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Saturday, July 30, 2022


"Waiting for sponge bath Bob."


Allison Morrow, CNN Business reporter calls out Starbucks for ending the era of free toilet use.  CNN is snarky in doing so by saying because the coffee chain charges so much for coffee that it should be able to hire bathroom attendants.

CNN forgets the lack of public toilets is a government problem not a coffee house chains career calling.

Here's what Morrow has to say: "...Starbucks is not the bathroom hero we deserve, but it's the one we have. American cities are particularly lacking public toilets, and rather than deal with that directly, lawmakers have been content to let Starbucks and other chains take on the duty. (Yes, I said duty.) 

New York's former mayor Michael Bloomberg famously deflected public pressure to address the restroom issue 20 years ago, quipping that "there's enough Starbucks that'll let you use the bathroom." (Then he proceeded to tackle the real scourge of Gotham known as Big Soda... but that's a rant for another day.) 

 It's been an imperfect solution, at best, but it's about to get a lot more complicated. 

 Here's the dilemma: Starbucks is done being a public toilet," says Morrow.

[so are a lot of companies in America]. 

 Morrow, again: "...The company's interim CEO Howard Schultz recently said its stores may have to re-evaluate the policy that lets anyone, customer or not, use the bathroom. Chiming in on the story are CNN’s Nathaniel Meyersohn and Danielle Wiener-Bronner: Schultz said he is worried about safety, and while he didn't reverse the policy outright, he seems to be worried about a growing "mental health" problem threatening Starbucks employees. (As a quick aside, I don't know what he means by that mental health comment, and he didn't offer any examples. My guess is that Starbucks employees are just legitimately tired of having to clean the bathroom so much, and Schultz is doing all he can to keep his staff from revolting and forming unions. Anyway, the point is, whatever the reasoning, Starbucks has the full right to lock up its bathroom doors whenever and however it wants, and unless you own stock you don't get any say in that decision). For more than 20 years, Starbucks has been a de-facto public bathroom, especially in cities, and now that it's re-evaluating its policy, it could force the issue back into the political sphere. 

"The commercial solution is really not a great solution... No rational person would want Starbucks to pay for traffic lights or streetlights," said Lezlie Lowe, author of "No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs." 

Morrow responds, “Hey, Howie: Wait wait wait a dang minute before you go and force me to spend five bucks on an over-roasted (yeah I said it) cup of coffee just so I can use the toilet whenever I'm foolish enough to run errands in Manhattan.” 

Morrow adds, “I get it — bathrooms are gross, and no one wants to think about their barista having to bounce from the milk frother to the toilet plunger to the cash register and back. “So here's a thought: Rather than locking up the loo, make it the best part of the store. Hire bathroom attendants to free baristas from the extra work. Turn your sad water closets into palaces, with multiple stalls and fresh flowers and mints and scented candles and Enya's greatest hits playing on the speaker system. Stock them with that nice, soft toilet paper and put up that flattering lighting that all the Instagram influencers love,” says CNN. 

 PILLAR TO POST.ORG OFFERS: "...Nice try, Pollyanna. Paying customers aren’t the problem. For example, free toilets mean the homeless are free to take half hour sponge baths every morning. Sad but true. Meanwhile, Starbucks is reserving toilet use to paying customers. It’s their right by saying no gas, no squeegee."

Lack of public toilets is a government problem.  Build them and they will come.

Picture below is one on topic civic solution in San Francisco.

Friday, July 29, 2022


Could an Elevated Trolley be the Answer to Long US/MEX Border Wait Times?

GUEST BLOG / By Sandra Dibble, VOICE OF SAN DIEGO--Imagine stepping into an elevated trolley car in Tijuana — and moments later emerging across the border in the United States. 

No more hours spent inching forward on foot toward the San Ysidro Port of Entry. 

No more getting stuck in fume-choked lines of idling cars. 

The San Diego Association of Governments is supporting a private-sector study that looks at extending San Diego’s Blue Line Trolley over the border into Tijuana. If it sounds far-fetched, proponents point out that their idea is not so different from the Cross-Border Xpress, the airport pedestrian bridge connecting travelers in San Diego to Tijuana’s A.L. Rodriguez International Airport. 

In this case, the aim is to cut wait times and reduce vehicle pollution at the San Ysidro Port of Entry — the busiest border crossing in the Western Hemisphere. SANDAG this month awarded $50,000 to Los Angeles-based Cordoba Corporation to research the idea — and come up with some detailed answers by September. 

--What permits would it need? 

--Who would use it? 

--What would be the time frame? 

--Where's the money coming from?  SANDAG envisions funding it through a private-public-partnership — but that question has not been answered.

 Few would dispute the need for a solution. In this case, the effort is being carried out as part of SANDAG’s 2021 Regional Plan. “We have huge issues with border congestion, it creates a lot of air quality issues, safety issues around the border,” Antoinette Meier, SANDAG’S senior director of regional planning, told me last week. “This is an opportunity to address them in a really sustainable way.” 

To understand the situation at San Ysidro, look no further than last Friday and Saturday mornings, when pedestrians reported three-hour waits or even longer to cross into the United States. Among them was 17-year-old Omar Luna, a U.S. citizen who lives in Tijuana — but crossed Friday for his job at a fast-food restaurant in El Cajon. VOSD reached out to him after seeing a photo of the line that he posted on a Facebook page about border wait times. “It’s three hours in the sun, by the time you get there, you’re very tired,” Luna said. He usually takes an hour to cross by 5:30 a.m. for a morning shift, but on this day, he was working in the afternoon, and the line caught him by surprise. 

Operated by San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System, the Blue Line is familiar to many border crossers. The agency’s figures show that on an average weekday, more than 12,000 people board the line at San Ysidro. The agency “estimates the overwhelming majority are pedestrians who cross from Tijuana,” said spokesman Mark Olson. 

But these pedestrian crossers are not the only potential source of cross-border trolley users. The idea is also to persuade a significant number of drivers to opt for the cross-border trolley — thus decreasing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions in the northbound car lanes. A company that specializes in transportation infrastructure, Cordoba responded to an invitation issued by SANDAG last November for innovative private-sector proposals. 

The agency asked that the proposals focus on creating transportation connectors to ensure a system in San Diego County that is “faster, fairer and cleaner.” Of 18 submissions, Cordoba’s team was one three selected for funding and presented on Friday to the board of directors. All three teams in September will be invited to publicly present their refined concepts before a panel of experts. “And from there, we can decide whether we want to move forward with implementing any of these projects,” Meier said. By reaching out to the private sector in this way — a first for SANDAG — the hope is to generate some new ideas. 

“The technology is advancing incredibly quickly, and we don’t want to assume we are the experts,” Meier said. “This allowed us to identify new technologies, new services, new business models, new ways of partnering that we probably wouldn’t have considered on our own.” In an interview last week, Cordoba staff sketched out some of their preliminary proposals, which are subject to change as the study progresses. 

For now, the Tijuana terminal would be set on Avenida Revolucion and passengers would be charged $5 to $8. They estimate 2 million fare-paying passengers the first year, but predict demand would quickly double. “This will not be a costly system because we are all assuming that MTS is going to operate this. They already have the trains, they already have the infrastructure. So it’s really an extension of the same line by one mile,” said Conrado Ayala, Cordoba’s vice president for transportation infrastructure. Baja California’s government has also been looking at ways to streamline the border crossing. 

Kurt Honold, the Secretary of Economy and Innovation, told VOSD earlier this year that the state is studying a proposal for a cross-border pedestrian tunnel that would connect Tijuana crossers with the Blue Line at San Ysidro. Cordoba has already been in touch with the state of Baja California, where officials “are very willing and interested in collaborating with us,” Jacqueline Reynoso, the company’s director of programs and policy. To move forward, a key first step will be securing a U.S. presidential permit necessary for any such cross-border project, Reynoso said. 

When asked pedestrian crosser Luna about what he thought interest might be in a cross-border trolley connection, he did not hesitate to answer: If they build it, people will come. Maybe too many people, he said. “It sounds like a really good proposal, but they’d really have to think it through, because everybody would use it, do you understand?” he said. “It would also get full.” 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022



--Architect: R.J. Kadow, 1935 

--Address: 859 North Highland Ave., Los Angeles 

--Architectural style: Streamline Moderne

Built in 1935, the Streamline Moderne former Gilmore Gas Station stands on the corner of Highland and Willoughby in Hollywood. The Gilmore Oil Company was one of the largest oil producers and retailers in the country. Their “Red Lion” brand gas stations could be found throughout the West. 

It would later become a subsidiary of Mobil Gas. A franchise of the Gilmore Oil Company, the Gilmore Gas Station was built on land owned by actor Wallace Beery. 

Later, in 1956, then under the brand name Texaco, the station changed owners. Over the years, the gas station served as a backdrop for films, television commercials, and photo shoots, including the 1991 Steve Martin film L.A. Story, and the very first California State Lottery commercial filmed in Los Angeles. 

After the demolition of several neighboring historic buildings associated with car culture, the Melrose Neighborhood Association successfully nominated the gas station for Historic-Cultural Monument status. It was designated in 1992. 

Yet the building stood vacant, boarded up, and covered in bird droppings for the next twenty years. To make matters worse, in 2009, a truck accident severely damaged the building’s distinctive cantilevered canopies. 

In 2013, Starbucks presented a plan to convert the derelict station into a drive-through/walk-up coffee shop. Residents of the neighborhood responded well to the project, which opted for rehabilitation over demolition. 

The project officially began in 2015. The team removed incompatible alterations, such as metal roll-up garage doors, and replaced them with contemporary adaptations of historic garage doors. They turned existing openings under canopies into a walk-up order window and a drive-thru window. They meticulously restored the station’s decorative lighting and replaced neon tube lighting with environmentally friendly LED lighting. 

The team recreated irreparable historic elements, including the cantilevered canopies. Perhaps the biggest challenge was the oil contamination from the gas station. A hydraulic lift with an oil pump operated the garage’s lift station, and over the years, oil leaked into the soil. As a result, the site required extensive environmental cleanup. 

The building’s landmark status led Starbucks to rethink its signage, using a smaller logo compatible with the building’s design. This project is a fantastic example of adaptive reuse done right. As a drive-thru, the site remains true to its auto-centric roots. It beautifully yet sensitively reimagined an easily lost building to serve new generations. Through smart corporate investment, this community landmark serves as a "fuel" station, once again. This project earned a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2018. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2022


California coast, Los Angeles, Mojave Desert, Salton Sea, San Diego, Channel Islands, Gulf of California and North Baja Peninsula.

Using NASA/ISS archives of a single real time journey around Earth is the subject of “Orbit,” a film by Sean Doran that is supported by an excellent soundtrack by Phaeleh.  To begin CLICK HERE.

Hour/Minute Log 

[Note: The film bounces around it is not a true orbit]. 

1:42 Portugal and Spain. Strait of Gibraltar. Entrance to the Mediterranean 

2:50 North Africa and the Sahara Desert 

4:30 Algeria 

5:45 Tassili N'Ajjer National Park -left. Ahaggar National Park-on right 

9:10 Suez Gulf. The delta of the river Nile. The Sinai Peninsula. Faiyum Oasis, river Nile Egypt 

10:15-11:20 Red sea 

23:30 Farasan Island Marine Sanctuary. Dahlak Archipelago, Red Sea 

24:00 Jeddah-left. Jazan is on right. Saudi Arabia 

26:25 Buraydah-left, Riyadh- on right. Saudi Arabia 

27:40 Persian Gulf, Kuwait City-Kuwait. Al Jubail, Dammam-Saudi Arabia. Bahrain. Qatar. Abu Dhabi, Dubai- United Arab Emirates. 

28:50 Isfahan-left, Shiraz- on right: Iran 

30:00 top left Ashgabat-Turkmenistan, to the right Mashhad- Iran 

32:00 Central Africa 

34:32 Chad, Sudan 

36:30 river Nile 

38:00 Red Sea 

39:30 Al Khanafah Wildlife Sanctuary - Saudi Arabia 

43:20 Caspian Sea southern part, Iranian Highlands 

45:05 Kaplankyr Reserve, The Amudarya River, the Karakum Desert 

48:35 Lake Balkhash-Kazakhstan 

50:30 The Altai Mountains 

52:59 Khovsgol Lake( Mongolia) and Sayan Mountains 

54:20 Lake Baikal, in southern Siberia 

59:15 Vladivostok and Lake Khanka- on the right, Primorsky Krai- Russia 

01:00:10 Strait of Tartary 

01:03:27 Europe: Alps, France, Germany, North Italy, Switzerland, Lake Constance, Lake Geneva, Ligurian Sea, Corsica 

01:05:05 Europe: Adriatic Sea, western Balkans, central Italy 

1:10:40 Caspian Sea southern part, Garabogazköl Basin, Turkmenbashi Gulf, Bay, Cheleken Peninsula, Balkan-Turkmenistan 

1:11:57 Kopet Dag Mountains 

1:13:25 Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pamir mountains 

1:14:15 Registan Desert-Afghanistan 

1:14:50 Balochistan mountains - Pakistan 

1:15:25 Los Angeles - California - USA and Southwest Coast 

01:16:35-01:21:06 Gulf of California, Baja Peninsula, west coast of Mexico 

01:21:07 Guadalajara and Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico 

01:23:15 Grand Canyon National Park-USA 

01:24:52 Colorado and The Great Plains - USA 

01:26:15 Black Hills National Forest - is located in southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. The Platte River. The Missouri River. 

Monday, July 25, 2022


Vice President Pence exiting the Senate office with Secret Service

On Thursday, the committee showed just how dire the security situation during the riot became for Pence, and one White House security official testified that members of Pence’s security detail started saying their goodbye to their loved one

GUEST BLOG / By Sam Woodward, CNN--On Thursday, the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol concluded its first series of hearings where it heard from witnesses including top ex-Trump officials, election workers, those who took part in the attack, and many others. 

Through live testimony, video depositions, and never-before-seen material, the committee attempted to paint the picture of the former President’s plan to stay in power and the role he played on January 6. 

Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) used her opening statement during the first hearing in June to lay out the panel’s agenda. Here are some of the key points Cheney said the committee would explore in the hearings and what they’ve uncovered so far. The panel plans to reconvene for more hearings in September. 

“President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.” 

During the seventh hearing, the committee presented new information about the “unhinged” Oval Office meeting that took place Dec. 18, 2020, after which then-President Donald Trump tweeted what Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called an “explosive invitation,” calling supporters to come to DC on January 6. During his speech that day, Trump told the crowd to “march” to the Capitol and that they needed to “fight like hell.” The calls to action followed weeks of Trump making false claims about the results of the election. 

A video presented by the panel showed how supporters reacted to his plea. During the seventh hearing, Stephen Ayres, a rioter who pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering the Capitol on Jan. 6, testified that he had no intention of even going to the building until hearing Trump’s speech at the Ellipse. “Well, basically, you know, the President got everybody riled up and told everybody to head on down,” said Ayres, who has lost his home and his job. “So we basically was just following what he said.” 

Directly behind VP Pence as he escapes a Senate  office, a Secret Service agent is shown carrying the Nuclear football. 

“While the violence was underway, President Trump failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.” 

The committee used its final hearing of the series to detail the 187 minutes former President Trump refused to act while the Capitol was under attack, despite learning about the assault just minutes after he returned to the White House. 

Witnesses testified to Trump’s over three-hour-long disregard for the safety of his own vice president, responding officers and the joint session of Congress, despite watching the violence unfold on Fox and receiving numerous pleas from aides and Republican allies to call off the mob. 

And according to previously unseen video testimony played during Thursday’s hearing, Trump did not place a single call to any of his law enforcement or national security officials as the riot was unfolding. 

“You will see that Donald Trump and his advisers knew that he had, in fact, lost the election…President Trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results.” 

The committee showed the then-President and his team continued to press false election claims even after they were presented with findings that their conspiracies did not have merit. 

Multiple former Trump advisers testified to the committee that they tried to tell the then-President that there was no credible evidence of significant voter fraud and refused to go along with his plan to overturn the election. 

The panel used the fourth hearing to detail the private and public effects that Trump’s pressure campaign had on election officials. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, told the committee he and his family faced threats he believed were attempts to make him quit over his unwillingness to participate in overturning the election. 

During the third hearing, the committee highlighted how Trump attorney John Eastman knew his plan to try to block the election would fail if it went to the Supreme Court — yet the right-wing attorney continued to fuel Trump’s hope. 

Read more here about Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in Georgia. 

“President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information … and invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information…” 

During the second hearing, the committee presented multiple conspiracy theories pushed by Trump’s advisers to convince state legislators to help him overturn the election. 

Some theories included accusing Dominion Voting Systems of changing Trump votes to Biden votes in large numbers, a truckload of ballots being shipped from New York to Pennsylvania, and Georgia election workers scanning tens of thousands of ballots for Biden that came from a suitcase. (All of these claims have been debunked.) 

 CNN’s Fredreka Schouten wrote during the second hearing that roughly $250 million that was raised after the election largely went to the former President’s political action committee, rather than to the “election integrity” effort touted to his donors, the committee said. 

 “You will see that President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General of the United States so the U.S. Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims.” 

During the fifth hearing, the panel described a January 2021 meeting where the then-President considered replacing acting Attorney General Jefferey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a top Justice Department official who became a proponent of Trump’s false election fraud claims. 

Rosen, who replaced Bill Barr after he resigned in December 2020, investigated claims of voter fraud and, after finding nothing that would change the outcome, refused to use the powers of the Justice Department to help Trump overturn the election. Rosen testified to the committee that when he entered the Jan. 3, 2021, meeting, Trump said “you don’t even agree with the claims of election fraud, and this other guy at least might do something,” Rosen testified, referring to Trump considering installing Clark. 

Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, testified that while undergoing the presidential transition, he and another top Justice Department official were told by the then-President that they should “just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to [him] and the Republican congressmen.” 

“…we will focus on President Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th…in private and in public.” 

During a speech at the Ellipse on January 6, Trump called upon then-Vice President Mike Pence to “do the right thing” by declaring the electoral votes of battleground states illegitimate and sending them back to their state government to be re-certified by Republican officials to vote in favor of Trump. 

Trump was told repeatedly by advisers that his plan for Pence to overturn the election on January 6 was illegal, but he tried to do it anyway, and the committee showed video of Capitol rioters expressing anger at Pence for not fulfilling Trump’s wish. 

Hear Secret Service radio traffic as rioters breached the Capitol The committee also learned through testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that she heard her boss, Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, say that Trump seemed to agree with the suggestion from some rioters, caught on tape that day, that Pence should be hanged. 

“I remember (White House Counsel) Pat (Cipollone) saying something to the effect of, ‘Mark, we need to do something more, they’re literally calling for the vice president to be f—ing hung,’” she told the panel. “And Mark had responded something to the effect of, ‘You heard it, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.’” 

 On Thursday, the committee showed just how dire the security situation during the riot became for Pence, and one White House security official testified that members of Pence’s security detail started saying their goodbye to their loved ones.

Sunday, July 24, 2022


hotographer Salvatore Giametta captures the creative heart of Comic-Con International with his cosplay portraiture. View last week's crazed invasion captured on the streets of downtown San Diego: #sandiegosun #SDCC2022 

Note: All images by Sal Giametta except for Associated Press Lady Beetlejuice by Chris Pizzello.

Saturday, July 23, 2022


Dear fellow Earthlings:

No doubt this summer will go on record as one of the hottest on record.  The following image of the Mora, Sweden train station from last winter is offered as a breather reminding us things will cool off.  Imagine stepping from the rural train and walking through the snow to the warm station.  Nearby is a historic home turned into Cafe Zorn, a cozy restaurant (pictured below the red building).  There we can all gather at the bar to sip espressos and listen to the locals complain about how cold this Swedish winter has been.

Cheers from your editorial staff.

Friday, July 22, 2022


Tom Patterson with the heroine of this story, his wife Steffanie Strathdee


No antibiotics worked, so this woman turned to a natural enemy of bacteria to save her husband’s life 

GUEST BLOG / By Sandee LaMotte, CNN Health writer--In February 2016, infectious disease epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee was holding her dying husband’s hand, watching him lose an exhausting fight against a deadly superbug infection. 

After months of ups and downs, doctors had just told her that her husband, Tom Patterson, was too racked with bacteria to live. 

“And I have this conversation that nobody ever wants to have with their loved one,” Strathdee told an audience recently at Life Itself, a health and wellness event presented in partnership with CNN. 

 CNN Health’s
Sandee LaMotte
“I said, ‘Honey, we’re running out of time. I need to know if you want to live. I don’t even know if you can hear me, but if you can hear me and you want to live, please squeeze my hand.’ 

“And I waited and waited,” she continued, voice cracking. “And all of a sudden, he squeezed really hard. And I thought, ‘Oh, great!’ And then I’m thinking, ‘Oh, crap! What am I going to do?’ “ 

What she accomplished next could easily be called miraculous. First, Strathdee found an obscure treatment that offered a glimmer of hope – fighting superbugs with phages, viruses created by nature to eat bacteria. 

Then she convinced phage scientists around the country to hunt and peck through molecular haystacks of sewage, bogs, ponds, the bilge of boats and other prime breeding grounds for bacteria and their viral opponents. The impossible goal: quickly find the few, exquisitely unique phages capable of fighting a specific strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria literally eating her husband alive. 

Next, the US Food and Drug Administration had to greenlight this unproven cocktail of hope, and scientists had to purify the mixture so that it wouldn’t be deadly. 

Yet just three weeks later, Strathdee watched doctors intravenously inject the mixture into her husband’s body – and save his life. 

Her journey is one of unrelenting perseverance and unbelievable good fortune. It’s a glowing tribute to the immense kindness of strangers. And it’s a story that just might save countless lives from the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs – maybe even your own. 

“It’s estimated that by 2050, 10 million people per year – that’s one person every three seconds – is going to be dying from a superbug infection,” Strathdee told the Life Itself audience. 

“We have been caught for the last 2 1/2 years in this terrible situation where viruses have been the bad guy,” she said. “I’m here to tell you that the enemy of my enemy can be my friend. Viruses can be medicine.” 

A terrifying vacation 

During a Thanksgiving cruise on the Nile in 2015, Patterson was suddenly felled by severe stomach cramps. When a clinic in Egypt failed to help his worsening symptoms, Patterson was flown to Germany, where doctors discovered a grapefruit-size abdominal abscess filled with Acinetobacter baumannii, a virulent bacterium resistant to nearly all antibiotics. 

Found in the sands of the Middle East, the bacteria were blown into the wounds of American troops hit by roadside bombs during the Iraq War, earning the pathogen the nickname “Iraqibacter.” 

“Veterans would get shrapnel in their legs and bodies from IED explosions and were medevaced home to convalesce,” Strathdee told CNN, referring to improvised explosive devices. “Unfortunately, they brought their superbug with them. Sadly, many of them survived the bomb blasts but died from this deadly bacterium.” 

Today, Acinetobacter baumannii tops the World Health Organization’s list of dangerous pathogens for which new antibiotics are critically needed.

 “It’s something of a bacterial kleptomaniac. It’s really good at stealing antimicrobial resistance genes from other bacteria,” Strathdee told Life Itself attendees. “I started to realize that my husband was a lot sicker than I thought and that modern medicine had run out of antibiotics to treat him.” 

With the bacteria growing unchecked inside him, Patterson was soon medevaced to the couple’s hometown of San Diego, where he was a psychiatry professor and Strathdee was the associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California, San Diego. 

Drs. Robert "Chip" Schooley (left) and Dr. Randy Taplitz after injecting Patterson with the first round of phages at UC San Diego Medical Center. 

“Tom was on a roller coaster – he’d get better for a few days, and then there would be a deterioration, and he would be very ill,” said Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley, a leading infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego who was a longtime friend and colleague. As weeks turned into months, “Tom began developing multi-organ failure. He was sick enough that we could lose him any day.” 

Searching for a needle in a haystack 

After that reassuring hand squeeze from her husband, Strathdee sprang into action. Scouring the internet, she had already stumbled across a study by a Tbilisi, Georgia, researcher on the use of phages for treatment of drug-resistant bacteria. 

A phone call later, Strathdee discovered phage treatment was well established in former Soviet bloc countries but had been discounted long ago as “fringe science” in the West. 

“Phages are everywhere. There’s 10 million trillion trillion – that’s 10 to the power of 31 – phages that are thought to be on the planet,” Strathdee said. “They’re in soil, they’re in water, in our oceans and in our bodies, where they are the gatekeepers that keep our bacterial numbers in check. But you have to find the right phage to kill the bacterium that is causing the trouble.” 

Buoyed by her newfound knowledge, Strathdee began reaching out to scientists who worked with phages: “I wrote cold emails to total strangers, begging them for help,” she said at Life Itself. 

One stranger who quickly answered was Texas A&M University biochemist Ryland Young. He’s been working with phages for nearly 45 years. 

“You know the word persuasive? There’s nobody as persuasive as Steffanie,” said Young, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics who runs the lab at the university’s Center for Phage Technology. “We just dropped everything. No exaggeration, people were literally working 24/7, screening 100 different environmental samples to find just a couple of new phages.” 

‘No problem’ 

While the Texas lab burned the midnight oil, Schooley tried to obtain FDA approval for the injection of the phage cocktail into Patterson. Because phage therapy has not undergone clinical trials in the United States, each case of “compassionate use” required a good deal of documentation. It’s a process that can consume precious time. 

But the woman who answered the phone at the FDA said, ” ‘No problem. This is what you need, and we can arrange that,’ ” Schooley recalled. “And then she tells me she has friends in the Navy that might be able to find some phages for us as well.” 

In fact, the US Naval Medical Research Center had banks of phages gathered from seaports around the world. Scientists there began to hunt for a match, “and it wasn’t long before they found a few phages that appeared to be active against the bacterium,” Strathdee said. 

Back in Texas, Young and his team had also gotten lucky. They found four promising phages that ravaged Patterson’s antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a test tube. Now the hard part began – figuring out how to separate the victorious phages from the soup of bacterial toxins left behind. 

“You put one virus particle into a culture, you go home for lunch, and if you’re lucky, you come back to a big shaking, liquid mess of dead bacteria parts among billions and billions of the virus,” Young said. “You want to inject those virus particles into the human bloodstream, but you’re starting with bacterial goo that’s just horrible. You would not want that injected into your body.” 

Purifying phage to be given intravenously was a process that no one had yet perfected in the US, Schooley said, “but both the Navy and Texas A&M got busy, and using different approaches figured out how to clean the phages to the point they could be given safely.” 

More hurdles: 

Legal staff at Texas A&M expressed concern about future lawsuits. “I remember the lawyer saying to me, ‘Let me see if I get this straight. You want to send unapproved viruses from this lab to be injected into a person who will probably die.’ And I said, “Yeah, that’s about it,’ ” Young said. 

“But Stephanie literally had speed dial numbers for the chancellor and all the people involved in human experimentation at University California San Diego. After she calls them, they basically called their counterparts at A&M, and suddenly they all began to work together,” Young added. “It was like the parting of the Red Sea – all the paperwork and hesitation disappeared.” 

Tom Patterson's body was systemically infected with a virulent drug-resistant bacteria that also infected troops in the Iraq War, earning the pathogen the nickname "Iraqibacter."

‘It was just miraculous’ 

The purified cocktail from Young’s lab was the first to arrive in San Diego. Strathdee watched as doctors injected the Texas phages into the pus-filled abscesses in Patterson’s abdomen before settling down for the agonizing wait. 

“We started with the abscesses because we didn’t know what would happen, and we didn’t want to kill him,” Schooley said. “We didn’t see any negative side effects; in fact, Tom seemed to be stabilizing a bit, so we continued the therapy every two hours.” 

Two days later, the Navy cocktail arrived. Those phages were injected into Patterson’s bloodstream to tackle the bacteria that had spread to the rest of his body. 

“We believe Tom was the first person to receive intravenous phage therapy to treat a systemic superbug infection in the US,” Strathdee told CNN. 

“And three days later, Tom lifted his head off the pillow out of a deep coma and kissed his daughter’s hand. It was just miraculous.” 

A legacy 

Today, more than six years later, Patterson is happily retired, walking 3 miles a day and gardening. The couple are back to traveling the world. But the long illness took its toll: Patterson was diagnosed with diabetes and is now insulin-dependent, with mild heart damage, no feeling in the bottoms of his feet, and gut damage that affects his diet. 

“But we’re not complaining! I mean every day is a gift, right? People say, ‘Oh, my God, all the planets had to line up for this couple,’ and we know how lucky we are,” Strathdee said. 

“We don’t think phages are ever going to entirely replace antibiotics, but they will be a good adjunct to antibiotics. And in fact, they can even make antibiotics work better,” she added. 

“We feel like we need to tell our story so that other people can get this treatment more easily.” To do so, the couple published a memoir: “The Perfect Predator: A Scientist’s Race to Save Her Husband From a Deadly Superbug.” 

Strathdee and Schooley have opened the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics, or IPATH, where they treat or counsel patients suffering from multidrug-resistant infections. And Schooley will soon start clinical trials using phages on a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, that attack patients with cystic fibrosis. 

Patterson’s case was published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in 2017, jump-starting new scientific interest in phage therapy. “And there’s been many other labs that have joined in – Yale now has a phage therapy program, Baylor, Brussels … the Australians, Lyon, France, and more,” Strathdee told the Life Itself audience. 

“What we need next is a phage library,” she continued. “We don’t want to have to go from bog to bedside every time we need phages, right? We want to be able to go to a walk-in cooler and source phages that are characterized and cataloged and personalize them for patients.” 

Strathdee is quick to acknowledge the many people who helped save her husband’s life. But those who were along for the ride told CNN that she and Patterson made the difference – and continue to search for a solution to the growing superbug crisis. 

“I think it was a historical accident that could have only happened to Steffanie and Tom,” Young said. “They were at UC San Diego, which is one of the premier universities in the country. They worked with a brilliant infectious disease doctor who said, ‘Yes,’ to phage therapy when most physicians would’ve said, ‘Hell, no, I won’t do that.’ “And then there is Steffanie’s passion and energy – it’s hard to explain until she’s focused it on you. 

It was like a spiderweb; she was in the middle and pulled on strings,” Young added. “It was just meant to be because of her, I think.” "The Perfect Predator" is a blow-by-blow account by the couple of the fight to save Patterson's life. Patterson awoke from a coma after receiving an intravenous dose of phages tailored to his bacteria.




A bacteriophage is a type of virus that infects bacteria. In fact, the word "bacteriophage" literally means "bacteria eater," because bacteriophages destroy their host cells. All bacteriophages are composed of a nucleic acid molecule that is surrounded by a protein structure. A bacteriophage attaches itself to a susceptible bacterium and infects the host cell. 

Following infection, the bacteriophage hijacks the bacterium's cellular machinery to prevent it from producing bacterial components and instead forces the cell to produce viral components. Eventually, new bacteriophages assemble and burst out of the bacterium in a process called lysis. 

Bacteriophages occasionally remove a portion of their host cells' bacterial DNA during the infection process and then transfer this DNA into the genome of new host cells. This process is known as transduction. –By [definition added by daily magazine.] 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


The iPhone 15 is more than a year away, so nothing is set in stone yet, but USB-C, periscope camera technology, and an Apple-designed modem chip have been suggested. This roundup covers everything that we've heard about the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro so far, but keep in mind that it's early in the development cycle and Apple's plans could change. 

Release Date: The iPhone 15 models will likely be released in September 2023 if Apple follows its traditional September launch timeline. 

GUEST BLOG / BY MAC RUMORS STAFF--By MacRumors --The 2022Apple hasn't even released the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, but it's looking like these devices are going to get a more moderate refresh than we've seen lately, and in past years, they probably would have gotten an "iPhone 13s" nomenclature. For that reason, we've already been hearing rumors about the iPhone 15, and there are some notable changes that are being bandied about at the current time. 

Because the iPhone 15 is more than a year away, so nothing is set in stone yet, but USB-C, periscope camera technology, and an Apple-designed modem chip have been suggested. This roundup covers everything that we've heard about the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro so far, but keep in mind that it's early in the development cycle and Apple's plans could change. 

Rumors suggest the iPhone 15 models will look similar to the iPhone 14 models, but the pill-and-hole cutout will expand to the entire lineup. That means all iPhone 15 models would have no notch, instead adopting the two cutout design rumored for the iPhone 14 Pro models. 

 There have been some rumors suggesting an under-display Face ID system could be introduced in 2023 in the iPhone 15 Pro models, but it is unclear if that information is correct as other sources like display analyst Ross Young have said that under-screen Face ID simply won't be ready until at least 2024. 

As there are no major design changes expected, Apple will likely continue to offer four models: The 6.1-inch iPhone 15, the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro, the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Max, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max. The "pro" models will have higher-end features and will be more expensive, while the standard iPhone 15 models will be cheaper. 

Apple is considering swapping the Lightning port on the iPhone 15 devices for a USB-C port, which would allow it to comply with European regulations that are in the process of being passed. These regulations would require Apple to produce iPhones with USB-C ports in Europe, so Apple either needs to make a worldwide design swap or develop special iPhones for sale in Europe. 

iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature Reliable sources that include Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have said that Apple is going to make the swap, so this is a strong possibility at the current time. Of course, Apple's plans could change. 

Periscope lens technology offers optical zoom capabilities that exceed those possible with a standard telephoto lens, allowing for 5x or even 10x optical zoom. With a periscope lens, the iPhone's zoom capabilities would be significantly enhanced as the current Pro models are limited to 3x zoom. 

There have been multiple rumors about Apple's work on "periscope" telephoto lens technology, and this type of lens could be introduced in the 2023 iPhones, likely in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. 

Periscope lens technology offers optical zoom capabilities that exceed those possible with a standard telephoto lens, allowing for 5x or even 10x optical zoom. With a periscope lens, the iPhone's zoom capabilities would be significantly enhanced as the current Pro models are limited to 3x zoom. 

Apple competitor Samsung has come out with smartphones that use periscope lens technology that enables 4x to 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. 

For the past few years, Apple has been working to develop modem chips in house, and 2023 is when we could see Apple-designed chips debut. Right now, Apple is using modem chips from Qualcomm, but after a legal dispute back in 2019, Apple is eager to stop purchasing Qualcomm chips. 

In November 2021, Qualcomm's CFO said that Qualcomm expects to supply just 20 percent of Apple's modem chips in 2023, and as Apple has no other modem chip supplier, that suggests Apple's own modem technology is nearing launch. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that Apple's chips could debut in the 2023 iPhone models. 

We don't know anything about Apple's modem chips at this time, but presumably the technology will be on par with or better than the 5G chips that Qualcomm is producing if the A-series and M-series chips are any indication. 

The iPhone 15 models could be the first to feature an A-series chip built on Apple supplier TSMC's next-generation 3-nanometer node. 3nm chip technology is expected to increase processing performance by 10 to 15 percent, while also reducing power consumption by up to 30 percent. 

TSMC is expected to begin 3nm chip production in 2022, which means it would be ready for launch in 2023. 

iPhone 15 Timeline Roundup 

Last Updated May 2022 

--May 13 Bloomberg Confirms Apple is Testing iPhones With USB-C Ports 

--May 11 Kuo: iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB-C in 2023 

--May 10 Apple Expected to Replace Notch With Pill-and-Hole on All iPhone 15 Models April 2022 

--Apr 15 TSMC on Track to Start 3nm Chip Production in Second Half of This Year March 2022 Mar 22 iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Feature Under-Screen Face ID System From Samsung January 2022 

--Jan 13 Recapping Rumors About Under-Screen Face ID and Touch ID on Future iPhones Jan 3 iPhone 15 Pro Expected to Feature Periscope Lens With Up to 10x Optical Zoom December 2021 

--Dec 24 Sketchy Rumor Claims iPhone 15 Pro Won't Have Physical SIM Card Slot Dec 23 TSMC Expected to Begin 3nm Chip Production in Late 2022 Ahead of First M3 Macs Dec 20 Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, Periscope Lens Coming 2023 September 2021 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


Two US Astronauts landed on the moon, July 19, 1969.  Image of command capsule.



SUMMER DILEMMA. How do you stay cool when it's hotter than wasabi in the middle of summer 

GUEST BLOG / By Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune--The initial shock of a pricey electric bill may have you feeling numb, but still wondering how to save a few bucks. At the start of the year, for example, the average ratepayer in San Diego saw their electric bill spike 7.8 percent from the previous month. While consumers can’t control inflationary costs for everyday essentials like groceries and gas prices, they can take a hard look at their electricity bills. 

 It’s 3 AM — check your energy usage Alan Meier, director of the Energy and Efficiency Institute at the University of California Davis said that one way to gauge how much energy your household consumes is to check your energy usage at 3 a.m. Now, you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to check your meter. Instead, you can log on to your SDG&E smart meter to see how much energy is consumed in the wee hours of the morning, when no one is awake. 

 He said it’s hard to come up with a one-size-fits-all number, but for starters, if your energy usage is above 0.2 kilowatts or 200 watts at 3 a.m. that could be a sign you have devices or appliances around the house sucking up extra energy. “If you’re using more than 200 watts at 3 in the morning, there’s probably some things that are switched on that needn’t be and there are opportunities for saving electricity,” he said. You don’t have to run around frantically yanking electronics from outlets but be aware there are things in your house that can be regularly switched off, upgraded to an energy-efficient version or unplugged completely. 

 Things that are taking up energy and costing you money just by being plugged in are consuming “standby power,” a concept that Meier has researched throughout his career. If you have kids in the house, one example would be a gaming console, which he recommends unplugging when it’s not being played. He said phone chargers being plugged in are not a big concern because manufacturers have reduced the electricity they generate. Consumers should look around the house to see what might be needlessly siphoning energy. 

 “You might discover you still have a VCR plugged in somewhere,” he said. “Around 15 percent of homes still have VCRs at least in their homes and presumably plugged in. Just unplugging that is a small contribution. You probably don’t use it anymore.” Other “antique devices” that can be either unplugged or given away include a fax machine, a shredder, or a second printer if they are rarely used. Swapping out any old incandescent light bulbs for new energy-efficient bulbs is another simple upgrade to make. As more people are working from home, make sure to not leave your desktop screensaver displayed overnight and instead flip your computer into sleep mode. 

The same rule of thumb applies to your television. Meier said “that alone can contribute 20 or 30 watts to your 3 a.m. consumption … because that’s like having it on all the time.” If you turn off at least one computer and monitor every night and on weekends that could save you up to $80 per year, according to SDG&E. Additionally, the utility company said that flipping computers or copiers to sleep mode when not in use can cut energy costs by up to 50 percent. 

Scan your kitchen for ways to save San Diego Gas and Electric said that consumers should try to shift their energy use to before or after the higher-priced, peak-energy hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. That means holding off to run a fully loaded dishwasher before going to bed could help save money. It’s been said that packing your refrigerator can help it run more efficiently compared to an empty fridge but Meier said that might just be energy folklore. He explained that he hasn’t seen solid evidence to back up this claim. 

However, when it comes to refrigerators if you’re not one to frequently use your automatic ice maker, he suggests switching it off or transitioning to old-fashioned ice trays. If your house gets big water bottles delivered for a dispenser — picture an office “water cooler” — check to see if there’s a red, hot water option. If there is and you don’t use it often during the summer, consider lowering the temperature or switching it off — otherwise, it is constantly ready to dispense hot water, Meier explained. Portable or ceiling fans are a cheaper alternative to running the air conditioning this summer. Without sounding like your parents nagging you about the thermostat — you don’t want to run the A/C willy-nilly this summer. 

Although not everyone in San Diego County is lucky enough to have an air conditioning unit, those that do should be mindful when it’s running. SDG&E recommends adjusting your air conditioner to 78 degrees or higher during the summer. Switching the thermostat from 72 to 78 degrees can save up to 12 percent on cooling costs, according to SDG&E. Meier said the most impactful things to keep in mind about air conditioning is not only the temperature settings but how frequently you run it. 

Turn it on when the weather is unbearable, but make sure it’s off when you’re not home. “In fact, air conditioning in most parts of California is a minority of your electricity consumption and so many other appliances are responsible for it,” he said. Without stating the obvious, if a portable or ceiling fan can get the job done, it’s much cheaper than running A/C. SDG&E says that running a circulating fan in one room can cost about 4 cents per hour versus cooling an entire house costing approximately $1 to $2 per hour. 

 While cutting back on A/C might seem like the most obvious fix, Meier said it is just the start. There are other previously mentioned “miscellaneous appliances” that “start adding up to a significant amount of your electricity consumption” if they’re not unplugged or managed carefully. 

 THERE’S ALWAYS PARIS. Cool off by jumping into the Trocadero fountain in Paris, where it was 100 degrees F yesterday.

Monday, July 18, 2022


Dave Whamond/ Cagle Cartoons

The bipartisan Congressional investigation has provided Attorney General Merrick Garland with a roadmap for potential prosecution of the former president — that is, if he’s willing to follow it.

GUEST BLOG / BY ERIC LUTZ, VANITY FAIR MAGAZINE--The January 6 committee on at its most recent meeting presented a great many important — and disturbing — revelations about the role extremist groups played in last year’s Capitol attack. But perhaps the two most significant moments of the panel’s seventh public hearing came at the beginning and the end of the proceedings, each courtesy of ranking member Liz Cheney. 

The first was during her opening statement, when she waved away her party’s latest talking point — that Donald Trump was “incapable of telling what was right or wrong,” and was something of a victim in this story, an innocent who was “manipulated” or “poorly served” by grifters and conspiracy theorists. “This, of course, is nonsense,” Cheney said. “President Trump is a 76-year-old man. He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices.” 

The second came during her closing remarks, which she used, for the second hearing in a row, to warn that the targets of the committee’s investigation may be seeking to obstruct it. Except this time, it wasn’t an anonymous Trumpworld figure she was accusing of potential witness tampering; it was Trump himself. The former president, Cheney said, had attempted to call an unnamed witness following Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony last hearing. 

The witness did not take the call and referred the matter to their lawyer, who told the committee, which in turn referred the matter to the Department of Justice: “We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” the Wyoming representative said. 

These bookends served both as a clarion call for accountability and as an important reminder: For all his towering stupidity and childishness, this potential criminality was not merely occurring around Trump; he was its ringleader, the “hub” from which the various “spokes” of this antidemocratic conspiracy sprung, as former prosecutor Andrew Weissmann suggested in the New York Times earlier this week. Trump does not just attract, welcome, and enable bad actors; he is the most brazen of the bunch, personally leading the effort to carry out a coup in 2020 and now, to try and cover it up. As Jamie Raskin, one of the Democrats who led Tuesday’s hearing summarized it: “American carnage — that’s Donald Trump’s true legacy. His desire to overthrow the people’s election and seize the presidency…nearly toppled the constitutional order and brutalized hundreds of people.” 

Trump’s culpability in the Capitol attack — and the myriad other outrages he suffered onto the country throughout his presidency — has been obvious since the beginning, of course. But one of the striking aspects of the hearings so far has been how coordinated all of this was, the extent to which the chaos of January 6 was actually part of the plan. It was a desperate attempt to cling to power, yes. 

But it wasn’t only an exercise in slapstick gone awry, as John Bolton, the former national security adviser, characterized it Tuesday. Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, Bolton said that what happened January 6 wasn’t really a coup because he’d helped orchestrate some — !!! — and they took more planning than Trump and his goons were capable of. “That’s not the way Donald Trump does things,” Bolton said. “It’s rambling from one half, vast idea to another. One plan comes through, and another comes up. That’s what he was doing.” 

True, but also not the full picture: While Trump and his gang of halfwits — Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, former CEO Patrick Byrne, who a Washington Post source recalled was “nonstop housing meatballs” during a heated, consequential White House meeting about the election overturn scheme in December 2020 — were casting about for any way possible to undo Joe Biden's victory, however ludicrous, there was also real conspiring going on. 

Previous hearings demonstrated how what appeared to be frenzied pressure campaigns against Mike Pence, local election officials, and the DOJ were connected to the fraudulent electors plot cooked up by Trump attorney John Eastman. Similarly, Tuesday’s hearing revealed how little accident there was in the chaos of the January 6 attack. Indeed, even the apparent ad-libs in Trump’s speech appeared well-orchestrated; though his encouragement to march to the Capitol to “fight” for him didn’t appear in the actual text of his speech, violent extremists seemed to know it was coming. 

“POTUS is just going to call for it unexpectedly,” January 6 organizer Kylie Kremer wrote to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in a message revealed by congressional investigators Tuesday. “Trump is supposed to order us to the capitol at the end of his speech, but we will see,” the far-right activist Ali Alexander wrote in another. 

As Stephanie Murphy, the other committee member who led Tuesday’s hearing put it: “This was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president.” That’s an important point. There would still need to be accountability if this were all just the “rambling” Bolton described; accidentally inciting an insurrection would still be a gross violation of his office. But the January 6 committee has been making a convincing case that Trump knew exactly what he was doing and must finally face consequences for his actions, both from the political system and from the legal system. Will he? Who knows? On the one hand, the committee has given Merrick Garland a roadmap for potential prosecution — and even some specific acts to investigate, including Trump’s alleged attempt at witness tampering. On the other hand, he’s managed to avoid accountability his whole life, and it’s possible he could do so again — perhaps by passing it all off on an underling like Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff that Trump’s legal team reportedly believes will soon be taking a fall. 

Ann Telnaes /The Washington Post

That would be a shame — not only because skating would allow Trump and other aspiring authoritarians to flout the law and attack American democracy going forward, but because accountability may be the only hope for healing from what transpired during and at the conclusion of his presidency. There was another striking moment Tuesday: As the hearing adjourned, Capitol rioter Stephen Ayres — one of the live witnesses who testified before the committee — embraced and apologized to three Capitol police officers who had come under siege during the January 6 attack. 

It wasn’t quite a scene of redemption — that’s still probably a long way off for Trump’s extremists and enablers, even those who have gone before the committee — but it was perhaps a small return, for one man, to the shared reality he had previously turned his back on in favor of his leader’s paranoid fantasy. Will accountability allow America to finally break the fever of Trumpism? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s hard to imagine doing so without it. “The potential was so much more,” former Oath Keepers spokesman Jason Van Tatenhove testified to the committee Tuesday. “I do fear for this next election cycle because who knows what that might bring? If a president that’s willing to try to instill and encourage to whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit and snake oil, and regardless of the human impact, what else is he going to do if he gets elected again?” 



Sunday, July 17, 2022



chapter 1 

Everybody was drunk. The whole battery was drunk going along the road in the dark. We were going to the Champagne. The lieutenant kept riding his horse out into the fields and saying to him, “I’m drunk, I tell you, mon vieux. Oh, I am so soused.” We went along the road all night in the dark and the adjutant kept riding up alongside my kitchen and saying, “You must put it out. It is dangerous. It will be observed.” We were fifty kilometers from the front but the adjutant worried about the fire in my kitchen. It was funny going along that road. That was when I was a kitchen corporal. 

chapter 2 

The first matador got the horn through his sword hand and the crowd hooted him out. The second matador slipped and the bull caught him through the belly and he hung on to the horn with one hand and held the other tight against the place, and the bull rammed him wham against the wall and the horn came out, and he lay in the sand, and then got up like crazy drunk and tried to slug the men carrying him away and yelled for his sword but he fainted. The kid came out and had to kill five bulls because you can’t have more than three matadors, and the last bull he was so tired he couldn’t get the sword in. He couldn’t hardly lift his arm. He tried five times and the crowd was quiet because it was a good bull and it looked like him or the bull and then he finally made it. He sat down in the sand and puked and they held a cape over him while the crowd hollered and threw things down into the bull ring. 

chapter 3 

Minarets stuck up in the rain out of Adrianople across the mud flats. The carts were jammed for thirty miles along the Karagatch road. Water buffalo and cattle were hauling carts through the mud. No end and no beginning. Just carts loaded with everything they owned. The old men and women, soaked through, walked along keeping the cattle moving. The Maritza was running yellow almost up to the bridge. Carts were jammed solid on the bridge with camels bobbing along through them. Greek cavalry herded along the procession. Women and kids were in the carts crouched with mattresses, mirrors, sewing machines, bundles. There was a woman having a kid with a young girl holding a blanket over her and crying. Scared sick looking at it. It rained all through the evacuation. 

chapter 4 

We were in a garden at Mons. Young Buckley came in with his patrol from across the river. The first German I saw climbed up over the garden wall. We waited till he got one leg over and then potted him. He had so much equipment on and looked awfully surprised and fell down into the garden. Then three more came over further down the wall. We shot them. They all came just like that. 

chapter 5 

It was a frightfully hot day. We’d jammed an absolutely perfect barricade across the bridge. It was simply priceless. A big old wrought iron grating from the front of a house. Too heavy to lift and you could shoot through it and they would have to climb over it. It was absolutely topping. They tried to get over it, and we potted them from forty yards. They rushed it, and officers came out alone and worked on it. It was an absolutely perfect obstacle. Their officers were very fine. We were frightfully put out when we heard the flank had gone, and we had to fall back. 

chapter 6 

They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard. All the shutters of the hospital were nailed shut. One of the ministers was sick with typhoid. Two soldiers carried him downstairs and out into the rain. They tried to hold him up against the wall but he sat down in a puddle of water. The other five stood very quietly against the wall. Finally the officer told the soldiers it was no good trying to make him stand up. When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees. 

chapter 7 

Nick sat against the wall of the church where they had dragged him to be clear of machine gun fire in the street. Both legs stuck out awkwardly. He had been hit in the spine. His face was sweaty and dirty. The sun shone on his face. The day was very hot. Rinaldi, big backed, his equipment sprawling, lay face downward against the wall. Nick looked straight ahead brilliantly. The pink wall of the house opposite had fallen out from the roof, and an iron bedstead hung twisted toward the street. Two Austrian dead lay in the rubble in the shade of the house. Up the street were other dead. Things were getting forward in the town. It was going well. Stretcher bearers would be along any time now. Nick turned his head carefully and looked down at Rinaldi. “Senta Rinaldi. Senta. You and me we’ve made a separate peace.” Rinaldi lay still in the sun breathing with difficulty. “Not patriots.” Nick turned his head carefully away smiling sweatily. Rinaldi was a disappointing audience. 

chapter 8 

While the bombardment was knocking the trench to pieces at Fossalta, he lay very flat and sweated and prayed oh jesus christ get me out of here. Dear jesus please get me out. Christ please please please christ. If you’ll only keep me from getting killed I’ll do anything you say. I believe in you and I’ll tell everyone in the world that you are the only thing that matters. Please please dear jesus. The shelling moved further up the line. We went to work on the trench and in the morning the sun came up and the day was hot and muggy and cheerful and quiet. The next night back at Mestre he did not tell the girl he went upstairs with at the Villa Rossa about Jesus. And he never told anybody. 

chapter 9 

At two o’clock in the morning two Hungarians got into a cigar store at Fifteenth Street and Grand Avenue. Drevitts and Boyle drove up from the Fifteenth Street police station in a Ford. The Hungarians were backing their wagon out of an alley. Boyle shot one off the seat of the wagon and one out of the wagon box. Drevetts got frightened when he found they were both dead. Hell Jimmy, he said, you oughtn’t to have done it. There’s liable to be a hell of a lot of trouble. —They’re crooks ain’t they? said Boyle. They’re wops ain’t they? Who the hell is going to make any trouble? —That’s all right maybe this time, said Drevitts, but how did you know they were wops when you bumped them? Wops, said Boyle, I can tell wops a mile off. 

chapter 10 

One hot evening in Milan they carried him up onto the roof and he could look out over the top of the town. There were chimney swifts in the sky. After a while it got dark and the searchlights came out. The others went down and took the bottles with them. 

He and Ag could hear them below on the balcony. Ag sat on the bed. She was cool and fresh in the hot night. Ag stayed on night duty for three months. They were glad to let her. When they operated on him she prepared him for the operating table, and they had a joke about friend or enema. He went under the anæsthetic holding tight on to himself so that he would not blab about anything during the silly, talky time. After he got on crutches he used to take the temperature so Ag would not have to get up from the bed. 

There were only a few patients, and they all knew about it. They all liked Ag. As he walked back along the halls he thought of Ag in his bed. Before he went back to the front they went into the Duomo and prayed. It was dim and quiet, and there were other people praying. They wanted to get married, but there was not enough time for the banns, and neither of them had birth certificates. 

They felt as though they were married, but they wanted everyone to knew about it, and to make it so they could not lose it. Ag wrote him many letters that he never got until after the armistice. Fifteen came in a bunch and he sorted them by the dates and read them all straight through. They were about the hospital, and how much she loved him and how it was impossible to get along without him and how terrible it was missing him at night. After the armistice they agreed he should go home to get a job so they might be married. 

Ag would not come home until he had a good job and could come to New York to meet her. It was understood he would not drink, and he did not want to see his friends or anyone in the States. Only to get a job and be married. On the train from Padova to Milan they quarrelled about her not being willing to come home at once. 

When they had to say good-bye in the station at Padova they kissed good-bye, but were not finished with the quarrel. He felt sick about saying good-bye like that. He went to America on a boat from Genoa. Ag went back to Torre di Mosta to open a hospital. It was lonely and rainy there, and there was a battalion of arditi quartered in the town. Living in the muddy, rainy town in the winter the major of the battalion made love to Ag, and she had never known Italians before, and finally wrote a letter to the States that theirs had been only a boy and girl affair. 

She was sorry, and she knew he would probably not be able to understand, but might some day forgive her, and be grateful to her, and she expected, absolutely unexpectedly, to be married in the spring. She loved him as always, but she realized now it was only a boy and girl love. She hoped he would have a great career, and believed in him absolutely. She knew it was for the best. The Major did not marry her in the spring, or any other time. Ag never got an answer to her letter to Chicago about it. A short time after he contracted gonorrhea from a sales girl from The Fair riding in a taxicab through Lincoln Park. 

chapter 11 

In 1919 he was travelling on the railroads in Italy carrying a square of oilcloth from the headquarters of the party written in indelible pencil and saying here was a comrade who had suffered very much under the whites in Budapest and requesting comrades to aid him in any way. He used this instead of a ticket. He was very shy and quite young and the train men passed him on from one crew to another. He had no money, and they fed him behind the counter in railway eating houses. He was delighted with Italy. It was a beautiful country he said. The people were all kind. He had been in many towns, walked much and seen many pictures. Giotto, Masaccio, and Piero della Francesca he bought reproductions of and carried them wrapped in a copy of Avanti. Mantegna he did not like. He reported at Bologna, and I took him with me up into the Romagna where it was necessary I go to see a man. We had a good trip together. It was early September and the country was pleasant. He was a Magyar, a very nice boy and very shy. Horthy’s men had done some bad things to him. He talked about it a little. In spite of Italy, he believed altogether in the world revolution. —But how is the movement going in Italy? he asked. —Very badly, I said. —But it will go better, he said. You have everything here. It is the one country that everyone is sure of. It will be the starting point of everything. At Bologna he said good-bye to us to go on the train to Milano and then to Aosta to walk over the pass into Switzerland. I spoke to him about the Mantegnas in Milano. No, he said, very shyly, he did not like Mantegna. I wrote out for him where to eat in Milano and the addresses of comrades. He thanked me very much, but his mind was already looking forward to walking over the pass. He was very eager to walk over the pass while the weather held good. The last I heard of him the Swiss had him in jail near Sion. 

chapter 12 

They whack whacked the white horse on the legs and he knee-ed himself up. The picador twisted the stirrups straight and pulled and hauled up into the saddle. The horse’s entrails hung down in a blue bunch and swung backward and forward as he began to canter, the monos whacking him on the back of his legs with the rods. He cantered jerkily along the barrera. He stopped stiff and one of the monos held his bridle and walked him forward. The picador kicked in his spurs, leaned forward and shook his lance at the bull. Blood pumped regularly from between the horse’s front legs. He was nervously wobbly. The bull could not make up his mind to charge. 

chapter 13 

The crowd shouted all the time and threw pieces of bread down into the ring, then cushions and leather wine bottles, keeping up whistling and yelling. Finally the bull was too tired from so much bad sticking and folded his knees and lay down and one of the cuadrilla leaned out over his neck and killed him with the puntillo. The crowd came over the barrera and around the torero and two men grabbed him and held him and some one cut off his pigtail and was waving it and a kid grabbed it and ran away with it. Afterwards I saw him at the café. He was very short with a brown face and quite drunk and he said after all it has happened before like that. I am not really a good bull fighter. 

chapter 14 

If it happened right down close in front of you, you could see Villalta snarl at the bull and curse him, and when the bull charged he swung back firmly like an oak when the wind hits it, his legs tight together, the muleta trailing and the sword following the curve behind. Then he cursed the bull, flopped the muleta at him, and swung back from the charge his feet firm, the muleta curving and each swing the crowd roaring. When he started to kill it was all in the same rush. The bull looking at him straight in front, hating. He drew out the sword from the folds of the muleta and sighted with the same movement and called to the bull, Toro! Toro! and the bull charged and Villalta charged and just for a moment they became one. Villalta became one with the bull and then it was over. Villalta standing straight and the red kilt of the sword sticking out dully between the bull’s shoulders. Villalta, his hand up at the crowd and the bull roaring blood, looking straight at Villalta and his legs caving. 

chapter 15 

I heard the drums coming down the street and then the fifes and the pipes and then they came around the corner, all dancing. The street full of them. Maera saw him and then I saw him. When they stopped the music for the crouch he hunched down in the street with them all and when they started it again he jumped up and went dancing down the street with them. He was drunk all right. You go down after him, said Maera, he hates me. So I went down and caught up with them and grabbed him while he was crouched down waiting for the music to break loose and said, Come on Luis. For Christ sake you’ve got bulls this afternoon. He didn’t listen to me, he was listening so hard for the music to start. I said, Don’t be a damn fool Luis. Come on back to the hotel. Then the music started up again and he jumped up and twisted away from me and started dancing. I grabbed his arm and he pulled loose and said, Oh leave me alone. You’re not my father. I went back to the hotel and Maera was on the balcony looking out to see if I’d be bringing him back. He went inside when he saw me and came downstairs disgusted. Well, I said, after all he’s just an ignorant Mexican savage. Yes, Maera said, and who will kill his bulls after he gets a cogida? We, I suppose, I said. Yes, we, said Maera. We kills the savages’ bulls, and the drunkards’ bulls, and the riau-riau dancers’ bulls. Yes. We kill them. We kill them all right. Yes. Yes. Yes. 

chapter 16 

Maera lay still, his head on his arms, his face in the sand. He felt warm and sticky from the bleeding. Each time he felt the horn coming. Sometimes the bull only bumped him with his head. Once the horn went all the way through him and he felt it go into the sand. Someone had the bull by the tail. They were swearing at him and flopping the cape in his face. Then the bull was gone. Some men picked Maera up and started to run with him toward the barriers through the gate out the passage way around under the grand stand to the infirmary. They laid Maera down on a cot and one of the men went out for the doctor. The others stood around. The doctor came running from the corral where he had been sewing up picador horses. He had to stop and wash his hands. There was a great shouting going on in the grandstand overhead. Maera wanted to say something and found he could not talk. Maera felt everything getting larger and larger and then smaller and smaller. Then it got larger and larger and larger and then smaller and smaller. Then everything commenced to run faster and faster as when they speed up a cinematograph film. Then he was dead. 

chapter 17 

They hanged Sam Cardinella at six o’clock in the morning in the corridor of the county jail. The corridor was high and narrow with tiers of cells on either side. All the cells were occupied. The men had been brought in for the hanging. Five men sentenced to be hanged were in the five top cells. Three of the men to be hanged were negroes. They were very frightened. One of the white men sat on his cot with his head in his hands. The other lay flat on his cot with a blanket wrapped around his head. They came out onto the gallows through a door in the wall. There were six or seven of them including two priests. They were carrying Sam Cardinella. He had been like that since about four o’clock in the morning. While they were strapping his legs together two guards held him up and the two priests were whispering to him. “Be a man, my son,” said one priest. When they came toward him with the cap to go over his head Sam Cardinella lost control of his sphincter muscle. The guards who had been holding him up dropped him. They were both disgusted. “How about a chair, Will?” asked one of the guards, “Better get one,” said a man in a derby hat. When they all stepped back on the scaffolding back of the drop, which was very heavy, built of oak and steel and swung on ball bearings, Sam Cardinella was left sitting there strapped tight, the younger of the two priests kneeling beside the chair. The priest skipped back onto the scaffolding just before the drop fell. 

chapter 18 

The king was working in the garden. He seemed very glad to see me. We walked through the garden. This is the queen, he said. She was clipping a rose bush. Oh how do you do, she said. We sat down at a table under a big tree and the king ordered whiskey and soda. We have good whiskey anyway, he said. The revolutionary committee, he told me, would not allow him to go outside the palace grounds. Plastiras is a very good man I believe, he said, but frightfully difficult. I think he did right though shooting those chaps. If Kerensky had shot a few men things might have been altogether different. Of course the great thing in this sort of an affair is not to be shot oneself!