The Day I Was Glad To See Keith Olbermann


Keith Olbermann doesn’t get a lot of love in my corner of the InterWebs. That’s not a surprise, really. My circles are mostly Right-leaning, Keith has a highly abrasive-style and a not-insignificant ego, and many of my friends are of an age where they’re more familiar with Olbermann’s politics than with his sportscasting career. (That 1989 mustache [Read More...]

One Big, Happy Family Again. Almost.


My wife and kids are headed back from Washington today. Tomorrow, my long, dark night of temporary bachelorhood will come to an end. I’m outwardly calm: But on the inside, it feels a lot more like this: Being by myself was amusing for a day or two. But after that novelty wore off, the house [Read More...]

The Most Astonishing Picture I Saw Last Year


That’s not a picture of folks leaving the Green Bay Packers game this past weekend, or of my Chicago-area friends traveling to-and-from work over the past few days. That’s the Hillary Step. On Everest. You heard me. Mount Everest. Highest of heights. One of the most prestigious (and simultaneously most infamous) climbing destinations in the world. And [Read More...]

Thieving Mozart


First, listen to this opening: Then, listen to this one: That first clip is the Introitus from Mozart’s Requiem, composed in 1791. And the second is Handel’s “The Ways of Zion Do Mourn.” From 1737. Hear anything you recognize? There are a few connecting notes that appear in the first and not the second, and a [Read More...]

Farewell, Frédéric Back


On Christmas Eve, as I traveled West for the hol(i/y)days, the world of animation lost one of its legendary “elder statesmen:” Canada’s own Frédéric Back, a two-time Oscar winner, and creator of the famous animated short, The Man Who Planted Trees. From the LA Times obit: Frédéric Back, 89, who won two Oscars for his poignant [Read More...]

Merry Christmas!


In honor of today’s joyous occasion, one of my all-time favorite carols, lovingly performed by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge: If you’re searching for some appropriate music for the day, you could do a lot worse than the Choir’s YouTube channel, which features numerous instances of their famous “Carols from King’s” program. Set one [Read More...]

Neil Gaiman, Charles Dickens, and a Bit of Christmas Cheer


It’s going to be a bit slow here at Summa This, Summa That in the coming days, both because my Christmas travels begins today, and because Christmas with a passel of youngish boys leaves almost no time for blogging (or breathing, really). But I am not leaving you entirely bereft. Here’s a little Christmasy something to [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Your Name, Sir?” Edition


This is hilarious. So hilarious that no commentary is …you know…necessary. Just watch. Best part about that sketch? The fact that it lead me to this clip, which almost made me stop breathing. And that it reminded me of this clip, which remains one of my favorite “There’s no way I was expecting him to be [Read More...]

A Marvel-ous Use of Negative Space


Here’s yet another bit of evidence to support my contention that artists see the world differently than I do. (OK, so I probably see the world differently for a whole host of reasons, and this is one of the most minor. But let’s not focus on that unsettling reality at the moment. Let’s just roll [Read More...]

Whitacre’s “Enjoy the Silence”


Stumbled across this musical oddity a few weeks ago: Eric Whitacre’s setting of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Seems like a bit of an odd fit, but apparently they (and especially this song) were significantly influential on him during his teen years. “The anthem of my youth,” he calls it. I myself find it particularly [Read More...]