Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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My ‘bucket list’ has a hole in it

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday January 1, 2023


So here we are -- New Year’s Day, 2023. It’s tempting to make guesses about what will, or will not, happen during this coming yea. Will gene-splicing enable medical science to create killer T-cells that attack only individual cancers? Will nuclear fusion – using unimaginable power to create unimaginable power – finally put the fossil-fuel industry out of business? 

            Will meteorologists find a way to keep polar vortexes where they belong, hovering over the high Arctic like a frigid skullcap?

            It’s tempting to speculate, but useless. Because I don’t expect to be around long enough to say. “I told you so!”

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That breathless hush

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday November 25, 2021


Happy New Year!!! No, I haven’t been transported to some distant science-fiction planet – this Sunday is the beginning of the liturgical year for the Christian church in the western world. 

            To be more specific, it’s the first Sunday of Advent, the period preceding Christmas. Advent always starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.  

           So why would the Christian year not simply match a calendar year?

            Because religions honour their tradition more than secular standards. So the Christian liturgical year doesn’t match the school year starting in September, the Gregorian year, or even the solar year, which would probably start on a solstice.

            A related question, then – why start the year with Advent?

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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: New Year, Advent, baton




Crashing through an imaginary wall

Author: Jim Taylor

When he was still a young man, a friend of a friend had a job for a while as a movie stunt man. He learned how to fall off a cliff. How to survive an explosion. And how to roll a car, crash a car, flip a car, and still emerge alive.

            He learned how to work out all the calculations of speed and weight and lift so that he could safely launch a car off the end of a ramp and land without killing himself.

            And then one day he was asked to send a car crashing through a giant billboard.

            My young friend knew exactly how fast he had to be going, how steep the ramp must be, how far the car would fly, how it would land on the other side.

            But it felt different when he couldn’t see ahead through the giant billboard. Even if it was just made of paper.


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