All posts by John Messerly

Profound Essays from Aeon Magazine

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Over the last year, I have found many good articles at Aeon—a digital magazine of ideas, philosophy, and culture. I had intended to write posts about these many pieces but alas I have not found the time. So instead I will link to some of the thought-provoking pieces they’ve published that I’ve read followed by a single sentence description of their content. Continue reading Profound Essays from Aeon Magazine

Philip Appleman Has Died

I just discovered that Philip D. Appleman (1926 – 2020) died last year. He was an American poet and Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. I first became acquainted with him in graduate school when I read his edited collection, Darwin (Norton Critical Editions), a classic in the field. He was survived by Majorie, his wife of almost 67 years, but she died earlier this year. Continue reading Philip Appleman Has Died

Our constitutional crisis is already here

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Robert Kagan has pointedly captured the current crisis in American Politics in his recent op-ed “Our constitutional crisis is already here.” He argues that our entire constitutional system could break down in the next few years. I recommend his essay wholeheartedly, and any intelligent well-informed thinker will recognize its truth. Continue reading Our constitutional crisis is already here

Have Field Goal Kickers Improved?

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Last weekend Justin Tucker kicked the longest field goal in NFL history. He also claimed that the best NFL kickers regularly kick even longer ones in practice. This got me thinking about the evolution of NFL kicking and the phenomena of resistance to change.

Consider an example. I grew up in St. Louis and our NFL team then was the St. Louis (now Arizona) Cardinals. From 1963 to 1978 our kicker was Jim Bakken. Continue reading Have Field Goal Kickers Improved?