Category Archives: Media

C.S. Lewis on His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, and The Da Vinci Code

Or whatever certain circles think is the controversial-book-we-need-to-protect-people-from du jour. There are earnest people who recommend realistic reading for everyone because, they say, it prepares us for real life, and who would, if they could, forbid fairy-tales for children and romances for adults because they ‘give a false picture of life’—in other words, deceive their [...]

How I Rip and Encode MP3s on the Ubuntu Linux Command Line

I like to know how to use the command line for everything I can. Here are the tools and commands I use to make mp3s. First, I rip from the CDROM to a wav file. cdparanoia 1 prokofiev1.wav cdparanoia lets me specify the input device, but I don’t need to, since the default—/dev/cdrom—is what I [...]

What Plato Might Have Said But Didn’t

Search Google for “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws,” and you’ll discover a number of people think Plato said such a thing. However, as Kevin Mungons pointed out, there’s no evidence he did. How do faux quotes like this get started? They seem to come [...]

Visit to Maine

Today we took a day trip with my mother to Maine, mainly to see the house of author Sarah Orne Jewett, who was the subject of my mother’s masters thesis. Jewett had an odd fascination with her initials; she would carve them on random items, including the window pane of her room, which you can [...]

Living by the Sword

It’s easy to consign the horrors of the Roman gladiatorial contests to a benighted culture distant from ours, as though we moderns would be constitutionally incapable of such evils. It’s also easy to write a jeremiad based on selective parallels between ours and ancient cultures.

The Fiddleheads Live in Concert

We have several friends who are just about to graduate from Wellesley, and a couple of them play in a student Celtic group called the “Fiddleheads.” I took the video clip below at the Fiddleheads’ Spring Concert on May 13, 2006 at Wellesley. About halfway through they dish out a very creative rhythm technique.