Monday, July 17, 2017

Worth pondering

David Warren recommends this essay by Remi Brague, and it's quite good. One striking paragraph from the piece: is lovable. But the love of beauty is of a special kind: It does not aim at getting its object, but keeps the distance necessary to contemplate what is beautiful. One cannot relish the beauty of a statue by embracing it. This is nicely captured by the word “amateur,” from amare, to love, but with the suggestion of a degree of detachment. The amateur relishes his avocation, but recognizes that to draw the activity too close would make it into a job, and thus spoil its pleasure.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017


Popes, saints, and sages have written about bees. I found an affectionate 1948 address by Pope Pius XII to the apiarists of Italy, but my favorite bee quote (so far) is Shakespeare's description of them (in Henry V, Act 1, Scene 2) as "singing masons building roofs of gold." That's not just an evocative line, either -- it's one of more than 20 lines that a character (in this case, the Archbishop of Canterbury) uses to describe bee society while offering geopolitical advice to King Henry V.

Summer bees make me feel fine...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Now watching weasels...

I've long admired the blogging collective that started as "weasel watchers" and became the brain trust behind WoW magazine, so it was an honor to be asked to join them recently. I've accepted that invitation. The WoW gig won't change the focus of this blog, but it does mean that if you read my musings, you won't have to trawl through links in the sidebar to find more good stuff, because I'll feature that content front-and-center. Here, for example, is the current harvest of tasty and thought-provoking commentary from other bloggers in the merry band:

Watcher of Weasels
Another Win – Trump and India PM Modi Speak At The White House   Michael Brown: Eternal Martyr  Julian Assange: "Why The Democrat Party Is Doomed"   Collins, Rubio Help Muslims Pass Senate Resolution 118 to Criminalize Free Speech   Forum: What Is Your Reaction To The Special Elections   The Actual War On Women, Part 1   Whadd’ya Know…Illinois is Bankrupt!  Answers to my questions about America’s opioid crisis   The Secret behind Amazon’s New Bestseller On Palestinian History  The Democrat party is hamstrung because it can’t tell the truth about itself  ReasonTV: College Students ‘Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal’   Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez cries out to wife he is being tortured  [VIDEOS] Paul Joseph Watson on Muslims and Leftists   Israeli Envoy: Anti-Israel Campus Campaigns ‘A Real War’   The Expanse: Forget Star Trek and Watch This Show  At a University of California campus, learning a life lesson about socialism  California travel ban: Blatant hypocrisy about LGBTQ (etc.) rights  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

An old tune

"Before he left for America [from his anchorage off the Island of Groix near L'Orient in northwestern France], [John Paul] Jones needed to live up to his promise to get his men paid and rewarded with their prize earnings. This seemingly straightforward task would require literally decades to accomplish. By the time the U.S. Congress voted to compensate the crew of the Bonhomme Richard for the prizes taken on their famous cruise of September, 1779, the year would be 1848. The men and officers of the Bonhomme Richard were all dead by then. The money -- $165,598.37-- was ultimately paid to their descendants."

-- from the book, John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy, by Evan Thomas

In a doff of my cap to all things nautical, here's a lively arrangement of "Fisher's Hornpipe"

Bonus track: The Navy Hymn --

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

After the rain

I like that this little bird looks both bedraggled and determined. That's how I feel, these days.