Jim Burt:  “I’m glad you enjoyed the ‘Backyard Scientists.’ [Yesterday’s post.]  I have always considered boredom a sort of character defect which reflects more badly on the person suffering from it than on his or her circumstances.  Yes, we have access to endless resources now for the avoidance of boredom, but if nothing else is available we have memories, imagination, and hopes/plans to use to entertain ourselves.  [Still, standing in an endless supermarket line before smart phones? really?]  One of the available resources is e-books, of course, but I don’t know whether you are aware of how many of those are free or heavily discounted.  I suggest you go to Bookbub, where you can sign up for a daily listing of free or cheap books in both fiction and nonfiction genres, and various formats, according to your tastes.  Between Bookbub and my public library, I rarely find myself paying for a book.  [Music to an author’s ears.] Another resource is various on-line college level courses.  You mentioned TED and the Khan Academy – this latter I discovered through one of my grandchildren – but many universities offer the opportunity to audit courses on a host of subjects on-line for free.  I did one from Yale on ancient Roman architecture.  If it’s a course that is not reliant on visual images, you can often download it, strip the audio out of the program, and listen to it as you drive or stroll around.  We never have to stop learning, and now we can continue to do so from some of the best teachers and institutions in the world – for free!”

☞ “Remember,” Jim concludes, “we all have to get older, but none of us has to grow up.”

And thank heavens for that.



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