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Index to Marco den Ouden's Posts at Vocal

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By Marco den OudenPublished about a year ago Updated 9 months ago 12 min read
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Index to Marco den Ouden's Posts at Vocal
Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash

Below you will find a complete index of my articles, stories and poems at Vocal, the writers website. They are categorized by topic for your convenience. Some posts are listed in more than one category. This page will be constantly updated as new articles and stories are posted.

The Categories

Book Reviews (6), Communications & Media (2), Economics (6), History (8), Investing (4), Music (7), Personal Reflections (9), Philosophy (4), Poems (4), Political Philosophy (6), Short Stories (11), Travel (5)

Book Reviews

  • Jesse Livermore: World's Greatest Stock Trader – Nov. 7, 2021 – Livermore famously sold short and made a fortune during the 1929 stock market crash. This is a review of the book by Richard Smitten.
  • Book Review: Fatherland by Robert Harris – Nov. 20, 2021 – while ostensibly an alternate history novel, Fatherland is much more than that. A heroic tale in the romanticist tradition, it follows a free thinking police inspector and a female American journalist trying to solve a murder and a riddle.
  • How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market – Nov. 23, 2021 – a review of the book by Nicolas Darvas. Previously published at About.com twenty years ago.
  • The Literary Masterpiece Hidden for 62 Years – Nov. 30, 2021 – the remarkable story behind Irène Némirovsky's Suite Francaise. The story of how it came to be published is as fascinating as the story itself. I review the book as well in some detail.
  • If Dogs Could Think and Speak – Jan. 13, 2022 – reflections on a dog I loved and a review of André Alexis's Fifteen Dogs, an apologue about some dogs who are given human intelligence by the Greek god Apollo. It is an amazing and thoughtful story.
  • P.J. O'Rourke's Brilliant Treatise – Feb. 19, 2022 – P.J. O'Rourke, the brilliant libertarian raconteur and humorist, passed away Feb. 15th. Here is a review of his book Eat the Rich which I wrote back in 1999 when it first came out.

Communications & Media

  • Propaganda and the Political Cartoon – Oct. 22, 2021 – written for a university English course, this essay looks at the political cartoon as propaganda and looks closely at three cartoons in particular.
  • Thomas Bowdler, Political Correctness, and Scrabble – Feb. 4, 2022 – usually dictionaries add new words with every revision. But the Third Edition of the Scrabble Dictionary actually deleted 167 playable words. Why? Read on!

Economics

  • Some Random Thoughts on Money – Nov. 29, 2021 – looks at some insights into money from two movies and a TV show. Includes a look at the idea that time is money and at a different kind of downsizing.
  • Why Not Deflation? – Dec. 5, 2021 – people seem to fear deflation more than inflation. A misguided view as I argue here.
  • A Short History of Deflation – Dec. 5, 2021 – a follow-up to the above, this looks at the actual history of deflation and finds the stats bear out my argument that deflation has been getting a bad rap.
  • The Creative Renewal of the Steel Industry – Dec. 8, 2021 – my look at songs about iron and steel led to this article on why the steel industry in the U.S. and Britain were decimated after WWII. I also suggest that Joseph Schumpeter's concept of Creative Destruction should be renamed.
  • Christmas Toys for 1962 – Dec. 13, 2021 – a look at some of the toys for sale in 1962 compared with more contemporary toys, comparing prices in inflation-adjusted dollars. Lots of pictures illustrate the article.
  • The Original King of Barter – Dec. 17, 2021 – about the Red Paperclip guy, Kyle Macdonald, who in one year bartered a red paperclip into a house in just fourteen trades.

History

  • When a Man's Home Really IS his Castle – Dec. 6, 2021 – a guided tour of Victoria's Craigdarroch Castle built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir from 1887-1890.
  • The Creative Renewal of the Steel Industry – Dec. 8, 2021 – my look at songs about iron and steel led to this article on why the steel industry in the U.S. and Britain were decimated after WWII.
  • The Largest Railroad Trestle in the British Empire – Dec. 12, 2021 – and it's in British Columbia. The trestle was part of the CN Rail line serving the timber industry on Vancouver Island and is today an historic landmark and tourist attraction.
  • A Quaint Mill Town on the Sunshine Coast – Dec. 13, 2021 – a visit to picturesque Powell River, B.C. This mill town has a fascinating history which the town has kept alive. This includes the oldest continuously operating movie theatre in Canada.
  • Christmas Toys for 1962 – Dec. 13, 2021 – a look at some of the toys for sale in 1962 compared with more contemporary toys, comparing prices in inflation-adjusted dollars. Lots of pictures illustrate the article.
  • Trains of Yore – Dec. 15, 2021 – years ago I put together a website called Vintage Railroads. It was a small website with lots of pictures. It's reproduced here. Rail buffs who love the age of steam will love this historical retrospective.
  • The Founding of Canada: Part 1 – Feb. 8, 2022 – this first of three parts takes us from the Plains of Abraham to the end of the War of 1812.
  • The Founding of Canada: Part 2 – Feb. 9, 2022 – this installment takes us through the Rebellions of 1837 and Durham's Report.
  • The Founding of Canada: Part 3 – Feb. 11, 2022 – our final installment takes us through the constitutional conferences at Quebec and Charlottetown as well as the constitutional debates in the provincial legislatures.

Investing

  • Jesse Livermore: World's Greatest Stock Trader – Nov. 7, 2021 – Livermore famously sold short and made a fortune during the 1929 stock market crash. This is a review of the book by Richard Smitten.
  • How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market – Nov. 23, 2021 – Nicolas Darvas was a professional dancer in the 1950s who parlayed $25,000 into $2 million in just 18 months, much of it while on the road performing. This is a review of his book on how he did it.
  • Applying the Darvas Method – Nov. 24, 2021 – a follow-up to my review of Nicolas Darvas's book. I dissect his method and look at whether Darvas's feat can be easily duplicated.
  • Treasure on Your Bookshelf – Dec. 17, 2021 – about antiquarian and collectible books. Collecting books can be both an interesting hobby and a lucrative endeavor.

Music

Personal Reflections

  • Life and Death in Ocean Reef – Nov. 12, 2021 – we were in Australia for the birth of our granddaughter. On our last day there we witnessed something tragic.
  • A Month on Skid Road – Nov. 12, 2021 – my first month in Vancouver was a month of many firsts for me, including living on skid road.
  • The Joy of Reading – Nov. 17, 2021 – I reflect on the joy of reading and on my experience as a volunteer tutor of adult literacy.
  • Doubt and Certainty – Nov. 24, 2021 – my intellectual journey from doubt to certainty and back again. I explain why doubt gets a bad rap and also why I think it has its virtues.
  • A Question of Balance – Nov. 30, 2021 – looks at the philosophy of life of a guy who balances rocks on the beach.
  • Friendly Rivalry Led to My Blogging – Dec. 9, 2021 – a friend recently sent me a copy of a hand-written newsletter I published in my teens. I didn't think any had survived and was thrilled to see this relic from my past. I was inspired to write it by my friend Derek who started one first. Were these journals circulated among friends the forerunner of today's blogs?
  • An Atheist Celebrates Christmas – Dec. 21, 2021 – why do I love Christmas? Let me count the ways! A philosophical and personal reflection. Includes a look at Chaim Potok's book The Promise.
  • If Dogs Could Think and Speak – Jan. 13, 2022 – reflections on a dog I loved and a review of André Alexis's Fifteen Dogs, an apologue about some dogs who are given human intelligence by the Greek god Apollo. It is an amazing and thoughtful story.
  • It Only Took 55 Years! – Apr. 24, 2022 – 55 years after first entering university in 1967, I finally graduate with a degree! Here I teel about the journey.

Philosophy

  • Plato on How Democracy Degenerates into Tyranny – Nov. 23, 2021 – a reflection on Plato's argument in The Republic. I also look at how Plato's thought relates to historical events. This was written for a philosophy course I took in university.
  • All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy – Jan. 4, 2022 – despite its negative association with the movie The Shining, this old aphorism makes a lot of sense. Playtime is vital to a happy life.
  • Freedom is a State of Mind – Jan. 5. 2022 – while people may fulminate over politics, true freedom does not depend on politics at all. You're as free as you decide to be.
  • In Praise of Political Apathy – Jan. 5, 2022 – some people decry political apathy and some countries even have mandatory voting laws. But I argue that political apathy is good. Politically apathetic people are not the sort of busybody that wants to try and run your life.

Poems

  • The Ugly Duckling – Oct. 20, 2021 – the classic fairy tale told as a poem in the style of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven.
  • Little Red Riding Hood – Oct. 22, 2021 – the classic story told in the style of Alfred Noyes's poem The Highwayman
  • Odds Bodkins – Nov. 10, 2021 – A lipogram is a story that is missing a common symbol usually found in writing. This rhythmic madrigal is such.
  • Casey at the Crease – Dec. 1, 2021 – a poem patterned after Ernest Lawrence Thayer's Casey at the Bat, but about hockey! I am Canadian after all!

Political Philosophy

  • Propaganda and the Political Cartoon – Oct. 22, 2021 – written for a university English course, this essay looks at the political cartoon as propaganda and looks closely at three cartoons in particular.
  • An Alternate View of Democracy – Nov. 10, 2021 – an essay on the pros and cons of democracy which argues that there is another way of looking at the subject.
  • The Handshake Versus the Fist – Nov. 23, 2021 – the essential difference between libertarianism and other political philosophies.
  • Plato on How Democracy Degenerates into Tyranny – Nov. 23, 2021 – a reflection on Plato's argument in The Republic. I also look at how Plato's thought relates to historical events. This was written for a philosophy course I took in university.
  • Freedom is a State of Mind – Jan. 5. 2022 – while people may fulminate over politics, true freedom does not depend on politics at all. You're as free as you decide to be.
  • In Praise of Political Apathy – Jan. 5, 2022 – some people decry political apathy and some countries even have mandatory voting laws. But I argue that political apathy is good. Politically apathetic people are not the sort of busybody that wants to try and run your life.

Short Stories

  • The Proposal – Oct. 21, 2021 – a comedic love story in the age of Covid.
  • A Sadistic Tale – Oct. 21, 2021 – a chilling story for Halloween. Jack gets kidnapped and sold into the service of a sadistic woman with a knife.
  • Milady de Winter's Ghost – Oct. 29, 2021 – a short horror story written for Vocal's Foggy Waters Challenge. More horrific than the story itself is that it didn't win!
  • What Happens in Paris... – Oct. 29, 2021 – a newly-wed couple on their honeymoon in Paris encounter two naked strangers. Again and again. Was this an accident? An elaborate joke?
  • Blockhead! Nah! Too cryptic. The Blocked Head. Better. – Nov. 2, 2021 – a story about writer's block.
  • The Chin-up Man – Nov. 4, 2021 –a short story about a man jailed for violating Covid restrictions. He is a civil rights lawyer opposed to the heavy-handedness of the state. And he believes his fellow prisoners will rally around his cause. But will they? A philosophical short story.
  • The Skunk – Nov. 5, 2021 – in this short story about prejudice, a young boy learns the value of thinking for himself rather than following the mob.
  • The Procrastinator – Nov. 6, 2021 – a short story about how procrastination can be the death of you.
  • My Favorite ___________ – Nov. 9, 2021 – a farcical short story about a sandwich-making competition. I wrote this as an exercise in a short story writing course in university where we had to write in three different voices. The three competitors in the competition are a mousy university student, a livewire podcaster and Friends fan, and a philosophy professor modeled after Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper. A zany romp.
  • Misfits – Nov. 9, 2021 – this short story was inspired by a song and tells about two lonely people at a party who just don't fit in with the preppy crowd. Can you guess the song?
  • Who Dunnit? – Nov. 18, 2021 – this is a short story about a missing cellphone. Did he misplace it? Was it stolen? And what's with these mysterious clues that keep popping up?

Travel

  • Singapore: Clean, Green and Safe – Oct. 22, 2021 – an overview of Singapore. If you've never been there, I can tell you it is a fabulous place to visit. One of our favorite vacations. Lots of photos too!
  • The Joy of Cruising – Nov. 29, 2021 – an overview of what it's like to take a cruise. Compares modern cruise ships to the opulence of the Titanic, except more so and safer.
  • When a Man's Home Really IS his Castle – Dec. 6, 2021 – a guided tour of Victoria's Craigdarroch Castle built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir from 1887-1890.
  • The Largest Railroad Trestle in the British Empire – Dec. 12, 2021 – and it's in British Columbia. The trestle was part of the CN Rail line serving the timber industry on Vancouver Island and is today an historic landmark and tourist attraction.
  • A Quaint Mill Town on the Sunshine Coast – Dec. 13, 2021 – a visit to picturesque Powell River, B.C. This mill town has a fascinating history which the town has kept alive. This includes the oldest continuously operating movie theatre in Canada.

Science
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About the Creator

Marco den Ouden

Marco is the published author of two books on investing in the stock market. Since retiring in 2014 after forty years in broadcast journalism, Marco has become an avid blogger on philosophy, travel, and music He also writes short stories.

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