Sunday, April 30, 2006

Help girls fly (and achieve other fantastic feats) by being a presenter or sponsor at a Sally Ride Science Festival

ABSTRACT - Help wanted: women with expertise in engineering, mathematics, science and technology to lead hands-on workshops for girls and adults at Sally Ride Science Festivals. Presenter roles are pro bono, but high profile. Also welcome are sponsors to send one or more girls to the festivals, educators, parents, street fair exhibitors and other interested adults.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Kevin S. Barrow blogged an important announcement in: "Home of the Soul Cookie � Blog Archive � Sally Ride Science Fair [sic] needs presenters." This posting passes it on. Specifically, women with expertise in engineering, mathematics, science and technology are needed to lead hands-on workshops for girls and adults at the Sally Ride Science Festivals, whose focus is:

5th-8th grade girls, trying to get them more interested in the fields of Science, Technology (all forms, inc. Computing), Engineering and Math, since they are so underrepresented in those fields at a professional level.

- Click here to access the source and details for presenters

Also needed are sponsors to send one or more girls to the festivals. The $18 registration fee covers lunch, the street fair, workshops and keynote speech. Street fair exhibitors, parents, teachers and other interested adults are welcome to participate, too. As describes:
The street fair has music, face painters, and about 30 booths and exhibits (for example: making slime, looking through telescopes). Some of the booths have giveaways; there are no vendors, but there is a merchandise booth with t-shirts, books and other items.
Dr. Sally Ride is a former astronaut and the first woman to orbit in space. Biographies such as Pioneering Astronaut Sally Ride: A Myreportlinks.Com Book (Space Flight Adventures and Disasters) by Henry M. Holden describe her exciting and illustrious nine-year career with NASA's highly selective astronaut program. Dr. Ride now serves on the faculty of the University of California at San Diego and heads the California Space Institute. Her concern about the lack of women scientists and engineers inspired her to found Sally Ride Science, whose mission is:

Empowering girls to explore the world of science—from astrobiology to zoology and everything in between!

The home page describes that its mission is accomplished:
Through our innovative science programs and our award-winning science publications, Sally Ride Science informs and inspires year round.
The innovative Sally Ride Science Festivals and other Sally Ride Science Programs (which include Toy Challenges and Science Camps) are not just empowering, informative and inspiring. They are downright fun! Karen Flammer, senior vice president of Sally Ride Science and a research physicist at the University of California, San Diego described to LA Daily News reporter Valerie Kuklenski:

Girls get to see hundreds of other girls spending a weekend day at a festival to do math and science and engineering activities, and it's in the context of a DJ playing music, it's in the context of food." [...] "All the workshops are very fun, hands-on workshops. Somebody's not standing up in front of the classroom lecturing to them. They're actually letting them take DNA out of the strawberry or calculate the density of chocolate, so they can see that science is fun, and they can share it with their friends.

- Kuklenskito, Valerie. "Girl Power. There is chemistry there - and math, physics and biology, too." March 22, 2006. LA Daily News. Accessed online.

Moreover, participation can exponentially expand girls' horizons, overcome peer pressure to "dumb themselves down" and boost their self-esteem. Documentation of a positive correlation between girls' self-esteem and academic performance (click here to access relevant sources) underscores why Sally Ride Science programs and publications are extremely valuable, even for girls who are not going to become rocket scientists. Said Flammer, in the above-referenced article about the festivals:
It certainly isn't academic ability that's causing the disproportionate number of girls and boys (in higher-level science classes)," said Flammer in that same article. "So what Sally Ride Science is trying to do with our workshops, our camps, our toy challenge competition, our publications is we are targeting girls, and we're trying to show them how fun and interesting all these fields are, that you don't have to be this typical geeky male to be a chemist or a biologist or engineer, that other girls also like doing what they're doing.
Adult tracks at the Sally Ride Festivals teach educators, parents and other significant grown-ups in girls' lives how to encourage girls to reach for the stars - no matter what spheres they ultimately land in. Grown-ups can register to hear the keynote speaker and participate in the street fair along with the girls, as well as learn at Discovery Workshops for Adults how to promote gender equity inside and outside of the classroom, and how to help girls benefit from science, math and technology resources. Teachers can also earn professional development credits.
The next Sally Ride Festival will be at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field on Sunday, May 21. Those interested in participating should contact Jennifer Kremer, Click the following links to access the schedule of upcoming festivals and details about the Toy Challenge and Science Camps for 6th-9th grade girls.

Now that you’ve received this message, I hope that you will:

  • Click the link to read the full text of that message,
  • Spread the word about this and other Sally Ride Science initiatives,
  • Consider presenting at a Sally Ride Science Festival if you're female and one of the above-mentioned fields is your forte (click here for details),
  • Sponsor one or more girls to attend a Sally Ride Science Festival (click here for details),
  • Encourage girls and parents, educators, street fair exhibitors, sponsors and other interested adults to participate.

This piece will also be published at, a sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, technology, and politics.###

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Roundup of the April 26, 2006 "Lisa Tolliver Show" radio broadcast on WVOX AM 1460

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - My announcement of "Black-chelor" Flavor Flav's decision to postpone today's interview until June (when he'll return from abroad and will promote his upcoming project) left a bad taste in some listeners' mouths. However, some who'd been biting at the bit in anticipation of Flav's "Lisa Tolliver Show" appearance (and others) reported that today's show served up more than fair compensation. Here's why: the featured guest was the legend, the icon, of tv and radio, the King of Memorabilia, the Knight of Nostagia (not to mention author, restauratur and A-list celebrity in his own right): Joe Franklin.

Featured Guest: Joe Franklin

Here's how SquareOne Publishers (who carry his books), introduce Joe on their Authors page:

Joe Franklin began his remarkable show biz career as a New York talk-and-variety show host in 1951. His show's format set the standard for many other shows of this type that followed. His guest list reads like a who's who of celeb royalty: Rudy Vallee, George Jessel, Otto Preminger, Ronald Reagan, Barbra Streisand, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, the Jackson Five--and that's just for starters. Joe holds the Guinness Book of World Records for hosting the most TV shows--31,015 in all. Although Joe's TV show ended in 1988, currently, he can be heard nationally on Bloomberg Radio as a regular commentator. In addition, Joe Franklin's Memory Lane theme restaurant, located in the Broadway district of Manhattan, has opened to rave reviews.

During the interview, this charming, humorous, larger-than-life pal of today's "Lisa Tolliver Show" co-host Ray Aydelott and of our sponsor, Whitney Radio owner Bill O'Shaughnessy, demonstrated the wit, humor and graciousness that has captivated audiences for the past five-plus decades. During that time, he has logged a Guinness World Record for hosting over 31,000 talk shows and over half a million guests and is archived at Joe also recently published his 24th book, Joe Franklin's Great Entertainment Trivia Game: A Buzztime Trivia Series Book, and is hosting Friday and Saturday night comedy shows at TGI Friday's on West 50th Street in Manhattan. It's become traditional for younger talk show hosts, such as Joe's pal Conan O'Brien, to book Joe as a guest for their inaugural broadcasts, as well as invite him back for recurring appearances. Joe shared this secret: numerous talk show hosts have come and gone but the ones with longevity are sincere. "Once you learn to fake that," he quipped, you'll be ok.

There's so much I can learn from this legend and I really like him. Ray and I will accept his offer to visit Memory Lane Restaurant, where he'll buy us a glass of water. Moreover, it will be fun to check out Joe's memorabilia and mingle with his celebrity patrons. We'll stop by on our way to cover the Tribeca Film Festival. For more information about Joe Franklin, please visit

The King Charles Unicyle Troupe will perform at the TriBeCa Film Festival on Saturday:

Following Ray's and my interview with Joe, I stood in for scheduled guest David Reid, who played hooky from today's show to prepare for his performance this Saturday, May 6 at 4 p.m. with the King Charles Unicyle Troupe at the TriBeCa Film Festival-Family Festival annual Street Fair on the North Stage. [NOTE: check the Street Fair schedule on the day of, as it is subject to change.]

WEVR-MRC Emergency Preparedness Tip #4:
Westchester Emergency Volunteer Corps-Medical Reserve Corps (WEVR-MRC) representative Marianne Partridge shared WEVR-MRC Emergency Preparedness Tip #4: SAFELY HANDLING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. It can mean the difference between life and death during a disaster or emergency. Click here to read it.###

How to access my article - "Movie Review: Madea's Family Reunion" - at

Abstract: The film and play are different, not repetitive. Great fun. Pistol packin' grandma Madea loaded many dead-serious and inspirational messages into this scenic gem. Filed under: Video, Review, Video: Comedy

Want to read more? You may click here to read the article published at and here to read other articles that my colleagues and I have published at that sinister [but critically and popularly acclaimed] cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, technology, and politics.###

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Not all of my rants, raves & reviews are blogged here or broadcasted. Some, like these, are distributed elsewhere.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - If a tree falls in the forest can anyone hear it? If you shine your light under a barrel can anyone see it? Will an opinion and two bits get you on the bus?
For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed composing, editing and critiquing various types of works. My profile describes my earliest gigs (grading essays and exams for teachers). Later assignments (such as serving on my junior high and high school yearbook committees) led to more lucrative stints at Harvard Student Agencies and Radcliffe Publishing (where I edited and prepared Let's Go travel guides and other documents for publication), and at United Press International. The above-mentioned profile lists some of the gigs that ensued. Most recently, I've gone public and taken my show on the road, so to speak, broadcasting reviews on my radio shows and joining the ranks of reviewers at (a company) and the more prestigious Blog Critics (a sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, technology, and politics).
I invite you to visit my Public Profile (where my pseudonym is "discerningny"), and my Blog Critics Author Archive (where I boldly use my given name) to read my critiques and those of my esteemed colleagues and register to receive update alerts about your favorite reviewers. Moroever, I encourage you to join the fray: respond to those postings and even register to publish your own critiques.
What's in it for you? You can get your voice heard. You can shine your opinions out of the darkness to the light. You can engage in literate discourse (or at least be amused). And, oh yeah, you can (as a reviewer) earn money and all kinds of free stuff. ###

Monday, April 24, 2006

April 26 "Lisa Tolliver Show" features Ray Aydelott, Joe Franklin and David Reid

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Join Ray Aydelott and me at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and when we interview:

Monday, April 17, 2006

The weekend and Patriot's Day relieve some "taxing" pressures in the USA, especially for individuals in six eastern states & the District of Columbia

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Two days after the Ides of Aprilis (i.e., April 15) has many connotations. Here are a few examples: Husband Appreciation Day, National Auctioneers Day, National Take a Wild Guess Day, That Sucks Day, and the anniversary of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. April 15 is also the birthday of one of my close relatives. Sometimes it falls on Easter Sunday (whose date fluctuates between March 22 and April 25), although usually it falls on Tax Day.

From year to year, Tax Day, like Easter, does not always fall on the same date. However, in contrast to Easter, which requires special rules and tables to schedule, Internal Revenue Service and state deadlines to file and pay taxes are typically set for April 15 or the first business day thereafter. However, once in a while, things get a bit more complicated.

Take 2006, for example. This year, April 15 was a Saturday, so individuals must file and pay any taxes due on the next business day. For most filers, that day was Monday, April 17. But April 17 was Patriot's Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts. Since the Andover, Massachusetts IRS processing center handles all tax returns for the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, the state and federal deadline for individuals in those locations was moved to April 18, one day later than for everyone else in the U.S.of A. *

This has caused considerable confusion throughout the land. I'll attempt to make things E-Z by itemizing the actual 2006 deadlines below:
  • April 16, Sunday - Not a tax filing deadline anywhere in the USA.
  • April 17, Monday - The state and federal tax filing deadline everywhere except in the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
  • April 18, Tuesday - The state and federal tax filing deadline in the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Need help filing your taxes? Go get it! G-men and women from the IRS and state taxation entities are there to help in the form of call-in lines, workshops and Websites offering tax tips, free e-filing and a wealth of other resources. You can access them online at and/or the state and territorial government homepages at Additional, easy-to-find resources include local and online tax preparation services (check them out with the Better Business Bureau, your State Attorney General and/or Consumer Affairs before giving them your business), tax software (which your credit union or bank may provide free access to), and local public libraries and volunteer organizations.

Wondering whether or not you should file and/or pay your taxes electronically? Visit pages addressing the following topics. The text and images below have been excerpted from that site:

  • "Online [electronic filing] options - fast, free. The information on this Web site is intended to help Individuals, Businesses, Tax Professionals, Charities and Nonprofits, and Software Developers find alternatives to paper returns." LMT NOTE: some e-filing services offer better prices to those linking from the IRS Website than to those using their software or accessing their websites directly. Additionally, some services charge separate fees for federal filings, state filings, and for filing extentions.
  • " Electronic payment options for individuals and businesses. Electronic payment options are convenient, safe and secure methods for paying taxes. Taxpayers can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, use a credit card or enroll in the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)."
  • "Check Out Free File. Seventy percent of the nation's taxpayers are eligible for free tax preparation software and free electronic filing. See if you are eligible."

Need more time to prepare your federal tax return? Visit Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return and the appropriate state Website to learn how to apply for an extension of time to file. As the IRS notes:

Please be aware that an extension of time to file your return does not grant you any extension of time to pay your tax liability.

If you opt to delay the inevitable, take care to file your tax return by the extended deadline.

* Note: the IRS has postponed until late August the deadlines for individual and business taxpayers in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.

Good luck, and many happy returns!###

Lunch Talk in New Haven: Lucretia Mott, the World's Anti-Slavery Convention, and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement

NEW HAVEN, CT - Sorry for the short notice...I just learned that The Gilder Lerhman Center is pleased to announce an upcoming Fellows Brown Bag Lunch Talk. Bring your lunch and they'll provide the drinks and dessert!

  • What: The 1840 World's Anti-Slavery Convention as the birthplace of the women's rights movement. Looking at Lucretia Mott's too seldom used diary, Faulkner tries to recover the true history of the WASC and demonstrates how Mott saw the meeting not only as a contest over women's rights, but as part of a broader struggle over religious orthodoxy, moral authority, and individual rights.
  • Who (is speaking): Carol Faulkner, Assistant Professor of History at SUNY Geneseo and Postdoctoral Associate at the Gilder Lehrman Center
  • Who (may attend): Everyone who's interested
  • When: Monday, April 17, 2006 at 12:00 pm., Eastern Time
  • Where: Luce Hall, Room 10334 Hillhouse Avenue at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition in New Haven, CT 06520-8206
  • Phone: 203-432-3339
  • Fax: 203-432-6943
  • Website: ###

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Lettin’ you know what time it is: Flav postpones April 26 “Lisa Tolliver Show” appearance until June to promote new project

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - The Lisa Tolliver Show will next air Wednesday, April 26 at 1:30-2:00 p.m., Eastern Time on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and Co-host: actor/playwright Ray Aydelott, ubiquitous entertainer/restaurateur Joe Franklin and performer with the King Charles Unicycle Troupe, David Reid.

Ray and I had originally booked entertainer Flavor Flav (who we homeboyz and girlz knew as Rico Drayton back in the day) for that date and folks were biting the bit to ask questions such as: what's up with Hoopz? (More on her below.)

Alas, gentle audience, we must push back from that table, at least temporarily. Yesterday, Flav's people rescheduled his seating, postponing his Lisa Tolliver Show appearance until he returns from abroad and can promote his new project a week or so before its June 14 debut. That's show biz!

Not to worry, I'll let you know what time it is. And chew on this: New York (a.k.a. Tiffany Patterson) and some of the 18 other jilted rivals who vied for the "Black-chelor's" romantic affections on the VH1 surreality show, The Flavor of Love, are doing their own publicity tours. That's sure to provide many courses of lip smacking conversation.

When Flav finally partakes in The Lisa Tolliver Show, we can dig in for fresh juicy tidbits. In the meantime, so much is already on the table being hashed and rehashed. Take Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander (a.k.a. Darling Nikki), for example, winner of Flav's "undying love" and a custom dental grille on The Flavor of Love. In the final episode, Flav didn't clock New York; Hoopz netted the victor's spoils. Then came the reunion show and the revelation that Hoopz and Flav were no longer together. Flav spilled the beans on the Tom Joyner Show that he hadn't heard from Hoopz since the show wrapped. I guess her true aims (like those of other reality show contestants involved in various aspects of show biz) were to hype her career and walk the red carpet, not walk down the aisle with Flav. So she's still single and Flav's left looking for another leading lady.

Don't cry for them or the ladies who lost out to Hoopz. The show's ratings basted everyone involved in The Flavor of Love with the winner's brush. As reported by

The series finale of Flavor Flav’s reality dating show Flavor of Love became VH1’s highest-rated show ever when its finale aired Sunday night. The show attracted nearly 6 million viewers who tuned in to see the Public Ememy [sic] member’s final decision, as he chose Hoopz, a.k.a. Nikki Alexander, after eliminating 19 other single ladies. The show was the highest-rated telecast among all basic cable programs on Sunday night and the entire preceding week.

Hoopz has admitted that the show heated up her modeling and acting career, if not her love life with the Black-chelor. Flav's working on multiple new projects, like the one that took him overseas. And VH1, having freshly digested The Flavor of Love season 1 cash cow, has already bellied up to the bar for second helpings. Formal announcements of the show's renewal have already been made, and fresh meat willing to feed at the trough may click here to access the The Flavor of Love 2 Casting Call. Wooo, sooiiee!

In the meantime, I will continue serving up shows to tickle the palate with stories and appearances from extraordinary people, some famous, some not so famous, from all walks of life. Here's a sampler of what's cookin' on my 2006 broadcast menu:

April 26, 2006 Lisa Tolliver Show at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and

Upcoming Broadcasts:

Ciao for now (pun intended). ###

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lisa Tolliver recites her original haiku and a Langston Hughes favorite on the "Steve Pal Show" celebrating National Poetry Month

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - I always enjoy talking with Stephen Plaushin (a.k.a. Steve Pal) and appreciate it when he participates in my broadcasts. Listeners enjoy him, too. Steve graced us with his presence this afternoon on SCORE Radio: Counselors to America's Small Business at 1-1:30 and the Lisa Tolliver Show at 1:30-2 pm, Eastern Time.

Tonight, I returned the favor and accepted his invitation to participate in the "Steve Pal Show" at 10-11 p.m. Both of us hosted on air celebrations of National Poetry Month on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and

The "Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online" entry entitled, "April 12 SCORE Radio and Lisa Tolliver Show Roundup," describes the content of this afternoon's broadcasts, which in addition to celebrating National Poetry Month, commemorated Young People's Poetry Week, baseball and the business sides of poetry and sports. Steve's variety show featured good music (including one of my favorite obscure songs, Bob Dylan's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"), witty and comedic banter, and guests Greg, Katherine (sp?) in addition to recitals of poetry written by such artists as e.e. cummings, Carl Sandburg and Anne Sexton. I read, "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes and performed the first-ever public recital of "Coach This!" (a haiku I penned during a 2004 CoachVille conference in New York City.)

I'm usually fast asleep or outside of listening range when The "Steve Pal Show" airs. My bad. Last night, I was in my pj's when I phoned in from Long Island and learned that staying up late can be bad for my girlish figure. (I yielded to temptation and scarfed down chocolate cake and a glass of milk during the show's breaks.) But I had so much fun that I've resolved to set an alarm on nights when I'm not otherwise engaged so I can join in the fun either as a participant or voyear. You can, too. When outside of broadcast range, one can hear and share, from anywhere, via the call-in line at (01 914 636 0110 or listen live online at ###

April 12 "SCORE Radio" and "Lisa Tolliver Show" Roundup

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - As described in the promos, today's "SCORE Radio" and "Lisa Tolliver Show" broadcasts celebrated baseball and poetry. The bases-loaded guest list included:

  • Mike Candel - Physical Education Professor at Nassau Community College, Initiator of the Lacrosse program, coach of multiple sports, National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Famer and Newsday sports columnist emeritus
  • Rocco DiGiacomo - published poet and Executive Editor of
  • Darius Myers - President and CEO of Sports Cart Media (and former varsity high school and college baseball player)
  • Marianne Partridge - baseball fan and Advertising League baseball player
  • Steve Plaushin - sports fan and host of the "Steve Pal Show" on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460
  • Principal Castillo - 8th grade teacher Ms. Moran, and award-winning published poets Keora Greewich and Naomi Wade at Roosvelt Middle School in Roosevelt, NY

Here's a partial list of media included and referred to in the show:

Want to learn about baseball world records? Visit Guiness World Records: Sports/Baseball.###

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Here are some ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month

Provided by your 2006 Poetry Ambassador.###

This is a tribute to my late relatives with the help of poets Emily Dickinson and Dylan Thomas

I come from hearty stock, people who are full of grace and vitality and savor to the last drop the best that life serves up. We should all hope to be like them when we grow up.

I am sharing these verses in memory of those who went before me and hope you'll enjoy them. Bon appetit!*

Emily Dickinson
from "Because I could not stop for Death (712)"
[click the link above to read an important note about this poem]

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove,
he knew no haste, And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, be passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Dylan Thomas
from "Do not go gentle into that good night"

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Brave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pitch In! Share your favorite baseball poem on April 12 "The Lisa Tolliver Show"

Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things. ~Robert Frost, poet

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - The table is set, I'm in the hot corner, and Wednesday's Lisa Tolliver Show guests are winding up (illustration) for our on air celebration of National Poetry Month and baseball. It will take place at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time, on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and If you have time, join in 1/2 hour earlier when I host SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business at 1:00 to discuss the business sides of sports and poetry.

What is both surprising and delightful is that spectators are allowed, and even expected, to join in the vocal part of the game.... There is no reason why the field should not try to put the batsman off his stroke at the critical moment by neatly timed disparagements of his wife's fidelity and his mother's respectability. ~George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist & socialist

Don't just sit in the stands! Play ball: step up to the plate and join the vocal part of the game! Share your favorite baseball poem, song or quotation via our call-in line at (01) 914 636 0110. If you prefer doggin' it, or fear you'll whiff it, email your contribution to or fax it to (01) 309 279 7528. Please don't use that line to spectate (as we sometimes encourage out of area listeners to do); we need to keep the lines open for contributors on April 12. (If you're too shy, pass your contribution to me at Everyone is welcome except the wacko loco who's been stalking me.

Here are some exercises to get in shape for the big day:

Here are some gratuitous quotations to doctor the ball for Wednesday:

Aye batter batter!

Image attribution: Baseball Poetry & Songs Menu image.###

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Eggs-tra" emphasis on a seasonal symbol

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - We have entered the "Week of the Egg." It began Palm Sunday, which hatched, according to the, "the single biggest week of egg buying."

This eggs-traordinary souffle of activity results from the close relationships among Passover, the Christian Holy Week (which begins Palm Sunday), and age-old rites of spring. These begin on the vernal equinox and beget a two-month cycle of festivities featuring "that basic and vital of all foods."

The egg has long symbolized life, spring, fertility, birth and resurrection. Practices combining pagan and modern spiritual representations of nature's "miracle food," such as Passover and Easter eggs, have become so intertwined that it is difficult to unscramble which came first.

Many resources offer informative, interesting, fun and downright bizarre coverage of natures "perfect food." I've selected a few for your edification and entertainment:

Happy holidays!

Image ("Rabbit"): accessed April 16, 2006 at

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Baseball season opened this week and it's April, National Poetry Month

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Spring has officially sprung throughout the land! The vernal equinox, which has guided generations throughout the ages to commence seasonal rites and traditions, was March 20, 2006.
In modern times, various communities have adopted other signs of spring's arrival. For example, beginning in 1996, April 1 has spelled open season, er, the opening of poetry season, otherwise known as National Poetry Month. And the beginning of baseball season has become the signal for fans of America's national pastime. Opening Day and Night for Major League Baseball (MLB) occurred April 2 and 3 and the inaugural International Little League Opening Day was April 7. The “Lisa Tolliver Show” will celebrate these rites of spring on April 12 at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time on WVOX AM 1460 and I will also host "SCORE Radio: Counselors to America's Small Business" at 1:00-1:30 pm, and will examine the business sides of sports and poetry.


"There is no sports event like Opening Day of baseball, the sense of beating back the forces of darkness and the National Football League." - Author George Vecsey in A Year in the Sun (1989)

When was opening day for the 2006 baseball season? Kevin Hench (the head writer for the Too Late with Adam Carolla show on Comedy Central and special contributor to thinks that's a matter of opinion. As he wrote on April 3, 2006 in "Random Thoughts on Opening Day 2006":

After an excruciating rain-soaked six-hour opening night in Chicago, baseball opened for real Monday with 13 games.

What is opening day and why should you care? For answers from sportswriters' perspectives, read, "Baseball's Unique Spectacle: Opening Day," by Dan Holmes and the more critical, "A great day, unless you wanted to see Yankees: Commissioner strikes out by having season opener at night on West Coast," by Mike Celizic. But there are other reasons to cheer the opening of baseball season. Check out MLB In the Community to learn about many exciting initiatives on and off the diamond.

Baseball is often referred to as an "all-American" sport. However, the history of the sport is not exclusively American and some rules for participation were, in the past, downright un-American. As noted in “Baseball: Olympic sport since 1992” at the website:

[…] The game did not begin as a wholly US enterprise, it did not end the 20th century as one either. Baseball's all-time home-run champion is a man named Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 during a legendary career in baseball-mad Japan. The national team of Cuba overpowered the Baltimore Orioles of the US major leagues 12-6 in a 1999 exhibition game.

Baseball is now played around the world and it became a full medal Olympic sport in Barcelona.

Within the United States, the history of baseball has a dark side that echoed that of American apartheid and forced the development of a Negro League. Here are two relevant historical tidbits from the "Black Baseball" by CNN/Sports Illustrated:

1860's: Amateur black baseball clubs spring up around the Northeast and Midwest. Players for the Mutuals of Washington, D.C., include black activist Frederick Douglass's sons Charles and Fred.

1861: On April 12, six months before the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, two black teams play in Brooklyn.

You can learn more at "Black Baseball" by Sports Illustrated and CNN, at, and at the Negro Leagues Baseball Players Association site.

Fast forward to 2006 and search the MLB official site and you'll find tributes to the Negro Leagues Legacy and Jackie Robinson; celebrations of Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 and Roberto Clemente Day on September 6 on the MLB Important Dates Calendar; and numerous MBL In the Community initiatives encouraging the participation of diverse peoples in baseball as a sport and a business and other good works.

Here are some helpful resources to get your mitts around what’s happening in the world of baseball:


April is National Poetry Month in the USA and Canada. "Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events." - The Academy of American Poets

One week of poetry’s month is devoted to kids and teens in events sponsored by the Children’s Book Council each year. In 2006, Young People's Poetry Week is April 10-16. According to the Childrens' Book Council:

Young People's Poetry Week is your chance to encourage people to celebrate poetry—read it, enjoy it, write it—in their homes, childcare centers, classrooms, libraries, and bookstores. During the third week of April, the Children's Book Council, in collaboration with the American Academy of Poets (sponsor of National Poetry Month) and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, sponsors Young People's Poetry Week.


Pitch in! One of the National Poetry Month celebrations posted at the Academy of American Poets Calendar of Events. is a joint celebration of baseball season and National Poetry Month on the "Lisa Tolliver Show." Join my guests and me on air April 12 at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time or listen from the stands to hear baseball fans share their favorite baseball quotes, songs and poetry. Featured participants in Wednesday's show will be Mike Candel - sports columnist emeritus and professor of Health, Physical Education & Recreation at Nassau Community College; and baseball enthusiasts (and darn good ballplayers), Darius Myers of Sports Cart Media (who'll recite a baseball poem that he authored!) and Marianne Partridge of the Volunteer Center of the United Way.

Need inspiration? Peruse the Baseball Poetry & Songs Menu by Baseball Almanac.

The "Lisa Tolliver Show" airs every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and You can hear and share from anywhere by phone-in line at (01) 914.636.0110. Or submit your contribution to the 360 MERIDIAN Guestbook for Lisa to read on air. (NOTE: constraints of time and taste may result in the reading of only a selection of audience contributions.)


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lisa Tolliver has attained the status of Poetry Ambassador

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email containing the enclosed certificate and email message (below) stating that I had been designated a 2006 National Poetry Month Ambassador. It was nice to be recognized this way.

As someone who loves reading, enjoys writing and sometimes publishes and publicly recites poetry, I am reminded of a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. "Famous" aptly puts honors like this in relative perspective. Here is an excerpt:

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

Despite my appreciation for poetry and for receiving this honor, I must own up to thinking twice about acknowledging the Ambassadorship. The controversial reputation of the International Library of Poetry ("ILP"), which bestowed the distinction, renders this honor a dubious one. On the other hand, one can't help but admire the ILP's brilliant marketing strategy and remember that promotion of National Poetry Month is eminently worthwhile.

Finally, I concluded that shouldering the Ambassador mantle would provide an excellent opportunity to leverage my platforms as a journalist, business counselor and educator to benefit others and fulfill my four-eyed mission (to inform, instruct, intrigue and inspire audiences). My goals in this instance are to kindle widespread appreciation for poetry and pull back the curtain on the ILP wizards' great and powerful National Poetry Month marketing strategy.

The most obvious tactics comprising this well-executed guerilla marketing campaign include: designating as Poetry Month Ambassadors registrants at and other endeavors sponsored by the ILP; communicating with the Ambassadors via email (which is cheaply, easily and rapidly distributed, forwarded and incorporated into other media, such as this blog and its RSS feeds); promoting National Poetry Month and sponsorship of school and youth poetry programs (rather than hyping ILP's commercial ventures); and encouraging donations to highly esteemed organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and local libraries (in whose haloes ILP can bask). Proof of the campaign's success is the firestorm of viral marketing that it has generated (and which this blog is helping to fan). All of the above is likely stoking recognition, recall and credibility for ILP's brands, a spike in activity for the organization's websites, and purchases of ILP products, services and event tickets. Let us hope that the ILP will actually merit the positive PR that they are generating.

Here's the text of the email that accompanied the certificate.

Dear Lisa,

On behalf of the International Library of Poetry (ILP) / National Poetry Month Committee, you are now officially registered as a 2006 Poetry Ambassador. Congratulations on accepting this distinct honor for your friends, family, and community and for doing your part to spread your love of poetry.

In recognition of this exceptional honor, please accept the beautiful
award certificate accompanying this letter with our National Poetry Month Seal. This certificate of distinction is something you should be proud to display for all your friends and family to see.

As a way to further recognize your contributions as a Poetry Ambassador, we are planning to register your name and your poetic activities on the 2006 National Poetry Month Poetry Ambassador Online Directory. Attached to this email is a Poetry Ambassador Services Form.

We would love to hear about all your poetic activities during National Poetry Month. Please fill out this form as soon as your volunteer work is completed.

Remember, your only obligation as a Poetry Ambassador is to share your love of poetry. Of course, we hope you join the International Library of Poetry and donate some of your time or money to the worthy causes in support of poetry in our culture. Attached is a list of
101 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month; these are suggested ideas and activities for celebrating National Poetry Month. Here at the International Library of Poetry, we treat the entire month as though it were a month-long holiday. We are celebrating this year by supporting local schools in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Our staff developed a lesson plan to go along with textbooks that we donate to schools. We hope that these poetry lessons will last for generations. Our professional Editorial Advisory Board gets into the volunteering act, too! They volunteer throughout the year with adult literary and community projects, as well as after school youth programs. All poets, whether professional or amateur, are truly generous people.

Some of our suggestions for promoting the public support of poetry are to read classic, contemporary, or even your own poetry aloud. There are many places where people of all ages congregate, and many of them welcome volunteers to read poetry. For example, libraries, daycare centers, schools, after school programs, literacy organizations, community associations, nursing homes, and churches have allocated a certain amount of time for outside volunteers. Why don't you give one of them a call and offer to read your favorite poetry? Reading poetry aloud and introducing it to a new audience can be one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable.

If you don't have time to volunteer, then why don't you read a book of poetry at home? Or perhaps you can attend a poetry reading at your local bookstore or library. If you can't recite poetry in front of a crowd, then share a poem with a family member or a friend. One of our favorite things to do is to send a poem to a friend or loved one. It doesn't matter if you wrote it or if it's an old favorite.

If you cannot donate your time to sharing poetry, then consider donating a few dollars. There are thousands of charitable organizations that can use your financial help. The
National Endowment for the Arts is our favorite. The U.S. Congress established it in 1965, and its mission is to encourage artistic creativity and to make art education available to everyone. You could also help to spread the gift of poetry by buying a book of poetry and donating it to your local library. Many libraries have limited budgets, so donating a book of poetry increases the poetry available to everyone in your area.

As a Poetry Ambassador, you have the wonderful opportunity to share something of yourself with your friends, family, and community. As the great American poet Robert Frost once said, "The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart." That is why we are challenging our poets to show us the beauty of their hearts by spreading the joy of poetry. Whether you like to write poetry, read poetry, or do both, we know that poetry is important to you. This year we can make a difference and spread the gift of love, peace, and poetry.

Yours truly,

Edward Moffet III
ILP / National Poetry Month Committee

P.S. Remember to complete your Poetry Ambassador Services Form so we can submit your name and activities to our 2006 National Poetry Month Poetry Ambassador Online Directory.

To learn what I'm doing to spread my love of poetry and promote this 10th Anniversary of National Poetry Month and Young People's Poetry Week (April 9-15th in Canada and April 10-16 in the USA), check out my blog (Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online) throughout the month. You'll find entries such as:

Happy reading, writing and reciting! ###