Out-Of-Sight News and Views

Issue #7

July 1, 2013


In This Issue

Greetings from Our President


Word on the Street

Guess Who Took another Trip around the Sun

Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar

Event of the Month – Table Top War

The Book Shelf – Breaking Point and the Neon Rain

On Your Own – Labels, Labels, Labels

Dog Gone It – You Just Never Know

In My Opinion – A Quick Flash

Flick, Swipe, and Tap – Speeding Up Your iPhone and iPad

The Latest in Research – Computerized Glove for the Deaf Blind

Healthy Choice, Healthy Living - Exercise

Gadgets and Gismos – More iDevice Apps

The Recipe Box – Mexican 7 Layer Dip

Dear Betty Blunt

Think Tank

Did You Know? – Spilling the Beans

Words to Live By

A Round of Applause

Oosabelle’s List

What is Happening on Out-Of-Sight


Greetings from Our President


We are well into the summer time and things are moving right along here at Out-Of-Sight.net.

The news Letter staff has been busy as usual putting together another interesting and informative edition that I hope that all of you will enjoy.

 There have been some new game and event hosts come on board, and I trust that everyone has taken the opportunity to check them out.

Remember to start thinking about those items you may have lying around that you could donate to our annual Fall Auction which will take place in September. If we all work together we can have another very successful auction. The proceeds from this auction are the only fund raiser we use to insure that Out-Of-Sight stays available for all of us to enjoy for many years to come.

Please let us know of anything else you would like to see included in this news letter. The format will be changing frequently to include different features that we hope will be of an interest to all of you.

Best Regards,

Lee Richards 




To navigate quickly to the different articles in this newsletter using JAWS, System Access, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings.  For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H. 


Word on the Street

  • Congratulations to Mary Ann Prigge, who won our Farkle Tournament, which was held on June 29.  Way to go!
  • Cha Ching!  Debi’s daughter, Jennifer, now works for Krave Gourmet Jerky. 
  • Wonderful news!  Roger Khouri has been cast to play the part of a defense attorney, in a movie titled, Daughter of the King!  Shooting will begin in August. We will all be there with you, cheering you on, when you receive your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Got any news for us?  We would love to hear what is going on in your world, so please keep us up to date and write to:


We look forward to sharing your news with our extended family, here on Out-Of-Sight!


Guess Who Just Took Another Trip Around the Sun?


Help us celebrate our July birthdays:

July 7, Brenda Smith – Brenduh, from Arkansas.

July 12, Thomas Williamson – POFM, from xxxxxxxx.

July 15, Julie Melton – JewelSong, from Colorado.

July 15, Oran Morrison – Taylor Made, from Northern Ireland.

July 16, John Horna – johnshaft1983, from Virginia.

July 20, Debi Chatfield – Miss Behaving, from Arizona.

July 22, Michael Capelle – Michael.capelle, from Wisconsin.

July 24, BC Starkson – BC, from Georgia.

July 24, Caroline Wooldridge – Caroline, from Virginia.

Please help us build our birthday list, by sending your Username, first and last name, date of birth, (year optional), and where you live, to:



Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar

By Roger Khouri


Editors Note:

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with your suggestions about who should be our Member of the Month for July! There were several names put forth, and it was a difficult decision as all of the candidates are members who deserve this recognition! Unfortunately, only one member each month can be the recipient of this honor.  Keep those submissions coming, because we recognize a member for each month.  So, without further ado:

Congratulations to Anders Gotenstedt for becoming our July Member of the Month!


We appreciate so much your faithfulness to the site in participating in games and coming into the chat rooms on a regular basis, though you have to be up early before you go to work in order to do so.

You are a very interesting and friendly individual and all of us enjoy your company.  Thank you so much for sharing your time with us.    


Now, here is a bit more about our friend, Anders.


He is 39 years old, and lives in Sjotorp, Sweden.  That is about two and a half hours away from Stockholm.  He has 3 children aged 4, 10, and 12, and his guide dog is named Dixon.  Currently, he works for the government's social services department as a Computer Systems Administrator.  This department offers financial support for families and intervenes for the safety and well-being for kids in families.  His role deals mainly with maintaining the security of the digital journals and records for this governmental agency.

For 20 years, Anders had low vision, about 20%, but he lost his sight in 2009 and spent much effort adjusting.  He grew up close to the water and he never stopped his passion for it either.  He says, quote I lived my life by the sea. End quote.  He enjoys boating, fishing, swimming, and water skiing.  It is all the open spaces out on the water that he likes, giving even a blind person the opportunity to drive a boat because there are not many other boats around.  Back on dry land, for those of you who do not know it, Anders is a book junky.  The more he reads, the more he wants to read even more!  His favorite genre is science fiction and he reads almost all of his books in English.

At about 8 PM, Anders puts his youngest to bed and daddy usually falls asleep first.  Then somewhere between 2 AM and 3 AM, Anders is rolling out of bed.  He fires up the computer and joins the Out-Of-Sight community for our evening games and chats.  Do not forget, Sweden is 6 hours ahead of North America's Eastern Time zone.  As the rest of the family gets up, it is not uncommon for Anders to get breakfast going and assist his kids with getting fed and dressed.  Even when the games finish up, Anders sticks around online and participates chatting with folks on Out-Of-Sight.  By about 6 AM, he is off to the gym to workout, and then he starts work at 8 AM.

His favorite games on Out-Of-Sight include Wordburst, Acronyms, Password, and Family Feud. Apart from the games, he enjoys chatting on the Front
Porch with everyone and chatting, especially about books.  Back several years ago, he was searching on the net for a chat site for the blind and found Out-Of-Sight, and he has been a loyal member ever since.  Locally, Anders is active in the blind community by organizing social and cultural activities.

For our Out-Of-Sight family, it is a pleasure having you around and thanks again for your dedication in being a part of our activities.  Congratulations for being our July Out-Of-Sight Superstar!

If you would like to send Anders a message of congratulations, or recommend someone for our August Member of the Month, please write to:


We look forward to your suggestions in selecting our next Out-Of-Sight Superstar! 


Event of the Month – Table Top War

By Charles Rivard


The featured event for July is my own weekly event.  Do you play chess?  If not, would you like to learn to play one of the greatest strategy games?  There are misconceptions galore when it comes to chess.  One of them comes from the fact that people used to play games by sending their next move to their opponent through the use of cards sent through the mail.  You might wait for a week to receive your opponent's next move, so games sometimes took months to play.  With the advent of Email, this is no longer the case.


Although a Grand Master can take several minutes to study what to move next, so you would think that games can take all day to play.  They actually have 2 hours each, within which they must make their first 40 moves.  This averages out to having to make a move every 3 minutes.  They think at a very high level, sometimes thinking 8 or more moves ahead.  This is not true for the average player like you or me.  We might play a game in even less than an hour.


And you do not have to be a mathematical genius, nor do you have to be really super smart to be a good chess player.  If you did, there would not be millions of chess players throughout the world.


Chess need not be feared!  It is a great and fun game.


There are other myths about this ancient yet modern game of strategic war that we can discuss, but I will save those for when you join me every Wednesday at 1:00 PM Eastern time in The Chess Castle.  You do not need to even know how to play the game.  All you need is an interest.  Now, if you do know the game but want to improve, we can do that as well.  To get a good start, you can take a correspondence course (Chess For Beginners), free of charge, from




You will be sent everything you need to begin learning this fascinating game through the tutelage of Bob Rathbun, a very patient and knowledgeable chess instructor.  If you come across something in your lessons, we can work through those, too, on Wednesdays.


I have books to help improve your play that are available from the National Library Service that we can work through.  We can play against either a computer program on my PC, a stand alone electronic chess opponent, or an iPhone app that was mentioned in the May newsletter, or we can play against a human.  One way to improve and start to understand how to play the game is to make a move and then, if asked to, discuss why you made that move.  Although it gives your strategy away, players get an idea of what to think about when determining what your opponent is up to, and what you might do to counteract their moves.  One fun way to learn is to discuss, as a team,  what the best move might be at the current stage of the game as we try to beat a chess computer.  See if we, as a team, can win! 


The Book Shelf


Do you love to curl up with a good book?  Been meaning to read that best seller?  Here are two of our book club selections.  They are to be read for our next book club meeting, which will be held, Friday, July 19, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library.  See you there!


Book #1:  Breaking Point

DB 76244

Author:  C. J. Box

Reading Time:  10 Hours, 51 Minutes

Read by Jason Culp

Suspense Fiction

Mystery and Detective Stories

Wyoming game warden, Joe Pickett, is stunned to learn that Butch Roberson, the father of his daughter’s best friend, is accused of killing two EPA employees. The victims had ordered Butch to stop building on his land. As Joe tracks Butch, new complications emerge.  Strong language and some violence.  Bestseller, 2013.             

Download Breaking point


Book #2:  The Neon Rain

DB 26519

Author:  James Lee Burke

Reading Time:  7 Hours, 27 Minutes

Read by Jim Bond

Mystery and Detective Stories

New Orleans homicide cop fishing on a back country bayou, finds the body of a young black woman.  His discovery pulls him into a network of small-time Mafiosi, Nicaraguan drug dealers, federal treasury agents, and retired 2-star generals.  All of them are involved in a plot to ship arms to the Nicaraguan contras.  Strong language and some descriptions of sex.  1987       

Download The neon rain


On Your Own - Labels, Labels, labels

By Karen Santiago


As a visually impaired or blind person, it is important to label and/or mark various things throughout your environment to be more organized, productive, and independent.


Here are some labeling and marking Ideas:

Rubber bands

  • Put around cans of corn to distinguish from cans of beans.
  • Use multiple rubber bands on soup.
  • Use Sharpee markers and 3 by 5 index cards: with some vision.
  • Use dark bold markers to write item on white, 3 by 5 index card.
  • Punch a hole on either side of the card and tie a rubber band through the holes and place on item.


Pipe Cleaners:

  • Twist around neck of toothpaste.
  • Twist around neck of either shampoo or conditioner.


Brightly Colored Tape: with Vision:

  • Adhere to specific items to identify.



  • Mark commonly used functions on your appliances.


Velour and Felt pads and furniture protectors:

  • Same as above.
  • Use to distinguish same item but different type, for example: for grape and strawberry jelly put a marker on the top of one jar and leave the other alone.

Create tactile labels for bolts, nails, or paper clips in individual containers by gluing one of each item to the outside of the container.

There are many different methods for organizing and identifying items in your kitchen:

By weight:

A container of breadcrumbs and a container of powdered drink mix have the same size and shape, but are easily differentiated by weight.

By location, or placement:

  • Grouping similar items together, such as fruits, soups, or vegetables.
  • Placing frequently-used items toward the front of shelves and cabinets.
  • Storing foods or supplies in alphabetical order.

By sound:

  • Use auditory cues to differentiate items that have the same size, shape, and weight.
  • For example, a can of fruit cocktail sounds very different from a can of tomato paste when shaken.
  • A can of green beans squeaks when shaken quickly.

By size and shape:

  • A can of tomato paste differs in size and shape from a can of stewed tomatoes.

Braille labels:

  • Make your own labels with dyno tape, and either stick directly to item or place on index card, and then to item.

Here is a way you can get free braille clothing tags:

Miss Dudas

400 Grove Avenue

Edison, NJ  08820 

There are 28 tags per package, 2 each of 14 colors. Maximum 4 packs per request.  These are small with a tiny hole on either side. Just a few stitches and you will be able to tell what color your clothes are!  Miss Dudas asks that she receive a request for Braille clothing tags in writing, print only.

If you have a question about this section or would like a specific topic covered, please email us at:



Dog Gone It - You Just Never Know

By Charles Rivard


This month, I would like to feature an incident that I hope to never have to go through.  It is a much unexpected traffic check.  As mentioned in an article last month, the team of student and dog are given what is called a traffic check.  A skilled instructor drives a car right at the student and dog as they cross driveways, cross streets, and cross business drive throughs.  The tires squeal and the engine races.  The dog and student must correctly react, and the student learns that, in fact, you can, and should, trust your guide dog.  During the training of the dog, instructors play the part of the student as they train the dogs.  As part of the training, the instructor is blindfolded in order to get a real feel for what it is like to be guided by the dog.  First, though, my comments:  The letter below shows that you just never know what can happen when working a dog guide!  This shows how well the staff at Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc. are trained to think fast on their feet.  The situation below is not the norm.


Concerning the dog in training, I hope this event does not negatively affect his work.  Guiding a blind person through traffic is one of the most demanding parts of a dog's daily routine, and when something like this happens, a dog may become skittish when cars rush nearby.  The dog may even have to be retired from guide work, even at a young age.  Now, the letter:


Greetings!  I am writing to let you know of a situation that occurred the other day in downtown San Rafael that gratefully has a very happy ending.  Training Supervisor Todd Jurek, Apprentices Danielle Alvarado and Hanna Belyea, and summer intern/puppy raiser Emily Crisp, narrowly escaped harm when the driver of a car attempting to parallel park jumped the curb and continued to drive along the sidewalk where all four of them, plus O Neil, a guide dog in training, were at work. Thanks to very quick reaction times and smart thinking, Todd was able to steer O Neil and Danielle (who was under blindfold) down a side street; Hanna did the same with Emily (pulling them to the safety of an alcove - Hanna and Emily were observing Todd, Danielle and O Neil at work further down the block near the point at which the car entered). Video was captured of the entire incident from the security cameras from one of the buildings on the block; you can view the footage at this link:




 It is also posted to GDB’s Facebook page here:




Video description: There is no sound in the video. It is comprised of three clips: the first showing an overhead view of the sidewalk, with Todd, Danielle and O Neil entering from the bottom of the frame and walking toward an intersection at the top of the frame. O Neil glances over his shoulder; Todd quickly does the same. You then see Todd grabbing Danielle and pushing her and O Neil around the corner, all three of them are running. A split second later, you see a car careening in reverse down the sidewalk, knocking a garbage can along the way and entering the intersection.


The second view is taken from around the corner where Todd rushes Danielle and O Neil to safety. It shows a car parked at a red light, and a perpendicular car moving through the intersection through the green light. Suddenly Todd, Danielle and O Neil enter the scene on the right hand side of the frame as they round the corner, running, from the sidewalk parallel to the traffic flow. Once again, in a split second after they round the corner to safety, you see the car speed along the sidewalk in reverse behind them, then burst into the intersection narrowly missing the car parked at the red light. The moving car eventually comes to a stop after traversing the entire intersection and slamming into the side of a building on the other side.


The third clip is another overhead shot taken from the direction of the intersection. It shows Todd, Danielle and O Neil walking toward the intersection; they eventually move out of the frame, but you see the car entering the sidewalk at the top of the frame and then careening down toward the intersection, hitting a storefront window along the way. If you look closely, you can see Hanna and Emily rush out of the way at the top of the frame, right at the point where the car enters the sidewalk.


First and foremost, I am so very thankful that this incident has a happy ending. No one was hurt - Todd, Danielle, Hanna, Emily and O Neil are all safe; the driver and passenger of the car were not injured; no other pedestrians were affected. Certainly those involved were understandably shaken, but calm heads prevailed in this situation. I would like to commend and thank both Todd and Hanna for their heroic actions. It speaks to the professionalism of our instructors that they are always on the lookout and aware of the need for safety at all times when working with our dogs, students and each other. Certainly no amount of training could ever prepare them for what happened the other day, but their reactions and swift decision-making led to the most positive outcome possible. Also, please know that O Neil will be thoroughly evaluated to ensure that this incident has not negatively affected his ability to continue with guide work; his puppy raisers have been apprised of the situation.


Finally, GDB will be honoring both Todd and Hanna for their actions; we are very proud of their life-saving efforts and hope you are too!




Paul Lopez. President and CEO


In My Opinion - A Quick Flash

By Joe Giovanelli


There was a piece in the June News and Views Newsletter about an App, which will help blind people know if the lights in a room are on or off. The App works well for this purpose.

The writer indicated that the App could be used to detect light from L E D lights found on many devices. I tried this, and I was not able to tell if the L E D was, or was not lit.

There was a bit of ambient light in the room, which perhaps was greater than the brightness of the light I was trying to check.  What did you folks discover?


Flick, Swipe, and Tap - Speeding Up Your iPhone or iPad

By Kate Dolosa


Do you own an old version of iPad or iPhone?  You probably been noticing a great deal of slowness on your device compared to when you first purchased it.  Here are some tips on how to improve the speed, and gain some memory space back on your 1st generation iPads and older versions of iPhones.


Tip 1: Update to the latest iOS.

Updating the firmware is always a good idea in order to get the latest features and security fixes for your device.  To do this, double tap on Settings, then double tap on General, and then double tap on Software Update.  You will be able to check if your device has an available update here.  If there is one available, just double tap on install now, and your device will update automatically.  This may take a couple minutes, and it is a good idea to keep your device plug in while it is updating. 


Tip 2: Delete apps that you do not need anymore.

This tip is only relevant if your available disk space is less than 1 gigabyte.  To find out how much disk space you have left, double tap on Settings, then General, then Usage.  In usage you will see how much space each of your apps takes up on your device.  If you have apps on this list that you rarely use, you can delete them to free up some memory space.


To delete an app, follow these instructions:

·                    Find the app you want to delete on your iDevice.

·                    Double tap and hold until you hear quote moving end quote  then the name of the app.

·                    Lift your finger up, and if you tap the app again, it will say quote double tap to delete end quote.

·                    Just double tap the app again, confirm that you want to delete, and your app should be deleted.


This next tip is for music lovers: your music library probably takes up a large part of your storage space. One solution is not cutting down on your music; instead, why not start a music subscription with Rdio, or other music streaming app?  Since rdio requires a monthly fee ($14.99), this is not the cheapest solution.  There are also free music streaming apps out there like Pandora and Tuned In.  So, take some time to research different options to determine which the best solution is for you.


Tip 3: Clear browser cache.

Your browser cache is another place where you can reclaim some storage space, which might result in slight speed improvements.


Whenever you visit a webpage, Safari will automatically save its content in its memory cache. The idea is that it will be faster to re-visit a webpage, but over time the browser cache fills up to an extent that it can slow down your browsing experience.


Clearing the browser cache is something worth doing once every few weeks or months – depending on how much you are browsing around.


To clear your browser cache, follow these instructions:

·         Double tap on Settings.   

·         Find Safari and double tap it.

·         Double tap on quote clear cookies and data end quote.

·        Confirm that you want to clear your cookies, and then your browser cache should be cleared.

The above tricks are mainly about reclaiming storage space and slimming down apps to run faster. The most important thing when it comes to speeding up an aging iPad, however, is to maximize available working memory (RAM). Since the first-gen iPad is equipped with only a quarter of the RAM that is found in newer generations of iPad, freeing up RAM becomes imperative.


The next tips will tell you exactly how to maximize working memory, so that you will enjoy a long-term speed enhancement. The good news is that these are settings which you only have to do once.


There is one catch though. It means that you have to say goodbye to some of the latest iOS features.  This might not be what you want, but these simple things also offer the greatest results in speeding up your iDevice.


Tip 4: Turn off notifications


This is a great but little known tip! Many apps, when first launched, ask you whether you want them to notify you about important updates and other stuff. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, but after awhile you have a ton of apps that want to push notifications to you that are often not that important. Get rid of these notifications in order to free up resources.


To turn off notifications, follow these steps:

·         Double tap on Settings.

·         Find Notifications and double tap.

·        You will see 2 lists: In Notification and Not in notification.

·        To clear out the apps that you do not want to be in notifications, double tap on the   app name on the list, and double tap on quote notification on, end quote to turn it off.

You can always bring these notifications back on anytime you want by selecting them on the quote Not in Notifications end quote list and turn notifications on. Do not worry about alarm clocks; they will still wake you up. You will also be reminded of upcoming events in iCal, provided that you have scheduled an alert.


Tip 5: Turn off location services

The next thing you want to turn off are location services. In Settings, double tap on Privacy.  Under privacy, you will see the different apps that use your location under different categories.  Double tap on each one to turn it off.  You can turn off location services on apps all at once, but this is not advisable.  There are circumstances that you would not want your location services for a specific app to be turned off.  The quote Find my iPhone-iPad end quote app, for example, is one app you would not want to turn off on your location services because it would not work if ever you need to fine your iDevice. 


Here are some suggestions on which ones to leave turned on.

·                     Safari (for local search results)

·                    Weather apps (for getting the right weather)

·                    Find my iPhone or iPad app.

·                    Maps and other navigation apps


Tip 6: Turn off indexing


Another great way to take some burden off your iPad is to give it a break indexing content on your iPad. By default, iOS systematically goes through your contacts, applications, mails, notes, messages and much more in order to be ready whenever you use Spotlight Search.


Now the question is: How often do you really need to search your emails or contacts on a global level? When people are searching for an email, they search from Mail. When people are searching for a contact, they open Contacts. The only time you would really use Spotlight Search is when you are looking for an app that you cannot find in the chaos that Apple calls home screens and folders.


If this sounds like you, then switch off Spotlight Search for all items except Applications and other apps you might want to leave turned on. To do this, go to Settings, double tap on General, and then double tap on Spotlight Search.  Unselect the items by double tapping.


More things you can do to speed up iPad


Other things that have been reported to speed up sluggish iPads are to turn off keyboard Auto-Correction and Check Spelling in the Keyboard part of the General tab. However, you might not want to miss these features, so it is totally up to you if you would want to do this or not. 

To turn off this feature, follow these steps:

Double tap on quote Settings end quote.

Find quote General end quote and double tap.

Find quote Keyboard end quote and double tap.

Double tap on Auto Correction, Check Spelling, and other settings that you might want to turn off.


The same is true with everything iCloud related. By switching off iCloud sync you can gain some working memory back, but this would really hurt. Most people find it not worth it switching this feature off.

Note:  This article was taken from a blog online, but it was edited to give extra instructions using Voice Over.


The Latest in Research - Computerized Glove for the Deaf Blind

Submitted by Roger Khouri

Reprinted from The Atlantic


On the hottest day of the summer so far in Berlin, Tom Bieling, a 32-year-old doctoral candidate, walked quickly down a corridor on the second floor of a science building mere blocks away from a roundabout that was clogged with police vans.

The police vans -- rectangular Volkswagens in alternating shades of blue and green, the official colors of authority in the German capital --circled around Ernst Reuter Platz and headed three miles eastward towards Brandenburg Gate, which was where President Obama delivered a speech an hour later under the blazing, 90-degree sun.

Ten minutes before his arrival, Bieling had sent a text message apologizing for running late. His bus had slowed to a crawl that Wednesday afternoon. The president had snarled traffic. Bieling wrote: quoteWorst bus in town. Keeps me waiting at Turmstraße. Sorry :end quote

He tapped this text message with his fingers, into an iPhone, that delivered the message to another iPhone. It's very easy to write this sort of message on a bus arriving late – that is, if your digits are whole and your eyes are functional.

If Bieling were deaf-blind, however, he could not have communicated so easily or quickly.

Precisely for this reason, he has set about developing a new way for the deaf-blind to communicate with the world beyond their fingertips. His innovation takes the form of a computerized glove that translates text into impulses. But his research has a secondary purpose as well.  Everything that he has learned about helping the deaf-blind communicate more efficiently could be applied to a new world of tactile communication that could change how we interact.

While not the first device allowing the deaf-blind to text, Bieling's glove appears to be the most innovative. It is made of stretchy, black Gore-Tex, covered with wires, adorned with sensors - his fourth prototype in two years.

After removing the glove from a case, he set himself atop a ledge abutting a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. On the other side of the glass sat his colleagues, typing away on silver computers in a mostly white open space resembling an architect's office. On his side of the glass one could see black ink drawings and thought bubbles explaining how the glove works.

Bieling wore a blue-checkered shirt over a white tank top, and tan shorts --a modern version of a researcher's summer attire if there were any.  Many years ago, before coming to the Design Research Lab at Berlin's University of the Arts in 2008, the Cologne native organized electronic dance parties and studied product design.

At some point during his undergraduate studies, however, he began to feel that too often design focuses solely on people who possess all their senses, often forgetting the disabled. Bieling said that his research goal shifted quote to learning as an interactive designer from blind, deaf, and deaf-blind people. End quote.

Glove on snugly, Bieling next snapped into place on his forearm a small plastic box containing a Bluetooth transmitter, which pairs the glove to a mobile phone that then sends or receives messages.

The glove's palm area is dappled with circular, gray pressure sensors that look like miniature felt furniture pads. The dorsal side features red and blue wires connected to silvery motors that run up and down the Gore-Tex like the veins on your hand.

The language of Bieling's glove is the Lorm alphabet, invented in 1881 by Austrian Hieronymus Lorm after he lost his hearing and later his sight.

Lorm's alphabet places letters on various parts of the hand. Vowels emanate from the fingertips - the thumb's tip is an A, an index finder's end an E. A circle in the palm spells S. And so on.

Since every letter in the Lorm alphabet is represented by a tap or a sweeping motion on some part of the hand, the system lends itself to Bieling's device.

With this glove, a deaf-blind Lorm user should be able to communicate with any literate person, anywhere in the world, not just those able to decipher Lorm. When a deaf-blind person wearing the glove receives a text, motors -- the same kinds that make your cell phone vibrate – translate words into vibrations spelling out the Lorm alphabet's letters on the dorsal side of the hand. When a deaf-blind person wants to send a message, he need only tap letters onto glove's palm side. The glove then translates the haptic information into digital text, connects through Bluetooth to an iPhone app, and sends the message as a text or an email.

Bieling theorized that mirroring the palm-based Lorm system on the top of the hand could serve as a way for the glove to receive messages. And it worked: The deaf-blind people in his study reported that they could understand incoming Lorm vibrations on the tops of their hands just as well as they could when someone tapped out letters in their palms.

Quote It turns out, it was irrelevant to the brain whether the top or the bottom of the hand was receiving vibrations, end quote, Bieling noted.

For decades, deaf-blind people in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have used Lorm to communicate with each other, their doctors, and their families. Bieling said the system is relatively easy to learn, even for English speakers. And with his glove, a deaf-blind Lorm user should be able to communicate with any literate person, anywhere in the world, not just those able to decipher Lorm.

Quote, Up to now, if a deaf blind person wanted to talk to you, you'd have to know the Lorm Alphabet -- and not so many people do, end quote, Bieling said.  Quote, Another barrier is that this system -- and other deaf-blind languages --doesn't work over distance. If you're in another room, in another city, and you're deaf-blind, you can't easily talk with Lorm. End quote

As his interaction studies with the deaf and blind got underway three years ago, Bieling said he became increasingly fascinated by quote, the smart and positive aspects, end quote of their communication. His idea for the Lorm glove came when he followed a conversation that two blind people in his research group conducted across a loud room.

Quote If you or I were divided by a street, noise, or windows, end quote, he said, quote, We would not be able to talk anymore. But two deaf people would still be able to do so –the only thing they need is eye contact, and they can still communicate. I thought that was cool.end quote.

He continued his work observing the intuitive communication methods of blind, deaf, and deaf-blind people, and learned the Lorm alphabet himself -- something that he said takes only a few hours to do, and is much less complex than sign language.

As his work with the deaf-blind deepened, he came to feel that the word disability is, at best, an inappropriate label for a poorly designed world.

Quote, The way we understand disability and the way we define it is often very
much related to the way we design our world, end quote, Bieling said. "Stairs or ramps, for example, define whether a wheelchair-bound person considers himself disabled or not.quote.

The glove that he shows visitors to his lab is the project's proof of concept, and one of three other projects that he is presenting as part of his thesis on how design could be used to reduce the stigma of disability.  Future gloves will be made of a material less dense than Gore-Tex, and feature smaller sensors and invisible cables. Bieling's goal is to develop a glove so thin and so lightweight that not just the deaf-blind, but all of us will want to wear it.

Quote, I want people to be able to grab things, hold things in their hand while wearing the glove. That's what we're working on for the next prototypes, end quote, he said.

Bieling envisions a world not too far in the future where tactile sensors are embedded in our clothes, too.

His goal is to enable quick, silent communication in situations where computer keyboards and monitors are suboptimal.

Quote, Why not bring the information to the hand, to the glove - or to belts or
jackets or other clothes? End quote, he asked.

The glove's wearer wouldn't need to learn the whole Lorm alphabet, Bieling said, but rather just a series of shortcuts or hand motions relevant to his or her work.

An assembly line worker, for example, could order new materials with a tap of his belt. A stage director in an opera house could open the curtain or dim the lights with simple motions on the glove.

For, as Bieling correctly notes, tactile information isn't something most of us are using in our lives right now. But he hopes to see tactile interaction become a widely adopted tool in industry and in our personal lives over the next five years.

Quote, After all, end quote, he noted, quote, There are many situations where even people who are not deaf or blind still have problems communicating.end quote.


Healthy Choice, Healthy Living - Exercise

By Lawrence MacLellan


Hello, everyone!  This month, we will offer some tips and benefits about exercise. In a nutshell, the benefits of exercise are endless!  Your health, both medically and physically is better.  You feel better.  You look better.  You are more energized.  Your self esteem and confidence level is higher.  Your hormones are balanced, and you will have a sense of well-being.


So what actually counts as exercise, you ask?  Exercise can be any activity that speeds up your heart rate and utilizes your muscles. Put plain and simply, it is activity that gets your body moving! Activities can range from dancing, walking, running, swimming, biking, playing sports, and a plethora of other fun things to do, just as long as you get that heart rate sped up!  


If you are someone who has not exercised in a while, take it slow.  Perhaps, just start out doing some type of exercise three times a week, for 20 to 30 minutes each time.  Make sure you are not overdoing it.  A good rule of thumb is to stop, knowing you can do more. 


Three components of a good exercise routine are to incorporate cardio, (heart and lungs), strength training, (lifting weights or resistance training), and flexibility, (stretching).


To calculate your target heart rate, follow this example.  Subtract your age from 220.  Then, take 60% to 70% of that, to find your target heart rate. For example, if you are 50 years old, you subtract that from 220.  This gives you 170. 60% of 170 is 102.  Now, take 70% of 170, and you come up with 119.  This would be the range that you should be in during your period of exercise, (102 to 119).  Never go to 90%, (153). The longer you can stay in this range, the better.  As always, please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.  Exercise should help energize you after a workout, but if you feel even more tired after you have exercised, check with your doctor, as you could be low on iron . Other factors could be your nutrition, your sleep pattern, and hydration. 


Start slow.  Start with something to get your body moving.  Think of it like a part time job.  Something you will plan and schedule for 3 to 4 times a week.  Mornings are a great time to exercise, as you tend to burn more calories at that time, and you will not be tempted to make excuses for putting off the activity.  It is not so much about the type of exercise you have done, but more, the consistency of doing the activity that is important.  Also, it is critical that you find an activity that you like doing.  This will help you stay motivated and consistent.  


Keep a chart of your progress! Keeping a record of your progress will help you stay motivated and focused, in order to help you reach your goal of living a healthier lifestyle.  In order to ensure success, either increase the amount of time you exercise, or increase the intensity with which you exercise.  For example, extending your workout from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, or adding more weight to your strength training portion.  It is also helpful to exercise with a friend.  In this way, there is someone there to cheer you on and help with keeping you motivated.


So, in conclusion, make a commitment to exercise.  Chart a course of action, and get moving!  Your health is your responsibility, so start making a difference, one healthy choice at a time!

If you have any questions for Lawrence, or would like a certain topic covered, please write to:


Each month, an MP3 of this section will be available, so that you may keep an audio reference of the advice given by Lawrence in this section.  Here is the download link:



Gadgets and Gizmos - More iDevice Apps

By Charles Rivard


A couple of more apps for an iDevice this month:


Scenario: You are out at the store and need a taxi.  Would you rather get a cab without calling a dispatcher?  It would also be nice if you could check to see about how long it will be before the cab arrives.  You can do these things with a free app called Taxi Magic.  Also, for a fee, you can pay the fare before the cab arrives using your credit card rather than giving the driver cash.  Sometimes, you do not have cash.  A credit card would be more convenient.


Basically, you download and install the app from the app store, sign up at a web site, and this is where all of the magic happens, using your iDevice.  It works for 4,000 cities in the United States.


Another free app is Color ID, which does just what it says.  It is a color identifier.  It speaks the color of what you aim your iDevice camera at.  There is a sensitivity setting.  You can select more meaningful color descriptions, or more detailed.  Rather than red, green, blue, or whatever, it might say lemon yellow, strawberry red, dark or light brown.  Some of the uses for this app would be to match clothing, tell if fruit is ripe, determine if batteries are fully charged by hearing the color of the indicator light, determine if an electronic device is on or off by the color of the indicator light.  Use your imagination to find other uses.


Give both of these apps a try.  What do you have to lose?  The price is right.  Both are free.


The Recipe Box - Mexican 7 Layer Dip

By Suzy Barnes


Great for a 4th of July Cookout, before the food is ready!



1 can, 16 ounce, Refried Beans

1 tablespoon, Taco Seasoning Mix

1 cup, Sour Cream

1 cup, Thick & Chunky Salsa

1 cup, shredded lettuce

1 cup, Mexican Style, Finely Shredded Four Cheese

4 green onions, sliced

2 tablespoons, sliced black olives

Tortilla Chips or Scoops



MIX beans and seasoning mix.  Spread onto bottom of pie plate.  TOP with layers of all remaining ingredients except chips. Cover and seal well.  Refrigerate several hours, or until chilled.


Dear Betty Blunt


Please note:

This submission is not to be taken seriously.  It is just for fun! If you would like to submit a question for Miss Betty Blunt to answer, please write to:


She may or may not answer your question seriously, and she may or may not give you the answer you were hoping for, but one thing is for sure, you will get a good laugh out of her witty, bold, and blunt advice.  She will often make comments that we all wish we could say, but are just too afraid to make. So, send in your questions, and let us see if she can help you with your relationship issues. If you wish, your initials, city, and state will be altered to conceal your identity. 


Dear Betty Blunt,


Something that has been gnawing at me for a bit has been always paying for dinner whenever I take out a lady friend.  I consider myself old fashioned, in the sense that a man should always pay for the date, but I am finding that more and more, ladies are taking advantage of me.  They know that they will be treated great on a date, and it will not cost them a penny.  Can you offer me some guidelines of how many dates I should pay for, and how to raise this issue in a diplomatic way without coming across as a cheapo?



Your Cash Man

Jeff H. Henderson

Calgary, AB


Dear Casanova,


Here is one obvious solution that you may not appreciate.  Stop asking these women out!  Or even better, find out the financial condition of each prospective date and take out only the rich ones and leave your wallet at home!


Alright, alright.  I am feeling a little generous today, since it is almost 4th of July and all. Here is what you should do. Go to a park, meet for coffee, or find out when your town puts on free events!  Or, walk along a beach, watch the sunset, or people watch in the mall.  My brain hurts, and that is all of the free advice I have at the moment.  This new fangled dating is something I am not familiar with.  Back in my day, the man paid for everything and would never think of having the woman shell out some dough!


Frankly, I am not sure whether to call you a cheapskate, or a genius!




Think Tank

By Charles Rivard and Mike


Thank you to everyone who submitted answers to last months brain teasers.  Many of you were very close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!  Just kidding!  It is apparent that this month, several of you had your thinking caps on!  So, congratulations go out to Suzy Barnes and Roger Khouri for answering both brain teasers correctly!


Applause also goes out to Charles Rivard and Charlie Richardson for figuring out the first brain teaser! Way to go!  


Here are the June brain teasers and their answers:


1. How many bricks does it take to complete a building?


Answer:  Only the last one.


2. Interesting word play:

The words record and record are spelled the same but sound different, and they have different meanings.  Example:  Go into a music studio and record a record. Now, think of 2 4-letter words, one capitalized and one not.  One word is pronounced with the first letter being silent, and the first letter of the second word is not silent.  The 2 words are spelled the same but have different meanings.  What are they?


Answer:  Herb is a man’s name, and an herb is an edible plant.


Now, for our super duper July brain teasers!  Can you solve these?  Lets see who thinks they are smarter than a fifth grader! 


1. Can you name 4 days that start with the letter T?


2. If the Manchester Quartet can play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in 12 minutes, how quickly can the Birmingham Trio play it? 

Please submit the answers to these brain teasers to:


We will let you know if you are correct, and if so, we will publish your name in the August newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!


Did You Know? – Spilling the Beans

By Katie Chandler


In ancient Greece, voting for membership into some organizations was accomplished using beans.  White beans were dropped into a container, from voters who favored the candidate, and brown or black beans signaled a dissenting vote.  Only the officials knew the count of white and black beans placed in the jar.  However, on a few occasions, a clumsy voter would knock over the jar and reveal all of the beans   .  This is how the phrase became synonymous with someone who reveals the truth or hidden secrets.  Thus, spilling the beans!


Words to Live By

Submitted by Karen Santiago and Katie Chandler


The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

John Stuart Mill      


The American Flag

Joseph Rodman Drake


When freedom, from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night
And set the stars of glory there.
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies,
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle-bearer down
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land.


A Round of Applause

Thanks goes out to you, our extended family on Out-Of-Sight!  You participate and spend your time getting to know one another on the site. Without you, there would be no need for programming, no need for special activities, and no need to even have a site. So, thank you very much! Thanks for making this community an Out of Sight place to be!

Oosabells List


No, this is not Craigs List, but it is the next best thing!  If you have something to sell, or announce, send us your ad, and we will post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter.  Send your ads to:



  • A new, free, challenging and accessible word game for Windows called Tiny Zebras Rock is available from Rich DeSteno. Send your request to him at ironrock@verizon.net. He also has Destination Mars, Run for President, Dodge City Desperados, and Atlantic City Black Jack for the asking.  


  • Hello folks.  This is Paul from Baltimore wondering that, if anyone who receives this publication is going to be at the PA Lions Beacon Lodge Camp this year from July 6-16.

If you will be there please contact me, as I do not necessarily wish to be in a place with total strangers.  Contact me privately at:


      Thanks in advance for any contacts.



  • Are you blind or visually impaired, looking for a singles group?  If so, join the newly created blind_singles group.  To join, send a blank email message to:



What is happening on Out-Of-Sight?


If you would like to receive our daily announcements and schedule of events, please select the following email link.


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That is all there is to it!  You should receive a daily announcement from us within 24 hours. These announcements not only highlight the schedule of the day, they provide important information about any cancellations, new events, or special messages from our hosts or board members. Stay informed with our daily announcement!


Also stay tuned for our monthly newsletter, which will be distributed on the first of every month.  We look forward to your input and suggestions for future newsletters.  Please submit your questions, comments, or article submissions by the 20th of each month to




Debi Chatfield



Catch the vision--it is Out of Sight!