Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy Hanukkah

It began this evening and will end on the evening of December 20. 

May it be blessed and joyous.

When It is Late and You Need a Cookie

Insomnia Cookies

How's this for a business niche?

White Christmas: The Definitive Version

It is back by popular demand: Click here and you will smile.

[Photo by Bobby Hendry at Unsplash]

Love the Crane's Logo

Read the details at Strategy Page.

Gift Ideas

Arnie Fenner at Muddy Colors recommends some art books.

Procedure Creep

A small group of people from various specialties assembled to discuss development of a policy which could affect them all. 

As the discussion proceeded, it was apparent that there was not simply one central procedure but several related procedures which occasionally merged, parted, and then merged again. Multiple procedures meant multiple jurisdictions which produced some grand opportunities for things to fall between areas of responsibility. No individual or work unit was charged with overseeing the whole.

Procedure creep - a relative of mission creep - had silently taken place over the years.

Sound familiar?

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Please do not understand me too quickly.

- Andre Gide

Monday, December 11, 2017

Quick Look

The trailer for "Animal House."

Work of Tomorrow

Wharton Business Radio has a podcast on the "work of tomorrow."

Quick Look

The trailer for "Molly's Game."

Bock on Books

Wally Bock, a very wise man who has been pointing to books that have shaped the lives of others, notes the books that have shaped his life.

[I will be posting my own list later.]

Preparing Children to Navigate the Future

Cultural Offering has a brief video of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks discussing the importance of values in education.


The Fake Parent Biz

Don't want your girlfriend, boyfriend, or teacher to meet your real parents? 

The Telegraph has a story on Chinese businesses that provide fake parents for such encounters. Of course, since people can also rent fake lovers this could easily be the basis for a comedy.

Because You Must Be Punished

Bob Dylan and friends: "Must Be Santa."

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Pessimism is a waste of time.

- Norman Cousins

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Find (and Do) Something Beautiful Today

A bright red cardinal bird sitting on a bare branch against the pale backdrop of tall grasses

Forbes lists the 100 largest U.S. charities.

Charity Navigator helps to determine the most worthy.

[Photo by Ray Hennessy at Unsplash]

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Daquin: Crank It Up

A treat.

At Cultural Offering: Olivier Latry playing one of Louis-Claude Daquin's Noels.

[Photo by Mira Bozhko at Unsplash]

Moving Federal Departments Out of DC

Regardless of your ideology, this idea probably has some appeal.

What Great Entrepreneurs Notice

Here's a brief and interesting video of Amy Wilkinson of the Stanford Graduate School of Business describing how great entrepreneurs see what others miss.

In the Background

Image result for nat king cole christmas song album amazon

Prime Links

Quick Look

The trailer for "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom." 

Yes, it is another Jurassic Park film.

First Paragraph

What do I remember of that night? The night I escaped from North Korea? There are so many things that I don't remember, that I've put out of my mind forever...But I'll tell you what I do recall.

- From A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa

"Darkest Hour"

Kyle Smith's scathing review is correct about the new Churchill film.

The film is splendid if you know little about Churchill, British politics, or World War II.  

Churchill, the formidably capable leader who immediately demonstrated masterful leadership upon becoming prime minister, is portrayed as an indecisive drunkard, sort of an irascible grandpa type who is not as tuned into the real world as the worldly duo of Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax.

You know, the ones who thought so highly of the Munich conference.

I went to the film expecting to like it and emerged thinking, "What in the hell were they thinking?"


Update: The more I remember about the film, the more I dislike it. I cannot think of a single depiction of Winston Churchill in any film which was more distorted. The only reason to go to the film is to examine how a project can be so thoroughly botched.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Rescue Dawn."

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

A good general tip for would-be writers in any field is to beware of outlines. If you keep going back to elaborate the outline, instead of getting to work on the first of its listed topics, then the outline has become a substitute for the project, which will never get done. It works like a cargo cult: the natives lay out bits and pieces of junk in the rough shape of an aircraft, and wait for it to fly. They start fighting over who gets the window seat. But the thing never stirs, and eventually the jungle closes over its forlorn outline.

- Clive James

Friday, December 08, 2017

Art Books for the Holidays

Howard Lyons at Muddy Colors lists some great deals on art books. Great variety too!

Elite Nostalgia

Dean Acheson, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Jacques Barzun, George Ball, Brent Scowcroft,  Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Margaret Chase Smith, William F. Buckley Jr., Roy Wilkins,  Norman Cousins, Irving Kristol, S. I. Hayakawa, Daniel Boorstin, Clare Boothe Luce, Norman Podhoretz, Nathan Glazer, etc.

There was a time when members of the "elite" were really, well, sort of elite.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Stuart Saves His Family."

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Those who would take over the earth
And shape it to their will
Never, I notice, succeed.

- Lao Tzu

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Not Forgotten


FutureLawyer, a fellow Stoic, has an audio of Alan Watts telling the great story of the Chinese farmer.

Welcome Back!

Patrick Rhone, one of the finest writers on the Internet, is back in action

He has been greatly missed.

[Photo by Aaron Burden at Unsplash.]

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight."

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

When you go in for a job interview, I think a good thing to ask is if they ever press charges.

- Jack Handey

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Art Break: Balestrieri

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Lionello Balestrieri.

Available at Amazon

Wine socks.

First Paragraph

In April 404 B.C. the Spartan admiral Lysander finally led his vast armada of ships, crammed with some 30,000 jubilant seamen, into the hated port of Athens at the Piraeus to finish the Peloponnesian War. After the destruction of its imperial fleet at the battle of Aegospotami ("Goat Rivers") in the waters off Asia Minor the prior September, the once splendid city of Athens was now utterly defenseless. Worse still was to come. It was soon surrounded, broke, jammed with refugees, starving, and near revolution. Such an end would have seemed utterly inconceivable just three decades earlier when a defiant Pericles promised his democracy victory. But then neither had 80,000 Athenians fallen to plague nor 500 ships been sunk at Sicily and on the Aegean.

- From A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War by Victor Davis Hanson

Great Book Titles

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"A Man of Great Resources"

The New York Times on Harvey Weinstein's support network.

Not a pretty picture.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Renoir."

Unusual Team Nicknames

A subject to be periodically revisited. Some interesting and memorable team nicknames can be found in:

Quote of the Day

Show me the man and I'll show you the crime.

- Lavrentiy Beria