CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 31, 2015

The Scientific Method: Advantages and Disadvantages

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD:

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Fifi, the Flea, Guest Writer

NOTE:

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is now located at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

I invite you to visit the new site and to subscribe to the site to receive notification of future posts.

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 NOTE: I found the following undated paper, titled The Scientific Method: Its Advantages and Disadvantages, in my files. It was written for a philosophy class while I was a college student. It received a P+ grade.

Hi! My name is Fifi, the Famous Flea. I’m a unique flea—because I’m a thinking flea. This seeming absurdity enables me to observe Man and come to some objective conclusions about His “way of life.” Let me begin with what Man considers His greatest asset to progress in the 20th century—namely, the scientific method.

The scientific method is particularly responsible for Man’s modern position—and His dilemma.

To apply the scientific method, there must first be DOUBT, or inquiry, either in the form of an original question or in the form of questioning another man’s truths.

Man, to find an answer to that doubt, evolved the SCIENTIFIC METHOD, in which EXPERIMENT (that is, observation and reason)) plays a prominent role. How does Man apply this procedure? Let me use examples from one Man’s diary—Dr. X.

Dr. X notices some phenomena in another man, Z. A question arises: Is Z in good health or not? There is doubt. Dr. X, using the scientific method, has universally accepted facts, proven previously by the scientific method. (Otherwise, a lifetime would be taken up repeating experiments that have already proven to be true.) This is acceptable on the basis that, should He ever have any doubt about a fact, He can set up an experiment of his own and either confirm or deny the truth in question.

Observations are made by Dr. X and his assistant: Z has extremely flushed skin, a temperature of 106 degrees F, and a white cell count of 2.5 times the norm. Dr. X reasons and concludes, on the basis of these known facts, that Z is not in good health.

A new question has arisen from the answer to the first question. What is the cause of Z’s ill health?

Dr. X makes an educated guess: Z has an infection. This raises another question—What kind of infection?

Again, reason enters and a method must be devised to attain the truth. Pathological bacteria cause infections. Test for bacteria. Tests prove there are bacteria present in Z’s throat.

Previous experiments have shown that antibiotics can kill the pathological bacteria. Treat Z with the proper antibiotic. Observation: Z’s phenomena disappear within 24 hours. Reason concludes that the diagnosis was correct and Z is on the road to recovery. However, if the phenomena had not subsided further questions would arise. For example, Was the treatment correct or could the infection have arisen elsewhere?

There is a key factor in Man’s scientific method: Man is searching for an absolute truth, which can be disproved with only one negative test result. Science is never absolutely certain of its result because it is impossible to check every infection there ever was, so the one negative case might never be found. It is impossible to universally check any fact. Thus Man never has the complete reassurance of truth. (more…)

January 8, 2015

Old Man Winter Sleeps in Until 1/7/2015

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

NOTE: Considering the trials and delays in beginning my new blog site (read Problems Creating a New WordPress Blog ) I decided to continue posting on this site until the issues are resolved. Thank you all for bearing with me.

OLD MAN WINTER SLEEPS IN

He Doesn’t Arrive Until January 7, 2015150106 IMG_5985E1 On January 7, 2015, Old Man Winter

is startled awake

as his alarm clock bbbrrriiiinnngggsss.  

“Dang,” he says surprizedly. “I slept in.”*

Not only is the weather bitter cold, It is the first big snowfall. Motorists sometimes just don’t know how to handle the first several snowfalls until they get used to driving in snow again, according to PennDOT spokeswoman Juliann Sheldon.***

As I pushed our cats out the door I admired the artwork on the frosted windows and noticed the temperature on our little protected step-in porch: 180 Fahrenheit. Brrr. I shivered as I reminded myself the cats are wore the cutest fur coats—King’s a beautiful shade of gray, Little Dog’s white with calico markings.

150106 IMG_5986E1I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and sat down to review my January 7th file folder, which contained journals of January 7ths past. The tree lights were lit for their final morning display, soft music was playing on the radio, as I reviewed the papers in the folder.

150108 IMG_6010E1On January 2, 1998,I’d flown to Bangor, Maine, where my mother was in the hospital. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive, so I’d traveled with siblings to her hometown, Presque Isle, where I spent the past few days.

Maine winters aren’t known for being gentle. Caribou, Maine, a short distance from Presque Isle, has been reported on no few occasions to be the coldest spot in the nation.

No, Maine winters aren’t gentle, and 1998 was no exception.

I take that statement back. It was an exception. I flew into Maine during a massive ice storm that covered the northeast from Pennsylvania north. Although the storm had passed the ice remained, creating cold and hazardous conditions.

Landing in Boston en route to Maine---tien ice storm had arrived

Landing in Boston en route to Maine—tien ice storm had arrived

On January 6, after spending several days in Presque Isle, I drove south to Bangor in the backseat of my niece’s sports car, which I could barely squeeze my body into. Down the icy highway we went, and I stayed in a room at the hospital’s inn.

On January 7 I took a cab to the airport. There was ice everywhere. Old man winter was still wreaking havoc. My flight was delayed and delayed until it was cancelled and the airline put the passengers up in a hotel for the night. The next day I was able to fly to Boston, then to Buffalo, New York, where my husband met me and we visited with family.1998-0103-14E1

(more…)

January 1, 2015

To Be Resolved in 2015

CAROLYN’S ONLINE MAGAZINE

WHAT WASN’T RESOLVED IN 2014

WILL BE RESOLVED IN 2015

 NOTE: Considering the trials and delays in beginning my new blog site (read Problems Creating a New WordPress Blog ) I decided I’d continue posting on this site until the issues are resolved. This first post goes back to January 1, 2015.

Thank you all for bearing with me.

free-new-year-clip-art-2-150x150

Dates that come around every year help us measure progress in our lives.

One annual event, New Year’s Day, is a time of reflection and resolution.

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Have you written your New Year’s resolutions yet? After all, it is New Year’s Eve/Day, time for Old man two-oh-fourteen to step aside (willingly or unwillingly) and allow the birth of newbie two-oh-fifteen.

It’s also the time we are expected to welcome Newbie 2015 with a list in hand—a list of resolutions with which we are to write in the first blank page of a 365 page journal, which, through the year, will become a good book.

The December 22, 2014, WordPress prompt asks How did you do on last year’s New Year’s resolutions? Do you anticipate there will be any leftover items to be carried over to next year?

4 New-Years-printable-artI found my 2014 list of eleven 2014 resolutions…from which I’ll pick the top five to evaluate, based on the WordPress questions. One note: (more…)

December 23, 2014

The Holland 2014 Christmas Letter

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE HOLLAND 2014 CHRISTMAS LETTER

Below is the Monte and Carolyn Cornell Holland 2014 Christmas letter, a summary of the year past.  NOTE: Because Monte sliced one of his fingers with a utility knife his contribution was relayed to me to incorporate in the newsletter, a departure frm his writing his own summary. His finger is totally healed at the time this is posted.

January and February were relatively calm, allowing me to work on two activities, cleaning and writing. The biggest event was discovering that many symptoms I had were related to an iodine deficiency posted at Iodine Deficiency: My Story

In March I had successful cataract surgery on my right eye—the other eye will be done later.

Monte was asked to perform a wedding on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. We planned to stop in to visit my brother in eastern Pennsylvania en route, and after the wedding we planned on visiting my New Jersey sister Kitty and then visiting Baltimore, Maryland, to do some genealogy. However, the flu bug hit Monte and he had to cancel.

In late spring several problems arose with some property we own in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. This meant Monte and I constantly burned the rubber over the 82-miles between our current home and Slippery Rock.

On July 5, in Lakeside, Ohio, we attended the 50th wedding anniversary of Alice and Dwight, friends of mine I hadn’t seen in 50 years. Alice reminded me I had shopped with her for fabric for her wedding night lingerie—a print of Adam, Eve, and the snake. She also reminded me I gave her a snake with a (more…)

December 9, 2014

International Friends Share Our Life Journey — Part 2

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS SHARE OUR LIFE JOURNEY

Part 2

The following piece was written between July 1985 and summer 1988. It has been updated from then to include relationships to the present date.

During our children’s growing up years they met special people from foreign countries, people who joined their life journey to ours. This is Part 2 of their stories. Read Part 1 at

germany-map-travel_2

David, an 18-year-old exchange student from Germany. We co-hosted him with our then neighbors Rhonda and Tom—we had the sleeping space, they did the high school activities with their children and they cooked dinner regularly. David learned a lot during his stay with us—how to do his laundry, how to iron, how to tie a tie. He was great at skateboarding. But most of all, he held a baby, my great-niece Haleigh, for the first time. He returned to Germany at the end of the school year.

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Another good friend came from my paternal grandmother’s country, Sweden. We met Roy through a fellow writer, the late Diane Potter. On each of his visits we hung the Swedish flag, which delighted him. He often told the story about dynamite being invented in Sweden, and went with us to a St. Lucia program at the Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights, Ohio (my son’s church). Read about it at  Sancta Lucia: Swedish Christmas Tradition with Italian Roots

DSCN0612E

In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Holocaust survivors Bob Mendler and Janet Singer, perhaps the only two child survivors of (more…)

December 6, 2014

Gone Off My Christmas Card List—But Not Forgotten

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

“GONE” OFF MY CHRISTMAS CARD LIST“BUT NOT FORGOTTEN”

Note: This article is a cheat, as it combines two 2014 WordPress challenges:

listing, and gone but not forgotten.

‘Tis the season for suspense-building lists, the December 2 daily challenge began. Everybody loves (or at least loves to hate) a list…I invite you to breathe new life into the established genre of the end-of-year countdown list.

Then on December 5, before I tackled the above challenge, the WordPress weekly photo challenge asked writers to show us what “gone, but not forgotten” means to you.

Hmmm, I thought. I’m just about to tackle my Christmas card list. Over the years many persons have been “gone” off this list—persons who have died, but are not forgotten. I decided to make a list of these persons, with some photographs, and to write one sentence about them. The first ones will include photographs: gone but not forgotten.

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Albert and May Isabelle Briskay, my grandparents, who cared for my older sister and I until we were about 7 and 9 years old; I recall his sitting in a chair smoking cigars and her making me stand on a stool while she pinned the hem of a dress she was making me.

BRISKAY, MAE ISABELLE WALKER

Albert Adam Briskay (Borinsky)

Albert Adam Briskay (Borinsky)

Nancy Lipsius, my mother, died too early, since she was just beginning to share her life stories with me—it had been a slow journey getting her to talk about her life.

My mother, Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

My mother, Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

Robert Cornell, Chief Photographer in the Navy, my father—whom I only met twice and not until I passed age 30—is remembered for his tremendous photography.

Chief Navy Photographer Robert William Cornell

Chief Navy Photographer Robert William Cornell

Photo by Chief Navy Photographer Robert W. Cornell

Photo by Chief Navy Photographer Robert W. Cornell

(more…)

December 2, 2014

Best Laid Plans, Interrupted, Offer Opportunity

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

BEST LAID PLANS, INTERUPTED, OFFER OPPORTUNITY

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday? 

OK, I was unaware of this. A Tuesday newspaper article alerted me to the day. However, we were thrown into a giving experience on December 1, 2014, the day before that year’s Giving Tuesday. Allow me to share the story with you.

GT_2014Web-Banner_250x250_1-150x150

I’d planned a quiet day clearing up some paperwork, writing, making turkey broth from leftover turkey bones. However, the best laid plans…you know the rest of this cliché…

Blood dripped onto my kitchen floor as I examined the cut on husband’s index finger. Its depth had me suggesting he might need stitches. I finally convinced him to go to the emergency room as his AB+ red fluid flowed freely into the bathroom sink unless he put real pressure on it.

Monte and I entered the emergency room almost simultaneously as another gentleman.  We looked at each other while waiting to sign in. He looked so familiar.

“John?” That morning I’d had a man cancel an interview due to illness, and he mentioned he might have to go to the emergency room.

“I’m Walter,” the man (more…)

November 30, 2014

December 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions

DECEMBER 2014 WELCOME MESSAGE

Welcome to another triple holiday season, with all its joys and stressors. Thanksgiving has come and gone, along with a visit by my son Nolan, his wife Tammy, and grandsons Vince and Marcus. I’m looking forward to their next visit, when they plan to go skiing and snowboarding.

November was a catch-up month following our constant absences through the summer and early autumn. Within the catch up I broke a couple records. My Christmas boxes were addressed and taped by November 23rd and mailed two days later. My dining room table was cleared and appropriately dressed for Thanksgiving—and remained clear for 5 weeks. And, for the first time, I didn’t have to throw things behind my couch just as Nolan was pulling into the driveway.

Our apartment is rented so time has freed up. My husband Monte and I were able to enjoy several speakers in November: Ralph Bennett, a local writer and former Reader’s Digest employee, spoke on a local World War I hero, Alvin Carey; well-known artist Charles Fagan spoke on his art projects, and Cyril Wecht presented evidence on John F. Kennedy’s assassination. We also attended the county’s woman shelter (Blackburn Center) open house. It’s nice to be part of the community again.

Although I completed the first draft of a short story my novel writing stalled due to lack of quiet time to concentrate on its detailed plot. However, while completing the Ligonier Valley Library challenge to both read and walk a thousand minutes over a period of 10 weeks, I kept my finger on the novel by reading background material for my novel.

I also filled our freezer with soup mixes—I won’t have to cook much for the next couple of months, which will free me to return to my writing.

One thing I didn’t do this summer was maintain contact with my family and friends. Hopefully I will be able to reconnect this month. After all, one of the great blessings of the holiday season is sharing with family and friends.

I want to welcome my new subscribers and thank those who have been with me for a while.

May the blessings and joys of the holiday season surpass the stressors. Remember, the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. Set a place at your table for him, the guest of honor.

Merry Christmas. and Happy New Year.

Carolyn Cornell Holland

November 18, 2014

International Friends Share Our Life Journey — Part 1

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS SHARE OUR LIFE JOURNEY

Part 1

The following piece was written between July 1985 and summer 1988. It has been updated from then to include relationships to the present date.

During our children’s growing up years they met special people from foreign countries, people who joined their life journey to ours. Below are some of their stories.

singapore_sm_2014

One such person was Hung Pheng Tan, a graduate student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where my husband Monte taught. We were his American host family, and when we relocated from SUNY@Buffalo to Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania, he visited our new community. He was the first international person our daughter Sandy met—although I’m certain she doesn’t recall knowing him back then, as she was only a few months old. Hung Pheng was present at her baptism. She remet him (and his wife) when the couple visited us in 1988, and my son Nolan met him for the first time.

Whether from Singapore or America, we all feel joy

Whether from Singapore or America, we all feel joy

When they visited us in July 2014 Sandy could introduce him, his wife, and his college-age son to her daughter, a sweet sixteen.

map-of-cameroon

Joseph, a Cameroon (Africa) native, lodged with us for a short time while studying at Slippery Rock University. He needed work and we needed help in our country-style life—especially with planting trees. When he moved on he left behind a young boy—our son—who, for almost two years, rejected the use of silverware in favor of fingers.  This was the result of the effects of an African dish meant to be eaten with the fingers, a technique Nolan applied to almost all foods.

When Joseph’s wife Susanne came to the United States to join him and to study here, she left their son in their native country. While here she also became a special friend. Susanne became pregnant just before we left for Atlanta, Georgia, where my husband Monte studied for the ministry. Understandably they lacked many needed items. Our family prepared a pond-side baby shower for Susanne, complete with a warm-weather swim to cool off. In attendance were several elderly neighbors as well as younger folk, all of whom were exposed to her Cameroon culture. Her son arrived a month later while we were in Atlanta.

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During our three-year sojourn in Atlanta Samir and Farial, from Egypt, joined our life journey. We met through a program that connected foreign visitors with (more…)

November 13, 2014

My Sister & I: Like Oil and Water

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is now located at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

After reading about the sisters I invite you to visit the new site.

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MY SISTER AND I:

LIKE OIL AND WATER

Lee

Lee

 Carolyn

Carolyn

If we had met as teenagers or later in life I doubt we’d have the strong relationship we have today. After all, my older sister Lee and I are very different—we’re like oil meeting water. Perhaps it can be said we are polar opposites.

The few outsiders who have been guests in our respective homes observe one polar difference between us. You enter her home and it is so neat and orderly. You enter my home and…well, I must remove the clutter from the chairs so you have a place to sit…I have to pile up the papers etc. on my table in order to serve you tea. You can read a more detailed comparison between a near neatnik and an almost hoarder by clicking on My Sister and I: Cluttered Versus Neat Home .

Then there is our workplace demeanor. My sister would never walk into her workplace office wearing a fuzzy maroon bathrobe, matching fuzzy maroon sneakers, no makeup, and unkempt hair—looking for all the world like she just rolled out of bed. And yes, I did just that. It was justified, if I say so myself. It was in retaliation for my boss challenging me to (more…)

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