Saturday, July 2, 2011
"A Wealth of Ideas"

What a wealth of ideas!

The 9:00am program was about Portland history. It's a fascinating town with a rich, weird history. We learned about the Japanese Gardens and hope to visit later next week.

Next, we learned how body language cues are different all over the world. The British F.U. gesture looks more like what we do to indicate "2". People in Middle Eastern countries only eat with the right hand, because the left hand is reserved for cleaning up after bodily functions. Thus, those thieves who have their right hand chopped off are having themselves removed from social functions.

Pointing and then making a swooping movement downwards indicates a curse upon the pointee's family in Eithopia. The lecturer, a travelling journallist, learned this the hard way!

A docent from the Portland Art museum next showed us slides of some contemporary local artist's works that are being exhibited at the art museum. Later, we hope to visit there as well.

Lunch time was again at Porto Terra, for a delicious pizza with aspargas, artichokes, roasted tomatoes and garlic. I probably shouldn't have eaten so much of the appetizer bread, for I couldn't finish all of mine.

We'd had a lecture selected for the three o'clock hour, but we were too sleepy. Nap time called and we slumbered until just before the 4:30pm presentation.

We thought we'd have a good idea of the various types of gender variance, but the gynecologist doctor showed us a few more new to us. It's extremely rare, but a person can have 'XY' chromosomes, which would normally result in a standard male, but because of inability to process androgens, they appear completely female, boobs and all. Except they have no uterus, and thus do not menstruate. These rare few do not learn about their condition until their teen years, when they are examined to discover why they have no monthly cycle.

Julia regarded the next program with bit of skepticism. A holistic practioner demonstrated how she accessed a person's health needs through a unique synthesis of a variety of techniques. She insists a person's (or an animal's) body will give a clear 'yes' or 'no' for diagnostic purposes. The supine sample subject's leg 'grew' longer to indicate a 'yes'.

Even I think it needs more testing to see if it works on all individuals. But it was fascinating to watch it in process.

Afterwards, we went down to the hotel's basement (actually a parking garage which had been cleverly concealed by use of shower curtain drapes), where the hospitality area is set up. It's huge, and the din of all the people conversing is considerable. They served dinner, a chicken thing over rice, which neither Julia nor I wanted. Later, they announced availability of a vegetarian option. So we went for that, a sliced carrot and onion dish over rice. I enjoyed a small glass of pinot gris, as well.

They offer simple breakfasts, too, which are free to all the group members. Yesterdays donuts were quite tasty, supplemented by a couple of hard boiled eggs and a banana.

Today's breakfast will be similar, except it will be bagels and yogurt will also be available.

The famous writer Jean Auel is scheduled to be one of the lecturers. Julia read one of her books earlier just because she knew this writer was going to be here.

Possibly influenced by my skepticism regarding the holistic claims, "Iz Zat So?"

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