Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald. Last week, a four-hour Kennedy biography appeared on PBS’ American Experience. I relate it to a photo in the sports section of the November 12 New York Post. (My brother-in-law Herb has sent me clippings since Kennedy was…

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Death appears frequently in this week’s Torah portion, Va’yishlach (Genesis 32:4–36:43). It’s only fitting. I’ve been thinking about death lately. Also humor. They go hand in hand. As it says on the back cover of my upcoming novel The Boy Walker (available around the first of the year; I’ll keep you posted): death is nothing—and…

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Those of us who saw the late Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan on TV remember the glee with which he emphasized that the universe contains stars numbering “billions and billions.” If only a small percentage host habitable planets like Earth, Sagan proclaimed, life must exist elsewhere. Now, more refined numbers are coming in. In Tuesday’s San…

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Less than twenty-four hours after coordinated attacks left more than 750 Holiday shoppers dead and twice as many wounded, the White House conceded the likelihood of a terrorist operation. President Obama also urged shopping malls throughout the nation to reopen tomorrow. “We can not, indeed we must not, allow terrorists to derail our Holiday shopping…

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