Some Insight into Hungarian Political History

This post is about a tour guide's insight into the emergence of Hungary from foreign domination. The guide was Agnes K, a retired schoolteacher. Her tour concentrated on the Pest side, particularly government and political sites, followed by a traditional Hungarian restaurant that was partly a museum of cultural history.  Agnes showed us a statue… Continue reading Some Insight into Hungarian Political History

Two Hungarian Painters

This post is about two Hungarian painters we encountered on opposite ends of our vacation. On May 25 our Viking bus tour took us to the Budapest opera house, following which we went to the Müvész Kávéház, to sample some remarkable cakes. But the interior of the dining room also impressed us. On the wall… Continue reading Two Hungarian Painters

Recent Science on Race

In an earlier post, I described the European practice of exhibiting people of other races in museums and zoos in the 19th century up to the present. In this post I want to discuss how science can help us approach racism. The science on race has changed since the 19th century. Obviously people thought that race… Continue reading Recent Science on Race

Rotation of Champagne

In 2012 my wife and I spent our vacation in France, staying a week each in Alsace, Champagne, and Paris. One day we took a winery tour at the Moet-Chandon headquarters in Epernay. A great tour, we highly recommend it. One of the interesting things we saw was a machine that is programmed to rotate… Continue reading Rotation of Champagne

The Armed Man – a mass for peace

The evening of May 6, 2017, I attended a performance of Karl Jenkins’ "The Armed Man – a mass for peace"  by the Albany Pro Musica Masterworks Chorus (José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, director) and the Pro Musica Orchestra (Anne-Marie Barker-Schwarz, director). A film by Hefin Owen containing many wartime scenes, ranging from images of medieval soldiers to nuclear blasts, was played… Continue reading The Armed Man – a mass for peace

A Tranquil Confidence: Four Women of the Belle Epoque

  I want to share with you an appreciation for the paintings of Marie-Therese Durand-Ruel by Renoir; Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe, by De Laszlo; and two others, Lady Richmond and Jane de Glehn, by Sargent. To me they represent an essential characteristic of the civilization they lived in: a tranquil confidence. The Renoir picture of the… Continue reading A Tranquil Confidence: Four Women of the Belle Epoque

The Flat Earthers

In today's Albany Times Union (March 10, 2017) , my friend Rex Smith writes about the confidence we should place in the scientific pronouncements of athletes or politicians. For an athlete he chooses Kyrie Irving, a basketball player who claims to believe the earth is flat. For a politician, he chooses Scott Pruitt, the Trump… Continue reading The Flat Earthers

Betrayal of the People, III

Predictably, Trump is backing up the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The provisions of this proposed law restrict Medicaid payments, likely forcing millions of poor and elderly people to lose their health insurance. This is in stark contrast to Trump's promise to have coverage for everybody. Opposing this law are doctors, hospitals, and… Continue reading Betrayal of the People, III