Magnetars? Opinions?

So where does the title for this blog come from, anyway? What gives?

The title, such as it is, is an acknowledgement of my curiosity in all its forms. I love reading about scientific discoveries. That’s where the “Magnetars” bit comes in. I have always been interested in science but for some reason lacked the mathematical aptitude for pursuit into a scientific field. Ah well, we can’t all be Carolyn Porco. My gut feeling is that if more average people, like me, would have even a passing interest in science, technology, art, criticism and the like we wouldn’t be seeing the assault on education and intellectualism that the US seems to constructing. This blog is just a reflection of that opinion.

And speaking of opinion; that brings me to the other bit of my title “Opinions” comes from. I’ve come to understand that the best journalists keep as much bias as humanly possible out of his or her journalistic pieces. Unless of course it’s an op-ed piece. Lucky for me I’ve designed this as my own personal opinion/ editorial forum. My own bias can injected into anything I write here. Pretty smart, huh? I’m over half Irish and my dad always said “You can always tell an Irishman. You just can’t tell him much.” Irish and being opinionated run in the family it seems.

While growing up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, my dad would walk to a small corner store on Main Street to pick up the daily Chicago Tribune. Not only was it a much better newspaper than the local daily but it had something no other paper in the world had: Mike Royko. It was reading the Royko columns that I began to appreciate the importance of editorial pieces and how these would give insight regarding  the newspaper men and women. And very few came close to the quality of Mr. Royko.

And none came close to Kurt Vonnegut, my other writer-hero, whose quote opens this blog at its header. The New York Times once described Vonnegut as “A laughing prophet of doom.” He had the ability to take the sublime of the human condition and break it down to the ridiculous. Whether it was the horrors of war, our reliance on runaway technology or his disbelief in organized religion he had the ability to make his readers think.

I’m hoping that I can write within the shadow of these two greats, but even to say so might be to insult them both. My hope here it that I develop a writing style of my own that others will enjoy reading. In doing so, my desire is to sharpen my craft to the point where a book isn’t out of the question. But for now I hope to write a few pieces that you, my readers, will enjoy.

TR

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