If the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today and he had to endorse a candidate for president of the United States, who would that be? M.L.K. believed there were three evils that would destroy America: war, racism, and poverty. Let’s unpack poverty for a moment.

Once there was a woman who wanted to be a children’s writer, so she went to seek advice from the wisest counselor in the land.

I was late coming to Stephen Sondheim — 1979.

Christmas can be a time to evaluate our collective “goodness.” We mourn profusely the loss of 14 Americans in the San Bernardino shootings but do not feel connected with the hundreds of thousands of lives lost abroad.

Speaking at the recent climate talks in Paris, President Obama declaimed that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and back in March, Israel’s prime minister famously told Congress about Iran that “the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.” Punditry is alive and kicking.

A New York Times headline on Nov. 10, 1919, read: “Lights All Askew in the Heavens: Men of Science More or Less Agog Over Results of Eclipse Observations. Einstein Theory Triumphs: Stars Not Where They Seemed or Were Calculated to Be, but Nobody Need Worry.”

When I give tours to children and adults at the Parrish Art Museum, I always tell them, “Touch with your eyes, not with your hands.” So when I visited the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green in Much Hadham, England, I was in for a surprise.

I don’t play tennis. I don’t golf. I burn easily. Even with a hat and an S.P.F. of 30 on my face and my surfeit of sunglasses, still I freckle and burn. And mosquitoes always make a beeline to my elbows and ankles.

I am sitting in my car waiting for the Quogue courthouse to open when I see this on my mobile phone: “Results of a study by AAA indicate that motorists using hands-free technologies in their cars could miss stop signs, pedestrians, and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving. Drivers can be distracted for 27 seconds...