How did the First of April become April Fools’ Day? There are a number of origin stories, but here is one that we know isn’t true. This version originated with Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. Boskin claimed the idea of designating a day for general foolishness came from the reign of Roman
Author Archives: Bob Welbaum
Putting rovers on Mars is exciting, but we must not forget our home planet has never been completely explored. This is especially true of the oceans, which cover about 70 percent of Earth’s surface, yet are still relatively uninvestigated. I was reminded of this while reading that the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) released its annual
What will be the permanent impact of the pandemic on our education system? It’s still too early to say definitively, but it will probably be significant. I expect it will be the end of snow days. Another impact could also be on how we arrange for tutoring. In that regard, you may be familiar with
With all the misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, where can you go for accurate information? That’s the question a group of mothers started asking themselves as pandemic information became more and more muddled. But these moms are also doctors and scientists, and they decided to take action. The result is a grassroots network of women who
The events of this election cycle have caused a renewed examination of our democracy. Our system of government survived a president who either didn’t believe or was unwilling to accept the election results that denied him a second term. This proved the U.S. Constitution is a strong document, capable of surviving the most difficult challenge.
Yes, I do get correspondence about my writing. Awhile back, a dear friend shared with me one of her favorite bible verses. This seems like a really good time to share it with you — “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely,
Consider the ubiquity of plastics. If present trends continue, we will be producing a billion tons a year by 2050. And since 1950, we’ve produced more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic in total. It gets worse. By 2015, three quarters of those 8 billion+ metric tons were discarded, and only 9% has been recycled.
On August 20, 2007, a 12-year-old girl spotted a blue-and-white running shoe on a beach of British Columbia’s Jedediah Island. Inside was a sock, and inside the sock was a foot. No other body parts, just one foot. Over the next 12 years, a total of 15 feet were found ashore in the area around
Song of the Witches — from Shakespeare’s Macbeth Double, double toil and trouble;Fire burn and caldron bubble.Fillet of a fenny snake,In the caldron boil and bake;Eye of newt and toe of frog,Wool of bat and tongue of dog,Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,For a charm of powerful trouble,Like a hell-broth boil and
March 13 is the birthday of everyone’s favorite uncle, Uncle Sam. This moniker had been used to refer to the USA since around 1810, but it wasn’t until 1852 that he was given a human form when Frank Henry Bellew first depicted him in a cartoon in the New York Lantern. Of course, it’s not