An Astonishing Picture

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This gives me chills: the first pope and the current pope. Pope Francis holds a casket with the pitiful remains of St. Peter. Almost the entire scope of the Church’s history captured in a single image. Astonishing, moving, powerful. What must have Francis been thinking at that moment? [Read more...]

Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale [Review]

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After I put up this post, a reader* was kind enough buy me a six pack (thanks!), so I decided on a new rule: you buy ‘em, I’ll review ‘em. I’d been wanting to try the Ales of the Revolution series from Yards Brewing Company, a local brewer from Philadelphia. They make Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern [Read More...]

Hear Leonardo’s Incredible Music Machine for the First Time

Leonardo da Vinci sketched, but never built, this mechanical marvel, blending elements of harpsichord and viola to create something so far ahead of its time it was never built. Until now: Called a “viola organista”’ and looking like a steampunk baby grand, it’s been built by a Polish pianist and mechanic named Slawomir Zubrzycki. As [Read More...]

You Should Be Watching “Arrow”

I’ve been enjoying the Marvel movie renaissance as much as the next geek, but I’m a DC guy and proud of it. DC has had renaissance of its own that far exceeds Marvel’s, albeit on the small screen. Thanks to the sure hands of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, they have created the most fully realized [Read More...]

That Lincoln Music: The Language of Gettysburg

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Shelby Foote called that almost mystical power Lincoln had with words “the Lincoln music,” and that’s exactly right. There are words of Lincoln I have returned to hundreds of times because their character–poetic, chantlike, entrancing, powerful–is so overwhelming. It has some of the character of Whitman, but with an oratorical mastery, compression, and skill that [Read More...]

Jonestown: 35 Years Ago Today

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In writing about Kennedy assassination nostalgia today, I mentioned my own “loss of innocence” moment at the hands of a national tragedy: the murders and mass suicides of Jonestown. Every person eventually comes to understand the great evil at large in the world from some tragedy that consumes and convulses the nation’s media. Mine was [Read More...]

Kennedy, Boomerism, and the Power of Media

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Mark Shea had this to say on the cyclical paroxysm of Kennedy nostalgia that Gen Xers such as myself have had to endure every November for our entire lives: Baby Boomers, being the incredibly self-absorbed people we are, are *still* dominating national discourse for the entire month of November with our conviction that an emotionally [Read More...]

Evelyn Waugh’s Blood Book

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Dubbed “The Victorian Blood Book,” this unusual album was found in the collection of Waugh, who was a collector of Victoriana. The book includes 41 pages of religious decoupage/collage work tinted with blood-red ink. It includes extensive religious commentary, and depicts the struggles of faith and life and the ultimate victory of Christ. Here’s how [Read More...]


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