Monthly Archives: June 2012

Meditation can help you with that

The late, great Kurt Vonnegut once wrote that “the feel and appearance of a book when combined with a literate person in a straight chair can create a spiritual condition of priceless depth and meaning.”┬áHe was referring to the experience of reading. After a foray into Transcendental Meditation (TM) in the 1960s, Vonnegut realized how […]

The past was a rather smelly place, part 2

Western standards of hygiene became a bit less pungent in the centuries after the Renaissance. As discussed in part 1 of this post, by the mid-seventeenth century clean linen was established as the European epitome of cleanliness and good personal hygiene. Displaying a hint of clean linen undergarment was a way to say to the […]

Productivity is tricky

Being consistently productive is a balancing act. Sadly, my best intentions to maintain a robust and active blog fell prey to the oft overwhelming forces of the dreaded end-of-semester chaos. First there were papers to write over spring “break” (as I always refer to it). Then I traveled to Milwaukee for the annual meeting of […]


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