Monday, December 21, 2009


Invitations to unplanned reprieve, contemplation, camaraderie

* Maryland just had a tremendous blizzard this past weekend. Everything was covered with nearly two feet of snow. Now, all of that snow is mounded along roadsides.
* Consider all of the aesthetic wonders: The way that the moist snow sparkles in the light, the sight of snow as it wafts downward, the quietness of snow as it strikes the ground, a patch of new-fallen snow through which no one has ever walked ... What more would you add?
* Since it seemed foolish to try to go anywhere, my four housemates and I spent almost all of Saturday and Sunday together at home. What a rare feat!
* Similarly, on Sunday, as everyone tried to find their cars, there was a neighborhood shoveling party. "Hiya there, neighbor!" I noticed many neighbors helping other neighbors to shovel as well.

Monday, December 14, 2009


A culinary thrill that begins with a kill

* In truth, though this simple miracle may sound morbid, many of our meals begin with an animal's death. Some may consider this to be sad or inappropriate. But I am grateful for the ways that God has provided for us and for those who reminds us of the need to be good stewards of His Creation.
* Thanks to Tim Morrison, my cousin's husband for thinking of this simple miracle. This is third of his ideas that I have used on this blog. He's good!
* Thanks also to Tim for the venison roast from the deer that he shot last month that I used to make stew last week. With French onion soup, carrots, potatoes, green beans, apples, and sausage, it turned out surprisingly well! Ground venison and venison steaks are next.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The Christmas pre-game show

* Thanks very much to my sister, Missy, for the idea and punchline for this simple miracle. (Additionally, she is a terrific supporter and fan for this blog. Thanks Missy!)
* For those who may not know, Advent is a season that is approximately four weeks long, immediately preceding Christmas, during which all are invited to prepare for Christ's coming. It is traditional to reflect on His Second Coming (in the future) during the first part of Advent and to reflect on His birth as a child (Christmas) during the latter part.
* To explain the name to my eighth-grade Sunday school students, I pointed out that in Spanish "venir" means "to come." The same word root is used in Advent. During Advent, we prepare for Christ to come.
* Advent is a great way to keep from getting worn down by excessive Christmas commercialism. Don't get ahead of the main event!
* You can start celebrating Advent now. It's not too late!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It's worth spending more to keep your bum off the floor

* Thanks to my mother for indirectly suggesting this simple miracle, which will shock her when she reads it. She has been trying for my entire life to spend more money on shoes. "It's cheaper than the podiatrist bill," she'll say.
* As a basketball player, if your shoes don't have good traction, you might end up on the wrong end of a fast break.
* Here in Maryland, when it rains, the sidewalks can be very slippery. I am very grateful for traction.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Just the right amount at just the right time

* How much faster would the line at highway toll booths move if everyone had exact change?
* How much money do we squander by paying for something, putting the change in our pocket, and putting the coins in a place that we forget?
* Even if your change isn't exact, getting close can be good. What a sense of accomplishment to pay $2.06 when you owe $1.31! Then, you receive three quarters, rather than a whole pile of coins. Can it be said that the goal is to minimize the number of coins that are received as change?
* Thanks very much to Karen Mahowald for the idea for this simple miracle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A chance to acknowledge our cornucopia of blessings

* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2003.
* In addition to the chance at Thanksgiving for solidarity with my own family, I appreciate the sense of solidarity that all families have with each other. Much of my family will be together, and at the same time, most of the families that I know will be with their families.
* Last week, I discovered that in Spanish, Thanksgiving is "accion de gracias." Literally, this means "action of thanks." To me, this conveys not just the usual idea of Thanksgiving as something that occurs, but also an idea of Thanksgiving as something that you do.
* Among many other things, I am thankful that you read my blog. For what are you thankful?
* Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Friday, November 20, 2009


As unexpected as being born

* If your friend has a birthday, do you call them on the phone? Do you sing them a song?
* The best version of my family's birthday phone call tradition, I think, is to have a full crowd of people to sing "Happy Birthday" and then to leave a message, so that the recipient can listen to it over and over again.
* To Katie Crane, who just had a birthday earlier this month, thanks for the idea for this simple miracle.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Spoken in many tongues

* My brother Nick always makes us laugh. He won't necessarily tell jokes, but his sly, slick perspective on just about anything can be hilarious.
* My sister Missy is the one to tell jokes. For instance, she might ask, "What do you get from an invisible cow?" ("Evaporated milk.") I think that Missy has a great sense of humor.
* My own sense of humor usually receives mixed reviews. If people laugh at a joke that I tell, I think that it is often not because they think that the joke is funny, but because they find it funny that I'm trying to tell such an unfunny joke.
* I have heard that laughing can be very good for your health. What is most likely to make you laugh?
* The simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the spring of 2003.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Letting us embark in the morning without extra adorning

* I am right-handed, so occasionally I end up with a toothpaste splotch around the outside of my mouth on the right side.
* One time, at Sunday Mass, one of the ushers alerted, "Hey buddy, it looks like you still have some of your war paint." It was shaving cream.
* Mirrors also help prevent garb gaffes. Just the other day, when I walked into her office, our secretary discretely blurted, "Phillip! Phillip! Your collar!" (My sister pointed out that she is one of the few people to call me "Phillip.") How long had I been walking around with my collar folded in, instead of out? This was distinct proof for my need to look in the mirror before I leave the house in the morning.
* In a pinch, perhaps simple miracle #3 ("Rearview Mirrors") can suffice.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Things once here, now not, yet still present, by our thought.

* I am not, note, talking about what makes your computer run faster (but that can be good too).
* How wonderful is the gift of recalling the past and being inspired for the future!
* It might be pointed out that without the capacity to remember we would not know where we were nor what we were doing. It is our memory that connects one moment to the next and enables us to string actions together.
* Today, on All Souls Day, we remember those who have died. Perhaps you too will pray, "May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace."

Friday, October 30, 2009


A hard surface with a purpose

* When you are out in the forest, you may wonder about whether asphalt really does have a purpose. However, how long would it have taken you to get to that forest on a dirt road?
* Broadly, it could be asked: Can unnatural things like asphalt benefit natural things like a forest?
* Thanks again to my cousin Annie and her family (c.f., "#42: Head rests") for suggesting this simple miracle, albeit simply with the cleverness and without the philosophical commentary.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Where strangers cheer for each other

* Yesterday, I ran the Marine Corps 10K in Washington DC and Virginia. How encouraging it is to see so many folks along the course rooting you on!
* In theory, there are some are some folks that run marathons or 10K races to compete against others and therefore have reason not to hope for the best for another runner. But the majority of yesterday's 35,000 runners, I would guess, were not thinking about such a competition. If anything, to see another doing well was inspiration to do well oneself.
* "To do one's best and to hope for the best for another." Is this not the approach of a marathon runner? What a pattern it sets for other "races" that we run with others!

Friday, October 23, 2009


The joyful proclamation punctuation!

* Do you ever begin a message just with someone's name followed by an exclamation point? (For instance, "Phil!") To me, this says, "Hello! What a wonderful surprise it was to hear from you! I'm excited to think of you! I couldn't wait to share this message with you!" Give it a try sometime.
* Consider also how an exclamation point can turn a question into a confident observation. "What, a beautiful day it is?" becomes "What a beautiful day it is!"
* I am a fan of the single exclamation point. Any more than two exclamation points at a time is very dizzying to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Much easier than going to Chile when it is chilly

* I just made a pot of chili last night: Five pounds of ground meat, two cans of beans, three cans of tomatoes with green chilis, an onion, a green pepper, a red pepper, three cloves of garlic, tomato juice. Brown meat. Add other ingredients. Simmer indefinitely. Serve with sour cream and cheese.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


On the trees or wafting downward, what beautiful color!

* Raking leaves is one of my favorite autumn pastimes.
* Where is your favorite place to go to see the different colors of leaves?
* Back in the fall of 2002, "Leaves on Trees" was one of the very first simple miracles at CWRU.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Corn with a crunch,
Terrific for lunch

* Served with salsa, do tortilla chips constitue an entire meal?
* Are tortilla chips always made out of corn? Or are they sometimes made of flour?
* When you go to a Mexican restaurant and they provide tortilla chips as an hors d'ouevre, will you eat the entire basket?
* Who has the most delicious tortilla chips that you've ever eaten?
* Sometimes, I will warm my tortillas in the toaster oven. I may end up with a very poor version of a tortilla chip.

Friday, September 18, 2009

50. MOMS

We wouldn't be here without them

* "Moms" were the simple miracle #50 at CWRU as well.
* At the annual March for Life, one of our favorite cheers was "Life is good, life is great, Who do we appreciate? ... Our moms!"
* Thanks to my mother, my grandmothers, all of my friends who are mothers, and the Blessed Mother for inspiring this simple miracle.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


With books in every nook to satisfy each cranny of our curiosity

* Now that my sister is a professional librarian, I am even more of a fan.
* When I was in fourth grade, the librarian came to talk at our school. In front of the whole class, she pointed me out, "Oh, there's Phil Koshute. I know him. His family comes to the library three times every week." How embarassed I was!
* Thanks to my mother for suggesting this simple miracle. Before I was even in fourth grade, she used to roll us up to the library in a red wagon.
* Even before then, Mom used to tend the garden outside of the library.
* Even now, when I go back home, I'm happy to poke around the library, located right along the river, just a few blocks from our house.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


They all have the same number of holes at the top, no matter what brand

* Thanks to my sister Gina for suggesting this simple miracle. Perhaps she was organizing her dorm room's bathroom when she thought of it?
* Gina, I think, was excited about the shower curtain industry's adherence to standards. Are you a fan of standardization? Surely, you appreciate the convenience of being able to plug the same electric alarm clock into an outlet in both Ohio and Oregon. But does the uniformity cramp your creativity?
* At least in my bathroom, it is very good exercise to change a shower curtain - unclipping the old one, then snapping in the new curtain. It requires holding hands above one's head for a long time.
* Do you have trouble with shower curtain mold? At my house, if we don't pull the curtain after it gets wet, it's more likely to turn moldy. To encourage my housemates, I composed a poem: "Mold/ Can be bold/ And it likes our shower curtain/ For certain./ So please/ Give that curtain a squeeze/ And a close/ When you've finished washing your nose."

Thursday, August 27, 2009


As refreshing as the sun is warm

* There is a tree, outside of my office building, that is just large enough to provide shade to the picnic table. This morning, I did some work out there.
* How pleasant it is to sit on a shady front porch on a hot summer day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

46. PENS

Placing ink on paper at just the right rate

* Not all pens, of course, are good pens. Some pens need to be shaken more violently than a new bottle of ink in order to get anything to come out. Other pens dribble ink all over the paper. These poor pens make me appreciate good pens all the more.
* At work, I am currently using a "Papermate Pro-Fit." It's not too bad. I like that it's mechanical.
* One exciting thing about mechanical pens is that you can use their spring to launch them from a table several inches into the air. This is a great cure for boredom in a college class.
* Also in college, I used to do homework outside, even in the winter. I think that pen ink flows less easily when it is cold.

Monday, August 3, 2009


A car wash for free

* Especially when the berries fall and squish onto my car, an unexpected rinse makes a big difference.
* The rain is also helpful to water my tomato plants, which I often forget to water myself.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The tissue that recycles itself!

* Thanks very much to Andrew McNamara, my good friend from NC State, for coming up with this simple miracle. He also writes, "I realized how much I missed freshly ironed handkerchiefs when I realized that we had both an iron and an ironing board at the apartment. It brings back memories of home with getting the oh so neatly ironed handkerchiefs from the box in the closet."
* As an alternative punch line, he offers, "Allowing you to blow your nose in style."
* Personally, I don't like the regular tissues either. I prefer paper towel.

Monday, July 27, 2009


The original air conditioning

* My family and I went to the beach in Delaware last weekend. On a very hot day, how pleasantly the wind blew ashore! My mom commented that she could understand why, before air conditioning had been invented, people flocked to the beach to take advantage of its breezes.
* Let's see if I can remember my middle school science to explain what causes an ocean breeze: The land heats more quickly than the water. Therefore, during the day in the summer, the land is hotter than the water. The hot air above the land rises, leaving an area of low pressure above the land, into which the air above the water comes, creating a breeze.
* Think of all the phrases for the feeling of being relaxed: "A day at the beach," "A breeze," ...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Supporting our necks
while we make long treks

* How important is it to have a comfortable position when you're spending many hours in a row in a car?
* Thanks to my cousin Annie for sharing the idea for this simple miracle and its punchline. She, her husband Tim, and two young daughters, came up with it while they were on a lengthy drive to Tim's parents' house.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Always there when you need it

* Imagine a world without spaces between words. I suppose you could replace them, to a point, with punctuation. But is there anything else that indicates the specific pause bespoken by a space?
* Herein, when you're ready for a space, there's that space bar - big, broad, and ready to be slapped by your thumbs.
* Think of the rhythm of the keys for a good typist. It's almost like a symphony, and the space bar is the cymbals of the keyboard orchestra.
* Thanks to Derek Ho coming up with the idea for this simple miracle.

Monday, July 13, 2009


My favorite grain for energy gain

* I keep one of those tall cylinders of oatmeal at my desk at work and have a bowl every morning for breakfast.
* Usually, I like to add brown sugar, raisins (simple miracle #38), and a sliced banana. But recently, I've had vanilla yogurt and blueberries. What are your oatmeal toppings of choice?
* Sometimes, I forget to bring in my measuring cup and I have to guess the correct proportion of oats and water. This can be a disaster. However, sometimes I do just fine. I think that it is a good skill to be able to determine specific quantities just by sight.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Without them, it would be very hard to stand up

* Imagine trying to get out of bed without your knees. You'd need to have very strong hips and tough feet.
* Furthermore, kneeling would be possible. How much different would our prayer be?
* Did you learn the "head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes" song when you were growing up? My English as a Second Language class gets a big kick out of it.
* The simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2004.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Wrinkled and crinkled so that in our breakfasts and cookies they can be sprinkled

* I've never tried entire grapes in my oatmeal. But it seems like raisins would be much better.
* I keep a container of raisins on my desk. Sometimes, during the afternoon, I'll grab a handful for a snack.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Providing important reduction in heat conduction

* How much skin would I have lost without them?
* Another fascinating and similar piece of technology is coffee mug handles. Consider how much hotter is a mug containing hot coffee than its handle. What keeps the heat from going from mug to handle? Perhaps my father, a chemist, can explain it to me.
* In the absence of a pot holder, a towel (simple miracle #36) may also suffice.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


They become wet, so we can be dry.

* Way to go towels, way to take one for the team!
* If this rain in Maryland doesn't soon subside, after I ride my bike the three miles from Catholic University to my house, I'm going to need several towels.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Sometimes majestic, sometimes frightening

* Yesterday, Maryland was pummeled by thunderstorms. As I drove home from work, I was treated to strike after electric strike in the sky. What other things in Nature evoke such fear and awe?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


The sky-filling rumble that keeps us humble

* You should have seen - and heard and felt - the storm that rolled through Maryland last night! How a fierce thunder clap can catch our attention and draw us outside of ourselves!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Lets you stay trim without losing your skin

* Arguably, in the absence of shaving cream, it is better to have your chin be bearded than bloodied.
* This simple miracle first appeared at NCSU in the spring of 2007.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


And other sounds that remind you of home

* There are many sounds in Washington DC that remind me that I'm no longer in a western Pennsylvania smalltown. But when I hear the train's whistle about a quarter-mile away, just across Route 1, it's as if I'm exactly where I grew up.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Stick them out we may.
But without them, we'd have nothing to say.

* Lately, I have been listening to "Till We Have Faces," a fairy tale by C.S. Lewis. In the part to which I listened this morning, the queen is angered by what another woman says to her and considers having her tongue cut out.
* Can you curl your tongue? This is my family's talent.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Sleeping wouldn't be the same without them

* Additionally, staying awake wouldn't be the same without them. In defense of stray gnats, bright lights, and dry eyes, blinking, I'm thinking, is very underrated and important.
* The simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2004.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The combination of colby and spice does more than suffice

* I added cheese (cheddar) to our eggs this morning. But if we'd had monterrey jack, that would have been really good too.
* Thanks to Aaron Linderman for suggesting this simple miracle's theme.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Into the glint, we'd have to otherwise squint

* When my car was broken into a year ago, the only thing that the intruder took was a pair of sunglasses that had belonged to my housemate Patrick.
* Sometimes, I just like to wear a ballcap pulled low rather than sunglasses. But when I'm driving, yes, I think that sunglasses are probably the way to go.
* After several days of rain, sunglasses were once again useful in the Washington DC area this weekend. Both along Massachusetts Avenue NW on Saturday and near the Potomac River on Sunday, the sun shone brightly.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


The most comfortable shoes in the whole world

* Of course, old sneakers are also the most likely to be thrown away by your mother without your knowledge or consent. You definitely have to be on the lookout.
* But this time, I have a new strategy. I bought a new pair of shoes. Now, even if I don't actually wear the new pair, my mom is less likely to throw away the old pair. Yes, it gives her a very "sneaky" sense of false security.
* My favorite part about old sneakers is the holes that develop right above your toes - not holes on the bottom, which make it more likely for your socks to become wet, but the holes on the top that let in some extra air for your toes.
* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2003. At the time, as my mother puts it, my roommate Lowell and I were having a "contest" to see who could wear their shoes the longest.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Round and round they roll,
Saving us a lengthy stroll

* When you read this, do you think, "The wheels on the bus go round and round ..."?
* In addition to transportation, the vast use of wheels - in pulleys and gears, for instance - has great importance.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Cool beans

* This simple miracle appeared both at CWRU (first in the spring of 2004) and NCSU.
* At NCSU, my friend Andrew took a cue from this simple miracle. Every time that someone expressed satisfaction by saying, "Cool beans," he replied, "Hot coffee." Oh my!
* Today is clammy and cooler in Maryland, a good day for coffee or some other hot drink.
* Herein, it is also a good day to have simple miracle #25 inside of simple miracle #24.
* Actually, I do not not like coffee. So, when I am feeling goofy, if someone asks if I would like coffee, I replay, "Yes, please, cold and without beans." Of course, this means that I would just like water.
* Also at NCSU, the campus minister is from Colombia. While practicing our Spanish with him, we were excited to realize that "cool beans" translated into Spanish is "frijoles frios." Sometimes, we would say that instead.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Keeps the cold from the hot and the warm from the cold

* Phil List, president of NCSU Students for Life for more than a year (2007-08), thought of this simple miracle in the spring of 2007.
* Folks often pray outside of abortion clinics on Saturday mornings to support mothers and fathers that are considering killing their unborn children. In the winter, a Thermos is particularly helpful. I'm always amazed when someone who has been praying or counseling for hours opens up their Thermos and the coffee still steams.
* Now, I could use a Thermos to replace my water bottle which gets so hot when I forget and leave it in the car.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Quietly, the sky says, "A new day is here!"

* I admired this color upon the horizon as I drove to 6:30 AM Mass this morning. I think that it is remarkable how sunlight can appear so differently depending on the time of day.
* Perhaps, when you look up at the sky and see orange in the morning, it can remind you of simple miracle #21 and to eat an orange in the morning.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Sometimes you are on-time when you didn't think you would be

* Thanks to Jim Savinell for help in thinking of this simple miracle. He and I were both sitting in traffic on Friday afternoon while we were talking on the phone and thought of this. Jim was one of the original founders of the CWRU Right to Life group in 2002.
* A string of green lights is a much better way to be on-time than driving aggressively. Instead of "Yellow means slow," sometimes in Maryland, it seems as though "Yellow means go."
* I studied traffic light programming in graduate school. It is most likely that the lights in consecutive intersections can be programmed for consecutive green lights when traffic volume is predictable. Herein, it is possible for it to be less likely to get a green light on a weekend when the traffic volume is less predictable, even if it is lighter.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Nature's perfect packaging

* This simple miracle was originally on display at CWRU in the fall semester of 2003. Lauren Martino (then Lauren Edwards) was the witty author.
* At first, we thought about using "Banana peels - Nature's perfect packaging," but we worried that people would associate banana peels with slipping and falling. Initial audience response, we thought, was very important. Even if something made sense once someone thought it through, we weren't sure that everyone would take the time to think it through. So, we switched orange for banana.
* Recently, I have discovered that if you leave an orange peel in your car overnight, it leaves a great smell.

Monday, April 13, 2009


So many flavors in one small bag

* I'm in Pennsylvania, visiting my family for Easter. We have a full bowl (or at least once-full) of jelly beans on our kitchen table. My sister Missy helped me to think of this simple miracle.
* A few summers ago, during a mission trip, we always insisted on jelly beans on Sundays. Here are the theological underpinnings: Jelly beans are shaped like eggs. Eggs are a sign of new life. At Easter, Christ rose from the dead and we received new life. Every Sunday is like a little Easter. (Herein, today, within the solemn Easter octave, is also a great jelly bean day. Have some for lunch!)
* Missy says that her favorite jelly bean flavor is berry blue. My mom, sitting a few feet away as I type, consults the jelly bean bag and announces that her favorite is cinnamon. ("But tutti fruity is good too," she adds.) What is your favorite jelly bean flavor?

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Monday, April 6, 2009


Turning scuff to buff with just a little bit of goop

* Nails for a crack, detergent on shirt stains, or polish on shoes all fall in the same vein - ways in which things that are "worn out" can be renewed.
* I just polished the pair of shoes that I wear to work last week. Yes, I think that they look just like new.

Friday, April 3, 2009

17. RAIN

Makes the grass greener

* Rain really does make the grass greener and this morning we have a steady shower in Maryland. Therefore, we need to get our lawn mower fixed before our backyard turns into a jungle.
* This simple miracle first appeared at CWRU in the spring of 2004, when it rained cats and dogs in Cleveland.
* As long as you also have Simple Miracle #15, you'll be in good shape.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Lets you change the channel without changing your seat

* Actually, at my house in Maryland, I don't even have a remote control. But my brother Nick came up with this simple miracle, in response to an assignment from our mother. It has hung on the wall in our breakfast nook in Pennsylvania. Now, it is on my blog too.

* At this time of year, a remote control can be very valuable, though, to switch from those awful commercials during breaks in NCAA tournament action to something less scandalous like the Weather Channel.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The one and only roof on a stick

* This morning in Maryland, it is raining. After work, I am driving to North Carolina, where it is also supposed to be raining. I am glad that there was an umbrella in my trunk.

* This simple miracle originally appeared in the spring of 2004 at CWRU, where it is very important to have an umbrella while walking to class.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Early in the morning, they sing, "Hooray! Here has come Spring!"

* The birds start to sing at just about the time of year when it becomes warm enough for us to open our windows and hear them.
* Thanks to Teresa Myers for the idea for this simple miracle. On my way to work today, a little after 7 AM, I checked: Yep, they were cheerfully singing. In combination with the blue sky and sunshine, it was wonderful encouragement to start the day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Just as in life, the favorite is formidable and has an edge.
But the underdog, though unlikely, has a chance.

* Have you filled out your bracket yet? Go Pitt!

* I watched a lot of college basketball when I was in high school. My mom would come into the living room and ask, "Who are you rooting for?" But sometimes, I wouldn't be rooting for anyone, instead just a general, genuine fan, enjoying the game.
* I think that to see a group of players pull together and work hard to accomplish their goal, especially when it's unexpected, is very exciting.

Monday, March 16, 2009


What deft duplicators!

* One of my favorite things that comes from a copy machine is the Missy Times, a newsletter published by my younger sister Melissa. Originally handwritten with clever illustrations, my issue arrives in the mail once every few weeks.
* A copy machine illustrates that a "simple miracle" need not necessarily be simple in composition. One could point out that a copy machine contains numerous parts that are not simple at all. But many such complicated gadgets are among these things that make our lives much more simple and that we simply take for granted.
* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2003.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Because they are bright,
we can drive at night

* Just last week, I was alerted that one of my front headlights had burned out. How long had I been winking at the cars in front of me? What had they thought?
* Many days, I drive home from work in the dark, especially in the winter. Often, when I go to see my family in Pennsylvania, I drive in the dark. How many fewer places we would not be able to visit if we didn't travel at night!

Monday, March 9, 2009

10. ZERO

Our place-holding hero

* Without zero, this simple miracle (number one-zero) would not be possible.

* It originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2004. I think that we were thinking of the song, "Zero, my hero," on the Multiplication Rock tape to which I listened when I was very young.
* At CWRU, there are many engineers and scientists whose appreciation for a mathematical innovation like zero was very strong.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Lets you go from inside to out without having to take off the door

* Alternatively, I guess that you could just have curtains in front of all of your doorways. But that would be very bad for insulation, and squirrels could scurry into your living room whenever they wanted.

* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2003. At that time, I was living in a suite with five other guys. There was door to our dorm, one to our floor, one for our suite, and one for my own room.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Works great on pretzels and icy sidewalks

* Some advise using calcium chloride on your sidewalk. But the same sodium chloride works just fine on both sidewalks and pretzels.

* In Pennsylvania, sometimes in the winter, you can almost taste the salt that has been applied to the roads and sidewalks. I've noticed this especially while jogging. The taste reminds me of being near the ocean.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Making teeth-brushing much easier

* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2003.

Friday, February 27, 2009


What else works so well this side of Velcro?

* Actually, I had tennis shoes with Velcro until fourth grade - "Zips." But the sound that they would make embarassed me.
* This simple miracle originally appeard at CWRU in the fall of 2002.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Coming soon to a tree near you

* When my mom heard that I was starting a blog, she insisted that I had to include this one.
* My old housemate, Matt, visited us in Maryland last weekend and noticed that the tulips were already starting to poke through the ground.
* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the spring of 2004.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Like pillows on your feet

* My brother got me a pair for Christmas last year, along with a bottle of hot sauce and packs of hot chocolate. My house in Maryland had been so cold during his visit in November, Nick explained, that he thought that I'd need whatever warmth I could get. Many nights, these socks have saved me from frozen toes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Like eyes in the back of your head

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You don't have to wake up as early to see them.

* How I hated waking up in the dark when I was a student!
* This simple miracle originally appeared at CWRU in the spring of 2004.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Life is good. Life is a gift. Celebrate life!

* This simple miracle first appeared at CWRU in the fall of 2002. Every year, we used it as the first. It was the only one that we repeated.

Among Those Counting

Past Month's Visitors