Posts Tagged ‘Clarion Friends’


Ah, the wonderful hours spent with literary pigs, from the Three Little Pigs to Wilbur, and now to Toby, who has graced us with PYG: The Memoirs Of A Learned Pig.  A new printing, edited by Russell Potter, makes available a rare book absent from our lives.  The editor has wisely left in tact the early nineteenth century style of the original so the reader may take a gentle stroll through the English countryside with some mild adventure on the side so to speak.

If only parents had the foresight to begin immediately, even before their child can read on his own, to collect all the piggy books soon to be a part of their child’s life, what a fine display such a collection would make later in life.  Even now, it is not too late to begin.

I must add a post script as I am stressed by a David Streitfeld article The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy in The New York Times of Sunday, August 26, 2012.  Streitfeld quotes Bing Liu who, “estimates that about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are false.”  Streitfeld claims many authors buy favorable reviews, lots of favorable reviews.  Well, I am taken aback.

I state on my honor, I have received neither links nor patties, not even a rasher, for this or any book review appearing on https://clarionfriends.wordpress.com  Charles Marlin

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“Bird brained” “Don’t have a bird” “Dumb as a turkey” “Ugly as a crow” “You’re chicken” “What a duck” “Damned Vulture,” these and all other pejorative bird expressions got it totally wrong.  Birds have far more going on for them than airborne poop and the taunting and teasing of birders.  For the whole world behind the feathers and beak/bill, read Tim Birkhead’s Bird Sense: What It’s Like to be a Bird.

In separate chapters, the author traces the historical research and current understanding of the various senses birds possess, as in seeing, hearing, touch, taste, smell, magnetic sense, and emotions.  Since we do not have the equipment and body of birds, he readily admits scientific research can only tell us some of what we want to know and that for the rest we must rely upon cautious speculation.

Fair enough, but science is able to tell us a lot of startling, fascinating details.  Every chapter will give the reader something new to think about.  After reading this book, you can say of your day of birding, you saw 40 species while probably 40 species successfully and perhaps purposely avoided you; and you are pleased with both numbers.  You may even be able to explain some of the why-and-wherefore of the numbers.  If you don’t talk and talk and talk, your friends will enjoy your sharing of information.

On a personal note, at a gin joint I occasionally visit I met an old friend of the author of Bird Sense, and the friend gave me a photograph of the author in the early years of his long scientific career, at the time he was studying the competence in high school algebra of a large, cage free rooster.  Despite the carefully written thirty pages of his study, he has never been able to get it published in any scientific journal in any language, with some editors writing caustic remarks such as, “One rooster does not a scientific study make.”

So I state, here and now, if Tim Birkhead will submit his A Big Rooster’s Competence In High School Algebra” to clarionfriends.wordpress.com I will publish it; however, to fit our format, we can only use three or four fairly short paragraphs rather than the original thirty pages.  I hope he understands our constraint.  Charles Marlin

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Dana Milbank, an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, is pledging to spend February without mentioning Sarah Palin in print, online, or on television.  He is calling on others in media to take the same pledge.

Clarion Friends is ready to take the pledge but we need sponsors.  What will you give to the Clarion County Community Foundation for every day in February we are SP-free?  Here is your chance to join a good cause in a cheap month.  February only has 28 days.

A dollar a day?  Two dollars a day?  Or $100 if we are standing SP-free at the end of 28 days?  You can use our Donations page to complete your pledge come March 1st.  Charles Marlin

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If your boss looks like

And your financial advisor looks like this

And rush hour traffic is

Rebuild your harassed life by coming to Clarion County Community Foundation

And donating to RARE GIFTS FUND.  First click on the Donations page, then click on the web address that comes up.  From there you click on Donate and select Rare Gift.  PayPal does the rest for you.

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While reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen I took a couple of breaks and was surprised to discover his stardom.  This man is big.

He won a National Book Award in 2001.  Marion Ettlinger has photographed him.  He has been on the cover of Time.  He first stood up Oprah, then came back to kissyface with her.  He is such a thought-enriched man he often is unaware he has neither shaved nor combed his hair.

Usually writers are only seen talking, accepting awards, or pausing to pose, but here is a man photographed demonstrating life credentials.  He strides out birding, and confidently so because there is no bulge in his classic khakis to indicate he carries a field guide.

I fear I too have contributed to this star feasting for I have been seen entering Michelle’s late morning carrying the book.  On several days I have left it on my table uncovered.  It attracted two comments.

Even more newsworthy is the gift of Freedom President Obama accepted during his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.  Following this the author was seen leaving the White House in a “delighted” mood.  Since then there was the bizarre case of the kidnapping and attempted ransoming of his glasses.

If someone reading Clarion Friends has access to ask a personal question of Michelle Obama, then I would bet my Monday lunch money the President never finished Freedom.  Without clairvoyant vision I can only say I sense a full horizon of nodding heads.  Charles Marlin

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Clarion County Community Foundation will have an information table at the Oberlander Baby Boomer Expo on Friday, August 6th from 10am to 1pm, at The Meisinger Center of the Immaculate Conception School, Main Street, Clarion.

Enter The Meisinger Center through double doors at the back of the beautiful school building.  I will be there to autograph printouts of different posts from Clarion Friends, and to pose for photographs with every visitor who wants one.  Be sure to bring your camera.  Other CCCF on-air personalities will be there to take the picture for you.

Don’t worry or try to cut inline, I will stay as long as I see a camera.  Give yourself time to also visit some of the other tables.  We don’t want any hurt feelings.

And yes, there are door prizes provided by the exhibitors.  Charles Marlin

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The Weekend Journal section of the Wall Street Journal on June 5-6, 2010, ran a dueling set of articles Does the Internet Make You Smarter or Dumber?  They were no better than you would expect and I mention them only because a small boxed insert reported from Nielson that 56 seconds is the average time an American spends looking at a web page.

That is a shocker.  I sat down to inspect Clarion Friends on a pass/fail response to the 56 seconds rule.  John’s flowers, most of my book reviews, the Met And Eat Clarion County, the deviled egg competition, and Rare Gifts series all easily passed under 56 seconds.  Even our Pages with the exception of Donations passed.  Since no one seems to want to use the Donations page, it may go in the NA column.  The recipes failed to pass.

The part that hurts is that on occasion I try to write something important to Clarion County Community Foundation and to other small community foundations.  I may not use a lot of words but the thoughts are not superficial.  They could mean a great deal to the reader if given some time to breathe.  Those posts should not be forced to pass.

To solve this problem I am thinking of creating an on-line coupon attached to each post that calls for more than 56 seconds.  The coupon will entitle you to make a donation of $100. or less on the Donation page.  The coupons would have a two day expiration so the reader would need to act quickly.

If a reader has a better idea, please add a Comment, but remember to keep it brief.  Seconds count.  Charles Marlin

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After many months of not finding the kind of help we needed to make the PayPal connection work we have given up.  Not enough people cared.  Spring brings new energy, so we have a new Donations page.  Check it out.  If we get a positive response we will create a new one ever so often.  Charles Marlin

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The Clarion County Community Foundation plans to publish a Legacy Society brochure that will include several photographs of scenes and people in Clarion County.  If you have a Clarion County portfolio, please volunteer to help us.  We will also put them on Clarion Friends credited to your name.  Call Charles Marlin at (814) 797-2233.  I am at this very moment sitting beside the phone waiting.  Charles Marlin

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