Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Fourth St Valentine Malchkeoun ;-)

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
-St Francis of Assisi.

Great teachers, Like Mrs Chamilova or Dr Cope or James Cumes, can’t be identified in any reliable, objective way. They have a gift: some mystical quality we revere but can’t replicate.
For years, the secrets to great teaching have seemed more like alchemy than science, a mix of motivational mumbo jumbo and misty-eyed tales of inspiration and dedication. But for more than a decade, one organization has been tracking hundreds of thousands of kids, and looking at why some teachers can move them three grade levels ahead in a year and others can’t. Bohemian Alchemy

Media Dragons: You know people have tried to put us off as being crazy Literary magazines were once launching pads for great
Literary magazines were once launching pads for great writers and big ideas. Is it time to write them off? VQR editor Ted Genoways wonders...

It is impossible to write about such a book as Best European Fiction 2010 without also writing about America's disinterest in such a book. American literary culture is insular? Oh, yeah? Are Czechs all that taken by fiction coming out of Denmark? Do Latvians groove on Philippine poetry?
With Eric Rohmer, as with Mozart, Austen, James, and Proust, art was not just about life. It was about discovery and design and reasoning with chaos. TO those of us who have seen all of Eric Rohmer’s films it is impossible not to remember when, where, with whom we saw each one. I even remember the second and third time I saw his films. “My Night at Maud’s,” “Claire’s Knee,” “Chloe in the Afternoon” are grafted onto my life. Something happened between me and these films at the Thalia, at the Brattle, at the old Cinémathèque, or at the old Olympia Theater on the Upper West Side. But I can no longer isolate what that something is. I don’t even care to know what was exclusively Eric Rohmer’s and what was mine, what he was ever so cautious to convey and what I most likely misunderstood completely. The mix, as sometimes happens, becomes the work of art.

Once [Emotions trump rules. This is why, when we speak of moral role models, we think of their hearts, not their brains. Frans de Waal explains Empathy's not a uniquely human trait, explains primatologist Frans de Waal. Apes and other animals feel it as well, suggesting that empathy is truly an essential part of who we are The Evolution of Empathy ; Russians can go nutty when it comes to dogs. In Moscow, stray dogs, like Bessie in Austria, have recovered their genetic wolf roots. They have also learned how to board subways and where to step off. All by themselves... Russians can go nutty when it comes to dogs named Bessie or Bestia ]
• · With morality, we build a castle in the air and then live in it. It has no objective foundation, but it is a real castle You can say the same of money.; Irving Thalberg knew he was fated to an early death. This made him impatient with mediocrity and ambitious for success in his limited time Mortality
• · · Teenage peasant girls in the Middle Ages did have occasional religious visions. Few went on, like Joan of Arc, to lead armies. ...Joan of Arc belongs to that select club of historical figures (Shakespeare, Napoleon, Lincoln, Churchill) who are so endlessly fascinating that new biographies appear on a virtually annual basis. And this is to say nothing of endless literary and artistic portrayals—in Joan’s case, by everyone from Shakespeare to Shaw to The Simpsons. ; Was Joseph a drag queen with his “coat of many colors”? Did Ishmael molest Isaac? Maybe not, but the Bible is more risqué than many would prefer “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He took the bone of Adam’s penis and made him a woman.” ... Er, wait, wasn’t it from one of Adam’s ribs that Eve was created? Not according to Ziony Zevit. A professor of Semitic languages at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles Zevit posits that the Hebrew word tsela (literally “side,” but traditionally translated as “rib”) employed in Genesis refers in fact to Adam’s member. Adam’s Family Jewels
• · · · With wine, “as with women and horses, the real best is second best.” Wine lover Roger Scruton apparently means it, too... Wine Lovers; You know people have tried to put me off as being crazy. Thelonious Monk was only too willing to use the notion to his advantage. "Sometimes it's to your advantage for people to think you're crazy." He ought to have known. Monk was one of only a few jazz musicians to appear on the cover of Time magazine (others include Louis Armstrong, , Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis) and was celebrated as a genius by everyone who mattered Dave Brubeck
• · · · · I’m a misfit,” David Gelernter says. Yes, and a fiercely independent one, like his hero, the visionary prophet, William Blake Can you know something you don't know you know? I’m a misfit,” ; Slovak born Andy Warhol is everywhere. He’s in Europe. He’s in Asia. He’s quoted in papers every day. He has energy still. He’s just, you know, still alive.. Who Fears a Free Mikhail Khodorkovsky? Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s fate stands as a warning, not only to Russians, but to the West. Why is the Kremlin so afraid to see him set free?...
• · · · · · When Rilke died of leukemia, he did not want to know the name of his disease. For him, all that was worth knowing was in his poems... Leukemia ; Paybacks