Don\'t Ask Why
Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 04 October 2011 16:35This week I feel compelled to write about ants. No, not aunts; the kind that pinch your cheeks or, in my case, create Facebook profiles for their cats who have a lot of snarky—if not insightful—things to say about life. (I’m not kidding. Search “Clyde Whiskers” on Facebook.)
I’m talking about the ants that regularly invite themselves to picnics and share food with lazy grasshoppers.
Recently, wife Hanna and I have had a lot of interaction with the foraging insects, and I have to say that it’s really changed my perspective of them.
The exposure I’ve had to ants in my life consists mostly of watching Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” several hundred times while growing up, and more recently being an avid reader of National...
Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 20 September 2011 16:00It seems like the prices at the Arts and Crafts Fair keep getting higher. This became painfully apparent when wife Hanna pointed out a tie-died cotton Mumu selling for $50.
But those rising numbers won’t be reflected in the local press’s coverage of the fair this week. That’s because the value of numbers that are embedded in words never increase. The “one” in “someone” holds the same value today as it did 100 years ago.
I’m a stickler for accuracy, so I decided that because prices at the Arts and Crafts Fair were higher, the quantitative value of syntax about the fair should be as well.
So with a nod to the late Victor Borge, what follows is the most accurate fictional report you will read about this year’s craft...
Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 06 September 2011 15:39The Civil War was fought largely by untrained civilians who were called into service purely by their desire to defend the peace and freedom of the country they loved.
In the midst of the struggle, President Abraham Lincoln stood in a quiet, nondescript Pennsylvanian field to offer words of remembrance and hope.
“But in a larger sense we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow this ground,” he said. “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.”
Five years ago, I was standing in another quiet, nondescript Pennsylvanian field. This...
Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 30 August 2011 16:16Wife Hanna recently got us watching the Food Network Star, which is a reality show about 15 competing cooks contending for their own TV series. As a result, we’re now regular viewers of all the Food Network shows: “Chopped,” “Iron Chef,” “Food Truck Race” and, of course, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
All of this cooking got me reflecting on my own culinary skills.
My greatest achievement in the kitchen probably dates back to when I was 5, and my brother Nathan and I invented an original main dish. If a Food Network host was to make this dish on her or his show—and after watching Food Network Star, I know exactly how they would do it—the whimsical monologue would go something like this:
“Today we’re going to...
Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:38The Mean World Syndrome is the name of a theory by communications professor George Gerber. It describes a phenomenon in which the violent contents of media cause a viewer to believe that the world is scarier than it actually is.
I got to thinking about that theory the other day while watching TV. The premise behind the Mean World Syndrome, it seems, could be applied to all media, not just the violent stuff. After watching Pixar’s “UP,” for example, I am now much more open to the notion that if you somehow get your hands on enough helium, you’ll be able to float your house halfway around the world.
A little farfetched? Perhaps. But let’s take a look at some other examples to compare and contrast the effects of the media...
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