Thursday, December 24, 2015

Eve of Christmas: Memories of 13 Dishes Beyond Vrbov

INK BOTTLE“‘You see, the way I look at it, there are only two kinds of books: bedside and wastebasket. Either I love a writer fervently, or throw him out entirely.’
“‘A bit severe, isn’t it? And a bit dangerous. Don’t forget that the whole of Russian literature is the literature of one century and, after the most lenient eliminations, takes up no more than three to three and a half thousand printed sheets, and scarcely one-half of this is worthy of the bookshelf, to say nothing of the bedside table. With such quantitative scantiness we must resign ourselves to the fact that our Pegasus is piebald, that not everything about a bad writer is bad, and not all about a good one good.”
~ Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift (trans. Michael Scammell “with the collaboration of the author,” courtesy of Patrick Kurp)

This is one of the disadvantages of wine and cognac. It makes a man mistake words for thoughts.”
~ Vaclav Havel with assistance of Chris and MD at Lidka's place during Vecera Vigilia aka Wigilia ...

Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas? VICE

How a ‘thoroughly depressing’ Cold River ... Joni Mitchell song became a Christmas classic WaPo

I find it difficult to believe in Father Christmas. If he is the jolly old gentleman he is always said to be, why doesn’t he behave as such? How is it that the presents go so often to the wrong people? This is no personal complaint; I speak for the world. The rich people get the rich presents, and the poor people get the poor ones. That may not be the fault of Father Christmas; he may be under contract for a billion years to deliver all presents just as they are addressed; but how can he go on smiling? He must long to alter all that. We find it difficult to believe in Father Christmas ...

Marginalia's moment. The current fad for curating ink-and-pencil scribblings isn't mere nostalgia. It’s a mournful expression of something deeper ...
“I am very cold.”
“The parchment is hairy.”
“Writing is excessive drudgery. It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach and your sides.” And, the Vermont student gets a barroom buddy: “Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink.”
Wine Cup Flower Malchkin the Botanist Joseph Banks
Huge plant that stinks of rotting flesh is set to flower for the first time in a DECADE Daily Mail

However stiff they may seem on the show, the cast of Downton Abbey can let down its hair and have some fun. Last Christmas, they put together a fun parody episode, where, borrowing from It’s a Wonderful Life, they asked us to imagine what daily life at the Abbey would look like if Lady Grantham spent her days cavorting with George Clooney rather than Lord Grantham.

“The Christmas tree is up in the Altmetric office and it’s Top 100 time again. We’ve queried the Altmetric database to find out which academic articles got the most attention from the mainstream media, blogs, Wikipedia and social networks, as well as amongst a more academic audience in post-publication peer-review forums and research highlights. Data was collected from the Altmetric database on November 16 2015 and a downloadable file can be found on figshare.  More information on how the Altmetric score is calculated can be found on the Altmetric support site.”

Lawyer’s advice: bosses face legal risk if they let their employees join in #ElderlyChristmasSongsTwitter levity [Jon Hyman]

solzhenitsyn4Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in December  1918.
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
From The Gulag Archipelago

– Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Dec. 11, 1918 – Aug. 3, 2008)