Taking Old-Time Baseball Literally

On a day when our own beloved Tom McDonald highlights (and then waxes most interestingly upon) yesterday’s borderline unbelievable historical discovery, I’ve got my own little historical tidbit to share: They found an old baseball. Really, really old. During the War Between the States, the game was played on the battlefields and even in wartime prison camps. Baseball was, after all, portable, and [Read More…]

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Righting One of Oscar’s Greatest Wrongs

View image | gettyimages.com Thanks to the Variety series on this year’s Oscar-nominated cinematographers, I am reminded of one of my cinematic life’s most painful, inexplicable truths: Roger Deakins has never won an Oscar. As someone who has seen none of the 2012 films in question, I can’t speak to Deakins’ worthiness in this particular contest. [Read More…]

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Living More With a Whole Lot Less

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…]

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“Liberty Valance” and the Obligations of Progress

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching and then discussing John Ford’s inestimable The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with a group of college students. By the end of the evening, the film had further cemented its position as My Favorite Ford not simply because of its technical and cinematic excellence — has [Read More…]

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When Winning Is Everything

In the wake — or, I fear, in the eye — of this week’s mind-boggling sports storm, Iván Fernández Anaya’s story was exactly what I needed to see (HT: Dreher and Mills): As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the [Read More…]

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The Overview Effect

View image | gettyimages.com “When we look down at the Earth from space we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet – it looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile.” – Ron Garan Despite the fabulously futuristic  (and costly) efforts of Richard Branson and Friends,  the Overview [Read More…]

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Bruised Once More ‘Gainst the Wood of the Cross

They scarcely waked before they slept, They scarcely wept before they laughed; They drank indeed death’s bitter draught, But all its bitterest dregs were kept And drained by Mothers while they wept. — Christina Rossetti I’ve been at this Cradle Catholic gig for nearly 35 years, so you’d think I’d have learned a thing or two [Read More…]

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Music and Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

It’s one of those “Fourth Week, we hardly knew ye” years, where Week Four of Advent feels more like a vestigial than a full-blown liturgical event. But two days is more than enough to highlight some of the memorable melodic edifices built upon today’s introit: “Rorate Coeli Desuper.” Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur [Read More…]

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Peter Jackson Misses the Point

This past weekend, I joined millions of moviegoers around the globe in what will doubtless become a Christmas tradition (whether we like it or not): I Hobbited. Having now experienced Peter Jackson’s latest extravaganza for myself, I can safely say that I have very little to add to the critical consensus. The film features many of the visual and [Read More…]

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A Little Knüppel Music

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…]

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