table of contents
May 2003 TOC
Archived letters

Letters to the Editor, May 2003

This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for May 2003.

Some of it is a little ancient; I’m slowly catching up – very slowly.

Index of contributors

Other Correspondence Pages

From: Annie Jones
Date: 5/6/2003
Subj: from birthday-poems.org

Hi, I visited your site https://richardhartersworld.com/~cri/2001/friendship.html and liked its content. I represent http://www.birthday-poems.org/ , a site on electronic greeting cards. I think a link exchange between our sites will be a great idea to enable our visitors enjoy each others content. Looking forward to your response. >Regards >Annie Jones

I don’t really do link exchanges as such – I run an eccentric private site. If anything my site is all too popular as it is, so I am not seeking more visitors. However feel free to add a link to the friendship poem page. In turn your request will appear in the correspondence pages.
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From: Minnie
Date: 5/22/2003
Subj: poem/Godot

Several years ago someone gave me a poem “Waiting for Godot” and I don’t know who wrote it but would like to read it again. Do you know of any poems? It had a very powerful message but don’t remember the message…just the title. Thanks for your help. Minnie

I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. I did a search on “Waiting for Godot” + poem. I found many interesting pages but no poem entitled “Waiting for Godot”. Perhaps I shall write one.
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From: James Rovira
Date: 5/22/2003
Subj: Cool website…

I was sent a link to your Jerry Springer/Postmodernism webpage and loved it :). Pretty cool. I think the “selecting a world leader” thing is bullfeces, though — you should add to Hitler’s description, “Wrote a memoir saying that if a million Jews were killed in German a million Germans wouldn’t have had to die in WW I.” Character judgments are usually made as much on the basis of personal appearance and manner of self-presentation as they are on the basis of the types of facts you provide…

No, no, no, I shouldn’t add your suggested addition. By intent the reader is being invited into making a faulty judgment.
Cool site, though — just wanted to reinforce that :).
Thank you. I have a deplorable surplus of low grade creativity; the web allows me to indulge it in ways that would have caused me to be burned at the stake in an earlier age when virtue was more vigorously enforced.
here’s mine — The Artisanitorium: http://artisanitorium.thehydden.com.
Nice site. I wish you the best with it.
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From: Madalena Lima
Date: 5/6/2003

Is there any way you (or anyone else) can send me the original version of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “cookbook”? If this diary ever existed, he must have written it in French, and a friend of mine would like to use the cookbook part in an essay. The problem is, he asked me to translate your page into French. I could do it, but it would never be the same. Can you help me here? I’m sorry for the inconvenience, really. Thank you in advance.

As far as I know this is the original version. I suppose it is possible that it really was by Sartre, but I rather doubt it. In any event I have every confidence that your translation will do it all the justice it deserves.
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From: sandra wooten
Date: 5/18/2003
Subj: Feathered dinosaurs

i stumbled on your website while looking up articles about Eldredge’s “The Pattern of Evolution.”

I noted you have a section on feathered dinosaurs. The links are all prior to 2002. I saw the Dino-birds exhibit at the London Museum of Natural History in December and the fossils coming out of Laoing Province in China SEEM to have settled the debate that started with Huxley’s assertion in the 19th century that birds are descended from dinosuars. This is a fascinating subject with all the new fossils.

I have been quite remiss about updating the dinosaur page and in particular the section on feathered dinosaurs. I’m quite bad about this because I do have subscriptions to Nature, Science, and Science News – it’s not as though I’m not up to date on the subject.

It occurs to me that feathers solved a problem that the dinosaurs had – moving into and occupying small-size niches. The small theropods had active metabolisms; without insulation there would have been a limit as to how small they could be. However it would have been easier for small animals to evolve feathered flight – as a general rule flight is easier for the small. Just a thought.

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From: Santblanc
Date: 5/17/2003
Subj: am i a mutant

If i can tell when something is coming or read other peoples minds does that make me a mutant?

I think it makes you a troll who is trying to put me on.
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From: Jacob Bloom
Date: 5/4/2003
Subj: regards

Hi Harter,

just stumbled upon your history of Proper Boskonian and the rest of your web site, and I see that you are still involved in fandom and other matters of great import. You have my sympathy.

Yes, pathetic, isn’t it. Still, I do manage to spend a few minutes a day, perhaps ten or so, pretending to be a retired country gentleman. My garden blooms and some day, this year or next, I will mow the lawn.

There is this, though. Except for the occasional script I haven’t written a computer program for years. The dark stain on my soul is still there but by now it is almost translucent.

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From: David Stroud
Date: 5/7/2003
Subj: Information on So. Dakota

Dear Sirs;
Would you please send information on So. Dakota, parks, camping and attractions.

Try the South Dakota state home page at http://www.state.sd.us/ and click on the travel/parks link. It should give you the information that you need.

[Why me, Lord?]

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From: “Swanee” Hochhalter
Date: 4/17/2003
Subj: Your poetry

Hi, I read more of your stories this morning…Oh, that one where you sit down to dinner with yourself, My dinner at Andre’s, that is very clever, and I’m hoping to have dinner with myself soon! My site is www.SwaneePublications.com; I’m working on my second book “My neighbor, Dave”.

I am not perfectly happy with the story. It was, I think, written as best I could at the time. If I were to write it now I imagine that I could write a better story. Alas, I doubt that I could rewrite it now. There are terrible dangers in rewriting – the thoughts that lay beneath the words have vanished into the mists of time. To write without thoughts behind the words is to create plastic – all surface and no substance.

… continued on next rock …

Hi, I thought the story was great “as is”. If it ain’t broke….

I like your advice – it involves so little work on my part.
I never had a good use for the word plethera until I found your site..we are enjoying your joke list. Thanks, Swanee
Spelling nit – it’s “plethora”. Yes, that is just the word to describe my site – one might even say it has a plethora of plethoras.
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From: BernardZ
Date: 5/4/2003
Subj: I very enjoyed your page on Fermi

https://richardhartersworld.com/cri/1998/alien.html Allow me to make one comment. The final scenario about a paranoid race is probably ruled out by the Fermi paradox as well as we exist.

If you are referring to the final scenario I beg to disagree. Our species is not a danger to anybody else – at this time. As long as we stay in our sand box we are safe enough. It is the attempt to travel without a passport that signals our doom, and that, not because of what we will do, but for what we could do.
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Date: 5/1/2003
Subj: The 2000 Mutant Watch Stuff is Hilarious

In search of news about X-Men 2 (which is coming out tomorrow) I came across your X-Men page from the first movie (no, not the ficticious mutantwatch.com). I found those letters pretty funny. But nowadays there’s a solution to crap like that: http://www.thespark.com/mutanttest

Chortle. According to them I’m 51% mutant. Of course I lied about all of the answers. No point in letting “them” know too much.
It tests people on whether or not they’re a mutant and, in the opening, says “Sure you don’t have adamantium claws that burst from your hands, and you can’t shoot deadly eyebeams at the drop of a hat, but it’s not just about the super powers, bub. Sometimes, it’s much more subtle than that.”

Well, now that I’ve given you my compliments on your hoax-buster page, I have a question. I’m not really the scientific type and I had a hard time understanding your site. In layman’s terms, what’s this page about (in a nutshell)?

What is my site about? My site is about any damn thing that happens to interest or amuse me. Frex: Evolutionary theory, evolution vs creationism, literary theory, science fiction, the science of science fiction, horse back riding, fiction and poetry that I write from time to time, computer science, gender theory, miscellaneous humor, puzzles, and certain other things. Go to the main page – https://richardhartersworld.com/cri – and work your way down. It’s slum city of the mind, all the way down.
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From: Charles Hitchcock
Date: 4/30/2003
Subj: Mr. Popularity

Mindspring tells me you’ve exceeded your monthly bandwidth. So what have people been hitting [on] you for, or did they cut the number of hits you were allowed?

They allow me one gigabyte of data bandwidth per month. You would think that that would be plenty. Not so, it seems. The top ten pages by number of hits in April are:
Pagehitssize (kb)
Piltdown Man207089
Darwin Awards19518
Home page191912
Friendship poem12924
Table of Contents113418
Roast Camel Recipe8563
Jane Austin Bibliography77210
Darwin Awards 20007917
As you can see the Piltdown Man page accounts for 184 mb of traffic and the humor page another 99 mb of traffic. A lot of the traffic on the Piltdown Man occurs because it is source material for a class. I’ve offloaded it into Annex A which should help a good deal.

Fame and popularity is such a nuisance.

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From: RymndAnnan
Date: 4/26/2003
Subj: (no subject)

Hi thier i would like some info if you would’nt mind. I have a oko_ lavamat 6100 digitronic, & i would like some info of the best way to wash all types of cloths. thanks. bye…

It’s hard to believe that this email was meant for me. Try again somewhere else.
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From: Joyce
Date: 4/24/2003
Subj: hamlet’s cat

Hope this gets to you–thought you’d appreciate it—if not go to google hamlet’s cat soliloquy and a number of them will come up

Evidently it didn’t get to me. I have the Hamlet’s Cat’s Soliloquy already, though. A search did turn up the information that it has been attributed to to Lauren Wahl and T Gorca.
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From: Elizabeth Paquet
Date: 4/24/2003
Subj: Your poetry

Love your poems!

Thank you. I haven’t written much poetry lately. Perhaps I can remedy that fault.
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This page was last updated May 25, 2003.
It was reformatted and moved February 20, 2006

table of contents
May 2003 TOC
Archived letters