I recently commented on Simon Reynold’s excellent book Retromania and how it aptly explains current stagnation in music, the visual arts, and fashion. Retromania, also affects consumer behavior in the grocery store. Particularly in times of upheaval and uncertainty people turn to processed comfort foods popular in earlier decades. For example grocery stores in the … Continue reading Cookies that taste like other cookies
I really try to keep my faith in humanity and stay optimistic that we will somehow overcome our present problems. Today, thanks to this article in the NYT about flights that go nowhere and are sold out, I have a hard time maintaining a positive attitude.As a writer I am normally not at a loss … Continue reading Are human ignorance and egoism boundless?
No pithy comments or smart ass remarks today - too busy reflecting on the passing or RBG.
We are all so proud in Austria that Donald Trump has praised us for our excellent forestry management skills. If you missed the interview with Fox News, Mr. Trump explained that as a “forest nation” we live in “forest cities.” Also, although we have “more explosive trees” than in California we don’t have forest fires … Continue reading Austrian Tree Culture
Although English only has around 370 million speakers who consider it their first language, 900 million additional people speak it as a second tongue. This makes English both the most widely spoken and most widely abused language on the planet. As anglicisms and half-anglicisms continue to encroach on other languages, odd and often humorous, linguistic … Continue reading Inappropriate English
This photo of a family displaced by the wildfires raging in Oregon ran in the New York Times on September 11th. The irony of the Fiji water bottle in the middle of the image is striking. The fires in Oregon and California are out of control because of climate change. As California Governor Gavin Newsom … Continue reading Fiji Water in Oregon
Last semester, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I took a pro seminar titled the Moral Dimensions of Harm. We were a small group which allowed for dynamic discussions despite Zoom constraints. In countering COVID-19, Austria locked down early, and restrictions were tight. Being outside of your home was only permitted for essential work, to buy food, … Continue reading French fries and freedom
Storytelling hasn’t changed much since the Brothers Grimm. A hero faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge – for example a dragon, an evil witch, or his own weakness. A decisive struggle demands everything of the hero, testing him to his outer limit. Only when he has passed his test, does he get to live happily ever … Continue reading Happily ever after
I celebrated my birthday on the weekend. It was great. There was cake. Cake is good. Birthdays are a time for contemplation (at least at my age). What’s been good so far? What’s been less good? What have I achieved? What lies ahead? Blah, blah, blah … They are also an opportunity to reflect on … Continue reading Should I stay or should I go?
Yesterday I got my teeth cleaned. As the dental hygienist was poking around in my mouth, I recalled the “bright idea/sell more toothpaste” legend. This trope has been around for years and goes something like this: A man approaches a major toothpaste manufacturer and says he has an innovation which would cost little to implement … Continue reading Brush daily