A Holiday Smorgasbord of Choice

The past few days have provided us a fascinating mixed bag of news, studies, and oddities. Let’s go surfing among the stories. These are fun.


It’s Friday, folks. How about some lighter reading for a change of pace? I have found several stories that satisfied my soul, piqued my curiosity, and/or tickled my funny bone. As we move into a prime holiday week, have some fun. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.

Criminal Justice Reform Bill 

One serious news item to lead us off. The long delayed Criminal Justice Reform Bill is about to become the law of the land. It’s not perfect, but it is a heck of a giant step in the right direction on several counts. I cannot remember the last time we saw a piece of legislation with so broad and deep a list of supporters. People and groups who often would not share the time of day with each other worked together on this one. It is a remarkable list.

Give credit where its due. Trump indicated early that he would sign it. Many people give Jared Kushner credit for getting this done. Kudos to everyone involved. Could we do some more of this kind of work please? A good review of what this bill does is at. https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/mbywkb/heres-what-the-prison-reform-bill-actually-does-and-doesnt-do

Good Vibrations, Planetary Scale

A series of vibration waves rippled all around the world a few days ago. They were almost everywhere and lasted for about 20 minutes. They were at a frequency level humans do not detect, but these bad boys were definitely for real. Science has no idea what they were or what caused them. Imagine that! Read all about them at:


She Gave Her Body to Science; Susan Potter Became Immortal.

 In another excellent National Geographic article, find the story of a remarkable woman. She wanted to give her body to science, but not as a passive act. She wanted to know all about the work to be done in this revolutionary program.

Over the years, she became involved in the planning and got to know personally those who would be doing the work. It is a fascinating story from both scientific and human perspectives. This is someone I would have loved to know. She will be important to us all for years to come. What a gift. Read all about it at:


Alligators of Ecstasy 

This is one fun story. It is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek story of the history of the zipper. Featured is its difficult integration into clothing. People were concerned that zippers were just too sexy, too inviting for ease of access to all that flesh behind it. Others, of course, saw this as its primary attribute! It is a fun and informative read. The title of the article was the first hint of fun to come. I also liked the section entitled “Zipper-de-do-dah.” 


Stoic Philosophy is Back

Stoicism never really left, of course. But it seems to be enjoying a much-deserved resurgence of late. I ran across a nice little article extolling the virtues of the stoic philosophy. I am a sucker for anything that based on reason and calls to mind Aristotle and similar thinkers.

Find here 10 short pieces of advice from the philosopher king Marcus Aurelius. Smart guy, that Marc. This is not too heavy a read. It will encourage you to think about some things that may have not come up for you in a long time. You could do a lot worse than to start your New Year with these tips in mind.


Apple iSheets Wants to Get into Bed with You

Think there is nothing left that Apple or its competitors could invent to hang off you or put in your pocket? Think again. How about sheets that measure all kinds of things about the quality of your rest, etc.? The mind boggles. They figured out how these things could be washed without short circuiting as well. What’s next? Will the sheets be linked to Siri, so they can talk to you as well (Good night, Dave. Don’t forget to do those stretching exercises before you doze off….). Read all about it:


7 Earth-Like Planets. Anybody home?

NASA recently announced finding a new set of 7 (7!) earth like planets around a single sun. All 7 are in the habitable zone, 3 of them deep in that zone. And the whole thing is only 40 light years away. That is next door in astronomical terms. Investigations continue. Is there life? Do they have Starbucks? Who knows?!


I will see you online throughout the coming holiday week. Best wishes to all for a joyous holiday and a promising New Year. Safe travels for those of you determined enough and/or nuts enough to travel next week!

      Bill Clontz

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1 reply to A Holiday Smorgasbord of Choice

  1. Appreciate your links to various interesting subjects. Also, a reminder to not have my iPhone in bed! A relative put a paper cover over my Mac camera. More and more technology snoopervising to be concerned about. It’s not a coincidence commercials on subjects I’ve texted or spoken of on my cell phone show up on my FB and emails.

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