Music lessons

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on August 25, 2022

Readers won’t be surprised to learn that I was a pretty nerdy kid. All right, a very nerdy kid. In addition to being a diligent student and editor of the school newspaper, I was a classical music buff, very fond of Bach and Beethoven even in my early years. Oh, but there was one thing I definitely didn’t like about music: what my piano teacher called music “theory.” That... READ MORE

Musings about nature

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on July 22, 2022

I was having a conversation the other day about all the rain we’ve had lately and, in response to another person’s complaints, I noted how much easier it was for me now than during the summertime drought a few years back, when we had to water our trees with a hose every evening and got a shocking water bill. I am so impressed how efficiently a short thunderstorm can quickly water ... READ MORE

A(nother) wake-up call

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on June 29, 2022

Each spring, the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare publish an annual report on the state of those programs. News organizations duly answer what they seem to think is the main question the public asks: How long will the programs remain “solvent?” That is, when will there be a real risk that either Medicare or Social Security run out of sufficient funds to cover current... READ MORE

Saying goodbye

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on June 06, 2022

Many readers will remember that I became publisher of Fifty Plus about six years ago, when its founder and long-time publisher, Mark Fetter, passed away. Mark was a colleague, a fellow member of the North American Mature Publishers Association (which represents publications for readers 50 and over). It came as a surprise to me when I learned from Mark that he had but weeks to... READ MORE

Bumps in the road

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on May 27, 2022

There’s a short but lovely parkway not far from my house that I occasionally drive on. It runs parallel to a walking and bike trail, and is dotted along the way with tennis and basketball courts and picnic sites. Not surprisingly, the powers in charge have instituted a moderate speed limit and installed multiple speed bumps and pedestrian/bike crossings along its length. Have you... READ MORE

Alzheimer’s drug saga

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on April 29, 2022

Last year, we covered the controversy over the FDA’s approval of Aduhelm, the new — and first ever — drug treatment to claim the ability to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. More has happened in the last few weeks. To summarize, the FDA approved the drug under a process that bypassed its usual “safe and effective” standard. Instead, Aduhelm received “accelerated... READ MORE

Better elections

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on March 25, 2022

Long-time Beacon readers know I am not one to share my political views. For this reason, the Beacon does not endorse candidates for public office. But I do like to share my thoughts and feelings about important matters of the day, and I think it’s fair to say that a number of important issues pertaining to our elections are very much in the news today — from voter registration, to... READ MORE

Who, me? A racist?

By Carolyn Ellis
Posted on February 25, 2022

Born in 1950 in Washington, I grew up in a mostly integrated Northeast D.C. neighborhood. Despite the “white flight” of that time, my all-white family stayed in the city, where my four siblings and I attended integrated schools. Throughout my teens, I was not aware of any racist leanings in myself at all. In fact, when I gave the valedictory speech at my high school, Immaculata... READ MORE

A few what-ifs

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on January 28, 2022

Back when I was a kid, when a bully taunted someone, the target would sing out, “I’m rubber and you’re glue! Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” It didn’t entirely relieve the pain of being bullied, but it gave one the satisfaction of being able to reply in kind without actually saying anything “bad” — without sinking to the bully’s level. I found... READ MORE

New year, new project

By Stuart P. Rosenthal
Posted on December 30, 2021

I don’t know about you, but I frequently find my New Year’s resolutions generate a sense of deja vu. There are just some things about me that I want to improve, or tasks I’d like to accomplish, that hang around from year to year. A friend who knew I like to keep notepaper in my front pocket (so I can incessantly write down or remind myself of things I need to do) once made me burst ... READ MORE