Nothingness encapsulated. You won't feel a thing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

EVANSVILLE, Indiana (AP) -- Ruth M. Siems, a home economist who helped create Stove Top stuffing, a Thanksgiving favorite that will be on dinner tables across the country this year, has died at 74.

Siems, who worked for General Foods for more than 30 years, died November 13 in Newburgh, Indiana, after suffering a heart attack in her home.

Siems helped develop Stove Top in 1971 while working at General Foods' technical center in White Plains, New York. She was listed first among four inventors when the patent was awarded in 1975 for the quick and easy way of making stuffing without actually stuffing a turkey.

Kraft Foods, which now owns the Stove Top brand, sells about 60 million boxes each year around Thanksgiving. The five-minute stuffing comes in several flavors, including turkey, chicken and beef.

As a member of the research and development staff for General Foods, Siems helped find the ideal bread crumb size for making instant stuffing with the same texture as the real thing, said her brother, David Siems.

Siems grew up in Evansville and graduated from Purdue University in 1953 with a home economics degree. She later took a job at a General Foods plant in Indiana, researching flour and angel food cake mixes.

She retired in 1985 and settled in a historic house in Newburgh, near Evansville.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I don't know who said that novelists read the novels of others only to figure out how they are written. I believe it's true. We aren't satisfied with the secrets exposed on the surface of the page: we turn the book around to find the seams. In a way that's impossible to explain, we break the book down to its essential parts and then put it back together after we understand the mysteries of its personal clockwork. The effort is disheartening in Faulkner's books, because he doesn't seem to have an organic system of writing, but instead walks blindly through his biblical universe, like a herd of goats loosed in a shop full of crystal. Managing to dismantle a page of his, one has the impression of springs and screws left over, that it's impossible to put back together in its original state. Hemingway, by contrast, with less inspiration, with less passion and less craziness but with a splendid severity, left the screws fully exposed, as they are on freight cars. Maybe for that reason Faulkner is a writer who has had much to do with my soul, but Hemingway is the one who had the most to do with my craft - not simply for his books, but for his astounding knowledge of the aspect of craftsmanship in the science of writing. In his historic interview with George Plimpton in The Paris Review, (Hemingway) showed for all time - contrary to the Romantic notion of creativity -that economic comfort and good health are conducive to writing; that one of the chief difficulties is arranging the words well; that when writing becomes hard it is good to reread one's own books, in order to remember that it always was hard; that one can write anywhere so long as there are no visitors and no telephone; and that it is not true that journalism finishes off a writer, as has so often been said - rather, just the opposite, so long as one leaves it behind soon enough. ''Once writing has become the principal vice and the greatest pleasure,'' he said, ''only death can put an end to it.'' Finally, his lesson was the discovery that each day's work should only be interrupted when one knows where to begin again the next day. I don't think that any more useful advice has ever been given about writing. It is, no more and no less, the absolute remedy for the most terrible specter of writers: the morning agony of facing the blank page. (GGM hablando de Hemingway)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Everywhere and every time, I have encountered fear of thought, repression of thought, as an almost universal desire to scape or else stifle this ferment of restlessness. During the dictatorship of the proletariat, when Red posters proclaimed that 'the reign of the workers will never end', no one would admit any doubt as to the eternity of a régime which was quite clearly exceptional, formed in the course of siege. Our great Marxists of Russia, nurtured on Science, would not admit any doubt concerning the dialectical conception of Nature—which is, however, no more than a hypothesis, and one difficult to sustain at that. The leadership of the Communist International classified as a moral lapse, or as a crime, the slightest doubt as to the triumphal future of their organization. Later, in the heart of the Opposition, with all the integrity of its ideals, Trotsky would not tolerate any point of view different from his own. I say nothing of other sorts of men, victims to waves of mob-hysteria, to the blindness of private interests or the inertia of tradition. In 1918 I was nearly torn to pieces by my French workmates because I defended the Russian Revolution at the moment of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations. Twenty years later, I was nearly torn to pieces by the same workers because I denounced the totalitarism which has sprung from that Revolution.

I have seen the intellectuals from the Left, responsible for editing reputable reviews and journals, refuse to publish the truth, even though it was absolutely certain, even though they did not contest it; but they found it painful, they preferred to ignore it, it was in contradiction with their moral and material interests (the two generally go together). In politics I have observed the appalling powerlessness of accurate prediction, which brings boycott, slander or persecution on him who predicts. The role of critical intelligence has semed to me to be dangerous, and very nearly useless. That is the most pesimistic conclusion to which I have felt myself drawn. I am careful not to state it finally; I blame the feeling on my personal weakness, and I persist in regarding critical and percipient thought as an absolute necessity, as a categorical imperative which no one can evade without damage to himself and harm to society, and, besides, as the source of immense satisfactions. Better times will come, and perhaps soon. It is a matter of holding fast and keeping faith until then. (Victor Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary)
Jerry's great-grandfather, John Westley Roy, came to Michigan from Missouri in 1931, in the depths of the Depression. He built a home five blocks north of a plant operated by General Motors' AC Delco division and worked there for a decade before he was injured and retired to a farm.

Mr. Roy's grandfather, Edward, worked at the Delco plant during the war, when it was converted into a machine-gun plant: he would tell a story about a day one of the guns came off a mount and began shooting holes in the wall of a cafeteria.
When you see me spend hours
Holding in a too-local glance
Your mouth or teeth, or your hand
And note how my soul devours
With a sleep-like trance
The commonest things that stand,

And ask me what in them I see
Since in to each my spirit delves
As if each had a mystery,
You err in your conjecturings,
For whatever obsesses me
Is not things in their many selves
But the being there of things.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Su familia asegura que no han recibido el apoyo que esperaban del Gobierno colombiano y la distancia y la dificultad con el idioma hacen más dramático el regreso. Familiares que viven en Estados Unidos tuvieron que recurrir a un restaurante chino, donde un empleado ha servido de interlocutor con las autoridades chinas.

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