An atheist

I was searching recently for orthodox iconography of St. Benedict, and happened to come across the shuttered site of Fr. John McLuckie, an Episcopal priest in Scotland. A post of his from a few years ago caught my eye. As far as I can tell, he wrote this. It’s well said: I am an atheist if, by…

Published

Getting cash without cards

I wrote last summer about going walletless and carrying just my driver’s license and debit card. The two friction points for going just iPhone? We’ll need to carry ID for years until, first, state governments catch up and issue digital equivalents that are accepted where they need to be accepted. And second, until ATMs become…

Published

SS United States

The SS United States has been sitting, rusting, in a South Philadelphia port for most of my life. It’s an historic and storied vessel, but plenty of historic and storied vessels end up being scuttled or sold for scrap. In the past few years I’ve followed the continuing struggle to figure out what to do…

Published

Don Davis on leadership

I’m visiting State College in February, and that has me thinking about Maralyn Mazza, a friend of mine there. She and her late husband Paul founded the South Hills School of Business and Technology in Central Pennsylvania. Like many, Maralyn’s family connections to Penn State are deep. Her father, Donald W. Davis, Sr., taught at Penn State for decades in the…

Published

New generations

I’ve written before many times about the importance of “a spirit of community across time” as vital for places looking to cultivate or conserve a distinctive character. I want to dive in to explain this a bit. On January 4th, I hopped into an Uber from my office in Narberth, and headed to West Chester…

Published

Vision and sabbaticals

Stefan Sagmeister‘s TED talk is a fun 20 minutes. He’s a creative designer whose practice of taking one-year sabbaticals every seven years is refreshing and probably pretty practical, if you plan for it: The key is that his sabbaticals are about two things. First, they’re about professional and personal development. It’s not a one year vacation. Second, they’re a…

Published

Big-dog virtues

I laughed out loud a few times when reading this profile of Luke Russert: Why Does Young Washington Hate Luke Russert? This section from the opening is particularly good: [Tim] Russert’s funeral, at which Luke spoke affectingly and with poise, is the opening set piece for Mark Leibovich’s This Town, which chronicles the city’s political-social strata in…

Published

Penn State conspiracy

A year ago the NCAA completely voided its historic sanctions against Penn State, which were levied based on the notion of an institutional conspiracy to cover up former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse. In voiding its sanctions and restoring Coach Paterno’s winningest 409 game record, the NCAA faced the reality that the…

Published

Uncle Bruce

Bruce L. Shakely, my great uncle, died Monday morning. I’ve shared a bit about him before. He was my grandfather’s brother, but because I was in many ways raised by my grandparents as much as anyone, I ended up being fortunate to have something of a relationship with Bruce Loyal, too. We only saw each…

Published

Encounter means closeness

Rocco Palmo writes about two extraordinary (extraordinarily encouraging) audiences that Pope Francis has been giving recently in the lead up to the Vatican’s 50th World Communications Day. One meeting was with Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, and the other with Apple’s Tim Cook. Last year I shared some of my thoughts on Laudauto Si, Pope Francis’s second…

Published