Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Betty MacDonald and four eyes

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can win the most interesting Betty MacDonald fan club items.

You only have to answer this Betty MacDonald fan club contest question:

Do you know anything of the eye sight of Betty MacDonald and her sister Mary Bard Jensen? ( see also very interesting article below )

Too difficult? I'd say a real Betty MacDonald fan club fan can answer this question very easily.

Deadline:   April 30, 2016

Despite some Betty MacDonald experts there is always something new under the sun after all those years.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to include all these new details and info in updated Betty MacDonald biography.

More info in Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter April.

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Betty MacDonald, Claudette Colbert and the other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's new project Vita Magica.

I hope Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli will be able to solve some very important problems.



Don't miss this very special book, please.

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  

Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles

'I may now be a four eyes, but I'm not the only one going blind'

Telegraph writer Joe Shute, who has just been given his first pair of glasses at the age of 30, may not like it, but he is part of a "short-sighted epidemic" now sweeping the world

Joe Shute wearing his new glasses
Joe Shute wearing his new glasses Photo: Julian Simmonds
Like most great revelations, it occurred late at night on a street corner. I was walking home - sober, I should add – with my fiancée down Seven Sisters Road, the busy London thoroughfare near to where we live. As we approached our turning, I saw, no more than a few feet away, what I thought to be an urban fox.

“Look, it’s just sitting there looking at us,” I shouted. She followed my gaze to what turned out to be, in fact, a large upturned brown paper KFC bag squatting on the pavement. I was booked in for an eye test the very next morning. Yesterday, I was presented with my first pair of glasses.

I say revelation, but deep down I had seen this coming – albeit through rather blurred eyes. I had noticed I was going home with headaches following a day’s tapping away at my computer keyboard; the various names of worldwide cities on the clocks suspended above the Telegraph newsroom had long stopped making sense. New Delhi looked like New York. If you’d asked me to point towards Moscow I could very easily have sent you in the direction of Sydney.

Yet I had suffered in silence, reluctant to confess my ailment. Glasses have, of course, nowadays been reborn as a fashion essential – watch Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Junior swanning around in theirs. But I am a child of the Eighties and Nineties where glasses were most certainly not cool.

Arnie and Bruce Willis were shades or nothing type of guys. Hulk Hogan would most likely snatch them off and kick sand in your face. Later in life I never bothered with Harry Potter and his thick round specs held together with scotch tape. Give me Lord of the Rings every time, and Legolas’s elven acuity.

Our eyes are fading and nobody quite knows why

Perhaps part of the reason glasses are now so resolutely back in style, is that ever more of us need them. A report published in the respected science journal Nature a few weeks ago claimed short-sightedness is now reaching epidemic proportions. This so-called “myopia boom” is most pronounced in East Asia: 90 per cent of teenagers and young adults in China are short-sighted; in Seoul, 96.5 per cent of 19-year-old men suffer the same affliction. By some estimates, one-third of the world's population — 2.5 billion people — could be affected by short-sightedness at the end of this decade and Europe has also witnessed a dramatic increase in the condition. In Britain, two million people experience sight loss of some sort or another – a number that by 2050 will double. Partly this is down to an an ageing population where ever more pensioners are busy assuring worried relatives that their eyes have never been better – even as they reach for a toffee in the pot pourri. But problems are particularly pronounced among the young, with up to one million children presumed to currently have undiagnosed vision problems. 
The reasons for this boom are varied, but it is increasingly thought that – as the Nature study points out - a lifestyle largely spent indoors staring at computer screens is exacerbating the issue. Fresh air is now seen by researchers as crucial to preserving our eyesight. It was not for nothing that renowned British eye surgeon Henry Edward Juler wrote in A Handbook of Ophthalmic Science and Practice in 1904 that when “the myopia had become stationary, change of air — a sea voyage if possible — should be prescribed”. And then there are the genes. Research has identified 26 genes linked to short-sightedness. Children with one short-sighted parent have a one in three risk of developing myopia, if both parents are short-sighted, that risk increases to one in two. A quick scan of family photographs told me – as with hair loss – I didn’t come from particularly good stock with regard to poor sight. But even in my mid 20s my vision seemed perfectly fine so I thought I had escaped. While presbyopia – age-related long-sightedness – sets in for many around the age of 40; for some, eyesight can continue to improve until then. 

Orlando Bloom as the keen-eyed Legolas in Lord of the Rings 
  As Karen Sparrow, head of professional development at the Association of Optometrists, explains, your eyes continue to develop in adulthood. “Generally people don’t realise your eyes are changing and growing well into your twenties. Some people think they have got to 16 and 17 and that is that.” In my case, I was told I have developed an astigmatism in each eye (the term for an irregular shaped cornea or lens). This distortion exacerbates my prescription of -075 – a minor one, I know, in the competitive game of who is the blindest which I now realise takes place between spectacle wearers. But what a difference my new glasses have made. As soon as I slipped them on the world burst into extraordinary clarity and has remained so ever since. I have realised I had previously been reading newspapers at a distance of about two inches from my face, where now I can hold them aloft to peruse like a gentleman of leisure at a country club. I no longer hunch in quite such wizened fashion over my computer screen. Occasionally, I look down just below the lens and see my old world swirling nauseously out of focus. 

Michael Caine shows how to wear a pair in the 1965 film The Ipcress File 
As for getting used to actually now being a four eyes at the age of 30, well, that will take a little longer. As I walked out of the opticians and caught a glimpse of my reflection in a shop window, there was a part of me that thought of the scorn my younger self would no doubt pour. This was not helped by stumbling twice on the pavement on the way to the tube as I got used to my new eyes. But a blow to one’s ego is a small price to pay for the gift of knowing the difference between a KFC wrapper and a fox. And the present time in Moscow, since you ask, is 17:38. 

Betty MacDonald Fan Club proudly presents:

The amazing, very witty, charming, intelligent story written by our brilliant Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member - artist and writer Letizia Mancino.


Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
Translated by D. Tsiaprakas

Betty, I love you! Your books „Anybody can do anything“ and „Onions in the Stew“ are really outstanding! I take them into my hand, and at a stone's throw I am right away in America ! Columbus and the egg: The great discovery!

Your bestseller „The Egg and I“ the greatest discovery. And you and I! I know America: It's true what you are writing: That's America: Absolutely right! No, even to the least detail! The landscape and the passion: Do you know the country where pistols blossom? Brava, Betty, you are describing the Americans vividly, genuinely, insufferably, brushed upon paper. If I like to read your works? To read doesn't even express it! I can even hear and see everything: Nature, culture, subculture.

America has almost remained unchanged! O those cool Americans! Calculating, stockmarket, Wall Street, the financial crisis (even back in 1930), the gamblers, the bankruptcy of companies! The swarming of dodgers and cheaters. People left without money. Dispair und hunger! A terrible „Worst Case“ (when I knew but little English I thought it is sausage with cheese).

Still how impressive is the ability to adaptone self of the Americans: They know how to enjoy life, acrobats of survival! In the twinkle of an eye they achieved to adapt themselves and effect the work of pioneers: In the morning you are a cleaningwoman, in the evening a brothel woman! No problem!

„The insufficient, here it's becoming an event; The indescribable, here it's done;“ Mary Bard Jensen, your sister, was the treasure trove of procuring work: My word, what a power woman with unlimited imagination! She has recommended you everywhere: Betty can do everything, also write novels! Go ahead, sister, hurry up! The editor wants to see your manuscripts! Up to that point you had not written a single line! Wow! And if still everything goes wrong? No problem: When you dream, dream big!

Just look, you have become famous.The Egg and I You know that, Betty? I'll slip into „The Egg and I“ and come and be your guest! I want to get to know your chickens. I hate chickens! I'm a chickens slave from North America! O Betty, without these damned animals, no chance of you becoming famous! „The Egg and I“ you would never have written! How many readers you have made happy!

Your book is so amusing! Your witty fine (almost nasty) remarks about your family members and roundabout neighbours made me laugh so much! You have been born into a special family: Comfort was not desired: I can't but be amazed: What did your father say to your mother? After tomorrow I am going to work elsewhere: Thousands of miles away...He sent her a telegram: LEAVING FOR TWO YEARS ON THURSDAY FOR MEXICO CITY STOP GET READY IF YOU WANT TO COME ALONG – That was on Monday. Mother wired back: SHALL BE READY, and so she was.That's America! Improvisation, change, adventure. You show no weakness: Let's go! Your descriptions, Betty, about the tremendous happenings in nature have deeply frightened me.

Continent America, I'm terrified by you! I feel so small and threatened like a tiny fly before an enormous flyswatter! Your novel is very many-sided! The reader may use it even as a cook book! „The Egg and I“ starts straight away with a recipe: „Next to the wisdom that lamb meat doesn't taste good unless it has been roasted with garlic“. Do you enjoy the American food?

O Betty, it's too fatty for me and I hate garlic! (Betty is presently cooking lunch for Bob. She's continually talking to „STOVE“: STOVE is Bob's rival; in the beginning I thought it was being himself). She turns round and says: Well, so no garlic for you. No lamb either, Betty. I don't eat any meat! I'd actually prefer only fried eggs. Betty, let me make them myself. Then you try it!

Blow! „STOVE“ out of order! I don't succeed in turning it on! Damned! It's got more of a mind of its own than „STOVE“ of my friend, Hilde Domin! Bob's coming! He must eat directly! „Men eat anything, the swines! Says your grandmother Gammy“. Is it true? Do you like my chickens? Bob asked me without introducing himself. Yes, Bob (rude) I love them! I'm vegetarian. Do you want to clean the henhouse with me tomorrow? A, you're always getting up so early at four o'clock! Bob, that's not a job for me! He looked at me disdainfully! A Roman cissy! You need a reeducation at once! Help, Bob's attacking me! I rather change the novel immediately and move to the „Island“! 

Turkey demands Germany prosecute comedian for Erdogan insult

Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians
Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians Credit: Alamy 
Angela Merkel is facing a political dilemma after Turkey demanded one of Germany’s most popular comedians face prosecution for insulting its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The row could jeopardise the EU’s controversial migrant deal with Turkey.
The German government confirmed on Monday it had received a “formal request” from Turkey over the weekend indicating it wishes to press charges in the case.
If Mrs Merkel agrees to allow the prosecution, she will face accusations of limiting free speech to placate the authoritarian Mr Erdogan.
But if she refuses it could put the migrant deal with Turkey, which she personally brokered, at risk.
Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians, faces up to five years in prison over a poem in which he referred to Mr Erdogan as a “goat-f*****” and described him as watching child pornography.
Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.
Any prosecution also requires the express authorisation of the German government — leaving Mrs Merkel in a difficult position.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Angela Merkel
Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Angela Merkel Credit:  Axel Schmidt/AP

Turkey was previously thought to be prepared to let the matter lie after Mrs Merkel personally intervened with a phone call to Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, and issued a public condemnation of the poem.
But the demand to press charges makes it clear Turkey intends to force her government to make a decision over the case.
A spokesman said the German government would “consider the request carefully” before coming to a decision.
Any impression the government is willing to sacrifice free speech to placate Mr Erdogan could prove highly damaging to Mrs Merkel.
Mr Böhmermann is hugely popular in Germany and could quickly become seen as a popular martyr.
He has defended his poem as a satirical response after Turkey summoned the German ambassador to complain about a song mocking Mr Erdogan that was aired on German television.

He said it was intended to show the Turkish president the difference between satire and slander.
“This kind of attack, including insults and rude statements to a country's president and also targeting a society, has nothing to do with freedom of expression or with press freedom,” Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Mr Erdogan claimed.
Mrs Merkel’s spokesman  said it would take her government several days to consider the request, but stressed her commitment to freedom of  speech. “Free speech is not negotiable, either at home or abroad,” Steffen Seibert told a press briefing in Berlin.
“I am saying this to counter the impression freedom of opinion and art...is no longer important for the chancellor just because she, along with other Europeans, wants to resolve the refugee question in partnership with Turkey.”