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Retreat Lawn — 5 chairs requiring a snappy caption

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“I would have thought," said the prime minister, "that Your Majesty was above literature."

"Above literature?" said the Queen. "Who is above literature? You might as well say one is above humanity.”


“Books are not about passing time. They're about other lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, one just wishes one had more of it. If one wanted to pass the time one could go to New Zealand.”


“How do I define history? It's just one fucking thing after another"


“History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket.”


“The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”


“I am the King. I tell. I am not told. I am the verb, sir. I am not the object. (King George III)”


“It was the kind of library he had only read about in books.”


“ . . . there was little to choose between Jews and Catholics. The Jews had holidays that turned up out of the blue and the Catholics had children in much the same way.”


“Deluded liberal that I am, I persist in thinking that those with a streak of sexual unorthodoxy ought to be more tolerant of their fellows than those who lead an entirely godly, righteous and sober life. Illogically, I tend to assume that if you (Philip Larkin) dream of caning schoolgirls bottoms, it disqualifies you from dismissing half the nation as work-shy.”

 

To This Degree


An image a day every day of the year

Virgo 6

The Image: A merry-go-round

Keynote: The first experience of the dynamic intensity of life processes and the possibility of using them to reach a characteristic ego-satisfaction

AN OBJECTIVE APPROACH TO THE LIFE FORCE


Virgo 7

The Image: A Harem

Keynote: A fateful (even if sought after) subservience to the vagaries of desires of the emotional nature

(to put to use) THE EMPTINESS OF WAITING 


Virgo 8

The Image: A five year old child takes a first dancing lesson

Keynote: Learning to use one’s capacity for emotional  self-expression according to cultural standards

POTENTIALITY OF INITIATION




Virgo 9

The Image: An expressionist painter at work

Keynote: The urge to express one’s individualized sense of value regardless of tradition

ORIGINALITY


Virgo 10

The Image: Two heads looking out and beyond the shadows

Keynote: The growth of true understanding, born out of the transcendence of duality even while immersed in the world of duality

SELF TRANSCENDING DUALITY OF THE MIND


Images comprise groups in a 5-fold sequence; Virgo 6—10  2nd level: Emotional-Cultural

(1° to 15° Virgo is Scene 11 ‘CHARACTERIZATION’ in Act 2/4, CONSOLIDATION)

 

Guest Article A FEAST OF WORDS

Christian McEwen

     From her title World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down

Images: Skye, ‘The Rough with the Smooth’ Alan Rayner




Isle Ornsay


The summer I was nine, my family stayed for two weeks on Isle Ornsay, a tidal island off the coast of Skye. It was a beautiful windswept place, with a tall white-washed lighthouse, two converted cottages, and a walled garden filled with brambles and wild roses. Soon after we arrived, our mother presented each of us with a cardboard-covered scrapbook filled with cloudy gray-blue pages.


“You can write in this,” she said, “or draw, or stick in postcards. I’ll show you how to press some flowers if you’d like.” 


The scrapbook has survived, and I turn the pages slowly, smiling at the shriveled corpses of Thrift and English Stonecrop, Ragged Robin, Tormentil, each one carefully labeled in an earnest, girlish hand. There are postcards too, bought with my weekly pocket-money: postcards of Isle Ornsay and Skye and “the ferry we came in,” plus a solitary Highland cow standing stolid and melancholy against a luridly tinted meadow. We had seen Highland cattle on our long drive from the Borders, our first ever.

  Read  more of this Article

 

Weather

Sep 2





from NOAA

The National Weather Service


Brattleboro:


Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming southwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.


Tonight

Mostly clear, with a low around 60. Light west wind.




Looking ahead:


Thursday


Scattered showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 84. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.


Thursday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 61. North wind 3 to 5 mph.


Vermont Views

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Spirit of Place


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22 regular columnists

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Art & Soul

Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack from her title Art & Soul

DIS-EASE & THE EFFECT OF COLOR ON SICKNESS


  

Great art is in balance, in harmony. Disease is dis-ease. Out of balance, out of harmony. Art that is in balance and harmonious is restorative, soothing, and healing. Chaotic, disruptive art without any inherent order or balance can be damaging.

    The act of producing disturbing art can be temporarily therapeutic for the artist in getting rid of anxiety and expelling bad feelings. The effect of such images on the viewer is another matter.




“The effect in sickness of beautiful objects and especially of brilliancy of color is hardly appreciated at all... People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body too. As little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by color and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect.

    Variety of form and brilliance of color in the objects presented to the patients are an actual means of recovery.”

        —Florence Nightingale (1860)


Images: Top, Jackson Pollock. Bottom Paul Cezanne

 

Article  Curious Topics

Your Fortune and a Little Survey


It all started when my friend Rob Mitchell from Tennessee sent me a picture from his Summer vacation out West. I have a vague memory of these in England — but here’s the thing, has any reader actually used one, and can you remember your fortune?


Meanwhile here is a small selection from my researches where I discovered that there are even kits available so that you can make your own. The text may not match the images, but at least I could find the Mystic Zoltar below.


Verbal Fortune Teller - Mills Novelty Co, c. 1904 - One unique machine, perhaps the only extant version in the world, survives in a museum in Virginia City, Montana.


It features a recorded voice and eerie animatronics. "The 100-year-old fortune teller was an extremely rare find. Instead of dispensing a card like Zoltar, the Gypsy would actually speak your fortune from a hidden record player. When you dropped a penny in the slot, her eyes would flash, her teeth would chatter and her voice would come floating from a tube extending out of the eight-foot-tall box. 


This machine also provided fortunes for males and females separately. Reportedly, magician David Copperfield tried to buy the machine from the Montana State Historical Commission for two million dollars.


Fortune Teller Machines are a rare artifact surviving from the era of penny arcade, boardwalk and amusement parks. Listed are a few of the notable varieties:


Madame Zita is a richly attired fortune teller in gypsy style. The electric version was manufactured around 1905 by the Roover Brothers.


Grandmothers Predictions (Cleveland Grandma) - William Gent Mfg, c. 1929 - The wise old grandmother passes her hands over the fortune telling cards and stops at the proper fortune. The card falls into the tray below.


Princess Doraldina - Doraldina Corp, c. 1928 - Her youth and beauty attract the arcade customer. The machine's lifelike movements when granting fortunes make the process appear to be alive.


<extracts> Read More Curious Topics

 


New

Features, Articles and Columns



Art & Soul


See Article on this page

DIS-EASE & THE EFFECT OF COLOR ON SICKNESS



Column

Love In Action

 

The Language of Form

 Elizabeth Hill



Column

Vermont Diary

Lake Shame-Poo. Where are they? And Bad Bernie.



Article

Curious Topics

Your Fortune and a Little Survey




Feature

Appreciating Art

...in the eye of the beholder, a new column featuring current beholder

Charles Monette



Column

Post Oil Solutions

“Keep it in the Ground” Campaign Launch Event

Tim Stevenson



Article

Guest Article

A FEAST OF WORDS

Christian McEwen




Feature

100 Years Ago

Birth of a Nation

First American-made film to be screened at the White House



Column

Old Lady Blog

January 19, 1993 — Four Part Poem

Toni Ortner



Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Relativity

Offie C. Wortham




Article

Curious Topics

When is a light-bulb not a right-bulb?




Art & Soul

See Article

on this page

HOLDING THE SPIRIT



Column

Vermont Diary

Humor of 70 year old kitchen women




Column

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

 
Tripping Over Words

 Jeri Rose




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Living

Here and Now

Matti Salminen




Column

An A-musing Life

License to Frill

Nanci Bern



Feature

Selected Letters

Meeting

Mrs. Roosevelt

Elizabeth J. Hill




Column

Natural Inclusivity

A summary for sceptics

Alan Rayner



Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Landscape Thirsts

Charles Monette




Column

World & US

Energy News

August 2015

George Harvey



Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Room for Doubt

Alan Rayner



Column

Vermont Diary

Less Cheese

notes on The Reformer and The Commons



Feature

Overheard

We are a dying breed



Article

Weekly Feature

A Real-Time Lightning App



Feature

Selected Letters

Open Letter to

Bernie Sanders

Curtiss Reed, Jr.




Feature

Overheard


Pop Vocab



Column

Consolations of History

STEALING THE SPIRIT OF LIFE

Martha M Moravec




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Of crows,

During the

Yezhov Terror

Terry Hauptman



Feature

STUDIO3

STROLLING WITH BERNIE AND THE BAND 2015

Photography © Vermont Views Magazine



Feature

What Are You Reading?

Laura Stevenson

Andrew Smith.

100 Sideways Miles. 



Column

Consolations of History

A HUNDRED THINGS TO HIDE

Martha M Moravec




Article

Monthly Feature

NORTHERN TRIANGULATION

Alan Rayner




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


The Humility of the Valley

Alan Rayner



Feature

Brattleboro Skyline


July 4th parade, but first, a race



Feature

Monkey’s Cloak


Astoria, 1983

Mac Gander



Feature

StudioTwo

Dominic Koval

At Vermont Artisan Designs




Column

In Between

The Key, the Lock, & the Door

Julia Ferarri




Column

Open Mind

Weapons and Violence in America

Offie Wortham




Article

If You Lived Elsewhere

Vegetarians — A World Survey




Feature

What Are You Reading?

Phil Innes

•Amherst,

William Nicolson

•The Children Act,

Ian McEwen [Audio]





Feature

REAL FOOD !

Making Spaghettios




Column

Vermont Diary

I have joined the White Race

& 2 Statistics




Column

Open Mind

How The Slickest Prison Break In A Century Was Planned

Offie Wortham




Feature

100 Years Ago

Fashion in 1915



Column

Chess 

Dragon Variation

Phil Innes



Column

Vermont Diary

...from forehead to throat.



Column

Chess 


The making of a world record

Part 3 of 3:

“The Response”

Phil Innes




Column

The Great Adventure

What Will Your Daughters See?

Terri Kneipp




Feature

Monkey’s Cloak

YAHRZEIT


Terry Hauptman




Feature

100 Years Ago


1 in 7




Op Ed

Beyond capitalism and socialism: could a new economic approach save the planet?

 Jo Confino




Feature

100 Years Ago


888,246 ceramic poppies




Feature

StudioONE


‘The Plains Indians,’ America’s Early Artists, at the Met

Photography by

Marnie Rogers




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

Part 5 

The Lizard



Feature

REAL FOOD !


Starry Gazey Pie



Article

If You Lived Elsewhere

Wind River Mountains —

A Little History



Feature

Curious Topics

The Mystery of Indian Queens


Curious Topics

The Pirate

Queen of Ireland



 

Feature  Appreciating Art — in the eye of the beholder

Charles Monette

A new feature series where local citizens visit a gallery, make notes on items they like, and also say which one they would take home, and why. Hosted by Vermont Artisan Designs, of Main Street, Brattleboro.


The Current Beholder is Charles Monette

Charles is a writer who lives in Brattleboro


See he beholder’s selections and which work they would take home ➤

 

Feature  Monkey’s Cloak

RELATIVITY


Offie C. Wortham




A scream shatters the air, followed by

the breaking of glass and gun shots.

A baby cries, for parents or guardians preoccupied elsewhere,

entertaining drunken and drugged friends.

Foul-mouthed and forgotten children play in the streets—darting

between fire trucks racing to false alarms.

Police cars have gone insane

racing through red and yellow lights.

Loud, deafening, and earsplitting boom boxes, car radios,

TV's, DVD’s and CD's flow through your walls, floor, and ceiling,

like a cyclone or hurricane through chicken wire.

You close your eyes and try to relax and sleep.

You pray for one moment of peace, silence, or quiet.

Meanwhile ………………..

20 miles out in the suburbs, a person says to their companion,

"Come on Dear, let's go inside.

The noise from these frogs and crickets is driving me crazy!"


Read more of this and other reader’s poems

 

Column  Vermont Diary

Lake Shame-Poo. Where are they? And Bad Bernie.




A VPR report spoke of the difficulties of keeping Lake Champlain clean since the watershed area is some 17 times larger than the lake itself — per area, one of the largest in the world.


What was somewhat glossed were 50 years of dumping raw sewage into it, by permission of the state, and ‘agricultural run-off’ which as we all know means inorganic fertilizers largely manufactured by a company whose first letter begins with M.


Elsewhere in the state there have been expressions of why tourism is down, why camp areas do not contain the usual number of visitors, and the under-reporting of ticks and Lyme disease. Some think wary New Yorkers have heard about this anyway, and are staying away.


Perhaps a sense of humor would work? I saw this genuine poster for Colonial Williamsburg and thought Vermont could use it as an innovative day-care program for tourists?  We could add the tag-line “Care-free Vermonting, some of the old ways were best.”


Finally of all, as President Clinton used to say, there is the problem of Bernie in whom I am disappointed, since he could not manage to spend a half hour with Curtiss Reed Jr., executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, to better understand the question of color in the USA. Curtiss had explained to me in an interview the process of recognizing one was unconsciously unskillful, progressing through a stage of becoming consciously unskillful, and then to being consciously skillful. I wonder if Bernie thinks he can do away with all that, and simply legislate fairness?

Read more of this Column

 

Feature  Selected Letters

Meeting Mrs. Roosevelt


You may have seen an earlier post from a month or so when I was reminiscing about Eleanor Roosevelt visiting our school in Collingswood NJ in 1962- the year she passed away. I was nearly finished 9th grade, and I remember her like I just met her yesterday. She was absolutely magnificent in her flowy brown dress, tilted hat, and coordinating sensible low heeled shoes. Her energy was enormous and her voice seemed to shake the rapters in the school gymnasium, as she talked about the pursuit of Peace through cooperation and service (at least that what my heart remembers)! The story goes that when she arrived, she needed to use the ladies room, which had been gussied up and locked before her visit. Somehow, the key got misplaced, and she had to use the filthy boys room!! She took it all in stride! The teacher who'd made all the arrangements was mortified!  Elizabeth J. Hill Read more reader’s Letters ➤
 

Column Post Oil Solutions  A column by Tim Stevenson

“Keep it in the Ground” Campaign Launch Event

 

As part of its involvement with 350.org’s “Keep it in the Ground” campaign, Post Oil Solutions and the Climate Change Cafe will host a simulcast of this project’s major launch event on Thursday, September 10, 7:00 PM at 118 Elliott Street, Brattleboro (the former sight of the laundromat).

 

Originating from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the event will be live streamed and will include such climate notables as Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein, as well as other voices from the global movement.


The “Keep it in the Ground” campaign will shape much of 350.org’s work through the critical gathering of world leaders at this December’s COP 21 conference in Paris, where it is hoped that decisive actions will be taken to substantially reduce global warming. The idea is to use the September 10 launch to build up a clear global narrative and kick off the sprint to Paris.

 

The campaign is envisioned as having a number of actions and events that lead up to and beyond Paris, including a National Day of Action on October 14, in which local organizations will call out leaders that have blocked or failed to act to address climate change, and a Mass Mobilization in April, 2016 to demand a Just Transition of 100% clean energy for all.

  Read more of this column

 

A few notes on Photo of the Day — Tuesday 18th August

BBC Radio feature Vermont Views Columnist


 


With leading British naturalist Professor Alan Rayner - who is currently President of Bath Natural History Society. Alan is also a visual artist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Plus a visit to the wonderful award winning Radstock Museum — which has a few ideas we could incorporate here.


Click the link below


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02yg2lf#play


Alan appears at about 35 minutes into the program and speaks for about 25 minutes.


He talks about the importance of getting out into nature directly, rather than taking things in from the TV, and also the philosophy of Natural Inclusion.

 

Column  Vermont Diary

Lake Shame-Poo. Where are they? And Bad Bernie.


A VPR report spoke of the difficulties of keeping Lake Champlain clean since the watershed area is some 17 times larger than the lake itself — per area, one of the largest in the world.


What was somewhat glossed were 50 years of dumping raw sewage into it, by permission of the state, and ‘agricultural run-off’ which as we all know means inorganic fertilizers largely manufactured by a company whose first letter begins with M. Read more of this Column


An A-musing Life  A column by Nanci Bern

License to Frill


Welcome folks! Come on in! Don’t trip on the way down to our subterranean Cave of Narrative Notions. Careful now, don’t slip on something you didn’t see. Those can be the most obvious banana peels around. We hope you enjoy your time here.


Straight ahead is Heart Hollow. It has been said that our hearts are our centers. All radiates from this thumping thing that stirs through joy, sadness, awe and well, by anything else that passes its way.  While this ‘center’ concept might be up for debate these days; we choose to remain faithful to the classics, hence the placement. So come on in and smell the coffee or the flowers as they say. Yup, we offer you a richly aromatic rose or a ‘cuppa Joe’ for those who find heartwarming depth in the bean. Read more of this Column


Love In Action  A column by Elizabeth Hill

The Language of Form


In the late 80’s, I was teaching at my alma mater, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. One class was sophomore figure modeling in which there were approximately twenty-four students. They were working from a live female model, doing a clay study of her torso, neck, and head. I talked with each student individually, so it some time to get around the room.


Eventually, I came to a young man whose last name was Nguyen- a name as common in Vietnam as Smith is in the states. He was about 19 years old, and had no detectable accent that I can now recall, other than a typical Philadelphia one. He seemed like most other students in their early and unsure years in college, with a bit of what Philly kids would call “ad-di-tude”. Read more of this Column


Column  Consolations of History  Martha M Moravec

STEALING THE SPIRIT OF LIFE


They stole a statue, a two-foot leaden figure of a boy, from a fountain on the grounds of the Brattleboro Retreat. They stole cemetery urns. They scaled local barns and steeples in pursuit of weathervanes, which, in the mid 1970s, had become valuable collector’s items and could fetch high prices from antique dealers. They took a peacock weathervane valued at several hundred dollars from a Retreat building. They took a prized ox weathervane from the George Thomas farm on Putney Road.


And on September 9 1974, they stole “The Spirit of Life.” 


She is a lady, an angel to some, a goddess with wings whose flowing robe, right upraised knee and arched foot endow her with a stirring sense of motion and grace. For 50 years she stood atop a five-foot high granite fountain base set in the middle of a pool in front of the Holstein Fresian building at the south end of Main Street.


In darkness, members of a clearly organized ring climbed the fountain, dismantled the piece of lead caulking and the copper wire pipe holding her in place and handed the 300-pound statue to accomplices standing below. Read This Article


Column  O Citoyen!  Robert Oeser

   Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast  Report   

The Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP)

Kate O’Connor, Chairperson    


The 19 member panel includes six citizen representatives, two Entergy reps, representation from the  Vermont agency and department heads as well as reps from NH and MA.  Since it’s organizational meeting last September 14th, it has met regularly, more often than the legislatively mandated quarterly meetings.  Kate acknowledged Martin Langeveld, of Vernon, also a citizen member of the panel, and elected Vice-Chair.


The panel’s  purpose, succinctly put, is that it can tell VY what to do; just they don’t have to do it. It is a mechanism for shining the light on what is happening at VY and the panel can advise the Legislature.  Read This Article


Column  Old Lady Blog  Toni Ortner

January 19, 1993 — Four Part Poem


I.

Montauk, Long Island, Atlantic Terrace Motel

a shadow passed over in the morning mist

the angels   the divas  the spirits  the sacred.


Snug in our bed a bottle of gin and Blake on the nightstand

we recited Walt Whitman

browning our bodies to perfection on the empty beach.

It seemed so simple in love with love.

Clever words sliced air like shining scimitars.

Read more of this column


Column Post Oil Solutions  A column by Tim Stevenson

“Keep it in the Ground” Campaign Launch Event

 

As part of its involvement with 350.org’s “Keep it in the Ground” campaign, Post Oil Solutions and the Climate Change Cafe will host a simulcast of this project’s major launch event on Thursday, September 10, 7:00 PM at 118 Elliott Street, Brattleboro (the former sight of the laundromat).

 

Originating from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the event will be live streamed and will include such climate notables as Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein, as well as other voices from the global movement  Read more of this column


Column The Great Adventure  Terri Kneipp

What Will Your Daughters See?


Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Rapunzel. These were the females from my childhood. Beautiful creatures waiting on their prince to rescue them, riding off into a bright, safe future free of the past, living on love and the minor conveniences that came with marrying the prince. Always the victims of some despicable, bitter stepmother or single woman. Did I expect to be rescued and run off to live in a land far away? No. Did I grow up thinking I didn’t have to work hard, be responsible and be prepared to fight my own battles? NO, certainly not! But…in reality, I wanted to get married, have children, be a caretaker, that’s just who I am.  Growing up I didn’t hear stories about strong, courageous women extremely often. Instead, I saw them. Read This Column


Column  Open Mind  Offie Wortham

Weapons and Violence in America


Summer has just begun and already the outbreak of violence in America is staggering and disturbing.   In some communities it seems as though the last 50 years of efforts and progress in community relations haven't happened yet.  At such a time, one looks everywhere on earth for reasons and solutions.  

 

As an example, Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of gun ownership in the world. Every household is part of their country's national militia. Machine guns and instructions for their use are available to all adults in their homes. There is hardly any crime and very few murders in Switzerland.  

 

So I ask, is gun ownership the cause of violence in our communities? Read This Column


Column  In Between  Julia Ferrari

The Key, the Lock, & the Door



What opens our hearts & minds to forward motion? Why do we grip so tightly to the things of our past, those things that recall those everyday moments of a fleeting eternity, those moments of our lives distinctly remembered in certain objects through our mind and emotions. These are the things that when caught lightly between our hands have a presence that settles its wings in rare stillness.


I have been struggling with issues surrounding the entry to my life, quite literally, as the latch on my door became loose after the brittle winter and I had to lift it for it to properly close. What to do? As I hunted for answers and a new working device at my local hardware store, I was faced with the dilemma of change, —change because the new knobs and locks use different shaped keys. And this key I simply could not change. Read This Column


Column  Untitled Work  Mac Gander

Scorpion Bowls


John and I want to watch the basketball game so we move from our table over to the bar at the Asian place—he calls it the bomb-shelter, and it is, in a way, he’s shy socially and he likes safe places—and there are these two guys sitting at the end of the bar, obviously working guys, making their way through Scorpion Bowls, which is the easiest way to get tanked up at the Asian, like nine bucks for a two-person drink but you can just do one of them yourself if you want, not something I have ever tried.


So these guys are getting tanked on Scorpions and this woman comes in, about my age, still kind of pretty but very thin and a bit haggard, and she has this way of keeping her short-cut auburn hair over her face so you can’t really see it, and she sits at the bar between us, these two groups of guys, and orders an astonishing amount of food—enough for at least four people.

Read This Column


World & US Energy News  A column by George Harvey

Around the World July 2015


World:

¶ A British company has announced plans for an array of unique marine turbines that can operate in shallower and slower-moving water than current designs. Kepler Energy says the turbines will eventually produce electricity more cheaply than off-shore wind farms. It hopes to install its new design in what is called a tidal energy fence, one kilometre long, in the Bristol Channel. [RTCC]


Read more of this column


Natural Inclusivity  A column by Alan Rayner

A summary for sceptics


1. Sadly, very few people can readily understand and appreciate natural inclusion, due to the prevalence of an abstract, definitive way of thinking and using language, which isolates subjects and objects from one another as independent entities

 

2. Recognizing the ecological reality that one thing cannot actually be isolated from anything else is a good place from which to begin to overcome this difficulty.

 

3. Next comes awareness of why, fundamentally, this ecological reality exists and how it is gravely and damagingly misrepresented by all kinds of thinking based on definitive logic, which treats material and immaterial presence either as mutually exclusive or as one and the same.

Read more of this column


Column  Archetypal Hippie Speaks  Jeri Rose

 Tripping Over Words


          I object to calling anyone black or white. I insist that these terms are not merely inaccurate, but divisive. Some of us are darker and some of us lighter shades of brown, but since light along with fair has too much positive meaning, I resort to the word pale that has an equal negativity that the word dark occasionally carries.


          I also object to certain narrowing of concepts. Thus, I am an "all lives matter" person who fully understands why a group formed calling out that dark, well, they say “black lives matter”.  Because the preponderance of violence against the darker people by the cops is a plague, I agree that those lives matter and am not disputing their statement when I say that all lives do. I am delighted that Bernie Sanders is calling for an end to institutional racism. I fought it by working for the EOP program in the university where a racism, more subtle than the bully tactics of the police, reigned. I was startled by the underhanded racism I encountered from the faculty. I was proud to see the success of the EOP program that enabled students to enter college who would not have met entrance requirements due to bad schools in the ghettos.

  Read This Column


Column  Chess  Phil Innes

In Memory Walter Browne (1949 - 2015)


It all happened so suddenly. The good old Walter Browne just finished a tournament. And died in his sleep. He was 66. And he was a great player who won 6 US Championships and many national and international tournaments. He was a fighter who fought not only with his opponents but also his regular time-scrambles. Mostly with success. We had a balance of 3-3 but in a very strange way. First he beat me three times and then I took my revange! He was a really colourful person and the only cowboy I saw in my life. It was very fine to read so many good words about him only after hours of his departure. He really deserved respect and honour.

    There is a story about him which is characteristic and even true. I was a witness.  (A tribute by Andras Adorjan)

Read This Column


Guest Article A FEAST OF WORDS

Christian McEwen

     From her titleWorld Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down

Images: Skye, ‘The Rough with the Smooth’ Alan Rayner

Isle Ornsay


The summer I was nine, my family stayed for two weeks on Isle Ornsay, a tidal island off the coast of Skye. It was a beautiful windswept place, with a tall white-washed lighthouse, two converted cottages, and a walled garden filled with brambles and wild roses. Soon after we arrived, our mother presented each of us with a cardboard-covered scrapbook filled with cloudy gray-blue pages.


“You can write in this,” she said, “or draw, or stick in postcards. I’ll show you how to press some flowers if you’d like.” 


The scrapbook has survived, and I turn the pages slowly, smiling at the shriveled corpses of Thrift and English Stonecrop, Ragged Robin, Tormentil, each one carefully labeled in an earnest, girlish hand. There are postcards too, bought with my weekly pocket-money: postcards of Isle Ornsay and Skye and “the ferry we came in,” plus a solitary Highland cow standing stolid and melancholy against a luridly tinted meadow. We had seen Highland cattle on our long drive from the Borders, our first ever.

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Op Ed  Jo Confino

Beyond capitalism and socialism: could a new economic approach save the planet?

 

A holistic approach to the economy is necessary to avoid social, environmental and economic collapse, according to a new report by the Capital Institute. To avoid social, environmental and economic collapse, the world needs to move beyond the standard choices of capitalism or socialism. That’s the conclusion of a new report released Wednesday by US think tank Capital Institute.


The non-partisan think tank argues that both systems are unsustainable, even if flawlessly executed, and that economists need to look to the “hard science of holism” to debunk outdated views held by both the left and the right.


Jan Smuts, who coined the term “holism” in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution, defined it as the “tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts”. For example, in the case of a plant, the whole organism is more than a collection of leaves, stems and roots. Focusing too closely on each of these parts, the theory argues, could get in the way of understanding the organism as a whole.

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Article  Curious Topics

Your Fortune and a Little Survey


It all started when my friend Rob Mitchell from Tennessee sent me a picture from his Summer vacation out West. I have a vague memory of these in England — but here’s the thing, has any reader actually used one, and can you remember your fortune?


Meanwhile here is a small selection from my researches where I discovered that there are even kits available so that you can make your own. The text may not match the images, but at least I could find the Mystic Zoltar below.


Verbal Fortune Teller - Mills Novelty Co, c. 1904 - One unique machine, perhaps the only extant version in the world, survives in a museum in Virginia City, Montana.


It features a recorded voice and eerie animatronics. "The 100-year-old fortune teller was an extremely rare find. Instead of dispensing a card like Zoltar, the Gypsy would actually speak your fortune from a hidden record player. When you dropped a penny in the slot, her eyes would flash, her teeth would chatter and her voice would come floating from a tube extending out of the eight-foot-tall box.  Read More Curious Topics


Article  If You Lived Here

Paul Zaloom & Puppets in the Green Mountains

 

Renowned puppeteer, filmmaker, performance artist, and political satirist Paul Zaloom will perform his hit White Like Me: A Honky Dory Puppet Show at this year's Puppets in the Green Mountains festival. Zaloom will be recognized by many as the Bread & Puppet Domestic Resurrection Circus ringmaster. Well-known for his long-running CBS series Beakman’s World, Paul has garnered wide popularity and national acclaim for countless projects over the course of his illustrious career. Performances of White Like Me will take place on September 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. at the New England Youth Theatre. Additionally, Zaloom will teach an exclusive workshop in object theater on Tuesday, September 15 from 7-9 p.m. at Brattleboro's newest wheelchair-accessible venue: 118 Elliot Space.  Read This Article


Article  If You Lived Elsewhere

Vegetarians — A World Survey





INDIA According to the 2006 Hindu-CNN-IBN State of the Nation Survey, 31% of Indians (over 350 million people) are vegetarians, while another 9% consume eggs. Among the various communities, vegetarianism was most common among the Jain community and then Brahmins at 55%, and less frequent among Muslims (3%) and residents of coastal states. Other surveys cited by FAO and USDA estimate 20%–42% of the Indian population as being vegetarian. These surveys indicate that even Indians who do eat meat, do so infrequently, with less than 30% consuming it regularly. Read This Article


Article  Weekly Feature

A Lightning App


Of all the ‘features’ of current software I sometimes wonder if anything much has happened since the first PCs except that things now go faster and cost the same. Here is one application which seems actually useful, and suggested by George McNamara. It is a real time lightning map, locally and round the world.

http://www.lightningmaps.org/realtime?lang=en or try lightningmaps.org


If you zoom in on a storm you can see the sound wave of a particular lightning occasion expanding across your landscape. The illustration above is over Guilford, Vermont.


Or you can take a look at the big picture and see what is happening in Kansas, which seems to be the worlds largest lightning strike zone. I think the yellow dots indicate lightning and the red dots indicate a ground-strike. Read more of this Feature


Article  Monthly Feature

NORTHERN TRIANGULATION


By Alan D.M. Rayner



Poems and reflections written during a holiday visiting Southport, Dalbeattie and Ashington, June 23rd – July 2nd  2015

  Read This Article


Feature  Appreciating Art — in the eye of the beholder

Charles Monette

A new feature series where local citizens visit a gallery, make notes on items they like, and also say which one they would take home, and why. Hosted by Vermont Artisan Designs, of Main Street, Brattleboro.


The Current Beholder is Charles Monette

Charles is a writer who lives in Brattleboro


See he beholder’s selections and which work they would take home ➤


Feature  Selected Letters

Meeting Mrs. Roosevelt


Phil- You may have seen an earlier post from a month or so when I was reminiscing about Eleanor Roosevelt visiting our school in Collingswood NJ in 1962- the year she passed away. I was nearly finished 9th grade, and I remember her like I just met her yesterday. She was absolutely magnificent in her flowy brown dress, tilted hat, and coordinating sensible low heeled shoes. Her energy was enormous and her voice seemed to shake the rapters in the school gymnasium, as she talked about the pursuit of Peace through cooperation and service (at least that what my heart remembers)! The story goes that when she arrived, she needed to use the ladies room, which had been gussied up and locked before her visit. Somehow, the key got misplaced, and she had to use the filthy boys room!! She took it all in stride! The teacher who'd made all the arrangements was mortified!


Elizabeth J. Hill  Read more reader’s Letters ➤


Feature  Monkey’s Cloak

RELATIVITY

Offie C. Wortham


A scream shatters the air, followed by

the breaking of glass and gun shots.

A baby cries, for parents or guardians preoccupied elsewhere,

entertaining drunken and drugged friends.

Foul-mouthed and forgotten children play in the streets—darting

between fire trucks racing to false alarms.

Police cars have gone insane

racing through red and yellow lights.

...


Read more of this and other reader’s poems


Feature  Write On !

Liar from Vermont

Laura C. Stevenson


Liar from Vermont is available nationwide as of July 1, 2015


ST. JOHNSBURY, Vermont – Voyage, an imprint of Brigantine Media, announces the release of Liar from Vermont by Laura C. Stevenson. Liar from Vermont (ISBN: 978-1-9384064-2-3, trade paper, 185 pages, $14.95) will be available nationwide July 1, 2015.

Peggy Hamilton is the third daughter in a Midwestern academic family that summers in Vermont. But in Peggy’s imagination, she is from Vermont—from the hill farm across the way, with its rhythms of milking, haying, and working horses. The ten interlocking stories of Liar from Vermont follow Peggy’s quest for belonging: to a family, to a time, and to a place. Set in the mid-1950s-’60s, she witnesses the irrevocable change in her beloved state whose mountains are becoming ski areas and whose farms are giving way to villages of second homes. Liar from Vermont is a poignant portrait of a girl who sees the truth she embellishes all too clearly, and who learns that no amount of skill can make her stories of the people she loves turn out the way she wants. Read This and other Writing Features


Special Feature  “Virtually There” The South-West of England Coastal Path

Part 5 — The Lizard

On the way around the Cornish Coast on the National Trust Footpath we have arrived from Mount’s Bay at The Lizard, the most southerly point in England


The Lizard (Cornish: An Lysardh) is a peninsula in southern Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The most southerly point of the British mainland is near Lizard Point at grid reference SW 701,115. The Lizard village, is the most southerly on the British mainland, and is in the civil parish of Landewednack; the most southerly parish. The valleys of the River Helford and Loe Pool form the northern boundary, with the rest of the peninsula surrounded by sea.The area measures approximately 14 miles (23 km) x 14 miles (23 km). The Lizard is one of England's natural regions and has been designated as national character area 157 by Natural England. The peninsula is known for its geology and for its rare plants and lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park. Read This Article


Feature  100 Years Ago 1915

Birth of a Nation


The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith co-wrote the screenplay (with Frank E. Woods), and co-produced the film (with Harry Aitken). It was released on February 8, 1915. The film was originally presented in two parts, separated by an intermission. It was the first 12-reel film in America.

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Feature  Overheard

We are a dying breed


According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read.


The current literacy rate isn't any better than it was 10 years ago. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (completed most recently in 2003, and before that, in 1992), 14 percent of adult Americans demonstrated a "below basic" literacy level in 2003, and 29 percent exhibited a "basic" reading level. Read This Column


Feature  REAL FOOD !

Making Spaghettios


We all know what they are, but here is the question, how do you make them?


The manufacturer Campbells recent recalled 15 million pounds of them containing meatballs.


More than 150 million cans of SpaghettiOs are sold each year, many of which are consumed by children.


A woman reports that much to the bemusement of her traditional Italian grandmother. “I remember her once picking up a can, reading the label, and saying to me, “This is NOT food.””


The answer is obviously to make them at home, and here’s how Read More Of This Article


Feature  What Are You Reading?

Being read by Laura Stevenson


Review of Andrew Smith, 100 Sideways Miles.  Simon and Schuster, 2014.

 

Sixteen-year-old Finn Easton feels he's an alien – perhaps a product of the chaotic universe through which he has figured that the earth careens at 20 miles a second, but certainly an outsider in Burnt Mill Creek, California where he lives with his family. Finn attributes this sense of alienation to being "trapped" in Lazarus Doors, the science fiction cult classic written by his father, who has given Finn's name and identifying characteristics to the book's major character. In fact, however, the major influence in his life is a "ridiculous" accident that literally re-shaped him:  a dead horse slid off a truck that was carrying it across a bridge to the knackery, and it fell 300 feet (5 seconds down in a world moving at 20 miles a second = 100 sideways miles) into the canyon where Finn and his mother were walking. Finn's mother was killed, his back was broken, and he spent the next two years in the hospital, emerging with a re-constructed spine, an odd scar, no memory of his life before age seven – and epilepsy, which doctors hoped he might outgrow. He hasn't outgrown it.

  Read More of this Review Feature ➤


Feature  StudioONE

‘The Plains Indians,’ America’s Early Artists, at the Met

Photography by

Marnie Rogers


This show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes about 130 pieces of some of the earliest surviving art by Native Americans. Extracts From A New York Times Review:— Some of the earliest surviving art by native North Americans left America long ago. Soldiers, traders and priests, with magpie eyes for brilliance, bundled it up and shipped it across the sea to Europe. Painted robes, embroidered slippers and feathered headdresses tinkling with chimes found their way into cupboards in 18th-century London and Paris, and lay there half-forgotten. Now, in “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, some of those wondrous things have come home. Read This Feature


Feature  StudioTwo

Dominic Koval


July at GALLERY TWO, Vermont Artisan Designs, Brattleboro

Now and again an exhibit is absolutely stunning! Here is the work of just one artist among 30 currently featured.


Dominic Koval has created these wonderful relief sculpture. one stunning image after another. He lives and works in Northern Vermont See More Of This This Feature


Feature  STUDIO3

STROLLING WITH BERNIE 2015


A photo essay of Brattleboro’s Annual event

I managed to get several photos of Bernie Sanders which is harder than it might seem, since he walks very quickly and now on the campaign trail he is surrounded by other photographers. Not that he was as much campaigning this year as just showing up, which he does every year. This is a tritone image — another 40 images of the rest of the parade, one which attracts 50,000 spectators per year, are on view at the STUDIO3 page.


See Brattleboro’s very own Dairy Godmother, and New Orleans Brass Band, plus all the usual suspects See More Of This This Feature


Feature  Brattleboro Skyline

4th of July Parade 2015




25 Photos with captions from Brattleboro’s 4th of July Parade, 2015


Read This Feature

 

Love In Action  A column by Elizabeth Hill

The Language of Form


In the late 80’s, I was teaching at my alma mater, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. One class was sophomore figure modeling in which there were approximately twenty-four students. They were working from a live female model, doing a clay study of her torso, neck, and head. I talked with each student individually, so it some time to get around the room.


Eventually, I came to a young man whose last name was Nguyen- a name as common in Vietnam as Smith is in the states. He was about 19 years old, and had no detectable accent that I can now recall, other than a typical Philadelphia one. He seemed like most other students in their early and unsure years in college, with a bit of what Philly kids would call “ad-di-tude”.


But when I saw what he’d created with the clay, I started unexpectedly to weep. It was like I’d been punched deep in my solar plexus and heart at the same time. The form he’d made was somewhat feminine in shape, but had very little to do visually with the model he was studying. It was a large, lumpy mound, with a smaller mound atop of it. After composing myself, and reassuring him that all was well, I said, “It’s my job here to teach you how to replicate in clay the forms you see in the model. However, I’ve learned that when forms trigger in me the emotional reaction you just witnessed, I must respect that form. I don’t want you to change anything you’ve made here. I can’t tell you why- only that this form is important to you somehow. I want you to cast it into a permanent material exactly as it is.”


He was understandably surprised and, I think, a bit embarrassed that I’d singled out his work in this way. He laughed nervously, and said something like, “Yea, OK.”


I kept after him the rest of the semester until he finally agreed to sign on for my upcoming mold-making class the following term. Reluctantly, he did attend the class, completing a mold and then a plaster cast of the original creation. During that class, he told me that his family had escaped Vietnam through what had come to be known as “the killing fields” of Cambodia. He was three years old at that time, and dangerously ill. His family and others had then fled Cambodia on an over-crowded boat, and ended up in Philadelphia. Though he baled on the class before the semester’s end, I let him be because I knew he had his creation for keeps.


One day, three years later, he came into my class, holding an envelope in his hand...

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Feature  100 Years Ago 1915

Birth of a Nation


The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith co-wrote the screenplay (with Frank E. Woods), and co-produced the film (with Harry Aitken). It was released on February 8, 1915. The film was originally presented in two parts, separated by an intermission. It was the first 12-reel film in America.


The film chronicles the relationship of two families in the American Civil War and Reconstruction era: the pro-Union Northern Stonemans and the pro-Confederacy Southern Camerons over the course of several years. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth is dramatized.


The film was a commercial success, though it was highly controversial owing to its portrayal of black men (some played by white actors in blackface) as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women, and the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan (whose original founding is dramatized) as a heroic force.. There were widespread African-American protests against The Birth of a Nation, such as in Boston, while thousands of white Bostonians flocked to see the film.  The NAACP spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign to ban the film. Griffith's indignation at efforts to censor or ban the film motivated him to produce Intolerance the following year.


The film is also credited as one of the events that inspired the formation of the "second era" Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in the same year. The Birth of a Nation was used as a recruiting tool for the KKK. Under President Woodrow Wilson it was the first American motion picture to be screened at the White House, although in 1914 the Italian film Cabiria had been shown on the White House lawn.


Griffith's innovative techniques and storytelling power have made The Birth of a Nation one of the landmarks of film history. In 1992, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. 


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An A-musing Life  A column by Nanci Bern

License to Frill




Welcome folks! Come on in! Don’t trip on the way down to our subterranean Cave of Narrative Notions. Careful now, don’t slip on something you didn’t see. Those can be the most obvious banana peels around. We hope you enjoy your time here.


Straight ahead is Heart Hollow. It has been said that our hearts are our centers. All radiates from this thumping thing that stirs through joy, sadness, awe and well, by anything else that passes its way.  While this ‘center’ concept might be up for debate these days; we choose to remain faithful to the classics, hence the placement. So come on in and smell the coffee or the flowers as they say. Yup, we offer you a richly aromatic rose or a ‘cuppa Joe’ for those who find heartwarming depth in the bean.


By a miracle of destiny and engineering, you can feel the gentle beat of said heart through the gilded and moss cushioned benches. Why not through the ground under your feet, you ask? It was considered, but really, it’s kind of creepy, and for anyone with a hint of a balance issue there would be much tilting and falling. It is hard enough to keep steady with all the pulsing and pulling we have inside of us already; not to mention the extra staff we would require to have about. This is to be a nurturing nook not an obstacle course.  So have a seat, or a lie down on the grass, and let the sway of the gentle wind that seems to always be there just when one needs it, massage your spirit and your figure, a dashing one at that, before we move on.


Gather round and look to your left. We will now enter the Maze of Memories. There is a basket of rose colored glasses at the entrance for those who feel the need, but most people prefer the cup of emotional solace cocoa-shot of bourbon optional- that we offer. This is a still place; a place of dusky, grey velvet sky. Leaves colored by the seasons alight upon your shoulder and soft, bring you a memory.


All the memories you have are here. How, you ask? Some call it magic from another realm and find themselves a little spooked. But for those of you in the ‘know’, you know that what some call magic is a natural capacity of the natural consciousness of everything from our thoughts, to, let’s say, a plant’s inclination to share their qualities of their spirits when we ask. You know…the ability to cast spells. And this is how we have created this maze. Everything in here, the plants, the stones that line the walkways, even the sky above has been worked with in tandem by our ‘designers’ to dip into your inner chasms and show you what you need to see. You do remember the disclaimer you signed, right? What a treat to re-see your favorite old toy or a day in high school that was actually not noxious with angst.

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