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United We Stand September 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in People, Poetry, Writing & Writers.
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On September 11, 2001,  as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center burned, Lady Liberty  stood tall, sending a  message of Freedom, Hope and Unity to the world through ever silent lips.

Wikipedia ~ Statue of Liberty (in Public Domain)

Emma Lazarus penned words that Lady Liberty  now  shares with visitors to her home:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, 1883

Fun with Numbers: 1000 Words September 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Music & Dance.
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What do you get when you take a group of  musicians . . .

Playing a few instruments . . .

And videotape the live performance . . .

In front of an appreciative audience? 

Answer: a music video that’s worth a 1000 words!

Virtual Friendships September 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People.
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Tiggers-R-UsThe definition of friendship seems to be undergoing a rather dramatic transformation in the age of social networking, cyber-space, and virtual reality.

Growing up, we exchanged  confidences with friends, trusting them to guard our secrets.  Our best friends knew as much about us as we knew about ourselves.

The rest of our classmates were just that ~ classmates.   Not friends, classmates.

When we started working, we befriended a few co-workers, promoting them from the rank of casual acquaintance or co-worker to friend.  These friends received the promotion the old fashioned way ~ they earned it through mutual trust and admiration.

Other co-workers remained just that ~ co-workers.  Not friends, co-workers.

Boy, how times have changed.  These days, people refer to people they’ve barely met, or perhaps never met (except in cyberspace) as friends.  Due to the prevalence of avatar images, one virtual friend may not even know  what another virtual friend looks like.

Social Networking Sites have leveled the playing field.  Facebook, for example, doesn’t provide separate hierarchies or categories for Best Friends, Close Friends, Classmates, Fellow Alumni, Co-Workers, Casual Acquaintances,  Strangers with Shared Interests, etc.  You’re either friends, or nothing.

And nobody wants to be nothing!

People add friends on FB with little or no  exchange of information ~ we  friend (and sometimes unfriend) virtual strangers with little more than the click of a button.

It’s a good thing that FB doesn’t require us to buy birthday gifts for all the virtual friends we’ve accumulated.  We would have to get a second job to pay for them . . . leaving us less time to hang about on FB accumulating new virtual friends

And it’s not just in cyber-space that the term friend is loosely tossed about and applied to virtual strangers.  When Rachel Ray travels, for example, she makes friends every place she visits:

* “Hey, I had a delicious lunch, and I made some new friends.”

* “I had a blast at the wine tasting, and I made some new friends.”

* I’ve had a great time in Cape Cod, and I made some new friends.”

Not my kind of friends she didn’t:  A waitress, bus driver, or store owner who gives me a good tip on sites to see when I’m traveling is a kind stranger, or a passing acquaintance, not a new friend.

These days, virtual friendships on social networking sites like Facebook require little more than a shared interest in reading, writing, politics, music, reality TV, sewing, cooking, philosophy, virtual farming, or Chia pets.

In contrast, friendships in “real life” require much more than a passing acquaintance or shared interest in an esoteric subject matter.  Friendship, in my book, requires mutual confidence, affection, trust, admiration, support, acceptance, intimacy, respect, encouragement, continuity, and other reciprocities like those I share with my BFF . . . Best Friend Forever.

But more about my BFF later . . .

Can a virtual friendship blossom into something more?

Absolutely, but it requires more than a casual click of the Friend button on Facebook . . .

I want to virtually hear them laugh out loud.

Related post:  Reach Out & Touch Someone

Related article:  Friending and Unfriending ~ A New Social Order?

Fun with Words: Masquerade September 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Books & Movies, Word Play.
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What an intriguing concept for a book launch . . .

A treasure hunt in Britain for a  Golden Hare fashioned by the author, an artist, from 18k gold, and valued at 5,000 pounds in 1979!

Worldwide, Masquerade (the book containing clues to the treasure’s secret location) sold over 1.5 million copies ~ well over the initial publication run of 60,000.

And, now, the book is enjoying a resurgence of popularity (even though the buried treasure has long since been found).

The treasure hunter (who claimed to have found the hare with the help of his dog)  actually relied on pillow talk to unearth the buried treasure!

For more details on the scandal surrounding the Golden Hair:  Masquerade.

For those of you who enjoy Anagrams, try your hand with the author’s name, KIT WILLIAMS  (answer below).

And, now, here is the video which aired shortly after the buried treasure was found  under the shadow of a cross thrown by one of the main characters in the book ~ the midday Sun:


Related posts:  A Children’s Book Every Child Should Read * Unearthed Again: A Golden Hare that Obsessed A Nation * Ducks: Thrill Seekers?  You Decide.  (Kate Shrewsday)

Morbid Humor: The Funeral Procession September 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Joke, People.
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Wikipedia ~ Funeral (in Public Domain)

A woman leaving a convenience store with her morning coffee noticed an unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery.

A black hearse passed, followed by a second  hearse about 50 feet behind the first one.

Behind the second hearse was a solitary woman walking a dog on a leash.

 A short distance behind her, 200 women followed, walking single file.

Coffee in hand, she  approached the woman walking the dog and said, “I am so sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you.”

“I know this is a bad time to disturb you, but I’ve never seen a funeral like this.  Whose funeral is it?”

“My husband’s.”

“What happened?”

In a matter of fact voice, the widow replied, “The last time he hit me, my dog attacked and killed him.”

“Oh, my.  Well, who is in the second hearse?”

“My mother-in-law.”

“Really?  What happened to her?”

“As usual, she jumped in to defend her son.  In her eyes, my husband could do no wrong, even when he smacked me around.”

Reaching down to pet her petite Chihuahua, she smiled, “Killer  disagreed.”

A moment of contemplative silence passed between the two women, before the first woman whispered, “Can I borrow the dog?”

The widow whispered back, “Get in line.”

* * * * *

Inspiration:  e-mail from unknown author