Columnists

The food we eat and the fluids we drink are possibly the most intimate — and most risky — ways we treat our bodies. But how much do we know about our meals and drinks before we ingest them? As a rule, probably not much. As in other areas of our lives, we trust that the hundreds of food and d…

Everyone loves a parade. I know I do! And so do the residents of Seminole Gardens and Freedom Square, Seminole City Council members, city management, staff and employees.

So God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, saying “You ripped it, kids. From now on you must earn your way by the sweat of your brow.”

Throughout the world, workers are unable to go to their fields, offices and factories because of a deadly virus. Children are forbidden to go to school. People are wearing masks. Families are cooped up at home, staring at each other and asking “What? Why? When? Who?”

Stoicism is a philosophy invented by ancient Greeks and Romans. It has been practiced by many persons. It is not a religion and does not want to be. It teaches useful ways of thinking and behaving. I own a book, the Daily Stoic, whose principal author is Ryan Holiday. I consult the book each…

My 2020 census form arrived this week, and what pleasure it was, just to open it up. For a starter, it did not ask me for money. Not one blessed dime. In the past month I've received only six pieces of mail that did NOT ask me to donate to a worthy cause.

HEAVEN OR HELL: MAKE YOUR CHOICE. Three out of four Americans say they believe in heaven. But only 54% believe in hell. So says Bible scholar Bart Ehrman. He has published a book telling how our views of the afterlife have changed during past centuries. For example, many years ago people wer…

So here we are, millions of us from around the world, sitting in our living rooms or other forms of habitation, waiting for COVID-19 to run its course. If we're lucky, we'll be able to pass the time by using TV, the web, books, Kindle or old-fashioned conversation.

Fortunately, more people are beginning to take the threat from the coronavirus seriously. But not all; and that’s what it will take to make a real difference in this fight.

And now we have the 2020 Corona Olympics. How shall we — the human race — traverse the next few weeks, months or years? To get through them, or not to get through them, that is the question.

I’m starting to write this column on the afternoon of Sunday, March 15. The current news is almost all coronavirus, and I’m wondering what the shape of the world will be on or about March. 25 when the column and the rest of TBN News is scheduled to appear.

I’d never been on a cruise before Feb. 14 when I left on a three-day outing to Nassau in the Bahamas. I was little bit nervous with all the talk about the coronavirus, but at that time everything seemed OK.

I first encountered computers and the internet in 1977, when I joined the late, beloved Clearwater Sun newspaper as editorial page editor. Eleven years later, when the Sun went down, I began working for Morton Plant Hospital in various writing capacities. My boss let me borrow a portable com…

A small percentage of earthlings are completely content. The rest of us are not. We may not all be in agony, but we nevertheless are troubled or dissatisfied in one way or another. We do not ask for or expect total relief. Many seek that solution via religion, alcohol, sex or other alleged c…

ST. PETERSBURG — In 1806, nearly a hundred years after Antonius Stradivari built his Mlynarski violin in the Po River Valley of Italy, a world-renowned composer found himself unable to hear a thing. Though French sign language was in use in Paris, Beethoven still relied on conversation books…

I had intended to call this column “The Lovely Lines on Women’s Faces.” But as I thought about it I reminded myself that lines and wrinkles occur on the faces of men just as much, or even more, than on the faces of the fairer sex (as we used to refer to women back in the Stone Age.)

Like you and many other homebodies, I get several phone calls a week in which I'm asked to buy something, send money, vote for a person or issue, believe that my Social Security number has been involved in an international scam, and so on.

Despite the political rhetoric that has begun, Clearwater remains a community of which all residents should be proud. Over the last eight years, the city has invested taxpayer funds wisely. The budget is, and has been, in balance, the city’s bond rating is excellent, the pension fund is the …

My phone rang. I picked it up. A man’s voice (on a tape) told me his company is prepared to make my home safe — from thieves, intruders, burglars, con artists, and other undesirables. I listened, and then hung up. Good riddance.

Years ago it was possible to meet a man or woman who could deservedly be called a know-it-all. He or she somehow was well-informed about most major topics — health, politics, sports, child-rearing, cooking, Estonian history, on and on.

Over the years it seems that there has been an increasing power play that takes place at state capitols around the United States of America. It takes place mainly behind the scenes, of course, quietly with the intention to preempt cities from being able to govern themselves without interfere…

The Abyssinian prophet Abba Dabba von Schtickel once wrote, “You downhearted, mon? You feeling low? You think the world's against you? If so, try this: Count you blessings. You fail to do this — you one tam fool!"

One of the most common experiences of humans is boredom. If you have never felt bored, you're lucky. Boredom can descend on anyone, like a low, dark, puzzling and paralyzing fever. On the other hand, extreme boredom can sometimes trigger a person into action that will be beneficial for humankind.

This won’t take long. Although my appetite has stayed strong all my life, I have remained awestruck by how much there is to know about food, and how little of this knowledge I have retained.

Has anyone ever written a complete book about the cold? About what cold air, cold water and other frigid substances can do to a human’s mind, body and will to live? 

If you have even the slightest interest in who will be elected president next November, I have a suggestion: Beg, borrow or call your local library for a copy of “Listen Up, Mr. President.” It was published back in 2009 or so, but it’s still a perfect recipe for clear thinking voters, no mat…

Merry Christmas, season’s greetings, happy holiday and assorted other beneficent wishes to you at this time. Christmas Day is scheduled to occur this week, which means that the eight-week run-up will have reached its annual finish line.

Thanksgiving is past and Christmas a few days downstream, but there is never a bad or inappropriate time to realize our blessings and give thanks not just for what we have, and are, but also for what we don’t have and are not.

I glimpsed at a recent People magazine cover whose main display was the title of an Oprah Winfrey story about important five-minute incidents in her life. Each of these formed a turning point from which there was no turning back.

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of columns provided by the city of Largo that highlight the city’s brand, mission, vision and values.

Of the many mistakes a columnist can make, one of the stupidest is to choose the wrong topic, chase it for six or eight paragraphs, and then realize he/she wishes he had a job cleaning dead leaves out of rooftop gutters.

I was reading a story out of Dunedin about the city’s plan to build a new emergency operations center for about $4.3 million, when something struck me as odd. 

A few weeks ago, after my TV set collapsed, I signed up for Netflix. It’s one of several streaming services that allow us to glue our eyeballs to computer screens (as well as to the TV) to watch all sorts of movies, network productions and wrestling matches.

If you had the choice of being famous or obscure, which would you choose? Most people don’t ever have to make that decision. We end up somewhere in the middle. Everyone at one time or another is famous, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. 

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