My Seven Wonders of the World, #3


Temple Mount of Jerusalem



The Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been a focus of history and religious devotion and fanaticism for three millennia. Three faith’s hold it to be the site where Abraham offered his son (Genesis), though they disagree which son was offered. It was the site of Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s (Nehemiah?) and Herod’s temples in the tenth and sixth centuries BC and first century AD.

Some assert that Herod’s Temple was only the second, as the building of the third temple will supposedly trigger the Apocalypse, but historically Herod’s Temple was the third Jewish temple built on this site. Calling it a reconstruction of Zerubbabel’s sanctuary would compare to Continue reading


Book Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (Five Stars)


Book Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Five Stars

“How we seek to spend our time may depend on how much we perceive ourselves to have.”

“We want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love.”

This book should be read by everyone who expects to die, which excuses half of us. Americans today deny that life will end, often in unpleasant circumstances. Our head-in-the-sand attitude only makes our dilemma worse.

“Twenty-five percent of all Medicare spending is for five percent of patients in the final year of life … most of little apparent benefit.”

Better solutions are possible, but we have to seek and demand them. Left to themselves, the medical and government communites will treat us like high-cost, low-success science experiments.

“The closing phase of a modern life often looks like a mounting series of crises from which medicine can offer Continue reading