Even though it doesn’t appear to be working. I will approve ASAP.

The limitations to what I shall, or shan’t, write in this blog is determined by some inner gauge. What I will write about myself has been increasingly not an issue, although I generally don’t indicate, “Hey, here I am in Times Square,” more as a matter of privacy and security than anything. This restriction insures that I will never be one with the zeitgeist, and I’m actually quite good with that.

But I seem not to be particularly concerned about paring my topics. My politics are what they are, and I don’t see them changing anytime soon. Indeed, writing about them helps define my feelings. It’s quite liberating.

Writing about others is trickier. The Daughter, I decided, I would tell her what I was going to write about her. Some stuff she actually WANTS me to post, such as the letter she wrote to the building contractor that our next-door neighbor used. If I mention I want to acknowledge how well she did in school, she rolls her eyes and sighs. But if she were to truly object, I wouldn’t let it see the light of day.

Every three months or so, I ask you all to Ask Roger Anything. I SUPPOSE I don’t mean ANYTHING anything, but, to date, you haven’t made that an issue. I AM curious what you have in mind. In fact, I’ve already received a couple questions.

When you ask anything of me, I am required by my internal code to respond, generally within the month, to the best of my ability. I have not had to use obfuscation very often, though it is allowed – my blog, my rules. You are indeed a polite people.

Per usual, you can leave your questions below or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck. If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s fine, but you need to SAY so; you should e-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to remain unmentioned; otherwise, I’ll assume you want to be cited.

One of the worst things about the movie MASH was the title of the theme song, “Suicide is painless.” Of course, if you’ve ever have been a survivor of suicide – I have been fortunate not to be in that category – it is full of pain for those left behind.

I must tell you that I had no idea who Kate Spade was, but I see her impact on fashion was evidently huge. One of many things I hated in the reportage was that her brother-in-law, comedian David Spade, was “breaking his silence” less than two days after her death. The expectation that we are somehow OWED a statement from her loved one rankles me.

Conversely, I was really sad about the death of Anthony Bourdain, chef, travel host and author, at 61. Early on, I thought he was a real jerk, but as he evolved and – I thought – had faced his demons, he became quite the raconteur, telling stories about food around the world.

Matthew Cutler, a rabbi, wrote When living hurts…, which I found useful.

The network news has actually plugged the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800 273 talk) multiple times and pointed to info such as recognize the signs of suicide and find help. I wish it were that simple.

Still, I think Michael Rivest, a guy I know IRL, is also correct when he wrote: “In light of the media attention given to Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, it was inevitable that it would flush out those who see suicide as a cowardly ‘choice.’ These are usually the same people who see addiction as a choice, along with poverty, anxiety, sexual orientation, etc.

“We scoff at the naivete of those who, a few hundred years ago, attributed such realities to evil spirits, yet now we fall for the self-satisfied canard that people somehow ‘choose’ to be in pain, or to be victims of social injustice. Sometimes, things only look like a choice to those for whom they would be.”

Read how Amy Biancolli takes on the ‘selfishness’ of suicide.

Marie Curie, née Sklodowska, is probably the most famous woman of science ever. She engaged in “groundbreaking work on radioactivity”, and became the first person to win the Nobel Prize in two different fields.

“In July 1898, Marie along with her husband Pierre Curie, announced the discovery of a new chemical polonium, naming it after her native country Poland. The same year, the Curies discovered radium.

“In 1903, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics alongside Pierre and Henri Becquerel. Eight years later, she won her second Nobel Prize in Chemistry.”

It’s less well known that she was a major hero of World War I.

“At the start of the war, X-ray machines were still found only in city hospitals, far from the battlefields where wounded troops were being treated. Curie’s solution was to invent the first ‘radiological car’ – a vehicle containing an X-ray machine and photographic darkroom equipment – which could be driven right up to the battlefield where army surgeons could use X-rays to guide their surgeries.

“One major obstacle was the need for electrical power to produce the X-rays. Curie solved that problem by incorporating a dynamo – a type of electrical generator – into the car’s design. The petroleum-powered car engine could thus provide the required electricity.

Eventually, using her fame, “she had 20, which she outfitted with X-ray equipment. But the cars were useless without trained X-ray operators, so Curie started to train women volunteers. She recruited 20 women for the first training course, which she taught along with her daughter Irene, a future Nobel Prize winner herself.”

“Not content just to send out her [eventually 150] trainees…, Curie herself had her own ‘little Curie’ – as the radiological cars were nicknamed – that she took to the front. This required her to learn to drive, change flat tires and even master some rudimentary auto mechanics, like cleaning carburetors.”

Yet she experienced the Matilda Effect, the marginalizing of women in science, named for Matilda Gage, an early suffragette. The French Academy of Sciences, founded in 1666, excluded women, such as Marie Curie, though her husband got in, Nobel winner Irène Joliot-Curie, and mathematician Sophie Germain, for nearly three centuries. “The first woman admitted as a correspondent member was a student of Curie’s, Marguerite Perey, in 1962.”

Marie Curie is included in the 2018 book She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton.

For ABC Wednesday

People ask a lot of questions about The Beatles on Quora. Seeing that it’s Paul McCartney’s 76th birthday – I get Macca’s newsletter every month – I thought I’d steal a few. You’ll find other, sometimes contradictory, answers as well, at the links.

Are there any Beatles songs that were written solely by Paul McCartney that were sung solely by John Lennon, and vice-versa?

Alex Johnston: “‘Every Little Thing’, on Beatles For Sale, was written entirely by McCartney but sung by Lennon, with backing vocals from McCartney and Harrison.”

What did the Beatles think of the Rolling Stones?

Alexander Chiltern: “Yes, they were friendly… A more attentive reading has suggested me that they had envy of each other, but specially The Beatles were very, very envious of the Stones.”

Which classic rock band has aged most embarrassingly?

Stanton Nicholas: “I’m going to commit a cardinal sin among Beatle-philes by suggesting that Paul McCartney is about ready to join this group if he doesn’t stop touring soon.” I saw him in 2014 and I thought he was great, FWIW.

Is there any band artistically better than the Beatles at any time?

Rosalind Mitchell: “The Beatles more or less wrote the rules for bands. It is also that no band has ever been do versatile.”

What are John Lennon’s favorite songs by Paul McCartney?

David Sylvester: “In John Lennon’s interview with Playboy in September 1980, he singled out several Paul songs for praise. These include:
All My Loving (‘it’s a damn good piece of work’)
Things We Said Today (‘Good song’)
For No One (‘one of my favorites of his’)
Yesterday (‘well done’)
Got To Get You Into My Life (‘one of his best songs’)
Hey Jude (‘one of his masterpieces’)
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (I enjoyed the track’)
Oh Darling (‘a great one of Paul’s that he didn’t sing too well’)
Fixing A Hole (‘writing a good lyric’)
The Fool On The Hill (‘proving he can write lyrics’)

“In the post-Beatles years, John acknowledged some appreciation for the Band On The Run album, the song Monkberry Moon Delight, and notably Coming Up, which he fixated on in the summer of 1980.

I’m occasionally tempted to answer some of these queries, but time and, usually, a sufficient extant answer dissuades me. For instance, there are always questions about whether the Beatles will be remembered decades from now. There is no telling the future, but the preponderance of evidence, such as the sheer number of cover albums of their music being produced each year, suggests the answer is YES.

You may find this weird, but I only really stopped being resentful about Father’s Day in the past year or two.

Before that, all those holiday ads I would get – gift ideas from a slew of retailers – would send me into a flurry of anger at first, followed by melancholy.

You would think, I gather, that being a father myself would have alleviated the antipathy, but no. I continued to be sad that, unlike my sisters’ daughters, my daughter will never know my father.

I wonder what nickname he would have allowed. His three grandchildren, including the one he never met, were born about a dozen years apart. Would he suggest she call him “oom-pah”, as he did with one of the others, or would the two of them have develop a different moniker for him?

I think it’s easier now because, as a “senior citizen,” as my kind daughter was so helpful in pointing out, I recognize that I haven’t got time for the pain.

Did I ever mention that my parents-in-law, who are pretty swell folks, have birthdays almost exactly a decade apart, in the same respective years? This is mighty handy, I’ll tell you. Any cheat will do.

I have started to embrace the notion of hinting for gifts. It’s not that I really want, and certainly don’t need, stuff. But it’s nice to be remembered.

My sisters started sending me Father’s Day cards fairly early on after I first became a day. One of them sent me one this year, the one NOT in the hospital; she gets a pass. Frankly, it would have never occurred to me to send them Mother’s Day cards, but I think it’s sweet that I receive cards from them.

Meanwhile, my daughter is on her way to high school. People say, “I can’t believe how quickly the time pass.” I think, though I don’t always say, “I can.”

Is it just me, or maybe it’s parents who were already of a certain age, who feel that the time is passing at approximately the correct speed?

I learn a lot from her about the world, but don’t tell her. She might get a swelled head.

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