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Knight Kroger

According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with. As Confucius understood, human beings are messy, multidimensional creatures, a jumble of conflicting emotions and capabilities living in a messy, ever-changing world. We are who we are by constantly reacting to one another. Looking within is dangerous.

Instead of struggling to be authentic, Confucius proposed another approach: “as if” rituals, that is, rituals meant to break us out of our own reality for a moment. These rituals are the very opposite of authenticity—and that’s what makes them work. We break from who we are when we note the unproductive patterns we’ve fallen into and actively work to shift them—“as if” we were different people in that moment.

When you hear your girlfriend at the door and make yourself go to greet her instead of sitting there absorbed in your iPhone, you are creating a break. When you make a point of ignoring your mother’s harping and solicit her guidance, you are recognizing that both of you are constantly shifting and changing and capable of bringing out other parts of each other. Instead of being stuck in the roles of nagging mother and put-upon child, you have behaved “as if” you were someone else. It turns out that being insincere, being untrue to ourselves, helps us to grow.

Confucius lectures students in a silk painting from around the Song dynasty (960-1279).
“But if there’s no true self and I’m always changing,” more than one student has asked, “how can I decide on the career that’s right for me?” Today’s students want a plan for their future, which makes sense. Their high-school activities—AP classes, varsity soccer, the service trip to Haiti—were aimed at the goal of college admission, and they believe that a clear road map will help them to take the next step toward a fulfilling and profitable career.

Here again Chinese philosophy offers an alternative, rooted in the idea that the world is a glorious mess.

Consider Mencius, a Confucian philosopher who saw the world as anything but stable. Hard work does not necessarily lead to prosperity. Bad deeds will not necessarily be punished. There are no guarantees. Mencius advocated thinking not in terms of making decisions but of setting trajectories in motion.

Imagine a student who has decided he wants to become a diplomat. He’s always been great at mediating conflicts among his peers. He was involved in Model U.N. in high school, the international section is his favorite part of the newspaper, and he’s become pretty fluent in Spanish. He knows that majoring in international relations and taking his junior year abroad in Spain will give him the experiences that will propel him toward that career in diplomacy.

So he goes off to Spain, but after a month falls ill with a severe respiratory virus that lands him in the hospital. It is his first experience of hospitalization, and it plants a seed: He becomes curious about how and why doctors and hospitals do what they do.

Things can now go one of two ways. He can remain wedded to his long-term plan and let that interest in health care die out. The hospital experience will make for a few good stories for his friends, but it won’t interfere with his plan to take the diplomatic world by storm. Or he can keep diving into his new obsession, reading everything he can, maybe making friends with some of the young residents on his medical team, and eventually return to the U.S. and devote himself to a health-care field instead.

None of this has anything to do with the fact that he was in Spain; it’s just that one series of experiences led to another and opened up things to him that weren’t part of the plan. There’s nothing wrong with spending a year in Madrid or majoring in international relations. But there is something wrong with going abroad as part of a plan that fits in with a vision of who you already are and where you’re going.

Concrete, defined plans for life are abstract because they are made for a self who is abstract: a future self that you imagine based on a snapshot of yourself now. You are confined to what is in the best interests of the person you happen to be right now—not of the person you will become.

Mencius encourages us to think of life not in terms of decisions but as a series of ruptures that lead us from one thing to another. He would say to the students of today and their anxious parents: Live with a constant awareness of the ever-changing world and your ever-shifting self. Train your mind to stay open and constantly take into account all the complex stuff that is you.

But how do you train your mind to stay open, you ask? Zhuangzi, another ancient Chinese philosopher, has the answer: Make a point of breaking out of your limited perspective every day. Live spontaneously at every moment.

But don’t we do that already? We live in a culture that positively reveres spontaneity. We find predictability boring. We chafe at rules. We admire the free thinker, the person who dares to be different, the lone genius who dropped out of college on a whim and founded a startup.

But spontaneity, for Zhuangzi, wasn’t about doing whatever you want whenever you want. What we call spontaneity, he would call the unfettered expression of desires, and there’s no way anyone can embrace that sort of a life all of the time.

Zhuangzi embraced “trained spontaneity.” When you train yourself to play the piano or learn tennis, trying to reach a joyful place where you can play a Mozart sonata or gracefully arc a lob, you are following his advice. You are putting effort into reaching a moment when your mind does not get in the way. You are training yourself not to fall into the trap of seeing yourself through one fixed perspective. You are training yourself to spot the shifts that make for an expansive life.

Doing this doesn’t require formal mastery of an activity; it can happen in everyday life, too. Take a walk with someone very different from you: a toddler, your grandmother or even a dog. Notice that they experience the walk differently from you: The toddler stops to gaze at every rock; your grandmother, an avid gardener, names every flower she sees; the dog tunes into a world of scent.

Realize that each of us moves through a narrow set of instincts. One of them has to do with how we define ourselves: This is what I’m good at, this is what I’m doing to build my life toward the future; these are my leisure activities, which I fit in on the weekends.

But there’s a reason that so many Nobel Prize winners are also musicians, artists, actors, dancers and writers, just as there’s a reason why Steve Jobs drew on his knowledge of calligraphy, which he’d studied in college, when he designed his iconic typography for the Apple computer. It isn’t that diverse activities, so unconnected from the primary work of scientists, help them to loosen up. It’s that a breadth of experiences and perspectives helps break them out of their pathways and see new connections and opportunities everywhere.

With this kind of trained spontaneity, you become able to make connections so that you’re not even waiting for those breaks. In fact, you create the conditions in which they will happen. And you are no longer attempting to fit the diverse experiences you have into a definition of who you are. You are training yourself to see your life as a constant flow of possibilities.

But possibilities, in and of themselves, are not enough. As the Chinese philosopher Xunzi would implore us to remember, what’s most important is what we do with them.

Consider how many of today’s students were raised: Their talents were identified early. They were “athletic,” “good at math,” “a natural at the violin.” Soon enough, they were winnowed into a stream that would allow those talents to flourish. They learned to stick with what they were good at. Over the years, it became instinctive to sideline the interests for which they didn’t show a natural aptitude.

Xunzi argues that we should not think of the self as something to be accepted—gifts, flaws and all. He would argue instead that we should think of the self as a project. Through experiences, we can train ourselves to construct a self utterly different from—and better than—whatever self we thought we were.

A man we know was diagnosed as dyslexic at a very young age. Because of this diagnosis, he became determined to train himself to understand the complexity of languages and sentence structure. He eventually mastered Sanskrit, one of the world’s most difficult languages.

As Xunzi reminds us, nothing is natural. The talents and weaknesses we are born with get in the way if we allow them to determine what we can and cannot do. The only thing you really need to be good at is the ability to train yourself to get better.

We have seen the practical effect of Chinese philosophy among students who have opened themselves to these ideas. There’s the young man who excelled at math and came to Harvard expecting to major in economics, since it played to his strengths, until a semester of foreign language led to travel abroad and new interests; he ended up in a graduate program in East Asian studies instead.

There’s the student who mapped out a career as a scholar in Asian philosophy until his work in music and computing allowed him to develop a new form of electronic instrument, so he founded a company to manufacture it.

Then there’s the young woman who agonized over taking a job on Wall Street because she had planned since high school to work on maternal health issues. She accepted the offer and discovered that working in finance was exactly the “break” she needed.

All of the changes in the lives of these young people came about not through assuming they knew their talents and following a trajectory, but through deliberately breaking with what they thought they knew about themselves. “All I know is America, and I should just experience what it’s like to live somewhere else,” one student told us. “I’m curious about modern dance even though it will have nothing to do with medical school,” said another. “I’ve never been good at languages, but I’m going to take Italian this semester and just see what happens.”

The students we know who have taken these teachings to heart are not expecting that a new interest will necessarily lead to a new direction or a new career. For them, the goal is simply to break from what they think they know about themselves.

So if you want not only to be successful but also to live a good life, consider these subversive lessons of Chinese philosophy: Don’t try to discover your authentic self; don’t be confined by what you are good at or what you love. And do a lot of pretending. We could all benefit from a little more insincerity.

Dr. Puett is a professor of Chinese history at Harvard University. Dr. Gross-Loh is the author of “Parenting Without Borders.” This essay is adapted from their new book, “The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life,” published next week by Simon & Schuster.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Written by:  Alan R. Graham.


All day long, she processes legal documents concerning the most awful transactions between human beings in the dreary proceedings of the restraining order. Esperanza looks ten years younger than he real age, no doubt from clean living. Even now, she does not drink or smoke and her only vice is the adoration of Rock ‘n’ Roll music.

We will call her Esperanza Rosas (Hope Roses). A ‘soul child’ blessed with sweet innocence and an unbound adoration for music.
She loves to go to concerts of the top Rock and Roll Stars (those still living), and celebrates their artistry like a true fan.
I call her “The Illustrated Lady” because she bears rather unusual tattoos, ones that are the names of songs – “I Can See Clearly,” “Let It Be,” “Three Little Birds,” others – all songs of joy and peace.
I told her about the book “The Illustrated Man,” written by Ray Bradbury. It became a movie of the same name, starring Rod Steiger, and the plot was dark and foreboding. 
The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury, a collection of eighteen startling visions of humankind’s destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin, visions as keen as the tattooist’s needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast space of stars and blackness, the sight of gray dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road leading nowhere, the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father’s clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets.
Esperanza’s tattoos are the polar opposite of that grim tale; they signal only happiness and pure unadulterated bliss.
The tiny bit of sadness etched on her sweet soul is barely visible as she deals with the worst scenarios of terrible conflict between neighbors, friends, and family members. All of this she can rise above because she is steeled with her own passion and drive to accomplish her coolest quest, to see Elton John LIVE in Las Vegas.
Hope Roses Rocks.




I sent the rough draft of the article for Hope’s approval before publishing and I received the following response “…

Hi Alan,

Thank you for the rough draft. I enjoyed the article and thank you for not using my real name.
I do approve. That’s very kind of you to say those things and it’s a nice change to meet someone as insightful as yourself to see beyond yourself and the issues that brought you to my window.
Most people who come in are already an emotional wreck and can’t see further than themselves and that’s okay. I get my joy from helping them, to calm them, to empower themselves, to make sure they leave my window with more knowledge and inner strength to deal with whatever their issues might be.
But I could never do that without the passion for music to therapeutically get me through my day so I can help them help themselves. It was a pleasure meeting you. 
As I write this, Moon Shadow comes on the radio. That one might be my next tattoo!
When we were kids, my sister used to sing this to me. It was her favorite song.
She has since passed.
There are no coincidences. 







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Where Is The Blue Lady?

  1. 1967 Shelby GT500 in Nightmist Blue.

In April of 1967 there were few rock stars in America bigger than The Doors’ singer and songwriter, Jim Morrison. Seemingly appearing out of nowhere, Jim and his band mates were riding the crest of a mighty wave as their debut album, The Doors, had gone gold and its second single, the contagious Light My Fire, was the number one song in America.

Owing to the fact that that this was his record label’s first chart-topper, Elektra Records founder and President, Jac Holzman, decided to offer each band member any gift they wanted as a reward. Keyboardist Ray Manzerak and guitarist Robbie Krieger opted for state-of-the-art reel-to-reel tape recorders, and drummer John Densmore chose a horse.

What did Morrison want? He knew he wanted a car, but didn’t know what kind. That is, until he saw the Shelby Mustang GT350 owned by his hair stylist (and future Manson Family murder victim), Jay Sebring. Jim thought the car looked both classy and brutal, and asked Holzman for one. Holzman agreed and did one better, buying Jim a brand new, Nightmist Blue 1967 Shelby GT500.

The car was christened “The Blue Lady” by Morrison’s friend, Babe Hill; it was named after a character in a screenplay Morrison had been working on. Jim’s Shelby was equipped with a 428 Police Interceptor powerplant with dual quad Holley carburetors and a four-speed manual transmission. The car was unusual in a number of ways, as it had a parchment interior in lieu of the black more commonly found with Nightmist Blue cars.


It also lacked the bumper-to-bumper Le Mans stripe that most Shelbys had draped across the top. It had the rare 10-spoke wheels, and was not equipped with air conditioning. As an early production car, it also differed from the GT500 norm by having large, round, twin fog lights paired close together in the center of the grille. Later cars had smaller, rectangular lights towards the outer corners of the grille to comply with Federal vehicle regulations.

Equipped as it was, Jim’s GT500 packed 335 horsepower at 5,400 rpm, and 420 lb-ft of torque at3,200 rpm. This was good for a consistent 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a standing quarter mile of 15.0 seconds at 95 mph. Heady stuff for 1967.

Jim was fond of the prodigious output, and often liked to use its full potential in less than lawful ways racing around the canyons of the Hollywood Hills at breakneck speeds. Seeing Jim at gas stations pumping high-test into The Blue Lady was likely a fairly common sight around Los Angeles, as the car only averaged 10 mpg, and likely far less given his driving habits.

A troubled artistic genius, Jim was known to be a hard drinker, and as we all know that does not mix well with cars. As such, The Blue Lady suffered many accidents during his ownership. In each case, Jim managed to plow down a part of the Los Angeles scenery and walk away unscathed, only to report the car stolen later and have it repaired. One such incident allegedly involved Jim running down some young trees right in front of a police station.


In the Spring of 1969, Jim and his friends Babe Hill, Frank Lisciandro, and Paul Ferrara decamped to the desert near Palm Springs to shoot what was essentially an extended trailer for a feature film that Jim intended to direct and star in. The movie was to be called Highway, but was later changed to HWY: An American Pastoral.

It told the story of a psychopathic hitchhiker who kills a man that gives him a ride, and then steals his car. Not surprisingly, the vehicle in the film happens to be one 1967 Nightmist Blue Shelby GT500. The movie was shot over a period of several weeks in 35mm, and was later edited into a one-hour demonstration of what the feature could be. Jim appears in the film with very long hair and a thick beard, and persists in thrashing the Shelby along dirt roads and desert locales, doing donuts and indulging in general automotive mayhem.

Not long after HWY was shot, something happened to Jim’s Shelby. Friends of his have differing recollections and summations as to what transpired. According to some, one evening in the Fall of 1969 Jim was driving recklessly and ran into a telephone pole on Sunset Boulevard. After inspecting the damage, Jim wandered off on foot to a favorite bar for the rest of the night.

When he returned, the car was gone; ostensibly towed away by the police. Others suggest that Jim left the car in long-term parking at LAX for an extended period of time during a concert tour, and when he returned it had been towed and sold at public auction. Still others contend that Jim totaled the car in some feat of misadventure, and that it was crushed for scrap. Although none of these stories have been, or can be verified, three things are certain: 1) Jim was never seen driving the Shelby after that Fall; 2) For the duration of his time living in Los Angeles, he was seen driving a variety of rental cars; 3) The car has been missing ever since.

Many a car collector in the past has set out to track down a significant lost car with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. But values of vintage Shelby Mustangs are at an all time high, and interest in Jim Morrison has never been stronger. Couple that with auction prices of cars formerly owned by iconic figures reaching stratospheric levels (such as we have seen with the recent sales of Steve McQueen’s automobiles) then it should be no great surprise that at this very moment, there are literally dozens of people actively on the trail of what could potentially be the most valuable Shelby of all.

According to the California DMV, “The Blue Lady” was last recorded with the state on April 30, 1969. Its ownership was listed as James Douglas Morrison, care of Johnson/Harband, the accounting firm that handled The Doors’ finances. Amateur Blue Lady sleuths who have contacted the firm, now known as Johnson/Harbrand/Foster/Davis, have been greeted with something less than enthusiasm when discussing the car on the record. But they have suggested that they get the feeling the firm is, in fact, holding back some pertinent information.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment


By: Alan Graham

“Keep your nose to the grindstone”

Meaning:  Apply yourself conscientiously to your work.


There are two rival explanations as to the origin of this phrase. One is that it comes from the supposed habit of millers who checked that the stones used for grinding cereal weren’t overheating by putting their nose to the stone in order to smell any burning. The other is that it comes from the practice of knife grinders when sharpening blades to bend over the stone, or even to lie flat on their fronts, with their faces near the grindstone in order to hold the blades against the stone.

Left quote
The miller’s tale might have worked for Chaucer, but it doesn’t help here.
right quote
All the evidence is against the miller’s tale. Firstly, the stones used by millers were commonly called millstones, not grindstones. The two terms were sometimes interchanged but the distinction between the two was made at least as early as 1400, when this line was printed in Turnament Totenham:

“Ther was gryndulstones in gravy, And mylstones in mawmany.”

The Middle English language there is difficult to interpret but it certainly shows the grindstones and millstones as being distinct from each other. If the derivation was from milling we would expect the phrase to be ‘nose to the millstone’.

A second point in favour of the tool sharpening derivation is that all the early citations refer to holding someone’s nose to the grindstone as a form of punishment. This is more in keeping with the notion of the continuous hard labour implicit in being strapped to one’s bench than it is to the occasional sniffing of ground flour by a miller. 

nose to the grindstone

The first known citation is John Frith’s A mirrour or glasse to know thyselfe, 1532:

“This Text holdeth their noses so hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces.”

The phrase appears in print at various dates since the 16th century. It was well-enough known in rural USA in the early 20th century for this picture, which alludes to the ‘holding someone’s nose to the grindstone’ version of the phrase, to have been staged as a joke (circa 1910).

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By Al Graham

The audio isn’t the best, it frequently cuts out because of failing batteries, every once in a while someone talks over it, and because it’s recorded on a cassette player with the sound coming through The Doorsamplifiers at times it sounds like a parody of The Doors especially some of Jim Morrison’s singing. But it fills a hole in The Doors history giving us a document of what The Doors performance in Dallas on December 11, 1970, which was the second from last night The Doors would perform live with Jim Morrison.

The show was taped by Jim Bayliss who drove overnight to make the concert, he snuck his tape recorder in in a knapsack, and was able to capture four songs “Palace in the Canyon”, “L.A. Woman”, “Riders on the Storm” both of which would have been new to the audience as The Doors were still in the process of recording the “L.A. Woman” album, and “The End”. You can listen to the entirety of Bayliss’ tape in the video with this article.

Bayliss who has posted a review of the concert on Mild Equator in which he describes the atmosphere of the show, how the auditorium seemed to have been built as an opera house with an orchestra pit, large cushioned seats, and “operatic balconies”. Frisbees where flying around the room, he noticed a buxom young lady making her way up the aisle, a guy at the front row who was talking up a girl and was either John Densmore or someone who could have passed for him. The opening act was a band named The Courtship who played for about a half hour before The Doors came on. The band played “Roadhouse Blues”, “Crawling King Snake” and “Ship of Fools” before starting the Morrison poem/song “Palace in the Canyon” which is the point Bayliss turned on his tape recorder. You can read Bayliss’ full review at the Mild Equator website.

The tape became known because Bayliss first posted the “Palace in the Canyon” fragment on Youtube on February 18, it was linked to on the Freedom Man forum where Chris Simondet noticed it and did some research and was able to find Bayliss and got the tape digitized at his expense and sent a copy to The Doors (Simondet is a researcher who can find tapes and films of bands even with little information and a 40 year cold trail. If you have something that may be of interest or need researched you can find Simondet on Facebook). With the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors first album coming up in January 2017 might this be something The Doors will be able to re-master and release for that anniversary?

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

Caring Cop


A homeless man, huddled on a sidewalk in the heart of Phoenix, wasn’t hurting anyone, but he was apparently a bother to people coming and going from a gas station. When police arrived to address the situation, one officer sensed something familiar about the man. Upon closer inspection, the officer realized what he had and dropped to his knees in front of stunned onlookers.

Raymond Celaya happened to be in the area Friday afternoon, and rather than intervening in the situation, he stood back and recorded what he witnessed. Phoenix Police Officer Mark Valenzuela had approached the unidentified homeless man with a question, when he immediately took notice of what stunned him about the man’s feet.

They were bare, and it was cold outside, even for the typically mild Arizona city. But with no shoes or socks, he had walked his feet raw, and he couldn’t go another step. Valenzuela thought something was very familiar to him when he looked at the homeless man’s feet.

While it’s common for the homeless to be without proper shoes, Valenzela realized at that moment that he had pair of shoes that might fit this man, who had a much greater need for them. He grabbed the practically new footwear from his patrol car, but he didn’t just simply hand them to the homeless man. What he did next was a true act of selfless love for a stranger.


The officer asked the vagrant to have a seat on the back of his car and told him to get comfortable. He knelt before the needy man and dressed his feet in a warm pair of socks he had for him, before sliding each new shoe on the man’s feet. He took special care to make sure they fit him well and that they were comfortable. They didn’t just suffice, the shoes were his exact size.

The grateful homeless man reached into his pocket and grabbed a few bucks to give to the caring cop for the shoes. Officer Valenzuela told him that the gift didn’t come from him and that all glory goes to God. “He was just very thankful. I could see a little bit of money in his pocket, he had some dollar bills and some change,” the kindhearted cop explained. “He wanted to pay me for the shoes and I just told him they were a gift from God.”

The shoes are a gift from God, as it’s not a coincidence that the right size was in the car of the cop who came to the scene that day. The officer’s servant heart is also a gift from God, and the homeless man offering to pay him is a sign of gratitude, which is one of the greatest gifts one can be blessed with. The officer did not only warm this man’s feet, he warmed his soul and let him know he’s not alone in this life.

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

Another One Bites The Dust

By: Alan Graham

Unknown images

Keith Emerson Dead From Gunshot To Head In Apparent Suicide

On their official Facebook site, the band wrote, “We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected.” Band member Carl Palmer stated on his personal page, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson.” 

Palmer went on to call his bandmate “a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together.” Gossip Cop has reached out to the band’s management regarding the situation, but we have yet to hear back.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment



 By: A. R. Graham

The so-called ‘Fifth Beatle’ signed the band (then minus Ringo) in 1962 and introduced lavish arrangements into their songs.

George Martin, the “Fifth Beatle” and British treasure who signed the Fab Four to a label contract when no one else would, produced virtually all their songs and introduced lavish arrangements into “Yesterday” and “A Day in the Life,” has died. He was 90.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr shared the news on Twitter, writing “Peace and love… George will be missed.” A Universal Music Group spokesperson confirmed Martin’s death, though details are not yet clear.

The producer, executive, arranger, musician and British knight was behind a whopping 23 No. 1 singles in the U.S. and 30 in the U.K.

As head of EMI’s Parlophone Records, which in its early years concentrated on jazz and comedy, Martin was on the lookout for a rock act when he met Beatles manager Brian Epstein in February 1962. Every other British label had passed on signing the foursome — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best.

Martin called their demo made for Decca Records a month earlier “rather unpromising,” but there was something about those Lennon-McCartney harmonies, so he scheduled The Beatles for a recording session at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in June. He liked what he heard and signed them up. (The Hollies would later join Parlophone as well.)

Martin chose not to promote one of them as the frontman, suggested they replace Best (Starr came on board) and allowed them to record their own material. Their first single, “Love Me Do,” peaked at No. 17 on the British charts.

For The Beatles’ first U.S. single, “Please Please Me,” in November 1962, he convinced the boys to speed up the tempo. It proved to be a smash hit. “Gentlemen, you have just made your first No. 1 record,” he memorably told them from the control room.

Martin also served as The Beatles’ arranger. He suggested strings be added to “Yesterday,” which would become one of the most covered songs of all time, and conducted the string section for “Eleanor Rigby.” He played piano on “In My Life” and composed its harpsichord section; was responsible for the breathtaking orchestral windup in “A Day in the Life;” and used backward tapes to help shape the psychedelic elements of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Martin described his relationship with The Beatles in his 1979 book, All You Need Is Ears.

“I must emphasize that it was a team effort,” Martin wrote. “Without my instruments and scoring, very many of the records would not have sounded as they do. Whether they would have been any better, I cannot say. They might have been. That is not modesty on my part; it is an attempt to give a factual picture of the relationship.”

Martin received an Academy Award nomination for best music, scoring of music, adaptation or treatment for The Beatles’ 1964 classic film A Hard Day’s Night, directed by Richard Lester; arranged the score for their 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine; and scored, with Paul and Linda McCartney, the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die.

He also worked on such film as Crooks Anonymous (1962), The Family Way (1966) and Pulp(1972), which starred Michael Caine and Mickey Rooney.

In 2006, Martin remixed, along with his son Giles Martin, the music for Love, the Cirque du Soleil production that celebrated Beatles music in conjunction with Apple Corps. It included a new orchestral song, written by Martin, for a solo version of Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Martin also produced for Cilla Black (for her hit song “Alfie”), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Mahavishnu Orchestra, America, Jeff Beck, Cheap Trick, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Kenny Rogers, Neil Sedaka, Jimmy Webb, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Meat Loaf, Carly Simon, Celine Dion and Kate Bush, among others.

Martin was knighted in 1996 (a year before McCartney received the honor) and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

Martin was born on Jan. 3, 1926, in Highbury, London. He received a few piano lessons as a child but mostly learned to play by himself and had “fantasies about being the next Rachmaninoff.”

Martin entered the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service in 1947, he received a government grant to study music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a London college, where he learned composition, orchestration and how to play the oboe.

Martin said he decided to pick up the oboe because he figured it could help him earn a living, and indeed, it helped him score a job producing classical baroque recordings at Parlophone, run by Oscar Preuss.

Martin became the head of A&R in 1955 when Preuss retired and found success with such comedy records as Peter Ustinov’s 1952 novelty record “Mock Mozart” (Anthony Hopkins played harpsichord on one song) and worked with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Lennon, a big comedy fan, surely was impressed by this facet of Martin’s career.

In 1962, under the pseudonym Ray Cathode, Martin put out an electronic dance single, “Time Beat,” recorded at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which fueled his desire to find a rock ’n’ roll group with whom to work.

In 1963, records produced by Martin spent 37 weeks at No. 1 in the U.K.

He left EMI in 1965 but continued to work in a freelance capacity, producing The Beatles’ final album release, Abbey Road. (Phil Spector took over, for the most part, on the Let It Be album and documentary.) He opened the AIR recording studios in London and the Caribbean and attracted such artists as The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and The Police to record.

Martin’s work with McCartney also included producing his albums Tug of War (1982), Pipes of Peace (1983) — which featured McCartney collaborations with Wonder and Michael Jackson — and Flaming Pie (1997). Along with his longtime engineer Geoff Emerick, Martin oversaw postproduction on an eight-track analog-mixing desk for platinum-selling compilations like Live at the BBC and Anthology, which featured unreleased songs “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.”

Martin wrote three books, including his 1979 autobiography, All You Need Is Love, co-written with Jeremy Hornsby. He produced and hosted The Rhythm of Life, a BBC documentary series that highlighted artists and discussed musical compositions, and the 2011 documentary Produced by George Martin gained worldwide acclaim, offering an insider’s peak into the producer’s life.

In 1997, Martin rerecorded Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind,” originally written by John and Bernie Taupin about Marilyn Monroe but retooled as a tribute to Princess Diana. The song became the second best-selling single in history, and Martin called it “probably my last single. It’s not a bad one to go out on.”

A year later, Martin’s produced the album In My Life, on which artists and actors covered songs in The Beatles catalog; Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin provided the vocals on “Come Together.”

Martin married Sheena Chisholm, whom he had met in the service, on his 22nd birthday in 1948, and after they divorced, wed Judy Lockhart-Smith, a Parlophone secretary, in 1966.

In addition to his son Giles, survivors include his other children Alexis, Gregory and Lucy

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There are many movies being made by Hollywood nowadays but only a handful of them are considered gems by movie critics. The “cynical” movie reviewer Joseph Farah did not think that he would like “The Young Messiah” directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-written with his wife Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh, but he liked it so much that he actually watched it three times already.

Farah did not want to dish out any spoilers, because he really wants people to watch the movie for themselves in theatres. What he did say, however, was how brilliantly the movie was executed.

“I’m just going to tell you it is faithful to the time period, it is gorgeously filmed, it is extraordinarily well acted, and the story is utterly amazing, endearing and inspiring,” he gushed. “Though the story is obviously extra-biblical, its spirit is in harmony with the message of the Scriptures.”

He also raved about the performance of the young lead Adam Greaves-Neal. He called the boy a “star” who delivered an “unforgettable” portrayal.

What impressed Farah even more was how the movie was made despite the difficulties it faced. “Nowrasteh had many doors slammed in his face. Money was tight. There were many roadblocks and obstacles to overcome to get the picture made and released in a big nationwide opening next month,” he wrote.

Still, the couple persevered in order to share with the world the early years of Christ. “I can’t wait for more people to see it and to learn of its effect on our culture,” he said. “It’s a powerful movie. I can’t say enough about it.”

“The Young Messiah” will make its way to cinemas on March 11.

“It’s a fictional interpretation of what it must have been like for the 7-year-old Jesus to learn His destiny,” he wrote for WND. “It starts in Egypt, where Jesus spent His early years. We often forget about that time because the Bible offers little in the way of detail about it. Later, we follow Jesus, Mary and Joseph as they travel back to their home in Nazareth.”

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I was having a garage sale on the corner of third and Orange when I saw a woman staring at a Jim Morrison T-Shirt I was selling. I asked her if she knew who he was and she told me a most heartwarming story.

When she was nine years old she was so imbued with the music of the Doors she convinced her mother that she should take her to see them when they came to play the Sports Arena in San Diego. I have heard  many tales of young fans but none ever this young.

The concert ended leaving the mother bewildered by her child’s passion for this deeply complex music, but leaving the child even more consumed by the hypnotic lure of the mysterious/dangerous lyrics plus the spellbinding voice of Jim Morrison.

As we talked it became evident that this was no ordinary woman, in fact she was Dr. Patricia Aubanel M.D. world renowned interventional cardiologist, indeed, and she was talking to me about my late brother in law Jim Morrison.

As the conversation progressed we talked of the many things we had in common even though we came from polar opposite stations in life, we spoke as if we had known each other for all our lives.

Then the most stunning and thrilling piece of information knocked me to my knees with joy and happiness. Dr. Patricia Aubanel M.D. world renowned interventional cardiologist was also at the bedside of my heroin in her last days Mother Teresa.

To my great sadness I had heard that this great soul had made  comments about how her work was “all for naught” and she would die believing this sad conclusion.

Happily it turns out that it was utterly false, and for me most gratifying because I remember the story she told about her visions, including one of herself conversing with Christ on the Cross.

Her confessor, Father Celeste Van Exem, was convinced that her mystical experiences were genuine. “[Her] union with Our Lord has been continual and so deep and violent that rapture does not seem very far,” he commented. Teresa later wrote simply, “Jesus gave Himself to me.”

Always there will be uncertainty in the minds of people about the faith of Mother Teresa,  but there is NO doubt in the mind of Dr Aubanel, “Mother Teresa was faithful until the very end, her commitment to her faith and her life’s work never wavered”

We promised to meet again and I would interview her, The Doctor and I parted ways and after she had gone I felt the presence of Jesus combined with a deep but intangible spiritual sediment lingering in the morning sunrise.

Baja California has many sons and daughters to be proud of, great athletes, media personalities, politicians, scientist and excellent medical professionals. One of the most outstanding personalities in the region is Dr. Patricia Aubanel M.D. world renowned interventional cardiologist. Patricia Aubanel was born in Tijuana, daughter of two great personalities in Baja California, Dr. Gustavo Aubanel and Misses Luisa Riedel Aubanel. Her parents participated actively in regional politics, Dr. Gustavo was the first mayor of Tijuana after years of advocacy for Baja California to be recognized as a free state.

At the age of seven she decided she wanted to become a doctor, but it wasn’t until years later when she was in Pennsylvania for additional training when she found her true passion, the reason why her heart beats a little faster, her life’s mission, the practice of interventional cardiology.After earning her medical degree, Dr. Aubanel later attended Miami University and prepared to pass her medical licensing.“It was like going to medical school all over again,” she says. She did her residency in internal medicine at Boston University and was trained in interventional cardiology at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital. A few years later, she returned to the West Coast as a doctor at the internationally renowned Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation in La Jolla, California, where she served as a Fellow for Dr. Richard Schatz.

Her time spent in training with Dr. Schatz was transcendental to her life and to her future patients, it would revolutionize the way cardiologist would practice medicine in Mexico; due to the fact she was among the first doctors in the world, and the only non-U.S. doctor, to be trained in the stent. Mexico’s first experience with the stent was in 1990, when it was implanted at the National Institute of Cardiology; tellingly, it received approval in Mexico five years before the FDA approved it in the U.S. Dr. Aubanel would spend five years training thousands of doctors on both sides of the border on how to apply the new procedure.

The stent is a tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Stents are inserted into narrowed coronary arteries to help keep them open after a procedure called balloon angioplasty. The stent then allows the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.

She has worked with many high profile individuals, but perhaps her most well know patient was Mother Teresa of Calcutta, catholic nun with a mission to help the impoverish. The nun was spending a fair amount of time in Tijuana working with the poor but her health was failing, so the bishop approached the doctor to asses Mother Teresa. At the time Dr. Aubanel was very busy working in Mexico as well in the USA. Seeing patients at Hospital del Prado in Tijuana and performing surgery and receiving advanced training at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. In 1990 she created a private coronary and intensive care unit in Tijuana; it was the first of its kind in the state of Baja California.

She did Mother Teresa’s assessment at Hospital del Prado. “Mother Teresa are you ready to die? Asked the good doctor, have you fulfilled your mission on earth?’ She said no. She told her that before she died she wanted to go to China. She had tried before but the government hadn’t cooperated. “Can you help me get to China?” she asked Dr. Aubanel.Yes, but first there was work to be done.

After Dr. Aubanel evaluated Mother Teresa, the treatment of choice was decided, she concluded that she would open Mother Teresa’s vessel with the employment of the stent. But a complication existed Mother Teresa’s age, she was 81 at the time, she had bad over all health and she was not considered a good candidate for a stent. And a final barrier:

Mother Teresa didn’t want to be treated at Scripps Clinic, because she considered Scripps a clinic for millionaires She wanted the procedure done in Tijuana. She explained that they didn’t have the facilities,” she says. Mother Teresa responded: “What about your people? You need to take care of your people.” Dr. Aubanel gave her many reasons, all legitimate: she didn’t have the time right now to undertake such a big commitment, nor did she have the funds to build a coronary center in Tijuana. Mother Teresa wasn’t buying it. “You don’t need money, you need faith.” That day Dr. Aubanel made a commitment to herself and to Mother Teresa, to open a special center to treat the thousands of people of Tijuana with coronary and vascular complications. Mother Teresa requested that there be a chapel and said she’d be there for the first mass. “That way,” Dr. Aubanel explained, “the Institute would be blessed forever and she’d pray for every patient.” The operation was a success.

Since then Dr. Aubanel has offered many conferences in distant parts of the world; she has won many acknowledgments, including women of the year 1992, in the United States a foundation in Washington D.C awarded her again women of the year, for Latin women in the United States. She has also been awarded by the medical consumer research counsel to be one of the best doctors in the continent; she has been the only Mexican to be awarded this honor.

If you where to ask what makes Dr. Aubanel an extraordinary woman, and there is no doubt that she is, all those who know her would answer, that her compassion for others, her kindness to her patients, and strong values, make all her knowledge pale in comparison to the warmth of her nature and great spirit.

Great things are achieve when people invest time and effort in helping their fellow man, and don’t see illnesses, finances or stepping stones in order to accomplish a goal, an example of commitment to her patients can truly be said about Dr. Aubanel she has dedicated her life to saving and protecting the quality of life of thousands of individuals over the world. Now a day’ she has a passionate new project, the research and application of evolutionary use of stem cells. The most incredible aspect is that we are not inventing anything; it’s all nature, a Gift of God! As Mother Teresa would say.




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ALIVE & WELL?????????

VIDEO: Jim Morrison found ALIVE in New York, new shock claim

DOORS frontman Jim Morrison faked his death and is living homeless in New York, a filmmaker claims.

Videos of an ageing, bearded hippy singing, citing poetry and performing the Lizard King’s trademark dance have emerged online.The vagrant insists his name is Richard and refuses to confirm or deny he is Morrison – who supposedly died aged 27 on July 3, 1971.

But an amateur cameraman has followed “Richard” for seven years – and released footage he believes proves Morrison lives.

Homeless man Richard is supposedly Jim MorrisonSGLOOKALIKE: Homeless Richard (left) is a looks similar to Jim Morrison 

“You can’t hide the voice”

Josh Hicks

The Light My Fire singer – who would be 71 if he were alive – was reportedly found dead in the bath of an apartment in Paris, France.

He was said to have died of heart failure after years of abusing booze and drugs.

But conspiracy theorists have long claimed he faked his death and has been sighted in many places – from the Bahamas to Paris and Oregon in the US – since.

YouTube videographer Brokkenstar begun documenting the Morrison doppleganger – who appears to have a similar taste for alcohol and cigarettes – in 2009.

Seven videos chart an apparent friendship with the hairy hobo – who he calls Jim throughout.

Jim Morrison and Richard pulling a similar dead-eyed stareSGDEAD RINGER: It’s easy to see why people think Richard is the Lizard King

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Summer Edition 2016 Back cover


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Poet On The Bridge


The City of Seattle wants to pay someone $10,000 to live part time in the Fremont Bridge’s northwest tower and write poetry… this is not a joke. Via the Seattle PI,

“The poet or writer selected for the Fremont Bridge post will be expected to produce at least one work that can be presented by the city. (Office of Arts & Culture spokeswoman Calandra ) Childers said that could be a spoken-word piece, an essay or a collection of poetry, or something different.

“Childers said the hope is that the artist’s time on the bridge will help the rest of us understand its place in Seattle life.”

The poet cannot actually live in the bridge… the room where the “living” would take place is not well heated and there is no running water.

But, that’s not all. The city is also looking to pay $15,000 to an artist who works with light. The artist is supposed to add “light-based work to the bridge”—slightly less ridiculous.

The Seattle Department of Transportation must put 1 percent of new construction budget toward public art. Usually, that money is used to pay for pieces of public art around Seattle. Or, it’s simply integrated in building design.

So, if you are interested in living in a bridge and writing a poem about Seattle, the deadline for applications is February 16th.

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Strange Tales of Jim Morrison, Part Three

Strange Tales of Jim Morrison, Part Three

By: Zack Kopp

In which your reporter was graced with an audience by email and Skype a few years ago with the esteemed Alan Graham, former agent provocateur of Larry Flynt, and benefited from renewed contact with that worthy, brother in law of Jim Morrison and faithful defender of his good name against a sensationalistic media.

His Brother’s Keeper

Over the last fifty-eight or so years, expatriate Englishman Alan Graham, who now lives in the San Diego area, had first-hand experience of a number of pop-cultural hot-points—he witnessed the Beatles’ hometown heyday via their lunchtime sessions at the Cavern Club on Matthew Street in Liverpool, England; became brother in law to American poet and rock and roll superstar Jim Morrison of the Doors; served as assistant and spokesman for Hustler publisher Larry Flynt; was falsely accused of making a bomb threat against former U.S. president Ronald Reagan—and those are only the standouts. Graham was lucky or fated bystander to multiple noteworthy people and events in the latter portion of the 20th century. For the record, Mr. Graham has categorically denied all of Floyd Bocox’s allegations. After I finished the first draft of this article, I reestablished contact with the esteemed Mr. Graham, living witness of multiple cultural flashpoints in the onngoing war between freedom and control, living icon of a strain in recent United States history which, in this reporter’s opinion, has yet to be properly esteemed in the public record.

Alan Graham

After moving to London, where his brother, John, was managing the rock group Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (of “Shakin’ All Over” and “I’ll Never Get Over You” fame), Graham met his American girlfriend, Anne Morrison, daughter of a career Navy man, Admiral George Stephen Morrison. Graham married Anne in 1967, which was being touted in newspapers as the “summer of love,” and shortly after they married, Anne’s brother, Jim, became incredibly famous as the vocalist and frontman for a rock group based in Los Angeles called the Doors well known for its provocative anthems about breaking through to the other side and getting higher. Jim was touted in the press as an “erotic politician.” Contrary to this volatile, dangerous image, the Jim Morrison Alan Graham knew and loved was his friend, his wife’s brother, and the son of her family. All his recollections of Jim are colored by this affinity, even those concerning Jim’s penchant to upset his own apple cart periodically. “On Thanksgiving morning, 1969, Anne, [Jim’s brother] Andy, and I drove from Coronado to Jim’s house in the Hollywood hills. We brought a big cooked turkey and spent the day visiting with Jim and his ‘girlfriend,’ Pam Courson, until a simmering feud from the night before suddenly erupted into a knockdown, drag out fight. In the movie, The Doors, Oliver Stone cut and pasted that scene from my manuscript with another piece of mine entitled The Japanese Restaurant.”
Alan Graham2 When Jim died young of apparent heart failure in 1971, after the conclusion of his trial for indecent exposure while onstage in Miami and the completion of what turned out to be the last Doors album, L.A. Woman, rumors appeared in the mainstream press that he had faked his death, something he’d reportedly spoken of wanting to do in the past. Graham agrees this is possible, if unlikely.  “In this day and age, I don’t know . . . The only person who knows is Pamela Courson (who died of a drug overdose in 1974). Don’t forget the body was put on ice overnight. The morgues were closed. It was left on Saturday and Sunday night till Monday morning and his body was really blue. She never saw it. Nobody saw that body till it came from the morgue in the coffin, ready for the funeral. Pamela wouldn’t look at it. Nobody looked at it. The likelihood that it could’ve been somebody else is extremely high and Morrison could’ve seen it and went into hiding and said this is my chance to get away from . . . his life and the people around him.”

At the time we first spoke, Graham had no patience for things like the “Jim Morrison’s baby scam” being perpetrated by Lorraine Widen and her son, soundalike Cliff Morrison who refuses to consent to a DNA test to prove Jim’s paternity, supposedly because he’d rather “let people decide for themselves,” nor the ongoing exposure of fraudulence conducted by Cliff’s former manager Floyd Bocox—but without any feeling of malice or offense, both of these derivative outgrowths are simply beneath his notice. “You know I heard Cliff’s actually come to believe the whole fantasy now. To him it’s not even a scam anymore, but for her, it’s the worst possible form of child abuse.” Graham hosts a podcast called “House of Detention” on the Ghost Radio Network, and his Ghost Radio International Paranormal Investigation Team (GRIPIT) regularly tracks down and investigates opportunists claiming to be the real Jim Morrison or his son or his daughter. Notably, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger’s son, Waylon, has played bass and guitar in Cliff Morrison’s Lizard Sun band as well as supporting his father (the author of “Light My Fire”) on guitar and vocals at several tribute appearances.
Cliff and his mother, Lorraine Widen, who claims to have had an affair with Jim, are by no means alone in their attempt to assert a connection with Morrison after formal declaration of his death. Every identifiable aspect of a rock star like Jim Morrison is parceled out and marketed as a signature trait for the fans’ efficient consumption, and after Jim dies or disappears, anything can happen to the image he left in the world. Oregon rodeo website owner Gerald Pitts claims to be Jim Morrison’s agent. He even claims to have convinced former Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore that his “client” (a rancher named Jim Loyer, owner of the Jim Morrison Sanctuary Rach, who has long since denied any connection with Gerald Pitts) is Morrisonand to have almost arranged a Doors reunion, only to have been prevented by evil genius Ray Manzarek, who “want(s) to see Jim personally and Jim will not tolerate it. He wants to work through his agent. So, when that game started, I knew there was no use for him to come over here because if he came over to meet with me, he’d want to go up and talk to Jim on his own and I’d be left out of the project.” (In other words, demand proof and the deal’s off).


British author David Icke, who believes the world to be controlled by extraterrestrial reptilians disguised as kings and queens and presidents, has proposed Jim was an experimental individual in the service of these reptile overlords, since Morrison wrote a few songs about lizards. Once you get fame in America, the purpose is feeding the fame. Personal truths can be toys in the hands of a self-devouring cannibal like that. Jim’s immediate relatives, the likeliest authorities on who he really was, have remained aloof from biographical representations of their deceased loved one because they feel themselves bound by a military code of privacy and decency, and as a result, have generally been excluded from the manipulation of Jim’s image since his departure from the public eye. As evidenced by the role he played as consultant in the making of Oliver Stone’s film, The Doors, Alan Graham has been steadfast in his efforts as the “odd man in” to redeem Jim Morrison’s image. In addition to co-producing with Anne a four-phase documentary project about Jim called Poeté Somnolant  “Sleeping Poet” (Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta both vied unsuccessfully for the starring role), Graham has written a book called I Remember Jim Morrison intended to include the humanizing element noticeably absent from bestselling portrayals of Jim like the one in Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman’s No One Here gets Out Alive, and counteract all the attempts to sensationalize the dark side of Jim’s image as rock god dead by misadventure.
Graham’s wild years outlived dear lost brother Jim. During Hustler publisher Larry Flynt’s fifteen minutes of infamy in the 1980s Graham served as Flynt’s assistant, his unspecified job to provide a kind of buffer zone between Flynt and the general public during a time when the outlaw publisher felt especially sensitive. Flynt said he felt his stay at the U.S. Medical Centre For Prisoners for contempt of court and desecration of the U.S. flag was “cruel and unusual punishment,” since he was not receiving adequate medication and food (he had refused prison food after reportedly surviving a poisoning attempt, and was striking for better conditions). At the time, it was Graham’s assignment to make a statement to the press, and he told them, “Someone in the kitchen informed him that [the food] was tainted, and he refused it.” Next Flynt stated,  in an impromptu jailhouse phone interview with CNN, “I have confessed to putting a contract out on President Reagan’s life—I want to kill him,” adding, “I have threatened to kill both federal judges who have sentenced me . . . I’ve threatened to kill at least a half dozen employees at the prison in Butler. I just got 152 days in the hole for hitting a priest between the eyes with an orange.”

Graham prevented Flynt from carrying out any of his wild threats, and further, he kept the many different species of predators away such as con men, ex-military now-mercenary operatives, hookers, hit men, hustlers, liars, thieves, lawyers, mental cases, and all manner of misfits away.  Eventually he was examined by a psychiatrist, who deemed him incompetent; and as a consequence, a conservatorship petition was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming the publisher suffered from a mental illness “consistent only with an irrational drive to destroy or lose all his holdings” and that he had “drained the company of millions of dollars in cash for bizarre and imprudent personal expenditures.” Somewhere in all this uproar, two former security guards of Flynt’s told federal authorities they believed Graham was “behind the bombings” presumably referring to the bomb threat against Reagan, which he successfully dismissed as a fantastic story, though it provided a convenient hook for Bocox’s statement in an interview years later that Graham was “known for making bomb threats.”

Alan was consulted during the creation of Milos Forman’s film, The People vs. Larry Flynt, concerning Flynt’s much-publicized mental breakdown in 1984, one result of which was his spontaneous contrariness in court on Flynt’s part to stump. This served to flummox the jury in his trial for slandering Jerry Falwell, during which period Graham served as his aide under the codename, “Captain Pink.” As can be seen in the transcript of Flynt’s deposition, his own behavior seems more that of the crafty antagonist than an addled bumbler, while leaving ample room for potential disqualification as testimony due to certain anomalies. Says Graham, “I thought that the movie told the story very well from a chronological standpoint but missed many of details of the real story. A reporter asked [Larry] why Captain Pink aka Alan Graham was not in the movie and he said (with a smile, “I didn’t know how to explain him” What he meant was I would show things that might detract from his slightly sanatized version of what went down, and the ‘Adventures of Captain’ was a story all to itself.”

And it’s a story only he can tell, currently languishing in Google docs of old newspaper clippings from Springfield, MO., where much of the action took place, and other parts of the US landscape, where Alan Graham ended up after his rocket ride from the Beatles birthplace through the heart of Los Angeles and the myth of the American night with Lizard King Jim Morrison to the self-made Nebuchadnezar of sleaze and free speech, Larry Flynt. Mister Graham is uniquely positioned as a living case history of the evolution of organic expression in media and culture over the last sixty years in American culture, a process which, in this reporter’s opinion, has not yet been properly charted. Captain Pink is hard at work. He is currently hard at a memoir about his madcap career under Flynt subsequent to his recovery from cruel treatment of him and his wife by a greedy robber baron, about which unconscionable state of affairs he’s filming a documentary for eventual dissemination as a reality show, and written an article called “The Asshole Of The Century,” referring to said robber-baron, which will precede the documentary/reality show’s release. Alan and Anne were divorced in 1986, but his time as James Douglas Morrison’s brother in law has obviously left an indelible impression on Graham despite the years he spent as aide and mouthpiece for the erratic, colorful Flynt after Jim’s passing. Graham has always been bothered by the grossly inadequate portrait of Jim Morrison that has been growing in the public eye all these years. Says his sister, Norma, “After reading each and every book, I would call Alan and ask him, ’Is this true or fiction?’ His reply would always be the same. ‘Norma it is lies, all lies. Nobody outside the Morrison family ever knew the real Jim. One day when the time is right, I am going to write my own book and tell it like it really was, who the real Jim Morrison was’. Like a mantra he would repeat, ‘One day when the time is right I will tell it like it really was’.”

I remember book cover (eng) 800

With the Admiral’s death in 2008, the time was finally right. Graham’s I Remember Jim Morrison stands forth as the only retrospective on Jim Morrison with a tangible core of emotional obligation to its subject. Where other biographers are moved to turn Jim’s story into a train wreck and charge admission, Alan Graham’s inspiration is to commemorate the emotional effect of their time together. “More than forty books have been published about him, and each one reveals nothing more than the last. The reason for this is because no one in the Morrison clan has ever revealed the true details (nor will they ever) about Jim’s life inside the family. My personal account of these events provides rare glimpses and intimate insights into the other side of Jim Morrison and the people who loved him.” Graham’s book is highly recommended, as is the subsequently released Before the Beatles were Famous, detailing his years around the corner from ground zero of the beginning of the Beatles’ worldwide breakout, at the Cavern Club, on Matthew Street in Liverpool. Certain persons are fated as witnesses to certain events, friends and family of certain culturally impactive people, and participants in certain feelings, which are singular unto their times while being noteworthy in timeless fashion. After playing witness to the Beatles and the Doors, Alan Graham manifested his own manic jester persona to culminate his personal expression of the time in his years as Larry Flynt’s attache. This reporter was fortunate enough to witness a glimpse of this opus in progress entitled “Larry Flynt and the Lizard King” (Flynt’s drug-addicted ex-wife Althea was a known Doors obsessive; the chapter concerns Althea’s efforts to produce Graham and his first wife Anna’s play, “Morrison: A Rock Opera” for the big screen), surely only a taste of what’s to come, besides the gems already published. Keep

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 ZOOMTOWN  – The Rock Opera

 Alan Graham  – Composer     

Words and Music Copyright  January 1st 2016


Cast Of Characters:

Wiltz and Waltz

The Two Zooms

Pop The Cop

The Quiet Girl

Big Fat Yellow Man

The Wobble Girl

Ugly Sisters: Tera, Dac, and Tyl.

Moonshine Bonnie

Jack The Black

Quick Nick

Lonely Boy

Pop The Cop

The Sideways Gang

Frankie Setback and the Ghost Cowboys

Banger Banger Dan

Banger Banger Dan Jr,

 Mrs Lucy Banger Banger

The Royal Waiter, Singer, Lawyer, Painter,

Wall Eyed Wilf  Wolf

The Hoodlum Cowboy Priest

Chessy Bessie

The Tree Killer

Zoomtown Dog Band

Zoomtown Cat Orchestra

MacFrankie Setback


Music By: Alan Graham

Musical Director:  Chad Watson

Animation: Rachel Battleson.

Overture: Zoomtown


  1. Jack The Black
  2. Sideways Gang Opus
  3. Zooming
  4. The Royal Ballad
  5. The Quiet Girl Sonata
  6. Frankie Setback Is Back
  7. The Sad Girl Ballad In Plain D
  8. Tinsel Rain
  9. Redneck Blues For Mandolin
  10. Memory Lane
  11. Pop The Cop


Auguries of Innocence


To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day

Work In Progress………..



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Like Melting Snow

By: Alan Graham

Work In Progress…


David Bowie and Glenn Frey are now headlining in Rock-n-Roll Heaven. Two rockers dead within the same month is a major bummer for me; and so I indulge in a mournful but sweet celebration by playing their music and remembering those magnificent days of my young life.

Bob Dylan’s beautiful but sad ballad “Bob Dylan’s Dream” captures the same wistful remembrance of friends, lost never to be seen again, and that wishful dream wherein friends never part and endless joy abounds.

“Bob Dylan’s Dream”

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my a rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.
With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin’ and singing ’till the early hours of the morn’.By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung
Our words were told, our songs were songs
Where we longed for nothin’ and were satisfied
Joking and talking about the world outside.

With haunted hearts through the heat and cold
We never thought we could ever get very old
We thought we could sit forever in fun
Our chances really was a million to one.

As easy it was to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

How many a year has passed and gone
Many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a first friend
And each one I’ve never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.


The bitter-sweet Irish ballads “Carrickfergus” and “The Parting Glass” are also time travel machines to a long ago time and place.

I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatsman
To ferry me over my love and I

(This verse is only sung on the “40 Years” CD)
My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy times there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all past on now with the melting snow
So I’ll spend my days in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and shore, my bed is free
Oh to be home now in carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

Now in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stone there as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her
But I’ll sing no more now til I get a drink
Cause I’m drunk today and I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Ah but I’m sick now my days are numbered
Come all me young men and lay me down
Come all me young men and lay me down.

The Parting Glass

Of all the money that e’er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas, it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Of all the comrades that e’er I had
They’re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
They’d wish me one more day to stay

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Good night and joy be to you all



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The Manic Ride

By: Alan Graham.

I have witnessed up close the terror of the  Manic Ride several times in my life.

For more than thirty years I have counseled many people from all walks of life including, friends, business associates, plus several high profile Hollywood celebrities.

The behavior is profoundly disturbing, almost impossible to curb, and as a consequence all, family members close friends and all people who come in contact with the subject are deeply and irreversibly change. It is similar to a haunting, an exorcism, or serious trauma, and even the most loving person is transformed from sweet to angry or hostile on this awful ride through a hellish landscape.

Manic depression, is a disorienting condition that causes extreme shifts in mood. Like riding a slow-motion roller coaster, patients may spend weeks feeling like they’re on top of the world before plunging into a relentless depression. The length of each high and low varies greatly from person to person. In any given year, this disorder affects more than 2% of American adults.

If someone who is suffering with this condition also happens to be a total asshole, then they become a colossal asshole on steroids.

Which brings me to the subject of ‘ASSHOLE OF THE CENTURY’ A.K.A Ledyard Hakes of Coronado Ca.

To earn the ignoble title of Asshole Of The Century  (A.H.O.T.C.) one must be a really big asshole, No, a colossal asshole, and the subject of this story is just that, a lower than whale-shit, self centered, greedy, mean spirited short assed asshole.  

Our story begins on a sultry August night in Coronado California in the year 2013.

Some tenants awoke in the middle of the night to the smell of noxious gas fumes and by morning all tenants had left the building and  began assembling in the courtyard. The gas company was called but by the time they arrived the smell was gone and they failed  to find  a leak…..


Work In Progress…


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A 2,400-year-old underground tomb complex, containing what appears to be an aristocratic family, has been discovered near the ancient city of Soloi in northern Cyprus.

The complex contains three burial chambers, two of which were intact while the third had been looted. In the unlooted chambers archaeologists found human remains as well as jewelry, figurines, weapons and a collection of 16 vessels used to serve people attending a “symposium,” an event in the ancient world where men drank, talked and enjoyed entertainment.

One of the chambers held an intricate gold wreath in the shape of an ivy plant. The wreath’s gold berries and thin gold leaves survived the passage of more than two millennia of time.
The artifacts found in the tomb complex reveal trade between the ancient people of Soloi and Athens said archaeologist Hazar Kaba, who studied the tomb complex as part of his doctoral dissertation at Ankara University in Turkey.

The remains of one of the metal vessels is seen here. It has an image of a bearded male. The remains of one of the metal vessels is seen here.  It has an image of a bearded male.

“This tomb complex surely proves that Soloi was in direct relationship with Athens, who was the naval power of the period,” Kaba said. “Soloi was supplying Athens with its rich timber and copper sources, and in return, was obtaining luxurious goods such as symposium vessels,” he said, noting that artists from Athens appear to have taken up residence in Soloi, influencing the design of the artifacts made there.

Kaba also found connections with other regions. For instance, some of the jewelry and symposium vessels were decorated with designs similar to those found in the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, which controlled much of the Middle East at the time the complex was constructed.

The gold wreath looks like wreaths that were placed in the tombs of Macedonian aristocrats, he said. Some of the symposium vessels had been imported from Ionia — a region in what is now the west coast of Turkey — and Macedonia.

A few decades after the tombs were sealed off — between 400 and 350 B.C. — the Macedonians, under the leadership of Alexander the Great, would crush the Achaemenid Empire, conquering an area that stretched from the Balkans to Afghanistan.

Who was buried here?

One of the intact burial chambers contains the remains of a man, a woman and a little girl. Iron spearheads and a shield were buried with the man, Kaba said.

The second unlooted chamber contained the remains of a woman and a young girl, but no one else. The third chamber had been looted and was empty.

The people buried in the complex were likely from a wealthy aristocratic family, Kaba said. Right now researchers are trying to determine how the people buried in the complex were related to each other. “A DNA project is also running on the bones to identify the degree of kinship between the deceased,” Kaba said.

Kaba is in the process of publishing four articles that discuss finds from the tomb complex. Excavations at the complex took place between 2005 and 2006. Conservation and restoration of the artifacts is ongoing.


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Last year, Nassau, Bahamas resident Rosie Kemp found a baby raccoon that had fallen out of a tree. The mother was nowhere to be found, so Kemp and her daughter Laura Young decided to adopt the little bandit and named her “Pumpkin.” Eventually, Pumpkin recovered from her injuries and moved in with Young and her husband.
“She instantly bonded with us and our two rescue dogs and follows me and our two dogs everywhere we go,” Young told The Dodo. “She now thinks she is a dog… she is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough.”

rescued-raccoon-pumpkin-laura-young-1 rescued-raccoon-pumpkin-laura-young-13 rescued-raccoon-pumpkin-laura-young-47 rescued-raccoon-pumpkin-laura-young-32 rescued-raccoon-pumpkin-laura-young-41

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By: Alan Graham

Recently I have been experiencing increased telemarketing calls for all sorts of dubious services and in particular one from a “computer virus expert.”


Someone who identifies himself as Cam, and bearing a pronounced Chinese accent, tells me that my computer has been infected with a “very bad virus”.

I have received the same call on many occasions. So I thought I would try something different in order to deter them from calling again.

“Do you deliver?” I asked.


“Do you deliver?” I asked again.

No. We can do it by phone”, he said, half confused.

I paused then said, “Okay! I’ll have Kung Pow Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork.”

Now he was pausing, and I could hear him talking to someone else who was now saying to him, “What?”

Before he could answer I said, “And could I have six egg rolls too?”

He was trying to process the diabolically and deliberately confusing questions I had asked him. So I helped him along with the process by following up with, “How do I pay for this?” and then mercilessly offering a tantalizing array of opportunities for him to scam me, “Do you take Visa, American Express Gold Card, PayPal?”

He seemed so relieved and rather surprised that I had made it so easy for him, he blurted out, “GOLD CARD PREEZE”.


Once again, and with utter gleeful malice I asked, “How much will that be?”

He pretended to be calculating for a few moments, then said, $499.00.” 

Now I paused for a few moments. Then with my best Chinese accent I said,

”Wayrra mini? Dat too mush money for chicken an poke!”

”Too mush?”

”Sure, I can get it fo twenty dorras at another Chinese restaurant.”

Somehow at the last minute, it must have dawned on him that I was pranking him. He asked me if I was Chinese, and I said , “Yes, I am. Are you?”

He paused for a long time. Then he said , “No, I am from Scotrand.

I said, “Oh! I been to Scotrand once, it was crosed”


He paused again, then he hung up.

Check out this website for similar scams


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Would you pull over your car just to watch some starlings? A gathering of only a few of these speckled, iridescent-black birds isn’t a very alluring sight—particularly in North America, where these birds are invaders. The European Starling was originally introduced here by a group of well-meaning Shakespeare enthusiasts in 1880, but many Americans now consider them to be pests that serve little purpose other than to dirty car windshields and destroy crops.
But Grainger Hunt, a senior scientist at the Peregrine Fund, tells a different story in Living Bird magazine. He marvels at the way thousands of the birds gather in flocks called murmurations. They are “a dazzling cloud, swirling, pulsating, drawing together to the thinnest of waists, then wildly twisting in pulses of enlargement and diminution,” he writes. It’s certainly worth stopping your car for, or stopping to watch a video like this one, a YouTube hit recorded over the River Shannon, Ireland:
Almost always, Hunt writes, these aerial spectacles are caused by a falcon near the edge of the flock. It turns out that the beauty of a murmuration’s movements often arises purely out of defense, as the starlings strive to put distance between themselves and the predator.

European Starlings can be noisy neighbors. Photo by Red~Star via Birdshare.So how do these masses of birds move so synchronously, swiftly, and gracefully? This isn’t an idle question—it has attracted the attention of physicists interested in how group behavior can spontaneously arise from many individuals at once. In 2010, Andrea Cavagna and colleagues at the National Council of Research and the University of Rome used advanced computational modeling and video analysis to study this question. They found that starling flocks model a complex physical phenomenon, seldom observed in physical and biological systems, known as scale-free correlation.

Surprising as it may be, flocks of birds are never led by a single individual. Even in the case of flocks of geese, which appear to have a leader, the movement of the flock is actually governed collectively by all of the flock members. But the remarkable thing about starling flocks is their fluidity of motion. As the researchers put it, “the group respond[s] as one” and “cannot be divided into independent subparts.”

When one starling changes direction or speed, each of the other birds in the flock responds to the change, and they do so nearly simultaneously regardless of the size of the flock. In essence, information moves across the flock very quickly and with nearly no degradation. The researchers describe it as a high signal-to-noise ratio.

This scale-free correlation allows starlings to greatly enhance what the researchers call “effective perceptive range,” which is another way of saying that a starling on one side of the flock can respond to what others are sensing all the way across the flock—a huge benefit for a starling trying to avoid a falcon.

Last week, a new study on starling flocks appeared in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. The researchers, led by George Young at Princeton, did their own analysis of murmuration images to see how the birds adjust to their flockmates. They determined that starlings in large flocks consistently coordinate their movements with their seven nearest neighbors. They also found that the shape of the flock, rather than the size, has the largest effect on this number; seven seems optimal for the tightly connected flocks that starlings are known for.

Imagine a game of telephone: one person passes a message along to the next person, who repeats it to another, and so on. For humans, the telephone message loses information very quickly—that’s what makes the game fun. The first finding, by Cavagna’s team, suggests that very little information is lost in a starling flock. The second finding, by Young’s team, suggests that starlings “play telephone” with their seven nearest neighbors. Somehow they are able to process messages from those seven neighbors all at once, and this is a part of their method for achieving scale-free correlation.

Still, neither finding explains how starlings are capable of such extraordinary collective responses. As the researchers admit, “How starlings achieve such a strong correlation remains a mystery to us.”

Murmurations remind us that nature’s beauty can take limitless forms, and can shock and inspire us. A number of commenters on the River Shannon video mention a feeling of connection that they experienced while watching the video. It’s as if seeing that synchrony, that seemingly perfect connection between each starling, also reminds us to value our connection to the world around us, for connection can be truly beautiful.


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Quantum computers capable of doing far more complex calculations than current supercomputers may now become a reality following study
Computer scientists have described the breakthrough as ‘game-changing’
They created quantum bits, or qubits, on silicon to perform calculations

A major step towards building quantum computers capable of performing formidable calculations at a fraction of the speed of current machines has been achieved.
Computer scientists claim to have made a ‘game-changing leap’ by building a logic gate – a building block of a digital circuit – using the strange properties of subatomic particles in silicon.
They say these could eventually lead to new types of quantum microchips that would revolutionise the digital world.
Researchers have created the world’s first quantum logic gate on silicon (illustrated in an artist’s impression). They say it is a ‘game-changing’ step forward in the development of practical quantum computers

Researchers have created the world’s first quantum logic gate on silicon (illustrated in an artist’s impression). They say it is a ‘game-changing’ step forward in the development of practical quantum computers
Quantum computing takes advantage of the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time. For example, a photon can appear as both a wave and a particle.

In traditional computers available today, data is expressed in one of two states – known as binary bits – which are either a 1 or a 0.
Nasa, Google and the Universities Space Research Association have announced they are to install a new generation of quantum computers in their Artificial Intelligence laboratories.
They will use the D-Wave 2X systems which have a 1000 Qubit processor.
The system has twice as many qubits as the previous generation of quantum computers being used by the organisations, but need to operate at temperatures of -459°F.
There are aslo some doubts about how effective quantum computers currently are as some research has suggested they are currently not able to outperform traditional computers.
However, Google says quantum computing is a way of solving some of the more complex problems that current traditional computers struggle with.
They say these systems are better at dealing with ‘messy’ sources of data where it can be mislabelled, as information often is in the real world.
Writing on its blog, Google said: ‘Can we move these ideas from theory to practice, building real solutions on quantum hardware? Answering this question is what the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is for.
‘We hope it helps researchers construct more efficient and more accurate models for everything from speech recognition, to web search, to protein folding.
‘We actually think quantum machine learning may provide the most creative problem-solving process under the known laws of physics.’
A quantum bit, or qubit as it is known, can exist in both of these states at once, meaning many computations can be performed in parallel. For example, two qubits can encode four different values while a three qubit system encodes eight different values.
This would allow new types of computers to be constructed that would far surpass the capabilities of modern super computers.
Professor Andrew Dzurak, director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales, said: ‘We’ve demonstrated a two-qubit logic gate – the central building block of a quantum computer – and, significantly, done it in silicon.
‘Because we use essentially the same device technology as existing computer chips, we believe it will be much easier to manufacture a full-scale processor chip than for any of the leading designs, which rely on more exotic technologies.
‘This makes the building of a quantum computer much more feasible, since it is based on the same manufacturing technology as today’s computer industry.’
Until a few years ago quantum computers were little more than theoretical possibilities, but recent research has shown they could become a realistic proposition.
Both Google and Nasa have been developing a quantum computer as part of their artificial intelligence work.
However their D-Wave quantum computer needs to be kept at temperatures of around -273°C (-459°F).
The latest research by Professor Dzurak and his colleagues, which is published in the journal Nature, has shown it is possible to build them using more conventional materials like silicon.
Their work is the first time two qubits have been able to ‘talk’ to each other in a logic gate.
On traditional microchips, bits are typically stored on a pair of silicon transistors, one of which is switched on while the other is off.
Computers running using qubit based microchips would be able to perform complex calculations that current supercomputers struggle with, say researchers. Scientists at the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales (pictured) have designed and built the world’s first two-qubit logic gate

Computers running using qubit based microchips would be able to perform complex calculations that current supercomputers struggle with, say researchers. Scientists at the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales (pictured) have designed and built the world’s first two-qubit logic gate
In a quantum computer, data is encoded in the ‘spin’, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons. Not only can they be in one of two ‘up’ or ‘down’ spin states, but also a superposition of both up and down.
The key step taken by the Australian scientists was to reconfigure traditional transistors so that they can work with qubits instead of bits.
Lead author Dr Menno Veldhorst, also from the University of New South Wales, said: ‘The silicon chip in your smartphone or tablet already has around one billion transistors on it, with each transistor less than 100 billionths of a metre in size.
‘We’ve morphed those silicon transistors into quantum bits by ensuring that each has only one electron associated with it.
Nasa’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory uses an enormous quantum computer built by D Wave which needs to be kept superchilled to temperatures just above absolute zero – around -459°F

Nasa’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory uses an enormous quantum computer built by D Wave which needs to be kept superchilled to temperatures just above absolute zero – around -459°F
‘We then store the binary code of 0 or 1 on the ‘spin’ of the electron, which is associated with the electron’s tiny magnetic field.’
The team has now taken out a patent on a full-scale quantum computer chip that could perform functions involving millions of qubits.
A practical quantum chip could have a huge impact in areas where classical computers face an uphill struggle.
These include weather forecasting, the stock market, drug development, code-breaking and encryption, and exploring the fundamental nature of the universe.


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Number 80 with the ball is Kyle Chaboya.
He’s on the Calaveras High School football team.
And he had just scored a touchdown with the help of his teammates and players from the other team.

Kyle has cerebral palsy.
He uses a walker to get around.
During games he pushes it up and down the sidelines cheering his team on.

But he’d never actually been IN a game until this play.
He told the Calaveras Enterprise:

“It was awesome.
The whole team coming around me once I crossed the pylon, and realizing that my dream had come true, getting to step on the football field for the first time.
It’s awesome.”

It happened during Calaveres big game against their rival Brett Harte.

Calaveras had the ball on the one-yard line.
They brought in Kyle and then helped him cross the goal line while the Brett Harte players stood by and cheered.

The two coaches had talked about the play a couple of days before the game.

Calaveras head coach Jason Weatherby proposed the idea and Bret Harte head coach Casey Kester didn’t hesitate.

Kester told the Calaveras Enterprise:

“(Jason) proposed the idea and I readily accepted.
It’s the kind of thing that goes beyond the rivalry.”

I can’t stop smiling when I see these pictures of Kyle and the players helping him across the goal line.
Especially #45 with his fist up in the air.
They all look so happy.

Chaboya says:
“To be on this team is amazing.
It just means a lot to me.”

I found out about this story from Adrienne Steinebel.
She is the sister of the head coach for Calaveras High.
She told me it was a great story.
She was right.

She also added:
“Keep in mind that this community is still reeling from the Butte Fire.
(475 homes destroyed)
This is an amazing community that I’m proud to call my hometown.”

And I’m proud to tell the story.
As one player said:
“That (play) was just an amazing moment for Kyle) and for everyone on the team.
We’re a family and it’s an amazing feeling.”

Photos from Calaveras High School Facebook page.…/…/

And here’s a link to the story in the Calaveras Enterprise:…/article_f3b54db6-6623-…

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Lord Woodbine: The forgotten sixth Beatle



A homeless black man lived under one of the arches near Waterloo station until about five years ago, when he and his box vanished. His name was Samuel (pronounced to rhyme with Danielle). Most of the time, he talked to himself or slept, but on some summer evenings he would start clapping and sing lines from songs by Marley or The Beatles, or reminisce about Liverpool, where he was born and raised. His deep voice rose from a reservoir of cigarette tar and pain. One story he returned to again and again was that of another Liverpudlian, the calypso singer, songwriter and music promoter Lord Woodbine. For Samuel, Woodbine was just one more talented black man, used then cast aside by the white world, just like those impoverished blues singers in New Orleans, and countless R&B, reggae and rap artists who never got their due: “Who know today that Woodbine, he make the Beatles. Who wants to know a black man did that?” Who, indeed.

When the lads were just starting out, dreaming, green and crazy about music, they, said Woodbine, “made themselves orphans, deliberately” and followed him like motherless chicks, hanging around the joints he either part-owned or played at, always trying to have a go on the steel pans. “Woodbine’s Boys”, they called them, Paul, John, George, Stuart Sutcliffe (bass player and “fifth Beatle”) and, after Woodbine persuaded them they needed a drummer, Pete Best.

Woodbine was not ambitious; The Beatles were, and like most young people, they were takers and triers. The Trinidadian helped guide them through their formative musical years, an inadvertent father figure, an accidental hero. They found each other – the uncut band-players, often unwashed too, getting acquainted with cannabis and their somewhat unconventional role model, who part-owned shebeens and strip clubs, ran up debts and loved making music. Speaking to the musician Tony Henry, the Welshman Allan Williams, the first promoter of the group, admitted that without his old business partner Woodbine, there would have been no Beatles. It was Williams who parted with the group just as they were beginning to get popular. Woodbine’s chicks flew away. Brian Epstein, their next father figure, stepped in and the rest is history.

Only one substantial article was ever written about Woodbine – by Henry in 1998. He managed to interview the man himself, who, even then, was reluctant to intrude into the established Beatles legend. Maybe it was pride or humility, or both, or that Woodbine didn’t want the whole black Liverpudlian contribution to The Beatles projected on to him. There were others, of whom more anon. There were some poignant moments in the interview when Woodbine couldn’t hold back his bruised feelings, his disappointment that he was so casually overlooked by his boys.

As the years went by he had to endure further indignities, reminders that he was Mr Nobody. The worst blow came in 1992 at the Liverpool Playhouse, where he was invited to see Imagine, a play about The Beatles. The backdrop was a photograph taken in 1960, at the Arnhem Memorial, Germany. In the original, Woodbine – who had hired the van – was in the photo with Allan and the band minus John, who stayed in the van because he was a pacifist. The Trinidadian had been airbrushed out: “It really hurt me. Maybe the great Beatle publicity machine did not want any black man associated with their boys.”

And it carries on. Woodbine is virtually absent from the many books on Beatlemania. Biopics are as myopic. There is an interminable line of films on The Beatles, the latest of which was the BBC’s Lennon Naked, with Christopher Eccleston playing Lennon in a white suit. Liam Gallagher is making the next Beatles movie. Will it drop in on Toxteth? Best not to hope, as many say in that part of Blighty.

Biographers have passed over the black Liverpudlian who inspired and supported the fledgling band. The role of Liverpool, too, is often underestimated. In 2002, McCartney told the Liverpudlian writer Paul Du Noyer: “Liverpool was a huge melting pot. And we took what we liked from it.” Various witnesses saw this happening. The black Liverpudlian band-leader George Dixon remembers the boys watching him and the guitarist Odie Taylor at the White House pub. The Nigerian-Liverpudlian singer Ramon Sugar Deen recalls the way their music developed: “I heard them jamming in the Cavern club and the rhythm had changed. They’d got some chords off Odie.”

Greg Wilson, an enthusiastic promoter of black music, believes it is impossible to determine “influences” on artistes, the mix inside them, how their own talent responded to the sounds and thoughts of others. However, in accounts of the Merseyside four, credit is always given to Motown, Ravi Shankar and individuals such as DJ Greg Wilson. Only the musicians of Liverpool 8 have no place in the narrative. They have been Tipp-Exed out. Woodbine was the first singer-songwriter Lennon and McCartney ever met, yet one writer said that the Trinidadian had only a “walk-on part” in The Beatles’ story.

Born in Trinidad in 1928, his real name was Harold Phillips. When only 14, he lied about his age and joined the RAF. After the war, he went back home and then retuned to England in 1948 on the famous SS Windrush, which carried the first boatful of hopeful West Indian immigrants to their motherland. Though they faced raw racism and hostility, most of these immigrants had spirit and song and a buoyancy that not even the bitter cold could drag down. Woodbine knew how to enjoy life, whatever it chucked at him. He was part of the first professional steel band in this country. They played in clubs and shebeens in Liverpool 8, where in the Eighties, race riots would erupt. He made up a delightful calypso about various characters named after cigarettes. His chums, probably as a joke, renamed him Lord Woodbine. It stuck.

He perished in a house fire in Toxteth with his wife 10 years ago this July. The inferno ended an extraordinary life. He was 72 and by all accounts as skint as he had always been, though generous till the end. In his time he had been a lorry driver, railway engineer, builder, decorator, shopkeeper, TV repairman, a barman, club owner, songwriter, singer and musical mentor.

In 1958 he was with the All-Steel Caribbean Band, led by a fellow Trinidadian, Gerry Gobin. At the Joker’s Club, where the band often played, the musicians noticed two white lads who seemed keen. They were Lennon and McCartney, wide-eyed and restless kids, like many others on rock and dole. The steel-pannists moved to the popular Jacaranda Club in Liverpool 1 and The Beatles followed. Gobin, unimpressed by their music, was initially irritated by these hangers-on. Candace Smith, then Gobin’s partner, was also suspicious of them: “Bloody white kids, trying to horn in on the black music scene.”

Marylee Smith, Jamaican, 81, used to visit her cousins in Liverpool. Interviewed for this article, she recalled Toxteth’s music scene then: “They was there all the time, you know, all the time, like they was looking for some black magic, pushing in, rough boys, unwashed sometimes. Jumping on to the stage, playing the pans like it was theirs. Some of us didn’t like that. But the musicians, they didn’t mind so much.” Woodbine was bohemian, free, left wing, incautious. He even had the boys performing in his strip club. It must have been madly exciting.

In 2008, McCartney recalled those times in Mojo magazine: “Liverpool being the first Caribbean settlement in the UK, we were very friendly with a lot of black guys – Lord Woodbine, Derry Wilkie, they were mates we hung out with.” More than that, actually. George Roberts, part Arab and another Liverpudlian promoter, observed that Paul and John not only liked being with people of colour, they were getting to know deep musical traditions and skills: “They had two passions. One was to learn authentic R&B and the other was to become famous. Lennon would never have got that in Menlove Avenue; McCartney would never have got R&B with his upright piano and dad.”

Other Toxteth musicians brought on the two wannabes. The Somali-Irish guitarist Vinnie Tow was seen showing John and Paul the seventh chord in the Chuck Berry style, says Roberts: “John was always asking Vinnie, ‘Show me this, show me that.'” The Guyanese guitarist Zancs Logie was another willing teacher. In 1995, Woodbine told Derek Murray, author of a forthcoming book on black music: “Zancs was always showing Lennon something. Until he died [1994] he was proud of how he taught Lennon to play guitar.” George Dixon thought The Beatles were “three-chord wonders. We were playing sophisticated 15-chord numbers. But The Beatles progressed and others didn’t so I admire them.”

Williams and Woodbine got The Beatles to Hamburg, then a happening place hungry for new talent. Williams had found some cash left behind in a club – instead of blowing it on themselves, they sent for the boys, shacked up in shabby rooms and got them bookings. The group fell out with Williams when they made a return trip to Hamburg and got bookings without giving him a cut. Later, as The Beatles found fortune and fame, people in Liverpool would say to Woodbine: “See your boys doing great, Woody”, and he did feel chuffed. He needed them less than they once needed him. That is a kind of victory.

That affection was not fully reciprocated. True, The Beatles always took a strong stand against racism. When he bumps into black Liverpudlians, Paul McCartney spontaneously remembers his “old friend Woodbine” and others. He has done an admirable amount for black and white musicians in his old city. But when Woodbine burnt to death in 2000, McCartney left it to his press office to issue a statement. The surviving band-members should have attended the funeral, or at least had a public memorial to honour the man. Better still, surely they should have seen him right when he was alive?

Fame brings all kinds of past and present hangers-on – people making wild claims of previous intimacies. Woodbine and the others who helped The Beatles never did. Their protégés were too busy, too wary, too rich, too famous to feel any sense of obligation to those who taught them to fly high with their musical wings. It is forgetfulness more than malice, but still can wound.

And so Woodbine’s becomes another sad story perhaps to turn into a blues song. Dr Helen Davies, lecturer in cultural studies, believes that he dramatises the way “‘authentic’ history is constructed. We see time and time again that the voices that are recorded are white, male and middle class.”

Not good enough, says the sociologist Max Farrar, who remembers the Toxteth clubs: “We were listening to black music – it was the start of the, some would say curious, some dubious, love affair that white people like me have with black people and the emancipatory culture they have created. It’s high time this debt was properly acknowledged.” If it was, we might get to celebrate Liverpool 8, its struggles, appeal, and the fantastic cross-cultural creativity that made The Beatles.


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When Todd Bachman’s daughter got married last weekend, he wanted to make sure that her stepfather was recognized at the wedding in some way. After all, her stepdad had helped raise her.

So when it came time to walk his daughter Brittany down the aisle, Bachman did something completely unexpected: He stopped the procession, ran to the front row and grabbed her stepdad Todd Cendrosky in order to share the honor of walking their daughter down the aisle.

The beautiful moment was captured by Ohio-based wedding photographer Delia D Blackburn, whose Facebook album of the Elyria, Ohio wedding has received more than one million “likes.”
“It was one of the most compassionate gestures toward a stepparent I’ve ever seen,” Blackburn told The Huffington Post. “The bride was in tears and overcome with emotion.” As the photos show, Cendrosky was as well.

In an interview with local news station WKYC-TV, the stepdad said he was totally taken aback by Bachman’s kind gesture.

“[He] came and grabbed my hand and said: ‘You worked as hard as I have. You’ll help us walk our daughter down the aisle,'” Cendrosky recalled. “I got weak in the knees and lost it. Nothing better in my life, the most impactful moment in my life.”
In the same interview with WKYC-TV, Bachman admitted he and Cendrosky hadn’t always gotten along. But extending the honor at the wedding just made sense.

“For me to thank him for all the years of helping raise our daughter wouldn’t be enough,” the biological dad said. “There is no better way to thank somebody than to assist me walking her down the aisle.”

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Man Hears Barking Beneath Sidewalk, Finds Dog Buried Alive

A pregnant dog who had been buried and left to die beneath the ground was able to make it out alive — all thanks to a kindhearted man who refused to ignore her cries for help.

The animal’s shocking ordeal began last Friday outside a housing unit in the Russian town of Voronezh in what some suspect was an act of cruel indifference. City workers had been called out to the spot to patch a section of sidewalk where a sinkhole had formed weeks earlier. In so doing, however, they somehow ended up entombing the dog in a cavity that remained under the building’s front steps.

She might never have been discovered if it weren’t for her refusal to be forgotten. In the days that followed, residents Vadim Rustam and his family were alarmed to hear the sound of barking below the freshly-laid bricks, so they appealed to the city’s housing authority for assistance.
After being told that nothing could be done to help, Rustam took matters into his own hands.

Without concern about undoing the recent repairs, he began prying up the bricks and digging through the sand beneath. And it’s a good thing that he did.

Amazingly, despite having spent two days without food or water all alone in the dark, the dog was still alive. Footage from the rescue shows Rustam pulling her to safety from her early grave.

While it remains unclear how the dog ended up in that predicament, and whether or not she’d been buried alive knowingly, she and her unborn puppies are alive today because of the actions Rustam took to save them.

The expectant-mother dog, believed to have been a stray, has since been placed under the care of a local animal rescue group. Thankfully, she is said to be doing well and will soon be made available for adoption.

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Sci Am Image

The brain can be a messy place. Thankfully, it has good plumbing: Scientists have just discovered a cleansing river inside the brain, a fluid stream that might be enlisted to flush away the buildup of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The researchers, based at the University of Rochester (U.R.), University of Oslo and Stony Brook University, describe this new system in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The study adds to the evidence that the star-shaped cells called astrocytes play a leading role in keeping the nervous system in good working order.

In most of the body, a network of vessels carry lymph, a fluid that removes excess plasma, dead blood cells, debris and other waste. But the brain is different. Instead of lymph, the brain is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid. For decades, however, neuroscientists have assumed that this fluid simply carries soluble waste by slowly diffusing through tissues, then shipping its cargo out of the nervous system and eventually into the body’s bloodstream. Determining what’s really going on has been impossible until recently.
In this study, researchers led by U.R. neuroscientist Maiken Nedergaard have identified a second, faster brain-cleansing system. Nedergaard an expert in non-neuronal brain cells called glia, has long suspected that these cells might play a role in brain cleansing.

Nedergaard and colleagues studied live mice with holes drilled into their skulls to gain an unobstructed view. To see how waste is carried by cerebrospinal fluid in a living mouse, they injected the mice with radioactive molecules that could be traced using laser-scanning technology.
The molecules’ journey began after being injected into the subarachnoid space, a cavity between membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The researchers observed that, like a river, cerebrospinal fluid carried these molecules rapidly along specific channels. Glial cells along the outside of arteries form these channels, creating a flume for cerebrospinal fluid that follows the brain’s blood vessels. In addition, the researchers found that these glial cells mediate the channel’s activity, assisting the flow of fluid through the channel.

From channels alongside arteries, the tracer-bearing fluid then passes through brain tissues. At the other end of tissues, it flows into similar channels along veins. The fluid follows these veins then either returns to the subarachnoid space, enters the bloodstream or eventually drains into the body’s lymphatic system. The researchers christened the network the “glymphatic” system, a nod to both glial cells and its functional similarity to the lymphatic system.

U.R. neuroscientist and lead author Jeff Iliff notes several surprises in the study: “I didn’t think we would see these jets of fluid going through the brain,” Iliff says. In addition, he explains that previous conception of cerebrospinal fluid’s role in waste removal suggested that the process was one-way, sending particle-carrying fluid from the brain into the body. Instead, they observed a recycling, as much as 40 percent of the fluid returned to the brain.

As a test of their work, the researchers injected proteins called amyloid beta into mice’s brains. In Alzheimer’s, this protein—present in all healthy brains—can accumulate and clump, developing into cell-damaging plaque. The researchers compared mice with a normal glymphatic system to those with a disabled gene that prevented glial cells from assisting in the fluid flow. They found that in the normal mice, the protein rapidly cleared from the brain along these channels, but amyloid removal diminished in the gene-altered animals.

Iliff hypothesizes that a faulty glymphatic system may bear the blame for the over-accumulation of proteins seen in Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative disorders—and further study may even reveal a way to dispose of these clumps.

Jaleel Miyan, a neurobiologist at the University of Manchester in England who did not participate in this research, stressed the significance of this finding by characterizing the analogy with the lymphatic system as inadequate: “What they have demonstrated is actually far more extensive and important to CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] biology.” The study clarifies discrepancies in past research and may lead to a better understanding of the functioning of the glymphatic system as a possible cleanser of the neural toxins that inevitably accrete and do damage as we age.

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It Was Twenty Eight Years Ago Today


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..”Sling and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune”

Last month, a wild elephant and two of his friends were attacked by poachers. Wounded by poisoned arrows, they trudged across the African landscape to the one place that could help them: the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).

Though the wild elephant had never been a resident at DSWT, he knew elephants who had. He had mated with two former orphans who were raised at DSWT’s Ithumba Reintegration Centre, who now lead their own wild herd. In 2011, he fathered babies with them, whom DSWT named Mwende and Yetu.

And DSWT is certain he knew this group of humans meant help.

“We are sure that Mwende’s father knew that if they returned to the stockades they would get the help and treatment they needed because this continuously happens with the injured bulls in the north; they all come to Ithumba when in need, understanding that there they can be helped,” DWST wrote.

And while it might be surprising to imagine an elephant seeking out humans for help — especially when he had just been injured by people — it’s not unbelievable.

Elephants have remarkable spatial reasoning abilities and are able to craft detailed mental maps that help them navigate their territory. Considering their intelligence and high sociability, it’s possible that former orphans or elephants who have been treated by DSWT could have communicated that it was a place of safety.

“Every day, we are awed by Kenya’s wildlife,” DSWT said.

Fortunately, these elephants wound up in exactly the right place. Over several hours, the veterinary team sedated the three bulls and treated their arrow wounds, cleaning out the poisoned areas and filling them with antibiotics and protective clay.

And according to DWST, they’ve done quite well after their surgeries — and seem to be thankful.

“Mwende and Yetu’s dad has remained in the area with his friends and they have regularly been seen since undergoing treatment,” the rescuers wrote. “Thankfully all their wounds have healed beautifully so they have all made a full recovery,” they added.

If you’d like to help DWST care for more injured and orphaned elephants, you can make a donation online.


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Tillie, an Irish setter and spaniel mix, and Phoebe, a basset hound, took off from their home in Vashon, Washington, on Sept. 7, owner B.J. Duft told ABC News. Duft said he he was throwing a party that day, and with all the activity, someone left the door open.

After a full week, Duft still hadn’t found his beloved pets. But then animal rescue organization Vashon Island Pet Protectors, which had posted about Tillie and Phoebe on its Facebook page, received a call from someone saying that for the past few days, a “reddish” dog had been coming up them on their property, then heading back into a ravine.

VIPP volunteers headed into that ravine, and found Tillie next to an old concrete cistern, volunteer Amy Carey told USA Today. Inside the concrete cistern was Phoebe, alive and well, but unable to get out.

The VIPP team was able to rescue both dogs and reunite them with Duft, who was “thrilled” to see them.

“It was very clear what Tillie had done,” Carey told ABC. “She had not left her friend’s side except for going up to the man’s house when he was there to try and get help for Phoebe.”

Duft, who said he ordered a dog collar with GPS to help prevent something like this from happening again, told the network he was “absolutely not surprised” that Tillie stood by her friend in the woods.

“She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends,” he said.


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Little blue strips are popping up all across the nation on curbs along many streets, but this is no coincidence. You see, there’s actually a purpose behind these lines. The reason is just so incredible, you may find one appearing right in front of your own home.

It’s called “The Safe Harbor Initiative,” and it’s been kicked off by a man named Anthony Welichko out of San Antonio, Texas. So, what exactly are these little blue lines? Well, as Welichko explains in his Facebook post:

To all law enforcement who see this line, know that the residents of this home appreciate your service and dedication to keeping the peace. Know that when you enter the neighborhood and see these lines that you are not alone or without “back-up.”
That’s right, these little blue strips along the curb are a show of solidarity that our citizens have with police. Specifically meaning that the people who live in the home directly in front of the mark on the curb have the officers’ backs, it’s a great way to show your support.
However, the blue lines aren’t meant for just police, as its purpose is two-fold.

“We do not need the media to make our voices of support for our police and emergency services heard ( though it would be nice),” Welichko went on to say. “Lastly, if you are in my neighborhood and mean to harm a member of law enforcement, know that decision may be hazardous to your health as someone has that officers back!”

It’s honestly quite a shame that our nation has devolved to the point where many have turned their backs on those who voluntarily risk their lives to serve and protect our communities. However, it’s becoming quite clear that many people here in America couldn’t feel any more differently and have began to show signs of support to let police know that people still do care and respect them.

For that reason, I may just be headed out to the curb this afternoon with some tape and can of blue spray paint. What do you think – do you see yourself taking place in The Safe Harbor Initiative?

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Tonka, a 7-year-old wombat, lost everything he ever knew: his home, his mom and any sense of stability in his life.

He was rescued by the Billabong Sanctuary, where he was diagnosed with depression — and ever since then, the one thing in the whole world that brings him the most comfort is his teddy bear.

Tonka was only a baby when his mom was tragically hit by a car, and he was taken in by the sanctuary in Townsville, Australia. In 2011, Billabong was hit by a cyclone and required massive repairs. All of this change and heartbreak was too much for sensitive Tonka. Now, back at the repaired sanctuary, the staff deals with Tonka’s depression the best they know how — with teddy bears.

“Animals that are clinically depressed likely have the same problems as do humans with the condition — the brains of all mammals are remarkably the same,” Kenneth B. Storey, a professor of biochemistry at Carleton University, told The Dodo.
Tonka is so attached to his stuffed friend that his comfort toy has to be replaced often, as he is constantly tearing holes through them. Occasionally, Tonka will even get a stuffed wombat, as his handler Samm Sherman posted about on her Instagram account.

Sherman, who has the most interaction with Tonka, is his best friend. A staff member at the sanctuary, she’s very affectionate with him and posts about him on her Instagram frequently with the endearing hashtag #mybestfriendisawombat.
Animals of course can’t tell us if they’re depressed, but evidence suggests that they most certainly do experience the blues.

“We measure interest in food that animals like a lot or in motivation for sexual activity. We also measure how they are interacting socially with other animals in the group, and changes in sleep patterns and daytime activities,” Olivier Berton of The University of Pennsylvania told National Geographic.

“Another behavior that has been used frequently to measure animal depression is whether they readily give up when exposed to a stressful situation,” he said.
We cannot know for sure exactly how Tonka feels, but at least his stuffed friends are able to bring him a little bit of joy.


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A false story circulating this week claims that four sons of members of The Beatles have joined to form a band called “The Shoots.”
The false story claims that four sons of former members of The Beatles – James McCartney, Sean Lennon, Dhani Harrison, and Zak Starkey – have joined forces to form a band called The Shoots. The story, however, was published by the self-proclaimed satire website The Stately Harold.

A disclaimer on that website’s “About” page clearly states its attempt at publishing satire.

The Stately Harold is a satirical website. None of the stories have a grain of truth to them and the opinions do not belong to real people.

Besides the satirical nature of the article’s source, there have also been no such announcements by the sons of the former Beatles, two of whom are currently on tour. Zak Starkey is currently on tour with The Who, while Sean Lennon is also touring with The Goastt (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger).


The sons of former Beatles members have not formed a band called The Shoots. The false report comes from a self-proclaimed satire website.

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Human faces may hold more meaning for socially outgoing individuals than for their more introverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

The results show the brains of extroverts pay more attention to human faces than do introverts. In fact, introverts’ brains didn’t seem to distinguish between inanimate objects and human faces.

The findings might partly explain why extroverts are more motivated to seek the company of others than are introverts, or why a particularly shy person might rather hang out with a good book than a group of friends.
The study also adds weight to idea that underlying neural differences in people’s brains contribute to their personality.

“This is just one more piece of evidence to support the assertion that personality is not merely a psychology concept,” said study researcher Inna Fishman, of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, Calif. “There’s some broader foundation for the behavior that you see … implicating that there are neural bases for different personality types.”

Personality in the brain

There are many ways to describe someone’s character — from talkative to anxious to hardworking and organized. Psychologists have found that many traits often go together and have grouped these traits into five overarching categories — extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness/intellect.

Extroversion deals with the way people interact with others. Extroverts like to be around other people and generally enjoy social situations while introverts are the opposite. Previous studies have shown that people who are extroverted also tend to be more assertive, experiencemore positive feelings and get more out of rewards in general.

However, no one had looked to see whether extroverts are more sensitive to stimuli specifically related to social situations, such as faces.

To find out, Fishman and her colleagues recruited 28 participants ages 18 to 40 that ranged in personality from introverted to somewhat extroverted to very extroverted. Electrodes placed on the subjects’ scalps recorded the electrical activity in their brains, a technique known as electroencephalography, or EEG.

The researchers studied a particular change in the brain’s electrical activity known as P300. The change, which shows up as a deflection on a person’s EEG, can be elicited by certain tasks or by a change in the environment, such as when the room is very quiet and you all of a sudden hear a loud nose. The brains’ reaction occurs within 300 milliseconds, before the person is aware of the change.

To evoke P300, Fishman used a method known as the “oddball task” in which subjects see a series of very similar images, such as a bunch of blue cars, and then all of a sudden, a slightly different image appears, such as a red car.

In the current experiment, subjects saw a series of male faces and every so often a female face appeared. They were also shown pictures of purple flowers interspersed with pictures of yellow ones.

Faces or flowers?

The higher subjects had scored on a test for extroversion, the greater their P300 response was to human faces. In other words, extroverts pay more attention to human faces (P300 can be seen as an indicator of human attention, or how fast their brains’ noticed that something has changed.)

There was no link between scores on extroversion and the P300 response to flowers.

Introverts had very similar P300 responses to both human faces and to flowers.

“They just didn’t place a larger weight on social stimuli than they did on any other stimuli, of which flowers are one example,” Fishman said.

“[This] supports the claim that introverts, or their brains, might be indifferent to people — they can take them or leave them, so to speak. The introvert’s brain treats interactions with people the same way it treats encounters with other, non-human information, such as inanimate objects for example,” Fishman told LiveScience.

The results strongly suggest that human faces, or people in general, hold more significance for extroverts, or are more meaningful for them, Fishman said.

The study was presented in a poster session on Friday at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

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By: Alan Graham.

Rudy is ninety eight years old, that’s fifteen in dog years. As you can imagine his engine is running a little slow these days.

Recently I saw him taking his owner for a walk and we stopped to chat. Rudy is now deaf and blind and seemed to be confused or disoriented, and it was only when I drew close to pet him that he recognized me and started wagging his tail.

His owner told me that Rudy was now bumping into trees and other objects, but he so loved his adventure walks it would be very hard to stop taking him out.

My wife told me she saw Rudy on one of his walks, but this time he was being carried by his owner. The little fella was still smelling the air and listening to familiar sounds and was quite content to carried around like a royal dog.

A few days later Rudy got a package and inside was a new Radio Flyer red wagon with air filled wheels to ensure a comfortable ride.

Now he rides around town like a dog Prince in his royal red wagon.








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The first octopus genome is now fully sequenced, according to a new study in Nature. Scientists stitched together the complex genome of the California two-spot octopus, and analyzed 12 different tissues in search of the genes that allow these unique cephalopods to change skin color and control eight arms independently. The findings may help explain how an ancient, ocean-dwelling invertebrate evolved into one of the most intelligent species on the planet.

“The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving capabilities,” said Clifton Ragsdale, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago and coauthor on the study, in a prepared statement. “The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.”

More Wine DNA Research Sheds Light On Why We Have Different Pinots

Aristotle was not enthusiastic about octopus intelligence. “The octopus is a stupid creature,” he wrote, “for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water.” Nonetheless, we now know that octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates on the planet—as demonstrated by real science as well as viral videos of whip-smart cephalopods escaping from jars. Since cephalopods have been around for at least 500 million years, scientist suspect that “they were the first intelligent beings on the planet,” said Sydney Brenner, Nobel Laureate and coauthor on the study, in a prepared statement.

But until now, we simply didn’t know much about octopus intelligence. Scientists already knew that they had enormous brains and way too many neurons, but nowadays experts agree that you don’t really know an organism until you’ve sequenced its genome. And it turns out that octopuses have weird genomes. The 2.7 billion base-pairs that make up the octopus genome look a lot like that of other invertebrates—except, mixed up.

“The octopus basically has a normal invertebrate genome that’s just been completely rearranged, like it’s been put into a blender and mixed,” said Caroline Albertin, a graduate student at the University of Chicago and coauthor on the study, in a prepared statement.

The octopus also has an abnormal number of genes controlling neuron development and interactions between neurons—processes likely associated with learning and intelligence. The octopus genome contains 168 of these special genes, known as protocadherins, twice the amount found in most mammals. Researchers suspect that the extra genes help bridge gaps between neurons, allowing octopuses to make better use of their complex, but limited nervous systems.

Taken together, scientists may be on the verge of finally understanding how a 500 million-year-old marine organism that lacks basic bone structure consistently ranks higher than most mammals when it comes to brain size, neuron count and learning ability. Perhaps with a little more time (and a little more science) we’ll eventually figure out that age old question—are you really smarter than an octopus?

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By Their Own Devises.

T.S. Eliot once said that “only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Unfortunately, the following inventors inadvertently went too far with their creations. In a cruel twist of fate, the innovative minds behind these progressive inventions fell victim to the risks they decided to take


Marie Curie (1867-1934) 

Curie is an icon in the science world and is credited with inventing the process to isolate radium (she was able to do this after co-discovering the radioactive elements radium and polonium). Unfortunately, the dangers of radiation were not common knowledge at the time and she died of aplastic anemia as a result of her continued exposure to radiation from her research.


Karel Soucek (1947-1985)
Soucek was a Canadian professional stuntman who invented a shock-absorbent barrel that he famously (and illegally) used to go over Niagara Falls in 1984. He used the same barrel to drop from the roof of the Houston Astrodome in 1985, a stunt which Evel Knievel described as the “most dangerous [stunt] I’ve ever seen.”  

He was fatally wounded when the barrel he was in hit the rim of the water tank that was meant to cushion his landing.


James Douglas (1581)
Douglas was the Fourth Earl of Morton who lived in Scotland under the reign of King James VI. In a cruel twist of fate, he’s most remembered for being executed in Edinburgh by the Maiden, a Scottish guillotine that he himself had introduced to the country during his term as Regent of Scotland.


Max Valier (1895-1930)
Valier was a pioneer of rocketry who lived in Austria. He’s best remembered for inventing a liquid-fueled rocket engine as a member of an elite German rocketeering society in 1920s Germany. In May of 1930, though, his own type of alcohol-fueled engine exploded on his test bench and struck him in the face, killing him instantly.


Li Si (208 BC)
The Five Punishments was a series of physical torture methods that was prominent in Ancient China. Li Si was a prime minister during the Qin dynasty, during which time he introduced the Five Pains method of punishment, which included tattooing someone’s face, cutting someone’s nose off or having the victim’s body cut into four separate pieces.

In 208 BCE, Si was executed on criminal charges by the very method that he had helped create.


Jim Fixx (1932-1984)
James Fuller Fixx was an American athlete and author who wrote the influential 1977 text “The Complete Book of Running.” He’s widely credited as being a founding father of the American fitness revolution.

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Before lying down, dogs often circle their beds or wherever they’ve chosen to settle in for a nap. This curious canine behavior dates back to prehistoric times , when dogs literally had to make their own beds.

Although domesticated dogs have adapted to living with humans and can easily be housetrained, they’ve still retained some of their wild ancestors ‘ survival instincts.

“This behavior was hard-wired into the dog’s ancestors as a way to build a safe ‘nest,'” Leslie Irvine, author of “If You Tame Me: Understanding Our Connection With Animals,” told Life’s Little Mysteries

Doggy beds and pillows haven’t always been around, so wild dogs had to pat down tall grass and underbrush to make a comfortable bed for themselves and their pups. The easiest way to prepare that night’s sleeping area was by walking around in a circle.

The rounding ritual may also have served as a safety precaution. “In the wild, the circling would flatten grasses or snow and would drive out any snakes or large insects,” said Irvine, a sociologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who specializes in the role of animals in society.

“I have also heard that circling the area and thus flattening it leaves a visible sign to other dogs that this territory has been claimed,” Irvine said. “Even though our dogs now sleep on cushions, the behavior endures.”

Pointer Dogs: Pups Poop Along North-South Magnetic Lines.

Dog owners have observed some odd behaviors among their pets — sniffing butts, eating garbage, giving unconditional love — but one habit has probably escaped their attention: Dogs apparently prefer to poop while aligned with the north-south axis of the Earth’s magnetic field.

That’s the surprising conclusion of an exhaustive study, conducted by German and Czech researchers, who spent two years watching 70 dogs while they defecated and urinated thousands of times. The scientists then compared the dogs’ behavior and orientation with the geomagnetic conditions prevailing at the time.

The researchers found that the dogs preferred to poop when their bodies were aligned in a north-south direction, as determined by the geomagnetic field. (True north, which is determined by the position of the poles, is slightly different from magnetic north.) [10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs]
And while dogs of both sexes faced north or south while defecating, only females preferred to urinate in a north or south direction — males didn’t show much preference while urinating (perhaps because males tend to lift their legs when urinating, the experts speculated, while females usually drop their hips in a position somewhat similar to defecation).

Animal magnetism

This latest set of findings, published last week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, joins a long and growing list of research showing that animals — both wild and domesticated — can sense the Earth’s geomagnetic field and coordinate their behavior with it.

A 2008 analysis of Google Earth satellite images revealed that herds of cattle worldwide tend to stand in the north-south direction of Earth’s magnetic lines when grazing, regardless of wind direction or time of day. The same behavior was seen in two different species of deer.

Birds also use magnetic fields to migrate thousands of miles, some research suggests. A 2013 report found that pigeons are equipped with microscopic balls of iron in their inner ears, which may account for the animals’ sensitivity to the geomagnetic field.

Humans, too, might possess a similar ability — a protein in the human retina may help people sense magnetic fields, though the research into this and many other related geomagnetic phenomena is preliminary and therefore remains inconclusive.

How do dogs know?

The dog researchers used 37 different breeds in their study, from beagles and borzois to Transylvanian hounds. All of the animals were observed off-leash in open fields and other areas, so buildings, trees and other objects in the landscape wouldn’t force the dogs to face one way or another.

The researchers also noted that while most dogs preferred to poop while facing north or south, most dogs also avoided facing east or west. But why? The answer remains elusive, the scientists admitted.

“It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial[ly] perceived) … or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction),” the study authors wrote.

The researchers also found that when the Earth’s magnetic field was in a state of flux — it changes during solar flares, geomagnetic storms and other events — the dogs’ north-south orientation was less predictable. Only when the magnetic field was calm did researchers reliably observe the north-south orientation.

Further research is needed to determine how and why dogs (and other animals) sense and use the planet’s magnetic field. Their study, the authors wrote, also “forces biologists and physicians to seriously reconsider effects magnetic storms might pose on organisms.”

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Life has been rough to Rosie, a little abandoned kitty. She was outside, alone and hungry. This 3-weeks-old kitten was in a bad shape, sickly, cold and maybe with only few more hours left to live. Then, her savior Lilo came around.
When Lilo sniffed out Rosie in some bushes, her owners had to take in the little kitten and try to save him. At first, all their attempts seemed futile, because the kitten was limp and rarely moving.
After some time, they put it together with Lilo and it all clicked. Lilo’s maternal instinct kicked in and she started licking, keeping warm and feeding her newfound baby. That did the trick and Rosie was back on her feet in no time.

lilo-the-husky-saves-2 lilo-the-husky-saves-3 lilo-the-husky-saves-4 lilo-the-husky-saves-5 lilo-the-husky-saves-6

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Excerpted from:

Please Help Me!

When Oliver Stone was about to shoot, “The Doors”, he paid a visit to the Admiral in an attempt to gain some insight into Jim through the eyes of the rock ‘n’ roll icon’s parents. After the visit, Stone would say that the Admiral did not seem to know who his son really was. This was particularly true, for Stone knew the Jim Morrison of “No One Here Gets Out Alive” fame and virtually nothing about Jim’s younger life.

The Admiral knew all about his first born son, but knew absolutely nothing about The Lizard King. He was, however, sure of one thing that few people knew: Jim had inherited a severe case of stubbornness from his mother, Clara, who never backed down, never gave up, and never asked more than once. Many people have tried to ingratiate themselves with the Morrison clan by claiming they hold letters written by Jim or last messages to be delivered only after his death – all of which have proven to be counterfeit.

Jim Morrison would have rather swilled down Drano than send a message asking for help from his parents or from any living soul on the planet, not even sister, Anne, whom he dearly loved, or brother, Andy. Jim was too proud and too stubborn. So, when Pamela called the Morrison’s home at two o’clock a.m., loaded on downers a year before Jim died, telling tales of their son’s downward spiral…her financial difficulties…the Miami trial…The Doors fighting over money…Jim’s excessive drinking culminating with:

“Jim-m-m-m r-e-e-e-e-e-a-l-l-l-y n-e-e-e-e-ds y-o-o-u-u-r-r-r-r h-e-l-l-l-p. He-e-e-e-e wa-a-nts y-o-o-u t-o-o-o h-e-l-l-l-p h- i-m-m-m!”

The Admiral soon dismissed the slurring woman with, “Well, you tell Jim, if he needs my help to call me.”

This seemingly callous and disinterested response to his son’s alleged cry for help was an astute analysis of the woman’s weak endeavor to curry favor with the family or to ally them to “Help Jim”.

The flaw in this plot to cajole is revealed by the contents of the counterfeit message.

Jim Morrison would never ask for help from his father or, for that matter, from anyone.

Jim knew that he couldn’t put the genie back into the bottle, which meant he couldn’t stand before his father and admit that he needed help and, in turn, the Admiral couldn’t ask Jim if he needed any help.

Father and son – unable to reach out to each other in the living years.


“Every generation Blames the one before

And all of their frustrations Come beating on your door

I know that I’m a prisoner To all my Father held so dear

I know that I’m a hostageTo all his hopes and fears

I just wish I could have told himIn the living years… 

Mike and the Mechanics / “In the Living Years”


Do you know how pale & wanton thrillful
comes death on a strange hour
unannounced, unplanned for
like a scaring over-friendly guest you’ve
brought to bed
Death makes angels of us all
& gives us wings
where we had shoulders
smooth as raven’s
― Jim Morrison


“Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

spoken by Horatio in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

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Posted in Summer 2015 | 1 Comment

He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother


“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…

“Beyond sore, beyond tired, beyond thankful, beyond blessed.”

Those were the words tweeted by 15-year-old Hunter Gandee Sunday after he successfully carried his 8-year-old brother on his back — for 57 miles.

Hunter’s brother, Braden, has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. Braden cannot walk without assistance.

In 2014, Hunter embarked on a challenge which he dubbed the “Cerebral Palsy Swagger” to raise awareness about his brother’s condition. For the challenge, Hunter walked for 40 miles while piggybacking Braden. The idea was to demonstrate “the physical and mental challenges faced everyday by those affected by cerebral palsy.”

At the time, Hunter said the journey had made him more exhausted than he’d ever been in his life.

Still, for this year’s challenge, the teen decided to push himself even harder.

Hunter and Braden started their journey on Friday in Lambertville, Michigan. Three days, 57 miles and a few breaks later, the pair arrived at their final destination — the University of Michigan’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor.

That was “definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Hunter wrote on Twitter after completing the challenge.

Hunter told the Associated Press that the challenge was a big success. “We were able to reach more people,” he said. “That’s what our goal was.”

According to, it was an emotional moment for not just Hunter and his family, but also for some onlookers, when the brothers finally reached their destination.

“When I first heard about this last year, I immediately started crying,” Maureen Kijek, a supporter at the finish line whose son has cerebral palsy, told the news outlet. “As a parent [of a child with the condition] you feel alone so often. It’s nice to see a community come together in support.”


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In the moments before death, the heart plays a central role, conventional wisdom says. That is, as the heart stops beating and blood stops flowing, the rest of the body slowly shuts down. But new research suggests this view may be wrong.

Scientists studied the heart and brain activity of rats in the moments before the animals died from lack of oxygen, and found that the animals’ brains sent a flurry of signals to the heart that caused irrevocable damage to the organ, and in fact caused its demise. When the researchers blocked these signals, the heart survived for longer.

If a similar process occurs in humans, then it might be possible to help people survive after their hearts stop by cutting off this storm of signals from the brain, according to the study published today (April 6) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [Beyond Vegetables and Exercise: 5 Surprising Ways to Be Heart Healthy]
“People naturally focus on the heart, thinking that if you save the heart, you’ll save the brain,” said study co-author Jimo Borjigin, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. But her team found something surprising. “You have to sever [the chemical communication between] the brain and heart in order to save the heart,” Borjigin told Live Science, adding that the finding is “contrary to almost all emergency medical practice.”

Every year, more than 400,000 Americans experience cardiac arrest — which is when the heart stops beating. Even with medical treatment, only about 10 percent survive and are discharged from the hospital, according to the American Heart Association.

The researchers addressed the question of why the heart of a previously healthy person suddenly stops functioning completely, after only a few minutes without oxygen.

It turns out that even when a person in cardiac arrest loses consciousness and shows no signs of life, the brain continues to be active. In a previous study published in PNAS in 2013, Borjigin and her colleagues found that as the heart is dying, it gets flooded with signals from the brain, probably in a desperate attempt to save the heart.

This barrage of signals may be responsible for the near-death experiences some people report, Borjigin said.

In the new study, the researchers induced cardiac arrest in rats by having them breathe carbon dioxide or by subjecting them to lethal injection. The researchers then studied the animals’ brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG) and their heart activity using echocardiography (ECG) in the moments leading up to death. The team also measured the signaling chemicals present in the rats’ hearts and brains throughout the experiment.

Initially, the animals’ heart rates dropped off steeply. But then, their brain activity became strongly synchronized with the heart activity. The researchers used a new technology they developed for measuring heart rate, beat by beat.

While the heart and brain were in sync, the researchers observed a flood of more than a dozen neurochemicals, such as dopamine, which produces feelings of pleasure, and norepinephrine, which causes feelings of alertness. This flood of chemicals could explain why people who undergo near-death experiences describe them as “realer than real,” Borjigin noted.

In the rats, the brain and heart activity remained synchronized until the heart went into a state called ventricular fibrillation, in which the lower chambers of the heart quiver instead of contracting properly, preventing the heart from pumping blood.

But when the researchers blocked the flow of these chemicals from the brain to the heart, by severing the rats’ spinal cords before killing them, it delayed ventricular fibrillation. As a result, the animals survived for three times as long as the rats whose heart-brain connection was left intact.

Of course, all of this research was done in rats. Whether human bodies behave similarly is the million-dollar question, Borjigin said.

If researchers can find a way to “sever” the connection between the brain and the heart using drugs (rather than by actually severing the actual spinal cord), then it could be possible to administer these drugs to a person experiencing cardiac arrest. This would give health care workers more time to treat these patients, Borjigi

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015 12:11AM
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) — The last year has been a tough one for Sebastian Delgado. The 22-year-old began having seizures and was then diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

“They found a tumor in my head so I knew I had to get brain surgery,” Delgado said.

While doctors were medically saving his life, Delgado says, his dog, Maiden, was emotionally getting him through the ordeal.

“I took her walking, we went hiking, all that stuff, you know,” he said. “I just did everything with my dog.”

“The first thing that he asked me when he got out of surgery is, ‘Where’s Maiden?'” said Delgado’s girlfriend, Monica Tomer. “He could hardly talk or say his own name, but he remembered his puppy.”

But now, Maiden is gone. On Saturday, the 10-month-old pit bull found an open gate at the Riverside home of family friends and wandered off near Jefferson Street and Magnolia Avenue.

Delgado and Tomer have since been desperately searching for Maiden. With nowhere else to turn, Tomer’s sister contacted Eyewitness News by using #ABC7Eyewitness.

“She’s got big ears, a pink nose with like little brown freckles on it, green and brown eyes and she just looks funny, but she’s cute though,” Delgado said.

Delgado and Tomer have contacted every animal shelter from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. They’ve hung up fliers and posted signs as well. They’re now hoping someone will see Maiden and give them a call.

“It just breaks my heart because he deserves to have her,” Tomer said.

Delgado says he needs her as well. Doctors say his tumor will most likely come back, as will chemotherapy and possibly more brain surgery.

A man battling brain cancer is asking for the public’s help in finding his biggest supporter, his dog. Maiden went missing in Riverside Saturday, March 14, 2014.
Meanwhile, Delgado says, his focus right now is making sure Maiden is safe.

“I hope they’re not doing anything wrong to her because I know she’s a pit bull and a lot of people do bad stuff to them. I just hope they give her back to me,” he said.

Anyone with information on Maiden’s whereabouts was urged to contact Delgado at or call (909) 450-6136.

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Ray Collins

lifebuzz-13e98849d72917b99a2cd5831bbe6e6a-limit_2000 lifebuzz-fface5ef83fd0552f075575b20235a5c-limit_2000 lifebuzz-da562a508673c137942ad2c09e8c9d79-limit_2000 lifebuzz-839929d84843b3629d4daf029615fa9b-limit_2000 lifebuzz-fd2081207d943935aa68e09950b39b18-limit_2000 lifebuzz-4ccbffdf2274416277c6e91357cb7b14-limit_2000 lifebuzz-fb4ee94ff0543cd37fb61fc8c74cd868-limit_2000 lifebuzz-51706a8d444c147bd61289b0ffe2bd11-limit_2000 lifebuzz-993bba9d77ad723e63de9b9451c8b34d-limit_2000

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It may sound like the plot of a Disney movie – but Todd the fox really does think he’s a dog.
The animal was tamed after being rescued as a four-month-old cub and was raised as a domestic pet by owner Emma D’Sylva.
Since then the lovable fox has picked up a number of canine characteristics such as tail wagging, playing with toys and even walking on a lead.

The 11-month-old animal accompanies Ms D’Sylva’s pet labradors Sky and Oakley on walks, drawing double-takes from other dog-walkers when they see Todd trotting through the local park. 

He also sleeps in a kennel in his enclosure in the garden, plays energetically with the other dogs and even wags his tail when it’s feeding time.

Emma, 25, from Stanfield, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., said: ‘Todd has been captive-bred so he has never been in the wild.
‘I’ve had him since he was about four months old because his previous owners couldn’t look after him any more.
Emma adopted Todd the fox when he was four-months old

Canine customs: Todd enjoys going on walks, playing with dog toys and even wags his tail when he’s happy
Sleeps in a kennel: The 11-month-old domesticated animal spends his nights in a plastic kennel with blankets
Sleeps in a kennel: The 11-month-old domesticated animal spends his nights in a plastic kennel with blankets
‘I get people coming over to me asking if he is a fox and if they can stroke him.
‘He was a bit crazy when he first came to me last year but now he has a really strong bond with me and he will walk on a lead.
‘He is very playful with me. He will run up to me wagging his tail when I go to feed him and he will roll over to have his belly tickled.
‘He will come into the house but he has got a purpose built enclosure and he much prefers being outside.
‘We got him a little plastic kennel in his enclosure with blankets which is similar to a dog bed.
‘He is similar to a dog but he is a bit more hyperactive. He gets on with my two dogs, and wants to play with them all the time.
Playful: The fox, pictured in the park with Ms D’Sylva, cannot be let off the lead because he is deaf
Playful: The fox, pictured in the park with Ms D’Sylva, cannot be let off the lead because he is deaf
School visits: Ms D’Sylva has 40 pets and takes some of them, including Todd, into schools and care homes so that children and the elderly can interact with them
School visits: Ms D’Sylva has 40 pets and takes some of them, including Todd, into schools and care homes so that children and the elderly can interact with them
‘He tries to do what the dogs do but I can’t let him off the lead because he’s deaf so I can’t shout him to come back.
‘At first he was bonkers but he is getting more used to being in the company of other people now.
‘If people or dogs come up to him in the park he will lie down at first and freeze but after a few seconds he will sniff around the dogs or sit patiently.’
Todd also lives with Emma’s menagerie of other creatures at her three-bedroomed house including a skunk, a raccoon, lizards and snakes.
She takes some of her 40 pets into schools and care homes to enable children and the elderly to interact with a range of captive-bred animals.
Emma, who lives with her partner Steve Johnson, 34, added: ‘Todd went out on his first school visit the other week and the children really enjoyed stroking him while he was in my arms.

Walking companions: Todd is pictured in the woods with Ms D’Sylva’s two labradors Sky and Oakley
‘He’s really getting used to things now and I’m looking forward to letting more and more people meet him.’
An RSPCA spokesperson said there were no legal restrictions on people keeping animals and pets in England and Wales as long as they were treated well.
He added: ‘Foxes have not been domesticated and a fox in captivity would have the same needs as in the wild.
‘Anyone who keeps these animals is under a legal obligation to meet their needs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.’

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Joseph Campbell’s Mythic Journey

by Jonathan Young

New Perspectives Magazine — July 1994
Mythologist Joseph Campbell was a masterful storyteller. He could weave tales from every corner of the world into spell-binding narratives. His lifelong quest from childhood days as a devout Catholic altar boy to fame as the world’s most noted scholar in comparative mythology makes for a fine heroic story.

The adventure picks up when young Joe Campbell sees the Indians in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1912. The future scholar soon became convinced that he had Indian blood. One of the striking details of the early years was Campbell’s youthful studiousness. He read his way through the children’s section of the public library and was admitted to the adult stacks at the age of eleven. He devoted himself to every available fact about Native American life, including the reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology. By high school, he was already writing articles on Native American mythology, presenting many of the themes he would still be working in his eighties.

Campbell’s life was a passionate intellectual journey. College years at Columbia University were spent discovering literature while becoming a track star and playing in a jazz band on weekends. Graduate study in the Holy Grail legends of Arthurian mythology took him to Paris and Munich where he discovered the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung as well as James Joyce, Thomas Mann and modern art. This is when he saw the parallels between mythic themes in literature and psychological lessons such as those revealed in dreams.

Returning to Columbia, Campbell wanted to expand the scope of his dissertation topic beyond the Grail myth to include parallels with psychology and art. His advisors made it clear that such a daring perspective would not be acceptable. The depression had set in and, with no job prospects, Campbell abandoned doctoral work and went off to Woodstock for five years of intensive study of the imagination. At every turn, Campbell met the interesting thinkers of the time – many of whom became friends, from the philosopher Krishnamurti to Adelle Davis, who was Campbell’s first serious romantic interest long before her career as a nutritionist. During a break from his period of unsponsored scholarship, Campbell travelled to California, where he met an unknown novelist named John Steinbeck and promptly fell in love with Steinbeck’s wife, Carol. Another part of his west coast adventure was a trip up the Northwest coast to Alaska collecting marine specimens with “Doc” Ed Ricketts who was later immortalized in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.

Teaching and writing

Finally, a job offer came from Sarah Lawrence College. This most experimental school provided the setting for the next 38 years of Campbell’s work. He became a master teacher and mentor to generations of notable women. He credits his students for bringing the element of personal application to his writing. His future wife, Jean Erdman, began as a student at Sarah Lawrence the same year that Campbell joined the faculty. She went on to star in Martha Graham’s dance company, then became a acclaimed choreographer in her own right and founded the performance dance department at New York University.

As these two prolific talents energetically pursued their creative careers they moved among the bright lights of New York’s artistic and intellectual circles. Composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham were particularly close. Indologist Heinrich Zimmer was such a kindred spirit that, upon his untimely death, Campbell was asked to edit and complete his works. Through Zimmer, Campbell met Carl Jung and participated in the Jungian Eranos Conferences in Switzerland.

It was the publication of The Hero With a Thousand Faces in 1949 that established Joseph Campbell as the preeminent comparative mythologist of our time. He wanted the book to be a guide to reading a myth. Campbell explained how challenging experiences could be seen as initiatory adventures. It was this connection between ancient stories and the emotional concerns of modern life that was distinctive. As Campbell observed, “The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.”

Campbell’s prodigious scholarship went on to include the four-volume Masks of God as well as The Mythic Image and the lavishly illustrated series The Historical Atlas of World Mythology. As his influence grows, Joseph Campbell seems destined to join Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung as one of this century’s great disseminators of the psychological wisdom of mythology.

Encounters with a storyteller

Coming away from the first seminar I attended with Joseph Campbell, I had a new sense that meaning could be found in every direction. The weekend had been filled with Campbell’s enchanting storytelling. He had explained that the great scriptures of the world’s religions could be understood as metaphors for psychological changes. It was a major turning point in my life.

One conversation with him that first weekend had been especially significant for me. We were sitting down to dinner together and I mentioned that I missed the ritual of saying grace before meals. I said that it just wasn’t clear to me at that time what I should give thanks to. Campbell gently suggested that I say my thanks to the animals and plants that had given their lives so that my life would continue. In a few words, he captured the essence of an old ritual and gave it fuller meaning. It was typical of his way of showing the significance of familiar details of everyday situations.

It might be worth mentioning that Campbell was also eating meat. He liked to tease vegetarians by saying they were people who couldn’t hear a carrot scream. His humor illustrated some of the most important points, like the comment that the mid-life crisis was getting to the top of the ladder, only to discover that it was leaning against the wrong wall.

The same evening that first seminar ended, I was to lead a discussion group at a local church. It was something I did often, but this Sunday was different. It wasn’t just the usual personal problems and philisophical questions. We ended up talking about the symbolic messages available in ordinary life. I realized that Campbell’s vision had really gripped me.

There would be many more seminars with Campbell. Usually I would be his aide, taking care of details and being his driver. I would seize any chance to spend extra time with him and ask one more question. Campbell’s style was profoundly natural. He would tell stories drawn from many traditions, often weaving several stories to show similarities. His lectures were usually illustrated with slides of the sacred images of each of the cultures involved.

One setting was an ecumenical retreat center. He would occasionally comment on the images on the walls of the chapel. Noting the crucifix, Campbell would describe some of the many resurrection stories from different cultures and comment on how the symbolism suggests personal spiritual integration. His ease in drawing on a wide range of material was striking.

During his visits to Santa Barbara it was sometimes my responsibility to get him away from the seminar for a quiet meal. One evening I took him to a restaurant out on the local pier with Jean Houston who was presenting with him that weekend. Joseph Campbell was every bit as charming at dinner as at the lectern. He looked out over the oceanfront and remarked on Santa Barbara’s great beauty and how sad he was about the decline of his native New York City. He noted that his new home in Hawaii was also a place of abundant natural loveliness.

Ritual as mythic experience

Campbell believed that participation in ritual could put you into a direct experience of mythic reality. One day he told a beautiful Native American story of the buffalo princess who let herself be married to a buffalo so that her tribe could eat. It showed the deep connection between the indians and the animals they relied on for survival. That evening, Campbell suggested that we enact the story as the indians had in one of their major rituals. When our group gathered to prepare it was decided that I would play the princess. I guess it was type – casting since I am bearded and six-foot-five. Campbell was delighted with our trickster approach and said none of his groups had taken that angle before.

It sometimes fell to me to take him out to Santa Barbara Airport for his departure. This was a prized task because I would have time alone to ask more questions. He was always gracious. One time he had recounted a story from Arthur’s round table in which a horse is cut in half as a knight is entering an enchanted city. I asked why the horse had to die. He explained that I was being too literal in my reaction. The horse was a symbol for our physical nature which was not the vehicle for entrance into the sacred realm. In a few words he explained a great metaphysical principle.

The last time was in 1985, two years before he died. The topic was the beloved of the soul. Campbell described the spiritual dimensions of romantic love. When The Power of Myth television series with Joseph Campbell was broadcast, millions of people were inspired by the wisdom of the late mythologist. Many lives were deeply changed by this amazing teacher. The world found out what a devoted band of Campbell’s students had known – that this man’s message was a great treasure of our time.

My training had been in comparative religion and, later, clinical psychology. Joseph Campbell showed the psychological dimensions of the great spiritual traditions. For me, Campbell was the one teacher who explained how it all fit together. My approach to therapy changed markedly to include story and soul. The seminars on creativity I had been giving became workshops on the symbolic wisdom of mythic stories. Passing on Campbell’s work had become a calling.

A few years later, the college in Santa Barbara that had sponsored the seminars with Joseph Campbell started a graduate program in psychology with an emphasis in mythology and religious studies. I eagerly accepted an offer to be one of the core professors. It was a chance to teach the ideas that Campbell had outlined to future leaders in the field of psychology. The program grew and now the Pacifica Graduate Institute has trained hundreds of therapists and has some four hundred students currently working on Masters and Doctoral degrees.

When the Campbell family was deciding where the archives would be located, Pacifica was chosen. Mrs. Campbell felt that it was the one college that was teaching the parallels between psychology and mythology in the spirit of Campbell’s pioneering work.

A mythic calling

The president of Pacifica knew that Joseph Campbell had been a mentor to me and offered me the task of building an appropriate repository for the papers and books. Beginning in 1990, my labor of love as curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library was to assemble the thousands of books and years of notes Campbell gathered in nearly seventy years of scholarship. Working in his studies in New York and Honolulu with Mrs. Campbell to understand how he used each book and how he arranged his files has been memorable. When I would come across outlines for the very seminars that had effected me so deeply, it was like finding lost jewels.

The library is administered by an independent, non-profit, corporation. The facility, which formally opened in January of 1993, has displays of religious objects collected by Campbell in his travels and an extensive photo exhibit of his life and work. Choosing the pictures from the family albums was especially rewarding. Most of them have never been published and can only be seen at the archives.

The personal aspects of folklore and mythology has been the theme of the seminars I’ve been invited to give around the country for the last ten years. My notes from the many occasions I was with Joseph Campbell as he addressed these issues have been the core of my presentations. It is one of those marvelous turns that life takes that I now have the opportunity to edit these materials that have had such a personal impact on my inner life.

One of the most rewarding experiences I have as I travel to present seminars on mythic stories is to meet the many people who have been inspired by Joseph Campbell and his work. Everywhere I go people tell me stories about studying with him at Sarah Lawrence College or meeting him after one of his lectures. Whether through seeing him in person, reading his books or seeing him on television, people describe the profound impact that Joseph Campbell’s ideas have had on their lives.

Campbell’s opus is not yet fully published. His literary executors have nine additional books in various stages of the editing process. These will be released over the next several years. Many hours of lectures on video are to be released in newly edited versions. Joseph Campbell’s influence on our understanding of mythology seems to still be on the rise. When the religious history of this century is written, the impact of Joseph Campbell will surely be a major event in our collective spiritual development.

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desktop-1409865137-1-600x450Polly is the sole survivor of the three emaciated horses found abandoned in the UK. After six months of rehabilitation, she’s finally healthy and happy. But the beginning of her story is absolutely tragic.

Discovered initially by the RSPCA, Polly was the most emaciated horse the Horse Trust had ever seen. After being rescued, her heroes began to see her spirit shine through; Polly proved to be very affectionate, despite her nightmarish life and her battle with malnourishment and skin issues. Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust said “It seems such a long time since Polly came to us in February. Hers was a case of cruelty of the worst kind. Her condition was so terrible that we could never be totally sure if she would pull through until recently. Every day Polly enjoys from now is a bonus. It won’t be the end of treatment for her, but it is the beginning of her new life.”



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How long does it take to master a craft? How about 80 years? Because 109-year-old Australian Alfred Date has been knitting since the 1930s and his latest/most famous endeavor was making mini sweaters… for endangered penguins!

Back in 2013, Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation asked for volunteers to make sweaters for the rare “little penguins.” Alfie, who has yet to learn to say no, pitched in.

Father to 7, grandparent to 20, he’s not only been an active knitter, but also a sportsman, having played golf till his 90’s.
His secret for longevity? “Waking up every morning”. See, he’s a joker, too!




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Stephanie Gonzales, a crime prevention specialist for the Woods Cross Police Department, told her family adopted young Spot — full name, Spoticus — “right before Christmas,” when her husband’s co-worker had an unexpected litter of puppies. Soon thereafter, Gonzales had her reasons for bringing Spot to work.

“I wanted to show off my new dog,” she said with a laugh. “Of course, they thought he was the cutest little thing.”

And while Spot doesn’t have any official duties, he does offer a valuable service.

“The detective walked in, he was in a grumpy mood,” Gonzales said of Spot’s first day reporting for duty. “He’d just had a horrible call, and [Spot] just runs up and completely loves him. And [Spot] does that with every officer.”

The impression Spot had on her co-workers and visitors that first day convinced Gonzales to bring Spot along on a daily basis. “Everybody who came in the office — whether you work here or wanted to make a police report — has been like, ‘Oh, what a cute dog!'” she added. “Even if you’re in the worst mood, I mean, [there’s] a little puppy. How do you not love that?”

Spot’s greatest accomplishment during his short tenure was calming a young boy who’d wandered into the police station.

“We had a lost boy who was brought to the station, probably two weeks ago,” Gonzales said. “He did not know who police were, and was very, very reluctant to come in. But as soon as he was in here, and he saw the dog, he was like, ‘Oh, a dog!’ We let him throw [Spot] a toy. He completely warmed up, finally told us his name, finally got his phone number, and we were able to get him back to his parents.”

In addition to learning a few tricks ranging from “stick ’em up” to rolling over, Spot is described by Gonzales as “spunky, willing to learn and very energetic” — that is, when he’s not napping on a giant pile of stuffed animals. “As soon as he hears the door open, he jumps off my chair to the door to greet anybody who comes,” she added. “Not one person has complained.”

Back at home, Spot continues to be affectionate, palling around with Gonzales’ husband, four children and two bullmastiffs — all dwarfing the pup who goes by “Officer Spot” on the police department’s website.

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Not So Silly


bomsIt turns out that psychedelics aren’t just good for turning into an elf and jousting a car. Psychiatrists, psychologists and specialists in addiction and recovery from traumatic experiences have been investigating the use of hallucinogens in treatment programs, and the results indicate that psychedelics actually have practical therapeutic uses. And one drug has proven particularly useful. Repeated studies have found the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, can help people move past major life issues — like beating alcoholism and becoming more empathetic.
The research: One study concluded that controlled exposure to psilocybin could have long-lasting medical and spiritual benefits. In 2011, Johns Hopkins researchers found that by giving volunteer test subjects just the right dose (not enough to give them a terrifying bad trip), they were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers. This provoked long-lasting psychological growth and helped the volunteers to find peace in their lives, all without side effects. Nearly all of the 18 test subjects, average age 46, were college graduates. Seventy-eight percent were religious and all were interested in finding a scientific experience.
Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. Thirty-nine percent said it was the most important thing that had ever happened to them. Their colleagues, friends, and family members said the participants were kinder and happier; the volunteers had positive experiences ranging from more empathy and improved marriages to less drinking.
Lead author Roland Griffiths told TIME’s Healthland that “The important point here is that we found the sweet spot where we can optimize the positive persistent effects and avoid some of the fear and anxiety that can occur and can be quite disruptive.”
What’s more, the researchers say that those changes in personality are highly atypical, because personalities tend to be pretty set in stone after the age of 25-30. According to postdoctoral researcher Katherine MacLean, who contributed to the study, “This is one of the first studies to show that you actually can change adult personality.”
“Many years later, people are saying it was one of the most profound experiences of their life,” she continued. “If you think about it in that context, it’s not that surprising that it might be permanent.”
This is strictly do-not-try-this-at-home. Maclean says that “in an unsupervised setting, if that sort of fear or anxiety set in, the classic bad trip, it could be pretty dangerous.” But “On the most speculative side, this suggests that there might be an application of psilocybin for creativity or more intellectual outcomes that we really haven’t explored at all.”
More research: Within the past few decades, interest in hallucinogens has expanded from the counter-culture to dedicated, methodological research. For example, another study published in 2010 conducted research into whether psilocybin can lend some comfort to terminal cancer patients — finding evidence that it reduced death anxiety and experienced significantly less depression. According to study researcher Dr. Charles Grob, “Individuals did speak up and tell us that they felt it was of great value.” NYU’s Dr. Stephen Ross, who conducted a similar study, told SCPR that “To me it’s been some of the most remarkable clinical findings I’ve ever seen as a psychiatrist.”
Psychologist Clark Martin, Ph.D., who participated in the study as a volunteer, describes his experience below:

As well as participant Janeen Delaney:

As a result of the studies, a joint UCLA, NYU and Johns Hopkins team is conducting large-scale phase three trial next year.
Cluster headache patients say (with the backing of some doctors) that psilocybin and LSD provide them with significant relief, which researchers argue need further study.
A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found evidence that psilocybin “enhances autobiographical recollection,” suggesting psychiatric uses in “the recall of salient memories or to reverse negative cognitive biases.” A review of the pyschiatric research performed on psilocybin concluded that the risks of therapy were acceptable and that “most subjects described the experience as pleasurable, enriching and non-threatening.” And this year, Zürich researchers released a study in which they administered psilocybin to 25 volunteers. The treatment was found to be associated with an “increase of positive mood in healthy volunteers.”
So basically, there’s at least some hard evidence that this:

… Has the potential to be helpful, leading to introspection, self-reflection, and relief from psychiatric conditions.
Other drugs: Other illegal drugs have been linked to positive psychological outcomes. Trials with MDMA have had positive results in patients suffering from PTSD. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies founder Rick Doblin, who works with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, discusses why MDMA might be the first psychedelic to “open the door into traditional psychiatry and psychology”:

So why isn’t there more evidence? The federal government is only now beginning to loosen its restrictions on medical uses of mind-altering substances, and it’s doing so very cautiously. In 2013, a group of psychiatrists released a review saying government restrictions made even researching psychoactive drugs “difficult and in many cases almost impossible.”


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Let It Be (Sold)


The childhood home of Beatles legend Paul McCartney is going under the hammer at Liverpool’s Cavern Club this month.

Fans of the icon can bid for 72 Western Avenue, in Speke, where Macca lived until the mid 1950s.

Paul was just four years old when his parents Jim and Mary moved into the humble three bedroom terrace – then a council house.

It is said to be the first house Paul remembers living at and he has spoken fondly of the six years he spent there.

The family became well known in the local area during their time at Western Avenue, due to Mary’s career as a local midwife.

Today, the ground floor of the house features a hallway, lounge, dining room and kitchen, while upstairs there are three bedrooms and a family bathroom. The property has gardens to the front and rear.

Beatles fans will have the chance to own the piece of history, when it is auctioned at a guide price of £100,000 plus, at the Cavern Club on February 26, 2015, at 7pm.

Stephen Giddins, regional sales director, of estate agent Entwistle Green, said: “We are delighted to be acting on behalf of the current owner of 72 Western Avenue, a property which has such a unique history. The Beatles, arguably one the biggest bands of all time, still attract thousands of visitors to Liverpool each year, so to get the opportunity to offer for sale Paul McCartney’s childhood home is very exciting.

“Taking into consideration the location, the property itself and the background we expect a lot of interest locally and internationally and would urge all interested parties to register their details as soon as possible to ensure they don’t miss out on this rare opportunity.”

In October 2013, John Lennon’s childhood home at 9 Newcastle Road in Wavertree, sold at auction for £480,000 and last October George Harrison’s former home 26 Upton Green, in Speke, where he lived from 1949 until the early sixties, sold for £156,000.

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It was a normal day for the builders tasked with some routine ground work near London’s Canary Wharf. They had left a couple of ground holes open, so when they heard the cries of a young animal, they knew where to look. Lo and behold, they peeked into one of the deep, muddy holes and found a small helpless animal. They had no idea it was a four-month-old fox cub caked in mud and horribly petrified.

The fox had been trapped with no chance of escape, covered in thick layers of dried mud from head to toe. The builders rescued him, and then it was off to South Essex Wildlife Hospital. There, his saviors nursed him with food, water and a much-needed bath. He was christened ‘Muddsey.’ Whereas before Muddsey was hardly recognizable as a living creature under all that sludge, let alone a fox, to see his adorable face shine through after a good cleaning is simply amazing.

The staff said, “None of us knew how long he had been down that hole — it could have been all weekend.”

Check out Muddsey’s photos below. I’m so glad this poor baby was rescued; the world is more adorable for it. Please SHARE this story with your friends, and help spread the power of animal rescue!

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We all have been adopted but there are many more who need your help, So, Please visit your local animal shelter and adopted a pet.

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Anyone who has house hunted in a major city recently has likely encountered one of two things: serious anxiety and a questionable amount of underutilized space. At least that’s what Dutch architecture firm Heijmans found when they ventured into their latest project — a set of affordable movable homes designed with budget-strapped renters in mind.

Much like the portable tiny home Spanish architecture firm Ábaton introduced to us back in 2013, the “Heijmans ONE” is a prefabricated home made out of solid wood frames and solar panels that can be built pretty much anywhere, in a single day. According to Heijmans, the compact, energy-efficient homes were designed to make use of the “derelict sites” (aka empty lots) that exist in cities like Amsterdam, and includes everything one would need to live, such as a kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom and even an outside patio.

Carmen Felix, a test resident who spent three months living for free in a Heijmans ONE, told the Huffington Post that the homes are perfect for people who need a temporary home but don’t want to skimp on beautiful design. “The thing I love the most about the homes is that you get the whole package,” says Felix. “It looks small, but it’s everything you need and want in a house. And all the wood gives you an immediate ‘holiday in Scandinavia vibe.'”

Heijmans, whose previous work includes an innovative glow-in-the-dark road developed the homes for people ages 25 to 35 who find it “difficult to obtain financing for a house” and may not even desire to do so. The cost, at the time of publishing, is € 700 or around $800 a month. 30 units are set to be in use in the Netherlands this fall. To see how you can obtain one of these homes, contact Heijmans.

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Like sneezing, goose bumps (also known as the pilomotor reflex) represent one of your body’s automatic responses, meant to increase your chances of survival in the harsh world.

Cold environments and strong emotions (like fear) are both known to give your skin the texture of plucked poultry. When the muscle fiber connected to a hair follicle tightens, the skin surrounding the follicle puckers into a goose bump, pulling the connected hair straight up.

One effect is to generate warmth: straightened hair traps a layer of air against the skin, insulating the body. Unfortunately, human hair is so thin and short as to render the reflex virtually useless, but in hairier mammals goose bumps don’t just look silly. In fact, a cat or mouse’s battle-ready stance is related to our own pilomotor reflex. In their case the muscles are responding to perceived threats by making the animals appear larger.

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Missan, 29, may be the world’s oldest cat, according to its Swedish owner who says that aside from suffering from some minor back and kidney problems, there is no reason why her furry friend won’t make it to the grand age of 30.

Missan the Swedish farm cat is turning 30 this spring and may be the world oldest living cat. By far.

“I read an article about another cat that was supposed to be the world’s oldest, and I just thought to myself: ‘mine is older!’,” Missan’s owner Åsa Wickberg, from Karlskoga, told the TT news agency.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Poppy from Britain was listed as the world’s oldest cat last year at the age of 24.

Wickberg said she found Missan as an abandoned kitten in 1985, with the family dog quickly adopting her as one of her own.

“She’s a bit of a loner, and has always been a bit shy and a little cautious. But she likes dogs. She takes to them very quickly.”

Although Missan’s age has somewhat taken its toll on her, with some back and kidney problems, it has been nothing that some cortisone and new eating habits haven’t been able to fix.

Wickberg is convinced Missan will make it to the age of 30.

“It feels highly likely,” she said.

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Outdoor Fitness Broadway's Healthiest Show Girl: Elsie Connor was elected as the healthiest Chorus girl on the New York stage, seen with her boxing gloves. USA. Photograph around 1930  (Photo by Austrian Archives (S) Fitness: Exercises for the stabilization of the backbone and the wrist in the Westminster Hospital School for Massage and Medical Gymnasts, Photograph, England, Oct, 24th 1929 Water cycle - 1928 slide_331897_3290116_free Mechanical Horse Take That Exercise Bike slide_331897_3290083_free slide_331897_3290082_free slide_331897_3290080_free slide_331897_3290044_free slide_331897_3290043_free slide_331897_3290041_free slide_331897_3290038_free slide_331897_3290033_free slide_331897_3290030_free slide_331897_3290028_free slide_331897_3290025_free slide_331897_3290021_free

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Buddah Mummy Skeleton

o-MUMMY-570Researchers examining a nearly 1,000-year-old statue of Buddha on display in Holland discovered something very unusual hidden inside: the mummy of a meditating monk.

Calling the mummy its “oldest patient ever,” the Meander Medical Center in the Dutch city of Amersfoort used a CT scanner to take images of the body inside the statue and an endoscope to examine the thoracic and abdominal cavities.

The mummy is believed to be that of Liuquan, a Buddhist monk who died in China around 1,100 A.D. During their examination, the researchers found that the mummy’s internal organs had apparently been removed and the space filled with “paper scraps that were printed with ancient Chinese characters,” the hospital said in a news release.

The statue was on display as part of the “Mummies: Life Beyond Death” exhibition at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands last year, and this was the first time it had been let out of China.

A brochure from the event says this may be a case of self-mummification.

These monks would typically subsist on water, seeds and nuts for 1,000 days, then roots, pine bark and a toxic tea made from sap of the Chinese lacquer tree for another 1,000 days while sealed inside a stone tomb, according to CNET.

They would breathe through a small tube and ring a bell to let everyone know they were still alive, Business Insider Australia reported. Once the ringing stopped, they’d be left inside for another 1,000 days.

Those who were mummified are said to have achieved enlightenment, Smithsonian reported.

It’s not clear whether Liuquan self-mummified, but the removal of the organs and presence of scraps of paper suggest that may not have been the case.

The statue is now on display in Hungary at the Natural History Museum.


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Dead…Or Meditating?

42-41376421.jpg__800x600_q85_cropIt’s weird enough to discover a mummy that’s been perfectly preserved in full lotus posture. But the story of a mummified monk found in Mongolia only gets stranger. Not only was the body discovered when a man tried to sell it on the black market, but some Buddhists claim that the mummified monk isn’t really dead at all.

The BBC reports that the mummy, which is being analyzed by forensics experts at the National Center of Forensic Expertise in Mongolia, was found wrapped in cattle skins and is remarkably well-preserved. That could be due to the freezing temperatures in far-flung Mongolia…or could something else be at play?

Barry Kerzin is a Buddhist monk himself and the physician to the Dalai Lama. He tells the Siberian Times that he thinks the mummy is in a state of “tukdam,” a deep meditative state that’s one step away from enlightenment:

I had the privilege to take care of some meditators who were in a tukdam state.

If the person is able to remain in this state for more than three weeks—which rarely happens—his body gradually shrinks, and in the end all that remains from the person is his hair, nails, and clothes. Usually in this case, people who live next to the monk see a rainbow that glows in the sky for several days. This means that he has found a ‘rainbow body’. This is the highest state close to the state of Buddha.

So how long might this trance have lasted? Some speculate that the monk was the teacher of Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, a monk who was found mummified in 2002. Itigilov reportedly told his students he was going to die and ordered them to exhume his remains at a later date. He began meditating, died, and was found in pristine condition 88 years later.

The jury may be out on whether the Mongolian mummy is just dead or about to reach enlightenment, but one thing is clear: it’s not that weird to find bizarre human remains. From screaming mummies to bodies that still contain organs and blood thousands of years after they were buried, archaeologists find frightening remains all the time. Who knows what other mysteries lie buried beneath the earth?


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“Not With A Bang, But A Whimper”


If a new theory turns out to be true, the universe may not have started with a bang.

In the new formulation, the universe was never a singularity, or an infinitely small and infinitely dense point of matter. In fact, the universe may have no beginning at all.

“Our theory suggests that the age of the universe could be infinite,” said study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
The new concept could also explain what dark matter — the mysterious, invisible substance that makes up most of the universe — is actually made of, Das added.

Big Bang under fire

According to the Big Bang theory, the universe was born about 13.8 billion years ago. All the matter that exists today was once squished into an infinitely dense, infinitely tiny, ultra-hot point called a singularity. This tiny fireball then exploded and gave rise to the early universe.

The singularity comes out of the math of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which describes how mass warps space-time, and another equation (called Raychaudhuri’s equation) that predicts whether the trajectory of something will converge or diverge over time. Going backward in time, according to these equations, all matter in the universe was once in a single point — the Big Bang singularity.

But that’s not quite true. In Einstein’s formulation, the laws of physics actually break before the singularity is reached. But scientists extrapolate backward as if the physics equations still hold, said Robert Brandenberger, a theoretical cosmologist at McGill University in Montreal, who was not involved in the study.

“So when we say that the universe begins with a big bang, we really have no right to say that,” Brandenberger told Live Science.

There are other problems brewing in physics — namely, that the two most dominant theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity, can’t be reconciled.

Quantum mechanics says that the behavior of tiny subatomic particles is fundamentally uncertain. This is at odds with Einstein’s general relativity, which is deterministic, meaning that once all the natural laws are known, the future is completely predetermined by the past, Das said.

And neither theory explains what dark matter, an invisible form of matter that exerts a gravitational pull on ordinary matter but cannot be detected by most telescopes, is made of.

Das and his colleagues wanted a way to resolve at least some of these problems. To do so, they looked at an older way of visualizing quantum mechanics, called Bohmian mechanics. In it, a hidden variable governs the bizarre behavior of subatomic particles. Unlike other formulations of quantum mechanics, it provides a way to calculate the trajectory of a particle.

Using this old-fashioned form of quantum theory, the researchers calculated a small correction term that could be included in Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Then, they figured out what would happen in deep time.  The upshot? In the new formulation, there is no singularity, and the universe is infinitely old.

A way to test the theory

One way of interpreting the quantum correction term in their equation is that it is related to the density of dark matter, Das said.

If so, the universe could be filled with a superfluid made of hypothetical particles, such as the gravity-carrying particles known as gravitons, or ultra-cold, ghostlike particles known as axions, Das said.

One way to test the theory is to look at how dark matter is distributed in the universe and see if it matches the properties of the proposed superfluid, Das said.

“If our results match with those, even approximately, that’s great,” Das told Live Science.

However, the new equations are just one way to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. For instance, a part of string theory known as string gas cosmology predicts that the universe once had a long-lasting static phase, while other theories predict there was once a cosmic “bounce,” where the universe first contracted until it reached a very small size, then began expanding, Brandenberg said.

Either way, the universe was once very, very small and hot.

“The fact that there’s a hot fireball at very early times: that is confirmed,” Brandenberg told Live Science. “When you try to go back all the way to the singularity, that’s when the problems arise.”

The new theory was explained in a paper published Feb. 4 in the journal Physical Letters B, and another paper that is currently under peer review, which was published in the preprint journal arXiv.

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Forever Dogs

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Growling is a valuable means of communication for a dog – something that dog owners should appreciate and respect rather than punish. Of course, we don’t want our dog to growl at us, but neither do we want him to fail to growl if something makes him uncomfortable; that’s very important information in a successful canine-human relationship.

Don’t punish your dog for growling; you need to know when he’s uncomfortable so he’s not pushed past his ability to cope. Note: Play-growling is perfectly acceptable. As long as you’re sure he’s playing, there’s no need to modify this behavior.

It’s very common for dog owners to punish their dogs for growling. Unfortunately, this often suppresses the growl – eliminating his ability to warn us that he’s about to snap, literally and figuratively. On other occasions, punishing a growling, uncomfortable dog can induce him to escalate into full-on aggression.

So, if you’re not supposed to punish your dog for growling, what are you supposed to do? The next time your dog growls at you, try this:

1.) Stop. Whatever you’re doing, stop. If your dog’s growl threshold is near his bite threshold – that is, if there’s not much time between his growl and his bite, get safe. If his growl doesn’t mean a bite is imminent, stop what you’re doing but stay where you are. Wait until he relaxes, then move away, so you’re rewarding the relaxed behavior rather than the growl.

2.) Analyze the situation. What elicited the growl? Were you touching or grooming him? Restraining him? Making direct eye contact? Taking something away from him? Making him do something?

3.) Figure out a different way to accomplish your goal without eliciting a growl. Lure him rather than physically pushing or pulling him. Have someone else feed him treats while you touch, groom, or restrain him. If you don’t have to do whatever it was that elicited the growl, don’t – until you can convince him that it’s a good thing rather than a bad thing.

4.) Evaluate the stressors in your dog’s world and reduce or eliminate as many of them as possible. For example, if your dog is unaccustomed to strangers, then having your sister and her husband and three kids as houseguests for the past week would undoubtedly stress your dog. Noise-phobic dogs might be under a strain if city crews have been digging up a nearby street with heavy equipment or there was a thunderstorm last night. The vacuum cleaner is a common stressor for dogs. A loud argument between you and your spouse could stress your dog as well as you, and your stress is stressful to your dog. Harsh verbal or physical punishment, an outburst of aroused barking at the mail carrier, fence fighting with another dog. The list could go on and on.

Keep in mind that stress causes aggression, and stressors are cumulative; it’s not just the immediate stimulus that caused the growl, but a combination of all the stressors he’s experienced in the past few days. This explains why he may growl at you today when you do something, but he didn’t growl last week when you did the exact same thing. The more stressors you can remove overall, the less likely he is to growl the next time you do whatever it was that elicited the growl this time.

5.) Institute a behavior modification program to change his opinion about the thing that made him growl. One way to do this is to use counter-conditioning and desensitization to convince him the bad thing is a good thing (see “Fear Itself,” WDJ April 2007).

Another way is through the careful use of negative reinforcement as in a Constructional Aggression Treatment (CAT) program to teach him a new behavioral strategy when presented with the discomfort-causing stimulus. (For much more detail about CAT programs, see “Building Better Behavior,” May 2008).

If you need help to create and implement a behavior modification protocol, contact a qualified behavior professional who is experienced and successful in modifying aggressive behavior with positive, dog-friendly techniques. Good places to start your search are and, or my own trainer referral lists at


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Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.

Natural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.

Serotonin has been linked depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their “happy place” and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts’ claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life.

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column_what_are_the_most_famous_quotes_about_dogs“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
—Marilyn Monroe

Dogs are commonly referred to as “man’s best friend,” and 50 famous people also had choice and lasting words for our four-legged colleagues.

“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’”
—Dave Barry (author, Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway: A Vicious and Unprovoked Attack on Our Most Cherished Political Institutions)

“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”
—Robert Benchley (humorist and actor, Broadway Melody of 1938)

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)

“Hounds follow those who feed them.”
―Otto von Bismarck (1st Chancellor of Germany)

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
—Roger Caras (photographer and writer)

“Every dog has his day, unless he loses his tail, then he has a weak-end.”
—June Carter Cash (singer)

“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”
—Agatha Christie (author, Death on the Nile)

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”
―M.K. Clinton (author, The Returns)

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.”
—Charles de Gaulle (former President of the French Republic)

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”
—Johnny Depp (actor, Pirates of the Caribbean)

“Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.”
—Emily Dickinson (poet, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”)

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States)

“Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?”
—Jonathan Safran Foer (author, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

“There are three faithful friends: an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”
—Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father of the United States)

“Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.”
—Sigmund Freud (psychoanalyst)

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
—Robert A. Heinlein (author, Starship Troopers)

“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.”
―Kristan Higgins (author, In Your Dreams)

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.”
—Aldous Huxley (author, Brave New World)

“There are times when even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog — waiting to see where the dog wants to go so he can take him there.”
—Lee Iacocca (former president and CEO of Chrysler)

“Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.”
—Franklin P. Jones (humorist and PR executive)

“A dog can’t think that much about what he’s doing, he just does what feels right.”
―Barbara Kingsolver (author, Animal Dreams)

“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'”
—Rudyard Kipling (author, The Jungle Book)

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
—Dean Koontz (author, Whispers)

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
—Ann Landers (a.k.a. Eppie Lederer; famous advice columnist)

“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”
—Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States)

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”
—Jack London (author, The Call of the Wild)

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
—Groucho Marx (comedian)

“Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.”
—Cesar Millan (dog trainer)

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
—Marilyn Monroe (actress, Some Like It Hot)

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.”
—Christopher Morley (author, Kitty Foyle)

“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.”
—Phil Pastoret (author, Our Boarding House)

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
—Gilda Radner (comedienne)

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
—Will Rogers (actor, A Connecticut Yankee)

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
—Andy Rooney (contributor, 60 Minutes)

“I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.”
—Rita Rudner (comedienne)

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
—Charles M. Schulz (cartoonist, Peanuts)

“If you eliminate smoking and gambling, you will be amazed to find that almost all an Englishman’s pleasures can be, and mostly are, shared by his dog.”
—George Bernard Shaw (playwright)

“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
—John Steinbeck (author, The Grapes of Wrath)

“You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson (author, Treasure Island)

“Dogs got personality. Personality goes a long way.”
—Quentin Tarantino (director and screenwriter, Pulp Fiction)

“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”
—Elizabeth Taylor (actress, Cleopatra)

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.”
—James Thurber (author, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)

“A hungry dog hunts best.”
—Lee Trevino (golfer)

“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
—Harry S. Truman (33rd President of the United States)

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
—Mark Twain (author, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

“Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul, chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!”
—Anne Tyler (author, The Accidental Tourist)

“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.”
—Robert Wagner (actor, The Longest Day)

“Let sleeping dogs lie.”
—Robert Walpole (first Prime Minister of Great Britain)

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It’s fairly well known that traumatic brain injury — a complex injury caused by a jolt or blow to the head — disproportionately affects athletes and soldiers. But what about the 1 in 4 women in the U.S. who are estimated to be survivors of domestic violence?

What Are The Symptoms Of TBI?

According to Hirsch Handmaker, a radiologist who is studying the link between domestic violence and TBI, as many as 20 million women each year may suffer from TBI from abusive relationships. Symptoms of TBI include headaches, double vision, imbalance and decreased motor ability, as well as problems with memory, planning, learning, aggression, irritability and depression, he said.

Women who suspect they may have undiagnosed brain injury should see their primary care physician and get a referral for testing, said Robert Knechtel, M.D., interim director of the Sojourner BRAIN program, which launched an ambitious effort to research TBI in domestic violence survivors this week. Women may be referred to an ophthalmologist, audiologist, cognitive therapist or a neurologist for testing, depending on their symptoms.

Knechtel said the most important thing is to be honest with your doctor about the cause of injury. “Don’t be ashamed of telling the physician that you’ve been a victim of domestic violence,” he said. “They need to get the complete picture.”

Make A List Of Injuries, Including When They Happened

Knechtel recommends that women write down a list of all the times they were hit in the head and what part of the head was hit, if it is safe to do so. TBI affects memory, so for some women, this may be a difficult task. But in order to treat TBI, he said, doctors need to pinpoint exactly where the injury is located in the brain.

Women should also note if they have ever been strangled — a common tactic by abusers and a predictor of future lethal violence. “Strangulation is a cause of traumatic brain injury, and you don’t really even need to lose consciousness,” Knechtel said. “If you have decrease of blood flow to the brain, you can have parts of the brain that are affected.”

Ask Your Doctor Any Questions About Your Injuries. Make Sure They Are Answered.

Write down questions for the doctor before the visit, Knechtel said, and make sure they are answered before you leave. While there is growing awareness of TBI in military and athletes, he said, many health care providers are still not educated about brain injury caused by domestic violence and may downplay women’s symptoms, or chalk them up to stress. “Insist on testing, and on having an investigation done,” Knechtel said. “If you are being ignored, you may need to find a different doctor.”

If a woman has an acute injury, she should seek help immediately at an emergency room. “The first 24 to 48 hours are critical from a concussion standpoint,” he said.

If You Experience A Concussion, It’s OK To Sleep And Rest

Knechtel cautioned that women are especially vulnerable to brain injury in the aftermath of a concussion, and should do whatever is possible to avoid a secondary head injury while in recovery. “The additive nature of concussions over a short period of time can significantly impact long-term brain damage,” he said, comparing a woman who is discharged from the hospital and subsequently assaulted to a football player who returns to active play before his brain is healed.

Following a concussion, he said, it can be helpful to lie down in a quiet, dark room and sleep. Despite what many of us were told growing up, letting someone fall asleep after a concussion is actually exactly what the brain needs.

Contact Your Local Domestic Violence Coalition

Allie Bones, the CEO of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, recommends that women who have TBI symptoms reach out to their state domestic violence coalition to see what support services are available in their area.

“The coalitions tend to have the best information about what the domestic violence programs across the state offer,” she said. “These days, most programs are trying to focus on a trauma-informed approach, coming from the perspective that people who have experienced trauma have a lot of different ways their brain may be affected.”

Connecting with a domestic violence coalition can give women an opportunity to talk about their experiences, and to get support with some of the typical problems that domestic violence survivors struggle with, like finding affordable housing and filing for divorce, which can become even more unmanageable with a brain injury.


Domestic violence power and control wheel. Credit: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Seek Out Help With Legal Issues

Symptoms of TBI can make simple tasks, such as filling out forms and remembering dates and times, challenging. For women who are involved in court cases due to their abuse, brain injury can make an already confounding process even harder.

“Having a legal advocate who can help them navigate those processes is really important,” Bones said, adding that a state coalition should be able to help put survivors in touch with advocates who can assist them. “They might not be able to do it themselves.”

Never Give Up Hope

Chris Nowinski, executive director of the Sports Legacy Institute, had one message to women who have signs of brain injury: Don’t give up hope.

“Whatever your symptoms are, there is treatment to make you feel better, and you should aggressively pursue it,” he said. “Sometimes symptoms can last for years and slowly fade away.”

Nowinski said it is important for women who may have TBI to be educated so they can adjust how they live, and educate those around them to better understand their medical condition.

“There’s a lot of people in this country living with the effects of traumatic brain injury,” he said. “We are all trying to get connected and raise awareness and advance research and get better treatment. We deserve it.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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Bo Diddley was born Ellas Bates. He had his name changed to Ellas McDaniels when he was adopted. He took his stage name from a one-stringed Deep South instrument, the Diddley Bow. Diddley was trained on the violin as a child, but switched to guitar (to emulate John Lee Hooker) when his sister gave him one for a Christmas present.

The diddley bow is a single-stringed American instrument which influenced the development of the blues sound. It consists of a single string of baling wire tensioned between two nails on a board over a glass bottle, which is used both as a bridge and as a means to magnify the instrument’s sound.

It was traditionally considered a starter or children’s instrument in the Deep South, especially in the African American community and is rarely heard outside the rural South, but it may have been influenced to some degree by West African instruments.[1] Other nicknames for this instrument include “jitterbug” or “one-string”, while an ethnomusicologist would formally call it a “monochord zither”.

One notable performer of the instrument was the Mississippi blues musician Lonnie Pitchford, who used to demonstrate the instrument by stretching a wire between two nails hammered into the wood of a vertical beam making up part of the front porch of his home. Pitchford’s headstone, placed on his grave in 2000 by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund, is actually designed with a playable diddley bow on the side as requested by Pitchford’s family.

Other notable traditional players include Lewis Dotson, Glen Faulkner, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Compton Jones, Eddie “One String” Jones, Napoleon Strickland, Moses Williams, James “Super Chikan” Johnson and “One String Sam” Wilson. Willie Joe Duncan was also notable for his work with a very large electrified diddley bow he called a Unitar. Some members of the Motown band “The Funk Brothers” are said to have learned to play the guitar on the diddley bow. Great bluesman Buddy Guy learned to play music on a two-string homemade diddley bow before getting his first guitar (a Harmony acoustic).

Recent performers who use similar instruments include New York City-based jazz pianist Cooper-Moore, American bluesman Seasick Steve, Samm Bennett, Danny Kroha, One String Willie, and blind musician Velcro Lewis. Jack White makes one at the beginning of the movie It Might Get Loud, then after playing it quips “Who says you need to buy a guitar?”. Seasick Steve recorded a tribute song to his diddley bow on his song “Diddley Bo” from his 2009 album, Man From Another Time. 

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  • By Alan Graham
  • Coronado’s total operating budget for 2013-14 is projected to be $52.2 million
  •   Total revenues projected at $56.7 million, with a surplus above operating of $4.5 million
  •   An additional $4.9 million has been approved to fund capital improvement projects
  •   The General Fund, the City’s largest operating fund, has projected revenues of $42 mil- lion and projected expenditures of $41.2 million
  •   This leaves the General Fund with a projected surplus of $793,000
  •   General Fund reserves are projected at $36.9 million

Orange Avenue commercial corridor Bike Corral

Budget Highlights

  •   General Fund revenue comes mostly from property and hotel taxes
  •   More than 5 percent, or $2.7 million, of Coronado’s discretionary revenue has been allotted to theCapital Improvement Program
  •   General Fund revenue is projected to increase 5.4 percent over 2012-13
  •   Budget allows for a high level of service while increasing reserve funding for facility replacement
  •   Employee compensation is programmed at the same level as 2012-13
  •   Projected General Fund balance (reserve) at the end of the year equals nearly 90 percent of expendi- tures
  •   Twenty-four new capital projects are funded in the 2013-14 budget
  •   The annual contribution to long-term facilities replacement has doubled in 2013-14 to $1.3 million
  •   $18.2 million has been budgeted for Public Safety and nearly $5 million for Culture and Leisure
  •   Coronado provides more than $1 million in grant funding to community-serving organizations

Property Taxes
Transient Occupancy Taxes Sales & Use Taxes Franchise Taxes
Other Taxes
Investment Earnings Licenses & Permits Charges for Services Intergovernmental

& Reimbursements Transfers in from Other Funds All Other

Total General Fund Revenue

22,605 11,600 2,70


1,034 136 437


4,392 1,281

Wastewater Revenue Wastewater Expenditures Wastewater CIP

Golf Course Revenue Golf Course Expenditures Golf Course CIP

Stormwater Revenue Stormwater Expenditures Stormwater CIP

(Police, Fire & Beach Lifeguards) 18,272 Community Development

(Planning & Building) Construction, Maintenance &

Transportation Culture & Leisure

Total General Fund Expenditures


11,294 4,996

150 $41,254

The Wastewater and Golf Course operations are supported entirely by user fees and charg- es. Stormwater services are supported by fees and general tax revenue.

Top-paid employees

City Manager City Manager $215,489
Director Of Fire Services
Standardized position: Fire Chief 
Fire Services $164,215
Police Sergeant Police Services $163,700
Police Sergeant Police Services $163,320
Director Of Admin. Services Administrative Services $160,758
Director Of Community Development, Redevelopment & Housing Community Development $157,104
Director Of Engineering & Project Development Engineering $156,737
Assistant City Manager City Manager $155,407
Police Sergeant Police Services $148,565
Director Of Public Services Public Services $147,633
Fire Captain Fire Services $145,735
Police Commander Police Services $145,717
Fire Captain Fire Services $143,159
Police Commander Police Services $143,049
Fire Captain Fire Services $141,987
Fire Battalion Chief Fire Services $141,800
Fire Captain Fire Services $138,897
Police Commander Police Services $138,840
Police Sergeant Police Services $135,392
Police Sergeant Police Services $135,327
Police Sergeant Police Services $134,163
Police Sergeant Police Services $134,137
Director Of Recreation Recreation Services $133,563
Principal Engineer Engineering $127,603
Director Of Library Services Library Services $126,704
Fire Battalion Chief Fire Services $126,202
Capital Projects Manager Engineering $122,286
Senior Police Officer Police Services $122,205
Police Officer Police Services $120,370
Finance Manager Administrative Services $119,455
Police Officer Police Services $118,730
Fire Engineer Fire Services $117,258
Fire Engineer Fire Services $116,247
Fire Captain Fire Services $115,336
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $113,581
Police Sergeant Police Services $112,614
Police Services $112,523
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $112,244
Inform. Technology Manager Administrative Services $112,235
Director Of Golf Course Operations Golf $112,125
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $112,114
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $112,049
Fire Engineer Fire Services $111,909
Police Officer Police Services $110,709
Fire Engineer Fire Services $108,886
Golf Maintenance Supervisor Golf $108,726
Public Service Supervisor Public Services $108,157
Police Officer Police Services $107,854
Police Officer Police Services $106,270
Senior Police Officer Police Services $105,214

Sr. Management Analyst City Manager $104,248
Police Officer Police Services $103,536
Fire Captain Fire Services $103,199
City Clerk City Clerk $102,384
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $102,279
Sr. Management Analyst Community Development $102,266
Fire Fighter Fire Services $102,219
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $101,753
Senior Police Officer Police Services $101,442
Fire Engineer Fire Services $101,253
Police Officer Police Services $100,973
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $99,410
Police Officer Police Services $99,278
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $99,168
Master Mechanic (Terminal) Public Services $99,151
Police Officer Police Services $98,171
Police Services $96,788
Fire Fighter Fire Services $96,622
Police Officer Police Services $95,533
Police Officer Police Services $95,033
Senior Police Officer Police Services $93,751
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $93,687
Fire Fighter – Paramedic Fire Services $92,687
Police Officer Police Services $92,680
Police Officer Police Services $90,890

Office Specialist Golf $23,436
Beach Lifeguard Fire Services $23,410
Office Assistant II Recreation Services $23,187
Beach Lifeguard Fire Services $22,968
Recreation Leader Recreation Services $22,481
Aquatics Instructor Recreation Services $22,324
Aquatics Instructor Recreation Services $22,253
Maintenance Worker II Public Services $22,216
Librarian I Library Services $21,757
Recreation Specialist Recreation Services $21,719
Recreation Specialist Recreation Services $21,437
Beach Lifeguard Fire Services $21,052
Library Assistant II Library Services $21,011
Accounting Technician Public Services $20,856
Police Officer Police Services $20,340
Building Inspec Supervisor Community Development $20,235
Library Assistant I Library Services $20,059
Administrative Secretary Library Services $20,026
Librarian I Library Services $19,693
Library Assistant I Library Services $19,421
Library Assistant I Library Services $19,395
Aquatics Instructor Recreation Services $19,216
Kennel Assistant Police Services $18,754
Library Assistant I Library Services $18,699

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article-2416873-1BBDF905000005DC-644_634x537A group of women hailed as ‘America’s first celebrity models’ tantalized audiences during the 19th century, not with provocative dance routines or barely-there outfits, but with their Rapunzel-like locks.
The Sutherland Sisters, consisting of Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Mary and Dora, each boasted ankle-skimming hair which apparently measured a collective 37 feet in length.
The siblings’ biographer, Brandon Stickney reveals how they became one of the ‘sexiest’ performing acts in the U.S. and their patented ‘miracle’ hair-growing tonic scored sales of over $3million.
Girls, let down your hair: The seven Sutherland Sisters, Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Mary and Dora photographed with their father Reverend Fletcher
Girls, let down your hair: The seven Sutherland Sisters, Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Mary and Dora photographed with their father Reverend Fletcher
The sisters, along with their only brother, Charles, were born between 1851 and 1865 in the rural farming community of Cambria, New York.

In an effort to dig the family out of poverty their father, Reverend Fletcher Sutherland, pushed them into show business, originally encouraging their singing talents.
However, after they joined the circus company, Barnum & Bailey, where they were billed as the ‘the seven most pleasing wonders of the world’, he realized the audiences were more enthralled by their flowing tresses than their vocal prowess.

Magic formula: It was rumored that the the girl’s mother, Mary, who died in 1867, applied an ‘offensive-smelling’ ointment on their hair to stimulate growth when they were growing up
Biographer, Mr Stickney writes: ‘Though their shows, consisting of church music, parlor songs and drawing-room ballads, received rave reviews, it was ultimately the girls’ hair that seemed the biggest draw.’
It was rumored that their mother, Mary, who died in 1867, applied an ‘offensive-smelling’ ointment on their hair to stimulate growth when they were growing up.
And in a bid to capitalize on public interest, Mr Sutherland had the idea of producing and selling a hair tonic with the family name as its signature.
According to Hair Raising Stories, the academic journal The Pharmaceutical Era analyzed the The Seven Sutherland Sisters Hair Grower and published its findings in 1893.

Forgotten past: The Sutherland sisters went on to make a fortune from their trademarked hair care products and lived lives of great excess
The solution was made up of 56per cent witch-hazel water, 44per cent bay rum, and a little bit of salt, magnesia, and hydrochloric acid.
A label on the glass bottle reportedly read: ‘To our patrons: The enclosed preparation is manufactured and used by ourselves and we recommend it as the best in the world.’
In addition to using the sisters as living proof, the name and portrait of Reverend Sutherland appeared in most of the advertising.
‘The preacher’s title fostered a label of pious honesty to accompany their claims,’ Mr Stickney reveals.
The hair care products were sold between 50 cents and $1.50 a piece, which could be a day to nearly a whole week’s salary in the 1880s.
Thanks to their marketing tactics the Sutherlands sold 2.5million bottles of hair grower by 1890, just about four years after production began, and more than $3million in reported income was realized.

Pieces of history: On eBay a glass bottle once containing The Seven Sutherland Sisters Hair Grower is listed at $249.99 (left), while a 1903 newspaper advert for their ointment is priced at $9.99 (right)
According to Mr Stickney, the Sutherland women achieved such celebrity status, they dominated the front page of newspapers and were featured in titles including Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Time.
The Niagara County Historical Society reports that five years after their father’s death around 1888, the Sutherland Sisters built a lavish mansion in their hometown of Cambria.
The house had 14 rooms, hot and cold running water, beds imported from Europe, hardwood floors, chandeliers, as well as an attic room for the cook and maids.
However, on January 24, 1938, the house burned to the ground, ‘taking many relics of The Sisters’ glory days with it’.
The Sutherland family continued to live lives of extreme excess and, although they earned millions of dollars in their lifetimes from their hair care products, they all died destitute.
Today many items from their now defunct beauty range regularly crop up at auction.
On eBay a glass bottle once containing The Seven Sutherland Sisters Hair Grower is listed at $249.99, while a 1903 newspaper advert for their ointment is priced at $9.99.

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Mathew-StreetBeatles tourist hotspot could be destined for radical transformation.

Mathew Street could be given a new lease of life as a series of developments look set to transform the world-famous tourist destination.

The Beatles hotspot could see several new restaurants, shops and flats opening up in the coming months if city planning chiefs give their backing to a host of schemes.

And while Mathew Street itself could get a makeover, Cavern Walks shopping centre is also being overhauled thanks to a new manager with ambitions to fill its empty retail units within months.

Developers and businesses have their hearts set on a number of projects on Mathew Street and Victoria Street which, together, could revitalise the popular city centre attraction.

Already a huge draw for Beatles fans due to the Cavern, Mathew Street also offers fans the chance to revel in Merseyside’s musical history by taking in the Wall of Records.

But vacant buildings and shop units have cast a shadow over the street despite its popularity with tourists.

All that could change this summer, however. The huge Produce Exchange site, which the ECHO exclusively toured last week, is set to be overhauled as part of a several separate projects being considered by Liverpool council’s planning department.

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On this day in 1971, the most decorated combat hero of World War II is tragically killed. Audie Leon Murphy wasn’t supposed to be a hero! In fact, when he first tried to join the military, the Marines rejected him because of his small size. The paratroopers rejected him, too. Disappointed, he signed up to be a soldier.

The young Texan wasn’t one to be kept down! He soon proved himself to be a skilled marksman and a brave soldier.

Perhaps his most famous demonstration of bravery occurred on January 26, 1945. He was in the small town of Holtzwihr, France, with his unit of only 40 men. They’d been ordered to hold a particular road until reinforcements arrived. Unfortunately, the Nazis chose that moment to attack. Murphy’s men were badly outnumbered—there were up against 250 Nazis and 6 tanks!

Murphy ordered his men to fall back into the woods, even as he picked up his field phone and called for an Allied artillery attack. As Allied fire fell, he was able to take control of a burning tank. Perhaps more importantly, he took control of its machine gun! Germans were all around him, but he fired on the Nazi infantry for an hour until his ammunition ran out. He was talking on his field phone the whole time, helping to direct Allied artillery fire! When his ammunition was finally exhausted, he left the tank. Refusing medical treatment for his injuries, he organized his men into a counterattack. In the end, Murphy and his 40 men rebuffed the 250 Germans.

“I expected to see the whole damn tank destroyer blow up under him any minute,” Private Anthony Abramski later testified. “For an hour, he held off the enemy force single-handed, fighting against impossible odds. . . . The fight that Lieutenant MURPHY put up was the greatest display of guts and courage I have ever seen. There is only one in a million who would be willing to stand up on a burning vehicle, loaded up with explosives, and hold off around 250 raging KRAUTS for an hour and do all that when he was wounded.”

After the war, Murphy came home to a hero’s welcome! He’d earned 28 awards, including the Medal of Honor and some French and Belgian honors. He earned every American medal for valor. He’d done all of this, and he was only 20 years old! He was soon featured on the cover of Life magazine, which brought him to the attention of Hollywood. The soldier-turned-actor would go on to act in dozens of movies, and his memoirs would be made into a film, To Hell and Back. He also became a songwriter.

Despite these successes, everything was not rosy for Murphy in these years. He was candid about the fact that he suffered from “battle fatigue” (today known as post-traumatic stress disorder), and he struggled with insomnia. Nevertheless, he apparently didn’t know how to stay away from military service. He joined the Texas National Guard in 1950, hoping that he would be called to serve in the Korean War. It didn’t happen. He later transferred to the Army Reserve.

Murphy was killed in a private plane crash on May 28, 1971. After his death, he was buried with full military honors in Arlington Cemetery. Finally, just two years ago, his home state of Texas posthumously awarded him its greatest military honor: the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.

The poor son of sharecroppers was not supposed to be a hero—and yet he was! Determination, perseverance, exceeding expectations . . . . How AMERICAN.

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If you’ve ever wished you could post up on a mountaintop forever, then meet your new home.

Ecocapsule is a tiny, 86 square-foot living capsule that, as soon as next year, will enable owners to live virtually anywhere. Each mobile pod comes with sleeping space for two, a mini kitchen, a fully functional toilet and shower, storage space, a desk and two windows.

The pods, which are currently in pre-production, harvest rainwater and remove bacteria all on their own, while powering themselves with sun and wind. The capsule’s battery can also charge electric cars, Gizmodo reports, making the location possibilities breathtakingly endless — from beaches to jungles to wide-open prairies.

Pricing for the Ecocapsules is not yet available, but Slovakia-based Nice Architects do know that shipping the pods to the U.S. will not be cheap — it’s estimated to cost about $2,400 to have a pod shipped to New York City.


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Clint Eastwood is a tough man and patriot who has had extraordinary success in Hollywood. He is perhaps the most successful conservative actor in the history of American cinema, especially when you consider his directing skills… including the recent box office smash hit “American Sniper.”

But just because Clint could buy his son anything he wanted, doesn’t mean he did it! Good parents teach young children that things shouldn’t be handed to you, and you should work for what you have. Clint made his son, who is now 29, have a job “for as long as he can remember.”

“My dad was pretty old school,” Eastwood tells PEOPLE for its latest issue. “I’ve had a job since I can remember and it’s not like he was like, ‘Hey, what kind of car do you want?’” he says with a laugh. “My first car was a ’91 Ford Crown Victoria that was $1,000. And I had to buy every car after that. I had to do it all.”
via People

For most of his life, he used the name Scott Reeves to stay out of the spotlight. He is humble and has good manners, because of Clint’s excellent parenting skills!

“I like being under the radar. I didn’t get into this business to become famous,” he said. “I got into this business because I like acting and I want to make movies. I would be happy living the rest of my life never famous.”
Scott graduated with a degree in communications from Loyola Marymount in 2008 and Clint hasn’t given Scott an easy route to pursue his acting ambitions either.

“My dad always says, ‘Just stick around.’ Everybody thinks it’s an overnight success. But the reality is, it takes years of hard work,” the hunk said.
Good job, Clint! Many ‘Hollywood’-style parents would easily buy their children sports cars and pay for their college. That can lead to major problems later in life.

But Mr. Eastwood taught his son the value of hard work and discipline. Fantastic!



Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment



Photos of Jim Morrison’s and Pam’s first home located in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles have been published recently. This is a big deal as we never see a good quality picture of the “Love Street” home before they began rebuilding it in the 90’s. The only picture of the house from that time that has been in circulating Doors fan pages was of poor quality and very small.

This is the original house just as it was before it was touched, rebuild, refurnished and resold many times. These are all the original wood, windows, nails, screws and structure of the home. Over the years the house was left to rot. No one lived in it after Jim and Pam moved to the Norton Avenue place in 1970. I don’t know the reason why Jim and Pam up and left Laurel Canyon. Could very well be because of the Sharon Tate Manson murders. A lot of celebrities ran from their homes when Sharon and her friends were found murdered in her home. It escalated when the Labianca’s bodies were discovered the next night.

Morrison fans had stolen parts of the home. From wood planks to pieces from their stove. There have been plenty of renovations to the home as last year the house burnt down and was rebuilt. For me the original home Jim and Pam lived in is gone. It was gone the moment they added new wood, floors, walls and a bell to the upper part of the house. It never had a bell when Jim and Pam lived there. Today the house no longer has wood. It’s now made entirely of cement and that bell was added in again.

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Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All)

This is a love story that begins with two grieving strangers who are about to become a family of 10.

Jessica and Ryan Ronne had never met and were living in different states when they both lost their spouses to brain cancer within the same week. Brought together by an online message, they began corresponding, fell in love and married.
The Ronne family includes parents Ryan and Jessica, and their seven children from previous marriages. Jessica is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Their household — which now includes her four children and his three kids — is about to expand again as Jessica prepares to give birth to the couple’s first baby in June. And there’s one more reason they’re beaming: She’s just earned a master’s degree, a dream almost a decade in the making.

It’s a moment for the family to savor.

“I don’t really have words for it. I’m so at peace in this life and happy,” Jessica, 38, told TODAY Parents.

“She taught me how to live again,” Ryan, 37, said.
Ryan and Jessica Ronne share a light moment.
Just a few years ago, life was filled with heartache for both of them.

Jessica lived in suburban Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband Jason. When he suddenly began losing weight and having seizures in 2007, doctors found a brain tumor, an oligodendroglioma. Surgery helped for a while, but the tumor came back as a baseball-size glioblastoma.

“I felt like I was drowning every day trying to take care of the four kids and a husband who was completely deteriorating,” Jessica recalled.

Jason died on Aug. 24, 2010.

At that moment, some 1,000 miles away in Guymon, Oklahoma, Ryan had just four days left with his wife Kaci. After suffering from excruciating headaches after giving birth to the couple’s third child several months earlier, a scan revealed she had an astrocytoma, a tumor on her brain stem. “It’s going to kill her,” a doctor bluntly told Ryan.

Kaci died on Aug. 28, 2010.

Looking for a way to keep family and friends updated on their spouses’ conditions, both Jessica and Ryan started writing separate blogs online. And somehow, a woman they had never met was reading both of them. On Halloween in 2010, she sent Jessica a message.

“There’s this man in Oklahoma who lost his wife four days after you lost your husband and I just think you could be encouraging to him,” it read.

Jessica found Ryan’s website and left a message offering to talk or email, if he wanted to.

“What was strange was that same Halloween night, my son came in after they’d been trick-or-treating and he said, ‘Dad, when are we going to get a new mom?'” Ryan recalled.

“That just floored me because it had only been two months. I was in terrible shape… I’m not even thinking about that at all. When I prayed with him that night, we just said, ‘God, if that’s what I’m supposed to do, give me a sign, show me something… just prepare my heart for something like that.’ I woke up the next morning to her email.”
Jessica and Ryan began emailing the next day and talked on the phone a week later, staying on the line for hours. They weren’t looking for romance, but the connection between the young widow and widower was instant. They decided to meet on Dec. 2, 2010, in Savannah, Georgia, a city both had always wanted to visit and which they called “neutral ground:” no kids or family to distract them from figuring out what was happening.

“Both of us had really good marriages and thought, ‘I want to do this again.’ I knew very quickly, even in the conversations, that I wanted her to be my wife and spend time with her for the rest of my life,” Ryan said.
Jessica and Ryan had two weddings: one at a courthouse in April 2011, and a church wedding one month later in which their children all took part.
He proposed in February 2011 and the couple married two months later. Jessica’s special-needs son Lucas, who was born with hydrocephalus, attended a great school in Grand Rapids, so Ryan and his kids moved from Oklahoma to Michigan so Lucas would not have to be uprooted.

In 2013, the Ronnes fulfilled their dream of living in a big country house by moving to a 30-acre property in Bath Springs, Tennesee.

The household now includes seven kids under 13: Caleb, 12; Lucas, 10; Mabel, 8; Joshua, 5; Tate, 11; Mya, 10; and Jada, 5. The couple has adopted each other’s children.

“The kids all just meshed as if they were brothers and sisters from day one. It’s just amazing how they just took to each other immediately,” Ryan said.

The children have chores and each day is structured so they grow up to be independent adults, he added. Still, there’s bound to be some chaos.

“We tell people we brace for the weekends. We love it when Monday morning comes because they all go back to school,” noted Jessica, who chronicles some of her experiences on her blog. “Our house isn’t going to be spotless and things are going to be loud and rowdy.”

Jessica comes from a big family — she is the oldest of 12 — so doing that much laundry, cooking and cleaning is not a big deal, she said. The country house has a big garden, fruit trees and chickens, allowing the Ronnes to focus on eating healthy — a big deal for a family so deeply touched by cancer.
Jessica Ronne received her master’s degree from Grand Valley State University last month.
The baby is due June 12, but there was one other big event to celebrate recently. Last month, Jessica graduated from Grand Valley State University with a master’s degree in education, a goal she began working on nine years ago, long before her life was interrupted by cancer, death and grief.

These days, it’s all about joy and love.

“It just feels right, all of it,” Jessica said.


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Slings & Arrows


‘To be or not to be, that is the question’. Read Hamlet’s famous soliloquy by Shakespeare below, along with a modern translation and explanation of what ‘To be or not to be’ is about’.

The question for him was whether to continue to exist or not – whether it was more noble to suffer the slings and arrows of an unbearable situation, or to declare war on the sea of troubles that afflict one, and by opposing them, end them. To die. He pondered the prospect. To sleep – as simple as that. And with that sleep we end the heartaches and the thousand natural miseries that human beings have to endure. It’s an end that we would all ardently hope for. To die. To sleep. To sleep. Perhaps to dream. Yes, that was the problem, because in that sleep of death the dreams we might have when we have shed this mortal body must make us pause. That’s the consideration that creates the calamity of such a long life. Because, who would tolerate the whips and scorns of time; the tyrant’s offences against us; the contempt of proud men; the pain of rejected love; the insolence of officious authority; and the advantage that the worst people take of the best, when one could just release oneself with a naked blade? Who would carry this load, sweating and grunting under the burden of a weary life if it weren’t for the dread of the after life – that unexplored country from whose border no traveler returns? That’s the thing that confounds us and makes us put up with those evils that we know rather than hurry to others that we don’t know about. So thinking about it makes cowards of us all, and it follows that the first impulse to end our life is obscured by reflecting on it. And great and important plans are diluted to the point where we don’t do anything.

To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. — Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.


Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment



Mary Fields was born a slave in Tennessee, after the Civil War anMary Fields d freed her of her bondage, the free woman decided to strike off on her own hook. A fiery, feisty sort, she shared a driving ambition with audacity, and a penchant for physical altercation on a regular basis. She also had a love of smoking rather large foul smelling cigars.

Mary was six foot tall; heavy : tough as nails; short tempered; two fisted; powerful and is said to have toted a pair of six-shooters and an eight or ten-gauge shotgun (for those of you who do not know that is bigger than the 12 gauge the police carry today). How in the heck has this legend in her own time faded from today’s wild west history?

In 1884 she made her way toward Cascade County (west-central Montana) in search of opportunity. Seeking to improve her sustenance and adventure. While awaiting for the fore mentioned opportunity to present itself she accepted employment with the Ursuline Nuns at the mission in Cascade, Montana. The job was not much of a step up the ladder of success. The St. Peter Mission, was a very simple facility, located in the remote wilderness frontier, devoted to the conversion of the heathen savages and other disgusting customers who wandered along. remote as it was it was rather well funded.

Mary was hired to do the heavy work, she chopped wood, did some stone work and rough carpentry. She dug the the necessary holes (the ones for the out houses). And when the missions reserves started to run low, Mary made the supply runs to the train stop, or as far as Great Falls or the city of Helena when special needs needed to be filled.

So here is one of those stories I referred to in the disclaimer. Although every account I reviewed told it about the same.. On one night run, (the distance was not that great but it was cooler at night.). Mary’s wagon was attacked by a pack of wolves. The horses bolted and Mary could not regain control, the wagon overturned, the team escaped. Mary and the supplies were unceremoniously dumped on the darkStage Coach Mary, Mary Fields prairie.

The story continues with Mary holding the wolves at bay the rest of the night with her rifle and revolvers. All this occurred in the pitch darkness of the prairie night. Anyway some how she survived the night and with the coming of day light was able to eventually deliver the goods to the relieved nun’s who had spent $30 on the whole mess. They were not so relieved with Mary’s safety that they did not deduct they price of a keg of molasses that leaked from a keg that had hit a rock from her salary.

Mary’s pugnacious nature kept her prepared for any inconveniences from wolves to drunken cowboys. Going heavily armed at all times and ready with her rock hard fists, ready for a fist fight at the drop of a hat, most gave Mary a wide berth. Mary did not pay heed to the Victorian standard for women at that time, her fashion statement rather presented her in an unfavorable light. Heaven help the ruffian men who tried to trample her hard earned rights. Oh woe to them!

The GREAT FALLS EXAMINER claimed that she broke more noses in central Montana than any other person. The Examiner was the only paper in circulation in the Cascades at the time.

One hired hand at the mission confronted them with a complaint on the fact that Mary, a mere woman, was making $2 a month more than he ($9 vs. $7) , and just what made her think she was worth more than him? His name reportedly was Yu Lum Duck, he complained to the Bishop, and more publicly in a saloon in a rougher version. What made the uppity colored woman think she was better than him?

Now Mary was a regular customer in this saloon, and word soon was carried to her ears. Mary’s blood began to stew and boil. Shortly after Mary saw him cleaning one of the latrines behind the mission. Mary intended to simply shoot him, she missed. The affair became a general shootout with neither hitting the other. Bullets flew everywhere. After the fracas was over both parties split – neither had scored a direct hit. But one of Mary’s bullets glanced off a rock and hit the forlorn Yu Lum Duck in the left buttock – completely ruining his new $1.85 trousers. But worse than that, one of Mary’s bullets had passed through the Bishop’s laundry hanging behind the mission, putting holes in his drawers and two white shirts.

The Bishop demanded that Mary be fired and the complaining man was given her job and the $2 raise with it.

Out of work Mary tried the restaurant business. Her cooking was so terrible, that no one would eat it. Soon she was looking for work again.

Mary Fields In 1895 she landed a job carrying the U. S. Mail. This work suited her fine as she had always been independent and determined. She quickly earned a reputation for delivering the mail in all kinds of conditions regardless of the weather. She and her old mule plugged along through bitter raw blizzards, roasting heat and drenching rain. She and old Moses (the mule) delivered mail to remote miner’s cabins and other outposts – delivering mail, land claim forms and parcels that kept communication open to the outside world. She is credited with helping advance the development of a large portion of central Montana, a contribution that is not recognized today.

This is where she became known as Stagecoach Mary, not by association with a stage line but because she Mary Fields was so dependable of keeping a regular schedule. Mary kept up this activity until well into her sixties. But the ravages of time wore her down, and she retired from the mail delivery business. She needed an income so at the age of seventy she went to the laundry business in Cascade.

Figuring that she deserved to relax she did not do much laundry. Rather, she spent much of her time in the local saloon, drinking whiskey, and smoking her foul but beloved cigars. She entertained the assortment of sweaty and dusty men with stories of her exploits and claimed to be a crack shot, but her aim at the cuspidor was none to good and she often missed to the disgust of the nearby patron who was in the way. But what the hell, she did laundry didn’t she? One lout refused to pay his full laundry bill he had ordered extra starch in his cuff and collar, Mary heard him out in the street. She left the saloon and confronted him with a solid blow to the jaw. She knocked him flat at the age of seventy-two with the one blow and knocked out a tooth. Mary later said that the satisfaction she got from hitting him was worth the amount he owed her.  The recipent  of the blow afterwards expressed gratitude to Mary for knocking out his tooth, it had been troubling him for some time.

Mary died of liver failure in 1914. She was buried with a simple wooden cross in Hillside Cemetery in Cascade.

People who knew this mellow cigar smoking, whiskey drinking old lady were hard pressed to believe she was the gun packing, short-tempered female of old they had heard so much about.

That this historical Old Gal lived is documented pretty well, she like so many has been lost in the dust of time. It is good to brush the dust off some of these old tales and air them out again.

Well tiime to ramble on out of here.

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r-DOG-403xFBKilo the pit bull was about to see the end of his life at a local animal shelter, when Candice Miller brought him home.

“Rescued in literally his last hour,” Miller says.

The brown and white doggie had arrived at the shelter, where Miller volunteers, from a home where it was said he’d been beaten, and forced to live outside, and where he didn’t get enough to eat. He and a female dog were bred, and then, Miller says, their puppies were subject to the same conditions.

That past had left Kilo fearful. He was so nervous that he crawled on his belly, when moving around the shelter. Miller devoted herself to improving his confidence, but Kilo was still overlooked.

Miller needed some healing, too. She’d recently quit a job that had left her stressed, depressed and anxious. One of her older dogs had recently died; she was heartbroken, to boot.

Taking care of shelter dogs, especially the pit bulls, was how Miller tried to soothe herself. She’d noticed they “got looked over” but “were incredibly gentle, sweet, loving and affectionate even in the shelter environment. It was impossible not to fall in love!”

She fell hard for Kilo. But no one else did; he just wasn’t putting on his best face for potential adopters.

After a couple of months, Kilo was given five more days to be adopted, or he’d be euthanized. Miller checked in on him every day. No takers. On the last day, when she called, Miller was told Kilo was in the holding area, waiting his turn to die.

She started to cry, then rushed right over to pick him up.

“The rest was history,” she says. “Kilo came into my life at a point where I needed him the most … We both had been through some bad stuff, but together are absolutely happy and healthy.”

Kilo — and Miller — got lucky, as did the three other pits, including a spectacularly adorable new puppy, Miller’s also taken in in the last few years.

It’s estimated that some 800,000 – 1 million pits are killed in shelters every year.

And Miller’s goal now is to help other pups, like hers, find their own happy families, by showing the world how great it looks when your home, your life, is overrun by dogs.

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment


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Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment


A sweet-natured pit bull named Stevie will be allowed to accompany his human to school each day, a federal judge has ruled — a victory for the rights of certified service animals like Stevie, and especially for the youngster who relies on him so much.

Seven-year-old Anthony has cerebral palsy, and therefore requires a little more help with things than most children his age. Fortunately, Stevie is always there to walk alongside him, offer him comfort and alert grown-ups when something is wrong. But for the past two years, officials at Anthony’s school in Broward County, Florida, said his dog couldn’t accompany him to class, reports the Miami Herald.

Since then, Anthony’s mother Monica Alboniga has been fighting in court for her son’s right to take Stevie to class. She feared that the school’s strict rules regarding service animals would get her son expelled.

“I feel completely safe every time he is with the dog, because I know the dog will look for help,” said Alboniga. “When Anthony is having convulsions, [Stevie] starts barking and goes looking for us. Then he goes back to Anthony and stays with him.”

Among the rules put in place by the school required Alboniga to pay for a “handler” to accompany Stevie and Anthony — a requirement so prohibitively expensive, her lawyer called it “an impossible barrier.”

After a long legal battle, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom issued her ruling — and she sided with Stevie.

“Stevie is fully trained. Throughout the school day, Stevie simply stays by [Anthony’s] side,” Bloom wrote.

“Given the specific facts here, having Stevie tethered to [Anthony] in school would constitute control by [Anthony] over his service animal as the animal’s handler with the meaning of the regulation. As such, permitting [Anthony] to attend school with Stevie tethered to him would be a reasonable accommodation required of the School Board.”
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools aren’t allowed to separate people from their service animals. The extent of that law has been challenged before, but Stevie’s case could set a precedent.

“He is a very good dog,” Alboniga told the Herald. “He is very sweet, and very obedient. He is the best there is.”


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Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent spread of the European pioneers. Raised in the traditions of his people until the age of eleven, he was then educated at the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School of Pennsylvania, where he learned the english language and way of life. (Though a National Historical Landmark, Carlisle remains a place of controversy in Native circles.)

Like his above mentioned contemporaries, however, his native roots were deep, leaving him in the unique position of being a conduit between cultures. Though his movement through the white man’s world was not without “success” — he had numerous movie roles in Hollywood — his enduring legacy was the protection of the way of life of his people.

By the time of his death he had published 4 books and had become a leader at the forefront of the progressive movement aimed at preserving Native American heritage and sovereignty, coming to be known as a strong voice in the education of the white man as to the Native American way of life. Here, then, are 10 quotes from the great Sioux Indian Chief known as Standing Bear that will be sure to disturb much of what you think you know about “modern” culture.

1) Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner.

2) Children were taught that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than in words. They were never allowed to pass between the fire and the older person or a visitor, to speak while others were speaking, or to make fun of a crippled or disfigured person. If a child thoughtlessly tried to do so, a parent, in a quiet voice, immediately set him right.

3) Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that ‘thought comes before speech.’…and in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of the notable and great, silence was the mark of respect… strict observance of this tenet of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being given the false characterization by the white man of being a stoic. He has been judged to be dumb, stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling.

4) We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’. Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was it ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.

5) With all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.

6) This concept of life and its relations was humanizing and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.

7) It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth… the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.

8) Everything was possessed of personality, only differing from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.

9) …the old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too. So he kept his children close to nature’s softening influence.

10) Civilization has been thrust upon me… and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity.

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Barbarurex Morrisioni



To get through the long, tedious hours sitting in the fossil archives at the University of California-Berkeley, Jason Head would listen to the hypnotic sounds of The Doors.

So when he happened upon one of the biggest lizards that ever walked on land, he found it fitting to name it after the band’s frontman, Jim Morrison — the original Lizard King.

But that’s not what makes this find interesting. It’s what the existence of the “Bearded King Morrison” tells us about the effects of climate change that’s intriguing.

The climate connection

Lizards, like snakes and turtles, are cold-blooded animals. They depend on warmth from their surroundings to heat their bodies.

Bearded King Morrison, known scientifically as Barbarurex morrisioni, was six feet long.

And when the environment warms up, they become more active, get hungrier, eat more and grow.

For six years, Head sifted through fossils of animals that lived 40 million years ago, looking for clues on climate change.

Then it jumped out at him: The Bearded King Morrison, as Head named his now-extinct lizard. Head and his team introduced it in a study to be published Wednesday by research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“It struck me that we had something here that was quite large and quite unique,” he said.

The find was striking, because when it comes to climate trends, bigger reptiles point to a warmer climate, Head said.

“One of the things you can actually do is estimate past temperatures by looking at the body size of fossil reptiles,” said Head, a paleontologist who studies the Earth and its atmosphere at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The lizard’s hefty size helped confirm the elevated global temperature during a period known as the Paleocene greenhouse.

“This would be a globally warmed time in Earth’s history, where there’s no ice at the poles,” Head said. There was a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back then.

Sound familiar?

Man-made global warming in the 21st century is pushing temperatures back up in that direction, he said.

Current average temperatures are only about 2.5 degrees Celsius shy of where they were 40 million years ago, Head said, when the Bearded King Morrison grazed in the forests of what is now Myanmar.

The Doors connection

The lizard’s proper scientific name is Barbarurex morrisioni, and there is a backstory to how Head arrived at it. The Doors is Head’s favorite 60’s rock band.

“I had their albums going on kind of endless loop while we were writing and doing the analysis on the lizard,” he said.

The size of the lizard took him by surprise. It reminded him of the nickname of now deceased Doors singer Morrison, also known as the Lizard King. Morrison also had a reputation for standing up for the environment.

The king-size lizard, the ecological connection. For Head, the name fit.

The Bearded King Morrison was no dinosaur. It was smaller than today’s crocodiles and Komodo dragons.

But those are carnivorous reptiles. This was an herbivore. It ate plants.

It was six feet long and weighed as much as a German shepherd, pretty sizable for a lizard.

Head says he hasn’t found fossil records that show why the creature eventually went extinct.

The evolution of such a large reptile shows what a huge effect a slight warming bump can have, Head said. With the ice caps gone, Earth’s climate became warm and muggy, and forest covered the planet.

There was plenty of greenery for the chubby lizard to munch through.

As man-made climate change progresses, existing reptiles will spread out into new territory, Head predicts.

So can we see another spurt of such giant lizards? Unlikely.

For them to evolve to the size of the Bearded King Morrison, they would require global temperatures to slowly rise a few degrees and then remain stable for a very long time.

Today’s climate is warming so rapidly that “we’ll basically block off their ability to respond to the temperature increase,” Head said.

Instead of evolution, he said, we’ll see extinction.

Or, as Morrison sang, “This is the end, my only friend.”


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Rademenesa was diagnosed with an inflamed respiratory tract when he was 2 months old. He survived the ordeal and now lives at the animal shelter and keeps other sick animals company and tries to nurse them back to health.

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Honoring Our living Heroes By Eddie Zeller


Another Beautiful Morning at Camp Pendleton for the MARSOC/MSOB Navy Cross and Bronze Star Ceremony.

What an Honor again to be Invited to this Marine Corps Ceremony for some Real Heroes who deserve to be recognized for what Marines do Best.

Semper Fi. GySgt. Jacklin,N/C,

GySgt Bill Simpson, B/S,

GySgt Chris Buckminster B/S,

SSgt Hafeez Hussein, B/S,

Sgt Bill Hall, B/S, Sgt David Harris B/S…

All Marine Special Operators….

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Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment



Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known for his long career in professional wrestling and butt-kicking roles in action flicks, but he showed off his softer side on Instagram on Easter.

Johnson was driving his truck when he noticed a group of young men running after his vehicle and yelling.

“Thought to myself, ‘Should I stop or keep drivin’?’ I stopped. I hop out of my truck and this kid runs up to me, hugs the hell outta me,” he wrote on the photo-sharing social media site.

The man hugging “The Rock” was Nick Miller, who battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “(Miller said) It’s been his life’s dream to meet me and tell me how much I’ve inspired him to fight cancer… and hard-core chemo and stem cell transplant treatments. He was a little teary eyed and said for months and months all he’s wanted to do was find me and say this face to face.”

Johnson was moved by Miller’s story and thanked him for sharing it, hugging Miller and his friends.

“As I’m drivin’ I start shaking my head (and tearing up) at how fragile life is and how amazing and cool the universe was to make this meeting happen between myself and this special kid Nick Miller,” Johnson wrote.

“Let’s always take a moment to count our blessings… cause there’s always something to be grateful for.”


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Your feet’s bottom are a direct and powerful access points for your body’s internal organs in what the Chinese medicine term as meridians. Each organ within one’s body is provided a pathway by these meridians. According to others, meridians are non-existent within one’s body or at the feet’s bottom. Believers of Chinese medicine will tell you that there is a close relationship between the nervous system and the meridian system.

If you know what a body’s nervous system is, then it’s easy for you to understand what meridians mean. The two are one and the same thing taking into consideration of their location and interpretation within one’s body.

Approximately,7000 nerve endings are located at the feet of a person and they are directly linked with the various organs in the body of a person.

They are likened to electrical circuits but their power is in most cases dormant as many do not seek for acupuncture to aid the nerves or meridians in any way and nowadays people wear shoes. It’s because of that we recommend people to walk barefoot while outside. By doing that, the meridians at the feet’s bottom are stimulated as well as grounding of one’s body to the negative ion of the earth’s field takes place.

For these meridians (electrical circuits) to be opened as well as ensure the internal organs are purified minus opting for any dietary measures, cutting garlic or onions and wearing them with sock at the bottom of the feet when sleeping is encouraged.

Since garlic and onions are natural air purifiers, they can kill bacteria and germs whenever they are topically applied to the skin. They at the same time contain phosphoric acid (which makes people cry whenever they are cut open) which if it enters into one’s bloodstream, it does blood purification and at the same time kills any germs or bacteria which may be existent and thus protects one from being a victim of flu.

There is that percentage of people who believe that whenever an onion is reused, there is a possibility of it having bacteria and germs. I’m not sure about that statement because while others are supporting it, there is that percentage which is against it. What I’m sure about is, whenever an onion is cut, the exposed surface gets oxidized and that means it’s not the healthiest or freshest thing to take and thus it’s recommended to cut the exposed layer off to ensure to ensure any existent bacteria or germs are not eaten.

The following are the steps which you should follow whenever you want to kills bacteria and germs through blood purification.

Step 1: Organic Onions Are Cut Into Slices (Red or White Onions)

Organic onions are preferred since they do not contain chemicals such as pesticides and it couldn’t be nice letting them enter into your bloodstreams while you’re asleep. The onions are supposed to be cut into flat slices to that they can cover the feet’s bottom substantially as you sleep.

Step 2: Cover The Bottom Of Your Feet With The Onions And Put On Your Socks As You Sleep!

While asleep, the onion’s natural powers are in action in what is known as (Trans-dermal application) leading to killing of germs and bacteria and blood purification and at the same time toxins are absorbed! Purification of your room’s air also takes place.

Users also benefit from air purification effects. Chopped up onions have been used in places like England to purify air and as a result prevent other infections such as flu and any probable infectious attacks.

The picture below shows the systems and organs in the body together with their meridian points of connection at the foot region.


The following are the benefits of putting the cut onions in your sock (at your feet’s bottom) as you sleep…

Blood purification: When the phosphoric acid that’s found in onions is absorbed via the trans-dermal means blood purification takes place.

Kills pathogens, germs and bacteria: Garlic and onions have strong anti-viral and anti-bacteria benefits.

Air purification: the smelly onion chamber created at the feet’s bottom purifies air and leaves the feet with a better smell that’s free of chemicals and toxins which are pulled while you’re sleeping.


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What is overthinking? Is it thinking too much? Is it worrying too much? It seems to be a cycle of thoughts that leads to worrying when it won’t break.

We read into every little thing – from when we don’t get a text back to when someone glances at us and we interpret it as a threat; it’s by design. We can control our thoughts and the extent they exist with a purposeful focus that stops any worry and anxiety before it even starts.

1. See the bigger picture.

Fractal everything out. In any situation, you can take yourself and view it from a higher or objective perspective. When you feel overwhelmed from all your responsibilities, take your view point out of the equation. Clear your mind, merge with the void for a moment. See what you are working toward, see the bigger picture of what you want in your life.

Is what you’re doing right now working toward your passion? If not, shift onto the path that will bring you the most joy!

2. Stay present.

This is so important in all aspects of life. Being fully aware, engaged and present takes interaction and connection to a whole new level. By focusing on each point in an interaction and not going off in thought is crucial to not overthinking.

When we are already lost in a train of thought while a conversation is still going, we don’t fully experience it and it’s not fair to those engaging with us.

We don’t give the energy back when we aren’t fully engaged with others. Stay present, take a breath and straighten your back every time you feel yourself slip into disengagement.

3. Be a person of action.

Do what you’ll say you’ll do because actions speak SO much louder than words. If you have a plan or something Growing-Hands you’ve been talking about doing; do it. Bring your idea’s to fruition because we are creators and that’s what we came here to do.

When we are in a zone of creation, that pure focused energy is immensely powerful and is the push that brought us everything we use today.

All the inventions, everything we can physically use were once ethereal thoughts that we brought forth from the higher realms onto the 3D!

4. Let go; find peace in the unknown.

We can’t know everything (yet), so find peace in not knowing. We aren’t meant to experience this life having all the answers. We came here to ask the questions and create the answers ourselves.

Break the cycle of overthinking the same thing. It brings nothing but anxiety and creates preconceived expectations that aren’t fair to anyone.

When you find yourself caught in a thought cycle, take a breath, look around and focus on your environment to get yourself back in the moment. It’s all about where your focus is and how long you can keep it there. Practice expanding your attention span and putting your energy into what brings you joy.

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A terrified and malnourished dog named Bitty was recently rescued from a sewer tunnel. Within hours, he was unrecognizable.

Annie Hart, founder of the Los Angeles-based animal rescue group Rescue from the Hart, told The Huffington Post that the dog had been saved just in time from what could’ve been a disastrous situation.

“When we received the call for help, we were told that there had originally been two dogs, but one drowned earlier in the day during a rainstorm. With another storm on its way, we rushed to the location to try and save Bitty in time,” Hart said.

Hart rescued Bitty with the help of Eldad Hagar, founder of the animal rescue group Hope for Paws. In the video above, Hagar gently coaxes Bitty out of the tunnel. The visibly frightened dog is seen panicking as Hagar attempts to win his trust.

Once rescued and smothered with love, Bitty clearly undergoes a profound transformation. The change “from scared to loving” is “heartwarming” to watch, Hart said.



Posted in Summer 2015 | 1 Comment