Thursday, January 24, 2013

Submarine in Limbo

U.S. Submarine Veterans, a 13,800-member organization of former submarine servicemembers, has asked Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus "that the United States Navy officially reopen the investigation of USS Scorpion (SSN 589)."

According to USA Today, "The Scorpion went down May 22, 1968, killing 99 men and foundering 11,220 feet underwater in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The sub carried two nuclear torpedoes and a nuclear reactor. A Navy Court of Inquiry found that year that 'the cause of the loss cannot be definitively ascertained,' leaving the sub's demise a matter of controversy for decades."

Inspired by the disappearance of The Scorpion, author John Wallace Spencer wrote "Limbo of the Lost: Actual Stories of Sea Mysteries," a book published in 1969 detailing strange disappearances, many related to "the Bermuda Triangle."

"More than a thousand people and over a hundred ships and planes have mysteriously disappeared in an area of the Atlantic Ocean that I call Limbo of the Lost," Spencer explains.

"Tragedies connected to this region continually occur without explanation, without pattern, without warning, and without reason."

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Kit Carson

Best known today for his role in the tragic "Long Walk" of  the Navajos as Col. Christopher Carson of the First New Mexico Volunteers, "Kit" Carson was a mythical hero in dime novels of the 19th century and movie Westerns of the mid-20th century who fought savages, protected the virtuous and helped open the frontier.

This biography portrays the real-life Carson as Scots-Irish border man - a trapper, guide, hunter, soldier - shaped by his culture and his times. Rather than a stereotypic Indian killer, it argues that he matured intellectually and ethically as he grew older.

"A man of action rather than of a philosophical turn of mind, he performed duties that made a difference, for better or worse, for the people he lived with and worked among," David A. Remley explains.

The Life of an American Border Man 
by David A. Remley
University of Oklahoma Press, 2012
Continued in ... Out of the Past
Portrait: Kit Carson
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Resting the Meatballs

A leading authority on the history of food, Massimo Montanari recalls making meatballs from boiled beef, cooked cardoons, parmesan, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and paper one evening and after shaping them and placing them on a plate, "Marina" cautioned:

"Now, before cooking them, let us leave them to rest for a few hours. That way they firm up and get thoroughly blended."

Montari associates the phrase "letting the meatballs rest" with the creative process in his mind.

"Ideas are the result of experiences, encounters, reflections, suggestions: many ingredients that come together and then turn into a new thought. Before that can happen, it is useful to let those ingredients rest, to give them time to settle, to become blended, to firm up. The resting of meatballs is like the resting of thoughts: After a while they turn out better."
~ Massimo Montanari

from "Resting the Meatballs"

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Marijuana - The Assasin Drug?

"Young people who indulged in the drug during the thirties [1930s] were well aware before they started that it was almost expected of them to rape a girl, to submit to the advances of a fellow user, to rob a liquor store or a gas station, to use an old woman's crutch with which to beat her into insensibility. The untitled leaders of today's generation of pot users advocate love, both political and social. They proclaim pot to be one solution toward this end and, when proclaimed in the proper manner to the users of pot, the drug indeed becomes the peaceful panacea that they are all assured that it is."
~ Jonathan Smith
Triumph News Co., 1967

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