Hi, My name is Douglas Turek. You can call me Doug. I'm a witty, somewhat scruffy bookseller and happily married husband and father. I write science fiction and fantasy and poetry, some of which will show up here. Feel free to drop me a line at my first name Douglas, followed by an R, then Turek, add in the pleasing at sign, gmail, then the ubiquitous 'com'.
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Reblogged from sandynightsky  529 notes

iowawomensarchives:

Today - July 28, 2014 - is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. We’re marking the occasion by remembering Iowa women whose lives were shaped by the war.

Louise Liers, World War I nurse, by Christina Jensen

On June 28th, 1914, Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip. One month later, war broke out across Europe between two alliance systems. Britain, France, Russia, and Italy comprised the Allied powers. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire constituted the Central powers. As war raged abroad, the U.S. wrestled with the politics of neutrality and intervention. In April of 1917, President Wilson was granted a declaration of war by Congress. The United States thus officially entered the conflict alongside Allied forces.

One such woman was Clayton-native Louise Marie Liers (1887-1983), an obstetrics nurse who enrolled in the Red Cross and served in France as an Army nurse. 

Before her deployment, however, Liers was required by the American Red Cross to submit three letters “vouching for her loyalty as an American citizen.” All nurses, regardless of nationality, were similarly required to provide three non-familial references testifying to this effect. While questions of loyalty and subversion are exacerbated in any war, America’s domestic front was rife with tension driven by geography, class, and ethnicity that raised fears and stoked national debate in the years leading up to America’s engagement in the Great War.

Arriving in 1918, Liers was stationed in the French town of Nevers where she treated wounded soldiers.  During this time Liers wrote numerous letters home to her parents and brother describing her duties and conditions of life during the war.

In a letter to her brother, featured below, Liers described her journey to France from New York City, with stops in Liverpool and Southampton.

When Liers arrived in 1918, Nevers was only a few hours away from the Allied offensive line of the Western Front.  She was assigned to a camp that served patients with serious injuries and those who required long-term care.  Liers noted in a 1970 interview that, by the end of the war, as fewer patients with battle wounds arrived, her camp began to see patients with the “Asian flu,” also known as the 1918 influenza outbreak that infected 500 million people across the world by the end of the war.

In letters home, and in interviews given later, Liers described pleasant memories from her time in service, including pooling sugar rations with fellow nurses to make fudge for patients.  Nurses could apply for passes to leave camp and Liers was thus able to visit both Paris and Cannes.  In an interview Liers recalled that, serendipitously, she had requested in advance a leave-pass to travel into town for the 11th of November, 1918. To her surprise, that date turned out to be Armistice Day, and she was able to celebrate the end of the war with the citizens of Nevers.

Along with her cheerier memories, however, Liers’s papers also describe the difficulties of caregiving during war.  She described Nevers as a town “stripped of younger people” due to the great number of deaths accrued in the four years of war.  In later interviews Liers offered many accounts of the grim surroundings medical staff worked under, from cramped and poorly equipped conditions, to unhygienic supplies, such as bandages washed by locals in nearby rivers, which she remembered as “utterly ridiculous from a sanitary standpoint…they were these awful dressings. They weren’t even sterilized, there wasn’t time.”  Due to the harsh conditions and limited resources, nurses and doctors gained practical knowledge in the field. Liers recalled frustrating battles to treat maggot-infected wounds before the nurses realized that the maggots, in fact, were sometimes the best option to keep wounds clean from infection in a field hospital.

On a grimmer note, Liers wrote to her parents the following:

As I have told you before, the boys are wonderful- very helpful. When I see their horrible wounds or worse still their mustard gas burns or the gassed patients who will never again be able to do a whole days work- I lose every spark of sympathy for the beast who devised such tortures and called it warfare- last we were in Moulins when a train of children from the devastated districts came down-burned and gassed- and that was the most pitiful sight of all.

By the time the “final drive” was in motion, Base Hospital No. 14 was filled with patients to nearly double capacity, and doctors and nurses had to work by candlelight or single light bulb. Liers’ wartime service and reflections suggest a range of emotions and experiences had by women thrust into a brutal war, remembered for its different methods of warfare, inventive machinery, and attacks on civilian populations. 

Liers worked in France until 1920, and her correspondence with friends and family marks the change in routine brought on by the end of the war.  With more freedom to travel, Liers and friends toured throughout France, and like countless visitors before and after, Liers describes how enchanted she became with the country, from the excitement of Paris to the rural beauty of Provence.

Following the war, Liers returned to private practice in Chicago, and later Elkader, where she was regarded as a local institution unto herself, attending over 7,000 births by 1949.  She was beloved by her local community, which gifted her a new car in 1950 as a sign of gratitude upon her retirement.

Louise Lier’s World War I scrapbook and other items from the University of Iowa’s World War I collections will soon be available in Iowa Digital Library.

Want more? Visit the Iowa Women’s Archives! We’re open weekly Tuesday-Friday, 10:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

A list of collections related to Iowa women and war can be found here.

The most fascinating thing I’ve read today!

Reblogged from whitneymcn  33 notes

whitneymcn:

Khruangbin - A Calf Born In Winter

I couldn’t pick anything better for this morning.

fred-wilson:

i heard this on Songza’s Lush Life channel yesterday and i was like “what the fuck is this?” so i pulled out my phone, saw that the band was called KhruangBin, went to SoundCloud, and i’ve been obsessed with their sound for the rest of the day and night. they call it Thai Funk. I call it awesome.

This is mellow, chill, bluesy music.  I’m pretty sure I could listen to this for hours.  This is perfect background music.  I am loving it.  They have two EPs on Amazon; I think I’m going to get both.

Reblogged from celluloidfire  615 notes

Actor/Actress Survey

cinenthusiast:

cinenthusiast:

Put an actor or actress in my ask and I’ll give you:
A. First film I saw them in
B. Favorite performance
C. Favorite film they appear in
D. Last film I watched them in
E. If I were forced to pick a weaker performance
F. Underappreciated performance
G. Film you haven’t seen with them that you’d most like to
H. Least favorite film they appeared in

http://celluloidfire.tumblr.com/ask

go for it.

Reblogged from beefranck  395 notes
cloudya:

My dad was arrested a few months ago.
That’s hard to say. It’s even harder to believe.
Out of the blue, some cops showed up at my dad’s door and told him someone had accused him of theft and assault. My dad was locked up. He was subjected to a full body search and put in a jail cell. He had to spend the night there while my family scrambled to make bail.
But here’s the thing: my dad was working at the time of the alleged crime. He’s a delivery person for a pharmaceutical company. He has his clients’ signatures and paperwork, as well as their verbal confirmations that they saw him, as evidence to back him up. He has his cell phone triangulation data which puts him nowhere near the alleged victim. Moreover, my dad is not a criminal. He’s not violent. He’s 65 years old. He’s a freaking vegan.
None of this matters. All you need in order to be arrested is an accusation. The police didn’t check my dad’s whereabouts or look into the feasibility of the accuser’s story. They didn’t care. The reality of the justice system is that you are guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.
And good luck with that because it’s going to cost you.  Bail fees, attorney fees, court fees – my dad has had to deal with all of them. And then, to make matters worse, his company fired him because he now has an arrest record.
What about the accuser?  It has since surfaced that he’s acquainted with of one of the men on my dad’s delivery route. This man was angry because my dad refused to leave deliveries on without obtaining a signature. My dad refused to do this because it’s against the law. He is required to get a signature. So this man concocted a way to teach my dad a lesson. He supplied his friend with my dad’s name and description, and he got him to tell a lie. A lie that has cost my dad his job, his savings, and his pride. A lie that is still hanging over him as court dates get pushed back and back and back.
The evidence is with my dad.  His case is open and shut. He is innocent. Unfortunately, prosecutors keep asking for and receiving more time to prepare. This has now dragged on for over 7 months. Until he gets his hearing, my dad is unable to work. He has to pay his lawyer’s retainer. He has to pay the mortgage. He has to make ends meet.
My dad has paid over $14,000 in legal fees. Now he’s unemployed and still owes upwards of $7500. My brother and I have given him everything we have. And still, the costs keep piling up. We are drowning.
I’ve started a fund to raise money for my dad. If you can donate just one dollar or two, it would help us out so much. If you can’t, please consider reblogging? Anything you can do – anything at all – would be incredibly appreciated.
The truth is that this isn’t the kind of thing you want to share with the world.  I don’t want to stand, hat-in-hand, before my friends and say, “help me.” But I have to. For my dad, who taught me that we do whatever we can to help the ones we love. He has always, always fought for me. So it’s my turn to fight for him.

cloudya:

My dad was arrested a few months ago.

That’s hard to say. It’s even harder to believe.

Out of the blue, some cops showed up at my dad’s door and told him someone had accused him of theft and assault. My dad was locked up. He was subjected to a full body search and put in a jail cell. He had to spend the night there while my family scrambled to make bail.

But here’s the thing: my dad was working at the time of the alleged crime. He’s a delivery person for a pharmaceutical company. He has his clients’ signatures and paperwork, as well as their verbal confirmations that they saw him, as evidence to back him up. He has his cell phone triangulation data which puts him nowhere near the alleged victim. Moreover, my dad is not a criminal. He’s not violent. He’s 65 years old. He’s a freaking vegan.

None of this matters. All you need in order to be arrested is an accusation. The police didn’t check my dad’s whereabouts or look into the feasibility of the accuser’s story. They didn’t care. The reality of the justice system is that you are guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.

And good luck with that because it’s going to cost you.  Bail fees, attorney fees, court fees – my dad has had to deal with all of them. And then, to make matters worse, his company fired him because he now has an arrest record.

What about the accuser?  It has since surfaced that he’s acquainted with of one of the men on my dad’s delivery route. This man was angry because my dad refused to leave deliveries on without obtaining a signature. My dad refused to do this because it’s against the law. He is required to get a signature. So this man concocted a way to teach my dad a lesson. He supplied his friend with my dad’s name and description, and he got him to tell a lie. A lie that has cost my dad his job, his savings, and his pride. A lie that is still hanging over him as court dates get pushed back and back and back.

The evidence is with my dad.  His case is open and shut. He is innocent. Unfortunately, prosecutors keep asking for and receiving more time to prepare. This has now dragged on for over 7 months. Until he gets his hearing, my dad is unable to work. He has to pay his lawyer’s retainer. He has to pay the mortgage. He has to make ends meet.

My dad has paid over $14,000 in legal fees. Now he’s unemployed and still owes upwards of $7500. My brother and I have given him everything we have. And still, the costs keep piling up. We are drowning.

I’ve started a fund to raise money for my dad. If you can donate just one dollar or two, it would help us out so much. If you can’t, please consider reblogging? Anything you can do – anything at all – would be incredibly appreciated.

The truth is that this isn’t the kind of thing you want to share with the world.  I don’t want to stand, hat-in-hand, before my friends and say, “help me.” But I have to. For my dad, who taught me that we do whatever we can to help the ones we love. He has always, always fought for me. So it’s my turn to fight for him.