Readers write: Story behind a maple syrup bottle, Changing technology for research, Top book releases, Puerto Ricans after Maria

Letters to the editor for the July 23, 2018 weekly magazine.

Robert F. Bukaty/AP
A bottle of maple syrup is displayed at the Merrifield Farm and Sugar Shack in Gorham, Maine on March 9, 2016.

Story behind a maple syrup bottle

As a maple syrup devotee (nothing less than the real thing on my pancakes), I ate up your April 23 & 30 cover story, “Maple Syrup Inc.” I say keep the consumer prices high enough to benefit all producers, large and small.

I guess Canada’s “Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve” is a cartel worth its barrel weight. Viva Quebec!

Greg Palmer

Seattle

Changing technology for research

Regarding the June 11 OneWeek story “When humanities meets big data”: My late sister-in-law working on her PhD in the 1950s analyzed an author’s writings manually since there were no computers that were capable of doing so at the time. I remember it was arduous and time-consuming. She used hundreds of three-by-five cards.

Robert Hallam

Speedway, Ind.

Top book releases

Regarding the May 21 article “10 best books of May”: Wow! That’s nine out of 10 must reads for me! I don’t have time to read books hardly at all, though I’m reading all the time. I’m almost resentful that I can’t just drop everything and take these books and have a reading vacation.

Thanks for the list and the explanations.

Brenda Krachenberg

Plymouth, Mich.

Puerto Ricans after Maria

I found the May 14 cover story “The mothers saving Puerto Rico,” about Puerto Ricans working to help others after hurricane Maria, very inspiring. We on the mainland could learn so much about caring and helping our neighbors from those volunteers. And the blessings for the volunteers are so great as well. Thank you for this reporting.

Patricia Breedlove

Oakhurst, N.J.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.