Haunted houses and walks along the spooky lanes of a dark woods are in operation around here. Once again, people are lining up for that annual risk-free rush of adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine! But I don't have to leave home for that. All I have to do is turn on the national news.
To anyone who thinks that wearing a mask during the pandemic is a terrible burden: Such an imposition, isn't it, to mask up and do your bit to protect yourself and others, especially since everyone (especially you) has all those constitutional rights and freedoms, and no one's gonna be the boss of you, by golly! … Continue reading A modest proposal
Your neighbor is probably a perfectly normal, reasonable adult. But suppose you and your neighbor are having an over-the-fence chat about this and that. You comment about how many sparrows you've had at your bird feeders lately, and his eyes bug out, he starts huffing and puffing, and next thing you know, conversation ceases as … Continue reading Birds Aren’t Real!
The reality show our species produces and acts in is appalling and discouraging. We could be doing so much better for ourselves and our planet, but we keep on mining those veins of stupidity and self-destructiveness that never seem to run out. Ödön von Horváth said, "Nichts gibt so sehr das Gefühl der Unendlichkeit als … Continue reading Stupidity
The first time I saw the "Earthrise" photo taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders on Christmas Eve, 1968, I was astonished by the image of our lovely living planet suspended in the depths of space above the bleak lunar surface. I eventually bought a black and white reproduction which I tacked up on the … Continue reading A favorite story from my teaching days
I'm a fairly thoughtful person by nature. If asked to list my hobbies or favorite pursuits, I always put thinking at the top of the list. Once upon a time during a free period, I was seated at my desk thinking. A student walked in and asked if I could help him out with a … Continue reading Thinking
I've seen these words or some variation on many signs carried by all sorts of people. What does it mean to say "My body, my choice" or "My body, my rights" without contradicting oneself or being hypocritical? Let's say an anti-vaxxer claims a "right" to abstain from vaccinations, becomes infected with a virulent strain of … Continue reading My Body, My Rights/Choice
If you think your faith (religious, political, ideological, etc.) protects you from Covid, and that therefore you don't need to pay attention to science or get vaccinated or wear a mask, answer me this. If you had to chose between (a) standing unprotected in front of a firing machine gun or (b) not standing unprotected … Continue reading Faith vs Covid
"I’ve often heard people say: ‘I wonder what it would feel like to be on board a spaceship,’ and the answer is very simple. What does it feel like? That’s all we have ever experienced. We are all astronauts on a little spaceship called Earth." (R. Buckminster Fuller) R. Buckminster Fuller was an authentic visionary … Continue reading Spaceships
I've done my share and, I'm ashamed to admit it, still do when I don't catch myself before calling someone a wack job or a nazi or an extremist or worse. I like to think that I'm better than that. So, why is it so easy for me to stoop to this form of verbal … Continue reading Name-Calling