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FREE eBook: Cupcakes are Not a Diet Food!

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FREE: William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”: A Retelling in Prose


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davidbruceblog #1 is filling up


This blog is filling up, so check out:

davidbruceblog #2: davidbrucehaiku and other poetry:

davidbruceblog #3: retellings and philosophy:

David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s As You Like It: A Retelling is in davidbruceblog #3.

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David Bruce: David Bruce: The Funniest People in Music, Volume 2 — Illnesses and Injuries, Improvising

Illnesses and Injuries

• Joey Ramone, lead singer of the Ramones, suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, making him do repetitive and unnecessary actions. Before leaving an elevator, he would sometimes get in and get out of it 10 times before finally exiting for good. In Spain, he once got off the curb, then on again, so many times that a driver who was waiting for him to cross the street finally drove by him, clipping him slightly. On one tour, the Ramones flew to England, and after they landed in London, Joey said that he needed to go back to his apartment in New York so he could exit through his door one more time. (He wasn’t able to do it, of course — he had to stay on tour.) Suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder did have one benefit. His friend Joan Tarshis would visit him, and he would hug her before she left. However, he would have to hug her more than once before his obsessive-compulsive disorder would allow him to let her leave. Ms. Tarshis says, “I’d be halfway down the hall, and he’d call me over and I’d go back for another hug. This’d go on three or four more times, every time.”

• After a skiing accident, cellist Pablo Casals called a press conference to announce that he had broken his arm and therefore would be forced to cancel several concerts. The reporters were surprised to see Mr. Casals in a good mood and asked why he was so happy instead of being upset by his accident. Mr. Casals explained, “Because now I don’t have to practice.” (Chances are excellent that this anecdote is apocryphal.)

• Nineteenth-century pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk had a bad habit of biting his nails until he almost had no nails. In fact, a friend of his, fellow pianist Richard Hoffman, remembers looking at the piano keyboard after Mr. Gottschalk had played and seeing that the keys were covered with blood.


• Jazz musicians strive for perfection in their improvising; in fact, this striving is what Oscar Peterson calls the “will to perfection,” which he explains by saying that “it requires you to collect all your senses, emotions, physical strength, and mental power, and focus them entirely onto the performance, with utter dedication, every time you play. And if that is scary, it is also uniquely exciting … you never get rid of it. Nor do you want to, for you come to believe that if you get it all right, you will be capable of virtually anything.” As important as perfection is, however, one thing is more important than perfection: the striving toward perfection. Coleman Hawkins recorded a brilliant solo in the Freedom Now Suite, but as brilliant as the solo was, a squeak appeared in it. The squeak could easily have been edited out for the album, but Mr. Hawkins insisted, “Don’t splice that! When it’s all perfect in a piece like this, there’s something very wrong.”

• While Patricia McBride and Edward Villella were dancing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet to Prokofiev’s music as performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the conductor set the tempo way too slow, forcing Ms. McBride and Mr. Villella to dance ahead of the music and to finish dancing before the music stopped. What to do? Ms. McBride started to bourrée off stage on pointe, but Mr. Villella grabbed her wrist and pleaded, “Patty, just stay with me.” The two then improvised — well — a few minutes of dance.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Snippa and Snopp (YouTube)

Little boys refer to their nether-regions as “pee-pees” and “wee-wees” among other things, what sort of slang do young girls use to refer to their nether-regions?

I’m sorry if this comes off as creepy; I’m just curious because I just realized that I never came across that as a little boy.

An Answer:


Im Swedish so I dont know any English slang words but “snippa” is the most common one. The most common one for boys is “snopp” so the words go well together. Also, a few years ago a Swedish kids show made a little song and animation called like the snopp- and snippa song and it made it onto conan obrien show and was apparantly a shocker (its basically just a cartoon dick and vagina dancing, for kids) so yeah, Google that if youre interested. (Im on mobile otherwise i wouldve linked it)

Snoppen och snippan *musikvideo* – Bacillakuten på Barnkanalen


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One of your best.

The Reluctant Poet

By Charles Robert Lindholm

Armistice Day Came

An Illusion Of Peace

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fall in love

Annette Rochelle Aben

From colors to crunch

Autumn’s beauty’s everywhere

Magic in the air

©2018 Annette Rochelle Aben

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Edgar Lee Masters: Bert Kessler (Spoon River Anthology)

I WINGED my bird,
Though he flew toward the setting sun;
But just as the shot rang out, he soared
Up and up through the splinters of golden light,
Till he turned right over, feathers ruffled,
With some of the down of him floating near,
And fell like a plummet into the grass.
I tramped about, parting the tangles,
Till I saw a splash of blood on a stump,
And the quail lying close to the rotten roots.
I reached my hand, but saw no brier,
But something pricked and stung and numbed it.
And then, in a second, I spied the rattler—
The shutters wide in his yellow eyes,
The head of him arched, sunk back in the rings of him,
A circle of filth, the color of ashes,
Or oak leaves bleached under layers of leaves.
I stood like a stone as he shrank and uncoiled
And started to crawl beneath the stump,
When I fell limp in the grass.


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Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)




Dante describes scene

He talks to one of the souls

Beatrice helps him


NOTE: Dante follows a certain pattern in Paradise: 1) When Dante arrives at a new planet or star, he describes the scene. 2) Dante then talks to one of the souls on the planet or star. 3) Dante then talks with Beatrice about any questions that he has, and Beatrice answers his questions. Note on illustration: Painting depicting Dante and Beatrice by Ary Scheffer.



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(Includes Discussion Guides for Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise)


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Dante’s PARADISE, Canto 5: God’s Greatest Gift





When we make a vow

— Free will is God’s greatest gift —

Sacrifice free will


NOTE: God’s greatest gift to us is free will: It is a gift that is like God. When we make a vow, we sacrifice free will. For example, we can make a religious vow of voluntary poverty. If we do that, we sacrifice free will: We are no longer free to make and keep as much money as we can.



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Dante’s PURGATORY, Canto 31: JESUS





Has human nature

— Both natures at the same time —

Has divine nature



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NOTES on Robert F. Almeder (born 1938): Death is Not the End


Robert F. Almeder is a philosopher who believes that we do in fact survive death. In his book Death andPersonal Survival: The Evidence for Life Against Death(1992), he investigates the evidence for life after death — including such things as ghosts. In fact, a good title for this essay would be “Ghost Stories 101.”

I. Evidence for Life After Death

  1. People Remembering Earlier Lives as Different People

Almeder investigates people who remember earlier lives as different people — in other words, reincarnation — something Almeder strongly believes is true. A vivid example concerns Dr. Arthur Guirdham’s investigation of Mrs. Smith.

Mrs. Smith went to British psychiatrist Dr. Guirdham in 1961 complaining of waking up from sleep screaming. The doctor examined her for neuroses but found none. Little by little, Mrs. Smith revealed that when she was a young girl she had written down strange things that came to her as recollections. Dr. Guirdham examined these writings and discovered that they were written in medieval French and in a language called langue d’oc(“the language spoken in southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries”). He sent the writings to a specialist who stated that they revealed knowledge of the Cathars (Christian dissidents who were strongly dualist). In the doctor’s own investigation, he discovered that four of the songs Mrs. Smith had written could be found in old manuscripts of the 13th century.

The writing apparently revealed things that Mrs. Smith could not have known. These things were not verified at the time that Mrs. Smith wrote them — they were verified later. For example, she wrote that Cathar priests sometimes wore dark blue. Textbooks of the time stated that the priests always wore black, but later it was verified that they sometimes wore dark blue or dark green. Also, names and family relationships that she had written could be found in the dog Latin records of the Inquisition. Furthermore, she had stated that Cathars had been kept as prisoners in a certain church crypt. At first, no one believed that prisoners had been kept there, but later it was discovered that so many prisoners had been rounded up that prisoners in fact had been kept in that crypt.

The doctor’s investigation convinced him that reincarnation is true — a conclusion that Almeder agrees with.

  1. Apparitions of the Death

Almeder also writes about apparitions of the dead — ghosts. One vivid example concerns the Rev. Abraham Cummings, who wrote an account about the late Mrs. Butler in 1826. The ghost of Mrs. Butler allegedly appeared in a village in Maine several times before many people during a period of several months. During her visits, she spoke with people and accurately foretold births and deaths. For example, she predicted that the new Mrs. Butler would give birth to one child and then shortly thereafter die. In addition, on one occasion her husband tried to put his hand on her body and it passed through. Several eyewitnesses swore that they had seen this.

Another vivid example concerns the ghosts of Flight 401. On Dec. 28, 1972, an Eastern Airlines plane (Flight 401) crashed, killing 101 people. Shortly thereafter, the ghosts of the pilot, Robert Loft, and the second officer, Don Repo, began appearing on airplanes that had been made with parts recycled from the crashed airplane.

Often, a dazed captain would appear on a plane. The stewardess would be worried about him, but when she tried to comfort him, he would disappear. On one occasion, the stewardess called back the pilot, who stared at the dazed captain and said, “My God, it’s Bob Loft.” The ghost of Don Repo also appeared frequently, sometimes warning the crew of potential mechanical problems. Once he said, “Watch out for fire on this plane.” Later, on takeoff the plane’s third engine burst into flames and the plane had to land.

If ghosts such as those described here truly exist, then we have empirical evidence for postdeath survival. Almeder believes that ghosts exist.

  1. Possession

In addition to ghosts, Almeder recounts some vivid examples of possession, in which the spirit of a dead person inhabits the body of a living person. One vivid example is that of the “Watseka Wonder.” This case of possession allegedly took place in Watseka, Illinois, in the late 1870s. Mary Roff was 18 years old when she died in 1865. A year later, Lurancy Vennum was born. In 1877, at age 13, Lurancy began to have fits, during which her body was allegedly possessed by several spirits — most notably by the spirit of Mary Roff.

When Lurancy’s body was possessed by Mary Roff, she had no memory of being Lurancy. In fact, she went to live with the Roff family for a while, during which time she recognized many of Mary’s friends and relatives and recounted many events from Mary’s childhood. Later, Lurancy’s personality returned and she remembered nothing about Mary Roff. Almeder explains this by saying that Mary Roff’s disembodied personality had possessed the body of Lurancy Vennum.

Another vivid example concerns Shiva and Sumitra Singh. This occurred in India and is discussed in a 1989 article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. On July 9, 1985, Sumitra Singh appeared to die; however, she revived in a confused state and stated that she was Shiva and that she had been murdered by her in-laws. As Shiva, Sumitra acted differently, for Shiva was of a higher caste than hers. Shiva had been well educated, while Sumitra had not. In addition, as Shiva, Sumitra was able to recognize many of Shiva’s friends and relatives. Once again, Almeder accepts this as a case of genuine possession.

  1. Out-of-Body Experiences

Almeder also writes about out-of-body experiences, which have been investigated by Dr. Raymond Moody, who is famous for his research into near-death experiences. (The out-of-body experience is a part of near-death experiences.)

Once again, we have a number of vivid examples. One patient had clinically died, but the doctor was able to resuscitate him. The doctor was surprised by the patient’s description of what had happened in the hospital room during the resuscitation attempt and by the description of the equipment that had been used. However, what most surprised the doctor was the patient’s description of the nurse who had helped resuscitate him. In fact, the patient even knew her name. The patient explained that after he had left his body he had walked down the hall to see his wife and had noticed the nurse rushing in to help him. (He had noticed her name written on her nametag.)

In another vivid example, a woman who had been blind for over 50 years was able to describe the equipment that had been used to resuscitate her — equipment that had been invented after she had gone blind — and she was able to tell the doctor that he was wearing dark blue during the resuscitation attempt.

In yet another story, a doctor had rear-ended a car on his way to the hospital and he was worried about it. This time the patient told him not to worry about the accident — apparently being able to read his mind during the out-of-body experience.

The final example concerns a man who had clinically died in a hospital where his sister was lying in a diabetic coma. While having his out-of-body experience, he began talking to his sister, who then began to go away from him. He tried to follow, but she told him, “You can’t go with me because it’s not your time.” After being resuscitated, the man told the doctor that his (the man’s) sister had died, but the doctor denied it. However, after checking, the doctor discovered that the man’s sister had died.

  1. Communications with the Dead Through Mediums

Finally, we have examples of communications with the dead through a medium. The first vivid example concerns Laura Edmonds, whose father was Judge John Worth Edmonds of New York. This example of a medium at work was reported in 1905 in the Annales des Sciences Psychiques. A Greek man attended a séance at which Ms. Edmonds was the medium. A dead Greek man allegedly controlled her body and told the living Greek man that his son had recently died in Greece. This was later confirmed.

The Main Point

The main point of all these examples of ghosts, mediums, etc. is that if these experiences are genuine, they provide support for postdeath survival and for dualism. Of course, Almeder believes that they are genuine.

II. Objections to Life After Death, and Responses

Almeder responds to three objections to life after death, and then he states his conclusion

  1. It is impossible to imagine what a disembodied spirit would be like; in fact, the very idea of a disembodied spirit is conceptually incoherent.

Almeder’s response is that even if we cannot imagine what a disembodied spirit would be like, this is no reason to suppose that a disembodied spirit cannot exist. After all, Almeder points out, we cannot fully imagine an infinite set of numbers, yet we know that such series exist.

In addition, Almeder writes, those people who say that the notion of a disembodied spirit is conceptually incoherent are engaging in a dogmatic answer — they are simply refusing to consider the possibility of a disembodied spirit.

  1. We don’t have any experimental evidence of postdeath survival.

Almeder’s response here is that we don’t need experimental evidence. Experimental evidence is good for answering certain kinds of questions, such as those about causal connections. However, experimental evidence is not good for answering questions about what happened in the past. For example, we know that dinosaurs have existed in the past, but we can hardly reproduce their existence in a laboratory (except in Jurassic Park).

  1. There is so much fraud associated with ghosts and mediums that we need experimental evidence to establish that postdeath survival is possible.

Almeder’s response is that we don’t need that kind of evidence — only the kinds of evidence that we already have: Many and widespread apparently true examples of such things as reincarnation, ghosts, and communications with the dead through mediums.

III. Almeder’s Conclusion

Almeder’s conclusion is that a very strong case has been made for reincarnation and that postdeath survival is a fact.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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good loves and bad loves

what we choose is what we love

we should choose good loves



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