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Thoughts At Large

Dallas Smith's Blog

Witnessing Global Warming

June, 2023

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Global warming is happening every day. I happened to witness it firsthand during our recent visit to Svalbard.

Homage to Dance Master Chitresh Das

January, 2015

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The world lost a brilliant man this month. I lost a mentor and friend. That man was Chitresh Das, a brilliant Indian dancer. He was only seventy years old, at the peak of his career and creativity. The cause of death was an aortic rupture…I don’t know the details… only that he died quickly without prolonged pain and suffering. His wife and two young daughters that were left behind are the ones who are suffering the most. . .

Healing Journeys Blog: Living With Cancer

September 2014

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Nobody plans to get cancer. Nobody intends to interrupt their lives in such a drastic fashion, to undergo painful traumatic treatment regimens, to live for (hopefully) years with nagging uncertainty about a possible cancer recurrence. Yet, this is exactly what happens to thousands of people every year in every walk of life. . .

Reflections on My Travel Affinity & Why Beliefs Don't Matter

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Why do I like to travel?  Maybe it started with the fact that my parents took me to see many of the country's national parks before I was twelve.  I've told many friends that the single most life-changing thing I ever did was to leave the security of Columbus, Georgia at age twenty and enroll at the university in Kiel, Germany.  I didn't know where I was going when I made that move, but I did know what I was getting away from—the prospect of a constricted life in Columbus, Georgia. . .

Israel debate: Who/what is a Jew?

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Why I love my job

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A couple of decades ago, my wife Susan and I worked as entertainers on cruise ships.  Often the entertainers sat together at mealtimes.  A common observation was that the job of being a comedian was the most difficult of all the entertainers.  Having to be funny for ten or fifteen minutes before a group of elderly strangers (as well as having to avoid any jokes that might be interpreted as obscene, irreligious, or politically incorrect) was difficult indeed...

Dinner With Pakistanis

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For the past few years, Susan and I have been hosting foreign visitors who tour the US sponsored by the State Department and the Northern Nevada International Center. We have hosted Chinese, Russians, Turks, various Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans. We even provided accommodations to a mayor from a village in Tajikistan for ten days.

Need some Good Ideas? Read this!

January, 2011

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This essay was written in January, 2011, inspired by the annual session of the Fielding Graduate University, where Susan was working on her doctorate, which she completed in December, 2011.

Good Ideas

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The first general session used as its starting point a book by Steven Johnson entitled: Where do good ideas come from: The Natural History of Innovation. I had not read or heard of the book previously. The discussion was conducted by a group of five or six Fielding professors and perhaps fifteen or so students seated in a circle and lasted three hours.

In Favor of Alternative Energy

August 2011

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 This essay was first published in August, 2011, soon after a reunion of my German student colleagues dating from the early seventies in Kiel, Germany.