Dec 13 2008

The Fabric of the Cosmos (book)


Review: Greene BR. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. New York: Vintage Books, 2005, ISBN 0-375-72720-5, $15.95.

The most astonishing thing about the universe is that we can understand it at all.

– Prof. Albert Einstein

One of Steve Allen’s “rules” to avoid “dumpth” requires an understanding of current theories on how the universe works. Continuing his quest to combat “dumpth” and the resulting acceptance of country-western as a form of music, the Editor offers a book that provides an overview to modern physics. This has not been an easy task. While there have been many attempts to describe ph

ysics and modern cosmology for laymen, most, frankly, fail. What seems basic and simple for a physicist will melt the brain of a layman, and some of the more cutting edge theories challenge specialists. As noted in a previous review, Hawkin’s A Brief History of Time remains the most popular book to gather dust on a nightstand. Furthermore, most high school and university introductory courses do not touch upon the significant principles and implications of General and Special Relativity other than to describe some of the weirder aspects, such as how much time slows down when you walk across a street and why you will never travel fast enough to reach the highly skilled and reasonable priced nymphomaniacs of Nimbus 9. Similarly with quantum mechanics: “we really have no idea where the electron is! It’s all probability!”

Why should anyone care? “A WARRIOR would not care about the Copenhagen school!” screams a voice in the head of the Editor. A good rhetorical question, and an indication the Editor needs to adjust his medications and/or alcohol content.

Aside from the obvious fact that we all live in the universe, and it might be “nice” to know something about it, we are beset on all sides by pseudoscience. We have “quantum thinking” and “quantum touch.” We have wild claims of magnetic bracelets and shoes. Cable news programs stream advertisements for medicinal substances that contain no active ingredients. We have large groups of screaming people who not only listen to country western music and actually know who Jeff Gordon is, they want to declare science a matter of opinion. Evolution is not a fact, it is a “theory,” demonstrating ignorance of what “theory” means in science. Said Screaming People mischaracterize accepted theories of cosmology–”how can something come from nothing?”–without understanding them. Science is really not a matter of opinion as an erudite mentor of this Editor spake: “it is a matter of fact!”

Pseudoscience and fraud thrive in the vacuum left by the complexity of modern science. If one does not know the science, how can one question the ridiculous claims? How can “something” like the universe come from “nothing?” That physicists can answer that does not really help if the answer involves mathematical arguments that makes one’s eyes bleed. The psuedoscientist and fraud merely laugh and appeal to the simplicity of their ignorance. Indeed, an out-of-work actress and some filmmakers have touted pseudoscience in a movie with the “hilarious” title of What the @#$% Do We Know in the hopes of introducing viewers not to science but the Ramtha cult! Tom Cruise denigrates Brooke Shields treating her post-partem depression while believing he is infested by the spirits of ancient aliens. The Editor will not even get into the prehistoric clams, but He will recognize ridicule for a “religion” that would force one to dump Nicole Kidman.

Compiling an introductory work for laymen proves very difficult as well-intentioned failures demonstrate. Many concepts that are “second nature” fundamentals for a physicist who had no choice other than suffer through the math that demonstrates why the “nonsense” has to be “sense.” Perhaps it is difficult for those who understand to distill their understanding to the layman. The analogies designed to explain current theories often confuse and misdirect more than enlighten. It is no wonder that layman give up or believe the simpler myths of cultists.

Based on the enthusiastic response from both physicists and laymen to Greene’s previous work, The Elegant Universe, the Editor decided to try Green’s most recent work when he found himself actually listening to Shania Twain’s music during a period when his alcohol level had reached a critical low. This is a phenomenal work that succeeds in explaining the fundamental concepts of modern cosmology. It takes the reader to the current “edge” of theory such that one can understand why concepts as odd and counter-intuitive as “multi-dimensions” and “string theory” have become mainstays in modern theory. The Editor will confess that this proved a very difficult review to compile. While Greene succeeds in distilling and explaining not only the current physical models but why physics feel that way, it takes him some time to achieve this. In previous drafts, the Editor has tried to “distill,” very unsuccessfully, some of Greene’s analogies. Each time, the Editor has stared at a twenty-page review that failed to do justice to Greene’s ability to explain a difficult concept.

To give an example, one of the more curious and provocative predictions of quantum mechanics confirmed by experiments is entanglement. Quantum mechanics holds that particles do not have a true locality, they instead have a probability. Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen objected to this, feeling that the particles do have specific properties, and quantum theories simply cannot reveal them. Quantum, argued Einstein, proves a limited theory. He and his colleagues demonstrated that quantum theories make a ridiculous prediction: particles can be related such that measurement of one determines the measurement on the other, even when separated at distances beyond which either could affect the other–including opposite ends of the Universe! The implications of entanglement have been cited in support of some of the psuedoscience the Editor has righteously denounced.

Begging the Noble Readership’s patience, the Editor will try to explain what that all means. To begin, the Editor found a reference devoted to this curious concept only to find it hopelessly dense. Greene does a far better job in his long chapter than Aczel in his entire book. The basis for Einstein’s objection and the concept of entanglement is exclusion: two particles cannot share the exact characteristics. If they share all other parameters they must have opposite “spin,” for example. Thus, when entangled electrons move in opposite directions, determination of spin on one must mean the other has the opposite spin. Entanglement seems to make intuitive sense if one believes, like Einstein and his colleagues, that both electrons actually have the specific opposite spin prior to any measurement. That is not actually the case in quantum: particles only have a probable value for these attributes until measured. Greene borrows a good analogy: if one separates a pair of gloves and sends one to Los Angeles and another to Paris, and the man who opens his package in Paris finds he has the right glove, the man in Los Angeles must have the left glove. However, quantum holds that prior to any measurement, the electrons have only a probability for the spin and measurement defines the spin. This would be the same as if the glove sent to Paris has only a probability of being either a right or a left glove, and only the opening of the package–a measurement–will convert the probable left or right glove to an actual left or right glove. How then does the glove in Los Angeles “know” to be the opposite of the Paris glove? Do not both have separate probabilities if quantum is correct, and will not, based on probability, occasions arise where both men end up with the same-handed glove? Yet, that would violate exclusion. If the Parisian glove is randomly determined to be “right” by opening the box, it must then send some “signal” to determine the glove in Los Angeles and vice a versa. Returning to particles, if they do not have a specific locality–specific parameters like spin–then the measured electron must somehow influence the other electron. If the quantum theory is true, argued Einstein and his colleagues, then measurement of the potential spin of one determines it spin and determines the spin of the other electron no matter where it is. For one electron to affect the other at a great enough distance, the influence would have to travel faster than the speed of light. Ridiculous!

Testing this objection seemed impossible: how does one demonstrate that measurement of the spin of one electron in some way defines its spin as quantum predicts rather than merely reveals it as Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen predicted? Irish physicist John Bell devised a model which described, basically, an experiment that would determine whether or not the electron has a definite value which measurement merely uncovers, or a probable value which measurement defines. Bell’s actual argument is elegant but unfathomable if one shares the mathematical ineptitude of the Editor. Greene demonstrates his skill in using an analogy which makes sense and is again far more accessible to the mathematically crippled than the reference listed.

The Editor will not leave the Noble Readership uncertain of the answer. When technology caught up to theory, experiments confirmed that Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen were correct that quantum predicted entanglement, and their objection to it was wrong. This is one of the great ironies of modern physics: what Einstein considered too strange to accept actually happens. The electron does not have specific characteristics that measurement merely reveals–the Parisian glove is randomly determined to be right or left-handed, and only when the box is opened does it become one or the other. How the Los Angeles glove “knows” to be opposite is an interesting discussion, but it does not involve the sending of any information between the two. The electrons do not communicate in such a way that breaks the speed of light. Greene gives some of the current models that try to explain why entanglement actually happens.

Entanglement is just one of the many difficult concepts that Greene successfully explains. Given that, the Editor finds it curious that Greene would risk confusion with some of his examples and analogies. For example, Greene does not discuss or explain exclusion, the basis for Einstein’s objection and the concept of entanglement. This would have made his explaining why the particles have to have opposite spin if they share all other characteristics easier to understand. Furthermore, in his discussion Greene chooses to state that the entangled electrons have the same spin. In foot- and endnotes he admits the opposite is true but wishes to avoid confusion. If a reader cannot handle the fact that entangled electrons in his model share everything else but have opposite spin, he will not make it past the title page or the more obscure works of Dick and Jane. He might as well buy the latest Neil Young album and root for Dale Ernhart, Jr. A reader having any understanding of the subject, even from other popular descriptions, will know this is wrong, while the rest will encounter problems if they consult other works. Greene introduces confusion rather than lessens it. That having been written, Greene handles the rest of his description of entanglement very effectively, more effectively than the “intended for the general audience” work the Editor references, and certainly better than any attempt the Editor tried in previous drafts.

That objection aside, Greene’s work remains a very accessible description of very difficult concepts, even for physicists. It is both reasonably priced and well-written.

--John David Morenski, M.D., Godan, Uechi-Ryu


Aczel AD. Entanglement: The Unlikely Story of How Scientists, Mathematicians, and Philosophers Proved Einstein’s Spookiest Theory. New York: Plume, 2003.

Allen S. Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking with 101 Ways to Reason Better & Improve Your Mind. New York: Prometheus Books, 1998.

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Dec 13 2008

Advanced Applications of Kata by H.Thom


Review: Uechi-ryu Karate: Advanced Applications of Katas & Applications. By Henry Thom. Available on the Uechi-ryu Store – $25

Shihan Henry Thom created this DVD for his Kyoshi requirements in 2007. Henry chose to focus on the practical applications (bunkai) of our advanced kata, Seisan and Sanseiryu. Henry began his Uechi training as one of my early students during the Hancock Dojo era. He was well known for his excellent fighting and self-defense skills, in both competitive venues and on the streets of China town, where he and his other Chinese friends were frequently the target of gangs from other areas of Boston.

Henry hasn’t forgotten the practical side of the Uechi art and this DVD provides what he considers to be many of the best techniques found in the kata. The instruction is clear and easy to follow. The DVD is a real bargain at only $25.

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Dec 13 2008

Coiling Silk Exercises by D.Mott

Review: Coiling Silk Exercises: by David Mott, Published by “Cold Mountain Uechi-ryu“.515 Logan Avenue, Toronto Canada M4K 3B3. Tel: 416-461-1358 $25.00.($20 Canadian) To order, email

A person who only fights is nothing more than a brawler.

A person who only practices his/her forms without being able to apply them, is nothing more than a dancer.

A person who theorizes about the martial arts without being able to demonstrate his/her knowledge is only an armchair theorist.

A person who practices all of these without applying the martial arts to the art of living misses the inner usefulness of all of this activity.

A person who practices all of these, applies it to the art of living and takes great pleasure from this effort, is a true martial artist.

– Martial arts master Liang Shouyu

David Mott, Uechi-ryu Karate Kyoshi and 8th degree black belt, has once again published an important martial art program that will help teachers and students understand and master a side of the martial arts often overlooked.

I’ve studied David’s eight techniques and plan to incorporate his “coiling” method of performing kata segments as a teaching method for both new and advanced students. It definitely works and helps Uechi practitioners understand the difficult concepts associated with advanced application methods. I’ve created a brief summary of David’s excellent DVD here, so he can explain in his own words what his coiling silk exercises consist of and how they can help you become a better martial artist.


Thanks to Chris McKaskell for sending us the following review. . .
I really like the DVD and the exercises. I’ll probably need a few more for the various people

“David Mott recently made a DVD of Coiling Silk Exercises he has been quietly working on and sharing with his students at Cold Mountain School, in Toronto.

There are eight exercises in total and each derives its form from various physical phrases found directly in the practice of Uechi-Ryu.

I’ve shared them with my small class and have found them to be valuable in developing body integration, a deeper understanding of breath as it relates to movement, smoothing out small muscle control issues and opening a new chapter in the way Uechi kata can be perceived.

Besides that, performing these exercises makes me feel good. 


Chris McKaskell

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Dec 13 2008

In Search of the Warrior Spirit

Featured Reviews

Name of book: In Search of the Warrior Spirit
Publisher: North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California
Copyright: 1990, 1992 by Richard Stozzi Heckler

Medical psychologist Jim Hardt is brought in to take the Green Beret team through an elaborate brain synchrony training program. In the initial session, Hardt explains the goals of the brainwave training to the men. He explains the intricacies of brainwave activity and how it can be measured and controlled. The men approve of the program, since there is a logic about it. “You can tell if you’re making progress or not. One of the troubles with meditation is that you don’t know if you’re on the right track or not”.

It was interesting the way Heckler interpreted how the warrior team of Green Berets conceived notions of gender, physical size, strength, or earning honor through combat. He recognized that the battlefield of the warrior must expand beyond the literal interpretation of war and destruction to include every moment of our lives. In order to live authentically with integrity, we must have a certain kind of courage. Ultimately Heckler defined bravery as not being afraid of yourself. “When we are no longer afraid of being who we are we act from integrity and authenticity.”

The biofeedback training is designed so that the team would learn how to consciously induce in the Alpha brainwave, which runs between 8 and 13 cycles per second and is characteristic of a relaxed yet alert, high energy state. The Alpha state is conducive to accelerated learning and creative problem solving. Over-efforting, with accompanying muscle tension, moves us out of the multi-dimensional alpha state into a more linear, less open beta state. The biofeedback monitors automatically signal the loss.

Heckler found that some of the men picked up the technique quickly and ran with it. Others, significantly the Vietnam veterans, had a much more difficult time. Combat veterans seem not only to have anesthetize their capacity for Alpha in order to cope with the stress of battle, to defend against openness and relaxation as unmanageable and perhaps too vulnerable a state. Heckler concludes that this type of training would be an excellent way to work with posttraumatic stress syndrome so common among veterans. They would be able to relearn their Alpha capabilities in a safe, supportive environment.

Heckler also noted, following the biofeedback sessions, that the Warriors aikido performance improved significantly-due to their awareness and ability to transfer the biofeedback experience into the physical movements performed on the mat.

It is interesting to note, that back in the 60s during the time that Leary, Alpert and Metzner (the LSD professors) were training at my dojo, they were involved in these very same experiments. It was their contention, one that they were not able to complete experiments with that the Uechi ryu “Sanchin experience” had the same healing qualities that Heckler observed during his work with the Green Berets in 1972.

In this modern era of the martial art knowledge, the traditional systems are being under fire for not identifying valid reasons for people to study. Initially, teachers like me were contented to offer “the ultimate” in self defense to the public. This was sufficient motivation for people to fill the dojo. Studying a traditional martial art, in a traditional manner, will provide students with all the benefits of a warrior training-minus the “realist” component – where the warrior undergoes realistic scenario applications and stress, designed to test the warrior spirit in relative safety.

Not understanding the warrior benefits of traditional martial arts, and only being aware of the superficial self defense potential, traditional martial arts suffer under the spotlight of comparison with nontraditional and basic fighting methods. In other words, if you don’t understand what you’re teaching and why you were teaching it, you will accept the condemnation of anyone who poses the question: “can you fight, using your traditional martial art, as good as Mr. X., who is a simple streetfighter?”

If the traditionalist believes that what he is doing is for the same reason as a “streetfighter”, he will soon close his doors… or relegate his reason for staying in business, based on completely different purposes-like a babysitting service or afterschool activity for children.

The traditional martial arts must have confidence in their traditional martial arts, if not understanding and believing in this, then they should engage in the kind of research that Heckler did so successfully.

Heckler used a formula of aikido, meditation and biofeedback to supplement the Green Berets “realist” training program. Traditional Uechi ryu contains all of the ingredients Hackler added to the Green Beret program, including some of the physical “realist” components contained in the regular Green Beret program.

It is my hope that someone in the Uechi ryu community will take on this challenge and confirm the multidimensional benefits of studying Uechi ryu, over and above the simplistic blocks kicks and punches that exist in the arsenal of any streetfighter.

A very interesting book and one that I would recommend to all martial artist. G.E.M. 


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Dec 12 2008

Forum Rules

Discussion Forums:
Table of Contents


Click “New Window” to view Forums in a separate window.

Please Read Carefully:

To participate in the Forums, you must register and you must use your real name. Because a few very persistant “children-at-hearts” spend all their free time sending in bogus registrations, I simply delete all dumb “usernames” like “iamadummy” immediately! If, for some reason I deleted your legitimate registration, please send me an e-mail with your full name, address, phone number (which I check) and the username you will be registering. I will then be watching for it and will activate your username.

Thanks. — GEM

Section 1(The Archives) : Uechi-ryu Online Kyohon

This section consists of the “Best of the Best” posts and threads from all the active and retired forums since 1995. The four administrators who monitor and supervise the forums are in charge of selecting the “threads” and posts added to our archives.

Please read and understand our rules!

Section 2: Community Discussions

Here are where the active discussions take place. Our rules are strictly enforced. Offending posts are deleted. Continued inappropriate behavior will result in banning.

These forums are the property of Eastern Arts. a 501-c-3 non profit corporation. The rules under which people are allowed to use these forums will be stictly enforced.

Section 3: Specialty Forums

As the name implies, this section will focus on areas with special appeal and with a smaller audience.

Section 4: Marketplace & Events

We encourage martial art dojo and seminar presenters to post their activities here. News of SummerFest will also be posted and of course, people looking for a teacher or dojo are also invited to post. Spammers please do not waste your time – your spam will be deleted.

Technical Assistance: Computer & Web

Our fourm posters include many people who are both familiar with computers and are willing to share their knowledge with our community. Our on-line learning center is for IUKF members. Monthly meetings and seminars on many subjects take place there.

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Dec 11 2008

Color yourself healthy

As you know, being active with others provides time to socialize and build relationships. Keep that in mind as the holidays approach. Remember to share delicious, healthy meals and to finish them off with some physical activity.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Sweet potatoes – Color yourself healthy
The Sweet Potato is King; a nearly perfect food that’s low in calories and sky-high in just about everything else. If you don’t eat sweet potatoes very often, or only during the holidays when they’re smothered in marshmallow goo and baked until they’re unrecognizable, you’re missing out on one of nature’s truly perfect foods. They’re high in fiber, packed with vitamins and minerals, and are great for diabetics and people who are carbohydrate sensitive. So good for you is the humble sweet potato that Nutrition Action Healthletter once rated it the number one healthiest vegetable.

The deep orange-yellow color of sweet potatoes tells you that they’re high in the antioxidant beta carotene too. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of vitamins B-6, C, E, folate and potassium. They’re fat-free and low in calorie density, meaning you can have a larger portion size without racking up the calories.

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Dec 11 2008

Healthy Lifestyle

You can and should enjoy this time of year. But remember, no matter where you are, you always have choices. Always strive to make the best decision based on your options.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Simple and Sensible
Of course you know this stuff, but in the interest of limiting the January pain, here’s a quick refresher course:

1. Change your definitions of full. After most meals, you should feel as if you could get up, go outside and take a brisk walk. Stop eating when you get to that point.

2. Make a plan. Think about where you will be, who you will be with, what foods will be available, what foods are really special to you vs. those that you could probably do without, what are your personal triggers to overeat and how you can minimize them. Once you’ve thought about all of these things, make a plan of action.

3. Quit judging yourself by the foods you eat. You’re not necessarily “good” if you eat a salad or “bad” if you eat fudge. They’re both just food. And all foods are allowed – it’s the amount you eat that you have to watch. Don’t rush through the experience.

4. Forget “all or nothing.” If you’re feeling that you’ve already “blown it” with a doughnut in the morning, don’t use that feeling as an excuse to raid the cookie jar at night. Instead, think of ways to be physically active 30 minutes a day.

5. Get a move on. In addition to burning calories, exercise is a great way to deal with stress. Exercise is the fountain of youth and one of the best investments you can make for your health. 

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Dec 11 2008

Tia likes diamonds!

We need everyone to wish us luck…


My friend Sarah gave me her diamond earings and bracelet last Friday so I could get a selling price for them from a jeweler friend. They were in a very small plastic bag so when I got home, I decided to put them in a jewelry pouch. I was interrupted by a phone call so I put the bracelet on my dresser and  the earings and bag were left on the corner of my bed.  After the call I went to put the earings in the pouch and didn’t see them. There was only the plastic bag???
I immediately thought, did Tia eat them when she came in the room?   She has NEVER touched anything in the 14.5 years I’ve had her. She was lying on the other side of the bed with her back towards me so I went over to her and saw one loose diamond in front of her.  My instinct was right. She ate one earing and the setting for the other. She must have chewed them so that one stone came loose…Thank god they weren’t huge, although she might not have touched them if they were. So we are on poop patrol   Guess we’ll have to blame the Cushings disease.
Wish us luck, no success so far. Tia had an xray Tues to make sure we didn’t miss the earing. It was still sitting in her stomach with the setting for the other diamond. The vet gave us some high fiber food to see if it would help move the earing. We go back for another xray tomorrow.


Sarah’s vet recommended endoscopy after she stopped laughing

Tia’s original vet  in MA said to try mineral oil first

Tia’s current vet recommends surgery


It probably will be cheaper to replace the diamond, but then we’ll end up checking poop for the rest of Tia’s life.


So pray that Tia passes the earing. I know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend but I always thought you wore them…


After you stop laughing, pray!!!



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Dec 11 2008

Dorothy Reitman

I am greatly saddened that we lost Dorothy Reitman last Saturday. She passed away peacefully at home in her sleep during the night.

Dorothy was well loved and I truly apologize if this is your first notice of this tragic news. I tried to contact everyone by phone before sending this out, but was unable to reach everyone.


Funeral services will be held on Thursday, December 4, at the Paoli Presbyterian Church, 225 S Valley Rd

Paoli, PA 19301. The viewing is open to the public at 10 AM. The Funeral service will be at 11 AM. A luncheon at the church will follow the service. The funeral procession will depart the church at about 1 PM. The graveside rites will be at 2 PM at Westminster Cemetery on Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd.

Here are some brief directions to the church.

From Route 30 in Paoli, take Route 252 South for about 7 tenths of a mile.


Get DirectionsRIGHT onto Waynesbourough Road, just before the Waynesbourough Country Club.

The church is about a half mile down on the right hand side of Waynesbourough Road.


Please feel free to call me if you have any questions, need better directions, or just want to talk. I keep my cell phone with me almost constantly, but I don’t always hear it when I get a call, so if you leave me a message, I will return your call asap.


Stephen V. Drehobl

Home: 610-489-4418

Cell: 610-653-4745


It is with sadness that I bring news of the passing this morning of Nidan, Dorothy Reitman.  I know she had corresponded with you on numerous occasions and she attended the Summer Training camp on two or three occasions. 

Although she was the oldest by age in our school, she exhibited a spirit that I have seen in few Kareteka over the years. When she started training 8 years ago she was a grandmother in her early 60′s. It was my pleasure and honor to watch her grow and develop over the past 8 years from a white belt to earning her Nidan two years ago.  Although she physically was not able to do many of the techniques some of us more agile practitioners perform with ease, she never let that stop her from trying.  Many times we would have to hold her back so as not to potentially injure herself!

Although she credited me with teaching her much about the practice and art of Uechi-Ryu, I think I was the one who learned as much or more from her.

She will be missed but not forgotten

Andrew Peterson

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