Letters for March 4, 2010

Are you ready for some football?

Re “Ad Watch” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 25):

It is apparent that Cecilia Soper has a bone to pick with someone over the “pro-life” ad that aired during the Super Bowl. It is also apparent that she is picking that bone with the wrong group. The NFL does not pick and choose which ads appear during its games. The ad in question was not an NFL ad as Ms. Soper asserts. The ad was placed by an organization called Focus on the Family, and it was placed through CBS, not the NFL.

It is disheartening to see people mouthing off about subjects they obviously know very little about.

Ed Petersen
via email

Ghost buster

Re “Delayed reaction” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 25):

Congratulations to Kim Walker on cashing in on the United States’s most recent burgeoning commodity, “ghost hunting.” The fact that you’ve “seen and felt things” that would make the hair on my neck stand up is fine and dandy, but it is a namby pamby notion at best if you think that this is “evidence.” For it to be “evidence,” the rules of evidence need to apply. Occam’s razor would recommend a selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question. So rather than anthropomorphize every single sound and unexplainable light nuances seen from the corner of your eye, wouldn’t it seem more logical to postulate that in an old (100-plus-year old), settling, wooden, empty, dark building, there will be noises … there will be creeks … there will be unexplainable experiences, but to make the grand assumption that you are contacting anything otherworldly seems contrary to what the “rules of evidence” would actually dictate. Beyond that, your “evidence” makes the very broad assumptions that there are ghosts. Digital sound recordings of unexplainable noises are ghosts. Digital photographs with unexplainable imagery are ghosts. Simply because an area has a torrid past, then there are ghosts in the proximity. And finally, that with the technology that is now being sold as “science” on every major cable network (to merely sell ad space none the less), that the techniques and equipment you employ actually give you the opportunity to make “contact” with said ghosts that you claim are there. I’m guessing William of Occam would be turning in his grave if he saw how many assumptions surround this industry of “ghost hunting.” It does sell plenty of ad space on cable networks. Just for curiosity’s sake, have you never heard even one quail rustling in a bush at night? It can sound like an entire football team charging a fort, but that doesn’t make it a ghost. Just as likely, the least assumption would dictate that an unexplained sound should be ruled out as a bird, bug, stick or mouse first, but doesn’t immediately assume ghost if all else fails. I agree in every way, shape and form about the Mucker though. As a fourth generation native Northern Nevadan, I find it almost impossible to beat!

Ben Chavez

Toucha toucha toucha touch me

Re “Tantra: It’s not what you think” (Feature story, Feb. 11):

In our workshops and book, we describe “tantric sex” as an experience of bonding and connecting with your partner. So many couples experience a lack of this level of intimacy. The gift of Tantra is that it has made us aware of what is possible and given us ways of accessing this amazing experience of deep love on all levels—physical, emotional and spiritual. And yes, when signing up for a workshop, be sure to ask whatever questions you might have about the facilitator and the environment.

Diana Daffner
Author, Tantric Sex for Busy Couples

Siesta Key, Florida

A sacred institute

Re “Tantra: It’s not what you think” (Feature story, Feb. 11):

A reader wrote to inquire about the credentials of Ms. Rizzoli, to be a “sex educator.” An editor noted that Ms. Rizzoli trained at “an institute in Hawaii.” Does this institute have a name and accreditation?

A quick Google Search turned up these institutes:

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology

Hawaii Institute for Astronomy

Hawaii Institute of Hair Design

Hawaii Institute for Human Rights

Hawaii Institute of Real Estate

Hawaii Institute of Healing Arts

Hawaii Institute for Molecular Sciences

Hawaii Institute of Intensive English

And, my two personal favorites (since we are, after all, talking about sex here):

Hawaii Institute for Human Services

Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs

Valerie P. Cohen

Editor’s note: I contacted Lisa Rizzoli, and here is her abridged reply: I have completed the first module of the Divine-Feminine Institute [in Hawaii]. I work closely with my mentors Caroline Muir, Joan and Tomas Hartfield and Amrita Grace from the Institute in regards to workshops that I present.

I have a BS in Elementary Education from UNR and completed the requirements for a master’s degree in anthropology. I hold an AFAA group fitness certification and a Level 3 HoopGirl HoopDance Instructor Certification. I am in the process of ACE Personal Trainer Certification.

Nixon’s gold

Re “Snow days” (Feature story, Feb. 18):

I was one of the hundreds of incredibly fortunate local high school students chosen to prepare for and perform at the opening ceremonies of the VIII Winter Olympics. I was a junior at Carson High School. We practiced long and hard. I played trumpet and sang in the CHS choir and was allowed to choose which group to perform in, the bands or choirs. Knowing the weather would be very cold, I opted for choir, not looking forward to putting my lips on to a freezing trumpet mouthpiece.

On the great day, we left Carson very early, about 6 a.m. It was still dark, and snowing hard. Somewhere along the route we had to stop to put chains on the bus. By the time we arrived at Squaw, there were about 10 inches of new snow on the ground, very cold, still snowing, a huge crowd. Everyone was extremely excited; we hardly noticed the cold.

As we assembled outdoors for the opening ceremony, we were all getting pretty worried as the snow was deepening and heavy, dark cloud completely covered the entire area. Vice President Nixon was introduced, and as he announced, “I now pronounce these Eighth Winter Olympic Games to be open,” or words pretty close to those, the snow suddenly stopped, the clouds miraculously parted, and a bright beam of sunlight shone down on him, gradually widening out over the assembled crowd. We could hardly believe our eyes. Many of us were so stunned and choked up we could hardly sing. But sing we did, and really put our hearts into it. It was one of the most amazing emotional experiences I’ve ever had in my 66 years, and the recollection of it washes over me as I write. Many of us—no, most, I think—believed that God smiled on all of us and blessed our efforts that special day.

Jack Cooney
Carson City