Monthly Archives: December 2011

Merry Christmas!


A very important Christmas consideration: white lights or colored lights? The NYtimes has the scoop


It may seem silly, but it is a debate I have been in a number of times myself, and based on this article, I am not alone: Colored vs. White Is a Christmas Light Debate – Personally I lean towards colored lights on the Christmas tree and white or monochrome outside, though not the blinking kind (they drive me crazy). However I have been overruled in my house and we have gone with white lights in and out. That’s fine by me, because in winter, any additional light is welcome. Even more so when it is festive and comforting.

Merry Christmas!




The Best 500 Internal server error evah! From Youtube. #geekish

This is the response I received from a link to YouTube today. 500 Internal Server Error:

500 Internal Server Error

Sorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

Either (a) they don’t think much of their staff, or (b) they have some really smart monkeys working there!

An evangelical remembers his friend Hitchens

There are lots of great tributes and warm stories by many writers on Christopher Hitchens. One that I particularly liked was this one:
My Take: An evangelical remembers his friend Hitchens – CNN Belief Blog .

Well worth a read, especially for people who have a simple and limited view of Hitchens, for good or bad.

Saturday Night (Christmas) music: Gabriel’s Message

This is a beautiful rendition, and a strikingly beautiful video to go with it. (Remember, this was made in the 80s, making this relatively subdued for the time.)

Sting – Gabriel’s Message – YouTube

Who disagrees with Christopher Hitchens on capital punishment? Christopher Hitchens

Here he is in 2011, Staking a Life – Lapham’s Quarterly, on capital punishment. And here is is in Slate in 2006, Don’t hang Saddam. – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine.

I am not sure if he changed his opinion or not, but I found it interesting how he refers to Saddam with regards to capital punishment and whether or not he deserved it.

The right way to wear a bowtie

I love bowties, but I avoid them because of how closely associated they are with looking like a dweeb. That’s a shame, because they are a great accessory. I could never figure out how to avoid that look, but I think this photo has given me a hint. Aaron Young (pictured here) knows how to wear a bow tie. His suit, shirt and boots are cool and subdued — nothing dweebish there — and his hat is striking. So much so that the bowtie doesn’t get all the attention. I think this is the best way to wear a bowtie: always have one other item of clothing that diminishes it, while keeping the rest of your look cool. Smart.

Found here:the selby

Friday Night (Christmas) Music: Silent Night with Kathleen Battle, Wynton Marsalis

And not just Battle and Marsalis. The whole ensemble is Battle, Marsalis, Leonard Slatkin, The Boys Choir of Harlem and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. See/hear:


Silent Night – Kathleen Battle, Wynton Marsalis – YouTube

You’re thinking: I should read some Christopher Hitchens online this weekend. If so, The New Yorker has your list

Now you may be in the mood for one of his books, and they have a list of those too. But if you want to read a sample of some of his many great works online, see this article: Christopher Hitchens: A Reading List : The New Yorker.



If you have time to read, check out the best of 2011 at (and too!)

I posted this last year, and I am happy to say there is a 2011 version too: Longform’s Best of 2011. Of course don’t wait until December: has good long reads all year long. Bonus, now it is integrated with Two great things that go great together.

Beautiful photography: Black Americana –

While I am hesitant to make any claims for or against the subject matter in this photo spread, Black Americana –, I do think that the photos by themselves are great. I love this one in particular:

As fashion photographs, they are wonderful. In the context of social statements, their value is debatable. (I use that word in a neutral way, for I think there is room for a good debate over whenever or not these photos that attempt to portray the life of black Americans in the 1960s is a good thing or not.)

Take a look and decide for yourself, here Black Americana –

Why you need to change your snacks at work if you want to be more productive

Because according to this, Why Sugar Makes Us Sleepy (And Protein Wakes Us Up) | Wired Science |, if you are eating pastries and cookies and other sweet things, you are likely feeling tired afterwards as a result. You then compensate by drinking too much coffee and hence get on a vicious circle. If you are going to be snacking on anything, make it proteins like nuts or low fat yogurt or a bean salad.

Snack smart. See the article for more of the details.

Really late night music: Prince – Uptown, Live, 1981, Paris

Prince is still selling out big concerts, and he has become refined in many ways. So what I love about this video is that it reminds me of how raw and exciting he was back in the early 80s. Here he is doing “Uptown”, the great track from his breakout LP, “Dirty Mind”

As it says in wikipedia,

Uptown” is the album’s (Dirty Mind) high point, with Prince singing about a utopian paradise where everyone is free to express themselves regardless of age, gender and skin color. This album was to set the scene emphatically for Prince’s chart domination later in the 1980s. It fused black and white musical styles in a seamless fashion and showed that Prince was not afraid to push boundaries. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times described the music from the album as “confident and highly danceable blend of post-disco funk and tasty, hard-line rock”.[19]

We take Prince and his music almost for granted now, but he and he music was anything but at the time. It was fresh and original and raunchy and set to accomplish something unique in the world of the popular music.

Friday Night Music: Lush Life – John Coltrane

The incomparable John Coltrane on tenor with a cast of great musicians performing the classic Billy Strayhorn song.

Hear, here: John Coltrane – Lush Life – YouTube

Midweek music: Dobie Gray: drift away

A beautiful song by the late, great Dobie Gray.


Dobie Gray. Drift away – YouTube

Signup for the Toronto Sporting Life 10K now, help kids with cancer, and make ten bucks!

Yes, if you signup before January 15th for this year’s Sporting Life 10K that will be held in May, it will cost you $40. But you will get a $50 gift card for Sporting Life. You will also get a great race T shirt. Much more importantly, you will help Camp Oochigeas, a summer camp for kids with cancer.

Hey, if you are going to be making New Year’s Resolutions to get fit, save money, and help others, this offer helps you hit the sweet spot.