Greg Paulmier: Our Choice For Progress. Philadelphia’s 8th District

Greg Paulmier: Push 521 on November 5, 2019.

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PRESS RELEASE

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I HUMBLY ASK FOR YOUR VOTE

My name is Greg Paulmier and I’m running for City Council in the 8th District. Having lived in Germantown for 60 years and raising a family in Northwest Philadelphia, I know the challenges we face. 

I have spent my life creating housing and jobs for families in Germantown, working to improve the neighborhood I’ve grown up in. Having served as a Democratic Committee Person and Ward Leader for over 30 years, my experience in organizing and leadership has prepared me for this important opportunity. By voting for me I hope you’ll help me put that energy to restoring accessibility and fiscal accountability to our local government.

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GREG‘S COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

  • Founding Board Member, Habitat for Humanity and Housing Specialist 

  • Former President, Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board

  • Former Member and Past Board Member, Metropolitan Boys and Girls Clubs

  • Member, Germantown Monthly Meeting (Quaker)

  • Member, Weaver’s Way Coop

  • Member, NAACP and ACLU

  • Member, Chestnut Hill Community Association

  • Member, Neighbors Against the Gas Plant

  • Former Democratic Ward Leader, 12th Ward (30 Years) 

  • Committee Person, 12th Democratic Ward (40 Years)

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To learn more about Greg Paulmier’s campaign for a seat on Philadelphia’s City Council in the 8th District, click here: https://www.greg2019.com

 

Posted in Advertising, Announcements, Blog, commentary, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Health Care, History, News, Philadelphia, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Travel

Bob Shell: Political Correctness

The Kiss. Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Political Correctness

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I’ve never been a particularly politically correct person. I’ve lived my life my way, caring little for the prevailing winds of intellectual fashion. Today I learned of something that really takes the cake as far as PC nonsense is concerned.

We’ve all seen the famous photo of a serviceman kissing a nurse in New York City on VJ day, the day the Japanese surrendered, ending World War II. It was a nationwide block party, with everyone carried away in jubilation. The serviceman didn’t know the nurse, actually a dental hygeinist, and his girlfriend was a bystander. He and his girlfriend were later married, and their marriage lasted until his death recently at age 95. The dental hygeinist died last year. A statue was erected in Florida a while back based on the.photo to commemorate the event. Now that statue has been vandalized with graffiti as a protest because the woman was kissed without her consent. She was interviewed multiple times, and always said she didn’t mind the kiss.

We must beware of applying today’s standards to events in the past.

The only time I’ve experienced public jubilation like that of VJ day was when I had the serendipity to be in Bonn, Germany, on October 3, 1990, German Reunification Day. I left the apartment where I was staying and went out into the streets to experience this truly once-in-a-lifetime event. I had steins of good German beer pressed on me from all sides. People were dancing in the streets and singing the German National Anthem, Deutschland uber Alles (Germany over All), at the tops of their lungs. Men were kissing women, women were kissing women, men were kissing men, and I was right in the middle of it all. I was kissed a few times and no one asked my consent. And did I care? Absolutely not! The joy was infectious, and I let myself flow with it and into it. I got very drunk that night, and I suspect, so did the New York crowds on VJ Day. So why spoil that infectious joy all these years later? If you weren’t there, you’ve no right to criticize.

The trend to apply today’s standards to people and events of the past is very disturbing. People and events of the past must be judged by their own contemporary standards. Measured by the societal mores of today, just about every hero of the past will come up wanting. We wouldn’t have this country today if not for men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington. Patrick Henry, and so many others who wouldn’t pass muster today. But they were creatures of their times, and outstanding thinkers who fought for the freedoms most take for granted today. They did things totally unacceptable today, like suppress women and own slaves. In the modern world their behavior would be contemptible, but they were. creatures of their times.

Probably, most of us will be very much out of sync with the mores and standards seventy-four years hence. Will people of 2093 judge us by the standards of their day? I certainly hope not.

My several times great grandfather, Hugh McCracken, was a Virginia farmer. He wasn’t wealthy, but he got by. When Virginia was invaded by Union troops at the beginning of the “Civil War” he joined the 36th.Virginia Infantry to defend his homeland. Was he wrong to do so? When Virginia joined the Union, she reserved the right to leave at any time. When she decided to exrrcise that clause and leave the Union, she had as much right to do so as Britain today has to leave the European Union. I don’t expect to see Brussels sending EU troops across the Channel to force Britain back into the European Union, but that’s exactly what Lincoln did.

Luckily for me Grandfather McCracken survived the war and returned to his farm to raise a family, or I wouldn’t be here today. I’ve read his war diary, and it’s horrible. He describes scenes of dead men and horses scattered across the landscape and streams running red with their blood, and having to drink from streams with bodies in them because it was the only water. I’m proud of him for defending his home against invaders, and resent anyone portraying him as anything but a brave patriot. Would he stand up well if judged by today’s standards, more than 150 years later? Probably not, but he stands up heroic by the standards of his day, and I’m proud to be his descendant. To hell with political correctness!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 11th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-social-security-slavery-etc/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

Posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Cameras, commentary, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Film, Friends of TWS, Glamour, History, lifestyle, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life

Katie Kerl: Fall Fun Guide

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Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Falling for Philly

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The weather in Philly is finally changing! I had to pull out the sweaters, boots, and scarves last weekend. It was sad to see summer go, but I also love everything fall. Not to mention shorts, sweaters, and scarves happen to be my favorite. No pumpkin spice for this girl though; unless it is my own homemade pumpkin pie and cookies. I made them with my mom and grandmother for as long as I can remember. It is one of my fondest memories as a child. I am more of an apple cider girl, and happen to make pretty potent cider sangria. The recipe proven sneaky enough to put down the heaviest of drinker haha!

 

Cider Sangria Recipe:

1.5 L bottle of Pinot Grigio

½ pint fireball

1.5 c regular whiskey

4 chopped apples

½ c orange juice

5 cinnamon sticks

1 pint fresh apple cider

1 Chopped orange

½ c sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Chop orange and apples into tiny pieces add cinnamon sticks. Then rub them with the cinnamon sugar. Pour in the liquids. Mix and refrigerate. Let the sangria sit for at least 6 hours to overnight for best taste. Add more or less of anything to your liking.  (Guaranteed to leave a few corpses behind at your fall parties)

 On the first day of fall, also fell the first dinner service at K’Far Cafe. This happens to be the newest spot opened by the number one restaurateurs’ in the country, Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook. It was the most exceptional meal that I have had here in Philadelphia. I left in the happiest of food coma after ordering almost the whole menu. I highly suggest checking it out before you can not get a reservation. 

 Linvilla Orchards is great for all ages. This is the best place to go pumpkin and apple picking. It is a very large working farm that makes their own amazing baked goods, grows their own Christmas trees, hay rides, corn mazes, face painting, pony rides, play area for the kids, and many farm animals.

 A few of my favorites from there are the homemade apple cider & donuts, Dutch apple pie, apple/pumpkin butter, apple bread mix, house made honey from their own bees, cheddar bacon bread, and the grilled corn. Let’s just say if you were looking to gain a few extra fall pounds for winter like myself; it is a perfect place to pig out. Not to mention getting everything to decorate the house in the craft section, and coming home with piles of pumpkins to roast seeds and carve.

 If you are not up to leaving the city this year Morgan’s Pier stayed open for Fall Fest. Every weekend you can carve pumpkins and take photos around their foliage decorated deck. All while sipping a crisp cider relaxing before the winter air comes rolling in on the water.

If you are more into horror check out Nightmare before Tinsel in the gayborhood in Philadelphia. It is a seasonal bar, which was most recently Blume for the summer months. Owned by Teddy Sourias, his group is killing the bar game in Philadelphia. You are guaranteed a spooky time here.

 People watching by the park is also fun, P.J Clark’s in Washington square offers a 7 day a week happy hour. That is pretty amazing in any season. The interior is old school chocolate and red leather tufted seating, white table cloths, and an array of black and white photography. Making you feel nostalgia just by walking in the door. Sitting in the walnut room you look out onto the kaleidoscope of colors the city has turned itself into.

 Onto a few parties in the city you would not want to miss. Every fall I attend The Taste of Philly. Being a foodie it is not one to miss, it is held at the Crystal Tea Room. Sampling Philly’s top food and drink destinations, followed by a dance party with a DJ at the end.  

 If you are into house music like myself check out Hallowink 5 featuring Louie Vega & Josh Wink at Warehouse on Watts on the 31st. It is a party that has yet to disappoint me.

 Also, at the same venue the next night Nov.1st, is 14th Annual PEX Halloween Ball “Wizard of Woz. If you want to feel like you have been transformed to another place in time this is the party for you. It is not for the basic bitch bar hopper that is for sure. Get your most extreme costume ready, or just paint it onto yourself. PEX the Philadelphia Experiment is a group of burners (meaning they attend Burning Man) that throw the most fantastic BE YOURSELF parties free of judgment.  

 Now if you are not really into that sort of thing; it is not for everyone. I also noticed on Oct. 26th there is a Haunted Halloween boat party on the Moshulu, and a 2 hour open bar with a VIP ticket. On Oct.26th Dj Ghost will be playing at Noto Nightclub, and 3lau will also be at Noto Nightclub on Halloween night.

 There are tons of other great events through the month. You just have to do a little digging to find what fits your vibe.  Cheers to Falling in love with Philly this Season.

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Katie Kerl

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Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-eroticism-wins/

 

Posted in Affiliates, Announcements, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, lifestyle, News, Philadelphia, Popular Culture, Still Life, Student Life, Travel, Women

A.H. Scott: Elevation

A.H. Scott

 

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Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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ELEVATION

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

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First step; imagine this, you’re 18 with a bangin’ body and a lightweight brain.

Second step; now, turn around and you’re 50 plus with a not so lightweight body and a bangin’ brain.

Well, let’s see if my courage can match my feet and see where this one goes, shall we?

This is E L E V A T I O N.

Elevation is the mind, spirit and body.

She is a woman of a certain age.

She is a woman beyond the years so tender.

She is ME!

Women of a certain age are not trying to be in their 20’s or even trying to pretend to compete in the eyes of men aligned solely for youth.

There it is, that term; ‘women of a certain age’. Oh, sigh.

So, let’s explore. 

Okay, so is what elevation is completely based on sexuality, sensuality and scintillation?

It would be foolish to say it is and foolish to say that it isn’t.

I guess both halves of the whole are a part of what elevation is.

Being in some mythical lineup of long legs, buns of steel, and jugs of joy which haven’t been flirtatiously tapped by Father Time’s golden wand of gravity yet is not who I am.

Oh, so is that elevation?

Okay, maybe that might be it.

Or, is it a spiritual renewal or should I say reconnection with my own being.

Maybe the reconnection isn’t reconnection after all. It might be something far more exquisite; a first contact of my spirit that I have always avoided. Be it out of anxiety or fear.

Anxiety over having exuberance or an unseen joy, then thinking of the selfishness for being out ahead of my skis in hoping for that type of happiness for myself.

Fear of a conscious or unconscious thought of rejection if I said what I felt inside or acted upon my own desires for pursuing dreams beyond where I am situated.

Just give in…

Just let go….

Those are two thoughts that come to my mind.

Give in to what I want. Yet, what if I don’t know what I want.

I don’t mean being fickle or flaky, as if I can’t choose between chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry or even interest from the opposite sex towards me.

No, it’s that overarching ‘ask’ that probably the universe puts out there for me to answer of what I want from life or more importantly, from myself.

Expectations are a daunting thing to comprehend. And, as with the aspect of ‘want’ and ‘release’, I would say ‘expectation’ is that subject that can tip the balance of scales.

But, you know when I think of what is expected of me, as a woman is also mixed with that level of fear that can rise up in my backbone of obligation.

Expectation would be stark and purely rooted in base physicality; as obligation relies upon layers of depth.

Primal and callous hookup in a hotel room without strings and void of patience is what I think of as an expectation of me from another. Veneer ever so shallow of knowing this is in the end of a brief amount of conversation or dinner will end up with him trying to get me into bed.

And, if I’m being honest to that other person and more importantly to myself; that is not the type of woman I wish or hope to be.

Okay, so if the question that is asked of what I want; it comes to be something more than a ‘kitten’ and ‘rooster’ quickie that seems cold.

And, when I mean ‘cold’ I don’t mean there couldn’t be a feverish tumble in between the sheets. Oh, no, I mean vacant of emotion beyond him just getting off and using me as that warm body he’ll enjoy for a short while.

Yep, so I guess that is what I don’t want.

And, if I can say what I don’t want, it then shifts to what I do want.

Then there are men in this world that are evidence that there is something different which is offered. They afford me a path of ease without having to feel constantly in some seen or unseen perception of competition. So nice they are, I am relaxed and even have let my guard down during the give and take which is experienced with them.

On reflection I’d have admit it to myself; but I have had this feeling of obligation in showing a man’s kindness with actions and words of my own in return. That’s probably where I would make a misstep that could stem any furtherance of a relationship.

Let go. Yet, what if I release the reins I’ve held onto so tightly in the lane of self preservation all these years and what I’ve feared in my heart would come to pass?

Mocked and dismissed is what I fear, so my hands grip those reins as tight as I can hold to my core.

The fear of never really measuring up as a lover chills me to the marrow, as I’ve seen other women just swim effortlessly in emancipation’s intensity when it comes to being with a man.

You could say I’m like a door slightly ajar, open enough to be inviting to friends and strangers; but, not being exposed to the fullness that life holds.

The question that I hold in the back of my mind and stem of my soul is this: If I completely reveal myself sexually and spiritually, would there possibly be that crucial connection from another?

Conundrum is one way I could describe it, as taking that step to another level.

And yet, here I am grasping the brass knob and opening the door wider than I’d ever imagined.

This time in my life is my elevation of rising higher in spheres of relationships, from family and friends. But, more importantly, it is the exploration into other avenues of connection.

I know what I don’t want; casual hookups with a shrug of aftermath when departing a locale of liaison.

Never been into one-night stands when I was younger, and I sure as hell ain’t gonna start doing it now. That’s not me. That is not the woman I am.

The only thing about me that is casual is my wardrobe.

I know what I do want; something more than that.

I’m not a teenager, and I’m not in any way trying to be one. But, you know what; one thing which those that are younger have is that fearlessness in knowing they have their whole lives ahead of them. They don’t get bogged down in pessimistic perceptions of who they are and what stirs their exhilaration.

Okay, okay, I won’t play the ‘old lady’ card. But, wow, to be young, tight and full of flight can even make me stand on my tippy-toes to soar carelessly across the light fantastic. So, watch out, whippersnappers! (ha, ha)

You know as you go through life, as the days pass by and turn into years; you have those little interactions along the way. Chit-chatting here and there leads to one mutual dialogue of four words from my lips to whomever I’m talking with – ‘same old, same old’.

Question: Hey, how’s your life going?

Answer: Same old, same old.

Ugh, that wand of Father Time has whacked me on the ass with the SO-SO life! Whoa, that stings!

I know what I want, and it is something more than just same old, same old. But, then again, having a ‘so-so’ life is like a comfortable sweater or snuggly blanket of what one gets used to in keeping things on a thermostatic balance. Not too hot, not too cold. Just so-so.

My predictability has become that two-edged thorn that pricks me from time to time. One side is positivity of being a person that can be relied on, based on my patience, adaptability, and calm demeanor. But, that second side is a bit more tenuous in explaining the downside of being a person that is predictable. In some ways, that predictability is like having my feet planted in cement; for I can be perceived as being not a sprig of spontaneity, but a reed of regularity. 

Yet, life as we live it right now is happening all around us. And, a tiny sledgehammer is coming out of my back pocket to chip away at that cement of caution, as my hips start to sway and my arms begin to embrace enchantment.

Waiting for another to capture that spark from within is a fool’s errand. And, my parents didn’t raise a fool. (Knock wood on that fact) So, I guess I’m claiming that spark for myself. For me – hooray!

Exploring what flips my switch and ignites my motor is the journey that I am on. I’m not speeding down an unseen road, but coasting along at a speed of moderation taking in all that my eyes and soul can seek and absorb along the way.

So, what have I learned as that half century point has spun like golden thread on the spinning wheel of my life?

Desire doesn’t fade and the adventure of life can be filled with possibilities and exploration in coming moments, months, or years.

Some who may be reading this are probably thinking when I use those two words ‘possibilities’ and ‘exploration’; would snap to the conclusion of what I’m referencing is a whom.

Oh no! Although, if the universe is listening; hey, you never know.

Possibilities can go from learning the basics of a new language to diving headlong into off-beat subjects that may peak my interest. Or, even just as tiny a goal of losing another ten pounds and keeping it off. (Fingers crossed and brownies scratched off my shopping list)

Exploration can be as varied as updating my fashion style with a few accent pieces here and there; to hitting bookstores for some paperbacks or heftier fare.

Trying out some new recipes or even letting my taste-buds go on an unknown escapade of flavors. Who knows? The world’s an open kitchen!

Aspects of each have a way of going from that which is non-consequential to the beneficial in the big picture of my life.

I believe there is always room for improving oneself; even when you might not see it in the moment you change something about yourself.

For me, it’s in the knowing that desire that fills my soul and keeps this heart within me beating fast when I accomplish or learn something new is that feverish sense of fulfillment.

As for that fulfillment, it doesn’t have to appear as a connection from an outside insertion inward, but an internal blossom outward from within myself.

May not be that inferno of decades past. Yet, that flame still remains. It smolders. It lingers. It sizzles. It flickers.

Flickering….oh, flickering….and, even those embers that remain are perpetually tickling.

To my own surprise, I am rising! I am exploring! I am elevating to that next level! I may not know what awaits me around the next corner, but my embrace is in a single direction – upward!

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by Ms. Scott, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-do-right-woman-a-travesty-in-two-acts-2/

Posted in Affiliates, Blog, commentary, Current Events, Environment, Erotica, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Bob Shell: Social Security, Slavery, etc.

Bob Shell: Social Security, Slavery, etc.

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Social Security, Slavery, etc.

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The Social Security System; You work, you pay into it all your working life, and then when you turn 65 you get a monthly check from the government, right? That’s what people think, but there’s a catch. I worked all my life, paid into Social Security, but now I can’t collect a penny. I’m 71 years old now, probably 72 by the time you read this, and that money would sure make my life easier. But when Congress wrote the Social Security Act, they inserted a clause exempting prison inmates from collecting. I paid in like a good citizen, and now when I need it, it’s unavailable to me. I was astonished to learn this when I turned 65. What does being in prison have to do with my previous work history? I think it’s criminal on the part of the government to deny benefits to someone imprisoned when their crime has nothing to do with their previous work history. I paid their damned self-employment tax every year that I was a freelance photographer/writer, often scrimping on things to come up with the money, and now they tell me, “that’s tough, we have no money for you.”

On a related point, slavery is illegal in the U.S.A., right? It was outlawed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, wasn’t it? Go back and read what that 1865 Amendment actually says. It reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”. So, since I’m being punished for a crime whereof I was “duly convicted,” I’m legally a slave. I’ve lost my right to vote, and many of the other rights a citizen enjoys. Legally condoned slavery, in 2018 in America! Isn’t it long past time to change this? Changing the Constitution is very difficult, and for good reason, but this antiquated vestige of the “Civil War” should go.

I believe it’s time for a major overhaul of the US Government and state governments that would purge these antiquated laws from our books. You hear politicians giving lip service to “criminal justice reform” and similar catchy phrases, but nobody is doing anything except talking. Everyone knows the system is broken and gets worse every year, but no politicians dare really try to fix the problems, lest they be tarred with the label, “soft on crime.”. As retired senator Jim Webb said, something is very wrong when the US has the largest per capita prison population in the world. Either we have the worst people on Earth, or the system has run amok.

How can we fix things when legislatures, both state and national, are more concerned with their petty partisan squabbles than with the wellbeing of our country? Maybe things will change with the midterm elections, but I really don’t hold much hope.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 11th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here:https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-the-token-photo-sets/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

Posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Friends of TWS, Health Care, History, Politics, Popular Culture