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  •    How can any of us go about our daily lives as if nothing had happened? We learn to look away from, if not entirely ignore, human suffering in other parts of the world, but it ought not to be possible to act inured to disaster closer to home.

  •    Halloween will be celebrated on Saturday in Belmar, N.J. I suppose the Belmar kids will have a good time, regardless — better late than never, when it comes to kids and their candy. But it’s hard to imagine the grownups really putting their hearts into caramel apples or ghost lollipops, after all the losses suffered there.

  • Although voters undoubtedly are focused on the presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, whose names appear at the top of the ballot along with their vice-presidential running mates, the ballot has a long row of slots for many other candidates.
  •    How do you write a column when a bad hurricane is on its way . . . and your power is likely to go off before deadline time? You could try to write about something else, something light and humorous. (For instance, I’ve been planning to get a column out of my husband’s odd fascination with casseroles, and how he made one of his own creation that was so massive we had to freeze quarts of leftovers.) But with the tension in the air, and the gravity of what could possibly happen, such thoughts get blown away with the wind.

  •    Those of you who pay attention to what goes on over the East Hampton Town line have no doubt heard of Bridget Fleming, a Southampton Town councilwoman. Having now won a Democratic primary to run for the New York Senate, however, she has to think about name recognition.

  •     Mary Ellen Hannibal talked about her new book, “The Spine of the Continent,” in a Star interview in September. In it, she describes the effort by some 30 nonprofit organizations to recreate a 5,000-mile corridor for wildlife from Alaska through the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in Mexico. She called it “the most ambitious wildlife project ever undertaken.”
        Two weeks later, in an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, she wrote about biodiversity and the interconnectedness of living things.

  •    Do you remember “The Piano,” a film starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, and a girl named Anna Paquin? Described by Jane Campion, the filmmaker, as a “Gothic exploration of the romantic impulse,” it was a hit at the first Hamptons International Film Festival in 1993, and, as they say, the rest is history. A part of that history is Ms. Paquin, 11 at the time, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

  •    Standing impatiently on a line that snakes toward a check-in counter or security area at an airport, you have no doubt seen people like us: one passenger in a wheelchair; one traveling companion trotting alongside, like a dog chasing a car; and one airport employee pushing that wheelchair — unhooking the cordons and sweeping his or her charges ahead of everyone who waits.

  •    Okay, friends and relatives, it’s the end of September and another birthday is here. Mine. (Yes, I realize my hinting technique is not subtle.)
        What I want to do about it, or not do as the case may be, is, as usual, unresolved. I’m open to suggestions.

  •    I was thoroughly puzzled when my husband, Chris, came home one night recently carrying a gigantic bag full of lima beans. He launched into a story about how his father had brought home unshucked limas once a year, and how — in homage to a neighbor’s family name, Lyman — they jokingly called them “Lyman beans” around the dinner table.
        “So what?” I wanted to know.
        Did he and his siblings actually like them?