Waycross woman in court, accused of kicking death of toddler        
WAYCROSS, Ga. — A 42-year-old woman accused of killing a 3-year-old boy appeared in court Thursday morning. Karena Fay Warden is charged with murder and first degree child cruelty. According to the warrant, she kicked and punched Maliachi Smith in the body and head. The toddler was taken to the Mayo Health Clinic Saturday where […]
          '..to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 (no replies)        
'..The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.'

- Chloe Farand, France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040', July 6, 2017


'..Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.'

'Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air.

The decision to phase out the internal combustion engine heralds a new era of low-emission technologies with major implications for the auto industry, society and the environment.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC on Wednesday. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology."

Gove said the government's air quality plan, which is set to be officially announced later on Wednesday, was needed because gasoline and diesel engines contribute to health problems, "accelerate climate change, do damage to the planet and the next generation."

Roughly 40,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to a study published last year by the Royal College of Physicians. Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.

The timeline for ending sales of internal combustion engines mirrors one proposed in early July by France. President Emmanuel Macron has given the auto industry the same deadline to make the switch to cleaner tech.

"We are quite rightly in a position of global leadership when it comes to shaping new technology," Gove said.

- Charles Riley, Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040, July 26, 2017


Context

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

(Global) - '..a revolutionary shift to net zero emissions by 2080..'


'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

'..to develop a series of electric and hybrid aircraft..'


The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.'

          (To Heal) - Genesis - Driving the last spike (no replies)        
We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?


Genesis - Driving the last spike

Leaving my family behind me
not knowing what lay ahead
waving goodbye, as I left them in tears
remembering all we'd said

I looked to the sky, I offered my prayers
I asked Him for guidance and strength
but the simple beliefs of a simple man
lay in His hands, and on my head (my head)

I gave everything that they wanted
but still they wanted more
we sweat and we toiled
good men lost their lives
I don't think they knew what for

I sold them my heart
I sold them my soul
I gave everything I had
Ah, but they couldn't break my spirit
my dignity fought back
fightback

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked in gangs for all we were worth
the young boys pulling the wagons
We were digging the tunnel, shifting the earth
It was then that it happened.

No one knew how the cracks appeared,
but as it fell they all disappeared
stone fell like rain

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
(Can) Can you breathe?

The smoke cleared, the dust it settled
No one knew how many had died
All around there were broken men
They'd said it was safe, they'd lied
you could hear the cries, you could smell our fear
but good fortune that day was mine
and it occurred to me that the heart of a good man
it seems is hard to find.

Ah, can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked, how we worked like
the devil for our pay
through the wind, through the snow,
and through the rain

Blasting, and cutting through God's country like a knife
sweat stinging my eyes, there has to be a better life

Ah but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Will I ever go back again?
Will I ever see her face again?
O, I'll never forget that night
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Driving the last spike,
lifting and laying the track
with blistering hands,
the sun burning your back

Oh, but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Well I'll always remember that night,
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We followed the rail, we slept under the stars
digging in darkness, and living with danger
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
they'll never see the likes of us again.

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
(Don't) Don't you hear me?
(Don't) Don't you see?


Context

(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(In The Electric Universe) - '..Reading “The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences” caused me to reconsider my views on death..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style


Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross

You just feel what you want it to be

          The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.' (no replies)        
'..the "CityTree", a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.'

'(CNN) Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.

It causes seven million premature deaths a year, making it the largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization.

In urban areas, air quality is particularly problematic. More than 80% of people living in areas where pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. And given that by 2050 two thirds of the global population will be urban, cleaning up our cities' air is a matter of urgency.

One well-established way to reduce air pollutants is to plant trees, as their leaves catch and absorb harmful particulates.

But planting new trees is not always a viable option.

That's why the "CityTree", a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.

Moss is in the air

Each CityTree is just under 4 meters tall, nearly 3 meters wide and 2.19 meters deep, available in two versions: with or without a bench. A display is included for information or advertising.

Berlin-based Green City Solutions claims its invention has the environmental benefit of up to 275 actual trees.

But the CityTree isn't, in fact, a tree at all -- it's a moss culture.

"Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants," said Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions.

..

So far, around 20 CityTrees have been successfully installed, with each costing about $25,000.

..

Wu also argued that the CityTree is just one piece of a larger puzzle.

"Our ultimate goal is to incorporate technology from the CityTree into existing buildings," he said.

"We dream of creating a climate infrastructure so we can regulate what kind of air and also what kind of temperature we have in a city." '

- By Chris Giles, This 'tree' has the environmental benefits of a forest, June 8, 2017


Context

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

'The future of shipping is, without a doubt, silent and emission free.'


(Global Infrastructure Upgrade) - Mexico's former president: Global infrastructure needs an upgrade

'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

'..reductions in air pollution and lower costs .. moving to low-carbon electricity generation..'


Crowdfunding Focus Fusion (since May 6, 2014) - 'Focus Fusion: Clean Energy For All'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

June, 2017 - 'Renewable sources of energy have generated more electricity than coal and gas in Great Britain..'

          Here I go        
Hello all. Since I had to give up my Mac when I switched jobs, I haven't been blogging at all and that has made me so sad! I decided to re-enter the world of creepy diaries on the interwebz mostly because I want to chronicle a very new and important part of my life. My boy and I are getting a dog! This is a surprising, scary and exciting turn of events and I want to make sure I capture every minute of it.
Surprising, you say? Don't most people plan ahead and know that a dog is coming to them? Wouldn't it be the responsible thing to do to research a responsible breeder or apply to the humane society? How can one be "surprised" by dog ownership. Well it turns out the answer is simple.
Step 1) You get a new place where there is a fenced in backyard and they allow pets.
Step 2) Your boyfriend mentions to his mother that you are thinking about getting a dog and have started researching what it takes to acquire one from the local animal shelter.
Step 3) Your boyfriend and you have a discussion about waiting at least a couple months to get settled in both physically and financially before you get a cute fuzzy friend.
Step 4) Your hopefully-someday-mother-in-law calls her son and tells him that she just rescued a 3 and 1/2 month old puppy of unknown breed or origin from certain death at the kill shelter known as her local pound and is gifting it to you and your beloved.
*Important* This must all be done within a time frame of 3-6 days. We did in 3 just to be on the safe side.
So there you have it. Surprising yourself with a dog in 4 easy steps.
In all seriousness, I am very excited to meet the little pup. I hope to have more information, news and pictures soon.
          5 Top Tips To What Makes A Great Loan Modification Hardship Letter        
A well thought out and well written Loan Modification Hardship Letter can be the difference between success and failure when making a loan modification application. You must remember ever since the Obama Administration announced the new Loan Modification Plans And Programs back in March 2009, the majority of lenders have been inundated with applications.

So your letter needs to be clear, concise and if at all possible as unique as you can:-

1) Don't make excuses. Just describe in detail what the hardship is and why you are in this situation.

2) State what you have tried to do to overcome your current financial hardship.

3) You need to fully emphasize to your lender how important it is to you that you and your lender work together to resolve any problems.

4) Explain what your plans are to get yourself back on track with your mortgage repayments.

5) Don't beat around the bush. Be very clear and get to the point.

The Hardships that lenders will accept:-

- Death of a family member or the person who pays the mortgage

- Divorce

- Loss of your Job or Relocation

- Due to a reset variable rate your monthly mortgage repayments have increased
          Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity        
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
author: Katherine Boo
name: Marisa
average rating: 3.97
book published: 2012
rating: 4
read at: 2015/11/01
date added: 2015/11/01
shelves:
review:


          Files lost after iPhone Stuck on Apple Logo? Use MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS        
Sometimes, you may encounter “iPhone stuck on Apple logo” issue when you want to jailbreak your device or update the iOS version. Moreover, hardware failure is another cause of this issue. When this issue happens, your iPhone is stuck on white Apple logo screen of death, and you are unable to turn the device on […]
          Economy Candy Founder Moishe Cohen's Sweet Lower East Side Legacy        

Moishe Cohen, the man we have to thank for Economy Candy, the sugar haven on New York City’s Lower East Side, died last week at 97. Cohen opened the Rivington Street shop in 1937, when he was 19, and the store quickly made a name for itself with its cheap candy, enormous selection, and haimish atmosphere. That reputation has lasted, and Economy Candy is a regular stop for tourists and New Yorkers alike, who are all won over by the place’s old-school charm.

The store, which is now run by Moishe’s grandson, Mitchell Cohen, announced the death on its Facebook page: “It is with great sadness and fond memories that we share with the Economy Candy family that we lost Morris ‘Moishe’ Cohen, the Original Candy Man at the age of 97.” The comments below the post, many of which were written by former Economy Candy employees, are a moving testament to Moishe’s character. “The man was my boss and also like a father to us,” one comment said. “Thanks for taking care of me and making me the man I’ve became,” said another. Two employees from the 1970s fondly remembered getting to drive Cohen’s Lincoln continental for pickups and deliveries.

Continue reading "Economy Candy Founder Moishe Cohen's Sweet Lower East Side Legacy" at...


          Et un nouveau morceau pour Mordatorium        
Mordatorium vient de sortir un nouveau morceau, "Biting Cold", qui sera sur son prochain opus, Obsessed with Death...
          The Shadow of Death, Les Foulards Rouges, saison 3 épisode 6, Cécile Duquenne        
Je prends de plus en plus mon temps pour lire les épisodes des Foulards Rouges. Parce que c'est bientôt la fin et que je ne veux pas que ça finisse. Bon, sachant que je ne peux rien faire à cette fin à part la lire, et bien je fais durer.

The Shadow of Death, Les Foulards Rouges, saison 3 épisode 6, Cécile Duquenne

Editeur : Bragelonne
Collection : Snark
Année de parution : 2017
Format : epub

A lire si : 
- Vous avez lu et aimé la première et la seconde saisons
- Vous voulez une série qui mélange les genres avec bonheur

A ne pas lire si :
-... (toujours pas trouvé pourquoi il ne faudrait pas les lires, les Foulards Rouges)
- Par contre, si vous n'avez pas lu les deux premières saisons, autant éviter (tout comme de lire mes avis d'ailleurs)

Présentation de l'éditeur :

Retrouvez Lara et Renaud dans la dernière saison des Foulards rouges !

Mon avis

Nous voilà presque à la fin de cette saison trois et de la série tout court. Je ne veux pas que cela se finisse. Je suis prête à faire un caprice si cela servait. Bon, je sais que ça ne sert à rien, alors je ne le ferais pas. Pis j'aime pas quand ma fille en fait, alors je vais pas commencer moi (quoique...). Cet avant dernier épisode est tout simplement très éprouvant pour les nerfs de tout le monde, personnage, lecteur et même surement autrice elle-même. Autant le dire, l'étau se referme et nous voilà dans la dernière ligne droite, celle qui marquera la fin, d'un côté comme de l'autre. Une fin qui ne me semble pas si simple que cela, et qui d'après moi annonce encore quelques surprises, voire même des larmes. 

A présent, passons à la partie à spoiler de cet avis, comme à chaque fois.

/!\ SPOILER (en gros et en rouge, comme ça, vous êtes prévenus !)

Le dernier cliffhanger (cette machine inventé par les Enfers), me faisait presque dire qu'il y avait encore de l'espoir dans cette aventure. C'était sans compter sur l'autrice, qui n'a jamais épargné les personnages et les lecteurs de ces histoires. Numéro Trois s'est barrée de l'Hacienda, Lara, Nikki, Claudia, Fraan et Marine se ruent à sa poursuite, suivant des traces bien trop évidentes. Toi aussi, lecteur, tu sais ce que cela veut dire. Un piège. L'ennemie n'est pas encore morte, elle a même quelques tours dans sa manche.

La première partie est bourrée d'action, la seconde aussi et Lara est au centre de tout cela. C'est étrange d'avoir un épisode entier presque entièrement portée par la jeune femme, surtout quand on a l'habitude de les voir divisés entre elle et Renaud. Bon, de temps en temps, Claudia ou Nikki prennent les rênes de la narration, mais ça tourne toujours autours de Lara. Faut dire que Renaud est en fâcheuse posture, très fâcheuse même, dans les mains de Numéro Trois. Une nouvelle fois. Je dois avouer que le voir comme ça me serre le cœur. Pour moi, Renaud, c'est le pilier, celui qui est toujours là. En fait, le voir comme ça renverse un peu cette vision et j'apprécie finalement cela. En fait, j'apprécie quand les schémas sont bousculés et que c'est bien fait, comme ici. Cécile Duquenne ne le fait pas souffrir pour rien. Ben non, sa souffrance alimente un peu plus Lara, la pousse à faire des choses qu'elle n'aurait pas forcément fait. La pousse aussi à prendre la place qui semble lui revenir de droit. 

Lara est l'héroïne de la série. C'est elle qui la porte depuis le début. Mais elle ne le fait jamais seule, elle a besoin d'une impulsion, de quelque chose qui la fait agir et surtout qui semble la faire grandir un peu plus. Ici, c'est le sort de Renaud en premier, celui de ses amis, de sa famille, et puis des Bagnards. Elle ne fait pas tout cela par pur altruisme, elle le fait pour sauver ce qu'elle aime. C'est quelque chose que j'aime beaucoup en elle. Elle n'a rien d'une super héroïne et agis de manière très humaine. Comme dans cet épisode finalement où elle agit sous le coup de la colère, de la haine mais aussi de l'amour pour ses proches. C'est ainsi que du coup, elle se retrouve à pourchasser Numéro Trois pour enfin lui mettre une balle dans la tête et arrêter le calvaire qu'elle endure depuis son apparition dans sa vie. Et je dois dire que cette partie-là est assez éprouvante vu que Lara tombe un peu dans la folie meurtrière qu'elle m'avait semblé avoir à peu prés réussi à éloigner d'elle jusque là. J'ai parfois eu l'impression qu'elle devenait une sorte de Numéro Trois face à moi et non la Lara que je connaissais jusque là. C'est assez étrange comme impression surtout quand on connait un peu le plan de la dite Numéro Trois. J'avoue que là, j'attends avec impatience l'épisode suivant pour voir où tout cela va finir par mener Lara (je les sens les larmes aussi qui vont surement couler à la fin). Surtout après ce p***ain de cliffhanger (là, Cécile, tu as fait fort, purée, c'est quand la suite déjà ?).

Pour finir, j'ai hâte de lire la suite. Même si c'est la fin de la série. Je veux connaitre le sort de certains personnages (Marine Carax est-elle toujours vivante ? Renaud ? sans parler des autres). Vivement la fin du mois !

          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 



 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.


On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 



They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 




At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 


Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred


His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM




An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.


BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 






He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.




Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.


Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information



Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 



Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.






The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 



The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.



An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 



In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 


About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.



They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.




In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.


He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Philadelphia
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Annapolis
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Trenton
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790


Editor’s Note: The Showalter grand jury is noteworthy in that forces for justice – Judge Joseph Dannehy, Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan and as many as 17 Connecticut State Police detectives – could only knock down some of the walls protecting New London Police, State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti, Asst. State’s Attorney Harold Dean, Judge Angelo Santaniello, former Mayor Harvey Mallove and others who escaped complete discovery. The cover-up continues to this day, highlighted by the suppression and disappearance of the grand jury transcripts.




The foundation for investigative reporting in this case was developed by John Peterson, who was managing editor of The Norwich Bulletin during the grand jury. The grand jury began hearing testimony on July 5, 1977
.








Special Prosecutor McGuigan became Chief State’s Attorney, then was fired after convicting appointees of the governor and many other public officials.

---
Chronology, Grand Juror Report, Follow-up Columns
Via
Law And Justice In Everyday Life, CT Law Tribune


F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

APPENDIX

THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


New London, Ct.

1973

December 24

Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

December 25

Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

1974

February 6

FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

February 7

Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

February 28

New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

April 20

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

April 23

Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

June 4

Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

June 10

Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

June 24

Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

July 2

Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

July 9

Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

July 10

Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

July 25

Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

August 6

Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

August 9

Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

August 15

Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

August 20

Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

August 28

The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

August 31

Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

November, 1974

After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

1975

January 24

A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

“We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

March 19-22

The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

- Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

- Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

- Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

- A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

July 12

The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

July 21

A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

November 8

The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

December 10

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

1976

January 6

Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

January 9

Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

February 19

In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

“The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

February 23

Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

April 2

Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

May 6

Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

August 6

State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

August 30

Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

September 1

Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

September 23

State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

November 23

Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

“I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

December 21

Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

“I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

“The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

December 24

Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

1977

January 4

Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

February 8

State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

April 18

Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

May 10

State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

May 18

State police again film and re-create death scene.

June 22

The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

June 23

More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

June 24

Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

July 5

The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

July 6

Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

July 7

Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

July 12

Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

July 13

New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

July 14

Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

July 19

The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

July 20

The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

July 21

Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

July 26

The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

July 27

The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

July 28

Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

August 30

New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

Peterson testifies for three hours.

August 31

The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

September 1

Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

September 2

Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

September 12

Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

September 18

Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

September 19

One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

September 26

Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

October 3

Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

October 11

Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

“They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

“Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

October 17

The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

October 24

The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

November 14

The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

November 21

State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

November 29

The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

December 7

The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

1978

Feb. 17 Report filed.

Feb. 22

Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.


    Find & Open
    the Showalter File

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    Drawing on her training as an attorney, Moriarty has examined some of the most important social and legal issues of the day, including DNA testing of evidence in death-row cases, the abortion controversy and battered women's syndrome. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School shootings and the 9/11 investigation, overseas. Her exclusive behind-the-scenes report on the defense of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was broadcast on "60 Minutes" in 1997.

    Moriarty has received numerous honors, including nine national Emmy Awards.



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  • Brief highlights of Caporino case:

    Excerpts from

  • more COOL JUSTICE

  • Chapter 4

    *

    Did Gabe Caporino just disappear or were hidden forces at play? AT

    *

    Gabe Caporino, a 40-year-old corporate executive from Westchester, NY, never returned to his wife and two teenage daughters after a business trip in 1974. The night he disappeared, Gabe Caporino spoke with his wife and daughters, asking about a school parents' night and confirming a dinner date with friends for the weekend.

    *

    There isn’t much of a trail for Gabe Caporino, but we know a good bit of what police did and did not do in the crucial days following his disappearance on Thursday, March 7, 1974. We also know some of what his employer, the General Foods corporation, did and did not do.

    *

    Under pressure from Gabe Caporino’s wife, Grace, now a retired teacher and recognized Holocaust scholar, General Foods sent a team to New Orleans over the weekend. One of them, Bill Bevans of the personnel department, snatched Gabe Caporino’s briefcase from his hotel room. The other GF team members were security director Jack Edward Ison, who had been an FBI agent for nine years; and White Plains, NY police detective James Lynch.

    “Our chief of security Jack Ison will ... take over this investigation,” GF personnel director Frank Dorito told Grace Caporino.

    Indeed, he did.

    On Sunday, March 10, 1974, Ison and his colleagues met privately with New Orleans police, barring members of the Caporino family. This crucial meeting presaged, if it did not predestine, the shocking and abysmal refusal of the New Orleans Police Department to follow up on basic and compelling leads, including the forgery of Gabe Caporino's credit card four days after he was reported missing. This forgery was ultimately documented by the FBI crime lab. Significantly, a Sears employee who witnessed three individuals using Gabe’s credit card recanted after a visit by New Orleans police ...

    ... Officer Roma Kent, who went on to work as a federal public defender, got the clerk to change his story ...

    *

    CBS producer Barbara Gordon, on assignment in 1974, put it this way: “The New Orleans Police Department is holding hands with General Foods and there is a cover-up down here.”

    The Gabe Caporino case was the subject of a CBS documentary produced by Gordon and reported by Chris Borgen, a retired New York City narcotics detective. The program aired beginning in May 1974 on the show Eye On New York. It was rebroadcast in New York and several times throughout the country on local affiliates – but not in New Orleans.

    As the air date neared, Borgen told Grace Caporino the reporting team received threats that GF might pull advertising from CBS. Borgen recounted the phone call from a GF public relations staffer: “This documentary is not in our best interests. We have a significant advertising budget with CBS.”

    *



    New Orleans police ... reported the discovery of Gabe Caporino’s rental car in a way that could not have occurred.

    His rented car was found abandoned about 10 days later in front of a school by Spain and [N.]Ramparts streets with the keys stuck outside the vehicle in the door lock. Police officers told me a car in this location with the keys outside the vehicle might have lasted there up to an hour. Additionally, any fingerprints left in or on the car were wiped off.

    “It is certainly not the kind of place where a new car would sit for a week with the keys in the door,” said Gabe Caporino’s nephew Anthony Emma, who made two trips to New Orleans in 1974. “Certainly not the kind of place a new car would sit even locked up without being disturbed for a week ... I always found that hard to believe.”



    *

    As time went on and the Caporino family struggled to survive, General Foods appealed the awarding of benefits to the widow and children multiple times. At one of the hearings, Jack Edward Ison admitted he was the source of the smears about Gabe Caporino in law enforcement files.

    A hearing officer asked Ison: “How do you know this about Mr. Caporino?”

    “Just things you hear people say,” Ison responded. He was not pressed to elaborate.

    In a particularly disturbing incident on March 16, 1974 – the day that would have been Gabe Caporino’s 41st birthday – family, friends and neighbors gathered at the home in Yorktown Heights. Ison called Grace Caporino. She told Ison family and friends did not want her to be alone on that day. Ison paused and said: “Well, if Gabe has any heart, surely he'll call you on his birthday. Bye, I’ve got to go.”

    *

    October, 2011. NEW ORLEANS, LA – Thirty seven years ago – with several police officers crowding her – Grace Caporino briefly touched and read a number of pages in a 3-inch-high stack of reports about her missing husband. After a few minutes, they forced her to leave. Today, the New Orleans Police Department still doesn’t want to know or hear anything about the Gabe Caporino case – or the reports ... *

    The current New Orleans police superintendent, Ronal Serpas, ignored two certified letters she sent him last year ...

    The New Orleans Police Department – notorious as perhaps the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history – has routinely engaged in public executions of civilians. The coroner tends to call these homicides slips and falls or accidents, even when someone’s face and teeth are kicked in and various body parts have hemorrhaged. Officers have worked as cocaine dealers on the job, hired hitmen to kill civilians, stolen from car dealers and held up liquor stores in uniform. Officers have been heard on police scanners saying: “Is he dead yet? No. Kill him now. String him up by the balls.”

    A short list of recent convictions includes two officers who beat and kicked a local man to death, then covered it up. In the infamous Danzgier bridge trial, also this year, five current and former officers were found guilty of shooting six civilians – killing two of them – and covering it up. Those local citizens were walking to a grocery store.

    Civilians filming police assaulting civilians are routinely charged with inciting a riot. After police shot and killed unarmed trombone player Joe Williams, returning from a jazz funeral in 2004, officers broke up a memorial service for the popular member of the Hot 8 Brass Band. Local attorney Mary Howell told the PBS show Frontline police advised her that “merely having a video camera or camera in a situation like this where the police are interacting with the community was considered to be inciting a riot.”

    After Hurricane Kartina, the National Rifle Associaton sued New Orleans Police for stripping law-abiding citizens of their ability to defend themselves. “They just stole people’s guns and weapons,” Howell said.

    The unofficial body count from Hurriance Katrina is upwards of 1,500. “We do not have a clear understanding of how many people were shot and killed by the New Orleans Police Department,” Howell told Frontline.

    Of course, there are also many officers who keep their oath to protect and serve no matter what the risk from criminals and buffoons in the streets or among their ranks and supervisors ...

    *

    August, 2012

    ... the New Orleans Police Department actually admitted it had failed to comply with the Louisiana public records law. This happened through a series of depositions of detectives and other personnel [in a Freedom of Information lawsuit in Parish Court] ... “Nobody has gone digging through those files specifically looking for a file relative to the disappearance of Gabe Caporino, have they?” The question was posed by ... attorney, Brett Prendergast.

    “No, sir,” Detective Gwen Guggenheim responded.

    ... A supervised search of the NOPD “storage area” [revealed the following from] ... a dimly-lit and musty room on the second floor by the NOPD parking garage.

    Most of the boxes of files were covered with layers of grime and old insulation. He had to move evidence including sections of a chain-link fence to get at the boxes.

    The files dated from 1890 to the present. Besides homicide cases, there were also files for juvenile offenses and sex crimes.

    There was not a single missing persons file in storage ...

    ... As recently as 1995, then-Police Superintendent Richard Pennington had a detective review the Caporino case and all the reports and documents. Now, the official word is, the file does not exist – just as missing persons don't officially exist ...

    *

    Retired General Foods investigator Emil Monda, reached ... on the West Coast, said about the Caporino case: “We always thought there was foul play, but never came up with anything.”

    Monda said he did not know why the New Orleans Police failed to follow leads including the forgery of Caporino’s credit card ...


              India 3rd largest target to witness most terror activities, says report issued by US foreign ministry        

    According to reports issued by America, India reaches rank 3rd in the list of countries affected by terrorism. In this list, India also leaves behind Pakistan, which has lessor number of deaths and casualties by terrorism.

    Domain: 
    India
    Home Title: 

    India 3rd largest target to witness most terror activities, says report issued by US foreign ministry

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    No
    YT Code: 
    http://vodakm.zeenews.com/vod/2307_ZN_YB_AMERICA.mp4/index.m3u8
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              Support your local library        



    Special thanks to Sprague (CT) Public Library Director Chris Kolar, staffers and volunteers, who hosted a lively discussion on judicial and political corruption Sept. 22 ...

    Here is a 2014 interview with Kolar regarding her service and the library's renovation, via The Norwich Bulletin:






  • Kolar Q & A







  • Kolar said more than 80 library patrons and guests participated in the Sept. 22 event, which focused on patterns of suspects having their hooks into cops, judges and prosecutors.



    Cases cited via the books more COOL JUSTICE and
    Law and Justice in Everyday life included the hit-run death of Kevin Showalter in New London and the disappearance / homicide of Mary Badaracco in the northwest Connecticut town of Sherman. The group also discussed police and prosecutorial misconduct, the Bonnie Foreshaw case and the use of teams of private detectives to dig up dirt on cops, doctors, a prosecutor and children in the Woody Allen sex assault case.


    Best Intro Ever by a Librarian

    Kolar opened the evening with a few short videos:








  • Foreshaw case in 50 seconds
























  • What is more COOL JUSTICE?

















  • Also, the beginning of this video via Huffington Post:








  • Yale's Bogus Woody Allen report









  • Then, Kolar said, "Our guest speaker wandered in off the street tonight and needed someone to talk to ... "


  • Showalter case background



  • Badaracco case background


  • As I visit various libraries around the state, my appreciation grows for the service and capabilities of our hard-working librarians.

    -- AT






  • more COOL JUSTICE








  •           Hit-and-Run Chronology, Grand Jury Report & Follow-up Columns, Re; Library Discussion 9-22-16        

    Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial




  • Cool Justice Editor's Note:
    This post is primarily for patrons and guests of the Sprague Public Library, who might participate in a discussion on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. A link to announcements of that event is at the very bottom of this post. Thanks for reading, AT.


    Via
    Law And Justice In Everyday Life


    F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

    This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

    APPENDIX

    THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


    New London, Ct.

    1973

    December 24

    Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

    There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

    Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

    Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

    Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

    December 25

    Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

    In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

    New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

    1974

    February 6

    FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

    February 7

    Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

    During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

    February 28

    New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

    April 20

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

    On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

    April 23

    Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

    June 4

    Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    June 10

    Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

    June 24

    Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

    July 2

    Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

    July 9

    Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

    July 10

    Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

    July 25

    Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

    Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

    Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

    August 6

    Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

    Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

    August 9

    Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    August 15

    Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

    Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

    Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

    August 20

    Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

    August 28

    The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

    Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

    Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

    August 31

    Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

    November, 1974

    After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

    1975

    January 24

    A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

    “We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

    March 19-22

    The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

    - Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

    - Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

    - Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

    - A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

    The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

    April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

    July 12

    The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

    July 21

    A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

    November 8

    The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

    December 10

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

    1976

    January 6

    Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

    January 9

    Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

    February 19

    In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

    Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

    “The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

    February 23

    Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

    April 2

    Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

    May 6

    Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

    State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

    August 6

    State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

    August 30

    Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

    September 1

    Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

    Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

    September 23

    State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

    Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

    November 23

    Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

    “I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

    Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

    December 21

    Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

    John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

    “I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

    Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

    An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

    “The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

    December 24

    Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

    1977

    January 4

    Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

    McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

    February 8

    State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

    Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

    April 18

    Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

    The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

    May 10

    State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

    May 18

    State police again film and re-create death scene.

    June 22

    The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

    June 23

    More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

    June 24

    Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

    July 5

    The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

    Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

    The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

    Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

    July 6

    Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

    Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

    Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

    On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

    Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

    Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

    Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

    July 7

    Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

    Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

    A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

    July 12

    Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

    Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

    July 13

    New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

    The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

    McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

    Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

    There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

    July 14

    Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

    At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

    July 19

    The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

    July 20

    The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

    July 21

    Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

    A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

    July 26

    The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

    On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

    Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

    July 27

    The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

    Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

    July 28

    Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

    Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

    Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

    The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

    August 30

    New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

    Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

    Peterson testifies for three hours.

    August 31

    The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

    It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

    State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

    September 1

    Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

    September 2

    Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

    Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

    Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

    September 12

    Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

    Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

    September 18

    Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

    Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

    September 19

    One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

    Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

    September 26

    Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

    October 3

    Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

    The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

    October 11

    Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

    “They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

    I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

    “Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

    October 17

    The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

    In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

    State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

    October 24

    The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

    November 14

    The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

    November 21

    State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

    November 29

    The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

    Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

    Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

    Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

    Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

    In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

    In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

    Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

    In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

    In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

    Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

    December 7

    The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

    The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

    After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

    The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

    After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

    1978

    Feb. 17 Report filed.

    Feb. 22

    Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.







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  •           NEW: RFK Jr. says ‘recent forensic evidence’ points to two shooters in his father’s assassination         


    Robert F. Kennedy flanked by union organizers Dolores Huerta (left) and Paul Schrade (right). Huerta co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers. Schrade, also a union organizer, was one of five others wounded when RFK was assassinated in 1968.
    - Photo courtesy of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund


    Cool Justice:
    RFK Jr. points to forensic evidence of second gunman in his father’s assassination
    By Andy Thibault


    Buried on page 271 of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s new book on the Skakel murder case in Greenwich is a quick, but telling reference to his father’s assassination.

    As part of my summer reading I highlighted the passage. I had a visceral sense it was important.

    Kennedy family members rarely have spoken publicly about the assassinations of either President John Kennedy or U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, much less criticized the official findings. The passage is noteworthy for the simple fact it is memorialized in a book. It is not just a comment in an interview.

    This angle deserves serious attention, and so it wasn’t shoehorned into the column published Aug. 5 on the Greenwich murder case, “COOL JUSTICE: RFK Jr. attacks prosecutors, cops, courts for willful misconduct as he asserts cousin Skakel’s innocence.”

  • Aug. 5 column

  • Some of Kennedy’s claims and his book investigating the murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich in 1975 have been panned by the state Judicial Department and other authors who chronicled the case. A state Supreme Court ruling on whether Skakel will face a retrial or be sent back to prison is expected this fall. A senior judge ruled in 2013 that Skakel did not receive a fair trial when he was convicted of the Moxley murder in 2002. Skakel was freed on bond after serving 11 years of a sentence of 20 years to life in jail.

    That covers a lot of ground, and the next court decision will be big news. It seems to me the “footnote” on page 271 also is big news.

    Following are two paragraphs from Kennedy’s book, “Framed, Why Michael Skakel Spent Over A Decade In Prison For A Murder He Didn’t Commit,” leading up to the clincher paragraph on the RFK assassination:

    “I sympathize deeply with Dorthy Moxley [Martha’s mother]. I have seen up-close the agony of a mother’s grief over the loss of her child. my mother lost her husband to murder and two of her sons to violent, untimely deaths in the bosom of their youth. I was with her when my father died. I stood beside her 29 years later as my little brother Michael died in her arms.

    “My mother told us that we needed to let go of our impulse for revenge and allow the cycle of violence to end with our family. This, she said, was the lesson of the New Testament, which swapped the savage eye-for-an-eye tribalism of the Old Testament for the ethical mandate that we turn the other cheek. But forgiveness wasn’t just ethics. It was salutary. Revenge and resentments, my mother said, are corrosive. Indulging them is like swallowing poison and hoping someone else will die. By opposing the death penalty for Sirhan, we diluted these poisonous passions.

    “And what if, God forbid, the object of our revenge turns out to be innocent? For several decades, my father’s close friend Paul Schrade [in recent photo, right], who took one of Sirhan’s bullets, has argued that Sirhan Sirhan did not fire the shot that killed my father. Recent forensic evidence supports him. How would we have felt now, if our family had demanded his execution?”

    Like most Americans, I had not paid much attention to the forensic details regarding the RFK murder. What kind of evidence was RFK Jr. referring to? What is the significance of his dropping this tidbit toward the end of a book on another subject?

    Robert F. Kennedy was shot just after midnight on June 5, 1968 in the back and in the back of the head at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He had been celebrating his California primary win in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Kennedy had become a vigorous opponent of the Vietnam War and an advocate for civil rights, unions and racial justice. His death came just two months after the murder of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    The renowned forensic pathologist and medical school professor, Dr. Cyril Wecht, assisted Los Angeles Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Noguchi in efforts to secure the Kennedy body and perform the autopsy. I reached out to Wecht this week to talk about the new Kennedy statement and the evidence cited by Paul Schrade and others.

    Regarding Robert Kennedy Jr.’s statement in the new book, Wecht commented: “I think it’s commendable. I wish he had done it sooner.”


    Letter presented this year to California parole officials by Paul Schrade


  • Complete column at Litchfield County Times


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  •           Coming Into Seed        
    Coming Into Seed
    The rainy season came and went, the explosion of spring flowers has quieted down, and was replaced by lacy white flowers from the carrot family. Now that the rain stopped completely, we seems to be entering a period of gradual death. First some of the wild oats has taken the bright colour of gold, and bit by bit all the lush green wile plants are changing into the summer foliage: slimmer, and at times thorny leaves that will prevent loss of moisture in the upcoming months.

    Artedia squamata
    I've been through this season at least twenty times before, but never experienced it this way. There is so much beauty in this late spring, entering summertime. The intolerable heat of summer is inevitable but it is not here quite yet. And there are still plenty of flowers: hollyhocks, lacy white doilies of wild carrots, Queen Anne's Lace and many other from the umbellifera family. The tiny ones look like floating bubbles, the medium ones stick together to form bridal gowns of the wildest designs, and the largest of all make a fashion statement like an Italian straw hat that a famous actress would wear.

    Artedia squamata

    All of the spring flowers (except of the late bloomers that are still churning up pollen and nectar) have already gone to seeds. My brothers and I are collecting some of our favourites (e.g., Ricotia lunaria) and spread them around so they will grow in more places next year. There is magic in knowing that within all that dry death that came upon the flowers - there is promise for much life and continuity next year. It somehow makes me feel better about my grandmother too.
              Homily: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time        
    This Sunday we hear a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus continues teaching about a new way to live and love. Author Krista Tippett in her recent book reminds us that law and politics are unable to really tell us what matters in life, what matters in a death, how to love, and how we can be of service to each other. “These are the kinds of questions religion arose to address.” But it would seem many egocentric people (many who even call themselves religious) are still focused on using the laws to determine who they feel is in and who is not. Yet Christ reminds us that we are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, so that we may be in right relationship with God. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you?! Really? Isn’t that a bit over the top?
              Workplace Falls Are a Leading Cause of Employee Deaths        
    According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are a leading cause of workplace deaths. Falls represent 39% of all construction workplace deaths and account for around 350 deaths in construction jobs per year. OSHA requires employers to set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling and injuring themselves. Employers are required to […]
              Dr Iain Todd        

    Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death earlier today of past president Dr Iain Todd.  He was 92.

    Dr Todd was President in season 1995-96, a momentous year for rugby union as the game became professional at the start of that term.

    Scotland won three of their four games in the then Five Nations Championship that season, including a magnificent 19-14 home victory over France, to sit alongside successes in Dublin and Cardiff.


              Richard Logg        

    Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of club player Richard Logg on 26 December, as the result of a car accident on Christmas Eve, while on the way to visit family in Kilmarnock.

    Richard, who was 37, played for Ayr RFC from minis to 1st XV level and went on to be a key member of Edinburgh Northern, whom he joined in 2009.


              Frank Hannan - Ardrossan Accies        

    Ardrossan Academicals RFC was saddened to learn of the very sudden death on Sunday (23 November) of one of its former members, Frank Hannan who was aged 73.

    Many will remember Frank with great fondness as a very personable and likeable Irishman (born in Limerick) who refereed out of Memorial Field for several years in the 70s, throughout the 80s and into the early 90s.


              Jaded and Disillusioned        

    Look, I'm no different from you. All of this bullshit is wearing me out, too. The BLS cranks out 158,000 make believe "jobs" via the birth/death model and they also throw on 393,000 part-time jobs. All of this is trumpeted as a sign of a "surging US economy" and used as cover to spike the dollar and smash Comex silver by 2.5%. It's all just one big, massive freaking scam.

    read more


              Ben Bradley & Roy Sorensen        
    Did Farrah Fawcett become even worse off after she died? ... Reasons to care about Grandpa's will ... Can 4-dimensionalism soothe the fear of death? ... How can an early death be bad if a late birth isn't? ... Our weird intuitions about James Dean's life ... Would it be irrational to pass up a chance at immortality? ...
              Avoiding Death by A Thousand Cuts        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. Time.  You never seem to have enough of it and it is the great equalizer of companies of any size whether they realize it or not.  In a startup, you have a limited amount of time to get everything done so that you have a strong product launch before your funds […]
              Death at local correctional facility        

    According to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, an inmate at the county correctional facility apparently strangled himself to death while alone in his cell.

    read more


              Foss League cricket: Salman Syed shatters Tigers at the death        
    SALMAN SYED was Retreat first team’s match-winner as the Foss Evening Cricket League got under way.
              JUDGE RULES NY TURKEY HUNT        
    When I first saw the Taurus International Judge revolver at the 2007 Shot Show it was being promoted as a self-protection gun and actually got its name because judges in high crime areas of Miami, Florida were purchasing them for personal defense in their courtrooms.

    The Judge is chambered for .410 bore shot shells and the .45 colt cartridge, which makes it very versatile. But my thoughts had nothing to do with self defense, but rather with small game hunting in New York State and, turkey in several other states where it is legal and where I hunt each year.


    My Judge, has been involved in some very interesting, enjoyable and exciting hunts, and it has issued the death sentence to a number of NYS rabbits and squirrel, a Pennsylvania eastern turkey, a Texas Rio Grande turkey, and several nasty rattlesnakes. And last week, due to changes in the New York State hunting regulations, a Saratoga wild turkey.

    These new 2010 turkey hunting regulation state “You may hunt with a shotgun or handgun only when using shot no larger that No. 2 and no smaller than No. 8.” You still are not allowed to take a turkey with a rifle, or with a handgun firing a bullet. My turkey hunting ammunition choice for this hunt was Federal Premium 2 1/2 inch No. 4 shot.

    On my first day in the turkey woods with the Judge I had a jake at no more than 10 feet from me. I had the hammer drawn and was about to end the hunt when I heard a loud gobble from across the field and saw a big tom which I assumed was headed for me. I gently lowered the hammer to wait for the bigger bird and ended up with neither. The jake was scared off by the gobbler and I have no idea what scared the gobbler. But on my second time out I did a bit more planning and scouting; and so as not to be tempted to use my regular turkey gun, I left it home in the cabinet.

    I was hunting in northern Saratoga County where I had put a big tom with his ladies to bed. I actually watched them two nights and felt confident that I knew their routine. The next afternoon around 1 p.m. I came in the backside of where I thought the turkeys would be and found some very thick brush near the field they had been flying down to; or so I thought. I cut three shooting lanes in the brush no larger than a dinner plate; one on the left, right and in front. My goal was to get a shot at no more than 10 yards. And before I left I placed my two decoy stakes just 5 paces from where I would be hiding. I wanted this gobbler in close.

    Early the next morning almost an hour before legal shooting time I slipped into the field, put my decoy bodies out and climbed into my natural blind to wait to see what happen. Perhaps 10 minutes before legal shooting time there was a gobble right where I hoped it would be and for a few minutes I talked with him to be sure he knew exactly where I was. But when he finally flew off his roost it was not into the field but rather away from me. I immediately called and he answered; but he did not come; he was answering, but moving away.

    For about an hour he did not answer any of my calls and I thought it was over. And then he gobbled on his own and when I yelped he answered, I thought for sure this time he was coming. But again he stayed in the woods and only answered me every once in awhile. My thoughts were that he had to be with hens and he refused to leave them. I continued to call but did not get any response. Then, about 45 minutes later he gobbled from behind me sending chills up and down my spine; he was very close to me and I dare not move. I did however get my thumb on the hammer of the Judge.

    It seemed like forever before he moved but when he did I could hear his spitting and drumming as he moved and came in on my left. He actually scraped against the bush I was hidden in. Slowly I raised raised the Judge and drew back the hammer. And when that red head entered my shooting hole in the brush the Judge spoke and I had my first NYS wild turkey with a handgun. He weighed in at 15 pounds and carried a 5 1/2 inch beard. As for the shot it was no more that 3-4 yards. This was absolutely one of my most exciting turkey hunts ever. That single Federal shotshell casing is now in my gun cabinet along with his beard. If you want to see the photos of my Judge turkey go to, noonanpics.blogspot.com


              Witchcraft and Abortion        

    • Abigail Seidman Interview - Wiccan Rites
    • Witchcraft and Abortion
    • Massacre of Innocence
    • Child Sacrifice in the New Age
    • Witchcraft and Satanism: Are they one and the same?
    • Puritans and Witches
    • Frequently Asked Questions: Wicca and Abortion Rites
    • The Long Hard Road Out of Hell: A Book Review
    • Child Sacrifice: Nothing New Under the Sun
    • Ritualizing Abortion
    • Statements of a practicing witch?
    • What is the Wiccan religion?
    • Witchcraft and Politics: An "Official" State Witch?
    • A letter to witches and pagans by Jay Rogers

      I welcome all comments to these articles on witchcraft and abortion. By far, the most common objection to these articles is: “Wicca does not promote the sacrifice of human beings.”

      In a certain sense, I agree with this statement. Unlike Christianity, Wicca has no Bible, no system of orthodoxy, no rule of faith. Since there are no laws which bind Wiccans, the “Wiccan Rede” is subject to private interpretation. Therefore, it is impossible to speak of Wicca as a whole as promoting abortion as a form of child sacrifice. Most Wiccans do not believe this.

      I am concerned in these articles mainly with Wiccans who do believe this. The Wiccan religion needs no further condemnation than the fact that it denies the God of the Bible. I cannot add anything further to what the Bible teaches in condemnation of magic arts. Nor is my goal to promote a persecution of witches.

      This web page serves as a warning to Christians who stand for the sanctity of life. There are a small segment of Wiccans who practice abortion as a form of child sacrifice to their false gods. To those who doubt this, I highly encourage you to read the words of Wiccans and pagans themselves who promote this demonic practice before responding to me.

      — Jay Rogers

      The following links contain excerpts from Wiccan writings promoting abortion as a form of child sacrifice:

      When Abortion Is a Sacrament
      More Grist for the Abortion Mills
      Abortion and Pagan Spirituality
      Abortion as a Sacrifice to Artemis


      The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

      Download the free Study Guide!

      Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

      This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

      Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

      The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

      As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

      Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

      Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

      Running Time: 195 minutes

      $19.95 — ORDER NOW!

      (We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

      Click here for more information


              Abigail Seidman Interview - Wiccan Rites        

    Download the free Study Guide!

    Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

    This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

    Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

    The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

    As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

    Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

    Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

    Running Time: 195 minutes


              Enforcing the Crown Rights of King Jesus        

    Download the free Study Guide!

    Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

    This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

    Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

    The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

    As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

    Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

    Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

    Running Time: 195 minutes


              The Champion - Volume 1        

    Download the free Study Guide!

    Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

    This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

    Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

    The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

    As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

    Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

    Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

    Running Time: 195 minutes


              The Champion - Volume 2        

    Download the free Study Guide!

    Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

    This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

    Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

    The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

    As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

    Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

    Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

    Running Time: 195 minutes


              Death Of The Apocalypse By Joel Goulet        
    Death of the Apocalypse novel by Joel Goulet New York City is gripped with terror as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse make a blood curdling appearance. The Horseman Death breaks from his ghastly a...
              FEAR to FEARLESSNESS        
    Death was eminent. The destitute widow and her son were going to eat their last meal and die. It was the last bit of food in the house. They had no money and no one to help them. She was just a lonely, poor widow woman, with one son. They were at the end of […]
              Cemetery Superstitions, Little-Known Facts and Genealogy Secrets        
    Do you love everything about cemeteries—finding family burial places, studying the old stones with their intricate designs, taking in the peaceful landscape, discovering old records in the cemetery office?

    Then you'll love our new book, The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide, coming in September from Family Tree Books.



    In the Cemetery Field Guide, veteran genealogist, blogger at A Grave Interest, and self-described "tombstone tourist" Joy Neighbors introduces you to different types of cemeteries and helps you find your ancestors' burial sites, understand tombstone symbolism, and uncover cemetery records you didn't realize existed.

    Get to know to Joy and find out about her fascination with cemeteries with our Q&A:

    Me: What turned you into a tombstone tourist?

    Joy: It all began with a picnic. I was on a date with a guy (who later became my husband) who took me to a cemetery with a hamper of great food and a bottle of wine. He spread out a blanket near the lake and we talked about our lives, our views on life and death, and our interest in art, and somewhere in there, I forgot I was in a cemetery. I was just sitting outdoors having an amazing evening.

    We married two years later and we’ve been visiting cemeteries ever since.

    It was more than 25 years later when I decided to write A Grave Interest and share this forgotten history and art.


    Joy Neighbors

    Me: How many cemeteries have you've visited during your lifetime?

    Joy: I’ve visited everything from huge city cemeteries to a cemetery located in the middle of a highway. Brian (my husband) is on the lookout for cemeteries when we travel. We spot one from the highway and we’ll detour off. Every cemetery is different but they are all worth a visit because you never know what finds are waiting.

    Let’s just say I’ve been to thousands of cemeteries, but I’m always looking for the next one to visit.

    Me: When I was young, my sisters and I would hold our breath when driving by a cemetery in Mom or Dad's car. What strange cemetery superstition have you encountered?

    Joy:As a child, I was told not to count the cars in the funeral procession or your funeral would be the next one to drive by. I was a kid who counted everything: steps, train cars, clouds, so that was tough.

    There are so many superstitions about death and burial. Here are just a few that I’ve come across:
    • Never point at the funeral procession, it will bring bad luck.
    • If it rains in an open grave, it brings bad luck to the family.
    • Flowers and grass grow on the graves of those who have lived virtuous lives. Only weeds or mud will cover the grave of someone who was evil.
    • Never whistle in a graveyard, you are summoning the Devil.
    • Never take anything from a cemetery; the dead may follow you to get it back.
    • If there is thunder following a burial, the deceased has reached heaven.

    Me: What's your favorite cemetery (and why)?

    Joy:It’s so difficult to choose. If I narrowed it down by size, my favorite large cemetery is Cave Hill in Louisville, Ky. The artwork there is phenomenal and the history is amazing. It’s an older cemetery that has maintained a modern edge with its monuments, sculpture and stained glass. Plus, it’s very haunted. (And yes, I have stories from visiting.)

    For a medium sized cemetery, I’m torn between Highland Lawn in Terre Haute, Ind., and Oak Hill in Evansville, Ind. Highland Lawn has great symbolism on the stones, mausoleums, and a wealth of history. Most of the town’s historical figures are buried there. (It's haunted, too.) Oak Hill has tons of tree stones (my favorite), and rolling vistas with huge oak trees. The Civil War burial ground is one of the best designs I’ve seen.

    I love small cemeteries because they're so intimate. You really have time to get to know who’s buried there, and I like to read the stones and wonder what life was like.

    Me: Could you share something surprising about cemeteries that you've found most people don't know?

    Joy:A cemetery is one of the most exquisite (and inexpensive) places to hold a wedding. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and manicured, and covered with sculpture, architecture, stained glass and other art. It is truly like getting married in an outdoor art museum.

    If the cemetery has a chapel, there’s also the advantage of having an indoor wedding option. Cemeteries are just starting to embrace this idea, so if it’s something you’d like to do, don’t be afraid to approach them.

    Me: If readers remember one piece of advice from The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide, what do you want it to be?

    Joy:Never stop digging! I loved Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a girl, and that’s how I approach cemetery research. It’s all a mystery; I just have to figure out how to find the clues. And those clues could be hidden in records, family Bibles, photographs, or symbols on stones. Even the people themselves may hold the answers—or the clues.

    I hope that the Cemetery Field Guide inspires others to become Tombstone Tourists and enjoy all the history and art that our cemeteries have to offer.

    Me: You wrote on your blog that cemetery research led you to a family secret of monumental proportions. You explain everything in the Cemetery Field Guide, but can you give us a hint about what you discovered?

    Me again: I'm gonna make you wait for this answer—and to hear about Joy's favorite tombstones of all of her cemetery visits. Stay tuned for more from Joy Neighbors! And of course you can find out more about The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide and preorder it in ShopFamilyTree.com.

              Comment on Vernissage: Austrian Painter Karl Winkler by Jasmin N        
    Wow, your son listens to classical music! That's impressive :-) Would be cool with my son as well but we're more like rock/death metal people & classical music makes me feel so uncomfortable. Although, it's same with us but a different genre :D
              Dog Health Can Be Improved With a Natural Diet        
    It goes without saying that your dog needs suitable nutrition to remain healthy. Vets and pet food manufacturers often have differing views on appropriate nutrition for your dog. Although commercial pet food manufacturers are motivated in large part by profits, commercially prepared foods are routinely recommended as part of an adequate, or good, diet for your dog. Sometimes your vet or dog breeder may approve of commercially prepared foods as the sole diet of your dog. Many experts, however, tend to prefer a largely natural diet which for dogs is invariably comprised of meat and bones. Raw is preferable to cooked, as some of the minerals are definitely lost in the cooking process.

    The reason why the commercially prepared pet food is so often fed to our dogs, is because, apart from the convenience, it can (depending upon the quality) actually contain many of the nutrients which are essential to your dog. The key word here is quality. There are in fact very, very few commercial manufacturers which produce nutrient-rich food. And they're not the brands you find in your supermarket, or even in most pet stores or vetinarians.

    Raw bones with a little dry food as well as occasional rice or pasta, and perhaps the odd quality food scrap from your table, will generally contain most of the nutrients which your dog needs. All dogs must obtain reasonable nutrition from their food to maintain excellent health and performance. The main nutrients required by your dog are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Vitamin or mineral deficiency in dogs fed a commercially manufactured diet today is not widely publicised. But then again, the slosh and dried formulae which are readily available from your vet or the local supermarket are not the natural diet for your dog. If your dog was left to fend for itself in the wild (assuming it could manage to adapt, that is), would choose raw meat. And one of the reasons why meat, and especially bones, are so good, is the chewing action and the teeth cleaning function which the bones perform.

    Of course, there are also commercially prepared substitutes which can also effectively clean the teeth of your dog and satisfy his/her need to chew. A lesser known fact is that to feed your dog only meat (with no bones and no cereals or other carbohydrate source) can cause severe deficiencies: your dog is likely to become lethargic, sick, and even death has been known to occur from an all meat diet. But what about dogs in the wild, I hear you ask? Isn’t meat a dog’s natural diet? Isn’t that what you just said, Brigitte? Well, yes and no: in the wild dogs eat the whole of their prey, not simply muscle meat - they thus obtain vegetable matter from the digestive tract of their prey, and calcium from the bones. As well, wild dogs occasionally, but routinely, add to their diet with plants, fruit and berries. Most dogs relish some raw fruit and vegetables in their diet, so long as that's what they're used to.

    A dog who has been fed commercially prepared dog food all of its life won't be used to the taste of fresh food, so may well turn up his/her nose if you introduce such healthy food later in life. But persevere - try hand feeding pieces of carrot or apple to begin with. And if your dog is still very young, all the better. Start as you mean to go on and feed him/her some raw fruit and vegetables from time to time. Your dog's health will benefit!
              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

    Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

    Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
    We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

    We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

    Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

    The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

    Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

    What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

    This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
    Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
    What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

    The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
    Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

    The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

    This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

    Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

    Dog Training
              New Graphic Novel Series        

    These graphic novel series are being added to the teen graphic novel collection.

    GYO: The Death Stench Creeps

    GYO: The Death Stench Creeps

    A stench hangs over the city, and Tadashi and Kaori find themselves in a horrifying experience.

    Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto

    Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto

    First year high school Sakamoto becomes the coolest person in school and  uses his popularity to help others.

    Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul

    Ken is thrilled to be going on a date with a beautiful girl, but a deadly encounter turns him into a ghoul-human hybrid.

     

    Blog: 


              England’s dire north-south health gap is a scandal that must end        
    The north-south divide in England needs fixing or the country risks more despair, premature death and political earthquakes, says James Bloodworth
              People in north England are 20 per cent more likely to die young        
    An analysis of five decades of death data has revealed that people in northern England are less likely to live to the age of 75 than people in the south
              Can a Prelitigation Screening Panel’s Findings Be Used As Medical Malpractice Evidence in Maine?        

    In the recent Maine Supreme Court case of Estate of Nickerson v. Carter, a man’s wife appealed from a judgment in favor of a doctor and a primary care facility after a jury found that the doctor was negligent, but that his negligence was not the legal cause of the man’s death. The estate argued […]

    The post Can a Prelitigation Screening Panel’s Findings Be Used As Medical Malpractice Evidence in Maine? appeared first on Maine Personal Injury Lawyers Blog.


              The Gamma dataviz package now available!        

    There were a lot of rumors recently about the death of facts and even the death of statistics. I believe the core of the problem is that working with facts is quite tedious and the results are often not particularly exciting. Social media made it extremely easy to share your own opinions in an engaging way, but what we are missing is a similarly easy and engaging way to share facts backed by data.

    This is, in essence, the motivation for The Gamma project that I've been working on recently. After several experiments, including the visualization of Olympic medalists, I'm now happy to share the first reusable component based on the work that you can try and use in your data visualization projects. If you want to get started:

    The package implements a simple scripting language that anyone can use for writing simple data aggregation and data exploration scripts. The tooling for the scripting language makes it super easy to create and modify existing data analyses. Editor auto-complete offers all available operations and a spreadsheet-inspired editor lets you create scripts without writing code - yet, you still get a transparent and reproducible script as the result.


              How my brother found us...Part 2        
    The Ballad of Kathy Flynn - (2012) - Julian Littman

    Long ago, young Kathy Flynn took a train to London Town
    She fell in love with an Indian hero - he turned her heart around
    With a Vir Chakra into his jacket - how could she resist?
    He took  her to his hotel room and there they more than kissed
    He said;"Kathy, will you marry me?"
    Of course, she answered yes.
    She dreamed of life in far Madras - an Indian Princess.

    He telephoned long distance to his father in Madras
    And told him of his intention to wed the Irish lass
    The old man flew into a rage and said your future's been arranged
    Marry her and you'll die without a rupee to your name
    Without a word he slipped away leaving not a trace behind
    And left poor Kathy waiting -  out of sight and out of mind.

    Chorus: I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and the dreams she could not keep
    I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and sing that girl to sleep.

    She met a man of magic - the Great Marlo was his name
    They took a mind reading act out on the road and found some kind of fame
    Pretty soon she realised a child was on the way
    Her Indian hero had left her with more than a broken heart that day
    She cast her fate to the Mother Church who duly took her in
    She gave away the boy at birth and never saw him again.

    Chorus: I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and the boy she could not keep
    I'll sing a lullaby to the Irish girl and sing that girl to sleep.

    The boy grew up in a happy home but when his folks had gone
    The boy was curious to know more about his mum
    He traced her to a little town and called her on the phone
    But she hung up when she heard his name - shaken to the bone.
    She wrote him a letter saying never a day goes by
     When I don't think about you, boy, but I must go on living a lie
    You see, I've a family of my own  - our secret's never been told
    The truth would tear this house apart and I'm too frail and too old.

    2nd chorus again
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Julian knew he was adopted from about the age of 8 or 9. He came home from school one day and asked his mum a question that he was constantly being asked at school. "Mum, why is it that I'm a different colour to J (Julian's adoptive parent's natural son) and you and Dad? His mum told him in a very matter of fact way that he was adopted and his biological parents were an Anglo Indian pilot in the Indian Air Force and his mum was an Irish actress.

    Julian's dad, Anthony Ignatius Kenneth Suares, was an Indian hero; he had been awarded the Vir Chakra in 1949 and you can read about it here. He died some time ago and Julian never managed to trace him. He still wants to explore that side of his family.

     My mum came to England from Ireland in 1948, aged 16, as a Nanny for a family in Edgeware. When she was 18 she was 'discovered' in Lyons Corner House in Marble Arch by the man I knew throughout my childhood as 'Uncle Marlo'. Marlo, or the 'Great Marlo' to give him his stage name; was a magician and mum was his assistant;  'Georgette'. They did a mind reading act together and travelled all over the UK. Mum had a tiny speaking part in a film about boxing in the 1950s, but we've never been able to discover the title. She would never have described herself as an actress but she always said she had been 'on the stage'. She and 'The Great Marlo' often did publicity stunts for their act; below is a still from British Pathe news item  - narrated by Eamonn Andrews - and available here on youtube; where mum was buried alive for one such stunt. It was a very cold day; everyone is wearing overcoats but mum appears dressed in a bra and skirt - some things never change when it comes to women...



    As children we loved Uncle Marlo - he used to make sixpences and shillings appear out of his ears or from up our sleeves! He lived just off Church Street market in London; and he and his wife were very good to my mum because she when she applied to St. Pelagia's to have Julian; she gave her address as their address; she must have been living with them throughout her pregnancy.

    What I have found out is Julian's birth was something that probably only one other family member; my Aunty Betty, knew about. Betty's name appears on the St.Pelagia documentation as mum's next of kin. In the latter stages of pregnancy mum could have told her four sisters; all of whom were living in London at the time, she was away touring with the Great Marlo. My dad never knew about Julian; in Julian's adoption paper's this is made clear as they state the adoption forms to be signed by mum must be sent in a plain brown envelope addressed solely to my mum.



    This is my mum's oldest sister, Aunty Peggy's, wedding in 1950 or 1951 in Paddington, London; mum would have been 18 or 19 at the time. Mum is on the far left in the plaid dress; next to Aunty Betty, (her confidante); behind Mum is Aunty Mary and next to her, Aunty Ita.

    Much of what Julian puts in the song above 'The Ballad of Kathy Flynn' is true but not all. We don't know how, when and where mum and Julian's dad met. We don't know if it was a one night stand or a relationship. We think the asking to marry bit is right because it's stated in the documentation Julian gathered together in his search for mum. I think it highly possible that getting married would have entailed mum moving to India and that she probably didn't want to leave England - but we'll never know.

    Julian went to drama school aged 16 and has spent the rest of his life performing, singing, playing and composing. You can see his bio here. It's very strange to think that when I was a student nurse in the early 1970s I used to watch 'Rainbow' - a children's programme on at midday - in the nurses lounge whilst eating my lunch. I must have seen Julian on TV dozens of times but never knew he was my brother!

    By 2005, Julian's adoptive parents had died. Julian knew a lot about his birth mother and her subsequent family, but he couldn't out find where she lived. One evening, after a gig two fans came back stage to see him; he found out they ran a business tracing adopted children's birth parents and or families. Within two weeks they had found mum living in Kettering; and as the song says a phone call was made and mum wrote Julian a letter, but didn't want to meet.

    I've read the letter she sent Julian and it is a beautiful letter. But, I still find it really difficult to understand (although I do, in many ways) why she didn't want to meet him. By 2005, mum knew she had COPD and that it would it kill her soon. As her children, we would have been delighted to meet Julian and would have welcomed him with open arms and would never have judged mum's actions. Mum must have known that about us as well as we were all very, very close. I'm just so sorry that they didn't get to meet because mum would have had almost four years left with Julian in her life.

    You must be curious to know how Julian did eventually find us and I'm now coming to that part...

    Julian discovered mum had died using 'Google' (God bless the internet - it's a marvellous invention but what a horrible way to find out about your mum's death). We had published a small notice of thanks in the local Kettering paper after the funeral in 2009. Julian waited for several years (I can only marvel at his restraint) and one day in 2013 he was on his way to the Derngate theatre in Northampton, with a group he was managing at the time. They knew his story and pointed out that Northampton was only 14 miles away from Kettering and as he knew my brother Mark still lived in the same house he and mum had moved to in 1999; he should, at least, drop a card through the door. So, he did!

    When I rang him that morning in February 2013 we spoke for two hours! We arranged for Julian to come to Bedford the following weekend and we would all go out for a meal and get to know each other. So, we did!

    4th March, 2013


     At my house looking at Julian's paperwork. Seated L to R:  Brother Julian, me, brother Mark and standing, brother Tony. Someone's cracked open the beers!
    Image may contain: 5 people, indoor
    After the meal we went to a local wine bar and had a few more beers and bottles of wine...that's my OH, Wesley on the far left.
    Image may contain: 4 people, indoor 
    Time to go home, lads!
      
    It has been a wonderful experience meeting our 'new' brother. I have to admire his magnanimity and his generosity of spirit; he holds no hard feelings about his circumstances. He is not bitter that my mum wouldn't meet him. (I think I would have been, had it been me given up for adoption). We share a mother and although Julian was raised in the Home Counties in a nice middle class home and we were raised in the inner city, children of poor, working class immigrants, we have nothing but love and affection for each other.

    We meet as often we can - Julian is always busy (thankfully, in his line of work). The one nice thing we were able to do for Julian was ask him to help us scatter mum's ashes (her ashes had been living in the sitting room for four years) later that same year; 2013. We videoed the ceremony - it was just laughter and jokes all the way.

    RIP Mum - I'm sorry you had to live in such unenlightened times but your four children are united in their love for you.


              2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India        

    New Delhi: As many as 122 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2016 globally, 93 of them in targeted killings and others in natural disasters and accidents, while India witnessed death of five scribes and was eighth on a list topped by Iraq, according to a new report.

    The targeted killings, including murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents, span 23 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East and Arab World regions, said International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its annual report released Friday.

    The IFJ said the number (93 targeted killings) was down from 112 targeted killings in 2015 while Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan (13) and Mexico (11).

    These were followed by Yemen (8), Guatemala (6), Syria (6), India and Pakistan (5 in both), according to the statistics published by the largest global federation of journalists' trade unions.

    In addition to the 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists perished in a plane crash over the city of Medellin in Colombia, a country where for the first time in many years no killing was recorded this year, against three in 2015. Nine Russian journalists were killed in a military plane crash.

    Although the 2016 figures for targeted killings of media professionals are down from the previous year's, the IFJ has cautioned against complacency citing reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship as evidence that attacks on freedom of expression remain at critical levels.

    In India, Tarun Mishra, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, died on 14 February; Indradev Yadav, Journalist with Taaza TV, on 16 May; Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan on 13 May; Kishore Dave, Bureau Chief of Jai Hind on 22 August and Dharmendra Singh, Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar on 12 November, the report noted.

    In 2015, India had reported targeted killings of six media professionals, including those from news channel Aaj Tak and Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran, the report states.

    Noting that India along with Yemen, Pakistan and Syria form a group which saw little or no change in the numbers of killings from 2015, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, "Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis." 

    The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, has recorded at least 2,297 killings of media professionals in targeted assassinations, cross-fire incidents and bomb attacks till 2015.

    2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India
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              So Separate from Me at Death        
    "So Separate from Me at Death" is a short discussion of Loren Eiseley's essay "The Young Fox" from Unexpected Universe.
              Allman Brothers Band Drummer Butch Trucks Dies        
    A cause of death for Butch Trucks, co-founding drummer with the Allman Brothers Band, was not immediately known. Continue reading…
              Horror Headlines: Tuesday August 24th, 2010        
    On this day in history: 

    1992 - Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing record damage; 55 deaths in Florida, Louisiana and the Bahamas were blamed on the storm

    In Real People News: 

    Police in New York found an 18-inch alligator that crawled out of an overflowing Astoria storm drain and hunkered down beneath a parked car on Sunday. Enjoy your commute pricks!

    News Bullet: 

    "Piranha 3D" didn't break any box office records this past weekend but a sequel has already been announced. Not a big surprise I guess but I am looking forward to seeing how they bring back Kelly Brook. What I mean is please bring back Kelly Brook... please!

    If this memo is to be believed than it looks like we'll be seeing the teaser for "Scream 4" in theaters sometime this November. If it's fake a bunch of people will talk about how stupid all of us were for thinking it was real. One thing is for sure though, I have absolutely no desire to see "Scream 4"

    Steven Spielberg along with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are planning on bringing Joe Hill's "Locke & Key" to the small screen in the near future. The comic book revolves around a couple of kids who watch over a old mansion filled with spooky doors that send them to different worlds and give them super powers. With so many people with classy sounding names attached to this there's no way it can't win.

    Good news everyone! "Saw II" the video game will be available for your PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 19th. Alright I really have no idea if that is good news but it can't be any worse then "Saw 3D" coming out shortly after.


              Canadians Advocate Boosting Vitamin D in Pregnancy        

    A Canadian medical society recommends pregnant women and nursing moms boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically

    Food for Thought

    Canadian pediatricians certainly aren't shirking controversy when it comes to a vitamin guideline they've developed for pregnant women and nursing moms. They're asking these women to boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically—to 10 times the daily doses advocated by most health organizations in the States. This new prescription is aimed at combating rickets—leg deformations caused by soft bones—in youngsters who get too little of the sunshine vitamin.

    Vitamin D helps build strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Getting pregnant and nursing women to take more of the vitamin ensures that plenty will reach developing children.

    In the past, most people had little trouble getting enough vitamin D—they just went outdoors where ultraviolet rays from the sun trigger chemical reactions in skin to make this vital nutrient. However, some people always had trouble making enough. Canadian kids at highest risk of vitamin deficits generally live in First Nations and Inuit communities. With sun-filtering pigments in their skin, and living at high latitudes, they must glean most of their vitamin D from the diet—generally a poor source—not the sun.

    Most North American women—including those in the United States—eat diets delivering only about 100 international units, or IU, of vitamin D daily, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in Washington, D.C. That is half of what IOM recommends and a mere 5 percent of what Canadian pediatricians are now advocating for new and soon-to-be moms.

    Although IOM's dietary recommendations are for the United States, the Canadian health establishment has tended to rubber stamp them. In this case, though, Canada's health agency took the unusual tack of signing off on a Canadian Paediatric Society proposal to boost the recommended intake by women who are pregnant or breast feeding to 2,000 IU per day. This new guideline appears in a consensus statement published in September by the society in its journal, Paediatrics & Child Health.

    Soon the society will begin sending its new guideline to every provincial, territorial, and aboriginal health department across Canada, notes Marie Adèle Davis, the group's executive director. The goal, she told Science News Online, is to make sure all public health officials learn about it—not just pediatricians.

    The higher recommendation equals the amount that IOM has designated as the safe upper limit for vitamin D's daily consumption. Most nutritionists don't really consider that value is a true ceiling for safe intake—especially since sunbathing on a bright summer day can generate 10,000 to 20,000 IU in the body without harm. Still, for political and legal reasons, most organizations shy away from advocating intakes near what IOM has flagged as a potential maximum for safe consumption.

    Now a number of researchers suspect that intakes by pregnant and lactating women much below 2,000 IU per day could actually prove unsafe for child health.

    Reinhold Vieth of the University of Toronto explained why, recently, to officials with Health Canada, a counterpart to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To prevent rickets, he argued, a baby needs 400 IU of vitamin D per day. And in many parts of Canada, he said, nursing women may require several thousand IU of vitamin D per day to get 400 IU into their breast milk. Vieth had been recruited by the Canadian Paediatric Society to help defend its proposed guideline to government officials.

    U.S. physicians won't quibble over the 400 IU figure for babies and young children, notes pediatrician Frank R. Greer, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) committee on nutrition. Although the 1997 IOM report says 200 IU of vitamin D per day should be sufficient for anyone under 50—including children—few researchers buy that. "Everybody feels that we should be taking more than 200 IU," says Greer, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    Unlike the Canadian Paediatric Society, though, "We [at AAP] don't really have any influence on what pregnant and lactating women take," Greer says. "However, I can say that AAP's committee on nutrition has recommended to the board that we go back to [recommending] 400 IU for all children." That's the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil—the vitamin D supplement of choice throughout the early 20th century. Greer expects his committee's recommendation to be approved by AAP's board, perhaps within the next month.

    Optimal needs vary

    For most of the past century, nutrient guidelines have been set to prevent gross deficiencies—shortfalls that could cause disease. Those recommendations tended to represent minimally adequate intakes. Over the past decade, however, considerable debate has surrounded what vitamin D consumption levels would be optimal versus merely adequate.

    The controversy has been fueled by a steady stream of studies that have emerged since the IOM set its vitamin D guidelines. Nearly all demonstrate substantial health benefits from relatively high intakes of vitamin D—amounts well in excess of what most individuals now get. Moreover, those benefits extend well beyond protecting bone. More vitamin D seems to diminish the risk of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, muscle loss, viral infections—even gum disease.

    Researchers gauge vitamin D sufficiency on the basis of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-HD). This is not the form of the vitamin that is consumed—nor the hormonal form that the body actually uses—but an intermediary. To achieve optimal concentrations of 25-HD, growing numbers of nutrition and health scientists suggest, most of us would need intakes of 800 to 4,000 IU per day (see Vitamin D: What's Enough?).

    How much vitamin D someone needs can vary widely, largely depending on the amount of skin that gets exposed to the sun each day—and for how long. Further complicating the picture, some skin is heavily pigmented, filtering sunlight out. Many people cover up with clothes or sunblock when they go outdoors. Still others live at high latitudes—as Canadians do—where little ultraviolet radiation makes it through the atmosphere during much of the year.

    Even for women in the southern United States, however, "we've found that lactating women need about 6,000 IU a day to transfer enough vitamin D into their milk to supply adequate amounts to a nursing infant," says Bruce W. Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    Nor are nursing moms the only individuals who may need relatively large doses of the vitamin. Hollis' research has shown that black women may sometimes need 4,000 IU a day for months at a time to compensate for little time outdoors, heavy skin pigmentation, and/or obesity—a factor that appears to diminish the body's ability to use vitamin D efficiently (see Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency).

    Another reason for moms' supplementation?

    In March, researchers at Harvard Medical School reported evidence that ample vitamin D diminishes the chance a child will develop asthma, a scourge who's incidence has been rising, especially in black and low-income communities (see Childhood Vitamin D—A New Benefit?). Recently, an additional putative benefit has emerged for pregnant women and their developing babies.

    A study linked elevated risk of preeclampsia—high blood pressure that develops in some women during the last half of pregnancy—with low intakes of vitamin D. This condition, which can lead to miscarriage and even the death of the mother—ordinarily develops in some three to seven percent of first pregnancies.

    Pittsburgh researchers enrolled 1,198 women who were pregnant for the first time and measured their blood concentrations of vitamin D within the first 22 weeks of gestation. Subsequently, 59 women developed preeclampsia. Blood values from all but four were compared to a similar group of recruits who maintained normal blood pressure throughout their pregnancies.

    The higher a woman's blood concentrations of 25-HD, the lower her chance of developing preeclampsia—and that risk fell steadily and "strikingly" with increasing vitamin D values, Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh and her colleagues found.

    Moreover, babies whose moms had developed preeclampsia were far more likely to have low vitamin-D values than were children whose moms had maintained normal blood pressure. "These differences were found in our population despite widespread prenatal/multivitamin use in the 3 months before delivery," Bodnar's group reports in the September Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    Black women face far higher risks of developing this hypertensive syndrome. Overall, black women are also far likelier than other ethnic or racial groups to have low blood levels of vitamin D. Against this backdrop, Bodnar's group says, "our data linking vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia risk raises the intriguing possibility that vitamin D may contribute to racial disparities in this [syndrome]."

    "The story of deficiency begins with vitamin D itself and its primary mode of synthesis, which is from sunlight," argue Adekunle Dawodu of the University of Cincinnati and Carol L. Wagner of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In a commentary in the September Archives of Disease in Childhood, they report a resurgence of rickets around the world, not only in children at high latitudes, but also in the Arab world and Asia where culture or excessive temperatures may keep women and children indoors or covered up.

    A shift from vitamin-D sufficiency to widespread deficiency has occurred rapidly—mostly throughout a half-century. The reason for it is clear, Dawodu and Wagner say: "insufficient sun exposure and inadequate corrective vitamin-D supplementation." They conclude, much as the Canadian Paediatric Society just has, that dosing moms during pregnancy and lactation "would achieve the double effect of preventing vitamin-D deficiency in both mothers and children." But unlike the Canadian society, they note that doses considerably higher than 2,000 IU may be necessary for some individuals and communities.

    As a goal, achieving population-wide vitamin D sufficiency "may be one of the more important preventative public health initiatives," conclude Dawodu and Wagner.


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098


    Lisa M. Bodnar

    Department of Epidemiology

    University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

    A742 Crabtree Hall

    130 DeSoto Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15261


    John J. Cannell

    Psychiatry Department

    Atascadero State Hospital

    10333 El Camino Real

    Atascadero, CA 93423

    Marie Adèle Davis

    Canadian Paediatric Society

    2305 St. Laurent Boulevard

    Ottawa, Ont. K1G 4J8

    Canada

    Frank R. Greer

    Department of Pediatrics

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI 53792

    Bruce W. Hollis

    Department of Pediatrics

    Medical University of South Carolina

    P.O. Box 250917

    171 Ashley Avenue, Room BM326

    Charleston, SC 29425


    Reinhold Vieth

    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    Mount Sinai Hospital

    600 University Avenue

    Toronto, ON M5G 1X5

    Canada
    Further Reading

    Cannell, J.J. In press. Autism and vitamin D. Medical Hypotheses. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Dijkstra, S.H., et al. 2007. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of high-risk mothers. Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):750-753. Available at [Go to].

    Moore, C.E., M.M. Murphy, and M.F. Holick. 2005. Vitamin D intakes by children and adults in the United States differ among ethnic groups. Journal of Nutrition 135(October):2478-2485. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A new benefit? Science News Online (May 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A dark side? Science News Online (May 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. The antibiotic vitamin. Science News 170(Nov. 11):312-317. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Breathing easier with vitamin D. Science News Online (Dec. 17). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Vitamin D boosts calcium potency. Science News Online (Nov. 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Understanding vitamin D deficiency. Science News Online (April 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin D: What's enough? Science News 166(Oct. 16):248-249. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin boost. Science News 166(Oct. 9):232-233. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Should foods be fortified even more? Science News Online (Sept. 11). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Calcium may become a dieter's best friend. Science News 157(April 29):277. Available at [Go to].

    Williams, A.F. 2007. Vitamin D in pregnancy: An old problem still to be solved? Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):740-741. Available at [Go to].

              Tag! You're It        

    Biologists catch and tag big sawfish in Florida waters

    Food for Thought

    Once a common top predator throughout coastal seas around the globe, sawfish have become remarkably rare. Indeed, today most populations are threatened with extinction. So spotting even one of these animals is reason to rejoice, notes Beau Yeiser of Mote Marine Laboratory in southern Florida. And this week, "we are nothing but giddy," he reports.

    He and colleague Tonya Wiley just returned from a 2-day sawfish-scouting expedition during which they tagged a 7-foot male on Oct. 16. At that size, the strapping youth may be 5 to 7 years old, Yeiser says. He cautions, however, that estimating age is challenging "as we try and piece together the life history of this species. We don't even know its size at maturity yet."

    These animals—essentially flattened sharks with wings—are members of the ray family. Only one species of this fish remains in U.S. waters, mostly off of Florida. Over the first half of the 20th century, this smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) was fished to the brink of extinction—largely by accident.

    Although many cultures eat sawfish—the animals' fins are especially prized in Asia as the featured ingredient in a pricey soup—most of the animals in U.S. waters were landed and destroyed as bycatch, that is, nuisance species hauled in by commercial fishing fleets. The dire status of sawfish globally won these animals protection, last month, under a treaty banning international trade in endangered species (see Hammered Saws).

    So far this year, Yeiser and Wiley have caught just 14 sawfish, most of them less than 4 feet long. Those would still be little kids, considering that these fish are almost a yard long at birth. Then again, the pair had expected only small ones because they've mainly been cruising coastal shallows this year in hopes of running into newborns and youngsters.

    The scientists attach a numbered identification tag to the dorsal fin of every sawfish they catch—and then release the animal.

    But last week's catch was so big that it qualified for a second identifier: a pop-up archival tag, or PAT. These recording devices are so heavy that they're reserved for large sawfish—at least 7-footers. To date, only some dozen of these animals have received PATs. Costing at least $4,000 each, these data-storage systems collect information every minute, for months, on the depth at which its host is swimming, the water temperature, and light levels. The latter information gets plugged into a computer program that roughly gauges the animal's geographic coordinates at any moment.

    Researchers program a PAT to pop off the fish on a particular date. Once it floats to the surface, it sends its stored information in spurts, twice a day, to a satellite. That orbiting relay station then shoots those data back to Earth and the scientists' email addresses.

    Last week's sawfish encounter took place in a southern Florida national wildlife refuge, in very shallow water. Investigated as a possible nursery, Yeiser says "I was expecting any sawfish that I might catch to be perhaps 4 to 5 feet in length." Instead, he found a much older juvenile. "But that's the beauty of this [sawfish] project; you never know what you are going to get when you're scouting a species that has not been studied much!"

    Yeiser named the youth that he tagged last week Raloff. Hmmm—I like the sound of that. Its tag is programmed to pop off on March 15. Stay tuned for an update on my namesake's travels.

    If all goes well, that is.

    A 7- and an 11-foot sawfish each received PATs in May. Although the satellite tags had been programmed to pop off 3 months later, they actually surfaced within just a couple weeks, Yeiser says—and were never recovered.

    So, each time biologists deploy the pricey devices, he says, "we just cross our fingers that they won't pop up early—or get lost in the middle of the Gulf."

    Don't try this yourself

    The sawfish is an endangered species, so federal law forbids its capture—except by researchers who have been granted a waiver. And even they need to release an animal after measuring and tagging it.

    It's against the law to even harass the animals. Still, anglers may inadvertently snag one of the toothy marvels. When that happens, this species "should be released by keeping the fish in the water and cutting the line as close to the hook as possible," according to guidelines issued late last year by the National Marine Fisheries Service in St. Petersburg, Fla. "If it can be done safely, untangle the line if it is wrapped around the saw. Do not handle the animal or attempt to remove any hooks on the saw, except for with a long-handled dehooker," NOAA says.

    Biologists request that any anglers who sight a sawfish report their encounter to the Mote lab. Its scientists are maintaining a database to help them identify important habitat for these endangered animals.

    As interesting as these piscine oddities are, biologists would prefer that the public give the fish a wide berth. The primary reason: Approaching the animals can stress them, chase them from what should be waters safe from predators, or even interfere with their reproduction.

    But there's another reason to steer clear, according to Captain Harvey Lee Hamilton, who charters a fishing boat out of Pineland, Fla. "I've caught plenty of sawfish in my life, and I'll tell you: They're dangerous. I'm still scared to death of them." Their saws—which he terms blades—are edged with dozens of razor-sharp "teeth." The muscular animals slash those saws from side to side to kill prey or defend themselves.

    Says Hamilton: "Those fish get big, with blades that can go to at least 5 foot." And they slash those blades "so fast," he says, "that they could slice your feet off." Indeed, he told Science News Online: "I'd rather fight a shark than a sawfish."


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    Beau Yeiser and Tonya R. Wiley

    Center for Shark Research

    Mote Marine Laboratory

    1600 Ken Thompson Parkway

    Sarasota, FL 34236

    Smalltooth Sawfish Coordinator

    National Marine Fisheries Service

    Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division

    263 13th Avenue South

    St. Petersburg, FL 33071
    Further Reading

    2006. Mote scientists to help eBay identify species in new sawfish ban. Mote Marine Laboratory news release. Jan. 25. Available at [Go to].

    Mote Marine Laboratory. How you can help save the U.S. smalltooth sawfish. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff. J. 2007. Hammered saws. Science News 172(Aug. 11):90-92. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Clipping the fin trade. Science News 162(Oct. 12):232-234. Available at [Go to].

    Sawfish in Peril: Sawfish Education Program. Available at [Go to].

              Diminishing Obesity's Risks        

    Mouse data suggest that, properly managed, obesity can be benign.

    Food for Thought

    Health-care professionals typically refer to an extremely heavy person as being morbidly obese. The term reinforces the idea that the individual is at high risk of diabetes, fatty-liver disease, and heart attacks. Researchers who have been working with mice now report that certain chronic diseases don't have to be consequences of obesity.

    The team accomplished the disconnect by tricking the animals' bodies into storing all their excess fat within their fat cells, or adipocytes.

    That's not what the bodies of rodents—or people—typically do. Initially, excess lipids—fat—are stored in these cells, making up what's called adipose tissue or simply body fat. These deposits lie primarily in the breasts, belly, and thighs. However, once adipocytes fill up, new storage sites take up the overflow. Those new depots usually develop in muscle and the liver.

    Of those two depots, the liver is more dangerous when it becomes fatty. Straightforwardly named, fatty liver disease can arise and lead eventually to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death.

    A drop in the hormone called adiponectin is the body's signal to store fat outside adipose tissue. Sometimes referred to as the starvation hormone, adiponectin normally remains high in lean animals. With obesity, however, blood concentrations of the molecule fall.

    Philipp E. Scherer of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and his colleagues reasoned that keeping adiponectin concentrations high might fool the body into making extra adipocytes instead of sending surplus fat to muscles and the liver.

    The team has now investigated the hypothesis in a strain of mice that make copious adiponectin regardless of how fat they become. In the Sept. 4 Journal of Clinical Investigation, the researchers report that as the novel mice mature, they become unbelievably huge. Indeed, muses Scherer, these are "the fattest mice ever reported," with fat comprising 60 percent or more of their body weight.

    As hoped for, the mice deposit all their excess fat in adipose tissue. Also in sharp contrast to other obese mice, the high-adiponectin animals develop no signs of diabetes. They also avoid a metabolic disorder known as syndrome X, which puts animals, including people, at high risk of heart disease (SN: 4/8/2000, p. 236).

    So, although these barely mobile, blubbery mounds of flesh look like wrecks, they don't appear to be at high risk for several chronic diseases associated with obesity, Scherer told Science News Online. Actually, he says, from the preliminary data, the mice "appear perfectly healthy."

    He suspects that there's a lesson in this for investigators of human-obesity treatments. Drugs exist that raise adiponectin values in even overweight individuals. Most, like pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia), are prescribed to treat diabetes. However, data suggest these drugs also reduce the buildup of fat in the liver.

    Unfortunately, diminishing health risks in morbidly obese people may require far more than just supersizing their treatment with the diabetes drugs—especially since data reported earlier this year linked rosiglitazone with an increased risk of heart attack (SN: 6/23/07, p. 397).

    Fat signals

    Tissues throughout the body communicate on a regular basis via signaling hormones. Adiponectin is one of those messengers released by adipocytes to inform the rest of the body about how full the fat cells are. If they aren't full, Scherer explains, the cells pour out copious adiponectin. The body then responds by directing its fat into those cells for storage. As adipocytes fill with lipids, they turn down the adiponectin signal, telling the body that it's time to find new fat depots.

    Adipocytes release several other messengers, among them leptin. As lipids swell the adipocytes, the cells crank up production of this hormone. Once released into the bloodstream, leptin circulates to the brain, where it offers a status report on how full the fat cells are. If leptin signals that there's plenty of fat on hand, a healthy body not only experiences satiety but also reduces its food intake and burns more calories.

    At some point, a spontaneous mutation in mice led to a strain of animals that lacked the ability to make leptin. The resulting rodents, always hungry and primed to store—not burn—any excess energy consumed, inevitably become obese. Scherer's group worked with this strain and engineered it also to make extra adiponectin. The new mice typically produce about twice as much adiponectin as a normal, svelte rodent does. This excess is comparable to what can occur when people take certain diabetes-controlling drugs.

    In the new study, the researchers compared normal, lean, leptin-producing mice with leptinfree, obese ones and the new leptinfree-but-high-adiponectin animals. By adulthood, the new mice far surpassed the girth of the original obese line. But instead of having high blood sugar and insulin concentrations—characteristics of the original obese animals that mimic type-2 diabetes symptoms—the new megafatties exhibited normal insulin and blood-sugar values. In fact, Scherer says, the engineered animals had about the same insulin characteristics as healthy, lean mice.

    "That was a real surprise," he concedes—"that the [new] mice could get so fat and yet remain very healthy, metabolically speaking."

    One solution: More fat cells

    Most people are like obese mice, chronically taking in more calories than they burn, Scherer says.

    Lipid buildup in the liver is "really the driving force for insulin resistance," a metabolic change that precedes the development of diabetes, notes Scherer When this develops, the body makes normal amounts of insulin, but finds itself increasingly unable to use it. The end result: Too little insulin is used to move energy into cells, leaving high concentrations of sugar in the blood.

    The new study with high-adiponectin mice shows that "if you can overcome this block of overexpansion of adipose tissue, there is no need for excess calories to deposit as fat in the liver," Scherer says. Instead, fat can accumulate where it does the least damage, "in the professional fat-storage cell, the adipocyte."

    But Scherer doesn't want to say that excess calories are benign when they wind up in fat cells. Bulging adipocytes send out a number of inflammatory compounds (SN: 2/28/04, p. 139). It's not yet clear how important a role these compounds may play in chronic disease, but some have been linked to diabetes. Moreover, extra weight may strain an animal's joints and even its heart. So, it's premature to give a clean bill of health to mice whose physiques rival that of Jabba the Hutt.

    Still, Scherer argues, "from a qualitative point of view, these [new] mice are relatively healthy." Indeed, he says, what happens in the animals' tissues may explain why some very obese people are able to retain good insulin sensitivity and dodge the diabetes bullet.

    People who develop diabetes as adults tend to put all of their fat into a few big, inflammation-prone fat cells. However, some people's bodies employ a different strategy, Scherer says. They pack relatively small quantities of fat into an ever-proliferating number of fat cells, ones that never seem to undergo stress-induced inflammation. This approach is triggered by a "local overexpression of adiponectin in adipocytes." That, in turn, switches on production of a key signaling molecule—PPAR-gamma—that serves as a master switch "governing how many fat cells we have," he explains.

    "None of this is an endorsement for obesity," Scherer cautions. "But it shows that if you can expand your fat stores in a healthy way to keep up with your caloric intake, this will improve insulin sensitivity."

    Overall, he argues, "the best strategy is to eat less and exercise more. But for the many of us who continue to take in more calories than we burn, it would be better to expand our fat-cell numbers than to store excess lipids in other tissues. That's our take-home message."


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    Philipp E. Scherer

    Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research

    Department of Internal Medicine

    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

    5323 Harry Hines Boulevard

    Dallas, TX 75390-9077
    Further Reading

    Dormandy, J.A., et al. 2005. Secondary prevention of macrovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes in the PROactive Study (PROspective pioglitAzone Clinical Trial In macroVascular Events): A randomised controlled trial. Lancet 366(Oct. 8):1279-1289. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Harder, B. 2007. Fixes for fatty liver. Science News 171(March 3):136-137. Available at [Go to].

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Psaty, B.M., and C.D. Furberg. 2007. Rosiglitazone and cardiovascular risk. New England Journal of Medicine 356(June 14):2522-2524. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Fattening carbs—Some promote obesity and worse. Science News Online (Sept. 29). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Infectious foie gras? Science News Online (June 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Inflammatory fat. Science News 165(Feb. 28):139-140. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2007. Diabetes drug might hike heart risk. Science News 171(June 23):397. Available at [Go to].

              Fattening Carbs—Some Promote Obesity and Worse        

    Food for Thought

    Nutritionists call them carbohydrates. To most of us, they're simply sugars and starches. And although the fructose in soft drinks and the refined flour in white bread taste quite different, "nutritionally and metabolically they're the same as table sugar," explains endocrinologist David S. Ludwig. That's because the body digests all carbohydrate-rich foods into glucose, or blood sugar.

    However, all carbs don't break down at the same rate. The body digests those in many whole-grain products quite slowly. Others become converted to glucose almost immediately.

    Rapidly digested carbs aren't healthy for people with diabetes and others watching their blood sugar. A new study by Ludwig and his colleagues at Children's Hospital Boston suggests that such carbs are also problematic for people looking to shed body fat. Indeed, the findings indicate that consumption of the wrong carbs can spur the development of body fat, even with no gain in weight.

    In the study, mice that chowed down on a type of rapidly digestible starch didn't gain any more weight than did animals eating a starch that digests slowly. But the first group did accumulate lots of excess fat. The data indicate that something about rapidly digesting carbs signaled the body to convert more of a meal's energy into body fat, into fatty lipids that circulate in blood, and into deposits of fat throughout the liver.

    Ludwig considers the observed effect on the animals' livers the most troubling one. Fatty-liver disease has traditionally been regarded as the first stage of damage from alcoholism that can progress to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death. But researchers in recent years have discerned the beginnings of an epidemic of fatty-liver disease unrelated to alcoholism but correlated strongly with being overweight. Recent data suggest that as much as one-third of children and even a higher proportion of adults have the condition. Ludwig told Science News Online that he suspects that "up to half of the [U.S.] population" now has fatty-liver disease.

    The question has been what's fueling this epidemic. Because the disease so often accompanies obesity, many researchers have suspected that high-fat diets and junk foods are responsible. Ludwig's group had another idea.

    In recent years, the mushrooming incidence of obesity in the United States has led to a push to get people to lower their intakes of fat. However, reducing fat consumption almost always translates into increasing the intake of carbs (see Counting Carbs). Moreover, the carbs most people reach for first are the refined—easy to digest—types found in white flour, white rice, pasta, and potatoes.

    Ludwig's team decided to see whether a diet rich in a similar carb promotes fat buildup. They used a proportion of carbs that people on a low-fat diet might eat and compared its effects with that of a diet equal in all respects except that its carbs were mainly a slowly digested starch.

    In the September Obesity, the researchers show that animals eating rapidly digested carbs accumulated more fat throughout their bodies—including their livers—than did animals eating primarily the slow-to-digest starch.

    Says Ludwig, "This is the first study in which a single dietary factor—varied within normal ranges—affected whether the liver remained normal or accumulated seriously elevated levels of fat."

    Recipe for pudge

    In the new study, Ludwig's team fed 18 recently weaned mice food pellets containing 13 percent fat, 19 percent protein, and 68 percent carbohydrates from corn starch. Half the animals got pellets containing the starch called amylopectin, which is made up of a string of glucose molecules that the gut easily degrades into sugar. The remaining mice ate pellets containing some amylopectin but mostly the starch called amylose. That type of corn starch resists breakdown in the gut.

    All the animals ate and drank as much as they wanted for 25 weeks. Throughout the study, the researchers charted weight gain, body fat, fecal excretion of starch, and blood concentrations of glucose and insulin. At the end, the researchers killed the animals and measured their livers' fat contents.

    Weight gain didn't differ between the two groups of animals, suggesting that the mice found the diets comparably palatable. However, the animals' bodies responded differently to the two food-pellet recipes. Mice dining on amylopectin-enriched chow became twice as fat as those eating the slower-digested amylose recipe. Mice eating this starch grew a little longer in body, so they looked leaner that the "roly-poly" mice eating easily digested starch, Ludwig says. The latter mice "felt squishy," whereas the slow-digested-starch eaters felt firm, he adds.

    Although blood sugar concentrations didn't differ between the two groups, mice on the amylopectin-rich food developed higher insulin values after a meal. The body uses the hormone to shepherd energy into its cells. Higher blood insulin after a meal, Ludwig explains, indicates that an animal needs more insulin to fully use the food it's eaten. Needing more of the hormone can be a first sign of insulin resistance and impending diabetes.

    Ludwig notes, "Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone, meaning it promotes the storage of fat. In fact, that's arguably one of [the hormone's] main roles." One of the first places newly made insulin ends up is in the liver, where it can trigger the localized creation and stockpiling of fat.

    Although the rodents' livers weighed the same whether they ate fast- or slow-digested starch, fat made up 12 percent of the liver in mice fed the amylopectin-rich diet. That's double the fat content of livers in animals that had eaten the slow-digested starch. For perspective, Ludwig notes, people whose livers contain 10 percent fat are considered to be suffering from "advanced" nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease.

    What about people?

    This isn't the first study to indicate that foods that rapidly break down to glucose in the body—characterized as having a "high glycemic index" (see The New GI Tracts)—can fuel nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease. For instance, last year Silvia Valtueña of the University of Parma in Italy and her colleagues reported findings from a study of 247 apparently healthy men and women. The volunteers' diets were evaluated and given a glycemic-index (GI) rating.

    Low GI foods included corn, dairy products, and fruit. High GI fare included bread, pizza, and baked snacks. The volunteers were grouped into four categories based on the ascending GI rankings of their diets.

    Participants with the highest-GI diets were twice as likely to have undiagnosed fatty-liver disease as were other study participants. People in the highest group were also far likelier to be insulin resistant, the researcher reported in the July 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    In an editorial accompanying the Valtueña report, David J.A. Jenkins and his colleagues at the University of Toronto argued that the "implication of this study is that a low-GI diet, or selection of lower-GI rather than higher-GI foods, may benefit persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver." Indeed, the commenters suggested, it might be possible for doctors to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver by lowering the glycemic index of an individuals' diets.

    That's what Ludwig's group is now investigating: "We hope to enroll 46 kids to a diet for 6 months," he says. The 8- to 17-year-olds and their parents will receive dietary counseling. Half of the recruits will be assigned to a low-fat diet. The rest will receive counseling to lower the glycemic index of their diets. The general guidelines for a low-GI diet call for substituting whole-grain foods for ones made from highly processed cereal fibers and reducing refined sugars in favor of sweet fruits.

    "Conceptually," Ludwig says, "fatty liver should be reversible—we've seen it anecdotally in practice many times, such as when someone loses weight or changes the quality of their diet."


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    David J.A. Jenkins

    Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center

    St. Michael's Hospital

    61 Queen Street, East

    Toronto, ON M5C 3E2

    Canada


    David S. Ludwig

    Children's Hospital Boston

    Department of Medicine

    333 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115


    Silvia Valtueña

    Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

    University of Parma

    43100 Parma

    Italy
    Further Reading

    Pawlak, D.B., et al. 2001. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. Journal of Nutrition 131(January):99-104. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Super-size mice—Fast food hurts rodents. Science News Online (June 9). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Counting carbs. Science News 166(July 17):40-42. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Coming soon—Spud lite. Science News Online (June 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. The new GI tracts. Science News 157(April 8):236-238. Available at [Go to].

    Sloth, I., et al. 2004. No difference in body weight decrease between a low-glycemic-index and a high-glycemic-index diet but reduced LDL cholesterol after 10-wk ad libitum intake of the low-glycemic-index diet. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80(Aug. 1):337-347. Available at [Go to].

              Te vas a cansar de morir en Shiren The Wanderer 3        

    TinyCartridge recupera un anuncio japonés ( de por allá 2008 ) de Shiren The Wanderer 3, el JRPG para hombres y jugones de verdad. Un juego en el que te hartarás a morir, aunque si es al compás de la Quinta Simfonía de Beethoven siempre es más agradecido. Además, los muchachos de Tiny han preguntado a los editores yanquis del juego, Atlus, cuáles son sus muertes favoritas en el juego. Aunque su versión homónima portátil sí llegó al viejo continete, ya es un milagro milagroso que dos años después, Shiren 3 Wii diera el salto a Estados Unidos, o sea que si estáis interesados en JRPG's para poner a prueba vuestra paciencia, tendréis que tirar de importación.










              Dance Of Death        
    Dance Of Death
    author: Dale Hudson
    name: Kristin
    average rating: 3.57
    book published: 2006
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2011/09/19
    shelves: to-read
    review:


              Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales        
    Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales
    author: William M. Bass
    name: Kristin
    average rating: 4.17
    book published: 2003
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2010/04/23
    shelves: to-read
    review:


              LA Art Show 2017 PhotoJournal Interview with Chinese Artist, Si Bowen by Ginger Van Hook        
    Chinese Artist from Beijing exhibits painterly expressions of time through space.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2017




    On the Opening Night of the LA Art Show 2017, the first artist to capture my eye with his painting was Si Bowen. This was not easy to do as I was carried away by the crowd at the entrance and was led through a throng of art lovers all but covering the paintings and artworks with their own presence of appreciation. The fact that we are about a week from the inauguration of a new President, it seemed fit to come across a painter with an outside perspective of our election process. Si Bowen, an artist born in Beijing, China who studied art not only in Beijing, but in France and New York, described to me that his rendering of the television debate versions of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were painted to describe the passage of time. Viewed as duplicate and triplicate images of Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton side by side on their podiums with hand gestures superimposed one over the other, yielded an out of focus picture of the debate postures from last year. That the image captured my eye because it looked politically vaguely amusing or satirical yet timely or that it expressed a unique and clever perspective was something that made me stop and want to meet the artist. The American People might agree that our process is somewhat murky when we transition from one administration to another, so the artist Si Bowen, might have captured in his painting, the unclarity of our union in mid-gesture. Nonetheless, his portfolio of non-political images was of even further interest as one of his favorites was the wonderful painterly expression and focus on his grandmother's hand. Si Bowen stated that he had studied in France as well as spent time in the arts in New York and that he started drawing at the age of three. When his father observed his talents, he enrolled him in the art schools at an early age. Some of the works that Si Bowen showed me in his catalogue were even more spiritually related than just his exploration of time and space and matters of death and spirituality. 

    Si Bowen is a multi-diciplinary artist creating works in sculpture, oil paint, and installation works. Si Bowen is represented by the LIAHONA ART SPACE representing the strong forces of young Chinese artists.

    PhotoJournal by 
    Ginger Van Hook, Photographer, Writer, Curator, Artist
    Van Hook Fine Arts, Beacon Arts Building Studio 1D
    808 N. La Brea Inglewood
    Los Angeles, California
    email: gingervanhook@gmail.com
    www.gingervanhook.com


              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson


    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!


    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!

    *********************************************************************************

    JOSHUA ELIAS
    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website
    *************************************************************************************************************************



    SIMONE GAD
    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008


    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005


    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia





    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad


    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008



    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad


    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008



    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-

    ************************************************************************************


    BETTY GLASS

    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass


    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at www.bhglassart.com

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.





    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,
    2008

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook
    Painting, www.lukevanhook.com
    Photography, www.gingervanhook.com
    Writing, www.enildeingelsvanhook.com


     America is having a love affair with trees and California is second to none in leading its appreciation of trees. Digging deep into the roots of this story, I have followed and researched the tree culture specifically in Los Angeles where our love of trees has spawned a unique pop tree culture relating to art. Our popular tree culture today includes but is not limited to tree sculptures, tree paintings, tree photographs, tree videos, tree poetry, tree songs, tree jewelry, tree movies and even tree love affairs. 


    Tree Earing created by Joel Tauber for his Sick-Amour Tree in Pasadena, California.
    Additional Tree Jewelry created by Joel Tauber to adorn the Sick-Amour Tree includes leaf jewelry, as well as the male earing and the female earing that hang from the tree below.  
    Photos of tree jewelry courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Gallery 5795 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 www.vielmetter.com   infor@vielmetter.com (323-933-2117)


    Sick-Amour Tree in the parkinglot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, protected by barriers installed by Joel Tauber in his quest to save his beloved tree. Tree wearing the earings looks hot!  Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery.
    Leaf sculpture by Joel Tauber
    Female tree earing by Joel Tauber.
    Male tree earing created by Joel Tauber, photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, 2008

    For the record, our love of trees goes way back to the dawn of time when we were swinging in the trees, however, our love has grown and matured since then. The Greek and Roman heritage of literature and art bestows us with intoxicating stories of their Gods having entanglements with humans. Some of their deities were known as protectors of trees and nature such as Dionysus the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and merriment. He was later renamed Bacchus by the Romans and reported to be the Tree God. Back in the day when artists carved trees into stone and marble relief sculptures to worship in the temples of their mythological gods, people celebrated the sacredness of trees, grapevines and sometimes the unions of gods and mortals. There was Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees who married Vertumnus, the god of fruits and gardens. Digging deep enough, one is sure to find stories of deities mating with trees and spawning children of the harvest for instance.

    In modern literary circles there are a number of great imaginative family favorites written about trees, like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Then there’s the infamous story of how Robinson Crusoe lived in a tree-house, and of utmost importance to our American history of trees, we propagate the very memorable legend of ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

    In our contemporary times we have a legend in the making too. I have been fortunate to witness the emergence of a new ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and interestingly enough, the story involves a recent romantic love affair between one special tree and a mortal that is well worth pursuing the story. Sometime in the fall of in 2007, I met Joel Tauber. This is the artist who I believe was struck by a mythological bolt of lighting, so to speak, pertaining to one of the Greek or Roman deities’. Joel Tauber is said to have fallen head over heels in love with one particular Sycamore Tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. My chance meeting with this now famous mortal under the influence of an enchanted mystical spell, has led me to research the mysteries intrinsic in the charms of trees. I too have been struck with the frailty of trees, their vulnerabilities, and their enormous strengths and inspiration. This together with my own personal experiences with trees has prompted me to come out of my shell and discuss the subject in all seriousness.

    My own personal background is not in trees. I am simply a tree-lover from childhood. For a little over ten years, my professional background was in radio as a disc jockey and on-air personality. I listened to music, reviewed songs and kept tabs on the pop music culture. I worked in the Los Angeles market as well as Santa Barbara, California; Eventually I moved to expand my work experience in neighboring radio markets like Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada. It was through traveling that I saw some of the most beautiful trees along the routes through Northern California and Northern Nevada!
    While I drove from one radio market to another over the years, I watched the trees go by at the various speed limits along the highways of my life’s journeys. Thus you will understand when I tell you that often I see art and life, for that matter, through a series of moving images in my head which include a music bed. 
    I was eleven years old when in 1970, Joni Mitchell wrote and released a song called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whose lyrics surpassed the test of time and is currently in airplay by a glut of new groups. The lyrics began with “…They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.” One of the barometers I use to gage the influence of any particular song, music or artwork that I come into contact with is if it will surpass the test of time, among other important criteria. This song became one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics made so much sense to me.
    When I met Joel Tauber, I was introduced to the enormous scope of his Sick-Amour Tree-Baby Project. It was then that I suddenly started hearing Joni Mitchell’s song in my mind again, only this time, as I got in my car, Counting Crows was performing the song. When I started doing more research on the song that I could not get out of my head, I was struck by how many artists had re-recorded the song and barely changed anything about the words. There is Amy Grant, who upgraded the dollar amount from $1.50 to $25 when singing about how much the museums charged people to enter. Additionally there is Green Day, Sarah McLachlan, Charlie Barker, Bob Dylan, Moya Brennan, Ireen Sheer, Donnie Eidt and a host of so many others that have recorded ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ it was simply overwhelming!
    I think the importance of the lyrics to this one particular song is that it reveals the fact that people love trees and hate parking lots. The message is that if it weren’t for our trees, we could be living in a frying pan! The impact of this single song is that it reveals what is really going on in people’s minds. There is a reason why so many artists are flocking to re-record the lyrics in their own way.











    Not only are trees involved in the music arena, trees as subjects, are very involved in politics as well. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin at the time, took a leading role in developing the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a way to commemorate our environmental concerns. Arbor Day is presently celebrated as well with the first ceremonial tree planting in Washington D.C. on April 27th in 2001, all evidence that goes to prove the people of our planet do care about what happens to our trees.


    Trees stand as a testiment and memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King

    Dr. Martin Luther King is memorialized with trees along Expositon Blvd. across from the Los Angeles Coliseum and down the street from the University of Southern California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Online sources on the subject of trees are rich in number. For instance, eighteen years ago, here in Los Angeles, a multi racial group of volunteers planted 400 Canary Island Pine trees along seven miles of road on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. Today, this living homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to thrive and keep the dream alive for his followers. The founder and President of www.treepeople.org is Mr. Andy Lipkis and he keeps tabs on the trees to make sure all 400 trees stay healthy.



    Mayor Antonio Villarigosa is the person to thank for the ‘Million Trees Initiative’ he signed into effect in May of 2006 and Los Angeles residents can learn how they too can receive up to 7 free trees to plant on their property. Visit the website at www.milliontreesla.org to learn the details.   Also in Portland, Oregon there is www.friendsoftrees.org and in Bellingham Washington you will find www.geocities.com. There is also the International Society of Arboriculture called ISA and can be accessed by visiting www.isa-arbor.com. You will also find a great deal of valuable advise on the growth and care of trees at www.treesaregood.com and check out Tree Care Industry Association TCIA as well.



    Mark Dion created an art piece titled "Library for the Birds of Antwerp" which is also a good example of how art is vitally connected with our tree culture and how it connects Mark Dion to his PBS special where he removed a dead tree from the forest and recreated its living components in a city scape in Washington.  From the "20th Century Artbook Phaidon Press 1996", the caption reads: "Using props from the natural and man-made world, Dion has constructed an installation that explores contemporary attitudes to science and the environment. He has created a fictional and hybridized situation in which the trappings associated with knowledge, learning and classification--such as books and photographs--are juxtaposed with natural elements including birds and wood.   The representation of nature is a fundamental subject in Dion's art, and here he takes on the role of sociologist/anthropologist and blurring the boundaries between authentic and fake, representation and parody. By adopting the persona of a scientist and by satirizing man's obsession with categorization, Dion questions the values of the Western world.  His subject matter is heavily influence by popular culture.  In Dion's world we might witness Mickey Mouse as an explorer, or Clark Kent interviewing Dr. Frankenstein." (Photo and contents are used in this story for purposes of artistic review.)

    In the art world, an artist named Mark Dion was featured in a documentary film report that aired in 2007. To view the video one may visit on the Internet by going to www.pbs.org and find Mark Dion as he took the subject of trees and made an art piece that explored what would happen if one were to take a tree after its death, take it out of its familial context of natural forest, and re-create the ecosystem in an environment that would otherwise be a hostile urban setting, needless to say, a cityscape. Just outside of Seattle Washington, he states, a Hemlock fell on February 8th, 1996…and so begins an elaborate experiment that pits optimism against reality." The PBS special is very detailed and you will enjoy the depth of research and work that Mark Dion went to to take a tree out of the forest and recreate the setting in the city.  The difference between the artwork presented by Mark Dion and  the artwork presented by Joel Tauber is in the nature of the life of the tree. Mark Dion works with a dead tree and its living components, and Joel Tauber creates life out of a tree seed and duplicates it all over his community.


    Thus I’ve discovered for myself that when I researched the subject of trees, I discovered Joel Tauber wasn’t alone! However, instead of creating an experiment in ecology, Joel Tauber goes further than Mark Dion does with this concept of eco-systems and their frailties. Joel Tauber begins a journey that could eventually repair the eco-systems that man has destroyed. This is where Joel Tauber takes the lead in the art world and becomes not only the realist but the optimistic hope for trees in desecrated forests all over the country.
    Joel Tauber’s work as a living project of art in 2008 has resonance and his story is well worth telling again and again. He is certainly not the first, nor the last to get involved in the love of trees, but he is the first in contemporary times to have been associated with a mythological and mystical occurrence of reproducing tree babies out of just hugging one lonely tree.


    The last time I saw a man hugging a tree, he was hugging the tree for all the wrong reasons. At the MOCA, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, some years back I was viewing an exhibition that was in town by the Utah born artist now working in Los Angeles, Paul McCarthy. While this work of art depicted a very raw and unsettling sculpture of ‘tree-lovin’ it had nothing whatsoever to do with the love of any tree. The work displayed a timely political statement about our government rather than the love for trees, but bear in mind that the thought involved images from man’s intimate involvement with trees both in the biblical sense and in the sense of man’s raping of the planet. Joel Tauber’s work counteracts the devastation of many years of neglect for our trees with a very basic recipe for the renewal of our commitment to our green-leafed friends. Now, when I see the image of Joel Tauber hugging his Sycamore Tree in Pasadena, I get a whole new perspective for the love for our planet, our trees and our environment as a whole.

    "The Garden" by Paul McCarthy from The 20th Century Art Book, 
    Phaidon Press Limited, page 280. Photo is used for purposes of artistic review.
    The caption in the book reads as follows: " 'The Garden'  is a full-scale tableau of an outdoor, woodland scene, complete with leafy trees, shrubs and rocks.  This tranquil picture of nature is rudely interrupted by the presence of a middle-aged, balding man with his trousers round his ankles, engaged in a wholly unnatural act. From one side of the installation, his actions are not immediately apparent, being partially hidden by the tree trunks and foliage, but the sound of mechanical activity draws the viewer in to discover the shocking sight of a man copulating with a tree.  This robotic figure, with its endlessly repetitive movements, is both comical and crude, and is intended by McCarthy to question notions of acceptable public behavior and sexual morality.  McCarthy is a lecturer at UCLA as well as an artist. His sculptural installations evolved out of his earlier performance work which focused on his own body engaged in extreme and disturbing acts."




    To further explain this romantic entanglement between a tree and a mortal, I cite some important historical facts. Back in 2005, Joel Tauber was in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, when he spotted a particularly lonely and neglected Sycamore Tree. There are hundreds of thousands of trees in Pasadena, and a great number of them thrive very well on the grounds of the Rose Bowl, should you ever drive through this luscious community of tree and rose-lovers, you will see. But Joel Tauber focused his attention on one specific lonely tree. He started to note more and more how cars would hit the bark of the tree and scrape it, injuring the tree repeatedly. Joel Tauber became a witness to this tree’s life. Taking compassion and friendship upon this particular tree, Tauber began to film the area of the parking lot where the tree was growing. He got the idea to put up solid barriers to protect it from cars and also carried water in large plastic bags to irrigate the tree. Soon, Tauber found himself as a one-man band, orchestrating a symphony of activities leading to editing mass quantities of tree footage, fighting City Hall, and embarking on a quest to save this tree from infertility using tried and true guerilla tactics that would make tree-huggers stand and salute. To personally view the Sick-Amour project, along with the giant scale tree sculpture installation exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery in 2007, you may visit www.vielmetter.com.













                   Recently, I had the privilege and opportunity to discuss Joel Tauber’s work with Susanne Vielmetter and she was delighted to tell me what a wonderful sense of humor that Tauber exhibits in all of his works of art. Susanne Vielmetter reviewed the Underwater project with me as well as the Flying Project which Tauber presented.
    She explained how deep down, she feels Tauber is on a quest for meaning in his work and that he has a keen sense of humor that unifies and makes his ideas successful. She states that he uses the comical and the tragic in the Tree-Baby project to address the issues of urban living in our time and very subtly pokes fun at the problems innate in urban planning. The real irony of a small Sycamore tree dying of thirst in a parking lot of a beautiful park in a paradise-like valley, alongside the 110 Pasadena Freeway where 80% of the territory is plastered with concrete and the water below runs along asphalt channels of the Los Angeles River is not lost on Tauber, she explained. To contrast, Susanne Vielmetter cited that parks in Europe allow for weeds to grow naturally on landscapes that are not covered with concrete. Joel Tauber’s projects were initially presented at the Susanne Vielmetter Gallery located at 5795 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, California. The response Susanne Vielmetter’s Gallery received was incredibly exciting, even though at first, some folks thought Joel Tauber was a nut; he went on to prove just how serious he really is about changing the landscape of our environment, one tree at a time.



    Joel Tauber has a large body of video artwork, photographs and developing tree babies, (the children of a mortal and a Charmed Sycamore Tree) and one may also visit www.joeltauber.com.
    As I learned more and more about Joel Tauber’s project, I realized how blessed we all are that tree-lovin’ is not a singular act of love or even a fleeting love of art. I realized how connected we all are to our environment and how the idea of having a special friend ‘the tree’, any tree in any state, in any country for that matter is a beautiful connection to have. The connection that Joel Tauber has to his Sycamore Tree is in synch with the love that the country is experiencing during our new millennium. We have all become acutely aware of the fragility of life; we realize now more than ever that we must respect our dependence on our environment and value our trees.

    The first thing that struck me about Joel Tauber was that we had the love of trees in common. He seemed a bit shy, unassuming and humble yet I was later to learn the enormous power he wielded for this one frail and neglected tree in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California. I was truly inspired by the level of involvement and commitment he had demonstrated for his own beloved Sycamore Tree which he had turned into a full-blown art-project including video, photography and sculptured jewelry. (He did it all!) He named this work the Sick-Amour Project mainly because he said he felt this tree was ill from the lack of love and the inability to have tree babies to fulfill its legacy. I had never personally met someone with such an extreme love and dedication to one particular tree. In our local newscasts, I had heard stories of people who became very emotional when a land developer was about to cut down a tree they considered a relic of their community; in which case people got very nasty about the issue and would chain themselves to the trees or surround the location with demonstrators that would shut down the jobsite. That’s when the news crews would come in with their cameras and boom mikes and the news helicopters would hover in circles above the trees trying to capture the ‘event’ that was creating all the uproar. A very recent example of this type of community behavior is written about on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times where Eric Bailey, a Times Staff Writer, wrote an extensive story about the tree-issues pertaining to Scotia, California where activists are protesting the logging of the Great California REDWOODS! Read the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, August 24th, 2008 or visit www.latimes.com online to learn how the tree-sitters are doing today.

    But Joel Tauber is a different type of activist. He doesn’t consider himself an activist at all. He merely states, humbly, just for the record, that he loves this one particular Sycamore Tree and it is an outrage to him to see how his new best friend is being suffocated under a six-inch blanket of black tar and asphalt. Better yet, Joel Tauber does something about it. Not with a crew of forty thousand demonstrators, not even with a crew of forty residents. He does this on his own, quietly challenging the laws of the city of Pasadena and humbly takes responsibility for the care and nurturing of his new best friend. I was touched. At once I began to marvel at his potent idea.



    The art of loving our trees has grown roots in the higher levels of the art world as well. For instance, if one were to visit the J. Paul Getty Museum both at the Getty Villa which recently re-opened in Malibu and at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, you will find the love of trees has grown branches on all the hillsides surrounding both properties. There are lucky Sycamores and fortunate Pines; there are Pomegranate trees, Apple trees, Pear trees, Jacaranda trees and trees that just look good in a vista overlooking the ocean. Millions of dollars went into the development of artistic gardens which envelope the California landscape against a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean on one edge and the rolling hills of Malibu on the other.






    Over in the area of the Miracle Mile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating an enormous renovation of its facilities and you guessed it, there are aisles and isles of gigantic palm trees lining the walkways to the entrance of the museum in concert with a unique and flamboyant architecture that has drawn the attention of the art-world with the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new wing at the LACMA and is considered the largest space in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. With a ‘living art display’ dedicated to the iconic palm trees, not native to California, Robert Irwin has developed a plein-air walkway through ‘Palm Gardens’ as one makes their way to the entrances of the museum.





    Lush green trees thrive all over Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Bowl where Joel Tauber fell in love with a Sycamore Tree.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008




     The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California  is also home to some of the most exquisite antiquities in its museum history which includes sculptures amid a forest like atmosphere. Currently at the Norton Simon Museum, among its many exhibitions, one may enjoy the artwork of Ruth Weisberg, Dean of the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Opening on October 17, 2008 the Weisberg exhibition at the Norton Simon runs through March 2, 2009. Additionally a lecture by the artist is planned where Weisberg discusses: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image on Sunday November 16, 2008.  The Norton Simon Museum of Art is located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Ruth Weisberg was instrumental in selecting the work of Joel Tauber to be permanently planted on the Main University Campus of USC on January 24, 2008 where a tree planting ceremony was held and attended by numerous members of USC faculty, staff, students and guests. The location of the new tree-baby, child of the Sick-Amour Project, currently exists on the Exposition side of the campus between Gate one and the Fischer Gallery, across the street from the Museum of Natural History. 


    In Pasadena, where lovers of trees line every street of the city as the landscapes are lush with all types of trees and where these wonderful healthy trees keep cool the throngs of tourists who visit the Rose Bowl every year, is also home to the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Both locations are areas where tree-lovin’ may be experienced alongside some of California’s best-known artworks. Visit the NORTON SIMON MUSEUM at www.nortonsimon.org located at 411 West Colorado, Pasadena, California 91105 or visit the PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART at www.pmcaonline.com at 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, California.



    In San Marino, California, the art of trees, gardens and succulents has found a worthy haven at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens spanning an area of 120 acres dedicated to the fine arts founded by Henry E. Huntington in 1928 as the very first public art gallery in Southern California. Along with English portraits and French eighteenth-century furniture, one will delight in tours of the unique garden paradise established for the pure love of the botanical arts.


    On the hillside along the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, one may also enjoy walking along the elegant landscapes of the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum grounds and witness the serenity of the trees as Weeping Willows slope their leaves to the ground, and gentle breezes sway the branches of Sycamores, Oaks and Birch trees. Visit the Skirball Museum online at www.skirball.org, or enjoy a personal walk along the grounds and explore the tributes to culture at 2701 North Sepulveda, Los Angeles 90049.

    Trees at the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center thrive and enjoy the mild California climate.


    In San Diego, one enjoys walking through a vast museum complex housing 15 unique museums in Balboa Park, not to mention to the collection of rare cactus and enormous Eucalyptus trees (just to name one tree type out of numerous ones) which shade the paths leading from one museum to another.

    Each of the locations I have mentioned or described here is where I personally walked through, witnessed, and or photographed sophisticated artistic tree landscapes of the California terrain.

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

    The impact of my meeting Joel Tauber coincided with an important event that took place for me way before I knew about his Sick-Amour Tree project and was what eventually led me to throw myself into this frenzied study of trees over this summer. Thus I do not necessarily consider myself struck by any of the Greek or Roman gods. I believe my influence came with a special awareness of the frailty of trees with this personal story:

    A little over one year ago, on June 30th, 2007 I was walking our dog Sasha, around the block for one of our frequent walks. I rounded the corner to the next block when I was taken aback as I witnessed a set of ‘city’ crewmembers slaughtering what appeared to be a California Oak tree. I had grown quite fond of that particular Oak on my many walks while I was writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, I had used that model of tree to describe a forest of these trees in a chapter in my first fiction novel. I especially love the sculptured texture of the Mighty gnarly Oaks. This tree had been the one to rekindle my relationship with the trees of my imagination. My stomach got queasy when I saw how it was being destroyed. I would have thrown-up, but I got a hold of my emotions and took Sasha home. Not only did I return to the scene of the slaughter, but I brought my camera to document the death and dismemberment of this great oak; I was so distraught that I returned again to the site, without my camera this time, and begged the men to stop for a moment while I sought out the seeds for this tree. To my surprise, the men stopped and helped me search for the seeds.








    When I got home, I had no idea what to do with the seeds. I called a couple of nurseries until a gentleman at a nursery in Marina del Rey explained to me that I had to wait until the pods dried up and slit to get at the seeds and plant them. So, I waited until the pods were black and wrinkled. I split them according to the directions I had gotten from this kind anonymous arborist. (He suggested a process much like that which squirrels have for cracking the pods.) I photographed the seeds and compared them with the larger seed of an apricot fruit tree and the seed of a maple tree.






    Once properly documented, I planted them in a small brown pot. Two weeks later, the first seed came up. A few days later another seed appeared to take root. On the one-year anniversary of the re-birth day of this Great Knurly Oak tree, July 20th, 2008, I documented how large the great twin oaks had become. The highest little bitty branch was about fourteen inches tall. I estimated this tree had grown a little over an inch every month. A compassionate act of kindness yielded a new life on the impulse of grief. The impulse of grief affected not only me; there is an entire world of tree-lovers mourning the losses of their favorite tree friends in surrounding communities.












    What about the subconscious feelings innate in developing a relationship with a tree? For instance, what draws people to want to save a particular tree? 

    I can really only speak to my own experience in that my relationship with trees started when I was a child.

              Luke Van Hook Paintings Now at Brand Library Galleries "Circle in the Square" Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, Cheryl Walker thru Sept 5th 2008        
    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008


    PHOTO-JOURNAL BY GINGER VAN HOOK


    Photo above: 
    Cathy Billings, Art Librarian and Gallery Manager of the 
    Brand Library Art Galleries and Co-Curator of 
    "Circle in the Square" selected Luke Van Hook 
    as one of the artists to show his circle paintings 
    which explore Giotto's fabled "perfect circle.
    Photo below: 
    Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor, Gallery Director 
    and Co-curator pictured with Luke Van Hook.
    Both ladies made studio visits all over Los Angeles and surrounding communities in search of the "perfect circle" of artists to represent the illusive qualities of the circle.
    It takes over a year to prepare for a large show at the Brand Library Art Galleries and no one will have a better story to tell you about the waiting process than Galleries Manager and Curator, Cathy Billings or Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor and Gallery Director. These ladies traveled to Inglewood, California for a studio visit to see Luke Van Hook's circle paintings some time in the early summer of 2007. They told Luke that they were preparing to curate a show of artists working on the motif of the 'circle'.  They had already reviewed a number of artists and found making the final decision difficult, first because there were a number of artists who worked with this subject and secondly, the talent was very competitive. The subject of the circle and how each artist approaches this topic is worth dedicated study in and of itself.  These lovely ladies, Cathy and Alyssa, with a keen eye for artistic talent, selected a total of five talented artists to show together this summer.   
    Here you will find photos of how each artist expressed their obsession with the circular form.  I'll begin my blog entry with a brief history of what I believe may have led Luke Van Hook to painting the circle and continue with the photos and biographical information of the additional four artists each selected for working with the motif of circles, independently of each other, with their own unique and individual interpretations of the circle: Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, and Cheryl Walker.
    Luke Van Hook began his present study of the circle in 2005. He first discovered the legend of Giotto's "Perfect Circle" in a class about ancient history; but the idea didn't sink in at first. He needed time to reason with his quest. While Luke approached the specific task of painting the circle with thin paintbrushes and applying layer upon layer of color to a raw naked canvas, I set about trying to understand what the hell prompted my husband to go circle crazy in the first place.  I started researching what the circle meant and I found a lot of literature in the realm of magic, rituals, mathematics, secret societies and romance. But my first impression was that the circle was a way to get back to the beginning of things.  Then I delved deeper.  Was Luke trying to say that he was going in circles?  Were we at this artistic point in our lives as a result of a past life?  Was our circular existence referencing our cycle of birth, death and rebirth?  Or was the answer more basic than that, like "the earth is round and it's an orbital thing.' There were other issues on the table I was urged to deal with also.  Were these circle paintings partly influenced by the school we had attended?  Once we leave school we are expected to make works of art that have fresh meaning and to blow out the cobwebs of old thinking.  While at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Luke Van Hook studied all the required areas to excel in his chosen profession as a fine arts painter including the figure, landscapes and abstracts. But the abstract visual image is what finally drew Luke back in.  Could it be the understated obvious fact that the big 'O' (which formed a circle on every memo, syllabus and brochure in the name of Otis College) was influencing him subconsciously?  
    Luke's earlier work involved intricately small hatch marks that evolved into large abstract images full of vibrant colors.  This work was very reminiscent of Jasper Johns.  So where did this circle idea really emanate from?  Did his hatch marks get married or what?  Observers of Luke Van Hook's work have stated that it raises the question, 'Is it a painting or a drawing?  Is it text or writing?'  Luke will often begin a row of circles that reads from left to right just as western literature is expressed.  But sometimes he changes his mind, and the direction of his technique, and he starts to paint his rows from right to left. At other times, he completes a horizontal column of circles which refers more to ancient Asian forms of writing going from the top, down.
    During his graduating year at Otis College in 2004, Luke went on a mission to explore machine technology as it pertained to replacing humans.  He painted large canvases with a number of faces and shapes that represented cyborgs expressing the fear, uncertainty and ambivalence that humans have toward our technological future.  But once out of school, a full year later, in 2005 Luke seem to have turned a corner.  He seemed to have replaced his fear of technology with a competitive defiance that defied all reason.  Luke started working with his father-in-law, in his machine shop, where he started to observe how everything around him involved the circle in one way or another.  He watched the machines (Fadal CNC's- numerical control production machines) in action. The tool would spin in circles, plunging in and out of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic materials. The space left behind was almost always a perfect circle.  Perhaps, this was Luke's starting point. It was the first time he'd really seen a machine make simple circles and Luke probably said something to himself like 'I can do this! Just watch me!' then promptly, decided to take on his destiny. To compete with a machine, may have been the early impulse that drew Luke to paint the circle, but the legend of Giotto's 'perfect circle' was what has kept Luke going full steam ahead into production of abstract works of art.  The initial pieces he created were prototypes. These were the experiments he and his father-in-law Luis Ingels, worked on before moving into the hand made pieces. As his first experiment, Luke inserted a paint brush into the collet of the machine and programmed the coordinates to match the canvas. He overshot his calculations and the brush came crashing down upon the canvas; the collet smashed the brush right through the canvas and even broke the frame. Perhaps, Luke might have thought as he and my father, Luis, looked at each other, 'it was time to go back to the drawing board'. Undaunted by initial failure, Luke did complete an entire series of machine made circles before he went on to the main event, the competition of drawing the circles, one by one, by hand.  
    Each piece of artwork created since his first attempts, is meticulously reinvented into creative visual landscapes layering circles upon circles of color schemes in gradations of complementary hues.  The colors reveal very subtle changes.  The circles pull the eye in.  The images seem to have a life of their own, a vibrant quality of pushing the viewer to look for patterns while pulling the eyes into fishers, crevices, or 'wormholes' as one collector observed. I have witnessed the intimate evolution of Luke's circles only because I have the honor and privilege of being Luke's wife.  The fact that I am discussing my husband's art work is of significance only in the sense that it is somewhat rare, although not unheard of, for the artist's loved one to interject a provocative discussion of the artwork publicly in a blog; however, this is a sign of the times we live in today and I feel blessed as a writer to have this open forum to share with you the joys and struggles inherent in Luke's artistic process.
    The way I see it, Luke has taken on  the impossible task of creating the perfect circle, where no perfect circle has ever existed before, despite Giotto's legend.  All mathematical equations to date reveal that there is no perfect circle. It is a myth. So why Luke has persisted in this impossible feat only reminds me of the story of Don Quixote. Here is where I see Luke chasing his windmills. This is where in my imagination, I view the circles on the canvas as Luke's quest for the impossible dream and his circles are his windmills.  His paintbrush is his sword.  Thus Luke 
    Van Hook's paintings, for me, exhibit all the romantic qualities innate in a love story.  Seeking to please his beloved Lucia, these references emerging from raw canvas could be read practically like text.  Some art collectors saw the circles as Braille text or some secret code or language.  The secret, I think, lies in Luke's love of sports!  Sometimes I interpret this circle code to reflect images of the sports activities I see Luke enjoy daily;  I make visual connections to the circles on the wheels of his bicycles which hang in his studio or his skate boards that decorate the rafters of the painting bays or even the wheels that drive his car which sits resting on almost perfect circles on the driveway.
    For a while, I was convinced that Luke's enthusiasm for cycling was directly influencing the subjects of his paintings because one day, I was staring at one of his earlier images, (which is hung lovingly on the wall of the dining room right over the microwave oven); I saw it hanging next to a photograph of Luke participating in the 'Death Race 1999', a bicycle ride that cycle enthusiasts pursue along the most dangerous mountainous roads known as the California Alps in Northern California at the edge of the Northern Nevada border where Markleeville meets the Carson Valley.   The image Luke had painted in 1998, while recovering, ironically, from a broken ankle suffered in a bicycle race in Minden; was the image of three bicycles in a dead heat on the gray pavement with the yellow dividing line providing a ground for what appears as three large helmets (representative of the riders) in red, green and yellow.  The eventual emergence of Luke's hatch marks from work created in 2000, can be seen on the helmets and if you are really looking for this, (with your microscope) you may even find, the very beginnings of the influences which have eventually led to this mad case of circle paintings!  The circle imagery you might be searching for could have started at the base of the bicycle's anatomy with the wheels spinning along the highway to Kingsbury Grade, somewhere near Genoa, along the bottom of the hill leading to Lake Tahoe.  I comfort myself as painter's wife, that even Picasso had his periods, as did Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin and so long as Luke Van Hook doesn't try to cut off his ear we are doing just fine with these circles.


    But don't take my word for it. Luke Van Hook's circle paintings are something you should see for yourself.  The subtlety of the work is difficult to capture on film, although I tried my best to create a video after struggling with photographing the stills for three years.  But even the video work fails to reveal the whole story.  You've got to stand in front of one of these pieces to involve yourself in the novella of Luke's life.  Although I can decode a small portion of what I see through his work, the rest of the circles on the canvas are still a vague mystery to me as well.  Every relationship has its secrets.  Thus Luke and I, as artists, are no different.  Even when we know each other, there are elements of surprise and adventure that we have yet to tell each other.  The mystery in his canvases is what really thrills me to see Luke's work on display under gallery lighting! (Sales don't hurt my enthusiasm either!)





    When I think of Luke Van Hook's circle paintings, today, in 2008, I often think of Luke riding a skateboard doing 'ollies' and then trying for a loop-de-loop in mid-air.  This is because in January of 2008, Luke begged for a skateboard for his birthday and little did I know what would happen when I wrapped it up for him!  He has returned to the love of his youth.  Luke Van Hook has come full circle to his beginnings to land on his home base. The skateboard has also flown in mid-air, in harmony with gravity, and both land as one in a perfect execution of a move I would never dare try to do myself.  I see each circle on the canvas as Luke's attempt to catapult his work into the mainstream of the art-world with each rotation of the paintbrush on the surface of the canvas.  This is where I see Luke Van Hook in mid catapult, surfing on the air, light in transition, from youth to inspired maturity; from student to master, with paintbrush in hand landing and continuing to roll on four wheels with a great big shit-eating grin on his face. ('four' being the lucky number of his numerology charts). I see the ordered struggle, the innate joy in the success of one loop-de-loop after another. And once in a while, I also see the crash landing and the bloody injuries.  What is more important is that Luke gets up and does it again each and every time.  Luke has to begin again with each new circle, every circle becoming a part of a larger layer of community, thus his canvases vibrate with activity, mystery, romance and adventure.  I find my own meanings in each image  as it develops day by day and I am privileged to stand beside him, admire and witness the struggle of our Don Quixote in the new millennium, first hand.
    There is still time to see these painting up close and personal. The Brand Library Art Galleries is part of the Glendale Public Library, located at 1601 West Mountain Street in the City of Glendale, 91201  Telephone:  818-548-2051/ fax 818-548-2713 ;  visit the Brand Library Art Galleries online at   www.brandlibrary.org    to  check for Library hours.
    Cookie Gallegos, Ana Porras and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Art Library Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008 Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Margo Payne, Lynn Nantana-Green and Angela Williams attend the exhibition "Circle in the Square" in support of Luke Van Hook.
    Lynn Lantana-Green came to support Artist, Luke Van Hook at the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" an art exhibition held at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photos by Ginger Van Hook
    Kevin Powell came to support Luke Van Hook and enjoy the paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist Luke Van Hook brought home-made pies to his reception of the exhibition "Circle in the Square". In addition to painting, Luke Van Hook has a reputation for making awesome pies from scratch. Photographed milling around the Double Fudge Pican Pie and the Sweet Berry Pie were the grandchildren of Hector Sticker. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Claudio Sticker, Hector Sticker, Peter Bolten, Martha Ingels, Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels attend the reception of  "Circle in the Square". Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels worked together to create circles on canvas with the use of robotic CNC machines. After creating a little over a dozen machine-made paintings, Luke went on to compete with the machine and do the circles on his own by hand, one by one. Each circle is represented as being one breath and Luke Van Hook states that these are the marks he is leaving behind which define his existence during this lifetime as he continues to pursue the legend of "Giotto's Perfect Circle". Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Ohannes Berberian, his daughter Melanie, Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian attend the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008.  Ohannes Berberian owns DigiTECH Camera Repair in Monrovia, California (www.digitechcamerarepair.com). Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian are both fine art painters and members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (M.A.F.A.). Rouzanna Berberian is a teacher in the after-school arts programs supported by M.A.F.A.  which promotes the goal of enhancing the lives of those within the community through interaction with the arts and to increase the opportunities of children through art education. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Kathleen Zgonc, photographer Frank Zgonc and artist Luke Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008. Frank Zgonc is a an executive member of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts in Monrovia, California. Frank Zgonc is the vice-president and official curator of Monrovia's yearly October Art Festival. This year the October Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday October 11th and 12th, 2008 at the Monrovia Community Center located at 119 W. Palm Avenue in Monrovia. Free and open to the public, this art event will feature work by photographer Frank Zgonc; (Scheduled from 10 am to 6pm both days).  There will also be an Opening Night Celebration Saturday, October 11th from 7-9:30 pm where the special Renaissance Award will be presented to a worthy individual who has made significant contributions to the arts. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Mr. and Mrs. Luke and Ginger Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Libraries Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.  Luke Van Hook an artist working from Inglewood, California earned a BFA  at Otis College of ARt and Design.  For several years, Van Hook has been exploring in his work, Giotto's fabled "perfect circle".  Over time the single-minded focus on the perfection of the circle has been subsumed by the artist's interest in the aesthetic and expressive qualities of the circle. New works depict ritualistically repeated circular brushstrokes on canvas, hemp, and other materials. Van Hook states that he began " as a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle was possible; these circles have now morphed into a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle is  possible. These circles have now morphed into a study in patience. The sense of time and the marking of time is inherent in the meticulous application of paint. The viewer can appreciate these temporal qualities but is also compelled to bring their own  interpretation to the work. Are these circles pure abstraction? Combined do they conceal deliberate shapes and forms? or are they perhaps a secret code or language? Van Hook has exhibited at TAG Gallery, Focus One Gallery, and the Bolsky Gallery in  Westchester. Luke Van Hook's painting may also be viewed on his website: www.lukevanhook.com
    Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten


    Kevin Powell comes to support Luke Van Hook for his opening reception. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Jason Porras attends the opening reception to support Luke Van Hook in his endeavors to pursue Giotto's legend of the 'Perfect Circle'. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo By Ginger Van Hook.


    Zoe Hengst, Ginger Van Hook and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.
    Zoe and Jopie Hengst walk through the center of the exhibition "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook at the opening night, August 2, 2008. Paintings by Susan Sironi in the background. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cookie Gallegos, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook pose for photographs in front of Luke Van Hook's painting at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.

    Cookie Gallegos and Ana Porras watch the dance performance choreographed by Cheryl Walker, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Yesung Kim poses for a photograph in front of her paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 02, 2008, Glendale, California. Yesung Kim from Upland, California, was born in Seoul, South Korea and holds MFA degrees from Chung-Ang University and Claremont Graduate University. Kim's mixed media pieces are seductively simple. Ordinary brown packing string is deftly applied to a painted canvas creating organic shapes that shimmer and reflect light. At times these shapes appear to be on the brink of an amoeba-like division as they spread and expand, dropping off the edge of one canvas and continuing on to another. Kim  cites the natural world and light and color as the underlying themes that both inspire and permeate her work.  Following solo shows at the Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul Arts Center, Kim's work was most recently exhibited at the San Bernardino County Museum's Multi Media Mini Show. More information about Kim's work can be found on her website: www.yesungkim.com
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Painting by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Glass curtain by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008,Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker designed a curtain of vinyl layers of color called 'Waterfall IV' that became the backdrop for a beautiful dance performance using the 'circle in the square' theme exhibited at the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker holds in her hand some of the vinyl circles that were placed upon the windows at the exhibition hall. Her vinyl circles upon the windows created an illusion of  the stained glass effects. The dance piece entertained a large audience on opening night as artists, collectors, art appreciators and family and friends celebrated the mythologies, geometries, magical and mystical qualities of the circle.   Dance Performers Liz  Curtis, and Martha Carrascosa performed a dance which included participation from members of the audience.  
    Members of the audience interacted with the dancers Martha Carrascosa and Liz Curtis at the Brand Library Art Galleries participated in creating a colorful cascade of window art on August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.
    Audience watches dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa from Glendale Community College as they perform a choreographed piece by Cheryl Walker, artist. "Circle in the Square", Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008.  Photo By Ginger Van Hook
    Dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa performing dance choreographed by artist Cheryl Walker, (within the green curtain), Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker engaged in performance art intersecting with window art using the artistic theme of 'Circle in the Square'. Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CAlifornia August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cheryl Walker smiles happily on opening night, Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker, a Los Angeles artist, earned her BA in art in her home state of Minnesota, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. In this exhibition Walker created two large site-specific installations of vinyl, oil pastel and natural and artificial light.  Walker explains that the driving force behind her work is "human interaction and improvisation in response to a natural phenomenon or situation." Trained as painter, Walker's installations have some of the qualities of painting; when viewed head-on the suspended layers of vinyl can appear to be two-dimensional because of their transparency and the cut shapes and forms applied to the vinyl are reminiscent of brushstrokes--but removed from the wall these works are thrust into what she calls an "interactive field of play." The fluidity of the material she works with and her interest in collaboration between the artist and the viewer have inspired Walker to create works that can be transformed into performance pieces by dance, music and in-situ art-making. In this exhibition, a dance performance captivates the audience on opening night at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Photos By Ginger Van Hook




    Barbara Kolo, Artist from "Circle in the Square" poses for a photograph in front of her painting with her husband Mr. Kolo. Barbara Kolo, a Santa Monica Artist, earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Kolo Participated in a successful two-person show at the Brand Library Art Galleries in 1999. The Brand Library Art Galleries are pleased to present (nearly ten years later) a new body of work by Barbara Kolo that connects to that which was here before. In those works and these, her focus is on representing organic materials. The current large scale acrylic on canvas works are saturated with color; the stippled application of paint creates organic shapes and patterns representative of the natural world.  The subject matter is open to each viewers interpretation, where one may see a birch forest at dusk, others may see the  bold aesthetic of pure color and abstraction. Kolo has had recent solo shows at Topanga Canyon Gallery and the Off Rose Gallery in Venice, California. More information about Kolo's work can be found on her website: www.barbarakolo.com Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook






    Barbara Kolo poses for a photograph during opening night celebrations for the exhibition, "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Augusts 2, 2008. Glendale, California.


    Susan Sironi,  an artist living in Altadena, California posed for her photograph in front of her paintings at  the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Susan Sironi earned her BFA at California Sate University, Long Beach. This exhibition will showcase Sironi's recent paintings as well as her Glass Curtain installation which is comprised of conjoined antique optometric lenses. Her paintings are about texture, color and process. Small dabs of oil paint are painstakingly applied to aluminum, building up an intricate, thorny surface. Highly textured and multihued when viewed up close, this surface belies the color play minimalist color-field appearance of the work at a distance . In the artist's own words "texture and color play equal roles in these works. They ... set up contradictions within each piece. Painitings  that seem to invite touch and intimacy are also reserved and automomous. Time and process are weighed against a static and minimal structure. Sironi's work was most recently seen in the Brea Art Gallery's Made in California exhibition, at the Chouinard School of Art Gallery, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.  More information about Sironi's work can be found on her website: web.mac.com/susansironi/susan/sironi/Welcome.html.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.  

    Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.



    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008

                       Luke Van Hook paintings are now showing at the Brand Library Art Galleries in
              The Art of Reading Leads to the Art of Writing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus in Westwood! by Enilde Van Hook        

    When is a library, not a library? When it’s a Book Festival where the books come out to play! The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books celebrated its 13th year of book promotions on the UCLA campus with an estimated attendance of over 140,000 people who love to read books!
    Here is where the traditional library, once thought to be a stuffy, hush-hush, nerdy and quiet setting transforms itself into a megalomaniac fair of books and stories and documentaries just waiting to come alive. Books become the roller coaster of emotions, the merry-go-round of ideas, the bumper cars of change and the Ferris wheels of fiction.


    In this day and age, the traditional library has undergone a radical change in our culture…it has gone outside, yes outside the box, outside the building and outside under yonder shade trees to re-invent itself. Unlike the regular library, where one checks out a book and must return it within a specific amount of time, this type of literary environment goes beyond just borrowing a book. This activity steps into the realm of personal libraries. This is where the reader amasses his or her own library collection of favorite authors, books, books on tape, digital recordings of books, even recordings for the blind and dyslexic by going outside the comfort of indoor lighting and venturing into the elements of nature.



    The weekend of April 26th and 27th, under weather conditions reaching over 90 degrees in Westwood, the Pacific Ocean breeze quietly slipped in and around the leaves of Ficus trees, Great Oaks, Pines, and luscious landscaped lawns of one of our most prestigious institutions of higher learning; on the campus of UCLA, surrounded by noble buildings of great learning and ample gardens of exquisite greenery, what promised to be adventure at first, had indeed become an obsession for learning, an unquenchable thirst for more information about one’s world…who was in it in the past? Who’s in it now? Where’s the planet going? Who killed who? Or Whom? What artist leapt to his death from the bridge of misunderstanding? The answers were all there waiting to be revealed once you ventured out into the Festival of Books to bring home some new friends! This was my third year visiting the LA Times Festival of Books.




    As I came upon the first of the booths, I saw a long line of people, fanning themselves in the hot sun with only partial shade for some while others brought lawn chairs, umbrellas and water bottles or coolers and bared the heat while reading the LA Times or a comic book they’d purchased while sipping lemonades from the local vendors. “Get your lemonade!” a man shouted from the center of another line of readers waiting for an author. As I made my way down the narrow aisles of celebrity book fans I looked up in time to see that Valerie Bertinelli was about to emerge and I could already see a wave of nervous cameramen and camerawomen with their trigger fingers anxiously poised above their focused lenses. I felt in good company. I too was about to sign copies of my book today. The Kingdom Of Nuts and Bolts, was being released to the reading public and I was headed over to join the authors at booth 715 sponsored by THE GREATER LOS ANGELES WRITER’S SOCIETY.






    I was invited to join the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society recently and have discovered the treasures of its membership as well as the benefits to career and community. The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring writers of all levels in the craft and business of writing. The society works to provide continuing education and a forum for the marketing of a writer’s work. The society is guided by a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” and their website (www.glaws.org) details their variety of resources, welcoming writers from all over California and the country to learn more about the craft.















    I knew I had gotten to the right booth when I saw the buttons they were passing out. “What’s Your Story?” As I was about to take the hot seat of an author…I kid you not; the seat was hot because the sun cast its rays upon the storytellers’ table; I thought to myself again, ‘I’m in fine company!’ I had heard that Gay Talese, Julie Andrews and Tommy Lasorda were telling their stories and here I was, a humble little writer of my first fiction novel about to tell my own.
    I resorted to taking pictures to relax my own photo-happy-trigger finger. I always enjoy a good shutterbug moment and this was no exception. So, I took pictures of the authors I was with, while I signed a few books myself.








    I met Leslie Ann Moore, the author of Griffin’s Daughter, and I learned she wrote romantic fantasy (which I overheard her telling a reader that she had won an award). I visited her website at www.leslieannmoore.com and was inspired by her story that she is a veterinarian, writer and belly dancer too!






    I also met Mike Robinson the author of Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray (which personally as a photographer, I liked the title.) I learned that Mike Robinson is the author of seven novels and two collections. Mike also sold a number of short stories to print and electronic magazines, anthologies and podcasts. Visit Mike’s website at www.freewebs.com and learn that he too is stalking BIG FOOT!






















    On Saturday, another author I had the opportunity to meet at the GLAWS booth was Matt Pallamary. We sat together as our fans lined up to talk to us about our books. (Maybe our lines weren’t as long as Valerie Bertinelli’s for her book “Losing it: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time” but we had a following, nonetheless!) Matt has written his memoirs detailing his spiritual journeys to Peru where he worked with shamanic plant medicines. His most recent book is titled Spirit Matters and his website is www.mattpallamary.com. This was a serendipitous place to be sharing space with Matt Pallamary as I had the rare opportunity to discuss some of my own spiritual stories from my early childhood in Argentina. The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts is a story about a five-year-old boy named Miguelito, who can see things that others can’t and this makes him special and extra inventive. He has a special magic friend named Hector (made out of nuts and bolts) who teaches him to fix things. The story, a comedy, is set in Buenos Aires, Argentina using the popular genre of South American writers, that of Magical Realism. The story explores an imaginative spirit world set in the 1930’s and is told from the perspectives of a fly, a witch, a seagull, an angel, a demon and two little brothers. The paperback version is available through www.enildeingelsvanhook.com.
    and coming soon to www.amazon.com so check the website in mid May for available stock.























    Several new, emerging and established writers joined us at the Festival of Books in the GLAWS booth #715. Among them was Joan A. Friedman, a Ph.D. who is an identical twin, herself, and has over thirty years of experience as a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of twin-related issues. Her new novel, Emotionally Healthy Twins is a comprehensive guide on how to raise twins who are self-realized and distinct individuals.





    Dr. Joan Friedman posed for a photo-op alongside two of the movers and shakers of GLAWS; Tony Todaro, one of its original founders (Sci-Fi aficionado) and an established strategic consultant (Todaro Communications) as well as John Weiskopf, the author of The Ascendancy.








    The Ascendancy is an appropriate story for today’s times, as John Weiskopf has created a new world mythology at a volatile point in history. His latest novel brings modern day imagination to the old story of Jack in the Beanstalk. The premise of this novel is that a beanstalk starts growing out of the rubble of the World Trade Center and the protagonist Jack Tott, a twenty-six-year-old musician, believes that if he climbs the beanstalk, he will somehow find the means to help save his dying sister. This book is available through www.johnweiskopf.com.
















    I met Sandra Walter, the author of The Creator State (www.sandrawalter.com) a story where actors discover a unique state of consciousness and art changes reality. Pictured here to the right is the author of Akira's Army by Keith Kowalczyk as he tells the story of Ray Quincy who becomes a prisoner of war while on his family vacation on a small South Pacific Island (a novel available through midnightpressbooks.com) Also pictured in booth #715 are Tony Todaro, Neil Citrin, and John Weiskopf.









    I also had an opportunity to talk to Robin Reed who was also releasing her first novel called Xanthan Gumm. Robin Reed writes in the science fiction genre about hard working creatures called ‘Humans’ who labor to make stories that are loved throughout the Galaxy. One young alien dreams of going to the ‘Forbidden Planet Earth’ to perform in the movies and wants to become famous like his idol, E.T. This book is available through www.barstowproductions.com.






    On Sunday at the LA TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, I had the distinct privilege of sitting at the author’s table with Film Educator and author Charles Domokos. His work in education especially in the cinema and film-editing field has a long history of contributing extremely technical post-production knowledge to film students at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Loyola Marymount and Los Angeles City College. His book titled: Non-linear Editing: The Cutting Edge provides the foundation for the college-level media student to make the leap into the world of film and HD-based professional post-production, as practiced in the Hollywood media community. His book is available through Amazon.com; Barnes&Noble.com or www.GoGardner.com.



    While sitting under the canopy of a nearby Elm tree, our booth enjoyed a little more shade and relief from the heat on Sunday, just enough to share our experiences and challenges of our publishing our first books. Charles and I also shared some of our inspirations to write and joked around that in our booth alone, we had the resources for taking my story of The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts and turning it into a movie using stop-frame animation to create a Hollywood environment for my animated critter made of nuts and bolts and feathers named ‘Hector’. We figured we had a whole production team from writing the screenplay to filming, editing and strategic marketing with Tony Todaro!



    Speaking of Tony Todaro, one of the founders of GLAWS, I learned he is a prolific fiction writer as well. He is now working on a final draft of his next novel, “What Comes Around” a story set in a future city by the name of San Angeles, a metropolis divided by rivers and gangs after the ‘Big One’ (the big anticipated earthquake Angelino’s often fear, has already happened in this story) has rearranged the real estate and politics of the Southland. Just a little sneak preview of his upcoming book, finds Fed Corp Special Crimes investigator Major Xander Hunt in the midst of two murder mysteries to solve: the death of prominent physicist Allan Dunwharton, and after a series of battles and attempted assassinations, (perhaps even his own death). Hunt has kept his aging body alive with a concoction of drugs and nanobots, despite decades of damage as a black-ops agent, and the terminal cancer eating at his guts. (Imagine here the actor Sean Connery as the wise, aging officer in the Untouchables, though Hunt thinks of himself as the younger version of a Kevin Costner character.) Tony Todaro is a strategic marketing consultant with a long history in the music business and now shares his expertise with his fellow authors in GLAWS!



    With a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” GLAWS holds monthly informative meetings, often with nationally-known guest speakers, offers critique groups, advice in the craft and business of writing, conducts special events including writers conferences and seminars, and promotes its vision through many businesses and social opportunities.
    In April I had the opportunity to attend one of the membership meetings to hear the science fiction and fantasy writer, Tim Powers, author of Anubis Gates and winner of the Philip K. Dick Award. He spoke at length about the essence of “plot” or what actually happens in a story. He encouraged writers to think of the question ‘why’ and then dig deeper and ask no, ‘why, really?’; ‘why really is the character motivated?’ He also gave us an overview of what it is like to be a writer at work. He stated that he had cultivated a sense of both guilt and fear. “Afterall, I play with the cat while truckers have jobs…” In a brief moment I had to talk with him before he got on the podium, he stated that I should write down imaginary bets… but not to do it in my head. He urged me to write thoughts down directly onto the keyboard. In his presentation, he also shared some of the advantages to writing down your ideas and character traits onto index cards and spreading them around your workspace. Maybe one day, if you are experiencing ‘writers block’; maybe the landlord comes around knocking, blows open your door and tromps all over the index cards mixing them up every which way; well, he said, ‘you never know when that might have helped your plot strategy a little!’ TIM POWERS chuckled.

    The headline of today’s blog stated that the Art of Reading leads to the Art of Writing. I strongly believe this because I can attest to the significant verbal, literary and visual growth that a child can attain while immersed in a supportive community reading program. That, in and of it-self is where the art of reading leads directly to the successful art of writing. Exposure to the arts at a young age in a person’s life greatly enhances the chances this experience will foster a love of story telling as well as an appreciation for the authors and artists of these works that influence the mind at a critical stage in our development.
    I am an example of an After School Reading Program child. My first exposure to library books came about at approximately the age of 8 when I stated participating in the Duarte Public Library After School Reading Program and simultaneously the Monrovia Public Library system in California.







    I personally see this important correlation between early reading and early writing because I began to keep a diary at the age of twelve after reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I went on to improve my reading skills by practicing my writing skills in my journal and reading even more each month until I had practically consumed all the books I could in the children’s section of the Duarte Library. I seem to recall that by the age of thirteen I was already into the adult section where I promptly fell in love with science fiction and The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. (At the time, I made no physical distinction between the right or left section of the Duarte Library but I did get into trouble with my mother who discovered one day that one of my books had an identifying label from the adult section of the library…I no longer remember what the name of that book was, because I didn’t get to read it…only that it had a harmless picture of a cat on the cover and I distinctly recall how disappointed and rather humiliated I was when I had to return the book to the librarian and admit that I had rules at home I had to follow that superceded library freedoms.)





    My consolation was that I was a rebellious child so after that, I no longer checked out the adult books to take home—I just spent my free time reading the contraband stories, sitting cross legged on the floor between the stacks by the light of a window where a beautiful oak tree cast intermittent sun, shade and childhood inspiration; Under these conditions, I finished reading Pearl Buck’s novel The Good Earth. I can’t stress enough the importance of reading in a young person’s life. I admired writers without even knowing what they looked like. Often I didn’t see pictures on the covers. I just knew their voices by the way they would write their sentences. I feel I learned about life, lived through the characters and had adventures I couldn’t even dream of having all through the art of reading a wonderful book.

















    By the time I was sixteen, I had obtained my first job away from home. The Duarte Public Library hired me to work as a ‘page’ part time while I attended high school. I was able to devote even more time to filing and flipping through the pages of my most beloved writers and fondest friends. I recall taking a whole summer to finish the novel Hawaii by James Mitchner. These books were my education and entertainment away from the classroom and the schoolyard. By the age of eighteen, I was working for the USC Bookstore during freshman year of college and the Doheny Library by my sophomore year of college.

























    Now fast forward to the present day in 2008. I have written and self-published five books of poetry and recently released my first novel, The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts here at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the campus of UCLA. Was it an accident that I developed into a writer? (In my particular case, I am also a photographer and an artist.) (www.gingervanhook.com) (www.enildeingelsvanhook.com) I don’t think this is a random event. I think there are no accidents in the universe. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in cause and effect. I believe that if you want to end up with a delicious cake, you need to prepare the recipe with proper ingredients. The ingredients leading to the successful art of writing requires nothing short of fresh time, young minds, good books and positive parental and community encouragement to read. The art develops naturally as the heat of age ripens the stories into cupcakes of our culture for everyone to enjoy!

    I attended the Duarte Festival of Authors in October of 2005 in Westminster Gardens, in Duarte California just to visit with and enjoy a moment listening to Ray Bradbury as the featured keynote speaker, presented by The Friends of the Duarte Library.



    We also support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association which is undergoing a change of name this year. In addition to the changes featured in Monrovia Library Park, with the new Library construction, Monrovia Arts Festival Association is about to be renamed the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better define the role of the arts in the community of Monrovia.
    The Monrovia Arts Festival Association will continue to serve the arts and artists as well as the after school art programs in Monrovia as well as surrounding communities and schools. I firmly believe, the younger a child is exposed to the arts, in terms of reading, writing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, comic book art and art history just to name a few of the variety of arts, the more creative a child will grow into adulthood and the more rewarding our communities will be to thrive in.
              2016 Fire Log        
    NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY 2016 FIRE LOG   Resident Facilities Date Time Cause/Type of Fire # of Injuries Requiring Medical Treatment # of Deaths Related to Fire Property Damage in Dollars Case Number Brady Complex 5/01/2016 1:15 pm Unattended Stove/Kitchen 0 0 200.00 20016-00154 Family Housing Apartments 5/18/2016 1:00 pm Oven/Crayons 0 0 300.00 Est. TBD […]
              2015 Fire Log        
    NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY 2015 FIRE LOG   Resident Facilities Date Time Cause/Type of Fire # of Injuries Requiring Medical Treatment # of Deaths Related to Fire Property Damage in Dollars Case Number 0 NA NA NA 0 0 0 NA     Case Number:   No fire incidents reported.
              Humble Yourself Every Chance You Have.        

    How else can you remind yourself to laugh?

    I hadn't given myself this benefit in a very long time. I can't consider all the times that I've climbed routes that put me in cruxy locations, snowboarded a peak I thought would be a difficult summit, surfed a wave that I knew was too big for me; put myself in danger knowing that there might be a possibility of not getting out clean! Those still cannot compare to how I felt today! Not sure how to put it into words, but give me a minute.

    My strength was not an issue, my mental awareness was not an issue. I can only say that it's not like riding a bike, more like being fluent in a language and then after 15 years-trying to have a conversation and not getting a sentence out!

    Refreshing, maybe I had become too mentally confident in snowboarding...maybe instead of having a near death, I chose to "switch it up". Applying my skills to the other side. Wait, skills isn't the right word! I needed a wake up call, to be more aware. Snowboarding, as much as its part of who I am, I let it make my senses lazy. Skiing today, sent my vitals through the roof. Skiing something I've snowboarded dozens of times forced me to think clearly, stay alert and become so focused, I'm mentally exhausted more than physically!

    I feel silly even writing this, but I must report moments in my life, great, ungreat, miserable and unforgettable. I don't want to be vain in life, I don't want to be unaware of unforeseen beauty. I want to smile, laugh and experience as much as I can
              Killer Whale Dies Following the Muddy Disaster at Marineland        
    Born 19 years ago, the killer whale ‘Valentin’ lived his entire life in the confines of Marineland’s tanks – tanks which ultimately may have been the cause of his death. Recent flooding in the south of France overwhelmed Marineland’s filtration system causing the water quality to plummet. The mud and debris led to other animal deaths,
              Telly With Melly for May 31: The Carmichael Show, Food Delicious Science        
    The Carmichael Show — a comedy that’s been reverently described as Norman Lear-like for its grasp on the cultural zeitgeist — is back Wednesday with season 3. And though the show has already tackled tinderbox topics like religion, guns, death, […]
              stag hare / crown of eternity        



    «Velvet and Bone is structured as a gothic fable. It is about the act of self reflection through knowing another. It is about seeing the shadow and knowing the shadow. It is about seeing death and knowing death. It is about bones, and the way they are shaped by the tensions put on them by various opposing muscles. It is about the swamps of depression. It is about love in its most tragic and therefore most beautiful form». ~ stag hare

    Being a huge fan sometimes stops me from writing reviews – maybe it's just subconscious feeling that words can spoil the fragility of music, especially when the music is as personal as Stag Hare are. There are so many kinds of art, of sound, ways of expression, but not that many artists are interested in putting their true emotions into art. Looks like image and the presentation are more important than revealing the personal side  of life and it's understandable. But when the image contradicts to inner story it may say something about our ability to feel the difference. What I like about Stag Hare (and the whole Inner Islands roster, actually) is sincerity, openness, fearless sharing of life as it seen by the artist, reflecting everything in music, telling stories which at some level are universal for all human beings – we just go through them by our own patterns. So, here it spins, new tape with Stag Hare's songs and this time they're actually songs with lyrics printed on j-card! «Opening (Depression)» starts with deep drone tune and it's actually not so dark, as drone ambient can be, but it has this longing which fades in second track – slowly, but confidently building sparkling layers of blissful folk song and entering the same territories Stag Hare known for, but this time with the strong presence of the new kind of energy. Dreamer has awakened and discovered that real world is the challenge and was never separated from the dream. The inner and the outer are not that different categories, simply matter of viewpoint. These songs are still dreamy and so magical, they bloom like astral flowers from the deepness of psychedelic revelation, but at the same time the thickness of the physical is present, like never-ending drone – it simply stitches once separated into whole... Natural & urban, transcendence and routine, simply life as it is. Aspiration to non-duality is primal to every spiritual being, but the ability to separate things is not less important, it's actually the only way our mind can work, endlessly dividing and then synthesizing at new levels of understanding, just to separate again... Okay, think I went too far, so let's say it's just wonderful music for everything you want from it. Â«Velvet and Bone» can be just beautiful background for your daily activities as successfully, as the impetus for philosophizing (which is clear in my case), it chills and gives energy, it brings joy and contains many different moods at the same time. Music of high potential to unfold. Truly personal, but universal – you may learn something from it, consciously or not. In any case, you won't regret hearing it. 





    «Dream Architecture contains the deep and complex harmonics of 11 gongs, as well as the sonorous tones of more than 60 bells, sound plates, sound triangles, tuned metals and singing bowls. Crown of Eternity carefully and patiently blend and orchestrate their instruments to create harmonic fields that invite the listener to dive in and not only explore the nature of the sound current, but also their inner landscape». inner islands

    Some things change and some not. But it depends on the perspective, of course. Music of gongs, singing bowls and similar stuff was in the New Age genre since its inception. Of course it existed before, but not as music, but more as a spiritual practice. And this function of primal metal instruments vibrations resonating through your body remains unchanged – you'd rather hear such music at some yoga place, than in the concert club. Same private and personal feeling is present at this tape, as with Stag Hare release above. We are left alone with resonance, created with carefulness. It nurtures your senses, sets the right mood for relaxing contemplation, it gives landscape for your inner gazing... The experience of listening to such tape may be rewarding, but I guess it's nothing compared to Crown of Eternity live sets. The amount of gongs, plates, bowls and other metal resonators seen on photos has its own impression even without hearing the music! But if you had the chance to join such session at least once in your life, then you know what I mean. Here the point which turns spiritual practice into music – the act of recording. Same can be told about about any "sacred music" like tibetan monks' throat singing or orthodox chorals: when you are out of the moment of actual happening, when this is recorded or even just put into the studio or onto stage – it turns into completely different story. But this is really one big theme and it leads us away from music itself. Which is, by my humble opinion, can be always regarded as thing in itself without looking at its context and further analysis. Call me consumer, but some things need to be simply enjoyed. This tape is highly enjoyable even if my sound system is unable to produce same effect as live session with all those beautiful resonating stuff. But still, the sound resonates with my soul and think that's the most important here. Usually I listen recordings like this (Klaus Wiese, Danny Becher, Karma Moffet to name just a few) when I'm tired of any other music and it's always refreshing, kind of pleasant pause in the never-ending stream of music and always-present daily noise. Harmony & meditation, and nothing else here actually. What else do you need? 



              check out ~ the book        

    «CHECK OUT is a project involving sound, images and words. It is divided into sections (chapters / tracks) and has three main granularities, i.e. excess, exposure, and death» ~ horschaft

    This is simply gorgeous. No exaggerating, this is the first and second and third impression on this release. Even before hearing the music, holding this beautiful LP-sized book with matte-finished hardcover, full of atmospheric photographs and collected impressions makes my heart beating faster. Maybe just because I like photography and work in printing business, but I don't think it is the only reason. The book unfolds masterfully captured moments of fleeting beauty, seen in tiny details, in landscape, in urban and naturalistic, in simple movements and casual glances. And while the music starts its weaving, your attention is already caught by spells of this creation. It is really hard to make something outstanding in times of ambient music abundance, which we are facing now. Revival of physical formats paves new ways of representation of highly subjective artistic visions and it results in variety of forms – handmade editions, special inserts, quests for ordering, etc. But despite the common idea that music must speak for itself, it's actually a new level of music production – making not really a product, but an art object. Imagine yourself visiting art gallery: some pictures on the walls, subtle music playing... Your impression is fleeting, it depends on so many factors and lies under so much pressure of the modern life-style and its rhythm, that it dissipates as quickly, as the morning dew under the sun since you leave the gallery... Subjective means personal, and personal art it's always just a tiny window, a glance inside the world of the Other. The less objective you are trying to be, the bigger this window gets, expanding the ways of perceive and understand each other. Simple idea, but not that easy to follow when it comes to practice. But if you have the exhibition delivered right at your place, carefully prepared for revisiting its virtues, hiding some details for attentive exploration... Probably it gives much more freedom both for you and for the artist. Ability to explore deeper is a luxury in a modern world.

    I won't divide the music and pictures of this edition, I'd rather tell that they are as inseparable as our five senses. Interconnection of impressions creates polarity, accumulates the impulse to discovery, and that's a very good approach in case of ambient music. It creates the deepness and instead of hearing just another melodic guitar ambience and dusty, melancholic soundscapes we plunge into the world of CHECK OUT without hesitation, exploring sensation of every tiny detail of mood, which appears only once – right now, right at this page, with this exact transition of the sounds. This album gives us an environment so fragile and sensitive to any change. It seems that CHECK OUT is about capturing the fleetness of our life, about unavoidable death of every beautiful thing...  But at some point of deepening inside it you may realize that this is happens all the time and that's what life is, a game of perception, of the novelty and excess, of discovery and forgetting... This album not just captures something, but brings the deeper level in the game.







              end of the year list        


    Hola friends! This year Microphones were not as active as usual due to many reasons, but we still listen a lot of music and always eager to share is with other souls through this world. Here is the list of albums we love and enjoy, music that gives inspiration and peaceful feeling of the life flow. No particular order, no ranks, just good vibes delivered by amazing artist all around the globe. Enjoy!

    Braeyden Jae — Fog Mirror (Whited Sepulchre)
    Ant'lrd — Sleep Drive (Whited Sepulchre)
    Josephine Foster — No More Lamps in the Morning (Fire America)
    Deep Magic & Mohave Triangles — Split (Diatom Bath)
    Matthewdavid's Mindflight — Trust the Guide and Glide (Leaving Records)
    Thousand Foot Whale Claw — Cosmic Winds (Constellation Tatsu)
    Gamardah Fungus — Herbs And Potions (Flaming Pines)
    Cloudsound — Static Sense & Wonder Stasis (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)
    Saåad — Verdaillon (In Paradisum)
    Pandelindio & Bird People — Sporal Dispersal (Frente Al Fuego)
    Les Halles — Transient + Sentient (Not Not Fun)
    alineko — summer of love (ПANΘEON)
    David Colohan — Hill of the Moon (Was Ist Das?)
    Sarah Davachi — Dominions (Jaz Records)
    David Parsons — Puja (Gterma)
    Grykë Pyje — Fragments of High Sensitivity (Ikuisuus / Hyster Tapes)
    Bear Bones, Lay Low — Hacia La Luz (Self-released)
    Alone in the Hollow Garden — Receiving the 17 Daggers of Light (Self-released)
    SONM — embody (Pearly Snowdrift)
    Mathias Grassow & Closing The Eternity — Untitled tape (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)
    Directorsound — Sun Suites For a Rising Moon (ШАΛАШ)
    Useless — HEXA (Terminal Dream)
    TVVIN_PINEZ_M4LL — 植物波 - p l a n t w a v e (Adhesive Sounds)
    Hong Kong Express — Hong Kong Express (TKX)
    Hybrid Palms — Pacific Image (Sounds of the Dawn)
    Lunaria — All is Dream (Sounds of the Dawn)
    Julia Bloop — Bllop (Rotifer Cassettes)
    Guenter Schlienz — Augenblicke (Sacred Phrases)
    Guenter Schlienz ‎— Book of Dreams (Cosmic Winnetou)
    Mårble — Looking for Marine Iguana (Echotourist)
    Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal — Versatile Ambience (Ehse Records)
    555 — Thee Omega Seed (MJMJ Records)
    Kyle Landstra — Variables of Resolve (Moog Music)
    Sunmoonstar & Inner Travels — Split tape (Scenic Rhythms)
    Inner Travels — Clear Seeing (Inner Islands)
    More Future Suffering — Self-titled (Winter Sea Label)
    You C + Foresteppe — Seven Sleepers (ШАΛАШ)
    A.Shark — 45 (Ominor Records)
    Stag Hare — Velvet & Bone (Inner Islands)
    Channelers — Space Makes Clearing (Inner Islands)
    Ashan — Death is the New Life (Heavy Mess)
    Sister Grotto — Blindside (Heavy Mess)
    Eva Geist — Äquator System (Elestial Sound)
    Tuluum Shimmering — Where the Turquoise Spring Sings Among Pebbles (Self-released)
    Sun Cycles — It Cuts the Plow Reins (Psychic Troubles Tapes)
    Paa Annandalii — Cavernous Fruits (Rotifer) 
    Bird People — Down of the Hamsa (Eiderdown)
    Чайник Болотных Богов — Гранатовый Сон (GV Sound)
    Matthew Barlow — Sound Meditations (Sounds of the Dawn)
    Jöns — Music For Euronews (Strategic Tape Reserve)

    Support the artists and the labels, share music with friends, play your favourite tapes to Christmas tree!
    Have a great year ahead! We wish you love & good vibes!

    ~ sincerely yours, microphones in the the trees team ~ 


              matthew barlow / ashan        

    matthew barlow ~ hatha (inner islands, 2016)

    «Just being, without striving. A place of stillness». inner islands

    Focusing on sound healing practices, Matt Barlow took a vacation with his renowned Twin Springs Tapes label and started recording more and more music, which takes new turn in unfolding American New Age music. His latest tape for Inner Islands gives you not only the opportunity to relax and get nice background music for 30 minutes but also the possibility of deepest meditation on the nature of music. Combining simple drones with electronic melodies and contemplative flute playing, this tape reflects the idea, which I run through my haed so many times, while listening to some good ambient records - you don't need to be focused, to perceive everything in this flow of aural sensations, but at the same time, staying out any activity in mind and environment you actually start feeling everything so clearly! I think this state cannot be achieved by means of intentional focusing, so this state feels much more natural and I'm always so childishly happy when it happens. Of course, not only music can bring it, nature can too - bird songs, streaming water, whisper of the leaves... And you can actually hear and feel same energies in these two compositions. There is nothing supernatural about it, but still I have no other word than magic.

    listen ~ buy tape
     

    ashan ~ death is new life (heavy mess, 2016)

     Â«Sean Conrad (Channelers, Orra, Inner Islands) returns as Ashan with a collection of new songs exploring where the physical meets the spiritual and how the two influence and dialogue each other». heavy mess

    For the new label run by Braeyden Jae (former boss of Inner Islands label), Sean Conrad (current Inner Islands mastermind) put an exclusive recording which brings to light new facet of his Ashan alias. Usually taking place somewhere far from city hum and electricity circuits, Ashan (almost) always was about instrumental psych-new-age jams, self-invented mantra singing and celebration of simple joys of life – this time Sean takes electric guitar, some distortion and drums, blending the rock music benefits with Ashan's usual sound. You already curious how it sounds? Okay, just hit play on Bandcamp and read further. And I'll continue playing this on repeat, each time wondering how same energy can take so many forms. This is obviously same Ashan I used to and behind all those walls of sounds, electronic drones, krautrock beats and psychedelic solos I hear same magic, that once entered this complicate world with "To Return To" album. Folk music can take many forms and I suppose that there is nothing hard for experienced artist as Mr. Conrad to transform his music into powerful rock outfit without losing primary inspiration. Actually this is fun synchronism between to friends – putting softest side of Braeyden Jae's music at Inner Islands and heavier side of Ashan on Heavy Mess. Consider this as "anti-unplugged" album and simply enjoy it!

    listen ~ buy tape


              rafi bookstaber        



    “We’d like to welcome back our old friend Rafi Bookstaber. It’s all good... the immediate thing I felt when I jammed his Late Summer for the first time was wanting to hug life, cosmic love in the underground. 

    “This is a diff kind of human digitata, it’s sweet analog. You dig spring reverb, then maybe flesh it with sum Ra-fi. Pure jam. Extended solos and explorations go from downtown woodland discord and eternal reverie to Relatively Clean Rivers and beat earth poetics. Pretty darlin’ indeed...

    “What a vapor trail of music; very groovy to see folks finally catching up to this head. Dawn of a new vibration out of his occult pedigree in so many spaced out earth objects (Death Chants / Aswara / Von Himmel / Mendocino). Bookstaber also logged golden hours with Time-Lag and that deep scene. The beginning of an ear and golden spirit juice. Mined private press vision with his own Azriel and Humito imprints, shucked handmades~there’s also his groove and howl with the wolfpack in the MV / EE axis. Oxide, preserves and records…Rafi hummed the music of maidens. Iron Maiden this is not, shipbuilding it sails, four sail and many years ago I was there, so was Rafi’s fi. You dig, apache? Find some wampum, blow a journey, be here now for Late Summer eternal...” Matt “MV” Valentine


              apenino & árbore        

    «Pilar se fue el 16 de noviembre de 2015, se fue tras 14 años juntos. medir la pegada emocional que eso supone es imposible. sólo el que tenga peludos y los ame como a un humano puede entenderlo. si ya no comes animales, como en mi caso, la cercanía emocional es intangible. desde el día uno he tenido miedo al adiós de Pilar, ese miedo ha sobrevolado como una nube cada uno de los días que compartimos vida». apenino & árbore

    There is no such thing as happiness, when you lost someone. There can be a lot of things as emptiness, despair, anxiety, but happiness turns into abstract concept. Society will tell you a lot about death and how to deal with it, we have formulas and catchwords for every imaginable situation. But under the surface of dealing with pain it remains untouched – fear, uncomfortable feeling of change, that cannot be reversed... And it doesn't really matter who's missing in your life now. Animal can be the closest family member and if you ever lost one, you know what I'm talking about here. Maybe it's too sentimental but knowing that your animal will definitely live shorter life than you never helps to deal with their passing. And how beautiful when this feeling of loss transforms into art, into vivid memory, that will never disappear as easily, as human memory can do. Music is a very flexible material and anything can be projected onto it. As a water surface, it reflects things, but at the same time has its own deepness. And at some point it doesn't even matter what artist wanted from this tunes for himself – music always gives you more. In case of this wonderful 17-min track sound creates a beautiful picture of the sunny day, spent in happy laziness, just watching the game of light and shadows in you room. Wind gently touches curtains, bringing flower aromas with it. And beneath all of this you hear slow evolving drone, so similar to cat's purr...



    p.d.: por primera vez no ponemos gratis la descarga, hemos pensado que el dinero que se recaude, tenga como destino ayudar a los gatos de la calle a través de la asociación Gatos en los Árboles.
              Stranger than fiction        



    Before sunset.

    Good morning. It's a wonderful life, jackass. High and low since you went away. Gone with the wind, the lady vanishes. Dazed and confused. That was then... this is now. Devil wears prada, following breakfast at Tiffany's. I'm not there. Wish you were here, the best years of our lives. Stand by me, life is beautiful.

    My life as a dog. Coffee and cigarettes. Thank you for smoking up in the air. Kiss kiss bang bang. What's up, Tiger Lily? 'I know where I'm going!'. Whatever works.  Man on wire, walk on the wild side. Small time crooks take the money and run! Breathless chase. Speed. Snatch. Catch me if you can. Dirty rotten scoundrels. There will be blood. Kill! Carnage, pulp fiction. Extremely loud & incredibly close. Anatomy of a murder, blood simple. The act of seeing with one's own eyes, eyes wide shut. Shame, the killing. Anything else? Apocalypse now.




    Before midnight.

    Hunger. The unbearable lightness of being.

    It happened one night, October sky, the Milky Way, city lights. Through a glass darkly, I saw the odd couple. The boy in blue, that girl in yellow boots. A beautiful mind, little miss sunshine - the dreamers. He said, she said - "I love you to death", "I love you too, like crazy." Stolen kisses. Night on Earth, stranger than paradise, bigger than life. Spellbound. And the ship sails on. Play it again, Sam.




    Before sunrise.

    A walk with Love and Death. The green mile. The long walk home. A night to remember.

    Once. 2 or 3 things I know about her. Great expectations. Letter never sent, somewhere lost in translation. The silence, the prestige, unforgiven. Bad timing. Do the right thing. Make it right being there. Requiem for a dream. The pursuit of happyness, love, and other impossible pursuits. Finding Neverland. Inherit the wind, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind singin' in the rain. Dil chahta hai the road to El Dorado, days of Heaven, city of God. Good morning. It's a wonderful life.

    Amour.
    Hollywood ending.



              Re: Lillie May Green         
    You need to look on http://www.findagrave.com/index.html

    William M. Green and Martha Campbell Green are buried in the Veal Station Cemetery in
    Springtown, Parker County, Texas. There is info on the parents and grandparents of Martha Campbell, with pics and where they were from and where they are buried.

    William M. Green died Jul. 29, 1910 and Martha died May 12, 1929. you can find their death certs here.https://familysearch.org/search
    You can sign up for free.

    Name:
    Wm M Green
    Death 29 Jul 1910
    Weatherford, Parker, Texas, United States
    Gender: Male
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 17 Oct 1830
    Birthplace: , North Carolina
    Father's Name: Anderson Green
    Mother's Name: Mary Morris








              Solomon Durrett (Derrett) b. 1800 m. Martha "Jershua" Smith b. 1815        
    I am looking for information on Solomon Durrett b. 1800 in Virginia. He came to Texas before Texas was a republic or a state. He married Martha "Jershua" Smith b. 1815 in Tennessee

    Children of Solomon Durrett and Martha J Smith:

    All of Solomon’ sons were Texas State Troopers when the war broke out their Regiment was transferred to the Confederate States of America.
    1. Rice W. Durrett b. abt 1835 served as a 2nd Lt. in Darnell's Regiment along with his brothers. Rice never married

    2. Thomas C Durrett b. abt 1837 Tennessee

    3. William H Durrett (may have died at the beginning of the Civil War)

    4. Richard H. Durrett married Susan Callahan Cole daughter of John Pope Cole and Susan Hulda Caroline Leonard;

    5. Sarah Durrett married John W. Kincaid no further information on this family.

    6. Mary [Jerusha] Durrett m. Robert A Hawkins (who died in the Civil War in 1862)

    7. Virginia Victoria Durrett born in Texas married James Milton Thorp.

    I have the obituaries for Victoria Thorp and Mary [Jerusha] Durrett Hawkins who never married after her husband’s death in 1862. Robert Hawkins died during the from Re-mitten fever during the Civil War; he died at the field hospital at Fort Galveston, Texas.

    Solomon owned land in Parker County, Texas from 1837 to 1871. I have his land patent records; Solomon and his sons Rice W., Thomas C, William H and Richard H Durrett (Derrett). They are all listed on the Tax Rolls for Parker County from 1846 to 1874.

    In 1871, Solomon is no longer on tax records in Parker county his daughter Mary Hawkins is his agent.

    Solomon's will was lost in a fire in Parker County; Martha his wife moved to Dallas after the sale of the property. Rice W and Thomas C Derrett ran things. Rice drops off the tax roll about 1874. Did he die? Thomas is his agent. What became of him?

    Martha moved to Dallas, Texas were her daughters lived. She died in Dallas, Texas in 1885 leaving a will. In her will, Martha J Smith Durrett named her children and grandchildren. One is my husband's father-in-law Charles Albert Durrett b. 1871 married Cora Missouri Ellen Sanders.

    Solomon’s son Rice W Durrett lost his arm during the civil war according to Military records. He was discharged for medical reasons in Atlantic GA.

    Thomas C. Durrett collects a pension from 1900 to 1904; he was living in Lisbon, Dallas, Texas. Where did Thomas go? Records show he moved to Alabama but where in Alabama?

    Richard Haines Durrett - In a letter to the Adjunct General dated in 1863, Richard, states there was Indian trouble and he asked for leave and it was not granted; so he left to get his family to safety. After they were safe, he returned to his regiment. He was then court marshaled at Fort Galveston, Texas for desertion. He asks to be returned to an Artillery regiment. In 1865, Richard is returned to the active duty and he does serve with an Artillery Regiment until the end of the war.

    After the war, he returns home and marries about 1866 in Parker, Texas Susan Callahan Cole daughter of John Pope (Jack) Cole and Susan Hulda Leonard. The Coles also owned land in Dallas and in Parker County. Are Richard and Susan's marriage license in Parker County or Dallas?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    I can be emailed at jmdgenealogy AT yahoo.com

    Thank you for your help.
    Joy Durrett
    2nd Great-Granddaughter of Solomon and Martha J Smith Durrett and John Pope (Jack) Cole

              orla huffman        
    Could anyone please post the obituary for Orla Huffman, moved to Weatherford in late 1910s and buried there. Death date June 29, 1923. I believe his wife continued to live there until her death in 1956.
    Thank you
              Re: Birth record 1927 Texas        
    Lorine's death certificate should state where she was born. Also, try www.familysearch.org for a birth record.

    Sandra
              Re: Eva Myrtle Guiles, b. 1897        
    Eva Myrtle Tucker b.17 Oct 1897 d. 12 Nov 1961 in Graham, Young co. Tx. buried in Pioneer Cemetery with her husband, Joseph Alvin Tucker b.05 Jan 1884 d. 11 Jan 1972 in Jacksboro, Jack Co. Tx.

    Both death cert. and burial records can be found here.

    www.findagrave.com

    https://familysearch.org/
              Eva Myrtle Guiles, b. 1897        
    I am looking for information about Eva Myrtle Guiles b. Oct. 1897 [by 1900 census], daughter of James H. Guiles and Penina Avo Rowland. I need her full birth and death date. She was age 32 and single in the 1940 census of this county, and that is the last record I can find. I do not know if she married.
              Re: 1926 Marriage license for Parker County Texas         
    Hi,

    I checked Ancestry and FamilySarch but didn't find their marriage license. You can order a copy from the Parker County Clerk, www.co.parker.tx.us/ips/cms/countoffices/countyClerk.html.

    I did find the following:

    Clifford Anne Bigby
    Born: 28 Nov 1932, Fort Worth, Tarrant, TX
    Female
    Father: Walter Clifford Bigby
    Mother: Annie Lois Farmer
    Source: Texas Birth Certificates 1903-35

    Walter Clifford Bigby
    Born: 25 Oct 1900, TX
    Residence: Fort Worth, Tarrant, TX
    Occupation: Owner, Cliff Bigby Seed Co.
    Father: W. A. Bigby
    Mother: Priscilla East
    Died: 25 March 1958, Fort Worth, Tarrant, tX
    Married & Informant: Mrs. W. C. Bigby
    Buried: March 27, 1958, Fort Worth (the cemetery field was blank).
    Source: Texas Deaths 1890-1976, www.familysearch.org. You can view and print the death certificate at no charge. Successful Searching!
              WILLIAM HARDIN MOORE        
    I am trying to trace my ggg grandparents - William Hardin Moore and Mary Ann Hargis.
    I have two death certificates (their children).
    There seems to be conflicting details regarding the parents birth place.

    W H Moore died 1920 Parker County - states parents W H Moore
    and Miss Harges both born SOUTH CAROLINA?

    G H Moore died 1934 Wilbarger County - states parents W H Moore and Mary Ann Hargis both born ALABAMA?

    My paternal grandfather was Walter Homer Moore born Parker
    1890 and died Parker 1972. His parents are listed as W H Moore and Alice Blanton. On some census info Alice Blanton is noted as Martha Alice Blanton and on others Alice Blanton! I think she may have preferred to use Alice?

    I am no expert at researching and hope someone maybe able to help me. Thankyou
              Misuse of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A Deadly New Trend        
    image Novel synthetic opioids (NSOs) include various analogs of fentanyl and newly emerging non-fentanyl compounds. Together with illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), these drugs have caused a recent spike in overdose deaths, whereas deaths from prescription opioids have stabilized. NSOs are used as stand-alone products, as adulterants in heroin, or as constituents of counterfeit prescription medications. During 2015 alone, there were 9580 deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone. Most of these fatalities were associated with IMF rather than diverted pharmaceutical fentanyl. In opioid overdose cases, where the presence of fentanyl analogs was examined, analogs were implicated in 17% of fatalities. Recent data from law enforcement sources show increasing confiscation of acetylfentanyl, butyrylfentanyl, and furanylfentanyl, in addition to non-fentanyl compounds such as U-47700. Since 2013, deaths from NSOs in the United States were 52 for acetylfentanyl, 40 for butyrylfentanyl, 128 for furanylfentanyl, and 46 for U-47700. All of these substances induce a classic opioid toxidrome, which can be reversed with the competitive antagonist naloxone. However, due to the putative high potency of NSOs and their growing prevalence, it is recommended to forgo the 0.4 mg initial dose of naloxone and start with 2 mg. Because NSOs offer enormous profit potential, and there is strong demand for their use, these drugs are being trafficked by organized crime. NSOs present major challenges for medical professionals, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers. Resources must be distributed equitably to enhance harm reduction though public education, medication-assisted therapies, and improved access to naloxone.
              Open-label Study of Injectable Extended-release Naltrexone (XR-NTX) in Healthcare Professionals With Opioid Dependence        
    imageObjectives: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) with opioid dependence are at risk for relapse and death, particularly in the first year of recovery; however, maintenance treatment with opioid agonists is controversial in this safety-sensitive group. We evaluated long-term safety, tolerability, and treatment outcomes of injectable, intramuscular, extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) in opioid-dependent HCPs. Methods: This single-arm, multisite, open-label study was conducted in opioid-dependent HCPs who had been detoxified from opioids for at least 2 weeks. Subjects received monthly XR-NTX injections for up to 24 months, combined with counseling via intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Assessments included monthly urine opioid drug tests and routine safety assessments, along with a trimonthly short form (36) Health Survey, opioid craving questionnaire, and Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication. Results: Of 49 opioid-dependent HCPs screened, 38 enrolled and received at least 1 XR-NTX injection. Most were female (n = 31) and nurses or nursing assistants (n = 30). More than half (n = 21; 55.3%) received at least 12 injections. Seven discontinued due to adverse events (3 anxiety, 2 headache, 1 injection-site mass, 1 derealization). None experienced relapses to opioid dependence necessitating detoxification, overdose, or death during treatment. At 24 months, mean opioid craving fell by 45.2%, and short form (36) mental component scores improved by 31.1% from baseline and approached normal levels. Of 22 unemployed subjects at baseline, 45.5% improved employment status at 24 months. Conclusions: Long-term (2 years) XR-NTX was associated with no new safety concerns, and, compared with shorter-term studies in the general population, similar or better rates of retention, opioid-negative urines, opioid craving reduction, mental health functional quality of life improvement, and re-employment.
              American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use        
    The Centers for Disease Control have recently described opioid use and resultant deaths as an epidemic. At this point in time, treating this disease well with medication requires skill and time that are not generally available to primary care doctors in most practice models. Suboptimal treatment has likely contributed to expansion of the epidemic and concerns for unethical practices. At the same time, access to competent treatment is profoundly restricted because few physicians are willing and able to provide it. This “Practice Guideline” was developed to assist in the evaluation and treatment of opioid use disorder, and in the hope that, using this tool, more physicians will be able to provide effective treatment. Although there are existing guidelines for the treatment of opioid use disorder, none have included all of the medications used at present for its treatment. Moreover, few of the existing guidelines address the needs of special populations such as pregnant women, individuals with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, individuals with pain, adolescents, or individuals involved in the criminal justice system. This Practice Guideline was developed using the RAND Corporation (RAND)/University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Appropriateness Method (RAM) – a process that combines scientific evidence and clinical knowledge to determine the appropriateness of a set of clinical procedures. The RAM is a deliberate approach encompassing review of existing guidelines, literature reviews, appropriateness ratings, necessity reviews, and document development. For this project, American Society of Addiction Medicine selected an independent committee to oversee guideline development and to assist in writing. American Society of Addiction Medicine's Quality Improvement Council oversaw the selection process for the independent development committee. Recommendations included in the guideline encompass a broad range of topics, starting with the initial evaluation of the patient, the selection of medications, the use of all the approved medications for opioid use disorder, combining psychosocial treatment with medications, the treatment of special populations, and the use of naloxone for the treatment of opioid overdose. Topics needing further research were noted.
              When Knowledge and Experience Do Not Help: A Study of Nonfatal Drug Overdoses        
    image With recent increases in overdose deaths in Australia, there is renewed interest in understanding the factors that contribute to overdose. We examine the experiences of persons who report a nonfatal drug overdose. Fifty people who inject drugs (PWID) and who had accidently overdosed in the past 12 months were recruited and interviewed at 1 of 4 Needle and Syringe Program sites during September and October 2013. Participants were typically male, middle-aged, with long injecting histories. Half of the participants reported mainly injecting pharmaceutical opioids. Most overdoses occurred at home with others present. An ambulance was called for only 38% of cases and 26% were admitted to a hospital emergency department. Police were seldom involved, and there were no complaints about the involvement of police at the time of the overdose. Participants commonly had a history of overdosing, and most were on prescription medications for physical and/or mental health problems. Poly drug use was common for those reporting an accidental overdose. Benzodiazepines (eg, Xanax or Valium) were implicated in just over half of the overdoses. Most of those reporting a recent overdose also report a past history of previous overdoses. Most of those reporting a previous overdose continue to use substances in ways they are aware contribute to the risk of an overdose.
              High Mortality Among Patients With Opioid Use Disorder in a Large Healthcare System        
    imageObjectives: Elevated mortality has been observed among individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) treated in addiction specialty clinics or programs. Information about OUD patients in general healthcare settings is needed in light of the current effort to integrate addiction services into primary healthcare systems. This study examined mortality rates, causes of death, and associated risk factors among patients with OUD in a large general healthcare system. Methods: Mortality data were linked with electronic health records of 2576 OUD patients cared for in a large university health system from 2006 to 2014. Results: There were 465 deaths confirmed (18.1% of the study participants), corresponding to a crude mortality rate of 48.6 per 1000 person-years and standardized mortality ratio of 10.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 9.4–11.3). Drug overdose and disorder (19.8%), cardiovascular diseases (17.4%), cancer (16.8%), and infectious diseases (13.5%, including 12% hepatitis C virus [HCV]) were the leading causes of death. HCV (hazard ratio [HR] 1.99, 95% CI 1.62–2.46) and alcohol use disorder (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.05–1.55) were 2 clinically important indicators of overall mortality risk. Tobacco use disorder (adjusted HR [AHR] 2.58, 95% CI 1.60–4.17) was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death, HCV infection (AHR 2.55, 95% CI 1.52–4.26) with cancer mortality risk, and HCV (AHR 1.92, 95% CI 1.03–3.60) and alcohol use disorder (AHR 5.44, 95% CI 2.95–10.05) with liver-related mortality risk. Conclusions: Patients with OUD in a general healthcare system demonstrated alarmingly high morbidity and mortality, which challenges healthcare systems to find innovative ways to identify and treat patients with substance use disorder.
              An Argument for Change in Tobacco Treatment Options Guided by the ASAM Criteria for Patient Placement        
    imageTobacco use is a major threat to public health in the United States, and the number one cause of preventable death. Although most smokers try to quit unaided, robust data indicate that pairing behavioral support to US Food Drug Administration-approved cessation medications significantly increase cessation rates. Those who do receive assistance in quitting usually receive very low intensity treatment, regardless of the severity of their dependence or their medical and environmental circumstances. This is in stark contrast to how other substance use disorders are treated, where there are varying levels of care depending on addiction severity and biopsychosocial circumstances. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) developed a formal algorithm for assessing substance use disorders and determining the optimal level of care. The ASAM Patient Placement Criteria are regularly used to determine the appropriate level of care for all substance use disorders except tobacco. This paper will review key aspects of the ASAM dimensions of care and placement levels, with emphasis on how they apply to tobacco use and present case examples of typical smokers who would benefit from a higher intensity of tobacco dependence treatment. We also present current barriers to reimbursing healthcare providers for these services. We conclude with a commentary and discussion regarding recommendations for improvements in tobacco dependence treatment care.
              Spit and Garbage Left at Site of Truck Attacker’s Death        
    People have been making their feelings clear at the spot where Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was killed by police after his murderous truck run.
              Billie Lourd on Life After Loss of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds: 'I Get to Be Just Billie'        
    The 'Scream Queens' actress opened up about how she coped with the tragic deaths in her family to 'Town & Country' magazine.
              Some numbers from this week        

    Originally posted on Facebook 1/28/17:

    My numerical mentor, the late Dean Fagerstrom, passed away on 2/27 in the year 2014. He wrote in his writings and told me in person that Emanuel Swedenborg had actually appeared to him 2 or 3 times during his life. These experiences had a profound impact on his life.

    Emanuel Swedenborg - one of the greatest mathematician-scientist-inventor-theologians in world history (his IQ was ranked #2 by Stanford University next to Goethe among thousands of creative people who have contributed to mankind's spiritual and scientific advancement) - was born 1/29 in the year 1688.

    2/27 = 227

    1/29 = 129

    227 + 129 = Leo (356)

    Leo (356) factors into 89 prime X 4

    Leo is the astrological sign for the Divine Birthmonth of August whose ruling planet is the Sun and which corresponds to the Human Heart.

    Swedenborg wrote in his writings that 89 was a very special number.

    Six months prior in a letter to the noted English minister John Wesley Swedenborg predicted his departure (death) from this world. He passed away on 3/29 at 5 pm in 1772, the exact date and time which he announced to his housekeeper.

    3/29 was the 89th day of the year 1772.

    329 + 227 = 556

    556 mirrors 5:56 am which is the completion of the Leo (356th) minute of each new day.

    Summary points:

    1) Birth date (Swedenborg) 1/29 (129) plus the passing date (Fagerstrom) 2/27 (227) adds up to Leo (356)

    2) Passing dates (Swedenborg) 3/29 (329) plus (Fagerstrom) 2/27 (227) = 556 (5:56 am which is the completion of the Leo (356th) minute of the day.

    3) Swedenborg's passing 3/29 in the year 1772 was the 89th day of the year.

    4) 89 is the highest prime factor of Leo (356) = 89 prime X 4

    5) Swedenborg's birthdate 1/29 (129) mirrors 1:29 am which is the completion of the 89th minute of each day.

    6) Dean Fagerstrom was born on 2/07 (207) which is 122 (1/22) from 3/29 (329) the day Swednborg passed away.

    1/22 was the day my father was born.


              Google is a number        
    Google is a number.

    G-7, O-6, O-6, G-7, L-3, E-5

    Google (766735)

    Google (766735) factors into the following prime numbers:

    Google (766735) = 1723 prime X 89 prime X 5 prime.

    89 is the prime of Leo (356) = 89 prime X 4. 

    Leo is the astrological sign for the Divine Birthmonth of August whose ruling planet is the Sun and which corresponds to the Human Heart - see below. 

    The Universal Numerical Date for Google (766735) brings us to November 8th in the year 2093.

    11/08 is always 89 days from August 11th which is the Divine Birthdate of our Lord God Jesus Christ (6 BC).

    The gentleman that taught me this stuff, Dean Fagerstrom, wrote a 1400+ page book (The Book of Anglion) that outlines a mathematical
    proof - using prime numbers - that our Lord God Jesus Christ was born on August 11th in the year 6 BC.

    The dates, times, events, births and deaths that happen throughout history are connected to August 11th in 6 BC in many amazing patterns that appear to glorify and shine light on that date. Google (766735) is just another one of many examples.

    Also outlined in Dean's book are equations and numbers that refer to November 8th in 7 BC as the actual date of the Divine Conception of our Lord God Jesus Christ.

    11/08 (1108) factors into 277 prime X 4.

    277 is the prime of Divine (494955) Love (3645) = 498600 = 277 prime X 1800.

    In leap years August 11th is always the completion of the 277th "Divine Love" day from/including November 8th in the previous year. 

              Ways to stay safe this New Year's Eve        
    It's a time of celebration. A time of rejuvenation. A time to make resolutions that will stick for a week, and then quickly go by the wayside.

    New Years Eve marks the beginning of a new year, and a new start for many people. However it also marks  a popular night to go out and party, leading to auto accidents, many of which are unfortunately deadly.

    395 people were killed in an alcohol-related crashes in the second-half of December 2011 alone, making it a total of 9,878 for the year. That's fortunately a 2.5% decline for the year, but still makes up roughly a third of all traffic deaths. Per usual, police will be issuing traffic stops to not only catch those abusing the law, but also to get the word out about drinking and driving.

    If you, your friends or some loved ones are going to be at a party, here's a few tips on how to stay safe:

    1. Pick a Designated Driver
        Whether it's you or someone else, make sure someone refrains from drinking and remains responsible enough to drive everyone home safely. Just because you or someone else ends up becoming the DD, it's not to mean they have to keep from having fun.

    2. Drop off the keys
        If you don't have a Designated Driver, and you still want to drink, just give the keys to someone you trust. Having those on you may tempt you to get behind the wheel, so turn them in and go enjoy yourself.

    3. Pack a bag
        Maybe you're planning on staying somewhere overnight…or maybe you're not. Either way, packing a bag of some essentials is a great idea for those who are ready to drink deep into the night.

    4. Use Public Transportation
        If you're close to a bus or train, heading home in a safe and convenient environment is one of the best ways to go. They typically run all the time, and are fairly inexpensive. Another option is the cab ride, which is nice for the fact that they pick you up wherever you are. However, it can get costly, depending on where you are and where you need to go, so if you can, find someone who lives near you, and split the fare.

    5. Walking
        Many people have the impression that after a long night of partying, walking is safer than getting behind the wheel. While that may be inherently true, 1/1 is the deadliest day of the year when it comes to pedestrian deaths. If you do decide to walk, make sure to go in a group and wear visible clothing, to ensure that drivers have a better chance of seeing  you.

    6. Coffee doesn't help
        It's been told that coffee helps a person sober up. In fact, it's just plain 'ol time that cures all…plus a good carb-heavy meal and a caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage.

    So if you'd rather go out than stay home this upcoming New Year's Eve, stick to one of the aforementioned tips, and be safe!

    If you're in the market for a new or pre-owned vehicle, visit your local Acura dealer at Muller Acura of Merrillville. For quality and professional service, please call to set up an appointment.
              Top 5 reasons to love your SCOBY        
    Andrea's gift
    Andrea's Gift
    This post is something of an experiment. While SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has become a bit of a dirty word in blogging recently, I believe there's nothing wrong with making cosmetic changes that increase the chance that people will find and read what you have to say.

    One kind of post title that people appear to like promises a list of reasons for something. I've been meaning to write a post about the joys of the fermentation community for a while, and the original title of this post was "It takes a village to grow a SCOBY". But I'm going to use the list format, instead. Tell me whether you like it and I should do more of them, or you think it is just gimmicky.

    Just to remind you, a SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. The acronym usually refers to the culture used in making kombucha, but milk kefir and water kefir grains are also SCOBYs. Yoghurt cultures are not.

    5. While there isn't much scientific proof of the benefits of fermented drinks such as kombucha and kefir, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that people with gut issues who drink kombucha seem to feel better. That is certainly true in my case. There was a scare a few years ago in which the FDA linked deaths to kombucha, but there doesn't seem to have been any conclusive evidence there. I've never felt ill after drinking my home-brew. It's also a great source of B vitamins. Of course it is important to make sure everything is clean, etc. - well, duh. They haven't warned people off Pepsi yet, because, you know, it doesn't do anything bad to you.

    4. Even if you, like me, can't drink cultured milk directly, you can still make wonderful dairy products with it. I made the most amazing cultured butter from local organic milk I had fermented with milk kefir grains. It tasted just as good as the store-bought butter brought in from Quebec, and was considerably cheaper, which you can't always say for home-made stuff. Just as an aside, if I were able to access raw milk in Manitoba it is entirely possible that I would be able to drink the milk kefir. Again, there hasn't been much scientific research but I've heard many anecdotal reports of people who were supposedly intolerant of dairy doing just fine with the unpasteurised version. Again, you need to make sure everything is clean and safe. Well, duh.

    3.  There is something very magical about watching the slow transformation of sweet tea into something resembling cider. You plop your little alien-looking colony into the tea, cover the jar and put it in a warm place. After about a week you will have a new baby SCOBY to share with your friends, and a yummy drink to put into bottles for a second fermentation with fruit or herbs. I usually use blueberries, strawberries or ginger. It's incredibly delicious. Even if it didn't have a single health benefit, it just tastes so nice, especially first thing in the morning. Move over, grapefruit juice.

    2. It does take patience, whether you are making kefir or kombucha. You can't hurry it up, although you can slow it down by keeping it in a temperature that is too low. I usually put my jar in the oven with just the light on (and a BIG sign on the door to prevent me from cooking my ferments!). Having to wait on nature is good for the soul in these frenzied times. It can be quite zen.

    1. Best of all, you get to interact with an amazing community of fellow enthusiasts. You can't buy a SCOBY in the supermarket. There are websites out there which will sell one to you, but it is much more fun to get one from a local person. I was fortunate to be put in touch with a lovely lady named Andrea, who gave me my first kombucha SCOBY. I am so grateful to her, and to Sarah who gave me milk kefir grains. I was fortunate to be able to pass on some of my baby SCOBYs to others interested in travelling a similar route. You can't buy that kind of experience, either.

    So, those are my top reasons for loving my SCOBYs. I'm sure I could come up with more, but I don't want the blog post to be too long. What do you think?
              Time out in Grand Popo        
    I have been too busy for some time to post anything to the blog, but having planned to draft something on last week's trip to the UK I found the following, drafted last December but for some reason never posted (with apologies if a photo is inserted in a random place - blogger tells me I've added it but it doesn't show up in the draft):

    After a period of pretty hard work I took a long weekend to rest at the village of Grand Popo in Benin. Formerly a grand colonial town, apparently, the majority of the ‘grand’ stuff has long since been swallowed up by the sea, with not even the spire of the old church now visible above the crashing waves. What is left now is a typical African fishing village squashed between the sea and a web of mangrove creeks, but leading to it a 4km-long road lined with little guest-houses, bars, art galleries and the like.

    I followed a recommendation to stay at the grandest of the guest houses, in some restored old buildings next to the sea, although by the final day I was taking my meals in the cheaper places down the road. I slept a lot, walked a bit, took a drumming lesson, and also a couple of excursions around the locality (a pirogue trip among the mangroves and a walk around a village full of voodoo fetishes).

    On the latter I was taken into a house to be shown two turtles in a sadly small tank, but also two old rice sacks now full of sand and, apparently, turtle eggs which had been rescued before poachers could steal them to eat. However when I took a closer look at the sand, I saw that there was a baby turtle on top and several parts of other baby turtles emerging from the sand! The guide asked if I minded helping, and basically set me to work digging out all the turtles while he went off to fill some big basins with sea water. It took a long time but by the end we had several basins containing some 120-odd baby turtles swimming about in the water (besides ten or so that had not survived.

    Apparently they would be released into the sea that evening. I’m not sure if this is the best way to conserve turtles (isn’t the process of digging their way out of the sand an important part of their development? & a way of their ‘learning’ where they come from so that the females will know where to come back when they need to lay eggs of their own?) but at least the will is there.

    I also ended up in a fascinating conversation with one of the hotel waiters. He was a part-time musician (I had already bought a CD of his!) and very knowledgeable on the history of African rhythms.

    I learnt that (according to him at least) salsa originates from Benin – from the slaves of the Beninois Agossa family taken to Cuba. There the women beat out the rhythm on metal gongs to help their men to get through the work in the sugar plantations. The word salsa is apparently a corruption of Agossa.

    The metal gong in the story is a commonly used instrument in West African traditional ceremonies, although only in Benin is it a part of regular music. He told me it originated in Benin a long time ago, when a group of women needed a way to stop their king from carrying out a public execution. They commissioned a blacksmith to make a metal gong in shape of a breast, so that they could present it to the king as a symbol of the strength of their feelings against the execution. How could he who was suckled at his mother’s breast, put to death another man, also suckled at his mother’s breast? So they each had a gong made in the shape of one of their breasts, beat the gongs loudly to get the attention of the king and presented them to him with their pleas. The man was saved and the gong became a regular part of ceremonial life.

    Unfortunately, with the tendency to go bra-less and have lots of children, I can confirm that many African women do indeed have breasts the shape of the gong.
              Rumours of the death of multinational tax avoidance are greatly exaggerated        
    Michael West, University of Sydney The Australian government took out newspaper ads earlier this month boasting of unequivocal victory in the fight against multinational tax avoidance. It is no small irony that taxpayers have forked out for this bald-faced lie. “Multinational corporations earning Australian dollars now pay their fair share of Australian tax,” decreed the […]
              Lee Newspapers Closing Capitol Bureau        
    Late Thursday afternoon a news story broke on the Great Falls Tribune website that spread across Twitter like wildfire, and struck some people like a death in the family: Lee Newspapers, which owns five of Montana’s largest papers, is closing its state bureau, and its two reporters, Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, are leaving the company.
              Blog Post: Zany Family Friendly Fun        

    I rush forward, My teammate next to me. The enemy is just round the corner. I run round the corner and spray my enemies in yellow paintballs? Welcome to the zany world of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare. The game currently has 5 game modes. Team Vanquish(Team Deathmatch.) Suburbination(basically Domination.) Gardens and Graveyards (a twist on Battlefields Rush mode.) Gnome Bomb(like obliteration) and Taco Bandits(A fun twist on the Classic CTF formula.) You can play as both Plants and Zombies each with 5 unique classes for Plants you have Foot Soldier (a good entry point for shooter fans.) Enginner(a large drone flying, jackhammer riding, Support class) Scientist(a close range healer.) and All-Star(a tank class with a football cannon.) and for Plants you have Peashooter( a quick moving shotgun class.) Sunflower(a fast firing healer.) Chomper ( a melee powerhouse.) and Catus (a long range sniper.) one of PvZ: GW's strongest features is the customization. Each class has seemingly limitless variations and options. Earning money unlocks random characters and abilities. All in all the game is a blast to play with tight controls and fun modes. If your to young for CoD then this is great option.


              Blog Post: Get it on X360        

    I would like to take a second and clear something up. This game does not have a free-to-play monetization system. Everything is unlocked in game, and there is no, I repeat NO items at launch to purchase for real money. I am disappointed that Jeff repeatedly mislead people to think that this was not the case. That GI let this strange review get through, slamming the game for what Jeff thinks MIGHT happen with the game, is frankly disappointing. I say this again, there is NO free-to-play monetization in the game.

    Now, for the game itself, I found it to be entertaining, if a little light on content. There are 3 modes of play on the X360 version. There is the Gardens and Graveyards mode (think Rush from Battlefield), your standard Team Deathmatch mode, and a Horde mode. Each of these are well executed in their own right, but for me, Gardens and Graveyards is the most fun. There is a "Classic" version of each mode as well, which is identical, except that you can not use any unlocks, so everyone is on even footing. This is a neat idea, and removes some frustration when starting out. There is also a "Welcome Mat" mode, but after a round or two, you won't need to play in it.

    Everything in the game is unlocked from the card packs. You can buy them with coins you earn by playing, and by levelling a character. Jeff is correct in stating that each card pack has random picks in it, and you never know which character will get the unlocks. What Jeff didn't bother to mention is that when you level a character past lvl 3, you get a card pack for that character specifically. These character specific packs have about 5 cards for that character, unlocking upgrades, customization items and skin unlocks. So if there is one class which you prefer, you will get items for them regularly without even having to spend your coins.

    The acheivement unlocks are not terribly difficult. They do get tougher as you get higher in level, but you will have the class abilities unlocked after level 3, and all of the ones up until that point are very easy. After that, you unlock the character card packs I mentioned earlier. If there are particularly irritating challenges, like Jeff's "Kill two scientists with the sunbeam" challenge, you have the option of using a skip card on them, so you don't have to do them. When you use a skip card, you still get credit for having completed that challenge, but don't have to do it. The skip cards drop pretty regularly out of the consumable card packs.

    The consumables which you use in matches are attained through card drops, but since they cost 1,000 coins per pack and you get around 5 different consumables (and each of these 5 is usually a 2-3 pack of that item), it becomes a non-issue. Even a poor showing in a round will get you way more than 1,000 coins. At no time have I felt like I needed to be grinding coins in order to become viable on the battlefield. In fact, you will probably with up with an overflowing number of consumables, unless you are very aggressive with them. At that point, you can just spend the coins on the random card packs to unlock character items.

    While Jeff is correct in saying that you will have some rounds where you don't unlock challenges for your preferred character, the coin system ensures that no match is ever a waste.

    The gameplay is tight, the controls are easy to pick up, the skills are fun, there are dozens of character variations to unlock, and literally hundreds of customization items for the characters. The levels are big, fun, well designed and look fantastic.

    What I will certainly say though, is that you are better off getting the X360 version of the game. The X1 and the X360 versions look almost identical, but there are 2 sorta side-modes in the X1 version, both of which I have been told are pointless. The X360 version is $10 cheaper, making this a tidy little package for $29 on X360.

    I hope to see more maps and modes in the future (Horde mode from the zombie side anyone?), what is offered currently may be a little light in comparison to AAA map and character offerings, but what is there is well executed and cleanly put together.


              Blog Post: Rooted In Shallow Soil        

    Gamers were dumbfounded when PopCap announced it was transplanting the Plants vs. Zombies series from the backyard to the battlefield. To say the multiplayer-shooter spinoff is a huge departure for the casual game developer is an understatement, but the aesthetics and lighthearted tone are a wonderful change of pace for the violence-obsessed genre. Dig beneath the surface, though, and you find some fundamental flaws that hold back this family-friendly shooter.[Excerpt]

    PopCap is known for making highly polished games that virtually anyone can pick up and play. Unfortunately, that equation only rings half true for Garden Warfare. The developer's simplified approach to the genre does away with basic concepts like sprinting, melee attacks, and limited ammo, making it easy for anyone to get into the swing of battle. However, the gameplay is uncharacteristically buggy; players get hung up on other characters and geometry, corpses twitch on the ground, and even the slightest bit of network lag renders some abilities (like the all-star zombie's dash attack) ineffective. A variety of classes and unlockable characters add some nuance to the simple fun, but PopCap's limited mode offerings hamstring replayability.

    Garden Warfare only features two main competitive modes: Team Vanquish and Gardens & Graveyards. Team Vanquish is your run-of-the-mill team deathmatch. Gardens & Graveyards tasks zombies with assaulting a series of consecutive capture points in a map, similar to Battlefield's rush mode. A classic variant of each mode disables upgrades and unlockable characters (making them less interesting), and the beginner mode gives you more health the more you die, but you're still playing one of two basic formulas.

    Gardens & Graveyards is clearly the main attraction. Maps have unique themes, and capture points are built around interesting locations that facilitate large-scale confrontations. Every map features an interesting final objective, such as sneaking five zombies into Crazy Dave's mansion or destroying the roots of a giant sunflower growing inside of a lighthouse. Gardens & Graveyards provides hours of fun, but eventually you get tired of assaulting or defending the same points on the same handful of maps, and Team Vanquish does little to alleviate the boredom.

    Garden Warfare's co-op offerings are equally uninspired. Garden Ops is a four-player horde mode, which tasks players with defending a garden against ten increasingly difficult waves of zombies. Aside from the occasional zombie boss or special wave, you don't have much to draw you in once you've beaten a few matches. 

    Garden Warfare's most interesting twist is how it incorporates the series' tower-defense elements into matches. Players can spawn zombies or plants in designated locations on the map, which then attack opponents autonomously. Unfortunately, these characters are treated as consumable items that players must purchase before matches using Garden Warfare's microtransaction-ready economy.

    The vast majority of Garden Warfare's content is locked behind its PvZ Coin currency. Support plants and zombies, customization items, weapon upgrades, and even new class characters are bought with the coins you earn from matches. However, can't just buy what you want; instead you must purchase blind card packs of varying prices. Consumable card packs give you a handful of zombies and plants to summon during matches, while more expensive packs provide random upgrades or character stickers – though you have to collect all of the stickers for a character before you can actually play as them. Like any good pusher, EA gives you a couple packs for free, but after that the grinding for coins begins.

    This faux free-to-play approach undermines Garden Warfare's promising tower-defense elements. Each plant or zombie you spawn feels like a waste of money; regardless of how helpful they may be on the battlefield, buying consumable packs just holds you back from the larger goal of unlocking more playable characters, which is the only motivator to continue playing after you've learned the maps inside and out.

    Those extra playable characters are worth unlocking. Although they have the same class abilities, each character has its own unique twist on gameplay. For instance, the marine-biologist zombie features a higher rate of fire than the regular scientist zombie, and the fire sunflower deals extra elemental damage. Unfortunately, characters take an exorbitant amount of time to unlock, and because card packs are random, you can't just unlock upgrades or characters for the class you're interested in.

    [View:3255212410001]

    Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the economy is that there's no option to purchase coins with real money, but EA says it may institute such an option in the future. Frankly, I can't imagine a world where that change doesn't happen, but it doesn't really matter. The progression system and tower-defense elements are already broken to accommodate the possibility. Garden Warfare is designed like a free-to-play game, despite the $30 price tag.

    PopCap's approach to class progression also plays out for the worse. Instead of gaining experience points, you level up classes by completing a series of challenges. Things start out easy – deploy five potato mines, kill three plants with rockets – but more specific challenges distract players from what's best for the match and make leveling up a pain. Killing two scientist zombies with a sun beam or shooting down three garlic drones seems easy enough, but what if the other team isn't using those characters? I went entire matches making zero progress with characters simply because the right elements weren't on the battlefield. Some challenges are downright devious; spawning five conehead zombies first requires you to buy consumable card packs until you randomly receive enough of them to complete the challenge. Luckily, you unlock all of the abilities for a class in the first few levels anyway, so you can abandon the progression scheme after that.

    Before the tedium set in, I had fun with Garden Warfare. Spending a few hours with the accessible combat and charming world was entertaining, but the random card packs and achievement-style leveling system killed my desire to keep playing. Garden Warfare's simplified gameplay and limited map selection can only entertain for so long – without rewarding progression, there's no carrot (or brain) at the end of the stick.

    The Xbox 360 Difference
    While both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions have their share of problems, the last-gen incarnation fares considerably worse. While testing the 360 version, I ran into increased gameplay bugs, load times, pop-up, and embarrassingly blurry visuals as the game struggled to stream in the high-resolution textures. These shortcomings don’t ruin the experience, but they are significant enough to earn the Xbox 360 entry a lower score than the Xbox One version. 

              Blog Post: Rooted In Shallow Soil        

    Gamers were dumbfounded when PopCap announced it was transplanting the Plants vs. Zombies series from the backyard to the battlefield. To say the multiplayer-shooter spinoff is a huge departure for the casual game developer is an understatement, but the aesthetics and lighthearted tone are a wonderful change of pace for the violence-obsessed genre. Dig beneath the surface, though, and you find some fundamental flaws that hold back this family-friendly shooter.[Excerpt]

    PopCap is known for making highly polished games that virtually anyone can pick up and play. Unfortunately, that equation only rings half true for Garden Warfare. The developer's simplified approach to the genre does away with basic concepts like sprinting, melee attacks, and limited ammo, making it easy for anyone to get into the swing of battle. However, the gameplay is uncharacteristically buggy; players get hung up on other characters and geometry, corpses twitch on the ground, and even the slightest bit of network lag renders some abilities (like the all-star zombie's dash attack) ineffective. A variety of classes and unlockable characters add some nuance to the simple fun, but PopCap's limited mode offerings hamstring replayability.

    Garden Warfare only features two main competitive modes: Team Vanquish and Gardens & Graveyards. Team Vanquish is your run-of-the-mill team deathmatch. Gardens & Graveyards tasks zombies with assaulting a series of consecutive capture points in a map, similar to Battlefield's rush mode. A classic variant of each mode disables upgrades and unlockable characters (making them less interesting), and the beginner mode gives you more health the more you die, but you're still playing one of two basic formulas.

    Gardens & Graveyards is clearly the main attraction. Maps have unique themes, and capture points are built around interesting locations that facilitate large-scale confrontations. Every map features an interesting final objective, such as sneaking five zombies into Crazy Dave's mansion or destroying the roots of a giant sunflower growing inside of a lighthouse. Gardens & Graveyards provides hours of fun, but eventually you get tired of assaulting or defending the same points on the same handful of maps, and Team Vanquish does little to alleviate the boredom.

    Garden Warfare's co-op offerings are equally uninspired. Garden Ops is a four-player horde mode, which tasks players with defending a garden against ten increasingly difficult waves of zombies. Aside from the occasional zombie boss or special wave, you don't have much to draw you in once you've beaten a few matches. The Xbox One-exclusive modes are even more disappointing. The splitscreen mode is an endless version of Garden Ops, where the second player doesn't get to save his or her progress and the boss mode relegates you to providing support to your team during competitive matches from a topdown map of the battlefield.  

    Garden Warfare's most interesting twist is how it incorporates the series' tower-defense elements into matches. Players can spawn zombies or plants in designated locations on the map, which then attack opponents autonomously. Unfortunately, these characters are treated as consumable items that players must purchase before matches using Garden Warfare's microtransaction-ready economy.

    The vast majority of Garden Warfare's content is locked behind its PvZ Coin currency. Support plants and zombies, customization items, weapon upgrades, and even new class characters are bought with the coins you earn from matches. However, can't just buy what you want; instead you must purchase blind card packs of varying prices. Consumable card packs give you a handful of zombies and plants to summon during matches, while more expensive packs provide random upgrades or character stickers – though you have to collect all of the stickers for a character before you can actually play as them. Like any good pusher, EA gives you a couple packs for free, but after that the grinding for coins begins.

    This faux free-to-play approach undermines Garden Warfare's promising tower-defense elements. Each plant or zombie you spawn feels like a waste of money; regardless of how helpful they may be on the battlefield, buying consumable packs just holds you back from the larger goal of unlocking more playable characters, which is the only motivator to continue playing after you've learned the maps inside and out.

    Those extra playable characters are worth unlocking. Although they have the same class abilities, each character has its own unique twist on gameplay. For instance, the marine-biologist zombie features a higher rate of fire than the regular scientist zombie, and the fire sunflower deals extra elemental damage. Unfortunately, characters take an exorbitant amount of time to unlock, and because card packs are random, you can't just unlock upgrades or characters for the class you're interested in.

    [View:3255212410001]

    Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the economy is that there's no option to purchase coins with real money, but EA says it may institute such an option in the future. Frankly, I can't imagine a world where that change doesn't happen, but it doesn't really matter. The progression system and tower-defense elements are already broken to accommodate the possibility. Garden Warfare is designed like a free-to-play game, despite the $40 price tag.

    PopCap's approach to class progression also plays out for the worse. Instead of gaining experience points, you level up classes by completing a series of challenges. Things start out easy – deploy five potato mines, kill three plants with rockets – but more specific challenges distract players from what's best for the match and make leveling up a pain. Killing two scientist zombies with a sun beam or shooting down three garlic drones seems easy enough, but what if the other team isn't using those characters? I went entire matches making zero progress with characters simply because the right elements weren't on the battlefield. Some challenges are downright devious; spawning five conehead zombies first requires you to buy consumable card packs until you randomly receive enough of them to complete the challenge. Luckily, you unlock all of the abilities for a class in the first few levels anyway, so you can abandon the progression scheme after that.

    Before the tedium set in, I had fun with Garden Warfare. Spending a few hours with the accessible combat and charming world was entertaining, but the random card packs and achievement-style leveling system killed my desire to keep playing. Garden Warfare's simplified gameplay and limited map selection can only entertain for so long – without rewarding progression, there's no carrot (or brain) at the end of the stick.


              FAMOUS STATIONMASTER CAT PASSES AWAY, ENSHRINED AS GODDESS        

    Tama the stationmaster was a well known sight to visitors at the Kishi railway station in Western Japan. Hired in 2007, she was appointed as stationmaster in 2007 and received her very own stationmaster's uniform - a cap and a jacket. Sitting quietly at the gates to Kishi railway station, she would greet and see off passengers to the station diligently everyday like most stationmasters would.

    But Tama was no ordinary stationmaster - she was a cat. Her "service" to Kishi railway station soon became world famous.

    Legend has it that Tama drew in enough curious tourists and passengers to the station that her employer went from near-bankrupt to profitable. Tourism flourished and even the local economy in Tama's town felt the effects of her popularity.

    On 22nd June last Sunday, Tama passed away in hospital of heart failure. After her death, Tama's employers held a short Shinto-style funeral at the station where she served, where Shinto priests elevated Tama to a "goddess".

    Wakayama Electric Railway President Mitsunobu Kojima thanked the cat for her "service", and said Tama would be enshrined at a nearby cat shrine next month.

    “Tama-chan really emerged like a savior, a goddess. It was truly my honor to have been able to work with her,” Kojima said in eulogy to the cat.

    During her tenure, Tama had contributed an estimated 1.1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to the local economy.

    Kojima said that when he visited Tama at an animal hospital the day before she died, the cat woke up and reached out to him with her paws, as if asking for a hug, and looked straight into his eyes. He said he told Tama to get well so they can celebrate the cat’s upcoming 10th anniversary as a stationmaster, and said the cat responded with a “meow.”

    Tama had climbed the corporate ladder from stationmaster to “ultra-stationmaster” and vice president of the company before receiving the additional title Sunday of “honorable eternal stationmaster.”

    She will be succeeded by another calico cat, Nitama, now an apprentice stationmaster.

    Editor's Note: 

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              BRRRAAAIIIIINNNNSSSS!!!        
    Pictures of some brains from the Texas State Mental Hospital. (Not for the squemish.) "I walked into a storage closet filled with approximately one-hundred human brains, none of them normal, taken from patients at the Texas State Mental Hospital. The brains sat in large jars of fluid, each labeled with a date of death or autopsy, a brief description in Latin, and a case number."
              Wake Forest Baptist Researchers Find Novel Way to Induce Pancreatic Cancer Cell Death        
    Pancreatic cancer, most frequently pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is the most lethal and aggressive of all cancers. Unfortunately, there are not many effective therapies available other than surgery, and that is not an option for many patients.
              Fans call the tricks and Bobby Brown answers like a boss        

    The internet is just fascinating, don’t you think? Some little dude in Bumf#ck, Indiana can shoot a message to X Games gold medalist and Olympian, Bobby Brown, tell him to throw a switch double misty 1260, and then the next thing you know there’s Bobby, just making that kid’s day and performing a death-defying stunt […]

    The post Fans call the tricks and Bobby Brown answers like a boss appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Comment on Harry Potter and the Deathly ‘Mallows by averyawkwardblogger        
    THESE LOOK SO CUTE!!
              Comment on Harry Potter and the Deathly ‘Mallows by thefemalecreators        
    It looks incredibly cute *.*
              AVI writing fixed and some fast machine issues        
    In a new attempt to get a usable Burn:Cycle movie out of CD-i Emulator, I decided to add multiple PNG writing as a poor substitute for AVI writing. After all, if you have the images and audio, you can always postprocess them into a movie!

    I hooked up the PNG writing code from MESS/MAME, which seemed simple enough. There was the small matter of adding 24 bits per pixel bitmap support (their code handles 16 and 32 but not 24 which is however the internal format of CD-i Emulator; I had already partially added such support for the AVI writing code).

    However, the resulting PNG files would not display in Explorer or any other image tool, giving messages like 'Bad file format' and 'Cannot read'. In exploring the cause for this, I was looking at memory buffers being filled and suddenly noticed that they where being filled in little-endian byte order, which is definitely wrong as PNG is a big-endian byte order file format.

    The source of the problem turned out the be a configuration error with the MESS/MAME code: it needs a macro LSB_FIRST so it knows that it's running on a little-endian machine, and I had forgotten to give it one. When I fixed this, the PNG files came out right. And even better, the AVI files suddenly also seemed correct (not surprisingly, as they use the same byte order flipping macros as the PNG writing code).

    So now I have both PNG writing and AVI writing hooked up in CD-i Emulator. I proceeded to do some timing tests and in the process added a few new writing options. The -writesilent option writes AVI files without audio; the -writerate option sets the framerate for the AVI files.

    Full framerate AVI files still play "jumpy" on my machine but that's caused by their uncompressedness (is that even a word?); if you convert them to MP4 for uploading they play perfectly.

    I uploaded a first test to YouTube; you can see it here.

    If you set the AVI framerate low enough, you can do real-time movie captures. On my slow home machine I can do real-time capturing with -writerate 2 or less (which gives very jumpy AVI files, but the audio is correct).

    To do non-realtime movie rendering you need to use the input recording and playback options. I did that for one of my Burn:Cycle recordings (not a very good one, but it's hard to play on my machine as the framerate it really too low and as a result the mouse gets jerky, which makes you overshoot your targets, which results in easy death at the hands of the security people).

    The rendering proceeded at about 15% real-time speed while I was typing the above and is now finished; it gave me an AVI file of 27 GB for a nearly 7 minute session. There's something wrong with that file; Media Player claims it's only 33 seconds but proceeds to play all 7 minutes of it. Huh?

    I also have problems converting it to MP4, probably caused by the same problems. Currently testing conversion programs to find one that can handle it...

    During all of the fast machine testing yesterday, I also noticed that after a few minutes the audio begins to lag behind when it shouldn't. This is probably caused by the audio not being decoded at exactly 44.1 kHz relative to the PC timers (or something like that). When audio is playing, it really needs to be taken as the master clock for emulation speed control but that is somewhat hard with the current speed control code. Not for this beta. To ameliorate the problem, I've added a "Flush Audio" option (keyboard shortcut Ctrl-F) that allows you to manually flush the lagging audio so that it regains emulation sync.

    Yesterday I also started adding proper IFF reading code, as opposed to the basic version handling only a single large data chunk that is currently used by the input playback code. This is needed so I that can properly finish the recording and playback functionality.

    The beta release seems to be coming nearer...
              Our Bodies Under the Curse of Death        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Our Bodies Under the Curse of Death
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 7/9/1985
    Bible: Ecclesiastes 12:7
    Length: 18 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: Not only has God put this fallen world under the curse of judgment, but the bodies of all men -including believers- are under a curse - the curse of death - -Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was- and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it- -Eccl. 12-7-.
              A World of Death        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: A World of Death
    Subtitle: Wages of Sin is Death
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 5/27/1986
    Bible: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7; 1 Samuel 20:3
    Length: 16 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: David said to his friend Jonathan, -There is but a step between me and death.-----What the patriarch enunciated is the case with each one of us. What kind of a world do we live in- Think of it- A WORLD OF DEATH- It is only when the saints leave this present world that they arrive to -the Land of the Living-------It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment- -Heb. 9-27-. LISTEN FOR ETERNITY- LISTEN FOR YOUR SOUL-
              A Passing World        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: A Passing World
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 9/29/1987
    Bible: 1 John 2:17
    Length: 18 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: This world is swiftly passing away, taking us with it. -Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last-- That was a famous motto in the years when I was a child- but modern philosophy wants to -guard- us from thinking of the reality of DEATH and the JUDGMENT.----My dear listener, PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD- Start by hearing Mr. Fulton's heartcry little radio talk here.
              Home        
    Home. Where is home. We’ve had a few, us humans. Earth. I guess it all started there. Earth was home; still is, to some. But what about our other planets? What about Mars? Terra? Are they home? Our houses are homes. Or are our homes houses? Either way, I‘d have to have one for it to be one. Now… my Prospector. She’s a home. She’s my home. Where is she though… HA! Who’m I kidding?! She’s right where she ought to be, under my hands, mining! Just me and my Prospector, my Napanee, floating through space. Just floatin’. Minin’. Who needs a ‘home’. --- There’s a feeling one has, when they look at something completely extraordinary that they’ve been seeing their entire life. The feeling someone who lives on the coast gets every morning when they wake up and look out over the ocean. The feeling the best poker player in the ‘Verse gets when he wins the Galactic Invitational for the thirteenth time running. The feeling a mother gets when she has her seventh child. The feeling a 30 year veteran gets during another Vanduul raid. It is perfectly described in one word. ‘Enh.’ The word comes with a shrug, that kind of nonchalant noncommittal shrug that says, well… it says ‘enh’. The word and the shrug go together, like a jam and cheese sandwich eaten by someone with no taste buds. That word and shrug, though, they perfectly embodied the feelings running through Anoty’s head as he looked up through the asteroid field, looked up at all the other small rocks with their small domes, owned by the other prospecting families. Dozens of asteroids of different shapes and sizes and colours, all floating aimlessly, drifting lazily, through the cold black of space. Like cheerios floating in milk when you’ve eaten most of the cheerios and there are just a few left. Except that they weren’t all clumped together like they do in milk, but kept kind of separate in the milk instead, like how asteroids in space float kinda together but not really too close. Anoty had just started the metaphor segment of his English schooling. It was a work in progress. He sat in his room in his house under the force dome and missed his dad. Well, not his house, it was his mothers’ house. But it was his dad that he missed. He remembered his mom, four years ago, sitting him down and saying his dad was dead. That he’d taken the prospector out on a mission, that he’d got himself blown up by raiders. That the UEE had called her, said there wasn’t even a semblance of the ship anymore, or of his dad, the wreckage was so bad. Anoty sat on his bed, thinking. Thinking about his dad, and where he’d got to. Thinking of home. Wondering why his dad hadn’t thought home was with him. For Anoty, home wasn’t in the asteroid belt. Here he was stuck inside a dome on a gyrating asteroid orbiting a small planetoid in one of the most breathtaking displays of orbital dynamics that human eyes have ever seen, a literal stellar stereotype, the distant planetoid hazy through its fuchsia-tinged atmosphere, the closer asteroids and their domes spinning and revolving in a gravitational ballet of the highest magnitude, all seen from a dusty dirt rock with a horizon of infinity. Home was a place where his mom was still happy, and where his dad hadn’t left. --- Shaer hated home. Home was bills. Home was stress. Home was memories. Home was a son who played games all day, who couldn’t get his basic schooling figured out. He’d failed English, math, astronomic, piloting, farming, law, chemistry, and every other conceivable course she could download from the central UEE home-school repository. And every one of those downloads cost credits. To Shaer, home was in default. To Shaer, home was a lifeless rock, completely mortgaged out to pay for a ship for a low-life scum of an ex husband who’d taken the ship and left, sticking her with an idiot child, a worthless rock, and no way to pay the bills. To Shaer, home was the last straw. The final blow in a lifetime of blows. She’d wanted to go to the inner planets, visit Terra, Earth, Mars. She’d wanted to see the ‘Verse, to see where humanity came from. She thought about that, as she smashed the control-panel for the dome, causing the power to fail and the safety-net between the house and the black void of space to come crashing down. She’d always wanted to see Earth, especially. Learn where she’d come from; where everyone had come from. As the air rushed away from those that needed it most, raging like a hurricane, loud as a summer storm, quiet as a whisper, and then silent as death, Shae thought of Africa, of how she’d always wanted to see it. To see where Humanity had come from. To see something that truly was home. --- Anoty, in his panic and confusion, in the terrible, aching last gasps of life, thought of his father, knew that he would come back, that he would save Anoty and his mom. --- Home SWEET home, Dale said, patting the Prospector on the dash. He’d dropped off a load of trellium ore at the refinery, picked up a nice young thing to keep his mind and… other parts… occupied, and was headed back into the black. He’d checked the news. Life was good. Home was wherever he wanted. There was nothing left to hold him back.
              Tic-Talk Tonight: Theodore Felix-Grafton        
    Welcome to the newest edition of Tic-Talk, the transcript that follows is the full interview as conducted by Indira Nooyi with our guest interviewee, Theodore Felix-Grafton, local farmer from Goss I and former captain of the Nightingale. Interview was carried out on the planet Goss I on 2947-03-28. Indira Nooyi(IN): Good evening and welcome to another edition of Tic-Talk, for our traditional viewing audience this will be a bit of a departure from normal as this interview will be pre-recorded for the convenience of our current guest of tonight’s segment. Today I’m on the planet Goss I touring the farming operation of Theodore Felix-Grafton. Thank you for inviting us to your home, we really appreciate the chance to interview you today. Theodore Felix-Grafton(TFG): Well miss, the pleasure is all mine. Not every day a pretty young reporter visits this old man. IN: Well, we are here to highlight your unique story Mr. Felix-Grafton... TFG: No, no miss. Ted. Call me Ted. IN: Very well, Ted. Now your name came to our attention in a very indirect way, the producer of Tic-Talk heard about you from a neighbour of hers who told her a very interesting, wild story. Her neighbour maintains that you saved her life 22 years ago, from the Orion system. The thing that very much intrigued us at Tic-Talk tonight about this story was that, nobody has heard of this or even known about it until this very moment. I would have to say my very first question would be how do you think this managed to stay under the radar for so long? Cause you rescued how many people, Ted? TFG: Well, what I was doing wasn’t precisely sanctioned by the UEE. I was doing it to help people but I wasn’t sure how it would be received by the higher ups, so I asked those I saved to keep it a bit quiet. You know, not a secret to their friends and family but I asked them not to tell the media and such. My crew and I saved 47 people. Took some hits on our way out too… you can see some of the burns on Nightingale’s hull… like that one there. IN: So, these biodome pods you’re showing me now, once was the ship that took you to Orion system to save these 47 people? TFG: Interestingly, no. I couldn’t go in to Orion for this mission with biodome pods strapped to Nightingale… that just wouldn’t do. So Indira... may I call you Indira? IN: Of course, please do. TFG: So Indira, I called upon my dear friend Jack O’Leary who ran a Hope-class Endeavor named Mercy. He lent me his medical and landing bays for this mission. Interestingly these biodome pods have been here since then… I decided to bring Nightingale down here instead of bringing the farm pods back up… in the end. The rest of the buildings you see here are actually her, my ship.  Still protecting me. IN: Still living on, I’m sure she’s a comfort to you. I’m curious to know though why you decided to more or less invade the Orion system, risk discovery and possible death from the Vanduul, to rescue these people. Were they family? Friends? Was there a personal aspect that motivated you to do it? TFG: An old Genesis pilot I met in a freezing shithole of a bar in Oberon… I think the planet is Uriel? Anyway, he mentioned that he had heard from a reliable source that there were still folk stuck in Orion. Indira… two centuries of scraping together a life under constant threat of attack at any moment from the fucking Vanduul. Once I heard about those poor people I had to do something. But I’m not a fool. I checked with every source I could find and it seemed like the rumours had merit… that those people were actually there.  I thought I could help. Might’ve died trying, but what good is this ‘verse without people willing to help those who need it? IN: Very brave venture you undertook. Many of those families have been hiding or existing in Orion for generations now, the progeny of the original groups the UEE left behind when they vacated the system long ago. How did you know they wanted to be rescued or more to the point how did you get in touch with them to let them know you were coming? It otherwise might have been difficult to organize such a rescue. TFG: That’s the thing Indira, I couldn’t. I couldn’t risk the whole thing by broadcasting wide. I thought long and hard about it. If you were living in a place where you could die at any moment, even if it was home, wouldn’t you consider leaving so you and your family could be safe? IN: I would think so, but many of those families have grown accustomed to living stealthily. So, the 47 you rescued I would assume are the people you managed to either persuade to come with you or came of their own volition. Did you meet any Vanduul resistance either entering or leaving the system? TFG: Yeah… I was younger and a bit brash. I was going to Armitage to save people. If I had actually made it there I probably would have got everyone killed. As it turned out, during our pass by the main asteroid belt in Orion we got the luckiest and faintest hit on our sensors. We were a mite jumpy so at first we were sure it was the Vanduul come to tear us apart, but it became obvious after a few moments that it wasn’t anything of the sort. Turns out that a group of survivors from long ago had hidden out in the asteroid belt and eventually constructed a small space station out of several damaged ships and whatever scrap they could find. They had done a good job shielding it from scanners but the rickety thing was malfunctioning at that moment. IN: Sounds like a good bit of luck followed you into the Orion system. So, when you discovered the ‘space station’ did you manage to communicate with them or did you just send someone over to investigate? TFG: Still concerned about transmissions, I decided to just dispatch the ambulances from our bays to make contact. IN: And in doing so you found 47 survivors, and from what I’m hearing you arrived just at the right time before their current habitat started to fall into further disrepair.  Once you managed to dock with the station, you were able to evacuate the station and escape the system unscathed then? TFG: The folks were happy to see us. A bit wary, you understand, but once they knew fellow humans had come to help they were thrilled. They all came back with us. At that point the ship was getting very cozy… we had a total of 63 aboard. That was enough and from their tales it sounded like Armitage was a fool’s errand. Nightingale headed back for the jump point to Caliban but part way there we got the attention of a Vanduul patrol. They gave us a few scars for our efforts, though we ultimately were able to hold them off long enough to get through the jump. Caliban is no picnic either but thankfully we got through to Oberon unscathed. IN: Sounds like quite the adventure, Ted and I’m sure those 47 were unendingly grateful to you. I have one final question for you, after all that… what possessed you to give up a spacefaring life for that of a humble Goss farmer? TFG: They were grateful. They were. I was too though. It was the most exciting, nerve-wracking, and meaningful event of my life. That event grew some of my most cherished friendships. I still keep in contact with many of those folks. Interestingly, I actually married one of the survivors. Her name is Florence. Honestly after that I just felt that my adventuring days were over. It was time to come home, settle down, and do some work on the ground for once. For me at least, when it came down to it, I felt better to belong to a place. We’ve built a good life here, a nice place, don’t you think? IN: Indeed, it’s a very idyllic place to settle down and your story was not only inspiring but also shows that humanity can still do good things. Thank you for your time, Ted. I’m Indira Nooyi and this has been another edition of Tic-Talk, thanks for joining us and see you next week.  
              The Day Mars Died         
    Trevor Adams woke early on the morning of September 13th, 2125, his alarm ringing loudly in his ears.  Well, I suppose singing would probably be a better description.  Birds.  No birds up here and Trevor loved birds. After an exaggerated morning stretch, Trevor stumbled into the shower and then proceeded to wrap up his morning bathroom rituals.   Trevor whistled one of the bird songs from his alarm as he pulled on his overalls and spacesuit.  No helmet for the fifth straight day… company says they’re still mandatory but not a single worker is wearing it.  Why would you bother if you’re fine without it?   Atmospheric Engineer was his title.  He was proud of it.  Trevor worked tirelessly in school to prepare himself for a career in the burgeoning field of terraforming and here he was. The Mars terraforming project was a great success.  Only 12 years after terraforming technology was first patented, Trevor and his team had already set up a stable breathable atmosphere on Mars.  The achievement was, if you would forgive a brief pun, out of this world. Trevor’s task for this sol was to visit three atmospheric monitoring stations, to ensure the readings continued to be stable, and perform any necessary maintenance on the associated atmospheric processors. Despite the fact that there were almost five thousand people on Mars, Trevor was working alone in an isolated area and had been for several weeks. Munching absentmindedly on a nutrient bar, his breakfast, he strode out of the habitat unit and jumped on to his Marver (some smart ass had decided that Mars Rover = Marver.  I know…).  It was a short and uneventful trip up out of the crater and up onto the south ridge to visit ATMO-63, first workstation of the day. Having finished his breakfast, Trevor took a long swig of water from his flask and strode inside the complex automated station. It took hardly a glance at the display panels inside ATMO-63 for Trevor to understand that something was seriously wrong.   Trevor immediately began working the problem, thinking it was perhaps localized to ATMO-63. Unfortunately, the huge success of the Mars Terraforming mission had led to significant lapses in the duties of the responsible scientists and engineers.  Last night had been a particularly big party at the main hab.  No one else had checked their stations yet on this sol. The fact was that ATMO-63 was not an isolated case.  All of the atmospheric processors on Mars had been malfunctioning for hours.  In order for the system to establish a stable atmosphere, all of the processors had to work together. Trevor worked to isolate the cause of the abnormal behaviour of the terraforming machine while also attempting to contact the main habitat. Before he could get far in his work, Trevor noted something truly terrifying.  Instruments were reading a massive buildup of pure oxygen inside and around ATMO-63.  Trevor immediately turned and started to head for the exit from the station when he heard a deafening WHOOSH followed for just a fraction of a second by the most intense heat he had ever experienced. And that was it. The explosion at ATMO-63 was massive, visible all the way from the main habitat, and almost instantly every other atmospheric processor on the planet overloaded and exploded.  The interdependency that made the whole system work to build Mars’ atmosphere was what ultimately caused the deaths of all 4,876 souls on Mars that day.  Mars’ new atmosphere catastrophically collapsed. Approximately 9 months later, during the investigation into the disaster, Trevor Adams’ body would be found in the Martian sand near the ruin of ATMO-63.   Hailey Jones, a dear friend of Trevor’s, would be among those to find his remains.  She personally dug a grave for her friend and marked it with a small plaque and a tiny audio device.  For many years on calm sols one could hear bird songs drifting over the crater from the south ridge.
              Satan in a Sunday Hat        

    As most of you probably won't be familiar with the above term, I shall elaborate. Ok, I'll give you a clue- it's another True Blood reference. The term is used by the characters Tara and her cousin Lafyette- a term they've inherited from Tara's alcoholic (but delusively devout) mother Lettie-Mae, meaning that 'if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.' I just love in Season Two when Lafyette tells Tara that her new beau Eggs is 'Satan in a Sunday hat, girl. I'm trying to tell you, Satan in a f***ing beautiful Sunday hat.' You gotta love Lafyette. Anyway- for me- this phrase kind of sums up the whole vibe of the show. From the title sequence onwards, the juxtaposition of religious fanaticism and ecstatic spirituality with images of sexuality, violence and decay captures that whole Southern Gothic vibe that the entire show encapsulates. The contradictory images of religious purity and sexuality, violence and death kind of point to the idea of dark truths that lurk behind the stereotypically polite/devout Southern facades, and this idea continues to be explored throughout the entire programme. First of all, you've got the central relationship; you have Bill- a dark, dangerous, mysterious Vampire and Sookie- a pure, innocent, blonde-haired, blue-eyed virgin; two entirely different characters, one a metaphor for darkness and the other for light- falling desperately in love with eachother.

    I love the way that the use of wardrobe in the programme reflects this theme; suddenly, the sweet, sundress-wearing Sookie is getting bloodstains on her floaty white nightgown courtesy of the the smoldering, leather-clad Bill Compton and his piercing fangs. The scene where she runs barefoot through the graveyard in the darkness to make love to Bill for the first time, said flowing white nightie glowing faintly in the moonlight, just makes my heart stop. The mix of dark and light seems to be mirrored by the pure and good Sookie Stackhouse with her golden tan, sunshine hair and floral prints getting mixed up in the dark and seductive world of stone-cold, deathly-white Vampires. Likewise, you've got Lettie Mae attending Gran's funeral in her Sunday finest, church hat and all, when really she is an alcoholic who believes she has a 'demon' inside of her. Then you've got the Fellowship of the Sun Church storyline in Season Two- Steve and Sarah Newlin are all sunny smiles and matching, buttercup-yellow outfits, when really they are leaders of a vampire hating cult (basically a metaphor for deluded, religiously fanatic homophobes who call themselves Christians.)  The entire idea of darkness lurking beneath an exterior of beauty is summed up by Tara in season one, when she rages at her newly-reformed mother and her church-going friend that 'you can lie to yourself and everybody else, but when you go to bed, you just as f***ed up and miserable as I am, and going to church, and wearing a crazy-ass hat, ain't gon' make you a better person.' (Yes, I did spend ages going through each scene on the box set to find that exact quote, and yes, I did have to replay it 3 times before I got it word-for-word ;-) ).


    Anways, let’s get onto the fashion. About this time last year, when I first got into True Blood, I was totally loving the whole Sunday dress/ church hat/southern Belle theme but with added creepy vibes that was depicted in parts of the show’s wardrobe. Think old-fashioned white church dresses complete with matching hats and fans from the blood-spattered worship scenes in the opening sequence, and Sookie’s lemon coloured sundresses accessorized with none other than Alice bands and bleeding fang punctures. It seemed like everywhere I went there were pretty, chiffony vintage dresses in respectable knee-length styles and candy colours which were just begging to be taken to church and worn with a Sunday hat/vintage fascinator. For weeks, my head was filled with visions of old fashioned hair rolls (like Sookie’s when she wears the lilac chiffon dress Bill buys her) and pleated fabric in pastel hues. However, one can’t exactly stroll down to Sainsburies in this sort of attire. I waited patiently, but sadly, I didn’t exactly receive heaps of invites to attend christenings, summer weddings or holy communions (or one of those gospel choir concerts in the Deep American South that you always see in films like Forest Gump and The Color Purple. Is it weird that I’ve always wanted to go to one and wave one of those fans? Ok, don’t answer that.) 

    I did get to work the look at a few occasions that summer, but sadly, my fashion dreams didn’t get to be lived out any more than that, so I’ve decided I’m carrying on with the theme this spring. I have a holy communion to attend this May, and I’m already SUPER excited about my outfit. I did find the perfect dress- it was kind of like the blue one Kate Middleton wore when she and Prince William posed for all those engagement piccies- but it had to be altered and it sort of got totally ruined and butchered in the process. I know- don’t.  It was gutting. But after seriously mourning my vintage tragedy, I had to take a deep breath and let it go. These things happen. (Although I still haven't had the heart to throw it away.) But hey, I’ve always got my never-ending store of ideas inside my head- I’m sure I’ll pull something from my imaginary vault.
     Me working Sunday-dress chic at a wedding back in the summer
    Moi again, taking my vintage dress for a spin on the dancefloor

    So. I'm thinking pale, pretty ice cream hues, faded floral prints, nipped in waists, airy cotton fabrics, sun-bleached gingham, cream lace tights, ankle socks, softly falling pleats and tea-coloured accesories, but all with a dusky, faded sort of look to imply a Gothic undertone. Think crumpled cotton Sunday dress, dusty from a dirt road in the Southern heat, or Sookie in her cherry-print sundresses with a devilish flash of cleavage. Or I'm thinking I could add a subtly dark, creepy undertone by patting on some deep red lipstick with my finger for a bloodstained lip effect. I think there's always something a little creepy anyway about looking too sweet and innocent and perfect- like with china dolls. They have those pretty porcelain faces and angelic curls and those huge, innocent, long-lashed glassy eyes- but everyone finds them a little bit scary. Here are some pictures which capture the creepy, Southern Gothic, dark-meets-light ambiance of True Blood and the whole Satan in a Sunday hat concept. Be inspired, be very inspired :-)
    Grainy image of gospel-worshipers from the opening sequence
    Lettie Mae in her Sunday best

    Sunny smiles and hate messages; Sarah Newlin with her 'no special rights for dead people' apron.

      A graveyard steeped in darkness provides the perfect backdrop for Sookie in her pale blue printed sundress.

             Another haunting still from the opening sequence

               Lettie Mae works florals and a hat at Gran's funeral.
    Sookie wearing a white cotton sundress for a date to solve vampire mysteries at Fangtasia
    Sookie looking like 'vampire bait' in another fifties style sundress

    Classic Sook on the right. I cannot even tell you how much I love Sookie's yellow ensemble. Just the perfect look to solve vampire crime in Dallas.
    I felt it deserved two pictures ;-)
    Seductive, smouldering Bill in his dapper vampire finest, and Sookie looking sweet as sugar in her lilac dress (the one he buys for her- awwww) and her hair swept up in that elegant forties-style hair roll. This picture just makes me fall in love with the gorgeous Bill just a little bit more each time I look at it.
    LOVED this moment. Sookie unwrapping the beautiful lilac dress from Bill...

    Collection of images from the opening credits...kind of a mood board for the creepy Southern Gothic vibe.
    Beautiful image from the film adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple
    Another still from The Color Purple
     A few of the vintage dresses I have to work with. From left: yellow floral dress, only £2 from Greenwich Market! (Was altered ALOT though), bright blue dress (the one that got ruined-it's too short and the hem is wonky) purchased from an old lady selling her old clothes, dusky blue one-shoulder dress, Greenwich Market (was taken up a lot), floral dress, Rokit Vintage, yellow pleated skirt, purchased from the aforementioned old lady (also taken up a lot).
    Same but without the bright blue dress.

    Also, I've recently got really into lookbook.nu, a website where anyone can join and post pictures of their outfits. It's an online treasure trove of endless style inspiration, and I must admit that I am a little obsessed. One girl that I'm a fan of is Dee. N, whose sugary sweet Sunday dress and straw hat looks are totally part of the inspiration behind my Satan in a Sunday hat look. Do check her out, she's amazing!
    Thanks for reading, and please leave your comments :-) xxxx 
              All That Glitters...        
    It is my personal belief, that deep down inside every woman, there lies a secretly burning passion for all things that sparkle. After all, isn't that  why diamonds are a girl's best friend? I believe that deep down within even the most tomboyish of girls, there is a secret lust for things that twinkle, things that shimmer, things that sparkle, shine, glitter and gleam. No? Okay, just me then...

    But seriously, ever since I was a little girl, I've been obsessed with glitter. I recall this one time, when one of my oldest friends (that means you, Leah Rossi!) and I sat in my bathroom, when we were about ten or eleven years old, collecting together all the glitter in my house that we could find. We collected up hair glitter, sparkly body spray, glittery mascara, glitter nail polish, glittery talc, shimmer face powder, you name it (remember all that 90's/early 00's stuff?)

    We sampled each of the products, spraying them and puffing them and squeezing them and what have you over the bath, so that it wouldn't go all over the floor, and analysing the different types of glitter. We decided to categorize the different types, to see which was the best. There was glitter with huge shiny bits in it, glitter in tiny particles that gave more of a subtle, shimmery effect...I can still smell the glitter spray now, heady and gluey and with that note of excitement and anticipation on it- it was the spray I put on whenever I was going to a school disco or a year six birthday party or to one of my parents' big new year's eve bashes. I think we thought we were glitter scientists or something. Leah, if you are reading this, you probably don't even recall this weird random memory, but you know what I'm like for having a freakishly good memory when it comes to this stuff! It reminds me of a time even further back, when Leah and I decided to paint all the china ornaments in my room with my gold glittery nail varnish, and the times we used to make 'gems' out of lumps of wet toilet paper left to dry and coloured in with felt-tipped pens and painted with the same glittery nail polish (now I know you remember that!)

    Well, weather or not anyone else shares this particular magpie tendency of mine (and Leah's!) to want to squeal with delight at the sight of glitter, that's what's got me all girlishly excited about my latest look. I'm calling it 'all that glitters' (another Sex and the City Reference, for any of those equally geekily obsessed fans among you). It all started with the outfit that I put together on one of my previous posts, the one with the pink sequined top and the leopard print heels (which I have now bought, and can't WAIT to wear out!) I loved the way the sequins on the top looked like those pink edible cake sparkles you can buy, and the way they winked and flashed and twinkled like stars in the light with my every tiny movement...

    I also adored the soft pale pink of it, and the combination of the sparkles and the girlish pastel hue. So, when I came across this GORGEOUS little vintage gem on my travels in Greenwich a few days later, I simply couldn't get it out of my head.

                                              (here is is, pictured with the pink Topshop top)

    I was browsing the rails in The Vintage Emporium, to see if there was anything that caught my eye, when I glimpsed it, twinkling softly in the dusty light. It was a pale, mint green, sixties style top, which also happened to be sparkly (insert inward screams of delight). I held it up to myself in the mirror and noticed that it went perfectly with my skin tone and hair colour (don't you just LOVE making those discoveries?) but then quickly told myself that I didn't need yet ANOTHER little sparkly top. I moved on to the next shop, The Beehive, which is a total treasure trove of affordable vintage pieces (not to mention owned by the most lovely, friendly, beautiful lady whom I spent a good long while chatting to about all things fashion) and ended up buying an eighties-tastic jumper, featuring a similar colour of green (which I have been living in all week- thanks Beehive!)

    That weekend, I simply couldn't make myself forget the darling little mint green top. It danced tantalizingly in front of my eyes inside my head, calling to me in a sound like crystals twinkling and clinking together (I know I'm getting totally carried away now, but I really did love the top). So, today I went back to The Vintage Emporium and bought it. Did I mention that it was only £15?? Total bargain, I know!

    It goes perfectly with the other stuff I bought to go with the pink Topshop top, so that's two outfits I have yet to wear out! In addition to this, I also decided I needed a cream fur coat to complete the outfit, and found this beauty on ebay, which I won (yay!) and which was delivered today:
     

    Don't you just love it!? It's real rabbit fur and sooo luxuriously soft and snuggly. I would just like to point out, that although I would never condone the purchase of new fur, this coat is vintage and therefore second hand. Hence, wearing it is actually a form of recycling, and if no one wore it, it would only be rotting away in some landfill somewhere, polluting the planet. ANYWAY.

    The pretty ice cream shades of the tops and the coat got me thinking about Tavi's fantastic Valley of the Dolls posts that I've recently read. If you want to check it out, go to:
    http://www.thestylerookie.com/
    For anyone who doesn't already know this-Tavi is amazing. Her blog was one of the main things that inspired me to start this. But getting back to my main point, her post was inspired by the 1966 novel, Valley of the Dolls, which was turned into a film in 1967. I have yet to actually see the film (it's on my list of fashionable things to watch, along with The Taxi Driver, which apparently is the film to channel for the current on-trend seventies vibe) but I've seen pictures from it, and am loving the pretty, innocent but plastic doll-like look that's going on. The look is all about pastels, candy colours, pretty-girl makeup and a kind of creepy doll-like perfection. Think of the candy-coloured houses in Edward Scissorhands (Tavi also references this in her post- I give her full credit for it- although I've always loved that image anyway!)

    To complete the all-that-glitters-meets-Valley-of-the-Dolls-look that I'm loving right now, I also bought two gorgeous Barry M lipsticks, one in an amazingly bright, shocking, almost fluorescent pink, and one in a beautiful pale chalky coral. I love the totally matte texture of the lipsticks combined with the intense, opaque quality of the colours. I have searched high and low for a reeeaally bright pink lipstick with a totally matte finish, and this is the first one I've found. Thanks Barry M!

    I am planning on wearing this look with fun, unexpected twists like leopard print (cue my new heels!), garishly bright lipstick and flashy, gold vintage jewelery to give it a trashy/fun/glam edge. And of course, extra long, doll-like lashes. Pictures of me wearing the outfits will follow (I want you to see them with the full benefit of my two hours of pampering, hair and makeup that I will do when I actually wear them out!)

    Here are some pictures that I feel capture the girly/glam vibe of the all that glitters look with it's Valley of the Dolls feel...enjoy!
     My magpie collection of sparkly tops! From left: vintage from ebay, vintage from ebay, vintage from Rokit, vintage from a shop in Whitechapel, vintage from The Vintage Emporium Greenwich, and Topshop.

     My pretty ice cream shaded tops go perfectly with my gold vintage bag from Rokit which I have actually worn to death!
    (clockwise from top) bracelet: Topshop, cuff: Topshop, earrings: from a charity shop in Hunstanton, earrings: also from charity shop in Hunstanton, ring: Topshop, necklace: vintage from Greenwich Market (only 99p!)

    My Barry M lipsticks, Topshop glitter, Benefit eyeshadow and Mac eyeshadow. Tutti-fruitti shades like this were seen all over the SS11 catwalks!

                                      I <3 Dolly Mixtures! xxx

      Glitter is a girl's best friend...
                                                     The Valley of the Dolls Look
    Hope you enjoyed the post, and please feel free to leave any comments! Have a sparkly day...

    The Porcelain Princes
    XOXO
              Tori's Review: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa        
    The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
    Book Four in The Iron Fey Series
    Published on October 26, 2011 by Harlequin Teen
    Fantasy | Young Adult | Romance
    399 Pages
    Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
    My name - my True Name - is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

    To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
    Then Meghan Chase - a half human, half fey slip of a girl - smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

    With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end - a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

    To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
    NOTE: This is the fourth book in a series. There will be spoilers for the first three books.

    I wish The Iron Queen was the last book in the series. Although The Iron Knight wasn't bad and I did happen to enjoy parts of it, that's all that I enjoyed--parts of it. I didn't enjoy the entire book, which I wanted to so badly.

    The Iron Knight is in Ash's point of view, and it starts off right where The Iron Queen left off. Ash is searching for a soul so he can go into the Iron Realm to be with Meghan. If you've read my review for The Iron Queen, then you'd know that I'm on Ash's side now. Before you freak out, yes, I was on Ash's side for this book. I don't know how to explain it other than this book was boring. 

    The majority of this book is a gigantic filler. It would've made a better novella, in my opinion, not mentioning the weird point of view switch at the end of the series. The only reason I didn't completely write this book off as one that was alright is Puck and Ash's friendship. I ship them. They are awesome together. 

    Oh, yes. And Grim and the Wolf. Those two jokers. 

    In all honesty, I feel like this book was irrelevant. I get that Ash and Meghan needed a happy ending, but I was totally okay with the ending of The Iron Queen. Ash and Meghan knew that they couldn't see each other because of the lack of Ash's soul. There was closure, and as a reader, I knew very well that those two just couldn't catch a break. I was okay with that. 

    I don't have much to say about this book, and for that I'm sorry, but The Iron Knight just didn't do it for me. It wasn't terrible, because I did enjoy the dialog and how it turned out in the end, but pace-wise and relevance-wise, I don't think The Iron Knight was a needed addition. 

    If you're not completely dead set on this series and immersing yourself into Faery, I'd suggest skipping this. 

    (NOTE: I haven't read the spin-off series, therefore I'm not sure if reading The Iron Knight is imperative if you would like to read The Call of the Forgotten. I'm assuming you do.)



              Lindsay's Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray        
    A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
    Book One in the Gemma Doyle Series
    Published on December 9th, 2003 by Simon and Schuster
    Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
    403 Pages
    A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

    Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique.

    Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
    As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a sucker for cute, cheesy romance books without a whole lot of substance. I thought it would be hard to read this book because romance was not the main plot, but I was pleasantly surprised.

    A long time ago I remember reading one of the books in the series that my older sister let me borrow. I'm not quite sure which one it was, but even though I don't remember much, I'm left with fond memories of the beautiful place where the girls go. Something about it kept drawing me to this book so I finally picked it up.

    Gemma is a wonderful main character. In the times where she's meant to be a proper lady who never speaks her mind, she struggles with keeping her opinions to herself and acting the way she's supposed to. On top of that she's very cunning, making the exchanges with the other girls very interesting and exciting to read because of how the pages turn with her choices.

    Her friends, who you dislike at the start of the novel, become very real when you get to know them as Gemma's friends later on. They have valid reasons for the things they do, and even though sometimes they say things that are blatantly uncalled for, you get where they're coming from because of the lives they lived.

    Even though the characters were very realistic and relatable, I felt like parts of the world were missing. I couldn't imagine the clothes they wore in that time, what the places in London were like. Maybe it's just me, but I had trouble putting images around the characters because of so.

    One problem I had, and I'll try to be vague to keep from spoiling, was what happened at the end. I felt like the chapter touching on it should have been longer and more in-depth for such a big twist, but instead it kind of rushed by. When something big happens you want to know the details, to read what's happening to other characters, but it was over in a few measly pages and then shortly after the book ended. It might be the writer in me overreacting, but I really wanted more.

    A Great and Terrible Beauty sucked me right in, making it nearly impossible for me to put down. Even though there was a romance only as a minor sub plot, I hardly noticed it. The book kept me flipping pages to find out what happens after each twist and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

              Tori's Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel        

    Tease by Amanda Maciel
    Standalone
    Expected Publication on April 29, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
    Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
    336 Pages
    Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.

    At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

    During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

    In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.
    NOTE: I received this book from the publisher through Shelf Awareness in exchange for an honest review. 

    I really can't stand Sara, her problems, and her friends. The pace wasn't prime either, and I feel like the plot never really "took off" in a sense. The writing was irritating at times, because the author wrote like Sara spoke, therefore there were instances of "like" everywhere. And I could never decide whether or not Emma did the things Brielle and Sara accused her of or not. That's the drawback of the book being in first person--it's biased.

    First off, There's a difference between having the characters say those phrases and putting it in the actual narrative. It made Sara seem like a very unintelligent character in my opinion. (*See additional information.)

    (pg. 145) Oh, that's what she means. My nice, thoughtful, hot boyfriend. Anyone would want to have him. So I shouldn't be surprised that Emma's trying to, like, climb into his back pocket.

    Other than my irritation for her, Sara surprised me. Regardless she was still annoying and dumb and her oblivious attitude toward the severity of her actions made me want to rip my hair out. I'm glad she met Carmichael though or she probably never would've learned that bullying was not okay and that what she did and said to Emma was not okay. Also, it was almost as if she didn't expect court to be so hardcore, and maybe she didn't. Maybe she thought that bullying a student to death wouldn't have any repercussions.

    (pg. 306) God, I'm an idiot. This whole thing is rigged. We're not even on trial anymore, but everyone is still playing the game. Playing the system. Or maybe I'm just paranoid. I don't even know.

    Emma Putnam. The girl that killed herself or the girl that Sara and her friends killed?

    (pg. 307) ". . . For a long time, I thought we were enemies. I thought she'd done things to hurt me--and I did things to hut her back. . . . I know that she was in a lot of pain. More pain than I'll ever really understand, though I definitely understand better now. . . . I don't think that pain is anyone's fault, exactly. . . . But I made that pain worse. For no good reason. . . . and I'll be sorry for the rest of my life. . . ."

    I should mention that I don't in any way like any of the characters in this book except Carmichael, and only because he was barely in the book. I felt like they were all very whiny. They never failed to find something in their life that they could complain about.

    Other than the life lesson threaded through this book, it was slow. I'm sorry. I liked it and all, but it was freaking slow. And Sara's irritating narrative for the first 75% really wasn't something that I was happy about. Also, the entire book is supposedly about Sara going to court and what her sentence is going to be. As the reader, I never found out what her sentence was. Did she get probation? Did she get jail time? Did she get sued? And the author never mentioned whether it was a civil case or not. (I think it was since Emma's parents were more involved than not.) The plot holes angered me.

    In conclusion, it was really the slowness and those loose ends that kept this book from a higher rating or a better review. I'm glad Sara (sort of) felt something about Emma's death at the end, or this would've been a one star review. It was really only the side characters that never really developed, Dylan especially. He was a cheater scumbag in the beginning, and he was a cheater scumbag at the end. I'm really not sure who would enjoy this, because for some reason I feel like I shouldn't have enjoyed this book. Yet I did.

    I think this book is just brutally honest in the truth of what teenage girls can be like. What life can be like. It's tough crap, life and drama.

    *I am not in any way saying that people who use those phrases as place-holders in speech are unintelligent. (It do it myself.) I'm just saying that putting that in a novel's narration isn't something that agreed with me. I mean no offense to anyone at all.



              Tori's Review: The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa        
    The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
    Book Three in the Blood of Eden Series
    Published on April 15, 2014 by Harlequin Teen
    Vampires | Young Adult | Paranormal
    416 Pages
    VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

    Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

    With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

    MONSTER

    Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

    In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
    NOTE: This is the third book in a series. There will be spoilers for books one and two in this review as well as minor spoilers for book three. Very minor, though. Only involving Zeke. (Sorry, guys. Can't write the review without mentioning him.)

    I'm going to start this review off by saying, "I freaking called it when I said that Zeke wasn't dead." It's just that there's no way that the author is going to kill of the main love interest in the middle of the series without a really good reason. I just knew that Zeke was alive. I knew it. Okay, I'm done gloating.

    This was a highly anticipated 2014 release for me, so forgive me when I say that I was disappointed. I read The Forever Song in two days, but there were many slow parts. Forgive me, but in my opinion The Forever Song lacked the qualities that made me love The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure so much. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of action in The Forever Song, which I loved, but it just wasn't enough for me. My biggest problem with this book would have to be the pace. The plot was nonexistent for the first 20% of the novel or so.

    My second biggest problem with The Forever Song would have the be the angst level. Allie and Zeke need to realize that they both love each other and they they're going to be happy together. They need to stop complaining. They had some cute moments in this novel, but the majority of the time Zeke was sulking and Allie was making idiotic decisions based on Zeke's benefit.

    Jackal and Kanin will remain my favorite characters in this trilogy. I love that Jackal calls Zeke 'Puppy.' It's so incredibly cute.

    "'Puppy, I am getting so tired of listening to you whine about this,' he [Jackal] snarled at Zeke. 'This isn't rocket science. If you don't want to be a monster, don't be a bloody monster! Be an uptight stick in the mud like Kanin. Be a self-righteous bleeding heart like Allison. Or you can stop agonizing about it and be a f***ing monster, it's actually a lot of fun. But for the love of p***, make some sort of decision. If you don't want to eat babies and nail bloodbags to walls, that's your choice.'"

    I felt the end of The Forever Song was fitting. The title matches the book's purpose, which is great. Although the end made me sad, it wasn't exactly a tear-jerker, per se. (Then again, I don't cry very often...) I think Kagawa handles endings well, which I appreciate. I love good series endings.

    In conclusion, this book had flaws, but the characters make up for the majority of those flaws. I'll miss Jackal since I won't be reading about him anymore, but that's okay. Kanin will always have a place in my heart. I have to admit that I think less of Zeke after The Forever Song, but that's just me. I don't enjoy angsty teens in apocalyptic novels.

    The Forever Song is definitely worth it though if you need to finish the series. I find it a great finale. Not particularly the strongest in the trilogy, but it was well worth the read. I'm honored to have made the acquaintance of Jackal, Kanin, Allie, and Zeke. (Sarren? Not so much.)


              Lindsay's Mini Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols        
    Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
    Series: None
    Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
    Rating: â™šâ™š
    Pages: 325
    Published by MTV Books on July 10th, 2010
    Amazon | B&N

    A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

    When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.

    Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

    But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

    By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

    Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.
    Though at first the cover drew me in, I've come to hate it. The girl looks plastic, mid-twenties, and nothing like the gorgeous, yet hand-me-down Leah in the book. I think this is my first problem.

    The plot flowed nicely, however it didn't really feel like this was actually a book. Everything was calculated in a way that through every setback it worked out in favor for the main character Leah. On top of that, the other characters were also very basic. They had stereotypical personalities like brooding, popular, etc. They were only skin deep, and I wasn't very drawn to them.

    Such a Rush was a basic read that I would flip through before bed, trying to quiet my mind. It kept me up some nights having to get through a particularly interesting part, however it's easily forgettable and not really full of substance. Things happened too easily, and it was all webbed together too carefully. I did enjoy reading it, but I don't think I'll be picking it up again.

              Dombeck receives Ansel Adams Award for leadership in protecting National Forests        

    WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will receive the Ansel Adams Award from The Wilderness Society Thursday night for his major role in protecting the national forests.

    "Mike was a game-changer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “He restored balance to the management of our 155 national forests, making clean water, recreation, and fish and wildlife priorities, as the law requires. He was the main architect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prevented logging and road building across 58.5 million acres of our national forests. It was the capstone of a quarter century of sterling public service with federal land management agencies.”

    A native of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, Dombeck served three years as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before President Clinton appointed him Forest Service chief in 1997. No other person has lead both of this nation’s largest land management agencies.

    Since leaving the government in 2001, Dombeck has been a University of Wisconsin System Fellow and a professor of global conservation at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also directs the Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

    “Mike was, in my view, the most independent chief that the Forest Service has had since Gifford Pinchot himself,” said Dr. Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington professor often described as “the father of modern forestry.” Pinchot was the first chief, serving from 1898 to 1910. “Mike broke out of the mold and did really innovative things. He did that by design and force of will,” said Franklin, a long-time member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council.

    “As our country grows, we continue to chip away at our wild places, losing acre by acre, day after day,” said Dombeck. “Protecting the remaining roadless areas of our national forests is perhaps this nation’s last opportunity to keep our few remaining wild places intact.

    “They are important habitats and anchor points for native plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. These remote areas provide some of the last best hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities with at least a measure of solitude. In today’s fast-paced society, these are the places where future generations might experience the land as their forefathers did. It has been a privilege for me to have a career working with people who care deeply about the health of the land. They are the ones who have earned this award.”

    The award that Dombeck will receive is named for the celebrated photographer who, until his death, was an outspoken advocate for safeguarding the nation’s natural heritage. “It is noteworthy that Mike is the third winner from Wisconsin,” Meadows pointed out. The award was presented to Congressman David Obey (D) in 2000 and to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson in 1990. Nelson served the state as a governor and U.S. Senator and spent the final 24 years of his life as counselor of The Wilderness Society.

    Other winners of the Ansel Adams Award include former Congressman Mo Udall (D-NM), former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.

    The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

    For a hi-res photo of Dombeck, contact tmiller@uwsp.edu.

    May 18, 2010

              Lindsay's Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno        
    How to Love by Katie Cotugno
    Series: None
    Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
    Rating: â™šâ™šâ™šâ™šâ™š
    Pages: 398
    Published by Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013
    Amazon | B&N
    Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated-and pregnant-Reena behind.

    After: Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?
    I'm hesitant to pick up hardcover books because of the price and also if they're really popular. I never seem to fall into the books that everyone seems to enjoy. However, How to Love surprised me.

    How to Love switches every other chapter from Before, to After. Before is when Reena first meets Sawyer, the drama in between, and how she becomes pregnant. After is Reena's life with her child, her heartbreak and the happenings that come when Sawyer returns after disappearing for two years.

    I can't say I've read a novel with two perspectives like these, and when I realized what they were, I was wary. But this book did not disappoint. Both perspectives were amazing and I never leaned towards liking one more. Before Reena is a naive teenager, and After Reena is a mature, adult mother. Though the same character, the changes in Reena are perfectly done, and the end of each chapter had me excited for the next one in that perspective.

    Though Reena's life felt really real and her character was someone who I sympathized with, I had trouble feeling that Sawyer was believable. There are times when he is so sweet and I love him but his personalities in both perspectives aren't consistent. Also, Allie's character wasn't prominent throughout the book like I thought it would be. When a character's death has an impact on the MC, it shouldn't be a touch and go situation. It should provoke thoughts, emotions and sometimes actions. I didn't think that happened.

    While reading, I couldn't put this book down and annoyed those around me who wanted to talk to me. It was a great, wholesome read and is now one of my favorites despite it's flaws. For a standalone book, it ended wonderfully, and the whole book kept me pulled in with each and every word.

              What's with the poppy's appeal?        
    Not so long ago the poppy was losing its appeal. However, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the many tragic deaths that have resulted seem to have brought it well and truly back into fashion. 

    Personally, I find its association with these two recent wars more likely to put me off wearing one than when it seemed purely associated with the remembrance of those that died in the two world wars that happened before I was born.

    I wouldn't say that I was a pacifist. That would mean that I didn't believe in wars full stop. There have been wars that were just and needed to happen in spite of the sacrifices that went with them. But I'm against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Therefore I wouldn't want to wear a symbol that could be construed as endorsing these.

    I do object to the fact that it's seen as distinctly unpatriotic not to wear a poppy. Consider the stick given to newsreader Jon Snow when he refuses to wear one.

    The furore about the England team not being able to wear them on their shirts was frankly blown out of all proportion. It was just another excuse for English people to moan about a foreign body, in this case FIFA, having a say in anything we do. FIFA have rules stating that that no political emblems are worn. 

    Poppies are political. What if one of the England footballers was to turn up on Saturday and refuse to wear his armband with a poppy on? I bet that would be construed as being politically motivated. I know someone who was told to take their white poppy off when entering Parliament because you aren't allowed to wear political symbols within the Houses. Why is the white poppy which symbolises an end to war and a commitment to peace a political statement when a red one that remembers those who died fighting in wars isn't?

    This year the British Legion is hoping to raise a record breaking £40million from the poppy appeal. I hope they do achieve this to assist those who are paying the price of being involved in conflict to rehabilitate or for loved ones to recover from their losses. But it shouldn't let the state escape from their duty to these people. As Richard Jackson points out on his blog:
    "Instead of buying a red poppy, we should demand that the state pay the full support and rehabilitation of all soldiers who need it out of the taxes we have already paid to the military. If this means that there is not enough money for the next military adventure because we are taking care of the last war’s victims, then this is how it should be."
    I do appreciate the good work that the British Legion do and have donated to them. At 11am tomorrow I will remember, like millions of others, those that have given their lives in wars. Not just those that were in the military or considered by our state to be on the right side but for the innocent civilian victims too.
              Top 10 comedy films        
    There seems to be some debate going round at the moment about the best comedy films of all time after a list was compiled by a panel of comedy stars. This is Spinal Tap came top of that list. I thought I'd join in the  with my own favourites that didn't make their top ten. Listed of course in particular order.

    1. Duck Soup (1933)

    It's amazing how fresh this film still is today. Like many of the Marx Brothers' films there is a kind of anarchic, almost punk ethos that runs through it. This scene introduces us to Groucho's character Rufus T. Firefly, and has to be one of the smartest introductions in cinema history.

    2. Love and Death (1975)


    Oklahoma: Contributor Ronn Burton reviews WEST SIDE STORY at the Lyric Theatre! He writes "Matthew Gardiner directs this show with conviction and authenticity. Placing the acting front-and-center (let's face it, acting is often the forgotten component in many musical productions) Gardiner carefully crafts the scenes for maximum emotional impact, building the symphony of Arthur Laurents' script as precisely as he does Leonard Bernstein's score. It's definitely worth noting how fabulous the orchestra sounds, led by the baton of music director Jan McDaniel. Choreographer Amy Reynolds-Reed recreates the critical and iconic moments of Jerome Robbins' original staging, but adds quite a few novel and contemporary surprises without ever taking us out of the world of the play."


    Long Island: Contributor Melissa Giordano reviews MAMMA MIA at The Gateway! She writes "Briana Rapa is adorable as Sophie. An outstanding voice and a youthful quality make her a natural for the role. Donna is effortlessly and beautifully portrayed by Joan Hess. Indeed an audience favorite is Ms. Hess's lead on the iconic title song and a heart tugging rendition of "The Winner Takes It All". Also a treat is Patrick Cassidy who portrays Sam, one of the men believed to be Sophie's father. It is especially entertaining to see Mr. Cassidy share the stage with David Engel and Fred Inkley who portray Harry and Bill, respectively (the other men believed to be Sophie's father). They appear like old buddies rather than strangers."


    Kansas City: Contributor Alan Portner reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN on tour! He writes "This is where the show really takes off and never lands. There are more funny allusions to musical shows of the next three hundred years than a retrospective at the Tony Awards. Some of them you get - Others fly on by. It is like watching an Elizabethan Henny Youngman throwing out one-liners. Their first idea for a show subject is the "Black Death." Close, but no cigar. Back to Shakespeare! The real man was a little pudgy and bald. This Shakespeare is a blond, nasty, literal rock star who presides over a rave. If this sounds a little bit like Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman, you've got the idea. It is the kind of creative anachronism you enjoyed in "A Knight's Tale" with the late Heath Ledger."


    Seattle: Contributor Jay Irwin reviews CURIOUS INCIDENT at the Paramount. He writes "Director Marianne Elliott took the genius tact of staging the entire show so the audience is forced to see the world the way Christopher does with intense lights, overlapping sounds, and stylized movement making the piece a fully immersive journey into an already emotional tale. And this is where we may lose some people. I find the world they've created fascinating and revel in the innovation of it all but it's not a comfortable show. This is certainly not a happy little jaunt where you can wander through the story, these folks make you work for it and even when you think you've finally got the rhythm of the show down they make a sharp left turn to throw you off again. But if you are up for the work, the payoff is immense."


    Raleigh: Contributor Jeffrey Kare reviews BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at North Carolina Theatre. He writes "As for this production, it's got a very talented cast led by Catherine Charlebois, who perfectly captures all of the characteristics of Belle. She's spunky, funny, charismatic, and a woman who can easily stand up for herself. As the Beast (a role originated on Broadway by NCT alumni Terrence Mann), actor Ben Michael not only shows us the monster that character can be on the outside, but also the human he is on the inside. He very successfully sells the audience on the arc he goes on from selfish prince, to a real gentleman. Peter Saide steals the show as the narcissistic, yet villainous Gaston, who will stop at nothing to marry Belle. Heartfelt performances come from Ann Van Cleave as the maternal head of the castle's kitchen turned teapot, Mrs. Potts and Lamont Wade as Belle's loving, yet eccentric father, Maurice. Comedic highlights include Dirk Lumbard as the maitre turned candelabra, Lumiere; Michael Brian Dunn as the head of the castle turned mantle clock, Cogsworth; Matthew Simpkins as Gaston's bumbling sidekick, Lefou; Talia Robinson as the maid turned feather duster, Babette; and Aimee Henderson as the opera singer turned wardrobe, Madame de la Grande Bouche."


    St. Louis: Contributor Chris Gibson reviews The Muny's THE UNSINKABLE Molly Brown. He writes "Beth Malone is a self assured wonder as Molly, engaging and full of life, she brings her knowledge of the role to the stage of the MUNY and completely captures your heart with her performance. Since we view every other character through her prism, it's essential that she stands out, and Malone definitely does. Mark Kudisch fights a tug of war with Molly as her beleaguered, but supportive husband, J.J. Brown. Molly isn't typical of the times by anyone's standards, so it's a true test of love that keeps them together when that bond is strained, and it is, often. Whitney Bashor is quite good as a recent widow (there's that miner superstition coming true) Molly encounters, and Justin Guarini (Vincenzo), David Abeles (Erich), and Paolo Montalban (Arthur) contribute nicely as miners. The ensemble also does splendid work."


    Connecticut: Contributor Sherry Shameer Cohen reviews GROUNDED at Wesport Theatre. She writes "This portrait, flawlessly played by Stahlmann, is not unusual. Many soldiers suffer from PTST. The play evokes questions about that, especially since women are twice as likely to get it. How do women soldiers reconcile their ability to kill and their ability to give life? StahlmAnn Humanizes the pilot and her meltdown in a credible way. Riccardo Hernandez's simple military/industrial set design complements the dismal work conditions of the drone operators. Kate Marvin's sound design and Solomon Weisbard's lighting are perfect. But Yana Birÿkova's projections are spectacular. Kudos also to Liz Diamond for her excellent direction. This is a play that is especially timely because this year is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. military service's using clones (also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles) and the fact that the U.S. is still at war in Afghanistan after nearly 16 years. The Air Force is training more pilots for drones than for conventional aircraft. As of mid-2016, there have been an estimated 4,189 militants and 479 civilians killed by drones."


    Central NY: Contrinutor Natasha Ashley reviews AMERICAN IDIOT at the Centreal NY Playhouse. She writes "The set is not the only strong element though. Let's discuss the dancing and music. The production features high energy choreography by Sami Hoerner which consisted mostly of moshing, a type of dance that is commonly seen at punk rock live music show. It, along with the music performed by a talented orchestra under the direction of Abel Searor, helped fuel the electric atmosphere. Together, they offer a headbanging good time, but unfortunately, at times the sound design/mixing work by Robert Searle (Sound Designer) and Dusten Blake (Sound Mixer) made it hard to hear and/or understand the lyrics in various musical numbers.:


    Baltimore: Contributor Charles Shubow reviews THE KING AND I on tour at the Kennedy Centre. He writes "The hit musical has been revived four times on Broadway. The latest incarnation was the Lincoln Center Theatre production in 1995 which garnered four Tony Awards starring Kelli O'Hara in the leading role of Anna and the DC production is based on that success with about 1/3 of the Lincoln Center cast still involved and has a total of 37 actors on stage. "Anna" is now played by lovely Laura Michele Kelly who I listen to almost every day on the CD of the hit musical FINDING NEVERLAND. Kelly is just plain marvelous."


    Regional Editor Spotlight:

    Ronn Burton
    Oklahoma Contributing Editor

    Ronn Burton splits his time between NYC and OKC working as an actor, filmmaker, and director. Selected credits... ACTOR: TV/Film: Celebrity Ghost Stories, Enchantments. Off-Broadway/New York Theatre: Carnegie Hall concerts with Kelli O'Hara and Stephen Sondheim, Iron Curtain, Wonderful Town, The House of Blue Leaves, Marat/Sade, Angelina Ballerina the Musical. Regional Theatre: Red, Dog Sees God, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, Little Women, The Last Five Years, Rent, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hello, Dolly! DIRECTOR: Stage: The Agony and The Agony, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Hello Again; Film: Encounters, Abandon, and the firsr live webseries Watch Us Fail. Follow him @RonnBurton.


    Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!


              BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN at Starlight Theatre        

    Dust off your willing suspension of disbelief. Starlight Theatre transforms into Elizabethan London in the year 1595. The play is "Something Rotten." William Shakespeare has not authored his 38 famous plays and 150 sonnets. By masquerading as patron to the struggling Bottom Brothers from Cornwall, the Bard has purloined their ideas and most of their dialog lock, stock, and couplet.

    Conjecture about Shakespeare's authorship surged and likely suspects advanced even before the Bard's death in 1616 at age 52. Likely suspects for the real Shakespeare have included Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon. But the Bottom Brothers? Really? And that is the more than slightly wacky notion behind this 2015 Broadway crowd pleaser "Something Rotten" which continues through Sunday at Swope Park.

    "Something Rotten" ran 745 performances on Broadway and closed on New Year's Day 2017. If this touring production, seems unusually sharp, that could be because it features most of the closing Broadway cast. These guys had so much fun with "Something Rotten," they packed it up, and took it on the road.

    Dig out your tap shoes and polish up your funny bone. Sit back and giggle. "Something Rotten" is unabashedly derivative. It is a love letter to Shakespeare and to Broadway musicals. It features two Busby Berkley worthy Honest-to-God showstoppers; "A Musical" and "Make an Omelet."

    Lots of "Something Rotten" is deliberately corny and punny and tap dancey, but I have not been so thoroughly entertained in a long time. I guess it shows that my sophistication quotient is stored discreetly in my whoopee cushion. I like it.

    Desperate for a hit, show businessy Nick Bottom (Rob McClure) and his earnest brother Nigel (Josh Grisetti) search alternately for truth in life and/or ticket sales. Nigel falls in love with a Puritan blondie named Portia (Autumn Hurlbert). Nick's sharp-as-a-tack pregnant bride Bea (Maggie Lakis) sees the family's desperate financial situation and demands to take in work and help. "It is the 90s," she proclaims in "Right Hand Man." Nick cannot accept the idea and searches for an alternative. He blames his competitor for his trouble with "I Hate Shakespeare" a memorable musical rant.

    Meanwhile back on the West End Avenue, Nick is threatened alternately by his patron, the disguised Shakespeare (Adam Pascal), and his Jewish banker Shylock (Jeff Brooks). Shylock offers to forgive Nick's debt if Nick allows him to become a partner. Too bad, Jews are restricted from most jobs at the time. Nick must come up with another idea and fast.

    He decides to consult a soothsayer - a fortuneteller. His first stop at a sayer of sooth's shop is cut short by a note on the door that complains it has been closed by unforeseen circumstances.

    Second choice is Nostradamus - no not that Nostradamus. This is Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond), a nephew to the French guy. He does see things, if through a bit of a cracked lens. In this case, he convinces Nick he should consider a new kind of play. How about a musical where the songs advance the plot?

    This is where the show really takes off and never lands. There are more funny allusions to musical shows of the next three hundred years than a retrospective at the Tony Awards. Some of them you get - Others fly on by. It is like watching an Elizabethan Henny Youngman throwing out one-liners. Their first idea for a show subject is the "Black Death." Close, but no cigar.

    Back to Shakespeare! The real man was a little pudgy and bald. This Shakespeare is a blond, nasty, literal rock star who presides over a rave. If this sounds a little bit like Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman, you've got the idea. It is the kind of creative anachronism you enjoyed in "A Knight's Tale" with the late Heath Ledger.

    Of course, the Bottom Brothers run afoul of the law and the church. They and their backers get a choice between beheading and transportation to the new world. Maybe banishment is the better option. Maybe there is a place where true love lives, land for family cottages can be had, musicals have a chance for success, and Jews can become part of the financial backing of show business. Who knew?

    The language for this one is relatively mild. The double and triple entendres should not offend many, but they are there. Think of the mildly sexy jokes, you might see on a TV sitcom.

    Take a notebook. Keep track of all the show biz allusions. Smile. Don't miss "Something Rotten" at Starlight Theatre. If you have a humorous bone somewhere other than your elbow, you will like this one. Tickets are available at the Starlight website or by telephone at 816-363-7827. To steal a line from "Kiss Me Kate," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare And We'll All Kow Tow."

    Photo provided by Starlight Theatre


              ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 21 and Writing Historical Biography        


    Hilary Gadsby

    QuickLesson 21: Citing DNA Evidence: Five Ground Rules    
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 21: Citing DNA Evidence: Five Ground Rules,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-21-citing-dna-evidence-five-ground-rules : accessed 24 Sept 2016).     
    and
    Writing Historical Biography
    Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Writing Historical Biography," Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/quicktips/writing-historical-biography : accessed 24 Sept 2016).


    Welcome to my final blogpost for this study group.

    I looked at these topics and thought how can I relate these to my own research. I have not done any genetic testing of either myself or any close relatives and I have not as yet attempted to write a historical biography.

    So I cannot write from experience but I can say what I understand and how I would approach this.

    ESM mentions "five basic ground rules"

    Evidence versus citation

    All we do when we write a citation is identify our source. In relation to DNA results these will have been analysed and presented in a particular format we cite how they have been presented to us (what we see). 

    DNA is evidence

    We take information we find in our source and use what it is telling us in building the evidence supporting or refuting our assertion. The same as any other source.

    Citation to support an assertion

    The information may need further analysis, to provide us with the evidence to support or refute an assertion that X is related to Y, but this is what we can add to our dicussion rather than a citation. Whatever the outcome of the discussion citing the source will not change.

    What are you citing?

    How has the result of the test been communicated to you. Have you been presented with a comparison to others held in a database?

    You may need to explain what you are citing

    Some citations are in need of explanation it may not simply be a case of including a name and date. We include sufficient information to clarify any specific item of interest.

    The only thing I will add here as I have no specific example is that when we are dealing with genetics we are using information from living or sometimes recently deceased individuals. Given that even if an individual is now deceased they may still have close living relations we need to ensure we follow the guidelines. Elizabeth Shown Mills has a number of publications available including one on genetic sources and there is information available on the website for International Society of Genetic Genealogy.



    Historical Biography

    Whilst I have not as yet written any biography be it my own or anyone in my family I have used some of the records suggested.
    If we wish to present an interesting picture of our family to others, be they family or friends, then we need to include more than a list of dry facts and possibly a few photographs. Technology may allow us to present things in a more interactive manner but first we need to find the information.
    Census information, certificates, church registers tell us who was related to whom and when births, marriages and deaths may have occurred but they tell us little about how our family lived and interacted with others in their community. It is likely that our own lives have changed considerably over our lifetime and the same is likely true for our ancestors.
    Whilst we may not have met someone we may still be able to build up some kind of picture of the life he may have lead.

    I will show you an example from the half brother of my great grandfather Rowland Curtis.
    We find his memorial at Find A Grave in Warminster.
    This is incomplete and tells little about who he was and the family he had and any struggles he may have faced. He is recorded in the Family Search Family Tree with the currently available documents.

    I have not included what I have found in the newspapers and books about Warminster.
    It appears that this family were mentioned in the newspapers on several occasions.
    The local newspaper is The Warminster and Westbury Journal and a search at Find My Past in the British Newspaper Archive returns several results.
    They even made a national paper known as Lloyds News. The local paper included a copy of the original but unfortunately without the photograph.





    "London Interviewer's Visit to Warminster," The Warminster and Westbury Journal, 28 March 1908, p. 6 col 3;digital images, Find My Past.co.uk (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 26 Sept 2016), British Newspaper Archive Collection.

    So what do I need to do with this information? 
    What else do I need to look for and how can I get this in to a format that the family will find interesting? 
    I have found a photograph of the family in a copyrighted book page 112. There are also photographs of another family member on pages 58 and 59 in the same book. Danny Howell. Yesterday's Warminster (Buckingham, England: Barracuda Books Limited, 1987)

    I am using Twile to collaborate with the family and I am going to add t