Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

Happy Disloyalty to Royalty Day!

Happy Disloyalty to Royalty Day! Time to reprise my poem about patriotism.  I wrote it sometime around 2010 and posted it last year (and it’s in my book Some Poems About Life, available on this website), but I think it’s still apropos today. The Patriot Jerry is a patriot,he loves his country dear.He waves the flag

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Lies My Mother Told Me

I was always taught to be honest. I would never think of lying to my parents. But it wasn’t until much later, when I was well into adulthood, that I finally realized my mother had a subtle way of bending the truth to adjust my behavior. Like saying ” _________ is talking about you because

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The Rationale For Odd Sizes

Have you ever wondered why some items come in odd weights and sizes? In this photo from the Marketplace website, notice the Ziploc quart-size freezer bags are packaged 19 to a box. Why the odd number? I ran across this in an October 20, 2019 article entitled “The Marketing Tactics Behind Those Odd Weights and

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Origin of the Three-Course Meal

Many of our everyday practices have surprising origins. For example, the idea of serving a three-course meal — soup, main dish, and dessert — is actually credited to a Persian (some say Arab or Kurd) known to history as Ziryab. His full name is Abu l-Hasan Ali Ibn Nafi, and he was an educated North

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The Economics of Slavery

If you are running a business, you would want to closely track your assets. How can you improve productivity? How can you increase an asset’s value? At what point does the cost of maintenance exceed the return? These are all important questions. Now, what if these assets you are tracking are people? Or, more accurately,

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The Opposite of Paranoia

In my lifetime I can never remember having three crises at once — Covid-19, a stumbling economy, and nationwide protests against police brutality. Put those before an electorate that’s already deeply divided and you have a perfect situation for spawning all types of conspiracy theories. It reminds me of that old saying “You’d be paranoid

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Famous Viking Warrior Was a Woman?

From The-Best-Man-For-The-Job-Might-Be-A-Woman Department : Archaeologists had always thought they had found the ideal Viking male warrior’s grave in southeastern Sweden. There were swords, arrowheads, and two sacrificed horses, so the interred must be a man, right? Then Stockholm University bioarchaeologist Anna Kjellström closely examined the warrior’s pelvic bones and mandible. To her, they seemed feminine. When none

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