Category Archives: Episodes

The Thing About Dogs . . . -018

a “Animals have complex dreams, MIT researcher proves. Study may advance understanding of human learning and memory,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, News Office, January 24, 2001.
b “Do animals dream?,” Posted by EarthSky in EARTH, February 7, 2019.
c American Psychiatric Association, (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.), 2013; Washington, DC
d Peterson, T. (2016, February 4). Understanding PTSD Nightmares and Flashbacks, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, May 9 from
e America Veterinary Medical Association, JAVMA news; “Pet ownership spending going strong; published on May 08, 2019.
f Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations, “Which country spends the most on its pets?”; posted 22/02/2020;
g Stephen Robert Kellert and Alan R. Felthous, “Childhood Cruelty toward Animals among Criminals and Noncriminals,” in Human Relations 38(12):1113-1129 · December 1985.

The Writing Journey -017

• “Walking,” an essay (also called, “The Wild”) by Henry David Thoreau, published in 1862, but delivered as lectures prior to that.
• Rabbit-Proof Fence, 2002; produced by Phillip Noyce based on the book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara in 1996.
• 1917, 2019; writers, Same Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns; director, Sam Mendes.
• The Maze Runner, 2014 (and series); directed by Wes Ball, based on James Dashner’s 2009 novel of the same name.
• Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote in two-parts, 1605/1615.
• Jean Ramón Jiménez, Platero and I, 1914.
• Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, 1958.
• The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 1994; conceived by filmmakers Stephan Elliott and Stuart Quin; director, Stephan Elliott.
• William Faulkner, As I lay Dying, 1930
• Thelma and Louise, 1991; director, Scott Thomas; writers, Sidney Iwanter and Mark Onspaugh.
• Ernesto “Che” Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries, 1952.
• Victor Hugo Green, The Negro Motorist Green Book (also The Negro Motorist Green-Book, The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, or simply the Green Book), 1936-1966; was an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers, originated and published by African American, New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green.
• Green Book; 2018; writers, Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie, and Nick Vallelonga; director, Peter Farrelly.
• Zombieland, 2009; writers: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick; director: Ruben Fleischer.
• Steven King, The Langoliers, 1995.
• Airplane!, 1980; written and directed by David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams; producer, Jon Davison.
• Air Force One, 1997; writer, Andrew W. Marlowe; directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen.
• Flight of the Living Dead, 2007; writers, Sidney Iwanter, Mark Onspaugh; director, Scott Thomas.
• The Aeronauts, 2019; writers, Tom Harper and Jack Thorne; director, Tom Harper.
• Around the World in Eighty Days; book by Jules Verne, 1872; it went through several iterations in film and other versions.
• Passengers, 2016; originally written by Jon Spaihts in 2007; director, Morten Tyldum.
• Gravity, 2013; directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón with his son, Jonas.
• Star Trek (The Original Series), 1966-69; created by Gene Roddenberry; aired on NBC-TV.
• Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express, 1934.
• The Lady Vanishes, 1938; writers, Ethel Lina White (based on the story, “The Wheel Spins”) and Sidney Gilliat; producer, Alfred Hitchcock.
• The Polar Express, 2004; animated film based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg; co-written, co-produced, and directed by Robert Zemeckis.
• The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3, 2009; directed by Tony Scott; a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Morton Freedgood (writing under the pseudonym John Godey), and is a remake of the original 1974.
• Snowpiercer (movie), 2013; director, Bong Jooh-ho; writers, Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson, adapted from French graphic, Le Transperceneigem 1982, authors Jean-Marc Rochette, Jacques Lob, and Benjamin Legrand; (t.v. series), 2020—; TNT network.
• Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, 2006.
• Leon Uris, Exodus, 1958.
• Dante Alighieri, The Inferno (first part of The Divine Comedy), c. 1308-1329, Italy.
• Homer, The Odyssey, 8th century B.C.; Greece.
• Das Boot (English: “The Boat”), 1981; written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen; produced by Günter Rohrbach.
• The Hunt for Red October, 1990; adapted to film the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, 1984.
• Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1851.
• Titanic, 1997; written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron.
• The African Queen, 1951; adapted by John Houston and James Agee from the C.S. Forrester 1935 novel of the same name.
• Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, 1952.
• Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884 (in the U.K.) and 1885 (in the U.S.).

Forgotten Lives, Part 4 Sylvia Hanish Berlin -016

Fiddler on the Roof, the musical, was first produced on Broadway in 1964 — with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein (who also wrote Zorba). It is based on the story Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Dairyman) and other tales, published in 1894 by Sholem Aleichem, whose real name was Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich.

From Wikipedia: “Sholem Aleichem died in New York on May 13, 1916 from tuberculosis and diabetes, aged 57, while working on his last novel, Motl, Peysi the Cantor’s Son, and was buried at Old Mount Carmel cemetery in Queens. At the time, his funeral was one of the largest in New York City history, with an estimated 100,000 mourners. The next day, his will was printed in the New York Times and was read into the Congressional Record of the United States.”
In his will, Sholem Aleichem writes that he wished to be buried “not among aristocrats or the powerful, but among plain Jewish laborers, among the very people itself….” (New York Times, Wednesday, May 17, 1916)

Epidemiology and COVID-19 -015

• Defoe, Daniel, A Journal of the Plague Year, 1722.
• MacMahon, Brian, and Trichopoulos, Dimitrios, Epidemiology. Principles and Methods, 2nd Edition, J.P. Lippincott, 1996.
• “Outbreak, On Assignment with Richard Engel,” on MSNBC-t.v., 15 March 2020.
• Jane Qui, “How China’s “Bat Woman” Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus — Wuhan-based virologist Shi Zhengli has identified dozens of deadly SARS-like viruses in bat caves, and she warns there are more out there,” Scientific American, March 11, 2020.
• Reference to William Farr and John Graunt was provided in an email (3/19/20) to me from Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus Richard Monson, M.D., S.D.
• Cancer Causes and Control, an International Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, published in Oxford, England, with editorial offices at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
• Wells, H.G., War of the Worlds, 1897.

Willie Wideman Pleasants -013

Willie Pleasants is a longtime resident of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and an educator who holds a degree from the University of Massachusetts. As President of the Friends of the Uphams Corner Branch Library for the last 5 years, she was instrumental in finding funds to offer two Respite workshops to support the caregivers. She recently hosted a five-week writer’s program to help them to become published authors, which resulted in the anthology, Write On! Write On! (available through the Uphams Corner Library as a fundraiser). She also volunteers her time as Secretary for a group called ‘Seniors on the Move.’

She is the author of three books of poetry and short stories: Ain’t That the Truth, Make Truth a Habit (both available on Amazon) and soon-to-be available Stretching the Truth.

Programing and workshops
• In 2014 (continuing to the present), she created and facilitated a class called, “Storytelling at Tea,” which was offered as a course for the Osher Life Learning Institute at University of Mass /Boston. Her poems and stories are used to help provoke conversations with the participants about their lives.

• 2018, 2019 organized the Dorchester Open Studios to help artists sell their artwork.

• From 2012- 2017, she volunteered as a team leader for a Jumpstart program, that helps three- to five-year-old children prepare to enter kindergarten to succeed with language and literacy skills.

• In 2008, she instructed a poetry workshop in the Mason Middle School with fifth graders. She spoke at Career day at the Patrick Gavin Middle School to encourage written poetry. She has facilitated classes on writing poetry at the Bristol Plymouth Regional School in Taunton.

• Since 2007, she has been a co-founder of the authors’ support group, Authors without Borders – a consortium of regional authors in Massachusetts who first joined together in 2007.

• She does workshops, panel discussions, and Meet and Greets to help navigate the maze of writing, publishing and marketing books.

• Willie was one of the producers and hosts of a Cable show at NBTV called, “Authors Without Borders Presents” (2011-2019).

• She also produces and hosts her own cable show called “Willie’s Web” on the Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN).

• She is currently (2019-20) a DJ for WBCA 109.2 FM Community Radio, “The Village.”


Hope is the Thing With Feathers -012

We haven’t kept up with the Sally-B for many decades, but as I was researching this, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the plane is still flying. Although Ted White has died, Ellie Sallingboe continues to operate the B-17 with a faithful crew of pilots (apart from herself) and other volunteers. You can learn more about this plane in Wikipedia and/or by going to the official website To learn more about what we humans have done, and are doing, to birds, I recommend a compelling story in the book, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (2018). Further, you might want to look up (on the Internet) how the Passenger Pigeon became extinct through hunting, and how birds continue to be smuggled and sold for the pet trade.

Dead Horse Swamp and the Feather Tree -011

Robert Burns, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785.

a, Otto Rainer Burger, Passenger Lists.
b Wikipedia, “Selective Training and Service Act of 1940,” online.
c Berkshire Evening Eagle, Science Service, “James Bay Isle To Be Studied For
Botany Lore,” 27 August 1946.
d The Catholic University of America, “The Archivist’s Nook: Our Coolest Blog Yet
– The Arctic Institute at Catholic University,” posted online by Shane
MacDonald, 13 August 2019.
e Shane MacDonald, Catholic University Archives, personal communication by
email, 16 September 2019.
f Princess Evelyn Blucher, An English Wife in Berlin, E.P. Dutton & Co., New
York, 1920; subtitled: A Private Memoir of Events, Politics, and Daily Life in
Germany throughout the War and the Social Revolution of 1918.
g The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is now called World
Animal Protection (WAP).
h Gerardo Huertas, personal communication by email, 31 August 2019.
i Laura Redish and Orrin Lewis, website “Native Languages of the Americas,
Atikamekw Indian Fact Sheet.”
j Herausgegeben von Krickeberg, Indianermärchen aus Nordamerica, published
by Diederichs Verlag, 1924 [in German].
k “The History of Schloss Laufen,” prepared by the castle’s information center.
l Andreas Hürlimann, Canton Zurich, Baudirektion, Real Estate Management,
personal communication by email, 9 Sept. 2019.