From the category archives:

Stuff

Hymn of the day

by Richard on January 21, 2018

Eternal Son, eternal Love,
Take to thyself thy mighty power;
Let all earth’s sons thy mercy prove;
Let all thy saving grace adore.
The triumphs of thy love display;
In every heart reign thou alone;
Till all Thy foes confess thy sway,
And glory ends what grace began.
Spirit of grace, and health, and power,
Fountain of light and love below,
Abroad Thy healing influence [...]

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Alms for an ex-leper

by Richard on January 11, 2018

A gratuitous bit of Monty Python

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It’s incredible, isn’t it?

by Richard on January 7, 2018

This sketch from Not the Nine O’Clock News following the election of Ronald Reagan seems more relevant than ever.

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Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes –
Some have got broken – and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest [...]

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GH at his learned, deep, and witty best: a seriously self-critical confession, yet spoken with no strained stained-glass voice, rather sung serenely with wit, modesty, and charm to the Judge who is his Friend.
Sorry I am, my God, sorry I am
That my offences course it in a ring.
My thoughts are working like a busy flame,
Until [...]

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Is Trump a liar? If only.

by Kim on February 3, 2017

Donald Trump is often called a liar, but such a judgment is facile, both far too generous and gravely mistaken, underestimating the enormity of the shit that’s coming down from the president and his administration. Politicians lie. But Trump is not a politician, he’s a shyster businessman, and the shyster businessman (”shyster”, possibly [...]

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…. How then, I asked Ambrose, should one portray the prince of darkness?
After a pensive moment, Ambrose replied, “A merciless real estate developer whose largest projects are all casinos.”
And recalling this exchange brought Donald Trump to mind. You know the fellow: developer, speculator, television personality, hotelier, political dilettante, conspiracy theorist, and grand croupier—the one with [...]

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“The accurate articulation of unhappiness was his trademark, and the wretchedness of life was his inspiration.”
– Simon Parke
The difficult part of love
Is being selfish enough,
Is having the blind persistence
To upset an existence
Just for your own sake.
What cheek it must take.
And then the unselfish side –
How can you be satisfied,
Putting someone else first
So that you come [...]

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Marilynne Robinson’s universalism

by Kim on April 16, 2016

“Is it conceivable that the God of the Bible would shackle himself to the worst consequences of our behavior? Reverence forbids… I know the refutation. If salvation is universal, what about Hitler, Stalin? Well, hard cases make bad law. I am not willing to open an abyss, conceptually speaking, just to accommodate Hitler and [...]

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Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,
Nothing but bones,
The sad effect of sadder groans:
Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not [...]

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For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is to-day in which we live.
So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.
Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace
To a proper flag [...]

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Gravity waves and theology

by Richard on February 12, 2016

I’m still not finding the space for blogging that I’d hoped for. But here’s a good piece on the announcement that gravity waves have finally been observed.
Mind you, I have to say that gravity waves seemed like old news to me. I saw them years ago on Star Trek.

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RIP

by Richard on January 11, 2016

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View post on imgur.com

From The Washington Post (via Facebook)

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Epiphany cartoon

by Richard on January 6, 2016

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From The Independent

David Cameron has been urged to “come clean” over the role the UK Government played in voting Saudi Arabia on to the UN Human Rights Council after the kingdom’s execution of 47 people in a single day sparked outrage across the Middle East.
The leaders of the Liberal Democrat and Green parties have demanded [...]

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Socrates and Corbyn

by Kim on October 1, 2015

Letter sent yesterday, 30 September, to the British daily the i – unpublished.
Sir:
He relentlessly asked hard questions, had a BS detector in full working order, attracted a following of young people fed up with folly, insisted on human decency and justice, lambasted the affluent and powerful, and was branded a traitor by the state because [...]

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It is not whether God exists, but what kind.
– R.S. Thomas
It was beautiful as God
must be beautiful; glacial
eyes that had looked on
violence and come to terms
with it; a body too huge
and majestic for the cage in which
it had been put; up
and down in the shadow
of its own bulk it went,
lifting, as it turned,
the crumpled flower [...]

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Howard Jacobson on the university then and now

by Kim on September 12, 2015

When I think what shrinking violets we boys who went to university in the 1960s were — at least those of us who weren’t rowers or rugger-playing “hearties” — it’s hard to credit that the campus is so far declined into savagery that Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, considers it necessary to set up a [...]

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Seventy years on August 6th, a Monday, at 8:15 am, the first atomic bomb, cutely called Little Boy, was dropped from a B-29, sweetly named the Enola Gay (after the pilot’s mom), into a lovely azure sky above the city of Hiroshima. It detonated less than a minute later above Shima Hospital. About a mile [...]

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