It’s A Combination Of Remembering (AND reading) ~ Late Evening Thoughts…Intermezzo


A dear friend of mine, M. Christopher Boyer, is Pastor at Good Shepard Baptist Church. This morning, he took his congregation on a journey involving the Prophet Amos and the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin issue.

It’s a powerful piece and one I told him was worthy of publication somewhere.  He graciously gave me permission to post it here – and hopefully, he’ll find a wide outlet for his thoughts.

I was going to reprint it in its entirety, but decided to post this link to the printed sermon.  If I posted it on the page in full, I’d be wanting to break it up with pictures and such.  This way it stands alone … in all it’s power.  This being Sunday and all ….

Sorry About That ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts ~

Yes, it’s several (ahem) days AFTER April Fools.  I had every intention of getting the answers to the videos posted – but a bit too much got in the way.  I’ll admit that a nasty cold/cough illness played a great part in it ….


In The video from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus” …. It certainly looks as if there were cell phones in 1928 …. right?

Chaplin's The Circus 1928

In staying with the comments on YouTube, which is a fascinating/horrifying place to be for any length of time.  It was suggested and confirmed that this is nothing more than a compact hearing amplification device that was available and was actually quite expensive.  Personally, it seems to be nothing more than something to replace cupping your hand behind your ear ….

The video from 1938 causes more  “conspiracy” theories … It looks like a cell phone, she’s talking on the phone and THEN she puts it down from her ear.

1938 radio phone 1938 radio phone2

The film itself is, evidently, part of a longer film from DuPont .. who at the time was working with the concept of radio phones – think walkie-talkies (walking and talking – having nothing to do with the famous BBC series which introduced the world to “walkie-walkies”.)

The problem with this device (as there was NO infrastructure at the time) It would only work within a very small radius and for a very short time … the batteries evidently sucked as well.

Sadly, I’ll have to put my Dr. Who fantasy back in the drawer for a while, but I’m sure there’s other fascinating videos out there …..

And Happy Easter … Egg ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts

happy easter egg

happy keester

for gary

Happy Easter to all ~ Yes, to all …..

No matter your beliefs, there’s something amazing about taking a moment and just being thankful … for a new day, a new start, new hope … or just that you’re breathing!!!!
I’ve always loved the Hallelujah Chorus more at Easter than Christmas. I discovered the Silent Monks several years ago. They’ve adopted a total vow of silence, but yet – how do they “Make A Joyful Noise Unto The Lord” … click play and see …

Odd Thoughts Because It’s Been An Odd Day ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts.

There’s been a lot going on this week.  I have a friend at Stage (end) cancer, another friend that is facing what could be heart failure.  I’ve been strong and uplifting until last night …. that’s when I discovered that the well had run dry.  I’ve been around long enough and through enough (look back through this history of the blog for those episodes that really revitalized my outlook) to know that it’s bound to happen.

Even counselors know that a sponge can only absorb so much, and then all that has to be squeezed out or the sponge becomes of no use.

Today, then – became a quiet and reflective day.  However (comma) I really wanted a few things to possibly 1) kick me in the behind to make me move (LOL) or 2) make me laugh and/or 3) inspire me ….

Here’s the laugh factor …. as a preface – the Mouse House (AKA Disney Studio) is NOT known for their sense of humor in regards to what others might do with their material.  I’ve been surprised at some of what on YouTube is allowed to remain and not so surprised at what they’ve wanted removed.

In this case, they took the recording outtakes/bloopers from The Lion King and animated them and included them (evidently) in The Lion King DVD … I’m still chuckling over parts – especially the last one.  I have to admit when I saw the film the first time (and the stage show) a part of me wondered if that had ever happened.

And now – THIS video made my day just to be able to watch these folks fly … and what a rush it must have been for them …..

Let me quote:

Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuits, first developed in the late 1990s, create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. A wingsuit may be referred to as a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit, or bat suit.

A wingsuit flight normally ends with a parachute opening, so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points, and to allow a parachute to deploy.

The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. The flier deploys the parachute at a planned altitude and releases the arm wings, if necessary, so they can reach up to the control toggles and fly to a normal parachute landing.

Now that my heart has stopped racing … enjoy…..


Come Let Us Reason Together ~ Early Evening Thoughts ….

Often, for me anyway, I get somewhat random thoughts as very random times.  Unfortunately, it’s often when I either can’t pursue the thought (just drifting off to sleep) or where writing the idea down is either impossible or unfeasible (inside a very noisy club or … well … you get the idea!)

One of the reasons I enjoy the TED talks and TEDEducation videos, is so often they manage to hit one something I’ve had a stray thought about and never thought about again.

I also have decided that if my teachers had presented concepts this way, my grades would certainly have been better.  I can only hope, that when I was teaching in India ~ some of my students felt I had reached out this way ….

This video tackles invisibility … what, where, when and quite a bit of why … bear with the beginning – it will pay off shortly after the video starts.

Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ They’re Not Ignoble ~ Just Ig Nobel

Next to the Darwin Awards (for those who mercifully remove themselves from the gene pool), I love the Ig Noble Awards.  Hosted by Improbable Research each year they award an Ig Nobel Award best described here :These come with little cash, but much cachet, and reward those research projects that ‘first make people laugh, and then make them think'” — Nature

I’m not totally sure about the thinking part, but the laugh part certainly is there.  This year’s awards include a variety of subjects … each seeming somewhat ridiculous.  I suppose there ARE those who need to know what happens when coffee sloshes when you walk, but right now I can’t think of anyone!!! Let me know if you do….

Envelope please ~ the 2012 winners of the coveted Ig Nobel (who  received their awards in an actual ceremony yesterday) are:

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan [THE NETHERLANDS] and Tulio Guadalupe [PERU, RUSSIA, and THE NETHERLANDS] for their study “Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller”

PEACE PRIZE: The SKN Company [RUSSIA], for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.

ACOUSTICS PRIZE: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada [JAPAN] for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person’s speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Johan Pettersson [SWEDEN and RWANDA]. for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people’s hair turned green.

PHYSICS PRIZE: Joseph Keller [USA], and Raymond Goldstein [USA and UK], Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball [UK], for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.

FLUID DYNAMICS PRIZE: Rouslan Krechetnikov [USA, RUSSIA, CANADA] and Hans Mayer [USA] for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

ANATOMY PRIZE: Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti [FRANCE] for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode. [OK, I just HAD to add to this one … REFERENCE: “Colonic Gas Explosion During Therapeutic Colonoscopy with Electrocautery,” Spiros D Ladas, George Karamanolis, Emmanuel Ben-Soussan, World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 13, no. 40, October 2007, pp. 5295–8.]

And there you have it … this year’s winners ….

The Course Of – Whatever – Never Did Run Smooth (5) ~ Early Evening Thoughts

–continuing from night before last and posts prior

So,leaving the awe-struck Julius Caesar cast behind as they work on the Parker Hall stage, let us pick-up a bit on the star-crossed cast of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The problem with Shakespeare at any time and any of this plays is quite simple. In the comedies (and portions of the tragedies) he is quite a unacceptable..OK…earthy writer. One of the joys of teaching Shakespeare in High School is that the students absolutely “get it.” Many parents, School Boards and even some English teachers fall into the trap of placing an aura around The Bard.

Yes, he did manage to write much that was tremendously powerful and amazing lyrical poetry within the structure of his plays and theater, as well as his sharp, unerring and amazing understanding of power, people and life … however … and it’s a big however … the “groundlings” and even those in the boxes had so much competing for their attention outside of the theater that he had to make sure they were completely entertained in a manner they were accustomed … raunchy, ribald humor at that!!

Once a student discovers that aspect of the plays ~ the hunt is on! And I absolutely pity any teacher who has no idea just how raunchy and ribald Shakespeare can get trying to handle a class full of “hormones in tennis shoes” reading the comedies…or discovering the meaning of “the two backed beast” in Othello.

On of the advantages I had in my High School Shakespeare Tragedy classes was that I knew what was ahead. And I basically headed it off at the pass. My classes were so busy with themes, character work and dramatic archs – or lack thereof – that while I was unafraid to acknowledge their “amazing” dirty joke discoveries, I’d pull the discussion back to the matters at hand.

To me, his ability to write low and high-brow in the same play was nothing more than another example of his intellect and writer’s gift. OK, it also was a tribute to the ability of the acting company at the time to adapt some of what he wrote – but as far as I am concerned, most of the work was his. And also, his ability to write wonderful humor that people in his day would understand, but not let it get in the way of what else he had to say, is nothing short of awe inspiring to me. And remember, he did have to be careful of what he said, lest he get into political trouble ~ which did occur upon occasion.

So now, as I faced adapting one of his wildest romps to an age appropriate level, the teacher and I did decide to play on the “aura” that surrounds his plays. I made the more obvious deletions and took some of the “in” out of the wilder “innuendos.” And as far as the more subtle things? We took the course of ignorance just might be bliss, and quite forgivable.

I’d mentioned that one of the biggest problems was Bottom’s line about “a man would be an ass.” The was just one word that, for whatever reasons, had to either go or be changed. We tried all sorts of things. We tried leaving it out ~ big hole to anyone who knows the play. We tried using the word donkey ~ that just didn’t even elicit a giggle from anyone.

As I mentioned before, when I was left in the hospital with my arm hanging straight up, the answer came to me and quite frankly it had been staring me from the page the entire time. When I told the teacher my solution, we both laughed. When I shared the solution with the person playing Bottom, I was rewarded the one of the deepest guffaws I’ve been blessed with in all the plays I’ve directed.

The passage in question ~


[Awaking] When my cue comes, call me, and I will
answer: my next is, ‘Most fair Pyramus.’ Heigh-ho!
Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout,
the tinker! Starveling! God’s my life, stolen
hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare
vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to
say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go
about to expound this dream. Methought I was–there
is no man can tell what. Methought I was,–and
methought I had,–but man is but a patched fool, if
he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye
of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue
to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream
was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of
this dream: it shall be called Bottom’s Dream,
because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
latter end of a play, before the duke:
peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall
sing it at her death.

The way we adapted it ~
BOTTOM[Awaking] When my cue comes, call me, and I will
answer: my next is, ‘Most fair Pyramus.’ Heigh-ho!
Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout,
the tinker! Starveling! The have gone away and left me asleep!

I have had a most rare vision.

I have had a dream, past the ability of man to
say what dream it was: I thought I was– I thought I was,–and
I thought I had–but man is but a complete fool, if
he will say what I thought I had…If any man tries to tell this dream, he is but an (he reaches up and feels for his missing ears – then shrugs at the audience.)
The eye of man has not heard, the ear of man has not
seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue
to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream

I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of
this dream: it shall be called Bottom’s Dream,
because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
latter end of a play, before the duke:
peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall
sing it at her death.

There were other people who were involved in getting this play ready for performance.
The 4th grade class decided (on their own I might add) to take on the project of doing the scenery for Midsummer Night’s Dream. This consisted of burlap type fabric tubes that could be used for columns at the various interior places in the play … they would be able to be raised and lowered … and a delightful enormous burlap tree (cut-out ~ based on the school symbol “The Lyre Tree) that was painted and decorated, which would suffice for all the forest scenes. This could also be raised and lowered. The raising and lowering was not as smooth as a Broadway or East End production, but they were incredibly pleased anyway.

–more Sunday.

I will be attending Gamer Musicon 90 at the Symphony tomorrow which consists of two different concerts using music from on-line and Xbox/Playstation games and various vendor demonstrations of new games. There are also two panel discussions with people from Blizzard and such. It will be fun and quite long. The first concert starts at 3:00pm and the second at 7:30pm ~ this concert will end at 10:00pm. I will end most likely shortly after that!!

The Course Of – Whatever – Never Did Run Smooth (4) ~ Late Evening Thoughts

–continuing from night before last and posts prior

As I said, there seemed to be a battalion that came and got me out of the bushes and up the side of the path (a nice, basically straight down drop) and without too much yelling in pain on my part, took me and my broken arm to the hospital. There was the usual checking-in process, and then the Doctor arrived. At that point, he discovered that I had eaten dinner, so ~ knocking me out with anesthetic and setting the arm was not going to be possible until the morning. My arm was placed in a cloth type tube and I was attached to an IV stand … the arm is now straight up (well, as straight as a completely broken arm can be) and I’ve been left in the bed. He ordered some pills to take away the pain – and allow me to get some rest.

The pills didn’t work. Well, they did numb the pain, but wired me. There was no sleep that night. In a sense, this was a good thing because it gave me a lot of time to think … about the plays, about what caused the break and to finally come up with two wonderful solutions. The first solution was the problem between the teacher and I and the second – even more important – solution was how to handle Bottom’s infamous line about a “man may still be an ass.” The first solution came from my addled, wired brain ~ the second from my arm hanging straight up in the air.

After what seemed as if The Longest Day have become The Longest Night, the nurses came and got me and off I went to surgery. The arm was set, put in what seemed like an ENORMOUS cast – and I woke up absolutely starving!! I was finally released and sent off to head back to my apartment for the rest of the day. Well, I should have gone directly back to my apartment for the rest of the day ~ but I stopped at the Quad at school to see the two teachers and let the students know that I was doing fine. A bit woozy, but fine.

The 6th grade teacher and I sat down and done what I should have done in the first place – we talked. My solution was actually quite simple (aren’t most of them?) I would have her sit in at all the rehearsals and she would not put in/take out anything unless I was either there or we talked about it. Big smiles all around. Then I dropped my solution for Bottom’s line ~ and we both laughed out loud over it.

The next day (as I remember) there was a rehearsal for Julius Caesar, and the actors were quite anxious to show me what they had accomplished and ready to begin the battle scene. Our elementary rehearsal space was simply not going to be good enough, and Parker Hall was available ~ so ~ up we went to the High School and to rehearse on the “big” stage.

Usually, the only time the elementary students performed on the stage was for music or dance recitals and once a year for the elementary talent show. So, getting “on the stage” was a big deal, and regarded with appropriate awe.

–more tomorrow

The Course Of – Whatever – Never Did Run Smooth (3) ~ Late Evening Thoughts

— continued from July 10th ~

I had — in a moment of mental aberration — left the 5th grade students aware that there was going to be at least one battle scene in their production of Julius Caesar … this was followed by a battle with the 5th grade teacher. At the time, I had not formulated in my mind exactly how it was going to happen, but assured her it would be safe for everyone — including the audience and provide some excitement to those watching.

The major problem was going to be weapons — cardboard was not going to work, and i certainly wasn’t going to try and round up a bunch of swords to place in the hands of my joyous and raucous 5th graders. Little did I know ~

The High School Science teacher a couple of days later (as I remember) talked to me in the staff dining room (where an incredible number of things seemed to be forever being discussed and/or decided) about the play and his interest in it. We got around the the battle scene and he told me that he had discovered a cache of bayonets at the kabardiwalla (I’m not sure of the spelling – forgive me) — which means the local 2nd hand shop and he was sure I would be able to borrow them for the show.

Off we went to the shop, and there they were … in all their nasty and dangerous glory. Unfortunately, the danger part really didn’t dawn on me … didn’t even enter my thoughts. I immediately saw the scene in my mind and the realization of how much fun it would be to put together pushed all other concerns out of my mind.

They were triangular basically black – and – most exciting of all, they gave off sparks when struck together. (cue music from the beach assault in The Longest Day here.) At this point I lost all shred of sanity as far as the production was concerned, and the battle scene was about to become something that probably belonged in a movie about advancing on the beach at D-day!!

Now Midsummer Night’s Dream was certainly not left out of the process. There was still the problem of Bottom’s line about a man may still be an ass and then I found out that I would put something into rehearsal and the 6th grade teacher would take it out. This had been going on for sometime before I found out about it. I was getting frustrated with the students not remembering what I wanted them to do/say and them not wanting to tell me what was going on in the classroom.

So now we were down to two super-sized egos .. I was of the opinion that you don’t mess with my show and she was of the opinion that you don’t mess with her class. I found out late in the day and I got more and more angry as I went down the hill (literally) to the High School boys dorm where I was assistant supervisor and had my apartment. The longer I thought about it, the more angry I became. I decided, at that point, that I would go over to the High School girl’s dormitory (where she had an apartment) and have it out with her – once and for all time!!

Now, if you look at the picture you will see a building on the hillside at the left edge. That was the starting point A — the building on the hill on the right of the picture was finishing point B … with a path and the middle school boys dorm hovering around the middle. Part f the path was lit, and parts were narrow and not. It was a path that everyone did several times a day on some days – and once a week, the High School boys make a treck to the High School girl’s dorm for a dance. It was a path I knew well. I also knew that at that time of night, I needed to take a flashlight along, but I did not.

I am now charging along the path, heading to the middle building readying in my mind exactly how this was going to work and what I was going to accomplish or else!! That’s when the “or else” happened in a moment. To this day, I’m not completely sure what happened – all I knew was that I ended up down the “chud” (pronounced cud .. again, I apologize for the spelling — it meant cliff literally) as it was called with a broken arm. Unfortunately, I was too far entangled and too far down and hurting FAR too much to get myself out … I began to yell for help. Finally, one of the workers heard me and tossed down what looked like a piece of twine. I finally convinced him that I was going to need more help then that … and in due course, some kind of battalion arrived and got me to the hospital which was about a half-mile away.

—more tomorrow