Sunday Serendipity

December 26

This is the second selection I have borrowed from our friend Jace’s contributions to this blog. It is perfect for a post-Christmas Sunday. It is a choral rendition of the 150th Psalm that starts out “Praise ye the Lord”

When David wrote “Make a beautiful noise” I doubt that he could imagine the beauty that would be created over the centuries in the worship of his God.

Whether you are a believer or not, the beauty of this piece is undeniable.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are recovering from your celebrations.

Enjoy, Jack


34 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. jack, good choice and well put about the beauty or shall we say beauties displayed such as the several works of visual art and the artistic intricacies behind building a grand cathedral organ.

  2. and another pillar of conscience bites the dust

    the guardian:

    Desmond Tutu, the cleric and social activist who was a giant of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, has died aged 90.
    Tutu, described by foreign observers and his countrymen as the moral conscience of his nation, died in Cape Town on Boxing Day.
    “The passing of archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
    “From the pavements of resistance in South Africa to the pulpits of the world’s great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel peace prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights.”
    Excitable, emotional, charismatic and highly articulate, Tutu won the Nobel peace prize in 1984. A vocal supporter of sanctions against South Africa, he was detested by supporters of the apartheid regime, who saw him as an agitator and traitor. Tutu was however protected not just by his wit and combative spirit but by his immense popularity and respect. In 1986 he was appointed archbishop of Cape Town, the effective head of the Anglican church in his homeland.
    Tutu always kept his distance from the African National Congress (ANC), the party which spearheaded the liberation movement and has now been in power in South Africa for more than 20 years. He refused to back its armed struggle and support unconditionally leaders such as Nelson Mandela.
    However Tutu shared Mandela’s vision of a multiracial society in which all communities live together without rancour or discrimination and is credited with coining the phrase “rainbow nation” to describe this vision.
    After the nation’s first free election in 1994, Mandela, who had become the president of a free South Africa, asked Tutu to chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the controversial and emotional hearings into apartheid-era human rights abuses.
    The TRC was described as the “climax of Tutu’s career” and lauded across the world as a pioneering effort to heal deep historic wounds.
    However Tutu found the experience deeply traumatic. He was saddened and perplexed by the ferocious criticism from the white rightwing, some mainstream liberals and the ANC. The terrible testimony that he listened to day after day brought deep emotional stress too, with TV viewers watching as the tough, witty cleric put his head in his hands and wept.
    Mandela, who lived near Tutu’s home in Soweto and also won the Nobel prize, described his close friend as “sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid, seldom without humour.”
    “Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless,” Mandela said.

  3. today is boxing day.

    from TheWeekUK:

    What is Boxing Day?
    Historians disagree on exactly how and when Boxing Day was given its name. According to travel writer Bill Bryson, the roots of Boxing Day go back to medieval times, when alms boxes in churches would be opened and the donations given to the poor.
    Traditionally it was the day of the year when servants and tradespeople were presented with gifts (or “boxes”) from their employers. The boxes were known in France as “tirelire” and are referred to in Randle Cotgrave’s A Dictionarie of the French and English tongues from 1611: “Tirelire, a Christmas box; a box having a cleft on the lid, or in the side, for money to enter it; used in France by begging Fryers, and here by Butlers, and Prentices, etc.”
    A similar theory is that Boxing Day originated in the late Roman-early Christian era, when metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special gifts and donations tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in Latin ecclesiastical tradition falls on 26 December.
    Others tie it to the days when British servants were given boxes of leftovers and a day off after preparing and serving Christmas dinner for their lords and ladies. Samuel Pepys noted the existence of such boxes in his diary in 1663.
    And some say Boxing Day was named after the sealed box containing money for good luck found on board great sailing ships during the Age of Exploration. If the voyage was a success, the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas, and the contents distributed to the needy.
    As an official holiday in the UK, Boxing Day only dates back to the 1800s, when there are numerous recordings of employers giving their staff Christmas presents, or “boxes”, to celebrate the season.
    Boxing Day is marked in the UK and other Commonwealth countries across the world, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. However, it is not widely celebrated in the US, with many people returning to work on the day after Christmas. In Ireland, 26 December is a public holiday, but it is called St Stephen’s Day to commemorate the Christian martyr St Stephen.

  4. politically, a little something deliciously schadenfreude-ish to look forward to in the new year

    How Jim Jordan could wind up getting arrested by Congress (

    A lengthy court battle over documents and testimony to help run out the clockis exactly what other targets of the Jan. 6 investigation are hoping to achieve. It would make sense for Perry, Jordan and the rest to attempt the same. But there are other options to enforce any subpoena that they wouldn’t be likely to enjoy.
    The one that comes to mind is Congress’ power of inherent contempt. Before it established the current practice of referring criminal contempt cases to the Justice Department, the House would have its sergeant at arms haul in the scofflaw to execute the subpoena. It’s been almost a century since this was done to force testimony; it’s still a power available to Congress.
    While the discussion is on on shakier ground with private citizens, the fact is that each house of Congress is explicitly allowed to make its own rules under the Constitution. It is also then allowed to enforce those rules as it sees fit, granting it the power of censure and expulsion. And courts have yet to rule on how long, say, a member of Congress could be held while defying a lawful subpoena.

    oh, ’twere it be so

  5. And courts have yet to rule on how long, say, a member of Congress could be held while defying a lawful subpoena.

    Bullshit. This is not an unanswered question. The answer in courts even in East Bumfuck is until the contemporary purges himself of his contempt. And remember the journalist who sat in jail for weeks for refusing to reveal her source until her attorneys got an appeals court ruling that the trial court was overstepping and seeking info protected by the first amendment?  

  6. Where Can I Cuddle A Cow Near Me? – Neeness

    How much does it cost to cuddle with a cow? Americans Cuddling Cows Covid-19 Pandemic Comfort Americans are paying $75 an hour to hug a cow. The bovine cuddles can boost oxytocin levels in humans.
    “The cow’s warmer body temperature, slower heartbeat and mammoth size can make hugging them an incredibly soothing experience, and giving the animal a backrub, reclining against them or even getting licked is all part of the therapeutic encounter,” the BBC says.
    Do cows like being hugged? Cow cuddling is believed to promote positivity and reduce stress by boosting oxytocin in humans, the hormone released in social bonding. The cuddling experience can even be pleasurable for the cattle themselves.
    Does hugging a cow reduce stress?
    Hug a cow! Cow hugging helps promote positivity and reduce stress, increasing the hormone oxytocin, which is the social bonding hormone.” Nurse practitioner, Chris McCormick Pries, says our bond with animals can benefit our mental health, “Reduce anxiety, reduces blood pressure, reduces heart rate.”

  7. pogo, the whole monty on cow and other critter hugging theory

    Holy cow! It just doesn’t get cuter than this does it?! Watch us try hugging cows for stress relief! Special thanks to Gentle Barn for sharing this wonderful experience with us! You can support their efforts to help animals in need by donating today:

  8. I am not sure where the idea of hugging a cow comes from.  Definitely not from someone who has had a cow try to squash her against a wall, several times.  I do tell people they need to get out and touch a cow, pig, chicken just to understand what dinner feels like before it is what’s for dinner.

  9. Jack…  beautiful!
    I can’t believe we still have power…   our world is encased in ice.  But every time the sun peeks out… there’s a thousand prisms wherever one looks.

  10. BB

    I’ve never had a dangerous reaction from a cow. But having to push an animal of that size out of an alfalfa field that it had knocked down a fence to reach was interesting.  I suppose it was even more interesting that at the time I was totally nude except boots.  The cow was not impressed.  

  11. Ugh. A fourth shot isn’t off the table, Fauci said: “It is entirely conceivable that that may be the case.”

    One of the experts I respect and follow on TV said this morning the booster’s effectiveness against Omicron could drop from 75% to 35% in 2-3 months

    Fauci in favor of vaccine mandates for airline passengers: “anything to get more people vaccinated is welcome”



  12. Boxing Day  ?
    Who knew ?  I thought it was hauling the lights back to the attic.
    Giving the “help” the leftovers makes a lot more sense .

  13. They are whining about “carrying papers” to get into a restaurant.  The idiots still don’t understand that this isn’t about your private, medical info (that’s not how HIPPA works, anyway), but about public health.

    If the unvaccinated get sick, refuse treatment.

  14. So the Webb is on his way , they made critical burn to correct it’s course.  A ok. 
    First picture they take will show a flashing billboard saying –

  15. Mo Rocca  did a story on Beethoven this morning and the 9th symphony.  Covid killed his 250th birthday party last year. 
    Mo does great work , good reason to think the man had lead poisoning.  
    Just when I really get discussed with our little enterprise here, I am reminded how wonderful we can be.

  16. ’29 days on the edge:’ What’s next for NASA’s newly launched James Webb Space Telescope
    The telescope is headed for the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 2 (L2), a gravitationally stable spot 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from our planet in the direction of Mars. It’ll take 29 days for Webb to get there, and there will be lots of nail-biting action for the telescope along the way.
    “The Webb observatory has 50 major deployments … and 178 release mechanisms to deploy those 50 parts,” Webb Mission Systems Engineer Mike Menzel, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a deployment-explaining video called “29 Days on the Edge” that the agency posted in October. 
    “Every single one of them must work,” Menzel said. “Unfolding Webb is hands-down the most complicated spacecraft activity we’ve ever done.”
    Webb has notched a few major milestones already. About half an hour after liftoff, for example, it deployed its solar panels and started soaking up energy from the sun. And last night, the big telescope performed a crucial 65-minute engine burn that put it on course for L2.
    The following is a brief rundown of the big steps yet to come. (For more detail, see NASA’s Webb deployment site.) The timelines given are approximate; Webb team members have stressed that the deployment schedule is flexible, so don’t panic if the times and dates shift a bit, or if some things occur out of order.
    One day after launch, Webb will rotate its high-gain antenna toward Earth to further facilitate communications with its handlers. A day after that, the spacecraft will perform another engine burn to refine its trajectory toward L2. And three days after launch, the pallet holding Webb’s huge sunshield — a five-layer structure designed to keep the infrared telescope and its instruments cool — will be lowered.

  17. This Webb effort makes landing on Mars and flying a helicopter around  seem simple.  My head spins  watching these things  and all the women at work on them, and not one of them is wearing a short red skirt, black tights, and knee high patten leather boots.
    We did did get rid of the short sleeve shirts , and ties  and those pocket protectors. 
    One small step for mankind. 

  18. My high school friend Drew coined phrases  all the time.  One of his best –
    “Too much botcuila in the rotunda”
    He’s long dead , but God bless him , that’s our problem now. 
    He also told me in Austin when I was eating LSD like Chicklets ,
    “Robert I love like a bother, but get the fuck outta my house”. 
    It worked , I never took it again. 
    One of my first great leather works  was his harmonica  case.  Like an Indian pipe bag with pockets , lots of them. 

  19. My  family Christmas  comes tomorrow  , the  older nephew with his 3 kids and doctor wife arrive tonight, they are driving in from Louisville . Nick did missionary work in China , a real Bible thumper .  His younger brother  Travis  is the pot salesman from Manitou , who I called a jack ass for not telling me he had the virus , and still didn’t get a shot.  My little sister exploded over this .  “Travis is not a jack ass , you are a jack ass !”
    I let that dog lay down , but the tension tomorrow will be epic. 
    Nick’s Dr. wife  is Sheridan .  How a family from Ft. Worth  names their baby girl after Union General , I plan to find out. 
    Their kids all have electric  red hair , I’m thinking it’s an old world family name. 

  20. 60 Mins.  just did their big climate / wine story.  The vines are marching to the poles. 
    What they missed  was that the wild swings are marching right along with the grapes. 

  21. This story about wine is the least of our worries.  The collapse of the Artic life on land and sea , and all living things on the planet is the  real story.
    Sea Ice …………… 
    Turns out that algae  grows on the bottom of sea ice  at both poles.  It was  the king pin for life in the ocean at the poles.  

  22. What is “News” ? 
    How to return your fucking gift.
    Some fool next to a gas pump.
    A girl at an airport .
    Guess what ? 
    It’s full of people. 
    And that is late breaking news !

  23. It is a crime that this report is over run by the ocean of bullshit that passes for our news. 
    What is coming , and right soon will make all this measuring of our collective greed  seem the waste of time it is. 

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