Tuesday, April 30, 2013

And Then Some News

The first paragraph of Thursday's essay, "Cape Horn (Not Ushuaia) and the glaciers," reads as follows:

The waters around Cape Horn are particularly hazardous, and we saw on YouTube photos, pictures of ships traversing these waters. Then for 10-15 minutes prior to a lecture on Cape Horn, by Professor Karl Fox on the Star Princess, he showed slides of large ships rounding Cape Horn in rough weather. It can be treacherous, to say the least.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Portrait of a monster: Joren van der Sloot, a murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery

Portrait of a monster: Joren van der Sloot, a murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery
By Lisa Pulitzer and Cole Thompson

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is a fascinating, well-written, thoroughly researched, totally captivating account. I followed the Natalee Hollaway story, I have been to Aruba (on a cruise) since the incident, and I find this book absolutely gripping because of its detail, specificity, explanations—and because it is so well put together.

Both writers have a great deal of writing experience, and their background and credibility are amply revealed throughout the book. The development of these incredible situations (Peru and Aruba) are incrementally, straightforwardly, and expertly presented and interwoven—just as you would expect from well-trained journalists.

The book, as is explained in the "A Note On Sources," at the beginning of the book, is based on scores of interviews and several thousand pages of police reports." Most of this information has not been previously available to the public at large—or the media. The authors also made use of newspaper articles, television reports, and books written about the case. Their research is overwhelming, and it is revealed on every page of the book. The research is so convincing that it is hard not to automatically accept the authors’ claims and conclusions. They know what they are talking about.

If you have any interest in the Natalee Holloway disappearance in Aruba, this will be a "must read" book for you. You will discover facts you have never heard about or read about previously.

If you just enjoy a great detective story—or like to read fabulous crime novels—this book will rivet your attention right from the outset.

If you are a parent and want to know what can happen when your teenage sons and daughters go on spring break, this book can serve as a "shot across the bow" that has the potential of waking you up—and, at the very least, provide thorough cautions, instructions, and clear warnings.

All-in-all, this book is a great read, and I recommend it without hesitation or reservation. It is one of the best crime dramas I have ever read!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Humor

A husband reluctantly agreed to play in the couples' alternate shot tournament at his club.

He teed off on the first hole, a par four, and blistered a drive 300 yards down the middle of the fairway.

Upon reaching the ball, the husband said to his wife, "Just hit it toward the green, anywhere around there will be fine."

The wife proceeded to shank the ball deep into the woods.

Undaunted, the husband said, "That's OK, Sweetheart" and spent the full five minutes looking for the ball. He found it just in time, but in a horrible position.

He played the shot of his life to get the ball within two feet of the hole. He told his wife to knock the ball in.

His wife then proceeded to take her putter out and knock the ball off the green and into a bunker.

Still maintaining composure, the husband summoned all of his skill and holed the shot from the bunker.

He took the ball out of the hole and while walking off the green, put his arm around his wife and calmly said, "Honey, that was a bogey five and that's OK, but I think we can do better on the next hole."

To which she replied, "Listen asshole, don't complain to me. Only 2 of those 5 shots were mine!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Punta Arenas II, Chile, and its history

We are sitting in the Central Plaza of Punta Arenas—a city of 154,000—surrounded by history; however, its earliest history cannot be seen from where we are sitting.

From the Interpatagonia.com web site, I found the following information about the history of Punta Arenas:

"In 1843, the Chilean government sent a colonizing expedition to the region, which founded Fuerte Bulnes on a rock in the Magellanic forest. With time, the place became improper for the arising city, and in 1848, Governor José Santos Mardones transferred the facilities and the population and founded the city in its present location. The city grew and developed slowly as a penitentiary colony for relapsing
criminals and relegated military, who caused disturbances like the bloody mutiny of Cambiaso in 1851, that ended up in the destruction and fire of the church, the hospital, and the government after sacking the buildings and assassinating governor Muñoz Gamero and his loyals, the priest, and the recruiters and sailors in the ports taken by assault...."
The penitentiary profile of the city subsisted until 1867, when president José
Joaquín Pérez promoted a colonizing policy for foreign immigrants and declared Punta Arenas a "free port". This marked the initial growth of Magellan, specially the arrival of foreign colonists who founded all types of commercial establishments. Steam navigation, while avoiding the inconveniences of sailing through the strait, caused an increase in the traffic through this route, as well as in the interest of the central government for this region. In addition to this, they feared that foreign powers took possession of an area of world strategic importance that seemed abandoned from the times of the Spanish colony.

Rather than a penitentiary profile, however, Punta Arenas has one of prosperity. It wasn’t until 1910, however, when La Anónima, the biggest company in Patagonia, established a pier, a railway, naval workshops, and a fleet of tugboats. In August 1914, the traffic through the Panama Canal was liberated and, thus, "the route through Punta Arenas [became] the cheapest, shortest, and safest voyage through the south of the continent" (Interpatagonia.com)

It is around the Plaza that you see evidence of Punta Arenas’ early prosperity. It was one of Chile’s wealthiest cities. The city became increasingly large and important as international trade across the straits grew and the countryside around the city experienced both a gold rush and a sheep-farming boom (around 1900).

Around this Plaza you can see the cathedral church, the governor’s building, the Sara Braun Palace, and the José Braun Menéndez Residence. Here is a brief description of each one.

When you climb the steps of the Mirador Cerro de la Cruz, the muncipal cathedral of Punta Arenas, you get a wonderful view of the city with its colored houses, commercial buildings, and the harbor.

At the plaza’s southwest corner, Punta Arenas’s Iglesia Matriz (1901) now enjoys cathedral status. Immediately north, both the Residencia del Gobernador (Governors’ Residence) and the Gobernación date from the same period, filling the rest of the block with regional government offices. On the south side, directly opposite the tourist kiosk, the former Palacio Montes now holds municipal government offices.

Sara Braun, the landlady, arrived from Russia in 1874 and married a visionary Portuguese businessman—José Nogueira, who was one of the pioneers in sheep cattle raising and founder of the Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego. After being granted one million hectares in the Magellanic area, Nogueira died of TB at the age of 48 and left Sara a large fortune which she knew quite well how to maintain and manage.

In 1895, the beautiful and powerful widow finished building the palace her husband had requested five years before from the French architect Numa Mayer. All the materials, pieces of furniture, and style details were shipped from Europe.

Eventually, in 1905, it was finished. It is a two-story building with an exquisite façade and a winter garden with a metallic structure.
At present, the ancient house owned by Sara Braun has become the Nogueira Hotel and the institutional venue for Unión Club and the Regional Magellan Museum works at Braun Menéndez Palance.

During the same year, architect Antonio Beaulier built the Braun Menéndez Palace,
owned by Sara’s younger brother. Just like Sara, Mauricio Braun, married to Josefina Menéndez, had his house built by a French architect.  In this case it was Antoine
Beaulier who would design the palace back in 1903 and have everything shipped from the old continent following the trend of those days.

The luxurious mansion was declared a national monument in 1974 and the descendants of the Braun Menéndez family donated it to the Chilean State in 1983, along with all its original furniture and ornaments. Around the plaza, too, the City Hall can be found. We needed a restroom with some urgency, and a kind gentleman who worked on the first floor, retrieved a key from his office and allowed us to use a toilet off a small kitchen at the back of the first floor. He spoke no English, but the use of the word "baño" was sufficient to get him to understand our circumstances.

Although there are 154,000 residents, the city center, we are told, isn’t that big nor very interesting. The main shopping street is Bories, starting from Plaza de Armas all the way to the north and more or less ending at the Salesian Church and Museum.

Along Bories and some streets off this main street, we are told, there are all possible shops (also some average gift shops), supermarkets, department stores, a small indoor shopping mall, travel agencies, banks with ATM’s, the Post Office, and some restaurants and fast
food chains.  From the central plaza, we walked down Pedro Monitt Street until we came to Avenda del Estrelio once again, which runs along the Estrecho de Magallanes (the Strait of Magellan) where my wife took several pictures on our way back to the port to catch a tender to return to the ship.

Chile is an impressive country that includes a desert ("El Norte Grande’s Atacana Desert is the earth’s most arid spot: no measurable precipitation has ever been recorded there" (p. 293, Fodor’s), sprawling glaciers, and snow-covered volcanoes ("Perpetually-smoldering Volcán Villarrica in the Lake District is one of the planet’s most active volcanoes" (p. 293, Fodor’s), all on a sliver of land squeezed between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is no wider than 200 miles (it averages 110 miles wide), and it is composed of as much water as earth.

Our 3½ hour visit didn’t do it justice, but despite our short visit, we got a very good feel for the area and Punta Arenas as well. It was a once-in-a-lifetime visit—because we didn’t kiss that toe!

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The site that best covers the etymology, history, demography, culture, education, economy, administration, and climate of Punta Arenas is Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punta_Arenas

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Copyright April, 2013, by And Then Some Publishing LLC

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quotations by Richard L. Weaver II

Keep on keeping on. Easier said than done, I know, however, I have noticed in myself, the traits of perseverance, steadfastness, patience, endurance, dedication, commitment, stamina, and determination have paid off over and over again. Probably the most valuable lesson in good writing is the willingness to re-write, then re-write again. I realize that at some point you have to stop and let well-enough become good-enough. Everytime I look back at something I have written, I wish I had more time (or taken more time) to work on it---to re-write it.  In our hurry-up, instant results, "I want it now," rush-rush, full-speed ahead world today, it is difficult to be patient and persevere---to see a project through to its end, to find pleasure in an accomplishment that is a challenge, and to take joy in a well-executed, thoroughly rehearsed, fully attained performance that required talent, mastery, artistry, and the ultimate in competence and proficiency---the kind of final product only obtained by keeping on keeping on.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

And Then Some News

The first paragraph of the second essay on, "Punta Arenas and Its History," reads as follows:

We are sitting in the Central Plaza of Punta Arenas—a city of 154,000—surrounded by history; however, its earliest history cannot be seen from where we are sitting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quirk: Brain Science Makes Sense of Your Peculiar Personality

Quirk: Brain Science Makes Sense of Your Peculiar Personality
By Hannah Holmes

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

One of the engaging and interesting features of this book is the way Holmes begins each chapter — with a short self-survey which tells you how you fare on each factor or facet. She writes, "This gives you a quick look at where you land on this facet. If your answers tend toward the ‘often’ side, you’re higher in that facet."

There are five factors (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and openness).and 18 facets — an average of three or four facets under each factor. I thought the organization of the book was great — easy to understand and follow.

What makes this book even more fascinating, however, is how Holmes incorporates her own (and her family’s) personal experiences and exactly how she (or they) cope with the situation. Her treatment of the many experiments that have been done on rats and mice is also interesting, and she incorporates it well throughout the book.

Her humor is delightful. In the chapter on the facet of "Altruism," she writes about how her beach community rallied against the city council regarding a poop-scooper law regarding dogs on the beach: "As we battle the city council we also formed a community of like-minded people, of helpers. Now many dog owners scoop every poop we spot, and gather human trash, too. These days no dog can poop in peace—three citizens rush at every bent backside. A bag, a spare, and one to share!" (p. 131). (This story goes on for several paragraphs.)

That quotation reveals several things. First, Holmes’ writing is very accessible—easy, comfortable, and fun. Second, she has an ability to tell little stories that hold attention well. Third, she often uses commonplace examples to make her points.

There are eight pages of "Bibliography and Selected References"; however, there are no "Notes" or "Footnotes" — and in a book like this, there should be. There are many times when Holmes refers to studies, experiments, and research that she does not cite. For example: "Of all the personality factors, a married couple is most likely to resemble each other in their degree of Openness. This is based on a fairly slim stack of research, but it certainly makes sense" (p. 232). It would be so easy to add a note here to support her statement, but she does not. This happens a number of times throughout the book.

I liked this book; however, because of the note/footnote situation (there are no notes!), I can only give the book four stars out of five.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Humor

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

A will is a dead giveaway.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

A calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Punta Arenas, Chile: South America's Southern-most City

Punta Arenas ("Sandy Point") is the southern-most city on the continent (mainland) of South America. The city has about 131,000 inhabitants, is located on the Straight of Magellan, and was founded a little more than 150 years ago. It was Chile’s first permanent settlement in Patagonia.

Just as an aside, I do not understand how Punta Arenas can claim to be the southern-most city in South America. Here is what I found at the CruiseCritic web site ; "

"Little can prepare you for your arrival into the southernmost city in the world, the city closest to Antarctica, the city bordered by the last peaks of the Andes mountains and the Beagle Channel (named for Charles Darwin's ship, HMS Beagle), the city surrounded by lakes and bays, forests and glaciers, the city in which a sunset can bring tears to your eyes and make believers out of heretics. This is Ushuaia, a one-time penal colony, Fin del Mundo, the end of the earth."
I have no way to resolve the issue: Which city is truly the southern-most city on the South American continent? It really doesn’t matter since both are very remote, very distant, and very southerly.

Chilean Patagonia is "the southernmost province of Magallanes, the waterway of Seno ltima Esperanza ("Last Hope Sound"), and the infamous misnomer, Tierra del Fuego ("Land of Fire"). It is one of the least inhabited areas in South America, cut off from the rest of the continent by two vast ice caps and the Strait of Magellan. The only links with the north are via air or water—or through Argentina" (p. 375, Fodor’s South America).

Because of cattle ranches, mining, and wood production, Punta Arenas experienced an economic and social boom at the end of the 19th century (1850 to 1914). It was the development and use of the Panama Canal (in 1914) that caused the port to no longer be an important stop on trade routes. Also, wool from New Zealand and Australia competed with wool from Chile, and helped diminish, if not destroy, that market.

We were tendered in from the ship (a mere 10-minute ride). The Adonis (a much smaller passenger ship than ours) was able to dock, but because of the size of the Star Princess, we could not.

Although we were told to fill out and carry with us a Chilean immigration paper, it was never asked for, looked at, or collected as we hurried through the passenger terminal.

Immediately when we disembarked and moved through the passenger terminal, we turned right on Avenda Del Estrecho and angled off at once on Lautars Navarro. We were told by the saleslady in the port handicraft store, to follow this street for 3 blocks, then turn left for 2, to get to the Plaza Muñoz Gamero Calso known as the Plaza de Armas)—the central square.

You can tell when you have arrived at the Central Plaza because it is surrounded by a canopy of pine trees which shade the entire area. Also, there is a bronze sculpture in the middle that commemorates the voyage of Hernando de Magellanes. Our Princess Port Guide says that Magellan’s ship "was literally blown through the strait that also bears his name by a series of gales in 1520."

We looked for the shiny toe of Clafate, one of the Fuegean statues at the base of the monument, which our port guide, Joe May, told us that if you plant a kiss on the toe, it will one day bring you back to Punta Arenas. First, we thought the toe would be full of germs, and, second, we hoped we would never return! —so, we did not take the chance of kissing the toe.

We had an early breakfast, spent less than 5 minutes waiting for a tender, and the ride in took a mere 10 minutes. This was an advantage, because we arrived in the city before most of the ship’s passengers, and although many of the small shops around the square were just getting their merchandise out for display, the square was largely vacant and my wife could get some nice pictures of the statue of Magellan. One thing that impressed us here was how clean it was.

The small stands (most in wooden wagons with their goods displayed on heavy 3-foot by 10-foot metal tables just in front of the cute wagons, sold woolen items (e.g., hats, scarves, gloves, and sweaters), Andean textiles, as well as jewelry (e.g., the violet Lapis Lazuli, a native stone), hand-tooled leather items, and handicrafts, as well as many souvenirs—a large number showing penguins (they have a large colony of more than 120,000 Magellanic (Jackass) Penguins 35 miles northwest from the central city area, on the bleak shores of Otway Sound.

Seeing the penguins in Punta Arenas requires a boat trip to the Monumento Natural Los Pingüinos, and once there, the penguins are everywhere==="wandering across your path, sitting in burrows, skipping along just off the shore, [or] strutting around in packs" (p. 305, Fodor’s).

We were forewarned that the odor on the island can be extreme, and although it’s usually windy, you want to hope for more to help diminish the odor.

Our port guide, Joe May, told us to follow Boras Street off the main plaza. It was approximately four or five blocks up to the lookout/overlook. We knew we were in the right place by the 4 or 5 tour buses already lined up, the number of vendors displaying their wares, and the height of the overlook. It was truly a spectacular view.

By the time we returned to the Central Plaza, one side was lined with about 6 tour buses, and the Plaza was teeming with activity. We sat on one of the many wooden benches to relax, watch, and listen to a local singer lip sink to a variety of American recording artists—including the Righteous Brothers’ "Unchained Melody."

We found the Plaza wonderfully relaxing. The sky was blue, there was bright sunshine, almost no breeze, and the temperature was close to 50-degrees. I need another essay on Punta Arenas to talk about the buildings around this park and a little about its history.

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The Chili, Punta Arenas, website offers a brief history of this city: http://www.geographia.com/chile/puntaarenas.htm

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Copyright April, 2013, by And Then Some Publishing LLC

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quotations by Richard L. Weaver II

I know it sounds harsh, but periodically we need a wake-up call. When daily life becomes a rut, and all seems drab and gray, make a commitment to rouse yourself, to kick it to another gear, for that’s the only way you’ll have success and meet that brand new day.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And Then Some News

The first paragraph in Thursday's essay, "Punta Arenas, Chile: South America's Southern-most City," reads as follows:

Punta Arenas ("Sandy Point") is the southern-most city on the continent (mainland) of South America. The city has about 131,000 inhabitants, is located on the Straight of Magellan, and was founded a little more than 150 years ago. It was Chile’s first permanent settlement in Patagonia.

Monday, April 15, 2013

One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing

One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing
By Diane Ackerman

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

I have read none of Diane Ackerman’s more than twenty books, and although I had heard of her previously, I knew nothing about her. The title of this book intrigued me when I first encountered it, and the subtitle hooked me — especially the part that reads "the language of healing."

Diane Ackerman is an exceptionally good writer and one could read this book just to enjoy her way with words. She creates language landscapes that not only put you into wonderful environments but make you feel her emotions and experience her passions.

Another aspect of her writing style is the way she tells stories. They are so specific and rich that they carry the you along effortlessly and joyously. You begin to wish, as you read, that her stories would just go on and on without end — you get consumed in her verbal artistry.

So far I have said nothing of the story she tell of her husband (18 years her senior), Paul West. It is heartbreaking, endearing, and compassionate. You cannot read this book without experiencing — without moving through — the entire palate of reactions, sentiments, instinctual responses, and powerful, overwhelming emotions. You get swept up by her descriptions and illustrations.

I loved the way Ackerman describes things: "Fortunately," she writes, "despite his left-hemisphere stroke (which too often results in severe depression, anger, or both), and a near-death pneumonia of ten months ago, he seems altogether happier than before, living more in the moment, grateful to be alive. Our life is different, but sweet, often devolving into hilarious charades as he tries to pin a word down, like a lepidopterist with a handful of oysters. Such funny word combinations can spill from an aphasic’s mouth! So our days together still include many frustrations, but once again revolve around much laughter and revelry with words" (p. 297).

Also, a special feature of the book is the way Ackerman has done her homework. You learn so much about stokes and the devastation they cause. You learn about the various parts of the brain and their functions. You learn, too, what the benefits of neuroplasticity can be — nerve cells in the brain can regenerate through intensive training, exhaustive guidance, vigorous concentration, and inordinate patience. The book is a testament to the rigors of recovery.

Needless to say, I loved this book — even though it is painful to go through with Ackerman all that she experienced — it makes you think, consider the deep and important emotional ties we have to each other, and, most of all, it makes you weigh and consider the value of everyday life and how we must make the most of all that we have been given — now, right now, before it is too late. As it turns out, there are many languages of healing, not the least of which are devotion and love.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Humor

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger." The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?" 

Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly. "OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?" 

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea." To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don't know shit?" And then she went back to reading her book.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Falkland Islands II: Gypsy Cove (cont.) and Stanley

After walking up the pathway past Gypsy Cove and Yorke Bay, you turn a bit inland and up a small prominence where there is a World War II gun that was used to defend Port William (where our ship is currently anchored), the outer harbor on the approach to Stanley.

The reason we went to Gypsy Cove was to see penguins, and I haven’t mentioned those as yet. Magellanic penguins—the only kind at Gypsy Cove—are known as jackass penguins because of their loud, mournful, braying call. They nest in underground burrows, mostly in the tussac grass area north of the Cove. Their burrows are up to 6 feet long, and it is the soft, peaty soil in this area that allows them to easily dig their burrows.

One thing becomes starkly clear when you view the Falkland Islands from any direction. Our ship moved slowly into Port William, so it was easy to see. Something that impresses you immediately is the lack of trees. There are no trees; those one can see grow low to the ground, more like a bush than a tree. One cruise passenger we were near, looked up a single street in Stanley and spotted one tree—and only one—but it clearly has been specially and carefully cultivated and nurtured—the only way a tree might grow on this barren set of islands.

Our Princess Port Guide says, "All efforts to introduce trees on a large scale have failed. In fact, although 150 species of flowering plants grow in the Falklands, only two species of brush grow higher than ground level." Why? It is the fierce winds encountered nearly year round.

Leaving Stanley going east, west, or south, the gently rolling hills are quickly noticed, as is the barren, rocky terrain (devoid of trees). If you go straight north out of Stanley, you go straight into Stanley Harbor!

We left Gypsy Cove and in about 10 minutes were back in Stanley with plenty of time to tour the downtown area (which is right where the ship’s tenders drop you off.) Having had a "port talk" by Joe May, we had a good idea about what to see and what we would see. This is where the man’s comment (from the opening paragraph of the previous essay, Falklands I, becomes especially relevant: "Thank heavens for the Falkland Islands that they have penguins." I repeat that comment here before I describe our complete walking tour of Stanley.

As an aside, there are two points to be made about excursions in foreign ports and cities. First, you get a great deal of the local history. In our Princess Port Guide, there are four paragraphs devoted to the history of the Islands—who first sighted the islands (Captain John Davies in 1592), who first landed here (Captain John Strong in 1690), who took formal possession of the Islands (Captain John Byron in 1765), when the Islands were abandoned (in 1811 by both the Spanish and the British), who reestablished a settlement (Louis Vernet in 1824), when the island reverted to an unpopulated state (in 1831 by a U.S. naval expedition) and when Britain occupied and asserted her rights to the Islands (in 1833).

The second point about excursions in foreign ports and cities is a simple one: You quickly forget what you learned. There is just too much to know, and you just can’t remember most of it. It does, however, provide fodder for trivia games on history or geography—if you could remember it!

Most of what we saw in Stanley, we discovered on Ross Road, which parallels the water.

Stanley is the main shopping center on the islands. It is the hub of East Falkland's road network, and the attractions include the Falkland Islands Museum, Government House—built in 1845 and home to the Governor of the Falkland Islands (currently Nigel Haywood).

We walked past Victory Green, where we saw the mizzen mast from the SS Great Britain, and on Barrack Street, just about a block south of Ross Road, the Tabernacle, United Free Church built in 1892.

Walking farther along Ross Road, we came to the 1982 Liberation Memorial, built as a tribute to the British Forces and civilians who lost their lives in the 1982 Falklands Conflict. At that end of Ross Road, too, was the Secretariat, the main government administration building.

There is a golf course which we passed on the way to Gypsy Cove, several
war memorials, and the shipwrecks in the Stanley Harbor—most of which can be viewed at low tide.
The Falkland Islands Company owns several shops and a hotel. Stanley has four pubs, eleven hotels and guesthouses, three restaurants, a fish and chips shop, and the main tourist office. There are three churches including the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral (consecrated in 1892), the southernmost cathedral in the world. The cathedral makes tiny Stanley a city. Outside the Cathedral is the whalebone arch (1933) constructed from the jawbones of two blue whales.

Having seen a couple of Falkland’s eleven hotels along Ross Road, I asked a salesclerk in one of the small stores, how can a hotel (much less eleven!) make it? The answer actually explains a lot of things: "Because a lot of people come to the Falkland Islands just to see the wildlife."

Let me end this second essay on the Falklands by quoting the last paragraph of the "Stanley—Princess Port Guide" just to underscore what this salesclerk was talking about:

"One of the primary objectives of visitors to the Falklands is the unusual wildlife that inhabits them. The islands are a paradise for bird watchers, as more than 120 species of birds have been counted, half of which are residents. Bird life includes several species of penguins, among them gentoo, rockhopper, king, and jackass penguins. Other birds common on the main islands are upland geese, steamer ducks, oystercatchers, gulls, and terns. Albatrosses and giant petrels nest on some of the small outer islands. Fur seals, sea lions, and elephant seals are also present in small numbers during part of the year. Sport fishing for sea trout (sea-run brown trout) is said to be excellent." It is easy to be fooled by what you don’t see. There is so much more to the Falkland Islands than what first meets the eye—or, even more accurately, what meets the eye of a tourist who can only spend less than a day on the islands. It is an extraordinary experience because of its uniqueness, and it is amazing what’s there considering both its size and location.

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Wikipedia has the most complete information about the Falkland Islands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_Islands) including information about the Falklands War.

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Copyright April, 2013, by And Then Some Publishing LLC

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quotations by Richard L. Weaver II

Laziness is a thief that will steal your time secretly and furtively. Without right, authority, or permission, it will obtain a surreptitious place in your life that once embedded, you will guard and protect as if it were a born trait.

Find tons of quotes to inspire your journey:
SMOERs - Available at Amazon
Self Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And Then Some News

The first paragraph of the second essay on "The Falkland Islands: Gypsy Cove (cont.) and Stanley" reads as follows:

After walking up the pathway past Gypsy Cove and Yorke Bay, you turn a bit inland and up a small prominence where there is a World War II gun that was used to defend Port William (where our ship is currently anchored), the outer harbor on the approach to Stanley.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Poorer Richard's America: What Would Ben Say?

Poorer Richard's America: What Would Ben Say?
By Tom Blair

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

If you are just looking for a delightful book, you would not go wrong in choosing this one. Blair has certainly captured Ben Franklin’s voice, and whether or not you agree with all the wisdom espoused, I assure you that it is both refreshing and wonderful.

On page XIX, "Notes to the Reader," Blair, in the guise of Ben, writes, "So with your leave anticipated, I did petition one of yours to clarify and amplify those things most mystifying to me. And to assure that this missive is contemporary in terminology and speech, this kind gentleman [Ben is referring to Blair] translated and otherwise fashioned my many words to your ear, lest you laugh a confused laugh when you lay your eyes upon my writings" (p. xix).

If you are looking for sage advice about America’s current situation and future possibilities, this is a thoughtful, challenging choice. Blair has not only addressed many contemporary issues (e.g., the national deficit, federal budgets, prejudice, democracy, Republicans and Democrats, taxes, the moment of conception, hardships and sacrifice, marital bliss, the Bill of Rights, foreign affairs, equal rights, health care, love and marriage, and China among others), but he gently offers reasonable, realistic solutions as well.

To give you some sense of Blair’s (Ben’s) writing, here is a quotation from Chapter 19, "The Written Word . . . Yesterday’s Printing, Today’s Media": (Remember this is Ben Franklin speaking as he observes today’s media.) "Alas, as I watch your news, news reported over the airwaves to tens of millions of citizen’s ears, I fear the legs of fair reporting do not always straddle an issue; at times they seem to kick it to one side or another. And, many of those that report the news appear to comingle their opinion with the flow of facts, thus relieving the listener of the need to draw his own conclusions. If, perchance, some of America’s news personalities became judges, they might well sentence the accused before the jury rendered its verdict" (p. 95).

Then, if you are just looking for a collection of Ben’s thoughts, lifted from Poor Richard’s Almanac, this wouldn’t be a bad choice either.

For me, this is a five-star book, first, because it is original in conception and presentation, second, because it is thoughtful and well-written, and, third, because of its sheer entertainment value.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Humor

In a convent in Ireland, the 98-year-old Mother Superior lay dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable. They tried giving her warm milk to drink but she refused it.

One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Then, remembering a bottle of Irish Whiskey that had been received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.

Back at Mother Superior's bed, they held the glass to her lips. The frail nun drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had finished the whole glass down to the last drop.

As her eyes brightened, the nuns thought it would be a good opportunity to have one last talk with their spiritual leader..

"Mother," the nuns asked earnestly,
"Please give us some of your wisdom before you leave us."
She raised herself up in bed on one elbow,
looked at them and said:


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Split-second persuasion: The ancient art & new science of changing minds

Split-second persuasion: The ancient art & new science of changing minds
by Kevin Dutton

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

When you read that Kevin Dutton has been published in journals that include Scientific American Mind, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Cognition and Emotion, you get a glimmer of the depth this book is likely to have. He is a Research Associate of the Faraday Institute with a background in psychology, and after completing his PhD in Psychology at the University of Essex he worked as a Senior Research Fellow in the same University on A Cognitive Bias in Emotional Disorders.

There are almost 20 pages of notes and an 11-page index. The book clearly reflects the thinking and research of a highly educated, deep-thinking, persuasion theorist. This is NOT a lightweight, self-help, psychobabble sort of book — even though the title of the book might lead you to believe it is.

What keeps this book readable and engaging is the enormous number of examples used — and how reader-engaging many of them are. There are 253 pages of text, but readers are bombarded with thought-provoking, enlightening, and incredibly fascinating facts, illustrations, statistics, and examples. Whether you accept anything the author says, you could read this book just to become exposed to all this additional, supportive material and be throughly entertained.

You may just end up fascinated with the author’s incredible breadth of knowledge and range of exposure. (Incidentally, many of the humorous examples Dutton uses throughout the book have made their rounds on the Internet. This in no way diminishes Dutton’s use of them or their use to support points in the book. What it shows more than anything is that Dutton collects his material from a wide range of sources.)

The summaries at the end of each chapter are great. They don’t just take you back over the content of the chapter, they highlight key points you may have missed and forecast what is to come — just what a good summary in a textbook should do!

Dutton is a fine writer, and he is able to make the social-science research he cites, the studies he uses, and the incredible number of facts he conveys, palatable and understandable by the lay — general — reader. It is impressive.

I loved — and found very useful — his five major axes of persuasion (SPICE): 1) Simplicity, 2) Perceived self-interest, 3) Incongruity, 4) Confidence, and 5) Empathy (p. 161). The explanations and supporting examples for each of these — alone — make this book a valuable reference (pp. 162-194). To purchase the book just for this information alone could be easily justified.

I could say this book is for the serious reader, or those committed to finding keys to effective communication/persuasion, or for those looking for both breadth and depth in the area of communication/persuasion, but the book — quite surprisingly for its overall substance — is accessible and engaging.

One quotation from the book offers an example of the language and depth of analysis provided at various points throughout the book:

"For SPICE, too, there are implications. A style of persuasion that engages, simultaneously, all three of the brain’s influence hotspots (incongruity — the anterior cingulate cortex; simplicity, perceived self-interest, confidence, and empathy — the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; with the combination of all five elements disengaging, rather than engaging, the redundant anterior insula) is undoubtedly going to be powerful. Under some circumstances (one thinks, for instance, of neonatal persuasion: crying pitch activating the anterior cingulate cortex, and kindchenschema networks in the prefrontal cortex) irresistible even" (p. 243).

I am not suggesting this is a typical paragraph; however, it reveals the credibility, background, and thinking of the author. Also, it offers a counterweight to the notion that this is a popular, self-help type of book that the title might convey.

The author’s sense of humor, his use of examples and illustrations, his wonderful and captivating narrative, and his overall language and style of writing, make this an outstanding (serious) reader’s choice. Also, as an added bonus, for those who have an interest in persuasion theory, the fact that Dutton is Brittish, provides an interesting dimension for he adds research and depth to which American theorists might not be exposed.

This is a five stars out of five-type book. Well done Dutton!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quotations by Richard L. Weaver II

When you realize that meaning lies in you, then to communicate accurately with others requires that you are clear in your intentions, in the words you choose, in the nonverbal support you provide your ideas, and in the manner with which you connect with others.

Find tons of quotes to inspire your journey:
SMOERs - Available at Amazon
Self Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And Then Some News


Yes, we made a change this week to accomodate April Fool's Day.  Did you really think we were seeking an IPO?  Of course, I could say, "Why not?" --- but I didn't!

This week's essay appears on Monday instead of the book review that is normally there.  And, for this week only, the book review appears in the Thursday essay slot.  The book is SPLIT-SECOND PERSUASION, and it is a superb book.

Everything else remains the same.  Oh, and while I am chatting here, may I remind readers that more essays by Richard L. Weaver II appear in the following books:




Then there are two books that do NOT include essays, but offer readers a great deal of personal advice and helpful suggestions:



There is an additional book---this one full of over 1600 quotations---that is designed strictly to be encouraging and motivational:


And, if you are looking for great reads, I encourage you to look at the three books by Dr. Edgar E. Willis:




There is a lot going on at And Then Some Publishing LLC, and we try to keep you abreast of all the outlets and activities, books, blogs, and videos, through our "And Then Some News" posts on Tuesdays.

Monday, April 1, 2013

And Then Some Publishing Seeks IPO

And Then Some Publishing LLC (ATSP) is seeking capital that is needed to grow our private company; thus we are seeking an IPO (Initial Public Offering) as a way for growing our company.

We understand that IPOs are one of the hottest topics in financial management, but behind all the glamour and the glitz of IPOs, there is a great deal of hard work and personal sacrifice that will be accomplished by the large staff of ATSP.

Our core group of highly skilled professionals have worked around-the-clock for one year, realizing that our first step in acquiring a successful IPO is the formation of a seasoned, experienced team of professionals who are determined to make the IPO happen. We are looking forward to a payoff for all our hard work.

ATSP has recruited the best possible people we can find knowing, in advance, that we do not have the time to supervise inexperienced MBAs fresh out of school.

Our team of highly seasoned professionals include an investment banker, legal council, and SEC expert, and an outside auditor. After a large number of profitable and successful meetings over the course of a year, in addition to a large number of additional conference calls, we have established a plan for the IPO process, which is a basic timeline that has been agreed upon and will be followed religiously.

The first thing we will do—and the process has already been initiated at the highest levels of the company—is to recruit a new management team to run the public company. We have hired a new CEO, Ms. Margaret McConnell, and CFO (Chief Financial Officer) who have already dug in their heels and begun their work. Their first job has been to start compiling the financial information necessary to move the process forward. This is close to being accomplished, and all current signs are positive.

Ms. McConnell has begun her due diligence work. She has written off worthless assets, and all inconsistencies with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) are in the process of being resolved. For example, she has compiled all information useful to present to potential investors and creditors and other users in making rational investment, credit, and other financial decisions.

That information is now available and being constantly updated at the website; however, it is being formalized in a complete prospectus that will coordinate and collect all the data and, thus, minimize duplicative efforts. A draft prospectus will be created and circulated for comments and once corrected, adjusted, and finalized by all concerned, and as a final step in the process of launching an IPO, it will be filed with the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission). At that point, and, too, as a final step, ATSP will issue a press release and sell the company to investors.

In addition, potential investors and creditors and other users will be kept abreast of cash receipts of the company, economic resources, all the claims to those resources, and the changes that have occurred in them. Our new CFO will be providing potential investors, creditors, and other users all the information necessary for making financial decisions, for making long-term decisions, and for improving the performance of the business,. In addition, this information will be useful for maintaining the records of the company.

A three-year historical financial has been drafted, transition contracts for services and products that will now be provided to the newly formed public company have been created, and ATSP has made room for new contracts for independent audits of financial statements.

In addition, pro forma and interim financial statements have been finalized, interim (stub) financial statements for the current period have been produced. From all reports, the financial concerns of the company—past, present, and future—have been assessed and are in the process of being finalized.

A Board of Directors has been formed, and it will govern the organization by establishing broad policies and objectives. It will select, appoint, support, and review the performance of the CEO. It will ensure the availability of adequate financial resources, approve annual budgets, account to the stakeholders for the organization’s performance, and set its own salaries and compensation.

The Board of Directors will be composed of a director (any member of the board), an inside director (a director who, in addition to serving on the board, has a meaningful connection to the organization), an outside director (a director who, other than serving on the board, has no meaningful connections to the organization), an executive director (an inside director who is also an executive with the organization), and a non-executive director (a director who is not an executive with the organization).

The new Board of Directors has been convened.

All of the necessary controls, procedures, and systems that will be required within "public life" have been implemented. Staff changes within the company have been made, new financial systems have been tested, and functions like human resources have been managed.

ATSP is fully aware that once we are a public company, we will be operating in a fish tank—much more visible to outsiders. We realize, too, that this will require servicing our investors, the SEC, and other interested parties. Also, we know that we will have to pay at least $500,000 per year in accounting and director liability insurance fees.

Going public fits perfectly with our strategic long-range plans for growth, and we expect the benefits to outweigh the costs.

We have our eyes on the single biggest source of money, investments made by other companies in emerging, high-growth companies. We realize that for many companies, the IPO process is a grueling and wrenching process that fails to meet expectations; however, for ATSP we have planned for it well in advance (well over the previous year), explored all the various possibilities and problems, laid the proper foundation and support structures, and look forward to a successful IPO.

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At eHow: Money , "IPO Advantages," it says, "While initial public offerings are usually managed so that they increase in value upon going public, this doesn't always happen. Especially when an initial public offering is sold on a "best efforts" basis, the IPO may not be fully subscribed prior to trading and may actually drop in value. While the potential is there for initial public offerings to trade at a profit, investors need to realize that there is still risk involved and that they may lose money, even on an IPO."

At INESTORGUIDE.COM , the opening paragraph of the essay, "Initial Public Offerings," reads: "Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are the first time a company sells its stock to the public. Sometimes IPOs are associated with huge first-day gains; other times, when the market is cold, they flop. It's often difficult for an individual investor to realize the huge gains, since in most cases only institutional investors have access to the stock at the offering price. By the time the general public can trade the stock, most of its first-day gains have already been made. However, a savvy and informed investor should still watch the IPO market, because this is the first opportunity to buy these stocks."

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Copyright April, 2013, by And Then Some Publishing LLC