Friday, April 19, 2024

Where the Universe Began

Here is an article about the discovery of the evidence that proved the Big Bang Theory of the Universe. I had the honor of working for Bob Wilson, one of the scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work. I worked at the site of this legendary antenna which is now a national landmark. Tomorrow, the site becomes a public park.

Please read the NY Times article.


Thursday, March 21, 2024


 Every few years, we should get a colonoscopy. This is so things that could become problems are detected early. I’m about to head to my procedure. The past 29 hours, I have fasted and subsisted on clear liquids. I have taken the liquid treatment which makes my body purge its contents. The liquid doesn’t taste as bad as it did in recent years, and that’s a blessing. The purging is the most unpleasant part of the whole experience. It makes me tired and hungry, and my body and mind are weak. I feel like I took medicine to make me sick. I had a feeling I should not urinate while standing, and that turned out to be spot on, because spontaneous defecation can occur.

I will be anesthetized, and there will be no pain. The worst is already over, and I’m still at home. I was able to work while taking in nothing but Gatorade. I took today off work. I’ll go back to work tomorrow.

While the liquid treatment no longer tastes horrific, making Dave Barry’s column from 2008 somewhat inaccurate, I recommend that everyone read it, or at least everyone who thinks they will reach the age of 50.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Marshall Walter ("Major") Taylor



Marshall Walter ("Major") Taylor was born in 1898 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Taylor was the first African American to achieve the level of cycling world champion and the second Black athlete to win a world championship in any sport. This was when cycling was one of the most popular spectator sports in the world.

Taylor encountered racial prejudice throughout his racing career from some of his competitors. In addition, some local track owners feared that other cyclists would refuse to compete if Taylor was present for a bicycle race and banned him from their tracks.

Major Taylor won his first significant cycling competition on June 30, 1895, when he was the only rider to finish a grueling 75-mile (121 km) road race near his hometown of Indianapolis. During the race Taylor received threats from his competitors, who did not know that he had entered the event until the start of the race.

Taylor turned professional in 1896, at the age of eighteen, and soon emerged as the "most formidable racer in America."

As a professional racer Taylor continued to experience racial prejudice as a Black cyclist in a White-dominated sport. In November and December 1897, when the circuit extended to the racially-segregated South, local race promoters refused to let Taylor compete because he was Black.

Taylor's legacy lies in his willingness to challenge racial prejudice as an African American athlete in the White-dominated sport of cycling. He was also hailed as a sports hero in France and Australia. Taylor, who became a role model for other athletes facing racial prejudice and discrimination, was "the first great Black celebrity athlete" and a pioneer in his efforts to challenge segregation in sports. He also paved the way for others facing similar circumstances.

Taylor explained in his autobiography that he had no other African Americans to offer him advice and "therefore had to blaze my own trail."

Excerpted from

A film about Major Taylor was just published by WTIU, Indiana Public Media. 

A full length film, titled Whirlwind, is being produced and is still seeking funding. Please see


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Adventures on the 1 Train

 Adventures on the 1 Train

It’s amazing to hear the things coming out of my mouth. There was a man across from me on the 1 train. I didn’t see him until he shouted. He had spilled his giant soda from McDonald’s, and all of the liquid was on the floor. Being the parent/teacher/Boy Scout I am, I pulled a wad of napkins out of my bag and handed it to him. He was drunk and incoherent and didn’t know what to do. He wiped a few drops of liquid off his sleeves. I said, “It works on the floor, too.” He was reluctant to do it. In the way I speak to my young students, I said, “You can do it. I know you can do it.” Eventually he did it with enough repetition from me. I told him to put the napkins in his grocery bag. He hesitated, so I repeated that many times, and eventually he did that, too. Of course, in true NYC style, no one revealed that they were aware of the goings on. As the man exited, he thanked me.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

How to (Explain) ADHD

I discovered this youtube channel a few months ago. It is helping me hugely understand myself, my challenges, and my advantages with having ADHD. I was diagnosed at around age 50. (I'm 61 now.) This is important to me, because it means I went so far without knowing and having the tools I needed. I believe it was a big component of how my mental health was less than it could have been and how I failed at so many things. (I did succeed at many things, to be sure. I'm not totally down on myself.) I felt I should have risen higher in my career and didn't understand why I hadn't. Then towards the end of my IT career, I started failing miserably and repeatedly.

I've been turning it around in recent years, with a lot of kinds of help, including this kind of learning about the nature of my neurological difference.


Friday, February 12, 2021

David Graeber's birthday


February 12, 2021
High Falls, NY
David Graeber died this past fall. He and I met on Fire Island in the summer of 1968 when we were seven years old. We were friends every summer and spent a huge amount of time together, as we were virtually each other's only friend in summers. Today is his birthday, and I remember him at least on this day every year. I haven't seen him since we were 12 years old but we did correspond occasionally. He was 59 when he died. Since we were the same age, it falls uncomfortably close to me. It's also terribly sad because he was a very accomplished and recognized anthropologist.

When we played, one of his favorite toys was his set of toy soldiers. He knew a lot about war strategy and tactics and weapons, and although we were just little boys, he was like a teacher to me.

Then he became fascinated with Mayan history and culture. He became such an expert in the subject that someone anonymously donated enough for him to attend Phillips Academy at Andover. So his fascination was a foreshadowing of his career.

In adult life, he told me that he was turned away from Yale where he was teaching because his ideas were too radical. I understand he was unhappy in his subsequent places, not sufficiently understood or embraced.

He was one of the leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and it was exciting to hear his voice on WNYC at the time. He sounded almost exactly as he did before his voice changed. I could hear familiar mannerisms. David was credited with coining the saying, "We are the 99%" but he insisted that it came from a collaborative effort.

He wrote some pretty important books such as Bullshit Jobs. The idea is that the economy has many job positions which the economy would be better off without because they don't create value and don't nourish the soul of those in the jobs. I was alarmed at the concept, wondering if I held one of the jobs. It turns out that I didn't, which is a relief.

There are wonderful videos of his lectures, and I recommend them. One is on the history of debt.
I never learned his cause of death but I know it was sudden and unexpected. Several of my good friends died suddenly in the last year, and I think the lesson is that it does happen and that it will happen with increasing frequency for me now that I'm 60 years old. Improving our health is a worthy cause, to reduce the chances of unexpected death, although we are not in control of when or how we die

I have a couple of mementos from him. I hope to find them and shoot pictures. He did some Mayan style art on some giant clam shells from the beach we played on. They are beautiful.

I miss my old friend.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The love of literature

Today is December 15. It's my father's birthday, may he rest in peace. My classes at Hunter College are over. I returned to Hunter to finish the BA degree I left undone over 30 years ago. My father urged me throughout his life to finish my degree, and at times, I said I would do it eventually, and at times, I felt it wasn't necessary. Now I'm doing it.
I am working on the final paper for English class, an analysis of Shakespeare's Othello.
For the first time in my life, I just might earn an A grade in English. It was always hard for me to do well in English class. I feel my maturity has helped, though it's still not easy.
My father had a great love for literature and constantly urged me to read more. I have difficulty reading, especially certain kinds of material. It's a focus problem and probably a problem with processing certain kinds of information. At the end of his life, he worked as a volunteer teacher for Literacy Partners. He loved teaching adults to read, and he brought the love of literature to them. He loved his students, and they loved him. When his failing health prevented him from teaching anymore, he kept in touch with his former students.
I found a resolution from the NY State Senate about my father. I'd love to tell him about my current experience. I know he would be very happy.
LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION honoring Harry Reingold upon the occasion of
Literacy Partners' naming of its annual Volunteer Teacher's Award the
Harry Reingold Volunteer Teacher of the Year Award in his honor
WHEREAS, Individuals who distinguish themselves in their profession and
in service to others merit the highest commendation; and
WHEREAS, Harry Reingold truly merits the high honor of Literacy Partners' naming of its annual Volunteer Teacher's Award the Harry Reingold
Volunteer Teacher of the Year Award in his honor; and
WHEREAS, The second Harry Reingold Volunteer Teacher of the Year Award
will be presented at the Second Annual Reingold Volunteer Fund Benefit
to be held at TAI on Thursday, June 20, 2013; and
WHEREAS, Harry Reingold was a real New Yorker; he was born and brought
up in Brooklyn; he attended and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High
School; and
WHEREAS, He worked his way through college as a cab driver, a chauffeur for the United Nations, and a post office clerk; and
WHEREAS, He graduated from New York University and went into advertising and started his own agency, Harry Reingold Advertising; and
WHEREAS, Harry was crazy about books and, from the time he learned to
read never went anywhere without a book; riding a bus or subway without
something to read was just not possible for him and, as a teenager, when
he was home with a fever, his mother told him to stay in bed, but when
she left the house he snuck out to the corner store where he had just
enough money to buy a second-hand paperback; and
WHEREAS, At a social dinner he met Marilyn Collins, then one of the
heads of Literacy Partners, and when she told Harry about that non-profit organization and its goal to teach some of the two million illiterate New Yorkers to read and write, he immediately decided to become a
volunteer; and
WHEREAS, He enrolled in a course at Literacy Partners, which has
provided more than 30,000 adults with free educational services and,
after a short time, he was sent to teach in Harlem; once a week, he
would leave his office and rush uptown where he taught and learned to
care about his pupils; forming more than just a teacher-student
relationship, Harry and the people in his classes, all adults, became
friends; and
WHEREAS, They shared stories about their lives, their problems, and
their hopes for the future; growing up in East New York, as he had, they
were able to make comparisons and had much in common; and
WHEREAS, Harry Reingold was a Literacy Partners volunteer teacher for
six years and only stopped teaching when his health would not allow him
to continue; his students never forgot him, and kept in touch with cards
and photos; and
WHEREAS, Harry loved to read, and to write; a number of his articles
appeared in the magazine AD AGE, and he co-authored the published novel
LOVERS with his wife, the writer Carmel Berman Reingold; and
WHEREAS, Literacy Partners has justly and fittingly honored Harry
Reingold by naming its annual Volunteer Teacher Award the Harry Reingold
Volunteer Teacher of the Year Award in his honor; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
honor the work of and the dedication of Harry Reingold upon the occasion
of Literacy Partners' naming of its annual Volunteer Teacher's Award the
Harry Reingold Volunteer Teacher of the Year Award in his honor; and be
it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Carmel Reingold and to Literacy Partners.