By Nancy Tannler, Editor
Thanks for reading the The Southeast Examiner and supporting our advertisers. Because of you we celebrate our twenty-fifth year in business this year.
In an era when newspapers have to compete with the internet for news, we’ve been lucky to find a newscycle that isn’t going quite as fast. I guess neighborhood news develops more slowly and has more staying power.
I was in a coffeeshop with local writer Caroline Miller recently and she was amazed that we were able to keep the paper going as a business venture because of the overabundance of online material. Then we looked around at the ten or so people in the space and over half of them were reading hard copies of something!
Miller sent me a reference to an article “No, Paper Isn’t Dead” by Nicholas Carr1. He writes “Students aren’t ready to give up their libraries either. Printed texts are more flexible than electronic versions, they say.”
Apparently, we see a book as a kind of geography we can navigate and as such, our brains create a mental map and that map is a learning tool. The inability to flip back and forth with ease through lengthy texts on electronic devices “turns out to be important to the mind”.
We somehow instinctively know whether it was at the beginning, middle or end. Mapping of that kind isn’t easy on an electronic screen.
We had the good fortune to slip away for a weekend in January and spend time beachcombing the Oregon coast. When the wind isn’t blowing and the sun is shining that has to be one of the most beautiful and dramatic places on earth. We even saw a sight I’ve never seen before: two deer playing in the ocean.
During long walks on the beach, I realized the sound of the ocean is similar to the gong used in different yoga and sound healing practices I have attended. As the roaring of the tide washes over you, the mind becomes concentrated on that sound and there’s isn’t much room for other thoughts.
The “gong bath” (not a new healing modality just updated through technology) is said to bring about cellular re-alignment through the medium of sound. The body feels shimmery afterwards.
At the beach or anyplace with lots of water, negative ions are released into the atmosphere too. They’re oxygen atoms with an extra electron.
Researching how this works I found an interesting statistic: the normal ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter (about the size of a sugar cube).
At Yosemite Falls, you’ll experience over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. On the other hand, the level is far below 100 per cubic centimeter on the Los Angeles freeways during rush hour.
As we drove back over Highway 26, we stopped to hike the coastal forest. After about fifty yards we came to a clearcut and could see the logging operations going on a distant hill.
In the clearcut we could see huge old growth forest stumps as well as more recent cuts. The old stumps are truly magnificently- sized and the way early loggers perched on the springboard to saw them down was a feat of daring.
Because nothing has grown up or been replanted yet, it looked like a cemetery – a tree graveyard. I think of how many of those big old trees have gone into our houses and floors, especially those of us living in older houses here in Portland.
It struck me as odd though that as we’ve been out a few times this winter, the weather has been unseasonably nice.
As I was listening to the radio a couple of days later, OPB was doing a talk show about the drought Oregon is experiencing and how it is affecting timber harvests in the state. California has been in a drought cycle for the past three years.
Checking the snowfall on Mt. Hood, there was eight feet of snow last year at this time and this year there is two. It won’t be long before we will be reminded to start practicing water-saving techniques again. There is a good list at: wateruseitwisely.com
In the meantime, we Oregonians are probably a lot less glum this winter due to the increased sunlight and Vitamin D.
1) The Week, 10/18/13