Why Did I Say I Was Going to Shanghai?

I had a gig for five years—just ended last summer—as the international programs dean at an East Coast law school. It meant I got to spend five weeks every summer in Rome or Paris. Not too hard to take. But it also meant I was flying 13 hours in coach to and from China...

The Birth of the F-Bomb

[This is the full-length version of a guest post I wrote for author Lucinda E. Clarke’s blog back in May. For space considerations, she had to cut it down. A lot of people commented, liked and reposted it, so I thought I’d post it this week. Thanks Lucinda...

Moose On Ice, Puffin Chaser

Why didn’t someone tell me about Republic of Doyle sooner? It’s been on TV since 2010 for crying out loud. Well, it’s been on Canadian TV since 2010, which to most Americans is like saying it’s been on Martian TV. But now it’s on Netflix—the Binge-a-Lot Streaming...

Boredom on the Orient Express

Let me start by coming clean. I really like trains. First, because train travel is not air travel. Which is increasingly miserable for those of us who can’t afford First Class, don’t have a company expense account to pay for Business Class, and/or aren’t a...

Rest-of-World Health Care?

A little housekeeping first this week, since this is supposed to be part of my ‘Author Platform.’ I was the guest on Army Wife Network’s weekly podcast radio show last Monday, talking about my book None of Us the Same and World War I generally. You...

Women of the Great War

My novel, None of Us the Same, has been out for exactly one month today and I haven’t had a call from either the New York Times or Stephen Spielberg. But I’m hopeful. Today I thought I’d write a little more about what I learned researching and writing the book, as...

In Praise of Paper Things

I love my Kindle. And I love my iPad even more. In particular, I like Reading Stuff on my little electronic gizmos. I picked up the Kindle habit while doing a job that required three or four trips to China every year, since it’s really difficult to stay under 22 kilos...

Men in Beards

I’m going to go all Thomist—as in Aquinas, not the Tank Engine— this week. Let us therefore turn to the matter of men and facial hair. It may be said that the material cause of beards and mustaches is that they are of the Natural Order of Things, that Nature dictates...

O, Say Can You Sing That High Note?

First order of business this week is some shameless self-promotion. My novel None of Us the Same is now available on Amazon! You should do all your Christmas shopping early right here: https://amzn.to/2qvJSJm. It will be also available though other vendors (e.g.,...