Truth Trumps Satire

Because I have an early dentist appointment, I wrote the following post, which was intended as satire, last night . . . only to wake this morning to Billy Bush’s op-ed piece in The New York Times. It took courage to write, and it brought to mind Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” […]

Maybe it’s time to call in the Worm

In an interview with BBC earlier this week, an expert on North Korea from Johns Hopkins made two unsettling points: (1)  Far from pursuing a policy that differs from its predecessors, this administration has been doing more of the same, the only differences being a more openly aggressive swagger and the childish name calling that […]

Pema Chödrön and the parable of the walled community

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” Robert Frost, Mending Wall. “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Ronald Reagan, Berlin, June 12, 1987. According to Pema Chödrön, the gentle and perceptive Buddhist teacher whose calm recorded voice has helped me through some hard places, the Buddha (sometimes called the […]

OK, but what can my country do for me?

Fifty-four years ago today John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas. In his inaugural address fewer than three years earlier, he had inspired many of my generation with the words, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Those words sound almost laughably naïve these days […]

Friday Follies: Let’s Do the Numbers

• 24% = 24%. This week Team TRUMP sent me the following email: Friend, CNN is at it again. Their latest phony poll claims that 64% of Americans have less confidence in President Trump than they did one year ago. Yet of more than 1,000 people interviewed, just 24% were Republicans. That seemed very unfair. So […]

Friday’s Fake News Quiz

Guess which of yesterday’s headlines are false. 1. Alabama state auditor defends Roy Moore against sexual allegations, invokes Mary and Joseph Not long ago Steve Bannon accused “a corrupt and incompetent Republican establishment” of waging a “politics of personal destruction” against Judge Roy Moore during the Alabama GOP Senatorial primary. “They’re out to destroy him,” […]

It’s Science Friday. Who cares?

When Sam Clovis, President Trump’s nominee to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist, was asked to list his academic credentials in science or agriculture, he answered, “None.” Here are some recent stories that Sam Clovis and others who don’t regularly follow news about science, agriculture and food may have missed: An article in Science […]

“Because Pi is everywhere”

At his memorial service on Saturday, my old friend and distant cousin Bayard Storey was eulogized for both his scientific accomplishments and his political activism. Here’s a hint about the connection: Dr. Storey was Professor Emeritus of Reproductive Biology at the University of Pennsylvania – and precisely because he understood the science of reproduction so […]