25
Feb
14

2.25.14 … “Is that American for hello?” …

‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show, The Daily Beast: It wasn’t THAT bad. I’ll admit that I didn’t particularly like Cora’s brother, the character or the actor, and that I’m not a fan of her mother, the character AND Shirley McClain as the actress portraying her. So I was  disappointed with the finale primarily because of  the American relatives.

That was quite a ridiculous season of Downton Abbey, now wasn’t it? What happened to the formerly addictive, splendid, elegant costume drama?

Season four of Downton Abbey, which concluded Sunday night, was all about acceptance. It was about accepting the death of two major characters and the need—for us and the residents of Downton—to move on. Accepting the budding love between a white heiress and a black singer. Accepting the conception of a child out of love—and out of wedlock. And, most of all, accepting the fact that Downton Abbey is a shell of the seductively elegant costume soap opera we all became so addicted to four years ago.

That’s because there’s one thing Downton Abbey refuses to accept is the very thing that’s the supposed to be the crux of the whole damned show: change.

via ‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show – The Daily Beast.

Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter, Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward, TIME.com:

On the show, Lady Rose has the opportunity to rub elbows with the Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, who eventually came to the throne in 1936 — and his lover, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The story’s main arc is set into motion when a letter from the Prince to Freda is stolen by a no-good card sharp hanging around the Crawleys. If he leaks the letter to the international press, it could cause a scandal, which sends Rose and Robert into detective mode.

As it turns out, there was correspondence between the Prince and Freda — as described in the book Letters from a Prince: Edward, Prince of Wales, to Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The socialite daughter of a rich businessman, she was already married when she met the Prince, but her marriage wasn’t in good shape. In 1918, the Prince began to send her the first of what would be many letters.

Though their romance ended abruptly in 1934 when the Prince began his relationship with Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he would eventually give up the throne, the Prince of Wales didn’t exactly hide his feelings. Take, for example, one missive from June of 1919: “Darling darling beloved little Fredie,” he begins, “This is only just a teeny weeny little scrawl to catch the last post sweetheart and to tell you how fearfully madly I’m loving you this afternoon angel and looking forward to 4:30 tomorrow. Although I only said all this about 12 hrs ago I can’t help saying it all again this afternoon only I mean it even more sweetheart!!”

via Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter | TIME.com.

TMBS, N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was_What He Did _ and Why He Matters: Starting the next book for TMBS … I think I would like his dad. And I still don’t know what “eschatology” means, and I’ve looked it up at least 10 times.

“This is the first book I have written since the death of my beloved father, at the age of ninety-one. Having read little or no theology or biblical scholarship until his mid-sixties, when I started writing, he then read everything I wrote within days of its publication and frequently telephoned me to tell me what he thought about it. I cherish some of his comments. “I’ve looked up ‘eschatology’ three times in the dictionary,” he once complained, “and I keep forgetting what it means.” When my big book on the resurrection came out, he read it, all 700 pages, in three days, commenting that he had really started to enjoy it after about page 600. Presumably, with the end in sight, he was starting to experience hope as well as reading about it. Particularly with my popular writings, I now realize that he was always part of the “target audience” of which I was subconsciously aware. Writing a book like this feels different now that he’s not there to read it. In any case, though I hope he learned a few things from me, this book— particularly its concluding chapter— hints at some of the many things I learned from him. As I grieve his passing, I dedicate this book to his memory with gratitude, love, and, yes, hope.’

Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

9/11, man’s best friend, Daisy, Medal of Honor of New York City:  teary eyed …

Juliette Guidara

Follow · February 20 near Nahant, MA

James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center .. He is blind so he has a golden retriever named Daisy.

After the plane hit 20 stories below, James knew that he was doomed, so he let Daisy go, out of an act of love.

She darted away into the darkened hallway.

Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke James was just waiting to die. About 30 minutes later,

Daisy comes back along with James’ boss, Who Daisy just happened to pick up on floor 112

On her first run of the building, she leads James, James’ boss, and about 300 more people out of the doomed building.

But she wasn’t through yet, she knew there were others who were trapped. So, highly against James’ wishes she ran back in the building.

On her second run, she saved 392 lives. Again she went back in. During this run, the building collapses.

James hears about this and falls on his knees into tears.

Against all known odds, Daisy makes it out alive, but this time she is carried by a firefighter. “She led us right to the people, before she got injured” the fireman explained.

Her final run saved another 273 lives. She suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and a broken leg, but she saved 967 lives.

Daisy is the first civilian Canine to win the Medal of Honor of New York City.

Pass it on to all animal lovers

via Juliette Guidara.

Humans of New York, NYPL:  Almost every post is insightful … read the follow-up, too.

Photo: "You want to photograph me eating chicken?"<br /><br /><br /> "Yep."<br /><br /><br /> "Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message."<br /><br /><br /> "What's that?"<br /><br /><br /> "I work at this library.  And before that, I was coming here for twenty years.  It's my favorite place in the world.  As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world.  Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library.  As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library.  When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe.  Now read that back to me."

“You want to photograph me eating chicken?”

“Yep.”

“Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message.”

“What’s that?”

“I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me.”

via Humans of New York.

Because of all the attention of this morning’s library post, I thought it’d only be fair to post the NYPL’s response. I’m quoting four points that they’ve asked me to clarify:

*The man says “I work at this Library.” Ends up, he doesn’t “work” for the library in the sense of being an employee. He is probably doing his work at the library (millions do each year!). We fear the confusion might make people think he is offering his opinion as an employee.

*The vast majority of research books will remain on the site (in far superior storage conditions)

*None of the public spaces he and others enjoy will change, and we’ll be returning a circulating collection to this main library (it had one for its first 70 years).

*This plan will be greatly expanding access to the library. The renovation will allow all New Yorkers–scholars, students, educators, immigrants, job-seekers– to take advantage of this beautiful building and its world-class collections.

Obviously the issue is more complex than soundbites from either side, so feel free to educate yourself further and form your own opinion:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=NYPL+renovation+debate

via Humans of New York.

indie bookstore, LOL:

Photo: Awesome indie bookstore displays FTW.</p><br /><br /> <p>Nice job, Blue Willow Bookshop.

Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased, Salon.com: Overwhelmed by this statement …

Abortion for black women has always been a revolutionary rejection of patriarchy, white supremacy and forced systems of oppression. The great scholars Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Davis have explained that throughout slavery and into the 20th century, self-abortion through herbal remedies, hangers, hatpins and pencils were a way out of slavery and poverty. Our ancestors fought hard to refuse to carry the children of their master rapists and rear another generation of slaves, even when it meant that “barren” women were deemed worthless chattel and sold between plantations. From generation to generation, stories and recipes were passed down to ensure that women weren’t forced to carry pregnancies they never desired or weren’t able to carry healthily. For as many powerful women that raised children in the worst conditions imaginable, so there were those who refused.

via Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased – Salon.com.

RIP Harold Ramis: The good are always taken from us too soon!

Photo: The good are always taken from us too soon!<br /><br /><br /> RIP Harold Ramis

North Korea Cloaked in Darkness, Korea Real Time, WSJ, satellite images, picture paints a thousand words, darkness:

One of the most stunning—and revealing—photos ever taken of North Korea was a 2002 satellite image of the peninsula at night, shown by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon briefing.

The photo showed the lights of South Korean conurbations, and even large clusters of fishing boats, in stark contrast to an almost entirely black North Korea. Other than a small spot of light in the showcase capital Pyongyang and the outline of the country, North Korea wouldn’t have been visible at all.

“South Korea is filled with lights and energy and vitality and a booming economy; North Korea isdark. It is a tragedy what’s being done in that country,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.

via North Korea Cloaked in Darkness – Korea Real Time – WSJ.

Upinspire, This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked, secret lives: What a great story:  Upinspire – This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked..

13 Things Mentally Strong People Dont Do, lists: Good list …

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.


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