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Monthly Archives: November 2013

The lost Celtic civilization: does it matter today?

A detail of the Gundestrup caldron. Source: Wikipedia The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts. By Graham Robb, W.W. Norton & Co., 2013, 396 pages. Published in Britain as The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe. Most people — certainly most Americans — never stop and reflect […]

Clothes dryers: Just say no

When I moved into the abbey, I bought a washing machine with the intention of buying a dryer later on. It has been more than four years, and I’ve still not bought a dryer. I just haven’t seen the need for it. There is a clothesline that is convenient to the back door. I hung […]

The high existential cost of being rich

Source: Do you know your personality type, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test? If not, with a little Googling you’ll probably find a way to get a quick and dirty assessment, if not the trademarked test. But the odds are that, if you are reading this blog, then you are not rich, […]

Fire tower — like a lighthouse in the woods

I have long been fascinated by fire towers. Like lighthouses, they appeal to introverts because of their isolation and because they are found in appealing places — beside a coast, or in a forest. They have all the magic of promontories. Plus, fire towers have a certain nerdy appeal, because of the observation and communications […]

Ender’s Game: Fantastic filmmaking

I fully expected to be disappointed by Ender’s Game. Still, I did something I have rarely ever done: went to see it on opening day. In IMAX. It is true to the book. It is visually stunning. The performances are excellent. The soundtrack is impressive. This film could have ruined itself in a hundred different […]