Tag Archives: Christmas

Must read: Ebola in Liberia: According to Dr. Kwan Kew Lai’s Blog

Today is the Feast of St. Kew, a little known Welsh saint, probably of the fifth century. She was the sister of a hermit called Docco who founded a monastery at or near the village of St. Kew which is now in Cornwall, England. Nothing much is known about her except that she was able to cause some wild boars to obey her, this ability caught the attention of her said brother who condescended to finally speak to her. Why they were not on speaking terms to begin with was a mystery.What is in a name? Kew is my given name. It would be unheard of to have a saint with my name especially someone from Asia. My daughter, Cara, was told by her Confraternity Christian Development (CCD) teacher that everyone has a saint who bears his or her name. She searched in vain for a saint with her name.

via Ebola in Liberia.

***featured on by NPR: The Ebola Diaries: Trying To Heal Patients You Can’t Touch http://n.pr/1EaPxUw

today’s holiday: Hurling the Silver Ball (2015)

Hurling the Silver Ball (2015)

St. Ia (or Eia or Ives) is the patron saint of St. Ives, Cornwall. St. Ives celebrates Feast Monday on the Monday after the Feast of St. Ia (February 3), by playing an ancient game known as hurling, using a ball made of cork encased in silver. The mayor begins the game by tossing the ball against the side of the parish church. The game stops promptly at 12 noon, and whoever has the ball in his or her possession at that time receives a cash prize or a medal. The festivities continue in the afternoon with more sporting events and a municipal ball in the evening. More… Discuss

Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile for Cello and String Orchestra

Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile in B major,  for Cello and String Orchestra

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1926)

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1926)

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing is a French political leader who rose through the ranks over nearly two decades to become president of France in 1974, defeating Socialist François Mitterrand, who would later unseat him in the 1981 election. A supporter of European economic integration, Giscard later served as a member of the European Parliament and as president of the Convention on the Future of Europe. What fueled rumors in 2009 that he had once had a fling with the late Diana, Princess of Wales? More… Discuss

quotation: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) Discuss

Saint of the Day for Monday, January 26th, 2015: St. Timothy

Image of St. Timothy

St. Timothy

Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Eunice, a converted Jewess. He joined St. Paul when Paul preached at Lystra replacing Barnabas, and became Paul’s close friend and … continue reading

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today’s birthday: Douglas MacArthur (1880)

Douglas MacArthur (1880)

MacArthur is a major figure in US military and diplomatic history. He commanded a brigade in France during World War I and was commander of the Philippine military establishment in the late 1930s, but he is best remembered for the vital role he played in the Pacific theater of World War II and for his command of UN forces during the Korean War. Many Americans viewed MacArthur as a hero, but he was suddenly relieved of his post by President Truman at the height of the Korean War for what reason? More… Discuss

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection)

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection)

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection) (click to enlarge to full splendor)

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection) (click to enlarge to full splendor)

quotation: You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Henry David Thoreau

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

on beautiful minds, poetic thought by George-B (the Smudge and other poems page)

On Beautiful Minds, poetic thought by George-B
(the Smudge and other poems)

beautiful minds are in search of bodies

beautiful minds are dressed in starry thoughts

beautiful minds will shy at the glamor of stage,
beautiful minds have stage fright
beautiful minds perform best in a choir,
beautiful minds sing together, are harmonic, beautiful minds.

Oh, the beauty of the beautiful minds embodied in the bodies of beautiful minds.

Beautiful minds do not fear the ridicule, yes, beautiful minds care just for love, love they care for, is their sole protection
against the eye of ridicule,

ridicule that knows no blacklist, blacklists don’t apply
in the search for subjects of ridicule…,
or other life and death occurrences.

Oh the innocence of beautiful minds.

-©George-B. All Rights Reserved


20 Exotic and Breathtaking Places From Around the World | ViralSmash

20 Exotic and Breathtaking Places From Around the World | ViralSmash.

this day in th eyesteryear: First Mickey Mouse Comic Strip Released (1930)

First Mickey Mouse Comic Strip Released (1930)

Mickey Mouse’s first incarnation of sorts was as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, created by Walt Disney for Universal Studios. After Universal threatened to cut Disney’s budget, Disney reorganized his studio and created Mickey to keep his company afloat. Mickey was rather mischievous in early cartoons but later evolved into a well-meaning everyman. Today, he is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world. What did Disney call his cartoon mouse before his wife suggested “Mickey”? More… Discuss

word: lackadaisical


Definition: (adjective) Lacking spirit, liveliness, or interest.
Synonyms: languid, languorous, dreamy
Usage: In spite of his lackadaisical manner, he has moments of energy that would surprise you. Discuss.

Sviatoslav Richter – Liszt – Piano Concerto No 1 in E flat major, great compositions/performances

Sviatoslav Richter – Liszt – Piano Concerto No 1 in E flat major

The Temples of Malta dating back to 3500 to 2500BC are some of the oldest structures in the world.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 19 in B flat major. Evgeny Kissin , make music pat of your life series

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 19 in B flat major. Evgeny Kissin

El Cóndor Pasa…Única Versión Original, según la partitura de Daniel Alomía Robles.

El Cóndor Pasa…Única Versión Original, según la partitura de Daniel Alomía Robles.

Peuple français, la prochaine fois que tu seras tenté de douter de ton pays, de toi, de ta force, rappelle toi de cette journée #JeSuisCharlie

article: The Daily Planet

The Daily Planet

The Daily Planet is a newspaper featured in the Superman stories of DC Comics. Joe Shuster, Superman’s co-creator, based the newspaper on his former employer, The Toronto Daily Star. In the fictional city of Metropolis, Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, works at the Daily Planet alongside fellow journalist Lois Lane. Though the Daily Planet and its globe-topped building are famous today, the paper had a different name when Superman debuted in 1938. What was it called? More… Discuss

WORD: carouse


Definition: (verb) To engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking.
Synonyms: roister
Usage: They were so happy to be finished with exams that they continued to carouse until morning, when the bartender finally asked them to leave. Discuss.

François Hollande : “Ceux qui ont commis ces actes n’ont rien à voir avec la religion musulmane”

François Hollande : “Ceux qui ont commis ces actes n’ont rien à voir avec la religion musulmane”

Published on Jan 9, 2015

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PARIS – François Hollande a prévenu vendredi que “la France n’en a pas terminé avec les menaces dont elle est la cible”, lors d’une allocution télévisée après le dénouement des deux prises d’otages.

La France, même si elle consciente d’avoir fait face, même si elle sait qu’elle peut disposer, avec les forces de sécurité, d’hommes et de femmes capables de courage et de bravoure, n’en a pas terminé avec les menaces dont elle est la cible. Je veux vous appeler à la vigilance, à l’unité et à la mobilisation”, a déclaré le président de la République.

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Saint of the Day for Friday, January 9th, 2015: St. Adrian, Abbot

Image of St. Adrian, Abbot

St. Adrian, Abbot

Born in Africa, Adrian became abbot of the monastery at Nerida, near Naples. He declined an appointment as archbishop of Canterbury, but accompanied St. Theodore to England when the latter was … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

quotation: Music…takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Music…takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

Read more  HERE  and  HERE

Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major: Complete; Original Instruments, Voices of Music, great compositions/performances

Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major: Complete; Original Instruments, Voices of Music 4K UHD

Saint of the Day for Monday, January 5th, 2015: St. John Neumann

today’s holiday: Befana Festival (2015)

Befana Festival (2015)

Sometimes referred to simply as La Befana, this is the Twelfth Night festival in Italy where the Befana, a kindly witch, plays much the same role that Santa Claus plays in the US. The festival begins on Epiphany Eve, when the Befana is supposed to come down the chimney on her broom to leave gifts in children’s stockings. In Rome, the Piazza Navona is thronged with children and their parents, who shop for toys and exchange greetings. Bands of young people march around, blowing on cardboard trumpets, and the noise level in the square can be deafening. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Jackie Robinson Retires (1957)

Jackie Robinson Retires (1957)

Robinson, a vocal member of the Civil Rights movement, was the first African-American baseball player in the modern major leagues and the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1949, he led the National League in both stolen bases and batting average and was named its most valuable player. In recognition of his accomplishments both on and off the field, Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s number in 1997. How many times did he “steal home” during his career? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Louis Braille (1809)

Louis Braille (1809)

Having lost his sight at the age of three following an accident, Braille went on to attend the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris.


Braille (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While there, he began developing a system of raised dots representing letters to facilitate reading and writing among the visually impaired. This evolved into Braille, a writing system for the blind, which was later extended to include notations for mathematics and music. Braille’s invention was inspired by another writing system designed for what purpose? More… Discuss

word: travail


Definition: (noun) Work, especially when arduous or involving painful effort.
Synonyms: effort, exertion, labor, toil
Usage: She deserved to take a vacation after her long travail. Discuss.

.@eharris_it Francis is NOT pope he has violated God’s law & Christ’s teachings & seeks to corrupt the #Catholic faith— Pray For Life (@Pray_4_Life)

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, December 31st, 2014: St. Sylvester

Image of St. Sylvester

St. Sylvester

St. Sylvester, born in Rome, was ordained by Pope St. Marcellinus during the peace that preceded the persecutions of Diocletian. He passed through those days of terror, witnessed the abdication of … continue reading

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Now used primarily in Spanish dance music, castanets are percussion instruments that were known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Of the many kinds, the most common consist of two small matching pieces of hard wood or ivory, joined at the inner edge and used with a thin strap in the player’s hand. They are snapped together between the palm and fingers and used to produce clicks for rhythmic accents, especially to accompany dancing. What is the origin of the instrument’s name? More… Discuss

History of Art: Gemma Augustea: Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna – the story about this marvelous low-relief cameo

Gemma Augustea (detail) Kunsthistoriches Museum Vienna

Gemma Augustea (detail) Kunsthistoriches Museum Vienna (Click to enlarge)

The Gemma Augustea (Latin, Gem of Augustus) is a low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone. It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created the Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples, in the second or third decade of the 1st century AD.

Creation and characteristics

The Gemma Augustea is a low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone.[1] One layer is white, while the other is bluish-brown. The painstaking method by which the stone was cut allowed minute detail with sharp contrast between the images and background, also allowing for a great deal of shadow play. The size of the gem also made for easier manipulation and a grander scene. It stands 7½ inches tall with a width of 9 inches and an average thickness of ½ inch.

It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples. Dioscurides was Caesar Augustus’ favorite gem cutter, and his work and copies of it are seen from all over the ancient Roman world. The gem is “set” as though in the period c. AD 10–20, although some scholars believe it to have been created decades later because of their interpretation of the scene.

If Dioscurides, or cutters following his example, made it, the gemma was probably made in the court of Caesar Augustus. At some time in antiquity it moved to Byzantium, perhaps after Constantine I had officially moved the capital of the empire there. Augustus, though fully accepting and encouraging cult worship of the emperor outside Rome and Italy, especially in more distant provinces with traditions of deified rulers, did not allow himself to be worshiped as a god inside Rome. If this gem was made during his lifetime (he died in AD 14), it would perhaps have been made as a gift to a respected family in a Roman province or client kingdom. Alternatively, if the gem was made after Augustus’ death, the identity of one or more of the portraits may be different from the usual identification. Another viewpoint is that the gem does portray Augustus as a god in his lifetime, but was cut specifically for a close friend or relative in the inner court circle. Similar issues arise with other Imperial cameos such as the Blacas Cameo in the British Museum.

The whereabouts of the gemma is undocumented, though it still remained relatively intact and was probably always above ground, until 1246 when it is recorded in the treasury of the Basilica of St. Sernin, Toulouse. In 1533, Francis I of France appropriated it and moved it to Paris, where it disappears from records around 1590. Not long thereafter it was sold for 12,000 ducats to Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor. During the 17th century, it was set in German gold. This setting shows that the gem must have been damaged, the upper left side being broken with at least one other figure missing, probably before Rudolph II bought it, but definitely before 1700. The gem is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.[2]

Interpretations of the figures and scenes


Gemma Augustea, with reference numbers.

Upper tier

The throned figure, #1 in the numbered illustration, is usually taken to be Augustus, although in some interpretations, it could represent a later Roman ruler. Figure #3 is the most readily identifiable, having characteristics held by no other. The woman is Oikoumene – the personification of the inhabited world. This inhabited or civilized world is either that of the early Roman Empire, or more likely the Mediterranean world conquered by Alexander the Great.[3] She wears upon her head a mural crown and veil. She is crowning figure #1 with the corona civica of oak leaves – used to commend someone for saving the life of a Roman citizen. In this grand scale depiction, however, it is given to figure #1 because he saved a multitude of Roman citizens.

Figure #5 and #6 seem to be closely related. Figure #5 is Oceanus or Neptune whose significance is often seen as one balancing the scene across from #4 and #7, and also an important onlooker, as he represents the realm of water. Below him is a reclined personification of either Gaia or Italia Turrita. The scholars who see Gaia link her with the cornucopia and the children surrounding her, who may represent seasons. It might be odd that Gaia holds the horn of plenty when it seems as if the horn is not presently producing anything. This supports an argument that she is not Gaia, but Italia, for historically there was famine at the scene’s event. Also, she wears a bulla, a locket of some sort, around her neck, which, again, would seem odd for Gaia to wear. Either way, the children represent seasons, probably summer and fall, as one of them carries ears of corn.

Figure #10 is the eagle of Jupiter. The eagle could be showing that figure #1 is seated in the role of Jupiter. Seated next to figure #1 is Roma. The helmeted goddess holds a spear in her right arm while her left hand lightly touches the hilt of her sword, probably showing that Rome was always prepared for war. Besides showing her feet resting upon the armor of the conquered, Roma seems to look admiringly towards figure #1. Though there might be a dispute as to who #1 is, it is often said that the image of Roma strongly resembles Livia, Augustus’ long-lived wife. Not only was she his wife, but from a previous marriage, the mother of Tiberius. The reason for the cutting of this gem is also called into question when it is noted that Roma was not worshiped inside Rome till around the rule of Hadrian. Thus the gem might have been custom cut for a friend in the provinces.

Figure #4 is Victoria driving the chariot that holds the descending figure #7. She is obviously the deliverer of the victorious but not necessarily there for celebration, as it seems she might be impatiently urging figure #7 on to his next campaign. In associating Victoria with the chariot, it is necessary to analyze some historical importance relating to the chariot and the horses around it. The two foreshortened horses in front of the chariot are part of the chariot team, whereas the single horse to the side cannot be, and might belong to figure #8. Historically, a victory chariot was driven by four horses forming a quadriga, not the mere two represented on the gemma, a bigae. This might show that figure #7 is not a triumphator.

Lower tier: erection of tropaion


The lower register


Key to lower register


A fully erected tropaion with shackled and adorsed seated male and female Sarmatian captives (the right-hand female with head resting on hand, possibly a representation of the defeated “Sarmatia”) tied to base. Dupondius from reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180

The lower scene, in which the figures are less readily identifiable, depicts the erection of a tropaion. In some interpretations of the scene, all the lower figures are by design anonymous. Other interpretations attribute definite real or mythological persons to the figures. At left, the seated male and female figures (combined in #11) are either Celts or Germans, as is apparent from their clothing and hair styles, including the man’s beard, and represent prisoners of war, symbolizing the Roman victory. The man is bound with his hands behind his back, and both are apparently about to be tied to the base of the as yet half-erected tropaion (figure #19_, a trophy of war displayed upon winning a battle, usually fixed into the ground at the position of the “turning-point” of the battle in favour of the victors. The trophy consists of a wooden cross, designed to support human clothing. A helmet is placed on top, and the breastplate and weaponry of the enemy is placed upon it. In the scene, four young men are raising the trophy into a vertical position. Figure #18 is the least identifiable, but his helmet has led some to believe that he may be a Macedonian soldier of King Rhoemetalces[disambiguation needed], who helped Tiberius in Pannonia.
Figure #15 is often identified as a personification of the god Mars with his armor and flowing cape. Although figures #16 and #17 seem less important, they look very much alike and may represent the constellation Gemini. Gemini is the more difficult constellation to pick out, and it might represent the hidden identity of figure #8. Two others, however, are more obvious. Figure #20 is a shield with a large scorpion emblazoned upon it. Tiberius was born in November, and thus might be represented with such an item. Figure #9 shows Augustus’ favorite sign, the Capricorn. Although Augustus might have been conceived during December, he claimed the Capricorn as his constellation. The sun or moon, which were necessary to show the full power of a constellation, is seen behind the sign. Mars is represented by figure (#15), andthus at least three signs of the Zodiac are evident.

Figure #13 is probably Diana, identified with the moon, although some commentators believe her to be a mere auxiliary troop with #14. Diana holds spears in her left hand and her right hand seems to rest on the head of the man in figure #12, but not gripping his hair as supposed by many. Another identifying feature of Diana is her bountiful hair, bound up for the hunt, and her hunting clothes. Figure #14 might be an auxiliary, but more likely he personifies Mercurius (Mercury/Hermes), identified by his rimmed hat. Mercurius seems to be dragging the female in figure #12 by her hair towards the tropaion. The scene is clearly complex. Many interpretations insist that the ‘auxiliaries’ are dragging the barbarian prisoners to join their kindred in being bound to the trophy. However, there are indications that this might not be the case at all. First, the man on his knees is begging for mercy from Diana, who does look down on him. That same man wears around his neck a torque, suggesting him to be a Celt or German. It may be significant that Diana has her back turned to the observer and possibly the scene itself. She is the only one as such, and perhaps to contrast the celebration of victory in battle, she shows instead mercy to one pleading for his life. In addition, since the man is a leader, it makes for better propaganda that he should beg for mercy before a Roman goddess. Mercurius might not be dragging the woman to be bound to the trophy, but might be bringing her to kneel before Diana to beg for mercy as well. She shows the sign of a truce by placing her hand upon her chest. Perhaps Diana and Mercurius are sheltering them, perhaps offering them salvation in the final moments of victory. Whatever the case, the couple in #12 are not comparable to the despairing couple in #11, with whom they appear both to balance and contrast; balance by having barbarians on the right and left, literally balancing the composition, and contrast as one couple being doomed to be bound at the trophy, and the other begging for what looks like a chance of mercy.

Overall scene


A different view

The upper and lower scenes take place at different times, and are basically cause and effect. The lower scene takes place at the northern frontiers, just after a battle won by the Romans, who erect a victory trophy. Gathered prisoners of war are waiting for their punishment in grief or begging for mercy at the hands of assisting gods. The triumph on the battlefield precedes the triumph on the upper plate.

The upper scene is a fusion of Rome, Olympus, and the world of cities. Augustus is conspicuously above the birth sign he claimed, while the eagle personifying him as Jupiter sits below. He ended many years of internal strife for Rome and will forever wear the oak crown. In his right hand he holds a lituus – his augury stick in which he reads the signs and declares wars to be just. He faces Roma, representing all he united and saved from civil bloodshed. He sits equal to Roma, personifying a god. His feet lay upon armor, which could be identified with the newly conquered barbarians, or it may depict the descent of the Julian family from Mars through his human children Romulus and Remus. Unlike all the other figures, except for #7 and #8, the depiction of Augustus is considered to be an actual portrait because of the iris seen in his eye. Tiberius, Augustus’ adopted son, recently having fought in the north, comes back momentarily – for Victoria anxiously urges that he continue on to fight new battles and receive his triumph.

There are problems with this interpretation, however. The chariot is not one of victory. It would be unusual for a two-horse chariot to be used for the triumph. Also, Tiberius wears the toga. The toga represents civility and peace, not war. Perhaps this is a way to hand the victory to Augustus’ auguries. Tiberius steps down from the chariot, doing obeisance to Augustus, giving his adoptive parent the triumph and victory. If all this is true, then figure #8 could still be one of two persons, Drusus or Germanicus. By this age, Drusus was probably already dead, having fallen from his horse and suffered irreparable injuries. It could be, then, a representation of Drusus, and his memory, since he was fondly regarded by almost all. Since he is clad in fighting garb, the helmet probably beside him under the chariot, and coincidentally standing next to a horse, this could very well be Drusus. In addition, there are three constellations relating to the three portraits. Drusus would claim Gemini, though the Gemini is quite covert. If the portrait represented Drusus as alive, however, the gem would have been made about the same time as the Ara Pacis and the Altar of Augustus, sometime before 9 B.C., the year of Drusus’ death.

Others, though, think that Figure #8 is Germanicus, son of Drusus.[4] If the gem was commissioned no earlier than A.D. 12 and referred to Tiberius’ triumph over the Germans and the Pannonians, it would stand to reason that Germanicus, born in 13 B.C., was old enough to don gear and prepare for war, years after his father’s death. Germanicus was also looked upon quite fondly by Augustus and others. The dispute carries on.

Gemma Augustea is a beautiful work of art that seems to be based on dramatic Hellenistic compositions. The refined style of execution was more common in the late Augustan or earlier Tiberian age, though more likely Augustan. It is said that the image of Augustus as Jupiter is linked to future Roman triumphs by Horace in his Odes:

He’ll be brave who trusts himself to perfidious foes,
and he will crush the Carthaginians in a second war
who has tamely felt the chains upon his fettered
wrists and has stood in fear of death.
Such a one, not knowing how to live life secure,
has mixed peace with war.
O mighty Carthage, you rise
all the higher upon Italian ruins!
Tis said he set aside his wife’s chaste kisses and his
little children, as one bereft of civil rights,
and sternly bent his manly gaze upon the ground
till he should strengthen the Senate’s wavering purpose
by advice ne’er given before,
and amid sorrowing friends should hurry forth a glorious exile.
Full well he knew what the barbarian torturer was making
ready for him; and yet he pushed aside the kinsmen
who blocked his path and the people who would halt his going
with no less unconcern than if some case in court
had been decided, and he were leaving the tedious
business of his clients, speeding to Venafran fields,
or to Lacedaemonian Tarentum.
— Horace, Odes III 5

today’s holiday: Holy Innocents’ Day (2014)

Holy Innocents’ Day (2014)

Also known as Innocents’ Day or Childermas, this day commemorates the massacre of all the male children two years and younger in Bethlehem as ordered by King Herod, who hoped that the infant Jesus would be among them. Not surprisingly, this day has long been regarded as unlucky. In ancient times, the “Massacre of the Innocents” was reenacted by whipping the younger members of a family. But over the years, the tables turned, and in some countries it has become a day when children play pranks on their elders. In Mexico, Childermas is the equivalent of April Fools’ Day. More… Discuss

Dumitru Farcas, Dumitru Dobrican, Ioan Berci Live (taragot) (visit: http://www.11thmuse.com/taragot.html)

Dumitru Farcas, Dumitru Dobrican, Ioan Berci Live (taragot)



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 11. Alleluja, KV 553 make music part of your life series

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 11. Alleluja, KV 553

Saint of the Day for Saturday, December 27th, 2014: St. John the Apostle

The traditional site of the tomb of John_the_A...

The traditional site of the tomb of John_the_Apostle — one of Jesus’ twelve apostles in the ancient city of Ephesus, an important religious centre of early Christianity. Ephesus is today located in Turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Five apostles: St. James, St. John the Apostle...

Five apostles: St. James, St. John the Apostle, St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Andrew. Harbaville Triptych: close-up on the bottom panel of the middle leaf, recto. Ivory with traces of polychromy, middle of the 10th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. John the Apostle

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast day – December 27th) St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

More Art relating to John The Apostle:
English: Damian. "Jesus Christ and St. Jo...

English: Damian. “Jesus Christ and St. John the Apostle”. A detail of the Last Supper fresco from Ubisi, Georgia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Church dedicated to St. John the Apos...

English: Church dedicated to St. John the Apostle and Evangelist Polski: Kościół pw. św. Jana Apostoła i Ewangelisty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


English: Church dedicated to St. John the Apos...

English: Church dedicated to St. John the Apostle and Evangelist Polski: Kościół pw. św. Jana Apostoła i Ewangelisty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


today’s holiday: Junkanoo Festival (2014)

Junkanoo Festival (2014)

The Junkanoo Parade and Festival, held in Nassau‘s native quarter, is celebrated each year on December 26, Boxing Day, and January 1, New Year’s Day. Masqueraded marchers wearing colorful headpieces and costumes dance to the beat of an Afro-Bahamian rhythm called Goombay. The music is played by a variety of unusual native instruments, including goat skin drums, lignum vitae sticks, pebble-filled “shak-shaks,” and steel drums. The Junkanoo parade, which begins at two o’clock in the morning and continues until sunrise, is followed by the judging of costumes and awarding of prizes. More… Discuss

From the BBC: Life choices ‘behind many cancers’

Life choices ‘behind more than four in 10 cancers’

unhealthy habits

Related Stories

More than four in 10 cancers – 600,000 in the UK alone – could be prevented if people led healthier lives, say experts.

Latest figures from Cancer Research UK show smoking is the biggest avoidable risk factor, followed by unhealthy diets.

The charity is urging people to consider their health when making New Year resolutions.

Life choices ‘behind many cancers’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30589712

Adoration of the Magi. @BLMedieval Egerton 2125 f. 182v — Melibeus (@melibeus1): trei crai de la rasarit

Grupul psaltic Tronos-Trei crai de la rasarit.

Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Fili...

Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Magi, tapestry, wool and ...

The Adoration of the Magi, tapestry, wool and silk on cotton warp, 101 1/8 x 151 1/4 inches (258 x 384 cm.), Manchester Metropolitan University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Magi (circa 1305) by Giot...

The Adoration of the Magi (circa 1305) by Giotto, purportedly depicting Halley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mystery: What happened to the Lost Dauphin – Life Greatest Unsolved Mysteries

What happened to the Lost Dauphin - Life greatest Unsolved Misteries

What happened to the Lost Dauphin – Life greatest Unsolved Mysteries

Man in the Iron Mask National Geographic Channel

Handel: Messiah, For unto us a child is born ( Mormon Tabernacle Choir ): great compositions/performances: Happy Christmas To You All from EUZICASA

Handel: Messiah, For unto us a child is born ( Mormon Tabernacle Choir )

Saint of the Day for Thursday, December 25th, 2014: Image of St. Eugenia

Image of St. Eugenia

St. Eugenia

There definitely was a Roman martyr named Eugenia but the rest of her story is a romantic fictitious legend. According to it she was the daughter of Duke Philip of Alexandria, governor of Egypt … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

The “Christmas Truce” of World War I (1914): people who sings same carols in different languages, on Christmas, at least, cannot by enemies, even in the most helish circumstances (not of their own making)

The “Christmas Truce” of World War I (1914)

As Christmas approached in the early months of World War I, British and German troops stationed on the Western Front took it upon themselves to stage an unofficial cease-fire. Roughly 100,000 troops participated in this inspiring display of humanity. Over the course of the brief cessation of hostilities, enemy soldiers caroled together, exchanged gifts, played football, and even attended funerals together. What steps did officials later take to prevent such a cease-fire from happening again? More… Discuss

Grand Ole Opry: Saturday night country music radio program broadcast live from Nashville, Tennessee.

Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly Saturday night country music radio program broadcast live from Nashville, Tennessee. It is the oldest continuous radio program in the US, having been broadcast on WSM since November 28, 1925. The featured performer on the first show was Uncle Jimmy Thompson, a fiddler who was then 77 years old. In 1926, Uncle Dave Macon, a Tennessee banjo player, became the program’s first real star. What was the original name of the Opry, and why did it change? More… Discuss

Händel Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus: make music part of your life series

Händel Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus

Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican: from NBC News (they are not afraid of Christmas like other news agencies are: I’d say good for them!)

Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday, after placing a phone call to Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants. Francis told refugees at the tent camp in Ankawa, a suburb of Irbil in northern Iraq, that they were like Jesus, forced to flee because there was no place for them. For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem barn manger, chosen because there was no room for his parents at an inn.

Vatican-Christmas Mass - 2014

Vatican-Christmas Mass – 2014 (Click to access the Mass at NBC News)

this pressed for your compationate heart (hertz, inima, coeur, 心 , corazón, from https://translate.google.com/#auto/es/heart: Flash – Pope offers Christmas phone greetings to Iraqi refugees – France 24

24 December 2014 – 20H47

Pope offers Christmas phone greetings to Iraqi refugees

© AFP/File | Pope Francis waves to the crowd at St Peter‘s Square on December 17, 2014, at the Vatican
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – (press here – if you wish-but nothing will happen :) )



Pope Francis spoke by telephone to Iraqis living in a displaced people’s camp near the main Kurdish city Arbil on Wednesday, assuring them they were in his Christmas thoughts.

The refugees were among those driven from their homes around Mosul last summer in an offensive by the jihadist Islamic State group (IS), and the pontiff used a satellite phone connection provided by Catholic channel TV 2000 to offer them his support.

via Flash – Pope offers Christmas phone greetings to Iraqi refugees – France 24.

******this pressed for your compationate heart (hertz, inima, coeur, 心 , corazón, from https://translate.google.com/#auto/es/heart******

today holiday: Tolling the Devil’s Knell (2014)

Tolling the Devil’s Knell (2014)

To celebrate the birth of Christ and the death of the Devil, All Saints Minster Church in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, rings its bell the same number of times as the number of the year (for example, 2,014 times in 2014) on Christmas Eve. The tolling starts at 11:00 PM, stops during the church service from midnight to 12:45, and then resumes until the years have been tolled away. The custom has been going on for almost 700 years. The bell has been called “Black Tom of Soothill” since the 13th century, and Tolling Black Tom is supposed to keep the parish safe from the Devil for another 12 months. More… Discuss

this pressed for your knowledge: Uber’s car-financing program sets up drivers to lie to the DMV in Calif — Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet)