Phil Harding’s DNA

Phil Harding, the colorful TV field archeologist with the big hat, was getting his DNA tested.  With the analysis complete, Phil was told he had been descended from the original hunter-gatherer-fishers who came to Britain from Europe (France) Continue reading “Phil Harding’s DNA”

Into the Deep South

I am going to take a short break from the series I began only a few days ago, because I was struck this past week by the death of Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, one of America’s great books. Lee’s story about race remains one of the Continue reading “Into the Deep South”

Before Scotland and Lord of the Rings

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When I was a member of the school curriculum committee, it was suggested to me that ancient history should be dropped from the program or reserved as an elective for the final year, and the reason given was that the younger grades could not relate to the “very old stuff.”  This was one example of how people can decide on things they haven’t checked out. Continue reading “Before Scotland and Lord of the Rings”

John Adams and religion

David McCullough, the author of the popular biography John Adams, sums up the man when he says that “Adams was both a devout Christian and an independent thinker, and he saw no conflict in that.”  The ancestors of John Adams were the Puritans who founded Continue reading “John Adams and religion”

The feminism of Abigail Adams

The year is 1806, and a friend of John and Abigail Adams publishes a scholarly volume analyzing the recent American Revolution.  The author’s name is Mercy Otis Warren, awoman who is also a playwright.  Around the same time, another woman and friend of Continue reading “The feminism of Abigail Adams”

John Adams and mental health

Why are some people able to face life with all its storms and woes, and then go on to some degree of happiness and achievement, while others never seem to pick themselves up or be able to avoid a tragic personal slide into failure?  John Adams, in the Pulitzer Continue reading “John Adams and mental health”

Politics then and now

We are not so hugely different from people in other centuries.  In a recently read 700-page biography called JOHN ADAMS by David McCullough, I found that although John Adams lived mostly in the latter half of the 18th century (1735-1826), some aspects of his Continue reading “Politics then and now”