Letters for September 22, 2011

An unread article

Re “The new anti-Semitism” (Feature story, Sept. 1):

Your recent journalistic endeavor to shed light on the root causes of anti-Muslim sentiments in the U.S. is but a fluff piece to draw attention to that old favorite: anti-Semitism. Good job on the real agenda. Your newspaper can’t even try to explain, however feebly, why Americans hate Muslims without some sort of analogy as to why Muslims are hated or persecuted just like Jews. The front page of RN&R shows a distinctly Arab looking fellow with the headline, “The new anti-Semitism.” Yep, that would be the Arab fellow, another Muslim hating Jews. The story inside doesn’t even begin to touch on the root causes of anti-Arab sentiment in the United States because, you guessed it, or didn’t, the Arabs don’t control the dissemination of news in the United States. So, you may have shed light on that pesky anti-Muslim sentiment for those under-educated and ill-informed Nevadans who found that story informative. Anyone know what subliminal means?

Renate Fong

The eyes have it

It’s hypocritical of you to run that ad by Pet Folio with the sentimental quote about animals. Didn’t you not too long ago print an article about the slaughter of a cow? You eat meat, don’t you? I guess the eyes of cows, pigs and chickens don’t count as animal eyes, not like the eyes of cats and dogs, huh.

Dimitrios Collier
via email

Tragedy brings us together

In light of the recent air races tragedy, please take a moment to notice and respect the stillness in the air caused by the sadness and heroics. Many of us wonder what we can do to help. I am not a social worker or medical professional, and yet I find myself struggling to find my own way to help. I wanted to donate blood, but since I fainted the last time I had an IV, and so many others are donating, I’m not sure that is the way for me.

Through struggling to make sense of Friday’s events at the air races, I have realized that writing might be the way I can be a part of the healing. We each have skills and abilities that can contribute to supporting our community in these difficult times. There is a way for each of us to give in this time of need, even if it is just by being nicer to one another. I don’t have to know the pilot to know that he did everything he could to avoid the grandstand and spare lives of others. The 100 medical professionals in the stands who rushed to help and hundreds of other emergency personal who worked together to create the safest situation possible despite the terrible circumstances have inspired me. We need to remember every day that although we are hundreds of thousands of individuals, we are also a community. We care about each other and that caring is proven most in times of strive. Consider this every time you want to lash out at another person. When another car cuts you off, assume that it was an accident, or that perhaps that person is having a much worse day than you are, that they may be dealing with tragedy and heartache that you can’t possible know about. When you get to the front of the line at the coffee shop or store, understand that the person working is another living being who is a part of this community. Hug the ones you love and smile at those you don’t, no matter what differences separate you from them. Always assume the best, not the worst, in the people around you. You never know who has lost a job, a house, or a loved one. We must remind ourselves every morning that we are all people, and that tragedy could bring us together at any moment.

My heart goes out to the victims, their loved ones, those who helped, the witnesses, and our entire community.

Christina Camarena
via email

Cash priorities

Re “Budget torched” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Sept. 15):

This is priceless. Does anyone else hear the common theme? Over budget, inflated budget, excess, shortfall, entitlement, greed, need. Always justifiable, essential, worthwhile, patriotic, spiritual. It’s inescapable: work, school, church, government, arts, sports, entertainment, toys, fashion, home, and now … Burning Man. Families, here and abroad, struggle to feed and clothe their children, pay for housing and medical bills. Others, who have no need for a budget, follow the Dow like it’s a voice from above. Give for a temple that gets torched? Sorry, can’t fit it in my budget.

Joe Sikorski

Reach out and touch someone

Re “95!” (Feature story, Sept. 15):

Yes, I am a sore loser. I thought my short story about the two-headed person was at least worthy of including. It had a plot, unlike most of the others which come across as artsy snippets with no direction. I sent it to several of my discriminating friends—who would definitely be honest if they didn’t like it—and they all thought it was great, even first place caliber. I won’t be entering again.

Name withheld

Off the sidewalk

Re “On the road” (News, Sept. 15):

The Transportation Security Administration also pulls over freight trucks and, get this, taxis. I know this because I have friends in both trucking and taxi driving. A few weeks ago, my taxi friend told me a TSA car told him not to park partially on the sidewalk while he was waiting for a pick-up. This is typical government doing more than they’re supposed to in order to justify their bloated budgets, which means more invasive practices to undermine our liberties.

Ed Park

Hot tip

Re “The heat is on” (Gadget, Sept. 8):

Matthew Craggs did a fairly good job describing various types of food temperature measurement devices, but imparted little in the way of practical knowledge to the home chef. A knowledge of the function and limitations of two of the types of thermometers (Taylor Classic and Kintrex Infrared) would have saved the reader from wasting money on technology which is not going to tell him what he needs to know in order to measure the temperature of his food to a proper level to ensure both quality and safety. A so-called “instant read” is a gross misnomer, in that these types of thermometers require at least a 15-second equilibration time. However, the biggest drawback to bimetal stem thermometers is that they are not tip-sensitive. In fact the sensor extends from the tip to 2 inches up the length of the stem, rendering this thermometer basically useless for the measurement of thin (less than 3-inch thick) foods (burgers, chops, steaks, filets, etc). The infrared, on the other hand—and as Craggs points out—is strictly surface reading, rendering it more suitable to measuring car spark plug temperatures than food temps. As Craggs implies, it is pretty much “cool,” rather than actually useful. The Digital Fork Thermometer is the closest to actually being what the home cook needs to ensure food safety. It employs thermistor technology—a little slow, but tip sensitive, if constructed properly. I would note that there are digitals on the market, much better, and without the purposely high readings … also in the $20 range. One such is the Comark PDT300 Digital Thermometer, which features a thin 1-inch probe, making for much faster heat transfer at the tip, and therefore noticeably faster temperature readings. I am glad to see this type of article presented because people tend to overcook foods for safety, when an accurate temperature measurement would address both safety and quality. The article just requires a little more relevant investigation to render it useful to the targeted readers.

Pete Allen
Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Reno