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Meeting Minutes
Torch Club of the Fox Valley
10 December 2015
Atlas Coffee Mill & Café

Notes taken by: Jude Kuenn, secretary
Attendees:  Karen Bachhuber, Jim Baumbach, Nancy Bodway, David Debbink, Marcia Debbink, Mary Flanagan, Paul Freiburg, Jean Jepson, Barbara Kelly, Bill Kelly, Jude Kuenn, Amy Oberg, Mary Paulson, Richard Schoenbohm, Bob Swain, Helen Thiel, Peter Thiel, Donna Weis

Guest: Sofia Wilson


Meeting called to order at 6:38pm.

  1. Guest introduction: Sofia Wilson was introduced by Bill Kelly.
  2. Minutes from 11/12/15 meeting were accepted, motioned and approved.
  3. Treasurer’s report: balance as of 12/09/15 was $3,199.53. One payment of $50.12 was made for books donated to APL in Dwight Easty’s memory. Dues receipts totaled $185.00. IATC dues will be paid by 02/01/16. Barbara passed IATC address roster around the table and requested any changes be noted. She will make updates on Torch International’s website. Benefits of being part of IATC include magazines, emails and conventions. The 2016 convention will be in Columbus, OH. Report was accepted, motioned and approved.
  4. Old Business:
    A: To have a party similar to previous years, we’d need to host another convention to build financial reserve.
    B: Donna shared highlights from attending June IATC Convention. Event was well attended (between 120-150 folks), well organized with good lectures. Convention included optional trip to the Strategic Air Command in Lincoln NE which houses 30 planes indoors. Donna donated her IATC reimbursement to the Club, after using $75 of it to pay her dues for this year.
    C: Jean shared a new essay contest co-sponsored by AAUW and APL called ”Women’s History Month Essay Contest” for middle school students, 6-8 grades. Event reception will be 3/10/16. Coincidentally, it complements Barbara’s 11/15 presentation on “Women in STEM”.
  5. New Business: 
    1. Recent membership changes - David Woods resigned due to business schedule conflicts. Barbara will contact Janet Cloak to ask if she plans to renew her membership.
    2. Amy Oberg: to discuss a book exchange – proposal made and accepted to have a book exchange, set for the 2/11/16 meeting. Bring worthwhile, intelligent topics, something that will touch each of us to give up. February meeting to start at 5:45pm, using the extra 15 minutes for the exchange. Jude to ask Sue to have extra table(s) available for books.
    3. Mary requested adding discussion of IATC benefits to the next meeting’s agenda.
    4. January agenda to include a review of Altas’ new feature of ordering dinner on-line.
  6. Announcements:
    a. Mary - Noonhour Philosophers will reconvene in January, taking a holiday break for the balance of December.

Business segment adjourned at 7:06pm for dinner.
Amy Oberg presented “The Power of Equus”
Amy was horse-crazy as a kid, enchanted with the mechanical horse at the grocery store. Forty years later, Hayboy is her joy. Owning a horse teaches many lessons, including the fact that Amy does not own him, more that Hayboy owns her.
Equus (genus) includes horses, asses and donkeys. Evolving ~5mm years ago, today’s modern horse is ~4mm years old. Or perhaps, they are a creation of Allah’s, when he grabbed the wind and created the horse.
A herd animal for protection, horses are swift; their greatest attribute is the ability to run, up to 40 mph. Hayboy is 68” at his withers (highest part of the back of the base of the neck) and measures 17 hands (1 hand = 4”). About 1,000 lbs., his winter weight can total ~1,400 lbs. He can consume 20% of his body weight daily, hence the phrase to ‘eat like a horse’. At rest, breath rate is 13 gallons of air a minute, and 220 gallons/minute when running. Horsepower can also be their ability to elevate the human spirit.
Horses sleep four hours a day, in 15 minute increments, standing, using a ’stay’ mechanism in their legs. They have 205 bones (vs. 206 in humans) and 700 muscles (to 650 in humans). Physical weakness is the lower leg (no muscular support) and the stomach.
Seventeen facial expressions reflect emotional states. With 340 degrees of vision, blind spots are directly ahead and behind a horse. The nose can pick up a scent 200 miles away, and always remembers a smell. Their ears are funneled to detect sounds. Dependent on age and breed, the brain is 1”- 4” in diameter. It’s adaptable, processes internal and external signals; horses remember things for the rest of their lives. The heart is 1% of the body’s weight, 9-11 lbs. and can beat 28-45 times/minute. Maximum exertion beats can top 250 beats/minute. Horses were domesticated 6,000-10,000 years ago in the Ukraine/West Kazakhstan.    
What is unnatural: why let a human sit on their back?
Horses have impacted societies throughout history: from easing distances traveled, to working in the fields and on farms, to helping determine victories in wars. They have improved civilization through art: from ancient cave paintings to Renaissance’s fixation with the creature. There are myths, legends and phrases we use today, thanks to the horse; i.e.: horse sense, putting on airs, bits and pieces, etc.
The most amazing power of equus is the horse/human bond: the impact of their beauty and spirit to humans. A 1974 study focused on the heart state of beast to human. Recent studies show horses can synchronize with the brain/heart of the rider. Human/equine therapy has been very successful.
The spirit of the horse is its willingness to allow a human on its back, and the willingness to share mystery. 
Evening adjourned at 8:52pm.
Next meeting is 01/14/16; speaker will be Jan Smith.

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