Diary – 170621

Whooooosh. Three days aboveground in a heat wave is not where it’s at, but now the sun is setting and tomorrow we will be back in the canyon again. I want to stop on the way and hear the story of the Bear Dance, then finish my income tax, which I know I have enough to pay, but not in a checking account, which is a complication that did not occur to me until today. Maybe the bank will stay open on Sat morning, when I must (uuugggggh) make something to bring to a potluck. Usually I make cookies, which is fun, but doesn’t seem quite appropriate for this.

Ahhhh! The electricity just came back on. Good, maybe I can post this.

 

Anyway, I don’t have to come back up on Monday. My dentist just quit her job one day before my appointment that is already two months overdue because of my eye operation in Bryan that I needed to have in order to get a TX driver license because I spent the whole first part of the year trying to figure out how to get a NM license that would not restrict me to driving only within 40 miles from home, which would probably be OK, but it assumes that one actually HAS a home. Imagine what this does for homeless folk. They seem to have fallen out of the news lately. Another reality that Big Brother doesn’t want us to think about.

 

And, yes, it would no doubt reduce my chances of having an auto accident that is caused by the army of truck drivers and students out there on the roads and highways driving 85 mph. Not because of how I drive, but they have no interest in how I drive. Only how old I am, which they know and you don’t because the gov’t now requires us to release all significant kinds of information that we fought so hard in my youth to protect us from discrimination – not US, of course. We could never imagine discrimination against US. We were working for other people out there who evidently don’t care. Or more likely can’t afford to lose their jobs. If any.

Did you know there are now 18 American States trying to push through legislation to make peaceful protest illegal? Apparently the protests are good for something — or nobody would bother to do this, though the irritating thing about demonstrations to me is that they do not actually save anything – like the rule of law for example, which is necessary in order to get the things we are demonstrating about.

Y’all will have to think about USING the rule of law to protect the rule of law if that’s what you want. I’m too old for it, and if they really want me to stay within 40 miles of home they will probably find a way. If they can figure out where is my home and if they do, I expect they will let me know.

 

https://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

Report From the Road – 170530

News Flash – dead mouse removed from the heater fan!

Leaving for Chama tomorrow (Friday)

Report below –

 

 

 

I’ve known the man and his wife for maybe 20 minutes altogether, and we are sitting around the kitchen table writing up a receipt.

“Yes,” he said, “plastics give off smells.”

 

“—and glue and artificial fabrics and sprays and treatments, and that’s everything there is to the inside of a new travel trailer, except for some bits of metal, most of them painted, so that’s why I bought a cargo trailer. My idea is to get metal – – – ”

 

“It’s strange that we don’t have that problem with our trailer, and we have a – maybe ours is old enough to be before — .”

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“Some people are more sensitive than others, but those chemicals that make us ‘canaries’ sick are not good for anybody’s health. I’m surprised they let the companies use these materials without the proper safety testing. I remember when we had regulations that required testing materials before we live in them, and especially with children.”

“Wait,” he said: “I know how to fix it. Colloidal silver. Take colloidal silver and you won’t have any of those problems anymore. Where is that thing, I downloaded it from the internet. I used to get sick from dipping, but the colloidal silver took it all away, and my friend – – — etcetcetc.”

 

(Sick from chewing tobacco? You are telling me you take a harmful chemical so that you can take another harmful chemical and you are now happy because this makes it possible to take two harmful chemicals rather than none?) I didn’t say it. He would not have understood.

 

And that is howLadies and gentlemen, I came upon the recipe for colloidal silver, but it won’t save us from the pollution, either individually or collectively. The solution to the poisonous effects of man-made toxins is to stop making man-made toxins. Or at least stop using them. The solution to chemical sensitivity is not to apply more chemicals. It’s to take away the ones you already have used that caused the problem in the first place,

 

The solution to any problem is NOT to find a need and sell something with the claim that it will work and then claim that the claim is “research.”

 

The solution to a problem is to find the cause and fix it; research is finding the cause, not the fix and not any meme.

 

Change the subject away from finding the cause of the problem, because that subject makes us uncomfortable for some reason (any reason) – then find a cure for the subject that didn’t cause the problem in the first place. That is the story of pollution, of climate change, and very likely of the end of humankind.

 

Or take colloidal silver, give it to the children and adults who are dying of –

 

But wait, we were talking about pollution. What happens with pollution while we are taking the colloidal silver, or sniffing herbal essences, or whatever we decide to do to treat our symptoms.

 

Of course, while we are sniffing, the pollution keeps getting worse. 15%, 25%, 40%.

 

What happens when 50 percent of all the people are affected? Vomitting is the least of the symptoms, but my mind gave me a picture of the social event of the year, as 50 percent of the residents of a city are upchucking in the public restrooms on a particularly bad day in August.

Wouldn’t it make better sense, rather than building bigger and better restrooms, wouldn’t it make more sense to do something about reducing the level of pollution?

 

Anyhow, by that time it will be very hard to pretend that they will all be OK if we give them colloidal silver, but if you want the recipe, let me know. He gave me a copy.

 

This is Report from the Road, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

Bare Bones Biology 361 – Air

I tend to sleep in the afternoon, especially if it’s hot and I’ve been working. Bitsy woke me up. Was someone here? Or was it the redbird perched in the cedar tree outside the open window? I don’t know. Sleep hard; half-deaf; Bitsy was trying to tell me something, but I don’t know. One day when that happened I didn’t wake up at all, and later found a note by the place where the door should be. I imagine Bitsy having a conversation with our visitor, but I didn’t get to.

 

In our safe place in the mountain canyon, it was snowing yesterday. My closest neighbor (about half a mile) phoned. She was snowed in, two inches, temperature below freezing, and called to tell me not to try the road. It’s washed out at the culvert. The sky is blue-blue; the air is clean, clear, crystal. And cold.

And here was I at the Little Thicket, in the Brazos Valley of Texas, sitting at my little table with the door open, watching the wrens flit to and fro and the Biosystem breathe.

 

Or try to.

 

It was sticky-hot the day before, and my skin said somewhere above 90 and maximally humid. Cars drove with lights on; you could see the yellow air, see into it, but not through it. Like Los Angeles used to be.

 

The whole Earth Biosystem is breathing, and this morning – maybe it was trying to cough out the hot, sticky Gulf air, sick air full of homo-toxins from Houston and Mexico City and the Valley of the Shadow of the Oil well that runs all the way up the left-center of Texas and the right side of NM nearly to the mountains, and from the Gulf of Mexico where the water flowing into the Gulf is so toxic that residents who can afford it buy distilled water to rinse after washing.

 

But the Biosystem can’t cough. So then this morning, the cool front of relatively clean air from the northwest, from the direction of our safe canyon, swept overhead, releasing the power and energy of its going as it dug under the warm air from the Gulf, pitched it up, swung it around, and pushed it back upon itself. Layers. Cool clouds rushing southeastward overhead; warm clouds higher up, rushing in the opposite direction. Everything moving, swirling, thrashing, and me out there with the new camera to my new eye, I had to regenerate my video skills, trying to catch the power, flow, excitement of the event.

Within an hour the inflow, downflow, cleansing, pushed on through and the sky is blue for a brief time. But tomorrow or the next day it will turn the color of skim milk, and then dirty cream as that yellow air filters back back northward, slowly, infiltrating the houses, hovering over the open fields, flowing around the little remaining pockets of woodlands where the trees and bushes are making oxygen faster than the bad air can filter in, until we have another day of heavy smog, and then another, filling my lungs again with homo-toxins, until the earth takes anoher breath, with the next cold front, and shoves it back down south again.

 

With every breath in the summer the air is warmer, and pushes farther up and north, until it pushes me and Bitsy back into our traveling rig and up to our safe place in the cold, clear, clean of the canyon.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_361_-_Air.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology attends the March for Science

At Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we already know that Science is the study of natural phenomena using the scientific method.

 

 

 

 

 

Many natural and unnatural phenomena were present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And available for study.

 

 

 

If you decide to use any of these pictures for anything, please credit:  Photos by Lynn

 

 

 

 

 

And remember it is not all fun and games.  The basic truths are important to the survival of the above species and the climate that provides their basic needs.

 

 

 

 

 

Science tells us about a lot of things that we can do.

But there are many more that we can NOT do safely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So faking science to win elections or for any other reasons conceivably could be genocidal.

 

And to all you wonderful Texas marchers, there are already people in London, California, and various places between who are quite impressed by the way in which you have brought the subject to its relevant point.

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 359 – Report from the Field

I like learning things. Always have. You learn a lot in a college towns, and there is something charming and uplifting about people of college age – setting up a table with a chalkboard and scientific diagrams that explain all about God. Or supernovas. Or poor people who live somewhere else. Or photographing themselves next to a dog who patiently perks up his tired ears for each picture while he sits in front of a loudspeaker that nearly cracked my hearing aid. While nobody notices the squirrel running to and fro in the background with mouthfuls of leaves for the nest she is building.

 

Across the street is the bookstore, Barnes & Noble. I like to hide in a big puffy armchair in the far back corner and watch the people, where nobody knows I’m there and I could stay all day, nobody would bother me. Or sit at the front with a computer and a cup of coffee, thinking about Book 25, watching the people go by, and occasionally being recognized and squealed at:

 

“L Y N N N N N!”

 

But today I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist, so I gathered up bags and computer and coffee and pushed out the door, to find that someone had parked so close to my pickup, on both sides, that the door would barely open.

 

I placed the cup of coffee on the hood of the pickup – where I could see it, not to forget and splat it on the concrete as I normally do when I put it on the roof — I opened the left side door as far as it would go without scratching the next car, about six inches, maybe six and a half, squeezed all the bags and the computer onto the floor under the dash, put my right foot on the step and grabbed the overhead handle with my right hand so I could SQUEEEEEEZE myself into a six-inch thick flexible flab, squishing backward between the door and the seat. I settled myself in the seat and moved the computer and bags onto the other seat, heaved a big sigh of accomplishment, and looked out the front window at my coffee cup on the hood of the pickup. Way out of reach.

 

Just at that moment, a cute young Aggie (that’s a student of A&M) march-stepped around the corner. Straight-faced, he took in the situation, and without pause he executed the solution, picked up the cup, handed it to me through the open window, said:

“Here you are ma’am,”

and marched on in to the book store.

Life in College Station is more fun.

People do nice things, as though it were perfectly normal.

People smile just because you look at them.

On the way to the ophthalmologist, I stopped at Denny’s, for lunch and to use their wifi, and the waitress asked if I do all my computer work there.

 

No, I said, only the emails. I do everything else at home.

“I’m writing a book.”

 “What’s it about?” And she sat down in the booth opposite me.

So I told her it’s about how systems of Life communicate among themselves. How survival depends on the systems working together, rather than competing against each other, and we have more than three systems to organize: Ourselves, our social relationships, and

“Yes,” she said: “Oops, gotta go.”

Later she came back to tell me she’d been thinking about it, and systems makes very good sense and then she told me all about her own systems. I was glad to hear systems becoming real in her life and put one of her examples in book 25.

The last chore of a busy day was the ophthalmologist. I smiled at a woman who stood at the corner where the historic Planned Parenthood building is now occupied by a “Pro-Life” organization. She wanted to explain Jesus to me, but I said we already have met and walked on past, thinking that squirrel is more likely than Jesus to be top dog at A&M in the end times if the pro-life and the pro-choice can’t figure it out — that they both want the same thing – and it would take only a little study, heads together, to get what they both want. But they are having more fun pretending to care; believing that they care about the people, and what they really care about is the game. Playing the toxic game harder and harder and harder – if we can only try hard enough we will get what we want. Sorry – maybe in the corposystem, but that’s not how Life itself actually works to keep itself going. We don’t need more of that game; what we need is Jesus’s game for real.

And so thinking, I pushed open the door to the ophthalmologist and looked over to the left where the receptionist cheerfully greeted me, and at the same time I felt something soft and squishy moving under my right hand.

 

I leaped away, pulled my hand back, looked the little old lady in the eye and without thinking I said:

“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were a chair!”

And went inside to get my eyes examined.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of https://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com, and it’s all true except that I moved some of the locations to slightly different neighborhoods.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_359_-_Report_from_the_Field.mp3

Bare Bones Biology 356 – A Woman is Not a Family

Women’s rights, and specifically women’s suffrage is an excellent model for a number of society’s ills and it also usefully models the ignorant kind of linear thinking that causes many of those ills.

Don’t misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with being ignorant; it is the normal human condition. The word simply means uninformed. We all are ignorant of one thing or another, and it is far the best to know it, rather than to stumble around in the dark, false belief that we are well informed about important issues that we do not fully understand. And the women’s suffrage struggles of the past can make us a good example.

 

We were mostly taught to reason from top to bottom and from bottom to top, as though the universe were based in those hierarchies — or to reason from side to side, as though all the things and processes in our lives were parallel and comparable. Either kind of image leaves most of the rest of the universe, outside of ourselves, mentally invisible, because Life, in particular, is not that simple, and instead is a complex of evolved self-perpetuating systems, none of which are linear or strictly parallel; but more accurately all of which are nestled together within, around, between, and intimately encompassed among other evolved systems. The older metaphors more nearly parallel the systemic reality (say, more than 10,000 years ago, ref. Joseph Campbell). The Creation as Life, nurtured in a womb.)

 

At this time of overpopulations, extinctions and climate change, it is important that we know how things fit together naturally to enhance each other, and recognize that man-made destruction does not represent our power over nature; it represents nature’s power over us

 

The fact is that not women nor families, nor our human social systems are linear, not from top to bottom not from side to side. Not linear.

 

Earlier women’s suffrage arguments, as they relate to biological reality, can give us a good example, as reported by Prof. Pamela Radcliff, University of California at San Diego, in a series of lectures, mostly lecture number 6, that is available from The Teaching Company, entitled Interpreting the 20th Century: The struggle Over Democracy, course number 8090, in 2004.

 

Dr. Radcliff explains that, during the struggle over women’s suffrage early in the 20th century, one of the arguments against women as voters defined women as not individual persons, but as a component of a different entity — the family.

 

Well – of course women are components of the family, but so are men. And children. And dogs and cats. And sometimes goldfish. And the environment in which the whole family operates is also an integral component of the family. Woman as family or even woman as a component of family, is not meaningful in relation to decisions about who is an adult, human, participatory citizen. Women participate in all sorts of things – and so do men. Whether or not they are components of the family is not a difference between women compared with men. They both are, if they are and aren’t if they aren’t. That’s probably why it didn’t fly, because that argument doesn’t make logical biological sense.

 

I’m guessing the logic behind that particular argument was a false belief that biological systems are linear – that is, top-down organizations, sort of like a Russian doll, consisting of a man who directs the women who directs the children. In those days, most Western people did think that Life, and the Universe, are ordered that way. Now we know better.

 

A family is an evolved, complex adaptive system. Actually, so is a woman, but a woman is a different kind of evolved, complex adaptive system from a family and a similar kind of system to a man.

A woman, or a man, is a system composed of organs, tissues, cells and the environment in which all of those things can exist and with which they interact to maintain Life.

 

The cells, tissues, organs are things. Their behaviors maintain Life. Life is not a thing, it is a quality or characteristic that can only be maintained by the behaviors of the cells, tissues and organs within a compatible environmental system. We can refer to the cells, tissues and organs as subsystems. They are also systems; less complex systems.

 

Most of us already knew that people are made of cells, tissues and organs. The more difficult concept is that the whole system (the woman – or any other evolved system) is NOT ONLY the sum of all her parts. She is more than that. The whole woman-system consists of all its parts (things); plus all the functions and behaviors that the parts do as they interact with each other; plus the environment that sustains the whole woman-system; plus the emergent property that is generated by the functions of the parts as they interact with the environment.

 

For example, one of the parts might be a stomach. That is a thing. What it does (its behavior, or function) is to digest food. The food comes from the environment. All are connected with each other and with all the other parts of the woman-system. When all of the components of the woman-system do their jobs at the right times and places relative to the requirements of the environment, the result is LIFE. The woman remains alive. LIFE is one the emergent properties of that system. LIFE cannot exist without its interacting behaviors.

 

If one of the subsystems – it doesn’t matter which one, imagine the stomach again – if one stops doing its behaviors in a correlated fashion, then all the parts of the woman are still there, but the woman may no longer be alive. All the subsystems may still exist, but the emergent property is no more. The woman is dead.

 

So to summarize, an evolved system consists of: (1) the subunits of the system and (2) their correct behaviors, interacting with each other and (3) with the environment and (4) the emergent properties that result.

 

A woman is an evolved system composed of organs and tissues and cells and their behaviors in their environments. So is a man. So is a child.

 

A family is not. A family is an evolved system, sure enough, but nearly everything in our universe is an evolved system of one kind or another, and the family is a different kind. It is not an organism. It is a social system and its subsystems are not organs; they are people. People who do behaviors together (and in their environment) that result in the emergent social system known as the family.

 

A family is a higher-level system that is maintained by the behaviors and functions of the organisms of which it is composed, interacting with their environment. Its subsystems are men, women, children and other. Higher level means more complex. More complicated, because it is composed of people-systems in addition to their organs, tissues and cells.

 

We do not need to know these facts in order to understand how evolved systems maintain our lives, but if we consider these differently ordered relationships – different from what we were taught — as we contemplate the inconceivable complexity of the millions of systems of which we are a part, the knowledge gives us a more accurate image of the reality of how the Life of Earth manages to stay alive. This can be useful if we want to stay alive in joy and compassion.

 

Life is not a Russian doll in which one entity dominates another entity that dominates or nurtures another entity. Life is not basically a competition, nor is it “survival of the fittest” as that meme is usually interpreted.

 

The whole of Life nurtures the whole of Life. If not, it gets excluded from Life.

 

A family is not a Russian Doll with a man nurturing a woman who is nurturing the children. A family is not even a man plus a woman plus the children. A family is a whole separate higher-level system, and unique, each family a little different from every other family, but the whole of one family (any and every family) is generated by the physiological and behavioral interactions among ALL its subsystems (that is the people and other organisms who make up the family) and the environment in which it is able to survive.

 

If one of the subsystems — that is, one of the people or the environment — any one of them — stops doing its behaviors in a correlated fashion, then all the subsystems may still be there, but the emergent nature of a well-integrated family is no longer viable. The family “dies.”

 

Joseph Campbell elegantly described the family as a separate, emergent entity that is more than the sum of its parts. He commented that when one member of a family makes sacrifices on behalf of the family unit, she is not sacrificing to another individual, but “to the family” itself, as a separate and more complex emergent entity. (Campbell & Moyers, Power of Myth, DVD).

This is how evolved complex-adaptive systems stay “alive,” including human social or professional systems. The system is more than the sum of its parts, and it has emergent properties with which it interacts with all the other systems around it, so that entire the community of systems is benefited. Evolution is the fundamentally cooperative Law of Systems.

A woman is an individual organism, one component of a family. The other components are often a man and one or more children and the environment in which they are able to exist together.

 

The woman is not the family. The man is not the family. The dog is not the family. The children are not the family. The family itself is an emergent property that arises out of the relationships AMONG those three (more or less) entities and their environment. If these relationships are more collaborative than not, the emergent result will be more productive and pleasant. Or not.

 

If the relationships arise out of the flawed, linear “world view” that man dominates woman, who is the family, then half of adult humankind doesn’t get to vote, and the result is conflict and suffering at the individual level and at the family level and also at the level of the entire society, assuming it is a society (environment) that is based on voting.

 

A woman is not a family; it is an organism defined by the code in its DNA.

A family is not a woman, but a social system that is defined usually by local custom or law and by the interactions among its members.

 

A brain is not a cell (even though it is made of cells);

A cell is not a brain (because one cell by itself cannot do what brains do).

 

A corporation is a human social system that is defined by, and evolved around its corporate charter and composed of people and their existing environment.

A person is not a corporation, is not defined by any kind of human charter, but by its own DNA, and is not composed of organisms, but rather of organs.

 

A corporation is not a person, by any valid definition.

A person is not a corporation.

 

A cell is not a tissue, and a tissue is not a cell.

A person is not a cell, not even a zygote, which is a single cell.

A cell is not a person.

 

All the systems of Life are made of subsystems, from the whole living Biosystem to the smallest cell. And no complete system or subsystem operates in linear fashion.

 

Linear logic, therefore, vertical or horizontal, cannot arrive at logically consistent conclusions about how life functions at any level. Linear logic can (and has) given us bits and pieces, but that is the best it can do, and if we want to survive in this world we must pay attention to the other half of ourselves (the environment that we are destroying) and to our subsystems, because they are as much a part of our own selves as is our emergent Life.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of https://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/5146404

 

© 2017, M. Lynn Lamoreux, PhD, Photos by Lynn

MLLamoreux@hotmail.com

 

 

References Cited:

 

Prof. Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers, Power of Myth, PBS, DVD.

 

Prof. Pamela Radcliff, University of California at San Diego, in a series of lectures, mostly lecture number 6, that is available from The Teaching Company, entitled Interpreting the 20th Century: The struggle Over Democracy, course number 8090.

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 354 – Diary Edition

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Bitsy and I have nearly moved to New Mexico, with an equal split remaining in Texas, so last Saturday we celebrated our arrival and our leaving (next week) by photographing the local balloon festival, and it celebrated by landing in our back yard. What fun! I will post some of the pictures on the blog. https://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

 

We have been nearly moved for about three years, but we now have almost all of our self-defining stuff, all in the same location. Only today, the email sent an invitation to buy an upgrade of a computer program and my brain went click/click – and remembered where the original boxes are now stored, that were in the studio when someone else was living there and got moved to the smaller of the two storage lockers and are now nearby, so we could check the parameters be fore deciding how to respond to the ad. It turns out the old paint program we had was for the Amiga computer that is now up for sale as a precious and irreplaceable antique. The raw beginnings of a new sense of control over my life.

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We celebrate because, after a couple of decades of not actually having a home to live in –well, we had a home, but other people were living in it, and we were living in other places, for work mostly, and because our home was making us sick from
fracking, so whad to stay away, we became so scattered over the face of the globe that we could not FIND anything.

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Of course, computers never were important, except in the last 20 years or so, and that’s when I wasn’t there, at the studio — and the internet is a very fragile system; your personal records are not safe on a computer – and of course they keep disappearing from where you put them, which hard copies never do; the only problem with hard copies is that you must remember where you put them — and the computers and the internet and the corporations and the storage media and the lodgings and friends and storage lockers all keep changing. At higher and higher speeds.

 

Now we have one place for all the stuff, and have been able to sort through enough to know more or less who and where we are. Though we liked ourselves much better in Japan, and wanted to stay there, or Bali, or France, or Texas, or England, or any of those other places. But we yearned the most to stay in Japan, and cried when we had to leave, and only came back to organize all that stuff for which we were responsible, I mean some of it was living stuff, like an entire irreplaceable mouse colony.
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And then, just when we were about to start looking for a way to go back, Bush and bin Laden demonstrated their partnership in world crime and I decided to stay home to defend our democracy from itself, bin Laden was never a threat to the United States of America, for all the good that did anyone.
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My weapon, for both defense and attack? One vote that counted approximately as zero, because I was voting in Texas. And now we are here. We had a fine communal celebration last Saturday around the coming and going and being who we are. Having fun.

 

While it lasts.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:

Lynn Lamoreux PhD
MLLamoreux@hotmail.com
© 2017, Photos by Lynn
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