The latest proposal for the farm bill — the law governing everything from food stamps to rural development grants — is being considered by the U.S. Senate this week. It's designed to save more than $23 billion over the next 10 years, in part by getting rid of direct payments to farmers. The direct payment program alone costs taxpayers $5 billion per year.
Around the time I was just old enough to know how to cook but still young enough to have some free time, I started throwing brunch parties. The menu was always the same. I would bake a braided challah or Belgian waffles or blueberry muffins or all three. (This was show-off food, since none of my other friends had yet developed an interest in baking.) I'd prepare some mimosas and strong coffee. And then, in a weak and chinless nod to better nutrition, I would make a fruit salad.
An artist's impression of a gamma-ray burst, a powerful jet of energy lasting from less than a second to several minutes. The most powerful events in the universe, they are thought to be mostly associated with the explosion of stars that collapse into black holes.
The little girl looked worried as she raised her hand. I was spending the morning with a 3rd-grade class talking about astronomy. The discussion was winding down and I was fielding questions. One kid asked about stars blowing up in a supernova. Another wanted to know about the universe blowing up in the Big Bang. But something else was going on with the worried girl. I asked her what was wrong. On the verge of tears, in a trembling voice, she looked at me plaintively and asked: "Am I going to blow up too?"
Baseball historians continue to poke around in the 19th century to better explain how the game was originated and developed, but I've always wondered if one of the prime movers wasn't a student of Shakespeare.
While I certainly don't know the terminology of all ball games, the popular ones I'm aware of — everything from basketball and football to golf and tennis — all use some variations of the words in and out when determining whether the ball is playable.
Only baseball is different.
"Fair is foul and foul is fair; Hover through the fog and filthy air."