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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Raja Bhoja's Samarangana Sutradhara, ancient Engineering Science -- Tr. by Prabhakar Apte

Pune’s octogenarian translates 1000-year-old book by Raja Bhoja
Garima Mishra Posted online: Fri Jul 26 2013, 02:56 hrs

Pune : Two decades ago, Pune-based Prabhakar Apte was approached by Chintamani Kand, a retired engineer of Madhya Pradesh, for the translation of Samarangana Sutradhara, a book written 1000 years back by Raja Bhoja, the ruler of Malwa region in the 11th century. During the same time, he was contacted by Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts (IGNCA, Delhi), with the same proposal. Thus began Apte's work on translation of the ancient book, which will be released by IGNCA in six volumes by October. Samarangana Sutradhara, written in Sanskrit, is a discourse in 80 chapters, on civil engineering detailing construction of buildings, forts, temples, idols of deities and mechanical devices.

“It hasn't been an easy task. Translation and decoding of such a text is only possible when a Sanskrit-oriented technologist and technology-oriented Sanskritist come together. In my case, I had a strong background of Sanskrit and I had a kind support of my engineer friend Aravind Phadnis. With his help, I could translate difficult engineering terms,” says 80-year-old Apte, who has an educational background of MA and PhD in Sanskrit. Prior to his retirement, he was working with Archaeology Department of Deccan College and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Tirupati). At Deccan College, he was also the editor of Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit.

During his professional stint at Tirupati, he came in contact with temple architecture discipline. “The experience came handy during translation of Samarangana Sutradhara,” says Apte, who began the translation work two decades ago and was ready with the first draft of the manuscript six years ago. He says that Raja Bhoja’s work on Samarangana Sutradhara is elaborate with all necessary text, calculations, photos and tables. “Architects and engineers can refer to the book, which has great potential of reconstruction,” he adds. Some of the elements covered in the book include master plans of all site plans, town planning, basic measurement units, colonies according to social strata, palace complex, residential houses, temples, military camps, definition of machines and more.

Giving the background of the book, Apte says that according to mythology, Vishwakarma had four sons, Jay, Vijay, Siddharth and Aparajita. When Vishwakarma asks his sons to go in four directions to colonise the earth, his son Jaya came up with several questions pertaining to geology, astrophysics, measurements, norms of town planning, residential houses, colonising, temples, military camps and so on.
“The answers of all questions were given by Raja Bhoja through his book Samarangana Sutradhara,” explains Apte, adding that the manuscripts of questions asked by Vijay and Siddharth are available at Pune’s Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, but are not yet published. This was brought to Apte’s notice by a Lithuanian scholar Valdas Jaskunas. However, the questions by Aparajita were translated by one Bhuvana Devachary. “If we put together questions of all four brothers and translate them, it will be a compendium of ancient engineering science,” says Apte.


'Raja Bhoj' is well known to students of Indian history, as one of the illustrious kings from the past. Raja Bhoj, ruled the central Indian region of Mālwa from the beginning of the eleventh century to about 1055. He was a great warrior and fought many a battles during his illustrious career, with many great and powerful adversaries including army of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, who had earlier invaded famous shrine at Somnath. This king also died in the tradition of a true warrior, defending his capital, in a battle.

Raja Bhoj was not only a good general, with his military career seeing several major victories over rival kings. He is remembered more for his intellect and patronage to arts and culture. He constructed many spectacular temples, one of the most dramatic of which is seen in the form of the great temple of Shiva termed Bhojeshvara at Bhojpur about 30 km from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh state. Another notable construction, which is a historical civil engineering masterpiece, is the Bhoj lake, which was built by damming and channelizing the Betwa river.

He was a philosopher and is also supposed to have paid great attention to the education of his people. It is said that his subjects were so learned that even humble weavers in kingdom also composed metrical Sanskrit poetry or “Kavyaas.” He is believed to have authored as many as 84 books. Though, we shall never know whether he actually wrote these or just sponsored them. Many researchers however believe a strong role by the King himself in the authorship.

One of his books, Samarangana Sutradhara, written in Sanskrit, is a discourse in 80 chapters, on civil engineering, detailing construction of buildings, forts, temples, idols of deities and mechanical devices. It is also rather famous as it devotes one full chapter on building of flying machines. Being the only ancient Indian source known about building airplanes, Raja Bhoj's work has attracted much attention. But the book does not explain process of building airplanes completely and says that it has been done purposely, for sake of secrecy.

However real greatness of this book lies in the other chapters which deal with many varied subjects such as geology, astrophysics, measurements, norms of town planning, residential houses, colonising, temples, military camps and so on. This book has been studied, and analysed by many scholars from India and abroad. However a full and true translation, which would give full justice to the vastness of the subject, was missing. An octogenarian from Pune city in India has recently completed this stupendous task after working on it for nearly two decades. The translated book would be published by Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts (IGNCA, Delhi), in six volumes by October 2013.

Mr Prabhakar Apte, the octogenarian, who has tranlated this book, has an educational background of MA and PhD in Sanskrit. Prior to his retirement, he was working with Archaeology Department of Deccan College and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Tirupati). At Deccan College, he was also the editor of Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit. During his professional stint at Tirupati, he came in contact with temple architecture discipline. Mr. Apte says: "The experience came handy during translation of Samarangana Sutradhara." He also feels that he was in a better position to translate the book because he had support from his engineer friend Aravind Phadnis. He adds "It hasn't been an easy task. Translation and decoding of such a text is only possible when a Sanskrit-oriented technologist and technology-oriented Sanskritist come together. ”

This book like all books written in those times, begins with a story somehow linking the author to Gods. Story line here, begins with mythological architect of the Gods, Vishwakarma, asking his four sons, Jay, Vijay, Siddharth and Aparajita, to go in four directions to colonise the earth. His sons come up with several questions. The book gives us the answers given by Vishwakarma to these questions, in words of Raja Bhoj.

Some of the elements covered in the book include master plans of all site plans, town planning, basic measurement units, colonies according to social strata, palace complex, residential houses, temples, military camps, definition of machines and more.

Mr Prabhakar Apte deserves all praise for his painstaking work of two decades and his research. His translation should prove to be a great asset for scholars and researchers in future.

27 July 2013 Bibliography of Vastu Shastra
View more ebooks on

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Teenagers, parenting, hormonal rush, puberty.

Very important for teenagers and more important for parents of teenagers and the parents of Gen next.
I have been posting in my blogs and FB time line and mailing some articles from my past collection. I have some almost lakh articles which I read at different times, don’t remember but whenever I liked them I copied and stored them in my system, some of which survived despite 4 hard disks that have crashed so for.
This is one among them, very important for teenagers and more important for parents of teenagers and the parents of Gen next [in real teams now the generational gap is almost 3 gens] to know why they cannot bring up their children in procrustean beds [ in fact I wrote an article on this subject in Indian Express Youth supplement Page in 1984] and while rereading them now I understand and appreciate  them better and I am also able to get some more links and info on the authors or  additional inputs on the subjects etc and in some cases I have not found them even in internet archives web site.
I also have been posting [[mostly in my blogs ] thousands of articles written by me and preserved originally entered in Lotus and then enhanced in Fox pro [ to learn which I went to an institute near Anand Theatre which was run by my brother sriram’s friend Asian paints Natarajan and  at that time it was the most advanced version in computers in 1991,92 all I entered in my neighbours computer . I used to go with a note book of articles that I used to write sitting in LIC and then enter them in the computer in the evenings and on Sundays. At that time many were using computers as sophisticated typewriters and mere data storage devise. No internet.
Now the article following article of course was downloaded in 2005 but very interesting, informative and properly interpreted without any cultural or social bias.
“Body&Soul teen special

Caution! Mind under construction
It’s not just the hormones, says Vivienne Parry. During puberty teenagers’ brains are undergoing a radical readjustment
When the hormones start to arrive by the truckload at puberty, something very strange happens to children. They can turn overnight from sweet, adorable creatures into an unpredictable and combustible blend of know-it-all arrogance and furious leave-me-alone vulnerability. They are spotty, moody, truculent and can’t concentrate for more than two minutes at a time. They also become hugely self-conscious, suddenly finding everything, including their parents “sooo embarrassing”.
And there is a darker side too. Soaring rates of death, three quarters of which result from accidents or “misadventure”, illicit use of drugs or alcohol, risky sexual behaviours and the first signs of emotional disorders which may be lifelong. Hormones have a lot to answer for — or have they? Puberty is undoubtedly an extraordinary hormonal event and humans are lucky that they on have to go through it only once, unlike most animals which go through this hormonal onslaught with every breeding season.

The first hormone event takes place, unseen, between age 6 and 8 and involves the adrenal glands, which sit atop each kidney. They step up production of male hormones, particularly one called DHEA, which the body uses as construction material for other hormones. These androgens prime follicles for pubic hair growth and make the skin greasy.
The next big step is when the brain begins production of a key hormone called GnRH (gonadotrophin releasing hormone). This is the true onset of puberty, although what triggers it is unknown. It’s not just age because age at puberty varies worldwide. Nutritional status is important, with percentage body fat especially so for girls. Pulses of GnRH then make the pituitary gland produce the hormones which will act on ovary and testes to produce sperm and eggs.
The effect is dramatic. In boys, up to 50 times more testosterone is available than before puberty. It sculpts their bodies and jawlines, increases their muscles and makes them think about sex every other minute (as little as that? is the reaction of most 13-year-old boys). In girls, oestrogen rearranges body fat, and stimulates the growth of womb and breast. They begin to have periods and to ovulate, although very irregularly at first. In both sexes, body-hair growth is promoted.
A range of teen traits is directly influenced by hormones. Spots, for instance, are caused by skin sensitivity to testosterone. Fridge-raiding is caused by higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which sharpens the appetite and makes adolescents seek the food that they need for growth. Not getting up until lunchtime is caused by alterations in the secretion of melatonin (see page 11).
We can see what surges of reproductive hormones do to rutting stags or nesting birds in the mating season, so there’s no doubt that these hormones can affect behaviour, but they have never seemed adequately to explain the complexities of human teenage behaviour. Neither has anyone managed to correlate degree of teenage angst with hormone levels. But recently a whole new explanation has emerged.
It was always thought that the brain stopped developing within a couple of years of birth. During pregnancy and early life, a huge number of nerve connections (synapses) are formed, but these are then pruned radically. “It’s a way of making the brain more efficient,” says Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a research fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London and an expert on the adolescent brain. She gives the example that, worldwide, all babies can distinguish the difference between the sound of the letters R and L. In the Japanese language however there is no difference and, after about a year, Japanese babies lose the ability to distinguish these sounds. They don’t need it.
This example relates to the sensory areas of the brain and was long assumed to be true of the entire brain — that “plasticity” as it is called, was lost by about 3 years old. But post-mortem work in the Eighties on adolescent brains suggested something very different. It wasn’t confirmed until just a few years ago, when MRI scans of adolescent brains revealed the stunning truth. Not only is there major reorganisation in the teenage brain but it continues to develop until the early twenties.
Puberty coincides with two brain events. A process called myelination, which massively increases brain activity. There is also a pruning exercise among synapses which have proliferated during childhood as the brain is fine-tuned in response to the environment: strengthening synapses used frequently, ditching the rest. The pruning takes place mainly in the pre-frontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for executive action — a shopping list of the things that teenagers struggle with: priority setting, impulse inhibition, planning and organisation.
The changes in the adolescent brain primarily affect motivation and emotion, which manifest themselves as mood swings and conflict with authority. The combination of a hormone such as testosterone, which drives bravado, with an impaired ability to reason, is an explosive one.
The pre-frontal cortex is also responsible for our self-identity and for socialisation and empathy. Research has already shown that one effect of this brain reorganisation is a 20 per cent dip at puberty in the ability to gauge emotions from faces. This is likely to make teenagers less able to read social situations or recognise when they are treading on dangerously thin ice with authority figures.
Dr Blakemore is currently researching empathy in teenagers, and her work suggests that this also seems to dip at puberty. “It would mean they are less able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and imagine how they feel.”
One aspect of teenage brains is that they get a bigger reward from nicotine and alcohol than adults. As a result, those who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than than those who begin drinking later.
Teenagers are by turns maddening and glorious. But, as they are caught in limbo between adult and child, we should treasure and understand them.
Blame their brains, not them.”

If your child is between the age of 10 and 16 and would like to volunteer for a brain scan (in Central London) please contact Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore by e-mail at
The Truth about Hormones by Vivienne Parry (Atlantic Books, £9.99) is available from Times Books First at £9.49, p&p is free: 0870 1608080: www.timesonline/booksbuyfirst
King of chemistry
ALEXANDER MAYALL: “I like science because it has a proper right or wrong answer. Chemistry is my favourite because it’s about what everything in the universe is made from and you get to look at the way it all fits together. I also find it quite easy.
In my last project, for my Standard Assessment Tasks, I got a level 7 (the national average is 5 to 6). I found that memorising the symbols for all the different chemicals is the hardest thing — it’s best to approach that like having to learn spellings.
Experiments are fun. Something always happens and you’re never sure what. We did quite a good one with magnesium and steam; it made hydrogen. You can set that alight and then watch it burn. You learn the reaction that the metals have towards the steam. The teacher told us that the test tube might break — and it did.
I know that there are some moral issues involved in science. One of them is playing God — now that reseachers are able to create life in an unnatural environment. Some people are taken aback at the idea of duplicating people.
I haven’t made up my mind completely on this yet — but if it helps keep people alive, I’m all for it.
I think that science plays a big role in the world today. Especially in the discovery of new medicines. If a scientist creates a new medicine then that’s something that they deserved to be praised for.”
Adolescent genius
The fact that teenagers’ brains are busy re-organising connections gives them a brilliant advantage over adults. Their thinking is unconventional, they are more open to ideas and change.
It’s no accident that teenagers are behind some of the world’s great discoveries, particularly in technology:

·  Take Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron. She was just 17 when she met Charles Babbage, the inventor of the difference engine, an elaborate calculating machine and forerunner of modern computers. It was Ada, not Babbage, who saw that his machine could be used to manipulate symbols. Her contribution to computing has been recognised by Microsoft — her image is on their product-authenticity hologram stickers.
·  Bill Gates, of Microsoft, began to program computers at 13. He started up his company when he was just 19.
·  Aidan Macfarlane is co-author of the book series based on questions sent to the website and is a cheerleader for teens: “Teenagers see the world in a different way. Their brain is still plastic and disconnecting, so they question everything. They’re wonderful.”

About the author
Some additional stuff from the book here :

My observation :-In my opinion we all must therefore go through all hormonally manifested actions and hormonally triggered responses [otherwise called as practical life experiences]  but at the same time we all can gradually overcome their harmful side effects and horrible after effects though the two mantras of being open to all types of  facts and ideas [ even the ones that do not appeal to us] and a sense of tolerance so that we can direct and use the enormous energy behind our passion filled powerful impact of our actions and thoughts to positively influence and enhance the wellbeing of our  body, mind and spirit. In brief this is what may be offered as a capsule of advice by elders through the wisdom of their own life experiences. The irony though is hatred of advices is one of the predominant symptom of hormonal rush. Everyone who advises us is a kibitzer.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Meditation associated with structural changes in brain

Meditation associated with structural changes in brain
Nov. 13, 2005
Courtesy Massachusetts General Hospital
and World Science staff

Regular meditation appears to produce structural changes in areas of the brain associated with attention and sensory processing, a study has found. 
The imaging study, led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers, showed that particular areas of the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain, were thicker in participants who were experienced practitioners of a type of meditation commonly practised in the U.S. and other Western countries.
The article appears in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal NeuroReport, and the research also is being presented Nov. 14 at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC.
“Our results suggest that meditation can produce experience-based structural alterations in the brain,” said Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study’s lead author. “We also found evidence that mediation may slow down the ageing-related atrophy of certain areas of the brain.”

Studies have shown that mediation can produce alterations in brain activity, and meditation practitioners have described changes in mental function that last long after actual meditation ceases, implying long-term effects. However, those studies usually examined Buddhist monks who practised mediation as a central focus of their lives.

To investigate whether meditation as typically practised in the U.S. could change the brain’s structure, the current study enrolled 20 practitioners of Buddhist Insight meditation – which focuses on “mindfulness,” a specific, non judgemental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind. They averaged nine years of mediation experience and practised about six hours per week. For comparison, 15 people with no experience of meditation or yoga were enrolled as controls.

Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to produce detailed images of the structure of participants’ brains, the researchers found that regions involved in the mental activities that characterize Insight meditation were thicker in the meditators than in the controls, the first evidence that alterations in brain structure may be associated with meditation. They also found that, in an area associated with the integration of emotional and cognitive processes, differences in cortical thickness were more pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation could reduce the thinning of the cortex that typically occurs with ageing.

“The area where we see these differences is involved in both the modulation of functions like heart rate and breathing and also the integration of emotion with thought and reward-based decision making – a central switchboard of the brain,” said Lazar. An instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, she also stresses that the results of such a small study need to be validated by larger, longer-term studies.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Media damaging perception

This is very true of today's India and its nasty media
Connecting Brain Processes to School Policies and Practices
A monthly column that explores scientific and technological developments that pose problems and possibilities for educational policy and practice.
  How Mass Media Affect Our Perception of Reality -- Part 1
December 2001
By Robert Sylwester, Ed.D.

The U.S. mass media were focused on sports, the lives of various celebrities, and a Congressman's relationship with a missing staff member just before September 11. Then everything changed. A skyscraper complex, militant group, and distant country suddenly dominated mass media as people sought to understand what had occurred, what to make of passenger planes turned into missiles, and who to trust for credible information on terrorism.
That dramatic shift in media emphasis is an excellent recent example of how mass media help to shape our shifting concerns and beliefs. Why could we have been so concerned about celebrity lifestyles one week and so unconcerned the next? Why such a prior general disinterest in an already notorious terrorist group, and in festering Middle East countries and cultures? Why the sudden media shift from a Regularly-Criticized-President to an Esteemed-Leader-President?

This column will focus on mass media as an important cultural phenomenon that we must understand if our cognitive processes are to be informed but not unduly influenced by it. Next month's column will focus on the techniques mass media use to shape and distort information and beliefs.

Dramatic advances in mass communication and transportation during the past 50 years have truly created a global village, a mass society. Things occurring anywhere are now quickly known everywhere. Mass media both overwhelm us with information, and help us to sort it out.
Mass media seek a broad audience for a typically narrow (and often biased) message that's typically embedded in entertainment or useful information/opinion. Mass media communication is expensive, so it's funded through participant admissions/subscriptions and contributions, or through sponsorships and advertising (or a combination of these funding sources). It thus must provide something sufficiently valuable to its potential audience to gain that necessary financial support.

The mass media have a slow news day problem. They have pages and time to fill, even when events are mundane. A common solution at such times is to focus on sports and the lives of celebrities (people who are well known for their well-knownness, as Andy Warhol once put it), or to take something relatively trivial and expand it into something important. Think back to the pre-September 11 focus.

Mass media encompass much more than print and electronic forms of communication (such as magazines and television). Sporting events, churches, museums, theme parks, political campaigns, catalogs, and concerts are also forms of mass media, although many people consider them to be something other than mass media.

The U.S. Constitution underscores the importance of the open communication of information and opinion in our democratic society by granting considerable self-direction to the various forms of mass media. A marketplace mentality suggests that useful information and opinions will spread, and the useless will disappear. A free-speech society can thus tolerate instances of false information, stupidity, and vulgarity - assuming them to be a temporary irritant.
Mass media are very competitive. Folks today have many options about the TV and films they watch, the books and magazines they read, the cultural and religious institutions they attend. The challenge for a media program is to get and hold the attention of mass media shoppers -- who are channel surfing, browsing at a bookstore, checking out various churches.

In a stimulating competitive environment, a media program must score quickly. Since you're still reading this column, the title and opening paragraph must have sufficiently caught your attention so you continued. Emotional arousal drives attention, which drives learning and conscious behavior - so it's important for mass media programmers to understand and present content that will emotionally arouse potential participants.

Our basic biological challenge is to survive and get into the gene pool, so avoiding danger and taking advantage of opportunities for eating/shelter/mating are cognitively important. Events related to these needs are inherently emotionally arousing, and successful mass media programmers understand this.

People complain about the amount of violence, sexuality, and commercialism in mass media, but let's look at the issue from a TV programmer's perspective. Channel surfers will give a TV program only a few seconds before moving to the next channel, so programmers focus on content sequences with a high probability for emotional arousal - and program content and commercials related to violence, sexuality, and food/shelter do attract and hold attention. Consider the recent media focus on terrorist violence, the Taliban treatment of women, the food/shelter problems now facing the families of those killed and Afghani refugees -- and the resultant widespread outpouring of anger and support.

Similarly, other forms of mass media, from churches to sporting events explicitly or implicitly include these attention-getters in their programming (consider hell-and-brimstone and sexual purity sermons and the appeal of church suppers; or football violence, cheerleaders, and drinks-and-chips).

Mass media thus exploit areas of strong emotional arousal to help shape our knowledge and opinions - such as with our rapid media-driven increase in knowledge of the terrorists and their victims. Osama bin Laden had previously been a peripheral media figure. The several thousands victims had been invisible office workers until many newspapers published a series of anecdotal obituaries of all of them. Police and firefighters across the country were suddenly elevated in esteem - as was New York's mayor, severely criticized prior to September 11. A nation already beset by a financial downturn had to become emotionally aroused to respond. Charities similarly use examples of a few individuals in desperate straits to encourage contributions for a much broader assistance program.

Given such manipulative potential over our affective processes, it's important to know who determines the content of mass media. A relatively small number of large corporations control much of our nation's print and electronic media (newspapers, publishing houses, radio/TV stations, cable systems, etc.). Further, a relatively small number of media stars reach vast audiences - syndicated newspaper columnists and cartoonists, radio and TV talk show hosts, late night TV comedians. On the other hand, most newspapers include editorial columnists who disagree with each other, and the Sunday morning political TV shows are characterized more by argument than agreement. A major media organization that defines itself too narrowly risks reaching a limited audience when they need a massive audience to survive - so this financial reality forces at least some balance in programming.
Magazines and radio stations are perhaps the most successful narrowly defined mass media formats - typically being upfront about seeking an audience who shares their narrow perspective (e.g., Rolling Stone, Gourmet, Ms., The Christian Century, Sports Illustrated - golden oldies, jazz, classical, rock music radio stations).

The Computer Age has revolutionized mass media. The Internet allows the universal inexpensive publication of ideas, whether it's an email message sent to everyone on one's list or a narrowly-defined website that's available to anyone. Desktop publication and advances in duplicating technology have reduced the need for authors to go through a publisher.

So it's a cultural paradox. We're simultaneously experiencing the centralization of influence in corporate mass media and the rapid expansion of populist mass media. Both pose dangers and opportunities that we'll explore in the next column.

Robert Sylwester is an Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Oregon. He focuses on the educational implications of new developments in science and technology and has written several books and over 150 journal articles. His most recent books are The Adolescent Brain: Reaching for Autonomy (2007, Corwin Press), How to explain a brain: An educator's handbook of brain terms and cognitive processes (2004, Corwin Press),and A biological brain in a cultural classroom: Enhancing cognitive and social development through collaborative classroom management(2003, Corwin Press. second edition). The Education Press Association of America gave him three Distinguished Achievement Awards for his published syntheses of cognitive science research. He has made over 1400 conference and in-service presentations on educationally significant developments in brain/stress theory and research
How Mass Media Affect Our Perception of Reality -- Part 2
January 2002
By Robert Sylwester, Ed.D.

We gather and dispense information about our intimate environment through personal and electronic contact with family, friends, and associates. Mass media (MM) provide much of our knowledge of the larger environment. Last month's column focused on MM as a cultural phenomenon that we must understand if it's to inform but not unduly influence our cognitive processes. This column will focus on the techniques that (non-entertainment) MM use to shape and distort information and beliefs.
Mass media play an important role in democratic societies and competitive markets that function through the efficient persuasion of large widespread audiences. It's no surprise then that governments seek to control MM output, and that many who use MM distort the truth when seeking support for their cause. Websites have recently become an important, relatively inexpensive, unregulated venue for disseminating information, and so we should be as aware of who's running a website as we are of other MM venues we use, and also as leery of what's published on it.
Mass media have now evolved to the point where conflicting media messages constantly bombard us. How do we select what to attend to and what to believe?
Our brain must constantly differentiate between what's currently important (foreground) and peripheral (background or context). It does this through an attentional buffer (commonly called our working brain) that allows us to focus on only a few units of information for a short period of time while we determine their importance within the larger perceptual field.
Our working brain thus temporarily frames a segment of our larger perceptual environment. We attend to things that are inside the frame, and are merely aware of (or ignore) whatever is outside the frame. A short attention span is a requisite of a wary opportunistic brain that must constantly shift its focus.

Gaining Attention
Since mass media must assume a short audience attention span, MM messages tend to incorporate things humans innately attend to. Among these are rapidly moving objects, loud sounds, fluctuations (from sirens to snakes), unexpected events, and the red end of the color spectrum. Last month's column discussed the additional attentive appeal of information related to threat, food, shelter, and sexuality.
TV commercials tend to insert one or more of these elements into the picture to capture attention -- and then to surround it with the commercial message. For example, the opening shot might be of a smiling attractive woman standing next to a red automobile. Red and attractive woman have nothing to do with the worthiness of the car, but they do help gain and briefly hold the attention of potential buyers during the sales pitch.
TV commercials often tell an appealing and/or humorous story within the commercial, and the advertiser then repeats the commercial frequently in the hope that repeated viewing will eventually shift the audience focus from the story to the surrounding commercial message.

Mass media often relentlessly focus on what's within the frame and ignore its context -- and so distort its meaning and significance. The result is that repeated replays of a rare or isolated event that's emotionally charged come across as being common in the minds of those who can't get beyond their personal emotion into the event's cultural context.
Thus, folks have recently chosen to drive instead of fly 500 miles because of fear caused by the September 11 air crashes, even though driving 500 miles is much more dangerous statistically. Similarly, a few cases of anthrax in billions of pieces of autumn mail caused mailed Christmas greetings to be fearsome for some folks this year.

Effective mass media messages move us from attention to persuasion - and a persuasive message must have a rational base. Unfortunately, the limited time that a MM message typically gets hinders reflective thought. The solution is to distort the message through brief appealing rhetoric that seems rational (but isn't upon reflection). Common examples are political promises to increase services and reduce taxes, ads that indicate that a product is improved (but don't say over what), TV drug commercials that begin with clearly promised positive results, but end with a rapid incomprehensible listing of the dangers associated with the medicine (the televised equivalent of the small print in a contract or print ad).
We often depend on informed trustworthy friends' advice in many of our decisions. Mass media exploit this tendency by using celebrities and hired actors who look friendly and trustworthy to persuade a hopefully gullible audience. That a well known entertainer or athlete endorses a product has nothing to do with its worth - unless the product is integral to the endorser's life or work.
Living with Mass Media Trickery
It's important to realize that those who use mass media to promote their product, service, or belief system don't have a responsibility to tout the virtues of their competitors. We thus shouldn't be surprised that they try to make the best possible case for what they have to offer - and often push the envelope of accuracy and honesty. Things tend to be black and white in a single unit of MM information, no shades of gray. You have to surf the relevant MM widely if you want to understand all sides of an issue before you make your choice.
The Latin phrase caveat emptor emerged long before mass media, but buyer beware is still good advice for anything that reaches us via mass media. Folks who successfully use MM to promote something unabashedly use their knowledge of how to influence our decisions. They seek rapid/impulsive and not delayed/reflective decisions. We're not required to believe what MM present - so we shouldn't complain if we neglected to use our rational reflective processes to determine whether the message was useful or bogus before buying into it.

Marriage quotes

Quotes on MARRIAGE based on experiences of the authors nice ones.

1-"Real loves stories never have endings." -Richard Bach

2-"Marriage is a commitment - a decision to do, all through life, that which will express your love for one's spouse." -Herman H. Kieval

3-"In marriage do thou be wise:  Prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body;  then thou has a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self." -Wiliam Penn

4-"Marriage is that relationship between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal." -L. K. Anspacher

5-"When asked to share the top reason for their marital success, the men and women said, 'My spouse is my best friend.'  When the dust settles from a passionate courtship, what's left . . . and what will keep that marriage growing and vital . . . is friendship." -Jan Yager

6-"A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short."
-Andre Maurois

7-"Love and respect are the most important aspects of parenting, and of all relationships." -Jodie Foster

8-"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore . . . but let there be spaces in your togetherness.  And let the winds of the heavens
dance between you." -Kahlil Gibran

9-"Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years." -Simone Signoret

10-"Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about 3 or 4 things unsaid." -Harlan Miller

11-"Marriage is a relationship.  When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship."
-Joseph Campbell

12] It takes a long time to be really married.  One marries many times at many levels within a marriage.  If you have more marriages than divorces within the marriage, you're lucky and you stick it out.
         --Ruby Dee, quoted in "I Dream a World" by Brian Lanker, 1989

13] I would like to have engraved inside every wedding band, Be Kind to One Another.  This is the Golden Rule of marriage and the secret of making love last through the years.
         --Randolph Ray, "My Little Church Around the Corner," 1829

14] "In any friendship in any relationship, you need someone who will be there always for anything-a soul-mate."
-- Unknown


1.     Pennies don’t fall from heaven - they have to be earned here on earth.
2. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.

3. Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.

4. My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.

5. Defeat? I do not recognise the meaning of the word.
6. I personally have always voted for the death penalty because I believe that people who go out prepared to take the lives of other people forfeit their own right to live. I believe that that death penalty should be used only very rarely, but I believe that no-one should go out certain that no matter how cruel, how vicious, how hideous their murder, they themselves will not suffer the death penalty.

7. Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State.

8. There’s no such thing as society.

9. A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country’s flag.

10. (to Conservative backbench MP John Whittingdale) The trouble with you John, is that your spine does not reach your brain.
11. For every idealistic peacemaker willing to renounce his self-defence in favour of a weapons-free world, there is at least one warmaker anxious to exploit the other’s good intentions.

12. Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.

13. If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman
14. To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.

15. To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.

16. Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

17. I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

18. If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.

19. There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.

20. I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.

21. It pays to know the enemy - not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.

22. It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.

23. I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

24. Popular capitalism is nothing less than a crusade to enfranchise the many in the economic life of the nation.

25. Imagine a Labour canvasser talking on the doorstep to those East German families when they settle in on freedom’s side of the wall. “You want to keep more of the money you earn? I’m afraid that’s very selfish. We shall want to tax that away. You want to own shares in your firm? We can’t have that. The state has to own your firm. You want to choose where to send your children to school? That’s very divisive. You’ll send your child where we tell you.”
Bonus: I don’t think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime. – BBC interview, 1973

Wayne Dyer Interview

Become A Mighty Manifester
An Interview with Wayne Dyer
by Randy Peyser

In his latest book, "Manifest Your Destiny," internationally acclaimed, bestselling author, Wayne Dyer synthesizes universal concepts of manifestation from the ancient masters to the leading edge thinkers of our time, to present a clear and concise guide to help us bring what we most desire into our lives. 
Randy Peyser: What is the main message of Manifest Your Destiny?
Wayne Dyer: The essential message of my life right now, of which this book is a reflection, is that all of us have the capacity to attract to ourselves what seems to be missing in our lives. Whether it’s a healing, a relationship, a promotion, or whatever form of abundance you want to manifest in your life, you have much more power to be able to manifest it than you might think. 
RP: Where do we begin?
WD: We must honor our worthiness in order to receive what we want. In our society we are conditioned to believe that we are not worthy, and that it is even selfish to want to be able to attract things into our lives. We shouldn’t want things and we should be satisfied with no thing. Furthermore, we don’t deserve whatever we would like to have in our lives because we think we have been bad, we feel insufficient, or somebody else has convinced us that we’re not worthy. 
Feeling unworthy is like putting a huge obstacle into the God force, into the life force which is everywhere. This force is unlimited. It is always moving and always flowing. The ancient Hawaiians, the Kahunas, used the metaphor of the flow of a running stream to represent the divine force. So when you put a great big obstacle (your feeling of unworthiness), in front of a running stream, it’s not like it’s going to stop the flow of the divine force.  The divine force will just go around your unworthiness and flow someplace else. That’s exactly what happens when you decide you really would like to manifest something, but you’re simultaneously saying, “I’m really not worth it,” “I’m really not good enough,” or “I’ve been bad,” or “I’m a sinner.” The force will not work with you. It just doesn’t work with that which doesn’t think that it deserves it. We have to overcome our societal conditioning which says we are unworthy. 
There is a universal intelligence that we call God or Soul or Spirit or Consciousness, and it is everywhere and in all things. There is no place that it is not. What we have to do is figure out a way to reconnect to our Source, rather than seeing ourselves as separate from it. Almost all of our conditioning has told us that we can’t manifest. We believe we can’t attract to ourselves what we want because we think we are separate from God, and whether we are able to manifest anything is dependent upon whether God wants us to do that or not. But if we see ourselves as connected to God, or as reconnecting to our Source through meditation, then we can attract anything we want into our lives.
RP: You say, “We’re not in the business of creating, but of attracting.”
WD: That’s right. Everything that is created in the universe is here already.  We are not really creators as much as we are recombiners of everything. We have to stop the idea that we are going to create something out of nothing, but instead attract to ourselves what is already here. 
In Manifest Your Destiny, I describe this concept by using the metaphor of a plum tree. If you look at a plum tree, noticing its bark, roots, leaves, branches, blossoms and buds, and say, “What part of this is not plum essence?” the answer is, “It’s all plum essence.” When we see a plum we don’t say to ourselves, “Well this thing just showed up from the invisible spirit world of plumness and manifested in our physical world. Somehow this thing just appeared.” The truth is that the tree is meant to plum and it produces plums. It grows out of this world. And we are the same. 
We divide ourselves up into spirit and human, but essentially we are all a part of the same world. We grow out of this world and we are connected to everything in this world. In order for us to have what we want in our lives, we have to overcome the idea that somehow it’s coming from another world, or from another place, and instead, see it as a way of reattaching or reattracting or recombining all of the elements that we would like to have in our lives.
The problem is that we have allowed our egos, the part of us which believes that we are separate from God and separate from each other, to dominate our lives. Most people think that there is a monarchy, where God is the king and we are the subjects, and the subjects are inferior to this invisible king. But not only are we inferior, we are also stained by sin, and therefore, untrustworthy. If you subscribe to the notion of God as being separate from you, than you will always be lost, because you can’t even trust in your own untrustworthiness. Nor can you trust in God because everything that you attempt to trust is coming from someone who is not trustworthy to begin with. So everything that you think, feel or act upon is based upon coming from someone who is untrustworthy. Therefore, you’ll always be lost. 
RP: You state that we believe that God is a gigantic vending machine.
WD: Yes. We believe that God is like a giant vending machine in the sky. We put in our requests in the form of prayers, and then the vending machine dispenses these prayers based upon how well we’ve followed the rules that someone else has told us are God’s rules. 
Now there’s another way to look at this, where we see ourselves as not separate from God, but rather, as connected, as “pieces of God” if you will. If you take a glass of water and separate it from its source—the ocean—then pour the water away from its source and ask it to sustain life, it flitters away. It just evaporates. It can’t sustain life. That’s a metaphor for us when we separate ourselves from our source and believe that God is separate from us. God is like the ocean and we’re like that glass of water. We try to sustain life and do all that the source tells us that we are capable of doing, but if we do it alone, we wither away and collapse instead. 
RP: You mention that in order for us to manifest what we want, we need to align our intention with the Divine Intelligence.
WD: Exactly. We manifest from Spirit. Simply, when Spirit begins to rule in our lives, we can literally manifest or attract to us everything that we perceive to be missing. That’s really the essence of it. We are connected at the life force invisible level to everything in the universe. Everything that is observed in the physical world has as its source that which is invisible. This means we must surrender to the Spirit and to the invisible part of ourselves. Then learning to manifest is really nothing more than learning to manifest another aspect of ourselves.
When we really want to master anything, we must enter into the spirit of it.  And when we enter into the spirit of something, what we’re really doing is reproducing in ourselves the same qualities that whoever created it had. If you enter into the spirit of a concert, for example, you are really reproducing in yourself the same feeling and expression that the composer had. And if you enter into the spirit of Life, you are really reproducing in yourself the qualities of the Creator of that which allows something to be manifested and created in the first place. 
When we are really inspired in our lives we don’t think about how bad we feel, nor do we think about money or lack. When we’re inspired, everything seems to work. This is also when we seem to be in our highest levels of creativity. The word “inspired” comes from “in spirit.” To be inspired means that you have really left your body. For example, when Picasso was asked about his paintings, he said, “When I enter the studio, I leave my body at the door the way the Moslems leave their shoes when they enter the mosque, and I only allow my spirit to go in there and paint.” That’s what inspiration means, “in spirit.” You’ve got to trust in Spirit. As I’ve said, manifesting takes place from Spirit. It doesn’t take place from form, from the physical world. You’ve got to know that what you want to manifest will occur.
RP: In the process of writing my own book, I felt totally inspired. I realized that every word I wrote was written in joy. So I came to the conclusion that because it was seeded in joy, how could the end result be anything but joy?
WD: Absolutely. And in the process of manifesting, it’s also important to remember that great things have no fear of time. We’ve got to let go of the idea that what we want to manifest has to be done on our time schedule. There is a quote from A Course In Miracles which says, “Infinite patience produces immediate results.” When you know that you want something and you have infinite patience, your infinite patience means that you know it’s going to manifest. And the immediate result that you get when you know something is going to manifest is peace. Enlightenment is being immersed in and surrounded by peace, and to be peaceful at all moments in our lives is to be enlightened. 
What is important is the essence of what you want to manifest, rather than the thing itself. For example, you wanted to find a publisher, but the essence of what you wanted was really to get the word out there about your subject matter. What you really wanted was to fulfill your need to be a teacher. And that will be fulfilled. Once you know that and you are absolutely certain of it, the details will get handled.
RP: In Manifest Your Destiny you say, “Know that the end is secure, and let the ‘how’ take care of itself.”
WD: That’s right. Your job is to not say, “How.” Your job is to say, “Yes.”
RP: I remember seeing a quote one time which read, “God doesn’t care about your ability or your inability; God cares about your availability.”
WD: That’s very good. Our job is to just say, “Yes.” Then what we want will show up. It’ll be so simple and we’ll wonder why we made it such a struggle. We’ve got to figure out a way to detach, “to let go and let God,” as they say in AA. 
RP: When I found myself longing and waiting and wanting a publisher for my book, I tried to change my attitude and energy from “longing” to “anticipating.”
WD: And I would also add, “surrendering.” 
There are four pathways to mastery, the Pathways of Discipline, Wisdom, Unconditional Love and Surrender. The Pathway of Discipline is what we send kids to school for—to learn something, to practice, and to work hard. If you want to learn to hit a tennis ball, do your multiplication tables, or dance the macarena, you work, you struggle, and you discipline your body. This is what you did with your writing, you disciplined yourself, you sat down and you did the work.
The Pathway of Wisdom is when you apply your intellect to your discipline. “How do I do this?” “What form should this take?” “When is the best time to do this?” “Who should I consult?” This is what we think of as formal education. We assume that we’re educated once we have discipline and wisdom. But that has nothing to do with mastery.
For the Pathway of Unconditional Love, you have to love what you’ve done and do what you love. If you watch great masters or anybody who is really terrific at whatever they do, you’ll find that they exude a kind of love; they love what they are doing. Watch Barbra Streisand, or Rudolf Nureyev or Tiger Woods. They love what they do and they’re in it; they’re in the flow of it. 
But the ultimate pathway is the Pathway of Surrender. This is where you surrender the “little mind” to the “big mind.” You’ve done the discipline, you’ve applied the wisdom, you’ve fallen in love with what you’ve done, and now you surrender. You must understand that it’s not you, this puny, little skin-encapsulated ego that is going to be doing this thing. It isn’t going to be doing it at all. You are in this world, but you are not of this world. 
RP:  On your way to manifesting your destiny, did you ever feel resentful of those who seemed to have more than you did, or those who seemed to already be where you wanted to be? 
WD: No, honestly, I’ve never felt that in my life. And I did have a lot of lack, but I never experienced it. I grew up in the east side of Detroit, in an area where there was very little, except for a lot of scarcity, poverty and hunger. Even growing up in an orphanage, I never woke up saying, “I’m an orphan again today, isn’t this terrible? Poor me.” I never ever felt that I was unfairly treated. There were a couple of very affluent neighborhoods nearby, but I never thought for one second that those people had more than I had. It just seemed that they got what they were entitled to, and if I really wanted those things, then I would have them, too. 
Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others. This is crucial in order to be able to manifest whatever you want. There are 483,364 words in A Course In Miracles and the word “beware” only appears once—“Beware of the temptation to see yourself as unfairly treated.” You have to really watch out for the idea that what other people have means that you haven’t been fairly treated.
RP: You talk about the necessity of feeling gratitude for whatever we do have, rather than focusing on the feeling of lack or despair for what we don’t have. 
WD: Yes. Give thanks for all that shows up in your life including the stuff that you perceive to be negative, the things that you wish wouldn’t have happened. Don’t take anything forgranted. And understand that what you want to manifest is not for your personal ego, but rather to help you be an instrument of peace. I encourage people to do a morning and evening meditation on gratitude. 
RP:  You’ve mentioned that often before something wonderful happens, we experience some kind of fall.
WD: That’s from the Kabbalah, and it’s so true. Ultimately, the ability to get to a higher level in our life means that we have to generate the energy to be able to do so, and generally, we do that by a fall. Spiritual advances are almost always proceeded by a fall of one kind or another. 
RP: What are you wanting to manifest in your life?
WD: I have manifested everything I want in the way of physical things. I have a beautiful family and enough abundance to take care of them. Now I put my attention on manifesting for other people, helping those who are less fortunate. For example, I manifested the time and a publisher to write a book called, A Promise Is A Promise, about a woman whose daughter has been in a coma for twenty-seven years. This woman has cared for her daughter every two hours, twenty-four hours a day, for over a quarter of a century. I also donated all of the proceeds of this book to help this woman get out of debt. 
RP: Do you have any words of wisdom for people who are in search of discovering what their life’s purpose is? 
WD: It’s always about service. The highest pathway that we can get to, the Pathway of Surrender, is also called the Pathway of the Spirit. Jung talked about the archetypes of the Warrior, the Athlete, the Statesman, and ultimately the Spirit. When you’re asking the question about finding your purpose, you’re in the Athlete or Warrior stages. You’re asking the question, “What am I here for?” based upon what you are supposed to do with your body and your talents. But when you get past that, you realize that this isn’t who you are—you are not your body. Then you realize that the only thing you can do with your body and with your life is to give it away. 
As you realize this, you begin to say, “When am I most inspired? What do I most love to do?” and “How can I provide that for the greatest number of souls?” Then you’re guided to do that. It might be baking. It might be setting up a center for people with AIDS. It might be taking care of your children. It could be anything. It really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re in service, as long as you’re in the place of the statesman or the spirit.
Before I speak, I ask over and over again in meditation, “How may I serve? How may I serve?” This helps me to keep my ego out of my talk. It keeps my attention off of “What’s in it for me?” or “How well am I going to do?” or “How much money am I going to make?” or “Are they going to like me?” I meditate to let go of all of that and to really get into the moment of what it is that I am doing.
RP: You also say, “Remind yourself that there are no ordinary moments.” 
WD: Yes. That’s from Dan Millman in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.  Every moment is an eternity in itself. Bliss is the present moment and each and everyone of us needs to understand this. When we meditate, we are really trying to go beyond the mind. What I have found is that if I can get totally and completely into the moment, then the mind disappears. And as the mind disappears, that’s when God appears. 
You can do this in any moment in your life. There is no moment that isn’t equivalent in value to any other moment. You have to surrender the little mind to the big mind, and turn what you want over to God. Then you must trust and know that what you want to manifest will happen. If you follow the principals I write about, you’ll see your dreams manifest just like that.

Legal Lunacy

Legal Lunacy
The following are all actual questions asked by barristers during trials.
·        "Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any."
·        "When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being, excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?"
·        "Was that the same nose you broke as a child?"
·        "Now doctor, isn't is true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
·        "The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?"
·        "Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?"
·        "Were you alone or by yourself?"
·        "Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?"
·        "How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?"
·        "You were there until the time you left, is that true?"
·        Q: (Showing man picture.) "That's you?"
A: "Yes , sir."
Q: "And you were present when the picture was taken, right?"
·        Q: "She had three children, right?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "How many were boys?"
A: "None."
Q: "Were there any girls?"
·        Q: "You say the stairs went down to the basement?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "And these stairs, did they go up also?"
·        Q: "Mr Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you?"
A: "I went to Europe, sir."
Q: "And you took your new wife?"
·        Q: "Can you describe the individual?"
A: "He was about medium height and had a beard."
Q: "Was this a male, or a female?"
·        Q: "Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?"
A: "No, this is how I dress when I go to work."
·        Q: "The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn't it? You too were shot in the fracas."
A: "No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel."
·        Q: "Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?"
A: "All my autopsies are performed on dead people."
·        Q: "And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral, ok? What school did you go to?"
A: "Oral."
Q: "How old are you?"
A: "Oral."
·        Q: "Are you qualified to give a urine sample?"
A: "I have been since early childhood."
·        Q: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?"
A: "No.
Q: "Did you check for blood pressure?"
A: "No."
Q: "Did you check for breathing?"
A: "No."
Q: "So, then it's possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?"
A: "No."
Q: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"
A: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."
Q: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?"
A: "It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."
·        Q: "... any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?"
A: "The victim lived."
·        Q: "Do you drink when you're on duty?"
A: "I don't drink when I'm on duty, unless I come on duty drunk."
·        Q: "What can you tell us about the truthfulness and veracity of this defendant?"
A: "Oh, she will tell the truth alright. She said she'd kill that sonofabitch - and she did!"
·        Q: "Could you see him from where you were standing?"
A: "I could see his head."
Q: "And where was his head?"
A: "Just above his shoulders."
·        Q: "So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?"
A: "I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital."
Q: "It was covered?"
A: "Yes, bandaged."
Q: "Then, later on ... what did you see?"
A: "I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head."
·        Q: "Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?"
A: "He didn't offer me nothing; he just said I could have the furniture."
·        Q: "... and what did he do then?"
A: "He came home, and next morning he was dead."
Q: "So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?"
·        Q: "What is your relationship with the plaintiff?"
A: "She is my daughter."
Q: "Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?"
·        Q: "Did he pick the dog up by the ears?"
A: "No."
Q: "What was he doing with the dog's ears?"
A: "Picking them up in the air."
Q: "Where was the dog at this time?"
A: "Attached to the ears."
·        Q: "Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?"
A: "Because he was argumentary and he couldn't pronunciate his words."
Q: "What happened then?"
A: "He told me, he says, 'I have to kill you because you can identify me.'"
Q: "Did he kill you?"
A: "No."
·        Q: "Were you acquainted with the deceased?"
A: "Yes, sir."
Q: "Before or after he died?"
·        Q: "Mrs Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?"
A: "I should be."
Q: "How amny times have you committed suicide?"
A: "Four times."
·        Q: "Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?"
A: "I will be three months November 8th."
Q: "Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "What were you and your husband doing at that time?"
·        Q: "And who is this person you are speaking of?"
A: "My ex-widow said it."
Q: "How did you happen to go to Dr Cherney?"
A: "Well, a gal down the road had had several children by Dr Cherney, and said he was really good."
·        Q: "Are you married?"
A: "No, I'm divorced."
Q: "And what did your husband do before you divorced him?"
A: "A lot of things I didn't know about."
·        Q: "What is your name?"
A: "Ernestine McDowell."
Q: "And what is your marital status?"
A: "Fair."
·        Q: "Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?"
A: "No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region."

·        Q: "Now, Mrs Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?"
A: "By death."
Q: "And by whose death was it terminated?"