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May 25, 2008

Spa Sermons

I can understand Kris Frieswick’s displeasure at having her “emotional failings” diagnosed by her massage therapist, but her anger at her yoga teacher’s spiritual musing is way off base (“Handle With Care,” May 4). Yoga postures are performed not merely to stretch the muscles, but to open the physical body so the practitioner can experience the divine union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Shawna Nehiley, Dedham

I am a student at Cortiva Institute Boston. As Frieswick’s article so artfully states, there are many practicing massage therapists who inject their own beliefs, including spirituality, into their practice. In my opinion, that is beyond their scope of practice. Not only am I learning the techniques important to massage therapy, I’m also learning a lot about professional boundaries and ethics. For many, massage can be a spiritual experience in and of itself – without the proselytizing.

Marea Donohue, Walpole

On the Ball

My compliments to Marty Dobrow, author of “Imperfect Pitch” (May 4). Nice prose, got the story right, in-depth research. The only issue I have is with the graphic showing the knuckleball movement. Some years back I got smacked down by researchers at Texas Tech for suggesting this very thing on my KnuckleballHQ website. A slowly rotating ball actually does not allow air to fill the void behind it, so there is a very large pocket of turbulence back there that shifts and bends and swells and shrinks when the air along the outside trips and slides along alternate smooth and stitch areas. Wind tunnel tests prove that.

Dave Clark, Barre

Your graphic incorrectly states that the stitches in the ball’s cover are the cause of the erratic flight of a knuckleball, a nonrotating or slightly rotating ball. A completely smooth ball, if not rotating, would still have an erratic flight. The cause of this is an aerodynamic phenomenon called a Karman vortex street: The wake left behind by a nonrotating or slightly rotating sphere has alternating vortices coming from it. Each vortex creates a sideways force on the sphere, resulting in the erratic path.

Denis P. Edkins, Peabody

Mayoral Salute

Just wanted to commend Charles P. Pierce on his nice piece about former Boston mayor Kevin White (“Pierced,” May 4). I was proud to have him represent our city with such class, intelligence, and fortitude. I think it will be a very long while before our city will see the likes of him again.

Maria Kelley


Am I missing something? Was there a purpose to Pierce’s mean-spirited, insensitive letter to White?

Rosemary Crocker, Danvers

I quite enjoyed the latest edition of “Pierced” and wanted to encourage Pierce to write more about the history of this city and region. That’s the sort of contextualization that is lost in the news, but which we need more of.

Jack Cheng, West Roxbury

Comments? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Please include a daytime phone number. Letters are subject to editing; short letters are preferred.

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