Monthly Archives: May 2021

Carthage, Equity, and Henry Moseley

Scipio Aemilianus wept as he watched the final destruction of Carthage. Of course, he was the instrument that wrought the demise of that city. His tears came from the realization that everything is transitory; he could be sure that his city and country would one day suffer the same fate as the Punic Empire. We…


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How Long Does COVID Immunity Last?

Now that the COVID epidemic is receding in the United States, a critical question is how long will the immunity to the disease persist in patients who have recovered from the infection or in subjects who have been vaccinated against it? A study published in Nature suggests that immunity may last a lifetime. The study…


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Donald Smith – The Great Australian Tenor

Donald Smith (1920-98) was the finest tenor Australia has yet to produce. Born in Queensland he served 7 months in a juvenile detention center for driving a car (not his) with some friends; he was 12 at the time. He worked as a sugar cane cutter for several years. In 1941 he enlisted in the…


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My Last Duchess

My Last Duchess is a poem by Robert Browning (1812-89). Written in 1842, the poet called the piece a dramatic lyric, but it is really a dramatic monologue – a form associated with Browning. It consists of 28 couplets written in iambic pentameter. The rhyming words occur at the end of each line, but the…


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On the Practice of Medicine

As student, trainee, educator, scientist, practitioner, and occasionally as a patient I have observed medicine as an insider for close to two thirds of a century. While the power of medical technology has grown exponentially over this span, the general principles of medical practice remain the same. My subject is the interplay between these two…


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The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?

The title above is that of a detailed report by the eminent science writer Nicholas Wade. In it he discusses the the possible scenarios for how the COVID-19 epidemic originated. No one else has examined all the evidence concerning the appearance of this virus with as much rigor and thoroughness as has Wade. His list…


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Finale 29 – La Traviata Act 2

La Traviata is an opera full of highlights. Much of its music its familiar to listeners who are not opera enthusiasts. But popular as it is, the finale to the second act is rarely heard apart from a complete performance. Nevertheless, this ensemble is one of Verdi’s grandest achievements. The world’s most popular opera, Traviata…


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Rosanna Carteri

Rosanna Carteri (1930-2020) was an Italian soprano who achieved great renown at a very young age. Born in Verona, she was raised in Padua. She began vocal studies before she was a teenager. By 14 she was learning complete roles under the tutelage of Ferruccio Cusinati who was the chorus master of the Verona Arena…


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