Monthly Archives: January 2012

Secretaries

One of the guys I enjoy seeing at the community center is a recently retired judge who likes to be called “Sok,” an abbreviation of his last name.  For generations, all of the men in his family were called that.  … Continue reading

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The Franklin Tree and Scranton

Our volunteer jobs at Longwood Gardens are simply to greet, answer questions, and do anything we can to improve the visitor’s experience. This may sound trivial, but it is surprisingly rewarding because at almost every shift I can make someone’s … Continue reading

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The Widening Gap Between Us

The New American Divide,” Charles Murray, The Wall Street Journal. 1/21/2012 “The more opulent citizens take great care not to stand aloof from the people,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s. “On the contrary, they constantly keep on easy … Continue reading

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War Games

My grandson, 7, is the age when boys enjoy arranging toy army men and artillery in vast imaginary military encounters on the floor, coffee table, and window sills.  (Girls arrange dolls in tea parties and schoolrooms.)  My son did the … Continue reading

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Beer and the Trouble in France

The giant, global beer maker, SABMiller recently sold a large chunk of 10-year bonds for the money to buy Australia’s Foster’s Beer.  Buyers of the bonds gobbled them up at only 3.75% interest.  In the same week, interest on French … Continue reading

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Why College?

“Live and Learn,” Louis Menand, The New Yorker, June 6, 2011 Why are liberal arts courses still required for students who more and more are focused toward a specific job requiring specific knowledge, such as for engineering, medicine, and teaching?  … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Pants (Not Under) in East Lansdowne

In the January 6, 2009, posting, I mentioned that the “Children at Play” street signs in my neighborhood today show a running boy wearing knickers.  The signs are recent; only the symbol is ancient. I used to wear knickers but … Continue reading

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