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Archive for July, 2011

Statues are being unveiled and streets renamed.

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Robinson O’Brien-Bours writes of Gaius Julius Caesar and his legacy, on the occasion of Caesar’s birthday. (Can you guess how long ago he was born? The answer is in the opening line of the linked post.)

Possibly I shouldn’t, but I like the bit about ‘we have further ridiculed this name by giving it to a few self-glorified bureaucrats, “peevish schoolboys unworthy of such an honor”.’

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…Yet even in the stress of work it is often sound policy for a man to halt for a moment and collect his thoughts. There must be some diagnosis of the problem before him, the end to which his work is directed, the conditions under which he labours. While it is useless to tell the story of a task before it is done, it is often politic to re-examine the difficulties and to get the mind clear as to what the object of all this strife and expense of money may be. Ideals are all very well in their way, but they are apt to become very dim lamps unless often replenished from the world of facts and trimmed and adjusted by wholesome criticism. — John Buchan.

Found in the “Introductory” to The African Colony: Studies in the Reconstruction, 1903.

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Letters from an Ohio Farmer provides a great little history and philosophy lesson, in The American Mind.

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From July 4, 1837, a look at the novelty and morality of American government.

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Liber Abbici, published in 1202, was not the first book in the West to advocate the use of arabic numerals instead of Roman. James M. Kushiner points to earlier works in the short post How We Got Our Numbers.

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Michael Catt has a guest post by Stephanie Bennett, called Silence. Tucked in, near the end, is this:

…But I believe we can carve silence into our day. It is said that Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, spent one hour each day in prayer. She gave birth to 19 children, and ten of them lived past the age of two. If she couldn’t find a quiet spot in her home to pray, she would pull her apron over her head as a sign that the children should not disturb her.

If we can teach our children to eat solid foods and tie their shoes and even surf the web on our smart phones, then we can certainly teach them to observe periods of silence each day. Whether it’s putting your infant or toddler in their crib or playpen with some toys or teaching your children to play alone in their rooms, I believe we’re capable of instilling this type of discipline in our children. We expect other things from them, many of which won’t matter in eternity. So why not teach them now the priceless beauty of silence?

Read the whole thing.

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