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...
As a chef, I am a great garage mechanic.
For two reasons ... First, I have a very simple palate: I am very much a meat-and-potatoes guy. When I find a very simple combination that I like, e.g., meat loaf and mac and cheese, I tend to stick with it. I am not prone to experimentation: if it ain't broke don't fix it. My palate is about as sophisticated as that of the android in the first Terminator movie … and about as ravenous. Secondly, I am clumsy in the kitchen in terms of handling pots, pans, dishes, knives, etc. … basically any cooking implement. I break stuff. Listening to me in the kitchen – spare yourself the sickening spectacle of actually watching – is much like I imagine hearing the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Except not as graceful. Nevertheless, my wife and I enjoy wa
Over the five years or so I have been writing these “Skeptic’s Collection” columns, there have been several occasions (like, e.g., this) when I have received information, often anonymous and always via clandestine back channels, regarding extremely sensitive subjects that have been cloaked in secrecy, but which have been critical to national security. The latest example is my recent acquisition, through similarly confidential sources, of the complete back-story of the sighting by US Air Force pilots and radar operators of unidentified flying objects west of San Diego in 2004. What all such occasions have in common is an ethical question: to publicize or to maintain secrecy. Usually I do the latter. But since the New York Times has already surfaced the story, at least the part that is