Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nomadic View Magazine- Issue 3


The glorious third issue of Nomadic View Magazine is now available! For this month, I have selected three popular posts for reprinting and here is a tantalizing tidbit.

Satanic Rituals and Animal Sacrifices in my Junior High School.

As my elementary school years came to a close, I viewed the upcoming entry into junior high school with a great deal of anguish and concern. Two rumors had been floating around for most of that final year and something very disturbing seemed to be going on over there….

From What We Need and What We Want

I used to have this friend, Larry, who was a single parent raising a 4 year old son, Little Larry. The very notion of trying to bring up even an angel in this modern world is beyond my imagination. I could never do it. I have very limited patience and have decided that the best I could do in this world is to be an uncle or family friend….

Impression of Days

When I was a child, I used to think, for some reason, that each day of the week had its own character. I still believe this although my impressions of the days have changed and evolved over time….

Click on the picture above to link directly to the magazine. And best of all, it’s FREE!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beautiful Izmir

This rocky peak known as the Two Brothers rises 883 meters above sea level just above the shore highway leading out along the peninsula west of İzmir. The Two Brothers are carefully watched by the people of İzmir because if clouds gather around them, particularly at sunset, then the next day is sure to bring rain. Those watching from the cafes along İzmir's waterfront mark sunset as the time when the sun falls behind the silhouette of the Two Brothers, its refracted light casting a changing palette of pastels over the gulf, as twilight begins to shroud the city with its sadness. The Greek poet George Seferiades, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1963, was born within sight of the Two Brothers, and he mentions them in one of his last poems, catching the mood of sunset and twilight in İzmir: "The sun sets below the rock of the Two Brothers./The twilight spreads over  the sky and sea like the colors of an inexhaustible love.”


Konak Pier was designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1890, within the boundaries of the central metropolitan district of Konak, near the city's historic center Konak Square in İzmir.

It was originally built as warehouse together with the French customs house on the nearby Pasaport Quay during the renewal of İzmir's portuary infrastructures as of 1867.

Konak Pier is reported to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel's architecture office. It was thoroughly restored starting 2003 and was opened as an upmarket shopping mall in 2004. Since then, it became one of the landmarks of İzmir. (Wikipedia)

Mickey Mouse in the Laboratory

u6E7CnCJlkrV According to my sources at Discover magazine, scientists  have endowed  laboratory mice a human gene which is related to human language development.  The transgenic rodent did not begin a reciting Shakespeare or anything, but  appeared to show changes in vocal patterns and brain shape.

Some researchers speculate that these differences may help explain why humans are the only animal able to communicate with complex languages, and not simple grunts, barks or songs.

So what happened to the lab mice that were given the human version of the gene? In the study, published in the journal Cell, researchers report that the mice still emitted ultrasonic whistles to attract their mothers attention like normal mice, but the whistles of the transgenic mice had a lower pitch. They demonstrated other behavioral changes, including less willingness to explore their surroundings. But most interestingly, the altered mice had altered brain structures. In a region of the brain called the basal ganglia, known in people to be involved in language, the humanized mice grew nerve cells that had a more complex structure [The New York Times].

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Art that Transforms

San Base Studio is an international contemporary art and design studio creating abstract, psychedelic and surrealistic digital art for residential and commercial interior design applications.

Canadian artist San Base is a pioneer of a new medium of art that utilizes the classical elements of painting, while harnessing the power of computer technology to bring two drastically different disciplines together.

Dynamic Paintings are composed of abstract images in a state of perpetual transformation. The overall idea of the painting remains unchanged, while the computer introduces infinite variations.

Additionally, at this linked site you can find a thousand quality digital paintings like the ones shown above. These are free to download for personal use and make very cool backgrounds for your PC. Enjoy.


Fresh Tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For all the Conspiracy theorists…


The bigger the building, the more important fire-protecting becomes. That’s why today’s buildings have asbestos-cement walls and even floors containing asbestos. Asbestos contain fire, cannot burn, and holds up after metal and glass have melted down, giving vital time for people to escape. You’ll also find asbestos sealing plumbing joints insulating heating pipes, electric motors and emergency generators. Asbestos. We couldn’t live the way we do without it. When life depends on it, you use asbestos.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Areogels- The Material of Tomorrow

image It looks like solid smoke. Or a hologram. When you look at it, the eye has trouble actually focusing on its true shape. It looks. in fact, like a ghost stuff. It's called Aerogel.

Aerogel is a form of nanofoam, an engineered material designed for high strength-to-weight ratio. Based on research from the 1930s by Stanford University's Steven Kistler, this material may soon be the concrete of the future (and a whole lot more). In a 1932 paper published in Nature, Kistler showed that gel is an open structure of a matrix of porous walls with a liquid filling. He reasoned that it could be possible to remove the fluid completely without destroying the structure. The result was areogel.

Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C. They consist of more than 96 percent air. The remaining four percent is a wispy matrix of silica (silicon dioxide), a principal raw material for glass. Aerogels, consequently, are one of the lightest weight solids ever conceived. (water is actually 300 times denser.) The silica aerogel is an amorphous form of common sand, nonflammable, nontoxic, and environmentally safe.

Mercouri Kanatzidis, a chemistry professor at Northwestern image University in Evanston, Illinois, said: “It is an amazing material. It has the lowest density of any product known to man, yet at the same time it can do so much. I can see aerogel being used for everything from filtering polluted water to insulating against extreme temperatures and even for jewelry.” Just to give you a rough comparison, one inch of aerogel insulates just as well as ten inches of fiberglass or a window with 10 double panes of glass. The aerogels' extraordinary thermal insulation ability makes them capable of withstanding temperatures in excess of a thousand of degrees Fahrenheit.

Kanatzidis has created a new version of aerogel designed to mop up lead and mercury from water. Other versions are designed to absorb oil spills. In fact, if you handle aerogel for more than a few minutes, you should wear gloves. That’s because aerogel will draw the water out of your skin and leave it scaly and patchy.

It also has green credentials. Aerogel is described by scientists as the “ultimate sponge”, with millions of tiny pores on its surface. In fact, workers are advised to wear clothes when handling aerogel for more than a few minutes as it can draw the water out of skin. This quality also makes it ideal for absorbing pollutants in water.

image One of the major problems with areogels has been its brittleness. However, in 2004, University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have recently demonstrated a novel method for chemically modifying and enhancing silica-based aerogels without sacrificing the aerogels unique properties. By mixing metal compounds during the production stage, lab scientist, Kimberly DeFriend showed that areogel's strength can be increased four fold. This allows the aerogels to retain their most valuable porosity and density characteristics while enhancing weaker characteristics like mechanical strength.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009



While I was shopping, I saw this wonderful vine exploding all over the place.

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Wake Up.. Suddenly…. You’re Fat

Fat Belly Man I guess the main reason was that I got extremely tired of accidentally catching my own image in a mirror, or any very reflective surface, and seeing a fat man's body with my head attached. The shock and wince that followed were always momentary but increasingly more frequent. So, I decided, with my fatty heart in hand, to lose some weight.

To misquote Tolstoy, every thin person is the same but every fat person is fat in a different way. I carried almost all my extra load right in the belly. This, researchers now tell us, is the most dangerous kind of fat.

Previous studies have linked an apple-shaped physique to a greater propensity for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Researchers suspect that belly fat cells are the worst because of their proximity to major organs. They ooze noxious chemicals, stoking inflammation, constricting blood vessels and triggering other processes that may also damage brain cells. "There is a lot of work out there that suggests that the fat wrapped around your inner organs is much more metabolically active than other types of fat right under the skin," Whitmer said. "It's pumping out toxic substances. It's very potent toxic fat."

So, apparently, not only am I surrounded in a layer of fat, but the fat is poisonous. Lucky apple-shaped me. In fact, my weight had been, for the last ten years or so, steadily accumulating, at first imperceptibly but now, where the actual increase from month to month is observable. And, let's face it, that's pretty scary. A slow motion body explosion!

For one thing, I don't exercise, and I mean, ever. I still associate exercise with Physical Education class and sweaty yard work. In the past, most of us used to walk a lot more. Now, if I walk down the street, I return home panting as if I had climbed Mt. Everest. With a fearful pounding sensation in my neck, I pretend to be some kind of martyr. How did I get to be so lazy? It is killing me and yet, given a choice of the stairs or an elevator, I would with a moment's reflection, wait an extra  minute on Z floor to get to the first floor.

The other reason is food. Dear dear food. The only way I could possibly gain weight faster this last year would have been to cram handfuls of sugar in my mouth from noon to midnight. But then again, cola is perhaps the easiest way to do this.

While I was in the USA this autumn, I noticed two things. Food tastes better- better than it should- and there are so many more choices. Walking the aisles in a typical supermarket takes on a dream like quality when compared to the paltry selection in the average Turkish market. There are just too many irresistible choices. People are not made of stone, after all. You look at some new product and think, "What the hell is ...THAT?" and nearly the next second, "God, I wonder how that tastes? What the hell." And before you know it, you find yourself stowing it in the fridge or on your pantry shelf. You simply cannot live long enough to sample every intriguing morsel and, by the very nature of obesity and the ill health it brings, you are positively guaranteed to be robbed of time for that pleasure.

Besides, I came from a family whose motto was "Self-denial? What's the point?" I heard my mother say probably a hundred times, "Food makes me happy. What's the point of living a long time if you are miserable all the time?" Fair enough. However, as I discovered when I quit smoking, there is a flaw in this idea. It is problem with all addictions. the law of diminishing returns. Addictions, like a first date with a cheerleader, promise a lot but withhold complete satisfaction. The more often you attempt to reach nirvana, the less likely you will be able to attain it. The best you can expect from an addiction is a repeat performance as good as you remembered.

But an addiction to food is a different sort of beast altogether. After all, one doesn't need a daily allowance for alcohol or cigarettes or heroin or crack, but a food is a requirement. It forces us to monitor, to ration and to curtail, when necessary, our intake. And if you ignore this prohibition, you have only yourself to blame if you wake up one drizzly morning wearing a goose-down jacket of poisonous fat.

Okay, models are rumored to live on air and three olives a week, but unless you wish to become a cadaver on the runway, you need some kind of nutrition, you must masticate, and swallow and digest and finally poo.

So, it appears the only solution is to diet. I am trying the Atkins Diet because, if I have to deny myself the pleasures of sugar and every bit of starchy carbohydrates, ( fare thee well, baked potatoes, goodbye, white rice and adios, macaroni! I loved you all!) then meat and deep-fried whatever does offer some degree of greasy comfort. Wish me luck.


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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beautiful Izmir


Speak up. I can’t hear you.

I’d like to hear from you! Let me know what you think of the blog. What you like, what you want to see more of.  That sort of thing.  All comments will be appreciated.

Also, as a reminder,  the editors at Nomadic View are working hard to put together the third (THAT’S RIGHT, Number 3!!) issue of Nomadic View Magazine, due June 1.  Links for past issues can be found on the sidebar of this blog.   June’s issue includes a popular past post, “Satanic Rituals and Animal Sacrifices in my Junior High School.”  A story about the devilish goings-on at my institute of education.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Glowing Tree Frogs!


This photo comes from a regular reader of Natural Geographic. While wandering in her garden, she spotted this unusual site. She assumed the tree frog had cooked itself from the inside out with this “bright idea.” However, the frog eventually moved on, apparently unharmed.

Little People

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cheney v.s. Obama

Expedients are for the hour; Principles are for the ages.             

H. W.  Beecher

New Istanbul 

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2008) Istanbul is at such high risk for a devastating earthquake that engineers at Purdue University and the Republic of Turkey have come up with a bold new proposal: build a second city.

A second, satellite city would provide immediate refuge to inhabitants of the old city in the event of a catastrophic earthquake and soften such an event's effects on the nation's economy.

Purdue researchers have created a 3-D fly-through animation showing what the proposed new city would look like. The five-minute animation was produced using new technology developed by the Office of Information Technology at Purdue.

Mete Sozen, Purdue's Kettelhut Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, says building a satellite city from scratch has several advantages. "It is exciting to think about building a new city using completely new technologies," he says. It would use modern information technologies and be environmentally friendly. It would be safe, secure and modern. But more important is that this city would provide a refuge and emergency services in the event of an earthquake."

With some cities around the world at risk from rising ocean waters caused by global climate change or from natural disasters, Sozen says building cities in new locations may become common in coming decades.

Istanbul, which lies just north of the North Anatolian fault, is at high risk for a major earthquake within the next 30 years. "All of the seismic and historical evidence says a major earthquake is overdue," says Sozen, who led an international effort in 2005 to evaluate the risk of such a catastrophe.

That group concluded that it is likely an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 to 7.5 on the Richter scale would occur within the next three decades. Such an earthquake would be especially devastating to Istanbul. Many of the city's buildings were not constructed to withstand earthquakes and, in fact, Sozen says many buildings were constructed with little regard for modern building standards. The city itself is not well designed for earthquakes. Many streets are narrow and winding and would quickly fill with debris after an earthquake, preventing aid from reaching those who are trapped or injured.

"We determined that to bring the city up to modern standards to reduce the effects of an earthquake would cost $50 billion," Sozen says. "At that point we began to think there might be another option. We could run away from the earthquake."

Istanbul, a city of more than 12 million people on Turkey's northwest coast, is one of the world's ancient and historically important cities, having been the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The city is Turkey's cultural and economic hub and is responsible for 80 percent of the nation's economy.

"When New Orleans was destroyed by flooding, it had a noticeable but small effect on the economy of the United States," Sozen says. "But if Istanbul were to be destroyed, Turkey's economy would be devastated."

The satellite city of Istanbul is designed to be an economic hub by clustering districts that serve specific purposes. There would a hotel district near the ocean, as well as business, residential and entertainment districts.

If realized, the satellite city of Istanbul would be the first major city to be constructed since Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, was built from 1956-1960. No site for the proposed satellite city has been chosen.

The new city would be earthquake resistant, with strong buildings and wide streets. The city would be designed to take advantage of building techniques used to minimize earthquake damage and incorporate modern technologies such as electronic locks and security, video communication and environmentally friendly technologies.

"We were able to look at the best ideas in the world and incorporate these in our proposal," Sozen says. "For example, the storm sewers will recycle rainwater like the ones in Sweden."

One of the most striking architectural features presented in the Purdue visualization is a cluster of earthquake-resistant buildings arranged in the shape of a star.

Purdue researchers have created a 3-D fly-through animation  showing what the proposed new city would look like. The five-minute animation was produced using new technology developed by the Office of Information Technology at Purdue. A video featuring the fly-through animation of the proposed city can be viewed at:

Dog-o-Matic Washing Machine for Dogs

French inventor Romain Jarry has created the Dog-o-Matic, which is essentially a giant washing machine for dogs. It takes about a half hour and prices range from around $20-$45 depending on the size of your pooch. You select the dog size and wash cycle, put your dog in the big door and press start. Despite the photo of that dog trying to claw his way out of the machine, the inventor insists that the dogs don’t mind. There’s one (apparently successful) machine in France now and Jarry wants to bring them to England soon.

And what about a child-o-matic?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tesla in Love

There is a moving story of the love of Tesla's life in the book, Tesla: A Prodigal Genius. Written by a man that knew the great inventor well, the book illustrates the often vast chasm between how a person may appear to others and the complicated machinery of human emotions.

It is perhaps an unfortunate fact that few people today are familiar with Nikola Tesla and his work. This was not the case about a hundred years ago and his name was as familiar and celebrated as Einstein or Edison. 

The inventor of wireless communication before Marconi, Tesla was "widely respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers who worked in America. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. During this period, in the United States, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture but due to his eccentric personality and his seemingly unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist" (wikipedia)

In the last decades of his life, Tesla's reputation suffered. Many of his claims, such as a death ray weapon and invisible defensive energy shield, were mocked and ridiculed. His competitors had also successfully undermined his ability to locate sufficient funding for his projects by portraying him as a unstable type or, still worse, as a con-man. Today, most see him as a victim of being born too soon.
During the last three decades of his life, it is probable that not one out of tens of thousands who saw him knew who he was. His fame had died down and the generation that knew him well had passed on. Even when the newspapers, once a year, would break out in headlines about Tesla and his latest predictions concerning scientific wonders to come, no one associated that name with the excessively tall, very lean man, wearing clothes of a bygone era, who almost daily appeared to feed his feathered friends. He was just one of the strange individuals of whom it takes a great many of varying types to make up a complete population of a great metropolis.
By the mid-1920s, his situation became so precarious that he was unable to maintain offices or to pay the salaries of his secretaries. During this time, his behavior became more and more eccentric. He became unstable even to those who knew him well, unreasonably attached to street pigeons.
It was hard for almost everyone to understand why Tesla, engaged in momentous scientific developments, working twice as many hours as the average individual, could see his way clear to spend time scattering bird seed. The Herald Tribune, in an editorial, once stated: "He would leave his experiments for a time and feed the silly and inconsequential pigeons in Herald Square."
Even his close associates were disturbed by his obsessive behavior and its effects were becoming more and more a sign of the inventor's mental instability. He would wander alone down Fifth Avenue after midnight to deliver food for his pigeons. 

If he were ill or otherwise unable to make his pigeon feeding rounds, he would call a Western Union messenger boy and, for a fee plus a dollar tip, send him to scatter seed for the birds.
In addition to feeding the birds in the streets, Tesla took care of pigeons in his rooms in the various hotels in which he made his home. He usually had basket nests for from one to four pigeons in his room and kept a cask of seed on hand to feed them. The window to the room in which he kept these nests was never closed.
A short time later he was forced to leave his apartment in the Hotel St. Regis. His bill had been unpaid for some time, but the immediate cause was associated with pigeons. He had been spending more time in his hotel room, which also became his office, and devoted more time to feeding pigeons. Great flocks of them would come to his windows and into the rooms, and their dirt on the outside of the building became a problem to the management and on the inside to the maids.
He sought to solve the problem by putting the birds in a hamper and having George Scherff take them to his Westchester home.
Three weeks later, when first given their freedom, they returned, one making the trip in half an hour. Tesla was given his choice of ceasing to feed the pigeons or leaving the hotel. He left. He next made his home at the Hotel Pennsylvania. He remained there a few years and the same situation, both as to bills and pigeons, developed. He moved to the Hotel Governor Clinton--and in about a year went through the same experience. He next moved to the Hotel New Yorker, in 1933, where he spent the final ten years of his life.
It was the love story of Tesla's life. In the story of his strange romance, I saw instantly the reason for those unremitting daily journeys to feed the pigeons, and those midnight pilgrimages when he wished to be alone. I recalled those occasions when I had happened to meet him on deserted Fifth Avenue and, when I spoke to him, he replied, "You will now leave me." He told his story simply, briefly and without embellishments, but there was still a surging of emotion in his voice.
"Yes," he replied to an unasked question. "Yes, I loved that pigeon, I loved her as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. When she was ill I knew, and understood; she came to my room and I stayed beside her for days. I nursed her back to health. That pigeon was the joy of my life. If she needed me, nothing else mattered. As long as I had her, there was a purpose in my life.
"Then one night as I was lying in my bed in the dark, solving problems, as usual, she flew in through the open window and stood on my desk. I knew she wanted me; she wanted to tell me something important so I got up and went to her. "As I looked at her I knew she wanted to tell me--she was dying. And then, as I got her message, there came a light from her eyes--powerful beams of light.
"Yes," he continued, again answering an unasked question, "it was a real light, a powerful, dazzling, blinding light, a light more intense than I had ever produced by the most powerful lamps in my laboratory. "When that pigeon died, something went out of my life. Up to that time I knew with a certainty that I would complete my work, no matter how ambitious my program, but when that something went out of my life I knew my life's work was finished. "Yes, I have fed pigeons for years; I continue to feed them, thousands of them, for after all, who can tell--"
There was nothing more to say. We parted in silence. The talk took place in a corner of the mezzanine in the Hotel New Yorker. I was accompanied by William L. Laurence, science writer of the New York Times.
We walked several blocks on Seventh Avenue before we spoke. No longer was there any mystery to the midnight pilgrimages when he called the pigeons from their niches in the Gothic tracery of the Cathedral, or from under the eaves of the Greek temple that houses the Library--pursuing, among the thousands of them . . . "For after all, who can tell . . .?"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

1950s Swimsuit Ad


erm… WHAT? No..I can't believe this is for real, sorry.

Marko Melkon

Marko Melkon, whose original name was Melkon Alemsherian, was born in Izmir, then known as Smyrna, Turkey on May 2, 1895 to Armenia parents.
At seventeen, he was supposed to fulfill his military service however, he fled to Athens, Greece where he played his oud, a lute-like instrument. There he played in taverns and coffee houses. Being from Izmir, he spoke and sang Greek fluently. In 1921, he left for the United States together with his musician friend, Achilles Poulos. He immediately found employment playing in coffee houses and soon found himself, much to his own surprise, with "pockets of money." With this unexpected wealth, he was able to help his parents leave Turkey immediately after the Turkish war of Independence. By playing in cabarets in Boston and other cities of the East Coast, Melkon became quite famous.
Marko Melkon is one of the most beloved cabaret musicians of New York's 8th Avenue middle eastern club scene of the 1950's. He performed at virtually all of the Middle Eastern clubs throughout the country including Club Khyam, the Britania, Port Said and Egyptian Gardens. His recordings on Kaliphon and Me-Re Records became household items for every Armenian and Greek family.
His popularity increased in the forties with a series of records and his first record, Oglan, Oglan was a hit throughout the country. His music has lived after his death in 1962 on in recordings.

Love Note from the Fishbowl

There  was one time and not so long ago, that you seemed so fascinated by me and my little world. I still don't know why. You would lean close with your face, nearly pressing against the glass and I would glare back at you, Goldfish-Teeteringstaring unblinkingly at your expressive brown eyes. To search for meaning. To attempt to understand what you must be thinking at that moment. So yes, I admit it, I loved you.

The music you played, the rhythm of your footsteps, the snow storm of food you gave, all these became my experiences. You were my life and the only world I have ever known. And I gratefully accepted the life we shared. After all what else did I have beyond you?

I want to say I knew you well but I cannot. For hours I would watch you and try to understand. Try to become more of a part of your world. But subtract all the things I thought I saw and thought I understood about you subtract these from the rest of the world I could never make much sense of and only emptiness remains.

But last night, I called out your name into the blackness. But there was no answer.

So, tell me have you stopped loving me? A simple question to ask, I know. Did you forget my name or am I even real to you at all? Have I become only an ornament in a bubbling piece of furniture? Another thing in your life requiring regular maintenance.

And when I am gone and you are holding my gold satin corpse in the palm of your hand, will it matter much to you? Will my replacement come so easily to you?

Because last night, I looked out to the limits of my myopic view and called your name. I called your name- it is the only word I know- and I sang the song of love for you and I waited. But there was no answer.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Interview with Vincent Shaw – Part 7

Vincent Shaw Did you speak to the US Embassy? What did they say? Did they send anybody to help you?

The woman there made a call to the Izmir branch and that person simply repeated what the foreigner's office had said. I had broken the law. Later, I asked the consul that what on earth were job duties if it wasn't to help Americans in a time like this?

What did she say?

She said they were only there to renew passports and transport the bodies of Americans back home when necessary. I told her that she seemed more useful to dead Americans than living ones. Those people are absolutely clueless.

What about the lawyer?

He 'd demanded money upfront. So he was like the invisible man. He was unavailable, in other words.

So you had to stay in the jail overnight?

Correct. But I had to give credit to the police there. I think they felt some sympathy for me. Of course, that didn't make any difference. They were all following orders and they didn't want to make any enemies by asking any questions. . They tried to be as hospitable as they could. They allowed me to stay in a private area so I wouldn't be in any danger.

Isn't that called solitary confinement?

No. Well, they let me out of the holding area and I was able to watch TV. Then when it was time to go to bed, they put me in a separate area alone. I didn't sleep much, of course. The irony of it was all the other refugees were desperately trying to escape Turkey and go to Europe. Here I was desperate to stay in Turkey but being kicked into Europe. It is still kind of funny when I think about it. It wasn't funny at the time, of course.

Then the following day, my friend had managed to collect some money and some clothes in a bag. The police tried to get me to sign something before I left. I learned that it was a confession that I had agreed to my “crime” and I would agree not to return to Turkey for 60 months. Five years.

Did you sign THAT?

No. I refused to sign it. Later they said, it had been a mistake. I would be able to come back in a year. So the next day, I was escorted to Cesme and put on a boat to Greece.

I can't imagine what you must have been feeling.

I was in shock, I guess. They had treated me like a criminal when I had tried to follow the laws. I had tried to get legal advice from so called experts and nobody knew what the law was. There is a reason for this. There is no law in Turkey. It changes from person to person and from day to day.

You sound bitter.

It is hard not to be. I mean, I was not caught stealing cars. Or dealing drugs or murdering anybody. And I had been in Turkey for a long time without any problem. I felt really broken hearted I guess.

So you were now heading to Greece. How far away was that?

Oh it was close. Chios is real close. In fact, you can see the lights of Turkey from the island. That made it worse. I was like some kind of exile. I found a place to stay that night and tried to pull myself together. In the end, I stayed there most of the summer. It wasn't a holiday. It should have been. But I waited and waited for the judge's ruling in my case. I waited three months. The courts shut down during the summer. Can you believe that? Everybody goes on vacation in summer. The judge decided against my case later learned. I wonder if he had even looked at my file.

After three months, I went to renew my tourist visa for Greece and they tell me that it was impossible. They were part of something called Schengen.

What's that exactly? Many of the European countries are in a union and it is like the United States of Europe. If you enter one, you have enter them all. According to what the Greek police told me, as an American, you can only stay in any Schengen country for three months. Then you have to leave and you cannot return for another six months. So, you can not leave for a day and come back and have a new three month tourist visa. You have to leave after three months and not come back for another three months. It's crazy.

Is that possible? So an American cannot stay in Europe for more than three months? That's what they said. So I decided I had had enough of it. I decided to go back to the states for awhile. Take a break from traveling and recuperate a little.

You went to New York I think. I have one question. You came back to Turkey. Why? I mean, after all that terrible treatment. The corrupt business partner, the crooked lawyers, the officials and the police. Why on earth would you come back?

Turkey is my home. I wasn't born there but I think of it as my home. Turkish people are the best. I mean, you can make a list of all the people here that screw up my life but then on the other hand, there were a lot of people, close friends, that worried about me and broke their backs trying to get me back here. You can't just throw away ten years of your life when a crisis happens. Maybe I am an idiot, I don't know. But I really don't want to give up on Turkey. Not just yet anyway.

The complete interview can be found in Nomadic View Magazine No. 1 and No.2. Click on the thumbnail icons on the side bar to view.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

JC Penney’s Pimp Wear Collection


Rules of Flight

I wrote this poem years ago. I hope you like it.

 Rules of Flight


Consider this.

Consider that

the solution the dinosaurs found

when ice and cold surrounded,

and the demise of their race

was taking place

before their skeptical reptilian eyes

was to school themselves

in the rules of flight

and to retool their parts.

exchanging leather for feather

converting earth-bound bones

to perfect shafts of light

and taking wing upon the

north breeze that blew

They climbed the naked trees

and flew.

To dine on worm

To soar with locust

nesting and nestling

in warmer locales

the focus of still warmer locals.

much to apparent dismay

of parents

and all those that chose to stay.

Leaving behind bitter disciples

that became dust

or sun-bleached frowning fossils.

jmm 1992

Friday, May 8, 2009

B3TA image challenge entry- fluffy diasters


Interview with Vincent Shaw – Part 6

Vincent Shaw To sum up the interview so far: Vincent Shaw, an American living in Turkey, was offered a partnership in a Turkish firm. Due to some shady practices by his Turkish partner, he was fined for working illegally. Additionally his living permission was revoked and he was ordered to leave the country for a year. We resume his story where the police picked him up at his home.

I suppose you mentioned the legal review to the police that picked you up?

Eh. Yeah. He didn't think much about it. It was a Saturday. I didn't have much money on me. He drove me to a police station on the other side of town. Luckily I had managed to call my good Turkish friend and he was trying to get a handle on things as much as possible. When I got to the police station, there wasn't anybody else there. I asked to have a translator there but the police officer said it wasn't necessary. I was able to call the US embassy in Ankara. The woman there said she would call around and see what she could find out.

That's it? Weren't you frightened? Like, Midnight Express.

Yeah, well, it was not Midnight Express. But I was shell-shocked, that's for sure. I mean, the funny thing was, I was trying to work in the country legally. I thought that the lawyer had done everything correctly. He had told me I was legitimate. I mean, I suppose I could understand it if I had knowingly tried to get away with breaking the law. Anyway, after the guy interviewed me, he told me that they would be deporting me that evening on the first boat to Greece. After that, they took me downstairs and put me in a holding area with about a dozen other guys.

You mean in a jail cell? No. It was more like an army barracks. There were all kinds of refugees there. A guy from Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

I can imagine you were the only American there. Of course. But I have to say, the other guys there were not unfriendly. The worst reaction was indifference. Most of them were kind of amazed to see an American in the jail with them. Turkey and America were supposed to be friends. When I told them how I got there, they couldn't believe it. Maybe they thought I was a spy or CIA or something. Later my friend came to the jail and they let me talk to him. We talked to the director or whatever he was and asked him if there was some way I could delay being deported until I could get some money and some clothes. He agreed, but said I would have to stay overnight in jail and be deported the next day.

The conclusion of this interview next week. The complete interview can be found in Nomadic View Magazine No. 1 and No.2. Click on the sidebar icon to view.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trashy Film Poster Series-# 4

Everybody's Girl (1950)

Any English teacher would think this was some kind of exercise in superlatives! It‘s the “maddest” and the “merriest” and the “funniest” comedians and the “world’s most beautiful” girls.  The woman with the sombrero? I don’t know, but I would think that a name like “Gay Dawn” would make stardom a bit of an uphill battle these days. Sounds like a Village people B- side song to me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bristol’s Pregnancy, Abstinence and Lemons

Bristol Palin, the 18-year old daughter of Alaska governor, Sarah Palin is making news, it seems. She has been appointed as a teen ambassador for the Candle Foundation because " because she believes she could be a living example of the consequences of teen pregnancy, which is foundation's mission."

"Regardless of what I did personally, I just think that abstinence is the only ... 100 percent foolproof way to prevent pregnancy," she is quoted as saying.

This kind of mild hypocrisy is part of the problem. Abstinence is the solution that married couples, celibate popes, asexual Neo-cons, the hyper-religious and, as in this case, the repentant love to promote. Abstinence is always a fine solution for other people. And abstinence is always a fine solution in hind-sight. I mean, really, it is pretty easy to be a negative role model. Just about anybody can do that. I already have about 3 subjects covered myself.

A drunk warning about the dangers of alcohol and a drug addict confessing about all the terrible things he/she did to get a fix never impressed me much. It sounded too much like bragging and not even in an honest way. 

Bristol is probably a good kid and I wish all the best. However, reducing this argument to merely a debate over choices will never solve anything. At the end of the day, youth wants to experience life and as far as experiences go, sex is on my personal top ten. Also, not a bad activity when you are on budget or rather an allowance. All around the young people of today, in films, in music, in advertising, they see that life is a sexual thing.  The message says that A sexual being is a complete person. It is a sad fact that a virgin, according to the society we live in, is a pathetic thing, an outsider, somebody inexperienced and therefore lacking in a key aspect of life. It is regrettable  that we should be led to think this way. But that’s the message young people get -are getting like a timpani drum in their adolescent ears morning, noon and night.

Tackle the flood of mixed messages and you might go a long way in addressing the problem. At the very least, parents might try teaching their children self-control, self-discipline and the consequences of your actions at the very earliest age. Lord, I sound so old-fashioned but is there any other way? Sometime in the 1970s, (I don’t know the exact date) parents simply stopped saying no. They walked off the job and never came back.

"It's a 24-hour job and that's a huge responsibility," she said. "Your priorities completely change once you have a baby."

But wait a second. That would be true in any case, whether you are a teenager or a middle aged woman with a new baby. So isn't this statement anti-family? Why isn't she talking about how having a baby at a very young age may cause you to lose a lot of opportunities in life? Probably this would limit-by about 90%- her mother's voter pool.  Unless your parents are rich and generous, or governor, even, you’d better curtail that dreaming about a wonderful future if you have a baby in tow. On the other hand, perhaps Bristol never saw first-hand her mother change any priorities with a new baby. Even before she became pregnant, I had trouble understanding whose baby poor Bristol had to tote from rally to rally during the campaign.

"I don't see myself as a celebrity; I don't want to be one," she said. "But I think using this experience in my life to help others, I think it's a blessing."

I get it. This is the lemons from lemonade part of the interview. No. You are not a celebrity, Bristol and this is merely an attempt to solve a political problem for your mother.


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