Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) is recognized as one of the great French novelists. Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, and Henry James all acknowledged their debt to this prodigious observer of social manners and critic of human behaviour. Continue reading Honoré de Balzac: A writer for all seasons
It is a paradox that English has become a global language while being so difficult to learn. English is widely studied as a second language as well as being the official language of several countries and world organizations. It is now the third most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Continue reading More on the quirkiness of English spelling
The world of classical music is no exception when it comes to a good mystery. “Cherchez la femme,” said Alexandre Dumas, in his novel Les Mohicans de Paris (1854), words taken to heart in the search to reveal the identity of Mozart’s “jeunehomme”. Continue reading When is a young man really a young woman?
Utah has become the first US State to designate an official firearm. The Browning M1911 has taken its place alongside such other honoured emblems as the Allosaurus, cherry, topaz, sea gull, honeybee, and Sego lily. Continue reading Let’s hear it for Utah!
Samuel Coleridge Taylor may yet be right. World Water Day takes place March 22 and this year its theme is “Water and Urbanization”. International attention will be focused on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization, and the uncertainties caused by climate change. Meanwhile, for the global water companies it’s “business as usual”. Continue reading “Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink”
In this extraordinary world of ours there are Marmitians and Bovrillians and never the twain shall meet – unless on the field of battle. Marmite is that brownish, glutinous stuff that comes in black jars with yellow lids. Bovril, on the other hand, is an ebony, viscous relish (scrumptious on hot buttered crumpets) that comes in black jars with red lids. Continue reading The Crumpet Wars: Are you for Marmite or Bovril?
The horrific loss of life in a single event in Japan gives serious pause for thought about the fragility of human life on planet Earth. The power of such an immeasurable and uncontrollable volume of water on the move is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. Continue reading Tsunami