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10/09/19 10:58 AM #6291    


Michael McLeod

I'm afraid I don't have time to read over all the articles mentioned but I hope they noted - and please bear this in mind if they did not - the methodical and at this point well-documented torture and execution campaign Bashar al-Assad's henchmen have been conducting for years. I'll not post any stories about it but if there is one place in the world where we as a country and as human beings owe a debt to our own conscience to intervene, it's Syria.  I'm not necessarily talking about military intervention or taking sides with one nation or the other here, by the way. 

It may strike some as idealistic, the notion that it is our responsibility as a nation to intervene when inhumane activities elsewhere are apparent. But I grew up thinking that's who we were.  


10/09/19 12:21 PM #6292    


Michael McLeod

In line with Jim's concern that we're going to turn into debate club gone wild, I'll also post what I came here to post.

I had another weird dream last night. I think I may have posted a while back that I dreamed that Warren Zevon turned up at the writing class I teach.

This one was just as bizarre:

I dreamed I had a great girlfriend and Dave Mitchell stole her.

I kid you not.

I have teased Dave in the past about how many girls he went out with in high school and yes I am a little jealous -- but I had not thought about it for weeks and it's just fun to needle him a bit about it; I don't take it seriously at all and I certainly hope that he doesn't -- so why on earth that was in my sleeping brain I'll never know.

As for details of the dream: there was a mansion involved which I can't describe (I don't have details like that in my dreams). I went to that mansion which I guess was Dave's to confront him about stealing my lady away, and left in despair, knowing it was over. Whoever she was, I really liked her - that emotion was vivid in me when I awoke.

I had a lovely date last night with my significant other and that is the one thing that I know influenced the dream - my affection for her. She's really amazing, by the way. I lucked out. Boy did I ever.

Now maybe Jim can weigh in if he wants for a scientific view of why we dream what we dream but my laymen view is that it's like our neurons are all drunk and slurring their words as they stagger around at a party that is a little bit out of control, telling stories and making up stuff that they wouldn't dare to conceive of or talk about if they weren't all a little tipsy.

10/09/19 01:17 PM #6293    


James Hamilton, M. D.

Mike, I am definitely not an expert on dreams, especially on their content.

That being said, from my limited Psychiatry experience in medicine, dreaming occurs during Phase IV sleep (also known as REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep) which is the deepest and most restorative level. So Mike, you were sleeping well and that is good. Some people seldom reach that depth. REM's sleep is someting that happens in cycles during our sleep so it comes and goes several times during the night - or day if one chooses. What is interesting is that we may dream during each REM episode but we will only recall the latest dream when we awaken.​​​​​

Isn't this more fun than discussing politics??!!

Sweet dreams, classmates, 




10/09/19 01:59 PM #6294    


Michael McLeod

Thanks Jim.

In the meantime it's too bad these people in northeastern Syria can't weigh in on our discussion. And should we return to debate club mode, these sites are very important:


Rights groups and anti-war activists warned of a looming "humanitarian catastrophe" Wednesday as Turkish forces invaded northeastern Syria and launched airstrikes against Kurdish targets, forcing civilians to flee in panic.

The attack comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump gave his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a green light to begin the operation by announcing the abrupt withdrawal of American forces from northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) warned in a statement Wednesday that Turkey's assault "will spill the blood of thousands of innocent civilians because our border areas are overcrowded."

On Twitter, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali accused Turkey of deliberately targeting "civilian areas."


10/09/19 03:46 PM #6295    


Janie Albright (Blank)

A note and reminder to be civil to our friends and classmates. :)

10/09/19 11:25 PM #6296    


David Mitchell

I had a few days of internet issues and could not join in to this duscussion. Maybe best I didn't.

Some excellent comments but I am baffled by the insertion of the long article about Obama's "ambivelance" and the disagreements with the military. When has that NOT been so?  And you left out the part about Bush Jr's collossal bumbling of the First Afghan incursion, and the whole Iraqui mess (based as we now know, on a totally fabricated "Letter" that Colin Powell was forced to read before the UN). I really don't fault Bush Jr.on that ons so much as his "3 (devious) Amigos" - Messers Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove. 

And who would argue with your concern about trying to be the world's policeman and getting into these "forever wars". 

But what do those arguements have to do with my main point, (and so glad to have John add some pertinent info on ths one.)

I can't argue with your concern about getting into these messes, or even which ones we pick, and which ones we don't.

But we are already in this one! - - Those questions are for some other situation now.

We asked for their help. They gave it in spades. Not not only gave it, they threw themselves into it and have carried most of the burden, and born most of the cost in lives - (did I read somewhere they have lost 11,000 of their own in this?).


And as Mike mentiond, this isn't the first time we hung the Kurds out to dry (after the first Gulf War) 

This has nothing whatsoever to do with evaluations of whether or not we should or should not have gootten into this one.


John's point about the Kurds currently holding 10,000 captured ISIS fighters may be the single most frightening aspect at the moment. Think about that - letting go of 10,00 ISIS fighters while they fight for their own lives!

But we also just hung out a sign saying "So Long Suckers - any of you stupid countries thinking our word was good and our pedges will be kept - you go on with your bad selves!"

(this is an old record I hear playing - Vietnam - Iraq ,,,,,)

To summarize my first post again - the word is B E T R A Y A L  

10/09/19 11:28 PM #6297    


David Mitchell

BTW Mike, 

What did you say your lady friend's name was - and when can I meet her? 

She sounds quite attractive.



p.s. Janie, I like Ellen too.

10/10/19 11:02 AM #6298    


Janie Albright (Blank)

Mark, haven't seen any new plays from you. Are you still writing? I saw this article and thought you might enjoy. :)

10/10/19 11:40 AM #6299    


Michael McLeod



"Why don't they like you in China anymore, Pooh?" asked Piglet.

"Oh," said Pooh, "They still do. They just have to pretend I don't exist. All the dolls that looked like me and all the stories about me are banned in that country now."

"Why is that?" asked Piglet.

"Because chairman Xi Jinping didn't like it when people said he looks like me," said Pooh.
"Does he?" asked Piglet.

"Not on the inside," said Pooh. "Not on the inside, at all."


10/10/19 12:07 PM #6300    


Michael McLeod

I have developed a fascination with China long before the Pooh Bear conversation above that I just happened to overhear. I think I have mentioned it before, but only briefly, and now this Pooh thing has got me going again.

The daughter of the fabulous girlfriend that Dave is trying to steal away from me but will only do so over my dead body works for a Chinese company in Beijing, so I have been hearing all about daily life over there for the past year.

Foreigners are so rare in most of the country that people stop and point at them. '

The pollution is so bad in the cities that before events they use these huge watercannons to spray the air and temporarily clear it - not so much to protect anybody but so it will all look good on camera. When big parades are scheduled, the state-controlled television uses technology that brightens the colors, makes the sky bluer and the costumes more vivid, and if someone in a parade is out of step they use technology to erase that individual. 

The internet as we know it does not exist for most individuals, and is monitored by the police to quell any conversation that might even vaguely approach criticism of the powers that be.

On her last trip to Beijing the girlfriend that Dave is trying to take away from me but never will brought me a little metal vase decorated with a piece of fine China. During the communist revolution years ago people were prohibited from having fine china - ironic and somewhat soul-searing symbolic, eh wot? no China allowed in China?  - and much of it was confiscated and destroyed. Shards were salvaged from dumps and have been worked into music boxes and such, a vestige of a past that was destroyed.

The country I live in is pretty scary right now but not as scary as that one.



10/10/19 12:56 PM #6301    


Mark Schweickart

Janie – That is so sweet of you to ask about my writng projects. To be honest this has not been a very productive time for me lately. I find myself re-working previous projects, or not doing anything at all. I hope the old creative brain cells haven't abandoned me forever, but getting older does make one (at least for me it does) feel slower and more stupid by the day. But since you ask about plays, I did re-shape one I had done earlier that used a lot of monologues from Spoon River Anthology. I don't know if you ever read that one. Anyway, I will send you a PDF of this new version. In this revision, I cut back on the use of the Spoon River material, and tried to make it a bit more of a romantic-comedy, well maybe romantic-dramady, in tone. It is called A Whiff of Ether, and will be coming soon to an emailbox near you.

I also have spent some time making some of my old songs into videos so they can be shared on YouTube. Here's one I did recently.

This is from a screenplay I wrote that features a young woman who gets in over her head when she is pulled into her new lover's vortex involving criminal elements. It leaves her realizing that sometimes one grows up to become something quite different from what one had expected.

10/10/19 02:56 PM #6302    


Mark Schweickart

Not to hog the site, but as the self-appointed Movie Critic-at-Large, let me recommend Lucy in the Sky, which came out recently, and hopefully is still in the theaters. This was truly a remarkable film from Director Noah Hawley. Apparently this is his first feature, but he is a longtime show-runner and writer of various TV series like Legion and Fargo, and Bones, and other such things I have never seen, as well as being an author of four or five novels, and some screenplays, and is a guy with a half dozen other projects in the works. A busy, busy character I had never heard of before.

Unfortunately for him, his film Lucy in the Sky, has not been well-received (a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes), but  I think this is sadly quite a mistaken opinion these critics are having. They all grant that Natalie Portman does a more-than-commendable job, but that is about the extent of their positive comments. The story is about a female astronaut who, after returning to earth, has a very hard time re-adjusting to her former life, and  a major existential and emotional crisis ensues. Unfortunately, the story took its origin from the real life story of a female astronaut who went bonkers in 2007, and drove across the country in an attempt to kidnap her love-triangle fellow astronaut. Consequently, even though the film has only the vaguest interest in being truthful to that headline-making story, I think it nonetheless poorly colored a lot of viewers' expectations. What struck me was not where the film went in the last fifteen-or-so minutes as Portman's character succumbs to her final downward spiral, but rather the astonishing beauty and subtlety and quite unusual cinematographic techniques employed in the previous hour and a half, not to mention some delightfully sharp dialogue, and the vague but enchanting poetic touches it unabashedly plays with, especially in the chrysalis imagery used throughout the film.

The film really beggars description, but I think you might want to see it just for the cleverness of the scene by scene construction. Really unique, in my humble opinion. It is a shame it was not better received.

10/10/19 04:43 PM #6303    


David Mitchell


If you get a chance, would you mind jotting down a few notes as to what these so called "creative brain cells" are? I'd be quite interested to know more about them.   




And now, even the NBA is playing prostitute to the Chinese government. Oh, but it's not about human rights, it's that estimated $500 million in revenues if the two of them "hook up". 

Free Hong Kong!



When's your next pool party? I could grab my trunks and be there in 5 hours. I bet she's really cute in a bathing suit. I would even pay for the pizza this time.

10/10/19 06:33 PM #6304    


Michael McLeod

We have a security breach. Somebody's impersonating Dave.  I thought it was genuinely him at first and then I got to the part when he said he'd pay for the pizza.


Been blabbing a lot here lately so I'm giving myself a timeout. Be back next month. Heading for Columbus in a couple of weeks for the Wisconsin game. Sure is a promising season but as always I'm ready for a heartbreak if it comes.

Thanks for the movie tips, Mark.

Stay warm out there, doc.

Keep away from my girl, Dave-Tripper.

10/11/19 08:35 PM #6305    


Mark Schweickart

Dave – to put it in terms I am sure you will understand, creative brain cells are those pesky things floating around in the cranial soup that cause one to build a boat one's backyard.

10/11/19 10:06 PM #6306    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

10/11/19 11:03 PM #6307    


David Mitchell

Ha! Thanks Mark.


Are you near the fires?

10/12/19 12:51 PM #6308    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

A great way to explain Faith, Hope, Love, Trust, Confidence and Attitude:

Once all villagers decided to pray for rain. 
On the day of prayer all the people gathered, 
but only one boy came with an umbrella.
That's FAITH

Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being
alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up. 
That's HOPE

We see the world suffering, 
but still we get married and have children. 
That's LOVE

When you throw a baby in the air, 
she laughs because she knows you will catch her. 
That's TRUST 

 We plan big things for tomorrow
 in spite of zero knowledge of the future. 
On an old man's shirt was written a sentence:
I am not 86 years old . . .
I am sweet 16 with 70 years experience.

10/12/19 01:28 PM #6309    


Mark Schweickart

Dave – Thanks for asking, but no, I am not very close to the current fires, but close enough. I happen to live on a street that connects to a canyon road that provides another (although rarely used) access route to communitires that are currently shut off from the normal freeway access that has been closed due to the fires. My poor little residential road yesterday was bumper-to-bumper non-stop traffic, but that was a small inconvenience for us given the severity of what was happening not far away. 

10/12/19 02:31 PM #6310    


David Mitchell

I think this is a bye week for our Buckeyes. So this video may help ease the withdrawal pains. You can grab a foot long dog an a tall drink and watch it over and over and over until next week's game if you like. This is about a year after I was first able to grasp what was happening when my dad took me to the "shoe" - as I had mentioned in two other Football videos I posted last year. By this season I could tell what was going on and remembered a lot of the players names.

You will hear some familiar names - Don Clark, Bob White, and Dick LaBeau. Dick LaBeau and his room mate Jimmy Herbstreit (Kirk's dad) and other halfback and defensive backs (they played both ways), and Bill Wentz (100+ yard opening kickoff return against Illinois), Fritz Schmidt (once the perennial golf "Captain" at Muirfield), and a guy named Tom Weiskopf (you may have heard of him), were all classmates and golf buddies of one of my older cousins. My cousin was once named "Bullet Cole" by the Dispatch as central Ohio's leading ground gainer from North High School in about 1954 or 55?  My cousin went on to be in the first cass of football scholarships at Northswestern under their new head coach, Ara Parsegian. He spent the first year on the freshman football team and hated it. He came back home to Ohio State, where he played LaCrosse and a lot of golf on the side. This group became his golf buddies for years to come. Later in life, most of them spent an annual golf vacation together in Scotland.

added later: also recall QB Frank Kremblas - quite a backfield!

Dick La Beau went on to play in the NFL and I beleive he retired from the Detroit Lions (?) as the leading interceptor in the NFL (long since surpassed). He then went on to become the long time Defensive Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Stelers, followed by a short stint as the Def Coorinator of the Tennesee Titans.I believe he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He and my cousin are still best friends to this day. 

10/13/19 06:11 PM #6311    


James Hamilton, M. D.

There seems to be a lull in Forum activity today so I'll add something on this beautiful autumn afternoon.

I am amazed at the historical knowledge that several of our classmates possess and have shared with us on the Forum. This includes everything from the very old (i.e. before our time, even WAY before our time!) to the more recent and from topics as different as geopolitical, local (Columbus), sports, and heritage. Thanks to all who give us these history lessons!

I was never much of a history buff having spent most of my educational efforts in the areas of science. However, the older I become, the more I think about what has happened in the past, especially what our generation has witnessed.

Another historical interest of mine is that of medicine and the history of the practice of medicine. With that in mind, I am going to occasionally give you all a little multiple choice question, with some history behind it, of some medical issues that have - in the past - been discussed in various public domains such as newspapers and television or which have transitioned from old ways to new ones.

So, here we go:

In the mid 1970's, a time when certain "substances" were popular among young persons, we began to see, in our Emergency Room at Riverside, patients who presented with some very classic symptoms of a type of poisoning. These symptoms ("Sxs" as we call them) included "Mad as a Hatter, Blind as a Bat, Dry as a Bone", Red as a Beet, and Hot as a Hare". Obviously, not all patients exhibited all of these Sxs but  most had many. Temperatures up to 108 degrees F were not uncommon. Livers were often damaged by such high fevers. It turned out that a plant that grew wild in the Central Ohio area had been discovered by some of the drug experimenting afficionados who had consumed it's toxic parts.


What was this plant?

     A. Cassava

     B. Foxglove

     C. Castor Oil Plant

     D. Jimson Weed

     E. Field Thistle Plant

I'll post the correct answer in a couple of days.

For extra credit: There was a song that came out about this plant and its effects written by Jimmy Stafford. What was the name of that song?

Have a great week,



10/14/19 11:45 AM #6312    


Joseph D. McCarthy

Dr. Jim,

I'll take "D. Jimson Weed" for two hundred dollars.

Maybe that might have cured the Virus I had just after returning from Ohio (just recovered late last week).  My Doctor said I had a virus, than "jokingly" added that the medical profession calls it "Leaveitis".

I hope to give a report on my return trip before I drive to Portland, Oregon at the end of the month.

10/14/19 01:26 PM #6313    


Mark Schweickart

Trying to play fair, and not resorting to the interweb (as Alton Brown calls it), I would have to go with Joe's guess of D, Jimson Weed, because a) it has "weed" in its name, which might have been enough to fool many a stoner back in our day, and b) because Joe is willing to wager $200 on this answer. The closest I ever came to this phenomenon back then was when my girlfiend and I dropped by her house and found her sister and her sister's boyfriend baking banana peels. We were told that smoking fried banana skins would possibly create a spectacular high. We passed. And, apropos your question, this too did go on to be glamorized by a song,  Donavan's, Mellow Yellow, with it's lyric proclaiming, "Eeee-lectrical Banana, bound to be the very next phase...."

Jim, speaking of medicine and history, I just read a book that you might find interesting – Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard covering the life and assassination of James A. Garfield. I never knew much about Garfield, other than he was from Ohio and had been assassinated by a deranged office-seeker. It turns out his demise was due more to the refusal to believe in Lister's new (at the time) theories about septis by the American doctors of the time than it was from the bullet lodged near his liver. The poor fellow lingered for almost 80 days as the chief (self-appointed) doctor, a Dr. Bliss, with his grubby, unclean fingers probed the wound trying unsuccessfully to find the bullet. Amazingly enough, Alexander Graham Bell got involved and worked tirelessly trying to invent a metal detector that would pinpoint the location of the bullet. It all makes for a fascinating read, not the least due to how interesting Garfiled (like Lincoln also born in a log cabin) was in rising to both intellectual and political heights. And of course the story of his assassin, Charles Giteau, is worth the price of admission. What a character!

After Garfield death, one of the newspaper headlines read "Ignorance is Bliss."

Here's a link to the book on Amazon for more info:

10/14/19 09:11 PM #6314    


Lawrence Foster

Hey Jim -

When you were at Riverside in the ER did you ever work with a nurse named Sally Spangler?  I worked night shift at Riverside as a nurse assistant or med tech (whatever the right name was) from Oct 69 through Feb or March 72.  I was in the ER with Sally for 7-8 months and then was transferred to the psych unit (8th floor) because of my military experience.  Sally was absolutley an amazing nurse and I Iearned so much from her while in the ER especially during some very hard situations and times.  While on the psych unit I carried a pager and went to any and every floor when extra help was needed.  The experiences doing physical care in the ER under Sally's leadership  really helped me when I went to the other units.   I said every floor but it was actually almost every floor - males were not allowed in labor and delivery and the OB-GYN floors (3rd floor at Riverside) back in those days.   Those times there were quite a learning and growing experience for me.  

10/14/19 09:53 PM #6315    


James Hamilton, M. D.


I do not remember Sally, but it is very possible I did work with her at some time. There were many remarkable nurses at Riverside and I respected them very much.


Joe and Mark,

Correct, the answer is D. Jimson Weed.

As for the song, it is Wildwood Weed (AKA: Wildwood Flower). Look it up, the words in the lyrics well describe some of the Sxs I listed above.



Thanks for that link; I shall check it out.

I have looked into the medical problems of some of our Presidents including Garfield. A few comments on treatment and medical/surgical practice and techniques:

In many of the classes that I have taught I talk about how treatments and procedures have advanced over the centuries. What was "State of the Art" then is often times subject to ridicule today. But hindsight is not always 20/20. There are many examples of this which I will address in future quizzes.

In the 19th Century Louis Pasteur's germ theory of many diseases was just that, a "theory", and was not yet universally accepted by most doctors and surgeons. Joseph Lister, a British surgeon, was one who did subscribe to it and is known as the father of modern (aseptic) surgery. He wrote about this but also, was not accepted by all.

Bare finger probing of gunshot wounds (GSW) at that time was the State of the Art and was performed on Garfield and Lincoln. Of course, Lincoln's head wound was more severe and more deadly than Garfield's body wound but both were, in the end, fatal. Yes, by TODAY'S standards Garfield could have been saved. It is debatable if the finger probe or the GSW itself could have caused the infection. If the bowel was damaged gut bacteria could have been a source of infection. Pieces of clothing that entered with the projectile and other possibilities also could have contaminated the abdominal cavity.

The concept of sepsis is still still in the process of being understood and defined. When I was in training pathogens in the bloodstream (bacteremia, viremia or fungemia) was considered sepsis. In recent years medical thinking has expanded and subdivided sepsis based on new knowledge of it's pathogenesis. A life threatening, altered immune response from the body is the component that can lead to organ failure and death. That response can be triggered by infection, pancreatitis, certain auto-immune disorders and other factors. "Cousins" of sepsis have been tagged with names such as Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) and Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS).

At times families and friends of patients who have died blame treatments for the death of their loved ones. In reality many of these patients had severe diseases that are fatal and were the cause of their demise. Now I shall say that some treatments can cause death in certain people, but in most cases it is the disease that takes their life. Fortunately, we have entered a time in which patients are able to share treatment decisions with their providers and we have so many new options to offer them. Although I have some reservations about the "Right to Try" laws that are becoming popular, I think they have a limited place in medical practice.


Enough verbiage for now,



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