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There are hotbeds of harmony in downtown Little Rock, The Observer is able to report.

Last week, we lay on a floor that was wall-to-wall bodies in a studio at Sixth and Chester streets to listen to the sounds of crystal bowls. The bowl players struck a note and then created ringing vibrations from the bowls, the same way a child makes a glass of water sing by rubbing a finger around the rim. The ear-filling vibrations were meant to restore balance. They drowned out the odd snore issuing from the extremely balanced there on the floor. Afterwards, we ate chocolate. It was all good.

Then, there's the weekly love-in at the River Market. We haven't been but we saw it captured on a video on the youtube.com website.

The love-in — known to its congregation as “smile church” — offers free hugs and popsicles to all comers. According to the video, in two weekends, the college kids who're holding “smile church” have given away 1,000 popsicles and “countless hugs and smiles.” The video shows folks off the street taking part in the communion, which organizers are quick to point out has nothing to do with organized religion. No donations are sought, either.

Jeff, from whom The Observer's church bulletin was sent, informed us “we are growing very quickly and hopefully we will keep on growing and spreading happiness one person at a time.”

The church is easy to find: Just look for young men and women holding up signs that say “You're Awesome” and “Free Hugs” and “Free Smiles.” For a preview, go to www.peacelovehuman.com.

Singing bowls, free popsicles — watch out, people, the Sixties are making a comeback. There was a hopeless war going on then, too.

The Observer likes to call the young writers in the office the kids, and here's what the kids have recently spoken into our earhorn.

That “blow up” means get famous.

That you no longer need to use the article “the” before the word “dude,” as in “he says dude plays guitar like a house on fire.”

Some words, like “twee” — as in “Dude's not twee, he's blowing up” — are known to The Observer, and we toss them off like pros. We'll never drop articles, however.

Then there's “holding down the 1s and 2s,” which you will read in this paper's entertainment section. It's deejay lingo for mixing music.

Today's youth are far out.

Seen in Pine Bluff: A woman in camouflage shorts and shirt with the slogan, “I'm hiding from my ex.”

The Observer was talking recently to the interim superintendent of the Little Rock School District about all kinds of serious things, and the conversation naturally turned to cake baking. The Observer had found someone to answer a question posed to her just the day before: Why do you put vinegar in a cake?

Linda Watson, who spends Sunday with her mother cooking and visiting and sometimes cleaning out one of the two deep freezers her 84-year-old mom maintains, knew instantly. She does it herself. When you're making German chocolate cake from scratch, which surely you do once a month at least, and you don't happen to have any buttermilk, you just add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar to sweet milk and voila, it curdles.

When you read that hotel billionaire Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog, did you wonder what your own pet could do with that kind of money? We did.

We're pretty sure the cat would blow it nightclubbing. But the dog — dogs don't need money. Well, there are those that play poker, if the editor's favorite work of art is a true depiction of pooch behavior. And they like real meat when they can steal it out of a young child's hand, say, or off the dining table. Our dog has been known to do that, but she doesn't gamble, and she's not much for the groomer either. She only buffs her nails. She'd probably have a small party, invite her best friends over, serve steak tartar. She'd entertain by inviting her guests to chase her. But $12 million bucks? That's a lot of puppy parties. New York, of course, is a more expensive to live.

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