Hooray for Hardin
Thanks for the wonderful story by David Tenenbaum about Tom Hardin and the Memorial High forensics team ("Drama King," 5/8/09). It's heartwarming to see a story about what is right with our schools, our teachers and our students.
My daughter was a student of Hardin's and on the forensics team all four of her high school years. My wife and I got to know many of these students and had the privilege of hosting them at our home between shows.
After one tournament, I whispered to my daughter what I thought of one of her competitors. "Dad!" she stopped me. "We don't do that. Our team has class!"
I have never been around a group of people who are more accepting, inclusive, dedicated and encouraging of others. My daughter has gone on to be an integral part of the speech team at Bradley University in Peoria, where she is working toward a career in the most important job - a teacher.
How delightful to read the cover story about Tom Hardin's success. I worked with Tom at Columbus High School in 1987 when he was a student teacher in one of my sophomore English classes. Even then, he gave of his own time to find selections for our forensics students and coach members of the squad.
In several decades of coaching forensics, I've met a good number of coaches who share Tom's work ethic but none who quite meet his talent for matching students with literary selections and bringing out their best.
Evelyn Dickmann, Milwaukee
Burger story aftertaste
This responds to your story on veggie burgers ("Rebuilding the Burger," 4/24/09, and "Letters," 5/8/09). If you peruse the anti-soy literature on the net (e.g., www.raypeat.com), you'll find it actually should be avoided by humans because of its powerful and dangerous "estrogenic" effects.
Its high tryptophan content, lignan, phytoestrogens, etc., are all pro-inflammatory and pro-carcinogenic. If the soy is made into "natto" via the use of traditional Japanese methods, it is safe to consume, but "soy protein" is simply not healthy to eat.
Edward Reich, Janesville
"The hamburger may be destroying life as we know it." Really? I can appreciate that eating meat is not as efficient as eating plants, but I would hardly call the beef hamburger a villain. I find two major problems with your article.
First, it ignores that methane can be reused as an energy source to power the very farms where these cows are living. Second, the article makes it sound like cows are at the top of the CO2 emissions pyramid. But our diets are only a fraction of the energy we consume.
Maybe we should concentrate more on our consumption of energy than our consumption of red meat. After all, we are biologically built to be omnivores.
Carol Warden, Middleton
Beware of turbines
Nowhere in your article on wind turbines ("Is the Answer Blowin' in the Wind?", 5/8/09) are references to the potentialimpacts on human healthofliving close to them. On the northeastcoast of Prince Edward Island, Canada, where wind turbines have appeared in the last five years, there are numerous reports ofnervous system disorders, includingchronic insomnia.
Whether it is the constant, almost sub-audible sound or something else isunknown. But we should proceed with caution. So often we embrace technology without understanding it.
Adam da man
Thank you for your unabashed support of Adam Lambert ("A Star Is Born on American Idol," 5/15/09). There are a lot of articles claiming that "Adam will probably win, but we'd like to see Kris win." They seem to think that the "nice, humble guy" ought to win it because he's nice and humble - because he's not as outstanding as Adam. That just doesn't make sense to me. Adam is a seriously nice guy and a confident performer. He's worked just as hard as (if not harder than) Kris for this title.
Kellene Giloff, Laguna, Calif.