Category Archives: בּ״ה

Use ZOTERO to manage dissertation citations–Beta

This manual contains:

  • Why Zotero is so useful for writing a dissertation
  • How to install Zotero
  • How to collect websites, pdf files, and an interface for adding books to a bibliography
  • How to organize by adding a collection at the Zotero Library interface screen
  • How to cite references
  • How to share citations and references;namely, how to insert the material into the Word document you are using to write your dissertation
  • How to select the right style manual when Zotero offers over 500 options
  • Ongoing discussion of related observations–provided in the form of notes marked as such. An item marked Note may distract the reader from the central focus of this user guide. Nonetheless, I hope each Note provides information you find useful.
  • Zotero also helps navigate in the Cloud.

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Eccentric Zotero user guide–Beta version

Why Zotero is so useful for writing a dissertation

I have not been able to find documentation which teaches me how to use Zotero. Zotero is an effective but complicate tool that removes the grunt work– notably citations and bibliographies-involved with writing a dissertation.

I am writing this manual to help me master Zotero for a technical paper I am completing.  I am trying to master Zotero because it will help me complete my technical report. My experience using software to automate dissertation writing; primarily dissertation, but also other academic writing such as articles for the Journal of Electrical Engineering or technical reports for Dr. Ali Memari’s Penn State’s Housing Research Center.

Several years ago, I worked with Dr. Somali Kumar on her dissertation entitled:

EXPERIENCE-BASED DESIGN REVIEW OF HEALTHCARE FACILITIES USING INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL PROTOTYPES 

Professor John Messner first introduced me to Zotero.

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This guide is directed specifically to graduate students at Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineer. This is my effort to help you learn quickly, this program for automating citations and inserting them into your documents can make your life much easier.

Zotero is the oldest and most popular software for relieving graduate students from the most tedious part of their work. Several graduate students who used  End Note for bibliography and were unhappy at the experience. Joche Astro J. Gayles, who recently received her doctorate from Penn States’ Department of Home Development & Family Standards (HDFP), said that she “. The best example of Zotero’s virtue is its ability to insert citations according to style manuals. Worth noting: Case in point:

At the Zotero home page library, I chose an item and inserted it into the style manual for the American Psychological Association, the style manual I recommend for graduate students at Penn State's Department of Architectural Engineering

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Penn State libraries resources for mastering Zotero

Here is a quick example of the resources the library provides

At the Penn State Libraries home page, enter "Zotero" at the library' s CAT search engine.
At the Penn State Libraries home page, enter “Zotero” at the library’ s CAT search engine.

Seek and you shall find

Thursday morning (11/4/2015), I will be meeting with Angela Davis. Angela is the Department of Architectural Engineering's library liaison. I will report back on Friday at the seminar.
Tip:  Angela is the Department of Architectural Engineering’s library liaison. Make an appointment with Angela. She can help you with Zotero. She can also help  you by suggesting data bases and helping navigate them. Making an appointment with Angela is an excellent investment for helping complete your dissertation.

[email protected]

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“As an academic writer, I always prided myself on my technical savvy. Until recently, I believed that I had developed a sophisticated system of bookmarks, email messages to myself, word documents, and the like to save useful references, citations, and other resources that I felt were essential to my clinical and academic productivity. In my system, I would manually save portable document format (PDF) files by manually typing in the title of the article, the journal it was published in, and the year of publication. However, I recently discovered a freely available computer software called Zotero that has made my life easier and my so-called “sophisticated” system obsolete.”

–Zotero: Reviewed by Thomas E. Vanhecke, MD

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2479046/?tool=pmcentrez

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Angela’s Davis’ email with link to Zotero tutorials

Hello Joel,

Thanks for the question you asked via the Ask A Librarian system. I wanted to introduce myself as the librarian specialist for Architectural Engineering.

I would be more than happy to assist you in using the library. And would love to meet with you and discuss the ways that the library could help you, but I have found that these work best if you have a specific research project you are would like assistance with. I am also available for help via email or phone, for any questions you may have. Please contact me in whichever way is most comfortable for you.

If you would like a basic overview of how to navigate library resources, the Online Tutorials page is an excellent starting place. These are geared towards undergraduates but they provide the basics that everyone can use.

Please let me know how I could be of assistance to you and I look forward to working with you in the future,

~Angela

Angela R Davis
Engineering Liaison Librarian | Engineering Library
328 Hammond, University Park, PA 16802
[email protected] | (814)865-7005 |
https://twitter.com/EngineeringLib

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A sneak peak at how select the right style manual

At the Zotero home page library, I chose an item and inserted it into the style manual for the American Psychological Association, the style manual I recommend for graduate students at Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineering.

http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/docview/221000464?pq-origsite=summon&accountid=13158

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Be there or be square

MyZoteroSeminar

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Note: Confession makes good pedagogy. For simplicity, I use the word “dissertation” as shorthand for a range of academic publications including articles for the Journal of Architectural Engineering. My confession refers to the technical report I am completing (having procrastinated ) for publication for the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC).

Using Zotero will help me complete my project. By extension I hope these step-by-step instructions for using Zotero will help speed completion of your dissertation.] Zotero can also help you navigate The Cloud.

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Your home in Zotero is this interface screen that appears immediately after login

Zotero historically was designed as an extension working within Firefox. Now there is a standalone version as well as Zotero residing within other browsers such as Chrome and IE.
Zotero historically was designed as an extension working within Firefox. Now there is a standalone version as well as Zotero residing within other browsers such as Chrome and IE.

Zotero has four applications

  • Collecting articles, web pages, books, and other references
  • Organizing, reading, and making notes of the collected material
  • Citing the collected material in one’s own writing.
  • Sharing, as in inserting Zotero citations into your dissertation when you are writing it using Microsoft Word.

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You can access Zotero from web browsers and Windows, Apple, and Unix operating systems; hence this cautionary slogan

E pluribus unum–From many one

Great seal of the United States showing the Latin motto translated: From many one
Great seal of the United States showing the Latin motto translated: From many one

As with the motto on the Great Seal of the United States, there are many ways to get to the Zotero interface. These methods include, but are not limited to:

  • Add-on to the Firefox browser
  • Add-on (plug-in [query: documentation uses add-ons and plug-ins interchangeably; is this correct?]) for Chrome and other browsers
  • Standalones for Unix, GNU/Linux and Mac OS
  • Available features include the ability–while writing your dissertation–to download citations into Microsoft Word

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What to do when you reach the basic Zotero interface, Basic level.

What matters most–that is what makes your life easiest–is not the multiple options, but rather what to do when you reach the basic Zotero interface, here at log-in, now twice in this posting to increase your familiarity with your essential home screen:

Zotero historically was designed as an extension working within Firefox. Now there is a standalone version as well as Zotero residing within other browsers such as Chrome and IE.

Application 1: COLLECTING

Collecting video

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/14188877[/vimeo]

Six methods for incorporating material into your Zotero library

Getting_stuff

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To simplify, arbitrarily I have chosen to provide examples from Zotero standalone downloaded onto Windows 7 and linked to Chrome. This involved:

  1. From Chrome, I keyed in Zotero at the Google prompt which directed me to this download page.
This screen shot shows I had already established a Zotero account. I originally established this account in a bye-gone era when one could obtain Zotero as an add-on to Firefox. Before downloading standalone from Chrome, I had logged into Zotero's home page. If you do not have a Zotero account you can establish one and log in either before or after the download.
This screen shot shows I had already established a Zotero account. I originally established this account in a bye-gone era when one could obtain Zotero as an add-on to Firefox. Before downloading standalone from Chrome, I had logged into Zotero’s home page. If you do not have a Zotero account you can establish one and log in either before or after the download.

2. Zotero standalone shortcut on my messy desktop

Zotero shortcut on my messy desktop. Advice: A messy desktop is a bad idea. Messy slows down performance and hinders organization. Do as I advise; not, as I do.
Zotero shortcut on my messy desktop. Advice: A messy desktop is a bad idea. Messy slows down performance and hinders organization. Do as I advise; not, as I do.

3. Clicking on the shortcut brings you here

Clicking on Zotero shortcut bring me here. That is because I already logged in at the Zotero home page navigating to the library. Otherwise, one reaches the homepage where one must log in. {Are my details too detailed?}
Clicking on Zotero shortcut bring me here. That is because I had already logged in at the Zotero home page navigating to the library. Otherwise, one reaches the homepage where one must log in. {Are my details too detailed?}

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Using the Zotero connector to collect websites, books, articles, pdf files, and what have you

Zotero’s explanation of how the connector collects

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/zotero-connector/ekhagklcjbdpajgpjgmbionohlpdbjgc?hl=en

zotero_connector

Capturing tools

Zotero has three basic capturing tools.

  • URL with Zotero login

zoteroCaptureurl

  • Left mouse clip providing menu item “Add to Zotero”
  • Manual insert books etc. into Zotero’s home page
Explicit.
Explicit.

 

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Application 2: ORGANIZING

The first step in organizing is to add a collection to the Zotero library.

Collections are often compared to Itunes playlists. Suggestion: Incorporate as many projects as one can--career and personal. That way one becomes more fluent in using Zotero.
Collections are often compared to Itunes playlists. Suggestion: Incorporate as many projects as one can–career and personal. That way one becomes more fluent in using Zotero.

AddingASubcollection

Application 3: CITING

At the Zotero home page library, I chose an item and inserted it into the style manual for the American Psychological Association, the style manual I recommend for graduate students at Penn State's Department of Architectural Engineering
At the Zotero home page library, I chose an item and inserted it into the style manual for the American Psychological Association, the style manual I recommend for graduate students at Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineering

Application 4: SHARING

See Zotero documentation of sharing

https://www.zotero.org/support/word_processor_plugin_changelog

zoteroWord

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More sharing

“Citations and bibliographies generated by the word processor plugins might appear in a different style (font, font-size, etc) than the surrounding text. The appearance of the generated text can be changed by changing the default style. E.g. in LibreOffice, open the styles manager in ‘Format’ > ‘Styles and Formatting‘ or by hitting F12. Right click on Default, select ‘Modify‘, and make the desired changes to this style.”

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It always helps (I find) to put work into a larger perspective

That way, I do not become overwhelming by the seriousness of my efforts. As you labor away at the process of receiving a doctorate, you might find comfort in the legendary William James‘ 1903  classic critique of the process in which you are currently engaged: The Ph.D. Octopus.

“Some years ago, we had at our Harvard Graduate School a very brilliant student of Philosophy, who…received an appointment to teach English Literature at a sister-institution of learning. The governors of this institution, however, had no sooner communicated the appointment than they made the awful discovery that they had enrolled upon their staff a person who was unprovided with the Ph.D. degree…

“His appointment had thus been made under a misunderstanding. He was not the proper man; and there was nothing to do but inform him of the fact… [O]ur Subject, being a man of spirit, took up the challenge… grinding his psychology, logic, and history of philosophy up again, so as to pass our formidable ordeals. When the thesis came to be read by our committee, we could not pass it. Brilliancy and originality by themselves won’t save a thesis for the doctorate….”

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Idiosyncratic footnote section

My preference for footnotes does not diminish the reality that in the Engineering and sciences academic departments footnotes are banned.

Final note

Benny Goodman’s clarinet (and of course vocals by Miss Peggy Lee influenced the writing of this post. I am sentimental about the clarinet. Salvatore, my grandfather, played in the clarinet at the orchestra of a silent movie, when my grandmother fell in love with him.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqD0WiqtTSg[/youtube]

From the album Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman “The Complete Recordings 1941-1947”

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This post is copyrighted © 2016 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.

 

“Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own”–Health update with Taj Mahal, Physical Therapy & The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

“Man I don’t care what in the world that you do
As long as you do what you say you going to”

Today is Sunday August 30, 2015. How it got to be 1 PM I do not know.

  1. I do know that this ambitious posting will be under construction for a while. Consider the host of categories above which includes everything from Health Crisis to the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State to Joy of Motion.
  2. Why I begin this full disclosure  [see footnote (1)] account with a lie: “Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own” can and cannot be explained.
  3.  Here the overriding intent is to disclosure my plan for the future which I grandiosely refer to as “my life’s work.”

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trcb0LZfuZA[/youtube]

This posting is under construction. Put on your hardhat and exercise caution.
This posting is under construction. Put on your hardhat and exercise caution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footnotes

Thursday, July 16, 2015 8:27 PM Spinal stimulator update

Joanna, Amelia, Sarah, Jade, Javier and other loved ones:

Dr. Christopher J. Winfree http://www.columbianeurosurgery.org/doctors/christopher-j-winfree/will install a spinal stimulator in early August.

Chris_Winfree-e1429044858419


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The process takes two weeks.

They should be two pleasurable weeks because the process involves sampling vibrations to see whether they are pleasurable, assemble the happy vibrations inside a spinal stimulator the size of my pacemaker and surgically implant it in my back.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKpjP7gwiIM[/youtube]

As you know, I am requesting that Mozart’s clarinet concerto in A Major be broadcast to the nerves in my very unhappy L-5 and L-4 area of my spine (where I sit). So, far I have no idea whether the clarinet concerto is an insane idea or totally realistic.




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I have survived cancer three times

1. Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system then described as “universally fatal.” 1976

2. Hodgin’s disease again requiring a second round of radiation treatment. 1989 the same year Taylor Swift was born.

3. Kidney Cancer. My local urologist urged me to go to Memorial Sloan Cancer Center “immediately” where Dr. Paul Russo saved my life. 2013

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Therefore’ these words are especially significant to me. Tim McGraw’s song Live Like You Were Dying which he co-wrote to me. Ever since 1976 I have had to live as if I were daying. Believe you me that is exactly how I have been living since 1976.

He said: ‘I was in my early 40’s/

‘With a lot of life before me/

‘And a moment came that stopped me on a dime/

‘I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays/

‘Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’boutsweet time/’

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henry

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http://www.joelsolkoff.com/live-like-you-were-dying/

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To get to Memorial Sloan Kettering Center from State College PA as a paraplegic is difficult and expensive. To repeat the difficulty repeatedly is bordering on imprudent. I am in the process of permanently relocating to Newark, New Jersey. Newark is the largest city in New Jersey. New Jersey is the 11th largest state in the Union

Newarkskyline

Why Newark?

It is a subway ride away from Manhattan. Equally important Newark has the third highest murder rate of any U.S. city. Consequently, rents are low.

AhevetShalomFacebookPosting

The relocation process is proceeding smoothly.

I drive to Newark one week from today. I am staying at the Hampton Hotel in Downtown Newark. My reservation is for July 23-July 30th. Heaven is a week in Downtown Newark.

hamptongardeninn

On Saturday, July 24th at 9:30 in the morning I will be attending the op Congregation Ahevet Shalom. Ahevet Shalom is a Conservative Egalitarian congregation housed in the oldest synagogue in Newark. The bema is not wheel chair accessible. If there is a Minyan and if I have the honor of an Aliya, the congregation brings the sheepskin open beatifically calligraphed Torah scroll to me.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxV1FKlGZjk[/youtube]

“Live like you were dying”

Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying (Official Music Video)

Wikipedia: These albums have produced over 50 singles, of which 25 have reached number 1 on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. Three of his singles — “It’s Your Love“, “Just to See You Smile“, and “Live Like You Were Dying” — were the top country songs of 1997, 1998, and 2004 respectively, according to Billboard Year-End.”

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Note: This posting is a book report.
Note: This posting is a book review

Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin’s Disease

 

Amazon: “In the 1950s, ninety-five percent of patients with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of lymph tissue which afflicts young adults, died.

“Today most are cured, due mainly to the efforts of Dr. Henry Kaplan.  Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin’s Disease explores the life of this multifaceted, internationally known radiation oncologist, called a ‘saint’ by some, a ‘malignant son of a bitch’ by others.

“Kaplan’s passion to cure cancer dominated his life and helped him weather the controversy that marked each of his innovations, but it extracted a high price, leaving casualties along the way. Most never knew of his family struggles, his ill-fated love affair with Stanford University, or the humanitarian efforts that imperiled him.”

http://www.amazon.com/Henry-Kaplan-Story-Hodgkins-Disease/dp/0804768668/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436930035&sr=1-1&keywords=hodgkin%27s+disease

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He said: ‘I was in my early 40’s/

‘With a lot of life before me/

‘And a moment came that stopped me on a dime/

‘I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays/

‘Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time/’

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Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end/

How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news/

Man what ya do? skydiving

And he says:

‘ I went sky divin’/

 rocky

‘I went rocky mountain climbin’/

bull-ride

‘I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu

 http://www.joelsolkoff.com/in-1976-i-was-diagnosed-with-cancer-from-which-i-have-been-cured/

[Note: I was diagnosed and treated for cancer in 1976 when I was 28 years old. This is how I described the experience when I was in the midst of my first round of radiation treatment.]
                                                                                                              
 A New Lease on Life by Joel Solkoff, November 26, 1976
I am 28 years old and I have cancer. Anger comes before anything else. There are times that the anger becomes overwhelming, turns to frustrated rage, because there is no one to be angry at. I can curse God which I’ve done many times, but it is unsatisfying because God doesn’t shout back. Crying helps.
I started weeping in the hospital. An intern; frightened by the emotion, asked me to stop, She said I was upsetting the other patients. I told her to get lost, and when I was done weeping I found her and shouted at the top of my lungs, “You’re what’s wrong with doctors. You have no feelings!” It felt good to shout at someone.
My form of cancer was first described in 1832 by Dr. Thomas Hodgkin—after whom it is named—and its cause is still a mystery. It is a disease of the lymphatic system, clogging the body’s ability to purify the blood and thus to fight off infection.
The cancerous tumors, which are enlarged lymph nodes, may also take over nearby vital organs, such as the liver and lungs. Because the tumors are part of a system that circulates throughout the body, surgical removal generally does not remove the disease. A microscopic piece of tumor may remain in the body, or whatever caused the gland to grow abnormally large may already be elsewhere. Such problems made Hodgkin’s disease extremely difficult to treat and meant that, until quite recently, it was described as “universally fatal.”
In my lifetime, advances in treatment have been so successful that it appears unlikely that the disease will affect my lifespan or that I will feel its effects. Many techniques are so new that we patients haven’t lived long enough to establish whether we’ve been “cured.” The other day, as the technician adjusts my body under the linear accelerator, she said, “If I had to pick a disease to have, I’d pick yours.”
During the months of incapacitation, I have slowly begun to appreciate that I am fortunate to be living in these times.   The process began when a lump under arm right arm did not go away. The lump did not hurt; it wasn’t even uncomfortable, but seeing a doctor seemed sensible. My appointment was on a Friday afternoon, and when the internist grabbed the phone, told me to run three blocks to the nearby surgeon, and then reassured me “not to worry,” I was frightened. Removing the lump, under a local anesthetic, hurt less than I had feared. After an assortment of pathologists had looked at sections of the lump under a microscope and after one misdiagnosis (Hodgkin’s disease is a difficult cancer to identify), my internist’s suspicions were confirmed.
Then came tests. To treat the disease it was first necessary to know where it was located.  I was injected with isotopes So that my liver would show up on a television screen. Marrow was taken from the hip bone. There were blood tests and X-rays. My feet were slit open so an opaque fluid could run through the lymphatic system.
Finally, there was abdominal surgery. Its purpose was exploratory, but the pain afterwards was overwhelming. Screaming for more relief than the drugs could give, I was oblivious to the long-term beneficial result. I had always thought that pain was either avoidable or imaginary.
As soon as I recovered from surgery, the internist prescribed the treatment–radiation. The radiology lab is in a basement, and most of us walk in off the street as outpatients. When patients come in for the first time, their names are placed on a blackboard, with the name of the disease and of the doctor. Etiquette forbids the placing of numbered odds, but most patients do not share my apparent good fortune.
I go into the room where X-rays are sent through my body every day for 12 weeks. The process takes a few minutes and is painless. The rays kill all cells the area at which the machine is focused. Because cancer cells multiply more rapidly than normal cells, the rays do more lasting damage to the cancer cells. However, since cells are killed indiscriminately, treatments make me feel weak and weepy.

I have trouble swallowing. The hair on the back of my neck has fallen out –temporarily. I have severe skin burn. My stomach feels queasy and I spend a lot of energy fighting the urge to vomit. Slowly, I have come to understand that life has been given to me for a second time.

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Joel Solkoff is author of “The Politics of Food.”

Complete Lyrics

He said I was in my early 40’s,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays,
Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,

[Chorus]I went sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you weredyin’.He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn’t.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin’ fishing,
Wasn’t such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I’d do
If I could do it all again.
And then.[Chorus]Like tomorrow was a gift and you’ve got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I dowith with it, what would I do with it.[Chorus]
Sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin’.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you weredyin’.To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.

From the Zomet Institute: The Electric Wheelchair on Shabbat

http://www.zomet.org.il/eng/?CategoryID=198&ArticleID=409

 

Rav Yair Meir
    A. The ProblemB. The Prohibitions Involved

C. The Halachic Status of the Invalid

D. The Suggested Solution

1. The Grama Switch

2. Spring Return

3. Modulating the Current

4. Minimum Current

5. Changing the Duty Cycle

 

  A. The Problem

 

In recent years, the use of wheelchairs with electric motors has become common. These wheelchairs use a storage battery similar to that found in automobiles, which is charged by connecting it to ordinary house current for several hours when the wheelchair is not in use. The chair is operated by means of a joystick, which controls both steering and acceleration.

The wheelchair permits a high degree of mobility for wheelchair-bound invalids who cannot operate a regular wheelchair, both in the house and outside. The invalid is able to feel independent and self-sufficient, which is extremely important for his self-esteem.

Two outstanding Torah authorities in Jerusalem approached the Zomet Institute in order to devise the technical solutions to permit use of wheelchairs on Shabbat.

 

     B. The Prohibitions Involved

 

Use of an electric motor on Shabbat, which does not result in the creation of light or any other Shabbat creation, is the subject of a continuing discussion among scholars. In our case, where the source of the current is a battery, the problem of power generated on Shabbat does not exist. The battery is not a

generator, and only releases power stored before Shabbat when it was charged. There are three possible categories of Shabbat prohibition that apply:

 

President Harry S Truman’s 1947 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

President Harry S Truman and the ever-present Bess. Photograph courtesy Harry S Truman Library, Independence, Missouri http://www.joelsolkoff.com/country-music-many-beautiful-country-music-famale-vocalist-currently-beautiful-martina-macrbite/
President Harry S Truman and the ever-present Bess.
Photograph courtesy Harry S Truman Library, Independence, Missouri
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Yes, it would be helpful to know why I am forever celebrating Thanksgiving.  Don't you think?
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When I was born Harry Truman was President of the United States. Here is President Truman’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation for 1947  [official proclamation number 2756.] 

President Harry S Truman‘s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation when I was less than two months old

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
Older than our nation itself is the hallowed custom of resting from our labors for one day at harvest time and of dedicating that day to expressions of gratitude to Almighty God for the many blessings which He has heaped upon us. Now, as the cycle of the year nears completion, it is fitting that we should lift up our hearts again in special prayers.

Harry_S._Truman

 

Controversies over the issuance of President Proclamations and indeed over the celebration of Thanksgiving itself are not unusual. Wikipedia has a lengthy section where Native American groups and historians criticize Thanksgiving as a mythological Massachusetts celebration of harmony between Native Americans and European settlers. The celebrations were then followed by the genocide of Native Americans.

[5. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was criticized for proclaiming Thanksgiving so late in the month of November of 1933. The Depression was at its worst and he was trying to stimulate Christmas shopping. In 2013, President Obama was criticized for not mentioning God in his Thanksgiving proclamation. In 2014, he was criticized for only  mentioning God once. Other presidents have been criticized by atheist groups for mentioning God at all.

[6. For me, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It has always meant for me criticism of the killing of Native Americans and concern for the poor and hungry who have not had the opportunity to enjoy our country’s abundance. I was raised by a single mother who was raised by a single mother. For my mother Miriam, who adored President Franklin Roosevelt, Thanksgiving meant the president’s effort to use the holiday to integrate immigrant groups into our country’s social fabric. For me it represents an understanding that on this special day regardless of our personal, political, and social views, the United States is one country under God committed to a concept of government best summed up by the late Governor of New York Alfred Smith who said, “The only cure for the ills of Democracy is more Democracy.” This year I read the Bill of Rights in celebration of Thanksgiving.

[7. Yes, I do plan to publish at least one more presidential proclamation, the one issued in November 1960 by President Dwight David Eisenhower shortly after President John Kennedy was elected president. My mother, for whom saving money was not easy, flew up that year from Florida to Brooklyn, New York to celebrate with my grandmother Celia Schneider who lived in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn. After the meal, we turned on the television (for my generation a new medium) and watched the Edward R. Murrow broadcast Harvest of Shame.

[8. “This is CBS Reports Harvest of Shame. It has to do with the men, women, and children who harvest the crops in this country of ours, the best-fed nation on earth.

“These are the forgotten people, the under-protected, the under-educated, the under-clothed, the under-fed.

“We present this report on Thanksgiving because were it not for the labor of the people you are going to meet, you might not starve, but your table would not be laden with  the luxuries that we have all come to regard as essentials.

“We should like you to meet some of your fellow citizens who harvest the food for the best-fed nation on earth.”

[9 Watching the Morrow “Harvest of Shame” broadcast from my grandmother’s Brooklyn piano bench marked one of the most influential events of my life. In the 1970s, when I was in my 20s, I worked on a newsletter in Washington D.C. on the problems of migrant agricultural workers–workers described in the Morrow broadcast focusing on Belle Glade, Florida, but also visiting the home base and migrant streams  and farm-worker bases in  the West, the Midwest, and South. 

[10. In no small part, the misery Morrow broadcast has converted from rural to urban misery. In 1960, when Edward R. Murrow was broadcasting to an affluent nation , farm workers themselves were in the midst of massive migrations out of rural areas and to large cities such as Detroit. One black tenant  farmer in Arkansas told me the migration hit so quickly chickens were left unfed so eager were tenant farmers for the chance at prosperity in Detroit. My friend Phillip Moery, whose family owns a rice farm in Wynne, Arkansas told me of talk in the 1950s and 60s at the family dinner table as rural workers disappeared in mass to Detroit.

11. One reason for the migration was the rapidly developing mechanization of farming, including pesticides and genetically engineered food products replacing the need for labor. (In Belle Glade, Florida, for example, I saw a radish harvester with 16 arms scoop up, bag, and seal bags of radishes once picked by hand.) A second reason for the migration was the need for assembly line workers in cities such as Detroit who received good pay and benefits for work that did not require substantial education. 

12)The decline of the Detroit automobile industry, its refusal to innovate during times of massive prosperity was followed by massive unemployment, petroleum price increases, and Japanese and German competition. Detroit is emerging from the largest bankruptcy in the history of U.S. which at one point threatened to sell off the art collection of the Detroit Institute of Art (including a Van Gough self-portrait)

vanPhoto provided courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

and a combination of massive infusions of funds and savvy concerned citizens will result in a new smaller less powerful city whose future will not be linked to the automobile industry. As a columnist for e-architect, I have been worrying about how to tell the story of Detroit, the most significant U.S. story for architects and builders in the world. My first column on Detroit was entitled, Is Detroit Dying? My current conclusion is there will be a prosperous section of Detroit, a city which has gone from a population  1.4 million to less than 700,000. Yet Detroit will retain large section of aging urban poor; namely, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the rural poor Edward R. Murrow described in 1960. This demographic, many of whom are aging without adequate social services, experienced an all too brief period of prosperity. They live trapped in an African-American downtown ghetto with no place to go. The local public schools are among the worst in the nation.  The ability of the young to obtain job skills is questionable at best even, as I expect, Detroit’s economy will improve. The decline of Detroit, as with the decline of so many U.S. population centers, is a consequence of the hubris of the generation who parented the Baby Boomers. These veterans believed winning World War II was enough, convinced we ruled the world, and too proud or insouciant to invest in our domestic future . Our future as a country depends on our ability to learn from the mistakes of the past most significantly the sad lack of understanding that without a decent educational system geared to all age groups in our population our ability to solve our country’s problems will fail. I am an optimist, but I also believe in the power of prayer after providing infrastructure and resources to achieve badly needed productivity.

13) My view is for Detroit itself and the other Detroit’s in America every day is Thanksgiving–appreciation for the abundance we still possess, recognition of our dependence of global workers and their innovation (an American tradition) and a renewed understanding of the work required to alleviate suffering. My special pleading is to alleviate the suffering of the aging Baby Boomers like me, caught in an economic bind because we had to support our parents and our children,  were unable to reserve money for retirement and are losing our teeth because adequate dental care is not available. My generation, based on money spent, is the best educated in U.S history. We are not the problem. We are the solution. 

 

May our thanksgiving this year be tempered by humility, by sympathy for those who lack abundance, and by compassion for those in want. As we express appreciation in prayer for our munificent gifts, may we remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive; and may we manifest our remembrance of that precept by generously sharing our bounty with needy people of other nations.

Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, invite the attention of all citizens to the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day; I proclaim Thursday, November 27, 1947, as a day of national thanksgiving; and I call upon the people of the United States of every faith to consecrate that day to thoughts of gratitude, acts of devotion, and a firm resolve to assist in the efforts being made by religious groups and other bodies to aid the undernourished, the sick, the aged, and all sufferers in war-devastated lands.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 10th day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-second.


HARRY S. TRUMAN

By the President:

G. C. MARSHALL,
Secretary of State.



Citation: Harry S. Truman: “Proclamation 2756 – Thanksgiving Day, 1947,” November 10, 1947. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=72463

USE OF THE PERIOD
AFTER THE “S” IN
HARRY S. TRUMAN’S NAME

“In recent years the question of whether to use a period after the ‘S’ in Harry S. Truman’s name has become a subject of controversy, especially among editors. The evidence provided by Mr. Truman’s own practice argues strongly for the use of the period. While, as many people do, Mr. Truman often ran the letters in his signature together in a single stroke, the archives of the Harry S. Truman Library have numerous examples of the signature written at various times throughout Mr. Truman’s lifetime where his use of a period after the ‘S’ is very obvious.

“Mr. Truman apparently initiated the ‘period’ controversy in 1962 when, perhaps in jest, he told newspapermen that the period should be omitted. In explanation he said that the ‘S’ did not stand for any name but was a compromise between the names of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. He was later heard to say that the use of the period dated after 1962 as well as before.

“Several widely recognized style manuals provide guidance in favor of using the period. According to The Chicago Manual of Style all initials given with a name should ‘for convenience and consistency’ be followed by a period even if they are not abbreviations of names. The U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual states that the period should be used after the ‘S’ in Harry S. Truman’s name.

“Most published works using the name Harry S. Truman employ the period. Authors choosing to omit the period in their texts must still use it when citing the names of organizations that employ the period in their legal titles (e.g. Harry S. Truman Library) thus seeming to contradict themselves. Authoritative publications produced by the Government Printing Office consistently use the period in Mr. Truman’s name, notably the Department of State’s documentary series Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, the Department of the Army’s United States Army in World War II and two major publications of the Office of the Federal Register, Public Papers of the President – Harry S. Truman and theUnited States Government Organization Manual.

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/speriod.htm 

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Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania, 1941, Marjory Collins, photographer for Farm Security Administration. - Photo by Marjory Collins. Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress}. During the 1930s and 1940s some of the greatest photographs were taken for USDA's Farm Security Administration.Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania, 1941, Marjory Collins, photographer for Farm Security Administration. – Photo by Marjory Collins. Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress}. During the 1930s and 1940s some of the greatest photographs were taken for USDA’s Farm Security Administration.

Below the proclamation is a myth-breaking explanation from President Truman’s official library on the use of the period after President Truman’s middle name. At least one of my readers will take umbrage at the use of the period in the proclamation: library documentation may prove satisfactory. Nevertheless, President Truman has only himself to blame: “Mr. Truman apparently initiated the ‘period’ controversy in 1962 when, perhaps in jest, he told newspaper men that the period should be omitted. In explanation he said that the ‘S’ did not stand for any name but was a compromise between the names of his grandfathers,”]

–30–

Relevant material copyrighted by Joel Solkoff, 2014. All rights reserved.

 

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 27, 2014, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.”

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, For Immediate Release, November 26, 2014

 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: A PROCLAMATION

Thanksgiving Day invites us to reflect on the blessings we enjoy and the freedoms we cherish.  As we gather with family and friends to take part in this uniquely American celebration, we give thanks for the extraordinary opportunities we have in a Nation of limitless possibilities, and we pay tribute to all those who defend our Union as members of our Armed Forces.  This holiday reminds us to show compassion and concern for people we have never met and deep gratitude toward those who have sacrificed to help build the most prosperous Nation on earth.  These traditions honor the rich history of our country and hold us together as one American family, no matter who we are or where we come from.

Nearly 400 years ago, a group of Pilgrims left their homeland and sailed across an ocean in pursuit of liberty and prosperity.  With the friendship and kindness of the Wampanoag people, they learned to harvest the rich bounty of a new world.

Together, they shared a successful crop, celebrating bonds of community during a time of great hardship.  Through times of war and of peace, the example of a Native tribe who extended a hand to a new people has endured.  During the American Revolution and the Civil War, days of thanksgiving drew Americans together in prayer and in the spirit that guides us to better days, and in each year since, our Nation has paused to show our gratitude for our families, communities, and country.

With God’s grace, this holiday season we carry forward the legacy of our forebears.  In the company of our loved ones, we give thanks for the people we care about and the joy we share, and we remember those who are less fortunate.  At shelters and soup kitchens, Americans give meaning to the simple truth that binds us together:  we are our brother’s and our sister’s keepers.  We remember how a determined people set out for a better world — how through faith and the charity of others, they forged a new life built on freedom and opportunity.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is universal.  It is found in small moments between strangers, reunions shared with friends and loved ones, and in quiet prayers for others.  Within the heart of America’s promise burns the inextinguishable belief that together we can advance our common prosperity — that we can build a more hopeful, more just, and more unified Nation.  This Thanksgiving, let us recall the values that unite our diverse country, and let us resolve to strengthen these lasting ties.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 27, 2014, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage the people of the United States to join together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

BARACK OBAMA

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[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnilkdlOrBI#t=18[/youtube]

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933. When my mother was 8, she tried to convince her aunt to celebrate the family's first Thanksgiving, but Mother failed. See below.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933. When my mother was 8, she tried to convince her aunt to celebrate the family’s first Thanksgiving, but Mother failed. See below.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 proclamation declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday.

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November, 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people.

May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.

May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.

May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors.

May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all Nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all peoples to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the common bettering of mankind.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

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Citation: Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Proclamation 2062 – Thanksgiving Day,” November 21, 1933. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=14559.

Afterward on my mother, the late Dr. Miriam P. Schmerler

“My mother Miriam told me [when I was a freshman at Druid Hills High School in Decatur, Georgia in 1961] of her attempt to convince her Aunt Marcia (Tanta Masha) to have a Thanksgiving celebration in 1933 when my mother was eight years old.” For the complete story see: http://www.joelsolkoff.com/my-mothers-thanksgiving-story-and-my-thanksgiving-letter/