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Cream of the Cool

Quick quiz question: what was the first Executive Order issued by president Donald Trump? You are probably imagining some big newsy thing; what might leap to mind, something to do with borders or immigration or the 'making of America great again.' Or, if your mind is on the topic, you might think it has something to do with that hiring freeze, or with that recurring tradition by which every new administration of the opposing party prohibits or lifts the…

I am on the phone with cardiology. Not my patient's cardiologist, another one. Because the patient's one is gone until Thursday.

The patient's blood pressure is too low. He had a triple bypass in November, so the three medicines that he must be on are an aspirin, a beta blocker and a statin. The trouble is, his blood pressure is too low.

"We are starting to question beta blockers." says the cardiologist cheerfully. "He's had a bypass. Drop it."

"Really?" I say.…

I watch with Jimmie and Liz as the exodus to Reykjavík takes place. Jimmie had been the only one of the group not laid low by the terrifying weather that had gripped the ship in the last day. The storm had delayed our arrival in port by several miserable hours. A "severe gale and a high sea," Jimmie had called it casually, in the way that you might call King Kong a 'bad monkey.' He had checked in on everyone in turn, helping us to ride out the violent tossing of the sea and…

Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds is a poem by Victorian era lyricist James McIntire. It was written in honor of a 7300 pound block of cheddar cheese produced by James Harris in Ingersoil, ON, Canada. The cheese must have been quite the attraction, as it traveled further than most people ever did at that time, being shown on expositions in the United States and Europe. Just like the cheese itself, the poem was a successful effort to promote the local economy in…