Is the Pandemic Over?

History, and Data, Show That It Is Not   Francesco Valma@wikimediacommons On November 21, 2019, I walked over a temporary bridge set across the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, and bought some long white candles with pictures of the Blessed Virgin imprinted on the wax. I then joined the long line of believers entering the church Santa Maria Della Salute. Inside, the crowd squished up to metal platforms where young people, working at a fevered pace, added them to a rack with hundreds of others, lit the whole bunch at once then…

Continue Reading Is the Pandemic Over?

The Joy of Venetain Street Art

How Venetian Artists Keep Their City Alive (Vatican Stamp with art appropriated from Alessia Babrow) In spring 2020, Italian artist Alessia Babrow got a real shock when the Vatican issued an Easter stamp using a piece of her street art. Babrow had been posting a series of images up on walls and corners all over Rome for a project she calls “Just Use It,” but the wording didn’t mean anyone could then take her art for their own purposes. As reported by international media outlets, Babrow puts hearts on all the great…

Continue Reading The Joy of Venetain Street Art

Born for Unity, Divided by Culture

Humans Are Designed to Be One and yet We Splinter into Many     We are living in difficult and confusing times. Over the past year, we have been pulled together battling a global pandemic while at the same time falling apart because of disturbing, dangerous, and ubiquitous culture wars.   The pandemic obviously unites us. Covid-19 has jumped from person to person, oblivious of individual identity, community or country affiliation, race, ethnicity, age, or gender. In its contagion, the virus dramatically shows that everyone is prey to the same germs and that…

Continue Reading Born for Unity, Divided by Culture

Happy 1600th Birthday Venice

Or is it various birthdays?   March 25th was the 1600th birthday of the founding of Venice. Or so the story goes. It’s a tale of two gentlemen from Padua, a town on the mainland about 30 miles west of Venice. On March 25th, 421 CE they were rowing or sailing in the lagoon and happened upon one of the many small islands, this one called Rivoaltus, that constitute what we now call the city of Venice. The Paduans moored their boat and then put a couple of stones on the ground to mark the moment,…

Continue Reading Happy 1600th Birthday Venice