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What Ireland’s Abortion Referendum is Really About

This year Ireland will hold a referendum on the issue of abortion. The date has not yet been set but the vote will probably take place in May. Since 1983, enshrined in Article 8 of the Irish Constitution, there has been a constitutional ban on abortions taking place in the Irish Republic. This prohibition was [...]

What is the Universe Made Of?

In an episode of Antiques Roadshow, a furniture expert was presented an unexceptional-looking table, one that struck me as something I could put together in an afternoon. Although the piece had no decorative embellishments or maker's mark, the expert immediately identified it as the work of George Nakashima, an innovative furniture maker of the last century. I was amazed, for somewhere in the table’s stark simplicity [...]

The Richness of the Word

A most remarkable scene unfolds in Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s great drama, Faust, in which Dr. Faustus labors to translate the opening sentence of St. John’s Gospel.  It is important to note that at this juncture of the play the translator’s mind is in a state of confusion.  Faust has rejected the true meaning of the [...]

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