Archive for December, 2009

The Garden of Promises Kept

I shall confidently make one prophecy for the coming year: most New Year’s Resolutions will be broken by the time the first flowers of spring burst into bloom. January takes its name from Janus, the Roman god of door and gate. With his two faces, one facing forward, one looking back, Janus could both view […]

The Resolution Revolution

Like a splash of water on the face, as we stare at our future in the mirror, the first of the year revives us. Or that is the illusion, perhaps, reflected in the dim mirror of the winter solstice. New Year’s resolutions arrive, appropriately enough, when the sun arcs its lowest horizontal path across the […]

Frederick Dobbs On Balancing Garden Soils

In the early seventeenth century, when our immigrant ancestors first settled what would become the USA, they tasted their soil to determine its potential as farmland. This practice persisted well into the twentieth century. A sweet taste told them the soil was neither acidic nor basic but around neutral; a sour taste indicated acidity and […]

War, Peace And Charlie The Tuna

The Swedish Academy’s announcement that the Nobel Peace Prize was being awarded to President Barack Obama met with considerable skepticism both in the United States and abroad. Commentators complained that the prize was premature, bestowed before President Obama had effected any peace initiatives—or much else. The President said that he viewed the prize as a […]