June 02, 2023

#08-315: When Rhiannon Met Pwyll

Rhiannon as Pwyll first saw her (Wikipedia)

Note: The Welsh myths found in The Mabinogion contain many wonderful stories. This is one of my favorites.

Get Ready: If a friend asks you for a favor, would you say "yes" without knowing what the favor was? What would you do for a stranger?

June 01, 2023

#08-314: Dubliners

Street scene, Dublin, 1900s (Wikimedia)

Note: Dubliners is the most accessible of James Joyce's fiction, and contains 15 superb short stories.

Get Ready: What phase of life are you in (adolescence, middle age, etc.)? What challenges do you face that are typical of that age?

May 25, 2023

#08-313: Bigfoot

Could this be Bigfoot? From a trail camera capture (Wikipedia)

Note: "Bigfoot" is the subject of fairly recent urban legends, and was most likely born as a hoax, or a series of them. But that doesn't stop the true believers from truly believing!

Get Ready: Do you think Bigfoot exists? How about the Yeti ("Abominable Snowman")? Or the Loch Ness monster?

February 03, 2023

#08-282: Gilgamesh Part II: The Quest for Immortality

An ancient depiction of Enkidu (Wikipedia)

Note: Gilgamesh goes on a quest to find the secret of immortality--with mixed results.

Get Ready: Are you afraid to die?

February 02, 2023

#08-281: Gilgamesh Part I: Gilgamesh and Enkidu

A man holding a snake and a lion
is believed to be Gilgamesh (Wikipedia)

Note: The oldest known epic is a cracking good "buddy movie," one which explores friendship, love, loss, death, and immortality.

Get Ready: Should a person be punished for wrongs committed in a moment of exuberance?

January 31, 2023

#08-280: Fantastic Beasts

A phoenix in a medieval bestiary (Wikipedia)

Note: In the history of science, many imaginary animals were once thought to be real (though some were just literary inventions). Let's meet a few.

Get Ready: Can you name any imaginary animals that people once believed in?

January 20, 2023

#08-279: The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Illustration from The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1888) by Kate Greenaway (Wikimedia)

Note: A town's leaders refuse to pay a debt--and as a result pay the ultimate price.

Get Ready: How important is it for one to keep one's word in large matters? In small matters?