Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

Happy 4th of July

If you really want to learn about the 4th of July, I would recommend “Fun Facts for July 4” at the Washington Post website. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/03/fun-facts-for-july-4/ For example, three of the first five U.S. presidents died on July 4.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, the 50th anniversary of the country’s birth.  (Adams’ last words were

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An Essay on Failure

This is an essay I wrote several years ago, and now is as good a time as any to drag it out.   Have you ever heard of me? No? Actually, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’m not very famous and few people do know who I am. So far in my life I just haven’t

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What is Asteroid Day?

Yesterday I received an email from The Planetary Society about Asteroid Day. Beginning at the beginning, The Planetary Society is an organization for people interested in anything involving space — “We create. We educate. We advocate.”   One of their latest activities has been to support the LightSail experiment — using the solar wind for

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Happy Birthday to the Typewriter

From The Writer’s Almanac, June 23, 2015: “The typewriter was patented on this date in 1868, by Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sholes was a newspaperman, and he was driven to invention out of necessity: His printers went on strike. He and two colleagues set out to invent a machine to print letters on

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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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