Christmas 2018 Sabbatical (Principle of Connectivity)

This placeholder is a tradition now. It’s a space to capture all the randomness linked to my couple weeks of downtime. I’ll try to organize it near the end of my break.

Here’s a fun fact…my first post was on August 21, 2003 on Blogger. I’ve been posting for 15 years and 4 months (or 5,601 days / 800 weeks and 1 day).

Scan is from The Art of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away

(1) A couple of musical preludes:

(1a) Somewhere Only We Know / Kacey Musgraves (YouTube)

(1b) Nothing Else / Angus & Julia Stone (YouTube)

Something from the 30s and something from the 80s:

(1c) And The Angels Sing / Benny Goodman & Martha Tilton (YouTube)

(1d) Somebody’s Baby / Jackson Browne (YouTube)

(2) Flipping through The Art of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and just realized how reverently he and Makoto Shinkai depict train stations. In Spirited Away it’s the entrance to the other world and in 5 Centimeters per Second it’s the scene of Takaki and Akari’s reunion.

(2a) Spirited Away 1

(2b) Spirited Away 2

(2c) Spirited Away 3

(3) Another musically inspired quote from Haruki Murakami:

“Thelonious Monk did not get those unusual chords as a result of logic or theory. He opened his eyes wide, and scooped those chords out from the darkness of his consciousness. What is important is not creating something out of nothing. What my friends need to do is discover the right thing from what is already there.”

(4) More from Murakami…

“The bell was never mine alone. It belongs to the place, to be shared by everyone.”

“Every so often, I found myself wondering about the plastic penguin. I had given it to the faceless man as payment for ferrying me across the river. There had been no alternative, given the swiftness of the current. I could only pray that little penguin was watching over Mariye from somewhere
—probably as it shuttled back and forth between presence and absence.”

Blogging

(5) I get this question quite often. Here are my top five indispensable blogging tools:

(5a) WordPress, (5b) Flickr, (5c) Directnic, (5d) TextPad, and (5e) Libib

Hockey

(6) Carolina Hurricanes left hockey fans conflicted with throwback Hartford Whalers night (CBS Sports)

I was just in Raleigh for a couple of days and saw the Hurricanes play the Arizona Coyotes.

(6a) Islanders score five unanswered goals, top Senators (YouTube)

(6b) Islanders ride Barzal hat trick to John Tavares smackdown (NY Post)

(6c) Scott Eansor’s hustle and determination led to a shorthanded… (Twitter)

I attended four hockey games over my sabbatical and my record was 4-0-0. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated Springfield 5-3 on December 15th and Hartford 3-2 on December 27th. The Hartford Whalers (Hurricanes) defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 on December 16th and the New York Islanders the Ottawa Senators 6-3 on December 28th.

Politics & Culture

(7) As the Old Faiths Collapse, the Greens, Social Justice Warriors, and Techno-Futurists Aim to Fill the Void (Daily Beast)

I saw this on Twitter but Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) also linked to it as well.

(7a) Sweet Shutdown, Roll On (American Greatness)

“On the Left, the unattainably perfect (which is what Marxism is, in both its economic and cultural manifestations) must always be the mortal enemy of the good, and especially the good enough. The Left makes no allowances for human fallibility or imperfections; it attributes every failure to willful malfeasance, animated by “racism” or some other malevolence.”

(7b) How prophetic was C.S. Lewis? The Abolition of Man is mentioned in Sweet Shutdown, Roll On. I’ve quoted that book many times in previous posts, but perhaps nothing as much as: “But the man-moulders of the new age will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique: we shall get at last a race of conditioners who really can cut out all posterity in what shape they please.”

Peter Kreeft is more succinct in C.S. Lewis for the Third Millennium:

“Our civilization’s educational elite, our opinion-molders (who have become much more powerful and much more philosophically radical since Lewis’ day in each of the three main mind-molding establishments: education, entertainment, and journalism) are producing a new species of man: ‘men without chests’, or hearts or consciences – i.e., ears to hear the Tao. In other words, our ‘experts’ are producing men and woman like themselves. They are reproducing not biologically but culturally, by a kind of cultural cloning.”

Mass Transit

(8) Absolutely Everything You Need To Know to Survive the L Train Shutdown (THRILLIST)

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