Saturday, November 28, 2015


Saturday, February 18, 2012

By jim zbick

This year, doomsday prophets will be getting much mileage out of the Mayan calendar, which reportedly runs out of days just before Christmas.

Doomsday prophecies are nothing new in our history. In early January 1912, Lee J. Spangler of York County was proclaimed as "the last of the prophets."

Spangler was expecting "nothing but trouble for 1912," according to an article in the Tamaqua Courier headlined "Prophet Sees Awful Things."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I love the humor of Steven Wright and events over the past several years brought to mind an old joke of his that I want to share with you.

"The other day somebody stole everything in my apartment and replaced it with an exact replica... When my roommate came home I said, "Roommate, someone stole everything in our apartment and replaced it with an exact replica."

He looked at me and said, "Do I know you?"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It is said that everyone has a book somewhere inside of them.

Often, when I talk with groups of writers, they ask if I will ever write a book. I tell them I don't have the patience to stay with one subject for so long.

Decades of doing the "fast hits" that newspaper work demands has gotten me addicted to that fast pace as well as to constantly switching subjects.

But I'm just like a lot of other people in the fact that I already have the title of a possible book long before the first page is written.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What is under the ice shelf of Antarctica? While most of us went about our business the last week, things were tense for scientists at the literal bottom of the world as they waited to hear from a Russian team at the Lake Vostok drilling site where they hoped to drill to the pristine body of water 13,000 feet beneath the ice. The Russian expedition is one of three eager to use space age technology to cleanly obtain core samples and water samples from this arctic landscape which has been encased in over two miles of ice for almost 20 million years.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I did a story last week about a Florida man who grew up wishing he could play tennis.

At that time, there were no public courts in his town. If a kid wanted to play, his family needed to join one of the pricey clubs.

So he watched through the fence as others played and he picked up tips and techniques.

He went on to become a really good tennis player but his burning desire is to teach others to play, especially kids. He doesn't want kids to be "outside looking in," the way he was.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


In his Valentine's Day message to readers a century ago, a writer for the Tamaqua Courier yearned for former days when men took pen to paper and crafted their own personal thoughts to the one close to their hearts.

"Years ago, if the lacey affairs they sold in the stores were not warm enough in their displays of ardor, the lover took pen and ink and drew his own hearts and cupids, and created his own selection of adjectives to set forth his torrid affection," he stated on the day before Valentine's Day in 1912.

Saturday, February 11, 2012



A wit once said, "If you remember the sixties, you weren't there." I was there and I do remember. The decade is characterized as a revolutionary period: the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War protests, and the Sexual Revolution. Concerning the latter, a joke circulating at the time made fun of the older generation (as I write this column, MY generation now):

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I always enjoy reading healthful tips and advice about the foods we eat.

But the downside is learning that everything is basically bad for our health.

We're led to believe that unless we live on celery, tofu and broccoli our diet isn't good. The warnings pertaining to sugar, milk, cheese, eggs and red meat send a message that eating is unhealthy.

But try to go without eating. That's unhealthy, too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012
Community pride wins over fear

For all of us, the past few weeks have been a little unnerving following the rash of armed robberies that have hit Schuylkill and Carbon counties. Yes, the idea of witnessing or being a victim of an armed robbery (or any crime) is definitely something to be scared of.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


You never know where or when life's next lesson will come from. In this case, it came in an email, from a loyal reader. It's worth reading, and worth absorbing. I'm not sure who wrote it originally, but it makes good sense.

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,

When 24 hours in a day is not enough;

Remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class

and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly,