Richard Harter’s World
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June 2008

Letters to the editor, June 2008

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 And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication.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 June 2008.

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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 5 June 2008
Subj: Dakota


You will be pleased to discover that we have a horse (well, actually a pony) named Dakota. He’s very friendly, and usually not terrified of Big Trucks. Children who are actually aware that two states bear that name seem to wonder (as do I) which part of the horse is North Dakota and which is South Dakota. You’re the expert, having actually been to North Dakota. What should I tell them (and me)?


That all depends on which direction Dakota is going. For example, on a cattle drive from Canada to Texas his rear end would be North Dakota.

Richard Harter

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From: Shannon Ammons
Date: 2 June 2008
Subj: aclu lawsuit for discrimination

Mr. Chao,

I recently read your report concerning discrimination and high school football. You ended your letter in 2001 stating that your case was still pending…can you tell me the outcome of your case? My son played high school football for the last two years, and was told this spring that he could not play next year because he is too small. No tryouts, nothing and it is a public high school.

I’m sorry, I’m Richard Harter, who runs the website where Robert Chao’s article appeared. I tried to get in touch with him to find out what happened, but I don’t have a current email address for him. Best of luck with your son.
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From: E. James Lieberman
Date: 1 June 2008
Subj: Whatever

Hello, Richard Harter

I just happened on your site (via a joke, as I was looking up the phrase “ladder of success” or “ladder to success” — I guess both phrases are used.

I was born in 1934, in Milwaukee, so maybe we have a few things in common, along with many differences. I’m now a retired psychiatrist, so clicked on the Freud page, and mostly agree with your take. You can find some of mine at the website below.

I read some SF in younger days, dabble some with poetry, but made a major intellectual and emotional investment in Esperanto. Also play the cello seriously, mainly in chamber music, for fun.

Thanks for writing. One of the pleasures of my web site is that interesting people keep stumbling across it. I’m not sure how Google ranks their pages – it boggles me that a seven year old containing an ancient anecdote makes the first ten pages in a google search. Be that as it may, the search got you to the promised land. Enjoy.

I never quite got into Esperanto though I was well aware of it. One of the things that interests me about people is that we get into things. Somewhere I read that there is a large class of people for whom their vocation is just something they do so that they can afford their avocation. SF fandom is filled with such people. I call it the dichotomous life.

The dichotomous life may be an aberration, but it seems we are compelled to have interests, to choose some fragment out of the culture that we live in and elaborate upon it. I find it hard to imagine someone who has no interests that is not in a state of deep depression.

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From: Wendi Rinehart
Date: 20 May 2008
Subj: Tick Removal

A School Nurse has written the info below — good enough to share — And it really works!!

I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc. Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and let it stay on the repulsive insect for a few seconds (15-20), after which the tick will come out on it’s own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I’ve used it (and that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me. Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can’t see that t his would be damaging in anyway. I even had my doctor’s wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn’t reach it with tweezers. She used this method and immediately called me back to say, “It worked!”

Thanks for the info. Here in tick haven one needs to know these things.
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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 12 May 2008
Subj: Invisible Library vanishes!

If one were to click upon your link for the Invisible Library (in People Who Never Were), one would find it missing, defunct, or perhaps lurking in the 404ian depths.

It is, of course, invisible.

I tracked down what happened with google. It seems that Mr. Brian Quinette, the curator of the original library, retired his page in 2007. Nonetheless a copy can be found at

Incidentally, is an interesting project. Over the years they have archived an inordinate number of pages as they were at various times in the past. The idea is a little scary.

Although the original invisible library has vanished (except for its ghost) there is a Malibu Lake Branch that is active. It can be found at

An additional, more extensive catalog, can be found at

Links will be adjusted accordingly.
Aren’t you sorry you said anything.

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From: Mindy Ford
Date: 12 May 2008
Subj: Link exchange POKER – GAMES


My name is Mindy Ford and I’m currently working on getting links for my website. My website is about POKER-GAMES and I’d like to know if you are interested in exchanging links with your website.

Of course, in exchange for your link I’d give you one or more links back from some of my websites. These are some of the websites where I could place your link: ( PR4 )

Let me know if you are interested in the exchange. You can answer me directly to this email or contact me to my personal email.

Sorry, Mindy, I don’t do exchange links as such. However your request will appear in my correspondence column which might do you some good.
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This page was last updated June 5, 2008.

Richard Harter’s World
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June 2008