Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

The Price of Time – Book Review

Edward Chancellor’s book , subtitled The Real Story of interest, starts with Hammurabi and continues to the present. He shows that interest is older than money and that the compulsion of governments to manipulate it is equally ancient. Interest has been seen as immoral by many religions, but has persisted because commerce is impossible without…


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Lina Bruna Rasa

The life of Lina Bruna Rasa (1907-84) is one of opera’s saddest tales. A phenom, she made her debut in 1925 at age 18. Her last performance was in 1942 when she was 34. She was one year younger than Zinka Milanov, yet the two sopranos seem of different eras. Milanov sang at the Met…


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Cancer Statistics 2023

At the start of every year the American Cancer Society issues the latest cancer statistics. This year the data were released in two publications, both of which are found at the end of this article. Some of the salient features of the data are discussed below. I’ll start with prostate cancer which seems to eternally…


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Fedora in HD

Umberto Giordano’s minor league opera Fedora was brought back to the Met after an absence of 25 years. The main reason for its reappearance, as far as I could, tell was to add novelty without the aural pain that the Met’s commitment to new operas has recently inflicted on its audience and box office. If…


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Verdi Requiem – 1982 Performance

Verdi’s requiem mass written to commemorate the first year anniversary of the death of the novelist Alessandro Manzoni is one of the peaks of Western Civilization. The video below was made more than forty years ago. It features Sopranos Jessye Norman and Margaret Price, tenor Jose Carreras, and bass Ruggero Raimondi. The London Symphony Orchestra…


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Prescription Opioids and Death

Effect of Prescriber Notifications of Patient’s Fatal Overdose on Opioid Prescribing at 4 to 12 Months is the title of a short paper on the JAMA Open Network. It describes what happens when a physician or physician extender receives a letter from the county medical examiner informing him that his patients has died from an…


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Leonore Overture #3

Opera was not Beethoven’s forte. He devoted a decade (1804-14) to tinkering with his only opera – Fidelio. Even its name changed. It was initially called Leonore; she’s the opera’s heroine and its focal point. The composer was an idealist who fervently believed in the triumph of justice over tyranny and and love over oppression….


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 Damar Hamlin and Commotio Cordis 

Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed last night after making a tackle during the Monday night football game. He is said to have suffered a cardiac arrest and is hospitalized in critical condition. All I have to go on are the press reports and the video of the event. Look at it below and…


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Universal Genius

If you do a search for universal genius a variety of definitions will appear. Often they equate the term with polymath. Polymaths are quite numerous, though a very small proportion of the total population. The definition used here is a person whose accomplishment is either so far above any other person of genius in the…


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Headline of the Moment

Workers, Internal Memos Reveal Why Southwest Melted Down During Cold Snap The above headline conveys the message, but things do not melt down during a cold snap, they freeze. Writing headlines is the journalistic equivalent of a time out. If somehow a person has obtained a job in a news organization and can’t do anything,…


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