The Unseen Hand

 A glance upwards from the floor of a Gothic cathedral raises the question: How were the arched ribs and masonry vaulting placed there, hundreds of feet above the ground? For most of these medieval structures, we don’t know the exact answer and can only speculate about the elaborate scaffoldings that must have supported the unfinished […] Continue reading →

The Cave and the Ocean

 The image is perennial: · Clan or village groups coming together for storytelling under the stars or around a fire; · Patrons in 18th century coffeehouses reading their newspapers or periodicals; · Families gathered around the radios, movie screens, or televisions of the last 100 years; · Individuals captivated by smart phones in the 21st […] Continue reading →

Absolute Zero

 Our ordinary minds are like a colloidal suspension of particles in constant Brownian motion – our consciousness zigs and zags under the bombardment of highly energetic thoughts and perceptions, scattered in a myriad of agitated fragments. The greater the “temperature” of the mind, the louder and more frenetic is the movement. The constant jostling of […] Continue reading →

Divine Inundation

 There is an ancient Hindu myth where the 60,000 sons of King Sagara are turned to ashes for their arrogance and impudence towards the sage Kapila while looking for their father’s sacrificial horse stolen by Indra, the chief of the gods. After 4 generations, a great-great grandson of Sagara, named Bhagīratha, succeeds through austerities in […] Continue reading →

The Gravitas of Gravel

 Gravel walks, pea-stone driveways, granite thresholds: there is something elemental about them, almost eternal, given the durability your average rock. More finely divided sands or stone dusts are shifting and changeable, subject to wind and rain, while soils, with their humus and invertebrate life forms, are exuberant in their seasonal mutabilities of rooting, shooting, flowering […] Continue reading →

Notes on academic research and writing

 During a recent discussion at a PBK meeting, we thought it would be helpful to collect some local resources for academic research and writing. 1) Cambridge Academic Editors’ Network: CAEN: This group of experienced academic editors is available to assist students as well as professional writers with a wide range of writing tasks. Several […] Continue reading →

Build your network before you need it

 In the early 1990s, Harvard Business Review published an analysis of the engineers at Bell Labs. Titled How Bell Labs creates star performers, the report tried to identify the key attributes of AT&T’s best engineers. The researchers equalized for education and experience. Among their conclusions was that the most effective engineers built their personal networks before […] Continue reading →