Christmas 2016

Newgrange is an ancient structure in Ireland so constructed that the sun, at the exact time of the winter solstice, shines directly down a long corridor and illuminates the inner chamber. More about Newgrange here and here.

Grim has an Arthurian passage about the Solstice.

Don Sensing has thoughts astronomical, historical, and theological about the Star of Bethlehem.

Vienna Boys Choir, from Maggie’s Farm

Lappland in pictures…link came from the great and much-mourned Neptunus Lex

Snowflakes and snow crystals, from Cal Tech. Lots of great photos

In the bleak midwinter, from King’s College Cambridge

Rick Darby has some thoughts on the season. More here.

A Christmas reading from Thomas Pynchon.

The first radio broadcast of voice and music took place on Christmas Eve, 1906. (although there is debate about the historical veracity of this story)

An air traffic control version of  The Night Before Christmas.

Ice sculptures from the St Paul winter carnival

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, sung by Enya

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Mona Charen, who is Jewish, wonders  what’s going on with the Christians?

2 thoughts on “Christmas 2016”

  1. In the comments on the post of Kipling’s poem was a link to an article about Kipling by Orwell in which he griped that Kipling was not a good poet–though he admitted that Kipling expressed many things far better than his now-forgotten critics. But the whole point of poetry is communication, and the quality of “what oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed” is what we really want–never mind how well the work adheres to the literary conventions of the age. Orwell himself made great contributions along those lines with his own memorable images and phrases. Never mind whether Orwell was a great stylist: “Some animals are more equal than others” is going to last. So will much of Kipling’s work.

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