“A Condition of Complete Simplicity” from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”

The Agony in the Garden circa 1799-1800 by William Blake 1757-1827

I can’t remember how this came to pass, but over the past few days, I’ve found myself listening a great deal to T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” And especially listening to the performance of “Little Gidding” by Paul Scofield (that can be found on YouTube). Now, as I’ve listened to Eliot off and on through the years, I’ve come to [Read More...]

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The Himalayas from 20,000 Feet



Stunningly clear, mind-blowingly beautiful imagery from some of the world’s highest mountains. (“HD and Full-Screen?” you ask. “Why are you even asking me that question?” I respond. Nicely, of course. But seriously.) “The aerial cinema experts at Teton Gravity Research release the first ultra HD footage of the Himalayas shot from above 20,000 ft. with the GSS C520 system, [Read More...]

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Identifying the Seeds of My Childhood (Literally)

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When I was a little kid, wandering through the empty fields down the road from my parents’ house, there were two plants (in particular) that always fascinated me when I ran across them. One was a long, pointy pod that I used to pull apart until it looked like an open mouth. And the other was [Read More...]

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Sir David Attenborough, Harmless Lunatic

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View image | gettyimages.com Here in the U.S., we have “Shark Week.” In the U.K., they have “Attenborough Week.” Well, they had one, anyway. Last April. To celebrate “the 60 years of amazing Natural History created by Sir David Attenborough.” And as a long-time fan of the man and his work — always interesting, even [Read More...]

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Seeing the Familiar in a New Light: Denise Bossert’s “Gifts of the Visitation”

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Devotion to the Blessed Virgin has never come to me naturally. I knew the reasons for such devotion, the rightness of it, even the necessity for it.  My parents prayed the rosary with us almost nightly, and my father’s visceral, Irish faith was never more obvious than when he spoke of “Our Mother”.  But as [Read More...]

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Using the Next Five Seconds to Make Your Internet World a Bit More Beautiful

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I spend a lot of time on the InterWebs. A frightening amount of time, really. And the vast majority of that time — almost 100% — is spent in Chrome. With somewhere between 100 and 1,000,000 tabs open at once. (I’m exaggerating. But only slightly.) Yes, it can be a bit mind-numbing. (Or in my case, “mind”-numbing.) [Read More...]

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An Uncomfortably Challenging Quote from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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I can’t remember when I first stumbled across this quote, or how. It’s from his Gulag Archipelago, I think. And it’s been sort of bothering me ever since I read it. (Not because I disagree with it, but because I think it’s right. And because it’s hard.) “If only it were all so simple! If only there [Read More...]

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Vietnamese Cave + DJI Phantom 2 Drone = Stunning Video

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Full-Screen and HD and take it away! Stunning. The location is Hang Sơn Đoòng (“Mountain River Cave”) in Vietnam, and the short’s creator is Ryan Deboodt. And with a bit of help from Laughing Squid, the two of ‘em pretty much made my Sunday. Attribution(s): “Generic Vietnamese Cave” provided by Shutterstock. Although it’s hard to call anything as [Read More...]

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Each Piano, A Masterpiece

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For some strange reason (connected to reworking their podcast delivery system, I think), the folks at NPR Control sent me a sort-of-random podcast this week. From something they did back in 2011. Something from the folks at Morning Edition called “Musical Innovation: A Grander Grand Piano.” Best mistake ever. Most pianos have 88 keys. And most great [Read More...]

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Saying “Good-Bye” to Sherlock Holmes

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Stand with me here upon the terrace, for it may be the last quiet talk that we shall ever have. A friend who knows that I’m a) just a bit of a movie fan(atic), and b) that I’m almost as much of a fan(atic) when it comes to Sherlock Holmes, recently asked for my thoughts on the [Read More...]

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