Jul 132017

Evanston RoundTable, July 13, 2017 The Victorian writer George Saintsbury said Ecclesiastes was “the saddest and wisest book ever written.” Novelist Thomas Wolfe called it “the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth.” Many writers, thinkers, and theologians have cited the Biblical story for its profound if deeply fatalistic view of the universe. Ecclesiastes professes that life is […click to read more…]

Jun 292017

Evanston RoundTable, June 29, 2017 With apologies to Marcel Proust, this is not about madeleines or childhood memories. It is about losing things, things that inexplicably vanish when just a moment ago they were lying right there. Keys, books, glasses. Sometimes trivial, like a left sock or the crossword puzzle. Sometimes critical, like a passport or a credit card. A […click to read more…]

Jun 152017

Evanston RoundTable, June 15, 2017 Modern science fools us into believing we can understand the world. Not so. Take mathematics, the supposed foundation of science and knowledge. Galileo thought “the great book of the universe” was written in numbers. But just as light is both wave and particle, numbers are both discrete and ambiguous. Three is greater than two and […click to read more…]

Jun 052017

Evanston RoundTable, June 1, 2017 Evanston is Heavenston for most of us, the town where we love to live, work, play, and enjoy the many significant benefits and beauties the City has to offer. Everyone knows what they are, but from time to time it is worth calling them out and reminding ourselves of the Six Pillars, as I call […click to read more…]

May 192017
Award-Winning Author Recalls Evanston Boyhood

Evanston RoundTable, May 18,2017 For Charles Johnson, Evanston was a great place to grow up. The multi-award-winning author and winner of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” was born in 1948 (“on Shakespeare’s birthday”) in Community Hospital, the City’s African American hospital, delivered by its founder, Dr. Elizabeth Hill. He went through the public school system, graduating from Evanston Township High School […click to read more…]

May 052017

Evanston RoundTable, May 4, 2017 Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler all wrote great Fifth Symphonies. Shostakovich’s was something else: a plea for redemption and a window to the terrorism that was life under Stalin. It seems there is something about fifth symphonies. Beethoven wrote the most famous one, of course, the one that blasted a hole in music forever – you […click to read more…]

May 042017
Michael Gibson Reflects on 42 Years with the Evanston Post Office

Evanston RoundTable, Nov. 5, 2015 After more than four decades working in the Evanston Post Office, Michael Gibson, the steady and beloved fixture behind the window at 1929 Central St., has stamped his last letter. “This is a very emotional time for me,” he admits. “The response from the community has been more than I expected. I kind of just […click to read more…]

Apr 202017

Evanston RoundTable, April 20, 2017 April 22 is Clean Up, Evanston! Day. It’s a worthy and necessary admonition because litter is, unfortunately, everywhere: on the streets, in the parks, under trees, across fields, against fences, below viaducts, along parkways, all over town. Trash is the detritus of modern living, of excessive consumption and casual thoughtlessness. Let us count the ways: […click to read more…]

Apr 072017

Evanston RoundTable, April 6, 2017 We are all creatures of habit. Habits permeate our daily life, so much so that we don’t even realize the extent of their hold on us. But observe yourself carefully one morning. You might find that you brush your teeth, put on your clothes, eat breakfast, drink coffee, drive to work, listen to the radio, […click to read more…]