Monthly Archives: February 2021

One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

There are books abut white fragility which get a lot of attention, both pro and con. Someone needs to write a tome entitled Fragility without any modifier. The pandemic now stalking the world is not the one caused by a newish virus, it’s the one due to a fervid worldwide outbreak of the woollies and…


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Chrome Paranoia

If you regularly use the Chrome browser, you recently may have noticed that clicking on certain news links yields a site not found or similar message. Clicking the link one or two times more gets you to the site. This, at least in my experience and that of some other users, is a new phenomenon….


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On Corruption

Lord Acton’s famous line about the relationship of power and corruption needs no more than its first phrase. The two are conjoined twins. Under the right circumstances all of us are likely to succumb to the corrosive effect of authority. Some occupations have it as part of their job descriptions. While corruption is ineluctably part…


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Mattia Battistini

Mattia Battistini (1856-1928) was born to an upper middle class Roman family. He dropped out of university studies (what he was studying is uncertain) to take singing lessons with Venceslao Persichini at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in 1877. By the end of the following year he had made such progress that he debuted as…


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Francesco Merli

Francesco Merli (1887-1976) was born on a farm near Milan. He showed vocal ability at an early age, but did not pursue vocal studies aside from a few scattered lessons. His first job was as a janitor in a school. He entered a vocal competition sponsored by the conductor Cleofonte Campanini in 1914. He was…


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President Bans Vowels

A new presidential executive order that has been underreported by the press bans the use of vowels in all federal publications, by contractors who receive money from the US government, and by all US employees both in their private and official writings. The government printing office responded to the order by asking for a waiver…


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On Mediocrity

Some are born mediocre, others have it thrust upon them, while still others ooze into it. One does not have to be above average to recognize excellence in others. The honest mediocrity can define talent and make positive use of its products despite being ordinary himself. While there is an obvious price to near universal…


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