Essays

Essays

Feb 4th 2015

"It's so easy to become an author of novels. Others have done it, why not me?"

Authordom

Feb 3rd 2015

Lately, my writing about old age has been on the cheerful side. Not surprising, since I've been writing about successful aging and not about unsuccessful aging.

Jan 31st 2015

“It is not only very cruel in this short life to persecute those who do not think in the same way as we do, but I am also doubtful that we are justified in pronouncing them eternally damned.”

-- Voltaire, Treatise on Tolerance, 1763

Jan 30th 2015

Still Alice – starring Julianne Moore – tells the story of Alice Howland, a linguistics professor diagnosed with a form of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Jan 29th 2015

Hypocrisy is nothing new to either side of the aisle. Short memories and expediency allow for feigned outrage against the latest policy that was, just a short time ago, righteously and patriotically advanced as vital to America's future, depending on who is in and out of power.

Jan 28th 2015

Dude Perfect, five buddies who recently graduated Texas A&M, have become one of the hottest sensations on the Internet for their trick shot and “stereotype” videos.  They’ve done videos with Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll, among other sports stars

Jan 27th 2015

We gaze at the night sky and see the comforting order of constellations in the random distribution of stars. We look up and discern shapes of animals in the wispy condensation of clouds.

Jan 26th 2015

DAVOS – What would happen if the ancient Greek philosopher Plato partook in contemporary dialogues about the types of questions that he first posed, and that continue to vex us?

Jan 26th 2015
On January 29 1945 Victor Klemperer, a Jewish academic in Dresden, recorded in his diary being told by a friend about a speech on the radio given by the émigré writer
Jan 23rd 2015
It was 1930. Winston Churchill was a 55-year-old Conservative Party politician who had been a member of parliament for three decades. He had eventually risen to the position of chancellor of the exchequer six years earlier but, in the peace and prosperity of the 1920s, had done a terrible job.
Jan 22nd 2015

I remember that a friend of mine in California sent me a heads-up on the 17th of December saying that the USA and Cuba were about to free some of their prisoners in a gesture of better times to come. But as everyone now knows, it wasn't just a mere prisoner exchange.

Jan 22nd 2015

For those who enjoy debunking the reputations of national heroes, there can be few softer targets than Winston Churchill. The phrase “flawed hero” could almost have been invented to characterise his long, wilfully erratic career.
Jan 17th 2015

The American philosopher Richard Rorty once wrote that academe's obsession with theory creates a 'shibboleth' in the university system, sheltering and confining its debates and polemics from the public sphere.

Jan 15th 2015
This year the UK’s biggest poetry award, the TS Eliot prize, has gone to David Harsent for his 11th collection, Fire Songs.
Jan 7th 2015

Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright has just published a thrilling, compulsively readable account of the 1978 Camp David accords titled Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David.  

Jan 7th 2015
Marcus Aurelius (121-180CE) was emperor of Rome at the height of its influence and power. One can only imagine the pressures that a person in his position might have experienced. The military might of the empire was massive, and much could happen in the fog of war.
Jan 5th 2015

Periodically we hear the anguished voices of sensitive aesthetes lamenting the deplorable and degraded state of contemporary art.

Jan 1st 2015

As the end of the year approaches, we reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the one ahead, celebrating the transition between old and new.

Dec 31st 2014

What do James Taylor and The Beatles have in common with the Head of the National Institute of Health?

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