The Lady’s New Years Gift, 1688 (Snippets 47)

Windows into History

Rufford Abbey Rufford Abbey, drawn by Samuel Grimm in 1773. Rufford Abbey was the seat of the Marquis of Halifax.

George Savile, the Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) was a member of the House of Lords, with a distinguished political career and a few publications under his belt when, in 1688, he departed from his political writings to pen a simple book of advice from a father to a daughter.  The Lady’s New-Years Gift, or Advice to a Daughter was written for his daughter Elizabeth, later Elizabeth Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield when she married Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chesterfield in 1692.

The book was clearly written with the best intentions, but the advice on topics such as behaviour, vanity and pride obviously are not very palatable to the modern reader, particularly the usual female inferiority views.  The section on friendships contains some interesting advice about how to deal with a friend whose…

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The Stuff People Have Lying Around

The Arts Mechanical

Lost Orson Welles Film found in a pile of smut films.

This may have been the ONLY  print in the US as the movie got bad reviews and was only shown in one theatre in NYC.  The print appears to be almost pristine, probably because it hasn’t been run that much.

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The Night Air: The Briefing

Wide Awake But Dreaming

First off before getting to the good stuff–I have a new coffee grinder.  It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, and now I have one that you hand crank, and after about fifteen minutes of cranking while waiting to eat, I have enough ground coffee to give me something to look forward to on New Years Day.  This is going to work well with my Chemex coffeemaker, which I picked up the other night after wanting for a long time as well.  After I use it I’ll let you know how it comes out, as the coffee made in a Chemex is supposed to be among the best you can drink.

Maybe Annie will need some of that after what’s awaiting her in just few thousand or so words . . .

Seven hundred words right on the nose, and it’s all talk-talk, but as with all briefings it’s all…

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The Gift Of Jewelry

The Tony Burgess Blog

One thing I have learned over the years is that jewelry is a big thing during the holidays. If you are a man you see commercials driving home the point that if you don’t get your special someone some really expensive jewelry you should feel horrible.


I think it’s a ploy to make people spend money they really don’t have. Well that could be said for any gift. The cheapest gifts can set you back a lot of dough. However jewelry seems to glow and enchants the eye. In the end you want to make your mate feel happy. I haven’t fallen for that pressure. My wife has simple tastes which is nice. It’s the thought that counts, right.

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Lonely Author: Let’s Talk Resolutions

The Lonely Author

First, I don’t make resolutions I prefer to set goals. And I don’t want to get all philosophical either. But when the clock strikes 2016, it will be thirty years since I kissed my parents on New Years Day.

My philosophy:  Live, Love, Laugh

For anyone who hasn’t decided on resolutions I have a few suggestions:

  1. Be proactive about your health. I never see this on anyone’s list, but it should be there.
  2. Laugh more. Love more. Life is stressful whether you laugh, love, complain, or cry. Choose laughter & love. They are the best options.
  3. Do what makes you happy. Don’t fool yourself. Happiness is a choice you make everyday (not a goal or destination). Don’t spend your life looking for the cloud behind every silver lining. Be happy.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people and thoughts. This is plain and simple. Happiness attracts positive things to your life.
  5. Gratitude. Be…

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Decomposition is a lethal method in analysis. The  idea is to break up the object in question into well-known elements through a logical process. It is a powerful tool for a wide range of problems.

Take programming for an example. For a beginner, the binary world of coding is daunting. Even picking a universal language is not an easy task: Java, C, C++, C#, Python, FORTRAN, all have their fans and haters. Then there are different programming paradigms (procedural or object-oriented), and specific applications (Mathematica and MAPLE for mathematicians, MATLAB for engineers, SAS and R for statisticians, EXCEL and VBA for business folks). The variety is mind-bogging.

But through the lens of decomposition, you can see they all share the same logical core, i.e., they all break down to two fundamental operations: IF condition and loop. All programs, be your WINDOWS OS or iPhone Apps, large or small, are all…

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