Author Archives: David


Jim Lovell’s rejection was based on a medical condition which, as it turned out, he didn’t even have. Nonetheless, rejected he was. The Mercury Seven astronauts were seven somebody elses. John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Gus Grissom made the cut. Jim Lovell did not. Lovell had experience with rejection. He had wanted to attend MIT…Read the full article

The Lottery

It’s all so simple in retrospect. Maybe I shouldn’t give away the secret. But I feel an obligation. Why should I be the only one to win? Everyone can win! It’s so straight forward. Here is exactly what I did. If you do the same thing, your results will be the same. Obviously. You can…Read the full article

Two Questions

One of my son’s friends consistently sets the curve in their medical school class. Ellen scored in the 99th percentile on STEP 1. Ellen scored in the 100th percentile on USMLE. (On the United States Medical Licensing Exam scores above 99.5 are rounded up.) Arguably the hardest and most competitive exam there is, USMLE determines…Read the full article

The Scarlett Pumpernickel

That the Scarlett Pumpernickel was voted the 31st best cartoon of all time by members of the animation field is no surprise. Every frame is beyond brilliant. Daffy Duck portrays the title character, a swashbuckler replete with bandana. Sylvester the Cat plays the stuttering malefactor. Note the plume on the hat! Their sword play is…Read the full article


Statistically improbable as it may seem, a Miami driver actually did come to a complete stop at a crosswalk this past Saturday. A dozen of my running buddies and I waved cheerfully as we took a step on to 57th Ave. We then froze in our proverbial tracks as another car whipped around the stopped…Read the full article

O Bitter Victory

Robert was, by his own admission, in trouble. His trigonometry final was eight days out. The exam covered logarithms and conic sections as well. With the ink still wet on my undergraduate math degree, I considered myself something of a F-15 pilot: I can communicate anything to anybody in any brief amount of time. I…Read the full article

Bag Lady

“Res ipsa loquitur” means “the thing speaks for itself.” A Miami woman buys knock off pocketbooks and returns them to a designer store. She keeps the real pocketbooks in her closet. This thing speaks for itself. But I don’t know what it is trying to say. The fake pocketbooks are indistinguishable from the real ones….Read the full article


In the late 1960s, bus station food impressed us as having more to do with “bus station” than with “food.” Our perception was corroborated across days, states, and bus stops. Rather than suffer the gastronomic indignities of yet another questionable skillet, my buddy and I determined, in the decades before GPS, to find a good…Read the full article


Stephen Hawking’s publisher is said to have told the astrophysicist not to put any equations in A Brief History of Time. Each mathematical symbol will cost you half your readers. Or as my younger daughter puts it, “nobody likes the math thing.” If e = mc^2-–an engaging relationship between energy, mass, and the speed of…Read the full article

Hugs Not Thugs

“Steady as she goes” said Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise. Indeed it is a foolish consistency that is the hobgoblin of small minds. To my knowledge, Emerson never had anything to say about a sensible consistency. Of course, Emerson only had four children. And it frequently seems as if we have several…Read the full article