The Spanish Inquisition and the Solar System

Over the course of a lifetime we come to “know” many things that we haven’t personally studied, about history, science, art, and a plethora of subjects. At best, however, our knowledge is usually informed by the most popular (and hopefully most accurate?) view of the subject at the time that we happened to study or…

A Legacy of Learning

I love being a father. It’s the most fun, life-affirming activity I’ve ever had. At the same time, it’s introduced a whole new set of fears and thoughts that I never had before. Not just “what if something happens to my daughter” (though there’s plenty of that), but also “what if something happens to me…

ACPT Reflections

This year was my fourth competing in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and the first time they’ve taken it online. Each year up until this point I’d done better than the previous one, both in terms of overall ranking and in percentile. This year, however, there are ~1000 competitors (versus 740 in 2019), so the…

Fun Stuff: ACPT

The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is going virtual this year! I finished around the top 7% in 2019, and last year it was cancelled. There are likely going to be as many (or more) people than ever competing, since traveling to Connecticut necessarily limited the attendance, but I’m hopeful for a top 5% finish. Sign…

Publicity, Privacy, and Promotions

As a relatively new parent, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I owe my children, particularly in terms of their privacy. Extreme cases seem fairly obvious; I can tell friends at a dinner party an amusing anecdote about their (mis)-behavior and not feel that I’ve violated their privacy. But what if I told that…

A Weak Safety Net: Reasons and a Modest Proposal

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the arguments for a weak safety net based on the logic that everyone who can work for pay, should. One argument would express this as concern for the national GDP and the federal budget. Work inside the home doesn’t increase GDP, work outside of the home does. Workers…

Vaccine Versification

I sing of sore arms with protection at last And the hope that the scourge of infection has passed That the bars will reopen, the gyms and the stores And we won’t have to worry when meeting indoors. The churches and temples and mosques fill with praise We’ll watch college sports and see middle school…

Paris, 1871

My wife’s been participating in an exercise of writing a poem a day in the month of April. I can’t keep that pace up, but have at least been inspired to try writing a little bit again. I recently read a book about the French “Commune” that held Paris briefly in 1871 and the violent…

Shameless Plug: Ithaca Shakespeare

Choreographing fights for the Ithaca Shakespeare Company over the past few years has been one of the highlights of coming back to Ithaca for me, and I was honored and delighted to join the Board this year. This summer, we’re inviting our audience to weigh in on what we perform. Vote for what you’d like…

Change, Growth, and Two Papacies

I am a lawyer by training. In the U.S., this implies a certain belief in (or at least acceptance of) the value of precedent: that evaluations of disputes (and even of the meaning of the text of laws) should take into consideration how previous courts have interpreted those same texts, or held in related disputes.…