(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… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

Some people have far too much money and time on their hands (think the Donald, for example). One of the wealthy residents of Chicago was into miniatures, exact replica miniatures, rather like being into expensive doll houses with all equipment included. And so it was that Mrs. Thorne had created something remarkable, which is now housed in the basement of the Art Institute. The description on the website says the following….. “The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse… Read more

Perhaps you have seen some variant of the following altered commercial about pigs flying… But I have something far better than this sort of gimmicky mock up. I have actual pictorial proof that pigs can fly. One of the less well know stories about Neal Armstrong was what he insisted on taking with him to the moon, namely his pet pig, being the good Midwestern farm lad that he was. The problem was that NASA was not to know about… Read more

When I think of the United Center, I think of the ‘madhouse on Madison’ where Michael and the Jordanaires won six NBA championships. It is of course Michael (my homeboy from Wilmington N.C. and a grad of UNC) whose statue stands parked at the entrance to the United Center. But on this night in August there was no basketball, for the circus had come to town. As it turns out, the circus was not in the United Center, but just… Read more

In our visit to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Degas exhibit (on which see the subsequent post on the Impressionists), there was within this exhibit a famous statue by Rodin, my favorite sculptor of the 20th century. In this statue, Rodin captures the shame and desire to hide one’s nakedness perfectly, right after the act of disobedience which led not merely to self-awareness, but self-centeredness, self-protective behavior, narcissism. Sometime ago, I wrote a poem about the Fall… Read more

So we went to visit our Russian gal Yuliya in Chicago, and amazingly enough the weather co-operated. It was not beastly hot, even though it was August. There is a blue theme to this particular post, which includes our visit to Wrigley Field to pull for the Cubs, and also our visit to Briar Theatre to see the ‘men in blue’ by which I do not mean the Chicago police. First a shot of Chicago from the south side, where… Read more

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