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  Passages Daily  Anthony Trollope



Life is so unlike theory.


Never think that you're not good enough. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.


I never knew a government yet that wanted to do anything.


It has now become the doctrine of a large clan of politicians that political honesty is unnecessary, slow, subversive of a man's interests, and incompatible with quick onward movement.


I think the greatest rogues are they who talk most of their honesty.


Marvelous is the power which can be exercised, almost unconsciously, over a company, or an individual, or even upon a crowd by one person gifted with good temper, good digestion, good intellects, and good looks.


The satirist who writes nothing but satire should write but little - or it will seem that his satire springs rather from his own caustic nature than from the sins of the world in which he lives.


Poverty, to be picturesque, should be rural. Suburban misery is as hideous as it is pitiable.


Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.


It may almost be a question whether such wisdom as many of us have in our mature years has not come from the dying out of the power of temptation, rather than as the results of thought and resolution.


It is necessary to get a lot of men together, for the show of the thing, otherwise the world will not believe. That is the meaning of committees. But the real work must always be done by one or two men.

 

To This Degree


An image a day every day of the year



Today: a large woman’s hat with streamers blown by an east wind


Keynote:  Protection and spiritual guidance in the development of consciousness


Mar 28 2015 Aries 8

(1° to 15° ARIES is DESIRE in Act 1, INDIVIDUATION)

 

Column  Open Mind  Offie Wortham

Increase Taxes on Liquor and Tobacco





As the Vermont legislature considers its budget deficit a viable alternative is to increase the sales tax on liquor and tobacco. Vermont presently has the lowest sales tax on liquor in the nation. With these increased taxes Vermont can close its budget gap, save money in social services, and improve the health and welfare of thousands of children and adults in the state. Many studies investigating such a relationship found that alcohol prices were a major factor influencing alcohol consumption among youth and young adults and lowering the frequency of diseases, injuries, and death, violence and crime. Taxes on alcohol and tobacco have been enacted mainly with the intent of increasing revenues, rather than discouraging negative health effects.


Presently, the major policy element of U.S. programs to deter teenage and young adult drinking has been to increase State minimum legal drinking ages (MLDAs). (It is ironic to hear important officials in the Shumlin administration requesting that the age limit for buying beer, wine, and alcohol be lowered from 21 to 18.)

Some Facts from the Center for Science in the Public Interest

•Fatal motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of people under the age of 35, and alcohol is involved in more than one-half of these fatal crashes. 75 to 90 percent of drivers killed between 12:00 a.m. and 3:59 a.m. were estimated to have been drinking.

•A National Health Interview Survey estimated that a 10-percent increase in the price of alcoholic beverages would reduce the probability of drinking and driving by about 7.4 percent for men and 8.1 percent for women.

•A 25-cent increase in the beer tax could reduce work-loss days from nonfatal workplace injuries by 4.6 million, reducing the costs of lost productivity by $491 million nationwide.

•Increases in the price of alcoholic beverages would reduce suicides and deaths from diseases for which alcohol is a contributing factor. There would also be significant reductions in rapes, robberies, child abuse and wife abuse.

A ten percent price increase on alcohol and beer would: 

•Lower the number of students who get into trouble with the police and college authorities

•Lower the number of students involved in property damage

•Lower the number of students who get into verbal or physical fights

•Lower the number of students involved in sexual misconduct

•Raise the likelihood of high school graduation and lead to higher grade point averages

•Increase the probability of attending and graduating from a four year college or university

•Improve high school and college student study habits; reduce frequency of missing classes and the likelihood of falling behind in school.

Read This Article

 

Weather

Mar 28





from NOAA

The National Weather Service


Brattleboro:


Snow likely, mainly between noon and 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 31. North wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.


Tonight

A chance of snow, mainly before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. North wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.


Looking ahead:



Sunday

Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 40. Light and variable wind becoming northwest around 5 mph.


Sunday Night

A slight chance of snow showers after 2am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 23. South wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%


Vermont Views

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22 regular columnists

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Daily Articles

To This Degree

An image a day for every day of the year.


Passages


Weather

Local & National


Pretty Often

Art & Soul

Notes on Creating


Make a note of it




 
Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack from her title

Art & Soul

On retrospective exhibitions


Retrospectives are about the stretch of the journey of the artist. Some artists should have them, others not.

    Some artists travel great distances. their world unfolds like a book developed in time — Manet, Pollock, Gorky, Cézanne, Kandinsky, Matta.

    Other artists (most American abstract expressionists) intensify during their lifetimes— Rothko, Still, Newman, Reinhardt. It seems as if they paint the same picture their entire lives, but it just gets more and more intense.

    There are artists who do both, like Rembrandt and Van Gogh, and those are the miracles.


— From a talk with Tom Messer.

director of the Guggenheim Museum.

 

Feature  100 Years Ago

January and February 1915

The Year Thus Far


January 1 Harry Houdini performs a straitjacket escape performance.


January 5 – Joseph E. Carberry sets an altitude record of 11,690 feet (3,560 m), carrying Capt. Benjamin Delahauf Foulois as a passenger in a fixed-wing aircraft.


January 12 —The United States House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.


[illustrated is a poster titled ‘It doesn’t “unsex” her.’]


January 13 – An earthquake in Avezzano, Italy, registering 6.8 on the Richter scale kills more than 30,000.


January 18 – Twenty-One Demands from Japan to China are made.


January 19 — Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising.


Read This Article

 


New

Features, Articles and Columns



Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


hallelujah

Phil Innes





Column

4our 


Discernment of a Samurai

Matti Salminen





Column

Energetics

Energy News around the World March 2015

George Harvey





Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Icicles

Mac Gander




Article

Curious Topics

Clet the Lone Ranger




Feature

Reviews, Old & New


‘Norwegian Wood’, Haruki Murakami reviewed by Alan Rayner




Column

Post Oil Solutions


Intentional Community

 Tim Stevenson





Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Eclipse on Solsbury Hill

Alan Rayner





Feature

Overheard


Hurricane is a native American word, Typhoon is Greek




Article 

Weekly Feature

In conversation with Humberto Ramirez




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Sunrise on

Western Avenue

Mac Gander




Column

4our 


Unraveled

Matti Salminen





Column

Vermont Diary

More schoolin’ but no change for a buck

Editorial




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


First Person, Plural

— A Song of Grace and Flavour

Alan Rayner





Feature

REAL FOOD !


We have met the enemy and they are targeting our children.




Article

If You Lived Here

International Collaboration to Launch 

Vermont Performance Lab 2015 Season





Column

Untitled Work

No, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Lol




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Chasing the wind Charles Monette




Column

Open Mind


Increase Taxes on Liquor and Tobacco

Offie Wortham





Column

Vermont Diary

SoupKitchen—PRO

Editorial





Article

If You Lived Elsewhere

Invisible You. The Human Microbiome exhibition opens at Eden this spring





Feature

100 Years Ago

January and February 1915

The Year Thus Far




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Fortune Cookies and Lucky Charms

Mac Gander





Column

O Citoyen!


Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation: What Do Advance Care Directives have to do with Being a  Local Citizen?

Robert Oeser





Column

4our 


Live Inspired

Matti Salminen





Column

Post Oil Solutions


March Climate Change Café Features Suma Quamana: Living in Harmony with Nature and Our Community

 Tim Stevenson





Article

If You Lived Here

Tour de Heifer promises

"Vermont's most challenging dirt road rides" 





Column

O Citoyen!


Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast  Report

BMH Center for Wound Healing

Robert Oeser




Column

A Unique Research Library In Brattleboro

Kit Barry




Special Feature  “Virtually There” The SW of England Coastal Path


Part 4 

St. Michael’s Mount, in passing




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


DRIFTING INTO LIGHT

Julia Ferrari





Column

In Between

LIFE LOOKING BACK AT US

Julia Ferrari




Article

Monthly Feature

Got Lagoon?




Column

Vermont Diary

Poldark is coming, my ‘ansomes!

Editorial




Column

Old Lady Blog

THE BULLIES IN BLACK SUITS

Toni Ortner




Column

4our 


The Mind Watershed

Matti Salminen




Column

Open Mind


Why Do Some Of Our Brightest Fail In High School?

Offie Wortham




Feature 

Monkey’s Cloak


Passenger

Michael Cioffi





Article 

Weekly Feature

Bawdlerizing the Bible?

Noah Webster’s contribution



Column

Old Lady Blog


Dresden

Toni Ortner

Feb 16, 2015




Column

4our

Something Dead and a Glass of Red

Nanci Bern

Feb 14, 2015



Monkey’s Cloak

Love…You are


Nanci Bern




Column

O Citoyen!


Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Healing 

Robert Oeser

Feb 12, 2015 



Which Store Was Where on Main Street When

Martha M Moravec

Feb 11, 2014




Feature

Curious Topics

The Mystery of Indian Queens


Column

Post Oil Solutions

Spirituality and Climate Change: 24 February Climate Change Café


Tim Stevenson

Feb 8, 2015



Monkey’s Cloak

Influx and Stillness


Alan Rayner




Vermont Diary

Pantry liners




Column

Old Lady Blog

The Bridge


Toni Ortner

Feb 4, 2015



Feature

Retrograde

Brown girl in the ring





Column

Nurturing Nature

30 billion water bottles can all be wrong

Tasneem Tawfeek

Jan 29, 2015



Selected Letters

A Question to Persons of Color


Curtiss Reed, Jr. of Vermont Partnership responds

Jan 28, 2015



Column

Articulate

      Gander’s New Artists’ Collective Presents Two-Night Performance

to Benefit Morningside Shelter


A review by Phil Innes

Jan 26, 2015


Column

Untitled Work

Letter from

Costa Rica

Mac Gander

Jan 25, 2015



Weekly Feature

Iona Iona! Mother of Dreams






Feature

Selected Letters

Addressing racial bias in Vermont law enforcement

Curtiss Reed, Jr.

Jan 22, 2015



Curious Topics

The Pirate

Queen of Ireland





Studio TWO

Featuring




Column

Chess

Never Back Down in the King’s Gambit

Phil Innes

Jan 18, 2015




Column

4our

Creative Learning

Matti Salminen

Jan 17, 2015




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak

Together


Michael Cioffi



Column

A Brief History of Natural Inclusion

Alan Rayner

Jan 13, 2015




Vermont Diary


A Schorr Thing



Column

Open Mind


In What Direction Would Dr. King

Be Leading His Followers Today?

Offie Wortham

Dec 30, 2014




Column

Articulate

The order of chaos

Kate Anderson

Dec 1, 2014




Monkey’s Cloak

run’way

Phil Innes



Studio 4

Group Photo Shoot

October 20, 2014

“Not far from

Main Street”



Selected Letters

Pete Seeger Tribute

Offie Wortham



Beer & Bangers

J.D McCliment’s and MacLaomainn's Scottish Pub

Jun 30 2014

 


Which Store Was Where on Main Street When

Martha M Moravec

I remember a time when I thought that Brattleboro’s true strength and spirit came to light in the peaceful coexistence of three establishments now defunct but once thriving within spitting distance of each other: when Colors, the gay bar and disco, stood across the street from The Common Ground, where hippies and granola-heads ate tahini and sprouts almost directly across the street from Ransom Hastings, a rowdy “locals” bar famous for breaking out into late-night fights.


There is a Facebook page called “I Grew Up in Brattleboro” that sometimes plays the game of remember this - when it was here? And where did it go from there?


[Caption: in the 1988 photo below: where is this person going?]


Does anyone remember Dunklee's Machine Shop on Flat Street? Go in and ask for a 3/4" grade 8 bolt 6" long and old man Dunklee or his son would walk directly to the location. I was always amazed by how they knew where their inventory was.


Anyone recall the big fire that took Woolworths?.... Yup, I could see the smoke all over town from the high school ……. I thought, there goes my childhood…. That store held a lot of great memories for me. I got my first fish tank there. But mostly I remember the soda fountain shop they had, that was a real treat.


A lot of people remember that soda fountain. A lot of people remember that fire.


After the fire you could no longer see who was coming up Main Street by the reflection in the window, while sitting on the front steps of the Baptist Church. That was a real loss for some of us.

Whether it’s the hushed footfall of eleventh-century monks reporting to prayer, the first timorous sighs between Victoria and her beloved prince, the plaintive aria of a contemporary one-act opera or the clang of bolts being pulled from the drawer of a machine shop, every place still standing, every ruin we can see and all the sites we cannot see, the demolished buildings, lost graves and buried cities, contains the echoes and murmurs of lives we lived and lives we have trouble recalling and the many millions of lives we will never know but could still relate to in some fundamental human way, if given the chance. History offers that chance.


I think Cushman's was on Elliot Street. They had bicycles…...Wait, wasn't that Red Circle, with all the bikes on the main floor and the toy and hobby department downstairs?...... No, the toy store was in a building on Elliot Street. I bought lots of model antique car kits there……..Red Circle was further out Elliot, on the other side of the street…….I don't remember a toy shop but do remember a cab stand. <extract> Read More ➤

 

Feature  Monkey’s Cloak

hallelujah

Phil Innes



back in port

wild-child friends

all at sea


not like anything

not like poetry


dangerous disappearance

departure

the disappointed write to me

of accident, betrayal

wanton cupidity

pride, disaster

winter’s crop of cold cruelty


from the deck

comrades and old storms

remembered similarly


old friends

wrote too

hallelujah


hallelujah

hallelujah


Read This Article

 

Special Feature  “Virtually There” The SW of England Coastal Path

Part 4 — St. Michael’s Mount, in passing



On the way around the Cornish Coast on the National Trust Footpath we have arrived at St. Michael’s Mount where the St Aubyn family have lived for 600 years, with 999 years to go on their lease.


The first member of the St Aubyn family to move to Cornwall was Guy St Aubyn who married the heiress of Colquite in the mid fourteenth Century. His son, Geoffrey, married even more advantageously, his wife Elizabeth being the only child of Piers Kemyel of Clowance (near Helston). Clowance became the principal family home until the mid-19th century and the Kemyel inheritance included lands at Lamorna and St Levan which form part of St Aubyn Estates today.


During the English Civil War, Colonel John St Aubyn was a Parliamentarian who in 1647 was appointed Captain of St Michael’s Mount with a remit to secure the peace in the neighbouring area. Twelve years later he bought the Mount from the Bassett family, who had been temporarily impoverished by erecting extensive defences on the island for the Royalist cause. His son – also John - was made a baronet, and was the first of five successive Sir John St Aubyns.


For almost two hundred years, St Michael’s Mount remained a subsidiary home, although the third Sir John retired there and rebuilt the harbour, leading to a revival of the island as a trading centre until it was overtaken by the coming of the railway and development of Penzance’s harbour. He also served as a MP, earning the exasperated respect of Sir Robert Walpole, who said of him "All these men have their price save the little Cornish baronet". Read This Article

 

Column 4our  Matti Salminen, Nanci Bern

Discernment of a Samurai — Matti Salminen



Educational philosophy has become a topic of interest since I’ve begun doing research for this column.  And now, I’ve created a basis for my own philosophy of learning.  In reading a book called Self University, I came to see a project which I have worked on for some time as a sort of root system.  Stemming from the roots are branches of knowledge which help me to live in this world in a manner that is intellectually, morally, and spiritually rewarding.  My philosophy of learning is for developing powers of discernment.


The “root system” which I mentioned above is a code of ethics which I’ve devised to better follow a path of life-long learning.  As the samurai have always captured my attention, much of what I practice for being an intellectual has been inspired by their discipline.  And it is from study of the samurai that my educational philosophy has emerged.  Samurai exemplify ideals of military science for their training, superior weaponry and defenses, but even more notably for their code of ethics.  Samurai held very serious minds—their power of discernment was among their most cultivated—and venerated qualities.


My educational philosophy is a declaration that states from intellectual, spiritual, and moral cultivation a person will improve powers of discernment.   What I have done is create a code of ethics which requires that you live simply to better cultivate a practice in deep inner-reflection.  My code is not solely inspired by my study of military science, the way of strategy, or the samurai.  Something more recent influenced me to go back over the code I had developed long ago, and almost forgotten.


For the better part of a year, I sat down with some of Brattleboro’s most spiritually cultivated artists on a weekly basis to talk about creativity.  Writing on these artists, and sitting down with them, very simply, changed my whole world view by a full-circle.  Creativity is a tool to use your mind as source rather than just a place to stockpile information.  Artists with whom I spoke to about how they use their minds led me to understand that we have innate knowledge which we use unconsciously.  Read This Article

 

Column Post Oil Solutions  Tim Stevenson

Intentional Community

      

It’s too late to prevent climate change. No matter how fast we ultimately act to limit its potentially catastrophic impact—and we must act quickly or it will be too late to do even that—we have to face the reality that climate change is here, and will continue to be an increasingly dominant presence in our lives in the days and years ahead. We can’t avoid it, or wish it away. Rather, it’s something we’re going to have to learn to live with. This prospect is frightening, of course, something that can easily paralyze us into inaction, rendering us all too susceptible to escapism, denial, and passivity. Transitioning into a post fossil fuel world, and all that that this might involve, is a mind warping notion, especially for people like ourselves who, at least for the moment, are blessed to live in a place where climate change is seemingly not an urgent, everyday concern. By now, Irene has become a fading memory, no longer the in-your-face reminder of what climate change is all about.


Hence, to take action, and be pro-active around something where we don’t yet feel our backs against the wall, is challenging. But it’s no less necessary for being so. For when we do feel our shoulder blades, it will likely be too late. To successfully meet this unprecedented challenge, we have to do now whatever we can to prepare for this world.

 

In this context, community is second to none to adapting to the age of climate change. If a successful transition to a sane and sustainable post petroleum world is to be accomplished—one that allows for a life worth living seven generations from now--then we’ll need the lifeboat of community to negotiate this turbulent, unknown journey.

 

But let’s be clear as to what we mean here: a post oil community is one where a people are intentionally engaged with their neighbors through a daily practice of collaboration and generosity, compassion and acceptance, and who are increasingly self-, but most importantly, community-sufficient. We learn to take care of ourselves and meet our basic needs by valuing and attending to both the welfare of the other as well as our own well-being. Without this kind of social fabric, we’re in big trouble. Read This Article

 

Column  Energetics  George Harvey

Energy News around the World March 2015


¶ According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the cost of producing power in central and southern Europe will have declined to between 4 and 6 cents per kWh by 2025, and to as low as 2 to 4 cents by 2050.” The study was commissioned by the think tank Agora Energiewende. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK low carbon economy was worth £122 billion in 2013 and has been growing at 7% per year, according to government figures. A low carbon investment report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change says the sector supports over 460,000 jobs, or about 1.5% of all UK jobs. [Business Green]

¶ A Colorado company, Red Rock Biofuels, is planning a $200 million biofuels refinery in Lakeview, Oregon where it will refine jet fuel to be used by Southwest Airlines. The refinery will also produce diesel and naphtha fuel from its wood pulp stock through wood gasification and Fischer-Tropsch catalysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US DOE reported that California is the first state to get 5% of its electricity from large-scale solar power installations. In 2014, solar power plants in California generated 9.9 million MWh, more than all other states combined. The report does not count rooftop systems, which are a large part of the total. [SFGate] Read This Article

 

Please chill while some reorganization of the Home Page is taking place below.

Note demo- chilling pictures

Column  Vermont Diary  Editorial
More schoolin’ but no change for a buck.

In 1900 one in five Americans went to high school, now President Obama has suggested that there should in effect be a 13th and 14th grade paid for by public taxes for all students. He also indicated a future when 2 from 3 jobs will require a college degree. While these sound encouraging there are a few small problems, especially since there is much to contradict them: First, the trouble is deflation of value in both high school and college. Consider this: It’s common to meet cashiers who are HS grads who can’t make change so that if it costs 69 cents how much change is due from a dollar? The current ‘new math’ is roundly scorned as being laughably complex and doesn’t help these  high school graduates make change.
 Read This Article ➤

Column  Nurturing Nature  Tasneem Tawfeek
30 billion water bottles can all be wrong
 
I remain hopeful that actions will replace the notion that one person can make no difference. As awareness is raised, especially when it comes to the environment, the actions of every person counts and makes all the difference towards establishing a healthier planet. Brooke Medicine Eagle is quoted as saying, "There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of them, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.” Read This Article ➤

Column  Kit Barry Ephemera  Kit Barry
A Unique Research Library In Brattleboro
 
In Brattleboro there is a very unusual room dedicated to American life. It contains at the same time - the Past, the Present, and the Future of American endeavors in all aspects of our culture. It is an archive. A research archive. And when all points are considered, there is no other facility like this one in the United States. In this room, there is not to be found what one expects to see in a library - Books. Instead what is found is ephemera. And with that confusing word now said, we will move quickly to the name of the archive, a definition, and a content description. The current essay includes 5 images and captions togehter with 2,200 words of text to guide the researcher. Read This Article ➤

Column  Consolations of History  Martha M Moravec
Which Store Was Where on Main Street When
 
We froze when we first heard the sound. It was like a swarm of bees, but we knew it was the planes. Fascinated, we watched them come in towards the shore in a huge inverted V like a flock of Canadian geese. Why are they coming here? Can’t they see it is the wrong target? I yelled. They must be idiots. Don’t they have maps? There are no military installations here. As they came closer in that huge impersonal V, we scurried to take shelter. Nothing like this had ever happened before.  Suddenly there was too much glass, too many windows and not enough walls. The carved wooden lattice framework over the bed had holes.  Read This Article ➤

Column  O Citoyen!  Robert Oeser
Help With Health Survey    

The Windham County Community Health Needs Assessment  Steering Committee is  seeking to hear directly from community members, and is conducting an assessment through a survey that is open throughout the month of March. The survey gives an opportunity to hear from a larger portion of the community (from as many who wish to participate).

The survey can be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BrattleboroCHNA2015   Read This Article ➤

Column  Old Lady Blog  Toni Ortner
THE BULLIES IN BLACK SUITS


Day Book, 8/15/2014 l0 pm, New Swedish Sport
THE BULLIES IN BLACK SUITS with bill sticks to bludgeon and bloody the dolphins
ride the crest of the waves
one at the prow
cradles binoculars like a silver challis.
The team rows with steady practiced synchronicity
searing the sea
carrying the boat into depths deeper than they imagine. Read This Article ➤

Column  Post Oil Solutions  Tim Stevenson
Intentional Community
      
It’s too late to prevent climate change. No matter how fast we ultimately act to limit its potentially catastrophic impact—and we must act quickly or it will be too late to do even that—we have to face the reality that climate change is here, and will continue to be an increasingly dominant presence in our lives in the days and years ahead. We can’t avoid it, or wish it away. Rather, it’s something we’re going to have to learn to live with. This prospect is frightening, of course, something that can easily paralyze us into inaction, rendering us all too susceptible to escapism, denial, and passivity. Transitioning into a post fossil fuel world, and all that that this might involve, is a mind warping notion, especially for people like ourselves who, at least for the moment, are blessed to live in a place where climate change is seemingly not an urgent, everyday concern. By now, Irene has become a fading memory, no longer the in-your-face reminder of what climate change is all about. Read This Article ➤

Column  4our  Matti Salminen, Nanci Bern
Discernment of a Samurai
Matti Salminen
Educational philosophy has become a topic of interest since I’ve begun doing research for this column.  And now, I’ve created a basis for my own philosophy of learning.  In reading a book called Self University, I came to see a project which I have worked on for some time as a sort of root system.  Stemming from the roots are branches of knowledge which help me to live in this world in a manner that is intellectually, morally, and spiritually rewarding.  My philosophy of learning is for developing powers of discernment. Read This Article ➤

Column  Open Mind  Offie Wortham
Increase Taxes on Liquor and Tobacco

As the Vermont legislature considers its budget deficit a viable alternative is to increase the sales tax on liquor and tobacco. Vermont presently has the lowest sales tax on liquor in the nation. With these increased taxes Vermont can close its budget gap, save money in social services, and improve the health and welfare of thousands of children and adults in the state. Many studies investigating such a relationship found that alcohol prices were a major factor influencing alcohol consumption among youth and young adults and lowering the frequency of diseases, injuries, and death, violence and crime. Taxes on alcohol and tobacco have been enacted mainly with the intent of increasing revenues, rather than discouraging negative health effects.

Presently, the major policy element of U.S. programs to deter teenage and young adult drinking has been to increase State minimum legal drinking ages (MLDAs). (It is ironic to hear important officials in the Shumlin administration requesting that the age limit for buying beer, wine, and alcohol be lowered from 21 to 18.) Read This Article ➤

Column  In Between  Julia Ferrari
LIFE LOOKING BACK AT US
 
    Recently I was in my print shop, working alone, as I do recently, and I was setting by hand the letters that comprised a poem. Letter by letter, space by space, the object took form and I found myself observing self within both my present mundane activity and as a person watching to see where the work was going. Could I complete this with the skill that I knew had been there when I worked in a team? I remember chewing gum with intensity to ease the stress and then recalled seeing my partner Dan Carr, when I first met him, smoking his unfiltered Camels, and I thought of how if I was a smoker, I would have been chain smoking that afternoon, as I struggled to get it right. Read This Article ➤

Column  Untitled Work  Mac Gander
No, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Lol

Someone recently asked me this question: What does it feel like to be a poet? I found the question interesting, in a savage sort of way, and I wrote what follows in response, and then I wrote the poem that appears at the end of the essay. The great novelist David Foster Wallace, who killed himself unexpectedly a few years ago, has this commencement speech that has been anthologized. In it, he starts with this story: two young fish are swimming along, and they pass by an older fish, who says "how's the water?" The younger fish are slightly puzzled, but then one of them says, "It's fine." They pass on, and then after a couple of minutes one of the younger fish turns to the other and says, "What's water?" I feel a bit like that, answering this question, since writing poetry is so deeply embedded in my sense of self that it is very hard to untangle it—when I read this question, it almost seems like you have asked me to answer "who are you?" Read This Article ➤

Column  Energetics  George Harvey
Around the World March 2015
 
¶ According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the cost of producing power in central and southern Europe will have declined to between 4 and 6 cents per kWh by 2025, and to as low as 2 to 4 cents by 2050.” The study was commissioned by the think tank Agora Energiewende. [CleanTechnica]
¶ The UK low carbon economy was worth £122 billion in 2013 and has been growing at 7% per year, according to government figures. A low carbon investment report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change says the sector supports over 460,000 jobs, or about 1.5% of all UK jobs. [Business Green]
 Read This Article ➤

Article  Curious Topics 
Clet the Lone Ranger
 
An adventurous, long-distance travelling dolphin who has captured the imaginations of people around the world has been spotted off Falmouth [illus.] Clet, a bottlenose dolphin named by French fisherman whose boats he used to follow around, has popped back over to Cornish waters after spending some time around Scotland, the Isle of Man and Dorset. Caz Waddell, acting marine conservation manager from Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: "We're very lucky in Cornwall that bottlenose dolphins can be seen quite regularly all around our coasts."However, Clet is somewhat unique; a bit of a lone ranger. His travels throughout the UK and Europe are truly remarkable, and the best part is that the majority of his movements have been tracked simply by members of the public sending in photographs." Read This Article ➤

Article  If You Lived Here 
International Collaboration to Launch 
Vermont Performance Lab 2015 Season
 
WHEN: Monday, March 30th at 7:00pm
WHERE: Whittemore Theater, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
WHAT: Join NYC-based post-modern choreographer Wally Cardona + Myanmar-based classical Burmese dancer Myint Mo for a dance encounter.
TICKETS: Free. No reservations required.
TICKETS FOR VPL PERFORMANCE CLUB: Join the Saturday, March 28th VPL Performance Club for a Lab Talk, Dim Sum Dinner + VIP reserved seats to the March 30th showing. VPL will host a Lab Talk with the artists Wally Cardona and Myint Mo, and Marlboro College Asian Studies Professor Seth Harter followed by a delicious dim sum dinner. Space is limited. Reservations required. To reserve + for more info: visit www.vermontperformancelab.org/events or call 802-257-3361 Read This Article ➤

Article  If You Lived Elsewhere 
Invisible You. The Human Microbiome exhibition opens at Eden this spring
 
Five hundred volunteer dancers are heading for the Eden Project on Sunday (March 15) dressed to play the part of bacteria in a film which will be seen by thousands of visitors. The film is being made by Bill Wroath, one of the 12 artists Eden has commissioned to create new exhibits that explore the unfolding story of the human microbiome. He has been working with lead choreographer Jules Laville, a team of dance leaders and Dr Simon Lock of iDat. The film will be part of a new permanent exhibition at Eden entitled 'Invisible You -The Human Microbiome'. Supported by the Wellcome Trust, the exhibition will have accompanying programmes of live science events, web and formal education and opens on May 22. Bill has been enlisting the help of volunteer dancers to take part in the event. The installation artist has also worked in Theatre and Opera as an accomplished sculptor, producing commissioned works for the Welsh National Opera Company, London West End theatres, and several regional theatres and the Eden Project. Read This Article ➤

Article  Weekly Feature 
In conversation with Humberto Ramirez
 
HR: It’s essentially pure theory and moving forward in the most simple of ways; this relationship with this notion of normal or of standard,’ and particularly that that is ‘natural’, so what it opens up is the field to the absolute exercise of difference, so it does not recognize gay, it does not recognize black, not white, not lesbian; none of these categories as such. Rather it relates to constructions as you just mentioned; construction of subjectivity. And that in itself is a sort of a shift from this paradigm you were referring to, particularly of European thinking for a hundred years. That notion that buried within our selves there is a kernel of truth to be uncovered, and through which things are tested for their legitimacy. That idea went out of the window with Freudian analytical theory; a revelation that what we know is very little of ourselves, and what we know of ourselves does not include the idea of how things come about. Instead of having the world [correct word?] again be something that existed, its experience and evaluating from a moment of interiority – this inversion you speak of is the realization that we are the outside world. What lives inside of us are the intersections that we have experienced in our lives. That is this concept. In some way or another we started a conversation with this notion of me asking you ‘why are you here?’ So both of us I think in this wonderful position to be outside of what group’s in power, which limits and holds us back to historical positions. Read This Article ➤

Article  Monthly Feature 
Got Lagoon?
 
[Caption: a 5-mile lagoon wall extending 1.5 miles from the shore.] The UK wants to lead the world in this new sustainable technology, which has big up-front costs, but inexpensive energy ever after. Plans to generate electricity from the world's first series of tidal lagoons have been unveiled in the UK. The six lagoons, four in Wales and one each in Somerset and Cumbria, will capture incoming and outgoing tides behind giant sea walls, and use the weight of the water to power turbines. The series of six lagoons could generate 8% of the UK's electricity for an investment of £30bn. Read This Article ➤

Feature  Monkey’s Cloak 
hallelujah
Phil Innes


back in port
wild-child friends 
all at sea

not like anything
not like poetry

dangerous disappearance
departure
the disappointed write to me

Read This Article ➤

Special Feature  “Virtually There” The South-West of England Coastal Path 
Part 4 — St. Michael’s Mount, in passing
On the way around the Cornish Coast on the National Trust Footpath we have arrived at St. Michael’s Mount where the St Aubyn family have lived for 600 years, with 999 years to go on their lease.

The first member of the St Aubyn family to move to Cornwall was Guy St Aubyn who married the heiress of Colquite in the mid fourteenth Century. His son, Geoffrey, married even more advantageously, his wife Elizabeth being the only child of Piers Kemyel of Clowance (near Helston). Clowance became the principal family home until the mid-19th century and the Kemyel inheritance included lands at Lamorna and St Levan which form part of St Aubyn Estates today. Read This Article ➤

Feature  100 Years Ago 
January and February 1915
The Year Thus Far

January 1 Harry Houdini performs a straitjacket escape performance.
January 5 – Joseph E. Carberry sets an altitude record of 11,690 feet (3,560 m), carrying Capt. Benjamin Delahauf Foulois as a passenger in a fixed-wing aircraft.
January 12 —The United States House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.
January 13 – An earthquake in Avezzano, Italy, registering 6.8 on the Richter scale kills more than 30,000.
January 18 – Twenty-One Demands from Japan to China are made.
January 19 — Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising. 
Read This Article ➤

Feature  Overheard 
Hurricane is a native American word, Typhoon is Greek

The word hurricane, used in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, is derived from huracán, the Spanish word for the Carib/Taino storm god, Juracán. This god is believed by scholars to have been at least partially derived from the Mayan creator god, Huracan. Huracan was believed by the Maya to have created dry land out of the turbulent waters. The god was also credited with later destroying the "wooden people", the precursors to the "maize people", with an immense storm and flood. Huracan is also the source of the word orcan, another word for a particularly strong European windstorm. Read This Article ➤


Feature  REAL FOOD ! 
We have met the enemy and they are targeting our children.

Ranged against healthy food is big business and the media, here is a UK report: Almost two thirds of parents in the region are being hounded by their children to buy junk food they have seen advertised on TV, according a new study. The study, carried out by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), found that 38 percent of parents in the South West with children under 16 are badgered to buy unhealthy snacks at least once a week. Two in five parents also said they think junk food adverts on TV make it harder to encourage their children to eat a healthy diet. The charity published its study in time to coincide with February’s “Heart Month” and is now calling on the Government to introduce tighter restrictions on food advertising. Read This Article ➤


Feature  Reviews, Old & New 
‘Norwegian Wood’, by Haruki Murakami reviewed by Alan Rayner

‘Norwegian Wood’ is an early novel by Haruki Murakami, and the one that brought him huge national and international success, along with a reputation as one of the World’s finest and most original authors. Although not typical of his work and not my personal favourite – that place would have to go to ‘Kafka on the Shore’ – it contains all the ingredients of what I find absorbing, fascinating and deeply relevant to the human condition in his writing. That doesn’t mean to say that I find him an easy or comfortable read – there is much that is quite disturbing and challenging – but I do recognise an artistry and depth of touch, along with an appreciation of natural wildness and beauty that I find exquisite. This comes across immediately in ‘Norwegian Wood’ in his description of Toru Watanabe’s encounter with Naoko in the meadow, and her talk of the mysterious ‘field well’ – an image of the infinite, unbounded abyss, or  ‘Devouring Mother Void’, which the egotist so greatly fears and that inspires such cruelty, lust and resentment when negated. This is a theme that recurs in his other works, and in which we find the essence of his writing – a symbolic juxtaposition of the everyday, the mythical and the fantastic that by turns intrigues, inspires, teases, horrifies and plays with the imagination. Read This Article ➤
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Column  Kit Barry Ephemera  Kit Barry

A Unique Research Library In Brattleboro


In Brattleboro there is a very unusual room dedicated to American life. It contains at the same time - the Past, the Present, and the Future of American endeavors in all aspects of our culture. It is an archive. A research archive. And when all points are considered, there is no other facility like this one in the United States. In this room, there is not to be found what one expects to see in a library - Books. Instead what is found is ephemera. And with that confusing word now said, we will move quickly to the name of the archive, a definition, and a content description. The current essay includes 5 images and captions togehter with 2,200 words of text to guide the researcher.


Black farmer w/ mule: Image #1  Caption:  Most late 19th century advertising using images of Blacks are sited in the impoverished rural and farm environment. As with this trade card, dialect was used to portray ignorance.


Image #2  Black train porter


Image #2  Caption:  This c. 1885 advertising trade card reveals several things.


-  In language usage, there is a play on words, at the expense of the Black porter, with suitcase trunk & elephant trunk. The depiction of Black ethnic stereotyping often included the portrayal of the Black being a buffoon.


-  But this image also shows a very important point in the story of 19th century Blacks rising in socio-economic standing. It was common for Blacks to be train porters, and it was a critical factor in the upward mobility of the Black culture. Through this job, Blacks became friendly enough with passengers so that businessmen would give financial information - like stock investments. This single occupation was a stepping stone opportunity of such common occurrence that it was a contributor to the creation of a Black middle class.


But then put next to the 1880’s advertising examples, pieces from the 1970’s and after. There is a complete shift on the socio-economic scale. The Blacks are depicted in roles of middle class, coat and tie socio-economic roles. They are imaged with no stereotyping and on an equal level with the Whites in the same image. Read This Article

 

Column  Vermont Diary  Editorial

More schoolin’ but no change for a buck


In 1900 one in five Americans went to high school, now President Obama has suggested that there should in effect be a 13th and 14th grade paid for by public taxes for all students. He also indicated a future when 2 from 3 jobs will require a college degree. While these sound encouraging there are a few small problems, especially since there is much to contradict them!


First, the trouble is deflation of value in both high school and college. Consider this:


It’s common to meet cashiers who are HS grads who can’t make change so that if it costs 69 cents how much change is due from a dollar? The current ‘new math’ is roundly scorned as being laughably complex and doesn’t help these high school graduates make change.


How about you? Have you ever used any math taught at High School for any purpose in your life — what about if we made that any math after 8th grade?


If your reply is no, never used 9th grade math what then is the point of 4 more years of quadratic equations, co-tangents and Latin 2? And that’s just high school not college. It’s too much schoolin’ but no change for a buck.


In 1970 a 14 year old would have known 40,000 words, in 1991 the statistic was 10,000 words. Nevermind numeracy, literacy has also gone west.


You are excused this exercise if you are an engineer, but not a female engineer, read on:


The history of US education reveals that gender played a large part in what was taught so that even in 1930 “Coeducation was a controversial topic, and sex-segregated school systems protected “the virtue of female high school students.” Home economics and female industrial education were new elements of the high school curriculum designed for unmistakably female occupations. These classes taught women practical skills such as sewing, cooking, and using the new domestic inventions of the era; unfortunately, this “formal training offered women little advantage in the struggle for stable work at a livable wage.” Read This Article

 

Feature  Reviews, Old & New

‘Norwegian Wood’, by Haruki Murakami reviewed by Alan Rayner


‘Norwegian Wood’ is an early novel by Haruki Murakami, and the one that brought him huge national and international success, along with a reputation as one of the World’s finest and most original authors. Although not typical of his work and not my personal favourite – that place would have to go to ‘Kafka on the Shore’ – it contains all the ingredients of what I find absorbing, fascinating and deeply relevant to the human condition in his writing. That doesn’t mean to say that I find him an easy or comfortable read – there is much that is quite disturbing and challenging – but I do recognise an artistry and depth of touch, along with an appreciation of natural wildness and beauty that I find exquisite. This comes across immediately in ‘Norwegian Wood’ in his description of Toru Watanabe’s encounter with Naoko in the meadow, and her talk of the mysterious ‘field well’ – an image of the infinite, unbounded abyss, or  ‘Devouring Mother Void’, which the egotist so greatly fears and that inspires such cruelty, lust and resentment when negated. This is a theme that recurs in his other works, and in which we find the essence of his writing – a symbolic juxtaposition of the everyday, the mythical and the fantastic that by turns intrigues, inspires, teases, horrifies and plays with the imagination. Read This Article