SCHOLAR'S NOTEBOOK - November/December 2010


Your Holiday Party Invitation is in this Notebook.



Preventing Heart Attacks By Lowering Blood Cholesterol:

We are doing great but could be doing even better!



Professor of  Medicine, Emeritus,

University of California San Diego


Saturday, November 20, 2010

1:30 p.m.

Room 111-A Chancellor’s Complex, UCSD Campus



Nobody argues any longer about the causative relationship between plasma cholesterol levels—mainly LDL—and the risk of heart attack and stroke. The huge clinical trials leave no room for doubt. Treatment with statins (drugs that lower blood
cholesterol by blocking cholesterol synthesis in the body) has reduced risk of a heart attack by about 30%. Not bad for a disease that kills about 500,000 Americans every year! Still the pessimists are quite right in pointing out that 70% of the heart attacks expected in these experimental clinical studies still occur, despite the statin treatment. They infer that we have gone as far as we can go with cholesterol-lowering approaches. 

Dr. Daniel Steinberg disagrees.  He will try to persuade you that by treating more intensively and, most importantly, by initiating treatment at a much earlier age—say age 30 instead of age 50 or 60—we can do much better. 

Atherosclerosis is often called ‘a disease of aging.’ Well, in a sense it is because heart attacks and strokes don't hit us until age 50; but the damage to the arteries actually begins in childhood. Of course it is asymptomatic in children. However, the lesions in children, while themselves benign, are the precursors of the advanced lesions responsible for fatal attacks that occur decades later. Why don't we nip things in the bud?     

Dr. Steinberg received his M.D. degree from Wayne State University in 1944 and his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Harvard University in 1950.  Dr. Steinberg became involved in research on lipids and lipoproteins very early in his career at the National Institutes of Health, where he worked for 17 years. 

In 1968 he moved to the University of California San Diego and began to concentrate his efforts on the mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis.  He and his colleagues headed one of the centers involved in the landmark Lipid Research Clinics’ Coronary Primary Prevention Trial, the first large-scale randomized clinical trial to show that lowering blood cholesterol significantly reduces CHD risk. In 1984 he chaired the NIH Consensus Conference on Lowering Blood Cholesterol to Prevent Heart Disease. Dr. Steinberg and his colleagues were awarded one of the first large grants for research on arteriosclerosis under the Specialized Centers of Research program of the NIH.  Many laboratories around the world are now engaged in exploring his hypothesis further.



From the President

Two months ago, in my first “From the President” column, I suggested that SDIS might be viewed as “a home-base for sharing varied flavors of reasoned inquiry, for learning from and with each other.” I went on to say, “SDIS is a treasure whose riches depend on our individual use of it in ways which please each of us individually.” What are these ways? Exploration of the alternatives has begun, as I will describe here.

SDIS was formed in 1982. During January, 1995, two prior categories of membership were folded into a single class. Qualification for membership became “work of scholarly merit, such as membership in discussion groups and workshops.” [See Bylaws II(1)(a)]

Within SDIS, in order to speak with each other we mostly need to ignore or transcend disciplinary boundaries. The result is a pandisciplinary environment. In all our diversity, as we interact we become active participants in a scholarly process of inquiry and discussion. A sense of inter-dependence comes peripherally and then fully into view. I find myself captured by the recurring thought that the sense of reasoned inquiry embodied in SDIS discourse is exemplary of the essential meaning of scholarship, a process itself inherently worthwhile, perhaps a state of mind.

What, then, is SDIS? How can we use language to convey its essential qualities? The Board and a few other members have been exploring this. It has been playful work, a happy process, actually fun – but not easy. To set bounds, we’ve each attempted to state the essence of SDIS in about seven words or less. The thirty-five statements already in hand are presented below. Together they create a vivid personality portrait of SDIS. I invite you to add your words to the list.

During the coming two weeks, do see if you can find the brief statement (no more than about seven words) that captures what SDIS is all about, for you. Send your response to me at I hope you will experience this as a happy exercise.




… We’re about ideas; we read, write, consider, and discuss them.

… A place where learning never ends.

… Creating, adapting, and sharing ideas.

… Creating, refining, and sharing ideas.

… SDIS is for you if you enjoy hearing about or doing scholarly work.

… If you enjoy new topics and learning, SDIS is for you.

… SDIS welcomes anyone who is curious about our world.

… SDIS - We're scholars, serious or not!

… Scholarly speaking, Scholarly thinking, some Scholarly working,

    researching, and producing.

… We're all Scholars, some more than others.



… Practicing Thoughtful Discourse.

… Practicing Reasoned Discourse.

… Providing a forum for reasoned inquiry.

… Providing a forum for intellectual inquiry.

… A community for scholarly discourse.

… Reasoned, inquiring, participatory, and collegial.

… A community for scholarly discourse.

… Thoughtful, participatory, collegial.

… Individuals sharing reasoned and non-adversarial discourse.

… A collegial community for innovative and scholarly discourse.



… SDIS is for people who enjoy thoughtful discourse and sharing varied

     flavors of reasoned inquiry as they learn from and with each other.

… A group of people who are curious about the world we live in and want to

     learn, share, and discuss this information with others.

… A place to think, inspire and share ideas.

… A collegial community furthering scholarly considerations and innovative


… Intellectual fun and friends though outside academia.

… Intellectual fun and friends blessed by academia.

… SDIS is…People who enjoy exploring together, analyses of events and ideas.

… SDIS is…People enjoying joint exploration of events and ideas.

… SDIS is…People enjoying reasoned discussion of events and ideas together.

… SDIS is…People who enjoy together thoughtful discourse and investigation.

… A group of intellectually curious people who enjoy each other.

… A gathering place for inquiring minds.



… SDIS- Discussing: yes, Critically Thinking: yes, Ph.D.s: maybe, Researching:

     some of us, All:  caring.

… Redefining the three Rs together: Reasoning, Researching, Reflecting.

… Inspiring each other to learn.

Sam Gusman





            Founded in 2000 with a gift from the late San Diego philanthropist and named for her, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego offers public programs that further scholarship and practice in conflict resolution and human rights.

            A 90,000 sq. foot building completed in 2001 on the Alcala Park campus is the IPJ’s “home”, which contains a 250-seat auditorium, conference space, a boardroom, classrooms, faculty offices, a production studio, and state-of-the-art technology. The “Casa de la Paz” next door houses visiting scholars, speakers and dignitaries. 

            A gift from the Kroc estate in 2007 made possible the establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at USD, offering a master’s degree program in peace and justice studies and now encompassing both the IPJ and the Trans-Border Institute.  The latter, founded in 1994, focuses on issues concerning the US-Mexican border.

             “Stirring the Fire”, a current photography exhibit by social documentarian Phil Borges, is part of a yearlong symposium on art as an agent for social change. A celebration of women and girls, mostly unknown and in developing countries, who have broken through barriers of tradition and oppression to become catalysts for change in their communities, the works are also a call to action by Borges.  In the IPJ’s Fine Art Galleries, the exhibit is open until Dec. 15, Mon.-Thurs. 12-7 and Fri. 10-3.

Currently Scheduled Events at Joan Kroc Institute

Tues. Nov. 2, 4-5:30p.m., “Ciudad Juarez: The Definitive Neo-Liberal City.”  Veronica Leyva, a grassroots organizer in that city, will discuss the grassroots struggle at the border to confront militarization, violence against women, increased internal migration and the ties between the narco conflict and neoliberalism.  She will analyze Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s army-led war on drugs and the millions of dollars promised in US aid for this war. IPJ Rooms H and I.

Thurs. Nov. 4, 5-7p.m., Youth Forum on Human Trafficking: A panel and discussion among university and high school students about both the global crime of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in San Diego.  Panelists include a young survivor of human trafficking and representatives of 3 local organizations that help troubled and endangered young people: San Diego Youth Services, Generate Hope and the San Diego Police Department.  An estimated $31.6 billion per year is made from modern-day slavery.  IPJ Theatre.

Mon. Nov. 15, 7p.m., Evening with Julia Alvarez & Eveoke Dance Theatre. Alvarez is a Dominican-American poet, novelist and essayist whose book, Time of the Butterflies, is based on the lives of the Dominican Republic’s women, later murdered, who founded an underground  organization dedicated to ridding the Republic of dictator Rafael Trujillo. The speaker’s father, who joined the group and was threatened with assassination, escaped. She will describe their stories as well as her own. A dance performance of stories from the book, a reception, and a book-signing will be part of the evening. IPJ Theatre.

Thurs. Nov. 18, 7p.m., “The Peace Corps: Fifty Years of Changing Lives.” A panel of USD community members, returned Peace Corps volunteers and staff who served in Guatemala, Uzbekistan, Jamaica, Guinea and Thailand, will speak to the ways that their service has affected their lives and those of the people around them. RSVP to this free event either at  or (310) 356-1102. IPJ Theatre.     

Thurs. Nov. 18, 5 & 6p.m., “Strategies for Building Peace in Afghanistan.”  Julia Bolz, speaker, is a social justice advocate who since 2002 has focused on an often ignored weapon against terrorism: education. With funds raised by US communities, Bolz and her American teammates have built 21 new schools in Afghanistan and repaired 20 others, serving 25,000 Afghan students. She has further strengthened the Afghan educational system by developing teacher-training programs and parent-teacher organizations. Her talk is at 6p.m.; a reception precedes it at 5p.m. This free event requires reservations: contact either or (619) 260-7913, by Nov. 12. Del Mar Country Club, 6001 Country Club Drive, Rancho Santa Fe.

Thurs. Dec. 9, 7p.m., A Distinguished Lecture by Johan Galtung.  A founder of peace studies as an academic discipline, Galtung is a Norwegian who has been a consultant to the United Nations and has mediated in over 100 international conflicts. A Ph.D., he founded the world’s first peace research institute in Oslo in 1959 and the Journal of Peace Research in 1964. He appears as the Institute celebrates 10 years of peacebuilding work. IPJ Theatre.

For further information, for directions, or to receive news of future events, phone (619) 260-7509 or go to the IPJ Website: .                                                                                                                                                                                              Gerry Horwitz                                                     



Works in Progress

Works-in-Progress will meet Saturday, November 6, at 1:30 PM, at the home of Donna and Harry Boyle.  This is a planning meeting, the purpose to determine how to move forward.  Therefore, no member’s work will be presented.  In part the agenda includes setting the time and place of future meetings; how to make available the material to be presented; and who will coordinate the meetings.  You are welcome to bring your ideas to help establish the future for WIP.  For directions or RSVP:

 Colloquy Café Study Group

The next Colloquy Café, on Wednesday, November17, at 1:30 PM, will be on the subject,  Ambiguity, at the home of Jean Mayer. Those who are interested in attending can contact Sam Gusman at .

Culture Study Groups

A study group organizational meeting on Wednesday, October 27 focused on the broad topic of culture. Because attendance and interest exceeded the number of people who could comfortably be accommodated in a single study group, two new study groups will be started, thereby also leaving room for participation by still other SDIS members in the future. The specific initial aspect of culture selected for attention by each of these groups is open to change, at the discretion of each group's participants.

One group, tentatively called CultureOne, will start with a focus on culture and the various forms and modes of interpersonal and group communication. It will meet at 2:30 PM on Thursday, November 18. Contact Sam Gusman at for information and to attend. This group will read and discuss the first 11 chapters (about 55 pages) of Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson.

A second group, tentatively called CultureTwo, will start with a focus on cultural characteristics, comparisons, and contexts. It will meet at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, November 24. Contact Betty Hiller at for information and to attend. This group will read and discuss the text of Snow's original Rede lecture in the Canto edition of C. P. Snow's The Two Cultures.


The Film Group will meet Friday, November 12, at 1:15 PM at the home of Barbara Heckler in University City.  At that time, we will discuss the 2006 documentary film L’Orchestra di Piazza Vittoria, the story of a unique group of musicians who reinterpret music from all over the world. For information about obtaining the film to view before the discussion, contact Barbara at The film will also be available for viewing at 11:30 a.m. on November 12 at Barbara’s.


The Literary Group will meet on Monday, November 15 at 10:30 AM in the home of Donna and Harry Boyle.  Betty Cortus will lead the discussion of selected poems of Philip Larkin.  Contact Harry at                                                                          

Science (aka Brain Study Group)

The Science Group (AKA Brain Study Group) will meet on Friday, November 5 at 3 PM at Bea Rose's home. They will discuss chapters 3 and 4 in Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness with the Dalai Lama.  This book documents the fourth and last of the Mind Life Institute Series “Conversations with the Dalai Lama," which started in 1987 and ended in 1997. Visitors are welcome. For further information contact Bea Rose at (858) 458 – 9263 or



I first saw Edwina at a board meeting, but she was sitting at the other end of a table and we dispersed before I had a chance to formally meet her.  Two weeks later she came to my home to view Wordplay.   It was a pleasure to watch her watch the movie.  She was completely absorbed, frequently leaning forward, and laughing throughout.   Her enthusiasm will be a big asset to the Film Group!  

                                                                                                                               Barbara Heckler    

Q.  You have a fun job at an unusual location.  What can you tell me about it?  How did you get the job?

A.  I teach at the Midway.  I toured the Midway when it opened in 2004 and filled out a volunteer form that I found at the exit.  My first job as a volunteer was answering the phone. I qualified for this job because I could climb up the crew ladder to the upper levels where the office was located.  I met Wayne Nuzzolo who was starting an Education Department on the Midway.  I was one of the first teachers in 2006 to teach units on weather and electricity and their connection to the Midway.  Now I am part of an Education staff that has since grown to 12 paid teachers with 7 classrooms and a curriculum that ranges from second grade to eighth grade science, math, and social studies. 

The students come from school districts all over the county.  We have even had children come from Yuma.  They come to the ship around 9:30 a.m. for a class and then take a tour that shows the children the part of the ship that has to do with the concept we are teaching. They leave about 1 p.m.  The Midway is a fun, exciting and challenging place to teach.  I love it!  I get lots of exercise climbing those crew ladders and I know more about Aircraft Carriers than I ever thought I would.

Q. What other kinds of work have you done?  What was your favorite job?                   A.  I have spent the bulk of my career teaching in Illinois and California but have worked at Marshal Field in Chicago during the holidays; waitressing in my younger days; and once worked in a bank. I dearly love teaching and the interaction with the children the best.

Q.   You’re currently Treasurer in SDIS.  Have you held other board positions?  How did you learn about SDIS?    How long have you been a member?                                     A.   Joan Casale invited me to my first SDIS Meeting. I joined SDIS in 2007 and I was asked to join the board in 2008.  I have been treasurer of many groups, so I took this on.

 Q.  You came to the first meeting of the Film Group.  Do you go out to movies often?  What are several of your favorite movies?                                                                                        A.  I love movies and especially enjoy going to a coffee shop and discussing the movie afterward. My favorite movies involve action and interaction of characters. Go Down, with a riveting performance by Robert Duval, is an example of action and interaction of characters. This man was preparing for his death and wanted to celebrate it with a funeral before he died. There was mystery, great emotion, and a surprise ending.  

Q.  Do you belong to other organizations?  What about hobbies or special interests?  

A.  I joined the American Association of University Women in Chula Vista in 2000, I have been a member of a fun group called Dimensions for many years, and I just joined the Early San Diego Regional History Collaborative. This is a group which puts on a Conference each year to explore the History of San Diego going back to the 1800s. My hobby is being active in these groups and traveling the world.

Q.  What kinds of things do you like to read?  What book would you most like to read again?                                                                                                                                             A.   I like to read mysteries when I travel, Biography and History books in bed when I'm home. I will someday re-read Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the West by Stephen Ambrose. This story had action and characters that were so real in an area that I have lived in and traveled. I enjoyed going with them as they floated down the Missouri, froze in the mountains, and finally found the Pacific. I'd love to redo that journey someday, but life moves on and there are so many other adventures to live in the mind as you read.  

Q.  Are there any particular bragging points or interesting things that I don’t know you well enough to ask?                                                                                                             

A.   I have an enduring love and interest in China.My husband and I hosted a young man from China when he attended high school here. We maintained contact with him since then and went to China three times. I will travel to see him again in January. He is like a son to me, and I hope we will always be close. During these trips I have personally seen China change. It has been very interesting and exciting. I can't wait to see what has happened since our last trip in 2004.

Q.  Married?  How long have you lived in San Diego?    Where’s the most interesting place you’ve lived?                                                                                                     

 A.  My husband died in 2006 of kidney cancer.    I lived in Illinois most of my childhood, taught in Evanston, Illinois, lived in Chicago, and moved to San Diego in 1979.  I loved living in Chicago, but San Diego in the most pleasant place in the world.




            Like several present and former members, Ariss was brought into SDIS in the mid-1980s by the late Alice Marquis, a founder of our organization.  The two met while teaching at El Capitan and Santana High Schools and discovered that they had grown up in the same New York City neighborhood, although several years apart.  After moving to San Diego with her husband in the early 1950s, Ariss attended San Diego State College (now SD State University), where she earned a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature.  Single and retired from teaching in 1981, she began spending summers in Greece.  There, on the island of Lesbos, where her father is buried, she met and married John Sedgwick, an Englishman who had resided for years in Australia.  The two, living in San Diego, traveled extensively, to Italy, France, Britain and Australia. 

Immensely proud of her Greek heritage, Ariss was active in San Diego in the Hellenic Society and as president of the Friends of the Classics.  She served SDIS as president from May 1989 - May 1992 and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars in 1991-92.  In the ensuing years she contributed time and effort to numerous SDIS committees and to the Works in Progress study group. Bringing her knowledge and the experiences of her rich life, Ariss was most recently an enthusiastic participant in the Literature study group.

Pre-deceased by John, her passing on September 19 leaves behind two daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a community of scholars.                                           

                                                                                                                    Gerry Horwitz


About SDIS

San Diego Independent Scholars (SDIS) supports unaffiliated writers and researchers and welcomes everyone who appreciates creative and intellectual activities in the humanities, science, and the arts.  SDIS is a non-profit organization and an affiliate of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

Sam Gusman,


Scholar’s Notebook is the newsletter of SDIS. Please send your news for the Notebook to Barbara Heckler, the Notebook editor: or by mail to 3489 Wellesly Ave, San Diego, CA 92122. The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of the month prior to publication date.
















Saturday, December 4, 2010

11:30 am to 2:30 pm


Carlsbad-by-the-Sea Retirement Community

2855 Carlsbad Boulevard



Luncheon Buffet

Salmon or Turkey

Including wine and non-alcoholic beverages

$20.00 per person, members and guests



Deadline for Reservations: November 20

Make checks payable to SDIS

Also indicate your choice of salmon or turkey

Mail to Marla Jensen

 1615 Bittern Court           Carlsbad, CA 92011

Any questions call Marla Jensen




Interstate 5 North to Carlsbad Village Drive Exit

West to Carlsbad Boulevard

North to 2855 (between Grand and Christiansen)

 Park on the street around the building

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