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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Writer's Life 8/15 - Mouth Open & Shut

A blurb in today's NY Post led me to research something that may be far more cost-effective than DNA in solving crime. Any fan of Law & Order knows that eye witness accounts are frequently unreliable, as the fictional detectives often lamented. New studies show that some individuals may have a gift for facial recognition. Here's an excerpt from an article at "London’s Metropolitan Police have created a super-recogniser unit that is used to spot criminals in a crowd or within CCTV footage, and these officers helped identify numerous perpetrators in the 2011 London riots. It’s easy to spot other potential roles for super-recognisers – issues of national security are currently paramount, and they may spot wanted or missing people more readily than typical officers. The London unit currently identifies super-recognisers by analysing years of on-the-job performance, but it would be much easier if new recruits could be identified by a simple battery of computerised tests..." I just took one of the tests and did very poorly, getting only five of 14 right. I expected it because of the difficulty I have at this stage of my life in remembering the faces of the people who have patronized the floating book shop irregularly. I'm constantly admonishing myself for neglecting to look those customers in the face who say they will drop by on the way back, to note what they're wearing in order to greet them warmly. Here's a link to the test: Who knows -- it may lead to a good job.

I lived in a campus dorm from 1967-'71. In two of those years I was fortunate enough to work as a Resident Advisor, which covered room and board. At the beginning of each Fall semester, freshmen, strangers to each other, would be paired as roommates. When a particular young man discovered his roommate was black, he requested relocation. The dorm director, as stand-up a guy as there ever was and also rigidly conservative, tore into the kid. Although I didn't think the request unreasonable, I kept my mouth shut. Why force someone to do something that was obviously troubling to him? The kid managed to get himself transferred to another dorm. One would think such situations have become passe by this time. Not so according to an article at Yahoo News, excerpt edited by yours truly. "Students at the Claremont colleges in Southern California initiated a fresh debate about race when they narrowed a roommate search, specifying in a Facebook post that they wanted only a person of color to share their off-campus apartment. When a classmate challenged the criteria, the Pitzer College student who posted the notice on Facebook doubled-down: 'It’s exclusive [because] I don’t want to live with any white folks.'" I don't have a problem with that. People should be free to choose with whom they wish to associate on their own time, in their own space, although I can imagine the firestorm had something like that been posted by a white man or woman.

Pity the mainstream media, forced to cover the Milwaukee riot. It would surprise no one if they blamed Trump's rhetoric rather than the left's and its failed urban policies.

From Yahoo's Odd News, edited by yt: "At this weekend's Russian Mosquito Festival in the town of Berezniki, a 9-year-old won the 'tastiest girl' category, accumulating 43 bites while berry-picking in the forest with her mother. She was awarded a ceramic cup in recognition of the welts all over her legs." Zika? What's Zika?

My thanks to the woman who purchased a paperback thriller, and to the one who bought Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Shakespeare's Hamlet. She's collecting classics for her granddaughter. "I hope she will read," she said through her Russian accent, smiling. I immediately thought the kid will probably do all her reading on an electronic device, but I kept my mouth shut.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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