Category Archives: society

The New York Times Opens Its Archives

The New York Times has finally figured out that it’s in their best interest to make their newspaper articles available to the public. As of a week or two ago, they’re no longer charging a fee for their “premium” content. Now anyone can read columnists such as Paul Krugman online without having to subscribe…

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Swedish Vacation

Every once in a while I get an email from the Swedish American Heritage Council. Or is it the American Swedish Heritage Council? Or the Swedish American Historical Society? Anyway, as much as I hate to admit it (at least, to my mom), I typically hit the delete button when one of these messages shows up in my inbox. A couple weeks ago, however, when I received the latest installment, I was immediately drawn to these paragraphs about vacation time in Sweden…


The Art of Learning

Back in May I heard a snippet of a Talk of the Nation episode featuring Josh Waitzkin, and I was really impressed. If you’re not familiar with the name, he’s the kid that the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer was based on…


The American Idol Effect

There’s nothing more comforting to the sick than having a diagnosis, a name that we can attach to what ails us. It’s especially heartening to be able to identify by name an illness that plagues a very large number of Americans.


The Queen and the Court Jester

My friend Melissa has a couple twin girls who attend the British School in Washington D.C., so when the Queen of England came to town, she paid the school a little visit. According to Melissa, “a court fool was hired to accompany Her Majesty to the event that day” …


Free Cancer Survivor’s Handbook

The older I get, the more people I know who are battling cancer. So, whenever I see something hopeful related to the disease, my interest is immediately piqued…


We Can’t Believe Our Eyes

Two great web pages, one educational and one merely instructional, show what miraculous things can be done to the human face with some Photoshop work and perhaps a little professionally applied makeup. . .



When my former student (and current friend) Nicole Tieri sent out an email message a few days ago describing her concerns about a new documentary airing next month, I thought that her thoughts deserved wider circulation. Here is what she had to say…

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What We Want

I’ve been reading a novel, Doctor Glas, written by Hjalmar Soderberg in 1905. So far it has been enjoyable in a depressing sort of way, but not nearly as provocative as the book jacket blurb claims. One paragraph, though, especially captured my attention…

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Poet George W. Bush

It came as a great surprise to me that our president, who we all know is a fearless commander in chief, dynamic leader, and public speaker extraordinaire, also happens to be a remarkable poet. Apparently I’m one of the last people to be clued in to this, since W’s poem has been floating around the internet for about four years now, but just in case you haven’t seen it yet either, I am reprinting, for your reading pleasure, this poem derived completely from actual W quotes…

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