In Kezmarok and Vrbov there is a reference to an Irish based confirmation name so may the green and taxing colours fly everywhere on St Patrick's Day. St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, may well have been a tax collector for the Romans who fled to Ireland where he could have traded slaves to pay his way, according to new research by a University of Cambridge academic published on Saturday.
'Life is trouble,' Zorba continued. 'Death, no. To live--do you know what that means? To undo your belt and look for trouble!'
-Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek
How does a fatalistic, damaged man cope after surviving a massacre? By embracing satire, and flashing a smirk at the absurd... Black & Cold Irony of life
Middle age has its cold consolations, one of which is the knowledge that you're not nearly as important as you thought you were, or hoped someday to become. I used to save copies of everything I wrote
High Tatra Mountains, once a byword for soviet ski sanitarium, has been transformed into a welcoming tourist destination. The section on High Tatra Mountains in my local bookshop Berkelouw in Sydney is not promising, not even Ariel is able to oblige. Other countries offer travelogues with evocative titles – Italy, for example, has Under the Tuscan Sun, Spain has Driving over Lemons and France has Return to the Olive Farm. Old Czechoslovakia, by contrast, has My Cold War River, The Trial (Der Prozess), The Castle (Das Schloss), Amerika and The Metamorphosis . All of which have rather less of a holiday feel to them. The only certainty in some parts of the old Czechoslovakia is the way words are formed entirely or mostly of consonants, such as the term for the certainty in life Death which SMRT.
Soeaking of death, If I were dying, my last words would be: Have faith and pursue the unknown end.
Slov-what-ia? Aren’t they at war? Ok, so wee, peaceful Slovakia isn’t among the most-touted destinations. Big mistake. Here, you can climb alpine peaks in East Slovakia like the High Tatras, explore a clifftop castle in Trenčín, ski in Malá Fatra National Park and sit in as many old-town cafés as your rear can stand in Bratislava. Having emerged from its frumpy, communist-era chrysalis in time to welcome a horde of low-cost carrier junkies, the increasing numbers of flights and EU membership have pushed costs up in the capital. Outside the city and you’ll find traditional villages, terrific trails and prices a fraction of those in Western Europe. The High Tatras is the highest mountain range in Central Europe outside of the Alps. There is also a high density of bears in the region. The Tatra is also the name of a Czech vehicle manufacturer
-Lonely Czech Mates
Friends read all about Freud Born and Bread along the banks of Morava River
Want to understand the states of the former Soviet Union? Scrap political science and get acquainted with Gogol, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky... and Imrich, the “broken-windows” theorist
Extreme skiing: Quelle catastrophe! In High Tatra witches too came to dance and play their pranks
The Tatras are the highest part of the Carpathian range of mountains that sweep through Central Europe. They run for 53km along the boundary between Poland and Slovakia, although the majority of the range is in Slovakia. The Tatras are not that high and only cover a relatively small area, but in terms of the beauty and diversity of the landscape, they are hard to beat...
In a letter to a friend, Windham spoke of sheer drops “terrible enough to make most people’s heads turn”, of bottomless crevasses, ice blocks “as big as houses”, and of witches who came to dance and “play their pranks” on the ice.
That letter, and its evocation of a landscape that was thrilling and threatening in equal measure, helped change our relationship with the mountains for ever. When published in London, it sparked a fascination with the Alps and made them an essential stop on the Grand Tour. Soon, artists and poets, including Byron, Wordsworth and Goethe, were flocking to Chamonix. Mary Shelley was so impressed by the Mer de Glace she used it as the “awful and majestic” location where Frankenstein meets his monster. Her husband Percy described the edge of the Bossons glacier as “the most vivid image of desolation that it is possible to conceive”. In his poem “Mont Blanc”, he looked up past the glaciers, creeping “like snakes that watch their prey”, to their source in the high peaks, a “city of death, distinct with many a tower, and wall impregnable of beaming ice”.
• Ice of Tatras is a world unto itself - Upon death, Christopher Hitchens was greeted by Orwell. Hitchens didn’t believe his eyes. “This is all a delusion, my dear boy,” Orwell told him, “but enjoy it while you can”... 'I know myself,' he cried, 'but that is all.' [The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. The debate about promoting democracy should be a practical one, so here’s the practical reality: Policy makers and scholars don’t know what they’re doing... ; Am I or am I not going to have a martini?” Charles Murray will have a martini. Wine, too. Why not? Sobriety isn’t a “founding virtue”Jozef Imrich Will have a Martini too ]
• · The advice of the elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books. One day an ebullient and prolific hacker vanished from the Web. Blog, Twitter feed, open-source code: gone. It’s called infosuicide ; Quelle catastrophe!, Beckett’s wife exclaimed when she learned that her husband had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She knew her man... Quelle catastrophe! ; Jeanne Proust was a nice lady, polite to her son. But she could also be niggling, infantilizing, and passive-aggressive. Yes, Marcel had mommy issues...
• · · So you want be a historian and reach a wide audience? Be like Barbara Tuchman and skip grad school–which would ruin you as a writer.. Media Dragon of Popular His Story ; Our mental lives depend on the brain, says Anthony Gottlieb, but our behavior is not best understood by looking inside it. NEURONS V FREE WILL
• · · · If art, culture and wisdom have taught us anything over the millennia – and cinema over its short, spectacular century – it is that we are all bewitched by what we shouldn’t be bewitched by. The attraction of human beings to the forbidden was established in the Garden of Eden and has thrived ever since. Look at us mortals today. Loving a safe and peaceful life, we look for the vicarious experience of danger and violence. We don’t want crime or murder in our lives, yet insist on them in our stories and movies. We hate or fear air travel, but thrill to screen stories about doomed airliners. Or doomed travel of any kind, including that by land or sea. Coming Soon ... ; For a moment, film criticism excited, surprised, and astonished. Think Ebert and Kael, both learned, literate, and smart, but never academic... When Critics Mattered
• · · · · · Everything can be bought and sold. As a result, society is more affluent – and more debased, says Michael Sandel... What Isn’t for Sale? ; Sales of two cities: how attitudes to buying and selling property vary in London and New York Sales of two cities ; The second last straw in affordable housing market rankings worldwide. Perhaps most remarkable has been the shift in Australia, once the exemplar of modestly priced, high-quality middle-class housing, to now the most unaffordable housing market in the English-speaking world Sydneyrella ; The choices that you make
Aren't all that grim.
The worlds I'll never see
Still will be around,
The Ben I'll never be,
Who remembers him? Overheard in Sydney
• · · · · · · Every week, Martin Kemp hears from people convinced they’ve found a lost Leonardo. One day someone really did. “I experienced a frisson”... Leonardo da Vinci ; The moral significance of people eating people. Cannibals are mental deviants, revolting curiosities. But they were once central to views of human nature. People who Eat People - Who is in 21st century cooking human flesh? The killing graph. A 46-year old statistician’s ability to quantify mass atrocities has launched a data revolution in the human-rights world.. The Body Counter