Thinking Citizen Blog — Thursday is Health, Health Care, Health Insurance and Global Health Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Police Vaccination Rates, Covid Deaths, and Suicides
Last month there was an article in the Washington Post about an “epidemic” of police suicides. Last week, an article in the Boston Globe about the high rate of police Covid deaths as a result of low vaccination rates. Today a few details. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE POLICE SUICIDE “EPIDEMIC” — comparisons (second link)
1. In the first half of 2021, 89 officers nationwide committed suicide.
2. That compares with…
Liberal Arts Blog — Thursday is the Joy of Music Day
Today’s Topic: Odetta (1930–2008) “Voice of the Civil Rights Movement”
How did I miss Odetta? Thank you, Earle, for introducing me to her work. With a huge, operatic voice, she had a major influence on many other musicians — from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez to Janis Joplin and Harry Belafonte. Martin Luther King would call her “the Queen of American folk music.” Today, a few clips and notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
ODETTA’S MANY INFLUENCES — Dylan, Baez, Joplin
1. Bob Dylan: “The first…
Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day
Today’s Topic: Grateful for What? How about the Sun, the Moon, and Stars?
Today, a step back. A look at the big picture. Why care about the environment? Ultimately, to me, it’s all about gratitude. Not only the first of the virtues but the parent of all the others (Cicero, allegedly). Specifically, what is there about the environment to be grateful for? Today, a few thoughts. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE SUN, THE MOON, AND THE STARS
1. To me the greatest show…
Liberal Arts Blog — Wednesday is the Joy of Science, Engineering, and Technology Day
Today’s Topic — The World Museum of Science — The Big Question
The phone rings. It’s 4am. It’s the Secretary General of the United Nations. You have just been appointed the director of the World Museum of Science and Technology. You must decide by noon what is to be the first exhibit at the entrance. An analogous challenge faced the director of the Smithsonian Museum of History and Technology before it opened in 1964. His choice: the Model T. So what would your choice be for…
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s Topic: Bill Gates — Unhappy Customers, Steve Jobs, Fairness
Bill Gates has been a demon to many and a hero to others for quite a while now. And as facts have changed, opinions have changed — sometimes. Sometimes not. But no one can question the magnitude of his impact. As well as the Microsoft thing and the charity thing, the guy has written a lot. Are you a fan? an enemy? why? Today a few quotes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS, TIME HORIZONS…
Liberal Arts Blog — Tuesday is the Joy of Literature, Language, Religion, and Culture Day
Today’s Topic: John Steinbeck (1902–1968) “Of Mice and Men,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “East of Eden”
Did John Steinbeck deserve the 1962 Nobel Prize? Many, including the New York Times film critic, thought not. In fact, the author himself did not think so either. Later “declassified” documents showed that he was a “compromise candidate” considered to be the “best of a bad lot” by the Nobel Committee. What do you think? Interestingly, his books appear on two very different lists: those most often taught in…
Liberal Arts Blog — Monday is the Joy of Math, Statistics, Shapes, and Numbers Day
Today’s topic — Three Spins on the Rule of Three (with an Assist from Orion)
My new rule of three is all about three numbers: 1, 3, and 7. The beauty of math and science is reducing the infinitely complex to the simplest propositions. Think the seven basic SI units or the core three (time, distance, mass). Imagine the tao symbol as incarnating the duality of simplicity and completeness.
So the big intellectual challenge of life is making a meaning out of the vast universe…
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: China, Afghanistan, India, Australia: “the Quad,” “Five Eyes,” and Biden
Some rational, civically-minded people don’t pay much attention to foreign policy for one simple reason: it’s so damned complicated. Deep understanding is a quixotic dream. Why bother? This painful truth was driven home this week when just skimming the morning newspapers I was confronted with two terms I was utterly unfamiliar with: “the Quad” (meaning the USA, Japan, India, and Australia) and “Five Eyes” (the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). The “Quad” appeared in an editorial…
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: The Next Mayor of Boston: Michelle Wu (“Progressive”) vs Annissa Essaibi George (“Centrist”)
Michelle Wu fits the standard profile of an up and coming politician: a lawyer from an Ivy League school. Annissa Essaibi George does not: a former school teacher who runs a knitting shop. What they have in common is that they are both daughters of immigrants. Wu’s parents came from Taiwan. Essaibi George’s father is Tunisian (muslim) and her mother Polish. Today, a few notes. Experts — please chime in. …
Liberal Arts Blog — Sunday is the Joy of Humor, Food, Travel, Practical Life Tips, and Miscellaneous Day
Today’s Topic: Pakistan II: Lahore: Location, History, Culture
Once the capital of the Sikh Empire, Lahore, in northeastern Pakistan, is just 30 miles from Amritsar, India, home of the “Golden Temple” of the Sikhs. Ruled by a long succession of empires over the last thousand years. Lahore “reached the height of its splendor under the Mughal Empire between the late 16th and early 18th century and served as its capital city for many years.” Today, a few more notes. This is part…