The Academy of Crime (Fiction)

I’ve been accepted into the Crime Fiction Academy, a new program offered by The Center for Fiction in New York. The Center, founded as the Mercantile Library in 1820, is one of those great little institutions in New York unknown to many, and has a history worth an entire post of its own. Elmore Leonard, […]

A calendar that tracks time travel

Designer Alex Griendling’s peculiar calendar project gave me a chance to tryout crowd sourcing and indulge my love of time travel. Almost no strand in science fiction—I hate the term sub-genre, since it sounds so “sub”—has enthralled me more than time travel. It started with “Danny Dunn, Time Traveller” and the bad Irwin Allen TV […]


That is the only headline I will ever type in all caps. Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency has agreed to represent my crime novel LAST WORDS. We talked yesterday and really hit it off. She’s also interested in the project I’m working on now, a YA science fiction tale called “TIMERS: Samuel […]

Spider-Man shows up on Broadway

I saw Spider-Man on Broadway just before the holidays. Funny thing was, I saw him in the theater right next to where the musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is playing. This got me to thinking how the producers of the now famous, near-greatest-Broadway-disaster ever could have created a much better show for a lot […]

Translating school administrator into English

Pelham parents rushing into a short Thanksgiving week were probably a bit bewildered when they received an email blast from school Superintendent Dennis Lauro. I mean we all like to get messages on “continuous improvement,”that was the superintendent’s theme, but I’m sure the timing must have left people scratching their heads–running from store to school […]

Khan Academy is big business

Khan Academy, the best online math site around, got the New York Times treatment this week as the big feature on the front of Business Day. Not sure why it ran in business, except the free site operated as a non-profit should send the mega-education publishers like Pearson running for the hills screaming: “Where’s my […]

Visiting a newspaper press

Newspaper printing presses are big-machine loud and inky-greasy dirty. Up close, they look like steam-punk contraptions out of an earlier industrial age. And for me, when I first saw one, magic made out of metal. I’d like to say my reaction stemmed from something philosophical, say based on the realization of the role a free […]

Out of the mouths of techno-babes

The best detail in the New York Times front page story on how Larry Page is remaking Google is this one: He does not much like e-mail either — even his own Gmail — saying the tedious back-and-forth takes too long to solve problems. via Google’s Chief Works to Trim a Bloated Ship – […]

Fun with journalism

I began my adventure in teaching online newspapering to fourth and fifth grade kids back in January at Pelham’s Colonial Elementary School and added the second, Hutchinson Elementary School, last month. I’m having more fun in journalism than I’ve had in 2o years. You see, being the jaded journalist is a bit of pose. How […]

Progress on math

When I wrote a column on Pelham’s elementary math curriculum seven weeks ago, I did so with some trepidation. I wasn’t afraid of controversy or outrage. Hardly. I felt the greatest of all writer anxieties: I’d be ignored. The words “math” and “curriculum” in the headline? Instant turn-offs, right? Time to start reading the police […]