Notes on Ken Philip


WC has written of the sad death of his friend Kenelm Philip, physicist, fellow fan of good books, programmer and, above all, astonishing lepidopterist. WC has also written of Ken’s little “surprise” for WC: Ken named WC as his executor, to WC’s consternation. There have been subsequent events that merit a blot post. First, Ken’s…

Losing Some Other Stars


Not every great musician is famous. Not every musician WC likes is a rock star. As we start the New Year, let’s remember the musicians who entertained us, even if they aren’t as famous as they might have deserved. Ray Sawyer was for many years the lead vocalist in Dr. Hook (nee Dr. Hook &…

Republican presidential nominee George H.W. Bush, right, and his running mate, Sen. Dan Quayle (R-Ind.), wave to the assembly of the Republican National Convention in New Orleans after delivering their acceptance speeches. J. Scott Applewhite/ASSOCIATED PRESS

George H.W. Bush: A Modest Dissent


WC agrees that, at least  in comparison to the current Republican president, the late George H. W. Bush was a pretty decent POTUS. But that’s damning with faint praise. And all the praise for his service following his death was largely earned. But it’s also another example of Americans habit of collective amnesia when interring…

William Goldman at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009. He was attending a screening of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” one of two films for which he won the Academy Award.CreditCreditJoe Kohen/WireImage, via Getty Images

William Goldman Dead? Inconceivable!


William Goldman, novelist and screenwriter, died in Manhattan this past Friday. He was 87 years old.1 Vizzini: Inconceivable! Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. While he won Academy Awards for his screenplays for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All the President’s Men,” and…

NASA artist's concept of Kepler doing its job

R.I.P. NASA Satellite Kepler, 2009-2018


NASA Satellite Kepler, the exo-planet-discovering super hero, was taken off life support on October 30, 2018.1 The 2,750 pound satellite will be left in solar orbit, trailing the Earth by some 94 million miles. Kepler was the child of William Borucki, the retired Kepler principal investigator, who first proposed the satellite in 1992. It was named…