Mary Beth Writes

Thinking Outside the Box: 

Len once told me this WWII story. The first generation of bomber raids from England to Germany resulted in a terrifying number of bomber planes being shot down. Experts carefully examined the returning planes to create detailed reports of the bullet holes as they tried to understand how to reinforce the planes to make them safer.

Then someone consulted Abraham Wald, a Hungarian-Jewish statistician who had fled Nazi-occupied Austria and who was working in New York to help the war effort. Wald pointed out that the experts had only looked at bombers who’d returned.

The planes that made it back had survived the bullet holes that experts had so carefully mapped and calibrated. The luck of the returning planes resided not in where they had been struck – but in where they had NOT been struck.

The way to make the bomber planes less vulnerable was to reinforce parts of the plane that were NOT struck in the planes that made it back. When they did that, bombers became more resilient and successful.

Read more here: When data gives the wrong solution — TREVOR BRAGDON

If Racism and Climate Crisis are humanity’s most dangerous challenges right now; Covid following on the heels of both of these … what do we do and where do we act?

If we were a discussion group (and maybe we are?) I would ask this.

What has worked to combat political idiocy in the near and far past?

What IS working right now, in your opinion?

What choices have you made and/or groups have you joined that have enabled you to be part of something big and good and just?

What’s strong? What’s working?

Speaking of what’s working - last night we watched Kiss the Ground. .

Watch it. It shows how we can do more than just prevent things from getting worse, but how we can return carbon back into our earth where we need it. The movie is it not simplistic. It is clear.

Watch it. (Netflix)

This Sunday the service of my Unitarian Universalist congregation will be a little unusual. Years ago, I wrote a short story about two guys and one donkey and what happens when the donkey, named Miles, says one thing. Jennifer Beiriger and I will read the story throughout the service. Meg Whaley sings some beautiful songs. If you would like to join in virtually, this is the link to our website. On Sunday morning about 9AM, a link should appear to take you into the virtual service.

Hope this works.



I really don’t want to quote an old white guy but it’s too good: the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but building the new (Socrates)
Mary Beth's picture

I like this.

I teared up. I learned so much. And I can do more.... Thanks for the recommendation, I will pass it on. Can't wait to tune in Sunday.

You always give me things to think about. Thank you. Will watch your movie suggestion. Have a good weekend. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you! We are off to Chicago to spend the afternoon with our daughters and granddaughter. It will be a very fine day, indeed.

I think the thing I've been learning most from activists and in my own life is that we're playing the long game. White supremacy tends toward a sense of urgency--being busy is a way we feel useful because we have been taught to do things first and think later. There's balance. Yes, it's urgent. Also, things are changing. These things are not mutually exclusive. I don't know if this makes sense? I'm still learning and processing. So thanks for letting me share!

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Making Memories?

This morning the Washington Post has an article about how we make memories. Interestingly, just because we say we are “making memories” doesn’t mean we are. Most little kids will not start making many memories until they are around age 8. Memories get stuck in our mind if they involve several senses and we are going slow enough to pay attention. If one WANTS to remember something, stop paying attention to everything else that is going on, focus in on the thing you care about using more than one sense. Recall it again later. Deep sleep on it overnight and good luck with that.

Three Things 7/7/2021

Israel’s Health Ministry this week announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — one of the world’s most effective shots — was offering only 64 percent protection against infection and symptomatic illness caused by the delta variant.

The vaccine was still highly effective at preventing severe illness and death, the ministry said.

(I read this in the Washington Post, though it’s other places also.)

7/5/2021 Three Things (Don’t miss Highland Mitzi)

Last year was the Covid quarantine so most of us didn’t do very much over the 4th of July holiday.

This year, with half Americans now vaccinated there’s more freedom to do things and be with people.

Three Things (Well, Four) 7/1/2021

Bill Cosby is out of prison on a technicality. The judge said 40-year-old Britney Spear still can’t run her own life. Yesterday 88-year-old war criminal* Donald Rumsfeld died comfortably in his bed.

My gut is twisting. How are you? Power, injustice, and money still row the boat that we’re all on. This nation is playing whack-a-mole with justice, hope, and human rights. It feels ominous. I thought I would just mention this in case you thought it was just you that felt assaulted this morning.


Three Things 6/23/2021

Almost two years ago I went to a local optical store for an eye exam. The nice optician said I had a cataract and he could refer me to a specialist. He also said I could wait but if it got worse, I should see to it (hah, see to it…).

I have considered my looming doom several times a week since. Low grade anxiety. Don’t you love it?

Love is Love is Love. And also Eating.

This month is our 40th wedding anniversary.  Whoa…

In honor of this milestone, I have two things to offer. One is instructions of how to wrangle TWO fabulous restaurant meals into one date. The other is a DIY interview for you and someone you love – partner, friend, family. If the one you love best is a dog or cat, these questions still apply but you will probably have to supply the words.

We celebrated our long streak of wedded bliss (hah) with a maneuver that only took 40 years to perfect; we ate two restaurant meals on one date. This is not dating for beginners.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable Advent anniversary antlers apples Arrows Ashland Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cat romance cats cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering depression Destination Today Detroit disasterprep dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd ghosts gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland Ocotillo OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes Remember Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb rime RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion