Ellis Peter’s The Piper on the Mountain


The fifth novel in the Felse mystery series features Dominic alone, without any assistance from his father George. It also features something quite different from the first four novels in the series--- a mystery set in Slovakia! Writers of course, if they are wise, are supposed to write what they know, and if you haven't done your homework, you might be forgiven for thinking Ellis Peters had violated this rule in this novel. But she didn't. In 1947 Peters, whose real name was Edith Pargeter, … [Read more...]

BJ at MSG— What a Grand (Piano) Night


I was in NY this past weekend to film for six CNN shows, the second season of Finding Jesus, and in the evenings I had free time. The weather was fabulous, and I was staying in Manhattan at the Hotel Chandler, so I could walk everywhere, including on Saturday night to Madison Square Garden, to see NY's native son, Billy Joel, a lad from Oyster Bay Long Island. I've always loved his music, right from the beginning in 1970-71. Piano Man became his signature song, and what he was called in the … [Read more...]

Now That’s What I Call Wedding Joy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Pn-YFOb5Q … [Read more...]

Oh What a Relief it Is!: Greco-Roman Art at the Art Institute– Part Two


No matter how much time one spends at Pompeii or Herculaneum or the slope houses in Ephesus, one is always impressed with the artistic skill of those who decorated the walls and halls of ancient Roman villas, for example look at the stucco reliefs from one such house above. The artists tended to go for safe mythological motifs, notice the griffin in one of the reliefs above, which assumed everyone knew these stories from Greek mythology and Homer. It is rather like when parents today put up … [Read more...]

The Irascible Erasmus?


(this is the famous portrait by Hans Holbein of the great humanist scholar)Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) of Rotterdam was anything but irascible. He was mild-mannered, loyal to his Catholic Church to the end of his life, and kept his distance from the likes of Luther. He remains important to us today especially because of his Greek NT (1515 first ed. 1522 2nd ed.), which became the main basis other than earlier English translations such as Tyndale's for the King James translation. … [Read more...]

The Happy Together Tour 2015


You know you're getting old when the bands you go to see have members in it which are all older than me (a spritely 63). Some have joked that the Happy Together Tour could be called the AARP Tour, as it consists in bands that were formed between about 1965 and 1968, and no later. I'm talking about the Buckinghams, the Cowsills, the Grassroots, the Association, Mark Lindsey of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Turtles. All of those bands had huge hits (the Cowsills the fewest), and some, … [Read more...]

The Honest Truth


Have you noticed there is a difference between honesty and truth? A person can be as honest as the day is long, saying exactly what he believes to be true, and yet not tell the truth. Our culture has been suffering from truth decay for a long time, and a good deal of the talk about honesty and transparency has replaced a concern for truth in many quarters. Let me explain what I mean.There are devout Christians who honestly believe the world is only about 6,000 years old, and that humans … [Read more...]

A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs– Felse no. 4


When Ellis Peters gets on a roll, she gets on a roll. Fresh off of the third novel in the Inspector Felse series ('The Flight of the Witch', see previous review) she decided that a pirate adventure in beautiful Cornwall, during the late summer holiday season was a perfect setting for a murder tale. And she was right. First published in 1965, (and with a different title in the U.S., namely the boring 'Who Lies Here?') the author was still a good twelve years off from starting her epic Cadfael … [Read more...]

The Greco-Roman Collection at the Art Institute


There is a very good collection of Greco-Roman remains, housed in several rooms on the first floor of the Art Institute in Chicago. It is not as extensive a collection as that in the Met in NY, but still it has some high quality pieces. Let's start with the lovely map the Institute provides for the Biblical world....For students of the Bible there are some helpful and important artifacts in this museum. For example, take this bust of a high status woman with the beehive hairdo that Paul … [Read more...]