FOLIO

Recurring Themes

Chuck Shepherd Once again a fortuitous, unrelated medical exam was credited with possibly saving a life. Los Angeles TV personality Julie Chang suffered a concussion in a surfing accident recently, but the routine X-ray also showed a previously unrevealed brain tumor. Immediately scheduled for surgery, she reported to colleagues that she “will be OK.”

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Not Ready for Prime Time

Chuck Shepherd Johnny Deleon, 20, was arrested in Houston in October, caught in the act of removing wheel caps from a Cadillac Escalade in a deli’s parking lot. Even in the daylight, Deleon apparently failed to notice the many police cars in the lot; a ceremonial planning meeting was underway in the deli. Officers, from among 30 inside, dashed out and arrested Deleon.

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Perspective

Chuck Shepherd Many were shocked to learn in November that some accused “satanic cult” child molesters were still in prison — even though proven by time, journalism and medical knowledge to have been innocent victims of widespread ’80s and ’90s hysteria. Arrangements have finally been made to release Austin, Texas, day care operators Fran and Dan Keller (after 21 years) and four San Antonio women (imprisoned for 14 years for “assaulting” two adolescent girls). In both cases, juries and judges had been persuaded by testimony about scarring on girls’ hymens; frightened by the era’s high-profile McMartin School and other cases, …

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Jacksonville Is Great. Let’s Make It Better

HELP THE NEWBIE OUT Got something Billman should know? Hit him up at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jeffreybillman. Jeffrey C. Billman The Saturday before Christmas, as day turned to night and the unseasonably warm evening air was infused with the slightest chill, I was in 5 Points, having drinks at Birdie’s with some new friends and acquaintances, talking about this place I’d only a week earlier begun to call home. Here, I felt in my element. This neighborhood, like all great neighborhoods, was distinctive, and yet it was also of a piece with my favorite haunts in Philadelphia and …

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PISCES: Jan. 1-7

Rob Brezsny PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): How do you like your tests? Short, intense, and dramatic? Or leisurely, drawn-out, and low-pressure? Here’s another question: Do you prefer to pick out the tests you take, making sure they’re good fits for the precise lessons you want to master? Or do you find it more exciting and adventurous to let fate determine what unpredictable tests get sent your way? Ruminate about these matters. You’re due for a nice big test sometime soon, and it’s in your interest to help shape and define how everything unfolds. o

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AQUARIUS: Jan. 1-7

Rob Brezsny AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In a metaphorical sense, you’ve been swallowed by a whale. Now you’re biding your time in the beast’s belly. My prediction: You’ll be like the Biblical Jonah, who had a more literal version of your experience. The whale eventually expelled him, letting him return to his life safe and sound. Your story will have the same outcome. What to do in the meantime? Here’s advice poet Dan Albergotti gives in “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale.” “Count the ribs. Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires with …

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CAPRICORN: Jan. 1-7

Rob Brezsny CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What combination of colors makes the most vivid visual impact? Psychologists say it’s black on yellow. Together they arrest the eye, command attention and activate a readiness to respond. According to my astrological omen-reading, this is the effect you can and should have in the weeks ahead. Time to draw the best kind of attention to yourself. You have a right and a duty to galvanize folks with the power of your presence. Whether you wear yellow clothes with black highlights is optional as long as you cultivate a similar potency.

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SAGITTARIUS: Jan. 1-7

Rob Brezsny SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows,” said 19th-century social reformer Henry Ward Beecher. That may be an accurate assessment for most people, but not for you. Your animal intelligence will soon be working even better than usual. Your instinctual inclinations likely serve as reliable guides to wise action. Trust what your body tells you! You’ll definitely be clever enough to be a crow.

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GEMINI: Jan. 1-7

Rob Brezsny GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To help take the edge off the darkness you’ve been wrestling, here’s part of Kay Ryan’s poem: “The day misspent, / the love misplaced, / has inside it / the seed of redemption. / Nothing is exempt / from resurrection.” In other words, whatever’s disappeared from your life may return in a new form. Your wrong turns may lead to a fresh possibility. Is that what you want? Or do you want lost things to stay lost, dead things stay dead? Make your decision.

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TAURUS: Jan. 1-7

Rob Brezsny TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When’s the last time you did an experiment? Not scientific tests and trials in a laboratory – no, I mean real-life experiments, like when you try an unfamiliar experience to see if you like it … or instigate a change in your routine to attract unpredictable blessings to your sphere. Now is an excellent time to expose yourself to a few what-ifs like that. You’re overdue to have eyes opened, limits stretched and mind blown.

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april, 2022

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