T.o.C. & Addendum from the Editor-in-Chief

Here is a Table of Contents for the current Other Letter:


This is a blog.  I am its founder, and EiC.  I also have editors covering the political scene, writing columns on world affairs, I have a divinity editor, along with a staff of columnists solely covering Hollywood and famous actresses.

As you would imagine, the production values are phenomenal, as are the costs of producing just one issue.  Yet, the entire squad long ago agreed we would never charge a penny (no heckling, please), so we are deeply in hock.

Just kidding, I am the sole writer, coder, and researcher.  I wear many hats.  If you like this blog (I really hate that word, I’ll tell you), tell a friend.  If you don’t, please do not hire — never mind...

Every facet of religion and politics is covered here.  Just kidding, but I do raise some unusual points.  If you are not an adventurous reader, or you are a Republican, you may want to read something else.


In my book, The Other Letter is the best value over any website worldwide.  This is not an unsubstantiated claim: I do not accept advertising, I do not represent special interests, unlike the U.S. Congress, and I do not charge any fee to read my ideas.

Call it what you will, but I have been doing this since 2004, and as a retiree, this is my vanity project (although I did have hopes for this to be an author’s platform, as this blog is incorporated).

I get fifteen readers every day.  That’s not many, I know, but if I get one person to think more clearly about the World, and one’s just and righteous place in it, I have succeeded, wouldn’t you agree?

I will say this: I do such a concise job expressing the Progressive viewpoint, dispatching many sacred cows, that many Right wingers are all over me, all day, every day.  To quote Celine Dion: “Regarde-moi.”


The Other Letter has a new hyphenate, forwarding domain, other-letter.com.


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The Wholly Unexpected Success of Oh, Carl

Movie Business Case Study: Oh, Carl.

Year of Release: 1992.

Genre: Regional Fare.

Locale: Upstate New York in a town called Whiteness.

Premise: An office secretary named Doris Deuce works at a car dealership, and dreams of getting back at her Jewish bosses for telling her to work the occasional weekend when the African American calls in sick.  The Black woman, who will work weekends, without pay differential, is named Ebony Honey.  Honey is an equal opportunity hire from Western New York.  Staff calls her the “import.”  After Doris meets Carl (he would often just drop into the dealership to chat with staff) they both plot to end all Jewish ownership in Whiteness, and beyond.  Doris becomes Mayor Deuce in a landslide promising the return, and upgrade, of old-fashioned upstate values, such as much greater availability of maple syrup in restaurants, groceries, and package stores.  The film ends with Doris and Carl, Nazi-saluting a stand of maple trees.

Credited Screenwriter: Doris LaDeuce, who was in fact a Nazi, ran for the Governor’s office in Montana, but did not win.

Film Commentary: Oh, Carl was a bit odd in that it showed Nazism in a very favorable light, with the Black character actress getting fired — after a campaign by Deuce — for looking at Doris menacingly; and the entire staff of the car dealership applauding as Ebony left for the last time.

Business Commentary: This movie, whlle never winning any awards, did much more than modest business across the Midwest, where, in limited distribution, it opened to 700 screens in forty markets.  Gate exceeded $50 million.  First Release: July 10th, 1992.  Re-release: November 23rd, 1992.  Cable: HBO carried this in moderate rotation, for eight weeks from January 2nd, 1993 to March 4th, 1993.


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Without Getting too Wordy

These are not dictionary definitions (although I did borrow from Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster), these are just words that are not often heard, and they have unusual connotations.


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Vernal/Autumnal Equinoxes; Daylight Hours; Hemisphere Info

Doesn’t that sound impressive?  Well, anyhow, here is the days until Spring (the Vernal Equinox), and the percentage of days with daylight hours less than today’s number of daylight hours (for the hemisphere having summer time).


Earth Day is April 22nd.  Why not celebrate with a non-biodegradable clamshell lunch container, farmed seafood, and a dairy cow burger?  Mother Nature just winked at you, it’s on the house.  Be a litter bug, we dare you...  4/17/24.

Even though Mother Nature has been suffering of late (who hasn’t noticed climate change these days?), we can all do our part to reverse the decline.  Take public transportation, don’t drive a gas-guzzler, drive a low or no pollution car, eat sustainable food, and never litter.

Support political candidates who back the same principles as you, ones that recognize climate change as a real issue that can be remediable by legislative restrictions on pollution.  4/20/24.


Moving path of totality is determined by Sun, Moon, or Earth.  Well, the Sun doesn’t move, and the moon doesn’t move appreciably over an hour, it revolves around the earth once in twenty-eight days.  The Earth revolves on its axis once every twenty-four hours, so the Earth accounts for the path of totality, the traciing of the shadow...

There were more planes flying overhead than usual, probably because the best place to see the eclipse would be by plane, at least if the skies were overcast, because you would be flying above the clouds.  Fortunately, they were not so overcast on Long Island during the day of the eclipse.  4/8/24.


Long Island had two mild earthquatkes today.  The most recent, eleven minutes ago, at approximately 6PM and twenty seconds.  God has a schedule to keep?  The first centered in Lebanon, New Jersey, and registered 4.8 on the Richter Scale (did the second originate from Jersey at exactly 6:00PM?)  Someone on the radio remarked about the eeriness of a full solar eclipse preceded by an earthquake.  4/05/24.


There will be a full solar eclipse of the Sun by the Moon, on Monday, April 8th, 2024.  The path of eclipse totality begins in Dallas at 2:42PM (adjust scroll bar of link for time and path of totality), and continues through Eastern Canada around 3:38PM.

I remember the last solar eclipse, in August of 2017.  The air cooled off temporarily — with the sun’s rays blocked, that can be expected; and birds suddenly flyed around, as if confused.

Please do not view this solar eclipse without glasses specifically manufactured to view solar eclipses (like astronomy company, Celestron, sells — I do not get paid for any Other Letter recommendations).  3/12/24.


A saros is the periodicity of a solar eclipse (an eclipse cycle), or when a full solar eclipse returns to a single location.  The Sun, Moon, and Earth, return to the same location after one saros.  This duration is eighteen years, and ten, eleven, or twelve days.  3/15/24.


2024 is a leap year.  This February has 29 days, not the usual 28.  Every four years is a leap year, every hundred years is not a leap year, and every four hundred years is a leap year.  Everyone got that?  Good.


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Parents, porn is the real problem...

Attribution: Although I am trilingual (actually quadrilingual, I speak Navajo),
the four translations here, are provided by translate.google.com.
The Other Letter, Inc. gets fifteen visitors a day.  The only ones worldwide, privvy to the truth.

Si no quiere que su hijo lea esto, existen aplicaciones de control parental para bloquear sitios web.
Si vous ne souhaitez pas que votre Junior lise ceci, il existe des applications de contrôle parental pour bloquer les sites Web..
If you don’t want your Junior to read this, there are parental control apps to block websites.
Plu noot gruw den ulda tak den noot eur grav pic, noot prud, noot nakt cee est de wist.


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...This Webzine Probably Deserves a MPAA PG Rating

If you don’t want your Junior to read this, there are parental control apps to block websites.

Some of the articles in this web log of personal experience are G-rated, some would be R-rated by certain cohorts, but mostly this is PG, without parental guidance, the site may be too adult for teenagers.  There is never any porn, although I have posted pictutes of cleavage in the currently out-of-commission Panthoen of Hollywood Women.  I do not approve of substance abuse, I am a child of the Sixties, I have seen the damage done.

I will say from the outset, Republicans may not like this site at all, because I am a registered Democrat, and I want my party’s candidates to be elected to office.  I have complimented Republicans, but not nearly as often as Repulbicans reading would hope.

Christians may not like this website as well, because I have a literal interpretation of the Bible.  I have discussed this in detail before: The Gospel According to Saint Luke, Chapter 24:39,41, states that Christ is “of flesh and blood,” and asking, “have you here any meat,” post-Crucifixion.  Jesus the Christ is not a spirit.  This does not sit well with many Christians, even though this is straight from the Holy Bible.  In my estimation, Christ is a good philiosopher, but not an immortal.  That’s my belief, you have your belief.

Anyhow, read something else, if this is not your interest.  You can block your teenagers from reading any website with parental controls.  Parents should have parental controls anyhow to block pornography, which is far worse than reading about Trump’s Muslim ban.

Sexy trumps sex here, tawdry sucks.


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Musical Notation

“Play some Dead...  Which Dead?  Friend of the Devil...


Led Zeppelin is perhaps the band played most often on radio in America.  Admittedly, Led Zeppelin has a deep catalog, but so does The Who, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and so on and on.  Has payola, pay to play, been eliminated in US radio?

Great Britain never had a payola scandal.  Is this because there, music like cream, rises to the top, without adulteration, without payouts from record execs?  And Britain does have a bigger music scene than America.  Every major act from the Beatles to the aforementioned Zeppelin and The Who, to Traffic and The Kinks, Yes and ELP, U2, the Pretenders, Elton John, and Cream, were founded in the UK, in the British Isles.

To quote Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones: “What can a poor boy do, ’cept to sing in a rock n roll band?”  Not to cast dispersions on the English economy, but America tends to be wealthier, and more into wealth, leaving poor boys like Jagger with little to do, except sing for the Rolling Stones.


Opening credits roll: Two deejays, jauntily-dressed saunter into Beezlebub Radio studios.  They are local legends of headbanging rock radio.  “A and N wants more Hindenberg,” as their secretary offers a small tin.  “Not today as to latter.”  The dynamic duo, the hit-makers take their seats.  “First caller?  No first caller.  Okay.  Hey, what is this, hey, hey...”


Rock stars have been known to do some really outrageous things on stage that critics have tried to crack down on.  Elvis Presley, for instance, shook his hips on stage, and this was considered very corrupting of youth.

Jim Morrison of the Doors took off his pants on stage.  To wit, David Crosby of Seventies super-group Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, said along the lines: If you need to do that to maintain audience attention, you don’t have much music to play, your act is more than weak, it’s anemic.

Alice Cooper, early 70s rock star, was said to have eaten a bat on stage.  Shocked concert-goers were later relieved to learn that it was not a bat, but a vole.  Mister Cooper’s biggest hit was School’s out for the Summer.

The song was banned on many school cafeteria PAs, because of the line “school has been blown to pieces.”  While reflecting the sentiments of the entire staff and student body of many lower learning institutions, it was considered to be just too much.  [Editor’s note: Alice Cooper ate a live chicken, Ozzy Osbourne was the one who ate a “live” bat.]

Speaking of music promoting juvenile subversion — and who doesn’t these days — there’s Brownville Station’s Smoking in the Boys’ Room.  And do not forget Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog with this infamous verse:

Ah, ah, child, way you shake that thing
Gonna make you burn, gonna make you sting
Hey, hey, baby, when you walk that way
Watch your honey drip, I can't keep away

Mr. Plant, Zeppelin frontman and lyricist, if you are reading this today (and I know you are not), what did you mean by that second line, let alone the fourth line?  Shaking, then burning and stinging, from what?  And are you referring to a child metaphorically, and not literally, as we hope?  I’m surprised this song was never banned on rock radio, by the FCC.  Just saying.


There are a few Billy Joel albums where one senses he is at the end of a recording contract, and just wants the record to be within spec, or acceptable entertainment.  I would say that Nylon Curtain is one that is somewhat lackluster, as is Storm Front, and River of Dreams.  The approach is more mechanical, and lacking genuine truths about the human condition, as well as being less inspired.  Ones that I feel Billy Joel truly shines are: The Stranger, 52nd Street, and The Bridge, in that order of musical excellence.


Jerry Garcia, the main creative force behind The Grateful Dead, had this to say about his band’s success: “Not everyone likes licorice, but the people who like licorice, really like licorice.”

While mostly potheads,† the Grateful Dead had the worst reputation in Seventies music, worse than even the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.  Mr. Garcia received a death threat, likely in response to his band’s reputation for bacchanalian decadence.

I don’t know, everyone seemed fairly polite to me.  I went three times to see the Dead, but I knew two guys from the third grade, who saw them over eighty times.

Searching for the Sound, My Life with the Grateful Dead, by Phil Lesh, the bassist of the Grateful Dead.  He eventually settled in Twelve Step for alcoholism.  Near stage, was “the Phil Zone,” near his monitors, where you could really pick out the bass.

(I don’t get any kickback for appreciating this band, or any other band, but did you ever wonder if payola is gone for good, no more Alan Freeds?)


My alma mater, Stony Brook University, has a very unusual history as a concert venue.  Before The Who, The Doors, and the Grateful Dead filled arenas, they filled the theater at the Stony Brook Union (a short walk from anywhere on campus).  Yes, that’s right, every major act played The Brook: Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Jefferson Airplane, Yes, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Chicago, Beach Boys, Allman Brothers, as well as Simon and Garfunkel.  Every act played The Brook.  They all did.

Both my mom and I attended Stony Brook.  I kinda missed out on this, I was a decade too late.  My mom was an upwardly-mobile housewife, who also get an SBU degree (in the early 70s), but who was not attending college to go to Dead shows after class...  Just saying.


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Jesus the Christ was not Crucified


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Taylor Swift is Interviewed by Satan

“Have a seat.”

“Where?”

“Is the one behind you okay?”

“Taylor, I have issues with you.  First off, we all know you as the b*tch that could.  You’re the darkest cat in all of music.  Mean and hungry.  You’re unflappable, too.”

“Okay, we’re off to a fast start.  Shoot.”

“Your latest album, I cannot even remember the name of it.”

Tortured Poets Department?”

“What gives?  I don’t get it.  Who’s tortured — poets, why?  Why are poets being tortured, and I don’t know about it?!  Why!!”

“Well, it’s my invention.  That’s why you haven’t heard of it.”

“So you’re tortured?  Be more explicit, please.  You’re throwing everyone off with this title.  Who’s torturing you?  Is it someone I know, or should know?  I do like torturing everyone.  I may start torturing you.  And Department, who’s running the show here, in this department, you or me, Mephistopheles?”

“Well, I thought of the title, and we ran it by a focus group, and they liked it as well.”

“I’m really not interested.  Now, the reviews have been middling, no, awful, may I quote?”

“Okay, go—”

“‘Worst Swift album since your debut, Taylor Sings Lounge Crooner Standards.’”

“I never dropped that album.”

“Hands over your head, Swift!”

“Huh?  I just worked out.”

“I said, hands over your head.  I am Satan, I enjoy telling mortals what to do.”

“I am Taylor, I have free will.”

“I am Satan, I bully, interrogate, boss everyone around, bait, ride, make life extremely difficult.  I confuse.  I obfuscate.  I instigate.  I agitate.  I terrorize.”

“That’s some rap sheet.”

“No, this is where you’re so wrong.  That’s some curriculum vitae.”

“That’s not a C.V., Satan, that’s bad karma, at best.”

“Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong.  Everything.  Let’s start with your catsuit on stage, tramp wear, I call it.”

“This is what dancers wear in the theater.”

“Who do you think you are — a dancer?”

“You’re giving me a major headache.  My manager said this interview would give me a new, market segment.”

“Wrong again, has-been.”

“I’ve had tough crowds before, but—”

“Mephistopheles has you under his spell.”

“No, you really don’t.”

“I shall riddle you this, Batgirl.””

“Hmm?  Oh, okay, if you insist, I’m Batgirl.”

“Okay, Batgirl.  My son, Damien, is in the audience.  He starts convulsing, because he’s just playing a joke on you.  Now, you don’t realize it’s a joke.  Do you stop your show, and come to his aid?”

“Yes.”

“No, you didn’t hear me, he’s Damien, he’s the son of Satan.  He wears all black, cornrows, smoking a joint.  Do you come to his aid?”

“Yes, I would.”

“No, you wouldn’t.  You’d spot an usher.  You’d point to Damien with your index finger, and throw your thumb over your shoulder.  Understood?  Again, this is what you would do.  You would not stop the show, and seek medical attention for Damien.”

“No, I would seek medical attention for Damien.”

“BUT HE IS THE F*CKING ANTICHRIST OKAY?  YOU LIKE EVIL THEN, ADMIT IT, YOU LIKE EVIL!!!”

“But he came to see my show.  He is a fan of mine, Satan.”

“You let evil enjoy your show?”

“Well, my music doesn’t cater to evil.”

“Go to hell, Swift, go to hell!!  You’re EVIL!!!”

“That was a loaded, trick question, wasn’t it?  But if someone gets violently ill, I would stop the show for them, your son, or anyone else.  If they were faking needing an ambulance, the crowd would get so P.O.’d the attention-grabber would have to leave early, and forfeit a three-hundred-dollar ticket.  A good time is had by all, Satan.  I’m SRO—standing room only.”

“Okay, the deal is this.  I have a business proposition for you.  Join me on the dark side, and rake in not only money, but power over pop-lovers everywhere.  And I do not have the time for pop nonsense, pop queens, got it?  Change your name to Petunia Mellowstock, because [ring, ring] — get this call — where’s my cell phone?  Oh, holy—yes?  Who the—”

“I am God, you leave Taylor alone, do you hear me?”

“No, I’m deaf.”

“Check the caller ID.”

“The.  Caller.  ID.  Hmm, eh-oh.  My phone says the caller is G.O.D., God.  Is this some kind of wicked joke?  If it is, I want in.  Who the—”

“Go back to your den, Beelzebub, devil in chief — now!”

“No, no way.  What are you going to do about that, God?...  I’m on fire!!  Knife attack!!  Drowning!!  Oh, mother of GOD!!!  AGH!!!!  Swifty, I am outta here.  Better luck next time, with your streaming content.  I’m burning alive!!!  STOP IT, YOU IMPOSTER!!!!  GOD?!!!  NOT HAPPENING—”

“Satan, don’t forget your cape.”

“You’ll hear from my lawyer, and so-called God will, too.  You’re a tough nut, Swift.”

[Door slams!]

“That was a close one.  You’re God?”

“Well, kinda, maybe, sorta.”

“You’re awfully humble for a God.”

“Staying in good form, I guess.  Well, I’ll get going.”

“You can stick around, if you’d like.  I made some chocolate chip cookies.”

“I’d like to, but I have to be somewhere.”

“Upstairs?”

“Upstairs?  Oh, no, I have to run by the grocery, and pick up some stuff.”

“Are you British?”

“I’m a little bit of everything.  How about you?

I’m Scottish, English, and German, mostly Scottish.”

“Bagpipes and kilts.”

“No, guitars and cardigans.”

“Sorry.”

“No, you’re good.”

“Well, gotta run along.”

“And save Gotham?”

“Hmm, kinda.”

“Maybe, sorta?”

“Good night.”

“Are you married?”

“No...  You look really good by the way.”

“Thanks for saving me from Satan.”

“You’re very welcome.”

“But that was just some trick, and Satan did some messed-up drug, right?”

“Yes, um, right.  Let me give you a call.”

“Huh?  Okay.”

“Hi, Taylor.  Guess who?”

“Oh LORD, Satan got the same caller ID!!!  Caller ID says GOD!!!  You’re GOD!!!!!!!”

“Have a good one.”

“Cookies?  Chablis?  Pop a cork?  Veuve Clicquot?  Stay—”

“It’s late, maybe we’ll meet again.  I want to take advantage of the traffic going home...”


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Selling Bitcoin Short (Versus Buying and Holding Long)

[The following is an op-ed.  I write op-eds, letters to the editor, for the Other Letter; and I do have an MBA, a Master of Business Administration.]

Everyone understands the bitcoin market for digital assets?  Sure, a company becomes a bookkeeper, a registrar, for bit (zeros and ones) coin, without the underlying faith and credit of any principality.  Bitcoin is money, or more realistically, a hopefully liquid substitute for money.

Most know by now that a bitcoin marketmaker is not much different than a casino in Monte Carlo, glamorous, yet only about the money.  Bitcoin is speculative “fun,” if gambling is your fun.

If you ask for the opinion on bitcoin of a market maker on the NYSE trading floor, people who live and die capital exchange, I would bet they have a negative view of bitcoin.  Paper currency used to be backed by silver, Silver Certificate issues.  That was abandoned in favor of backing money by your confidence in the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury.

I would take silver, but I’ll accept a U.S. government voucher, you won’t see me putting money into bitcoin.  Trump has stayed on the sidelines, even though he goes where the money is (if he could be brutally honest, and he cannot, I bet he would say the entire enterprise is frothy).  Senator Elizabeth Warren said today that laissez faire bitcoin markets need to be regulated just as any other financial market.

The acid test for a currency is, is it a store of value.  Hopefully, bitcoin is exchangeable for green bank script by the market maker specialist, or an investing, bit player.  Well, if I had a million dollars of bitcoin, I still could not buy an ice cream cone with it.  By the same token, if the dollar bill were to fail, we have reached the end times.  Bitcoin buyer beware: Too much paper profits, too much Monopoly money, and not legal tender.  Just saying.


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An Other View of the Cosmos and Nuclear Power...  “Huh?”

[This is a reprise of an article I wrote several years ago.]  The stars comprising the Winter constellation, Orion’s Belt are Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka.  These stars are 825.7, 1,359.0, and 918.8 light years from Earth, respectively.  A light year is the distance light travels in one year at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second).

In other words, when you see Orion in the night sky, the photons that your retina senses, left the Constellation of Orion in Medieval times, in the years 1,199AD, 665AD, and 1,106AD, respectively.  In a sense, you’re seeing history, cosmic history, before your eyes.

This is not really refutable — the extrapolation is simply based on well-established numerical constants — although almost impossible to believe.  If those three stars were much closer, say 50ly away, then the light photons would have left in 1974, which sounds much more plausible.  As a light source emanates from a point, it spreads wider, eventually dissipating in lumninosity.  Radial light diminishes in intensity (to darkness) over distance traveled, doesn’t it, yes?

The point being, these stars might be much closer than the 4,839,199,200,000,000 miles of the nearest one, when Alnitak distance from Earth is computed to be:

825 light years X 365 days per year X 24 hours per day X 60 minutes per hour X 60 seconds per minute X 186,000 miles per second = 4,839,199,200,000,000 miles
as determined by a light year of 186,000 miles per second.  This makes space travel to distant civilizations much more possible.

Of course, I might be wrong about the stars being closer than thought before, but I don’t see how.  The Inquisition tried to prohibit Copernicus’ conclusion that the Sun did not revolve around the Earth, but vice versa.  I just hope there isn’t an auto-da-fé in my future for judging a conclusion about the Heavens as heresy.

This is a seperate conjecture: How did Einstein arrive at 186,000 miles per second as the speed of light, before there were even refrigerators, let alone sophisticated astronomical equipment.  I turn on the light to a room, and I can sense that the light from the light bulb cannot travel anyhwere near that fast.

I am probably wrong, but his estimate for the speed of light sounds far, far too fast.  If Einstein’s determination of the speed of light is overestimated, and the light year determinations are held constant, than the constellations are much closer than originally perceived to be.


Speaking of a new, scientific possibility judged heresy, is nuclear energy even possible?  Can the most fundamental unit of solid matter like uranium be split in two?  Are there vast amounts of energy in small amounts of matter as the mass-energy equivalence maxim would dictate?

Yet only uranium could be used to harness the potential of this property, not potatoes?  Potatoes also have atoms.  At room temperature, you’d think that they possess similar kinetic energy.  A hot potato maybe hotter than uranium, yet I digress.

When Einstein wrote his Generalized Theory of Relativity, WWI, the war of the trenches, was well under way.  The casualties were catastrophic.  If a petrifying, super-weapon existed, there would be no more war.  Annihilation would be certain.  This mass-energy equivalence implied the existence of this horrifying super-weapon.  Otherwise, Hiroshima and Nagasaki amounted to Dresden fire-bombing.

Regardless, if atom-splitting is possible, then Long Island’s Shoreham nuclear power plant should have easily been built.  My theory, is that if you connect a light bulb at the output line of a nuclear plant, it will stay dim.  Nuclear energy projects are boondoggles.  One more point, Russia has the nuclear bomb, what is stopping them from leveling the Ukraine.  All’s fair in war, or are there gradations of war?  But what do I know, I just write a blog that gets ten readers a day...

One more aside, before the men in white coats (or navy blue jackets) arrive, endeavor today is predicated on money, making a buck.  Could Einstein have created wild theories, in part, to publicize his findings, and thus buttress his career in academia?  This may sound so disingenuous, and heartless, but hey, ultimatley, aren’t we all in it for a buck?  Economics is called the dismal science, see why?  Guess what I majored in at the Brook?


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Madge and Dougie Review Steely Dan’s Aja

Madge and Douglas are sitting in a somewhat spare kitchen in Peg, a suburb of Chicago.  There’s a video camera in front of them.  They’re wearing matching “Madonna, Madonna, Madonna,” t-shirts, his in red, hers in green.

“I’m Madge—”

“And I’m Douglas—”

“And we’re here to discuss the secret meanings behind Steely Dan’s Aja—”

“For all our Youtube friends—”

“Followers—”

“Yes, followers.  You complete my sentences.”

“Yeah.”

“We’ll come right out and say it—”

“We lost our jobs at a big tech company.”

“We tried to unionize.”

“C’mon, Dougie, our last day, we tried to set the employee cafeteria ablaze.”

“After our unionization efforts failed.”

“With our unemployment running out, we have branched into music appreciation Youtubes.”

“That’s right, Madge.  Okay, got my notes.  Let’s begin.  Aja was Steely Dan’s best album.  Can I say that, Madge?”

“You just did.”

“The Dan begins: ‘Up on the hill.’  Which hill is this?  The hill of Damocles?  Edinburgh has seven hills, maybe the Dan means one of those.”

“Dougie, it’s the Sword of Damocles, not the hill.  Peril at every turn?  I keep forgetting, you’re coding, not Engligh lit.”

“Peril at what?  Do you remember we worked on the Milkgate Proposal?  I brought over the spec, but we both had trouble with the nutritional labeling.  Remember that?”

“Yeah, I do.  And what was the gate in Milkgate?  Sure it was a dairy, but it was about linear programming cheese.  That’s the notes I got from you, linear programming cheese.”

“Madge, Mayhock Industries—”

“I remember them, we worked there twenty years—”

“They needed us to maximize Milkgate’s cheese recipe for flavor and, and, price.”

“That’s right, it was over priced, it was skim milk, and the profits were skimmed by local farmers, mind you.  Not a popular target, local farmers.”

“We opened the floodgates to Milkgate’s Milkgate, Dougie.”

“Wasn’t it like Watergate, kinda, wasn’t it?”

“It was.  It was, Dougie.”

“Too bad, all this we thought was under the table, was legal.”

“The local farmers were all legit.  So we got fired for scandalizing the cheese at Milkgate.”

“Hmm.  [Looks at notes.]  Angular banjoes, do you get this?  You read Ulysses.”

“Angular banjoes, no.  Give me another one.”

“Why do the people on the hill just don’t care, Madge?”

“They are on the hill, they are the chosen ones.  Got anything else?”

“Why Aja, and not the continent?”

“You mean, why not Asia?”

“Yeah.”

“Aja is a woman.”

“Quit while we’re ahead?”

“Yes, I got some food stamps left.  Can dinner be just soup broth?”

“Sure.  Youtube followers, see you next week for—”

“I think we said we’d do Stairway, talk about Stairway to Heaven.”

“Is that Beatles?”

“No, I think that’s Bread, Bread, the group, not the appetizer.”

“Bread is an appetizer?”

“Sure, c’mon, Dougie, before a meal?...”


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The Royal Cambridges Handling the Sprocketeers

Katherine, Princess of Wales, and William (Bill to his friends), often mingle with the townies far afield from Kensington Palace.  One recent Royal parade, this time to low-tech center Sprocket Shire, brought up a conflict they have faced.

There is a pocket or two of poverty (as there is anywhere else) in the far, far, North of Wales, near the Shire of Mopsweep.  The Royal parades are not always so happily greeted by the locals.  At Sprockets (its nickname, they drop the Shire), a few parade-goers did not embrace the spirit of Windsor greatness, that Kate and Bill evidence.  They pelted the Royal second-in-line to the throne with tomatoes (think Spain’s Tomatino Festival at harvest).

Said the ever so diplomatic Kate: “They did this to us last year, we enjoy Sprockets, but a few Sprocketeers don’t quite enjoy the celebration as much as others.  Before we returned to Sprockets, we set out pamphlets outlining proper appreciation of the Royal motorcade.  At Sprockets, we don’t leave the motorcade, we stay inside the limousine, and wave.”

Said Prince William, always the gentleman: “Most cities, we’re greeted warmly, but I don’t know, the Sprocketeers really don’t like these British pride events.  I’m saddened, we try to bring good will, and commerce, we’re ambassadors, but it’ll be good to get back to home base in London.”


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Trail Mix

“Most appreciated, Ma’am.”

“You ain’t ’round these parts, are you?”

“I’m up from Mayheco, by Texas way.”

“Is that so?”

“That be right.  What ’bout you?”

“Outta Cheyenne.”

“That’s a time getting here.”

“Sure was.  Injun territory.  Don’t appreciate cattle folk.”

“You don’t look like no wrangler to me...”

“I’m seeing, you is a dead man without a guide.  But this serves.”

“Stay along water.  Keep to the water.”

“I’d ask.”

“Ask what?”

“I travel well. Want to go along?”

“Where?”

“Canada.”

“I heard mighty cold far north. Can you find a town?”

“What year is it?”

“Hardly matters for me these days.  I would hash mark my bedpost.  1840 something.”

“I saw tracks and a coal burner.”

“Coal burner?”

“Moving up the line.  That’s where to be.  The towns by the rails.”

“Sure, the railway.  Where did you say you’re from, you new to railways?”

“Mayheco via Texas way.”

“To Nebraska?”

“Nebraska?”

“You got to Nebraska.  Right chere.”

“I just follow the empty towns.”

“There’s ghost towns all the way?  You got sheriffs through there hunting for bounty.  The only thing preventing them pulling the trigger on an out-of-towner is the specter of baby Jesus condemning them for blood money.  So, get through the Plains?  Think so?”

“See if I can make it.  Need a safe house for more than a night, good eats on the table, too...”

“Whatcha say you did for a living?  Wrastled cattle?”

“Ran the chuck wagon.  Also was a target-shoot carny, when the fair pushed through.  Then, I taught at a school for young women, the farmers’ daughters, in Wichita, although the students came from as far away as Omaha.”

“Like Bible reading?”

“Like that, spreading the word of the Lord, and how to sew, and cook.  Although, it was a finishing school, Wichita Finishing, not a church.  How to marry well, how to marry up, how to stay in his will, keep the farm.  The headmistress liked me, said I had a way with the students in my class.”

“I see why...  Did you have books, for your school?”

“No.”

“I’ve been to Hell, is Heaven possible?”

“Pardon — possible?”

“Is Heaven—”

“Where are you from?  No one gets to this part of the Niobrara Trail, the Missouri even, without a pack, without companion.  Who are you?”

“Just looking for a better life.  Heaven?”

“Huh?”

“Is Heaven possible?”

“Well, yeah, certainly.  I mean, if you live a just life, you spend eternity in Heaven.  Well, do you believe in Heaven?”

“I do.”

“Where is Heaven?”

“Right here, right now...  You know how to be nice to people...  Hmm.  Poker stare.  Much ado?”

“What the heck!  That’s William Shakespierre.  Who are you?!”

“I am your neighbor.  I’m just an Injun, as you say.”

“Oh my god!!  What about, “up from Mayheco”?”

“If I say I am Cherokee, that is trouble.”

“But you know European—”

“I’ve learned your ways, your life.  What am I now to you?  I am a Cherokee.”

“Damn, that changes everything, but changes nothing at all.”

“You smile rarely.”

“I’m happy now...”


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Medical Advice from a Layman

Can we talk about health?
Attribution: Health Jade.

Body-mass index chart

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Indispensible Other (Got It, Flaunt It)


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Just Saying (or Meditational Rallying Points, You Decide)

Attribution: Although I am trilingual (actually quadrilingual, I speak Navajo),
the four translations here, are provided by translate.google.com.
The Other Letter, Inc. gets fifteen visitors a day.  The only ones, mature enough worldwide, privvy to the truth.

Si no quiere que su hijo lea esto, existen aplicaciones de control parental para bloquear sitios web.
Si vous ne souhaitez pas que votre Junior lise ceci, il existe des applications de contrôle parental pour bloquer les sites Web..
If you don’t want your Junior to read this, there are parental control apps to block websites.
Plu noot gruw den ulda tak den noot eur grav pic, noot prud, noot nakt cee est de wist.


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Who won?

Ginette Reno leading the Canadian National Anthem.

Ginette Reno leads the Canadian National Anthem before a Montreal-New York hockey game.


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