Absolutely no one has written to me saying: “Roger, why are you such a lazy blogger, asking your readers to do the heavy lifting by coming up with topics for your blog FOUR times a year?”

My answer would be that when the bloggers I know, such as Jaquandor – like clockwork in the beginning of February and August – and SamuraiFrog and Arthur the AmeriNZ ask for questions, I always oblige them.

In fact, this time around, I was chomping at the bit Read the rest of this entry »

George_Frideric_Handel_by_Balthasar_DennerHey, this year is the 430th anniversary of Georg Friedrich Händel’s birthday. He was born on February 23, 1685, in Halle, Germany.

All of the text of the next part of Messiah by Handel, Part II is from the book of the prophet Isaiah, mostly from chapter 53. Invariably, when any of the text of Messiah are part of the scripture reading during church, the musical iterations come rushing to mind.

(23) He was despised – air, alto
Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. . . Isaiah 50:6 [He]gave [His] back to the smiters, and [His] cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: [He] hid not [His] face from shame and spitting.

Performance by ORQUESTA Y CORO AD LIBITUM, Cristina Faus, contralto

(24) Surely He hath borne our griefs – chorus
Isaiah 53:4,5 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:the chastisement of our peace was upon him,
(25) And with His stripes we are healed
Isaiah 53:5b …and with His stripes we are healed
(26) All we like sheep have gone astray
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Performance by ORQUESTA Y CORO AD LIBITUM

Usually, I’m used to the fuller sound of a large chorale, rather than the dozen singers, but this is surprisingly effective.

Compare with:
The Emek Hefer Chamber Choir.

insomniaSome study suggested that 7, not 8 hours of sleep, is optimal. Less than that, for most people, is suboptimal.

I know Dustbury sometimes has trouble going to sleep. He once wrote: “For some reason, around 10 pm, when I should be shutting down the brain for the night, I seem to start new projects. It’s almost like I’m daring insomnia to descend upon me. Read the rest of this entry »

Attorney General Holder meets with local residents and community leaders of Ferguson at Drake's Place Restaurant

Attorney General Holder meets with residents of Ferguson, MO

As usual, I read a variety of points-of-view on political issues. This was one of the items I read this week about the US Department of Justice’s report on the police of Ferguson, Missouri:

People are highly resistant to changing their minds and they become impervious to new evidence, often dismissing out of hand outright facts just because they are reported by a given source (e.g., “the media is untrustworthy” or “you can’t trust the Holder Department of Justice.”) Perhaps nowhere has this phenomenon been more obvious (or regrettable) than in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown…

Conservatives…have become highly resistant to assimilating information that strongly suggests that the Ferguson PD – as with many other municipal police departments in the country – truly is out of control Read the rest of this entry »

St-Patricks-DaySomeone in my office recently asked me the derivation of my last name. I instinctively knew it was rooted in Great Britain and/or Ireland, but I had not looked it up in a while.

This is what I found HERE.

Recorded in the spellings of Green and Greene, this is one of the most widespread of English, and sometimes Irish, surnames. It is usually of pre 7th century origins, and derives from the word “grene” meaning green. Read the rest of this entry »

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