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What Readers Are Talking About

    “Some people might call ’em spoiled, but I think that these almost ruined ones sometimes make the sweetest jam,” Pearl Smooter says to her daughter, Melanie Carmichael, in the 2002 romantic comedy film “Sweet Home Alabama.” She’s making peach jam, and providing motherly advice to her… Read More
    Part 1: “And so we set off, struggling under our packs, into the Smokies, so named because you rarely see the sun through the fog – off, as my granddaughter Calliope likes to say, on an adventure.” You run into some odd people on the… Read More
    We have become a culture of people who love their stuff. I know, I have said this before. It bears repeating. There is in inverse relationship between how much stuff we have said yes to and how much time we have for the people or experiences that create… Read More
    Seven hundred of this year’s 2,080 hunters who were very lucky to win a moose permit will be in the woods hoping to kill a moose this week, starting today. I’ll be joining friends for a moose hunt the week of October 9, but I do want… Read More
    Doesn’t the president have enough to do, instead of pick a fight with the NFL and the NBA?… Read More
    Americans have been intrigued by trying to make a past for our young country for a long time.  The Colonial Revival, an effort to gin up images of pastoral, warm and gentle New England communities in Colonial America, generated in the face of hoards of Irish and Italian… Read More
    Recently I have been talking to my students about the nature of the nation state and the formation of the international system. We have also been talking about the historical development of capitalism as its ideas and values expanded from Europe to North America. We briefly began to… Read More
    When I was teaching, I used to joke with students that my classes were particularly demanding because I wanted to be sure they would succeed in the real world so that they could pay for my Social Security checks.  Economists are supposed to believe that self interest is… Read More
    Last year Chris Leo of Mercer, a Maine guide for 34 years, sent me a plastic worm he found inside a large brook trout he’d caught in a water holding both trout and bass. It reminded me of photos an angler submitted to the legislature’s Inland Fisheries… Read More
    Loving my loft! It has been an eventful couple of weeks, but unfortunately, that has not translated into much progress on the house. Over the past three weeks, each of my 93-year-old grandparents have had significant health issues. They have each spent a… Read More
      Are we killing our pollinating bees and starving our birds? Most of us with lawns and gardens fertilize them when needed – in spring and sometimes in summer – and treat our lawns and gardens for… Read More
    But somedays I do wonder if I am a moron, especially after I’ve spent some time dealing with issues related to health care. I get to do this because I chair the personnel committee at Bigelow Laboratory where I work. Lately we’ve been looking at benefits, trying to… Read More
    Facebook feed got you down? Social media can sometimes feel like an endless rabbit hole of bad news, other people’s boring children, and embarrassing acquaintances flat earth theories. The way I keep my timeline tidy and full of up to date content I actually want to read is… Read More
    A Thursday whim took my wife and me to the Free St. location of El Rayo. Though there’s also one in Scarborough, the Portland eatery is more conveniently located for us. I hadn’t been since they were at their former York St. building on… Read More