“The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The particulars of this case are far more straightforward than Watson would have us believe, though the fun is in the manner of the telling. Robert, Lord St. Simon, is puzzled and distraught.  His bride, Hatty Doran of San Francisco, disappeared on their wedding day, not before the wedding or after the honeymoon, but rather … Continue reading “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Usually Watson finds about the cases of Sherlock Holmes when Holmes tells him, or when a client drops by.  This one, we're told, is one of only two cases where Watson brought the matter to Holmes. Victor Hatherley, a young hydraulic engineering consultant trying to build a career for himself, shows up seeking medical attention … Continue reading “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson by Tom Graves

The story is infamous.  According to legend, amateur guitar player Robert Johnson stood at the crossroads of US 61 and US 49 in Mississippi.  There he sold his soul in exchange for guitar playing prowess.  He emerges on the scene in short order to become the first truly modern bluesman, turning his back on stage … Continue reading Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson by Tom Graves

“The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When I first discovered the Great Detective and decided to read the stories for myself,  I started with a paperback copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  Back in elementary school, we'd have a travelling book fair that would come through every so often, and I bought this book and a copy of Edgar Allan … Continue reading “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

As an American, I celebrate Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday of November.  And as an American, I always have to deal with the absolute nonsense of overblown marketing that says Christmas stuff must happen before Halloween.  It has little to do with the holiday season itself and more to do with the greed of retailers.  … Continue reading “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Man with the Twisted Lip” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

In 1889 London, opium and other drugs were not crimes themselves, but the opium den -- operated openly and quite legally -- was often connected with the criminal underworld.  And where crime manifests, our Great Detective is certain to follow. The story opens with Watson visiting such an opium den at the behest of Kate … Continue reading “The Man with the Twisted Lip” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

Really look at that graphic.  Think about those words.  More than just words, the photo that accompanies it was the idea of Carl Sagan.  He lobbied NASA for decades to have that photo taken.  You can read the entire soliloquy and see the uncluttered photo at the Planetary Society's website.  The message of hope behind the … Continue reading Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

It would be difficult to argue against the idea that when it comes to the modern world, Dan Rather has had an up close and personal look at whichever topic you want to discuss, from virtually every angle you can discuss it.  Politics, war, peace, natural disaster, social and environmental engineering... he's seen it all, … Continue reading What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner