Pillars for a Better America, Chapter 7

A Series on Priorities for the Biden Administration


Yes, the last week or so has been pretty dramatic. And we still don’t know the long-term, or even the short-term, outcomes. Wait for it – history is unrolling before us, perhaps in some very big ways.

As if that were not enough, the pandemic is on an accelerating rampage. We were warned not to let our standards relax over the holidays or there would be hell to pay on a national level. Too many of us blew it off. Well, here we are.

Pillars for a Better America, Chapter 5

A Series on Priorities for the Biden Administration


Happy New Year, Everyone!

It is indeed a new year, in so many ways. Let’s hope its promise measures up and we Americans measure up to our challenges and opportunities as well. Now, onward with our priorities list for the new administration.

 Pillars for a Better America – Pillars 12-13

This Pillars list will run up until inauguration week. It is not all inclusive, nor is it presented in priority order. These are all important choices for the Biden administration to tackle.

The list is a mix of domestic and international,

Interesting Lessons for Us All on Remote Learning

Some Worrisome Results and Exciting Possibilities – For Adults and Children


A Framework to Consider Remote Learning

We now have 9 months of experience with remote learning in schools. We have seen it from elementary to collage. By “we” I mean the world. Americans are examining what we are finding out, but so too are others.

The Dutch are an interesting case in point. This is a small, wealthy country. They early on ensured the technology infrastructure was in place. Authorities made sure that students had the equipment they needed. The Dutch had a pretty well performing student population going into all this.

Hope, Promise, and Fun from Science and Technology

It Will be Hard to Avoid Politics for the Next Couple of Months. Let’s Take a Brain Break

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Series

We are in a time of challenge, tension, and reasons to worry. We have been here before in many ways, I note, on this the anniversary of the terrorism of 9/11. Still, even in times of risk and fear, there is also hope and good news. I thought we might take a one day break today to look at some of those things, take a deep breath,

A Few Random Observations. Do They Seem the same to you, too?

Four Short Reflections on Some Widely Different Topics


Seen Much News Lately?

Last week was one of those (another one!) that just seemed all over the board in terms of news and matters of interest. Here are my takeaways for your consideration. By the way, I find the process of looking back over the week as the weekend dawns a useful thing to do. So much happens in so many directions these days, it is helpful to look in the rear view mirror to assure ourselves, as much as we can, that (A) We didn’t miss anything really important and (B) We take the opportunity to assess the priorities – decide what out of all this mess really counts.

The Pandemic Has Already Taught Us 3 Important Technology Lessons

We Have So Much More Technology Than We Had – And So Much Less Than We Need


A Dramatic Escalation of a Trend Already Underway

One of the byproducts of the pandemic has been the dramatic increase in adaptation by Americans of video teleconferencing and other online communications tools.

I say “adaptation,” which may be too strong a word. Some have indeed become quite capable and comfortable with this new venue. Others are using it only under great duress and reluctance.

The idea of replacing live meetings with video teleconferencing (VTC) is hardly new.

We Are Witnessing BIG History. Take Notes.

Some of This Will Inspire Us. Much of This Will Not Be Pretty

The following post was one I drafted back in early March, but never posted. It was bumped by other news and forgotten. At the time, we were just starting to experience the pandemic that now dominates so much of our lives. Little did we know back then just how big an effect we were about to experience, and how long this fight was going to be. Looking back on this post, it seems both prophetic and a bit innocent, almost naive. I don’t know about you,

In the End, It’s All About the Air

How Managing the Air We Breathe is the Pandemic End Game

We are all, logically, concentrating these days on social distancing, proper wearing of masks, and testing. We hope that not too much further down the road there will be a vaccination, even though that will take some time to be fully distributed.

But at the end of it all, public confidence, and our ability to manage not only this pandemic but the next one (and there will be a next one) will depend on how well the air we breathe can be cleaned in a wide variety of settings.

In Praise of the Johnny Appleseeds of Science


A Handful of People Have Made Science Understandable, Yet Wonderous, to Us All

Spreading the Good News

Everyone reading this is likely familiar with the legend of Johnny Appleseed. Johnny was a real person, John Chapman, who lived in America’s early days. Chapman was an American pioneer nurseryman. He introduced apples into Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and present-day West Virginia.

He became famous due to his generous ways and his leadership in conservation. He planted apple seeds everywhere, making the trees and their valued fruit ubiquitous. You can actually still see one of his trees.

Think You Know the Difference Between Art and Science?

Not So Fast, There. Allow Me to Blur the Lines for You.

Drawing Boxes and Coloring Inside the Lines. Maybe Not.

Human beings have a tendency to divide things up into black and white. Real life often does not operate in that manner. Making hard divisions where they do not really exist deprives us of one of the joys of having a brain. To see how ideas and capacities cross over is one of life’s great joys. Let’s look at a few examples and celebrate the mélange.

Science, Anyone?

For much of my life,