Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is This Rotarian...Babe Ruth's Long Lost Son? You Be The Judge!

Could this MV Rotarian, Gordon Neville, be Babe Ruth's long lost son? Some people think so! They look a lot alike. You be the judge. Gordon is the Club's former president and is a Paul Harris recipient. Although he has hit many home runs in Rotary, we don't think he hit any on the ball field!

Attention your Rotary photos!

Are you into photography?
Send us you Rotary pictures and we will post them on this Blog. We get daily hits on this Blog from all over the world. So it is an opportunity to get exposure for yourself, your club, and your district.
Let us know your name, club, and district. We will give you credit on the photo. The pictures can be of any subject as long as it is Rotary related and you are a Rotarian.
Send your photos to You must include the identifying information or we cannot post it. we do reserve the right to post the pictures or not, based on content.

Attention Rotarians Interested in Canoeing, Horses, Dogs, Radio, Motorcycles, Fishing And More!

Are you a Rotarian interested in accounting, amateur radio, bird watching, canoeing, dogs, horses, motorcycles, fishing or something else.

There is most likely a Rotary Fellowship group that will put you in touch with other Rotarians with your interest around the world! To find out if there is a group with your interest go to:

And if there is not a group with your interest, why don't you start one yourself. Go to:
and find out how!

Today's Rotary Meeting Was Good For The Eyes!

Eye Charts were everywhere in sight as the MV Rotary celebrated Hermann Snellen's birthday. Hermann, was a Dutch ophthalmologist who was born February 19, 1834 and is the inventor of the Snellen Eye Chart.

JAD Duggan, Club Advisor, and MV Rotary's resident eye Doctor, demonstrated several charts and explained explained to members how the charts work.

The traditional Snellen chart is printed with eleven lines of block letters. The first line consists of one very large letter, which may be one of several letters, for example E, H, N, or A. Subsequent rows have increasing numbers of letters that decrease in size. A patient taking the test covers one eye and reads aloud the letters of each row, beginning at the top. The smallest row that can be read accurately indicates the patient's visual acuity in that eye.

JAD showed the group that if you can read the bottom row, you have 20/10 vision. He said that Ted Williams, baseball player for the Red Sox, had 20/10 vision.

The symbols on a chart are formally known as "optotypes." In the case of the traditional Snellen chart, the optotypes have the appearance of block letters, and are intended to be seen and read as letters. They are not, however, letters from any ordinary typographer's font. They have a particular, simple geometry in which:

  • the thickness of the lines equals the thickness of the white spaces between lines and the thickness of the gap in the letter "C"
  • the height and width of the optotype (letter) is five times the thickness of the line.

Only the ten letters C, D, E, F, L, N, O, P, T, Z are used in the traditional Snellen chart.

Jad brought with him several charts including one that he uses for children. The kids chart showed symbols rather than letters. He even has cards with an E on it so that parents an take them home and have their children practice with it. Sort of like studying for your Eye Tests.

The presentation had one member exclaim:

"Today's meeting was brought to us by the letter E."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What To Wear To A Rotary Meeting?

On Valentine's Day you wear a red hat, a red suit, red shoes, and anything else you can think of......that is what Merrimack Valley Rotary Club member Debi Farnsworth did at our last meeting! You could not miss her! She was a cheery addition to our breakfast meeting......

Rotary Video Of The Week

Makeups Can Be Fun To Do With Rotary eClubs! It Is All Just A Click Away!

Rotary formed eClubs in 2001 for members to do makeups on line. Below is a list of those English Speaking Clubs where you can get makeups.


Rotary eClub One:
Rotary eClub of 3310:
Rotary eClub of District 7890:
Rotary eClub of Southwest USA, District 5510:
Rotary e-Club NY1 of District 7150:
Rotary eClub of London Centenary, District 1130:

For a list of eClubs throughout the world go to:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Carl Good To Talk About His Rotary Trip To Bangladesh At Rotaries In North Carolina

MV Rotary member Carl Good, has taken his presentation of his recent Rotary trip to Bangladesh on the road. He will be addressing the Sandhills Rotary Club in the Carolina Hotel in Pinehust, North Carolina on March 26. They meet on Wednesday's at 7:00 AM. He will also be addressing the Pinehurst Rotary Club on March 18. This group meets on Tuesdays, noon, in the Pinecrest Hotel, in North Carolina. If your are in the area on either of these dates, drop by and see Carl.

Carl went on the trip to help immunize children against polio. During . the trip, the group and 700,000 other volunteers immunized 24 million children all on one day. It is an incredible story about the successes of Rotary! While he was there, Carl was moved by a Centre For Special Needs Children and is on a mission to raise funds for them.

Shown are some pictures of the Sandhills Rotary Club that Carl took when he attended a recent Sandshill Rotary meeting!
We invite member of these Clubs to come and have breakfast with the Merrimack Valley Rotary when they are up this way. We meet at Skips Restaurant in Chelmsford, Mass at 7:15 AM.

For more information about Carl's trip to Bangladesh or the Centre For Special Needs Children in Bangladesh, contact the MV Rotary at

Sunday, February 10, 2008

MV Rotary Celebrates Inventor's Day and Thomas Edison's and Al Jean's Birthdays!

Recently the Merrimack Valley Rotary Celebrated Inventor's Day (which is February 11) with a presentation from its resident Inventor Al Jean. In the United States, Inventor's Day is celebrated on Thomas Edison's birthday, which just happens to also be Al's birthday.

What Is An Inventor?
Al said that that the definition of an Inventor is "one who contrives or conceives a previously unknown device, method or process. " So Al has plenty of those devices to be considered an honest to goodness, full fledged, high faulting Inventor. One that Thomas Edison would be proud of for all that Al has done.

Al's Inventions
Included in Al's Inventions are are the Squirrel Baffler, the Cane Caddy and the Rollamite. The Rollamite, which Al has patented 25 years ago, is a device to move objects with the least friction given to society. The Squirrel Baffler Al invented 3 years ago. During that time the squirrels succeed at making it to the seeds only 3 time. Al, true to the Inventor's spirit, made modification to the Baffler 2 months ago and so far, no squirrel has outsmarted the new and improved version.

Al says that patents for inventions have been around for 200 years, and the first patten was influenced by Thomas Jefferson in 1790! Al's first patent was in 1980. On average there are 1,000 patents a year. Thomas Edison, himself, had over 1,000 patents.

Al has inventions, but he has also had plenty of discoveries' Al said that a discovery is attributed to finding, leaning of, or observing for the first time. Some of Al's discoveries includes doing push ups to cure tendinitis; walking backwards to cure heel bone spurs; using Zantac to cure acid reflux ; leaning forward with feet flat to cure leg cramps, and taking care of mustard to heal burns.

Al says, " Inventing, has been one areas of life that has been fulfilling and gratifying for me."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

MV Rotary Club To Support Special Need Center In Bangladesh

MV Rotarian Carl Good, fresh off his Rotary trip to Bangladesh, told the Club members that his three week excursion was an experience of a lifetime. He said that all of the 17 Rotarians that were with him all paid, their own way for the trip, which was designed to help rid the area of polio.

Inoculation Day
He told the group that the area had been Polio free since August 2000. But in 2006 there were 18 cases, which they believe were the cause of people coming in the area from India who had polio. While there, Carl took part in an Polio Inoculation Day which involved 700,000 volunteer inoculating 24 million children, all in one day.

Center For Children
While there Carl took a special interest in a Center For Children With Special Needs in Madanpur. The Center, which is a project of the Rotary Club of Banani Dhaka provides rehab services to children in the area who have various disabilities. The objectives of the Center include:
  • To provide community based rehabilitation

  • To train parents to take care of their children with disability

  • To impact a socially compatible living to children with disabilities

  • To change the attitude of the community toward children with disability

  • To establish school and vocational institutions

The organization of services for these children depend on both community based and institutional approaches to rehabilitation. The main work is to take the service for these children to their doorsteps so that mothers can avail it more easily. They have 40 children enlisted.

Support Is Needed

The Merrimack Valley Rotary, under Carl's direction and vision will help this organization by raising funds through the Club's own efforts and then to apply for Matching Grants. Anyone interested in helping us with these efforts can contact the Club by either writing to or by calling Club President Ken Masson at (978) 446-9366.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

MV Rotary Awards Its Annual Woodchuck Award

This year, the Merrimack Valley Rotary awarded its annual Bob McDonald Woodchuck Award to Gordon Neiville. Each year the award is presented to the club member who tells the tallest tale during the year. Gordon won that award hands down. Too many tale tales to tell!

The award stared last year after member Bob McDonald had told everyone (many times) that he had a dream that a woodchuck had eaten his winning raffle ticket. The award is given out at the meeting closest to Groundhog day

Show in the picture is Gordon (right) being presented the award by Bob! Congratulations to Gordon, who excepted the award by saying that he does not tell tale tales, he just has a lot of fantasies! :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Rotarian Fred Lospennato Making Music And News

Merrimack Valley Honorary Rotarian Fred Lospennato has been making news and music lately. Fred and his accordion have been performing at the Cafe Madrid at 28 Alpine Lane in Chelmsford (across from the Post Office) on Friday nights. If you like good music, good atmosphere and good food, drop by on Friday Nights.

Also, Fred is making new as being very progressive with his computer generated music...take a look at this writeup in a music industry publication:

Fred Lospennato is a fine accordionist who has done massive research with his MIDI accordion and the Ketron XD3. The things he is doing are almost unheard of in the MIDI accordion world. Using his wireless accordion he has developed a system whereby he can change styles, using registrations, on his XD3. Using this method he can also call patterns in addition to built-in styles. Remarkable!! His web site is You can email him at