Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vespers: We Praise Thee

This is the St. Peterburg Chamber Choir singing "We Praise Thee" from the Russian Liturgy.

One of Russia 's leading choirs, the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir is actively involved in continuing the rich traditions of Russian and European vocal music. Founded in 1977, the choir is made up of professional musicians who have completed their studies at Russia 's top musical institutions.

Pavel G. Chesnokov (1877-1944) composed the music. He was a Russian Empire and Soviet composer, choral conductor and teacher. He composed over five hundred choral works, over four hundred of which are sacred.

The term Divine Liturgy refers to the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. 

When I was hungry

From The Lectionary:

Matthew 25:31-46

25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

25:32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,

25:33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

25:34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

25:35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

25:36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'

25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

25:38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

25:39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?'

25:40 And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'

25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

25:42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

25:43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'

25:44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?'

25:45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'

25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Steven Spielberg: listening

"My parents taught me how to listen to everybody before I made up my own mind. When you listen, you learn. You absorb like a sponge-and your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Casual Friday: Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die

Just two working days til Monday!

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." ~ Steven Wright

Here's my reply to you

I'm getting to you. Please be patient.
I realize that you're waiting for me to reply, so let me say, somewhat apologetically, to your sincere missive:
"That's very interesting."
And I mean it.

I attended a lecture yesterday in which Clint Warren, a marketing entrepreneur, explained how he keeps his days on track by basically ignoring email until he's good and ready for it.

You can read his ideas here. It's good stuff. Basically what he's saying is that an email in your inbox is someone else's priority, not yours. Ignore them and get started on your priorities.

I have accidentally done that.

I have created over time a Rube Goldberg email system that ties multiple email addresses together in ways even I no longer understand. This system developed a kink, because a password program kept one email system from sending stuff to another email system and then on to my email client, which is a word I toss around when I want to impress people with my technological prowess. I have no idea how it works.

When, after several hours, I figured out how to undo the logjam, I was flooded with emails. All sorts of newsletters I had ordered but forgotten about, all sorts of notices that people had responded to something I'd done on Facebook, all sorts of quotes and vocabulary words and medical advice I had asked for at some feverish moment in my dark past.

Back in July a former colleague who actually knows how to garden had offered me some free plants. Gosh. It's 32 degrees out there right now. No prob. When I plant stuff it just dies anyway.

Here's what's frightening: my life was perfectly fine without reading all those emails. I didn't need them at all. And I'm sure those plants are grateful.

Morning Rush: Early cold, frenemies, and more

Here and there on the Web this Friday, November 21, 2014:

Global warming comes knocking.
Why is it so cold so early?

Frenemies suck the life out of you

China can take out our power grid

Where are the jobs for illegal aliens?

Hand dryers are germ spewers

We waste a lot of food unnecessarily

Incompetent people don't know they are

A smaller, quieter gasoline engine

Obamacare is a house of lies

Zen and the art of cubicle living

Our unrestrained government 

Dealing with fitness tracker fatigue 

Obama incites Ferguson rioters

Complex jobs may protect memory

Why do we have thumbs?

Don't make these LinkedIn mistakes

Leaving contemporary church music

How To: pick a lock

Today's Word: of doubtful authorship or authenticity

Hahaha: Jobless to carry oil from Canada to Texas

A president lies to the citizens:

John Mitchell Mason: judging

"Judge thyself with the judgment of sincerity, and thou will judge others with the judgment of charity."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Your cell phone as a portable weather station

Hold your breath.
I have for some time thought that are cell phones could serve two important purposes.

Equipped with sensors they could alert us to biological or radioactive particles launched into the air by terrorists.

More benignly, they could detect weather conditions and give forecasters thousands of more data points from which to make forecasts.

Seems as though those possibilities are at hand.

Some young entrepreneurs have created a small sensor device that checks for air pollution. Others have created a phone altimeter so that we can know what floor of a building you're on.

This is only the beginning.
Samsung phones now include both temperature and humidity sensors, enabling the phone to keep an eye on the state of the environment around you.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a working prototype of a pollution sensor small enough to fit inside a mobile phone, giving governments and health officials the opportunity to measure smog and dangerous chemicals across cities.
So you'll have time to don your gas mask. Whew!

Morning Rush: Cell phones, your spine, and more

Here and there on the Web this Thursday, November 20, 2014:

Can yo hear me?
What your phone does to your spine

How to start and end your work day

This is your brain on donuts

Why you love to hate some friends

You need Vitamin D to stay alive 

And he has the president's ear

What to ask a financial adviser

Looks like my neighbors.
Some weird life in the ocean depths

Feminism destroys itself

Now we can make more rice

Computers can ruin our lives

Here come the tropical diseases

Now they're going after football

It's backdoor gun control 

Sharks are eating the Internet 

How presidents gather power

Don't send your kid to Elon University

Today's Word: distribution of light and shade in a picture

Hahaha: Mellowing jihadist not as enraged as he used to be

Obama makes the case against amnesty:

Henry David Thoreau: dreams

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Twelve items or more

Attention shoppers!
Few things can buoy the human spirit more than a trip to the local store, Kyle Peterson writes.
There, on endless shelves, stacked ceiling high, sit the progressive fruits of thousands of years of civilization, just waiting to be plucked into a shopping cart. Sometimes I come home giddy, and, while putting the cereal and milk in their proper homes, I regale my wife with the magic of it all.
Our forebears watered the crops they planted in tiny plots of land with their own sweat; we stand in air-conditioned bazaars and pick from an endless array of produce—pears from Chile, and chilies from Mexico, and kiwis lovingly cultivated by actual Kiwis—and then complain about the Muzak.
Sheer selection at the supermarket overwhelms.
I was struck recently by the alarming number of items of whose history, use, and preparation I am completely ignorant. Pitted loquats are $3.19 a can, and whole lychees in syrup only two quarters more. Head cheese remains a mystery—and please, please don’t enlighten me. I have no idea what a yucca root is, but yucca’n get one for less than a buck a pound.
A few minutes standing in line, he concludes, is simply a further opportunity to reflect: that laser bar code scanner is pretty amazing! Who the heck invented that?

We dare not say the I-word

"This morning when I woke up and saw the horrifying pictures of the blood-stained interior of the synagogue in Har Nof, themselves reminiscent of the Holocaust, my first thought was: Nuke ‘em! Now, hours and several bourbons later, I realize we — particularly the United States — have yet to try something far more dangerous: honesty. The lame duck reactionary who is our president refuses to say there is anything wrong with Islam although it is the holy books of that religion that motivate this activity again and again and again and…

"We never say what’s behind all this evil, the source of the psychopathic violence. We dare not mention the I-word, even when they desecrate a synagogue with the blood of rabbis or burn down a church in Egypt or cut off head after head after head. Obama, who grew up with anti-Semite pals like Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, denies that Islam has anything to do with this — probably, not so deep down, because we all know it has a great deal to do with him, how he was raised. I count the days until this American Haman — drenched as he is in that great lie of moral equivalence — is gone."

Morning Rush: Keeping time, soothing babies, and more

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, November 19, 2014:

Say, what time do you have?
An atomic clock in your pocket?

How mothers soothe infants

Fitbit data is now used in court

Is your hand soap killing you?

Universities join the coverup 

Moderate exercise vs. Parkinson's

Our workdays just never end

Why are Muslims in Ferguson?

We don't know what we're eating

Look who gets hurt by amnesty

Don't forget to eat tumeric

Track the air quality around you

Double your nest egg in 10 years

You can overcome procrastination

Obama goes after your school 

Why does anyone still watch CNN?

What alcohol abuse does to your brain

Today's Word: denounce, condemn, say bad things about

Hahaha: Scientists receive grant to melt stuff

Why are some people left handed?

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: the future

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why do you talk to yourself that way?

“'I am such a big failure. I can’t believe that I’ve made this mistake.'

"Most of us talk to ourselves in ways we’d never talk to anyone else. More than likely, you are unkind to yourself when you’ve had a failure. You expect yourself to “get it right” — every single time. More often than not, you hold yourself responsible for the whole of the failure. You believe you should have seen it coming. As if somehow you can actually control everything.

"But, let me ask you – would you speak to someone else this way? Would you talk to them in an unforgiving, demanding, and invalidating way? Likely not. Were you to say it to someone else, you would almost see him or her shrivel up from the inside. A label given to another person can transform a person’s sense of self and their ability to contribute and create. So can a label you give to yourself."

We don't need actual, you know, warming

Follow the money.
How do we explain the continued clamor to spend billions on "global warming" when, in fact, the earth is not warming?

Let's listen to the advocates.

“We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”
~ Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S undersecretary of state for global issues, addressing the Rio Climate Summit audience. Wirth now heads the U.N. Foundation, which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.
“A global warming treaty [Kyoto] must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the [enhanced] greenhouse effect.”
~ Deputy Assistant of State Richard Benedick, who then headed the policy divisions of the U.S. State Department.
“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
~ Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment.
“For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organization which France and the European Union would like to see established.”
~ Former President Jacques Chirac of France explaining why the IPCC’s climate initiative supported a key Western European Kyoto Protocol objective.
“The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order.”
~ Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, emphasizing the importance of using climate alarmism to advance socialist Marxist objectives.

Harsh Cold to Set Records in South, Freeze Northeast
50% of nation covered in snow
4 ft Expected in Upstate NY
105-mile stretch of highway closed
Idaho makes November history

Morning Rush: Chocolate chip cookies, kisses, and more

Here and there on the Web this Tuesday, November 18, 2014:

Relax, it's science.
Ah, the perfect chocolate chip cookie

One kiss = 80 million bugs

Early school start times hurt teens

Canada has a real leader

How to use the common college app 

A capsule tests rivers for pollution

The world's tiniest countries
Carry some in your pocket.

Eat watercress, live forever

Mediterranean Diet vs. obesity

The media's climate blind spot

Time to gag the feminazies

How to make new friends as an adult

Bombproof your retirement portfolio

Here come two years of regulation

Stressing over debt can kill you

Putin targets Scandinavia

Today's Word: to perform hastily or carelessly

Hahaha: Dinosaurs were killed by someone they trusted

Here comes the ambulance drone:

Agnes Repplier: happiness

"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Don't let them tell you what to eat

The science of human nutrition is in its infancy, Don Surber writes. There is more junk science than junk food. The government is clueless as to what is nutritious because the science is nowhere near being settled in our lifetime.

Let's talk milk and cheese.

Killers, right? Bad for your heart. Cause diabetes. Except ....
From the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, comes this link to an editorial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

A changing view on saturated fatty acidss and dairy: from enemy to friend. 
Almost all national dietary guidelines recommend a reduction in SFAs as a key intervention to reduce incidence and mortality of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This has been translated into advice to reduce the intake of the major sources of SFAs, that is, dairy produce, meat products, and eggs. However, recent meta-analyses of both observational studies and randomized controlled trials not only have raised doubts about the scientific substantiation for this advice but have actually undermined it. It has become clear that there is a need for a completely different approach, with advice that is based on foods rather than on nutrients.
The editorial goes into the scientific details and concludes:
The totality of evidence does not support that dairy SFAs increase the risk of coronary artery disease or stroke or CVD mortality. In contrast, lean dairy is clearly associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and this effect is partly independent of any effect of body fat loss. In addition, lean dairy does not increase body fatness but tends to preserve lean body tissue. There is no evidence left to support the existing public health advice to limit consumption of dairy to prevent CVD and type 2 diabetes. Cheese and other dairy products are, in fact, nutrient-dense foods that give many people pleasure in their daily meals.
There you go, boys and girls. Got milk?

Morning Rush: Hero dog, chocolate, and more

Here and there on the Web this Monday, November 17, 2014:

Brent and Matty.
Stolen war dog returned to master 

Here comes artificial intelligence

What Google knows about you

Hershey is running out of chocolate?

Idiot of the Day: Donna Brazile

Walnuts vs. prostate cancer

Obama's war on working Americans 

Already only 6 in 10 are working 
Think salad.

Here comes wash-free lettuce

Stay safe on WiFi networks

Not an honest bone in his body

Nor in his, either

Free money for your retirement

Take care of your contact lenses

I want one of these shirts

Running may be good for your knees

Think twice about knee replacements

Keep your kids out of public schools

Today's Word: belief that the world tends to improve

Hahaha: Rosetta sets sights on Kim Kardashian

And now, a concert of cave music:

Decimus Magnus Ausonius: forgiving

"Forgive many things in others; nothing in yourself."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Vespers: Exultate Justi in Domino

The Hastings College Choir sings Viadana's motet setting of the joyous first verses of Psalm 33.
Hastings College, founded in 1882, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college is located in Hastings, Nebraska.

"Rejoice in the Lord ye righteous, for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp, with the ten-stringed psaltery. Sing unto Him a new song; Play skillfully with a loud noise!"

Lodovico Grossi da Viadana (usually Lodovico Viadana, though his family name was Grossi; c. 1560 – 2 May 1627) was an Italian composer, teacher, and Franciscan friar. He was the first significant figure to make use of the newly developed technique of figured bass, one of the musical devices which was to define the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque eras in music.

Viadana is important in the development of the early Baroque technique of basso continuo, and its notational method, known as figured bass. While he did not invent the method -- figured basses occur in published sources from at least as early as 1597 -- he was the first to use it in a widely distributed collection of sacred music (Cento concerti con il basso continuo), which he published in Venice in 1602. Agostino Agazzari in 1607 published a treatise describing how to interpret the new figured bass, though it is clear that many performers had by this time already learned the new method, at least in the most progressive musical centers in Italy.

You'll be here longer than you think

How long do you think you'll live?

New research suggests you can tack a few more years on to whatever number you came up with. In 1992, University of Michigan researchers asked 26,000 Americans between the ages of 51 and 61 if they thought they would make it to 75. Some 22 years later, researchers with the Brookings Institution crunched the data and found people tend to underestimate how many years they have left.

Of those born between 1931 and 1934, a full 49% who said they wouldn't see 75 were wrong. In fact, almost all that group's respondents, except those who gave themselves 90% or better odds of making it to 75, turned out to have been overly pessimistic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

(Newser via Instapundit)

Well done, good servant

From The Lectionary:

Matthew 25:14-30

25:14 "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;

25:15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

25:16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.

25:17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.

25:18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

25:19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

25:20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.'

25:21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'

25:22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.'

25:23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'

25:24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed;

25:25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'

25:26 But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?

25:27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.

25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.

25:29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

25:30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Elizabeth Moon: people

"People are people, messy and mutable, combining differently with one another from day to day -- even hour to hour."