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December 2011

Letters to the editor, December 2011

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 And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication.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 2011.

Index of contributors

Other Correspondence Pages

From: bill holman
Date: 1 December 2011
Subj: Hello

UmmmI am

I’m Miranda, doing gymnastics since childhood and I love swimming. I’ve got shiny smile and attractive body.

PS I looked your snapshot, and I want to meet you.

Hope get more information about you.

I am curious. Did you start out in life as Bill or as Miranda? I’m sorry, I just don’t think we are a match. I never quite know which way to swing when I’m with a transexual.
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From: Andrew Lamb
Date: 23 November 2011
Subj: 500 Piltdown theses sources

  I found some sources relating to this myth. I mention these in an article I published a few years ago at

Thanks for the information. I have updated the page to reflect your information.

Malcolm Muggeridge may well have been the author of the 500 doctoral theses myth. His book (1980) slightly precedes the Parker pamphlet (1981). On the other hand nothing rules out both having originated from a common source.

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From: Anthony R. Lewis, PhD, FN
Date: 19 November 2011
Subj: Humor?

Saw this posted on Facebook

During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, “How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?”

“Well,” he said, “We fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person, to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” I said. “A normal person would use the bucket, because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”

“No,” he said. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”

Er, ah, yes. I would have supposed that one would use the bucket to get most of the water and then use the teaspoon to finish to get the last remnant….
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From: Mark Seumas
Date: 16 November 2011
Subj: re-profiling

I am Mr. Mark Seumas, Executive Director & Chief financial Officer of Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Hong Kong. I ask for your partnership in re- profiling funds.

I am so sorry. I am an American and in our country profiling is unconstitutional. I do wish I could help you, but there is nothing I can do.
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From: Harry Goodman
Date: 15 November 2011
Subj: Important Notice

Attention: The Managing Director
Can you please confirm by email if your company can supply products to both Iraq and Afghanistan undera Joint Contracting Command Project to be sponsored by the Ministry of Finance in Iraq? If yes, please give more details of your products and company profile.

You should have written earlier. We are already delivering a wide variety of products, principally munitions and high tech surveilance devices, both to Iraq and Iran. Unfortunately for you we are under an exclusive contract with the US Department of Defense. Please write us again when the Americans are less busy with their foreign adventures.
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From: Roy maloney
Date: 14 November 2011
Subj: query


Am Mr Roy and am inquiry into your company about Rivets? And i will like you to get back to me with the types, sizes and prices of them so i can proceed with the one am ordering. And i will like to know if you do Accepts major credit card as the mode of payments, And try and include your contact  details when getting back to me , so i can give you a call as soon as possible,

You Kind Attention and Prompts Response Will Be Much Appreciated,

I’m sorry Roy, you’ve got the wrong chap. It’s true that I did perform in the Rivets plays, but I was merely a poor player. What you need to do is to contact NESFA press and order Rivets!!! The Science Fiction Musicals of Mark M. Keller and Sue Anderson.
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From: Lee R Piazza
Date: 13 November 2011
Subj: A poem

I encountered a most interesting poem the other day in the NEW YORKER. I have found no discussion about it. Perhaps it is behind the pay wall on the NYer. I found it in an old print issue. Since you are a poet(more traditional- your stuff(which is very good) rhymes)) I thought you might comment on it.

Wrong About the Horse

The old woman felt sorry for herself
and angry at herself at the same time
many betrayals had afflicted her
she carries grudges
in her throat
that paralyzed speech
and prevented forgiveness

Unlike you who fear betrayal
I live my whole lifetime
in the open air and in the azure present moment
like a butterfly or gnat or horse
said the red tulip
I burden myself with no expectation
therefore I can never be betrayed

Unlike both of you
said the dog
I consider fierce competition essential to life
among dogs rivalry is not betrayal
it is energy, leaping and fanged energy
that makes a top dog
and you are wrong about the horse

I almost didn’t read it. I noticed the title(which is why I almost didn’t read it) and noticed horse as I read down, but I absolutely did not expect that final line.

It’s an interesting poem. Here is an obvious sort of reading. The verse about the old woman expresses a certain kind of suffering in life. She not only has suffered; she is in bondage to her suffering. The next two verses express two different life strategies – ways of not being the old woman.

The red tulip floats in the tao, with no expectations of others and hence no betrayals. In the jargon of Self/Other, the self is all; the Other is only present as background. It’s prescription is to be like the tulip, to live in an eternal present.

The dog has a very different view. What are called betrayals are normal behaviour – the struggle for place and position is all. The Other is omni-present and is a fellow competitor like one’s self. The dog’s life is much like life in corporate management – or at least as it is rationalized by dogs and executives. There is no betrayal because there is no trust.

Why does the dog say that the red tulip is wrong about the horse? The dog is saying that horses are not like tulips or butterflies. Like dogs they are social animals with social relationships. More importantly, the dog is saying that the tulip’s answer is only good for tulips and butterflies.

My feeling is that the poem is incomplete – either that or my reading is at fault. There is more to betrayal than rivalry or expectation; there is violated trust. Then again, many of the betrayals that the old woman suffered may have been no such thing – the trust may merely have been presumption.

As a side note, the appearance of inconsistent tenses in the first verse (carries, paralyzed, prevented) is only a seeming – the grudges are always present; in the past they prevented and paralyzed.

Just a few thoughts; it really is a nice poem.

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From: Lee R Piazza
Date: 13 November 2011
Subj: your “email me” isn’t working

So I hope this does. Let me know.

My apologies for being slow. “Email me” should work now. Thanks for letting me know.
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From: Nancy Zehler
Date: 13 November 2011
Subj: Message board post on Ancestry re: John Mathias Scheier

I am interested in a message board post by Dawn regarding John Mathias Scheier and information on him and his family. The email address for Dawn is no longer available and I was hoping that you would know where I can contact her.

Thank you,
Nancy Zehler

Sent from my iPad

I’m sorry, you must have had the wrong email address. I don’t recognize John Mathias Scheier or dawn.
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From: Sampson Wilcox
Date: 20 October 2011
Subj: Piltdown Project

I am an undergraduate senior at Clark University, and recently discovered some long abandoned offices in the basement of my language building, notably, the offices of Ray Barbera (involved in the Piltdown Plot Project), and other professors. 

The spaces contain material regarding the Piltdown Plot Project, and I wanted to see if there were any holes regarding the work of Professor Blinderman, or if in any way my finding of materials could be of some help.

This is a little bit difficult. Professor Blinderman is deceased. The other principal in the effort was Professor David Joyce. According to the Math department listing of people, he is still a faculty member. He is the man to contact. As I understand it, the project has been abandoned. However the materials should be preserved. If Professor Joyce is not available you might try the University library.

From: Sarah Washington
Date: 30 September 2011
Subj: dinosaurs lesson guide

I just wanted to say thanks for making your page …I’ve been on the hunt for some new dinosaur reference guides for the library, and your page has been a big help!

Here’s another resource I’ve been using with the kids; they really seem to like it. I think it would fit in well with your resources: “Teaching Kids About Dinosaurs” –

Would you mind adding it to your page for me? Our librarian’s daughter (Karyn) was the one who found it. She’s been doing some excellent research. Let me know if you add it so I can show her!

Thank you for the suggestion. It looks like an execellent resource. I am adding a link.
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This page was last updated December 1, 2011.

Richard Harter’s World
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December 2011