Yearly Archives: 2006

Mars Rovers

Time for a Mars update! First, both peripatetic rovers are still going strong almost two years after they landed!! Opportunity is on the edge of Victoria Crater. Spirit is has been all over the Columbia Hills. It gets better! The new Mars Reconnaissance orbiter snapped a photo of Opportunity from space. The resolution is good enough to see […]

The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman

With America “at war” on several fronts, I was stimulated to recall this wonderful and important book by the eminent historian Barbara Tuchman. The first line says it all… A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. More Tuchman Quotations…

Julia Belle Swain and John Hartford

While vacationing on the Mississippi River we noticed this small steam-powered riverboat called the Julia Belle Swain. That name seemed very familiar. Then I recalled a John Hartford song by the same name (from his 1976 album Mark Twang). Sure enough, this was the very boat he piloted and sang about! Mark Twain published his description of Life on the Mississippi in […]

American Icons (Studio360)

I’ve been a big fan of Kurt Andersen’s Studio360 over the years, and the American Icons series includes some of his best work. His musings on Moby-Dick, (check out Moby-Dude!), The Wizard of Oz, Appalachian Spring, and Emily Dickinson are my favorites.

Everglades Canoe Trip 2006

Just back from my annual sojourn to the Everglades. I called this trip “Islands, Rivers and Bays” and we had a great time! “There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them.” […]

Fort Zeller Pennsylvania

Distant relatives of mine built this “fort” in southern PA in 1745. [Yes, a stone farmhouse was considered a fort back then!] The fort/house had two things going for it: fireproof walls and a fresh water spring in the basement (see photo below). The follow text is excerpted from the much longer description of regional […]

The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston

This is one of the scariest books I’ve read in a long time—and it’s not fiction! Published in 2002, it chronicles the strange tale of Smallpox, its world-wide eradication, and the lingering threat of its return. Millions are alive today thanks to the efforts of D. A. Henderson (2) (who received the Presidential Medal of […]