Monthly Archives: December 2013

Guy Lombardo for New Year’s Eve

When I was a kid we watched him (or alternated between him and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve).  I’ve got it synched so that the ball (for 1958!) will hit at within a minute or so of real midnight, if you start it as soon as this goes live.  Enjoy!

Addendum:  Well, obviously I got the link wrong.  It’s fixed now, though.  Happy New Year!

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks to all my visitors and readers, and I hope you continue to enjoy the Chequer-board in the coming year!

Rubá’í of the Day


With many a snare Thou dost beset my way,
And threatenest, if I fall therein, to slay;
Thy rule resistless sways the world, yet Thou
Imputest sin, when I do but obey!

Rubá’í of the Day


Child of four elements and sevenfold heaven,
Who fume and sweat because of these eleven,
Drink! I have told you seventy times and seven,
Once gone, nor hell will send you back, nor heaven.

A Prayer to the Holy Family


Today is the Feast of the Holy Family.

Rubá’í of the Day


Though I am wont a wine-bibber to be,
Why should the people rail and chide at me?
Would that all evil actions made men drunk,
For then no sober people should I see!

Quote for the Week


Better than a thousand hollow words
Is one word that brings peace.

Better than a thousand hollow verses
Is one verse that brings peace.

Better than a hundred hollow lines
Is one line of the law, bringing peace.

–Gautama Buddha in “The Thousands” from the Dhammapada as translated by Thomas Byrom; courtesy Wikiquote

Patriarchy’s Magic Trick: How Anything Perceived As Women’s Work Immediately Sheds Its Value

An excellent and thought-provoking post, especially for those of us who don’t consider feminist a dirty word.

Crates and Ribbons


The gender wage gap has long been an issue of importance for feminists, and one that consistently finds itself on the UN and government agendas. Despite this, there is a persistent idea among many in mainstream society (mostly men, and some women) that the gender wage gap is simply a myth, that women are paid less on average because of the specific choices that women make in their careers. Everything, they claim, from the industry a woman chooses to establish herself in, to the hours she chooses to work, to her decision to take time off to spend with her children, and so on, leads to lower pay, for reasons, they confidently assure us, that have nothing at all to do with sexism. Now we could delve into, and rebut, these points at length, but in this post, I will focus only on the assertion that the wage gap…

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Rubá’í of the Day


O heart! when on the Loved One’s sweets you feed,
You lose yourself, but find your Self indeed;
And, when you drink of His entrancing cup,
You hasten your escape from quick and dead!

Vespers for the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Today is their feast day.