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Ten Years, Six Miles, and One Canoe

This excerpt comes from one of the 40 short stories in my books, “Wessex Tales”, Vols. 1+2 (with 20 stories per book). This clip is from: “Ten years, six miles, and one canoe” (Volume 2). The story condenses incidents from my extensive time on the river during a ten-year period, from 1955 to 1965, my… Read more

We have not come far since Gilgamesh

  We have not come far since Gilgamesh. 4,700 years ago, Gilgamesh may have been a mortal king in the Sumerian world. Or, he may have been “a demigod of superhuman strength who built the city walls of Uruk”. Never mind which. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the earliest great work of literature. Gilgamesh… Read more

Ash Tree Seeds and ‘Schelin’s Daughter’

  This clip comes from one of my new “Wessex Tales” stories (Volume 2), the tale of “Schelin’s Daughter”, set in the year 1081. King William (the Conqueror) had recently awarded a Norman knight, Schelin, a village on the River Stour, in Dorset. The village promptly acquired the name Schelin’s Okeford. (The name of my… Read more

Cod Almighty

Cod Almighty! Let’s hear tales of ventures, adventures, mysteries and yarns from the 500-year-old trans-Atlantic cod trade between Newfoundland and England’s southwestern counties. “It is the fish that bring them first. / Cod in such numbers as to seem endless. / Cod to fill the nets and bellies / of hungry Europeans / with the… Read more

“Man’s Search for Meaning”

  “Striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man.” This is man’s absolute motivational force, according to Viktor E. Frankl. He goes on, “That is why I speak of a will to meaning.” Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl became a psychiatrist before he became a death camp inmate… Read more

“If a tree is man’s life …”

  “If a tree is man’s life (Deuteronomy 20.19) what is the nature of a tree? Not in and of itself, but from the human perspective. “Through history and the changing imperatives of human societies, there have been many modes of viewing trees. ‘Hence, If a tree is man’s life …’ The perspective of time… Read more

Cipe Pineles: An Art Director and her Cookbook

  Cipe Pineles’ posthumous come-back NPR’s Greta Jochem writes a fine tale about a “trail-blazing female designer, Cipe Pineles” and “a rare find” of Cipe’s work. In short, “Cipe Pineles manuscript found …” Finder’s Keepers In 2015, journalist and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton found an illustrated cookbook manuscript  at a rare book sale near San Francisco… Read more

Clarendon Palace …

…a visit to ancient ghosts Constitutional lawyers and historians in English-speaking countries will find the names ‘Clarendon Palace’ or ‘Clarendon Lodge’ familiar. From 1164 to 1166 this medieval palace, some miles east of Salisbury, echoed with heated arguments in Norman French. Those debates marked the birthing pains of what some historians call England’s first constitution… Read more

Asbestos still wreaking havoc

‘Asbestos still wreaking havoc’ is not the title I gave the letter below, but it certainly could be. The title comes from an editor at the Toronto Star. The paper published the following as a Letter to the Editor: on the Internet on Monday April 25; in print on Tuesday April 26, 2016. Asbestos and mesothelioma (Toronto… Read more

Quantum computing: IBM lets anyone play

By Cade Metz | Wired | Business | 05.04.2016 ” Quantum computing is computing at its most esoteric. It’s an experimental, enormously complex, sometimes downright confusing technology that’s typically the domain of hardcore academics and organizations like Google and NASA. But that might be changing. IBM makes quantum computing available for free via the cloud ” Today, IBM unveiled… Read more