Time does not change us. It just unfolds us. – Max Frisch
And so the time has come for another change in the way I do things. This one is not so much an alteration as an unfolding; it’s a continuation of a process which has been going on practically since the beginning of this blog. When I first realized that there were far too many news items to possibly write full essays about, I instituted update and miscellanea columns; within a few months these were appearing once per month each, and contained anywhere from three to a half-dozen items each. But time marched on and my news-gathering procedures improved, and soon both the miscellanea and the updates were multi-part affairs; clearly a change was needed, so I started publishing the news weekly, and “That Was the Week That Was” was born. The feature has continued for three years now, but it’s beginning to show signs of strain, and is therefore in need of refurbishment. For one thing, each installment carries so many items (often over 20) that I find readers are beginning to miss some of them; for another, my greatly-expanded travel schedule has made it quite difficult to get the columns done on time while I’m on the road (#447 was finally done a mere 45 minutes before it was scheduled to post). And so, the unfolding process must continue; as the news went from a monthly feature to a several-times-monthly feature to a weekly feature to a huge weekly feature with several supplemental ones per year, so now it must become a semi-weekly feature. As of the beginning of the new year, there will be two news columns per week, Wednesday and Saturday; the current Wednesday feature, reader questions, will now appear on Thursday instead. This new arrangement has several advantages: it will make the columns shorter, causing less information overload for readers; it will allow me to feature breaking items in a more timely fashion; it will save me time, since the work that once created one column will now create two; and it will make it much easier for me to get the columns done on time, since their lengths will be more flexible. Obviously, I can’t call a twice-weekly feature “That Was the Week That Was” any more, so from here on out it will be named “In the News”; the numbering system will continue, because with four columns pre-empted by holidays per year that gives me exactly 100 columns per year. Some of you may not like the new system (with its concomitant loss of 48 full-length essays a year), but I think most of you will. And less work for me means both more time for extra-blog writing and activism, plus more time for myself and my loved ones; given that some of you have been nagging me about that subject for years, I think you’ll agree it’s a good thing.