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...
I had never thought much about physical disabilities until the autumn of 2012, when an airplane flight from Hell from Wichita, KS, to Denver – long horror story ... please don't ask! -- squeezed me into a last-row seat of a tiny Embraer jet aircraft for four hours, resulting in a severely compressed sciatic nerve that basically crippled me for several months. At first, the pain was so intense that I thought I would die, then later on, the pain was so intense I was afraid I would not. (My wife and I slept in our first-floor guest suite for some period of time.) Gradually, thanks mainly to the intervention of an excellent chiropractor, I incrementally, over a period of about four months, recovered to the point that, instead of walking half the length of my driveway, I can now walk perh
Every several years or so, perhaps every decade or so, a work of art captures my emotions and imagination, and sticks in my memory, even though it may be several years between viewings – assuming I ever see the original of the work at all. One such is Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party; another is Rembrandt’s Slaughtered Ox; another, Picasso’s Guernica; still another, Edouard Manet’s The Old Musician. I have never seen the originals of the Rembrandt and the Picasso. I know them only from reproductions. But they haunt me. I recently discovered another such image while visiting the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC: Patricia Cronin’s Memorial to a Marriage (hereafter Memorial ).
Memorial is a bronze sculpture, cast from a marble original, depicting two women lovers,