Happy Birthday, Isaac! And, of course, a Blessed Science Fiction Day to All!


Somewhere between the beginning of October, 1919, and the beginning of January, 1920, Isaak Yudovich Oximov was born in Petrovich in what today is Russia. The exact date is in fact not known. But, in later years, after he grew up, he took to celebrating his birthday on the 2nd of January.His family immigrated to the United States when he was three years old. His Americanized name was Isaac Asimov. The young Isaac's family owned a candy store, actually it seems a succession of candy stores. … [Read more...]

Goodbye 2015. Welcome 2016!


This past twelvemonth had its ups and downs. Some very good ups. For Jan & me quite the year, taking the first deep steps into our retirement from our professional lives. Also, losses. I think of auntie a lot. Quite the year.For the planet, also a mixed bag.In case you've forgotten, here is a somewhat sanitized accounting.True, sometimes its hard to see how we human beings are going to make it.Still, there is a way through. I know it. I know it in my bones.And who would … [Read more...]

Last Night we saw “Youth.” The Short Review: We Liked it.

Jan Fonda in Youth

And, in case you're interested, here are a few more words on Youth.As the film ended, I saw that we had watched a movie where everyone in the audience remained seated until the credits had all run. Normally we stay until they start naming the food trucks, by which time I’m squirming, and Jan, too, has seen enough. In part because of how the film credits played, but mainly because I was so entranced, not really ready for it all to end that I had no problem joining the aficionados all the way u … [Read more...]

The Origin of the Originator: Bo Diddley is Born


Ellas Otha Bates was born on this day in 1928. As a child his name was changed to Ellas McDaniel. But, we know him as Bo Diddley.Bo Diddley is generally acknowledged as a key player in the transition from blues to rock 'n roll. The litany of those who acknowledge his influence include Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and, oh yes, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.One of the greats. No doubt... … [Read more...]

A Status Report as We Come Toward the End of 2015 (by our Common Reckoning), Together With a Small Suggestion


Life continues.It does seem things are precarious. Well, at least for those of us who breathe oxygen. For those who are concerned with technical accuracy this precariousness is probably not a lot worse than at many times since we living things appeared about three and a half billion years ago on this lovely little rock spinning around a middling star at the edge of a midsized galaxy pretty much in a corner of nowhere. Sadly, tragically, our personal interference with the atmosphere, and … [Read more...]

My Sweet Lord

George Harrison

Zen priest and sometime Punk rocker Brad Warner points out that it was today in 1970 that George Harrison released My Sweet Lord. It instantly shot to number one on the charts, the first by a post Beatles' band member.Later there was a lawsuit for copyright infringement in his use of the melody. Harrison claimed it was loosely based on the hymn O Happy Day, but the copyright holders for Ronnie Mack's He's So Fine, prevailed in their claim.The song continues to be one of George … [Read more...]

Fatha is Born


Earl Kenneth Hines, American jazz pianist and bandleader, mentor to the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, best known to us as Fatha, was born on this day in 1903. … [Read more...]

My Little Conspiracy Theory About the Founding of the Christian Church

James the Just

Yesterday at the great family Christmas feast I had a longer than I would have liked conversation with one of the relatives. Don't get me wrong, I like him, for the most part. But, he has an annoying, actually a seriously annoying inclination to "left wing" conspiracy theories. At least we're roughly on the same page, wing-wise. However, when he gets that expression in his eyes and proceeds to explain in detail the suppressed truth of one thing or another, usually involving a cabal, I start to … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas! Oh, and a Blessed Newtonmas to you, too!


Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night; God said 'Let Newton be" and all was light.Alexander PopeMe, I like Christmas. 'Tis the perfect humanist holiday, celebrating the birth of a child as an opening into the possibility of miracle. Very easy to see why in old Massachusetts when the Puritans outlawed the holiday for the pagan mess it is, in the early nineteenth century it would be the emergent Unitarians who would revive it.We'll be celebrating the day in the conventional … [Read more...]

A Christmas Truce


It happened one hundred and one years ago today.In the midst of the carnage. In the midst of the horror.Something happened.It was short lived.But.It still enters human dreams... … [Read more...]