In the foreground a Chinese flag flutters in the wind looking toward skyscrapers in the distance.

China Galleries: Beijing

Several years ago I was fortunate to visit China three times. I made the trips in 2005, 2006, and 2008. On the first trip I was amazed at the incongruity between my expectations and the reality I found. Like others of my generation, I grew up during the cold war. I remember that my first…

Snow convered fields against a blue sky.

The Beauty of Quiet Landscapes

I like landscape photography. I like looking at it. But more than that, I like photographing it. The reason is simple. In order to photograph a beautiful landscape, you have to go there. And being there is itself worthwhile, even if you decide not to take the picture. Landscapes vary a great deal. Some are…

Snowy owl perched in a tree branch looking at the camera.

Winter Birds

At the beginning of March I learned there were snowy owls not more than ten miles from my home in Janesville, Wisconsin. In fact, they had been here since November, and I did not know. On receiving this news, I immediately grabbed my camera and headed out to the solid white tundra that had been…

Wrecking ball labeled "politics" destroying a monument to civility

How Can We Save Democracy from Our Own Irrationality?

Recent studies confirm that when people holding false beliefs are confronted by facts contradicting those beliefs, not only do they fail to reject their false beliefs, but they believe them even more strongly than before.* Philosophers, political scientists and social psychologists have long noted the irrational aspects of human nature. Nonetheless, one of the cornerstones…

Collage of book covers

My 2013 Year of Books

I like to read contemporary fiction, especially mysteries. When it comes to reading, mysteries are my guilty pleasure. But this past year I tried to put the mysteries aside (for the most part) and read less pleasureful, but perhaps more thought provoking, literature. The annotated list for the past year is below. If you have…

A view of the administrative building of the Autonomous University Benito Juárez of Oaxaca

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Artists Conduct Workshops in Oaxaca

Since 2009 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater artists have visited the city of Oaxaca in Mexico to participate in art related activities. Last week UW-Whitewater faculty again conducted art workshops for students and professional artists in Oaxaca.  Professors Michael Flanagan and Max White completed a week of workshops on January 13, 2014 hosted by the Universidad Autónoma…

Along a very calm Rock River in Fort Atkinson looking east with the reflection of the sunset in the river.

A 2014 Calendar of Wisconsin Scenes For You

Dear Friends and kind readers please feel free to download my 2014 calendar of Wisconsin scenes for your personal use. The calendar is in PDF format and the images are suitably large for printing. Photos in the calendar are those shown in the gallery below. All except one of the photos are from southeastern corner…

Cartoon: Parents explaining to son that they cannot afford to send him to a school like the ones attended by those who wrecked the economy.

Education and the Reproduction of Social Privilege

We often say that education for all is a key ingredient in the achievement of equal opportunity. No matter one’s socio-economic background, education is the great equalizer that creates equal opportunity in a world that is often unequal. Political leaders everywhere who profess a concern for the poor and the oppressed have frequently stressed its…

Night scene with candles illuminating a wall of tombs at the main cemetery in the city of Oaxaca.

Day of the Dead – Three Cemeteries

The Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca include elaborate attention by family and friends to the grave sites of the departed. And while the traditions in each cemetery are similar and have the same purpose, the customs in each cemetery may differ from community to community. In this album three cemeteries from the state…

Phot of U.S. Capitol at night with captions: The Shutdown is Over. The Debt Ceiling Has been Lifted. - Until we do it all over again in 90 days.

When Politics Become Personal

Now that the latest manufactured political crisis is over, we can breathe easier for a couple months. We don’t have to worry about the government being shut down or a default on U.S. debt – until the next set of deadlines in about 90 days.  Are we are supposed to feel good, until the crowd…