I learned some new words today as I read up on the mysteries of eel reproduction, our second foray into the wild, wild world of animal reproduction in celebration of Pride Month.
June is here. As well as marking the onset of the academic summer, June is recognized as Pride Month, a time when some celebrate the myriad manifestations of human sexuality.
Welcome back, lightning bugs! Every year, I make note of the arrival of our bioluminescent friends. I saw my first about a month ago, a single little blink in the trees. These nights, however, the yard is a wonderland of flashes and twinkles.
William Zinsser died May 12, 2015, at the age of 92. Journalists everywhere who mourned his passing paused to pay homage to him last Friday.
“I want to see the Cahaba Lilies,” I said to our bonus-son Joseph a few weeks ago.
A few weekends ago I crashed my brother’s 42nd High School Reunion. Among the other activities, which included a slap-in-the-face awakening to our advancing age with a visit to a college bar, was a picnic lunch at the upper pavilion at Chewacla State Park.
Even in survey classes with 100 or more students, some professors allow you to choose a topic for your paper. If you get the chance, take it! Freshmen and sophomores should absolutely choose a topic that goes with their college major or personal interests. Most freshmen and sophomores gradua…
One day when I was 10 years old, my dad put on his tree-climbing boots and harness, shimmied up a pine tree, and stole a baby crow. I’m sure he broke all kinds of laws doing this, and I imagine he had to fight the mother crow as well as former offspring and other crows who would have helped …
Antisemitism has a long history, going back thousands of years. Prejudice against Judaism goes back to the ancient world when the Jewish people lived among polytheists who believed in many gods and early Christians who distanced themselves from Judaism.
Annabelle, our oldest granddaughter, and I were outside one morning last week wandering in the yard, looking for critters. After several minutes, I told Annabelle I had to go back inside because the little bugs were driving me crazy.
Politicians in Montgomery are considering legislation that would allow local governments to post legally mandated public notices on their own websites instead of publishing them in local newspapers.
Zooming in on the picture I’d just taken of a mountain laurel blossom, I was tickled to find that it had been photobombed by a granddaddy longlegs. This spindly critter hiding out on the pink petals was one of the first creepy-crawlies I learned to identify as a young child.
There is a scene in Robert Bolt’s play, “A Man for All Seasons,” in which Sir Thomas More, the lord high chancellor of England, suggests to a young and ambitious man of the royal court that he should become a teacher.
Our Alabama spring is past the glorious azalea and dogwood tree announcement phase and has now settled down to the business of securing a successful place in the world for our flora and fauna. Groundhogs are rushing to nourish their babies, who must mature and head into hibernation in just 7…
Ah, spring! For just a few days, it felt so nice outdoors. I thought the long-awaited blooming time of the year had arrived.
My dad enjoyed a cigarette with his morning coffee and his newspaper his whole life. Often, he met with a group of his peers, the Order of the Geezers, for breakfast. For years they met at Hardee’s on Gay St. When I was in college in the early 1980s, if I needed him before he went to his off…
Early in M. Scott Peck’s hugely successful book, "The Road Less Traveled" (1978) was the line “Life is hard.” A friend told me that a friend of his saw that line and stopped reading the book! It apparently made him uncomfortable.
At the onset of a most ordinary evening back in November 2016, my phone rang. I smiled on seeing that it was Emma, our middle chickadee, calling to check in during her road trip from New Orleans to Little Rock.
When it comes to dirt, political dirt is pure gold. Uncovering any form of serious dirt on an opponent can just about guarantee you a political win today.
Spring is official now. The azaleas are strutting their stuff, the native buckeyes are dotting our messy yard red, and the college kids are hitting the Alabama beaches. Some have returned with reports of big purple jellyfish. “They looked like plastic bags!” one of my college friends exclaim…
About six months ago, our youngest chickadee, Anna, flew far from the coop, all the way to New York City. Last week, I finally visited her in her Brooklyn home.
Anything having to do with the brain is complex. Why so? The human brain has about 86 billion neurons, and there’s much we don’t know about the brain. Neuroscientists tell us that dreaming has a significant function to play in our lives as human beings for at least two reasons: (1) Dreaming …
I was recently thumbing through a scrapbook I kept in high school when I found a treasure I’d overlooked a thousand times: my membership card to the Midway Roller Rink. It’s poked through with thumbtack holes, meaning it had at one time lived on my bulletin board. Relics from the bulletin bo…
As friends and family said goodbye to Don Eddins just a few weeks ago, I was left to think about how much that word applies to journalism today.
Fort Benning, which is one of the largest and best-known Army bases in the U.S., will soon be renamed Fort Moore, in honor of the late Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife, Julia Compton Moore, both long-time residents of Auburn.
I dedicate this piece to Don Eddins, co-founder of the Auburn Villager. May he rest in peace.
It’s beautiful outside, and I’m sitting on the porch reflecting on the existence of mammals. Today’s mammalian musing is brought to me by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has finally caught up with me resulting in my having developed Covid-19.
I could say that the late Winston Groom was groomed for greatness, but that sounds corny.
This week, the world paused to take note that Jimmy Carter has elected to go home under hospice care. At the time of this writing, he has not yet died, but he will soon.
Covid-19 is now out of control in the People’s Republic of China. Following the precipitous ending of an intended “Zero COVID” policy imposed by the communist government of China, all pretense of suppression was abandoned and the subsequent street demonstrations. Based on hubris and contrary…
St. Valentine’s Day is nearly here! What better time to talk about Faith, Madness, and Spontaneous Human Combustion.
Little Boy and Fat Man. They are cute nicknames. But what Little Boy and Fat Man did nearly 78 years ago forever changed the course of the world.
I was fresh out of college, a January graduate, and ready to change the world. While awaiting that perfect, if ill-timed, teaching position to open, I substituted in the Boston City schools. It was Groundhog Day, and I was with second-graders. Second-graders love Groundhog Day, right?
“I wouldn’t mind being mauled to death by a bear,” said our bonus-son Joseph over coffee recently, “as long as no one kills the bear.”
Professionally, Don Eddins wore two hats. He was a lawyer. He was a newspaperman.
He was known widely in the 1960s as the king of talk radio conflict, running roughshod over America’s airwaves.
I didn’t get home until dark last Thursday, the day the strong storms came through and winter tornadoes made their mark on Autauga County and the city of Selma. Relieved for the pass, I huddled with Joe and the dogs on the couch and watched news clips of the devastation for those in its wake…
When we were little, our parents told my brother and me that there was a battle between the germs and the leukocytes going on in our bodies. “Send down the sugar!” the germs cried daily, while the leukocytes called in response, “Send down the vegetables!”
I agree with Pope Francis when he said that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a noble, kind man who was a gift to the Church and to the world. As a student of theology at the University of Wuerzburg from 1964-67, I heard Josef Ratzinger give a magnificent lecture on Vatican II (1962-65) to a pa…
While we spent a lot of time outside growing up, family neighborhood walks were a rare occurrence. That’s probably why I remember them with the same tingling sensation usually reserved for holidays and birthdays.
Annually in December, major magazines and publications name their persons of the year.
I don’t think there’s a single solitary person on this big blue planet who doesn’t love dolphins, myself included. Like all healthy minded kids, at one point in my childhood I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Questionable ethics and cruelty aside, that goal was but a blip as my preferred dolp…
Happy second day of winter! Yesterday was the winter solstice, the day when our home planet’s northern hemisphere is tilted as far away from the sun as it gets on its journey round our personal star. Starting now, we get a little more sunlight in our dreary daytime hours. It makes no sense, …
It wouldn’t be Christmas without sparkly pictures of amoebas, paramecia, and Euglenas, would it? Perhaps I should explain.
It was football all right, but football like it had never been explained before.
Last night at a gathering of friends, I conducted some festive research and asked people their thoughts on nostalgia. To a person, they paused, eyes focused on something unseen by the rest of us, then shared a wistful memory. Intentions aside, we had all brought along Nostalgia as our Plus O…
I spent many hours of my youth laughing out loud at Jack Davis’ cartoon drawings in my all-time favorite publications, Mad magazine.
Today is December 1st. I recently learned that you should say, “Rabbit Rabbit!” out loud as your first words on the first day of each month. This brings 30 days of good luck, so they say. I never remember; so much for my luck. But the little brown rabbit that I keep seeing in the driveway mu…
After Arkansas handed Auburn its fourth-straight loss on Oct. 29, the mood of the Tigers' fan base could best be described as aligned in their dislike of Bryan Harsin or, at worst, slipping into a shared apathy about the football program.
Dr. Bill Deutsch, a retired researcher and educator at Auburn University who recently delighted readers with his ability to communicate scientific concepts to an audience of laypersons, has followed up his acclaimed work on Alabama rivers with a new book titled "Ancient Life in Alabama: The …
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