Monday, October 11, 2021

Three epigraphs

The following is an engaging epigraph; it appears in writer Peter Orner's short story collection, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge (Little, Brown and Company, 2013).  The epigraph is from a short story by the writer Gina Berriault:

It’s over me like a ton of water, the things I don’t know.

(I read Mr. Orner's book recently, and enjoyed it very much--while admiring, even more, his 2019 short story collection, Maggie Brown & Others, also from Little, Brown.)

Another epigraph I'm fond of is from a novel I've had for years, but have not read (one of many books I have that are still to be read):  Norman Mailer's The Deer Park, from 1955.  The epigraph is from Andre Gide:

Please do not understand me too quickly.  

Recently, I tried to find, in the apartment, my paperback copy, from college, of E. M. Forster's Howards End.  I came up empty; the book seems to have disappeared. The reason I wanted to find it?  Simply to see, again (after many years), its brief, beautiful, memorable epigraph:

"Only connect..."

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Alan Kalter

I always enjoyed watching (and listening to) Alan Kalter, on David Letterman's Late Show, on CBS.

He was the program's talented (and funny) announcer--from the fall of 1995, until the show left the air in May of 2015.  He was also regularly featured in comedy segments on the program.

Mr. Kalter died this past Monday, at age 78.

Here is an obituary, from The New York Times:

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"60 Minutes," and September 11th

On Sunday, the day following the 20th anniversary of September 11th, CBS's 60 Minutes devoted its broadcast to the subject of the Fire Department of New York City, and September 11th.  343 members of the FDNY were killed that day. 

The program--employing video, audio, and still images from September 11th, as well as retrospective interviews--was extraordinary.  Its host and narrator--and interviewer--was the very fine 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. 

Mr. Pelley's interviews for the program--of firefighters, fire officials, and surviving family members--were conducted with great sensitivity, and are deeply affecting, and gripping. 

Here is the link to the September 12th 60 Minutes program:

The program, for your reference, is presented in segments, via separate links; the first three are titled "60 Minutes remembers 9.11: The FDNY." 

After viewing the first segment, which will appear when accessing the above link (the segment is 14 minutes-plus in length), one must then locate the subsequent links, just beneath the video screen.  

Part 2 (it is labeled as such) can be seen within the thumbnails/links below the screen, and is nearly 16 minutes long. After Part 2 concludes, however--it is, unfortunately, a bit confusing (yet very much worth the effort)--one will then likely need to go backwards, within the gallery of links, by clicking the arrow at the left side of the links, to find Part 3 (which is just under ten minutes long). The last segment, titled "Scott Pelley on the courage of the FDNY," is a little over a minute long; one will likely, again, need to click the left arrow, after the end of Part 3, to locate this segment.  

The first three segments, one notes, appear in transcript form beneath the video screen.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11th

This photograph, of New York firefighters, was taken on September 11th.  It is from a special issue of Time magazine, published soon after the catastrophe.

Beneath the photo is the title "New York's Bravest," which is followed by this, about the day: "Fire fighters were still going in when the buildings collapsed.  One ducked under his truck and emerged to find everyone else in his squad dead."  

The picture was taken for Time by photographer James Nachtwey (VII Photo Agency).

Friday, September 10, 2021

Recommended Radio Host: NPR's Mary Louise Kelly

Ms. Kelly, a veteran journalist, is one of the hosts of NPR's afternoon/evening news program, All Things Considered.

She is an excellent interviewer and reporter, and her manner, on the air, is appealing. She is straightforward, thorough;  there is often, about her, an agreeable kind of reserve.

Here are two of her recent on-air conversations: 

In the first, from September 2nd, Kelly speaks with two physicians--one from Texas, one from Florida--whose hospitals have been overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients ("the vast majority" of the patients, as noted in the segment, were unvaccinated).

The second interview, from August 31st, is with novelist Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train; Hawkins and Kelly discuss her new novel, A Slow Fire Burning.

In addition to Ms. Kelly, All Things Considered features hosts Audie Cornish, Ailsa Chang, and Ari Shapiro;  typically, two of the hosts appear on a given broadcast.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah--the Jewish New Year--starts this evening, at sundown.  

The holiday is the beginning of Judaism's Days of Awe, the ten-day period which culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

If you are observing the High Holidays, my best wishes to you.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Justice Amy Coney Barrett turns away objections to a vaccine mandate

From New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak:

The Supreme Court allowed Indiana University on Thursday to require students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Eight students had sued the university, saying the requirement violated their constitutional rights to “bodily integrity, autonomy and medical choice.” But they conceded that exemptions to the requirement — for religious, ethical and medical reasons — “virtually guaranteed” that anyone who sought an exemption would be granted one.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who oversees the federal appeals court in question, turned down the students’ request for emergency relief without comment, which is the court’s custom in ruling on emergency applications. She acted on her own, without referring the application to the full court, and she did not ask the university for a response. Both of those moves were indications that the application was not on solid legal footing.