When Sports Worlds Collide

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View image | gettyimages.com Over the past year or so, I’ve become quite a cricket fan. I’m firmly ensconced in amateur territory, of course — a fact that will probably never change — but I’m having a blast all the same. It’s a crazy, crazy game. (Also, yes. I was watching it before I got [Read More...]

Tomaso Albinoni and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad “One-Hit Wonder” Moniker

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For years, I’ve been fascinated by Tomaso Albinoni, the Baroque composer whose presence in the public “eye” is tied almost exclusively to a single piece: the bleak and ubiquitous Adagio in G minor, which he didn’t really even write. In 1945, Remo Giazotto, a Milanese musicologist traveled to Dresden to complete his biography of Albinoni and his [Read More...]

Wait. Are These Weeks Coming Two at a Time Now?

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OK, so that’s a rhetorical question. But I can’t always tell… Take the last seven days in the Susanka household, for example. There was enough snow to warrant the cancellation of Son #2′s  and Son #3′s Little League practice. …and enough sun that they ended up practicing twice before they were through. I (happily, but time-consumingly) took part in [Read More...]

“Howlin’ Ukuleles, Batman!”

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This VOX Ukulele commercial is a ton of fun — partially because of the music, partially because of the performer, and partially because “UKULELES!” May it brighten your Tuesday as much as it has brightened mine.The fellow doing the pickin’ is Jack Mauro – the same guy who wrote and performs the song. And he’s got [Read More...]

Rest in Peace, Roger

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View image | gettyimages.com Renowned and beloved film critic Roger Ebert passed away today after a long battle with cancer. From his long-time employers and friend at the Chicago Sun-Times: My newspaper job,” he said in 2005, “is my identity.” But as always with Roger Ebert, that was being too modest. He was a rennaissance man whose [Read More...]

Flannery O’Connor In Her Own Words

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It’s the birthday of the world’s foremost Hillbilly Thomist, Flannery O’Connor. She’d have been 88 today had she not been taken from us, all untimely-like. In honor of the occasion, here’s a recording of Miss O’Connor reading a somewhat-truncated version of her own essay, “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction” — a piece [Read More...]

Living More With a Whole Lot Less

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While browsing through Vimeo’s “Staff Picks” a few days ago, I happened across the following highly improbable phrase, instantly deserving of inclusion in my “Humans Are Endlessly Interesting” file (which seems perpetually filled to bursting): Richard is the fascinating story of a travelling piano tuner who chooses to live outdoors. I’ve always loved piano tuners. [Read More...]

A Little Knüppel Music

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A friend of mine, well-aware of my love for both classical music and the bizarre, recently passed along this fantastic YouTube video. It’s a fellow performing Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in F minor (K.386) on a Chapman Stick. My first reaction (and I quote): “What the heck is that thing?” Described by its living creator — how [Read More...]

The Pageless, Pagetless Sherlock

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As readers of my “Lens” columns may remember, I am a devout Holmesian. I am also a proud iPad owner, and I love free things. (Yes, I’m American.) Yet I find myself strangely unsettled by today’s “Open Culture” post: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Now Free on the Kindle: It’s surely worth giving you the quick heads up that, [Read More...]


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