Inner Nature: Fibers for Fabric

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times In my Inner Nature article on the dye called Tyrian purple, I alluded to its stratospheric value in ancient times because it adhered to fabric and also darkened over time. Consequently, I thought to look at the origins of the fabrics that we wear and use, focusing on fabrics of natural origin. But before discussing specific fabrics, I need to touch on some other...

ReFirement at any age: Strive for better, every day

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times If there is one thing we all should have learned in the last two years is that life is short, life is precious and life is unpredictable, where you never know what each day will bring. The lessons I present every month are as much for me as they are for you, my readers. However, some topics hit me harder, like this one. It has more impact and relevance, in...

Inner Nature: Poisonous and venomous animals

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times I am in India. It’s a vibrant and bustling place. This month, a couple of friends and I are planning a trip to a wildlife sanctuary in Southern India*. We hope to see tigers and a plethora of other animals and plants. What I am hoping we do not encounter closely are mosquitoes and snakes. I do not like mosquitoes, but I do like snakes, in principle. But many snakes...

Don’t Retire, ReFire: March, lion or lamb?

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times You know the saying about March coming in like a lion and out like a lamb, with the intended meaning that March starts off with cold winters and ends with warmer, spring weather? It’s a perfect metaphor as March straddles two seasons, ending one and starting another. Our lives are all about endings and beginnings. March reminds us of that. So now that I’ve...

Don’t retire, Refire: Be Curious

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times February, while a short month, tends to drag, just like January did, at least it does for those who long for the warmer weather. How are we spending these short, cold days until Spring rolls around? Many of us hibernate, becoming sedentary, eating too much, drinking too much, sitting too much and basically becoming couch potatoes. As the days slowly get longer...

Inner Nature: The incredibly resilient tardigrade

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times In the annals of the ecosystem’s version of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is a long list of organisms that are considered over-performers: tough, enduring and even thriving in environmentally adverse conditions. Most endure in state known as cryptobiosis (also called anabiosis), which means “mysterious or enigmatic” and refers to the difficulty in telling if...

ReFire at any age: A time for renewal

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times Renewal comes in many forms. That’s what the start of a new year is. That’s what each birthday is. Think of winter, when everything goes dormant, waiting for the renewal of spring.  They are all forms of renewal and signify a rebirth.  As we “turn the page” to a new year, our minds may give thought to a fresh start. My mind always does, every year.  With...

Inner Nature: Palynology

By Vidya Rajan, Columnist, The Times Palynology is the study of tiny particles such as pollen, spores, dust and soil particles, microfossils, and other miniature items that are carried as inclusions in macro items such as rock layers, soil on a shoe, paint on a wall, and foodstuffs such as honey. The presence of pollen in honey provides a clue to the flowers from which bees obtain nectar, and is a...

Healthcare: the battle for survival

By Dr. Stephanie McGann, DMD FAGD, Columnist, The Times As the end of a very unusual year comes to a close I have been looking at what changes this has brought to the small business community.  Like many independent dental practices I am a small businesswoman.  My industry is a bit different however than many other small businesses, in that we have no mechanism to raise our fees when the costs of...

ReFire at any age: It’s that time of year…..

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times How would you finish that phrase? The song finishes that phrase with, “when the world falls in love”. That doesn’t necessarily mean to fall in love romantically. I think it means falling in love with life. I would tweak that phrase a bit by saying; it’s that time of year for spreading love, joy and cheer. The excitement of the holiday season is all...