In the beginning this blog was centered on San Francisco parks and open space issues with special emphasis on natural areas and natural history. Over time it began to range into other areas and topics. As you can see, it is eclectic, as I interlace it with topics of interest to me.

I welcome feedback: just click this link to reach me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


“the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”  e.e. cummings

1.   Pt Reyes National Seashore recruiting for summer youth intern
2.   Wildlife in the East Bay Hills talk Friday 13
3.   San Bruno Mtn field trip Saturday 14
4.   Talk and walk: Coastal native plants for gardening and restoration Sunday 15
5.   How you can connect to HANC Gardens Ecology Center and what happens next TONIGHT 7 pm
6.   Feedback
7.   Rivertalk is whatever comes along, nothing finished or broken
8.   Celebrate 40th anniversary of International Bird Rescue April 20
9.   Westside Recycled Water Project update April 17
10. SFSU Sierra Nevada campus schedule of yummy classes
11.  Maybe good news on Modesto Irrigation District water transfer?
12.  Homophobes might be hidden homosexuals.  So what else is new?
13.  Live Animal Markets - status quo/status quo may be changing on animal factories
14.  Bees grow in Brooklyn
15.  5 college students win awards for population awareness projects
16.  Sunday Streets returns to Golden Gate Park/Great Highway Sunday 15
17.  Sanctuary Waves & Wildflower walks with Ane Carla Rovetta Saturday 21
18.  SFSU offers free youth introduction to kayaking and the Lake Merced environment
19.  Roz Chast introduces the 1040 form for the financially incompetent
20. Notes & Queries: Is Facebook a more effective opiate of the masses than religion?

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. -William Arthur Ward, college administrator, writer (1921-1994)

1.  Point Reyes National Seashore is recruiting for a summer youth intern (ages 18-25) to assist with habitat restoration and range management.  Full-time, three months; approximately $9.37/hr; no housing provided. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis but must be received by April 24.  Details at:

Wildlife in the East Bay Hills
A Talk by Wildlife Biologist, Jim Hale
Friday April 13, 2012, 7 pm
Sequoyah Heights Club House
21 Mountain Valley at Elysian Fields Drive
Please RSVP to to reserve a seat.

Join wildlife biologist, Jim (Doc) Hale for a fascinating talk on wildlife in the East Bay Hills. Jim will share his photos, stories, and knowledge of mountain lions and other critters that he has been tracking and studying for over 40 years. Those of us fortunate enough to live here are neighbors to many of these species. Learn how we can live together safely and in harmony.

This talk is sponsored by the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and the Friends of Knowland Park.

James (Doc) Hale has been a wildlife biologist, naturalist and ethnobotanist for more than 40 years. He leads interpretive natural and cultural history walks, rescues orphaned and injured wildlife, and is an expert on the food, medicinal, and cultural use of wild herbs and plants. James is Vice Chair of the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee and member of the Integrated Pest Management Committee. His current research involves the fisheries of the Walnut Creek watershed and mountain lion ecology in Contra Costa County.

For more information on this event and our work to protect Knowland Park, please visit:

Please contact with any questions.

California Native Plant Society field trip - free and open to the public
San Bruno Mountain, Owl & Buckeye Canyons
Leader:  Doug Allshouse
Saturday 14 April, 10 am to 2 pm

It has been a while since our last visit and spring's wildflower show on the Mountain should be spectacular in these two canyons.  In June 2008 a brutal wildfire transformed them from lush paradises to blackened moonscapes.  Owl Canyon was hammered and suffered massive die-offs of ancient fescue meadows near the top.  Many oaks were seriously affected but, on the bright side, the blue blossom community was invigorated.  The canyons are very rich in species, including hound's tongue, three paintbrushes, four lupines, three sanicles, and hazelnut.  Rarities include centaury (a rare coastal gentian), coast rock cress, San Francisco wallflower, and star lily.  We might visit an Ohlone shellmound in lower Buckeye Canyon if time permits.  Bring a light lunch since we might stop for a while to enjoy some particular place of our choosing. 

We'll meet at an industrial parking lot just below Owl Canyon.  From Bayshore Blvd in Brisbane, turn onto Valley Drive, proceed to the traffic light, and turn left onto South Hill Drive.  Turn left at the Aircraft Technical Publishers sign at 101-111 South Hill and drive to the rear of the parking lot.  Heavy rain postpones to April 21. 

Sun, Apr 15, 2012
Talk & Walk: Coastal Native Plants for Gardening & Restoration
Toni Corelli, Avis Boutell, Nancy Frost

2-3 p.m. Talk at Half Moon Bay Library, 620 Correas St, Half Moon Bay
4-5 p.m. Walk at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, 210 Pigeon Pt Rd, Pescadero 650.726.2316

Learn more about the amazing native plant diversity of the San Mateo County coast – great for restoration, great for the garden.  The coast’s ace botanical team offers a talk at the Half Moon Bay Library followed by a guided tour of the restored landscape at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Toni Corelli is a botanist and author, and Avis Boutell and Nancy Frost are State Park volunteers. The three coauthored the book Plants and Plant Communities of the San Mateo Coast.


5.  The next general meeting of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council will be this Thursday night, April 12, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Park Branch Library Community Room (downstairs at 1833 Page, between Cole and Shrader).

The meeting will feature "How You Can Connect to the Kezar Gardens Ecology Center and What Happens Next."  Come and see pictures of the transformation of our site, meet our gardeners and hear their stories, and learn how you can participate.  More details are available at our website,


6.  Feedback

Eric Mills:
“I stuck my head out the window
this morning and spring kissed me
bang in the face.”
    Langston Hughes
I tried it and got slammed in the head by a roadside mailbox

Thanks a lot, Langston.
Serves you right, Eric.  If you got hit by a mailbox you were driving on the wrong side of the road.

Alane Bowling:
Hi Jake,
I love the Langston Hughes quotation in this issue. A Morning Offering does my soul good as well. You are single-handedly promoting National Poetry Month more than anyone else I know.

I'd read that report on Bhutan's National Happiness Index before; that may be the only sane country on the planet. Greed is killing us.

Neglected to mention to you that the photos of animals and landscapes in your newsletter are incredible. There is such transcendent beauty in this old world. Thank you for sharing it with us.

John Rusk:
Re:  the Bhutan piece: Jigmi Thinley is on to something.  I pray that he can open a debate among the leaders of nations over the merits of his idea  while I know in my heart of hearts he has a snowball’s chance in hell  of  changing how the West thinks.
Ditto.  Any leader that even entertained the thought of abandoning power politics would get crucified.

Mike Sullivan:
Jake – thought of you as Joe and I walked the Stanyan and Historic Trails (Mt Sutro) this weekend.  I decided to give Joe a $.10 bounty on each sow thistle that he managed to find and root out, and I don’t think there are any left on those trails!   (He is good at finding the ones that are in flower; I help him with the juvenile ones J   Mike
What a great idea, Mike.  I'd like to post this to give other people creative ideas of how they can engage and educate the young while doing something for the land.

Fred Decker:
Become involved and help to map the distribution of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in California
...Raises a burning question: since California Bay Laurel is a vector for this devastating blight, why does Parks and Rec leave one on Arguello at Conservatory in GGP smack dab in the middle of the Oak Woodlands Natural Areas?

Is it impossible due to inflexible administration of Master Plans or due to mortal fear of the "Touch No Tree, Ever" crowd?

Thanks to Rob Bakewell for pointing this vulnerability out to me....

On Apr 9, 2012, at 8:01 PM, wrote:
RE: SOD blitz.  I certainly hope part of the training includes telling collectors to disinfect their shoes - especially if collecting is done in areas where the ground around infected trees is wet.  People can be a cause of the spread. 

RE: The growth of energy consumption in the U.S. is being driven by population growth, not by SUVs and pick-up trucks.
    Professor Donald Anthrop, San Jose State University

I'm sure there is some truth to this, but energy consumption is also being driven by the drastic increase in the number of electronic devices people seem to    
feel they need, the huge buildings filled with servers that accommodate the Internet and the "cloud" and must be kept cool,  plug-in vehicles, and the number of jobs being taken over by machines, like the new self check out lanes in grocery stores, etc., etc., etc.. So, Jake, the longer your Nature News gets, the more energy it takes for folks to read it - gotta go, I've reached my energy consumption limit for today!!!
Anna-Marie:  I'm in accord totally.  The magnitude of energy consumption due to electronic technology numbs the mind, and I am obsessed with that thought as I'm posting these epistles. 

There is no end to our ability to rationalize, and this one is easy for me to rationalize when I think about my consumption measured against all the electronic gizmos humming, contrasted to the value of the messages conveyed.  Would it benefit the world if I would cease?  I doubt it.

However, I do wonder about all those posts on my blogsite.  There is over a year's worth of postings, complete with images, and I think I should go back and delete those of, say, over a year old.  In fact, on that subject, I occasionally wonder if the blogsite is worthwhile.  I never receive any feedback from it, which makes me wonder if anyone reads it.  In addition, it's a pain to post; Google is surprisingly klutzy.

And while we're on the subject, it has bothered me that when people respond to a newsletter, they hit the Reply button, sending the whole newsletter complete with images back to me.  I've raised this question before but have always been told that it is of little consequence.  I've never received an explanation that made any sense to me--eg, it doesn't matter because messages are "bundled".  I don't know what that means, but bytes are bytes and they take energy to send through the wires.  Maybe readers will educate me about this.

I'm glad you raised the question; few people in the world even think about it.  I wonder about the millions of iPhones and iPads consuming bazillions of joules of energy to the power googol.  Worse, do they even think about it?

I do, a lot.  And I think we're heading for a cliff.

Ned Ludd
Thanks Ned,
I have a great book called Rebels Against the Future about the Luddites war on industrialization by Kirkpatrick Sale - 1995.  There is a review comment on the back cover by Bill McKibben that you might find apt: "In this lively book, Kirkpatrick Sale rescues the Luddites from the old caricature of head-in-the-sand machine breakers, and restores them to their rightful place: as prophets of what industrialism would mean for most men, women, and communities.  It is a prophecy still powerfully relevant in the age of GATT."  Now if I could only remember what GATT was!???  

I think that I think too much sometimes about the consequences of my everyday actions, but have really settled on this philosophy:  One can only do so much given our choices so each of us needs to pick our battles.  My battles are energy consumption hence I drive a Prius - but try hard to limit it's use to times when public transportation or walking won't do.  And, I have eliminated all unnecessary electronic gadgets - I have no electric coffee grinders, only a hand cranked device, nor do I have any other electronic kitchen stuff.  I also obsessively unplug the computer, TV, toaster oven, etc, that use energy when not in actual use. My other battle is the use of toxic chemicals in cleaning materials, shampoo, etc. - the strongest chemical I use at home is distilled white vinegar!  And of
course,  I try to limit my water consumption.

So Ned, I think it's fine that you put out your Nature New because it's a worthwhile endeavor.

I agree with you about folks who just hit the reply button and resend the entire New letter - something I can't always remember to do; thanks for the reminder to stop doing that.

On Apr 9, 2012, at 8:51 PM, Peter Vaernet wrote:
RE:  "My father often told me: "Build bridges, not fences." It's not always an easy thing to do. And so to Israel, where contractors are welding into place a five-metre-high barrier between the Sinai and Negev deserts designed in part to keep out illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa."

The exhortation to "build bridges" is typically referring to interpersonal and international diplomatic approaches and physically build bridges to allow four billion third world people to enter the developed world is hardly a good idea...Israel has the right idea for their circumstances.....

Naivete is indeed often the hallmark of writers from the Guardian Weekly.
The motivation for journal writers--or most writers, period--is to produce grist for the mill.  You've got a daily or weekly paper to put out, so you better have articles.  Can't think of anything new to say?  Produce something.  "Oh, here's something I can spin into a yarn."  I think Guardian writers are more creative and ethical than that, but it is a problem even for serious journals which have inexorable deadlines to meet.  Humans aren't machines, but we are dictated to by machines.  And nice trumps:  "build bridges, not fences".  We like the sound of it.



is whatever comes along,
practice always here while we

keep on shore, all the time
saying we want to get wet.

But the river has ways
of sound and light, ripples

and waves that tell us:
don't be so serious, rumble in

where nothing is finished or broken
and nothing asks to be fixed.

~ Jeanne Lohmann ~

(The Light of Invisible Bodies)



Celebrate the auspicious 40th Anniversary of International Bird Rescue, the non-profit organization which was formed by local concerned citizens in the wake of an oil spill in SF Bay 40 years ago.  Now, Bird Rescue is the world's leading organization focused on the rehabilitation of wild aquatic birds.  They care for more than 5,000 birds each year at the two California wildlife care centers which they operate, and they respond to wildlife crisis events around the world  -- including massive oil spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, or the one in New Zealand just a few months ago.   This event is a rare chance to hear pioneers in their field reflect on 40 years on the frontlines of caring for hundreds of wildlife species, including so many endangered species over the years.   This is a fundraising event that will support the ongoing work that this incredible organization does 365-days per year caring for so many birds who take our breath away, and who fill our hearts and grace our skies and waterways with their irreplaceable beauty...

If you can, please buy tickets, and come learn more about this wonderful local organization's heroic accomplishments over these past FOUR DECADES of WORK-- and see what lies ahead for this remarkable organization that wildlife care providers around the world consult for its exceptional expertise at saving countless animals -- including so many magnificent species around the globe.

The event will be held on Friday, April 20 in Berkeley at the
David Brower Center.   More information can be found at this web address:



Please join us on Tuesday, April 17, 6 pm to 7 pm for a Community Meeting so that we can provide an update on the proposed Westside Recycled Water Project.

South Sunset Playground - (40th Avenue @ Vicente)

Check our website: for more information.


10.  'Tis the season... sign up for San Francisco State University's Sierra Nevada Field Campus classes.  You stay in campus tents, eat delicious prepared hot meals, and have the rest of your time for feeding the mind and soul.

Classes are offered:
Fungi of Sierra Nevada
Birds of SN
Bird identification by song
Bird drawing (Jack Laws)
Flora of SN
Medicinal and edible plants
Insect Biology and Identification
Natural History
Fly fishing
    (look through large telescopes; see wonder-full sights you've never seen before)


11.  Tuolumne River Trust

Thank you for sending an email to the SFPUC expressing concern about the Modesto Irrigation District water transfer.  We generated more than 300 messages, and seem to be making some progress.  Check out this article from the Modesto Bee -

If you'd like to view TRT's letter, you can download it from the SFPUC website at (scroll down to page 11).


NEWS: Homophobes Might Be Hidden Homosexuals
A new analysis of implicit bias and explicit sexual orientation statements may help to explain the underpinnings of anti-gay bullying and hate crimes

(This is new?)


13.  Live animal food markets - Eric Mills:

> Please see the BAY CITIZEN story (first listing) and make a few pithy comments. Thus far, I'm the only one to have done so. I'm forwarding the story to the Secretary of Resources, the Dept. of Fish & Game, the commission, a number of legislators, etc. Would do them good to see input from others. Just maybe we can light a fire....
> The live animal food market issue has some real parallels with the shark fin issue: an unsustainable "harvest," environmental degradation, animal cruelty, risks to public health, etc.
> Please don't let this slide. Today would be nice. Don't make me come to your house; I know where you live.

JS:  Eric:  I thought this was prohibited in a bill signed by Jerry Brown. Do I misremember, or is this one of the laws that can be flouted with impunity?
Eric Mills: 
At present, we have only an unenforced humane treatment/housing law in the live markets.  The penalties are a joke, hence the lack of enforcement.

In 2010 the Commission twice voted unanimously to stop the import permits for live turtles & frogs for the markets, but the Department has chosen to ignore the instructions.  I'm currently looking for a lawyer to sue the bastards (as my Grandma used to advocate).

Despite Deadly Fungus, Bullfrog Imports Continue

Over half of 2 million frogs imported to Bay Area annually carry disease that endangers local amphibians

Another story in NYT:


Carroll: Our obligation to animals - By Vincent CarrollDenver Post Columnist

When Colorado four years ago mandated that farmers provide more room for hogs and calves raised for veal, this state appeared to be a leader in the humane treatment of animals. View Full Story


14.  Alice Polesky:
My native Brooklyn not only makes the best bagels:


15.  CAPS Congratulates California Population Awareness Award Winners

Five California college students have been named winners in the California Population Awareness Awards (CAPAs), a statewide competition created to increase awareness among California college students of the state’s rapid population growth and to encourage them to explore the sources and implications of continuing growth, and the benefits that a sustainable population would bring.

Allison Tate-Cortese, a film and television student at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, received $9,500 in awards for her entries in the video, audio and Facebook categories in the CAPAs competition.

“Being honored and recognized for projects that I put thought, time and effort into is the most fulfilling thing for a media maker, and I am so grateful to CAPS for creating this contest and opportunity for students,” said Tate-Cortese, a freshman at USC from Orlando, Florida. She said that she entered the CAPAs because overpopulation is an important issue for California. She added, “Working on these projects has encouraged me to learn more about the issues.”

Tate-Cortese’s entries were titled California’s "POP-ulation." Through simple and clear illustrative messaging – an expanding balloon that ultimately pops if air continues being added beyond capacity – the entries effectively conveyed the limits to population growth.

The $1,500 award in the editorial category went to Robert Neumann, a student at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, whose hometown is Palo Alto, California. Neumann’s op-ed, titled, California’s Overpopulation Crisis: The Only Wrong Thing to Do is Nothing, outlined how, if overpopulation is not addressed, “the consequences of inaction are far greater than those of most issues we face today.”

Nick Gailey, a student at Irvine Valley College; Parker Wilson from Las Positas College in Livermore; and Sarah Ruffner from College of the Canyons, Valencia, also were winners in the CAPA Awards. Each won an iPad 2 in the CAPAs competition.

In addition to Brantley Davis, other contest judges for the CAPA Awards were Keith Cizowski, corporate communications manager for Nissan North America; Robert W. Gillespie, president of Population Communication; Maggie Mixsell, acting teacher at Santa Barbara Community College and the University of California, Santa Barbara; TV and video producer Adam Ross of Santa Barbara’s Black Diamond Productions; and renowned author, ecologist and filmmaker Dr. Michael Tobias, president of Dancing Star Foundation.

For more information about the contest please go to


16.  Sunday Streets returns to Golden Gate Park/Great Highway with a NEW route!
Come out and bike, skate, dance, walk, socialize and play on streets that are temporarily car-free! Sunday Streets returns to the west side on Sunday, April 15, along Middle Drive, MLK Drive, and the Great Highway. From 11a.m. to 4p.m., we will be celebrating a new route through Golden Gate Park, and returning to the Great Highway from Lincoln to Sloat. Come out enjoy the sounds of the ocean while participating in all kinds of healthy activities!

Sunday Streets 2012 features ten events. These events occur  from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along popular routes including: Embarcadero (March 11) Great Highway/Golden Gate Park  (April 15),  Mission (May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5), Bayview/Dogpatch (July 22), Chinatown (August 26), Western Addition/Fillmore/North Panhandle/Alamo Square (Sept 9), and a new route in Outer Mission/Excelsior (October21).

Sunday Streets is sponsored by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Livable City, the non-profit fiscal sponsor of Sunday Streets responsible for the day-to-day management of the program. Bank of America is Sunday Streets 2012 Season Presenting Sponsor. The Sunday Streets Volunteer Program is managed by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. All volunteers will get a free Sunday Streets t-shirt, lunch, and that  great feeling from Sunday Streets possible. Sign up to volunteer now at!


Sanctuary Waves & Wildflowers Walk
with master naturalist Ane Carla Rovetta

When: Saturday, April 21st, 10am-1pm
Where: Chimney Rock, Point Reyes
$35 per person
Includes naturalist leadership, basic art materials

Join us for a coastal ramble to experience the dramatic marine sanctuary seascapes overlooking the Farallones sanctuary's bay and ocean waters. Enjoy spring wildflowers such as Douglas iris, checkerbloom, and blue-eyed grass. There may also be gray whale sightings!

Naturalist Ane Carla Rovetta will share her vast knowledge of the coastal flora, share her enormous repertoire of stories, and participate in her art with us, stopping to tell stories and informally sketch what we see along the trail. Ane Carla Rovetta has a following up and down the coast, and has been a presenter at both sustainability conferences and artist-process workshops and is sought far and wide for her story-telling mastery.

Registration required,


18.  I would like to invite you to consider sending youth in your programs to a free 3 hour Introduction To Kayaking and the Lake Environment program provided by the San Francisco State Summer Youth Sailing and Kayaking Program at Lake Merced. This is a hands-on, healthy, outdoor activity for youth, where kids are taught by our certified instructors how to safely paddle a kayak, work together with their paddle partner, and learn about the variety of wildlife found at Lake Merced. We have limited funds to offer full scholarships to community-based organizations that serve needy youth. We offer this program as a community service and took over 600 children last summer.  As the attached flyer shows, we offer camps every week Monday through Friday, from mid June through August, either at 9:00 AM to noon or 1 PM to 4 PM. The maximum number of participants we can serve at one time is 24 (with a group in the morning and a group in the afternoon we can take a total of 48). All we ask is that you sign an agreement stating your firm commitment to attend on the agreed upon date. Please look at your summer calendar and select one or two dates where you would like to bring your group for this three-hour program, contact me directly ( as soon as possible, and I will try to schedule it. Again, this is a three-hour program and there is no cost to your organization, but we have a limited number of scholarships. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Patrick Tierney Ph.D.
Chair, Professor and Summer Youth Sailing and Kayaking Program Coordinator
Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
San Francisco State University


19.  Jake,
The item in your recent newsletter about the bother of filling out income tax forms put me in mind of New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast's hilarious take on the 1040 form.

I found it in Google images, but I don't think you can print it -- it's for sale at the New Yorker cartoon store. Still, you can see the image yourself for a giggle, I think:,r:0,s:0

It's a long one, but when I cut and pasted it into a blank URL address, it did display. I still think it's one of the funniest cartoons I've seen.
(JS:  Well, it seems to have worked, at least temporarily.  I wonder how many people will be able to receive it.)
(The 1040-F.I.* Form ) - New Yorker Cartoon

  by Roz Chast Item #: 8542071

(The 1040-F.I.* Form ) - New Yorker Cartoon   by Roz Chast   Item #: 8542071 Close X 

(SORRY, I am unable to post the Roz Chast cartoon on this site.  Perhaps you can find it on New Yorker website.  JS)


20.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

Facebook: is it better than religion?
New opiate of the masses; spam, spam and more spam; believing the unbelievable

Making friends ... a woman logs on to Facebook.

Is Facebook a more effective opiate of the masses than religion?

In terms of instant gratification, that search for the friend in a time of need, it is more effective indeed. Prayers simply take too long these days to be answered. On the other hand, one does not need a password for a prayer to get sent.

Perhaps Facebook is better only in the western and computer-dependent world where the old gods fail to gratify. But in cultures where religion is still a vital force I would guess Facebook is seen for what it is: facile connection with no true communication.

Ursula Nixon, Bodalla, NSW, Australia

• I pray so. The world will become a less violent place to live.

Barry Morganstern, Cliffside Park, New Jersey, US

• I have the blissful ignorance that comes from eschewing both.

Chris Roylance, Paddington, Queensland, Australia

• Like.

David McElrea, Sydney, Australia

It's merely a matter of size

Since a huge percentage of internet traffic is mere spam, it seems a good idea to put a stop to it. But how?

This is a fallacy. A huge amount of email is spam, but the bulk of internet traffic comes from video and other media downloads from sites like YouTube (or viral video emails that are not usually spam). This is due to the size of those files.

Alan Williams-Key, Madrid, Spain

Evidence of things unseen

Why do people believe what they believe?

Because they have been brainwashed from the cradle. People's beliefs, particularly in matters of religion and politics, are frequently conditioned by their parents, schools and the society into which they happen accidentally to have been born. This may be the reason that converts are said often to be more zealous than those who have never had occasion to question their received beliefs.

Joan Dawson, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

• "A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." – Demosthenes.

Barrie Sargeant, Otaki Beach, New Zealand

• Believe me, I don't have any idea why they believe those things. And that's fine with me, as long as they don't expect me to believe them too.

Margaret Wilkes, Perth, Western Australia

• Philosophy shows that people believe anything. History shows that they believe everything. Law shows they believe that they could get away with both.

James Carroll, Geneva, Switzerland

Any answers?

English has become the world's pre-eminent language. Would another have been more suitable?

Reiner Jaakson, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

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