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When Looking at the Written Word Legible Means We Recognize the Letters Themselves; However, Legibility Does not Equal Understanding so I Say to You, “Ugh Ugh Hmm Ugh Hmm Hmm Ugh Hmm Hmm.”

leo-cullum-the-emergence-of-language-cave-woman-we-need-to-talk-caveman-uh-oh-new-yorker-cartoonCommunication is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha, but funny strange. Once man realized his desire to communicate with his neighbor, I imagine the first conversation went something like this:

“Ugh.”

“Ugh?”

“Hmm.”

“Hmm hmm.”

“Hmm ugh.”

“Hmm ugh hmm.”

When man realized a need for long distance communication, he found that yelling his newly established words was not an effective way. Through his frustration, he learned to beat on various objects. When he discovered hollow logs and the distance the sound would resonate, the problem was solved.

After many, many years and the grand evolution of language, the written word was born.

This allowed messages, information and anything that could travel through the vocal cords, out of the mouth and recorded on parchment to take the show on the road.

Then one day a lonely man, living in a bamboo hut on a desert island had an idea. His only possessions were a pencil, a piece of paper and a bottle of water. His idea was to write for entertainment. After completing his first short story, he found there was a reason to live. He wrote every waking moment, creating what would have been the greatest novels in history. Unfortunately, he had but one sheet of parchment and the constant erasing eroded the sheet so thin it only had one side. The last thing he was able to write on this parchment was a short story of a lonely man with a pencil, a sheet of paper and a bottle of water. Knowing he could not keep this secret from the world, he placed the delicate piece of parchment into the bottle and tossed it into the ocean so the world would have this gift. Due to his excitement, he failed to place the cork into the bottle. He would wile away the rest of his life drinking coconut milk and writing in the sand. It would take another thousand years before writing was used for entertainment. And there you have it, the reason you and I write stories (no matter how ridiculous) for others to hopefully enjoy.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Everything Else

The Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-memb...

. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you had your “drathers,” would you catch a ride on the space shuttle,  journey to the deepest spot in the ocean, or write a novel?

We are all too familiar with the dangers affiliated with space flight.  Apollo One saw three astronauts, Ed White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee, lose their lives in a freak accident on the launch pad. Then, in 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all aboard, and the crew of the Columbia was lost on reentry, in 2003.

Thousands of souls have been lost in maritime disasters; however, one crowning moment was achieved in 1960 and has not been duplicated since–an excursion to the deepest point in the ocean by Challenger Deep. The walls of the vehicle were five inches thick with plexiglass view ports, one of which cracked near the ocean floor emanating an alarming thud and sending a vibration through the sub. The trip itself plunged to a depth of nearly 7 miles.

 Not being an adrenaline junkie or inquisitive enough to explore the depths of space or the depths of the oceans, I would choose to write a novel. In fact, I’ve managed to write several. They all seem to contain elements of danger, be it of the natural or supernatural varieties.

 If I look closely enough, I can usually detect a small part of myself somewhere within the menagerie of personalities. I guess I’ll live vicariously through my characters as far as danger is concerned… 0n second thought, that statement is more than likely false, as I have no desire to indulge in risky activities.

 Do you see how I can confound the sanest of people, while keeping myself in a total state of confusion?

 As I take a few seconds to beat the cobwebs out, I’ll attempt to continue this post in some coherent fashion.

 I consider this to be my Christmas post. I know it may seem a bit odd to associate such a joy-filled holiday with so many instances of tragedy and man-made disaster. However, I think it accomplishes two things.

 In many ways, it showcases our best–that unwavering human spirit, undaunted even in the face of certain demise. It is this spirit that has given us our many freedoms, medical advances, and countless discoveries that have made the world a better place.

 Secondly, it should keep us mindful of the sacrifices made and the families left behind. It is impossible to name all of these hero’s, though it is possible to remember all concerned, not just this time of year, but each day that we ourselves awake.

Finally, have a grand time with family and friends this year. Take care and be safe in your travels. And no matter what this new year brings, take solace. The one who came 2000 years ago to save, well… He’s still got your back!

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