Monthly Archives: December 2012

Blog Annual Report

The WordPress Annual Report on this blog registers 4,800 views from 63 countries during 2012.  You can read the full version at

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Alien Cultures

On our recent cruise through Polynesia, I was fascinated by observing close-up an alien culture, totally foreign to my own.  Not the Polynesians, whose life I could understand, but by what I call the “Cruisers,” those people who perpetually go … Continue reading

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The Cruise

So, let me tell you about my cruise.  (You will note I have a firm grasp on your wrist.) We had never been on a cruise and thought we should see what it is all about.  One of my college … Continue reading

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Our Local News-Journal

Back home after a three week absence and I eagerly open our familiar old newspaper.  I see the printed apology, “The Harry Themal column printed Dec. 17 was the same published the previous week.  This was an editor’s error.”  (Harry … Continue reading

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South American Justice

The BBC website had an article on the discovery of a trove of documentation on atrocities worthy of the Gestapo committed by a former Paraguayan dictator.  I do not mean to trivialize the enormity of what the dictator did, but … Continue reading

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The second most frequent agent of wordiness in business writing, Burger tells us (see 7/27 posting) is “Pointlessly Saying What Goes Without Saying.”  We easily slip into the habit of providing information that the reader already knows, can easily surmise, … Continue reading

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The Worst Chemical In the World

People would occasionally ask me what was the worst chemical I had ever worked with.  My first thought was always an evil mixture of hydrofluoric and nitric acids widely used in the semiconductor industry to dissolve silicon metal.  Both acids … Continue reading

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