These posts are a collection of reviews or commentary on movies I like, books I am reading, and/or music that I wish to recommend.

O Holy Night

There's a lot of great Advent blogging going on. Roger Overton, who writes for The A-Team Blog, is doing a line-by-line devotional series on the great Christmas hymn O Holy Night.From Roger's introduction: The original “O Holy Night” was composed in French in 1847 by Adolphe Adam. He used the ... Continue reading

Blue whale crooners

Like Italian crooners and Latin lovers, male blue whales serenade potential mates with song. Scientists have been recording these songs since the early 1960s, first in the Atlantic, then branching out to listening stations around the globe. A few years ago they reached a startling conclusion: year ... Continue reading

It is well with my soul

Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds writes: [Tomorrow] in history, 1873, the steamship Ville du Havre was struck by an iron sailing vessel while crossing the Atlantic. 246 people died, including the four daughters of Chicago lawyer Horatio Spafford. His wife Anna survived. Just two years earlier ... Continue reading

Catez on Slumdog Millionaire

Since I haven't managed to see this movie yet, I was interested in Catez Steven's impressions on Slumdog Millionaire. She has some good comments about the movie's moral threads. "It's a movie that works on a lot of different levels, and it reminded me of a Rushdie novel in the way the elements are ... Continue reading

Blind spots

I am the national poster-boy for cultural illiteracy. Well, maybe that's too harsh. It's probably better to say that I have gaps — blind spots — in my cultural education. I've read Shakespeare, Tolstoy and many of the classics. I know the difference between Mozart, Sting and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I ... Continue reading

Survival instinct

[Joe Eszterhas] plopped down on a curb and cried. Sobbed, even. And for the first time since he was a child, he prayed: "Please God, help me."Mr. Eszterhas was shocked by his own prayer."I couldn't believe I'd said it. I didn't know why I'd said it. I'd never said it before," he ... Continue reading

Deconstructing Woody

Woody Allen cuts his banana into seven slices each morning. Six slices, or eight, and something bad might happen. "I know it would be total coincidence if I didn't slice it into seven pieces, and my family were killed in a fire," he says. "I understand that there could be no correlation, but, you ... Continue reading

First impressions

When Jane Austen's father submitted her first novel to a publisher, she had named it "First Impressions." The publisher rejected it, but she continued to write — thankfully — and some seventeen years later found a publisher for the book we now know as Pride and Prejudice.The excellent BBC ... Continue reading