Author Archives: dispatchesfromtheformernewworld

On My Bookshelf – A Flap of Nuns

A Flap of Nuns isn’t  the title of a book on my bookshelf. The term is one of the collective nouns in James Lipton’s classic An Exaltation of Larks. I use it here as a means of confession that I … Continue reading

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Exploring Your DNA

My latest blog for the library (MCPL) is a companion piece to On Learning I’m English. It includes a reading list on how genetic science has revolutionized the study of human origins and prehistory. Plus a great novel about the last … Continue reading

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That Was The Year That Was

Long ago and far away in the England of the 1960’s television political satire was born. I was fourteen years old, precociously interested in current events, and allowed to stay up late to watch That Was The Week That Was. … Continue reading

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On Learning I’m English

I learned some shocking information this fall. It was a simple matter of spitting in a tube for one test and swabbing my cheek for another, but the results were complicated and confounding. I learned that the majority of my … Continue reading

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We’ll See What Happens

“We’ll see what happens” is one of President Trump’s favorite phrases. His trademark talk and tweets contain a limited vocabulary of words and phrases, which he slots together in seemingly random combinations. How many times have we heard “believe me,” … Continue reading

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Fall on your Knees

When you google the words “Christian iconography kneeling” the first image that comes up is Fra Angelico’s Annunciation painted on a wall of the Friary of San Marcos in Florence. The Angel Gabriel appears before Mary in a loggia. He … Continue reading

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Cul Dreimhne – The Battle of the Book

What do you think of when you think of monks? Silent hooded figures praying in a shadowed cloister perhaps? Or the ethereal sound of Gregorian chant? You probably don’t think of a violent battle leaving thousands of dead and dying … Continue reading

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