Columnists
  • These days when you hear "party lines," you presume the subject is partisan politics, but that wasn't always the case. There was a time when those two words referred to telephone groupings -- party lines -- that were the precursor to Facebook.
  • It makes a difference whether you are the first-born child, a middle child, a caboose or whatever your position is in the family. Having discussed the effects of birth order with many older writers, I am convinced that it profoundly affects the way our personalities are formed and the choices we make, such as finding a vocation.
  • Shlomo Shamir of Maariv, (the national Hebrew language daily news in Israel associated politically with the center), has warned: "Anyone who expects a renewal of the peace process is like an atheist waiting for the coming of the Messiah."
  • With no real credentials, I agreed to help ("Help!") with Vacation Bible School this year. All of the kiddos were adorable. Some were traumatized; others seemed sedated; and yet many were exuberant over the top. When one little toddler screamed and dissolved into tears, I knew we had been too abrupt in introducing the topic, "blood of Jesus."
  • Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear died on June 28. Paddington and Winnie-the-Pooh, and Teddy are the whimsical creatures whose adventures have delighted children and adults for decades. While their creators may die, the bears live on.
  • I was fortunate to grow up in a household of readers, and not long after they got me past Dick and Jane I discovered the Reader's Digest. It had a monthly section entitled "Laughter: The Best Medicine," and those brief items always brought smiles to my face. I still love humorous anecdotes and seek out books filled with them.
  • "Wanna come to Chicago to play with Oakley and help me get the new baby’s room ready?" my 8.5-months-pregnant daughter Lizann asked in a text.

  • In my courses on Africa and the Middle East, I often find myself trying to explain how timeless issues such as poverty, population growth and oppression are often inter-related.
  • As American as apple pie is a misnomer as any culture that has apples has some form of the dessert. We ought to say, “as American as hot dogs and hamburgers” even though we got the main ingredients for both items from Europe. Then we put them on a bun and created something new. So let’s take a look at hot dogs.
  • A month is a long time between visits with school chums. To an outsider, the topics are limited---mortality, infidelity, and irregularity. But with our memories fading in and out, the topics seem so fresh and new.
  • These days inflation is an ever present concern, and it's not just the monetary kind. Word inflation has become as much a threat to the English language as under spelling by the woofs who spend most of their time tapping and tweeting unnecessary messages on cell phones and would be Internet journalists who slept through Grammar 101.
  • Today's Wall Street Journal has a whole section on "The Future of Transportation," and the lead story is entitled "The End of Car Ownership." Come again? The thesis is "Ride sharing and self-driving vehicles will redefine our relationship with cars." My relationship with cars is just fine, thank you very much.