Dear friends and family of our beloved Charles,
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our loving husband and father, Charles Rogers. Charles passed away peacefully in the early morning on Friday, April 1, 2016, in Arlington, VA.
Our family has been devastated by this loss but is grateful to have had such a loving and inspiring man in our lives. Charles was a teacher, scientist, artist, writer, musician, veteran, and humanist. Those who were lucky enough to know him will all agree that he was truly remarkable. He will live on everyday through the love, compassion, and gratitude which, because of him, each of us will pass on in our passions, work, and relationships.
To celebrate Charles’ life, we will be holding a memorial service in the future and hope you are able to join us then. Details of Charles’ funeral and memorial service are forthcoming and will be posted on his Facebook page and his website at https://therogerspost.com/
Charles devoted much of his life to advancing the field of medicine and caring for patients and their families in their time of need. He took great pride in his professional accomplishments. However, among his many personal interests, Charles was passionate about music and music education. To honor Charles’ memory, in lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in honor of Dr. Charles Rogers to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids music education program: http://www.bsomusic.org/giving/donate-bso-education.aspx
Condolences to the family may be sent to:
The Rogers Family
3800 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
In retirement, Charles took up blogging and social media as a second career. His Facebook page and international blog provided a forum for Charles to offer his thoughts on family, art, history, politics, and science to the world. He truly treasured the connections he made with his readers and loved being able to share his knowledge and experience with friends around the world. Charles’ online community was incredibly important to him and his interactions with people on Facebook and through his blog brought him such joy every day. Your friendship meant so much to him and our family would be honored if you’d like to share your memories, thoughts, and stories about Charles. Your thoughts and remembrances would be a wonderful gift to us as we honor and celebrate his life and will provide us with great joy for many years to come. You are welcome to post stories, thoughts etc., to his Facebook page or you can email your submissions directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our family extends our deepest thanks for the friendship and care you showed Charles and the love you have shared with us.
The Rogers Family
(Eileen, Meghan, Evan, Steven, Jessica and Liz)
take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons
and with the young
and with the mothers of families,
read these leavesin the open air
evert season of every year of your life,
re-examine all you have been told
at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem
and have the richest fluency not only in its words
but in the silent lines of its lips and face
and between the lashes of your eyes
and in every motion and joint of your body.”
WALT WHITMAN was born in Westhills, Long Island, May 31, 1819, in a farm-house overlooking the sea. While yet a child his parents moved to Brooklyn, where he acquired his education. He learned type-setting at thirteen years of age. Two years later he taught a country school. He contributed to the “Democratic Review” before he was twenty-one years old. At thirty he traveled through the Western States, and spent one year in New Orleans editing a newspaper. Returning home he took up his father’s occupation of carpenter and builder, which he followed for a while. During the War of the Rebellion he spent most of his time in the hospitals and camps, in the relief of the sick and disabled soldiers. For a time he was a department clerk in Washington.
In 1856 he published a volume entitled “Leaves of Grass.” This volume shows unquestionable power, and great originality. His labors among the sick and wounded necessarily made great impressions; these took form in his mind and were published under the title of “Drum Taps.”
His poems lack much of the standard of recognized poetic measure. He has a style peculiar to himself, and his writings are full of meaning, beauty and interest. Of his productions, Underwood says: “Pupils who are accustomed to associate the idea of poetry with regular classic measure in rhyme, or in ten-syllabled blank verse or elastic hexameters, will commence these short and simple prose sentences with surprise, and will wonder how any number of them can form a poem. But let them read aloud with a mind in sympathy with the picture as it is displayed, and they will find by nature’s unmistakable responses, that the author was a poet, and possessed the poet’s incommunicable power to touch the heart.” He died in Camden, N. J., March 20, 1892.
The best things in life are not free….they’re priceless!
INTERNATIONAL BLOGGING 2016/03/03
We are the Stewards of LIFE which is a complex organization of independent individuals. We obsessively need to be with others. We think we are separate, but we are one. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are really just part of an elaborate, interdependent family and community.
There is no Them; there’s only us.
Gather around me, friends and family, from the Right, from the Left, Christians, Jewish, Atheists. I have long fought polarization. I have long sought a common denominator. I believe that I have found our common denominator: It is the Family/ Community/ Tribe. From the most primitive of humans, we form communities of families and communities of about 150 members supporting one another. If I could persuade you to be primarily concerned about the individuals and your community of individuals, spending your energies there, we could have larger communities with strong families and communities.
“We think we are separate, but we are one.”
“He who has a Why to live can bear almost any How.” Nietzsche, Frankl (1)
It is clear to me that my basic “Why” is the family/ extended family/ community.
I. Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (2) :” You can live without someone who says: you are mine; You can not live without someone who says: ‘I am yours” May you be blessed with at least one such person in life!” The family and tribe is at its best when several individuals feel this ownership to one another. Ishiguro on platonic love is reviewed in the link: https://therogerspost.com/2015/09/16/never-let-me-go-2/
II. Addy Pross, What is Life, (3) How Chemistry Becomes Biology.
In the beginning, non-living carbon-based chemicals joined to become “living” nucleic acids (DNA) manifesting a new force.This effect is characterized by an irrepressible self-replication. For billions of years this force has remained irrepressible and has produced a myriad of variants of life forms: including microbes, dinosaurs, cats, dogs, peacocks, zebras, red roses, giraffes, butterflies, snakes, towering redwoods, whales, fungi, crocodiles, cockroaches, mosquitoes, coral reef and Homo Sapiens. Group (network) dynamics are essential characteristics, inclusive of microbial, intermediate animal and primates including Homo Sapiens. Many of these species share remarkably similar group dynamics including that which humans manifested prior to the invention of agriculture and writing.(3) Humans still require networking which is demonstrated in animal group studies (see Safina and Sapolsky) . Further discussion on Pross’ on networks: https://therogerspost.com/2015/08/05/life-inexplicable/
III. Carl Safina, Beyond Words, (4)
What Animals Think and Feel.Safina “We have long asked whether we are alone in the universe. But clearly we are not alone on earth. The evolution of intelligence, of empathy and complex societies, is surely more likely than we have hitherto considered. And what is it, exactly, that sets our species apart? These views are expanded in this link: https://therogerspost.com/2015/09/30/animals-human/
IV. Robert M. Sapolsky,(5) A Primate’s Memoir. Over two decades, Sapolsky conducted unprecedented physiological research on wild primates, Groups of Non-human animals are natural occurring laboratories for studying human tribal dynamics. In the non-human laboratory, Sapolsky”s baboons are second to none.We can not live alone and be well.
We are motivated to pursue and find something meaningful in our lives. So, while we cannot, of course, avoid suffering, Dr. Frankl says, we can choose how to cope with the hurt, find meaning in our suffering and move on with a sense of renewed purpose. This meaning is most often found in mutual support and commitment to a family and tribe.
Summary: Rogers, “Life is a Journey” (7) [larger] Life [of which we are the stewards] is a complex organization of interdependent individuals. We obsessively need to be with others. We think we are separate, but we are one. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are really just part of an elaborate, interdependent family and community. There is no “Them”; there is only Us! Review: https://therogerspost.com/2015/08/16/life-process/
Charles Clanton Rogers, AB, MD, FACR emeritus professor GWU First published October 3, 2015; Revision March 3, 2016
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,”
banner image courtesy of Myphoung Nguyen
Feel free to Reblog or Share
(1) Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, composer, and Latin and Greek scholar. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor and irony.Nietzsche’s key ideas include perspectivism, the will to power, master-slave morality, the death of God, the Übermensch and eternal recurrence. One of the key tenets of his philosophy is “life-affirmation”, which embraces the realities of the world in which we live over the idea of a world beyond
(2) [Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
(3) Addy Pross. What is Life: How chemistry becomes biology.
Oxford University Press,(2012)
(4) Carl Safina, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.
(5) Robert M. Sapolsky, A Primate’s Memoir, A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
(6) Viktor Frankl, What Has Your Life Meant
(7) Charles C. Rogers, “Life is a Journey”https://therogerspost.com/2015/08/16/life-process/
In Ancient Greek mythology, the Earth Goddess Gaia had nine titan sons, who attempted to control not just the Earth, but the entire Universe. I’d like to introduce another. It’s a new creature who emerged only in recent decades. But it’s a creature who is already as influential over life on the planet as the phytoplankton or forests that regulate global temperature, the weather and the air we breathe.
That new creature is us, or more precisely, what humanity is becoming. The entirety of our species, Homo sapiens, is evolving into a superorganism; I’ll call this new life force Homo omnis, or ‘Homni’.
We have now become the dominant force shaping our planet. Some say that because of our actions we have entered a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene, or the age of man. Homni is a product of this age, a product of human industrialisation, population…
To each of my friends who have sent me their “best wishes”, I invite you to be a Guest Editor.
About 1500 words. Consider a book review, a poem, or discuss the necessity of friends and family. Or I invite you choose one of my posts and critique it for improvements or additional points. I love positive critique. My friend bbnewsab has marked improved my blog over past five months. If you read his suggestions to me would be helpful.
Anyway, I would invite you to send me a proposed editorial to: email@example.com🖖🏾
I have my laptop on; I have been on iPhone only for almost a week.
I am listening to two Audiobooks that I highly recommend (repeats): THE FRAGILE SPECIES by Lewis Thomas, MD, & A THREE DOG LIFE; A MEMOIR, by Abigail Thomas. Lewis Thomas is dead but his essays based on NEJM editorials are classic physician/writer (Lives of a Snail). Abigail is Lewis’ daughter but a great author in her own right. Great insight as to real life values.
Let me know what you think of these authors.
It is really great to hear from each of my friends around the World!
Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and The Cowardly Lion believe The Wizard can give them what they want; but (a) He can’t (he is only pretending to be The Wizard). (b) They have inside themselves, what they are looking for.
The Wizard: “I am The Great and Powerful.”
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”
“The moral of the Wizard of Oz actually comes out of anyone’s personal experience.
The moral is to go get your heart’s desire. But be prepared for obstacles. Plus, it helps to have good reliable friends to support your quest. It is best, if you actually know what your heart’s desire actually is. And be prepared for evil people to get in your way. And always watch out for those who are not what they seem.
The aspects of each of Dorothy’s companions and their natures is a strong key to how men were being viewed in the early 20th century. The smart/ dumb unsubstantial straw man. The kind well mannered, seemingly robotic tin man and the…cowardly lion…And the Wizard, himself, as a well-meaning fraud.” (*)
Tell me another story- please share your favorite story with me. Use the comments section below.
That which we share is greater than that which divides us.
The Sand Mandala (Tibetan: དཀྱིལ་འཁོར།, Wylie: dkyil ‘khor; Chinese: 沙坛城; pinyin: Shā Tánchéng) is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically dismantled once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.(2)(3)
The Story of the Chinese Farmer (1)
Once upon a time, there was a Chinese farmer who lost a horse. Ran away. And all the neighbors came around that evening and said, ‘That’s too bad.’
And the farmer said, ‘Maybe.’
The next day the horse came back and brought seven wild horses with it, and all the neighbors came around and said, ‘Why, that’s great, isn’t it?!’
And he said, ‘Maybe.’“
The next day his son was attempting to tame one of these horses and was riding it, and was thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbors came around in the evening and said, “Well, that’s too bad, isn’t it?’
And he said, ‘Maybe.’
And the next day the conscription officers came around looking for people for the army and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And all the neighbors came around that evening and said, ‘Isn’t that wonderful?’
And the farmer said, ‘Maybe.’
Because you never know what will be the consequences of a misfortune. Or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”
“Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.”(5)
Tell Me a Story: Here is another story; A Story of Religion
Dear Reader: Tell me one of your stories in the comments section below.
Charles Clanton Rogers February 16, 2016
(1) The story of The Chinese Farmer was given to me by bbnews
“Nature … pushes systems toward disorder and chaos, not toward order and function.” (1) The irrepressible force of Life leaves no stone unturned in seeking ways to extend the invaluable larger Life of which we are the stewards. ccr
Book:What is Life?, Addy Pross
Even the most “active” of non-living molecules such as Cobalt-60, Uranium-238, and Radium-226, “decay”, that is, become something LESS than they were, with Time. [go down hill!]
There was a time before Life (billions of years ago), when some non-living molecules joined and overcame the normal “deterioration” process. Life reversed the direction and in the words of Pross:”the car began to ‘run up hill.”
In sexual reproduction, a male and female each produce highly specialized cells with each providing one-half of the required genetic information required for the “up-hill journey” of developing a new and unique individual.
plus yields When the DNA of the sperm fuses with the DNA of the ovum, development of the new individual is characterized by increasing complexity and specialization.
In What is Life?, Addy Pross describes the improbability of the force driving life in a seemingly teleological force of complexity (improvement of the products of reproduction). Although his descriptions are biochemical, his message attempts to explain an unexplained force of life in spite of the dissembling characteristics of the non-living world.
Let us try to examine life from the objective view, how does it relate to the inanimate world, and how did it emerge? Nature, if anything, pushes systems toward disorder and chaos not toward order and function. “It is not just common sense that tells us that highly organized entities don’t just spontaneously come about. Certain fundamental laws of physics preach the same sermon.”(1) So the relationship between the life phenomenon and its extraordinary complexity can now be stated: “complexity is not the essence of the phenomenon, complexity is its consequence. Contrary to reason, “replication [began inducing] complexity, not [the predictable] other way around. (1)
Pross continues: “Even though life is an extraordinarily complex phenomenon, the life principle is surprisingly straightforward.
“Life is the resultant network of chemical actions that emerges from the continuing cycle of replication, mutation, complexification, and selection when it operates on particular chain-like molecules–the nucleic acids.”
In an attempt to clarify how all life began, Addy Pross opens with biochemistry and molecular biology discoveries, which as a scientist and physician, I found fascinating. I would say that Pross did push earlier into the timeline of the molecular biology of early life, but he failed to explain to me, the inexplicable source and nature of the irrepressible force which continually overcomes the inherent degradation and retrogression of its components. [See Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamis] (15)
Pross describes the improbability of the force driving life in a seemingly teleological force of complexity (improvement of the products of reproduction?). Although his descriptions are biochemical, his message attempts to explain an unexplained force of life in spite of the dissembling characteristics of the non-living material of the world.
Let us try to examine life from the objective view, how does it relate to the inanimate world, and how did it emerge?. Nature, if anything, pushes systems toward disorder and chaos not toward order and function. “It is not just common sense that tells us that highly organized entities don’t just spontaneously come about. Certain fundamental laws of physics preach the same sermon.”(1)
This bears repeating: “So the relationship between the life phenomenon and its extraordinary complexity can now be stated: complexity is not the essence of the phenomenon, complexity is its consequence. Replication induces complexity, not the other way around.”(1) Pross continues: “Even though life is an extraordinarily complex phenomenon, the life principle is surprisingly straightforward. Life is the resultant network of chemical reactions that emerges from the continuing cycle of replication, mutation, complexification, and selection when it operates on particular chain-like molecules— the nucleic acids.”
In my view, these objective observations and descriptions do not, however, explain: what is the source and nature of the force which drives the biochemistry and biological systems forward in spite of the natural characteristics of disorder and chaos. Lacking objective answers to this question, we are in the subjective arena. Some scientists believe these replicative forces toward complex structure and function, are the products of an enormous number of random encounters of non-living chemicals over extremely long periods of time.(10)
“Fred Hoyle, the well-known astronomer, says the likelihood of such an event would be similar to that of a whirlwind blowing through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747. Life’s organized complexity is strange, very strange.”(12)
Several prominent scientist insists that “evolution” does not mean “improvement”. Dawkins (10) proposes that Darwin’s “descent with modification” is explained by random errors in DNA replication with some products having greater survivability than others. In this explanation, we humans are not an improving, higher form of life, just different from our deep ancestors, with, perhaps greater, on average, better survivability. These scientists deny a teleonomic character. Pross disagrees and believes that both the structure and the behavior of all living things lead to an unambiguous and unavoidable conclusion— living things have an ‘agenda’ (Pross’ word). Living things act on their behalf. The Pross “agenda”, I believe is an idea that should be in the subjective arena and not in Pross’ objective analysis..
Pross uses an analogy of an automobile without an engine (pre-life) and a car with an engine (life) to describe the replicating entity. “The entity with an energy-gathering capability is now like a car with an engine— it can go uphill too. That means that a replicating system with an energy-gathering capability would appear to have an agenda. It would seem to be acting purposefully, as it would no longer need to be confined to the downhill thermodynamic path, which we interpret as objective behaviour, but rather the path toward systems of greater organization and function, which could involve the equivalent of rolling some way uphill.” (1) This analogy does not answer the question: where did the “engine” come from and what makes it continue to run “uphill” for billions of years?
The main body of the book is the physics and chemistry of his thesis. Let us Jump to his conclusion which we find in the last chapter.
Pross’ conclusion: In our “me-first” culture, we tend to value experiences egocentrically. Although individuals are extremely valuable, their value is fully realized only when fulfilled as members of networks (families) and communities. (Individuals function in communities of approximately one hundred and fifty, caring for one another.)(11)
“Each individual is part of a nuclear family, which, in turn, is part of an extended family, which is part of a local community, which is part of larger groups of the human organization. The survival of the community requires more than the individual. Reproductively speaking, individuals are incomplete. Biologically speaking, our individuality is actually non-existent.” That’s why a new pregnancy catches our attention. That powerful and compulsive news resonates with our fundamental selves.
“Just as importantly, we are also emotionally incomplete. Various psychological elements also connect us to the network. We obsessively need to be with others. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are just components of a network. Our “lifeboat” is not just many individuals, but an ever-expanding living network. The irrepressible force of Life leaves no stone unturned in seeking ways to extend the invaluable larger Life of which we are the stewards. We obsessively need to be with others. We think we are separate, but we are one. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are just components of a network. (1) See also my post on the family and the tribe:
Charles C. Rogers, MD, FACR, emeritus professor, GWU
First published August, 2015, Extensive revisions for February 15, 2016
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,”
banner image courtesy of Myphoung Nguyen
(1)Pross, Addy, What is Life,? : How Chemistry Becomes Biology. Oxford University Press. 2012 [Pross, Addy
B.Sc. (First Class Hons): 1966; Ph.D.: 1970, University of Sydney, Australia.
Faculty member Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, 1973; Professor, 1986.
ARC Professorial Fellow, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1992-1994.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org] Addendum: “But how can this ephemeral and dynamic nature of living systems be explained? In fact, this particular aspect of life is one of the easiest to understand. Pross uses the analogy of a replicating population to a water fountain. “The fountain is stable (persistent) even though the water that makes up that fountain is turning over continuously. Different water, same fountain. For any replicating entity the same proposition holds. In other words, it is the population that is stable, with the individual entities that make up that society always turning over. And this continual turnover holds at all levels of complexity— molecules within cells are always turning over,” cells and organisms as well (1)
(2) Merriam-Webster Dictionary
(3) Hal Hellman, Special to The Washington Post, September 9, 1998; Page H01
(4) Giorgio de Santillana, The Crime of Galileo
(6) Norman, Andrew, Charles Darwin,: Destroyer of Myths
(7) Isaacson, Walter, Einstein,: His Life and Universe
(8) An introduction to the John Scopes (Monkey) Trial
University of Missouri–Kansas City
(The Scopes trial by no means ended the debate over the teaching of evolution, but it did represent a significant setback for the anti-evolution forces. Of the fifteen states with anti- evolution legislation pending in 1925, only two states (Arkansas and Mississippi) enacted laws restricting teaching of Darwin’s theory.)
(9) Andrew Berry and James WatsonWatson, DNA
(10) Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene 30th Anniversary edition
(11) Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens,: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND, HarperCollins, 443 pages, 2014
(12) Fred Hoyle, the well-known astronomer, the likelihood of such an event would be similar to that of a whirlwind blowing through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747. Life’s organized complexity is strange, very strange. And how it came about is even stranger. Cited by Pross (1)
(13) http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science…/project_scientific_me…The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments. The steps of the scientific method are to: Ask a Question. Do Background Research.
6 THOUGHTS ON “LIFE IS STILL INEXPLICABLE – SUBJECTIVE VERSUS OBJECTIVE CHARACTERIZATIONS”
Laura Grace Weldon says:
August 5, 2015 at 10:13 am (EDIT)
Really interesting. Thanks for bringing us a hearty serving of Dr. Pross’ work.
Liked by you
August 5, 2015 at 11:23 am (EDIT)
I’m pleased you found it interesting. I have high-value of your opinion.
August 16, 2015 at 10:20 am (EDIT)
Reblogged this on Mass Delusions a.k.a. Magical & Religious Woo-Bullshit Thinking and commented:
I just reblogged ONE of clanton1934’s many interesting and intriguing blog post about life and its meaning (if there is any at all).
Now it’s time for me to reblog another of clanton1934’s blog articles. I choose this one because the two fit so well together.
Here’s a quote from this second (by me) reblogged article:
In my view, these objective observations and descriptions do not, however, explain: what is the source and nature of the force which drives the biochemistry and biological systems forward in spite of the natural characteristics of disorder and chaos. Lacking objective answers to this question, we are in the subjective arena. Some scientists believe these replicative forces toward complex structure and function, are the products of an enormous number of random encounters of non-living chemicals over extremely long periods of time.
Several prominent scientist insist that “evolution” does not mean “improvement”. Dawkins proposes that Darwin’s “descent with modification” is explained by random errors in DNA replication with some products having greater survivability than others. In this explanation, we humans are not an improving, higher form of life, just different from our deep ancestors, with, perhaps greater, on average, better survivability . These scientists deny a teleonomic character.
Pross disagrees and believes that both the structure and the behavior of all living things lead to an unambiguous and unavoidable conclusion— living things have an ‘agenda’ (Pross’ word). Living things act on their own behalf. The Pross “agenda”, I believe is an idea which should be in the subjective arena and not in Pross’ objective analysis..
Pross uses an analogy of an automobile without an engine (pre-life) and a car with an engine (life) to describe the replicating entity. “The entity with an energy-gathering capability is now like a car with an engine— it can go uphill too. That means that a replicating system with an energy-gathering capability would appear to have an agenda. It would seem to be acting purposefully, as it would no longer need to be confined to the downhill thermodynamic path, which we interpret as objective behaviour, but rather the path toward systems of greater organization and function, which could involve the equivalent of rolling some way uphill.”
This analogy does not answer the question: where did the “engine” come from and what makes the engine run?
Baltimore OrchKids+Youth Orchestra+Baltimore Symphony Orchestra February 11, 2016
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Celebrates its 100th Anniversary 
“The centenary salute, conducted by music director Marin Alsop, provided something more American. More youthful, too. Other than a timeline display in the lobby and some references to old days in remarks made from the stage, Thursday night was more about the present and the future.
No reflection on the guest artist — the ever-stellar violinist Joshua Bell — or any other element of the concert, but I have to say that the evening’s biggest kick was the sight of dozens of students from OrchKids and the BSO Youth Orchestra coming down the aisles and walking onto the stage, all the while playing along with the BSO during the closing minutes of Ravel’s ‘Bolero’
The star host, though, turned out to be 13-year-old Keith Fleming, an OrchKids participant who spoke of the program’s benefits, musical and otherwise, in his life.”
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Concert on its 100th Anniversary
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Presents Music Box Series: Great Big Animals Concerts for Kids
If you are looking for some great family fun for your kids this fall/spring than look no further that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The iconic music venue will be presenting their Music Box Series: Great Big Animals …
The OrcKids Program
“OrchKids is a year-round, during and after school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods. Under Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is the cornerstone of the BSO’s efforts to expand their relevance within the broad and diverse Baltimore community. In collaboration with several community partners, including Baltimore City Public Schools, OrchKids provides music education, instruments, academic instruction, meals, as well as performance and mentorship opportunities at no cost. OrchKids is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, the music program that has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in the country’s most impoverished areas. Currently OrchKids works with five public schools in Baltimore City, serving close to 750 children from Pre-K through the eighth” 
Please reBlog in order to promote music education in elementary school education around the World.
Charles Clanton Rogers February 13, 2016
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,”
banner image courtesy of Myphoung Nguyen
Everybody wants to travel when they are stuck in a sad, dull place. I assume.
Most days I find myself alone in my room, lights off; silence deafening yet somehow comforting. I let myself drown in the black hole I created for myself.
Most times I think about why a man plays many roles.
Most times I think about how many friends do I really have – if social media is an indicator — then how many of them have I shared (real) experiences with.
I see pigments of myself from the people I meet. May it be the way the Vietnamese lady happily rides her bike, or the way the vendor carefully arranges my order. Maybe i wished to be that person I just took a photo of. The way I see and define others becomes an extension of self, the ghost of my other selves.
“In Europe, near the end of the eighteenth century, the disease accounted for nearly 400,000 deaths each year, including five kings. Of those surviving, one-third were blinded. The worldwide death toll was staggering and continued well into the Twentieth Century, where mortality has been estimated at 300 to 500 million. This number vastly exceeds the combined total of deaths in all World Wars” [ 1]
“In the United States, more than 100,00 cases of smallpox were recorded in 1921.” 
Edward Jenner 1749-1823
Physician: Edward Jenner, FRS was an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine. He is often called “the father of immunology” Education: St George’s, University of London · University of St Andrews [2[
This needs to be repeated: “In Europe, near the end of the eighteenth century, the disease accounted for nearly 400,000 deaths each year, including five kings. Of those surviving, one-third were blinded. The worldwide death toll was staggering and continued well into the Twentieth Century, where mortality has been estimated at 300 to 500 million. This number vastly exceeds the combined total of deaths in all world wars.” [ 1]
This post is the fifth of a series building to my first-person history of medicine and surgery in The Twentieth Century. These early, historical, posts are necessary to set the stage for comparison to the dramatic revolution occurring in the last three percent of recorded history. The fourth was on Marie Curie and radiations in medicine. Number one, two and three are referenced there.
“Smallpox is one of greatest scourges in human history. This disease, which starts with a distinctive rash that progresses to pus-filled blisters and can result in disfiguration, blindness, and death, first appeared in agricultural settlements in northeastern Africa around 10,000 B.C.E. Egyptian merchants spread it from there to India.”
“The earliest evidence of smallpox skin lesions has been found on the faces of mummies from the eighteenth and twentieth Egyptian dynasties, and in the well-preserved mummy of Pharaoh Ramses V, who died in 1157 B.C.E. The first recorded smallpox epidemic occurred in 1350 B.C.E., during the Egyptian-Hittite War.”
Edward Jenner: Vaccine Pioneer
“During his training as a physician, Edward Jenner learned from nearby milkmaids that after they contracted cowpox they never got smallpox. Cowpox is a far milder disease than smallpox, yet the diseases are quite similar. In 1796, Jenner decided to test the theory that infectious material from a person with a milder similar disease could protect against a more severe disease.
He put some pus from a cowpox pustule on small cuts made on the arm of James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy. Eight days later, Phipps developed cowpox blisters on the scratches. Eight weeks later, Jenner exposed the child to smallpox. The boy had no reaction at all, not even a mild case of smallpox. The cowpox had made him immune to smallpox. Jenner developed the first vaccine, using cow serum containing the cowpox virus. Jenner tried this new treatment on eight more children, including his own son, with the same positive result.” 
The World Takes Action In 1959, The World Health Assembly decided to organize mass immunization campaigns against smallpox. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the global smallpox eradication program in 1967. At that time there were still an estimated 10 to 15 million cases of smallpox a year resulting in two milllion deaths, millions disfigured, and another 100,000 blinded.Ten years later, after dispersal of 405 million doses of vaccine in 27 countries, the last reported naturally reported case appeared in Somali. On October 22, 1977, a 23-year-old male, Ali Maow Maalin, developed smallpox and survived. 
The Public Health lesson is written with a wide brush!
Charles Clanton Rogers, MD, FACR, emeritus professor, GWU February, 2016
Marie Curie died six weeks after I was born in 1934. She was a discoverer of Radium. I used Radium to treat cancer patients. Marie Curie died from excessive exposure to radiations which caused aplastic anemia. Many millions of people around the World have benefited from her trailblazing science.
Marie Sklodowska Curie 1867 -1934,
This post is the fourth of a seriesbuilding to my first-person history of medicine and surgery in The Twentieth Century. These early, historical, posts are necessary to set the stage for comparison to the dramatic revolution occurring in the last three percent of recorded history. 
“PARIS, July 4  –Mme. Marie Curie, whose work alone and with her husband on radium and radiology has been one of the greatest glories of modern science, died at 6 o”clock this morning in a sanitarium near Sallanhes in Upper Savoy. . Her death, which was caused by a form of pernicious anemia, was hastened by what her physicians termed “a long accumulation of radiations” which affected the bones and prevented her from reacting normally to the disease.”
“Few persons contributed more to the general welfare of mankind and to the advancement of science than the modest, self-effacing woman whom the World knew as Mme. Curie. Her epoch-making discoveries of polonium and radium, the subsequent honors that were bestowed upon her–she was the only person to receive two Nobel prizes–and the fortunes that could have been hers had she wanted them did not change her mode of life. She remained a worker in the cause of science, preferring her laboratory to a great social place in the sun. The road which she and her husband had chosen she followed throughout her life, disdaining all pomp. And thus she not only conquered great secrets of science but the hearts of the people the world over.”
“Mme. Curie was one of many illustrious persons who came from Poland to settle elsewhere, such as Frederic Chopin, the Potockis and Joseph Conrad. Her father was a distinguished scientist and from him she received her early training in Warsaw. She became involved in the students’ revolutionary organization, however, and found it advisable to leave the country. Years later she returned to open the radioactivity laboratory in Warsaw; she had always had the longing of the nostalgic for her native land, and she gave the $50,000 which she had received from American admirers in 1929 for research work in the city of her birth.”
“Earnestness of purpose and total disregard of personal gain were two of her main characteristics. She summed up her biography in twenty-one words when interviewed some years ago.”
“I was born in Poland,” she said. “I married Pierre Curie, and I have two daughters. I have done my work in France.”
“The tragic death of her husband–he was run over and killed by a heavy dray in Paris on April 19, 1906–served to make her even more of a recluse from the world. …
[The Curie “lab” was in] abandoned warehouse opposite their atelier. In this place, with its asphalt floor, its broken and patched glass roof, hot in Summer, heated by a cast-iron stove in Winter, they performed their wonderful work.”
“The equipment consisted of some old and worn deal tables, upon which Mme. Curie prepared the material for the production of radium. She was laboratory chief assistant and handy boy at the same time. In addition to her intellectual labor it was frequently necessary for her to perform severe manual toil. On many an afternoon she stirred in a great caldron with a heavy iron rod the molten mass of the radioactive products, reaching home at evening exhausted by fatigue but delighted to see that her labors had led to a luminous product of concentration.”
“After the discovery of the radioactive properties of uranium by Henri Becquerel in 1896 M. and Mme. Curie began their researches into radioactivity, and in 1898 obtained polonium and radium from pitchblende, which they had subjected to a very laborious process of fractionation.
The announcement came from that little ill-equipped laboratory on Dec. 26, 1898. The Curies informed the Academy of Sciences that they had discovered a new and remarkable substance to which they propsed to give the name radium.”
“Five years after their discovery of radium the Curies received the Nobel Prize for physics, dividing it with Becquerel. In 1911 Mme. received the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Honors were heaped upon her, but she was indifferent to most. The money she received from her prizes was immediately used for purposes of scientific research. In 1919 one gram of radium, valued at $100,000, was presented to Mme. Curie as the gift of the people of the United States. In 1929 she received the money with which to purchase another gram of the precious substance, the presentation being made by President Hoover.”
“Marie Sklodowska was born on Nov. 7, 1867. As a child she played with test tubes and crucibles and she was later a brilliant student. When she became involved in political differences she went first to Cracow, then under Austrian rule, and later to Paris, where she obtained a science degree at the university.
At the Sorbonne she met Pierre Curie, a young physics instructor. They worked together, having common interests, and in 1895 they were married. Mme. Curie became a teacher of physics at a girls’ school at Sevres. The research work was pursued at night.”
“The discovery of X-rays by Dr. Roentgen in 1895 started many physicists and chemists on investigations to see whether phosphorescent bodies in general would not emit rays of a similar character. In 1896 Becquerel found that the salts of uranium emitted radiations affecting photographic plates and, like the X-ray, passing through many substances impervious to ordinary light.”
“Later Mme. Curie discovered that the salts of thorium emitted similar rays. Searching for other radio-active material, M. and Mme. Curie, after long and tedious, but to them fascinating, trials, discovered that pitchblende was much more active than uranium. Mme. Curie made up her mind to go still further. She would not stop short of finding out what it was in pitchblende that produced the radio-active force that would pass through any substance except lead and steel.
But at that time pitchblende was to be had only from a small deposit in Bohemia. Mme. Curie reduced tons of it and then, first by chemical separation and then by eliminations, she finally isolated two fiercely energetic substances. One she called polonium after her native country, the other radium.”
The old laboratory on Rue Lhomond was described by Henry Labouchere, editor of The London Truth, as “a scientific Bethlehem.”
“Mme. Curie,” he said on that occasion, “proved in 1898 that of many of the chemical substances, those which contained uranium or thorium alone were capable of emitting in notable quantities Becquerel rays. *Mme. Curie studied the minerals which had in them uranium or thorium, and found these minerals were radio-active. In her experiments she found that some of them were more active than they would have been if they had contained only uranium or thorium. Mme. Curie then made the hypothesis that these substances contained radio-active chemicals as yet unknown. Mme. Curie executed these experimental works and reached her momentous conclusion alone.”
“Several years passed, however, before the general public knew of radium. A watch-case containing a speck of the rare element was exhibited a the Paris Exposition in 1900. It was labeled, “Radium, discovered by Mme. Curie.” In 1901 the French Academy of Sciences awarded the La Caze Prize of 10,000 francs to the Curies.
Soon afterward Mme. Curie put chemistry in possession of a relatively large quantity of radium, as she had by a crystallization process obtained a decigram of the pure chlorid, which allowed her to obtain the atomic weight.”
“In 1903 M. and Mme. Curie received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society. That year Mme. Curie submitted the results of her researches in her doctorate thesis presented to the University of Paris. She then became chef de travaux in the laboratory at the department of the Sorbonne created for her husband. M. Curie was elected to the Academy of Sciences in 1905. His widow succeeded him as professor at the University of Paris”.
“When the World War broke out Mme. Curie offered her services to the Government of France. She closed the Institut Curie and with her elder daughter, Irene, and a few students, she went to a hospital behind the front, employing her knowledge of radiography in aiding the wounded. At her suggestion, automobiles equipted with radiographic apparatus were utilized along the front, and by this means bullets and shell splinters were located in the heads of dangerously wounded soldiers.”
“[Mme. Curie] received honorary university degrees from Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Woman’s Medical College, University of Pittsburgh, Yale, Wellesley, Northwestern and Smith.
President Nicholas Murray Butler, in presenting the Columbia award, said it honored the woman “to whose skill, scientific might and trained powers of imagination it has been given to enrich mankind by the priceless gift of radium, winning thereby a place on the immortal list of scientific discoverers.”
“Dr. William Lyon Phelps of Yale said: There is one thing rarer than genius. That is radium. Mme. Curie illustrates the combination of both.”
Charles Clanton Rogers, MD, FACR, emeritus professor, GWU February, 2016
 The first three posts of this History of Medicine were:
Since the inception of the ‘modern’ prison system in the mid-nineteenth century to the current day, the relationship between mental illness and the prison has been hotly debated, in terms of why so many prisons came to contain large numbers of mentally ill people, as well as their tendency as institutions to produce or exacerbate mental disease.
This strand of the project explores this enduring relationship and the management of mental illness in English and Irish prisons. Prison governors, medical officers, chaplains and other prison officers grappled with relentlessly high levels of mental illness among prisoners, and the detrimental impact of prison regimes – the separate system and solitary confinement, overcrowding, and poor diet and conditions. However, advocates of these regimes and prison officials were reluctant in many cases to acknowledge the impact of prison discipline on prisoners’ health and wellbeing, as they remained ever…
“The wall which divides the knowledgeable from the uninformed has been constructed by those on the outside and the building blocks of this wall are opinions! Opinions separate the uninformed from the villages of knowledge.”
(1) The vast majority of physicians and scientist have the important facts; there is little, if any disagreement by authorities in the field.
(2) I feel deeply about the individuals and families affected by autism, but my empathy does not change the science. Those who deny the findings of fraud published in The British Medical Journal are not likely to be dissuaded by me. It is very difficult for a “tree to take in the whole forest.”
The case for and against Andrew Wakefield’s enormous impact on the public health in this country has been widely published and debated for years. I consider this previously solved. I was asked for my take on Jeffery Phillips editorial which is actually the last of a series quotes of unsubstantiated opinions.
My cousin alerted me to a recent editorial by Jeffery Phillips , “Courts quietly confirm MMR Vaccine causes Autism ” on a Blog: We Are Change, (http://wearechangect.org) which is actually not his own editorial but a quote from another Blog By Mark Wachtler, Whiteout Press (whiteoutpress.com) which reported “information” taken from a third website: The Liberty Beacon (http://www.thelibertybeacon.com)
I went to each of these Websites to find their credentials and mission statements. They are informal blogs; not referred journals. The following is a verbatim quote from The Liberty Beacon:”The Liberty Beacon project presently consists of 4 FaceBook pages (and manage over 10 more), 4 FaceBook groups (and admin over 30 more), 5 international websites (with several more under construction), 5 domestic websites, a Twitter channel, a radio network (TLB Radio Network) and a newly launched YouTube channel. Projects currently in progress include setting up a server to produce an in-house internet TV show, the launch of a social site for all of our project associates”. Mr. Phillips and Mr.Wachtler are bloggers like myself. I was not able to find their credentials but if they are scientist (or lawyers), it is not apparent
These three publications are Blogs. I have been a blogger for a few years and in an earlier incarnation I was an author and editor in peer-reviewed science and medical journals comparable to The British Medical Journal to which I now refer.
I love Blogs. On my blog, I express my ideas, opinions and interpretations frequently and freely. If I felt that I had some scientific information that the World needed, my blog would NOT be a creditable publication for reporting this information,
Blogs are for opinions. I repeat “The wall which divides the knowledgeable “The wall which divides the knowledgeable from the uninformed has been constructed by those on the outside and the building blocks of this wall are opinions! Opinions separate the uninformed from the villages of knowledge.”Opinion versus truth: http://therogerspost.com/2016/02/03/opinion-truth/
These blogs/opinions report two “court” decisions allegedly exonerating Andrew Wakefield in his now World famous fraudulent publications linking MMR vaccine and autism. The courts are not named; neither are the case names cited.
No one denies the importance or prevalence of autism but Andrew Wakefield’s publication have been proven to be fraudulent. see below. (BMJ 2011;342:c7452)
The findings of juries and judges are neither adequate validation nor refutation of scientific realities or even true events. Researchers:”More than 2,000 false convictions in past 23 years” http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/21/11756575-researchers-more-than-2000-false-convictions-in-past-23-years?lite
The best opinion free scientific information on this follows HERE
Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent
Fiona Godlee, editor in chief, Jane Smith, deputy editor, Harvey Marcovitch, associate editor
Correspondence to: F Godlee email@example.com
Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare
“Science is at once the most questioning and . . . sceptical of activities and also the most trusting,” said Arnold Relman, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, in 1989. “It is intensely sceptical about the possibility of error, but totally trusting about the possibility of fraud.”1 Never has this been truer than of the 1998 Lancet paper that implied a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and a “new syndrome” of autism and bowel disease.
Authored by Andrew Wakefield and 12 others, the paper’s scientific limitations were clear when it appeared in 1998.2 3 As the ensuing vaccine scare took off, critics quickly pointed out that the paper was a small case series with no controls, linked three common conditions, and relied on parental recall and beliefs.4 Over the following decade, epidemiological studies consistently found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.5 6 7 8 By the time the paper was finally retracted 12 years later,9 after forensic dissection at the General Medical Council’s (GMC) longest ever fitness to practise hearing,10 few people could deny that it was fatally flawed both scientifically and ethically. But it has taken the diligent scepticism of one man, standing outside medicine and science, to show that the paper was in fact an elaborate fraud.
I will be very surprised if anyone writes me to say that I changed their minds MMR vaccination.