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By: Mark Miller,
Blog: From the land of Empyrean
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, Murray Pura
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Promise of Tomorrow Volume 2: Discovery reveals some secrets.
My new Amish serialized novel started with the destructive forces of nature, sending the Umble family running for their lives. They boarded a transport as a tornado destroyed their home.
In Discovery, the transport arrives at their destination. I'm not going to spoil where they are going. However, when they step off the transport, they probably see something like this...
This is the entrance to Captain Nemo's Nautilus
(one of my favorite movies and Disney World extinct attractions). I can tell you my main character Luke did not take his family on a submarine. The question that Luke has to answer is "How far will you go to keep your faith?"
It is a literal and metaphorical question. He has to answer with both his heart and body. Volume 2 shows the first steps of the journey that will answer that question.
“Here is a different take on the Amish and it's a good tale that is well told. Mark writes with honesty, compassion, elegance and strength. Any lover of the Amish and of Amish fiction will be blessed by this book. Five stars, Mark!” –Murray Pura, Bestselling author of The Face of Heaven
Luke Umble believed he was a man of God. One fateful decision could test all of his beliefs. With the support of his wife Annie, they uproot their family in an attempt to save the ones they love. Luke is challenged on all sides by his cantankerous father, his oldest son’s rebellion and even his youngest daughter’s Muscular Dystrophy.
In Volume 2: Discovery, the Umble family arrives at their destination. Their new life begins in a shocking way. From the first step out of the transport door, the seeds are sewn that will either tear their family apart or bring them closer than ever.
The one question he asks himself is “How far would you go to keep your faith?”
The only answer Luke can find lies in God’s Promise of Tomorrow.
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Promise of Tomorrow
By: Pam Bachorz ,
at the butterfly gardenAny parent in the mid-Atlantic likely has heard the pleas: take me to Hershey Park!
And yeah, I think it's worth the drive to Pennsylvania (from DC, at least) and it deserves the hype. Our first grader LOVED it, as much as any Disney park. But while you're there, consider staying overnight and going to the Hershey Gardens.
The Garden started as the private estate of the Hershey family, and now anybody can tour it. Of course it's a haven for anybody who likes to garden--but that's not me. My speciality is killing plants. Still, I took our son there because I had a few hours to kill last June while my husband was at the Chocolate Spa (across the street), and I'd heard there was some sort of scavenger hunt.
Boy is there a scavenger hunt. The people at Hershey Garden are clever. Even before you get to the ticket window, they have an adorable garden hut set up with bright kid-sized gardening tools and a peppy smiling worker. For ten bucks you get your own scavenger hunt, a pencil, and one of the tools for a prize when you leave and turn in a completed hunt.
My kid went from whining and dragging to having a mission. We also loved the beautiful large butterfly house--mid June was the perfect time to visit it--and just wandering through the expansive grounds. But the scavenger hunt was the big hit.
We've got a bright red hoe in our garage, now, just waiting for my kid to use it. He hasn't touched it yet. Clearly we share some of the same gardening genes.
But for ten bucks, I got plenty of time to see the garden and I got a kid happy to be there.
I wish every museum and garden was this smart!
Yes, I really went to MOOD last week! And in New York too! Which I guess is only momentous if you are, like me, a total Project Runway fan. In case you're not a fan or have no idea what I'm talking about, I promise that I did take advantage of touring other New York sites, too.At the moment, though, I'm still a little breathless, and not just from wheeling my suitcase through the airport. It all happened so fast, and there was so much to take in, and there's so much I want to say about the trip . . . where to start?How about at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I saw the Egyptian collection:This was particularly special for me as Egyptian antiquities were the inspiration for my book The Great Scarab Scam. Added bonus: some great ideas for future pottery and ceramic work:It was also a thrill to see the samurai collection at the museum because it's the basis of my current National Poetry Month project on Japan. (Samurai armor has always intrigued me; so much so that I used it in a section of Overtaken):And it felt very elegant (if not a little dangerous) to be served a Metropolitan Martini on the museum balcony while a string quartet played in the background:Unforgettable: walking through Greenwich Village and bumping into Pillow Fight Day. (Or that's what I thought it was. I could be wrong; maybe Rizzoli's ran out of signed copies of Overtaken?)Seeing the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center was a big highlight too; especially as when I went back there the next day the maintenance crew was a) closing the rink for the spring/summer season, and b) retrieving the biggest, goldest, bling-iest bracelet ever from a flower pot as I watched with great surprise and interest. I did my best to refrain from insisting it was MINE: "Yes, Officer, I was right here on this very spot only yesterday. Honest."And of course there was the totally unexpected river taxi ride that just happened to go to my hotel while passing the local statuary:But on the very last day of all, after the Guggenheim (Solomon R. in the guidebook), Central Park, Fifth Avenue, and more pasta than I'm sure is legal, all my dreams came true and I went to MOOD! I played with Swatch! I pulled his ears! (I don't think you're really supposed to pull his ears, but he didn't seem to mind.)Swatch refusing a signed copy of Overtaken:In case you're interested, that's the inside of my coat on the chair along with the Mood bag holding the fabric I bought (see top photo again) as well as an amazing sketchbook called a Fashionary. Each page of this nifty little book has 3 templates of "models" you can draw the clothes on whenever you're seized by the muse: A dress just like the Empire State Building! A cape made from faux Central Park squirrels! The possibilities are endless and might even land you on Project Runway one day.So, yes, I had a really, really good time. And I finally understand all those I-heart-New York souvenirs because you can't not love New York. Now all I need is a nap and time to design some pants for Swatch in my Fashionary. Catch you all later.Tip of the Day: Be spontaneous--take a risk. I hadn't made serious plans to go to New York; it just sort of happened. Which also means I had no itinerary whatsoever, and it couldn't have worked out better. Just like writing and artwork, once you dive into a project, you can work out the details later. The important thing is to go there. Bon Voyage!
I went to Philly this weekend and ran the Rocky Steps. The weather was perfect, and it was such a pleasure to run in cool temps with no humidity! I ran up and down 65 steps, 30 times.
By: Ellis Nadler
Blog: Ellis Nadler's Sketchbook
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Four more new pages from my forthcoming Memoirs
.Paper53 on iPad. Click to enlarge.
By: Leslie Ann Clark,
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog
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, Kicking Around Thoughts
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Have you ever started a new chapter in your life? Have you ever dared to do something you never did before? Did you feel launched into it and found yourself in free fall? You are not alone. It happens all the time! Anyone who wants to do something worthwhile in life has to take risks and sometimes those risks lead to even more risks!
When my art career began, I was imagining all the possibilities. I dreamed of success. I created many fun little cartoons and talked about what I wanted to do with them. Then one day, I ran into a friend who was DOING what I wanted to do. She shook me! She said, “Les, you have to go to the N.Y. Stationary Show and you have to go NOW!
I had heard of this show. I had many of my friends online talking about going. This was back in the late 90′s. There was something in her voice. It was more like a command from heaven than a gentle nudging from a friend. I made up my mind to go!
This was huge for me. I had only been on an airplane once for a 45 minute flight. I practically sat on the lap of the man sitting next to me… asking him what this bump was and what THAT bump was! I decided I better pray about this trip. I told the Lord that if HE wanted me to do this then he would have to make the way for me. A few days later someone had put an envelope in my mailbox. It was $300.00. Enough for my flight! It was not long until I was flying across America to New York City. I met up with my girlfriend and stayed with her uncle and aunt. We took buses, rode trains and cabs. Once at the show we had to pedal our portfolios. I am NOT a sales person. … but there I was asking people where their art director was and if I might have a minute with them. Over and over. Hmmm…. it became a little easier each time.
One last company sat down with me. They looked through my whole portfolio and asked if I had anything more? I pulled out one last picture of a little baby. That was it! That was the one the art director liked. She asked me if I had any more and I told her I would email them to her when I got home. You better believe I was sketching babies on the airplane!
This was one of my first “be brave” moments. Over and over the good Lord has taken my by the hand and shown me what to do next. Some would say, “you are weak if you need help for everything.” But I say, I am smart for asking.
I have a few more adventures I am yearning for. There will come that day, when the dreaming is over, and the bags all packed and ready to GO!
What are you waiting for? Be Brave!!!!!
Filed under: God STuff
, Kicking Around Thoughts
By: Pam Bachorz ,
Revolutionary soldier chatting up our Little DudeA few weekends ago, my son's fondest dream came true: he got to go to Great Wolf Lodge. He's been begging for years. And I am not kidding you--this was his deepest desire.
But we had a deal. If we were going to the land of water slides and dozens of kids running around with interactive magic wands, the grown-ups got something in the bargain too.
We got to go to Colonial Williamsburg. And it turns out that our kid loved it too.
The two are only ten minutes away from each other, in Virginia, and about a three hour drive from DC (assuming you evade the infamous "mixing bowl" traffic). It's a great weekend trip. We got the three-day ticket at Colonial Williamsburg and spent half days there, along with half days/nights at Great Wolf Lodge.
You could easily spend a week at Colonial Williamsburg to see everything. But we were on the second-grader plan, so we skipped all but one of the special presentations, all of the art museums, and the ghost walk got a panicked veto. Here were a few of the family favorites:
- The Public Gaol (jail), which shockingly was in operation until the 1920s and even housed some of Blackbeard's crew. Although let me tell you I am quite certain it's haunted!
- Our kid's very favorite spot was the book binder and printer. We couldn't have predicted this. But he adored the goofy, slightly prickly interpreter who works half-time in each of those locations. He didn't talk down to the kids and he demanded interaction from them.
- The shops. I know some people don't like that there are shops mixed into the streets of CW, where you can actually buy stuff--the say it's too commercial. But my kid loved getting to check out colonial toys, and having a three-cornered hat to wear around town.
- We had an almost surreal and fun experience at R. Charlton's Coffeehouse, by the Capitol. We thought it was the sort of place you'd just stroll into and watch an interpreter at work, like most of the other open buildings. But instead we were ushered into an experience of being invited to "lease" the shop, by an interpreter who was fully immersed in the pre-Revolutionary time. She wanted my son's "receipt" for his strange favorite dish of pizza. Then once we finished with her tour, we were offered small samples of coffee, tea or (amazing) hot chocolate as a "thank you for considering the lease"--and we sat at a table with another fully-immersed interpreter who was acting as a minister of the time. And then we were politely ushered out, after chit-chatting with him about the politics of the time. It really almost felt like we'd slipped back to 1775 for a little while. I half-wondered if the rooms would be empty and dusty, if we tried to go back.
- And finally, the mustering of the troops on Friday afternoon was a huge hit with all three of us. We watched the fife-and-drum corp come marching to the green, and then Lafayette himself came to get us all excited about marching to Yorktown. He was one very excellent Lafayette, a thrilling horse rider with a French accent to boot. We got to watch the muskets and cannons being shot off, too. Thumbs up all around.
Don't hesitate to take your grade-schooler to Colonial Williamsbug. There is more than enough to keep everyone fascinated. Plus it's plenty of walking so they'll sleep well that night!
Someday I’m going to run out of books by the Williamsons where some people go on a road trip through part of Europe and at least one person isn’t what they seem and someone falls in love with the chauffeur. And on that day I will be very sad.
The Motor Maid has some really, really great bits, but mostly I enjoyed it as a good example of the Williamsons’ mini genre. (Has anyone encountered one of these chauffeurs-and-sightseeing-and-incognito books written by anyone else?) See, on one hand there’s the beginning, which takes place on a train and has a rough parallel to the beginning of Miss Cayley’s Adventures and made me think I might be starting my new favorite Williamsons book, but on the other hand this might be the snobbiest Williamsons book ever.
Our heroine is Lys d’Angely, a half French, half American orphan who’s running away from her surviving relatives so they can’t make her marry a massively wealthy manufacturer of corn plasters. New money is inherently disgusting to the Williamsons, but they’ve also made him personally disgusting, whether for the benefit of their less prejudiced readers or because they can’t conceive of a manufacturer of corn plasters who isn’t super gross, I don’t know. Anyway, Lys’ friend Pam has found her a job as companion to an elderly Russian princess and a first class ticket to Cannes to get her to it. And then Pam promptly disappears to America with her husband because the rest of the book requires that she not be on hand to give Lys any further assistance.
I should stop mocking this bit of the book though, because it’s awesome. Lys has an upper berth on the train, and the woman in the lower one is noisily unable to sleep. Also, her bulldog is runnng around on the floor below, making threatening noises. Eventually Lys gets sick of listening to the woman complain to herself about how awful she feels, so she climbs down and forcibly undresses her. Then they drink tea and eat snacks and Lys makes friends with the bulldog and everything is basically perfect. This is the bit that reminded me of Lois Cayley’s initial interactions with Lady Georgina, and I started hoping that Lys would take a job with Miss Paget and that they would have awesome adventures together. Instead, Miss Paget leaves Lys with her English address and the promise of a job if she ever needs one, and Lys arrives in Cannes to find that her prospective employer, Princess Boriskoff, has just died.
This is where the main body of the plot kicks in. An impoverished Irish noblewoman (because the Williamsons sometimes have trouble writing books without those) helps Lys find a job as lady’s maid to the nouveau riche wife of a manufacturer of liver pills. Both Lys and Lady Kilmarny are horrified by Lady Turnour and her husband, but Lys is broke, and this job will get her back to England. And while Lady Turnour is in fact awful — although I blame this more on the authors than the character — Lys ends up enjoying accompanying the Turnours on their trip through the South of France. This is a little bit because of the scenery, but mostly because of the chauffeur. His name is Jack Dane and he’s in a similar situation to Lys’ — he’s clearly a gentleman but has had to hire himself out as a chauffeur for reasons he doesn’t care to explain. They quickly become friends, and have pretty good chemistry of a very Williamsons-ish kind.
Having wound up the mechanism of the plot, the Williamsons pretty much let it toddle along by itself from there. The ending is abrupt, and makes the beginning feel too long, maybe, but The Motor Maid is a lot of fun. Except that I kept stopping and wondering whether the Williamsons — and their characters — are always quite this mean about people who aren’t like them. Lys and Jack are both poor but aristocratic, and they spend a lot of time mocking the Turnours and their stepson, who were all born into the lower classes. Neither of them associates at all with anyone in their current social position, and very few of the people they interact with on their travels meet with their approval. It’s an interesting setup, having the actual gentlefolk waiting on the social climbers, but the execution is a little too mean-spirited for it to be as fun as it could be. And in the end, the Williamsons were even a little bit mean about Miss Paget.
This is going to make it sound like I didn’t like The Motor Maid, but I did, a lot. It’s as Williamsons as it gets, and I like them. It just also made me a little bit uncomfortable.
The greatest hamburger-themed stickers Disney has ever produced.
Delicious izakaya in Tokyo with Merrick, Leo & KB. My favorite dishes were the kimchi udon pasta & the tofu cheesecake. YUM.
Gion Kitana, as recommended by Tara (formerly) of Sweet Breams. Make sure you get the dekitate, their fresh ice cream. So good.
Yakisoba at Mizuno, Osaka. Their okonomiyaki is out of this world. I discovered the restaurant by following two people in Osaka who seemed to be on a mission to eat. I do that when I travel. Not creepy.
Sushidai in Tokyo.
Matcha green tea paste
at Ippodo Tea, recommended by Yoko of Homako
Kaboucha fried goodness.
Thanks to the lovely friends who sent suggestions and made our trip that much more delicious and delightful. Special shout to Merrick for housing KB & me, and teaching us some key Japanese words. Good host. Arigatou gozaimasu.
In Kyoto, Kevin took me to Kanga-an Temple
, a temple with a hidden bar once the sun goes down.
We sipped on Japanese whiskey (finally!!).
“The pace is slow here so it calms you down,” says Yamada [the bartender]. “It’s not the drinks, it’s the garden that relaxes you” (from the Japan Times).
After Kyoto, Kevin & I stayed in Eko-in Temple
in Koyasan. The train ride was so pretty.
Best tofu ever.
The view! It was nice to wander the halls and find random rooms and studies. The best parts were the fire ceremony in the morning, relaxing in the onsen, and the table in the room with an electric blanket as the tablecloth. Glorious. We basically lived under the table.
And then there was Totoro! I happened upon him many times before actually saying hello at the Ghibli Museum.
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, Benedict XIV
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, Dr. Robert V. McNamee
, Electronic Enlightenment
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By Dr. Robert V. McNamee
On Sunday, 29 March 1739, two young men, aspiring authors and student friends from Eton College and Cambridge, departed Dover for the Continent. The twenty-two year old Horace Walpole, 4th earl of Orford (1717–1797), was setting out on his turn at the Grand Tour. Accompanying him on the journey, which would take them through France to Italy, was Thomas Gray (1716–1771), future author of the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”. The pair stayed abroad until September 1741, when an argument saw Gray return to England alone.
Travelling through Catholic domains, they would witness at arms-length one of the longest transfers of papal power in history, only four days shorter than the Interregnum, later imposed by the Napoleonic French, between the expulsion from the Papal States of Pius VI (who died 1799) and the election of Pius VII (14 March 1800). The on-going power struggle between the papacy and Catholic rulers of Europe, particularly with France, Spain and Portugal, had reached new levels of intensity — the latter two objecting in particular to unwelcome Jesuit interference in their treatment (read, “mistreatment”) of native populations in their overseas empires. The issue was still critical twenty years later, when Voltaire, under the pseudonym M. Demand, wrote to the Journal encyclopédique (1 April 1759), in the guise of identifying the real author of Candide, offering in partial evidence reports from the confrontations between Jesuits and colonial officials over their dealings with native populations in Paraguay.
The correspondence and journals of Gray and Walpole chart their travels, visits and discoveries across France and into Italy. The two young English travellers arrived in Florence on 16 December 1739, after a two days’ journey from Bologna across the Apennines. It was only two months before the ancient drama of papal passing and election would attract the attention of the world. Gray reported this news, when it came, to his friend Dr Thomas Wharton, writing on Saturday, 12 March 1740:
I conclude you will write to me; won’t you? oh! yes, when you know, that in a week I set out for Rome, & that the Pope is dead, & that I shall be (I should say, God willing; & if nothing extraordinary intervene; & if I’m alive, & well; & in all human probability) at the Coronation of a new one.
Clement XII (Papa Clemens duodecimus, born Lorenzo Corsini) had been pope from his election on 12 July 1730. He was the oldest person to become pope until Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. Clement died on 6 February 1740, and was eventually succeeded by Benedict XIV (Papa Benedictus quartus decimus, born Pròspero Lorenzo Lambertini), who was elected six months later on 17 August 1740. In a well-known anecdote of the election, Benedict is reported to have said to the cardinals: “If you wish to elect a saint, choose Gotti; a statesman, Aldrovandi; an honest man, me” (M. J. Walsh, Pocket Dictionary of Popes, London: Burns & Oates, 2006) — though as we will see from a contemporary report below, this is a rather colourless translation of the original.
A week later, Gray wrote to his mother Dorothy (Saturday, 19 March 1740):
The Pope is at last dead, and we are to set out for Rome on Monday next. The Conclave is still sitting there, and likely to continue so some time longer, as the two French Cardinals are but just arrived, and the German ones are still expected. It agrees mighty ill with those that remain inclosed: Ottoboni is already dead of an apoplexy; Altieri and several others are said to be dying, or very bad: Yet it is not expected to break up till after Easter. We shall lie at Sienna the first night, spend a day there, and in two more get to Rome. One begins to see in this country the first promises of an Italian spring, clear unclouded skies, and warm suns, such as are not often felt in England; yet, for your sake, I hope at present you have your proportion of them, and that all your frosts, and snows, and short-breaths are, by this time, utterly vanished. I have nothing new or particular to inform you of; and, if you see things at home go on much in their old course, you must not imagine them more various abroad. The diversions of a Florentine Lent are composed of a sermon in the morning, full of hell and the devil; a dinner at noon, full of fish and meager diet; and, in the evening, what is called a Conversazione, a sort of aſsembly at the principal people’s houses, full of I cannot tell what: Besides this, there is twice a week a very grand concert.
Two weeks later, after their arrival in Rome, Gray wrote another Saturday letter to his mother (2 April 1740):
St. Peter’s I saw the day after we arrived, and was struck dumb with wonder. I there saw the Cardinal d’Auvergne, one of the French ones, who, upon coming off his journey, immediately repaired hither to offer up his vows at the high altar, and went directly into the Conclave; the doors of which we saw opened to him, and all the other immured Cardinals came thither to receive him. Upon his entrance they were closed again directly. It is supposed they will not come to an agreement about a Pope till after Easter, though the confinement is very disagreeable.”
The conflict between catholic rulers, their national churches and the papacy led to prolonged disagreements and manoeuvrings in the Conclave, as evidenced by this letter from Walpole and Gray to their schoolboy friend, then fellow of King’s College Cambridge (Rome, 14 May 1740):
Boileau’s Discord dwelt in a College of Monks. At present the Lady is in the Conclave. Cardinal Corsini has been interrogated about certain Millions of Crowns that are absent from the Apostolic Chamber; He refuses giving Account, but to a Pope: However he has set several Arithmeticians to work, to compose Summs, & flourish out Expenses, which probably never existed. Cardinal Cibo pretends to have a Banker at Genoa, who will prove that he has received three Millions on the Part of the Eminent Corsini. This Cibo is a madman, but set on by others. He had formerly some great office in the government, from whence they are generally rais’d to the Cardinalate. After a time, not being promoted as he expected, he resign’d his Post, and retir’d to a Mountain where He built a most magnificient Hermitage. There He inhabited for two years, grew tir’d, came back and received the Hat.
Other feuds have been between Card. Portia and the Faction of Benedict the Thirteenth, by whom He was made Cardinal. About a month ago, he was within three Votes of being Pope. he did not apply to any Party, but went gleaning privately from all & of a sudden burst out with a Number; but too soon, & that threw Him quite out. Having been since left out of their Meetings, he ask’d one of the Benedictine Cardinals the reason; who replied, that he never had been their Friend, & never should be of their assemblies; & did not even hesitate to call him Apostate. This flung Portia into such a Rage that He spit blood, & instantly left the Conclave with all his Baggage. But the great Cause of their Antipathy to Him, was His having been one of the Four, that voted for putting Coscia to Death; Who now regains his Interest, & may prove somewhat disagreable to his Enemies; Whose Honesty is not abundantly heavier than His Own. He met Corsini t’other Day, & told Him, He heard His Eminence had a mind to his Cell: Corsini answer’d He was very well contented with that He had. Oh, says Coscia, I don’t mean here in the Conclave; but in the Castle St. Angelo.
With all these Animosities, One is near having a Pope. Card. Gotti, an Old, inoffensive Dominican, without any Relations, wanted yesterday but two voices; & is still most likely to succeed. Card. Altieri has been sent for from Albano, whither he was retir’d upon account of his Brother’s Death, & his own Illness; & where He was to stay till the Election drew nigh. There! there’s a sufficient Competency of Conclave News, I think. We have miserable Weather for the Season; Coud You think I was writing to You by my fireside at Rome in the middle of May? the Common People say tis occasion’d by the Pope’s Soul, which cannot find Rest.
As the bickering and accusations continued, Gray returned to Florence, where he reported to his father Philip (10 July 1740):
The Conclave we left in greater uncertainty than ever; the more than ordinary liberty they enjoy there, and the unusual coolneſs of the season, makes the confinement leſs disagreeable to them than common, and, consequently, maintains them in their irresolution. There have been very high words, one or two (it is said) have come even to blows; two more are dead within this last month, Cenci and Portia; the latter died distracted; and we left another (Altieri) at the extremity: Yet nobody dreams of an election till the latter end of September. All this gives great scandal to all good catholics, and everybody talks very freely on the subject.
Finally, on Sunday, 21 August 1740, Gray wrote again to his mother with the news of the new pope’s election:
The day before yesterday arrived the news of a Pope; and I have the mortification of being within four days journey of Rome, and not seeing his coronation, the heats being violent, and the infectious air now at its height. We had an instance, the other day, that it is not only fancy. Two country fellows, strong men, and used to the country about Rome, having occasion to come from thence hither, and travelling on foot, as common with them, one died suddenly on the road; the other got hither, but extremely weak, and in a manner stupid; he was carried to the hospital, but died in two days. So, between fear and lazineſs, we remain here, and must be satisfied with the accounts other people give us of the matter. The new Pope is called Benedict XIV. being created Cardinal by Benedict XIII. the last Pope but one. His name is Lambertini, a noble Bolognese, and Archbishop of that city. When I was first there, I remember to have seen him two or three times; he is a short, fat man, about sixty-five years of age, of a hearty, merry countenance, and likely to live some years. He bears a good character for generosity, affability, and other virtues; and, they say, wants neither knowledge nor capacity. The worst side of him is, that he has a nephew or two; besides a certain young favourite, called Melara, who is said to have had, for some time, the arbitrary disposal of his purse and family. He is reported to have made a little speech to the Cardinals in the Conclave, while they were undetermined about an election, as follows: ‘Most eminent Lords, here are three Bolognese of different characters, but all equally proper for the Popedom. If it be your pleasures, to pitch upon a Saint, there is Cardinal Gotti; if upon a Politician, there is Aldrovandi; if upon a Booby, here am I.’ The Italian is much more expreſsive, and, indeed, not to be translated; wherefore, if you meet with any body that understands it, you may show them what he said in the language he spoke it. ‘Eminſsimi. Sigri. Ci siamo tré, diversi sì, mà tutti idonei al Papato. Si vi piace un Santo, c’ è l’Gotti; se volete una testa scaltra, e Politica, c’ è l’Aldrovandé;c se un Coglione, eccomi!’ Cardinal Coscia is restored to his liberty, and, it is said, will be to all his benefices. Corsini (the late Pope’s nephew) as he has had no hand in this election, it is hoped, will be called to account for all his villanous practices.”
Dr. Robert V. McNamee is the Director of the Electronic Enlightenment Project, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.
Electronic Enlightenment is a scholarly research project of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and is available exclusively from Oxford University Press. It is the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas, and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century — reconstructing one of the world’s great historical “conversations”.
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Image Credit: (1) Print Collection portrait file, Thomas Gray, Portraits. Source NYPL Digital Gallery
(2) Print Collection portrait file, B, Pope Benedict XIV. Source NYPL Digital Gallery
The post Thomas Gray and Horace Walpole on the grand tour to spread news of a papal election, 1739/1740 appeared first on OUPblog.
I've been to Japan once before for the Sakura Festival. Next on my list was the Sapporo Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Boy was it cold but beauuuuutiful (and delicious!).
The snow festival in Sapporo is well known, but there's also one in Asahikawa, the second largest city in Hokkaido. We got to see the ice artists in action chiseling, sawing, and brushing away the blocks of ice into gorgeous, tremendously detailed sculptures.
This Transformer tripled as a sculpture, a performance stage and, to the right, a gigantic slide! You sit your bum down on a piece of laminated newspaper with a loop of nylon rope and slide down 150 feet of ice into a pile of snow. So. Much. Fun.
Miso ramen from the original Santouka
in Asahikawa. They have locations in CA, and even in the Philippines!
A piping hot bowl of broth and scallops for 400 yen. Yes please.
8am breakfast at Donburi Chaya in Sapporo.
Cheesy ramen at Karin
Blue & brick building is Otaru Brewery
. I had a "smoked" beer. Delicious. Worth a visit.
Kita No Ice Cream
in Otaru. Left, uni & taro. Right, sake and squid ink. All very good.
Hokkaido is known for their dairy so if you do visit, please have cheese, caramels, hot milk & sake, and most importantly, vanilla soft serve ice cream. It is so very much unlike anything you'll ever taste (my favorite ice cream in the world), you will eat it walking through the snow, in 20 degree weather. It is that good. At least Kevin and I thought so :)
By: Ellis Nadler
Blog: Ellis Nadler's Sketchbook
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Recent sketching in various cafes.Paper 53 on iPad. Click to enlarge.
While most of the east coast is snowed under today, I spent a glorious day with my husband hiking in the Everglades. Check out these photos!
All photos © copyrighted by Debbie Glade. Photos may not be copied or used without permission.
I’m headed to the Adelaide Writers’ Festival in a few weeks, so I’m hoping to see some of you South Australian fans there.
Here’s my schedule:
SUNDAY MARCH 3, 5PM
Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden
Leviathan: Scott Westerfeld (US/AUS)
This is me having a long chat with my old buddy Sean Williams. We will be talking about All Of The Stuff.
Click here for more.
MONDAY MARCH 4, 5PM
Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden
Highways to a War: A Reading
War stories are among our oldest narratives and this session of readings will explore some of our more recent wars. Christopher Koch has taken us to Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Peter Robb has introduced us to the mean streets of Italy and Brazil. Tom Keneally has chronicled both the World Wars. Scott Westerfeld explores an alternative First World War and Ross McMullin chronicles the letters home.
It looks like I’ll be doing a reading for this second one, and with Tom Keneally! (AKA the guy who wrote Schindler’s Ark.) Click here for more.
For more details about the festival, click here. Note that these sessions are FREE, and at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.
By: Ellis Nadler
Blog: Ellis Nadler's Sketchbook
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Two more pages from the forthcoming Memoir.paper53 on iPad. Click to enlarge.
If you'd told me a couple of years ago, I'd be appearing in a big cathedral with a full orchestra and choir and with a former Miss World—I’d have laughed. Don't be silly.
I never would have beleived you.
But then again, if you'd told me I'd be "Playing the Ryman" I wouldn't have beleived that either.
I'm learning what I expect or think or imagine is beside the point - and usually way too small.
So anyway, there I was, that Sunday morning last December, driving to The Crystal Catherdral to be interviewed by Bobby Schuller about my new book "Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing" - in two services that are broadcast to millions.
I was driving along when suddenly I had to pull over. There, smiling out at me from the side of the road was a face in lights - a face I knew - me smiling back at me. Obviously I had to stop and take a photo.
Next I parked in the campus. Took some more photos. And then I met the friendliest, most generous people, who welcomed me and fed me and prayed for me. I had make up and hair done, trotted up some steps in between some pastors and out into the cathedral - and the service.
It was wild. It was nothing I ever expected. And it was a total blast. I can't wait to go back!
Here is the video of it. (Miss World comes ater me.)
By: Elizabeth Varadan
Blog: Elizabeth Varadan's Fourth Wish
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Here we are, still in our first week, and it has felt jam-packed. We arrived Monday evening, late. It was midnight before we got to bed. Then we spent the first couple of days opening the house, vacuuming and dusting, etc., and unpacking. Thursday we met friends in town at our favorite café bar in Monforte, Adega do Carlos, and yesterday we went to Lugo and stayed overnight for the San Froilán Fiesta.
The festival actually goes on for eight days, and yesterday, Friday, was the major religious day as San Froilán is the patron saint of Lugo, and the second day was the actual saint's day. Lugo is an ancient city about 60 miles north of Monforte, and it has both a Roman and Celtic past. (Well, for that matter, you can say that of all of Galicia: a Roman and Celtic past. There are old Roman bridges with arches everywhere, and the culture is both castiliano and galegan .)
What's fascinating about Lugo is that the center of town—the original town—is enclosed in a circular wall with about 17 arched entrances; a wall so thick it's wide enough for a car to drive atop, although only walking is permitted. Inside the walls are the old crooked cobbled streets, replete with restaurants and café bars, as well as two cathedrals and several plazas. Once we drove in and found the closest parking garage to our hotel, we unpacked and headed out to stroll the plazas and listen to music. Because it was the saint's day, all the clothing shops, etc., were closed, although eateries and bakeries were open.
Around the Plaza Mayor two huge stages were in preparation for the evening orchestra/bands. But the ayuntamiento (council building) flanks one side of the Plaza Mayor, and the municipal orchestra of Lugo was playing excerpts from Tschaikovky's Swan Lake, as well as music by Rodrigo and other composers. Really lovely to listen to. Walking down one of the narrow streets, waiting for lunch time (2:00 p.m.), we heard strains by Mozart floating from a restaurant's open doorway.
We are vegetarians, so sometimes it's hard to find restaurant food in Spain, but, luckily we eat fish and seafood. So we had a really tasty lunch of croquetas bacalao (codfish), grilled prawns, and—a real adventurous "first" for us—steamed cockles with lemon. My goodness, they were good. They looked to me like tiny versions of clams, and they had that "ocean" flavor that was quite evocative. Along with wine, of course.
After lunch, wandering around, we found a band in rehearsal at the Plaza Santa Maria. They were playing all the traditional Galician music with traditional instruments. Their orchestra was composed of four harps, four bagpipes, four violins, six tambourines, one huge set of drums and a smaller drum, and about eight "lap" organs with handles, as well as castanets and a mouth instrument that was "twanged". The music was haunting and beautiful, and sometimes sounded Irish, and sometimes sounded Greek, and sometimes sounded Spanish. Just fantastic. Later, around nine p.m., after a picnic dinner in our room, we heard the concert all over again and enjoyed it just as much. Then, at 10:30 p.m. we returned to the Plaza Mayor to listen to another Latin orchestra. We sat and enjoyed that until nearly midnight, and then returned to the hotel and went to bed.
After rolls and coffee at a bakery this morning, we walked along the shopping areas (and I did find a nice belt and scarf.) We returned, then, to the "artesian" tent, where local artisans were showing their beautiful handicrafts. And then we headed back "home" around noon.
Weather-wise, we have been lucky. Except for rain this morning, and not a heavy one, it's another beautiful sunny day. And now, I must wrap this up. I'm at a wi-fi café, and I want to post this before we return to the house. Later, I'll try to post some pictures.
Meanwhile, for us, Galicia is a magical place. I write poetry about it at times. Before we started coming here, McKinley Park in Sacramento used to affect me that way. Do you have a place like that? If so, where?
Yours truly on the streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia
This past summer I took a trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Trips that take in a different culture firsthand are a great way to broaden one’s perspective as a citizen of the world. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I hope these photos give you a glimpse of what my trip was like.
My boys standing in the Angkor Wat temple
Our first stop was Siem Reap, Cambodia. We were there to see the temples built in the early 12th century. The temples were truly magnificent.
shots of Angkor Thom temple
Years ago, I visited several great cathedrals in Europe, but the Cambodian temples were different. I know these were holy places, but their scope and size exuded a feeling of tranquility and reverence that I have rarely felt before.
traffic in Ho Chi Minh City
What was most shocking about Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) was the traffic. Being from New York, the hustle and bustle of city life is second nature, but Ho Chi Minh City blew me away.
entire family on scooter
While the population of Ho Chi Minh City is nine million people, compared with the eight million who live in New York City, the traffic is much worse in Vietnam because of the lack of mass transit. Crossing the street was actually scary! If you ever go there and want to cross the street, remember to walk—not run—and the traffic magically flows around you. Coincidentally, The New York Times ran a piece on this very same topic in Hanoi, which I can confirm is just as crazy as Ho Chi Minh City.
shots from the Cu Chi tunnel
The Cu Chi tunnels consist of seventy-five miles of underground tunnels. The tunnels essentially allowed the Viet Cong to win the Vietnam War. The tunnels go deep into the ground and were very cramped and claustrophobic. When I took history in school, the Vietnam War was not explored in much detail. However, in Vietnam, the War is a topic of national pride.
People working at the night market in Siem Reap
In all the places we visited, the people were open and friendly. Vietnam is the first Communist country I have visited. My preconceived notion of a Communist-ruled country was that its people would lack ambition and drive, but this proved false. From what I saw, the people were very hard working.
Multicultural cuisine from Vietnam
Throughout the trip the food was wonderful. And cheap! We had top-notch meals for a total of $10.00 to $12.00 per person, which included our bar tab. You can find a meal for $3.00 to $4.00 per person as well, but it won’t be any good. We chose to splurge!
our boat in Ha Long Bay
The finale of the trip was staying on a boat for two nights while sailing among the islands of Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam. Ha Long Bay is one of the seven natural wonders of Asia.
Ha Long Bay
The 1,900 small, uninhabited, limestone islands in Ha Long Bay were one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in my life. I felt as if I were in Middle-earth or Pandora. I think these film directors may have borrowed their visions from either visiting or seeing pictures of Ha Long Bay.
Another shot from Ha Long Bay
I am always moved by trips like this one, but it takes effort not to let the memories fade as one becomes re-immersed in the daily grind. Looking at my photos and thinking about the trip makes me want to explore other places in Southeast Asia and experience more. If anyone cares to reminisce about past trips I never get tired of hearing about people’s travels—they are my favorite stories to hear.
Filed under: Dear Readers
Tagged: Asian/Asian American
, the world
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Funny, familiar, and revealing, Jacob Tomsky's insider exposé on the hotel industry is an easy and entertaining read. Follow one man's journey through the hotel employment system, from valet to front desk to housekeeping, and learn how to work every angle of the system perfectly to your advantage. Balanced with humorous, dark, and downright ridiculous anecdotes, Heads in Beds [...]
By: Scott Westerfeld,
Blog: Scott Westerfeld
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Long time, no see. Like, a lot longer than usual.
Turns out I didn’t post for our whole six weeks away in St Louis, Las Vegas, New York and South America. It was a very awesome and exhausting trip. But sorry to leave you hanging.
Luckily, good times were had by all, and were well documented, so there are a ton of cool pictures and videos to share with you. Spoiler alert: Brazilian fans are very awesome.
At this exact moment, however, I’m jetlagged to buggery, and will share with you just this one amazing thing.
On our flight from Rio, Brazil to Santiago, Chile, Justine tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out the window. (She is a window sitter and I am an aisle-ist. Is there any more perfect marriage?) Outside, somewhere over Argentina, was a huge anvil of clouds, its structure revealed by the lightning flickering and flailing within.
It was a very big and violent thing to witness, especially from the fragile vantage of a flying machine. But any nerviness was totally outweighed by old-fashioned awe.
My iPad camera I managed to capture a fraction of what it looked like:
Pretty intense, right? But go look at it bigger on YouTube.
More cool stuff soon. Promizes!
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Image in the Public Domain
I noticed a recurring theme in the whirlwind of holiday cards and newsletters I received this year. It’s travel. Naturally people focus on the highlights of their year, and to most that includes the special trips they took. It just feels good to get away, whether that may be a once in a lifetime adventure to an exotic destination or a trip back to your hometown to see family and friends.
My closest friend’s daughter and her husband, newlyweds, scrimped and pinched to save up cash for a couple of years so they could travel around the world. That’s a dream so many of us have, yet never act upon for one reason or another. These young travelers are living life to the fullest, hopping from continent to continent with no fears and no preconceived notions. What I admire most is their ability to plan such extensive travel with a small budget. They know how to travel light and make a dollar last.
Their worldwide excursion inspired me to make a list of places I’d go, if I took a trip like that. Among the top destinations I picked were New Zealand, Fiji, Finland, China and the Russian Far East. The thought of organizing a multi-stop journey led me to various websites to play around at various travel-booking websites, which is where I discovered Flights24.com. This site offers some of the best cheap fares, special deals, last minute tickets and even complete vacation packages. Their database includes over 750 different airlines, and they let you compare prices easily. I’m going to use this site for my next trip to Philly to see my daughter and every trip after that.
As for New Zealand, Fiji, Finland, China and the Russian Far East, that’s a plan in the making.