2005-08 posts.

  1. 2005-08-05t18:31:56Z. RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering; Tech;. Faith; Philosophy;. Local. Math; Science;. Show Biz. Words.
  2. Youthful Dreamer. RE: Education. Life. Rambling.
  3. 2005-08-25t17:50:10Z. RE: Engineering; Tech;. Local. Show Biz.

2005-08-05t18:31:56Z | RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering; Tech;. Faith; Philosophy;. Local. Math; Science;. Show Biz. Words.

Cyber Life

Cyber Tech

Engineering; Tech;

Faith; Philosophy;

  • 'What Mister Rogers Shared With Me" by Amy Hollingsworth
    • I'm such a sucker for Fred Rogers, he was such an exceptional human being.
    • 'One of the things I enjoyed most about my friendship with Fred Rogers was the stories he told me from his childhood. It was Dr. McFarland, Fred's mentor in child development from his graduate studies, who noted that Fred was more connected to his childhood than anyone else she knew, that he hadn't "shed" the vestiges of childhood as most of us have. He was deeply in touch with the joys--and the pathos--of his younger years.

      One of those stories, which he related to me the summer before he died, reflects his keen sense of both. For Fred, perhaps the earliest prototype of a true "neighbor" took the form of an elderly woman who lived in his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. She was his grandmother's age, and everyone called her Mama Bell. Many times five-year-old Freddy (as he was called) would amble up her back-porch steps looking for a snack. He would arrive strategically on her back doorstep because it led straight to her kitchen, where she often made him his favorite treat--toast sticks.

      "Come for toast sticks, Freddy?" she would ask. One day Mama Bell asked Freddy if he would like to make the toast sticks on his own. Imagine his delight at being able to master what seemed like a grown-up task, as well as his pride at being entrusted with Mama Bell's specialty. He was prompted to put the bread in the toaster, allowed to slowly butter the toasted slice, and then top it off with a dollop of jam. Mama Bell even let him carefully cut the toast into four long sticks.

      Very soon after that encounter, Mama Bell got sick and died. Many decades later, Fred wondered if somehow Mama Bell had known she was reaching toward heaven and wanted Freddy to have this experience as a comfort to him, as a reminder of their unique friendship. Even though she was gone, he could now make toast sticks on his own, and he would always think of Mama Bell as he made them. Toast sticks may seem like a simple legacy, but they had a profound effect upon a young boy. '


  • Family to bury nudist fully clothed
    • What a sad little story. There is no indication in the story that Robert Norton was a nudist because he was perverted --stubborn and eccentric but not perverted or malicious. The story makes it sounds like Norton had uncompassionate neighbors and family.
    • The article is so short, so here's the whole thing:

      PEKIN, Illinois -- Even in death, Robert Norton's nakedness is a no-no. Norton, 82, spent four decades in and out of court fighting repeated arrests for gardening and wandering his yard in the nude. He said he wanted to be buried without any clothes, but his family is sending him to eternity wearing gray slacks and a matching shirt.

      "He's not going to be buried in the nude," said his brother, Jack Norton, a minister.

      Robert Norton's family said they hope to lay the years of controversy to rest Thursday when the World War II veteran is buried. Norton, who died Monday, had fought 20 indecency arrests since 1962, arguing that he had a constitutional right to public nakedness.

      Relatives say Norton suffered emotional problems after serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II. Prosecutors counter that he was just stubborn.

      Brenda Loete, who lived next door to Norton for a dozen years before he moved into a nursing home, said she never spoke to her neighbor.

      "We didn't really know him. We just had him arrested," Loete said. "Normally, if we had him arrested in the spring he'd be gone for the summer and we wouldn't have to worry about him until the next spring."

    • That Brenda Loete in particular sounds unkind.

Math; Science;

Show Biz

  • 'Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans [DoctorMacro.com.nyud.net:8090] ... high quality scans of famous screen stars and their movies, mostly from the 1940's and earlier, as well as a collection of film clips and movie summaries from the golden age of Hollywood. ' [MeFi]
    • Wow! This is impressive stuff to have free on the Web!
  • New Chapter in the Mystery of Marilyn: Her Own Words?
    • John W. Miner, currently 86, was an L.A. county prosecutor who was investigating Marilyn Monroe's death immediatelly after it happened in 1962-08-05. He attended the autopsy with Deputy Medical Examiner Thomas T. Noguchi MD. As part of his investigation, he got to listen to audio tapes by Dr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe's personal psychiatrist. Greenson died in 1979 and it is believed that the original tapes were destroyed. Miner had made transcripts of the tapes but had never revealed them because of a privacy promise he made to Greenson.  However, now that some are suggesting that Greenson is a suspect, Miner has released the tapes by first releasing himself from his promise with permission from Greenson's wife.
    • I don't like getting into personal, intimate details of people I don't really know. The content of the tapes are very personal, insightful, and juicy. In one sense the tapes are more revealing than photos or film because they were taken in private. However the implications that she had hope and was not suicidal, and that there was a possibility that she was murdered warrants a formal investigation esp. before the people in the know pass away (if they haven't already).
    • On the other hand Marilyn Monroe's legacy is already ensured.
    • The timing of this story with the anniversary of her death is suspicious.
    • Related:
      • Miner's Account of Monroe's Death
        • Details of the autopsy and the tapes by Miner.
        • Physical examination revealed no apparent cause of death.
        • Mysteriously, of the the samples: organs, brain, blood, urine, smears of genital, anal, and oral areas, stomach contents, everything vanished except for the blood and liver. The blood revealed knock-out chloral hydrate. The liver revealed a level of 13% of Nembutal barbiturate.
        • He rules out oral consumption of the Nembutal because there would have been  yellowing stains. He rules out injection of the Nembutal because there were no traces of perforation. This leads him to his conclusion: chloral hydrate was used to render her unconscious, followed by a lethal solution of Nembutal barbituate dissolved in water and delivered by enema. That would also explain the congestion and purple coloring in the large intestine.
        • [PHOTO: John Miner form LA prosecutor: evidence says Marilyn Monroe was murdered ]
      • Wikipedia


2005-08-25t17:48:19Z | RE: Education. Life. Rambling.
Youthful Dreamer

2005-08-25t05:10. A few minutes ago I woke myself up from a recurring nightmare. The specifics of these dreams change but the theme doesn't.

In this particular dream I was sitting in on the final of a college freshman chemistry class. (I only just now noticed that the classroom setting was more like a high school class as far as number of students, room size, setup of desks, etc. Odd.) In the dream I was a senior and I was only doing four classes that semester. Two of my other classes were senior level and I was doing all right in those classes. A third class I didn't really need and I had done the paper work to drop it after the second week. Through some quirk I needed to retake the chemistry class and I was planning to actually do it but I only did the first two weeks then I got busy and then all of the sudden it was finals week.

So there I was, a senior amongst freshman, feeling smug because of my seniority but also feeling guilty because I didn't belong there and that unless I could get the teacher to let me drop the class, then I would either get a very low grade, or fail.

The test was about to start so the instructor told everybody to pull out a notebook to take the test on. (In real life such tests are taken on fresh sheets but, hey!, it is a dream.) Since I wasn't prepared for the class, I had to borrow a notebook and the girl next to me was gracious enough to lend me one of hers. As I started paging through the notebook looking for blank pages to use for the test, I'm noticing the youthful script that she uses: it's largish, easy to read, and sort of chaotic. Then I start noticing some of the content. Apparently she has some personal notes and random thoughts all over the notebook. There were thoughts about her present life, personal ideas, the future. One line I remember started off with  "When I get married ...". I'm not reading any of her material in depth but I am now having additional guilt for having unintentional invasion of her privacy.

By then the teacher hag gotten to me with the exam question packet and had actually passed on to the next student and I was going to take the test.

That's when  I woke up.

As I said, this was a nightmare of a kind that I've had before. They deal with dread, guilt, fear, failure, and loneliness. They deal with youthful inability or overextension. There also seems to be a theme of mental structures I surround myself in order to look good to myself or feel good about myself.

Usually when I wake up from this sort of nightmare, I take a moment to acknowledge that it really was a dream. I also tell myself that I'm grown up now and I'm not really in high school or college or just starting to work. Then I dismiss the dream. However, this recurring nightmare theme is different from some stomach induced nightmare because I've had it before and because it was based upon real life experiences. This time I am trying to not merely dismiss the dream but face it head on. I can't change the past but I can influence how I view it and I can learn from it.

There is nothing wrong with being a youthful dreamer. I fully support free-association thinking, keeping a journal, thinking intimately, etc. However introversion can be a shield against extroversion. It is fine to bare my soul to myself but it should not hinder me from risking true communication with others. As I've said: "Naked upon the rock".

I also support trying to do as much as I can, but what I have learned is to be acknowledge that there are limits to my personal abilities and that I can overextend myself. There is heroism in trying whether it results in success or failure. While trying and succeeding is gleeful, trying and failing is bound to happen too. But apart from heroism, I think there is also wisdom that can only be attained by experience. This wisdom is not only about knowing the difference between things that I can change and things that I can't, but also about having a feel for the timing and execution of these things. This wisdom is not about excuses or blame. I think that there is also the issue of perspective and prioritizing --some things "must" be done more than others. The baby must be delivered. Food must be acquired.

Now I'm going to do something fun like work on the Crayola page on Wikipedia.

2005-08-25t17:50:10Z | RE: Engineering; Tech;. Local. Show Biz.

Engineering; Tech;

  • Making paper waterproof--and writable [news.com.com/...]
    • I love a genuine accidental discovery story! Plus it's a great twist on the implementation of nanotechnology.
    • 'Sally Ramsey, founder of Ecology Coatings, jerry-rigged an apparatus in her lab to show a chemical company representative how rapidly one of Ecology's coatings dries when exposed to ultraviolet light. To avoid making a mess, she put a piece of paper underneath the object she wanted to spray. When cleaning up, Ramsey exposed the paper to UV light to dry it and make it easier to throw away. On a whim, she checked to see if the coating, which was enhanced with nanoparticles, made the paper impervious to pencils or ink. "For a minute, I was really disappointed. I could write on it all over the place," she said. "Then something clicked." It turned out that the coating, in combination with the makeshift apparatus, made the paper waterproof without making it waxy, brittle or changing its other characteristics. The original piece of paper has been submerged in water since June 6. It hasn't dissolved and Ramsey's original writing is still on it. She once even took it out of the water, wrote on it some more, and submerged it again. '
    • 'Ideally, waterproof paper and labels produced by this process will be far cheaper than today's counterparts. Manufacturers today produce waterproof labels, but it requires embedding polypropylene fibers in paper. The process is expensive but also makes the paper waxy and tough. (Those rubbery parking tickets given out by some cities are made of such material.) Ecology claims its process will cost about 500 times less because ordinary paper can be used. Additionally, because paper manufacturers coat the paper they produce today, their chemical budget will stay roughly flat because they can substitute the new coating for the old one. Although the coating prevents mildew growth, Ramsey asserted that the material does not likely pose a health hazard. No toxic materials or fungicides were added. Mildew inhibition may come from the fact that the paper can't get moist. "This was a very happy accident," Ramsey said. '


  • What steps Chicago takes
    • A quick summary of the Chicago anti-panhandling law. Be wary of panhandlers and their possible unseen partners.
    • 'Chicago passed an anti-panhandling law in 2004 banning people from soliciting money throughout the city within 10 feet of a bus shelter or bus stop, a public transportation vehicle or facility, any vehicle parked on a public street or alley, a sidewalk cafe or restaurant, a gas station or within 10 feet in any direction of an ATM machine, bank or currency exchange. The fine for the first and second offenses within a 12-month period is $50. The fine for a third offense within a 12-month period is $100. There is no jail time required. Police said most of the violations have involved aggressive panhandlers.'

Show Biz

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