RILLS: small rivulets or streams

Maybe you will recognize the second verse of the patriotic song usually referred to as “America”: “My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills, My heart with rapture thrills Like that above.” It is actually a Christian hymn, sung […]

LIBERTY or FREEDOM? The difference is amazing.

Like many people, I suspect, I’ve always thought of the words Liberty and Freedom as meaning the same thing.  In speeches and written pieces they are used pretty much as synonyms.   But several weeks ago I heard a commentary on NPR (specifics have escaped my memory) in which the commentator distinguished between the words in […]

WATERFIRE: a magnificent environmental art form in Providence

One of the more incredible advantages of living in Providence, Rhode Island , is the ability to participate in Waterfire throughout the warmer season of the year.  The best way to describe it is to quote from its webpage: This award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence, has been […]

TRANSITORY: not permanent, passing

Maybe you’ve been in a physician’s office when she told you that the pain you are experiencing is transitory. Or you heard the meteorologist on TV say that the rain is transitory. Or was it when the economist said that the downswing in the market will, in all likelihood, be transitory. It’s all about the […]

MITIGATE: to make or become less severe or harsh; moderate*

What does one do when he discovers, as a newly-elected mayor of a medium-sized city, that the current annual budget deficit is one hundred million dollars?   Information available prior to the election had led everyone, including the new mayor, to believe that the city was struggling, but holding its own.  To the contrary, the actual […]

COUNTRY MUSIC: sending a message

The fact that Scotty McCreery won the title of American Idol last night was not surprising to me.  Consistently one of the favorites of the viewing audience throughout the season should have been a clue.  Consistently is the key word.  Week after week his singing was constant.  It was good.  There were glitches like anyone […]