Saturday, December 24, 2016

Channeling Slavic Christmas Eve: Simple Story Sipur Pashut

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed;
if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

― Winston S. Churchill

CLOK: How Much Biofuel Do Santa’s Reindeer Need to Reach Rose Bay? OilPrice

ENCORELouis Armstrong recites Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas.” This was Armstrong’s last commercial recording. He made it at his home in Queens on February 26, 1971, five months before his death:

To learn more about the history of this recording, go here

ROGER KIMBALL on the purpose of art museums


TaxGrrrl,Lottery Winner Drops Winning Ticket Into Salvation Army Holiday Kettle

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well...
Lina Caneva

“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.” Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech.

Comedians recommend fifty funny movies

In a story where engineers are more central than Jedi or Sith, Rogue One breaks new ground for the franchise both in its characters but also in the ethical territory it covers.  Not to diminish the character arcs of Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, but the core ethical arc of the film is one man’s decision to engineer the Death Star in such a way as to prevent its use for galactic domination. One could fairly retitle the movie to ‘Rogue One: an Engineering Ethics Story.’
Our review essay will address Rogue One as the engineering ethics case study it is. Properly understanding the ethical power of the engineers in Rogue One enriches our understanding of good and evil in the Star Wars universe and furthers our understanding of what engineering ethically truly means.   
Rogue One: an engineering ethics story (has spoilers)

It Wasn’t Too Long Ago That Indie Bookstores Were Dying. The Best Of These Are Now Thriving

“While browsing shelf after shelf of interesting finds is the foundation of an inspiring bookstore experience, it takes a secret sauce of qualities to make the best of the indies: a charming ambience complete with homey touches—think cool and comfy seating plus resident four-legged friends; a welcoming and shockingly knowledgeable staff, the quirkier the better; and a dedication to cultivating a community of book lovers, whether of the local or traveling variety.”

Cli-Fi.Net -- (the world's largest online 'Cli-fi' portal for all things Cli-Fi): Your annual reminder that ''O Holy Night'' Christmas carol was a deeply political anthem about the abolition of slavery and the worth of all people. Sorta. Not originally composed as such, but took on extra layer when translated into English.''

Fast-Selling, Best-Selling, And Literary Success (Explained)

Bestsellers are different from fast sellers, cult favourites or the brand known as “instant classics”. They bear no relation to those books we call “the canon”, such as Pride and Prejudice – which became a “bestseller” relatively recently, when it was remodelled as chick lit. The term has become a slippery one and is often used to describe the thing it’s not. Most of the books promoted by Waterstones as bestsellers are nothing of the sort. They don’t come close to the sales figures required (4,000 to 25,000 copies a week in hardback). Bestsellers are not simply the summer’s top beach reads; they are cultural phenomena, and we like to think that they come, like J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, out of left field.

The bogus luxury home buyer (WSJ): “The buyer had been arriving on a city bus each time, which made me suspicious.”

Schadenfreude with Bite LRB

Liszt drank a bottle of cognac a day; Brahms was boozy; Schubert was a drunk. A lot of great composers were fond of the bottle... Bottle 

Where do I find, lost in the brightness of a sunlit day,
The happiness of an unhappy man
Fortunate only to be just one copy of himself.
Everything else stinks.
~ Iceland Bathroom poets

 “It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis,” Henry Miller wrote in contemplating art and the human future. The beautiful Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi invites us to find meaning and comfort in impermanence, and yet so much of our suffering stems from our deep resistance to the ruling law of the universe — that of impermanence and constant change. How, then, are we to accept the one orbit we each have along the cycle of life and inhabit it with wholeheartedness rather than despair?

Like Cold River, Why It Took Scorsese Three Decades To Make ‘Silence

In a story that begins with the director’s near-death from drugs and asthma in 1978, Stephen Galloway follows the project through legal troubles (complicated), money troubles (recurring), and weather troubles (terrifying) – with the happy ending of a screening for Pope Francis and 200 teary-eyed Jesuits.

There Have Always Been Times Like These, And Artists Have Always Fought Back

Writer Kameron Hurley: “We are going to lose much in 2017. That is something that we as writers, as artists, as human beings, cannot forget … but we cannot allow it to let us lose our hope or our ability to tell the stories that not only earn us our supper but also inspire and comfort others during times of great upheaval.”

Trust — a new talk Trust is one of the most important, yet least understood, forces. it is a force that can drive society forward, and in the case of mistrust backward.  Here is a quick talk Dan Ariely recently gave on the basic elements of trust and how to build trust

“Refuse to accept information simply because it is fed to you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. That is now the base level of what is required of all Americans. If facts become a point of debate, the very definition of freedom will be called into question.” — Lauren Duca, writing in Teen Vogue

How to Bump Holocaust Deniers Off Google's Top Spot? Pay Google<