Opinion

A California Beacon

I am pleased to announce the “birth” of a new Beacon this month. Not exactly a sibling of our Washington, Baltimore and Howard County editions. More of a cousin perhaps. I am referring to the new Coachella Valley Beacon — serving residents 50 and over in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and other cities

A future for print?

Sometimes it seems to me like the march of “progress” is so enamored of the bright, shiny future that it too readily jettisons the best of the past. This particularly feels like the case regarding the way many have dismissed the world of print in the face of today’s ever-changing digital devices.

A healthy mind...

While I’ve long been interested in mental health issues, and the Beacon has always covered these topics and the latest research, in recent years I’ve gained a deeper sensitivity through some interactions with people close to me. The combination of new information and a growing awareness are starting to help me understand present — and even past — experiences in a new light.

A look back, and forward

I don’t know what possessed me, but the other day, as I was contemplating what to write about this month, I got the idea of looking back to see what I wrote in my column exactly 10 years ago — in our June 2007 issue. I was struck by how timely that 10-year-old column seems to be for us today. So I am repeating it below, with this bit of introduction. Two months before my June 2007 column, I had done something rare for me at the time: namely, express an opinion on a hot political topic of the day: the war in Iraq. Not surprisingly, we received a large number of letters from readers expressing their own thoughts. What did take me by surprise was

A man of valor

Editor’s note: Some readers may remember my columns about my parents’ transition to assisted living. I am sad to say that my father, Leonard Rosenthal, passed away in Austin, Texas, on March 5. This month, in lieu of my usual column, I would like to share the tribute I gave at his funeral.

A matter of taste

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to perceive. Yes, I know. That last word, if I was truly quoting Sir Walter Scott, should be “deceive.” That was my topic last month — how the practice of lying is so central to socializing among humans. But this month, I’m talking about perception, which evidently (or should I say, apparently?) weaves no less tangled a web. I recently read about several studies of flavor perception that found an interrelationship between our personalities and our taste buds. They are small studies, certainly not definitive. But they seem to be onto something. For example, researchers have found that people (and rats, for that matter) who are particularly sensitive to

A season for thanks

I grew up in Texas, where the seasons were not all that distinct. Sure, the days got shorter in the fall, and many trees lost their leaves. But I find autumn much more tangible here. There’s a change in the air and in the way you feel when you walk outside.

A time for thanks

Last month, I devoted my column to recognizing the writers on our staff, and our freelancers as well, who won recognition in two national writing competitions. I am very proud of the high-quality writing (and editing) featured each month in the Beacon, and of the people who devote their energies to providing our readers with topical, entertaining and useful articles.

A very special woman

Editor’s note: Just five months ago, my dear father passed away at the age of 93. In this space in the April Beacon, I ran the eulogy that I gave at his funeral. Little did we know that the stubborn cough my Mom had at Dad’s funeral was apparently the same pneumonia that he died of, and she recently succumbed to it and its complications as well. I did not expect to be writing another eulogy so soon, and no doubt you were not expecting to read one. Nonetheless, I hope you don’t mind if I share it with you now.

Anonymously yours

The scariest thing about sitting down to write a column, especially in the Internet age, is that you risk putting your ignorance on display to the entire world, forever.It used to be if you made an error or there was an “editing mistake,” you might get a comment or two, perhaps a letter. You could then issue a retraction or correction (“sorry I misspoke”) and pretty much figure that had taken care of it.