February 13, 2008


by Carolyn C. Holland

It’s “a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and ‘high-brow’ than is ever possible in a newspaper or most kinds of periodicals. At the same time, since (it’s) always short and unbound, it can be produced much more quickly than a book, and in principle, at any rate, can reach a bigger public. Above all, (it) does not have to follow any prescribed pattern. It can be in prose or in verse, it can consist largely of maps or statistics or quotations, it can take the form of a story, a fable, a letter, an essay, a dialogue, or a piece of ‘reportage.’ All that is required of it is that it shall be topical, polemical, and short.”

This quote aptly describes a communication know as a blog, but it was written in The British Pamphleteer by George Orwell, and refers to pamphleteering in the 1700s. (more…)



My sister, Lee, called me this morning to tell me about the bitter icy weather Buffalo was experiencing, and that they were expecting yet more snow and ice.

Then she asked me if I had said “Happy Birthday” to our mother, Nancy Isabelle Briskay Cornell Lipsius (February 22, 1922 to January 3, 1998). Lee told me she had done so while out in the car this morning.

I hadn’t done so yet, but I had thought about calling Lee and sharing memories with her. We ended the call with my statement that I would call her back, and talk to her over a cup of tea I would drink from a cup decorated with violets.

The violet is February’s flower. It was also my mother’s favorite flower. In the early 1980s I picked a batch of purple violets (more…)

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