Letters to the editor, December 2006
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 And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication.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 December 2006.
From: Lee R Piazza
If you get that you will have people wanting East Carolina and West Carolina, the folks in Virginia will want to call it East Virginia and who knows what else. Here in California we can’t even get North and South California–count your blessings.
I dunno, I rather like the idea of East and West Carolina; it makes more sense geographically. East Carolina would be the low lands and West Carolina the hill country. California should also be divided be divided into three parts – North California, South California, and New New Mexico. 🙂Return to index of contributors
From: David John Harter
Hello Mr. Richard Harter and appreciate your web site. The article on mysticism suggests to me that you are or were interested in the phenomenon and that you have never yourself experienced a vision. Just as presidents are variably glib or tongue-tied, and are judged by many or most to be or to have been intelligent and competent accordingly, so mystics are not all gifted in explaining their gift or their experiences. Anyone who has experienced a vision will assure you that it is an unforgetable experience that stays vivid and fresh decades after the event, that it was more or less life changing, that it came at an unexpected time and often as not followed illness or fasting or some other similar stressor. Brain chemistry ought to be able to explain it better than spirituality or philosophy. I personally think it might be closely related to the effect of cocaine but do not use the drug–lots of neurons firing en masse, a kind of addiction that is not a true pharmacological addiction, a satisfaction similar to good sex but not sexy, and so forth. Got to run. Merry Christmas, DJH
As you surmise, I was indeed interested in the phenomenon. I never experienced a vision of the sort that you describe, but I did have enlightenment experiences. There is a distinction between the two – some regard visions as a false path to enlightenment, whereas others regard them as a necessary stage. For many, having visions is the primary objective.Return to index of contributors
From: Anthony R. Lewis, PhD, FN
I saw this but make no warranties as to its accuracy.
According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.
Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. Calling all the girls to the bathroom, the principal met them there with the maintenance man. The principal explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses).
To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, the Principal asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. So, he dutifully took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, no lip prints on the mirror.
There are teachers…. and then there are educators.
Oddly enough, back in 1999 they had the same problem in a school in Oregon, at least according to https://richardhartersworld.com/~cri/1999/lipstick.html. The latest version has some editorial comments added.Return to index of contributors
Why can’t you have another survivor like the one when Big Tom and people like that were in it. At least it had a litle comedy and everybody looked forward to watching it.
Sorry, this isn’t the survivor show; you’ve reached Richard Harter at Richard Harter’s World. Try CBS; it’s their show. (Or is ABC; I never can remember – I guess I’m not a survivor.) My only connection is that I have a joke about the show somewhere on my web site.Return to index of contributors
From: Nick Robinson
a gem of a web site.
Thank you.Secondly, I disagree with your solution of Caliban’s will :
Let me state up front ,that I’m a computer programmer, and as such I am used to dealing with complex conditional statements, but not necessarily >the nuances of English 🙂
I agree with this :
If ‘Critic’ is the first one to have fallen in love then Low must be second.
But then you say :
The first and third clauses would then suffice to establish the order and clause two is superfluous
How is that? There are still two choices, YLC and CLY
Remember that the will is a puzzle that is properly posed, i.e., all of the statements are necessary and all of the data is relevant. It’s quite the fiendish little puzzle, isn’t it. You are right that there are two choices if ‘critic’ is the first to have fallen in love. However the parties are supposed to have known the data so they would have known which of the two choices is correct.Thirdly, here is my second step. Please tell me if you think *my* logic is flawed.
I agree with your first step, i.e. possible orders are :
Now, if YY or Critic has second choice, then the sequence is either : LYC or LCY
LYC is not possible because C is last (and therefore not before the one who first fell in love).
Which only leaves LCY. This is also not the correct solution, as statement 2 would then be redundant.
Ergo, neither YY nor Critic can be second choice (and therefore their love lives are irrelevant!), and more importantly, Low is second, and we are left with the following sequences :
Where you are going wrong here – and this is really quite subtle – is that who has second choice is not data; it is something to be deduced from the data. All you can legitimately deduce is: Either Low is not second and the order is LCY or Low is second and the order is YLC or CLY.This leaves me in a pickle, as I can’t see any way to get a unique solution from here.
I am beginning to suspect that there is a typo in the question. I haven’t thought it all through yet, but should (3) read :
If Low” If so, your solution needs slight alterations too.
(2) If Low lent Caliban an umbrella then Low is not first. The order is then fixed because the person who saw Caliban in a green tie chooses last. Clause three would be superfluous.
No, clause three is not superfluous, because we have already used it to get this far. It was necessary”” other than the opposite of necessary? Please convince me that I’m wrong, because if it *were* true, then this would be a beautiful step!
And it is at this point, I take a break, my head is spinning. The puzzle is hard enough without the worry of a typo in the question!
No typo. The puzzle is correct as it stands. I suspect your revision doesn’t work, but I haven’t sat down to work it out yet.Return to index of contributors
From: Nanci Adams
Ah, binoculars! Excellent idea. And, yes, I was pleasantly surprised at SD’s election results; it was part of my overall celebration. The burden’s on the Democrats now, but I suspect that they may have an easier time of bipartisan cooperation (what a concept) with the world telling Dubya and The Dick/Cheney that they made a mistake (or two).
There is much in South Dakota that is best viewed through binoculars. I lack your sanguine view of the results of the election. Republicans and Democrats mostly practice bipartisan cooperation when promoting the interests of their corporate sponsors. The rest of the time is spend posturing for the looney tunes in their respective constituencies. This is democracy; it’s the way the system is supposed to work.Return to index of contributors
From: Hans Rutherford
Thanks. Call u back,
Lea, don’t do it. This guy is strictly bad news. You should see the stuff his computer sends out on the internet.Return to index of contributors
From: Peter Neilson
Sometimes I find myself in over my head in reading material that has seen fit to be published on the internet. Your compendium of works by, about, and in spite of one Nathan Childers are in that category.
The problem is with his (or your) typographical errrors.
Each of the works you present for (or against) Mr. Childers was published elsewhere in the remote past, usually in some APA, or in a newspaper that often is neither the Cleveland Plain Dealer nor the Charlotte Observer.
Typographical errors appear in most of the works, and I have no way to look up the originally published versions, to ascertain whether the errors appear by intent, and are thus part of the written art, or through clumsiness on the part of the transcriber. I have no way to tell you easily the precise location of these errors, owing to the unexplained absence of my proofreading team. But they are there, lurking, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting eyes.
Your assistance would be welcome. Failing that, you could at least locate and return my missing proofreading team.
This is a rather difficult matter. As you are no doubt aware, much of that material was initially prepared at a time when I was being ably served by Alphonse, my Gentleman’s Gremlin of typos. The Orange and Blue Pussycat was not responsible for any typos; its role was to leave pawprints on my mimeo stencils, thereby producing flaws in my otherwise impeccable reproduction.Return to index of contributors
From: Tyra Bailey
how can I sign up for a daily e-mail joke?
Sorry, you can’t, at least not from me; I don’t run an e-mail joke list. You might try [email protected]Return to index of contributors
From: Rose Mazur
Just had to send a note of Thanks for the remarkable recipe. I have made three now. I keep getting better at it ! I live 60 miles from Chicago , but work downtown. I don’t get to order pizza on weekends from the city. So, I have always been comfortable working with yeast dough’s make a great coffee cake and yeast rolls. But, pizza was one thing I had tried over the years and never , never have had such a great crust and sauce is wonderful also. I cant even tell you the wonderful response I have gotten from my family. Thank you again for sharing&.. I now have it down&.. Many happy holidays.
Thanks for writing. I’m glad that the recipe turned out well for you. Modesty and honesty, though, compel me to point out that it isn’t my recipe; I just published it.Return to index of contributors
From: Lois Harter
Actually, I think OSHA might qualify as well … there’s not only safety concerns for the family navigating that yard, but the distracted motorists unable to keep their eyes on the road!
I don’t think either of those count. On the other hand the teachers in the school are in a visually hazardous environment.Return to index of contributors
From: Lee R Piazza
Ever wonder why there is a North and a South Dakota? After all they were both created out of Dakota Territory (with a little bit left over). Even in those times their populations were miniscule. Would have made one good state, but why two?
Every state gets two electoral votes for just existing. Other than two or three times these states have been solid Republican in Presidential elections. The dominant political party of the time(Republican)knew that when the states(two not one) were admitted.
There is a lot of interesting history about that, albeit interesting mostly to those who live in ND and SD. There was a lot of infighting at the time about whether the Dakotas were to be admitted as one state or two or even at all. The Republicans wanted two states, the Democrats none at all. In Cleveland’s first term the Democrats sabotaged the statehood proposals. When Harrison became president the Republicans pushed through the two state deal. It’s a pity though that they didn’t do an East and West Dakota divided along the Missouri river.
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Thanks for the history. Actually now that I’ve checked, SD didn’t lose its second represenative until after the 1980 census. Sneaky fellow that Harrison–won the 1888 election(losing the popular vote)without the disputes that following the similar elections of 1824, 1876, and(how can we forget)2000.
I hadn’t realized that it was that late. Now if we had just had East and West Dakota, East Dakota would still have two representatives and West Dakota one. What is more, West Dakota would have the honor of being the least populous state.Return to index of contributors
From: Nanci Adams
The Best house is downright scary!!! And, I was dismayed to discover that evidence indicates they appear to have bred successfully.
They certainly have produced viable offspring, though I am not sure that they can be considered to have bred successfully.I have two thoughts. One is that the local youthful hoodlums missed a chance. They could have stolen some really fine items, especially the deer carcass, while out destroying the town on Halloween. The other relates to the militant cleanup of South Dakota during the centennial celebration, in which all homes in So. Dak. were evaluated, at least along major roadways, and owners were told what to clean up; if it was not done by a certain date, the state would do it and charge for the service. It sounds like that fine Governor Rhodes, defender of high morals and good taste, should be sent photos, so he can make a clean sweep. Meanwhile, the City Fathers could call in OSHA; I think that a case might be made; in fact, I have some ideas…
Alas, the deer carcass appeared well after Halloween; otherwise it might well have disappeared then. The carcass has since vanished; presumably they have extracted the best cuts of venison.
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I was too lazy to look up the governor’s name; I’ve tried to forget him since the abortion debacle. And, I vote for OSHA and EPA. While I realize that no mail carrier is in danger, there must be a meter reader to trip over tires or get slapped in the face by a deer rib, and Fed Ex must be delivering new rounds of ammunition.
Mencken once said that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Something similar might be said of the intelligence of the South Dakota voter but it’s not quite true. They may vote for a motley collection of nonenities but they do have their limits. Amendment E did go down in glorious defeat, after all. Rounds is quite as good a governor as South Dakotan’s are willing to put up with.Return to index of contributors
From: Doug Buchanan
I noticed the published email, here described in my words, about the astute North Dakota governor declaring a major disaster area because it snowed in North Dakota, to therefore scam federal tax money for North Dakota government folks as usual.
So that the Alaska government’s sterling reputation for unmitigated greed is not diminished by perhaps more widely distributed knowledge of the North Dakota effort, kindly note, as is verifiable on record, that one Alaska Governor successfully scammed federal disaster tax money because it snowed in Alaska, and a subsequent Alaska governor, competing in the greed game, scammed federal disaster tax money because it got cold in Alaska.
The money went to repugnantly overpaid Alaska government folks of course, while many of the common Alaskans check the help wanted ads in North Dakota.
Because it is lawful to grow marijuana in Alaska, in the privacy of one’s home, and because marijuana is the largest cash crop in the US, some Alaska bureaucrats are rumored to have prepared a federal disaster relief proposal for a possible crop failure in Alaska. Not all of that apparent fog down in Juneau, Alaska’s capital, comes from moisture in the air.
My, my, my. Much that I had not previously understood about Alaska politics has now been explained. Perhaps the folks in North Dakota should send a trade mission to Alaska. My understanding it that my neighbours to the North were unsuccessful in in tapping the government sugar tit on the grounds that snow in North Dakota is a disaster.Return to index of contributors
From: Bob King
DO YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT DR. HARTERS MEDICINE? I HAVE BOTTLES AND HIS TRADE CARDS WITH JEFFERSON DAVIS AND DAUGHTER WINNIE ON THEN.
I’m sorry, but I don’t know all that much. I know they are collectors items but not who collects them nor their scarcity. You can find them for sale on e-bay.
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THANKS, DO YOU THINK YOU MAY BE RELATED? FAMILY HISTORY IS FUN.
It’s unlikely. There are two branches of Harters, the English Harters, and the German Harters. I think that Dr. Harter was an English Harter. Our brranch, really a small twig, is descended from one Caspar Heartter, who emigrated here from Switzerland in the 1700’s. The family name was changed during the civil war. The army changed Jacob’s last name from Heartter to Harter.
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I BELIEVE DR.HARTER WAS GERMAN(LOOK ON LINE) HE STARTED PATENT MEDICINE BUSINESS IN DAYTON OH. AFTER CIVIL WAR AND MOVED TO ST.LOUIS.THERES A D.N.A. PROJECT FOR MALE LINE. FAMILY TREE DNA, 1919 NORTH LOOP WEST,SUITE 110,HOUSTON,TX 77008 .YOU MAY WANT TO GET OTHERS WITH SIMILAR NAME TO JOIN.
A search of the web turned up the information that his name was Dr. Milton George Harter and that his brother’s name was Samuel K. Harter; both are English sounding names. The only “German” reference I’ve found is that the 1899 Almanac was in German. I’m not sure that any of this signfies anything. He could have been second or third generation of German descent. Likewise the publication in German doesn’t signify that he was German, particularly since it was the last of many. Did you know that he appears in a series of revenue stamps?Return to index of contributors
From: Lois Harter
It was hard to choose a favorite, but I think the deer head on the vehicle wins!
It definitely has cachet.Return to index of contributors
From: Peter Neilson
You replied to one Mark Redden with the words anachronistic apochypha. He apparently misunderstood you.
You then told him that you had said aprocrypha, which looks much the same, but is spelt differently.
Perhaps you were referring to the apochrypha, which is yet a third word.
This is all very difficult. If I leave the letter column just as it is, it will be a source of future epistles from flynnd wannabes. Contrariwise, if I were to edit out the offending misspellings, it would be a corruption of the true record of the universe as it has been. Then again, history has always been a bit of a scam anyway. All too often our records of the past contain a record of what we think ought to have happened. Truth needs a bit of varnishing to be palatable.You might think at this point that I would be calling for you to apologize to Mr. Redden for misleading him. I suspect, though, that Mr. Redden’s difficulty arises from a source closer to himself than to you.
Mr. Redden wishes to save the world. He shan’t do it, of course. Saving the world is a pastime reserved for those who have difficulty tying their shoes.You might also check your mysticism article for superfluous hyphens and for spaces after hyphens. If I were feeling especially difficult I would not deliberately neglect omitting mention of the phrase “self mortification although this is widely practices” where the final s in the string should be a d.
I see that Alphonse has been active again.Both flynnd and its original inspiration are still on unauthorized leave of absence.
Shocking, simply shocking.Return to index of contributors
From: Doug Buchanan
The excellence of your judgment in these matters is without question. I browsed through some of your material – it is, er, intimidating in volume though excellent in quality.Return to index of contributors
From: George Swan
I stumbled into your article about Mysticism and , whoa – right on!
So I book marked the URL and thought maybe there was some additional material of interest.
And thus opened a small oasis of kindred spirit. Thanks very much for a yummy smorgasbord from your life.
I’m working in Thailand at the moment. Denver is our current home of record. In a nutshell, I grew up traveling with Dad, an enlisted guy in the Air Force. Things started out fairly interesting, and after marrying my wife, Marie, we have 40 good years behind us, and just opened up a serious peek at 40 more, even more spectacular.
I’ll continue to browse on your site.. Mine is not nearly so elaborate. I just used tripod to create something on the website, now I haven’t touched it in the last six years. You might enjoy browsing for a couple of minutes.
I’d be delighted if our paths ever crossed. Great job on the web site! See you at the Great Wall.
It sounds as though you are leading a truly interesting life. I’m surprised that you found my article; a google search on mysticism turns up almost nine million hits. Granted that many of them are just instances of the word turning up somewhere; still there is an enormous amount of material on mysticism on the web, some of it much better written and much more complete than my article.Return to index of contributors
From: Ted Samsel
What would Bismarck Do?
The Times November 18, 2006
Sausages affected by draconian trade laws
A SPICY sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon. The sausages will now have to be labelled Welsh Dragon Pork Sausages to avoid any confusion among customers.
Jon Carthew, 45, who makes the sausages, said yesterday that he had not received any complaints about the absence of real dragon meat. He said: “I don’t think any of our customers believe that we use dragon meat in our sausages. We use the word because the dragon is synonymous with Wales.”
His company, the Black Mountains Smokery at Crickhowell, in Powys, turns out 200,000 sausages a year, including the Welsh Dragon, which is made with chili, leak and pork. A Powys County Council spokesman said: “The product was not sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of the true nature of the food.”
Blame it on the Harry Potter craze. I hear that Norwegian Ridgeback pate is quite tasty.Return to index of contributors
From: Ng Kock Leong
Hi Richard, I really like your collections of jokes… They are really funny and get you thinking… However, was afraid that one day, I will have read all the jokes… Keep up the good work…
Thanks for all the laughters
Thank you. It is gratifying that I bring a bit of humor into people’s lives.Return to index of contributors
subtractsReturn to index of contributors
From: Andrew Rawson
Origins: On 4 October 2005, portions of Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming were hit by an early snowstorm that Shoveling snow knocked out power, closed roads, and dumped up to 2 feet of snow. Some schools were closed by the storm, and thousands of power outages were reported. The National Guard was called out in North Dakota to aid the Highway Patrol in rescuing stranded motorists, of which there were hundreds.
In Dickinson, snowplows led emergency vehicles that were used to deliver fuel to a nursing home and to the Police Department to run generators during a power outage.
Sam Walker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, North Dakota, said of the storm: “It is, on our records, probably one of the earliest ones, as far as our recorded history goes, in 126, 130 years.” But that wasn’t the only surprising thing about the storm — only days before, 90 degree temperatures had been recorded in the state (e.g., 92 degrees in Bismarck on 1 October 2005).
The e-mail makes the claim of the snowbound Dakotans “No one howled for the government.” Yet in a 31 October 2005 letter to President Bush, Governor John Hoeven of North Dakota did indeed “request that you declare a major disaster for the State of North Dakota as a result of a severe winter storm/snowfall, accompanied by record-breaking snowfall, rain and high winds, that occurred on October 4-6, 2005.” Said request for official disaster status was spurred by an interest in obtaining FEMA assistance (e.g. “Additionally, eleven counties meet the criteria established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] ‘for near record snowfall’ and should be eligible for assistance with FEMA’s snow policy [9523.1]”).
Midwesterners hit by this storm appear to have overcome their short-lived catastrophe without federal assistance (although as of 31 October 2005, North Dakota is seeking to recoup its storm-related expenditures from the government — see the Letter to the President above). However, in comparing response to that weather-related disaster to what overwhelmed New Orleans, it needs be pointed out that the bulk of the digging out from under the snowfall and rescuing stranded motorists from snow-entombed cars fell to the state’s police and emergency service workers and the National Guard, not (as the e-mail would have it) to rugged individual citizens who hadn’t been “immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for ‘sittin at home’ checks.” The nature and severity of the two disasters were different — the one could be coped with locally, but the other could not.
Barbara “one can shovel snow, but one cannot shovel water” Mikkelson
Many thanks for writing, Barbara (or is it Andrew). I cannot quarrel with the excellence of your comments; however there are some slight errata. Thus the article in question is not an email, though I did get it in email originally; rather it is a page in my humor section. The entirety of your commentary is about events in North Dakota; however the article originated in South Dakota. I appreciate that the difference might be slight from the perspective of someone living on the East or West coast, but South Dakota and North Dakota actually are different states. Then there is the matter that the chap who wrote the offending piece in question was writing from central/eastern South Dakota where the problems were a little bit more than snow entombed cars – power was out in a large albeit sparsely populated area for several weeks. I’m not sure that writing a letter constitutes howling for government assistance but I defer to your expertise in the matter.Return to index of contributors
From: Mark Redden
The battle is done, the earth will fall… www.revelation1118.com
Go to sitemap: Evil Speaks. Also, go to sitemap: The Shortlist
This is not science fiction. I hope you find this website of some use.
Not science fiction, merely anachronistic apochrypha.
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Apochypha? You may want to check the facts on the page The Shortlist:
population growth + consumption levels + what has been destroyed already = less than 50 years of global resources remaining.
Fact: Americans consume 460% faster than the earth can provide. The rest of the world is scrambling to consume like Americans.
If we do not stop, we will tear apart what remains, and then we will tear apart each other.
We can stop. It is simply a matter of choice.
You misaprehend. I didn’t say “apocryphal”, I said “apochrypha”, which is to say that the material in the site was written in the style of the aprocrypha, and anachronistic because the the time period of pseudo-biblical writings was two thousand years ago.Return to index of contributors
This page was last updated December 13, 2006.