Month: May 2017

  • Contrasts not quite so sharp

    Check out Aaron Jasinski’s A Prayer to Memory: Doesn’t this capture a bit of the wonder of childhood? When the world felt wide and mysterious and indeterminate. I want to more consciously rekindle the wonder that makes our youth so remarkable, and this piece has that effect on me. (Of course, the nature of reality remains mysterious […]

  • ‘History of Penn State’ course

    A few years ago a number of students and alumni came together with a vision for a new course at Penn State—specifically a course on Penn State itself. After years of friendly pushing and relationship-building the course is almost here, and Penn State News has spotlighted the course: A course examining the history of Penn State from…

  • Mother’s Day and peace

    There’s an historical plaque commemorating the founding of Mother’s Day in Center City, Philadelphia right at City Hall, near the old Wanamaker’s building. It credits Anna Jarvis for the founding of the day, and Anna Orso writes on the fascinating history of both Anna Jarvis and the generations-long effort by different women to create a “Mother’s Day”…

  • Philadelphia architecture

    I snapped this earlier this week walking to the train from my office. It’s just off the Ben Franklin Parkway, and you see the Comcast tower on the left. I’m not sure of the name of the building in the middle. The building with the balconies is called The Windsor, I think. This scene stood out…

  • A people’s essence

    Last year I quoted a review of Pierre Ryckmans’s writing: In one of [Ryckmans’] most interesting and provocative essays on Chinese culture, he tries to find an answer to an apparent paradox: why the Chinese are both obsessed with their past, specifically their five thousand years of cultural continuation, and such lax custodians of the…