Friday, July 31, 2015

Fish for Friday

Infinite staircase by artist Olafur Eliasson,
at the KPMG building in Munich, Germany
Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

Thinking outside the box. Two of your feet – preferably on opposite sides of your body – must remain outside the box at all times.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thor's Day: Alternative terms for "atheist" and "theist"

From "Can an Atheist Be a Fundamentalist?" by Anthony Grayling

Edited by Morris Dean

[British moral philosopher Anthony Grayling's essay is the 46th selection in Christopher Hitchens's 2007 book, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever. In the course of answering the question, "Can an atheist be a fundamentalist?" Grayling proposes more appropriate terms for "atheist" and "theist."]

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

What can I do about this copycat?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I have a friend who copies every move I make, yet she criticizes me to my face and to others.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Voice: Growing up in America

Into America’s interior

By Rolf Dumke

[Sequel to “Arrival in New York Harbor,” March 17]

Through the Susquehanna wilderness. The growling diesel engines in the front of our passenger train could be heard during every second long bend of the majestic river, which I only recently identified as the Susquehanna.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fourth Monday Susan Speaks


By Susan C. Price

After seeing the whole show, I am happy I managed to get selected. Much very good work.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fourth Sunday from Jingle Jangle

Brady Material (Chapter 6 of Jingle Jangle)

By Jim Rix

[Editor's Note: Opening paragraphs of the review by Daniel L. Kaplan, Assistant Federal Public Defender in the District of Arizona, published in The Federal Lawyer, February 2009:
We all should have a cousin like Jim Rix. Better yet, we should have a justice system that is too reliable to convict an innocent man of murder twice. Failing that, a cousin like Jim Rix can be quite handy.
    Rix didn't think much of it when his mother casually said, to him, “You have a cousin on death row, and he's innocent.” But Rix was curious and wrote to his cousin, Ray Krone. In response Rix received Krone's facially compelling account of having been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. Krone's case quickly turned into a sort of hobby for Jim Rix – although using the word “hobby” here is a bit like using it to describe Lance Armstrong’s cycling.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fourth Saturday's Loneliest Liberal

What’s an American car?

By James Knudsen

Many years ago, when the American automobile industry was in trouble, I found myself thinking about what constituted an “American” car and, more importantly, did anyone still want to buy one? I’m still pondering that question.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fish for Friday

Mutually surprised?
Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

Albert Einstein: Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thor's Day: On the Church's repositories of learning

Portrait of Thomas Cromwell,
by Hans Holbein the Younger
From Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

By Morris Dean

After enjoying PBS's Masterpiece Wolf Hall, which was based on the first two novels of Hilary Mantel's trilogy1 about Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, I started reading the first novel, Wolf Hall, in which I came upon an interesting statement by the fictional Cromwell bearing on the value of the Church's "repositories of learning."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ask Wednesday: What would you do?

By Morris Dean

You've just filled up your gas tank at a service station. As you tear off your receipt to leave, you hear someone say, "Can you help us?"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Voice: Portrait of a dog, by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Friend of a friend

By Vic Midyett

Shirley has made it known at the church we attend that she paints pet portraits. She suggests that people whose pet's portrait she paints donate $20 to the church.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Third Monday with Bob Boldt

The Grand Inquisitor: 
Loosely adapted from The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

By Bob Boldt

[This piece was written in October 2004 near the conclusion of the career of John Ashcroft. I live in Missouri, where our now ex-Attorney General’s strong imperial convictions, corruption, and even stronger religious fanaticism are legend.
    I am a believer in the concept of eternal recurrence. I have said elsewhere that I am certain that if Christ were to return to this sad world ruled by an empire that could teach even the Romans a thing or two about brutality and iron-fisted control of subject peoples, he would certainly be re-crucified.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

The book and its movie

By Morris Dean

In Chapter 10 of what was until recently Harper Lee’s only novel (1960), Atticus Finch tells his 12-year-old son Jem that “it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird,” and the seriousness of this injunction is emphasized by the next sentence:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Third Saturday Fiction

Portrait of the author
by Susan C. Price
Chapter 2. “Making It Happen,” from The Unmaking of the President: A Bicentennial Entertainment (a novel)

By W.M. Dean

[The novel is set in the 1970s of Watergate. Chapter 1. “Downstairs at the White House,” appeared last month.]

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

"The Art of Birds, Revealed Through an Altered Reality." [Becky Harlan, National Geographic] Excerpt:
At first glance, these birds wowed me. A few seconds later I started to wonder, Are they real?
    Well … yes. And no.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thor’s Day: The monks’ bell

A prose poem

By Bob Boldt

At the first ringing of the bell, a dozen pair of feet stir and seek the cold monastic floor. Pious eyes blink away the sand of dreams and awaken as tired muscles address the lifting and donning of coarse cloth cowls. The windows of the cells alight as candles press against the morning night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

Too much & too little

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I like having sex, but don’t want it to go on for hours at a time, which my boyfriend does. I would like us to climax at about the same time, but he likes me to have four orgasms before he has one – and he can only do that by pleasuring himself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Second Tuesday on Franklin Hill Farm

Looking back (and forward)

By Bettina Sperry

The end of July marks a complete year of my life lived on this heavenly farm. The breathtaking beauty of this land ever captures my heart, a feeling that is renewed daily. It is hard to wake up every day and not appreciate the pastures, streams, and mountains that surround my life. The year has not been without its extreme hard work, and I am just beginning to see the change that my presence here brings forth. This farm is so beautiful it is difficult to not revisit the past so as to envision the lives of those present on this farm long before my arrival. I seem to think equally forward to those who will care for it long after I am gone, as if I am contributing to their dream, as well.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Review: Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “In the Waiting Room”

Experience of individuation

By Bob Boldt

I find Elizabeth Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room” [text provided below] to be a wondrous, amazing poem for many reasons. First I enjoy narrative poetry—poems that tell a story. I especially enjoy this aspect in nearly all of Bishop’s work that I have read. One of the things I most admire is her ability to express in familiar terms the sometimes intangible experiences that occur. Often her poems express commonplace, banal experiences we all share but expressed with such perception, eloquence, and insight that we understand things in a new, deeply moving way. Other times she may choose as the subject of her poems a thing that is not all that accessible or easily comprehensible, as in “In the Waiting Room.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Second Saturday's Sonnet


By Eric Meub

[Originally published on April 12, 2014]


High pressure system moving east: the road
continues, but the breakers bury it
beneath their backs, shrugging off a load
of splinters and a broken chariot.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

"For astronomer, an insect is as worthy of observation as the cosmos" [Susan Gonzalez, Yale News] Excerpt:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thor's Day: Natural morality

More thoughts of 
Frans de Waal

By Morris Dean

Yesterday’s post on “reading monkeys” introduced Frans de Waal. We’re pleased today to share a few more quotes from this Dutch primatologist and ethologist, borrowed from Wikipedia & Wikiquotes:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ask Wednesday: What did Darwin say to read monkeys for?

...a modern continuation
of Darwin’s “M” project
[About  Frans de Waal2]
Edited by Morris Dean

On page 128 of Charles Darwin’s notebook “M” [of “metaphysical” considerations], Darwin wrote in the summer of 1838, when he had already formulated the thesis of common descent but not yet the mechanism of natural selection1:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Voice: From Mission Hills, San Diego

Testimonial litter

By James Knudsen

The earth's surface is littered with mankind's attempts at immortality – the pyramids of Egypt and Central America, The Great Wall, 2,867,737 TAD on Ms. Pac-Man. Having spent most of June in the Mission Hills area of San Diego, I've discovered another archaeological testament to our constant quest to leave our mark in the universe.

Monday, July 6, 2015

First Monday with Characters

Edited by Morris Dean

Susan C. Price, in juried art show
i have been working (not hard, just now and then ) on seeing if "fine" art (really, i cannot think of my work as fine...seems a silly term to me in this context...maybe ...interesting, bright...but not, fine) can "work" for me. By "work," i think i mean acclaim, notice, and cash. My brother claims it's just acclaim and notice...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fish for Friday

Nanosecond photograph
Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

You will like this snippet, Morris, from the June 14 NY Times Book Review section, "By the Book," featuring Judd Apatow, and you will wickedly choose to include it as a fish next Friday. Apatow is asked several questions about books, including this question: "Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn't?"

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thor's Day: Gone to meet Jesus

In Memoriam Vernon DeWayne Voss

By Morris Dean

Two weeks ago today – that is, on Thor’s Day – my cousin Vernon DeWayne Voss passed away, in Tucson, Arizona. It was June 18, the week after he and his doctor decided to discontinue chemotherapy, and the day after he entered hospice. Some of you will remember him from June 18 last year’s Wednesday Voice interview (“Vernon DeWayne Voss on killing cancer naturally”), or from his own July 22 Tuesday Voice column, “In editorial cartoons: Drawing right conclusions,” featuring a few of his political and religious cartoons.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

Which man, or neither?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I am in a five-year relationship with someone – we are best friends, childhood sweethearts and ridiculously well-matched. It has honestly been such a perfect relationship.