[an error occurred while processing this directive] ZEPHYR Magazine

                              T H E
                           Z E P H Y R
                  __     M A G A Z I N E
                 Issue #13                4-26-86
            A weekly electronic magazine for users of 
                  THE ZEPHYR II BBS (894-6526)
                owned and operated by T. H. Smith
                    Editor - Gene B. Williams 
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
 . You may share this magazine with your friends under the   .
 . condition that the magazine remain complete and intact,   .
 . with no editing, revisions or modifications of any kind,  . 
 . and including this opening section and statement.         .
 . If you like the magazine, our Sysop and I would appreciate.
 . it if you would let your friends know where they can log  .
 . in to find the magazine (and incidentally one of the      .
 . one of the finest BBSs in the country!).                  .
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                            (c) 1986
   We seem to be getting less response rather than more on the 
magazine board (and on Zephyr in general). Perhaps we're in a
slack period. Or maybe there really ARE just a very few users
out there.
   The "Star Wars" issue of last week SHOULD have stirred up some
conversation. First, it's something that affects all of us. You
can hide your head, but this stuff will still blow your a** off as
it sticks up in the air. Second, it is a much misunderstood topic,
and some information was given that most of you probably never knew
about (but which is easily verifiable if you doubt my word for
   Consequently, last week's issue remains up, in hopes of getting
some action going on this board. (And I'm seriously considering 
going back to a bi-weekly status for the magazine.) 
   However, a new issue - this one - is being tacked to the end
of last week's issue - in appreciation for those who have taken
part. It's a short one, and not much. But it is appreciatively
dedicated to the readers who are more than just readers.
   Lots of strange things happen in our world. And there are many
things that we all THINK that we know, but we really don't have
the foggiest idea about them.
   Who was our first president? (It wasn't George Washington.)
   When you vote for the president, do you really? (nope)
   As Dr. Lao said, "There are more wonders in the world than you
could ever imagine, even after a lifetime spent in Abalone."
   Well, read on.
     Ready for a disappointment? This concerns the so-called 
Lost Continent, Atlantis.
     Right around 400 BC, in Athens, there was a man named Plato 
- or rather there was a man named Aristocles. The name we know 
him by, Plato, comes from his nickname, Platon. Platon in Greek 
means, "broad," and was given to him because he was a pretty big 
fella with broad shoulders.
     Anyway, Plato was well known as a teacher throughout Greece. 
He developed what was the first university in the world. The 
location was on a chunk of land that supposedly once belonged to 
another Greek named Academus. (We still use the word Academy, 
which comes from this.)
     One of his ways of teaching was to use stories. To talk 
about the senses and illusion, he used a parable of people who 
lived in a cave. Another lesson, called Timaeus, talked about the 
morality of a fictional place - a place he called Atlantis.
     Before you get too excited, evidence shows that an island in 
the Aegean Sea DID blow up in about 1400 BC. The thing is, the 
name "Atlantis" was invented by Plato and was pure fiction.
                     Who Discovered America?  
     As to Christopher Columbus and America:
     It's commonly thought that he was Spanish, since he sailed 
for Spain. Some think of him as being Portuguese, since Portugal 
was at that time one of the world leaders in exploration and map 
making. Actually, he was born in Genoa, Italy, sometime around 
1451, although nobody is absolutely sure.
     As he was growing up and learning about the world, he came 
across a map made by a guy named Toscanelli. This was 1481. He 
also came into contact with the writings of Marco Polo. These 
things stirred up his interest (and his greed). There were 
incredible riches to be found to the east. The trouble was that 
those riches were miles away - HARD, dangerous and expensive 
miles. (Normally, a convoy of ships in which about half returned 
was considered to be a huge success.)
     Old Chris also had some mixed up information. He thought 
that the entire world had a circumference of only 18,000 miles.
By some miscalculation and other problems, he thought sure that 
he could reach India, China and other points east by sailing just 
3000 miles to the west. He had the attitude of, "Whattsa matter 
you guysa? India? She'sa justa few miles thataway, and nobody 
steala you stuff!"
     He brought the idea to the Portuguese, the experts in the 
field at that time. They told him to go away, and stay away, 
until he learned something about geography. Italy, too, turned 
its back on him. So did England and Spain.
     But, in 1492 something wonderful (wonderful?) happened in 
Spain. After taking the Moors' math and science (which moved Spain 
forward vastly), the Spanish kicked them out. It was one of those 
situations where the Spanish said, "You guys gave us all we 
wanted, now you can leave - or die."
     Well, the Moors were gone at last. Ferdinand (not the 
tortoise, the King) and Isabella (not the street, the Queen) were 
finally feeling in a generous mood. (Well, sorta.)  They gave 
Columbus the equivalent of about $40 and told him to get lost - 
     August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Spain in three tiny, 
leaky ships. His crew of 120 were mostly people who had no choice 
in the matter, since they were taken from prison. They fought 
starvation, disease and mutiny all the way across the Atlantic. 
(Can you imagine the smell of a ship after a few weeks out on the 
     He got himself promptly lost and ended up by landing on a 
small island in the Caribbean on October 12th. This is now called 
the Dominican Republic. He left his brother in charge of a 
settlement there. When he came back some time later, the settle-
ment, his brother and the others were gone. The natives just 
smiled and shrugged. "Settlement? What settlement? Never heard of 
     After he arrived back in Spain he proudly announced, "I 
found India!" When he died in 1506 he was still saying the same 
thing. He never knew that he hadn't. To this day we call the 
people he found - or sorta found - Indians. Never in any of his 
explorations did Columbus actually touch our country. Nor would 
he have known it if he had.
     During his explorations (3 more trips in the next 10 years) 
he constantly got himself into trouble. After returning from the 
third trip he was thrown into prison for excessive cruelty to the 
natives. Not an easy thing to be accused of in those days!
     His discovery of land to the west stirred up quite a bit of 
attention. All of a sudden the countries of Europe wanted to go 
exploring, and to make new maps of the area. 
     One of the map makers was named Amerigo Vespucci. As with 
most artists, he signed his works with his name. Later on someone 
misinterpreted the signature - and we came to be called . . .
     In the 1980 election Carter took 41.7% of the popular vote, 
with Reagan winning 51.6%. Yet, by electoral votes - the ones 
that actually elect the President - Carter got only 9%, with 
Reagan taking 91%.
     In the 1984 election, Mondale received 40.9% of the popular 
vote, and Reagan taking 59.1%. The electoral votes this time were 
2.4% for Mondale and 97.6% for Reagan.
     There have been cases in the past where the popular vote - 
the vote of the people - was in favor of one candidate, but 
another candidate was put into office.
                    Columbia - The REAL Thing 
     Columbia Pictures (the movie company) is owned by Coca Cola 
(as is Hi-C).
     Doritos and Frito-Lay (chips) are owned by Pepsi. (So are
Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and all sporting goods with the name 
'Wilson' on them. North American Van Lines is also owned by 
Pepsi, which means you can work up a sweat in moving and quench 
your thirst doing it at the same time.)
     Fisher Price (toys for kids) is owned by Quaker Oats (who 
also make the Ken-L Ration brands of pet foods).
     Jack-in-the-Box is owned by Ralston-Purina (makers of Purina 
Dog Chow and Cat Chow and etc.).
                   Birth of the American Debt
     Many people think that our country was born in 1776. 
Actually, this was the year that the Declaration of Independence 
was drawn up. It wasn't until 1789 that we were actually a 
country. In the first 11 years (from 1789 to 1800) the net income 
of our country was $5,717,000 (not quite 6 million). Expenditures 
were $5,776,000, which immediately put us in debt ($59,000 
     Since 1962, when Kennedy took office, there has been just 
one year in which our country showed a surplus. This was 1969 
under President Johnson, with a surplus showing at the end of the 
fiscal year of 3.2 billion dollars. (Sounds good until you 
realize that the year before - 1968 - and under the same guy, we 
suffered a net loss of 25.2 billion.)
     The single largest fiscal deficit since World War II 
occurred in 1983 (under President Reagan). In that year, America 
went another 195.4 billion dollars into debt. (Other deficits 
under Reagan have been:  
     1981 - 57.9 billion; (his first year in office)
     1982 - 110.6 billion (the first triple digit deficit in 
     1983 - 195.4 billion
     1984 - 183.7 billion (estimated)
     As far as presidential performance is concerned since the 
end of World War II: (all numbers are billions of dollars)
President      Net Loss       Average Loss Per Year of Term
Truman          4.4             .55 
Eisenhower     15.8            1.975
Kennedy         5.95          11.9 
Johnson        42.0            7.0
Nixon          68.7           13.74
Ford          124.6           62.3
Carter        181.0           45.25
Reagan        547.6          136.9    (1st 4 years in office)
    (including the predicted deficits of 1985, Reagan's 
     total net loss comes to 728 billion for his first 
     5 years, or an average yearly loss of 145.6 billion)
                           In the News
     In 1972 Hans Grosse of West Germany set the world's record 
for distance flown in a glider. He flew 907.7 miles - without 
using a drop of fuel (except, of course, the fuel needed to get 
the glider into the air). That's about the same distance as it is 
between Chicago and Dallas.
     In 1981 another aerial record was set. Ben Abruzzo, in a 
Raven Experimental balloon (hmmm, that name sounds familiar), 
went from Nagashima, Japan to Covello, California. The flight 
took 3 days (between November 9 and 12). By the end of it, 
Abruzzo had gone 5,208.67 miles.
     Richmond High School in Indiana decided that too many 
students were cutting classes. Their solution was to offer $100 
to any student with a perfect attendance record. It seemed a fine 
idea, since only 37 students had such a record in the previous 
year. But, when the 1983-1984 school year ended, the school found 
itself in debt to 200 students ($20,000).
     As of May, 1984, the toilets on 10 of the 11 shuttle 
missions failed to work properly.
     A woman in Richmond (California, this time) must have been a 
real nut for having a green lawn. She watered it 24 hours a day, 
using up some 21,433 gallons per week.
  Next week? Maybe the week after that? Or perhaps the magazine
should become a monthly? I used to set a minimum goal of about
25 posts. Maybe I could institute that? The issue stays on until
there have been 25 meaningful, and participatory, posts?
It's worth some thought. YOU tell ME how often you want to see
new issues come up. 
  But keep in mind that my only pay for this job is the response 
from the readers. As it is at the moment, I'm far FAR below the
poverty level. (hmmm. maybe nobody likes the magazine) 
  We could set things up so that only those users who have "paid" 
that subscription fee of bringing in a new user gets access to the
magazine section. Or perhaps I could limit access to the magazine 
to those readers who take part? (All BOTH of them.)
  I must admit, this is getting rather frustrating.
  Let's hear some views and opinions.
  I still welcome submissions and ideas from the readers. Encourage
might be a more accurate term. Or to put it another way - consider
it a challenge. 
  Chris Mitchell accepted that challenge and wrote an issue.
To date, he has been the only one.
  If you are interested, tell me. In fact, commit yourself by 
telling me right here on the magazine board that you would like 
to do an issue. (Besides, I've found that the people who appreciate
the magazine most are those who have at least attempted to do an
issue. So, let's have EVERYONE give it a try!)
  The only condition is that I will have to reserve the right 
to accept, refuse or edit (hopefully moderately - and even more 
hopefully, not at all).
One final note. 
  This past week or so I've received quite a number of messages 
from people who have the idea that I am Sysop. Like everyone else, I
LOVE to get mail. But, and to make it official - I simply work here. 
Thane is the "boss." If you have questions or suggestions about the 
magazine, fine. I'm the guy. But if it concerns Zephyr as a system, 
the one to contact is owner, lord and master of the Zephyr, Thane 
Smith. Just address your mail to SYSOP and he'll get it.
  If you have an article suggestion - that's me.
  If you have an idea for a new sub-board, that's Thane.

Zephyr Magazine is © Gene Williams. All rights reserved.