Latin suits God’s miraculous, mysterious world

I attended a funeral. Very Catholic. Lots of talk of God and resurrection. I have a bit of a problem with that last one. The mechanics of it, I mean. It seems very mysterious, not to say, miraculous. Guess that’s the point. But what if I had an eye in the middle of my forehead […] Read more


Kids intrigued by life in the olden days — for a few minutes

One of the perks of belonging to an older generation is the bragging rights earned over Generation W. Generation Whippersnapper has to accept on faith the claim that life was tough — oh, was it ever — back in the olden times. “Yes, sonny, by crikey, I remember when video games were controlled with a […] Read more


Universe born ‘some’ time ago

A PBS show called Journey of the Universe was on recently. The blurb for it went like this: “The story of the cosmos, Earth and the emergence of humans is related by evolutionary philosopher Thomas Swimme. (89 min.)” I didn’t watch Journey of the Universe. Don’t remember why. Something more thought-provoking must have been on. […] Read more



Weather anything but boring

I have been following the weather in Singapore for the past three months. (That’s your cue to say, “Oh, really?”) Yes, it’s true, and not only that, it’s fascinating. You know what they say about weather on the Prairies: if you don’t like it, just wait 10 minutes. In Singapore’s case, that would have to […] Read more


One Wonder Drug dose will do you — in?

American TV ads for prescription drugs are fascinating, and here’s why. A typical family of four is pedalling bikes along a sun-dappled country road on the way to a picnic, one assumes, and seemingly without a care in the world. That’s because one of the parents has broken free of the bonds of arthritis with […] Read more



Deciding to sell house easy, leaving home difficult

Selling one’s house is so much fun. Since I’m alone now, except for Fluffy and Brownie and Wolf Blitzer, a full-fledged house and a full-fledged yard seem a bit much. I can feign an interest in gardening but the flowers can sense false affection and I am pretty sure they are out to get me. […] Read more


Seeking help hurts

I had to spend a few hours in the emergency room of a hospital and observe the incoming tide of human wreckage walk, limp, hobble and roll into the reception area. Here a broken arm, there a heart attack (apparently), and everywhere an unstated plea to the overworked caregivers: “Help me. Something isn’t right here.” […] Read more


Handling uncomfortable situations with flair

Many companies have a policy of awarding gifts to em-ployees who pass certain milestones. The milestones they have in mind are simple ones, namely years of service. For example, 10 years might get you a choice of a rod and reel, a garment bag, a mantle clock or a crystal thingamajig. Twenty years might net […] Read more



Earth suddenly easier to shoulder

It appears that the Earth weighs only 5.972 sextillion tonnes, not 5.978 sextillion tonnes, as previously reported in textbooks. For those who take their zeroes straight up, the trimmed down planet checks in with 18 of them: 5,972,000,000,000,000,000,000. So it appears that the old estimate was a bit high, if six quintillion tonnes qualifies as […] Read more


Hemingway did it right

I wanted to rap the CNN reporter’s knuckles with a ruler. It was the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital was being interviewed. There were, he intoned, many grave injuries to lower extremities. He repeated the words “lower extremities” about six times in three minutes. Well, we know […] Read more