hamartia – Aristotle’s word for the fatal flaw that leads to a hero’s downfall. See also 'hubris' – the excessive pride and ambition that usually leads to the downfall of a hero in classical tragedy. We are now witnessing a real-life tragedy: the rise of Donald J. Trump and fall of American democracy. As Colbert I. King wrote yesterday in this Washington Post article, my hope is that hamartia and hubris will lead to Trump's downfall before it's too late for America.

Still going strong at 98

Inspiring article in The New York Times about Täo Porchon-Lynch, who, at 98, teaches yoga 5 days a week in and around Scarsdale, NY, and maintains an active travel schedule teaching and attending yoga events all over. One line that caught my attention is: "To this day, Ms. Porchon-Lynch drinks only two beverages: tea and wine. She does not drink water." Doesn't drink water! How can that be? This story reminds me of my piano teacher Kyriena Siloti, who had a big influence on me when I was in college and graduate school in New York in the late 1970s. I began studying with her in 1977 during my senior year at Columbia. She was about 83 then, and was filled with an amount of energy and vitality


plural: kakistocracies. Meaning: government by the worst people. A word I sincerely hope we will not have to begin using to describe this country's form of government.

An insider's view of fundamentalist rural America

This article on fundamentalist, Christian, rural white America provides an insider's valuable perspective on this population group and its belief system. Reading it doesn't make me feel any better about our country, and the obstacles it faces toward greater enlightenment. It's hard to see how one can change these people's beliefs, and it's easy enough to transpose this scenario to much of the Islamic world, and their dismissal of the West. But it does present a more detailed portrait of rural fundamentalist America than one usually finds, and there is value in that.

George Lakoff's insights

Since November 8, I've read many insightful articles on the current state of the US, with all kinds of explanations of the results of the election. Are the results genuine or fraudulent? There's reason to believe that the results in certain key states may have been rigged, and trump's repeated warnings that the election could be rigged only makes me believe it that much more. If he was in on the rigging, he'd know that for sure, wouldn't he? It's imperative that the results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania be thoroughly investigated. I urge anyone reading this blog to read this article in New York Magazine and do all they can add to the push to make this happen. But whether hillary t

New website

For the last two years, my old website was frozen in time. I had created it with iWeb, and when Apple stopped supporting this app, I became unable to update or alter what was there after sometime in 2014. Lacking the time to construct a new website, I let it languish. To anyone who looked at the site, it must have seemed like my life had come to a complete standstill. To the contrary, I've rarely been busier than I was these past two years. Any I would have been just as busy this summer, but decided to take a break from teaching by cancelling my summer course at Brown, Harmonic Convergence: Music's Intersections with Science, Mathematics, History, and Literature (MUSC 0510). I need the time

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