Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

What is a Pilcrow?

I think there is a technical term for everything. I’m sure you’re familiar with this symbol:  ¶    If (unlike me) you’ve ever wondered what it is, it’s a pilcrow and it has a long history. According to Wikipedia, it can be used as an indent for separate paragraphs or to designate a new paragraph in one

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Where Myths Come From

We as a species don’t like mysteries.  We’re always trying to explain what we see, even when we don’t have enough information to understand. For example, have you ever seen an elephant skull?  An elephant doesn’t have a bone between its eyes; there’s just one huge hole in the upper middle of the skull where

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Poetry — Dreams

Dreams We start out in our lives young, unlearned, naïve. As we learn, make friends, and grow, in dreams we must believe. We mold them for ourselves, we see a future bright. We follow life’s long path, working with all our might. And then one day we realize our future is not the key. It’s

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Forgotten History — Nazi Summer Camp

So much of history never makes it into your standard textbooks.  For example, we know there are prisoners in every war.  Yet unless something catastrophic happens, like the high death rate at Andersonville, Georgia in the American Civil War or “brainwashing” in the Korean War, these stories are usually forgotten. That’s why a podcast about World

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Dead Last … And Proud Of It!

I run as a sport, and I have since 1980.  I can’t really explain why, except to say it fills a need in my life.  What I’ve discovered about running is its individuality  —  there are many different reasons to run.  Yes, it’s fun to win awards, but most of the time meeting individual goals, from

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Richard Nixon on Leaders

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading Leaders by Richard Nixon (Warner Books, 1982).  It included an introductory chapter, chapters on Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Douglas MacArthur and Shigeru Yoshida, Konrad Adenauer, Nikita Khrushchev, and Zhou Enlai, plus a chapter on a collection of lesser leaders, like India’s Nehru and Egypt’s Nasser. Finally was

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Origin of the Dollar Sign

I thought this would be a fun subject to investigate, espceially since the Federal Reserve is considering raising interest rates. Our dollar sign most likely dates back to 15-century Spain.  When King Ferdinand II of Aragon took Spain from the Moors in 1492, he added two ornate columns to his coat of arms because he

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The Original Gremlins

Early in World War II, a Royal Air Force pilot wrote an explanation for some of the mechanical glitches that plagued airplanes — they were being caused by little creatures called Gremlins.  That pilot was Roald Dahl, later to be a famous children’s author.  His tale came to the attention of Walt Disney, and pre-production work

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