Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sherlock Holmes Fan Fiction

A recent issue of The New Yorker reviewed the BBC’s production of Sherlock that follows Downton Abby on Sunday evenings.  (At least briefly.  Apparently, there are only three episodes per season.  And. despite being on Masterpiece Mystery!, it is not … Continue reading

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Pigeons, Pigeons, and Then They Were Gone

“The Birds,” by Jonathan Rossen, The New Yorker, 1/6/2014.  A book review of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction, by Joel Greenberg. So passenger pigeons went extinct.  Who cares about flying rats?  Gutter diners?  … Continue reading

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Genealogical Asterisks

Growing up in East Lansdowne, my sister and I were often cared for by our great aunt, a spinster who lived just around the corner with my grandparents.  She was the one who was always our babysitter, who gave us … Continue reading

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I’m My Own Grandpa

The discussion about designating cousins in the last blog reminded me of a song popular in the late 1940s, at least popular with one uncle at one family gathering I remember.  It was called “I’m My Own Grandpa,” and the … Continue reading

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Designating Cousins

The terms used to designate cousins—2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, once removed, twice removed, etc.—are totally baffling to most people, and with good reason.  Generations ago, people stayed put, and half the town would have been related somehow.   It made … Continue reading

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Jean Shepherd on Plant Intelligence

Speaking of plant intelligence (see previous posting) Jean Shepherd once repeated on his radio program this fictional story he had read relating to plant intelligence: A man had built an electrical device that converted high frequency sounds to something within … Continue reading

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I’m Speaking to You, Plant

“The Intelligent Plant,” by Michael Pollan, The New Yorker, 12/23/2013 Back in the 1970s, normally rational people talked softly to their plants and played classical music for them.  A best-selling book, “The Secret Life of Plants” by Peter Tompkins had … Continue reading

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