals.
    “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) A young girl’s fantasies leads her to explore a labyrinth under the directions of the faun Pan and his fairies. Her mother is pregnant to a repressive general in the Spanish army stationed in a remote outpost fighting guerillas. One hopes for a happy ending.
    “Hollywoodland” (2006) about Superman actor George Reeves and how he died. What it suicide? Did his girl-friend accidentally kill him? Did Eddie Mannix have him killed because George jilted Toni Mannix and hurt her? Your call.
    “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead” (1995) Andy Garcia and his team are “dead” having flubbed an “action” for the mob boss. Still each one has things to do while awaiting the terminator. Andy uses his own “Advice from the Dead” video service, for one thing.
    “The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai” (2003) drop the “gl” from the title. Sachi sleeps with every guy she meets, spends more time on camera naked than clothed, and her activities continue unabated even after the hit man plants a bullet hole in the middle of her forehead which seems to let intelligent babble (and other things) into her brain. Look out for the flying finger of doom. Rent this one when the kids are gone for summer camp, close the curtains, and wear comfortable clothes.


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    4. CAJUN STORY:
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    The parish priest of St. Mary's Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana was talking to three of his Cajun parishoners, "Lemme axe you sumpin — when you in yo' casket and yo' friends and neighbors be paying deir respects over you, what would you like dem to say?"

    Jacques said: "I would like dem to say, he was a wonderful husband, a great fisherman, and a loving father."

    Broussard said: "I would like dem to say, he was a wonderful teacher, a helpful neighbor who made a huge difference in our lives."

    Boudreaux said: "I'd like dem to say, 'Look, he's moving'!"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for July, 2007 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Oysters on the Half-Shell with Bobby Jeaux's Sauce

    Eating oysters on the half shell is a treat that most Louisianians learned at their father's knee as a youngster as I did. Daddy used to buy oysters by the sack and sit for hours at a time while he opened them and desposited them in a bowl. He would invite me and my three brothers to come up and eat some. He scrape the oyster from the bottom of the shell and show us how to take the shell and decant its contents into our mouths. They were fresh, salty, and delicious. And they still are. As I became an adult, it was not considered polite to lift the shell up to one's mouth to eat the oyster, and besides there was this delicious sauce to dip the oyster into. The sauce at most oyster bars in Louisiana is not already prepared for you, so you must mix it for yourself and before you begin eating the oysters.

    This can be a little daunting for newcomers to the area, so I will list for you my favorite way of preparing the sauce. All of the listed ingredients are crucial to the sauce, so if your table has one or more of them missing, ask for it and usually it will be provided right away. Once you have made this sauce in the way shown below, you will want to keep these ingredients in your pantry and avoid oysters places who habitually lack all the ingredients.

    Ingredients:

    NOTE: These ingredients are approximate. You will not be provided measuring spoons at Felix's Oyster Bar or Acme Oyster House. Do the best you can. Go easy on seasonings and add more ketchup if you need to thin it a bit.

    A small bowl of ketchup
    A wedge of lemon
    Salt and Black Pepper
    1 tsp Horseradish (prepared)
    1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
    A couple of drops of Louisiana Hot Sauce

    Preparation of Sauce:

    Squeeze the ketchup into a small bowl or whatever cup-like container provided at the Oyster Bar. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge. Add the horseradish, 1 tsp more or less to taste. A little goes a long way, so start off on the little side. Squirt out about a teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce. (NOTE: A-1 or any other steak sauce is NOT a suitable substitute.)

    Add one or two drops of Hot Sauce. Again, one drop goes a long way, so be advised. Sprinkle liberally with salt and black pepper.

    With all the ingredients added, stir together. It is ready for the first oyster to be dipped and eaten. With a small fork like shown in photo above, or whatever is provided, stab oyster in its shell, lift and dunk into sauce until completely covered. Lift quickly into your mouth and enjoy!

    NOTE: If after the first dozen oysters, the sauce gets a little weak from the oyster juice, add more ketchup and the rest of the ingredients or simply start with a fresh bowl.

    Bon Apetit ! ! !


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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from
    The Sun Mystery Review:
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    Poetic Autobiography

    In Physics
          I experienced the intellect
          As I learn to build lifeless
                rational images of
                Atoms, Quarks, and Mesons.

    In Computers
          I experienced the intellect
          As I learn to build lifeless
                rational images of
           Logic Gates, CPUs, Subroutines,
                and Operating Systems.

    In Psychotherapy
           I experienced the intellect
          As I learn how I had built lifeless
                rational images of
          Feelings, Relationships, and Love.

    In Anthroposophy
          I learned to resurrect my lifeless
                rational images, my dead thoughts
                 and, with Christ's help,
          Shape them into moral impulses.


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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for July:
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    And for my Good Readers, here’s the new reviews and articles for this month. The ARJ2 ones are new additions to the top of A Reader’s Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, and the ART ones to A Reader’s Treasury.

    1.) ARJ2: Life of Pi --- A Novel by Yann Martel

    The essence of the story that Pi tells the author is presented on the cover of the book: a 450 lb. Bengal tiger and a 16-year-old Indian boy are adrift in a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for almost nine months and survived to tell the story. Well, the tiger ran off into the jungle, and the boy grew into a man who told the story. And what a story it is — one to shock, astonish, amaze, and stretch one's credulity to the limit.

    What kinds of shocks are to be found in this novel? Here’s a few:
    One day Pi and his brother received an important lesson about the animals in their father’s zoo. “A lesson that might save your lives,” he told them seriously, while his wife tried to talk him out of giving their sons the lesson. The lesson was a live goat thrown into a cage with a starved tiger. They watched as the tiger streaked across the cage and devoured the goat. Their teary-eyed mother was furious at the father for what he’d done, scaring their sons like that. His reply was telling.

    [page 36] “Gita, my bird, it’s for their sake. What if Piscine had stuck his hand through the bars of the cage one day to touch the pretty orange fur? Better a goat than him, no?”
    After the tiger demonstration, Pi’s father took him to each of the animal cages, and explained the dangers that each of the animals posed to human beings, the lions, the bears, the hippos, the hyenas, the antelopes, the ostriches, the orangutans, etc. Pi had no way of knowing just how valuable this lesson was going to be when later he found himself stranded on a lifeboat with a 450-lb Bengal tiger, a spotted hyena, an orangutan and a zebra.

    Pi was a Hindu, a Christian, and a Muslim. His parents couldn’t understand how Pi could belong to all three religions, but it made no difference to Pi. He saw all three ways as leading him to God. After he became a Christian he gave thanks to Krishna for having made it possible.

    [page 58] I entered the church, without fear this time, for it was now my house too. I offered prayers to Christ, who is alive. Then I raced down the hill on the left and raced up the hill on the right — to offer thanks to Lord Krishna for having put Jesus of Nazareth, whose humanity I found so compelling, in my way.
    Then he met a Sufi, a Muslim mystic, who had the exact same name as his biology teacher, Satish Kumar, a common name in the region, and who taught him about being a Muslim. He called them Mr. and Mr. Kumar.
    [page 61] Mr. and Mr. Kumar taught me biology and Islam. Mr. and Mr. Kumar led me to study zoology and religious studies at the University of Toronto. Mr. and Mr. Kumar were the prophets of my Indian youth.
    When pleaded with by his parents to choose just one religion, his answer was that Bapu Ghandi said, “All religions are true.” Pi said that he just wanted to love God. Each of the religions had individuals that shooed away or otherwise encouraged him to leave the mosque, the church, or the darshan. Pi simply found a way to avoid such people and continue to go to all three. He seemed able always to take life as he found it and make the best of it. Like when it came time for him and his family to leave India for Canada on a ship with many of the animals from the zoo that his father sold to zoos in North America.

    When the ship sank quickly in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he was thrown overboard into a dangling lifeboat and bounced on the tarp covering it. Then a full-size zebra fell onto the tarp, breaking the middle seat of the lifeboat and the ropes from which it dangled in the air, and Pi hit the water with the detached lifeboat, which saved him from being dragged down with the ship. He saw a beloved tiger called Richard Parker from the zoo struggling to stay afloat nearby, and he blew his whistle to coax the 450 pound tiger to come aboard. At the last moment he realizes the folly of his automatic life-saving instinct — he remembered his father’s lesson at the zoo and realized that, if Richard Parker got into the lifeboat, Pi would become “the next goat” as his older brother often threatened him with. But it was too late to stop it, and the tiger reached the boat and climbed under the tarp in the far end. Luckily Pi was there first and he had established his territory. He was going need every bit of animal training lore and knowledge of animals to survive the next day.

    He was in a 27-foot long zoo containing a mother orangutan, a spotted hyena, a zebra with a compound fracture in one leg, and healthy, hungry Bengal tiger.

    Imagine Pi in the boat with his life-preserver’s whistle taming the tiger. Marking off his half of the lifeboat with his urine and blowing the whistle to put the tiger off balance. He needed the tiger to attempt to attack him so he could apply the most effective intimidation. He scraped a turtle shell and used it for a shield. When the tiger raked at him, his paws only clawed the shell, and Pi responded with a shrill blow of the whistle and the tiger shrank back. Soon Pi was off the makeshift raft and sleeping soundly in the lifeboat.

    But his problems had only begun. He had barely enough food and water for himself, and, unless he fed the tiger, he would become food for the tiger, and he knew it. The stores also contained fishing gear and Pi became a fisherman. For the first time in his life, he had to kill a living animal, a fish, to survive. He tossed the first large fish he caught to Richard Parker who summarily gulped it down. Occasionally a flock of flying fish would pass over the boat and provide a quick afternoon snack of those he and the Richard Parker could knock down into the boat.

    Pi’s voyage was interrupted by an inhospitable island, but it took him some time to discover the life-threatening nature of the island. The island seemed to be made completely of plant life. Some advanced kind of algae that formed into concentric tubes so that seawater went through the tubes’s walls but the salt was filtered out and concentrated in one of the tube’s walls while only freshwater was in the other tube.

    Pi quickly discovered that he had stumbled unto an endless supply of fresh water in ponds throughout the island. In addition, saltwater fish which swam into these ponds, or were chased by sharks, quickly died and floated to the surface of the ponds, providing freshly killed fish for his larder. There were no bugs, insects, or wildlife of any kind on the island, except for the docile meerkats, a kind of prairie dog animal which had never developed a fear of other animals because they lacked any predator on the island. Richard Parker soon regained all the weight he had lost on the long journey, and the shine was back on his furry coat. His diet of fish was quickly replaced by an endless supply of meaty meerkats. The tiger stayed on the island during the day, ate till he was full, and then returned to sleep in the lifeboat.

    Every biologist, even a beginning one like Pi, knew that a tree must reproduce, so he began looking for signs of fruit. Finally he found some black fruit in one tree.

    [page 278] It wasn’t the largest in the forest, or in its dead centre, or remarkable in any other way. It had good level branches, that’s all. It would have made an excellent spot from which to see the sky or take in the meerkats’ nightlife.

          I can tell you exactly the day I came up on the tree: it was the day before I left the island.
    What made Pi leave this apparently hospitable island so quickly? What was the mysterious black fruit? Why were there no bugs, birds, or life of any kind except the meerkats on the living island? Why did the meerkats scamper into the trees to spend the night? The answer to these puzzles are at the heart of a mystery which Pi encountered in the Pacific — a mystery about the island that only a man in a lifeboat with a mature Bengal tiger could have lived to report.

    You have to read it to believe it. And even then you might not.

    Read the Review at:
    http://www.doyletics.com/arj/lifeofpi.htm

    2.) ARJ2: Theosophy, GA# 9, Supersensible Knowledge and Destination of Humankind by Rudolf Steiner

    In this book Steiner gives us detailed descriptions of the spiritual world which are invaluable to understanding the remainder of his many works. At one point he mentions that this book could be considered as an introduction to his magnum opus, "An Outline of Occult Science". I first read this book in 1996 and wrote a short review of it here. Then I read Occult Science and did a short review of it here. Now, after reading over 150 other Steiner books, I am re-reading Theosophy. I have felt at times that I had missed something along the way. Now I know what I had missed: this book — a deeper reading of it. Reading it again has filled out many gaps in my own understanding of Steiner's works, and I encourage all newcomers to Steiner to read it early and late in your studies as it will provide a solid basis for understanding the rest of his writings.

    A high school pal of mine visited me about thirty years ago and asked me an interesting question, "Why aren't you doing physics?" I don't recall how I answered him, but this question has stayed with me. It was only recently that I came to understand that physics has always been the foundation of all the work I have done, from my work on stable isotopes at Oak Ridge, Tenn., to my research at Tulane Biomedical Computing System, to offshore well-logging, to computer programming, to real-time programming, to compiler design, to software research, to neuro-linguistic programming, to nuclear plant maintenance and scheduling, to the founding of the science of doyletics, to studying of Rudolf Steiner's works, and to my writing. Each of these work experiences has built upon the solid foundation I laid for myself in my choice to acquire a degree in physics as a young man.

    As I progressed, I became interested in the study of the human brain, the study of psychology, and finally the study of the really big questions which physics and the other sciences left untouched: Where do we come from? Where do we go from here? This led me on a quest to study the fringes of science called metaphysics and led me to discover Rudolf Steiner who stood out saliently as someone who brought the study of occult or hidden knowledge under the aegis of a science, his spiritual science or anthroposophy. In his works, I found the answers I had been longing to find for so long. And, once more, I found that his work built solidly upon my foundation in physics — work which in no way contradicted my physics, but rather supplanted it with knowledge of the aspects of the real world which are not susceptible to our normal sensory perception.

    When one studies Rudolf Steiner, one must leave behind forever the insidious notion that the real world consists only of those things we perceive with our sensory organs of perception. Imagine if a blind person claimed that light didn't exist because she had never seen it. There are fish in underwater lakes in Kentucky whose eyes have disappeared because no light reaches them. There is an organic give and take between our perception and the world around us. Our eyes came to be because of the irritation of light on our heads led to their formation in order to perceive the source of the irritation. Likewise our ears came into being because there was noise. But the spiritual world impinges not upon our human physical bodies and thus produces no stimulus for us to form perceptual organs to perceive the spiritual world. The stimulus for such organs must come from within the human being by a voluntary act. As blind people might be encouraged by reports of those who see to undergo a procedure to allow them to see the physical world, so might we be encouraged by Rudolf Steiner to undergo an procedure to perceive the spiritual world.

    [page 8, April, 1922] It is by inner exertion of soul that man must reach the supersensible world. That world would indeed have no value if it lay spread out complete before his consciousness. It would then be in no way different from the sense world. Before it can be known, there must be the longing to find what lies more deeply hidden in existence than do the forces of the world perceived by the sense. This longing is one of the inner experiences that prepare the way for a knowledge of the supersensible world. Even as there can be no blossom without first the root, so supersensible knowledge has no true life without this longing.

    The soul, being built for the supersensible world, can not have evolved by the processes described by Darwinians in their evolutionary scheme which has humans evolving from the animal kingdom. Try to imagine a scenario in which the human soul could have evolved from a fish, or a platypus, or a brachiating monkey. The human lungs could have, but not the human soul. It is for this reason that one must in all honesty make a sharp distinction between the animal kingdom and the human kingdom. No one argues that plants vary sharply from minerals, that plants vary from animals, but because the distinction requires an organ of perception which most humans do not have, there is much argument about the distinction between animals, especially higher primates, and human beings.

    In Chapter I of his book, Steiner paints for us a picture of the human being as a combination of body, soul, and spirit in, and later in Chapter III, he paints a picture of the Soul World, Spirit Land, and their connection with the Physical World. This is the preparation he gives us for our entry upon The Path of Knowledge of the supersensible world in Chapter IV.

    I was puzzled at first by many things Steiner said and was skeptical. But I always maintained a healthy skepticism that my scientific training might be wrong when applied outside of the scope of its jurisdiction, the physical world. I found myself naturally asking a version of the question Steiner proposes, "If the things asserted here are true, do they afford a satisfying explanation of life?" Time and again, I would answer the question with a resounding, "Yes!" Steiner offered me explanations that were complete and robust for questions for which my scientific training had offered me incomplete or weak answers, or in many cases, no answers whatsoever. And I found confirmation as he predicted in my own life and the lives of others that I studied.

    For a long time as I was studying Rudolf Steiner's works, my wife and copy-editor kept asking me, "What exactly does he mean by 'soul'?" and I was at a loss to explain the term "soul" simply and succinctly to her, up until now. The soul is the part of us that comprises the impressions which our sensory apparatus in its operations leaves upon us. Note that sensory data is necessarily transient — it exists only in the moment and then disappears. But sensory data leaves traces inside of us which we cannot share with another human being. We cannot tell them such a simple thing as what the color red looks like to us, for example. All we can do is point to an object we see as red and say "I see that as red." We can agree with others that the object is what we call red, but we can never unfold for them the color that we see inside of us. Always our agreement on a color must revert to the external sensory fields. Our individual reaction therefore to the color red is something that is accumulative over the course of our lifetime in a human body and everyone has a different life history and therefore a different reaction to the color red.

    Steiner makes a case for a human being consisting of body, soul, and spirit. He derives the existence of the body, soul, and spirit directly from everyday observable facts which do not require some ancient text or dogma for one to accept as being true. One can grasp their significance from one's circadian experience. One cannot proceed further in the study of spiritual science if one does not understand how every human being consists of body, soul, and spirit.

    Perhaps some of you know people who object to Steiner's writings. Likely the source of their objections stemmed in whole or in part from their preconceived notions of body, soul, and spirit acquired through other texts, dogmas, or beliefs. It is hard to explain to objectors how simple it is to study Steiner's work compared to studies which they cite as disagreeing with Steiner. Yet it merely requires them to read the above paragraph to clarify in their own minds what comprises body, soul, and spirit. This is basic foundation of Steiner's spiritual science, the sturdy rock which holds up the rest of the structure.

    The human kingdom is related to the lower three kingdoms because each of the operations of the three kingdoms appear in the human being.

    [page 20, 21] As we observe minerals, plants, animals, so can we observe man also. He is related to these three forms of existence. Like the minerals he builds his body out of the materials of Nature; like the plants he grows and propagates his species; like the animals, he perceives the objects around him and builds up his inner experiences on the basis of the impressions they make on him. We may therefore ascribe to man a mineral, a plant, and an animal existence.

    When talking in detail about our soul-nature, Steiner discusses how we cannot perceive how another perceives — any perception is a private affair that we cannot share directly with someone else, but only indirectly by external comparisons, by talking, by analogies, etc. All three aspects of experiencing — sensation from without, feelings from within, and will through which we act on the outside world — all three aspects comprise the human soul in its operation.

    The world impinges upon us, but each of us creates within us, with our soul a world which is completely individual and personal, which we cannot share with others any more than we explain to them the color red that we experience when we see a rose or a red wagon. And yet it is not only the events which impinge upon our body which affect our soul-being, our thoughts also have an effect on our soul. Can anyone deny that as a reality? What is not commonly understood, but Steiner makes clear, is that our thoughts derive from a spiritual origin.

    Steiner gives us a view of the soul as being intermediary to the body and the spirit. This concept may be difficult for those who have been indoctrinated by a religious dogma which dropped the concept of "man as body, soul, and spirit" around the ninth century.

    Some readers may be wondering if they are expected to take all of what Steiner is writing about on faith, and, if not, how they could experience these realities for themselves. The good news is that by reading they are already taking the first step. When one wants to learn a complicated task, like riding a bicycle for the first time or doing a gymnastic feat, does it not help to watch others do the task first — to listen to them describe how to do it?

    [page 130, 131] To one who asks, 'How can I gain personal knowledge of the higher truths of spiritual science?' the answer must be given, 'Begin by making yourself acquainted with what is communicated by others concerning such knowledge'. And should he reply I want to see for myself; I do not want to know anything about what others have seen', the answer must be: 'It is in the very assimilating of the communications of others that the first step towards personal knowledge consists.' And if he should retort: 'Then I am compelled first of all to have blind faith', one can only reply that in regard to some communications it is not a case of belief or disbelief, but merely of unprejudiced assimilation. The genuine spiritual investigator never speaks with the expectation of being met with blind credulity. He merely says, 'I have experienced this in the spiritual regions of existence and I am narrating these experiences of mine'. But he knows, too, that the assimilation of these experiences by another and the fact that the thoughts of that other person are permeated by the account are living forces making for spiritual development.

    Then he summarizes how the learning process works in those who are unbiased about obtaining spiritual insight. Obviously, the skeptical should not apply until they have cleared themselves of their "you-have-to-prove-it-to-me" attitude. Spiritual science is a "prove-it-to-yourself" proposition.

    [page 131] The unconscious knowledge rises to meet the spiritual facts discovered by another. This is not blind credulity but the right working of healthy human reason.

    In this next passage, Steiner uses an interesting phrase, "favorite thought." If you are familiar with the work of Thomas Kuhn, it may occur to you that scientists have "favorite thoughts" about their particular field at a given time in history, such as Newton's laws, and then at a later time, they replace or supplement those favorite thoughts with new favorite thoughts, such as from Einstein's theory of relativity. Kuhn used a then-obscure word, paradigm, to talk about Steiner's concept of favorite thoughts some fifty years later.

    [page 139] Should a favorite thought present itself to him, he must put it aside if the right sequence will be disturbed by it. If a personal feeling tries to force upon his thoughts a direction not proper to them, he must suppress it.

    What Steiner recommends for spiritual seekers meshes with what Kuhn recommends for scientists. One should always be aware of one's paradigm and be ready to set it aside when new information presents itself which may be outside the paradigm.

    But how can we know if there is some truth outside of any paradigm or set of favorite thoughts? Steiner relates a question asked out of someone's favorite thought and answers the above question for us.

    [page 141] One cannot say, 'Of what use to me are the precepts to follow purely the laws of the True when I am perhaps mistaken as to what is the True?' What matters is the striving and the attitude to it. Even a man who is mistaken has in his very striving after the True a force which diverts him from the wrong path. If he is mistaken, this force guides him to the right paths. Even the objection, 'But I may be mistaken', is harmful misgiving. It shows that the man has no confidence in the power of the True. For the important point is that he should not presume to decide on his aims and objects in life in accordance with his own egotistical views, but that he should selflessly yield himself up to the guidance of the spirit itself. It is not the self-seeking human will that can prescribe for the True; on the contrary, the True itself must become lord in the man, must penetrate his whole being, make him a mirror-image of the eternal laws of the Spiritland. He must fill himself with these eternal laws in order to let them stream out into life.

    This review constitutes my short summary of Steiner's Theosophy. I don't know exactly where I am on that path to knowledge, but I find bread crumbs left behind for me to follow by Rudolf Steiner who definitely was on that path. Each book of his I read drops several more bread crumbs on my path to follow. I found it necessary to re-read more deeply this introductory book of his because it contained some key bread crumbs I needed to progress on my own path that I had overlooked in my first reading attempt. My hope is that you, dear Reader, will follow the crumbs which I have dropped in this review and wish to learn more for yourself.

    Read the Review at:
    http://www.doyletics.com/arj/theosop1.htm

    3.) ARJ2: "I Won't Learn From You" -- and other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment by Herbert Kohl

    The author starts off with what could be considered a Primer for Not-Learning. Because his mother didn't speak Yiddish, he decided not to learn Yiddish so that he wouldn't be party to conversations which involved his father and his grandparents who spoke it a lot. Here's how he went about making sure he didn't learn to speak Yiddish:

    [page 3] There was Yiddish to be heard everywhere in my environment, except at public school: on the streets, at home, in every store. Learning to not-learn Yiddish meant that I had to forget Yiddish words as soon as I heard them. When words stuck in my head, I had to refuse to associate the sounds with any meaning. If someone told a story in Yiddish, I had to talk to myself quietly in English or hum to myself. If a relative greeted me in Yiddish, I responded with the uncomprehending look I had rehearsed for those occasions. I also remember learning to concentrate on the component sounds of words and thus shut out the speaker's meaning or intent. In doing so I allowed myself to be satisfied with understanding the emotional flow of a conversation without knowing what people were saying. I was doing just the reverse of what beginning readers are expected to do -- read words and understand meanings instead of getting stuck on particular letters and the sounds they make. In effect, I used phonics to obliterate meaning.

    Seems an unlikely personal history of someone who became a well-known educator and author on the subject of education, doesn't it? But we find well-known doctors who do research on the mal-functions of the human brain, for example, in order to figure out how a normal brain functions. There's a lot to be seen if you observe, as Yogi Berra liked to say.

    Kohl makes the very important point that as a free individual, a student in school may choose to adopt a not-learning strategy, and instead of dealing directly with the not-learning strategy, they treat it as a major threat to the entire system of education. Given that parents and school authorities are more interested at times in discipline instead of drawing out the best from children (the essence of what education means), this is not surprising. So how do these disciplinarians respond to a single student's not-learning strategy? Not as simply as Herbert's rabbi did to his not-learning Hebrew strategy. They respond by over-kill -- when you can't shoot one evasive duck, you call in your buddies with machine guns and kill all the ducks that fly just to get that one tricky duck.

    [page 11] Experts are consulted, complex personal or family causes are fabricated, special programs are invented, all to protect the system from changing itself and accommodating difference. People then get channeled into marginal school experiences and, too often, marginalized lives.

    To quote Kohl's own words, "A decent world can only be made by people whose growth has not been stunted by the imperatives of others." (Page 88)

    Kohl's book is a testament to the creative maladjustment that Carl Gustav Jung called individuation. Sigmund Freud took his patients who were maladjusted because of their neuroses and removed the neuroses or ameliorated them so his patients became normal well-adjusted human beings again. On the other hand, Carl Jung took his patients who were well-adjusted people who were living normal, but empty lives and helped them to individuate or become creatively maladjusted so that they might live unusual but fulfilling lives.

    Recent movies have portrayed examples of creative maladjustment in which teachers have taught their students to become productive members of society through poetry (Dead Poets Society, 1989), rock and roll (School of Rock, 2003), ballroom dancing (Take the Lead, 2006), and writing in journals (Freedom Writers, 2007). In every case we find the school administrators fighting aggressively against change at every step of the way, often striving to oust the teacher. Only after the results have been proven, will they finally relent, if ever. And some may even come to agree that, well, maybe, this is a good way to teach our students.

    One of my favorite comic strips growing up was Lil Abner, drawn by Al Capp. He was a celebrity in the mid-twentieth century when his mythical Dogpatch creations turned into a musical and then a movie. He gave us such memorable creations as Sadie Hawkins Day, the Triple-Whammy, the Schmoos, Daisy Mae, Moonbeam McSwine, and many others. One of the things little known about Al Capp was that he walked on a prosthetic leg from an early teenager. In fact after he was run over by a trolley and lost a leg, he was deemed to be retarded and sent to a school for retarded children! Imagine the state of an educational system back then which could have thought that losing a leg causes one to become stupid! His autobiography, My Well-Balanced Life on a Wooden Leg is an eye-opener for school systems yet today. Our school systems have recovered from this one version of stupidity, but have created multiple versions of modern stupidity to replace it, to which they are as blind now as the system which condemned Al Capp to the retarded school.

    Teachers today are like Al Capp who have lost a leg to the relentless and unstoppable trolley of the administrators who want them to fill all of their time with curriculum plans and pre-canned texts that they are expected to read to their students. The very agent of crippling the teachers then defines them as retarded so that the teachers themselves must have their lesson plans prepared for them to fit some national grading system. The successful teacher has the challenge before them as Al Capp did: "How to become a Well-Balanced Teacher on a Wooden Leg." Only by creative maladjustment can these teachers succeed and ensure that our children will survive a public school system which seems to be designed mostly to ensure that the administrators survive the system, up until now.

    Read the Review at:
    http://www.doyletics.com/arj/iwontlea.htm

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    I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.


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    8. COMMENTARY:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to coverse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.

    1. Padre Filius Reads a Billboard for a Bourbon St. Hardware Store in New Orleans:

    Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share us on some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

    This month the good Padre reads a Billboard advertising Mary's Hardware on Bourbon Street.


    2.Comments from Readers:
    • EMAIL from Gary Travis
      > Hi Bobby,
      > What kind of camera do you use to get those wonderful pictures you include in your monthly Digest? > Warm regards,
      > Gary Travis
      Dear Gary,

      Thanks for writing. My camera is a SONY P200 with 7.2 Megapixels (about 3200x1680 resolution). It is slim enough for me to carry everywhere I go. Cost only a couple hundred. Hold 300 3Mb photos at high resolution on ONE 1Gb card which costs only about $30. I carry three on trips. Alaska and Europe I took about 800 without having to download any. Very handy. It excels at macro images. I love finding tiny wildflowers that everyone steps and ignores.

      Also taking photos of insects and tiny bugs around our grounds.

      It works great for daylight photos, but for indoor photos of groups, especially from a distance, it lacks clarity due to low illumination. Okay indoors at night with closeups if I use the flash.

      Anyway, thanks for asking. This is my third SONY digital and I have NEVER had a major problem with any of them, while I have heard of and personally seen multiple problem with CANONs and other makes. SONY's memory strips are cheap and very robust.

      most cordially,

      Bobby
      P. S. I've attached a photo of the P200 CyberShot taken with my older 585 Cybershot.

    • EMAIL from Ashlie in New York

      RJM NOTE: This testimony came from a young college student named Ashlie who chose to read my review of The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations, by Rudolf Steiner as part of a classwork assignment. She reports her reaction to the review and highlights some of her favorite parts. Thanks for sharing this with us, Ashlie! ! !

            After a slightly uncertain beginning, I became sincerely impressed not only with Steiner, but with Matherne’s ability to put Steiner into a modern context. This wasn’t an easy process to go from slightly unsure and turned off by the whole thing to whispering “amazing.”
            I just want to touch on the points that struck me the most. Matherne said: “Steiner's simple operational definition of evil as "a good out of its time.’" It’s a provocative idea. And then, his explanation illustrates it further. He says Lucifer brought life to Earth at the wrong time, and thus brought all subsequent evil to the Earth. Matherne states, “Paradoxically, we learned about love by playing at war,” when he describes his friends and him playing backyard sports.
             The next point I want to include in my “magic” or really amazing insights I’ll try to paraphrase, even though I want to copy the whole thing here.
            What we most earnestly fight against is what we love deep down. When one engages in an act of fighting, one transfers energy/power to the other person. Generally, we would believe we only transfer energy or power to people we genuinely and outwardly love. Examples include a grandfather teaching a grandson to fish or a mentor passing on his wisdom. With this understanding, every fierce battle transfers power to the other. The hate that leads to the battle “can be seen at a deeper level to be the result of a deep love for the other to whom you will transfer this power,” Matherne states.
            Amazing concept. And I know it to be true. Plus, afterwards he discusses Harry Potter and how Voldemort transferred some of his power to Harry on the night he tried to kill him. Plus, the series deals strongly with the idea of good versus evil and love versus hate. It is truly an amazing series. Then, Steiner goes a little bit of everywhere.
            My last point I will note on comes much farther down in the text. "Remember the future. It hums in the present." [RJM Note: See Matherne's Rule #36.]
            Every heard of love at first sight? I thought so. Well, apparently one remembers the future during this moment. I know more than two couples who claim “love at first sight” and have been married for at least 50 years. Imagine that. They are happy and have numerous children and grandchildren and they are successful. They all describe it as love at first sight and that was it. That was all that was needed. This happens.

    • EMAIL from Doyle Philip Henderson, doyletics pioneer

      Dear Bobby et al,

      I think I have been successful in getting my e-mail working again, not having been able to SEND out e-mail for ages, my ISP having put a block on me without just cause.

      Currently, I am staying at an RV Park in Redlands, California, and have stayed in Quartzsite, Arizona during the winters using General Delivery mail there.

      I am currently healing my right eye after a successful cataract surgery, putting in steroid drops every four hours for a month. I am in pretty good shape physically, and drive my Toyota Echo around town to get out of the motorhome daily.

      I welcome any messages, questions, or comments from interested Doyletics tracers or others. And, Bobby, your responses are always great and I rarely am urged to comment because you do so well.

      Again, I'm glad there is you.
      Best wishes to you and Del, and I hope to get down your way again when the weather cools off.

      As always, your friend,

      Doyle

    • EMAIL from Rose Anne in Luling, Louisiana.
      I keep up with you in your publication. Are you enjoying the summer? I look forward to reading it.

      Well, thanks and keep in touch.
      Rose Anne

    • EMAIL from Schulie and Jonathan Miskin in Israel, who asked permission to use my copyrighted photo of my orange on a tree covered with snow (See Photo at right):
      Mr. Matherne,

      Your picture appears on this page: http://www.tanakhpersonalities.org/showappendix.php?num=41

      thanks again for your help,
      JMishkin

    • EMAIL from our daughter Carla who gave me "Life of Pi" to read which I have reviewed for this Digest. She wondered, as I did, what a hill station in India really is. Still don't know how they began, but they're apparently used as resorts today.
      I wrote to Carla:
      Subject: Googled Hill Station for you:
      > "These Hill stations are popular as resorts among both Indian and
      > foreign visitors, providing a relaxing and salubrious retreat from the
      > heat and dust of the plains. The snow clad peaks and the cool hill
      > stations on the foothills of these hills provide respite from the hustle
      > and bustle of the city."
      She replied:
      Thanks! Now I have to go look up salubrious. . . . Carla
    • EMAIL from Jonathan (NOTE: anyone who knows of where this article was published, please contact Bobby.)
      Dear Bobby Matherne,
      First of all thank you for your wonderfully insightful reviews--I've just recently run across them.

      Now I'm interested in a source for one of your comments in the review for Steiner's Psychoanalysis and Spiritual Psychology review. In the first paragraph you wrote:

      "Jung may have stopped short in his writings on psychology, but he didn't stop short in his life. In a recent article, a friend of Jung's revealed that Jung had told him that he had come to understand that his archetypes are spiritual beings, but thought it best not to reveal it publicly."
      Can you direct me to this article? I'm very interested in these later views of Jung's re: spiritual beings.

    3. My Dollar's Worth

    We used to have a saying back in the middle of the last century, "Can I add my ten cents' worth?" That simply meant that we wanted to add something valuable to the discussion in progress. Well, that old saying isn't worth a dime anymore! In fact, back then I would have written that it wasn't worth a cent! I imagine that the word "dime" as a synonym for "ten cents" is becoming less frequently used and will eventually go the way of the "mill" and half-cent which disappeared from usage before my time, but both terms appear in Thoreau's 1857 Journal. A mill is a coin worth a tenth of a cent or a thousandth of a dollar, thus the "mill" designation. The word survives in tax bills only, so many mills per thousand of property value, etc, and is the root of the word "millage" used for specifying a tax rate.

    My friend Rose Ann, who graduated from Hahnville High School in 1958 with me, wrote me recently asking me if I remembered what hotel we stayed in during our Senior Trip to Washington, D. C. I explained that I didn't make the trip. In my explanation, I covered a process which I use to make spending money more enjoyable to me. As long as inflation keeps driving prices up by about ten times for each generation or so, this process will prove useful to many people.

    Rose Ann replied:
    > Sorry, I thought sure you were with us on the trip. Imagine: $85!

    Yes, and today it would be $850 or so.

    One thing about the $85. I probably had a little more than that saved to attend LSU the next fall, and I NEEDED IT. That paid for most of my first semester tuition, fees, and books. My parents couldn't afford to pay for college for me. I earned it or borrowed it to graduate in Physic in 3.5 years.

    I have learned recently to apply a 10X multiplier or divider when assessing the costs of things.

    If a parking space costs $20 for a day, I ask "Would I have spent $2 for this place in 1955, if I had it and could afford it?" If the answer is yes, I park and pay it gladly! (rather than grousingly as I used to)

    Or that $1 tip for a PJ's double latte and cranberry muffin. That's only a dime in 1955 time!

    The curtains which cost us $3 a pleat or $100 a piece to dry clean.
    Heck, that's only 30 cents a pleat or $10.

    And so on. Try it. Makes spending money much more enjoyable for me.

    Anyway, that's my ten cents worth . . . er, I mean, my dollar's worth.

    We can lament that a dollar doesn't go as far as it used to, but after all, ten dollars doesn't go as far as it used toeither, does it? But ten dollars goes about as far as a dollar used to.

    With inflation, one must adjust one's currency amounts and idiomatic expressions with each passing generation.

    I saw a cartoon once of a man at a bus stop telling someone, "I had a dream that I got my paycheck and found that I was making $350 dollars an hour!"

    "That's great"

    "Yes, but then I went to a bar to celebrate, and the beer cost me $250!"

    Best thing for sanity to avoid all of the "If only's" and always be thinking, "Okay. What's next?'"

    4. Short Tutorial on Hyaline Membrane Disease in Newborns (now replaced by the generic term "respiratory distress syndrome") From FAQ4ME:

    Question:
    What is the difference between how oxygen diffuses into the bloodstream in land-based and aquatic creatures??

    Answer:

    Living cells cannot absorb oxygen directly. It has to be disolved in water. Fish do not have any mechanism for disolving the oxygen in the air (they don't need it, since they live in the water), and so cannot survive on air.

    Our lungs have a lining of special mucous which is produced specifically to disolve oxygen and put it into a liquid so it can be used by our bodies. It is remarkably similar to sea water . . . evolution has basically preserved the underlying transfer mechanism, and given us a way to carry our own little bit of ocean around with us!

    The hyaline membranes make this special fluid. These membranes are not needed in the womb and so grow late in fetal deveolpment; hyaline membrane disease results when a child is born before these membranes are fully developed, and they are at risk of suffocating in the air, just as a fish would.

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    9. CLOSING NOTES:
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    Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Sunshine which has made this site a growing endeavor. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good!

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    My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.

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