Thanks for Nothing Old Navy

April 19th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

My phone was stolen from a dressing room at the Old Navy at 18th Street and 6th. I’d forgotten I had it with me or I would have taken it when I left the dressing room to get different sizes. But it was zipped up inside my jacket, so someone really had to go looking for it.

Without accusing anyone, since it was as possible that an employee took it as a shopper I called the corporate offices to see if they could do anything to help me (like ask the manager to at least look into it, talk to his employees). No, basically. They opened a case and gave me a case number, so there was a record that it happened, but they didn’t even take my name or number. I wonder how many thefts have been reported at this store?

I’d already called the police, but I imagine they have more important things to do and better uses of their time. I have renters insurance so I called State Farm to see if its covered, and amazingly it is, but there’s a $500 deductible on my policy so no help there. Also, American Express has purchase protection, but it’s only good for 90 days, and I bought the iphone 98 days ago. I was so close!!

So I’m feeling a little sorry for myself. I have to get out of this glum mood because I’m supposed to speak on a panel tonight.

The glorious magnolia tree in front of Grace Church.

Magnolia Tree, Grace Church, New York City

Holocaust Remembrance Day and Lilli Guggenheim

April 18th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

A post about Holocaust Remembrance Day made me remember Lilli Guggenheim. While researching my book about the former Duke Parapsychology Laboratory I came across a couple of letters from a German scientist to J. B. Rhine, the head of the lab. It was 1938, and I had a bad feeling which sadly, was confirmed.

“At some point every day, Rhine turned his attention to his enormous correspondence, which included hints of the growing problems in Europe. A couple of weeks after the Columbus symposium, a letter arrived from a 26-year-old psychologist in Berlin named Lilli Guggenheim. She’d read Rhine’s second book New Frontiers of the Mind, and she had an idea. She suggested a way of using the Rorschach Ink Blot test to find good subjects for telepathy. However, as a Jew in Germany, she explained, she was excluded from scientific laboratories, so she couldn’t do the tests herself. But if he gave it a try, “I am looking forward to hear some news about the results.” Later, she wrote again and asked about a job at Duke. She was anxious to get out of Germany. Rhine wrote Don Adams, a professor from Duke’s psychology department, to see if there was anything they could do for her, but they couldn’t come up with a position. Lilli Guggenheim would be deported from Berlin in November of 1942 and sent to Auschwitz, where she died.”

I wasn’t able to find out much about her. She did publish a couple of articles in the 1930’s, but she was at the beginning of her career at a very dark time.

Lili’s first letter to Rhine.

Rhine’s later response about a job.

On Open Mind, Claire Evans talks about her book Broad Band

April 17th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Claire Evans talks about her new book “Broad Band: The Untold Story of Women Who Made the Internet,” and is, as usual, so articulate and charismatic I want to take public speaking lessons from her.

Must-Watch Video for New York History Buffs

April 16th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It’s just astounding. You have to watch it full screen. It’s the first video of its kind that makes the people feel, I don’t know how to describe it, less distant, like actual people I would have talked and laughed with.

At 3:37 is Grace Church, where I sing every week. To see it as it appeared 100 years ago, surrounded by 1911 New York was so so thrilling.

Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY

April 11th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

After visiting Dead Horse Bay we went across the street to Floyd Bennett Field. This is a huge area, apparently, and we only saw a small piece of it. This was taken on one of the abandoned runways, looking towards Manhattan.

Ever since working for the Mobil Corporation in the 1980s I’ve been drawn to oil company memorabilia. You can just barely see the Gulf logo on this abandoned hanger.

A little graffiti, which there wasn’t a lot of, come to think of it.

While we were there there was this strange circle around the sun. I couldn’t get the entire circle in my shot with the camera and lens I was using, but it went all the way around the sun. Does anyone know what caused this? Ah, just googled it. It’s called a “sun halo.”