Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pickle; Opinion; Another favorite; Heart wasn't in it; Short people; Iditarod; Pickled, Vollmer's recipe

a NY Times video:

/ Same Story

Nature works its plan.

Across from us at The Odd Fellows Hall
aka: The Putney
the downtown tableau plays out.

In the tree at the Five Points in front of the Clarke,
framed by the arm of a street-light
with a car whizzing past

a goshawk stalks its prey -
a pigeon in our birdseed tray
outside our window
minding its own business

finds itself flying
not under its own power
in the claws and beak
of a Greater Strength than itself

Some would say, "What do you expect
living downtown?"



Forwarded by Rev./Dr. Tom Bentz
M. El-Bermawy (@mbermawy) is vice president of marketing atWorkZone, a project management software company in Philadelphia.

ON NOVEMBER 7, 2016, the day before the US election, I compared the number of social media followers, website performance, and Google search statistics of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  I was shocked when the data revealed the extent of Trump’s popularity. He had more followers across all social platforms and his posts had much higher engagement rates.  I noticed that the second most popular article shared on social media in the last six months with words “Donald Trump” in the headline,  “Why I’m Voting For Donald Trump”, had been shared 1.5 million times. Yet that story never made it into my Facebook newsfeed. I asked many of my liberal New York friends, and they all said they never seen it.

The global village that was once the internet was has been replaced by digital islands of isolation that are drifting further apart each day. From your Facebook feed to your Google Search, as your experience online grows increasingly personalized, the internet’s islands keep getting more segregated and sound proofed. The internet that helped elect Barack Obama in 2008 and was used during Arab spring in 2011 is different from the internet that led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
According to Pew Research, 61 percent of millennials use Facebook as their primary source for news about politics and government, but Facebook refuses to acknowledge its identity as a news source. Rather, it maintains its focus on boosting ad serving volume and engagement rates.
Our Facebook feeds are personalized based on past clicks and likes behavior, so we mostly consume political content that are similar to our views. Without realizing it, we develop tunnel vision. Rarely will our Facebook comfort zones expose us to opposing views, and as a result we eventually become victims to our own biases.
As a liberal New Yorker, a few months ago my Facebook feed was filled with #ImWithHer or #FeelTheBern content in addition to some ‘Obama is the greatest’ headlines, which I was happy to see. I engaged with the content, and I was siloed as a result. When we moved to the debates my feed turned into discussions of Trump scandals and why we should all be with her. I only saw articles from liberal media such as the New York Times and Washington Post.  While I know it’s important to be skeptical of the media, even a critical eye grows less keen the more it is ambushed with one-sided propaganda.
I’m convinced that Clinton was the better option, but I haven’t seen enough content on my Facebook feed that seriously challenged my beliefs. I often find myself going out of my way to read sites like Fox News, which never appeared on my newsfeed even though it gets more than 65 million monthly visits and millions of social shares.
Our digital social existence has turned into a huge echo chamber, where we mostly discuss similar views with like-minded peers and miserably fail to penetrate other social bubbles that are often misled by fear and xenophobia. This is especially damaging because peer views and referrals are the strongest, most convincing form of marketing.
As a Muslim, an African Arab, and an immigrant, I will probably be among those most impacted by Trump’s presidency, but I refuse to believe that half of America is racist. I think that many Trump voters would have re-thought their vote if they had heard the views of close friends who would be directly impacted by Trump policies. When Fox News tells me how awful a president Obama has been, it is different from my friend in Michigan who tells me how life under Obama has been getting worse and why he seeks change.
Facebook is not alone in this. Google also filters the search results based on your location and previous searches and clicks. The social bubbles that Facebook and Google have designed for us are shaping the reality of your America. We only see and hear what we like. Until the election results, a little more than half of us didn’t realize that the other half of the country was frustrated enough to elect Trump. We all thought that Clinton would easily crush Trump this election, given how much crazy shit the guy has said. This includes polls by mathematicians who must have developed their biases somewhere.
Many real-life communities are already segregated by color, class, political, and cultural views. Facebook, Google and other networks are our online communities, and they are similarly segregated. We need to remind ourselves that there are humans on the other side of the screen who want to be heard and can think and feel like us while at the same time reaching different conclusions. The internet did a better job of fostering cross community conversation eight years ago when Obama was first elected. America was better off because of it.


A favorite person

Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.

who has 'paid off' for us....

daughter Erin
book person
cat lover, with Rory.

U. Archivist
Lawrence University
Appleton WI


My heart wasn't in it

Scroll down to 'soldier'


Shrimp boats is a-comin'

El Presidente needs a tie clip
for that long tie he wears;

it does not fool us.

"Now you might feel just a little prick.




Above is an image off the net advertising the 2017 Iditarod grueling dog sled race to be held in March.
Our Seattle FILSON outerwear gear catalog came the other day.

In it was shown a full page picture of dog-sledding across the barren straits of Alaska,
one presumes.

So taken with the image that I scanned it and sent it to my Alaskan daughter, Laurie

She used to be an advocate of the Iditarod and all the exciting heroics thereof. 

 Now she has a different view as portrayed in this E mail she sent:

Seen any dog sledding, Iditorading? No more Iditaroding for me. You also should shun this and any long distance running of the dogs. Extremely harsh, inhumane driving the dogs, and atrocities. Seriously. I have seen it. Pass this on See: Just a big beloved, traditional money-maker up here so it will be hard to stop. But it needs to stop.

And more from Laurie on the subject last night:

More on driving sled dogs too hard. This is regarding one dog death last year in Lance Mackey's team. His hands have been so badly frost bitten that he can't care for his dogs on the trail. Still he runs.

Lucy Shelton
Azusa, California
"No dog should die. It is horribly sad. This brings the total known deaths to 145, since records have been kept. Dog deaths average about three per year. Six dogs died in 2009.

According to Yukon Quest reports, Mackey raced this young team in that race last month,--too much, too soon? For those who think Mackey treats his dogs like family, check out his kennel, showing the dogs short-chained to their enclosures: This is considered inhumane and illegal in some communitiesAbout half the dogs do not finish the race every year. They are dropped due to injury, illness, exhaustion, or not wanting to continue. No musher finishes with all 16 of their dogs and some finish with only 7 dogs. This is a once-a-year, totally unnecessary race for only about 78 mushers. It is cruel to have such a long, 1,000-mile, treacherous, race when half the dogs cannot finish, at the proven risk of injury, exhaustion, or death.

There are laws in at least 38 states against over-driving and over-working animals, which is exactly what the Iditarod does. The Alaska cruelty statue that would apply to the sled dogs was changed in 2008 to exempt them."

I don't know if you want this information , Dad, but I share it with any lower 48 folks because Alaskans have blinders on about this issue.

Share away!!

Love, Laurie


Bell-ringing, Salvation Army style, and etc.

Dee related a picturesque tale:

Last Saturday she rang Salvation Army bells;

a mother dug in her purse to give some quarters to her
little boy.  She dug up two and whispered in her son's ear.

The tadpole headed for a gumball machine instead of the
red kettle.  Corrected by his Mom he toddled over to Dee's Red Kettle
and returned Dee's smile and thank you.

He smiled a great smile.

Bruce Boeck relieves us last year
at what we call the rich man's Pick n Save.


Stu Tolbert sends us caladium leaves from
Lake Placid, Fla

Yesterday we got a bubble wrap envelope from unmet friend Stu.  In it were several caladium red 
and green fresh and moist floral leaves from his and wife Donna's yard in their retirement.
They sent Christmas greetings.



Jane Vollmer's pickled fish recipe

Jane circa 1980
Marinette WI

She had 11 boys and 1 girl

Search SRN for 'Vollmer'