Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #94: Bear Vs. Ninja

“Overture, curtain, lights Continue reading

Did President Bush believe that Harry Potter was real? It sure sounds that way.

Not that this should come as any surprise, but we now have confirmation that the Bush administration refused to award Harry Potter author JK Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because the books “encouraged witchcraft.”

For a second, let’s set aside any arguments over whether or not Rowling’s work merits such a lofty honor and do something that we simply don’t do enough these days. Let’s dig beneath the surface silliness and examine the deeper implications of what this revelation really means.

Put simply, would you be worried about “encouraging” something you didn’t think was possible? It’s one thing to want to discourage, say, meth use or binge drinking or texting while driving or unprotected sex. Those things are real and they have real, observable consequences. Continue reading

Saturday Video Roundup: try try try to understand — he's a magic man…

Like a lot of people, I’m fascinated by magic. Oh, not the real kind – you know, the sleight-of-hand/parlor trick/Houdini stuff. I used to know Whit Haydn and have seen him do tricks so well that even though I was pretty sure I knew how he was doing it, and even though I was able to stand about a foot away and watch, I still couldn’t catch him.

I’m not sure I understand exactly what it is in us that responds so powerfully to illusion – maybe it’s that the day-to-day world is so mundane and bereft of hope that we’re automatically drawn to even the most subliminal suggestion that there could be more to life than meets the eye. Continue reading