The light goes off.
“Okay,” my tame little personal voice-assistant speaker replies with a quick flash of her blue tail-lights.
The fact that the television is still on, I have a steaming cup of hot tea perched on the night table, and the dog still needs to go outside to do her business before we all settle down for the night is apparently of no concern to Alexa.
And why I am going to bed at 8:32 pm, when I haven’t finished a single thing on my to do list for the day?
I really think I would prefer more…
In the current Covid-19 pandemic, a vaccine against the disease is seen as the key medical breakthrough required before we can return to the world we knew just a few short months ago.
Last week Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “normality as it was before, will not come back full-on until we get a vaccine for this. That will be a very long way off.”
Earlier this week the World Health Organization’s special envoy David Nabarro said “Covid-19 will stalk the human race for quite a long time to come until we have a vaccine that will protect…
First widely used against the bubonic plague, quarantines are also intertwined with the founding of Australia. And for better or worse, they remain a practice still needed in the 21st century battle against Covid-19. The concept of isolating a known or suspected infected person has been used as far back as biblical times when the most feared communicable disease was leprosy.
“Command the sons of Israel that they send away from the camp every leper and everyone having a discharge and everyone who is unclean because of a dead person.” :Numbers 5.2
Pyotr rubbed his hands together as hard as he could, hoping that maybe, just maybe, it would calm him a little. He did not want to tremble like a silly girl when it was his turn to perform. The cuts on his hands had almost healed, but one deep scar remained. He clenched his fists wishing the wound could somehow magically vanish.
It was before he had a keyboard or a piano teacher or any way to make music, that he had cut his hand so deeply. He was searching for sounds, musical notes like the ones he heard on…
The bones and sarcophagus of the historical figure much of the western world calls ‘Santa Claus’ are buried in the lower level of a church in Southern Italy and attract hundreds of pilgrims and curious visitors every day. During a recent trip to Puglia, the stunning olive and wine-producing region that occupies the heel of the Italian peninsula, I came to understand how important St. Nicholas is to the people here. And as I learned more about him, it became clear that the real ‘Saint Nick” really was a real-life Santa Claus.
I got the short-hand version of the story…
London, 14 December 1843
THE MORNING DAWNED full of promise for Charles John Dickens. At the ripe old age of 31, he was making his first foray into the frightening but potentially lucrative world of self-publishing. He was excited, even celebratory over his new work which would finally be ready today and hopefully, net him the princely sum of 1,000 pounds sterling.
He hastened across the Strand, one of the busiest streets in London, on his way to the print shop of Edward Chapman and William Hall. Preliminary proof copies of his five stave novella A Christmas Carol, awaited his…
During the 2018 mid-term elections in the USA, tens of thousands of absentee mail-in ballots were rejected. The reason according to the United States Election Assistance Commission: a “non-matching signature” on the ballot versus the one on file.
It’s not hard to see why this would be the case. Other than celebrities with distinctive signatures they have honed over the years, some even taking lessons or practicing to get it just right, most of us rarely sign our name with pen to paper anymore.
I suppose if you get to the place where your handwritten signature is important or valuable…
Albert Einstein had long mastered integral and differential calculus on his 16th birthday and already published his findings into the state of ether in a magnetic field.
Paul McCartney was playing guitar with fellow teenager John Lennon when he invited an even younger George Harrison to join their band.
Joan of Arc experienced visions from three saints who told her to drive out the English from France, and she began her campaign to do just that.
These and other examples of 16-year-olds throughout history make me marvel at the confluence of innocence, inspiration, passion and raw talent that produced young…
In the history of beer brewing, monks have a special place in heaven. They found the perfect triangulation of spirituality, nutrition and self-sufficiency to create a product that many still think of as ‘divine.’
During a recent trip to Bavaria, my wife and I visited the Weltenburg Abbey, (Weltenburger Klosterbrauerei) the oldest monastic brewery in the world. They proudly stamp ‘1050’, the year of their founding, on all their bottles, cans and T-shirts. The oldest monastic brewery claim is disputed by another Bavarian monastery, Weihenstephan Abbey, who say they got going ten years earlier in 1040.
What can’t be argued…
The notion of love as the main reason to get married to someone is a relatively modern development. For most of recorded history love was not a consideration. If it existed between husband and wife it was considered a fortunate byproduct. But more often, partners in love were considered a danger to the success of the enterprise.
The idea of marriage primarily as a business arrangement seems antithetical to most of us today. There is little doubt that love is the driving force for marketing the institution and enticing new subscribers to sign on the dotted line.
I may be…