Category Archives: Clarion Causes


Att: Corey Menotti
Hotel Del Coronado
Dear Corey,
I would like to thank you most kindly for your efforts concerning the compassionate request for a “last wish” to stay at The Hotel Del Coronado.
I was very disappointed to learn that the “Committee” flatly denied us our request without review or explanation.
The attached video report is my summary of the entire event and the appalling and most callous response by General manager Harold Raposo and his lack of compassion.
I will organize a permanent picketing squad to be ever present in front and in back of the Hotel Del Coronado, complete with musical rendition and live  Zoom broadcasts which will commence at the peak of the summer season.
My effort will be to bring to light the grotesque display of arrogance and lack of compassion toward our community, its residents, and indeed the public in general.
This dispassionate dismissal from such an astonishingly privileged company, is the absolute antithesis to the meaning of hospitality and public relations.
With your own experience in the entertainment industry, I feel that you will fully appreciate the over the top production of ‘Protest Performance’ I intend to display in full Pantomime presentation for all to see.
Please forgive the salty language usage which is not the stuff of a man of the cloth, but I am driven to anger and I will fully repent a a later date.
Again I thank you for your utterly professional response and I do hope to meet again under better circumstances.
Rev. A.R.Graham 
Inline image
Posted in Clarion Causes, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment



Dateline 1980: Like many of us, I got hip to The Doors after reading, then rereading, No One Here, Gets Out Alive. 1983: My first visit to LA, my hostess seems quite perplexed that the first thing I want to see is a small motel on the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica. The Alta Cienega. To room #32. I knock and a vaguely actor type of guy in his 20’s answers the door.

“I paid $220 for the week you are the fifth person here in two days, you have two minutes to look around.”

Inside, I found a regular little motel room ordinary in every way except for one thing: James Douglas Morrison chose this place to hang his hat.

In ’83 all the fixtures in the bathroom were original. I walked into the bathroom, firmly grabbing the doorknob, touching the sink, the window, opening my mind’s eye. Yes, this was the place. So much history happened within these walls. No graffiti at all except two small notes behind the wall mounted TV, scribbled in pen by different hands. The first said plainly:

“Jim Morrison lived here from 1968-1971.”

The next missive was a bit more obtuse: “

Jim Morrison is alive and well in South Africa”.

There was one other non regulation non sequitur to be found outside the room’s only window, visible from the street in eight inch print, drawn in pencil:

Jim’s Joint.

Soon after, I did manage to get a paperback of JDM’s The Lords and The New Creatures. From reading those words, I too, became inspired to write poetry of my own and to live the life of a poet by honing my writing skills and generally living life to excess.

And that’s just what I did for the next 10 years or so. Then along comes Wilderness the “lost” poems of JDM. Some of you may ask why I refer to Jim as JDM? I did not ever meet “Jim” through a song or in person, it was the words he left that tell me that Jim wanted to be taken seriously as a writer. He signed his books of poetry, James Douglas Morrison.

Since this is how he wanted to be presented to me, his reader, I honor this. It’s too cumbersome to write out every time so I use JDM, feeling that just saying or writing “Jim” is somehow not appropriate.

So along about 1990, I find myself reading Wilderness. On page 84 I stumbled onto a gem of a poem that makes mention of the green hotel, rm. 32, JDM’s Alta Cienega.

            Iam a guide to the labyrinth
            Come & See me
in the green hotel
I will be there after 9:30

I will show you the girl of the ghetto
I will show you the burning well
I will show you strange people
haunted, beast-like on
verge of evolution

               -Fear the Lords who are
secret among us

And then for me it happened, gradually at first. I began to devour all things related to JDM and the Doors. I had to have every scrap of the puzzle that was The Doors. All the facts and myths, photos, music. Only the tacky collectibles were safe from my appetite. Id’ get a book or two to read and reflect on during the winter months. Many made mention of The Alta Cienega as well as other West Hollywood spots, Barney’s Beanery, The Palms, and The Phone booth.

My curiosity only grew about much of JDM’s life. But the most puzzling thing to me (and the most

The author’s obsession
brings him
to the Alta Cienega

enviable) was his lack of want for material goods. And while he could have lived in a fine home or hotel, why did he choose this little motel? I could speculate for pages, but my underlying belief is he just didn’t want the responsibility of maintaining a home and all that entails. Plus it was right across the street from work, cutting down his commute time.

Basically I feel we all search for some piece of JDM, be it in the music, the poetry, books on his life, posters, photos, autographs, you name it. I am sure that’s what brings everyone to Paris to see where he lived and was buried. I labored hard and long on the decision to go this year.

Flashbacks of a Who concert gone awry I attended years ago to this day make me leery of crowds. I needed a plan. I decided that going to the Alta Cienega would be the thing to do. To get the famous “Jim Morrison Memorial Room.” (This was what the brass plaque on the door to Rm. 32 indicated when I was there the previous month.)

About three weeks prior to the anniversary of JDM’s death I contacted the resident owner/manager Charlie Yang. I had met Charlie briefly the previous visit. When I arrived at the motel then, the door to the famous room was open for cleaning. Video camera in hand I climbed the same stairs I had 18 years ago. The same stairs JDM climbed all the time in his day. The room was very much as I remembered it with one glaring exception, now an entire wall was devoted to graffiti most of which was very sophomoric.

As I was checking in that day a young tourist from the UK was right behind me, inquiring about “that room.” Obviously he was on the trail of JDM much like myself. A brief discussion about JDM ensued. From behind the motel counter stood Charlie Yang, a Taiwanese immigrant in his early 60’s. Charlie has most unusual eyes, blue colored and mismatching like a husky or malamutes. I asked him:

“Do you like Morrison?”

The corners of his mouth tightened slightly before a smile spread to his face and he replied with his native accent:

“Oh Yes, I like Jeeem!”

Charlie had told me then that until recently a photo of “Jeeem” had been in the room but was recently stolen.

“Not a problem I assured him, I’ll be sending you a new one.”

That night I slept in Rm.14, but I reasoned there was a chance JDM had slept in many of the rooms there, checking in and out many times. That night I was determined to go walk and drink where the man had done so, so many years before.

First stop: The Palms. Located in the same spot all these years, it is a narrow long bar lined with mirrors. The only thing that has changed in all these years seems to be the bar’s clientele. It took me a drink, then another to head toward the patio out back. For perhaps two minutes I labored under the misconception that there was a high percentage of women there.

Then, while negotiating between some chairs, I was briefly harangued by a lesbian. Suddenly I realized that there was a high percentage of women there, me being the only man. To cut to the chase, West Hollywood is a very gay area these days. Gone are the topless bars and pool halls of JDM’s time. Now frozen yogurt stands and tanning parlors lie in their wake. Still I met a new friend named Vicky and we proceeded to walk down Santa Monica to the famous Barney’s Beanery.

As we walked by a small two-story building near the corner of La Cienega, now Benvenuto’s Ristorante, I paused to a light a smoke and peered toward the former Doors office.

At Barney’s I told Vicky why she had found me at a dyke bar in West Hollywood. She seemed interested that such a man’s man had frequented the popular “dyke bar”. I suggested the bar had only turned gay since JDM had left LA. I joked too, that many women had probably jumped the fence after JDM’s untimely demise.

More drinks and back to my room, I had an early flight. It was then that I decided I needed to go back on the thirtieth anniversary of JDM’s death.

Once home, I began to assemble the necessary items for my return. I obtained a copy of my favorite JDM picture and had it matted and framed. Next I did the same to the poem previously mentioned. Then I assembled all the poetry books I had of JDM’s; various photo books on the Doors and, of course, every tick of Doors music in the house. A red votive candle, enough beer and brown liquor to stagger 20 men or women and various sundry items.

My best friend, Linda, shares a birthday with JDM, mine is on Pamela’s (22 December). She shares my passion for all things Morrison and agreed to make the journey with me.

I had reservations for the 2nd and 3rd. From my home in New Mexico, it is about a fourteen-hour drive to LA. On the 30th of June we set off toward LA, more specifically JDM’s LA. Twelve hours and change we were driving up La Cienega. Almost everything we did was centered on The Doors and JDM and West Hollywood. Now in the early morning hours a full two days ahead of schedule, we arrived.

A quick drink at Barney’s then we headed to the motel. Charlie’s wife, Mrs. Yang, checked us in. Giddy and grinning we fell asleep in an upstairs room that night. The next morning Charlie told us we could move into Rm. 32 a day early. Gone was the brass plaque that hung so proudly only weeks before. Replaced by another sign that read “House of Jim Morrison 1968-1970.” Nearby Room 31 was labeled accordingly “Friend Of Jim Morrison.”

Not only did Charlie like Jeeem he also seemed to like Jeeem’s friends! Babe Hill, January Jansen and Michael McClure all spoke of staying in an adjacent room at times. Odds are good that one of them actually used that room. So I thought it appropriate. I brought lots of everything. Pictures of JDM to give out, poems printed on parchment. I figured there would surely be lots of well-wishers on such a momentous day.

Over the next three days I got to know the area very well and cornered Charlie Yang as often as possible. Many of the questions I posed to him were in regard to the building and surrounding area. Charlie it seems had purchased the motel just after JDM checked out.

As it seems the “Green Hotel” still is green. The trim has always been green. The main body of the building has varied from sand to beige was painted it’s present only slightly darker version in 1994. Around this time the motel underwent further restoration to include new bathroom fixtures and shower doors, carpet etc.

I set off on many walks in all directions eyeing the skyline and making mental calculations as to what buildings may or may not have been visible 30 plus years ago. To walk out the rear of the motel is surely the shortest route to Monaco Liquors as well as the Doors office. This is assuming there has always been a set of stairs from the alley to Monaco’s. A safe bet since the retaining wall there and parking area surely date to the time of the building. Naturally the preferred route to Barney’s and The Phone Booth would have been through the front.

According to many locals I talked to, this was not considered a bad motel in the day. More or less standard fare. And, at $10, not the bottom of what was available. There are no phones in any of the rooms. Not to worry though should you receive a call or are needed by the desk, there is a buzzer in the room. Painted over, still on the wall in room 32 is a small button that in turn would buzz the front desk.  Down the steps you go to the phone located in the tiny lobby. Outgoing calls are placed at one of two pay phones located near the foot of the stairs. This was a phone booth in the era of JDM.

Sunset strip is a good walk but just up the top of a steep hill as one exit left out the motel entrance. To the right is now the remainder of the Garden District once known as Restaurant

Was Pamela
displeased by the Doors’
demands on Jim?

Row. Just across Santa Monica heading south, one today, finds The Clear Thoughts Building. (947 N. La Cienega) Once the home of Themis, Pamela’s boutique. JDM also rented office space up above where he headquartered editing of the films Feast of Friendsand HWY. I expected a grand building with such a grand name. You can expect early American strip mall.  

Closer still to The Alta Cienega is the former home of Elektra Recording at 962 La Cienega. Going further down the block reveals many old restaurants and antique stores and Barney’s Beanery.

From Barney’s continue to the East on Santa Monica to Sweetzer Ave. turning right onto Norton Ave. There at 8216 1/2 is the last address of JDM in the USA. An unassuming white stucco building, JDM’s publicist, Diane Gardiner, lived downstairs at 8216. This small area of West Hollywood was JDM’s universe for a time. From the locations of Pamela’s home and business and given the size of LA, it is safe to assume that while she may have disliked the business of the Doors and it’s demands on her man, she did position herself very strategically.

While in LA we were often wondering what was going on in Paris. Searching the daily papers for news there was none save for a small article that appeared in the July 2nd edition of the LA Times, which predicted a turn out of 100,000 fans in Paris.

Our days fell into a somewhat of a regular routine. Up at the crack of noon, then off to lunch usually at Barney’s. Our totals are not added yet but I think we spent $600 there in four days. Too bad JDM carried a MasterCard instead of a Visa because I thought of the perfect commercial. Motel Bill: $260, Bar tab at historic rock and roll hotspot: $600, listing your address on one hour photo as 1005 N. La Cienega #32, Priceless… Well, you get the picture.

Curiously enough during our stay not a single fan showed up at the motel. We had the privacy JDM may have enjoyed in the era. As the folks in Paris were awaking to some over priced ouefs (eggs to the rest of us), served up by a rude French waiter, on the morning of July 3rd, almost thirty years to the minute that the fire brigade of the 4th arrondissement was arriving at 17 rue Beautreillis, I was testing my theory that if you drink enough Jim Beam you can sing like Jim Morrison. Karaoke at Barney’s.

I was doubtful I’d even get called. There were some regulars who were quite good. After about five Jim Beams the ringers were done and some bad singers followed. I couldn’t do much worse. I had chose to sing LA WOMAN, a song I lament was never performed live by JDM. The time was 12:25 am 3 July 2001, with the time change almost exactly thirty years to the minute.

Faced with a few seconds of dead air and a live mic I started in with “bring out your dead, bring out your dead,” then started singing, back to the audience in sweet memory of “our injured leader.” I’m not sure I was any good. I’m not sure the crowd knew the significance of the day or hour but I am sure I really felt JDM’s presence with me there.

The day of the 3rd we headed off to Griffith Park Observatory and then to Venice Beach for the afternoon. JDM spoke of Venice in the “60s as a “beach town, with a dying arcade feel”. It still has that flavor to this day. It just never died.

Back to the motel in time to see the best part of Oliver Stone’s film about The Doors, the end credits. For our last night in LA we went to the former Doors office, Benvenuto, for dinner. Nice, fancy Italian food like my Momma never made. Fueled by some after dinner espresso, it was back to Barney’s for a nightcap.

The morning of the 4th we bid farewell to Charlie and The Alta Cienega. True to my word I presented him with the framed photo of “Jeeem” and the poem I am A Guide To The Labyrinth. We got to know Charlie well the few days we were there. When pressed, he admits to wanting to retire in the next year or two and tour Europe.

He also revealed there is interest from parties on the East Coast about buying the motel. This confirmed my fears that in a few years this location may be a McDonald’s or a 7 Eleven. Where are the historic preservation nerds when you need them? If you get to LA, go see this place before the bulldozer gets it. Two acres in LA has got to be worth some big bucks by now.

When you get there tell Charlie, Michael sent you. Keep your graffiti to the already wrote on portion of the walls. Before we left I could not resist adding my own:

                    Ode to Jim Mo
They said he was always reading
carrying a book
Long haired film student
gotta get that look

Before we could leave LA there was “still one place to go”.

South on I-5 we headed to see Pamela’s resting spot. At the Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana in a small crypt lies the ashes that once was Pamela Susan Courson. One would think she is in the fancy historic mausoleum, however she is not. As one goes through the gates, she is located in a set of vaults to the left of the gate in a set of collumburs known as Garden Courts.

The air was dank and humid as we found her crypt. The smell of fresh flowers was overwhelming. We found our mood suddenly change to a sullen remorseful silence as we stood and made photographs. The air and the quietness seemed to engulf us and we pondered the inky blackness of those who sleep in the dust.

Someone had already placed a small corsage of peach carnations with baby’s breath and fern. We felt no need to leave the ones we had brought. After reciting Orange County Suite and stepping back into the fading light of the late afternoon, we contemplated the many miles that lay between LA and Paris.





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All aboard!

Train driver Mike Yacovetti eases his train gently out of Union station San Diego for a trip to Los Angeles Ca.

The conductor C J Hardman and his crew, Oscar Olivas, Scott Wasilevich, Luis Rodrigues, and Paul Wilson, are all about to take me on a magic Carpet Ride made of steel, or at least it feels like that.

Instead of sitting in gridlocked traffic on the freeway and sit in luxury as if I am a VIP attended by an utterly professional and friendly staff who make my journey exquisitely pleasant.

No! this is not a glorious dream that I will soon awaken from, it is real and I am wide awake.

I sit watching the sunrise over the pacific ocean and as I look right, I see miles of cars stalled on the freeway and the faces inside are stressed and even angry as they stew inside their vehicles.

They have to wait to go to the restroom because just to exit takes more than 10 minuets and getting back on takes even longer. Bu contrast I am lovingly attended by people who love their jobs and take great pride in their work.

For the few bucks extra it is worth traveling business class and you might also say “First Class’  because it feels like you are with your family and friends on a trip together to some exotic destination.

When I say “Magic Carpet made of steel” I do so because save for a few bends or curves, the ride is so smooth and silent it feels like I am gliding along on velvet wheels.

I travel every week on the same train and not once or twice, but very single time the service is glorious and I truly am a VIP.

Take my advice and do not drive but take the Magic Carpet Ride Of Steel instead.


Al Graham

Editor: Coronado Clarion.

Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Causes | Leave a comment

Depression In Depth


I am Meredith, a registered nurse, and a health writer. The reason why  
I am contacting you is that I came across your site recently while  
doing some research about depression.

The article which I am referring to is this one here:

I have written a similar in depth post on the topic of depression  
recently, and perhaps you would like to check it out. My article can  
be found here:

In my article, I cover all the key aspects of this illness, together  
with different types of depression and medication options.  There is  
also a detailed infographic about depression on the same page (at the  
very bottom)

Perhaps your readers would find this interesting and useful as well.

Thank you for your time and effort for providing great info on this  
horrible disease that many people know so little about!

With best regards,

Meredith Rogers

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New York’s Stunning Botanical Gardens

#1. brooklyn botanic garden

  • Size: 52 acres
  • Location: Brooklyn, New York
  • Website:
  • Known for: Its efforts to promote green space in urban areas

Work began on Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1897, with 39 acres set aside for the urban green space. The original plan for the Garden was completed by the Olmsted brothers, the owners of the first architectural business in the United States. The Garden officially opened to the public in May 1911.

BBG now has a children’s gardening program, plant pavilions with unique climates, and over 42 species of Cherry trees. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also home to one of the first Japanese gardens opened in the country.


Photo by Dan licensed under CC BY 2.0

#2. missouri botanical garden

Hardware salesman, Henry Shaw, opened the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1859 after falling in love with the area and promising to turn it into something wonderful. The Garden is now considered one of the most beautiful in the world, but it also dedicates itself to plant research and conservation with a Global Strategy that seeks to promote plant diversity throughout the world.

When you visit, you can’t miss taking a narrated tram tour of the Garden, which takes you through some of the most popular sights and attractions.


Photo by Aaron Carlson licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

#3. longwood gardens

  • Size: 1,077 acres
  • Location: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
  • Website:
  • Known for: Year-round events and performances

Longwood Gardens came about by chance after American businessman and entrepreneur, Pierre S. du Pont, purchased a farm to preserve the land in 1906. He began hosting parties and theater experiences on the gardens and soon named the land Longwood. After du Pont’s death in 1954, Longwood Gardens was officially opened to the public.

The Gardens host several seasonal attractions and events for a one-of-a-kind experience. You can even earn a tuition-free horticultural degree through its educational services.


Botanical Gardens

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Surfing Dolphins

Copy of Copy of 618px x 416px – Untitled Design (1)

This dolphins turned up off Sennen Cove Cornwall England

One of the dolphins leaps clear of the sea. Picture: Malcolm BarradellCommon dolphins are one of four species regular seen around the Cornish coast. In recent weeks, pods of up to 150 individuals have been seen on the south coast at Porthleven and off the Lizard peninsula.


One of the dolphins rides in on a wave. Picture: Malcolm BarradellRead more:

The dolphins were pictured swimming in the waves just beyond where the stunned surfers were watching. They also put on a spectacular acrobatic display as they leapt from the water.


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Amazing Power Of Dogs

  1. Your Dog’s Ability To See Ultraviolet Light Let’s Them See What You Can’t

While this supercharged nose can be used to help out humans, dogs also take advantage of this power for less heroic purposes. Have you ever come home from the grocery store with one of your dog’s favorite treats? The second you walk in that door, you are at the mercy of your dog’s nose and no packaging is going to thwart their ability. They can tell the moment their favorite food is nearby and they don’t waste a second looking for it!

2. The Detection Of Illness In Sick Humans

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 12

A dog’s nose may be good for sniffing out a hidden treat, but they also use their super hero sniffing ability to help us humans. Amazingly, dogs, both with and without training, are able to detect illness in their human companions. While some dogs require formal training, like those trained to warn their owner about an oncoming epileptic seizure, other dogs can warn of us changes in our body due to illness, like cancer.

There are countless stories of dogs that have picked up on biological changes in the body resulting in cancer. Knowing that something is off, these dogs often persistently draw attention to a certain body part until their owner can no longer ignore the signs they are sending.

3. The Ability To READ YOUR MIND!!!


Okay, dogs can’t actually read your mind per say, but they are pretty darn good at reading your behaviour and making inferences about your future actions based on it. The reason for this is dogs use eye contact and follow their human’s gaze to determine what their owners are thinking. They’re so good at it that you don’t even have to say a word and your dog will often know what your next move is.

If you ask us, it seems like this ability is heightened when something unpleasant for the dog is about to happen, such as being given a bath. The second they see you look at them, then the bathtub or towel, they’re hightailing it out of there!

4. Prediction Of Natural Disasters

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This is one of your dog’s more spooky super powers, as researchers today are still unsure about exactly how it works. After every natural disaster, stories begin to pop up about people who were warned about the upcoming event by their pet’s unusual behaviour.

Researchers are not yet sure exactly how dogs, and other animals, are able to sense natural disasters before they happen, but there are a few theories. Some believe that they can sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur before earthquakes, while others believe that they can hear very low-frequency rumbles created by natural occurrences, such as earthquakes or volcanoes. These are also numerous researchers who believe that dogs use their strong sense of smell to detect changes in the air before disaster strikes. Either way, if you start to notice your dog acting weird, you might want to check the weather channel.

5. Finding The Way Home Without A Map


For those of you who are chronically lost, even with the help of modern technology, this is one doggie super power you might wish you had. Dogs are often able to find their way home, even from long distances.

The crazy thing about this is that dogs don’t need to have walked the route before to be able to find their way back, so how do they do it? Not surprisingly, a lot of this internal GPS is due to dog’s keen sense of smell. If your dog is in familiar territory, they are able to follow their own trail back home. Don’t worry though; your lost pup will do just as well in an unfamiliar territory by keeping a nose out for familiar scents. Once they identify a familiar scent, they are able to follow it until they find another familiar scent, eventually making their way home

6. And Last, But Not least, The Ability To See Their Own Farts


Source: Dog Shaming

I’m really not quite sure when this super power would ever come in handy, but it certainly would be entertaining. For some reason, researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology were curious to see how dog’s brains reacted when they were exposed to the sight of gases from their owner, a stranger, other dogs, and themselves. From their spot in the MRI machine beside a window, the dogs observed the gases being released in the next room and when their own farts were released, their brain lit up. Interestingly, this didn’t happen when they saw the gases of their owner, a stranger, or another dog!

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So there you have it, six amazing dog super powers that humans would only dream of having. While some may be more entertaining than others, you never know when one of them might come in handy.

Now the real question is, will your dog use these powers for good or for evil? Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

 One Of The World’s Oldest Breeds Might Be At Risk Of Extinction

One Of The World’s Oldest Breeds Might Be At Risk Of Extinction

The kennel’s owner is Myrna Shiboleth, a celebrated breeder of the Canaan dog, and she’s worked hard to ensure the breed’s survival. Ever since moving to Israel from the United States nearly 46 years ago, she’s raised hundreds of Canaan dogs, a significant percentage of the breed’s population.


The Canaan dog is one of the oldest dog breeds known, having existed at least since biblical times, and earned special honor as the national dog of Israel. As Shiboleth points out, the Canaan dog is a natural breed, its DNA and make-up the same as it was before the animal was ever domesticated. Consequently, the Canaan dog is relatively free of the health and genetic problems afflicting newer breeds. Unfortunately, there is pressure on the Canaan dog because of the breed’s small surviving population. That pressure is sure to worsen if Shiboleth can’t find a new home to nurture the breed.


In the 1970s Shiboleth settled west of Jerusalem, on buildings unused since the early 20th century British occupation, to start her kennel. “We were looking for a place that wouldn’t bother anyone, that was isolated,” Shibboleth said. “The place had been abandoned since the British left.” She’s lived on the property ever since, which didn’t even have electricity or running water for her first 17 years on the property.


According to the Israel Land Authority, the property is owned by the state, and was never officially open for settlement. Six years ago, ILA land inspectors asked the residents to leave, but because of their refusal, the ILA chose to take legal action. In 2011, the ILA sued Shibboleth and other residents on the site, demanding that they vacate. Recently, Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court ruled in favor of the ILA, and now Shibboleth, 13 other residents of the site, and the kennel have been evicted. They must leave the property by mid April.


Shiboleth insists, “We never claimed to be the owners; we just wanted to live here.” Despite their best efforts over the years to arrange a rental agreement with the ILA, and a diligent effort to avoid altering the property, they were unable to settle their uncertain living situation. “Nobody asked us for rent; nobody was willing to talk to us at all,” Shiboleth said.


Shibboleth is crowdfunding on in the hopes of paying off her legal fees and relocating her kennel. So far she’s raised over $18,000 of her $25,000 goal. She’s filing an appeal but isn’t optimistic about the outcome. Finding a new home is the priority.

Related: 11 Rare Dog Breeds That Are Totally Underrated


11 Rare Dog Breeds That Are Totally Underrated

Shiboleth says the Canaan dog should be seen as an Israeli natural asset and contends that the government should invest in the preservation of the breed for coming generations, much like it protects other natural resources. As she puts it:

“This is one of the only breeds of dogs that still exists that is completely natural. We feel it’s very important to preserve them, because they are Israeli and because they are the original dog. This is the dog that existed for thousands of years, exactly as he is now.”

Dogs detect breast cancer from bandage: researchers

Mariëtte Le Roux

Assistant cynophilist Patrick Mairet, pictured in October 2016, and his dog Thor are part of the Kdog project, which aims to train dogs to detect breast cancer

View photos
Assistant cynophilist Patrick Mairet, pictured in October 2016, and his dog Thor are part of the Kdog project, which aims to train dogs to detect breast cancer (AFP Photo/PASCAL LACHENAUD)

Paris (AFP) – Dogs can sniff out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, researchers said Friday, announcing the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.

With just six months of training, a pair of German Shepherds became 100-percent accurate in their new role as breast cancer spotters, the team said.

The technique is simple, non-invasive and cheap, and may revolutionise cancer detection in countries where mammograms are hard to come by.

“In these countries, there are oncologists, there are surgeons, but in rural areas often there is limited access to diagnostics,” Isabelle Fromantin, who leads project Kdog, told journalists in Paris.

This means that “people arrive too late,” to receive life-saving treatment, she added. “If this works, we can roll it out rapidly.”

Working on the assumption that breast cancer cells have a distinguishing smell which sensitive dog noses will pick up, the team collected samples from 31 cancer patients.

These were pieces of bandage that patients had held against their affected breast.

With the help of canine specialist Jacky Experton, the team trained German Shepherds Thor and Nykios to recognise cancerous rags from non-cancerous ones.

“It is all based on game-playing” and reward, he explained.

After six months, the dogs were put to the test over several days in January and February this year.

This time, the researchers used 31 bandages from different cancer patients than those the dogs had been trained on.

One bandage was used per experiment, along with three samples from women with no cancer.

– Saving lives –

Each bandage was placed in a box with a large cone which the dogs could stick their noses into, sniffing at each in turn — four boxes per test.

The exercise was repeated once with each sample, meaning there were 62 individual responses from the dogs in all.

In the first round, the dogs detected 28 out of the 31 cancerous bandages — a 90-percent pass rate, the researchers announced.

On the second try, they scored 100 percent — sitting down in front of the box containing the cancerous sample with their muzzle pressed deep into the cone.

“There is technology that works very well, but sometimes simpler things, more obvious things, can also help,” said Amaury Martin of the Curie Institute, citing the many untested stories of dogs having detected cancer in their owners.

“Our aim was see if we can move from conventional wisdom to… real science, with all the clinical and research validation that this entails.”

This was the proof-of-concept phase of Kdog.

The next step will be a clinical trial with more patients and another two dogs, but the team is still in need of project funding.

The team believes that one day dogs may be replaced by “sniffing” machines, possibly armies of electronic diagnosticians dedicated to analysing samples that people far from clinics would send them by the post.

In the meantime, Experton said there is little danger of the trained dogs using their new-found skills to accost cancer sufferers outside the lab.

“These tests happen within a very specific work environment,” he explained. “In a different context, these dogs are unlikely to simply pounce on random people in the street.”

The team says it is the only one to work with breast cancer detection from skin-touch samples.

Other research projects are testing canines’ ability to smell different types of cancer in samples of the skin itself, blood or urine, even the air people exhale.

In France, the chances of surviving ten years after a breast cancer diagnosis is about 85 percent, compared to around 50 percent in poorer countries.

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“dogs never bite me,  just humans” 

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Colonel  Mad Mike Hoare


Michael Thomas Bernard Hoare, better known to the world as “Mad Mike”, was born in India in 1919. He spent his early days in India and was educated in England, but his blood was Irish. During World War 2 he served initially in the London Irish Rifles, became an expert in small arms, and then attended officer school. He then joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a 2nd lieutenant and in time headed east. He fought at the battle of Kohima in India, and in the Arakan, Burma. He was demobbed as major.
He completed his studies in London after the war and qualified as a chartered accountant. In 1948, now with a wife and child, he emigrated to Durban, South Africa. He made a good living in the motor business and ran safaris across the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta.
In 1961, after the Belgian Congo had become independent and the copper-rich province of Katanga had seceded from the Congo, Mike was recruited to assist Moise Tshombe of Katanga against the United Nations and Congolese forces, playing a minor role. When two of his men went missing, he mounted a patrol to locate the men, but found only their jeep.
In July 1964 after four years of uneasy independence, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was engulfed by a communist-inspired rebellion, which spread through the country with the speed and ferocity of a bush fire. The rebel soldiers, known as “Simbas”, struck terror into the hearts of civilians and national army alike, raping, looting and burning. Faced with this situation, Tshombe, on the advice of his South African aide, Jerry Puren, called Mike Hoare in again, and commissioned him to raise and lead a force of mercenary soldiers, to be called 5 Commando. Later Mike dubbed them the Wild Geese.
In 18 months Mike and his strike force liberated Stanleyville, freed many hundreds of European hostages, and finally restored law and order to the Congo. Mike led 5 Commando from July 1964 to December 1965. He was once called that “Mad Bloodhound Hoare” by an East Berlin broadcaster, because of his persistence in pursuing the enemy.

Before July 1964 Mike was virtually unknown, but 18 months later when he retired as Lt Colonel, he was one of the most famous mercenary leaders in the world. He had swept the Congo clean of savages, and made modern mercenary soldiering briefly but confusingly respectable. Hoare was quietly spoken, confident, cool, collected, charming in manner, boyish in looks, dapper in uniform, every inch the English officer and gentleman.

Mike was the technical advisor on the film “The Wild Geese” staring Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore and a host of other stars. It is based on a novel by the Irish-born Rhodesia-based Daniel Carney. The film is accurate in detail and some say it was the best mercenary film ever made. The name “Wild Geese’ comes from the thousands of noble Irish mercenaries had fought in foreign armies in the 18th century, and they had called themselves ‘Wild Geese’.

In 1981, Hoare recruited a band of men and attempted a coup in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, but it failed and he and most of his men escaped by hijacking an airliner back to South Africa. They were all tried and given prison terms. Mike was released from prison on 7 May 1985 under an amnesty, having served 33 months of his ten-year sentence.

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A-8 Anchorage

Port Removes Debris from Former A-8 Anchorage


Boats, tires, batteries, metal containers, engines, and other debris are being pulled to the surface in South San Diego Bay, thanks to the efforts of the Port of San Diego.

An estimated 50 tons of debris from the bottom of the bay is being recovered and removed from the area known as the A-8 Anchorage. 

The A-8 Anchorage was an unlimited, free anchorage established in the 1980s to accommodate up to 150 vessels at any one time. Unfortunately, over the years, many vessels within the anchorage area sank because of winds, storms, or simply because the vessels weren’t seaworthy. 

The $219,500 project is 100 percent grant funded:

A Port of San Diego tenant, Pacific Tugboat Service, was hired by the Port to handle the cleanup. Side-scan sonar was used to provide divers with a “road map” of the debris.

The first phase of the cleanup was initiated in 2008 with more than 315 tons of marine debris being removed from an 80-acre area using over $340,000 in grant funding and $50,000 from the Port of San Diego’s own Environmental Fund.

The current cleanup area expanded to 350-acres, all of which is within the Port of San Diego’s jurisdiction on San Diego Bay. 

Some of the debris recovered since 2008 includes: 75 sunken vessels, 50- and 25-ton barges, batteries, engines, generators, fuel and other storage tanks, bicycles, various electronics, and a bathtub.

A recent survey of the A-8 Anchorage and surrounding areas found an additional 950 debris items, resulting in the current cleanup efforts, which started in June 2013. The work is expected to be completed by September 30, 2013.

The A-8 cleanup effort demonstrates the Port’s role as a trustee of San Diego Bay to protect and improve the quality of San Diego Bay’s water. In addition, removal of the debris will benefit the Bay’s natural resources by improving water quality and reducing the possibility of entanglement for the Eastern Pacific green sea turtle and the fish in the Bay.

About the Port:

The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula VistaCoronadoImperial BeachNational City and San Diego.

The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 20 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.

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Florence Jenkins


Florence Foster Jenkins, born Nascina Florence Foster (July 19, 1868 – November 26, 1944), was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability.

Despite (or perhaps due to) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Cole PorterEnrico Caruso, and other celebrities were loyal fans. The poet William Meredith wrote that what Jenkins provided ” … was never exactly an aesthetic experience, or only to the degree that an early Christian among the lions provided aesthetic experience; it was chiefly immolatory, and Madame Jenkins was always eaten, in the end.”

Nascina Florence Foster was born July 19, 1868, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Dorrance Foster (1836–1909), an attorney and scion of a wealthy land-owning Pennsylvania family. Her mother was Mary Jane Hoagland (1851–1930).[2][3][4][5][6] Her one sibling, a younger sister named Lillian, died at the age of 8 in 1883.[7][8]

Foster said she first became aware of her lifelong passion for public performance when she was seven years old.[6] A talented pianist, she performed in her youth at society functions as “Little Miss Foster”,[1] and gave a recital at the White House during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.[6] After graduating from high school, she expressed a desire to study music in Europe. When her father refused to grant his permission—or the necessary funds—she eloped with Dr. Frank Thornton Jenkins (1852–1917) to Philadelphia, where they married in 1885.[8] The following year, after learning that she had contracted syphilis from her husband, she terminated their relationship and reportedly never spoke of him again. Years later, Florence asserted that a divorce decree had been granted on March 24, 1902, although no documentation of that proceeding has ever surfaced.[9] She retained the Jenkins surname for the remainder of her life.

After an arm injury ended her career aspirations as a pianist, Jenkins gave piano lessons in Philadelphia to support herself; but around 1900, she moved with her mother to New York City.[6] In 1909, Jenkins met a British Shakespearean actor named St. Clair Bayfield, and they began a vaguely-defined cohabitation relationship that continued the rest of her life.[10] Upon her father’s death later that year,[8] Jenkins became the beneficiary of a sizable trust, and resolved to resume her musical career as a singer, with Bayfield as her manager.[11] She began taking voice lessons and immersed herself in wealthy New York City society, joining dozens of social clubs. As the “chairman of music” for many of these organizations, she began producing lavish tableaux vivants—popular diversions in social circles of that era.[1] It was said that in each of these productions, Jenkins would invariably cast herself as the main character in the final tableau, wearing an elaborate costume of her own design.[6] In a widely republished photograph, Jenkins poses in a costume, complete with angelic wings, from her tableau inspired by Howard Chandler Christy‘s painting Stephen Foster and the Angel of Inspiration.[12]

Jenkins began giving private vocal recitals in 1912, when she was in her early forties.[11] In 1917, she became founder and “President Soprano Hostess” of her own social organization, the Verdi Club,[2][13] dedicated to “fostering a love and patronage of Grand Opera in English”. Its membership quickly swelled to over 400; honorary members included Enrico Caruso.[1] When Jenkins’ mother died in 1930, additional financial resources became available for the expansion and promotion of her singing career.

According to published reviews and other contemporary accounts, Jenkins’ talent at the piano did not translate well to her singing. She is described as having great difficulty with such basic vocal skills as pitchrhythm, and sustaining notes and phrases.[15] In recordings, her accompanist Cosmé McMoon can be heard making adjustments to compensate for her constant tempo variations and rhythmic mistakes,[16] but there was little he could do to conceal her inaccurate intonation. She was consistently flat, and sometimes deviated from the proper pitch by as much as a semitone. Her diction was similarly substandard, particularly with foreign-language lyrics. The technically challenging songs she selected, well beyond her ability and vocal range, emphasized these deficiencies.[15] The opera impresario Ira Siff dubbed her “the anti-Callas.” “Jenkins was exquisitely bad”, he said, “so bad that it added up to quite a good evening of theater … She would stray from the original music, and do insightful and instinctual things with her voice, but in a terribly distorted way. There was no end to the horribleness … They say Cole Porter had to bang his cane into his foot in order not to laugh out loud when she sang. She was that bad.”[10] Nevertheless, Porter rarely missed a recital.[17]

The question of whether “Lady Florence”—as she liked to be called, and often signed her autographs[10]—was in on the joke, or honestly believed she had vocal talent, remains a matter of debate. On the one hand, she compared herself favorably to the renowned sopranos Frieda Hempel and Luisa Tetrazzini, and seemed oblivious to the abundant audience laughter during her performances.[18] Her loyal friends endeavored to disguise the laughter with cheers and applause; and they often described her technique to curious inquirers in “intentionally ambiguous” terms—for example, “her singing at its finest suggests the untrammeled swoop of some great bird”—which served only to intensify public curiosity.[19] On the other, Jenkins refused to share her talents with the general public, and was clearly aware of her detractors. “People may say I can’t sing,” she once remarked to a friend, “but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”[1] She went to great lengths to control access to her rare recitals, which took place at her apartment, in small clubs, and once each October in the Grand Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Attendance, by personal invitation only, was restricted to her loyal clubwomen and a select few others. Jenkins handled distribution of the coveted tickets herself, carefully excluding strangers, particularly music critics. Favorable articles and bland reviews, published in specialty music publications such as The Musical Courier, were most likely written by her friends, or herself.[6] Despite her careful efforts to insulate her singing from public exposure, a preponderance of contemporary opinion favored the view that Jenkins’ self-delusion was genuine. “Florence didn’t think she was pulling anyone’s leg,” said opera historian Albert Innaurato. “She was compos mentis, not a lunatic. She was a very proper, complex individual.”[10]

Her recitals featured arias from the standard operatic repertoire by MozartVerdi, and Johann Strauss (all well beyond her technical ability); lieder by BrahmsValverde‘s “Clavelitos” (“Little Carnations”, a favorite encore); and songs composed by herself and McMoon.[1] As in her tableaux, she designed her own elaborate costumes, often involving wings, tinsel, and flowers, to complement her performances. During “Clavelitos”, she would throw flowers into the audience from a basket (on one occasion, she hurled the basket as well) while fluttering a fan.[20] After one “Clavelitos” performance, the audience cheered so loudly that Jenkins asked the audience to return the flowers; she replaced them in her basket and performed the song again.

Once, when a taxi in which she was riding collided with another car, Jenkins let out a high-pitched scream. Upon arriving home, she went immediately to her piano and confirmed (at least to herself) that the note she had screamed was the fabled “F above high C”—a pitch she had never before been able to reach. Overjoyed, she refused to press charges against either involved party, and even sent the taxi driver a box of expensive cigars.[21][10] McMoon said neither he “nor anyone else” ever heard her actually sing a high F, however.[17]

At the age of 76, Jenkins finally yielded to public demand and booked Carnegie Hall for a general-admission performance on October 25, 1944.[15] Tickets for the event sold out weeks in advance; the demand was such that an estimated 2,000 people were turned away at the door.[17] Numerous celebrities attended, including Porter, Marge ChampionGian Carlo MenottiKitty Carlisle and Lily Pons with her husband, Andre Kostelanetz, who composed a song for the recital. McMoon later recalled an “especially noteworthy” moment: “[When she sang] ‘If my silhouette does not convince you yet/My figure surely will’ [from Adele’s aria in Die Fledermaus], she put her hands righteously to her hips and went into a circular dance that was the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen. And created a pandemonium in the place. One famous actress had to be carried out of her box because she became so hysterical.”[18]

Since ticket distribution was out of Jenkins’ control for the first time, mockers, scoffers, and critics could no longer be kept at bay. The following morning’s newspapers were filled with scathing, sarcastic reviews that devastated Jenkins, according to Bayfield.[6] “[Mrs. Jenkins] has a great voice,” wrote the New York Sun critic. “In fact, she can sing everything except notes … Much of her singing was hopelessly lacking in a semblance of pitch, but the further a note was from its proper elevation the more the audience laughed and applauded.” The New York Post was even less charitable: “Lady Florence … indulged last night in one of the weirdest mass jokes New York has ever seen.”

Five days after the concert, Jenkins suffered a heart attack while shopping at G. Schirmer‘s music store, and died a month later on November 26, 1944, at her Manhattan residence, the Hotel Seymour. She was buried next to her father in the family crypt in Pennsylvania.  


Unknown-2 images Unknown-3

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A Man/Woman To Go To The Well With By: Alan Graham





















One of the most poignant lines from the old country song “Old dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine” by Tom T. Hall song “Friends are hard to find, when they discover that your down”, is quite often so, especially in times of crisis.  It is only the fully faithful who can, and do, hang in there with you in your time of need. Others have their own problems and certainly do not want to take on another burden, so, they move away or ignore it so it will go away on it’s own.

The old saying “He is a man to go to the well with” is someone originally meant to literally accompany someone outside the safety of a stockade or safe perimeter in a time of siege during the days of Indian warfare. So a man you could or would GO TO THE WELL WITH was someone you had the utmost confidence in, admiration and highest regard for – often a highly trusted longtime friend.

I am blessed to have several  friends of such noble pedigree, and one in particular is actually “A Woman To Go To The Well With”.

Three times she has saved my life, literally, and continues to watch over me often preventing me from going in the wrong direction and steering me away from potential missteps.

If you are lucky enough to have even one such loving loyal friend, treasure them and always remember, that this precious soul is “true like ice, like fire” as solid as ice and  like an eternal flame that can never be extinguished. 

Old Dogs And Children And Watermelon Wine Written By: Tom T. Hall

How old do you think I am he said I said well I didn’t know
He said I turned sixty five about eleven months ago
I was sittin’ in Miami pourin’ blended whiskey down
When this old gray black gentleman was cleanin’ up the lounge
There wasn’t anyone around ‘cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar was watching Iron sides on TV
Uninvited he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Ever had a drink of watermelon wine he asked
He told me all about it though I didn’t answer back
Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime
But old dogs and children and watermelon wineHe said women think about they selves when menfolk ain’t around
And friends are hard to find when they discover that you’re down
He said I tried it all when I was young and in my natural prime
Now it’s old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes
God bless little children while they’re still too young to hate
When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line
Bout old dogs and children and watermelon wineI had to catch a plane up to Atlanta that next day As I left for my room I saw him pickin’ up my change
That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime
Of old dogs and children and watermelon wine
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Restaurant Row

Showing regret for making the wrong decision is no longer a behavioral trait exclusive to humans, as rats too feel sorry for not making the right choice, a new study suggests.

As part of the study, researchers conducted a task named “Restaurant Row,” in which they allowed rats to enter chambers containing different food options. And, as the rats were given only a limited amount of time to make a choice, they would sometimes pick a bad meal over a good one, and then look back at the chamber with the food they liked and be prepared to wait longer for another chance to sample their desired food.

 “It’s like waiting in line at a restaurant,” David Redish, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the study’s senior author, said in a statement.”If the line is too long at the Chinese food restaurant, then you give up and go to the Indian food restaurant across the street.”
Other mammals could also have the ability to regret, because they have similar brain structures as rats and humans, the study finds. Photo: Reuters 

According to the study, published in Nature Neuroscience on Sunday, the rats’ willingness to wait for their ideal choice implied that they had individual preferences. In addition, the researchers also examined the rats’ brain activity, which helped them conclude that the animals indeed experienced regret over the decisions they made while choosing their food.

“In humans, a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex is active during regret. We found in rats that recognized they had made a mistake, indicators in the orbitofrontal cortex represented the missed opportunity,” Redish said. “Interestingly, the rat’s orbitofrontal cortex represented what the rat should have done, not the missed reward. This makes sense because you don’t regret the thing you didn’t get, you regret the thing you didn’t do.”

The researchers believe that the study’s findings will help them better understand why humans act a certain way and how the feeling of regret affects their decision making. The researchers also said that other mammals may also have the ability to feel regret because they have brain structures similar to those of rats and humans, LiveScience reported.

“Regret is the recognition that you made a mistake, that if you had done something else, you would have been better off,” Redish said. “The difficult part of this study was separating regret from disappointment, which is when things aren’t as good as you would have hoped. The key to distinguishing between the two was letting the rats choose what to do.”

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 An Editorial By: Alan Graham

Recently I bought some sweat pants and I chose NIKE only because they were on sale, a great deal I thought until that is, a friend said “You bought NIKE ?”.

And why not? said I.

My friend looked at me quizzically, haven’t you heard, anyone who loves dogs will never by NIKE ever again because of Michael Vic?. 

I had forgotten that in one of the most craven maneuvers in modern times NIKE had made a deal with the DEVIL, namely one Michael Vic. Nike re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback  to an endorsement deal, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles.

Being a dog lover I was deeply angered to see such a low life being rewarded after a slap on the wrist.

I have vowed never to by NIKE products, and urge all those who love animals to BOYCOT and to spread the word, and even though it has been forgotten by many, these monstrous acts are still being perpetrated.

I will never forgive Vick for his callous treatment of defenseless animals and I urge everyone to do the same.

Boycott Nike. Just do it. Here are some ways to take action:

1. Let Nike know you disapprove of their decision to endorse Michael Vick. There is a Facebook page dedicated to the cause with over 14,000 supporters.

Call Nike: 800-344-6453. Choose option 5, then option 9. 

2. Let the New York Jets hear your voice. Make your opinion matter. Contact a NY Jets representative at 800-469-5387 or at their Florham Park training facility at 973-549-4800. 

3. Buy elsewhere. The sportswear, sportsgear, and athletic shoe trade is a billion dollar industry with stiff competitors. There is a plethora of impressive, quality gear that can be purchased without the weight of ethical guilt. There are many deserving companies engaging in hard work that deserve our support. Support companies that endorse fair market practices and decent role models. Do your research. Stand behind positive energy and good vibes. 

4. Explain your consumer choices to your children. Teach them consumer power young. Arm them with the information to understand the dangers in putting your money behind poor leadership. Be your child’s own role model of leadership and intelligence. 

5. End animal abuse. Donate your time or money to your local animal shelter. Eleventh Hour Rescue is an admirable local organization. Buy the organization’s shirts that benefit charity rather than Nike shirts. Consider fostering a pet, donating pet food, or rescuing an abused animal.




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A Diamond In The Heart

My own medical report  By. Alan Graham.



If you had a heart attack in the 1950s, the average doctor was ill equipped treat it. Back then, doctors knew very little about how to treat heart attacks and as a consequence, could do very little to save patients lives.
My Coronado practitioner Dr. James Mushovic, (Merlin) once told me ” All we did back then was make them as comfortable as possible by leaving them in a darkened room surrounded by ice packs, short of that, it was pretty much wait and see if they recovered, or not
Today we are lucky to live in a time where futuristic advances in heart surgery and treatment are beyond amazing.

It is 10 am on Saturday morning and a group of San Diego’s finest heart specialist are in video conference. What follows is a discussion/lecture concerning the newest advances in surgery such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) from cardiovascular surgeons and other heart specialists. AFib symptoms, diagnosis and advanced treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures designed to reduce the high risk of stroke associated with the condition. The old school heart surgeons are now a thing of the past, light years away in fact.

I had a heart attack in 2006 and was lucky enough to be in the care of Dr. Bruce Kimura  a Coronado heart specialist. At that time my old country doctor, James Mushovic, told me that Dr. Kimura was the best he had ever seen and that I could not be in better hands. He was part of the respected Dr. Paul Phillips’ team, and as Dr. Mushovic had predicted, he would become on of the top heart specialists in the country.

Fast forward to today, and I find myself in need of a serious tune up to my 1944 model ailing heart.  When I told Dr William B. Davis my country doctor  for seen years, without a word he wrote a referral for Dr Ali Salmi, and the San diego Heart and Vascular Associates saying  “This team is Nuli Secondi” (second to none.)

Enter Dr. Ali Salami, another brilliant heart surgeon, who is now part of the same team. The procedure was flawless, with a top team of professionals  preparing me, I felt like a VIP.  

After my having an angiogram, Dr Salami found that the main artery had a 90% blockage; and when he tried to implant a stent, the blockage was impossible to penerate without “heavy equipment”.  (I had awful visions of being assaulted by a forty-foot drill operated by the angry visage of my dead mother-in-law.)

 Dr. (Mr. Cool) Salami assured me matter of factly that it would be “a piece of cake.” He has cause to be so confident because of a sterling track record of successful procedures with advanced breakthrough technologies. 

With my fears now assuaged, I am comfortable knowing I am in the hands of the very best healthcare team anywhere in the world.

The reality is, however, potentially rather grim especially at my age, 72 years old. The chances of cardiac arrest under anesthetic is very possible. In the face of this, I have requested that a DNR  (do not resuscitate) be in place before surgery. I jokingly say “I do not want to come out of surgery talking like Rain Man”

I have visited with my priest and  received three oils: the Oil of Catechumens (“Oleum Catechumenorum” or “Oleum Sanctorum“), the Oil of the Infirm (“Oleum Infirmorum“), and Holy Chrism (“Sacrum Chrisma“). So I am now in  state of peaceful bliss and have made peace within myself through my faith in God and the support of some very special people who love me as much as I do them. May God bless us all.

Today I received a phone call from a dear sweet friend Alvaro. He had called to tell me he was praying for me and wished me “God speed.” After whining on in the most fatalistic tone about not wanting to be resuscitated should things go wrong during surgery, Alvaro simply said, ” Well, you should think about living until you are 90 or 100 years old.”

His tone was matter of fact. No nonsense, good, old-fashioned FAITH was his message, and it hit me like a ton of bricks how I was rather pessimistic about life when I should be celebrating every waking hour.

When I hung up, I felt  wonderfully happy and absolutely renewed, and now I see things in a very different way thanks to some wise words from a very wise young man.  Thank you, Alvaro.

The main right ventricle to my heart is so calcified that it cannot be penetrated by the normal use of a wire, so you all know the drill (another silly joke). Sometime in the next week or so, I will undergo a complex procedure with a special device for drilling at at angle using a razorback diamond drill hence, A Diamond In The Heart. and to make it even more interesting the operation will be done at a brand new facility UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla, CA.

When things could not look more rosy, enter Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, an Irishman (obvious Irish joke) who is Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center-Medicine, and Director of Interventional Cardiology. He is board-certified in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology, and has extensive experience in complex coronary, renal, lower extremity and carotid interventions.

Under Dr. Mahmud’s leadership, the Interventional Cardiology program is among the largest academic interventional programs in the western United States. Dr. Mahmud directs the interventional clinical trials center; his research interests include investigational pharmacotherapies and devices used in cardiovascular interventions.

Dr. Mahmud completed fellowships in coronary and peripheral vascular interventions at Emory University in Atlanta and cardiovascular medicine at UC San Diego. He completed his internal medicine residency at UC San Diego and earned his medical degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Dr. Mahmud is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Society of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. He has been voted one of the top physicians in San Diego by the San Diego county medical society and among the top 1 percent of interventional cardiologists in the nation by US News and World Report.

Dr. Mahmud is a Professor of Medicine at UCSD and Director, Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology at UCSD Medical Center. He has been honored with the Laennec Society Young Clinician Award from the American Heart Association and chosen as one of America’s Top Physicians each year from 2003 through 2009 by the Consumer Research Council. He is a Fellow of the Society of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.


The Dynamic Dou Dr Sharmi Mahmud and Dr Ali Salami, have just charted a new map of every single river and stream in the entire Amazon, and at the very same moment drilled out every single one of my calcified arteries and I feel like a new man. 

After the procedure, Dr. Mahmud came to visit me, and as we chatted, it occurred to me that because the operation was so successful I felt compelled to tell him that he and Dr. Salami were so very good at this that they more than likely could get a job at any hospital. Dr Mahmud stared at me for a minute, then he said he would talk to Dr Salami, and perhaps they should both go for an interview together. I do hope they follow up because we need all the heart surgeons we can get.

Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud 

Dr. William B. Davis

Dr. Paul Philips

Dr Ali Salami

Dr Bruce Kimura















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John Marston 1576 – 1634 William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616

The Life of John Marston (1576-1634)


Freevill (to Franceschina): Go; y’are grown a punk rampant.

If your only exposure to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli film version, then you have been deceived! The language in the film is not 100% Shakespearean. In the case of the “punk rampant.” The phrase is actually from The Dutch Courtesan by John Marston, 1605: So it is authentically of Shakespeare’s era (or a tad later) and not Zeffirelli’s. But how modern is it! “Punk Rampant!” could describe any number of contemporary scurvy knaves.

John Marston married Mary Wilkes, daughter of one of the royal chaplains, and Ben Jonson said that ” Marston wrote his father-in-law’s preachings, and his father-in-law his sermons.” His first work was The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image, and certaine Satyres (1598). “Pigmalion” is an erotic poem in the metre of Venus and Adonis, and Joseph Hall attached a rather clumsy epigram to every copy that was exposed for sale in Cambridge. In the same year Marston published, under the pseudonym of W. Kinsayder, already employed in the earlier volume, his Scourge of Villanie, eleven satires, in the sixth of which he asserted that Pigmalion was intended to parody the amorous poetry of the time. Both this volume and its predecessor were burnt by order of the archbishop of Canterbury. The satires, in which Marston avowedly took Persius as his model, are coarse and vigorous. In addition to a general attack on the vices of his age he avenges himself on Joseph Hall who had assailed him in Virgidemiae.

He had a great reputation among his contemporaries. John Weever couples his name with Ben Jonson’s in an epigram; Francis Meres in Palladis tamia (1598) mentions him among the satirists; a long passage is devoted to “Monsieur Kinsayder” in the Return from Parnassus (1606), and Dr Brinsley Nicholson has suggested that Furor poeticus in that piece may be a satirical portrait of him. But his invective by its general tone, goes far to justify Mr W. J. Courthope’s1 judgment that “it is likely enough that in seeming to satirize the world without him, he is usually holding up the mirror to his own prurient mind.”

On the 28th of September 1599 Henslowe notices in his diary that he lent “unto Mr Maxton, the new poete, the sum of forty shillings,” as an advance on a play which is not named. Another hand has amended “Maxton” to” Mastone.” The earliest plays to which Marston’s name is attached are The History of Antonio and Mellida. The First Part; and Antonio’s Revenge. The Second Part (both entered at Stationers’ Hall in 1601 and printed 1602). The second part is preceded by a prologue which, in its gloomy forecast of the play, moved the admiration of Charles Lamb, who also compares the situation of Andrugio and Lucia to Lear and Kent, but the scene which he quotes gives a misleading idea of the play and of the general tenor of Marston’s work.

The melodrama and the exaggerated expression of these two plays offered an opportunity to Ben Jonson, who had already twice ridiculed Marston, and now pilloried him as Crispinus in The Poetaster (1600). The quarrel was patched up, for Marston dedicated his Malcontent (1604) to Jonson, and in the next year he prefixed commendatory verses to Sejanus. Far greater restraint is shown in The Malcontent than in the earlier plays. It was printed twice in 1604, the second time with additions by John Webster. The Dutch Courtezan (1605) and Parasitaster, or the Fawne (1606) followed. In 1605 Eastward Hoe, a gay comedy of London life, which gave offence to the king’s Scottish friends, caused the playwrights concerned in its production — Marston, Chapman and Jonson — to be imprisoned at the instance of Sir James Murray.

The Wonder of Women, or the Tragedie of Sophonisba (1606), seems to have been put forward by Marston as a model of what could be accomplished in tragedy. In the preface he mocks at those authors who make a parade of their authorities and their learning, and the next play, What you Will(printed 1607; but probably written much earlier), contains a further attack on Jonson. The tragedy of The Insatiate Countesse was printed in 1613, and again, this time anonymously, in 1616. It was not included in the collected edition of Marston’s plays in 1633, and in the Duke of Devonshire’s library there is a copy bearing the name of William Barksteed, the author of the poems, Myrrha, the Mother of Adonis (1607), and Hiren and the Fair Greek (1611). The piece contains many passages superior to anything to be found in Marston’s well-authenticated plays, and Mr A. H. Bullen suggests that it may be Barksteed’s version of an earlier one drafted by Marston.

The character and history of Isabella are taken chiefly from “The Disordered Lyfe of the Countess of Celant” in William Paynter’s Palace of Pleasure, derived eventually from Bandello. There is no certain evidence of Marston’s authorship in Histriomastix (printed 1610, but probably produced before 1599), or in Jacke Drums Entertainement, or the Comedie of Pasquil and Katherine (1616), though he probably had a hand in both. Mr R. Boyle (Englische Studien, vol. xxx., 1901), in a critical study of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, assigns to Marston’s hand the whole of the action dealing with Hector, with the prologue and epilogue, and attributes to him the bombast and coarseness in the last scenes of the play.

It will be seen that his undoubted dramatic work was completed in 1607. It is uncertain at what time he exchanged professions, but in 1616 he was presented to the living of Christchurch, Hampshire. He formally resigned his charge in 1631, and when his works were collected in 1633 the publisher, William Sheares, stated that the author “in his autumn and declining age” was living “far distant from this place.” Nevertheless he died in London, in the parish of Aldermanbury, on the 25th of June 1634. He was buried in the Temple Church.

Marston’s works were first published in 1633, once anonymously as Tragedies and Comedies, and then in the same year as Workes of Mr John Marston. The Works of John Marston (3 vols.) were reprinted by Mr J. O. Halliwell (Phillipps) in 1856, and again by Mr. A. H. Bullen (3 vols.) in 1887. His Poems (2 vols.) were edited by Dr A. B. Grosart in 1879. 

JOHN MARSTON, English dramatist and satirist, eldest son of John Marston of Coventry, at one time lecturer of the Middle Temple, was born in 1575, or early in 1576. Swinburne notes his affinities with Italian literature, which may be partially explained by his parentage, for his mother was the daughter of an Italian physician, Andrew Guarsi. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1592, taking his B.A. degree in 1594. The elder Marston in his will expresses regret that his son, to whom he left his law-books and the furniture of his rooms in the Temple, had not been willing to follow his profession..

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Henri Michaux Poet 1899–1984


Henri Michaux died in Paris in 1984 at the age of 85.

Michaux is a poet of unique style, one that is particularly difficult to pinpoint. He most closely resembles the surrealists, but cannot even accurately be grouped with them. Frederic Sepher pointed out that much of his poetry reads like short stories, although most of it does rhyme. He stated that while Michaux is probably the “least lyric of all contemporary French poets,” and employs few metaphors, “he is brilliantly imaginative, inventive and rythmic. He even verges on the musical in his haunting, desperate litanies with their repetitions and developments.”

Haunting, too, is Michaux’s emphasis on “the strangeness of natural things and the naturalness of strange things,” as Andre Gide once described Michaux’s philosophy. Like Swift, Flaubert, and Lautreament, Michaux created imaginery lands inhabited by equally chimerical creatures. The royal spider, the Hacs, the Emanglons, and the Gaurs are just a few of the inhabitants in what are considered his best works, including Voyage en Grande Garbagne, Au Pays de la magie, and Ici, Poddema. These creatures are portrayed as being more real than human beings. So are their worlds seen as being far less fantastic and less absurd than the one in which Michaux himself lives. As a Times Literary Supplement critic put it, “It is surprising how true much of his poetry is even at the most superficial level.” What has really happened in the thirty-odd years since the publication of Voyage en Grande Garbagne seems more strange than what is in the book, the critic asserted.

Michaux’s world is filled with aggression and hostility. Through his writings he emphasizes fears and anxieties that are most often suppressed by others. As Sepher pointed out, Michaux’s poetry is a form of self-analysis: it exorcises the terrible demons that reside within him. And to absorb blows that life meant for him, he invented a character named Plume. Plume is a weak, pathetic, yet humorous person, resembling Charlie Chaplin, who is constantly being bullied by his more intrepid associates. He embodies the weakness Michaux sees in himself, and in all men.

Michaux’s works are imbued with a sense of alienation not only from others, but from himself as well. He warns that twentieth-century life is dangerous: one must be perpetually on guard for it is too easy to lose oneself, a frightening feeling he often describes. There is an ever-present conflict between one’s inner and outer lives. Michaux contends that by developing stringent social mores that lead to the suppression of the individual by society, it is man himself who is responsible for this conflict. But man’s condition is not hopeless. Michaux combats his own struggle between inner thoughts and the outside world by practicing strict self control, and with a sense of humor that is “one of his most salient characteristics,” as Sepher observed.

While Michaux’s writings are read worldwide and his poetry is currently popular among young people in France, the man himself remains somewhat of an enigma. Introverted and introspective, Michaux has screened much of his private life, especially his early years, from public view. It is known, however, that he felt alienated from his parents from the beginning. He voraciously read the works of mystics, and later was influenced by the writings of Lautreament, Ruysbroeck, Kafka, and Ernst Hello. He also painted, inspired by the modernist artists, most notably Paul Klee.

In his youth, Michaux had hoped to join the priesthood but was dissuaded from doing so by his father. Instead, he pursued medical studies but eventually abandoned them to sail with the merchant marines. As a sailor, Michaux traveled to the United States, South America, and England, and later, on his own, to Asia, where he accumulated material used in writing travel books, such as Ecuador and Un barbare en Asie. But the travels he described were not all physical: even then, Michaux also wrote of the journeys within himself. In New Republic, a critic commented: “Coming upon Ecuador today one cannot, except by an act of imagination, appreciate the revolutionary thing it was when it was first published, nor the risk that Michaux took in those days. But the risk and the kind of adventure in which he engaged deserves to be compared with that of other great innovative writers of our time. Like them, he is powerful, incomplete, shifting, strangely satisfying and dissatisfying.”

Like Aldous Huxley, Michaux experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, primarily mescaline, in exploration of his inner self and of further awareness. He was fifty-seven when he embarked on his first drug-induced voyage. At sixty-seven he gave up drugs at his doctor’s advice, believing he had already experienced all that he could with them anyway. Some of his experiences are mirrored in The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, Miserable Miracle, L’Infini turbulent, Connaissance par les gouffres, and L’Espace du dedans. The latter is “not the kind of book to be read from cover to cover, but one to be dipped into, a little at a time,” a Times Literary Supplement critic noted. Michaux’s “poetry is the result of exploring and, in its most liberal sense, analysing the ‘space within’, the infinite universe of the inner self where the galaxies move and revolve according to laws whose mathematics may be forever beyond our comprehension.”

In recent years, Michaux has devoted most of his talents to painting. That, for him, is another form of exorcism. He has said that he can better express himself through this medium. Many of his books include original drawings and paintings.
In English (see also below):

Ecuador: journal de voyage, [France], 1929, revised edition, Gallimard, 1968, translation by Robin Magowan published as Ecuador: A Travel Journal, University of Washington Press, 1968.
Un barbare en Asie (travel notes), Gallimard, 1933, revised edition, Gallimard, 1967, translation by Sylvia Beach published as A Barbarian in Asia, New Directions, 1949.
L’Espace du dedans (poetry), Gallimard, 1944, revised and enlarged edition, 1966 , translation by Richard Ellmann published as Selected Writings: The Space Within, New Directions, 1951.
(Self-illustrated) Miserable miracle, Rocher, 1956, revised and enlarged edition, Gallimard, 1972, translation by Louise Varese published as Miserable Miracle: Mescaline, City Lights, 1963.
L’Infini turbulent, Mercure, 1957, revised and enlarged edition, Gallimard, 1967 , translation by Michael Fineberg published as Infinite Turbulence, Calder & Boyars, 1975.
Connaissance par les gouffres, Gallimard, 1961, revised edition, Gallimard, 1967, translation by Haakon Chevalier published as Light Through Darkness, Orion Press, 1963.
Les Grandes Epreuves de l’esprit et les innombrables petites (autobiography), Gallimard, 1966, translation by Richard Howard published as The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, Harcourt, 1974.
Michaux , translation from the French by Teo Savory, bilingual edition, Unicorn Press, 1967.
Peter Broome, editor, Au pays de la magie (text in French; introduction and commentaries in English), Athlone Press, 1977.
Henri Michaux, A Selection, translated by Michael Fineberg, Embers (Norwich), 1979.
Ideograms in China, translated by Gustaf Sobin, New Directions (New York, NY), 1984.
A Barbarian in Asia, translated by Sylvia Beach, New Directions, 1986.
By Surprise, translated by Randolph Hough, Hanuman (New York City), 1987.
Meidosems: Poems and Lithographs, translated by Elizabeth R. Jackson, Moving Parts Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1992.
Spaced, Displaced, translated by David and Helen Constantine, Bloodaxe (Newcastle Upon Tyne), 1992.
David Ball, editor and translator, Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984, University of California Press, 1994.
Henri Michaux: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 19 February-25 April 1999, Whitechapel Art Gallery (London, England), 1999.
Oeuvres Completes, II, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2001.
Someone Wants to Steal My Name: And Other Poems, Cleveland State University Poetry Center (Cleveland, OH), 2003.

Mes proprietes (poetry and prose), J. D. Fourcade, 1929.
La Nuit remu (poetry), Gallimard, 1935, revised edition, 1967.
Voyage en Grande Garbagne, Gallimard, 1941.
Liberte d’action (poetry), Fontane, 1945.
Ici, Poddema (excerpt from Livre du voyager; also see below), Mermod (Lausanne, Switzerland), 1946.
Epreuves, exorcismes, 1940-44 (poetry; title means “Tests, Exorcisms”), Gallimard, 1946.
Rene Bertele, editor, Henri Michaux, Seghers, 1946, revised and enlarged edition, 1957.
Peintures et dessins, Editions du point du jour, 1946.
Nous deux encore, Lanbert, 1948.
Arriver a se reveiller, L’Air du temps, 1948.
Henri Michaux, P. Drouin, 1948.
Ailleurs (poetry), Gallimard, 1948, revised edition, 1969.
La Vie dans les plis (poetry), Gallimard, 1949, new edition, 1965.
Passages, 1937-1950, Gallimard, 1950, revised and enlarged edition, NRF, 1963.
(Self-illustrated) Mouvements (poetry), Gallimard, 1951.
Nouvelles de l’etranger, Mercure, 1952.
Face aux verrous (poetry; title means “Facing the Bolts”), Gallimard, 1954 , revised edition, 1967.
Quatre cents hommes en croix, P. Bettencourt, 1956.
Plume; precede de Lointaine interieur (poetry), Gallimard, 1957, revised edition, 1967.
(Self-illustrated) Paix dans les brisements (poetry), Flinker, 1959.
Galerie Daniel Cordier, compiler, Henri Michaux, [Paris], 1959.
La Psilocybine, [Paris], 1960.
Situations-gouffres, [Paris], 1960.
Vents et poussieres, 1955-1962, Flinker, 1962.
Henri Michaux, oeuvres recentes, presented by Cordier, text by Genevieve Bonnefoi, [Paris], 1962.
Vers la completude (poetry), GLM, 1966.
L’Espace du dedans, pages choisies (1927-1959), Gallimard, 1966; Henri Michaux, [Paris], 1966.
Bertele, compiler, Parcours: Suite de douze eaux-fortes originales, Le Point cardinal, 1966.
K. Leonard, editor and compiler, Henri Michaux, [London], 1968.
Facons d’endormi, facons d’eveille, Gallimard, 1969.
Poteaux d’angle, Herne, 1971.
En revant a partir de peintures enigmatiques, Fata Morgana (Montpellier, France), 1972.
Emergence-resurgences, Skira, 1972.
Quand tombent les toits (play), GLM, 1973.
Moments; traversees du temps (poetry), Gallimard, 1973.
Bras casse, Fata morgana, 1973.
Par la voie des rythmes, Fata morgana, 1974.
Ideogrammes en Chine, Fata morgana, 1975.
Moriturus, Fata morgana, 1976.
Choix de poemes, Gallimard, 1976.
A Distance: Poemes, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1997.
Oeuvres Completes, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1998.
A la Minute que J’Eclate: Quarante-tros lettres a Herman Closson, D. Devillez (Bruxelles, Belgium), 1999.
Sitot Lus: Letters a Franz Hellens, 1922-1952, Fayrad (Paris, France), 1999.
Also author of Livre du voyager, Ailleurs, Liberte d’action (title means “Freedom of Action”), 1947, and of poetry includingQue je fus, 1927, Un Certain Plume, 1931, and Apparitions, 1946. Exhibition catalogs: Asger Oluf Jorn, editor, Henri Michaux, Silkeborg Museum (Denmark), 1962;Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. Henri Michaux, Staatsdrukkerij, 1964; Henri Michaux, Musee national d’art moderne (Paris), 1965; Henri Michaux: choix d’oeuvres des annees 1946-1966, Le Point cardinal, 1967; Michaux a Venezia centro internazionale delle arti e del costume, Palazzo Grassi, 1967, Rizzoli grafica (Milan), 1967; Exposition Henri Michaux: peintures, 1946-67, text by Bonnefoi, [Rouen, France], 1968; Henri Michaux, bilingual edition, W. Girardet, 1969; Henri Michaux, Kestner Gesellschaft, 1972; Henri Michaux: oeuvres nouvelles, 26 novembre 1974-fin janvier 1975, Le Point cardinal, 1974.

Bowie, Malcolm, Henri Michaux: A Study of His Literary Works, Clarendon Press, 1973.
Broome, Peter, Henri Michaux, Athlone Press, 1977.
Durrell, Lawrence, Henri Michaux: The Poet of Supreme Solipsism, Delos Press (Birmingham), 1990.
Edson, Laurie, Henri Michaux and the Poetics of Movement, ANLibri, 1985.
La Charite, Virginia A., Henri Michaux, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1977.
Leonhard, Kurt, Henri Michaux, translated by Anthony Kitzinger, Thames & Hudson, 1968.
Michaux, Henri, The Major Ordeals of the Mind and Countless Minor Ones, translated by Richard Howard, Harcourt, 1974.
Shepler, Frederic Joseph, Creatures Within: Imaginary Beings in the Work of Henri Michaux, Physsardt (Bloomington, IN), 1977.
Velinsky, L.A., From the Gloom of Today to the New Greatness of Man: Itinerary by Henri Michaux, Builder of New Poetry, Vantage Press (New York City), 1977.

L’Express, January 5-11, 1970; Times Literary Supplement, September 25, 1970, August 6, 1971, May 4, 1973, February 15, 1976; Modern Language Journal, October, 1970; Choice, November, 1970, October, 1974; Art in America, March, 1971; Books Abroad, winter, 1974; Encounter, July, 1977; World Literature Today, winter, 1977; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 8, Gale, 1978.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 19, 1981; Chicago Tribune, October 23, 1984;Times (London), October 25, 1984.

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January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— 
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— 
            Only this and nothing more.” 
    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; 
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow 
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore— 
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— 
            Nameless here for evermore. 
    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; 
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating 
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door— 
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;— 
            This it is and nothing more.” 
    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, 
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, 
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;— 
            Darkness there and nothing more. 
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; 
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”— 
            Merely this and nothing more. 
    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice; 
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore— 
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;— 
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!” 
    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; 
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— 
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, 
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— 
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; 
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door— 
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, 
            With such name as “Nevermore.” 
    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only 
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered— 
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before— 
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.” 
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.” 
    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store 
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster 
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore— 
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore 
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.” 
    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; 
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore— 
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore 
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.” 
    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing 
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; 
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining 
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, 
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er, 
            She shall press, ah, nevermore! 
    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer 
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee 
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; 
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!— 
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, 
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted— 
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore— 
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil! 
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore— 
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, 
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore— 
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting— 
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! 
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! 
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! 
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, 
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; 
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!                                                                                                            

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BEAT COP By: Alan Graham


What if every single minute of your day was knowing that you were in grave danger from someone who wanted to kill you. Every time you left your house for work that you may not come home, and that the people you love, and who love you, will never get to see you ever again. 

This is the horizon that our military faces as they lay their lives on the line for the rest of us who wallow in freedom and security. 

This is also the the same dreadful landscape that the average beat cop patrols 24/7  as they go about their duties serving and protecting the property and lives of their communities.

Coronado to the eye, appears to be Mayberry RFD the television show from the 1950s in a wonderful idilic community where everyone is happy and the biggest crime in killing time.  However, the average Coronado cop faces the very same violent dynamic as the inner city cop does.

crimestoppers 2007 (5)

The cop who gave you a speeding ticket and the you now despise, more than likely prevented you from causing an accident, or worse. When you make ill informed or rash statements about cops, or say “all cops are this or that” it would do you good to remember that a Police officers life is fraught with never-ending stress which is often compounded by disrespect of the people they serve and protect.

So, the next time you come into contact with a police officer, before you get in his/her face, please remember that they suffer the very same ups and downs or hopes and fears that we all do, the only difference being that they do not get to say what they think to you, but you get to say whatever you want to them, while they must remain calm and courteous  at all times.

Coronado cops are some of the finest of our great nation and they deserve the appreciation and deep respect for laying their lives on the line every day for all of us.

Law enforcement officers recognize that stress is part of the profession and working conditions. In the past, police culture did not recognize stress as a problem affecting their officers. However, there is now plenty of evidence and research showing that unmanaged stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What many officers might not be aware of is the long-term effects of chronic fatigue and the relationship between stress and fatigue. Not getting enough rest and not eating properly in order to fuel the body can increase the effects of fatigue. Being fatigued on-duty causes many issues, such as poor decision making and other cognitive task difficulties.


When stress is preventing normal sleep times (6 to 8 hours, recommended), an officer can quickly encounter sleep deprivation. A study conducted in 2011 compared the effects of sleep deprivation to excessive drinking of alcohol and found the effects on a driver were very similar.

Both sleep deprivation and alcohol caused impaired speech, inability to balance, impaired eye-hand coordination, and falling asleep behind the wheel (Senjo, 2011). When officers are constantly fatigued after their shift, they often do not find the time to unwind, change gears, and enjoy their time off away from the job.

Even with the current departmental manpower issues caused by the current economic times, already overworked officers continue to work double shifts, special patrol details, and second jobs. Studies have shown that fatigued officers have performance issues on and off duty. Officers are willing to sacrifice their health and safety by accepting the increase workload to provide the extra income for their families, despite the warning signs caused by working while fatigued.

It is the responsibility of elected officials and senior law enforcement officers to bring reasonable balance through policies that are supported by research. Recent studies show that police culture still supports the mentality that working more is better for your career, despite the data that chronic fatigue causes serious performance and health issues.

Please let the Coronado police officer you meet know how much you truly appreciate the excellent services which they provide to us all.




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Intimacy and Tragedy

In one of them lies one of the most beloved names in English literature, Kenneth Grahame, writer of The Wind In The Willows, the bewitching riverbank tale of Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall. In the other lies his son, Alastair, always nicknamed Mouse.

What could be more comforting — father and son resting together by an ancient church ­nestling beside the River Thames, the setting for Grahame’s gentle masterpiece.

Cold relationship: Kenneth Grahame often ignored pleas to visit his son Alastair at boarding school – and never recovered when he committed suicide aged just 19

And yet, look closer at those graves, and a tragic tale begins to emerge. Kenneth Grahame died in 1932, a broken-hearted man of 73, who hadn’t written anything of note since The Wind In The Willows was published in 1908. 

The reason for his heartbreak lies next to him — Mouse committed suicide 12 years before his father’s death, aged only 19.

Despite a glittering education at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, Mouse, a frail child, blind in one eye, was of a fragile, nervous disposition. His father’s immense fame — and unrealistic expectations of his son — didn’t make things any easier.

And so, one evening in May 1920, after dining in Christ Church’s 16th century hall, Mouse strolled down to the Thames — home of Ratty, Toad and Mole. And there he lay down on the railway track running across Port Meadow and awaited the train that would end his misery. 

Now this sad tale of tortured paternal love has come to the surface once more, with this week’s sale of a signed first edition of The Wind In The Willows for £40,000 — five times the estimate.

The dedicatee of the book is Ruth Ward, a childhood friend of Mouse. Also in this week’s sale is a rare picture of Mouse — a chubby-cheeked cherub of a boy — and several letters to Ruth Ward from the writer’s wife, Elspeth.

‘I thought you might like a new book that Mouse’s Daddy has just written. I want to know how you like it. Mouse is having it read to him every evening and is greatly pleased with it’

Writing in 1908, Elspeth says: ‘I thought you might like perhaps ­better than anything else a new book that Mouse’s Daddy has just written, so I asked him for one for your birthday present. I want to know how you like it. Mouse is having it read to him every evening and is greatly pleased with it.’

The letter paints a picture of a close, young family — Mouse was eight at the time — but the sad truth is that, despite the enormous success of The Wind In The Willows, the ­Grahame household was not happy.

For all his fame and fortune, Grahame remained a tortured soul until his death. Several weeks after his funeral, his coffin was moved to the Oxford cemetery from its grave in Pangbourne, Berks.

Grahame was born in 1859 in Edinburgh to an aristocratic, failed lawyer, whose love for poetry was defeated by his love for vintage claret. The drinking only intensified when Grahame’s mother, Bessie, died soon after the birth of his brother, Roland. 

Grahame was only five — his place in the world grew even more insecure when, weeks after the death, his father moved the family to Cookham Dene in Berkshire on the banks of the Thames. Grahame clung to the river for the rest of his life.

The young Grahame excelled at school and was set for high academic honours when another hammer blow struck. The family finances had dwindled so much that he was forced straight into work at the Bank of England. 

For the next 30 years, he toiled away at the Bank, retiring as its Secretary in 1908, the year of The Wind In The ­Willows. Throughout his career, he had published children’s books and a memoir of childhood — sales were good, and Grahame was well-known before his worldwide smash hit was published. 

Still a favourite: Kenneth Grahame's tails of Mole, Toad and Ratty have engrossed children for generations

Still a favourite: Kenneth Grahame’s tails of Mole, Toad and Ratty have engrossed children for generations

Despite his eligibility as a literary banker, Grahame remained awkward in the company of the opposite sex. It wasn’t until he was 40 that he married Elspeth Thomson. For all her devotion to him, he remained a distant figure, incapable of demonstrating love.

The same emotional constipation condemned his relationship with poor Mouse, born in 1900. A little premature, Mouse was blind in his right eye; the other had a severe squint.

As an only child, Mouse was subjected to extreme, uncritical affection from his mother, and absurdly high academic expectations from his father. It didn’t help that Elspeth was growing increasingly miserable taking to her bed for much of the day.

By the time he was three and a half, in a haunting prophecy of his death, Mouse amused himself playing a game of lying in front of speeding cars to bring them screeching to a halt. When he was given his presents on his fourth birthday, rather than enjoying them, he set about repacking them in ­complete silence.

All the while, though, this sad, ­pressured little boy was inadvertently helping the creation of one of the great children’s books, a book which is full of a brand of carefree happiness that always dodged Mouse himself. 

Grahame was inspired to write The Wind In The Willows by the bedtime stories he read his son. One evening, when Mouse was four, his parents were due to go out for dinner. Waiting for her husband in the hall, Elspeth sent the maid for him.

‘He’s with Master Mouse, madam,’ said Louise, the maid, ‘He’s telling him some ditty about a toad.’ Grahame took to transcribing verbatim accounts of the stories, written in the same baby-talk that he had told them. ‘The Mole saved up al is money and went and bought a motor car… Mr Mole has been goin the pace since he first went [on] his simple boatin spedishin wif the Water Rat.’

The publication of The Wind In The Willows, though, did nothing to stop the boy’s awful downward trajectory. 

Bullied at Rugby School, Mouse was transferred to Eton. There, too, he suffered because of his disastrously superior attitude. He left the school to be privately tutored in Surrey. 

His eyesight worsening, and his nerves still tattered, it was a broken, miserable Mouse, then, that turned up at Christ Church in 1918. He failed his scripture, Greek and Latin exams three times over the next year. In 1919, his tutor wrote the words ‘Pass or go’ next to his name in the college records; if he failed the exam again, he would have to leave.

He had made no friends and joined no social clubs. It had all got too much for him. At that last dinner in Christ Church Hall, he downed a glass of port. An undergraduate sitting next to him said later, ‘I had not known him do [this] before.’

Mouse then trudged off across Port Meadow towards the railway track. When his decapitated body was found the next day, his pockets were crammed with religious books for his dreaded scripture exam. 

His death did at least bring one ­consolation; in recognition of his ­suffering, Oxford University, for the first time, made special provision for disabled students.

On May 12, 1920, Mouse’s 20th ­birthday, he was buried in Holywell Cemetery next to St Cross Church. His father scattered lilies of the valley over the coffin. 

And 12 years later, the shattered genius who wrote The Wind In The Willows was buried beside the doomed little boy who had inspired him.


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The Wind in the Willows

the-wind-in-the-willows A twelve part series written by: Alan Graham

Part One: Flash

Inspired by his own bedtime stories which he told to his son, Kenneth Grahame published the classic book of children’s stories. One of the most beloved names in English literature, the author  of The Wind In The Willows, the bewitching riverbank tale of Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall.

 This story is strictly about Mole and in particular about my analysis and subsequently my hypothesis of his behavior.  

Mole has a sudden case of spring fever, gives up on his house-cleaning, and wanders in the fields and meadows. He finds himself by a river (he has been such a stay-at-home that he has never seen it before) and meets the Water Rat, who invites Mole into his boat, something else he has never seen before. “Believe me, my young friend,” Rat says dreamily, “there is nothing —absolutely nothing —half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

A world of friendships, the joy of carefree wandering, of picnicking, and playing has opened for Mole. Half way through the book, the Mole, the Water Rat and the Badger go to Toad Hall to try to help their friend Mr. Toad who has a bad habit of reckless driving. Toad has quite a few adventures. His irresponsible living and extravagance lead to the loss of his home to the barbaric stouts and weasels. The four friends go to battle to regain Toad Hall. The book ends with a banquet where all the friends rejoice at Toad’s return.

Mole is literally on a manic ride and his character is merely a reflection of anyone who suffers from extreme manic episodes without interlude.  

In real life, certain manics (I will call this 0ne “Flash”) do not suffer from the rise and fall, or the highs and lows, they are actually highly motivated and they really get shit  done.

Flash to observers, especially those closest to him, generates a turbulence of manic enthusiasm, which to all intents and purposes looks chaotic, showing wild and apparently deranged excitement.  When the pace is utterly manic, he appears frenzied, intense, and ready to break apart or explode at any second.

 Throughout history, it has been the this very same behavior that has achieved great successes, built great empires and won great battles. By going beyond the limits, exploding the norms, or to dream the impossible dream, is to embark on some exhilarating and mysterious adventure in some far off land where the future is uncertain.
In the story Toad goes off the deep end when he discovers “The Motorcar” then embarkes on “Mr Toads Wild Ride” through the countryside, passing Ratty’s house, aggravating policemen and terrifying a farmer and his sheep. Making a right turn,  and heading for the docks  but quickly making a sharp turn in a different direction and enter a warehouse full of barrels and crates containing explosives.
Arriving at a Pub in the wrong side of town he meets up with some barbaric stouts and weasels.  He is hustled out of his car and his stately home “Toad Hall”.  His reputation lies in ruins and when things could not get much worse,  he is arrested for driving while under the influence. 

 When all looks bleak a remarkable reversal of fortune occurs and Flash/Toad’s life is restored once again into a state of  natures perfect order and pleasant bliss . V

The mystical digression at the center of the book “The Piper at the gates of dawn” The god of nature in the form of Pan is a pagan myth, and shows us a quartet of endearing characters, friends with real virtues contributing to each other’s moral growth.

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By Alan Graham

On Friday May 13th 2016 the world focused it’s attention on the city of  Coronado California.

Sacred Heart catholic church live streamed the mass joining the entire world’s news networks as they covered the awesome but bittersweet funeral mass.

As I walked in the crowds waiting for the funeral procession, I was transported by to those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” when patriotism was ever present and citizens held their heads high with pride.

When I first came to Coronado in 1967 I found myself in “Mayberry RFD”. It was not uncommon to see women dressed formerly (pillbox hat, white gloves and perfectly quaffed) even if they were just  going to Coro-mart or Free Brothers Market. It was also a time when kids called adults Sir or Ma’am. 

I am sad to say the old traditions of formality, manners, we now live in the age of the selfie. 

During the mass the camera panned the pews, a lady in a glaring fire engine red hat stood apart from the entire congregation, for she had come there to be seen, not to pay respect. (“look at my fabulous hat do I look like a model or a movie star”)

In the meantime, the mother of Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV, killed fighting ISIS in Iraq, spoke about her son’s life and death Wednesday.

Krista Keating-Joseph said she had a sick feeling about her son Charlie the night before the news broke, perhaps a mother’s intuition.

“I woke up in the morning and saw one U.S. soldier was killed and I knew it was him,” she said.

Keating, a 31-year-old Navy petty officer 1st Class, died Tuesday about 14 miles north of Mosul in a complicated attack launched by 125 ISIS fighters, Pentagon officials said. Keating was part of a small force sent to fend off the attack.

Navy SEAL Killed in ‘Well-Planned’ ISIS Attack

[DGO] Navy SEAL Killed in 'Well-Planned' ISIS Attack

Keating-Joseph said he was mortally wounded by a bullet that slipped under his body armor.

She enjoyed a close relationship with the son she called Charlie, even though her marriage to his father broke up when he was just 3. From her home in Ponte Vedra, Florida, she described Keating as wanting to protect and save people.

“I’m so proud of him,” Keating-Joseph said. “He’s my hero, he’s our family’s hero.”

“The sad thing is he could have done so much more had he lived a little longer,” she added.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Keating IV, 31, died while serving as part of a quick-reaction force (QRF) in Tel Askuf. The Coronado-based U.S. Navy SEAL was part of a rescue effort at the time of his death, officials confirmed. NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez reports. (Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016)

Keating-Joseph is proud of the way Charlie lived his life, his bravery in battle and love of country.

“I will never forget his 150-percent attitude, his positive attitude, his million-dollar smile, his eyes that twinkle,” she said. “He made everyone his best friend.”

Now it is her turn to be strong as she brings him home.

Keating-Joseph said it was her son’s wish to be buried as closely as possible to Coronado Amphibious Naval Base in San Diego, California. He wanted to be near his beloved SEAL Team One, she said, instead of Arlington National Cemetery.

The journey to bring Keating home began Thursday. His mother and the rest of the family were on their way to Dover Air Force Base, where they will receive the fallen SEAL’s body Friday morning. Funeral services are planned for May 12.

A grandson of an Arizona financier involved in the 1980s savings and loan scandal, Keating is the third U.S. service member to be killed in combat in Iraq since U.S. forces returned there in 2014.

In addition to the American quick-reaction force on the ground, 31 American aircraft — including 29 warplanes and two drones — launched 11 airstrikes, killing 58 ISIS fighters, according to Pentagon officials.

Two medical helicopters were struck by ISIS ground fire. The aircraft returned safely to base, according to Col. Steve Warren, the U.S. military’s main spokesman in Baghdad.

 The Other Hero.
James “Derick” Lovelace was also a hero even though he had not yet graduated from seal team training his level of dedication and commitment was deeply fervent. He did not die in combat serving his country, one the less to his loved ones, he died a hero.

 In this undated photo released by the Naval Special Warfare Center shows Seaman James Derek Lovelace.

A 21-year-old Navy SEAL trainee died last week during his first week of basic training in Coronado, California, a Navy spokesman said.

Seaman James “Derek” Lovelace was pulled out of the pool Friday after showing signs he was having difficulty while treading in a camouflage uniform and a dive mask, Naval Special Warfare Center spokesman Lt. Trevor Davids said.

Lovelace lost consciousness after being pulled out of the pool and was taken to a civilian hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Davids said Tuesday. The death was first reported by NBC News and The Virginian-Pilot.

The exact cause of the death is unknown, and Navy officials are investigating, Davids said.

Lovelace was in his first week of training as a SEAL trainee after joining the Navy about six months ago, Davids said. The exercise is designed to assess students’ competency, confidence and safety in the water, according to the Navy.

Lovelace was born in Germany, and he dreamed of becoming a SEAL, according to a death announcement from Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home and Southern Heritage Crematory in his home town of Crestview, Florida.

He enjoyed any activity on the water and played baseball at Crestview High School and Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette, Alabama, according to the death announcement. Lovelace joined the Navy and graduated basic training on Jan. 28, 2016, in Great Lakes, Illinois. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Ribbon and Sharpshooter Pistol Qualification.

“I don’t know what to say. He was wonderful,” his sobbing grandmother, Jan Pugh, told The Virginian-Pilot. “It was a dream he was chasing out there. He was determined to become a SEAL . We are all just in shock.”

His mother, Katie Lovelace, died in June 2015 at the age of 44, according to the two media outlets. He is survived by his father and two sisters.

Final arrangements are pending.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of SN Lovelace,” said Capt. Jay Hennessey, commanding officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center. “Though Derek was very new to our community, he selflessly answered his nation’s call to defend freedom and protect this country. He will be sorely missed. We share in his family’s grief from this great loss.”

The death comes only days after another Coronado-based SEAL – Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Keating IV – was shot and killed during a gunbattle involving Islamic State fighters in Iraq. Naval Special Warfare will hold a private memorial service for Keating on Thursday for his family, friends and fellow SEAL team member, followed by a private funeral on Friday.

A special procession in Coronado will also be held Friday that will be open to the public. Keating will be buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Work In Progress……….
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In the early 20th century, the German biochemist Otto Warburg believed that tumors could be

Today Boveri is celebrated for discovering the origins of cancer, but another German scientist, Otto Warburg, was studying sea-urchin eggs around the same time as Boveri. His research, too, was hailed as a major breakthrough in our understanding of cancer. But in the following decades, Warburg’s discovery would largely disappear from the cancer narrative, his contributions considered so negligible that they were left out of textbooks altogether.

Unlike Boveri, Warburg wasn’t interested in the chromosomes of sea-urchin eggs. Rather, Warburg was focused on energy, specifically on how the eggs fueled their growth. By the time Warburg turned his attention from sea-urchin cells to the cells of a rat tumor, in 1923, he knew that sea-urchin eggs increased their oxygen consumption significantly as they grew, so he expected to see a similar need for extra oxygen in the rat tumor. Instead, the cancer cells fueled their growth by swallowing up enormous amounts of glucose (blood sugar) and breaking it down without oxygen. The result made no sense. Oxygen-fueled reactions are a much more efficient way of turning food into energy, and there was plenty of oxygen available for the cancer cells to use. But when Warburg tested additional tumors, including ones from humans, he saw the same effect every time. The cancer cells were ravenous for glucose.

Warburg’s discovery, later named the Warburg effect, is estimated to occur in up to 80 percent of cancers. It is so fundamental to most cancers that a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which has emerged as an important tool in the staging and diagnosis of cancer, works simply by revealing the places in the body where cells are consuming extra glucose. In many cases, the more glucose a tumor consumes, the worse a patient’s prognosis.

In the years following his breakthrough, Warburg became convinced that the Warburg effect occurs because cells are unable to use oxygen properly and that this damaged respiration is, in effect, the starting point of cancer. Well into the 1950s, this theory — which Warburg believed in until his death in 1970 but never proved — remained an important subject of debate within the field. And then, more quickly than anyone could have anticipated, the debate ended. In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick pieced together the structure of the DNA molecule and set the stage for the triumph of molecular biology’s gene-centered approach to cancer. In the following decades, scientists came to regard cancer as a disease governed by mutated genes, which drive cells into a state of relentless division and proliferation. The metabolic catalysts that Warburg spent his career analyzing began to be referred to as “housekeeping enzymes” — necessary to keep a cell going but largely irrelevant to the deeper story of cancer.

“It was a stampede,” says Thomas Seyfried, a biologist at Boston College, of the move to molecular biology. “Warburg was dropped like a hot potato.” There was every reason to think that Warburg would remain at best a footnote in the history of cancer research. (As Dominic D’Agostino, an associate professor at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, told me, “The book that my students have to use for their cancer biology course has no mention of cancer metabolism.”) But over the past decade, and the past five years in particular, something unexpected happened: Those housekeeping enzymes have again become one of the most promising areas of cancer research. Scientists now wonder if metabolism could prove to be the long-sought “Achilles’ heel” of cancer, a common weak point in a disease that manifests itself in so many different forms.

There are typically many mutations in a single cancer. But there are a limited number of ways that the body can produce energy and support rapid growth. Cancer cells rely on these fuels in a way that healthy cells don’t. The hope of scientists at the forefront of the Warburg revival is that they will be able to slow — or even stop — tumors by disrupting one or more of the many chemical reactions a cell uses to proliferate, and, in the process, starve cancer cells of the nutrients they desperately need to grow.

Even James Watson, one of the fathers of molecular biology, is convinced that targeting metabolism is a more promising avenue in current cancer research than gene-centered approaches. At his office at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, Watson, 88, sat beneath one of the original sketches of the DNA molecule and told me that locating the genes that cause cancer has been “remarkably unhelpful” — the belief that sequencing your DNA is going to extend your life “a cruel illusion.” If he were going into cancer research today, Watson said, he would study biochemistry rather than molecular biology.

“I never thought, until about two months ago, I’d ever have to learn the Krebs cycle,” he said, referring to the reactions, familiar to most high-school biology students, by which a cell powers itself. “Now I realize I have to.”

Born in 1883 into the illustrious Warburg family, Otto Warburg was raised to be a science prodigy. His father, Emil, was one of Germany’s leading physicists, and many of the world’s greatest physicists and chemists, including Albert Einstein and Max Planck, were friends of the family. (When Warburg enlisted in the military during World War I, Einstein sent him a letter urging him to come home for the sake of science.) Those men had explained the mysteries of the universe with a handful of fundamental laws, and the young Warburg came to believe he could bring that same elegant simplicity and clarity to the workings of life. Long before his death, Warburg was considered perhaps the greatest biochemist of the 20th century, a man whose research was vital to our understanding not only of cancer but also of respiration and photosynthesis. In 1931 he won the Nobel Prize for his work on respiration, and he was considered for the award on two other occasions — each time for a different discovery. Records indicate that he would have won in 1944, had the Nazis not forbidden the acceptance of the Nobel by German citizens.

That Warburg was able to live in Germany and continue his research throughout World War II, despite having Jewish ancestry and most likely being gay, speaks to the German obsession with cancer in the first half of the 20th century. At the time, cancer was more prevalent in Germany than in almost any other nation. According to the Stanford historian Robert Proctor, by the 1920s Germany’s escalating cancer rates had become a “major scandal.” A number of top Nazis, including Hitler, are believed to have harbored a particular dread of the disease; Hitler and Joseph Goebbels took the time to discuss new advances in cancer research in the hours leading up to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Whether Hitler was personally aware of Warburg’s research is unknown, but one of Warburg’s former colleagues wrote that several sources told him that “Hitler’s entourage” became convinced that “Warburg was the only scientist who offered a serious hope of producing a cure for cancer one day.”

Although many Jewish scientists fled Germany during the 1930s, Warburg chose to remain. According to his biographer, the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Hans Krebs, who worked in Warburg’s lab, “science was the dominant emotion” of Warburg’s adult life, “virtually subjugating all other emotions.” In Krebs’s telling, Warburg spent years building a small team of specially trained technicians who knew how to run his experiments, and he feared that his mission to defeat cancer would be set back significantly if he had to start over. But after the war, Warburg fired all the technicians, suspecting that they had reported his criticisms of the Third Reich to the Gestapo. Warburg’s reckless decision to stay in Nazi Germany most likely came down to his astonishing ego. (Upon learning he had won the Nobel Prize, Warburg’s response was, “It’s high time.”)

“Modesty was not a virtue of Otto Warburg,” says George Klein, a 90-year-old cancer researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. As a young man, Klein was asked to send cancer cells to Warburg’s lab. A number of years later, Klein’s boss approached Warburg for a recommendation on Klein’s behalf. “George Klein has made a very important contribution to cancer research,” Warburg wrote. “He has sent me the cells with which I have solved the cancer problem.” Klein also recalls the lecture Warburg gave in Stockholm in 1950 at the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize. Warburg drew four diagrams on a blackboard explaining the Warburg effect, and then told the members of the audience that they represented all that they needed to know about the biochemistry of cancer.

Warburg was so monumentally stubborn that he refused to use the word “mitochondria,” even after it had been widely accepted as the name for the tiny structures that power cells. Instead Warburg persisted in calling them “grana,” the term he came up with when he identified those structures as the site of cellular respiration. Few things would have been more upsetting to him than the thought of Nazi thugs chasing him out of the beautiful Berlin institute, modeled after a country manor and built specifically for him. After the war, the Russians approached Warburg and offered to erect a new institute in Moscow. Klein recalls that Warburg told them with great pride that both Hitler and Stalin had failed to move him. As Warburg explained to his sister: “Ich war vor Hitler da” — “I was here before Hitler.”

Imagine two engines, the one being driven by complete and the other by incomplete combustion of coal,” Warburg wrote in 1956, responding to a criticism of his hypothesis that cancer is a problem of energy. “A man who knows nothing at all about engines, their structure and their purpose may discover the difference. He may, for example, smell it.”

The “complete combustion,” in Warburg’s analogy, is respiration. The “incomplete combustion,” turning nutrients into energy without oxygen, is known as fermentation. Fermentation provides a useful backup when oxygen can’t reach cells quickly enough to keep up with demand. (Our muscle cells turn to fermentation during intense exercise.) Warburg thought that defects prevent cancer cells from being able to use respiration, but scientists now widely agree that this is wrong. A growing tumor can be thought of as a construction site, and as today’s researchers explain it, the Warburg effect opens the gates for more and more trucks to deliver building materials (in the form of glucose molecules) to make “daughter” cells.

If this theory can explain the “why” of the Warburg effect, it still leaves the more pressing question of what, exactly, sets a cell on the path to the Warburg effect and cancer. Scientists at several of the nation’s top cancer hospitals have spearheaded the Warburg revival, in hopes of finding the answer. These researchers, typically molecular biologists by training, have turned to metabolism and the Warburg effect because their own research led each of them to the same conclusion: A number of the cancer-causing genes that have long been known for their role in cell division also regulate cells’ consumption of nutrients.

Craig Thompson, the president and chief executive of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has been among the most outspoken proponents of this renewed focus on metabolism. In Thompson’s analogy, the Warburg effect can be thought of as a social failure: a breakdown of the nutrient-sharing agreement that single-celled organisms signed when they joined forces to become multicellular organisms. His research showed that cells need to receive instructions from other cells to eat, just as they require instructions from other cells to divide. Thompson hypothesized that if he could identify the mutations that lead a cell to eat more glucose than it should, it would go a long way toward explaining how the Warburg effect and cancer begin. But Thompson’s search for those mutations didn’t lead to an entirely new discovery. Instead, it led him to AKT, a gene already well known to molecular biologists for its role in promoting cell division. Thompson now believes AKT plays an even more fundamental role in metabolism.

The protein created by AKT is part of a chain of signaling proteins that is mutated in up to 80 percent of all cancers. Thompson says that once these proteins go into overdrive, a cell no longer worries about signals from other cells to eat; it instead stuffs itself with glucose. Thompson discovered he could induce the “full Warburg effect” simply by placing an activated AKT protein into a normal cell. When that happens, Thompson says, the cells begin to do what every single-celled organism will do in the presence of food: eat as much as it can and make as many copies of itself as possible. When Thompson presents his research to high-school students, he shows them a slide of mold spreading across a piece of bread. The slide’s heading — “Everyone’s first cancer experiment” — recalls Warburg’s observation that cancer cells will carry out fermentation at almost the same rate of wildly growing yeasts.

Just as Thompson has redefined the role of AKT, Chi Van Dang, director of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has helped lead the cancer world to an appreciation of how one widely studied gene can profoundly influence a tumor’s metabolism. In 1997, Dang became one of the first scientists to connect molecular biology to the science of cellular metabolism when he demonstrated that MYC — a so-called regulator gene well known for its role in cell proliferation — directly targets an enzyme that can turn on the Warburg effect. Dang recalls that other researchers were skeptical of his interest in a housekeeping enzyme, but he stuck with it because he came to appreciate something critical: Cancer cells can’t stop eating.

Unlike healthy cells, growing cancer cells are missing the internal feedback loops that are designed to conserve resources when food isn’t available. They’re “addicted to nutrients,” Dang says; when they can’t consume enough, they begin to die. The addiction to nutrients explains why changes to metabolic pathways are so common and tend to arise first as a cell progresses toward cancer: It’s not that other types of alterations can’t arise first, but rather that, when they do, the incipient tumors lack the access to the nutrients they need to grow. Dang uses the analogy of a work crew trying to put up a building. “If you don’t have enough cement, and you try to put a lot of bricks together, you’re going to collapse,” he says.

Metabolism-centered therapies have produced some tantalizing successes. Agios Pharmaceuticals, a company co-founded by Thompson, is now testing a drug that treats cases of acute myelogenous leukemia that have been resistant to other therapies by inhibiting the mutated versions of the metabolic enzyme IDH 2. In clinical trials of the Agios drug, nearly 40 percent of patients who carry these mutations are experiencing at least partial remissions.

Researchers working in a lab run by Peter Pedersen, a professor of biochemistry at Johns Hopkins, discovered that a compound known as 3-bromopyruvate can block energy production in cancer cells and, at least in rats and rabbits, wipe out advanced liver cancer. (Trials of the drug have yet to begin.) At Penn, Dang and his colleagues are now trying to block multiple metabolic pathways at the same time. In mice, this two-pronged approach has been able to shrink some tumors without debilitating side effects. Dang says the hope is not necessarily to find a cure but rather to keep cancer at bay in a “smoldering quiet state,” much as patients treat their hypertension.

Warburg, too, appreciated that a tumor’s dependence upon a steady flow of nutrients might eventually prove to be its fatal weakness. Long after his initial discovery of the Warburg effect, he continued to research the enzymes involved in fermentation and to explore the possibility of blocking the process in cancer cells. The challenge Warburg faced then is the same one that metabolism researchers face today: Cancer is an incredibly persistent foe. Blocking one metabolic pathway has been shown to slow down and even stop tumor growth in some cases, but tumors tend to find another way. “You block glucose, they use glutamine,” Dang says, in reference to another primary fuel used by cancers. “You block glucose and glutamine, they might be able to use fatty acids. We don’t know yet.”

Given Warburg’s own story of historical neglect, it’s fitting that what may turn out to be one of the most promising cancer metabolism drugs has been sitting in plain sight for decades. That drug, metformin, is already widely prescribed to decrease the glucose in the blood of diabetics (76.9 million metformin prescriptions were filled in the United States in 2014). In the years ahead, it’s likely to be used to treat — or at least to prevent — some cancers. Because metformin can influence a number of metabolic pathways, the precise mechanism by which it achieves its anticancer effects remains a source of debate. But the results of numerous epidemiological studies have been striking. Diabetics taking metformin seem to be significantly less likely to develop cancer than diabetics who don’t — and significantly less likely to die from the disease when they do.

Near the end of his life, Warburg grew obsessed with his diet. He believed that most cancer was preventable and thought that chemicals added to food and used in agriculture could cause tumors by interfering with respiration. He stopped eating bread unless it was baked in his own home. He would drink milk only if it came from a special herd of cows, and used a centrifuge at his lab to make his cream and butter.

Warburg’s personal diet is unlikely to become a path to prevention. But the Warburg revival has allowed researchers to develop a hypothesis for how the diets that are linked to our obesity and diabetes epidemics — specifically, sugar-heavy diets that can result in permanently elevated levels of the hormone insulin — may also be driving cells to the Warburg effect and cancer.

The insulin hypothesis can be traced to the research of Lewis Cantley, the director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College. In the 1980s, Cantley discovered how insulin, which is released by the pancreas and tells cells to take up glucose, influences what happens inside a cell. Cantley now refers to insulin and a closely related hormone, IGF-1 (insulinlike growth factor 1), as “the champion” activators of metabolic proteins linked to cancer. He’s beginning to see evidence, he says, that in some cases, “it really is insulin itself that’s getting the tumor started.” One way to think about the Warburg effect, says Cantley, is as the insulin, or IGF-1, signaling pathway “gone awry — it’s cells behaving as though insulin were telling it to take up glucose all the time and to grow.” Cantley, who avoids eating sugar as much as he can, is currently studying the effects of diet on mice that have the mutations that are commonly found in colorectal and other cancers. He says that the effects of a sugary diet on colorectal, breast and other cancer models “looks very impressive” and “rather scary.”

Elevated insulin is also strongly associated with obesity, which is expected soon to overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable cancer. Cancers linked to obesity and diabetes have more receptors for insulin and IGF-1, and people with defective IGF-1 receptors appear to be nearly immune to cancer. Retrospective studies, which look back at patient histories, suggest that many people who develop colorectal, pancreatic or breast cancer have elevated insulin levels before diagnosis. It’s perhaps not entirely surprising, then, that when researchers want to grow breast-cancer cells in the lab, they add insulin to the tissue culture. When they remove the insulin, the cancer cells die.

“I think there’s no doubt that insulin is pro-cancer,” Watson says, with respect to the link between obesity, diabetes and cancer. “It’s as good a hypothesis as we have now.” Watson takes metformin for cancer prevention; among its many effects, metformin works to lower insulin levels. Not every cancer researcher, however, is convinced of the role of insulin and IGF-1 in cancer. Robert Weinberg, a researcher at M.I.T.’s Whitehead Institute who pioneered the discovery of cancer-causing genes in the ’80s, has remained somewhat cool to certain aspects of the cancer-metabolism revival. Weinberg says that there isn’t yet enough evidence to know whether the levels of insulin and IGF-1 present in obese people are sufficient to trigger the Warburg effect. “It’s a hypothesis,” Weinberg says. “I don’t know if it’s right or wrong.”

During Warburg’s lifetime, insulin’s effects on metabolic pathways were even less well understood. But given his ego, it’s highly unlikely that he would have considered the possibility that anything other than damaged respiration could cause cancer. He died sure that he was right about the disease. Warburg framed a quote from Max Planck and hung it above his desk: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die.”


Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Causes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Horse hairdresser

 A horse clipper has become a UK sensation because of her serious horse clipping skills.

She trims complex medieval designs into the animals for her clients. 

And the horses she works on always look fabulous:

 Melody Hames, 27, began clipping her own pet pony at the age of 12, and is now an absolute pro at it.

She had to trim her pony frequently because it suffered from a condition called cushings, causing it to have a thick woolly coat which doesn’t change in the warmer season.

Beyonce horse

She set up shop in 2013 and business has been booming ever since.

She used to do normal clippings, but has expanded her horizons after getting quirky requests from clients.

Explaining how she decides patterns, she said: ‘Often I will visualise it in my head and clarify it with a quick look at related objects which in turn can create new ideas and viewpoints.

“I sketched out different shapes for castles and also for the armour clip as I knew I wanted a specific kind of style castle and sword.

“This helps me visualise in my head and I run with it from there.

Melody Hames

“I use a wide range of blades and clippers, I have blades and clippers to suit pretty much every situation, and ever breed as well as coat type.

“No stencils have been used to date or CGIs here – all hand crafted, it’s very much like a craft to me that only comes with experience and practice.”

Her designs, some which she draws freehand, take from 30 minutes to eight or nine hours to do.

She is most proud of her castle design, which she did over a few days.


She continued: “I would work for as long as it took though, over the space of days, to suit the horse.

“The castle is important to me as it kick started the larger scale custom clipping and gave me something to really work at. It got me a lot of attention.

“This season my favourite has been the Armour De L’Amore clip as it’s on my personal horse Romeo and I have worked over time to build him up.

“Now he stands unaltered with complete trust while I work which has been a challenge as he’s was a very nervous character and still is but he trusts me and it’s a great feeling.”

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment


Lowell Senior Panhandling To Help Pay Way To Medical School

Eighteen-year-old Emily Stutz started an online fundraising page to help her raise money for her education. Stutz says she has not yet decided where she will attend school in the fall.


The senior wrote that while she has the academic credentials to study psychology on a pre-medical track, she does not have the finances to make it happen.

Stutz, a Lowell High School senior, says she has maintained a 4.0-4.5 GPA for the last four years, has volunteered for organizations and worked three part-time jobs.

After applying at several schools, Stutz said she has been offered between $11,000-$18,000 in financial aid. But she still needs additional finances to attend the universities she hopes to attend.

“My parents have had immense financial struggles and simply cannot come up with $20,000-$30,000 a year, nor are they able to cosign a loan for me,” Stutz wrote on her fundraising page. “I have no other adults in my life who are able to cosign and I am at a loss. I see my dream of becoming a doctor slip further and further away as the days pass by so I’ve decided I am going to do whatever it will take to get myself to college.

That’s where her plan for panhandling comes in.

“If people will give to the ‘homeless’ panhandlers then maybe they will consider sparing a dollar or some change to an aspiring doctor who has all the academic, but no financial means to attend college,” wrote Stutz. “Anything helps at this point!”

Stutz posted on Saturday that she spent her first day asking for money outside Target in Lowell, calling it “extremely successful.”

She shared a photo of herself holding a sign that says “H.S. Senior. No $ for college. Anything Helps.”

In addition, her online fundraising page has surpassed $1,200.

“As an old Tanzanian proverb says, ‘Little by little, a little becomes a lot,’” Stutz wrote.

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

By Tim Urban

The first day I was in second grade, I came to school and noticed that there was a new, very pretty girl in the class—someone who hadn’t been there the previous two years. Her name was Alana and within an hour, she was everything to me.

When you’re seven, there aren’t really any actionable steps you can take when you’re in love with someone. You’re not even sure what you want from the situation. There’s just this amorphous yearning that’s a part of your life, and that’s that.

But for me, it became suddenly relevant a few months later, when during recess one day, one of the girls in the class started asking each of the boys, “Who do youuu want to marry?” When she asked me, it was a no-brainer. “Alana.”


I was still new to being a human and didn’t realize that the only socially acceptable answer was, “No one.”

The second I answered, the heinous girl ran toward other students, telling each one, “Tim said he wants to marry Alana!” Each person she told covered their mouth with uncontrollable laughter. I was finished. Life was over.

The news quickly got back to Alana herself, who stayed as far away from me as possible for days after. If she knew what a restraining order was, she’d have taken one out.

This horrifying experience taught me a critical life lesson—it can be mortally dangerous to be yourself, and you should exercise extreme social caution at all times.

Now this sounds like something only a traumatized second grader would think, but the weird thing, and the topic of this post, is that this lesson isn’t just limited to me and my debacle of a childhood—it’s a defining paranoia of the human species. We share a collective insanity that pervades human cultures throughout the world:

An irrational and unproductive obsession with what other people think of us.

Evolution does everything for a reason, and to understand the origin of this particular insanity, let’s back up for a minute to 50,000BC in Ethiopia, where your Great2,000 Grandfather lived as part of a small tribe.

Back then, being part of a tribe was critical to survival. A tribe meant food and protection in a time when neither was easy to come by. So for your Great2,000 Grandfather, almost nothing in the world was more important than being accepted by his fellow tribe members, especially those in positions of authority. Fitting in with those around him and pleasing those above him meant he could stay in the tribe, and about the worst nightmare he could imagine would be people in the tribe starting to whisper about how annoying or unproductive or weird he was—because if enough people disapproved of him, his ranking within the tribe would drop, and if it got really bad, he’d be kicked out altogether and left for dead. He also knew that if he ever embarrassed himself by pursuing a girl in the tribe and being rejected, she’d tell the other girls about it—not only would he have blown his chance with that girl, but he might never have a mate at all now because every girl that would ever be in his life knew about his lame, failed attempt. Being socially accepted was everything.

Because of this, humans evolved an over-the-top obsession with what others thought of them—a craving for social approval and admiration, and a paralyzing fear of being disliked. Let’s call that obsession a human’s Social Survival Mammoth. It looks something like this:


Your Great2,000 Grandfather’s Social Survival Mammoth was central to his ability to endure and thrive. It was simple—keep the mammoth well fed with social approval and pay close attention to its overwhelming fears of nonacceptance, and you’ll be fine.

And that was all well and fine in 50,000BC. And 30,000BC. And 10,000BC. But something funny has happened for humans in the last 10,000 years—their civilization has dramatically changed. Sudden, quick change is something civilization has the ability to do, and the reason that can be awkward is that our evolutionary biology can’t move nearly as fast. So while for most of history, both our social structure and our biology evolved and adjusted at a snail’s pace together, civilization has recently developed the speed capabilities of a hare while our biology has continued snailing along.

Our bodies and minds are built to live in a tribe in 50,000BC, which leaves modern humans with a number of unfortunate traits, one of which is a fixation with tribal-style social survival in a world where social survival is no longer a real concept. We’re all here in 2014, accompanied by a large, hungry, and easily freaked-out woolly mammoth who still thinks it’s 50,000BC.

Why else would you try on four outfits and still not be sure what to wear before going out?

Trying on Shirts


Trying on ShirtsTrying on Shirts

Trying on Shirts

The mammoth’s nightmares about romantic rejection made your ancestors cautious and savvy, but in today’s world, it just makes you a coward:

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

And don’t even get the mammoth started on the terror of artistic risks:


singing 2

The mammoth’s hurricane of fear of social disapproval plays a factor in most parts of most people’s lives. It’s what makes you feel weird about going to a restaurant or a movie alone; it’s what makes parents care a little too much about where their child goes to college; it’s what makes you pass up a career you’d love in favor of a more lucrative career you’re lukewarm about; it’s what makes you get married before you’re ready to a person you’re not in love with.

And while keeping your highly insecure Social Survival Mammoth feeling calm and safe takes a lot of work, that’s only one half of your responsibilities. The mammoth also needs to be fed regularly and robustly—with praise, approval, and the feeling of being on the right side of any social or moral dichotomy.

Why else would you be such an image-crafting douchebag on Facebook?

Or brag when you’re out with friends even though you always regret it later?


Society has evolved to accommodate this mammoth-feeding frenzy, inventing things like accolades and titles and the concept of prestige in order to keep our mammoths satisfied—and often to incentivize people to do meaningless jobs and live unfulfilling lives they wouldn’t otherwise consider taking part in.

Above all, mammoths want to fit in—that’s what tribespeople had always needed to do so that’s how they’re programmed. Mammoths look around at society to figure out what they’re supposed to do, and when it becomes clear, they jump right in. Just look at any two college fraternity pictures taken ten years apart:


Or all those subcultures where every single person has one of the same three socially-acceptable advanced degrees:



Sometimes, a mammoth’s focus isn’t on wider society as much as it’s on winning the approval of a Puppet Master in your life. A Puppet Master is a person or group of people whose opinion matters so much to you that they’re essentially running your life. A Puppet Master is often a parent, or maybe your significant other, or sometimes an alpha member of your group of friends. A Puppet Master can be a person you look up to who you don’t know very well—maybe even a celebrity you’ve never met—or a group of people you hold in especially high regard.

We crave the Puppet Master’s approval more than anyone’s, and we’re so horrified at the thought of upsetting the Puppet Master or feeling their nonacceptance or ridicule that we’ll do anything to avoid it. When we get to this toxic state in our relationship with a Puppet Master, that person’s presence hangs over our entire decision-making process and pulls the strings of our opinions and our moral voice.

puppet master

With so much thought and energy dedicated to the mammoth’s needs, you often end up neglecting someone else in your brain, someone all the way at the center—your Authentic Voice.


Your Authentic Voice, somewhere in there, knows all about you. In contrast to the black-and-white simplicity of the Social Survival Mammoth, your Authentic Voice is complex, sometimes hazy, constantly evolving, and unafraid. Your AV has its own, nuanced moral code, formed by experience, reflection, and its own personal take on compassion and integrity. It knows how you feel deep down about things like money and family and marriage, and it knows which kinds of people, topics of interest, and types of activities you truly enjoy, and which you don’t. Your AV knows that it doesn’t know how your life will or should play out, but it tends to have a strong hunch about the right step to take next.

And while the mammoth looks only to the outside world in its decision-making process, your Authentic Voice uses the outside world to learn and gather information, but when it’s time for a decision, it has all the tools it needs right there in the core of your brain.

Your AV is also someone the mammoth tends to ignore entirely. A strong opinion from a confident person in the outside world? The mammoth is all ears. But a passionate plea from your AV is largely dismissed until someone else validates it.

And since our 50,000-year-old brains are wired to give the mammoth a whole lot of sway in things, your Authentic Voice starts to feel like it’s irrelevant. Which makes it shrink and fade and lose motivation.


Eventually, a mammoth-run person can lose touch with their AV entirely.

In tribal times, AVs often spent their lives in quiet obscurity, and this was largely okay. Life was simple, and conformity was the goal—and the mammoth had conformity covered just fine.

But in today’s large, complex world of varying cultures and personalities and opportunities and options, losing touch with your AV is dangerous. When you don’t know who you are, the only decision-making mechanism you’re left with is the crude and outdated needs and emotions of your mammoth. When it comes to the most personal questions, instead of digging deep into the foggy center of what you really believe in to find clarity, you’ll look to others for the answers. Who you are becomes some blend of the strongest opinions around you.

Losing touch with your AV also makes you fragile, because when your identity is built on the approval of others, being criticized or rejected by others really hurts. A bad break-up is painful for everyone, but it stings in a much deeper place for a mammoth-run person than for a person with a strong AV. A strong AV makes a stable core, and after a break-up, that core is still holding firm—but since the acceptance of others is all a mammoth-run person has, being dumped by a person who knows you well is a far more shattering experience.

Likewise, you know those people who react to being criticized by coming back with a nasty low-blow? Those tend to be severely mammoth-run people, and criticism makes them so mad because mammoths cannot handle criticism.

Low Blow

Low BlowAV

Low Blow

Low Blow

At this point, the mission should be clear—we need to figure out a way to override the wiring of our brain and tame the mammoth. That’s the only way to take our lives back.

Part 2: Taming the Mammoth

Some people are born with a reasonably tame mammoth or raised with parenting that helps keep the mammoth in check. Others die without ever reining their mammoth in at all, spending their whole lives at its whim. Most of us are somewhere in the middle—we’ve got control of our mammoth in certain areas of our lives while it wreaks havoc in others. Being run by your mammoth doesn’t make you a bad or weak person—it just means you haven’t yet figured out how to get a grip on it. You might not even be aware that you have a mammoth at all or of the extent to which your Authentic Voice has been silenced.

Whatever your situation, there are three steps to getting your mammoth under your control:

Step 1: Examine Yourself

The first step to improving things is a clear and honest assessment of what’s going on in your head, and there are three parts of this:

1) Get to know your Authentic Voice

meet AV

This doesn’t sound that hard, but it is. It takes some serious reflection to sift through the webs of other people’s thoughts and opinions and figure out who the real you actually is. You spend time with a lot of people—which of them do you actually like the most? How do you spend your leisure time, and do you truly enjoy all parts of it? Is there anything you regularly spend money on that you don’t feel that comfortable with? How does your gut really feel about your job and relationship status? What’s your true political opinion? Do you even care? Do you pretend to care about things you don’t just to have an opinion? Do you secretly have an opinion on a political or moral issue you don’t ever voice because people you know will be outraged?

There are cliché phrases for this process—”soul-searching” or “finding yourself”—but that’s exactly what needs to happen. Maybe you can reflect on this from whatever chair you’re sitting in right now or from some other part of your normal life—or maybe you need to go somewhere far away, by yourself, and step out of your life in order to effectively examine it. Either way, you’ve got to figure out what actually matters to you and start being proud of whoever your Authentic Voice is.

2) Figure out where the mammoth is hiding

mammoth hiding

Most of the time a mammoth is in control of a person, the person’s not really aware of it. But you can’t make progress if you’re not crystal clear about where the biggest problem areas are.

The most obvious way to find the mammoth is to figure out where your fear is—where are you most susceptible to shame or embarrassment? What parts of your life do you think about and a dreadful, sinking feeling washes over you? Where does the prospect of failure seem like a nightmare? What are you too timid to publicly try even though you know you’re good at it? If you were giving advice to yourself, which parts of your life would clearly need a change that you’re avoiding acting on right now?

The second place a mammoth hides is in the way-too-good feelings you get from feeling accepted or on a pedestal over other people. Are you a serious pleaser at work or in your relationship? Are you terrified of disappointing your parents and do you choose making them proud over aiming to gratify yourself? Do you get too excited about being associated with prestigious things or care too much about status? Do you brag more than you should?

A third area the mammoth is present is anywhere you don’t feel comfortable making a decision without “permission” or approval from others. Do you have opinions you’re regurgitating from someone else’s mouth, which you’re comfortable having now that you know that person has them? When you introduce your new girlfriend or boyfriend to your friends or family for the first time, can those people’s reaction to your new person fundamentally change your feelings for him/her? Is there a Puppet Master in your life? If so, who, and why?

3) Decide where the mammoth needs to be ousted


It’s not realistic to kick the mammoth entirely out of your head—you’re a human and humans have mammoths in their head, period. The thing we all need to do is carve out certain sacred areas of our lives that must be in the hands of the AV and free of mammoth influence. There are obvious areas that need to be made part of the AV’s domain like your choice of life partner, your career path, and the way you raise your kids. Others are personal—it comes down to the question, “In which parts of your life must you be entirely true to yourself?”


Step 2: Gather Courage by Internalizing that the Mammoth Has a Low IQ

Real Woolly Mammoths were unimpressive enough to go extinct, and Social Survival Mammoths aren’t any better. Despite the fact that they haunt us so, our mammoths are dumb, primitive creatures who have no understanding of the modern world. Deeply understanding this—and internalizing it—is a key step to taming yours. There are two major reasons not to take your mammoth seriously:

1) The mammoth’s fears are totally irrational.

5 things the Mammoth is incorrect about:

→ Everyone is talking about me and my life and just think how much everyone will be talking about it if I do this risky or weird thing.

Here’s how the mammoth thinks things are:


Here’s how things actually are:


No one really cares that much about what you’re doing. People are highly self-absorbed.

→ If I try really hard, I can please everyone.

Yes, maybe in a 40-person tribe with a unified culture. But in today’s world, no matter who you are, a bunch of people will like you and a bunch of other people won’t. Being approved of by one type of person means turning another off. So obsessing over fitting in with any one group is illogical, especially if that group isn’t really who you are. You’ll do all that work, and meanwhile, your actual favorite people are off being friends with each other somewhere else.

→ Being disapproved of or looked down upon or shit-talked about has real consequences in my life.

Anyone who disapproves of who you’re being or what you’re doing isn’t even in the same room with you 99.7% of the time. It’s a classic mammoth mistake to fabricate a vision of future social consequences that is way worse than what actually ends up happening—which is usually nothing at all.

→ Really judgy people matter.

Here’s how judgy people function: They’re highly mammoth-controlled and become good friends with and date other judgy people who are also highly mammoth-controlled. One of the primary activities they do together is talk shit about whoever’s not with them—maybe they feel some jealousy, and eye-rolling disapproval helps them flip the script and feel less jealous, or maybe they’re not jealous and use someone as a vehicle for bathing in schadenfreude—but whatever the underlying feeling, the judging serves to feed their hungry mammoth.

eating words 1

eating words 2

eating words 3

When people shit-talk, they set up a category division of which they’re always on the right side. They do this to prop themselves up on a pedestal that their mammoth can chomp away on.

Being the material a judgy person uses to feel good about themselves is a fairly infuriating thought—but it has no actual consequences and it’s clearly all much more about the judgy person and their mammoth problem than it is about you. If you find yourself making decisions partially based on not being talked badly about by a judgy person, think hard about what’s actually going on and stop.

→ I’m a bad person if I disappoint or offend the person/people who love me and have invested so much in me.

No. You’re not a bad person for being whoever your Authentic Voice is in your one life. This is one of those simple things—if they truly selflessly love you, they will for sure come around and accept everything once they see that you’re happy. If you’re happy and they still don’t come around, here’s what’s happening: their strong feelings about who you should be or what you should do are their mammoth talking, and their main motivation is worrying about how it’ll “look” to other people who know them. They’re allowing their mammoth to override their love for you, and they should be adamantly ignored.

Two other reasons why the mammoth’s fearful obsession with social approval makes no sense:

A) You live here:


So who gives a fuck about anything?

B) You and everyone you know are going to die. Kind of soon.


So like…yeah.

The mammoth’s fears being irrational is one reason the mammoth has a low IQ. Here’s the second:

2) The mammoth’s efforts are counterproductive. 

The irony of the whole thing is that the obsessive lumbering mammoth isn’t even good at his job. His methods of winning approval may have been effective in simpler times, but today, they’re transparent and off-putting. The modern world is an AV’s world, and if the mammoth wants to thrive socially, he should do the thing that scares him most—let the AV take over. Here’s why:

AVs are interesting. Mammoths are boring. Every AV is unique and complex, which is inherently interesting. Mammoths are all the same—they copy and conform, and their motives aren’t based on anything authentic or real, just on doing what they think they’re supposed to do. That’s supremely boring.

AVs lead. Mammoths follow. Leadership is natural for most AVs, because they draw their thoughts and opinions from an original place, which gives them an original angle. And if they’re smart and innovative enough, they can change things in the world and invent things that disrupt the status quo. If you give someone a paintbrush and an empty canvas, they might not paint something good—but they’ll change the canvas in one way or another.

Mammoths, on the other hand, follow—by definition. That’s what they were built to do—blend in and follow the leader. The last thing a mammoth is going to do is change the status quo because it’s trying so hard to be the status quo. When you give someone a paintbrush and canvas, but the paint is the same exact color as the canvas, they can paint all they want, but they won’t change anything.

People gravitate toward AVs, not mammoths. The only time a mammoth-crazed person is appealing on a first date is when they’re on the date with another mammoth-crazed person. People with a strong AV see through mammoth-controlled people and aren’t attracted to them. A friend of mine was dating a great on-paper guy awhile back but broke things off because she couldn’t quite fall for him. She tried to articulate why, saying he wasn’t weird or special enough—he seemed like “just one of the guys.” In other words, he was being run too much by a mammoth.

This also holds among friends or colleagues, where AV-run people are more respected and more magnetic—not because there’s necessarily anything extraordinary about them, but because people respect someone with the strength of character to have tamed their mammoth. 

Step 3: Start Being Yourself

This post was all fun and games until “start being yourself” came into the picture. Up to now, this has been an interesting reflection into why humans care so much what other people think, why that’s bad, how it’s a problem in your life, and why there’s no good reason it should continue to plague you. But actually doing something after you finish reading this article is a whole different thing. That takes more than reflection—it takes some courage.

toe in water

But courage against what, exactly? As we’ve discussed, there’s no actual danger involved in being yourself—more than anything, it just takes an Emperor Has No Clothes epiphany, which is as simple as this:

Almost nothing you’re socially scared of is actually scary.

Absorbing this thought will diminish the fear that you feel, and without fear, the mammoth loses some power.

medium mammoth

With a weakened mammoth, it becomes possible to begin standing up for who you are and even making some bold changes—and when you watch those changes turn out well for you with few negative consequences and no regrets, it reinforces the epiphany and an empowered AV becomes a habit. Your mammoth has now lost its ability to pull the strings, and it’s tamed.

small mammoth

The mammoth is still with you—it’ll always be with you—but you’ll have an easier time ignoring or overruling it when it speaks up or acts out, because the AV is the alpha dog now. You can start to relish the feeling of being viewed as weird or inappropriate or confusing to people, and society becomes your playground and blank canvas, not something to grovel before and hope for acceptance from.

Making this shift isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s worth obsessing over. Your Authentic Voice has been given one life—and it’s your job to make sure it gets the opportunity to live it.

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By: Alan Graham


As a life long shopper at Macy’s department store, I have always been satisfied with the quality of the clothing and the affordability of such. However of late I am sadly disappointed generally by the level of service everywhere I go, in every store, no matter where I shop.

I am “OLD FASHIONED” and proud to be so, because old fashioned is old world, and old world in my world, RULES.

Gone is the ethic of, “Pride in my work” or “Honesty is the best policy” it has been replaced with  snappish, sharp, blunt even abbreviated service. In the fast paced world of today,  old school, charming and quaint are mere distant memories of those halcyon days.

A Gentleman’s Gentleman:

Enter Raymond, (he prefers Ray) a salesman in the men’s clothing department at the San Diego Ca. Horton Plaza Macy’s store. In London in the 1890s he would have played the role of a gentleman’s gentleman, someone who took care a wealthy man’s every single need from head to toe. 

Macy’s ALWAYS has a sale or special promotion and some super bargains so I almost never shop elsewhere. It is a bit of a struggle to get the right sizes for me, often I would get the arm or leg length wrong and would have to return to exchange the item. When I leave it in the hands of Ray, he makes it look easy and I enjoy stress free shopping which makes the rest of my day a breeze. 

Go see Ray and tell him you would like the same level of, professionalism, politeness, and experience that I received and I guarantee you that he will not only achieve, but he will excel. 

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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As Ma Lin Lin watches her four children play in the yard, smiles wide and bellies full, she reflects on a time when this wasn’t always the case.

A few short months ago, her family was struggling to make ends meet, to keep up with the costs of schooling, food, clothes – basic necessities for herself, her husband and their four children.

This is a common story in Myanmar. As the country emerges from five decades of economic isolation, its people are finding their places in the emerging market. Facing daily challenges, big and small, they are working to overcome hardships while seeking new opportunities.

Ma Lin Lin lives in Kyu Wun Village, Patheingyi – a two-hour drive from Mandalay, Myanmar’s second- largest city. Like most from her village, Ma Lin Lin and her husband worked at the local limestone mine. Waking at dawn, her husband smashed boulders with a sledgehammer while she collected the small rocks and loaded them into a truck. Long days in the relentless heat with barely any breaks were exhausting, mentally and physically.

Swan Yi
Ma Lin Lin and her husband did their best to take care of their family with the meager 4,000 kyats ($4) they earned each day. Some days they wouldn’t get paid at all, and Ma Lin Lin would have to borrow money from her fellow villagers.

Days like those made Ma Lin Lin dream of a better life – a life where her children wouldn’t go to school hungry.

One rare day, Ma Lin Lin was too sick to go to work. Representatives from Pact, an international NGO working in Myanmar, were visiting the village to encourage women to join Swan Yi, a program delivered in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company.

Swan Yi, which directly translates to “capacity building,” teaches women fundamental financial literacy and business skills. Swan Yi organizes groups of 20 to 25 women and establishes savings-led village banks, complemented by organizational training on the roles and responsibilities of members, the selection of group leaders, safe money handling, and saving and loaning principles and practices.

Ma Lin Lin jumped at the opportunity. In her minimal spare time, she attended the training sessions, read the course materials and asked questions. After four short months, she put together a plan to start her own curry business.

Now, before anyone else is awake, Ma Lin Lin navigates the dark and dusty streets of her village to the bus stop. Leaving at 3 a.m., she travels to the city to buy ingredients and, upon return, cooks and opens her curry stand. She sells delicious meals to her friends and neighbors, and serves hot meals to her family.

Swan Yi
Ma Lin Lin quickly learned that the profit earned from the stand could not only cover the basic needs of her family. For the first time ever, she was able to save money. By applying newly gained business skills, she realized she could earn an even greater profit if she opened up a snack stand.

Running two businesses is not an easy task, but working in safe conditions without worrying about where the next meal will come from makes it all worth it. The family recently purchased a motorcycle for transportation and a TV for the children to watch at night.

“Swan Yi inspired me to start my own business,” says a smiling Ma Lin Lin. “I love cooking every day and can feed my children their favorite food. Our life is much better now. I hope to be a part of the program for many years, and that it is there for my children and grandchildren, too.”

Ma Lin Lin is still learning. She continues to participate in Swan Yi trainings to gain new skills needed to build her businesses, with the hopes of one day expanding.

Her biggest dream used to be to support her children until they graduated. Now, she can give them opportunities for a brighter future in Myanmar’s emerging economy.

Swan Yi
“Ma Lin Lin paved a new path forward for her family and is testament to the fact that when women are empowered, it not only benefits them, but uplifts their families and the entire community,” says Rehan Khan, general manager, Coca-Cola Myanmar. “Swan Yi provides women entrepreneurs with new opportunities to thrive as contributors to the local economy, while building sustainable communities across the country.”

Ma Lin Lin is one of dozens of women in her village who actively participate in Swan Yi, joining a support system of strong and empowered women working to better their lives and the lives of their families. Her story is just one of the stories of the 24,500 women the Swan Yi program will empower in Myanmar by 2015, and one of the 5 million women around the world The Coca-Cola Company aims to empower by 2020 as part of its 5by20 commitment.

The three-year Swan Yi program is supported by a $3 million grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company.


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Colored Woolies

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Marc and Angel, two passionate writers, life-hackers and “admirers of the human spirit,” have come up with an amazing list of 30 things to stop doing to yourself. If you like their list, make sure you check out their site and sign up to their amazing newsletter.

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.


#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.


#3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.


#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.


#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

Max Rossi / Reuters

#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.


#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.


#9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.


#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

Andy Hutchinson

#11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.


#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

budi 'ccline'

#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.


#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

claudio campa

#16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

Stuface#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

#18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.


#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.


#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

Milan Dimitrijevic

#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

Mike Killian

#23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.


#24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.


#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

Thomas P. Peschak

#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

sergei gladyshev

#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.


#28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

Chris A

#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.


#30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.




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Unknown images
This song is a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and sex symbol who died of a drug overdose in 1962. The “candle in the wind” represents her short, but eventful life.
The song makes various references to the press coverage of Monroe. The famous opening line, “Goodbye Norma Jean,” refers to her birth name: Norma Jean Mortenson, and how she gave up both her name and her privacy for the sake of celebrity.

The lyrics were written by Elton’s writing partner, Bernie Taupin, who got the idea for the title from a quote he read about Janis Joplin. According to Taupin, the song is more of a take on fame and celebrity than an ode to Marilyn Monroe. Said Taupin: “I think the biggest misconception about ‘Candle In The Wind’ is that I was this rabid Marilyn Monroe fanatic, which really couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not that I didn’t have a respect for her. It’s just that the song could just as easily have been about James Dean or Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. I mean, it could have been about Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf. I mean, basically, anybody, any writer, actor, actress, or musician who died young and sort of became this iconic picture of Dorian Gray, that thing where they simply stopped aging. It’s a beauty frozen in time.

In a way, I’m fascinated with that concept. So it’s really about how fame affects the man or woman in the street, that whole adulation thing and the fanaticism of fandom. It’s pretty freaky how people really believe these people are somehow different from us. It’s a theme that’s figured prominently in a lot of our songs, and I think it’ll probably continue to do so.”

When Elton got the lyrics, he had no trouble writing the music. He understood the stress caused by constant media attention, and felt Monroe must have been in terrible pain her whole life.

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I remember book cover (Italian) 800

I remember book cover (eng) 800 I remember book cover (French) 800 I remember book cover (swedish) 800

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An abandoned dog who’s had the courage to love again is teaching us about the power of forgiveness.

In the video above, captured by Annie Hart, Gideon the pit bull undergoes a tremendous transformation after being rescued from starvation and sickness.

Hart, the executive director of animal rescue group Bill Foundation, told The Huffington Post in an email that Gideon, who was found with a registered microchip, had been in terrible shape when she went to rescue him in December. The pooch, who had deep lacerations around his neck, was starving and suffering from multiple bacterial and highly contagious fungal infections.

He was in “major pain,” Hart said, adding that Gideon was “by far one of the sickest dogs” she’d ever seen.

Since Gideon had a registered microchip, Hart said she immediately tried contacting the dog’s owners after bringing the sickly pup to Animal Wellness Centers in Los Angeles for treatment.

“Whenever I find a stray, I always hope there is a wonderful family that went through a horrific sequence of events that lead to losing their dog and they are desperately missing them,” she said. “Sadly, this wasn’t the case for Gideon. His registered owners told the microchip company that they didn’t want Gideon anymore and hung up.”

Though it’s unclear if Gideon suffered from actual physical abuse at the hands of his owners, Hart says that the pup “definitely suffered emotional abuse and serious neglect.”

In the video of Gideon’s rescue, the long-suffering dog is seen trembling in fear of the people trying to help him. Hart says it took her and her two companions three hours of gentle coaxing to get Gideon to finally trust them enough to leave with them.

But three months on, Gideon has undergone a remarkable transformation, says Hart.

After weeks of medical treatment, his health has mostly returned, and, thanks to the outpouring of love and support he’s received from the people at Bill Foundation, as well as the volunteers and doctors at Animal Wellness Centers (which generously covered Gideon’s hefty medical bill), the pooch has regained his trust of humans.

“His beautiful spirit blossomed while his body healed,” Hart said.

Hart added that the pup’s courage and capacity for love has astounded her.

“Dogs teach us the power of forgiveness,” she wrote in her email. “As rescuers, we see this time and time again: Dogs who have been abused, abandoned or forgotten and seem broken in every way — they trust the hand of the rescuer, thus rising up from the ashes, learning to love again.”


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I Remember Jim Morrison (Italian Translation)


Io Ricordo

Jim Morrison

Di Alan Graham

Traduzione di Giuliano Amoruso

Edizione aggiornata
© Copyright 2012 by Alan R. Graham Tutti i diritti riservati.
Questo libro, ed/o ogni suo contenuto
non può esser riprodotto in nessuna forma senza il permesso scritto dell’autore. Pubblicato da Coronado Clarion Publishing
in collaborazione con Lizard King Entertainment e Roman Wilderness Productions.

Per mia moglie Kimberley Ann Graham

Io Ricordo


Gli Inizi

Conobbi Anne Robin Morrison a Londra, nell’estate del 1966. Suo padre, il Capitano George Stephen Morrison, era stato da poco promosso al grado di Ammiraglio e prestava servizio nell’edificio della Marina adiacente all’Ambasciata Americana. All’epoca, Anne non sapeva che suo fratello fosse famoso. Era scomparso nel 1964 dopo essersi iscritto all’UCLA.

Poco dopo esserci conosciuti, l’Ammiraglio fu richiamato a Washington D.C. per iniziare il suo nuovo incarico al Pentagono. Anne restò a Londra e, pochi mesi dopo, ci sposammo. Quando diede alla luce il nostro primo bambino, Dylan, lasciammo l’Inghilterra per andare a vivere negli Stati Uniti, “Il Paese Delle Opportunità”.

L’Ed Sullivan Show va in fiamme

Quando arrivammo in America, nell’estate 1968, vivevamo nella lussuosa periferia di Arlington, Virginia. L’Ammiraglio era in servizio al Pentagono, dato che infuriava la guerra in Vietnam.

Ci presentarono la gente di ceto più alto della società militare. Frequentavamo le cerimonie ufficiali della Marina, sedendo nei posti riservati ai VIP.

Uno dei nipoti di Clara Morrison era in procinto di sposarsi prima di partire per il Vietnam. Partecipammo ad una grande festa nella casa di famiglia a Silver Spring, Maryland, il giorno delle loro nozze.

Durante questa bella riunione, ebbe luogo uno degli eventi più assurdi e plateali che provocò una gran confusione tra gli ospiti. L’evento in questione era un’istituzione familiare: l’Ed Sullivan Show.

Il matrimonio ed il ricevimento erano eventi formali. C’erano i militari di più alto rango accompagnati da mogli in abiti lunghi, tutte ingioiellate e con acconciature impeccabili, che consumavano abbondanti quantità di antipasti e champagne rosa.

Alla fine della giornata, tutti si radunarono attorno al televisore per guardare l’Ed Sullivan, che presentava esclusivamente spettacoli americani perbenisti. Non molto tempo prima, aveva presentato la famosissima “Suora Cantante” (The Singing Nun) ed il pezzo numero uno in classifica “Dominique”.

Ciò che seguì, fu una di quelle cose che lascia tutti a bocca aperta. Appena cominciò lo show, durante questa serata speciale, la faccia di pietra di Sullivan avanzò e fece la sua fiera presentazione: “Signore e Signori, posso presentarvi il meraviglioso Topo Gigio!”. Topo Gigio era

uno dei più famosi pupazzi della televisione italiana degli anni ́60 ed uno degli ospiti del programma più popolari.

Seguì un quartetto maschile esageratamente patriottico, poi degli acrobati e giocolieri, in definitiva, tutti i tipi di spettacolo per un pubblico molto tradizionale.

Lo spettacolo finiva con Kate Smith, per lo meno era quello che pensavamo. Una donna alta come una montagna, che cantava “God Bless America” con tale forza che muoveva i capelli del pubblico. Lei generalmente terminava con una specie di esplosione, ma ci fu un’esplosione ancor più grande, nascosta, caricata e pronta a scoppiare.

Qualcuno disse:- “Hey, questa è una replica.” Poco dopo, una combriccola di donne circondò Clara e la trascinò in cucina. L’Ammiraglio le seguì. Domandò: “Che diavolo sta succedendo qui?” La sorella di Clara stava zittendo tutti, mentre prestava attenzione agli ospiti più importanti del programma. Clara passò all’Ammiraglio il quotidiano e la sua bocca si chiuse come una tagliola.

Prima che qualcuno si rendesse conto, Ed Sullivan annunciò: “Ladies and gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California – THE DOORS !” Gli invitati rimasero ghiacciati come un film in pausa. I bicchieri fermi nell’aria, l’unica cosa che si muoveva era il fumo delle sigarette. Una donna svuotò una bottiglia di champagne nel suo bicchiere che si rovesciò sul bancone e giù sul pavimento. Restò li come una statua in una fontana straripante di bolle rosa.

Jim Morrison entrò in scena nel famosissimo teatro di Ed Sullivan vestito di pelle nera dalla testa ai piedi, con un pesante cinturone messicano con borchie d’argento. Portava lunghi capelli scuri da delinquente. Cominciò a cantare “Light My Fire”, il singolo numero uno delle classifiche nazionali.

Ed Sullivan aveva avvertito Jim che era proibito usare la parola “higher” dal vivo. Jim Morrison cantò il pezzo con estrema precisione. Quando arrivò alla parola proibita, la pronunciò normalmente.

Tutti gli invitati militari conoscevano Jim da quando era ragazzino. Quindi, vedendolo trasformato da ragazzo per bene, ben vestito, bravo a scuola, a capellone-comunista-socialistoide-traditore-imboscato, era per loro impossibile da accettare.

Zio Howard, il cognato di Clara, fu il primo a reagire. Pulì l’appannamento dei suoi occhiali con la montatura dorata e spiattellò: “Guardate quei polsini sudici della sua camicia!”

Morrison terminò il pezzo con:

Tutti si guardarono di nuovo. Fu come se avessero appena visto un UFO e lo spaventoso alieno di pelle nera fosse scomparso.
Un vice ammiraglio, che rassomigliava moltissimo al grande attore Lee J. Cobb, che indossava tante medaglie ed encomi da riempire un negozio di trofei, lentamente chiuse gli occhi e cominciò una silenziosa risata di pancia. Aumentò sempre di più finché tutti si unirono alla risata. Risero tutti. Anche l’Ammiraglio rise. Gli invitati si domandarono il perché stessero ridendo. Fu come un sospiro di sollievo.

Il matrimonio e la festa quel giorno furono completamente usurpati da un’altra celebrazione. Per quel gruppo di persone fu il polo opposto, qualcosa che li disturbò. Per la storia fu “The Celebration of the Lizard King”.


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Puppy Love

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Giraffe Shares Touching Goodbye With Dying Zoo Worker


A dying cancer patient who worked at a Dutch zoo returned to say goodbye on Wednesday. Lying in a hospital bed placed in the giraffe habitat at Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp, the 54-year-old man, identified as only Mario, waited for the animals to approach.

In an image now breaking the Internet’s heart, one giraffe appears to understand the moment, kissing Mario.

“You could see him totally light up,” said Kees Veldboer, founder and director of Ambulance Wish Foundation, which arranged the farewell. “It’s very special to see that those animals recognize him, and sense that he isn’t doing well,” he told Rotterdam newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

Mario, who has a mental disability, spent nearly his entire life as a maintenance man at the zoo, according to the paper.

After the touching encounter, he then bid farewell to his colleagues, the charity reported.

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Oh My Papa

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Anxiety Myths


Perhaps one of the most persistent struggles when dealing with anxiety is what people get wrong about the disorder.

According to Joseph Bienvenu, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, there are many fallacies when it comes to anxiety disorders, and that can make dealing with it more difficult. These misconceptions are a common reality for those who either have the condition, know someone who is battling it or think they may be on the brink of a diagnosis. We’ve debunked the 10 of the most common myths about anxiety and panic disorders.

People with anxiety are feeble.

“Many people think that having this disorder means that they’re fearful or weak — and that’s certainly not the case,” Bienvenu says. He explains that while many anxiety and panic disorders can stem from fear, that characteristic of the condition isn’t the only component — and it definitely shouldn’t be used to define the person.

In an effort to explain what it’s like to deal with fear-based anxiety, clinical psychologist Bill Knaus detailed the everyday trials of the condition in a Psychology Today blog post. He describes how anxiety can also manifest from something we’re allfamiliar with: remorse. “Recurring anxieties and fears can feel like walls on each side of a trail painted with murals of regrets,” he wrote.

Having anxiety isn’t a big deal.

According to Allison Baker, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the director of the adolescent program for Columbia University Medical Center, the disorder isn’t something to be swept under the rug. Anxiety disorders can accompany or have the potential to lead to other illnesses such as depression.

When it comes to children and teens, Baker also says that many kids don’t speak up about their anxiety because they don’t notice that it’s a big deal. “Anxious kids, at the end of the day, they’re not the squeaky wheels,” Baker explains. “They most often just internalize an anxious experience. They don’t raise flags or cause anyone grief, so they kind of get neglected in the process.”

The condition is not that common.

Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults per year, which is about 18 percent of the country’s population. According to Baker, anxiety disorders are also one of the most prevalent pediatric psych conditions.

Issues with anxiety stem from a poor childhood.

Another common misunderstanding about anxiety is that it comes from issues deeply rooted in the past. While past experiences certainly can have an influence on anxiety, Bienvenu says this idea is a misunderstanding. “It’s not that having a difficult childhood is completely unrelated, but having a difficult childhood can be related to all kinds of things, not just anxiety,” he says. “Some people have great childhood and still have anxiety.”

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, most professionals have the patient focus on the here and now during therapy-based treatment as opposed to reflecting on what has occurred in the past. Studies have also found that practicing being present through mindfulness meditation can help reduce levels of anxiety and mental stress.

People suffering from anxiety should just avoid whatever is causing their fear.


Instead of running from fear, experts suggest just the opposite. “Avoidance is not a good strategy,” explains David Spiegel, Stanford University’s associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “Avoiding [what you’re fearful of] makes it like it isn’t happening — and the more you avoid it the worse it gets. For people with phobias, the only experience they have [with that particular stressor] is a horrible one but it is possible to normalize it. The more you deal with things that stress you out, the more master you have over them.”

In an essay for the New York Times, New York University neural science professor Joseph LeDoux explained that while some avoidance might be helpful in certain cases, general avoidance behavior may only exacerbate the condition. “People with social anxiety problems, for example, can easily circumvent anxiety by avoiding social situations,” he wrote. “This solves one problem but creates others, since social interactions are an important part of daily life, including both professional and personal life. But if one is avoiding situations where these cues are likely to be encountered, the opportunity to extinguish fears by exposure never occurs and the anxiety continues indefinitely.”

The disorder will resolve on its own.

“Many people believe that anxiety isn’t something worth assessing,” Baker says. “But it’s important treat anxiety, especially in children and teens. If untreated, it can be associated with an increased risk with depression.” There are several methods of treatment for anxiety, including psychotherapy and medication.

Unwinding with a drink can soothe an anxious person.

Despite its reputation for “taking the edge off,” don’t expect a beer to relax someone who is struggling with an anxiety or panic disorder. In fact, according to Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, it may end up only making the condition worse. “In the short term, yes perhaps it will, but in the long term it can be a gateway for addiction,” he previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “It’s dangerous in the long term because those substances can be reinforcing the anxiety.”

Despite the risks, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that most people suffering from some form of anxiety try to relieve it by self-medicating with substances. The study revealed that 13 percent of the people who had consumed alcohol or drugs in the previous year did so in an effort to reduce their anxiety, fear or panic about a particular situation.

Anxiety is only born from a certain fear or trauma.


According to Bienvenu, it’s incorrect to think that anxiety mostly comes from a specific experience or fear. While a certain phobia — like flying or great heights — can often be at the core of the condition, there’s also a genetic basis to anxiety disorders, he says.

According to Spiegel, chronic anxiety encompasses more than just one particular instance of fear and begins to make you less aware of what you’re feeling in the moment. “You start to feel anxious about being anxious,” he said.

There’s nothing you can say to help an anxious person relax.

There are many ways you can offer to help someone dealing with the condition, Baker says. If you’re looking to put someone you know with anxiety at ease, the best thing to do is to ask questions. “Inquire from the person, ‘How can I be helpful?’ ‘What can I do or say that’s going to help you in this moment?'” she says. “Take your direction from the person themselves instead of going on the assumption of what they may need from you.”

You should avoid certain phrases when speaking with a loved one who may be suffering from anxiety disorder. According to Humphreys, being sensitive to the situation can also help. “The paradox is, [an empathetic phrase] helps them calm down because they don’t feel like they have to fight for their anxiety,” Humphreys said. “It shows some understanding.”

It’s hard to relate to someone who has the condition.

We’ve all been caught up in a moment that brings up those pangs of nerves, Baker explains. “We all experience anxiety in some capacity,” she says. “It helps us prepare for speaking in public and it motivates us to practice or rehearse; everyone can relate to what that experience is like. An anxiety disorder is when those run-of-the-mill butterflies become a chronic daily experience.”

In order to assist a loved one who is suffering from the condition, Baker says it may be helpful to recall some of your own experiences. “Imagine what those would be like in progressive state,” she says. “It may make you more empathetic to the situation.”




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Pointy Skull


Deformed Skull from Dark Ages Unearthed in France

The skeleton of an ancient aristocratic woman whose head was warped into a deformed, pointy shape has been unearthed in a necropolis in France.

The necropolis, found in the Alsace region of France, contains 38 tombs that span more than 4,000 years, from the Stone Age to the Dark Ages.

The skeleton of an ancient aristocratic woman whose head was warped into a deformed, pointy shape has been unearthed in a necropolis in France.

The necropolis, found in the Alsace region of France, contains 38 tombs that span more than 4,000 years, from the Stone Age to the Dark Ages.

Rich valley

The Obernai region where the remains were found contains a river and rich, fertile soil, which has attracted people for thousands of years, Philippe Lefranc, an archaeologist who excavated the Stone Age burials, wrote in an email.

Archaeologists first found the tombs in 2011 while doing a preliminary excavation of the area prior to the start of a big industrial building project. This year, Lefranc and his colleagues went back to do a more in-depth excavation.

They found that the tombs were well preserved by the limestone rock in which they were buried. One of the burials contained 20 tombs of men, women and children. [See Images of the Tombs & Deformed Skull]

“The corpses are lying on their backs, with outstretched legs and heads turned westwards,” Lefranc said.

The tombs, which date to between 4900 B.C. and 4750 B.C., also contained a few stone vases and tools, along with ornaments such as mother-of-pearl elbow bracelets and collars. The small group may have been a family from a Neolithic farming and animal-herding culture that lived in long houses and buried their dead in cemeteries, Lefranc said.

Eastern transplants

In the second burial, which was in a separate area, they found 18 tombs from either the late Roman period or the early Dark Ages, about 1,650 years ago. One of the tombs held a woman, likely an aristocrat, who had a deformed, flattened forehead.

“The deformation of the skull with the help of bandages (narrow strips of cloth) and small boards is a practice coming from central Asia,” Lefranc said in an email. “It was popularized by the Huns and adopted by many German people.”

In those times, the deformed, alienlike skull was a privilege reserved for the aristocracy.

“In France, Germany and eastern Europe, these deformed skulls appear in tombs rich in objects,” Lefranc said.

The wealthy lady’s tomb also contained gold pins, belts known as chatelaines, pearls, a comb made of a stag antler, and a bronze mirror that likely came from the Caucasus region or central Asia, he said.

The team speculates that the 1,650-year-old graves held mercenary soldiers from the East and their families, who were employed by the Roman Army during the waning days of the Roman empire.

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Historical accuracy can be tricky to discuss in terms of a period drama, so perhaps “credibility” is a better word. But semantics aside, there are a few aspects of “Downton Abbey” Season 4, that raise some questions, as the period drama attempts to tackle such issues as rape and unwanted childbirth. Historians give us an idea how closely the plot resembles Britain in the 1920s. 

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Lady Mary’s excessive period of mourning was at least unusual.

University of Leeds historian Dr. Jessica Meyer noted that Mary’s behavior was definitely anachronistic, “harking back to Victorian practices which had gone out of style in the years preceding the First World War.” Her drawn out impression of a wayward ghost would have been more realistic prior to “criticism of Victoria whose prolonged withdrawal from public life following Albert’s death was seen as harmful to British international prestige and influence,” says Meyer. Dr. Peter Mandler of the University of Cambridge agreed that “Victorian mourning practices [were] in this period being dumped overboard,” adding that, “Remarriage was always acceptable, and quite common.”


And she would have had more power over the estate than Lord Grantham lets on.
Although the laws of guardianship were in flux at the time, Meyer notes that Mary would “wield more power as mother of the heir, with legal rights of guardianship, than daughter to Lord Grantham, with the estate entailed away from her.” It all depends upon the way in which the estate is entailed. As for Matthew’s will, “if his entail provided for an allowance for Mary, she would probably lose it on remarriage.”

Anna would have been at much greater risk of being assaulted by the upstairs folk.
When the now-infamous rape episode aired in the U.K., it sparked discussion of whether the scene was necessary, to which creator Julian Fellowes responded it was a historical reality. He’s not entirely wrong, but Anna would have been in much more danger of being violated by one of her superiors. Julia Laite, an historian from Birkbeck, University of London, explained that the concept of the “ruined maid” was quite pervasive at the time. Perhaps the most common version of sexual harassment involved “women who were seduced by their masters, convinced into have consensual sex.”


And she would have had a solid case, if she chose to go to the police.
To be fair, it seems that Anna primarily chooses to avoid police involvement because she is fearful of Bates’ reaction. It is interesting to note that if the rape were to be taken to a court of law, she would have a fantastic case. According to Laite, many rape cases were judged based on behavior. Anna would face no scrutiny in this regard, because her beloved position in the Crawley estate would lend her many character witnesses.

Edith and Michael’s marriage scheme makes sense, though she’d be required to become a German citizen.
Men could not divorce women for reason of incurable insanity and women could only divorce their husbands, if they were able to prove they had been excessively beaten. Laite said that it would not have been until the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1937 that things like adultery would be grounds for divorce. Unlike British civil code, German law did allow for divorce on the grounds of incurable insanity, however, it would have required both Michael and Edith to become German citizens, which is a important issue considering the prominence of nationalism at the time.


Although the London train ticket wouldn’t be enough to convict Bates, it could have potentially raised a case against him.
Lady and Mrs. Hughes spend quite a bit of time deliberating what they ought to do with the London train ticket found in Bates’ coat pocket, and their reactions are not overly dramatized. They suspect that he is lying about his trip to London because he is responsible for Mr. Green’s mysterious death — he was pushed into the street. Mandler says the key point is that “Bates denied he had been in London that day. So the ticket is prima facie evidence that he is lying — and then this does raise further suspicion.” Laite notes that thought it might not have been enough to convict him, it would have been enough to raise him as a suspect.

Generally speaking, servants are far too close with the folks upstairs.

‘The relationship they have with their employers is totally wrong,” historian Jennifer Newby told The Telegraph. “There was one butler who said that even if in a moment of weakness an employer could ask for advice they wouldn’t give it because it could be held against them” — an observation which paints a far different picture from the cavorting we’ve seen across the series.

Also, in real life, they would have been, like, really dirty.
”The servants in the program are far too clean,” Newby said. “The reality would have been a lot more grubby, I don’t think people realize that the servants stank.”

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Letter From An Airline Pilot


My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. On this flight.” (H.R. Stands for human remains.) “Are they military?” I asked.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I’ve already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early,” I said..

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,’ he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our pre-flight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. ‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board’, she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it’, I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a
Secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I
Saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.
The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.’
I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told
That all traffic was being held for us.

‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the co-pilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to
make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was
clapping. Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.

They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these USA, Canada, Australia New Zealand, England.

Foot note:

I know everyone who has served their country who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me.

Please send this on after a short prayer for our service men and women.

They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor and respect.

‘Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us..bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.. In Jesus Name, Amen.’

Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm’s way, prayer is the very best one.

GOD BLESS YOU!!! Bring the rest home safe and sound. We need to be there for them now more than ever.

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 Once upon a time, there was a Polo Field in the Country Club area of Coronado Island. There were horse shows there as well, many of which were won by my mother, Frances G Harpst! Mom rode both English and Western saddle. There was also a bridle path that ran along Alameda Ave. Horses were welcome on the beach too! Ah, those were the days. 

I learned to ride when I was 6. I took to it instantly, and my love affair with horses had begun. I did some barrel racing but I never rode to show. 

In 2001, after 10 years working at San Diego Sheriff, my then Lt. (who was a real spitfire) flew past my desk at Ramona Station and said: “My office. Now” Lt. confirmed I owned horses. She also told me she was very impressed with my organizational skills. I sat wide eyed, as she’d never really said two words to me before! She told me she wanted me to head up a Mounted Horse Patrol unit in Ramona. It was to be the first of it’s kind in Back Country San Diego. Then she handed me a huge file marked: Procedure and Protocol, Riverside County Sheriff Mounted Patrol. She said to learn it all, and make it happen for San Diego. No pressure there!

Before I could do anything else, I had to beg the County for it’s approval. I carefully wrote up a detailed proposal, crossed my fingers, and submitted it to the County with the Lt’s blessing. Council Woman Diane Jacob was all for it, and by some sort of minor miracle we were funded and got the big OK! Next I had to recruit people into the unit, run background checks, interview, field test (horse and rider) etc. I once had to turn down a wife of one of our Deputies. That wasn’t fun. Once we had enough people for an academy class, I started designing uniforms. One for Field (Patrol) and one for Parade (Formal) Also I designed a logo for our horse blankets and special badges for our unit. 

There were 10 of us at Academy. 6 men and 4 women, myself included. We were bright eyed and bushy tailed in our spiffy new uniforms! We had an “Abbreviated Academy” since we were riding horses and not driving in Patrol vehicles. On the last day of Academy, Sheriff Kolender approached me and said: “Please do us proud. We want to use your unit as a prototype for the rest of rural San Diego County.” Once again, no pressure whatsoever! 

I wish I could say our first day on Patrol went well, but unfortunately it did not. Two of the older Cowboys got a bit snippy with some local ranchers and I had to call a meeting. I told them they absolutely must adhere to the regulations or we were history. The folks down at Personnel already thought we were a joke so this was the last thing I needed. Patrol went much better after that first day, but the trouble making Cowboys didn’t like me for having to dress them down. They’d come sit at the edge of my desk and make it very obvious. I just ignored them and they eventually got bored and stalked off into the sunset. 

Patrol had been running smoothly and now it was time for our first Parade as a unit! We were all so proud. I was a little nervous, so I didn’t notice that my horse was gassy that day. I cinched him up but didn’t recheck him like I normally would. I mounted up and rode around a little. Just as I noticed the saddle slipping, I did an “allyoop” and landed smack in the mud! So much for that white starched shirt. I tightened the cinch again, dusted off, and remounted. Lt. said it was all very impressive, just like in the movies! The Parade went fine.

Now, 12 years later, Ramona Mounted Patrol is still going strong. Other rural Stations have started their own units as well, just like Sheriff wanted. I worked very hard and learned a lot. On August 20th, 2011 I retired from Sheriff, leaving Mounted Patrol in very capable hands.

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Another reminder that greedy politicians and shady property developers are ready to give us all a  Miami Makeover, and it is not just  The Coronado Green Meanies’

Men Accused of Funneling $500K in Illegal Campaign Money Plead Not Guilty

The source of the foreign money has not been made public in court documents, but it is believed to be Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, a Mexican businessman with a home in Coronado. 

Two men accused of funneling more than $500,000 in foreign money into San Diego political campaigns pleaded not guilty today to a conspiracy charge contained in a federal indictment.

Marco Polo Cortes, a local lobbyist, and Ravneet Singh, the owner of the Washington, D.C.-based campaign services company, ElectionMall, denied the charges in separate hearings at the federal courthouse.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment against Cortes, Singh, ElectionMall and former San Diego Police Department Detective Ernesto Encinas after the three were arrested and charged in a complaint last month.

Last week, Encinas waived his right requiring prosecutors to present their case to the grand jury.

Cortes, Singh and Encinas are accused of trying to hide the source of large donations to local campaigns, including the 2012 mayoral campaigns of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Bob Filner.

The source of the foreign money has not been made public in court documents, but it is believed to be Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, a Mexican businessman with a home in Coronado. It is illegal for non-citizens to contribute to U.S. election campaigns.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the donor wanted to turn San Diego’s bayfront into a West Coast version of Miami.

A motions hearing is scheduled March 24 before U.S. District Judge Michael Anello.

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Animals Who Need Hugs

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An Essay on Man: Epistle I BY ALEXANDER POPE

Hope Springs Eternal Contest Banner2 key
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

For the remainder of the essay visit: 

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Monkeys Are People Too Etc.


Family Reunion Then And Now


Time To Mow The Lawn



Gimme Five


Silly Animal Hats



More Great Faces

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This photo of Major Crimes Detective Mac Adams was taken as part of a project called RPD Loves Animals to showcase some of our great officers and how having different animals in their lives makes them better people and subsequently better officers. 

Within a week of its posting, this photo of Detective Adams became THE most liked, commented, shared and viewed post in the Richmond Police Department’s five-year Facebook history.

There have been more than 1.2 MILLION views from people across the United States and as far away as New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. 

At last check, this photo’s original posting had been liked more than 13,000 times, shared more than 14,000 times and commented on more than 2,000 times!

To all of this, we say thank you!

Here’s the original story of Major Crimes Detective Mac Adams and his five deaf doggies whom he loves and raises with his wonderful wife.

1-How long have you been with Richmond Police?

26 years

2-How did you get involved with the rescue of deaf dogs?

I adopted Pickles from Richmond Animal Care and Control in November 2010 about a year after my Mastiff died. Then we adopted four more over the past three years. We got involved with rescue and networking deaf dogs because a lot of them go un-adopted and end up in shelters for a long time and may be euthanized. 

I’m proud to say that I have just been named as a board member to the nonprofit organization Deaf Dogs Rocks so I can further assist with helping deaf dogs.

3-How many do you have now and what are their names?

I have five: Pickles, Nea, Piglet, Opal and Mortimer.

4-What would surprise most people to know about deaf dogs?

There are 56 breeds of dog that are prone to deafness because the color white is in their standard. Some of these include the Dalmatian, the American Pit Bull Terrier and even the Boxer. The same gene that causes the white coat has a chance to cause deafness by not allowing the auditory nerves not to myelinate so the nerves die at about two weeks old. Deaf dogs don’t know they’re supposed to hear. Once you figure out a way to communicate with them you’re good to go. We use sign language and to get their attention, we either touch them or stomp on the floor. 

5-What’s the best lesson(s) you’ve learned from them?

Deaf dogs are “Velcro dogs” meaning that they always have to touch you. No matter what I’m doing at least one, if not all, of the dogs are right there. They are very affectionate and love just to cuddle. The best lesson I have learned is that their disability (as some call it) is no disability at all and I think it makes them a better dog. They pay a lot more attention to you and, I think, are easier to train because there is no auditory stimulation. 

6-What’s the funniest experience you’ve had with them?

We got Pickles a week before Thanksgiving and she was just a puppy. The kids were cleaning up from dinner while my wife and I were watching football and from the dining room we heard, “Pickles is on the table! Pickles get off the table!” 

It appears that Pickles jumped onto the table and was just sitting there. So I called to the kids, “Hey! She’s deaf, remember?!” “Oh, yea!” was the reply and we got Pickles off the table but not before taking an all too cute picture of her just looking around.

6-How does having them in your life affect you as a police officer?

I’m much more aware of how Pit Bulls (which four of the five of ours are Pit Bull type) are portrayed in the media as horrible dogs that should be destroyed but the opposite is true. I have met many gentle, calm, good natured Pit Bull type dogs since getting my guys. They are truly a great breed that has been used by an portion of the population for nefarious purposes and the breed, not the people, have suffered for it. I try to correct peoples’ perception about Pit Bull type dogs whenever I can

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We invite our readers to participate with us in a novel writing project by submitting a paragraph or a chapter to the story below.  

A. R. Graham.  (Editor Coronado Clarion)



By Alan Graham

Anza-Borrego Desert 2025.

A nuclear disaster 10 years earlier has left the major metropolitan population centers desolate and abandoned, all that remains are disparate groups who roam the desert like ancient nomads.

A group of bikers have become the dominating force and are seeking to expand even further. Terrifying in numbers and ferocity they invade all sectors looting and pillaging like the ancient Mongols.

A group of peace loving survivalists who twenty years earlier had built a desert sanctuary in preparation for such a catastrophic event.

They have named their community Eden.

Work In Progress:


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Evgeny Yorobe Artiste