Category Archives: Cosmos

C.C. Bridgewater – In Memoriam

ccbridgewaterJudge C. C. Bridgewater died July 20, 2014.

We will miss him.

He was a philosopher, a statesman, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a family man. He was my friend. We will miss his kindness, his opinions, his thoughtful observations on life.

We will miss his love of people, his grin, his love of life.

We will miss him.

Lost: The TV Series – The Constant (S 4, E 5)

Lost: The TV Series

Season 4, Episode 5: “The Constant”

In 1991 Julie and I began dating, and our courtship involved a weekly commitment to the X-Files. X-Files reached its zenith in season three with “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” broadcast on October 13, 1995. There was–and still is–something magical and brilliant about Final Repose.

The killer asks why it is that he does what he does. And Clyde Bruckman says, “You do the things you do because you’re a homicidal maniac.”

Julie and I began watching Lost  about a month ago on Netflix, commercial free. I guess we’re a little late on the Lost bandwagon, since the series ended in 2010. It has been a fun ride so far.

Season 4, Episode 5: “The Constant”. For those of you who gave up halfway through season two, Lost is a bandwagon well worth rejoining. For those of you who road the bandwagon all the way to its final destination, I hope you remember and appreciate this episode as much as we did.

The Absolute at Large, by Karel Čapek, 176 pages (1922)

This is a satire by Czech writer Karel Čapek. An invention creates unlimited resources, except food, and a byproduct of religious devotion to it by all within its grasp. After most of the world is destroyed because of religious fervor arising out of each community’s belief in the righteousness of its own absolute as opposed to competing absolutes, well, you’ll have to read the rest of this to find out.

The Third Reich at War, by Richard J. Evans, 926 pages (2008)

This is the final book in the trilogy of book by Richard J. Evans about the Third Reich. The human hatred. The destructiveness. The suffering and needless deaths. The senseless war. The downfall of Hitler and his sick cohorts. Inglorious Basterds is the way it should have ended, but the reality for the Third Reich was less dramatic, more sobering. And painful beyond measure for the people whose lives and families were destroyed. Highly recommended read.

The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann 854 pages (1924)

After reading The Coming of the Third Reich, I thought I would take a quick detour and re-read Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. At 854 pages and in 6-point type in the Everyman’s Library edition, it is a long book. (If you really care, the book is set in BEMBO and appears to be about 10-point type.)

The book was first published in 1924, but apparently Thomas Mann began writing the story before the outbreak of the first great war. There are characters and events, but the story is more about ideas, philosophies, and, at times, a war of words and minds.

The best time to read this book is in the midst of studying advanced literature, history, and philosophy. Thirty years later, between beers, it’s a little more difficult to digest.

Suffice to say, Hitler probably never read this book, and as a recognized German 20th century German classic, those are two reasons alone to read this tome. At least once. I’ve read it twice. In English. Next time auf Deutsch?


North Carolina Three Kick Rule

A Yankee lawyer went duck hunting in eastern North Carolina. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly gentleman asked him what he was doing. The lawyer responded, “I shot a duck and it fell in this field, I’m going in to retrieve it.”

The old farmer replied. “This is my property, and you are not coming overhere.”

The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial attorneys in the U.S. and, if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything!
The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently, you don’t know how we do things here in North Carolina. We settle small disagreements like this with the NC Three-Kick Rule.”

The lawyer asked, “What is the NC three-Kick Rule?”
The Farmer replied. “Well, first I kick you three times and

then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up.”
The Yankee attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old southerner. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the Yankee lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly wiped the man’s nose off his face. The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer’s third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.
The Yankee lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, “Okay, you old redneck southerner, now it’s my turn.”
The old North Carolina farmer smiled and said, “Naw, I give up. You can have the duck.”

From Hell (1991-1996), 572 pages, by Alan Moore

From Hell (new printing!)

From Hell (1991-1996), 572 pages, by Alan Moore, illustrated by Eddie Campbell

It is difficult to describe the effect this graphic novel has on the reader. The writing is harsh, surreal. The story is unsettling. The drawings capture the seamy dirty underbelly of London in the late 1800s.

Moore certainly does not intend this to be historically accurate or dispositive on the identify of Jack the Ripper. Instead, he immerses the reader into the mystery and horror of one of the world’s most notorious serial killers and the effect the killings have on the people immediately affected by them.