Thursday, February 28, 2019

Biblia Files (part 9) - Song of Solomon and Keeping Mum


Song of Solomon

Also called Song of Songs. It's one of the books of poetry in the Old Testament.  Jews called it the Holy of Holies of Scripture and would not allow young men to read it until they were 30.  {reference: Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Song of Solomon }

It's a Cinderella story for mature audiences.

A Shulamite girl is forced to work the vineyards and tend to the sheep. She's beautiful, yet sun-burnt from working outside. And has no time to tend to herself.

But she meets a shepherd. They fall in love. He goes away and promises to come back. When he returns for her, she discovers her shepherd is King Solomon.

They marry. She's brought to the palace. Where they're really into each other. And their passion is described with much poetry.

Keeping Mum?

I've never seen a movie that uses the Song of Solomon in a serious way. Except for this BBC dark comedy, Keeping Mum (2005). And the Song of Solomon is pivotal to turning the tide in the story.

The Reverend Walter Goodfellow is in a crisis. Losing his passion for the ministry as well as growing cold toward his wife Gloria. And Gloria is dangerously close to plunging into an affair with a real creep--who fancies not only her, but her daughter.

Then their housekeeper Grace Hawkins shows up in a Mary Poppins sort of way. Only darker.  And Grace has a method of fixing things--permanently.  Yet she turns the Reverend on to the Song of Solomon, as shown in the clip below:

And the Reverend sees his wife through a romantic lens of Solomon and comes to appreciate her for the blessing she is.

Here are the words:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.
For thy love is better than wine.
His fruit was sweet to my taste.
His left hand is under my head,
and his right hand doth embrace me.

Behold, thou art fair, my love.
Behold, thou art fair.

Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet.
Thine eyes are as doves behind the veil.
And comely is thy mouth.

Thy two breasts are like fawns feeding among the lilies.
Thy navel is like a round goblet...
wherein no mingled wine is wanting.

Thy belly is like a heap of wheat,
set about with lilies.

Let thy breasts be as clusters on the vine.

And thy mouth like the best wine.
Open to me my dove,
for my head is filled with the drops of the night.

Come, my beloved,
let us see if the vine flourishes...
and the tender grapes appear...
and the pomegranates bud forth.

Let's hear it for Solomon, one of the heroes in this movie.

His timeless songs saved the marriage, rekindled passion, and got them through the crisis.

Indeed, Solomon was a very wise and passionate man.



Sunday, January 20, 2019

PC Watch (part 4) - Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Bikes, Lights , a Sledder/

Mid-January. Mid-winter. 

And in some parts of the country....


And a popular song from the 1940s expresses that sentiment.

Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Here is a clip when it was performed for the big screen in Neptune's Daughter (1949):

Yet, in 2018 this song had been branded as Not Politically Correct. A song of sexual harassment, to be banned as part of the #MeToo movement.

Many radio stations caved. Agreed not to play it.

Some did anyway. Like WAKY (who repeated the song over and over for many hours.) And this oldie made a comeback in many markets.

So there!


Everyone stay calm!

Just the sight of this fireplace could melt many "Snowflakes."

Play this for endless hours. 
For those cold, cold days.
And there's no carbon footprint. 

For now, it's safe from the virtue signalers and scolds. 

Be warm and be safe.




Thursday, December 20, 2018

Space (part 2): Earthrise - 1968

Earth Rise/

Fifty years ago - 1968 

Earth was a troubled place

Some highlights in America at that time:

* The unpopular Vietnam War and more unpopular draft

* Assassination: Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy

* Riots at the Chicago Democratic National Convention

* Counter-culture hippie movement

* President Lyndon B. Johnson and President Elect Richard M. Nixon

A popular TV show at that time was The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967 - 1970). The show featured s labor of love by filmmaker Chuck Braverman, described as:

A quick trip through the USA during the turbulent 1968

But in December 1968, Apollo 8  sent astronauts, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, orbiting the moon for the first time in history.

On their Christmas Eve broadcast, the crew transmitted the iconic Earthrise photo while reading from Genesis, as shown below: 

Back to the future, 50 years later, these still are troubled times.

As we finish the year 2018, words from a hymn, This is My Father's World come to mind. And the last verse, not always included in other renditions, gives the reason we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world:

This is my Father’s world:
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

And in the closing words of astronaut Frank Borman:

"And from the crew of Apollo 8, 
we close with good night, good luck, 
a Merry Christmas, 
and God bless all of you -
 all of you on the good Earth." 


Other post in the series:


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Music (part 5) - Over There : Remembering World War I

WWI Montage/wikipedia

100 years ago...

World War I ended.

November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour. Hence, November 11th had been observed as Armistice Day.  [reference: This Day In History | November 11, 1918 - World War I ends ]

For me, World War I has a special meaning as my grandfather fought in this war. Fortunately, he lived another 50 years after it ended.  Fathered my mother, who brought me into the world. And I still have his dog tags from his service.

Bur back in 1917, one of the popular songs to rally the troops was George M. Cohan's Over There:

And we won't come back till it's over
Over there.

After the Great War was over, Over There, its remembrance Armistice Day was first observed in 1920. But in 1954 after the Korean War, it was changed to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars. [reference: Why Armistice Day Became Veterans Day ]

Now, 100 years later: Veterans Day 2018 Marks Centennial of End of World War I 

The Great War
The World War
The War to end all Wars... though it hasn't lived up to this name, unfortunately
World War One
World War I
The First World War

Whatever we called it.

Over There has been a defining song to boost morale home and abroad in the 20th century.

Especially during World War One and World War Two.

For other selected blog posts about World War One:

America's Story (part 10) - Sergeant York  (2014)

Culture 101 (part 14) - World War I - that Golden Summer of 1914  (2014)

ELM (part 6) - The Boys Going West  (2016)

Veteran's Day 2011 - final homecoming of the WWI vets  (2011) 


Previous posts in the series:
Music (part 2) - All You Need is Love (2016) 

Music (part 3) - Passover (2016)

Music (part 4) - Armed Forces Medley  (2016)


Photo:  WWI Montage/wikipedia

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Physics (part 5) - Be Curious, Don't Give Up

Curiosity Cat/

Curiosity killed the cat
But satisfaction brought her back

Curiosity and Perseverance

In the world of science, these attributes can lead to breakthroughs. Rewrite text books. Create paradigm shifts in our thinking.

Let's spotlight two prominent physicists of the late 20th century, who exemplified those qualities.

* Dr. Stephen Hawking

* Dr. Richard Feynman

Stephen Hawking is considered one of the greatest physicist of recent times. And he passed away this year (2018) on March 14th, the same day as Einstein's birthday. [reference: Stephen Hawking ]

Yet perseverance helped him overcome the physical challenges of ALS.  With perseverance and curiosity, he pursued a distinguishing career in cosmology and theoretical physics, as shown below:

Likewise, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman was driven by curiosity. Which drove him to learn new things. Get out of his comfort zone. Search for answers. Solve nature's puzzles. Connect the dots.

While a graduate student days at Princeton, Feynman developed a method that served him well. He started with an empty notebook titled -


He filled the pages as he reorganized his thoughts in the concrete form of pen and paper. Trying to find the essential kernel of each branch of physics. This discipline may have paved the way to his Nobel Prize.

* Check out:  The Feynman Notebook Method  and the video below:

Learning new things can be hard.  It takes work. Most resist it. Yet, through curiosity and perseverance, as Stephen Hawking said -

 It can be done

Regardless of vocation, avocation, hobby, interests, passions...

Stay curious
Don't give up


Previous posts in this series:

Physics (part 1) - Picking Feynman's Brain (2013)
Physics (part 2) - Flat Earth? It depends ...  (2015)

Physics (part 3) - 100 years of Einstein (2015) 

Physics (part 4) - Einstein and Pi  (2016)


Photo: Curiosity Cat/

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Space (part 1) - NASA at 60

NASA Seal/

What was happening 60 years ago?

And this October 1st, NASA
-- National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
first opened its doors
60 years ago.

NASA's Vision: 

We reach for new heights
and reveal the unknown
for the benefit of humankind.

[reference: About NASA ]

Want to hear more?

And in the words of Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear:

"To infinity…and beyond!" 


Similar posts:

Picture: NASA Seal/

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Biblia Files (part 8) - What's Yom Kippur?

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur/

What's Yom Kippur?

It's the Day of Atonement. Its origins found in Leviticus 16 as well as other places in the Old Testament. And it's still observed. This year, the most holy day falls on September 19, 2018.  After the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.
[ reference: Jewish Holidays 2018-2019 ]

For a good summary of its history and modern observances, here it is in 60 seconds...

Yesterday was a shadow...

The law is only a shadow
of the good things that are coming—
not the realities themselves. 

For this reason it can never, 
by the same sacrifices
repeated endlessly year after year, 
make perfect those
who draw near to worship. 
Hebrews 10:1 (NIV)

Today, full atonement through faith...

God presented Christ
as a sacrifice of atonement, 
through the shedding of His blood—
to be received by faith.
He did this to demonstrate
His righteousness, 
because in His forbearance 
He had left the sins committed
beforehand unpunished— 

 He did it to demonstrate
His righteousness at the present time, 
so as to be just and the One
who justifies those
who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:25-26  (NIV)

Blessings for the New Year of 5779!


Photo: Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur/