Beating the February blahs

By: Bruben

While much of this winter has been downright balmy, February can still be a month where leafless trees, early sunsets and frigid early mornings can wear you down. And with leap year, we have to slog through 29 days.Check out the Beacon for some fun February activities to brighten the month. Consider chocolate for breakfast for Valentine’s Day in a decadent-yet-healthy chocolate bread... READ MORE

Of rats and men

By: Stuart Rosenthal

Scientists have long experimented on mice and rats to test new drugs and treatments for human illnesses.I’ve always imagined that there must be many similarities between our species — at least on a cellular level or in organ systems — for that to make sense. But I haven’t been much bothered by the fact that these physical similarities exist because I subscribe to the ... READ MORE

Downsize and do good

By: Bruben

Shera, a lioness at the National Zoo, swipes a paw across a swirl of blue paint. Her claw punctures the paper. A volunteer quickly pulls the “painting” out of her enclosure before she can take a bite out of it, as lion cub Baruti likes to do with his artwork.Sans berets, smocks or palettes, the animals at the zoo are getting their paws dirty with non-toxic, water-based paint and ... READ MORE

Holiday shows help make the season merry and bright

By: Bruben

The jack-o-lanterns were still glowing when the Christmas trees lit up at Macy’s. My local mall began piping in holiday music before Veterans Day, and Black Friday is beginning on Thanksgiving Thursday this year.  Bah humbug, I say.But beyond the Christmas creep and the showdown for parking spaces at the mall, the holiday season brings a bounty of plays and concerts that more... READ MORE

Tooting our horn

By: Stuart Rosenthal

Every year, we enter a selection of our original stories in the editorial contests run by the two largest 50+ media associations: the National Mature Media Awards, and the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) awards.I am pleased to report that the Beacon once again came away from both competitions with some top honors. In fact, this year, all three of our Beacon editions... READ MORE

The sound of music

By: Bruben

I grew up in a house where the soundtrack of daily life was Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven played on the kitchen radio tuned to the classical music station. While my tastes as a teen ran more to the Rolling Stones and Cat Stevens, today my car radio is often tuned to the classical music on WETA, and my iPod contains Bach, along with Bruce Springstein.I’ve found that a number of boomers... READ MORE