I freely admit that this "Skeptic's Collection" column is shamelessly self-indulgent. I wrote it about a year ago this coming Christmas, and it was one of the 2 or 3 most fun columns I have ever written in the five-plus years I have been Beguine's Skeptic-In-Residence. So, as a Christmas present to myself, I am republishing it here. Enjoy and merry Christmas!
OK! OK! So I am publishing the "stollen" column again, with minor emendations. Why? Because it was fun to write and to read. That's all!
I have good news and I have bad news.
The good news is that the week preceding Christmas Eve, my wife and I took the ferry up to Victoria, BC, where we had high tea at the venerable Empress Hotel.&nbs...
Breitbart recently carried a story about three Miami Dolphins players (wide receiver Kenny Stills, receiver Albert Wilson, and defensive end Robert Quinn) who either took a knee or raised a fist in response to the playing of the National Anthem. Predictably enough, Breitbart excoriated the three players participating in the protest for their ostensible disrespect for the Flag, the Nation, the Armed Forces, … you know … the usual litany of synthetic outrage. Which got me to thinking … it might be interesting to indulge in a purely speculative thought experiment about the way events might unfold, in this instance and in all other instances of NFL players kneeling in response to the Anthem in an alternate parallel Universe. Thought experiments – or gedanken experiments – have a long and ...
Her fate was set when she fell under the spell of his kind eyes and bigger than life personality. For his part, he loved her gentle ways, the fluid dance of her hands at work, the sensual swing of her hips as she walked to the market with basket in hand.
And so it happened that in 1948, with her father’s permission and her mother’s tears, they were wed in the old adobe iglesia where uncounted generations of her family had been married before her. Not many months after the wedding, she kissed her parents and siblings goodbye, took a long loving look at her village, and she followed her new husband north to los Estados Unidos de América. She was already pregnant with Clarita.
As the days and years passed, they settled into their routines. Sunday mornings were her husband’s quie...