May 292016

Cephalia are these weird things some cactuses get where a gross column starts growing out of them at a certain age:


They are pretty much for flowers. Here is how one of the authors of A Cactus Odyssey describes them:

When a plant of Melocactus undergoes its transition into making a cephalium, it is like a young person going through puberty and developing adult characters like a beard. When a plant makes a lateral cephalium, however, it is as if only one narrow strip of a maturing plant undergoes puberty while the rest of him or her continues to be a child, albeit a giant version of that child. Maybe it is best not to think about it this way after all.

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Feb 232016

The book that I have been at work on for the past three-and-a-half years is being released next month. Needless to say, this was not an easy subject for me to address:


At the same time, I knew this was a tale I had to tell. I hope that my experience may be of some help to some people.

The book will be available for purchase behind the counter at Alan’s Health Stores nationwide. For signing opportunities, please contact me by email.

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Sep 282015

Before there were movies, there were paired daguerreotypes. “THE STORY OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE HAT AND CLOAK” was the number one Storypicture-Pair-o-Gram in 1859:


People would see it and just go absolutely insane. Crowds were so big that once they had to put it on display inside a factory, and everybody was pushing and jostling so much that parts of the factory collapsed. Later some of the people came back and burned the factory.

Today we know that most of the Pair-o-Gram riots were tied into anxiety about the looming Civil War. It was harder to work that out while it was actually happening, though, and they continued to be cited as a cause of the Civil War well into 1861.

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Jul 242015

Maisie is in Argentina and went to a soccer game. It was San Lorenzo against Arsenal de Sarandí. Everyone was a San Lorenzo fan because in the Argentinian league you can’t have fans of the opposing team at a home game because people will fight them. Their guide explained that it was a very sad thing for the country, that the people could not be trusted with the privilege of supporting an opposing team (or coming face to face with such support and not resorting to violence).

Here are some of the fight songs that were sung at the match:


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Apr 072015

When most people read Dante, they stop at the “Inferno.” I get that, since it’s about Hell and torture and all that. But if you don’t get to the “Paradiso,” you’ll never experience Dante’s depiction of Heaven, and I think his torture scenes there are just as good.

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