Tag Archives: tragedy

Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” with Cate Blanchett in a Blanche DuBois Echoing Role

Woody Allen continues his staggering productivity as a writer and director. His latest film, Blue Jasmine, is getting rave reviews, such as this from David Denby at The New Yorker: Woody Allen, in his startling new movie, “Blue Jasmine,” has adopted … Continue reading

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Nuclear Religious War Watch: An Israel-Iran “Short War”?

Short war scenarios tend to be delusional, but Benjamin Netanyahu appears to think that he can initiate one against Iran. Seriously. The following was reported in the Washington Post yesterday: A “short-war” scenario assumes five days or so of limited Israeli … Continue reading

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Japan’s earthquake and tsunami: there was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise.

The most heart-breaking and arresting sentence (or, rather, portion of a larger sentence) I’ve encountered on the Japan earthquake and tsunami was penned at Salon this morning by Matt Zoller Seitz: [W]omen and children walking and in some cases swimming through … Continue reading

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In Your Trance You’re Not Unfortunate: Atheism vs. Theism in Euripides’s Bakkhai

In scene 3 of Euripides’s ancient tragedy, Bakkhai, is a brief passage that overbrims with implications for the atheist vs. theist divide. Addressed to the anti-theist Pentheus, king of Thebes, a messenger calls on him to reconsider his hostility toward the divine and … Continue reading

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Two dead babies found wrapped in Los Angeles Times newspapers from the 1930s

According to the Los Angeles Times today, a human tragedy that quietly played out perhaps more than 70 years ago, is being investigated: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck promised a vigorous investigation after the remains of two babies believed to have died … Continue reading

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More news from Chile in the immediate aftermath of this morning’s magnitude 8.8 quake

This from AP: Candia was visiting his wife’s 92-year-old grandmother in Talca when the quake struck. “Everything was falling — chests of drawers, everything,” he said. “I was sleeping with my 8-year-old son Diego and I managed to cover his … Continue reading

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Historical perspective on this morning’s magnitude 8.8 quake in central Chile

In the same area a magnitude 9.5 earthquake struck (May 22, 1960): And in 1939 was another large quake:

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Chile’s earthquake and a simulation from the National Geographic Channel

Chile had a magnitude-8.8 earthquake early this morning (Saturday, February 27, 2010). Here’s a National Geographic simulation of the damage a major earthquake in Chile is capable of causing:

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Lost in the Cosmos: Language and Irony

Once you acknowledge (as I do) that the universe appears, paradoxically, as either self-created or always existent, and that it consists of atoms and the void and nothing else, then there is nothing in that universe that can tell you, as … Continue reading

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Afghan Crossed Lovers: Romeo, Juliet, the Taliban, and GAY MARRIAGE

Yes, there are real monsters in the world. This today in the Guardian: A young couple who tried to elope in one of the most lawless and conservative parts of Afghanistan have been publicly executed by Taliban gunmen after their … Continue reading

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Bearing Witness to the Holocaust: Studio Portrait of a Jewish Family Living in Poland Before the Holocaust

Portrait of a Jewish family in Poland. 90% of Polish Jews died during the Holocaust.

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2nd Century Roman Marble Bust of Menander, the Greek Playwright (Circa 3rd Century BCE)

Marble bust of the Greek playwright, Menander, circe 100-150 CE (“common era”). The bust is part of the permanent collection at the Getty Museum in Malibu, Ca. The photo above was taken in January, 2009. The 2nd century Getty version of … Continue reading

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Did You Know That Sartre, in the Name of World Revolution, Would Not Have Prevented the Burning of the Mona Lisa? Neither Did I!

In 1972 Jean Paul Sartre, then age 67, was interviewed by Esquire magazine. The interview appeared in December of that year.   How do I know this? Because I had the displeasure of reading the interview today, not from an … Continue reading

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