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updated: 1/5/2013 2:00 PM

Dan Van Haften talks about his Lincoln book in Washington

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  • Authors Dan Van Haften, left, and David Hirsch pose with the book they wrote after studying the speeches of Abraham Lincoln. Van Haften recently discussed the book in Washington, D.C.

    Authors Dan Van Haften, left, and David Hirsch pose with the book they wrote after studying the speeches of Abraham Lincoln. Van Haften recently discussed the book in Washington, D.C.
    Courtesy of Savas Beatie


Batavian Dan Van Haften, co-author of "Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason," was invited last week to have his brush with history.

Van Haften gave a presentation about the book, which researches Lincoln's speeches and their connection to Greek mathematician Euclid, to 150 people at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

He followed it up with a book signing at that historic site of Lincoln's assassination. Van Haften wrote the book two years ago with David Hirsch of Des Moines.

"This talk focused on how people could better understand the structure and meaning of arguably the three most famous persuasive documents in American history," Van Haften said.

Those documents included Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural, and Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, Van Haften said.

To give you an idea of how deep this presentation was, Van Haften said, "The documents were analyzed according to the six elements of a proposition."

You'd have to read the book to have a good handle on what made Lincoln tick when it came to addressing the nation. After all, historians credit Euclid, who lived from 325 B.C. to 265 B.C., as the first to discuss geometry and illustrating how his propositions could be used to make logical deductions.

See what I mean about reading the book?

A recommended checkup: It surely wouldn't get the media hype of Katie Couric's live colonoscopy on national TV, but it's worth it for me to pass along this significant news: After more than a decade of being a big baby about getting this potentially lifesaving procedure, I finally had it done.

The test is like taking a nice power nap. And that's it. Of course, my wife had to tell the nurse that I would sleep all day if they let me, so I was awakened and sent on my way none the worse for wear.

I once read a comment from a physician who said, "Death starts in the colon" for a lot of human beings. The good news is that there's a test that can stop such a fate.

So, coming from a big baby who finally did what was right, I recommend to anyone over 50 to have this done -- and get any problems fixed, or feel good about knowing nothing serious is wrong.

It needs a light: Readers are telling me they love the new Red Gate bridge, but they are hoping the city or county installs a streetlight at the intersection of Route 25 and the bridge.

When it's dark, either early in the morning or at night, apparently it is hard for some drivers to tell which lane they are turning onto.

Now that's a party: If someone touts a Friday night birthday party that will feature Taylor Street and Pizza Hut pizzas, as well as Dairy Queen blizzards, it would get my attention immediately.

And with that spread of donated food and treats, the Swing Set Preschool in St. Charles should have a pretty solid 40th birthday bash from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 18.

The preschool, an outreach of the St. Charles Congregational Church of Christ at 40W451 Fox Mill Blvd., is inviting alumni, current families and friends to participate in the celebration, which is open to the public.

As with any party, music and games are included. Children's musician Bill Hooper will sing from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Potentially good burgers?: I couldn't get over to St. Charles' newest sports bar, Time Out Sports Pub and Grill, on New Year's Day for the Orange Bowl, which NIU lost to Florida State. But it won't be long before I am checking out the burgers at this place.

It's located in the shopping area along Lincoln Highway in St. Charles, behind Goody's, and gives area residents a sports hangout in that general area for the first time since Bud's closed more than a year ago.

Faculty concert: Music lovers going to the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra free concert featuring the symphony faculty Sunday at Elgin Community College's Arts Center will see some familiar faces.

One for those in Geneva will be middle school music teacher Jason Flaks, who will play the trumpet. He serves as the brass choir conductor of the EYSO.

The concert, which starts at 2 p.m., marks only the second time in 37 years that the faculty has taken the stage together. The concert will accept donations for the EYSO scholarship fund.

Goodbye to colleague, friend: I was sad to hear about my colleague and friend Roger Coleman passing away last weekend at his home in Kentucky. Roger and I experienced a lot of interesting twists and turns during our careers at the Kane County Chronicle and, more than anyone else, he helped advance my career.

He was a member of a lot of newspaper organizations and local organizations. Because of that, he made a lot of friends and, as with any publisher, a few enemies. But he loved the business and, while he lived here, he loved the Tri-Cities.

So, until we meet again on a golf course in heaven, rest in peace my friend.

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