“There But For the Grace…”

There are a lot of things in life that cause people to say or think, “That will never happen to me.” Maybe for some of those things, it’s true. But honestly, we are all susceptible to some trauma, some misfortune, some twists and turns in life. I’m not a fan of scare tactics or living life in fear. The idea that “it can happen to anyone” is really more about having some empathy for people you consider to be “others.”  Upworthy

 

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Turkey to Turkey

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As for myself, I’m totally engrossed in my constant reading of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I’m convinced that history not only repeats itself but has gotten even worse. At least the failures of the past were often intriguing and worthy of further study. Today’s failures are merely the nauseating punch lines of stale jokes at our expense.

The High Fashion of Defiance?

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“PUNK: Chaos to Couture” opens today! Featuring more than 100 designs for men and women, the exhibition examines punk’s impact on high fashion. via Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Trinity’s Divine Stash

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There was never any doubt that Trinity Church was quite well-to-do. In fact, the church’s total assets are currently estimated to be around $2 billion in well-to-do-ness. While this divine nest egg seems rather paltry when compared to the Vatican‘s inestimable store of heavenly manna, it still runs contrary to the essence of a Protestant Episcopalianism; the presumed values that, beyond King Henry VIII’s personal idiosyncrasies, led to its establishment.

When the church was founded in 1705, Queen Anne of England bestowed 215 acres of Manhattan farmland to the church. Trinity Church obviously took that profitable ball and ran with it for over three centuries. The New York Times explains that the 215 acres has since been parlayed into 5.5 million square feet of commercial real estate with an estimated value of more than $2 billion. This brought in $158 million in revenue in 2011, with philanthropic causes receiving only $3 million compared to$2.5 million going to  its music program.

This is what compelled a former parishioner to bring a lawsuit against the church that caused quite a stir amongst the congregation.

“I felt that the church was being too corporate and wasn’t acting on its values,” he says. The church’s rector, James Cooper, says Trinity Church is striking the right balance. But Cooper—who makes roughly $1.3 million a year in total compensation—is a controversial figure; last year a resigning vestry member said he had “created a glaring atmosphere of deceit.”

Personally, I know that Trinity Church’s famed Christmas presentation of Handel’s Messiah will sound forever off-key to this blogger from now on. Indeed, after all is said and done, it appears cozily appropriate that the church is situated right at the end of Wall Street.

via Newser

Achromatic Countenance

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“Two-faced: Meet Battenberg, the four week-old lamb whose black and white markings saved his life.”  http://bit.ly/ZFPaAd Daily Mail

Reminds me of  Bele (Frank Gorshin) in the Star Trek episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.”

This Has to Be a Joke!

swimming-under-BB

“A beach under the Brooklyn Bridge is just one of the many features included in a plan for an East River “Blueway” stretching from East 38th Street to the South Street Seaport.” via Newser

I’d sooner swim in shark-infested waters or sail over Niagara Falls in a paper raft.  Normal people don’t venture directly into the East River unless a disaster forces them to do so.