Why does Artificial Intelligence seem so stupid?

By Fay Jacobs  |  Illustration by Rob Waters
From the Holiday 2018 issue

Flotsam-Fay-toon-nov-2018

Artificial Intelligence, which is supposed to make our lives easier, is actually making them harder. I can’t explain this conundrum except to say that machines are so smart these days they’ve conspired to make us do their work. Take my groceries. Please.

Wine experts offer tips for bringing good cheer to your gatherings

By Pam George  |  Photograph by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the Holiday 2018 issue

culinary-coast

For many people, choosing a menu for a holiday gathering is easy. Most families have a list of traditional dishes. If home cooks decide to go rogue, they can find recipes on websites and in magazines. Selecting the libations, however, can be challenging. Do you serve only white wine with turkey? Is sparkling wine as good as Champagne? Fortunately, coastal Delaware has plenty of experts willing to share some tips.

Three Questions for a Christmas Tree Farmer

By Bill Newcott
From the Holiday 2018 issue

3-questions

Christmas trees have been a growing concern for Jim and Lorna Landis since they planted their first firs at Landis Tree Farm near Harbeson in 1991 — and even longer for Lorna, whose grandfather and father both cut and sold trees. Jim, who’s retired from the insurance business (Lorna is a former banker) takes care of the day-to-day business of tree farming from the couple’s rambling house, overlooking 21 acres of evergreens.

Q: Has anyone ever come around looking for a scraggly “Charlie Brown tree”? Yes! We’ve had people come in here looking just for a little tree, one that we’ve probably just planted, that you wouldn’t think could hold a single ornament.

A: We’ve got about 11,000 trees right now, so I guess there’s something for everybody. A few years ago we sold a tree that was 20 to 23 feet tall. For a guy’s living room! People are surprised to learn that Christmas trees don’t naturally have that nice conical shape. They have to be sheared. My wife and I shear the pines and my son comes in and shears the fir trees. He’s got a pair of stilts he wears to get up to the high spots. The thing about growing Christmas trees is, you’ve got to be doing something every month of the year — shearing, irrigating, planting, whatever.