Nicol Williamson and the Definitive Hobbit


Last December, I was discouraged by Peter Jackson. This December, I am discouraged by Steven Greydanus’ suggestion that I will probably still be discouraged by Peter Jackson. So, I’m doing what any reasonable person does when confronted by the specter of such bitter, Hobbit-themed disappointment: I’m listening to Nicol Williamson! Take it away, Internet Archive: [Read More...]

The Benefits of Reading for (and to) Others

David, Somewhat Skeptical of This "O. Henry" Dude

Confucius once said “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day… …but teach him to read, and he’ll be able to keep his little brothers occupied for hours.” Or something like that. And it’s absolutely true. In my house, we don’t have Readers and Non-Readers; we have Genuine Readers and Readers Who Read [Read More...]

Curing My Canon Fatigue


Pachelbel’s Canon in D is one of those pieces that a) is truly great, and b) I can barely listen to any more because ALL THE CLASSICAL COMPILATION CDS! “Classical One-Hit Wonders” are fairly common, but Johann’s in a category all his own; “ubiquitous” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Search for “Pachelbel” on Amazon, and [Read More...]

Nature Turns Black Friday on Its Head


November 29th was Black Friday – a day of annual (and increasing) infamy. But it was also a day featuring a rare and breathtaking natural phenomenon: Temperature Inversion at the Grand Canyon. The DailyMail(UK) described it thusly: According to the national park’s Facebook page, the fog was caused by something called a ‘temperature inversion’. This happens when [Read More...]

Advent Adventures with “The Blue Umbrella”


One of my favorite scenes from Gettysburg is that moment ’round the campfire when General James Kemper responds to his commanding officer, General George Pickett, with one of the greatest back-handed compliments of all time: “I gotta hand it to you George. You certainly do have a talent for trivializing the momentous and complicating the obvious. You ever considered [Read More...]

A Word of Warning


For those amateur chemists out there who might be tempted to mix NH4Cr2O7 with HgSCN some time in the near future, just …don’t. Because WAIT FOR IT… That’s about the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Or the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t quite decide which response is uppermost in my mind as I watch [Read More...]

50 Years of Whovian Title Sequences


I’m probably heading off into the rarefied, brain-addling air of the nerdosphere with this one, but I just can’t help myself. This post on the 50-year-old-yet-ever-evolving institution that is the Doctor Who title sequence combines two of my all-time favorite nerd-things: Title Sequences. And “Doctor Who.” (OK, yes. That title was a bit literal. It’s Monday.) The pilot [Read More...]

A Blessed Thanksgiving to One and All


‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain’d, To bow and to bend we shan’t be [Read More...]

Marc Breaux, RIP


You may not know Marc Breaux by name. But you probably know his work. He’s the guy behind this: And this: And this: And (perhaps most memorably) this: A long-time and renowned choreographer, Mr. Breaux passed away last week at the age of 89. And while I must shamefacedly admit that I probably wouldn’t have [Read More...]

Music for the Octave of St. Cecilia


I realize that I’m a day (or two …or three) late. But I’d like to make the auditory case for not being a dollar (or two …or three) short. Or as my father always used to put it, “I’m late, but I’m sincere.” Listen to this playlist. And this one (which takes about 20 seconds to get rolling). [Read More...]