THE RIVER REPORTER CLIMATE CHALLENGE
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By the numbers

Eleven. The frigid number of degrees on the thermometer as I left the house and headed to Monticello, NY to catch “Kiss Me Kate” at the high school on Friday. The book, written by husband-and-wife team Samuel and Bella Spewack, adds sparkle to the (IMHO) incredibly clever score, penned by the incomparable Cole Porter, who created 15 original songs for this homage to Shakespeare.

I scanned the program and counted 83 names contributing to this swell production, making note of how hard these students and faculty members work to put on a show. Far too many to name individually, all of whom attacked the play with talent and panache, I would be hard pressed to single out any individual—and yet...

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The Good Life

When the earthquake struck Japan, people in Tokyo were trapped because public transportation was disrupted. On the third day after the quake, people were taking the last remaining food from stores. After four days, severe shortages of food and water spread across the country. Then the nuclear reactor exploded.

Disasters like the earthquakes and tsunami have occurred throughout the history of this planet. But the devastation has never been more acutely felt than in our “civilized” world. A thin, brittle thread holds us in that world; when that tenuous thread breaks, we become completely helpless within days.

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The ACPT

The announcers’ voices were steady and excited.

“David’s still got the mistake on one across but he’s making good time with the bottom left corner of the puzzle. Ken’s got one across and he’s got the entire right side of the puzzle.”

David Plotkin was neck-in-neck with Ken Stern and Richard Kalustian wasn’t far behind. The three of them were battling in the B division of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT for short). Battling head-to-head on three different four-foot-tall dry erase boards in front of 650 crossword puzzle contestants— and me. Two announcers added color commentary.

“Ah, there it is, David fixed the mistake, he sees it. Now the top left corner will fall. This is going to be very, very close.”

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