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Everything posted by DonRocks

  1. TREE(1) = 1 TREE(2) = 3 How big is TREE(3)? Bigger than anything you can conceive of:
  2. I was asked to comment about DC's Best Dining Neighborhood by my friend Warren Rojas. With due respect to other restaurant writers, some of whom are seduced by the new, the popular, the televised, and the highly publicized, I'm telling you right now that The Wharf will be to Washington, DC what The Inner Harbor is to Baltimore: A destination for tourists, but a place where locals will never go, except once a year when they're hosting out-of-town guests. The smartest thing The Wharf could do would be to charge $10 for parking to anyone with a valid DMV driver's license. You heard it here first. Sorry I'm not more popular - proclamations like this are why - but even though I'll never be famous during my lifetime, I sleep very well at night (actually, I don't, but it's not because of this). --- PS - One of my New Year's resolutions is to write one, solid review per week. I've had many false starts in recent years; not this time, not if I can help it. Just think of me as the fugue in Beethoven's Hammerklavier. Cheers, Stable Genius
  3. This is extremely sad. "Philly's Restaurant Community Toasts Cocktail Maven Katie Loeb, Now in Hospice" by Danya Henninger on billypenn.com "Restaurant Community Remembering Katie Loeb" by Michael Klein on philly.com
  4. One thing I learned from Andy Hayler is to term these restaurants "British," not "English." Of note: I don't think this is the famous "Scott's" [note the apostrophe] seafood restaurant in Mayfair, which is run by Richard Caring, and is a showplace for celebrities: "The Restaurant for Show-Offs! It's the L100 a Head Mayfair Eaterie where Celebs Go when They WANT To Be Seen ...." by Alison Boshoff on dailymail.co.uk There could be a potential legal showdown in London because of this.
  5. Feb 23, 2018 - "Old City Restaurants Affected by Fire Are Fighting for Survival" by Danya Henninger on billypenn.com "Capogiro Gelato Announces It's Closing All Locations" by Adam Hermann on phillyvoice.com "Capogiro Gelato Artisans and Capofitto To Close" by Marilyn Johnson on phillygrub.blog
  6. Note: The nine-section tone poem, "Also Sprach Zarathustra," by the great composer, Richard Strauss, only extends to the 32:10 point of this video. The first section, "Sunrise," is the main theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." My hope is that our readers will become familiar with the composer, Gustavo Dudamel, who is the <wink, wink> "inspiration" for the TV series, "Mozart in the Jungle."
  7. For those who think wine tasting is some sort of bogus lie, I could name nearly an infinite number of counter examples: * If you walk through an art gallery, can you tell a Renoir from a Rembrandt? * If you close your eyes and sip a glass of juice, can you tell if it's apple juice or orange juice? * If you hear a song, can you tell if it's Bob Dylan or David Bowie? --- This is a true story: About twenty years ago, in a New York tasting, a group of my wine-tasting friends were all there. Our own Sasha Katsman had passed out on the couch sometime after midnight, but the others were still going strong. One of my friends had opened and served an old wine, in a brown paper bag, which, after much arguing, was determined to be a 1964 Bordeaux. After about fifteen minutes of arguing and screaming, they had all narrowed it down to a Pomerol, but nobody could decide which one it was. When they had reached a point of permanent disagreement, they went to shake awake Sasha from the couch, who had been dead-to-the-world for thirty minutes. They roused him, and shouted, 'Sasha! We need you to tell us which 1964 Pomerol this is!' With his eyes closed, he staggered over to the table where the glass of wine was, picked it up, and without opening his eyes, sniffed it, and without tasting it, put it back down, eyes still shut and said, "It's not a Pomerol; it's Cheval Blanc." He then staggered back to the couch and went back to sleep. He was right.
  8. Mark, I don't want to discard this question; I just don't have anything to say other than that I think Carrie is young, thus enthusiastic, focused, and, perhaps, not as world-wise (world-weary?) as she might be in thirty years. That's not any type of criticism; its just an observation after having lived a very long life. Think of the young, idealistic people who were protesting the Vietnam War, for example. Can you imagine if our President instituted the draft right now? Here would be the response:
  9. This is a relatively important event in the course of human history - "Sounds of Mars - NASA's Insight Senses Martian Wind"
  10. I'm so glad to hear about Phil, and your second post does nothing to detract from your first. Also, Phil's situation is very real - please look at the GoFundMe pictures: I'm glad to see they've almost reached their goal, although if he's uninsured, their medical expenses will be multiples of $35,000.
  11. Congratulations to Chef Corey Lee for winning the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef - West.
  12. It's calving, and we're hosed. Or, at least, I wouldn't be investing in any oceanfront property to hand down to my great-grandchildren.
  13. "The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything" by Carl Zimmer on nytimes.com
  14. DonRocks


    Both of the restaurants I mentioned were perfectly fine, but without criticizing them, I cant recommend either one in this particular situation (I hope you picked that up in my post). The cultural things, your daughter must do.
  15. Being semi-known in this world brings you these little gifts, one of which is the loss of ability to use satire and irony without being dragged to the mat, even by the best and brightest. 😢
  16. If you're offended by any discussion about religion - even when it's being discussed as a tangential issue - then please click out of this post now because this may offend you, and that is not my intent. Minor **SPOILERS** will follow: --- Last week, I finished reading the biography of the amazing Louis Zamperini, "Unbroken," written by Laura Hillenbrand - one of the best and most thoroughly researched biographies I've ever read. No, it's not perfect, and if you click on the title, you'll see we have the beginnings of a meaningful discussion about the book. This thread, and this post, is about the movie. In the "Unbroken" book thread, I mention a recent discussion I had with a member about "In Cold Blood" (just click and read the first paragraph in Post #11). In essence, she was unable to enjoy the movie because she had read the book first. I'm afraid that with "Unbroken," that may be the case with me: I was recently told that there was no mention of Billy Graham in the film. To my eyes, the book is structured as follows: 1) A medium-sized beginning (childhood, upbringing, college, Olympics) 2) A huge middle (the war) 3) A short ending (PTSD, recovery) For there to be no mention of Zamperini's post-war biography is to essentially clip short his life in his mid-20s. Think about this for a moment: If Billy Graham did not exist, there would be no "Unbroken" because there would have been no Louis Zamperini to write about. Zamperini's recovery (I'm purposefully not calling it a redemption) is such a major factor in his biography that its omission is a literary and journalistic sin. What I can say here is very limited because I haven't seen the film, but based on what I heard, I would urge anyone who has seen the film, and who doesn't want to invest the substantial time involved in reading the entire 406-page book, to borrow a copy, and read only the 18-page Epilogue. At this point, the only reason I want to watch the film is so I can voice this opinion more forcefully, and with some credibility and authority; right now, I cannot. --- For those interested in the enormous power that Billy Graham was able to convey, I encourage them to go to his website, and watch one or more of his "televised classics" (the old, black-and-white ones are directly relevant to the full biography of Zamperini, but even for those completely uninterested in Graham, there is still historical importance in the beautiful alto gospel of Ethel Waters at the 8:30 point in this video). I should also disclose that Graham was a major influence on, and source of enormous comfort to, my beloved mother - his occasional televised crusades were part of my childhood, as I watched my mother watch him, completely mesmerized by the unselfish sovereignty of his oration. I am hardly an evangelist, but have no problem in voicing my opinion that Billy Graham is one of the greatest and most important people ever to live, wielding immense power on a global scale, but never once abusing it for his own personal gain - his rightful place in history is side-by-side with Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, Mahatma Gandhi, and David Ben-Gurion.
  17. DonRocks

    What the Hell is "Hell?"

    Speaking of advances in carbon and plastics in sports ... Why all this fire-and-brimstone crap? Why not high-speed drill technology, or Goldfinger's laser? Or The Agony Booth - wouldn't it be sufficient to stick someone in there and just leave them for all eternity? Do we still have nerves that cause pain after we die? That's sort of weird. Does an exact copy of our body magically appear somewhere deep beneath the Earth's surface? I mean, this makes for a good horror tale, but I'm not quite sure I buy it. James Joyce does a fine job at scaring the shit out of people: "Now let us try for a moment to realize, as far as we can, the nature of that abode of the damned which the justice of an offended God has called into existence for the eternal punishment of sinners. Hell is a strait and dark and foul-smelling prison, an abode of demons and lost souls, filled with fire and smoke. The straitness of this prison house is expressly designed by God to punish those who refused to be bound by His laws. In earthly prisons the poor captive has at least some liberty of movement, were it only within the four walls of his cell or in the gloomy yard of his prison. Not so in hell. There, by reason of the great number of the damned, the prisoners are heaped together in their awful prison, the walls of which are said to be four thousand miles thick: and the damned are so utterly bound and helpless that, as a blessed saint, saint Anselm, writes in his book on similitudes, they are not even able to remove from the eye a worm that gnaws it." Seriously, what the hell have I done to deserve *this*? If God came floating through my door *right now*, I'd abandon all my worldly possessions, give him a blowjob, and essentially do whatever the hell he wanted me to do, no matter what it was (with my luck, it would turn out to be some horny space alien, masquerading as God) - but nobody other than my fellow human beings has ever given me orders about how I'm supposed to live my life! Kind of unfair to humanity, to have terrified them for so many millenia, don't you think? I mean, living for merely 80 years in an infinity of time is bad enough on its own (and if anyone believes "the universe is 15-billion years old," they're wrong). This "universe" is nothing more than a blip, and just because our puny brains don't understand infinity, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Is "time" ever going to end? Did it have a beginning? I don't think so. The "Big Bang" might have been "an event," but it was one of an infinite number of events. No, I can't prove it, but that makes about as much sense as rotting in hell (actually, if you "rot" in hell, then it wouldn't be eternal, would it?) If you think about it, "eternity" is another word for "infinity," and that surely stretches backwards as well as forwards (and probably sideways, and through other dimensions) - why wouldn't it? That kind of puts the kibosh on the seven-day theory, don't you think? --- On a related note, I like "The Little Bird of Svithjod" as a visualization technique for "eternity": High up in the north, in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak. When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by. From The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon [The link just above calculates "one day in eternity" as 4.2 octillion years, FWIW. That number can be written as follows: 4,200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000] --- I wonder what Zeus has to say about all of this. "Fucking pecker, coming along and trying to usurp me!" It's like what James Hunt must have thought about Niki Lauda.
  18. "Why More Women Don't Win Nobel Prizes in Science" by some woman on bbc.com
  19. President George H.W. and First Lady Barbara Bush (1925-2018) were married for 73 years. Nov 30, 2018 - "George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, Dies at 94" by Karen Tumulty on washingtonpost.com