Category Archives: Shorts

Assyrians impaling Jew 700 BC

Inspirational Thought of the Day

Assyrians impaling Jew 700 BCToday while re-reading Abraham Joshua Heschel’s great work The Prophets, I came across this passage which put me in a “nothing-ever-changes” frame of mind:

Assyria has often been called the most ruthless nation of antiquity. For ages she plundered all peoples within her reach, like a lion which “filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh” (Nah. 2:12 [H. 2:13]). Her warfare abounded in atrocities; cutting off the heads of conquered peoples was a common procedure. The kings of Assyria boasted of towns destroyed, dismantled or burned, leveled as if by a hurricane or reduced to a heap of rubble. The victors took away everything they could carry. Upon capturing a city …

Continue reading Inspirational Thought of the Day

tipping via bono and les moonves

Advice on Tipping: Bono versus Les Moonves

tipping advice via bono and les moonvesBella Haig is eighty years of age, and has been a server at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles for fifty of those years. Early last Friday morning, she reportedly received the largest tip of her career, $150, from the lead singer of rock band U2. She didn’t know who he was when he came in with some friends after U2’s performance nearby, but when she approached to take their orders he asked her to recommend an appetizer. As she told CBS LA: Continue reading Advice on Tipping: Bono versus Les Moonves

New York in June

I Like New York in June

New York in June52° (F), raw and raining is what it is on this June 2nd; the same as it was on June 1st. Now there are places getting much worse weather, so this is not any cry for sympathy. However, this is a beginning to summer unlike any yours truly has experienced in the last couple of decades in New York. The season may not officially begin until June 21st, but the warm 70° and 80°+ weather had always settled in for the long haul by the start of June. The current chilly snap feels like yet one more tentacle of this past winter that did not want to die, reaching up from the cold grave when we thought it had finally truly gone. Continue reading I Like New York in June

B.B. King rest in peace

B.B. King Moves On

B.B. King rest in peaceRest in peace, B.B. King, passed on at the age of 89. He essentially did something very simple, but to a very high and dedicated standard, and he kept working with his gift right up until the end. You can’t say better than that. But actually you can: You can also say he always seemed like an exceptionally nice man. Buddy Guy called him “the greatest guy I ever met,” and no doubt a lot of people will be remembering him similarly. Continue reading B.B. King Moves On

Emmylou Harris Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Emmylou Harris and Co. – “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

“Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” is a song that just doesn’t get old, and Emmylou Harris is a singer of whom you might say the same thing.

Currently available via Youtube, here she is with Rodney Crowell, Amos Lee, Mark O’Connor on fiddle and (naturally) Steve Martin on banjo.

One by one they were unseated
One by one they were led away
Now their memory has departed
Will we join them all one day?

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have a new album out imminently, titled The Traveling Kind. There’s a preview available at NPR.org.

    The Cinch Review

    We’ve Redesigned Ourselves

    Not at all trying to steal the limelight from Bruce Jenner, but as you might have noticed we at THE CINCH REVIEW have completed a significant redesign of our website. As they say in Blighty, a change is as good as a rest, and there’s nothing we like better than rest, so we felt we just had to make a change. Of-course, these things are always stressful. There were many fractious meetings, long nights and bitter tears. The design team fought for stunning aesthetics; the sales team made the case for more ad space; and the editorial team just wanted something that would generate compelling content automatically.

    In the end, as you can see, everybody got their way.

    George Jones last words

    George Jones’ Last Words

    George Jones last wordsThe singer George Jones died two years ago. His widow Nancy Jones was recently interviewed, and she revealed something of what his final moments were like. He had been hospitalized for five days suffering with fever, blood pressure and respiratory problems. Nancy reports that over the course of those five days his eyes were closed, and he didn’t speak. Then, while she was talking with one of the doctors at the foot of his bed, he suddenly opened his eyes and said, “Well, hello there, I’ve been looking for you. My name’s George Jones.” And then, only moments later, he passed away.

    Nancy is convinced that George was talking to The Man Upstairs. “I know in my heart he was talking to God and he has gone to heaven,” she said. Continue reading George Jones’ Last Words

    Spring Allergies To Be EXTRA Severe This Year

    Unusually tough allergy seasonIt’s the first week of April, and the headlines are piling up already:

    “CDC warns spring allergies could be severe.”
    “Spring allergies hitting early, could be more severe this year.”
    “Spring allergy season has arrived, and it could be a bad one.”

    Ever get the sense you’ve been here before? Actually, everyone’s here each and every year. It’s always the same. Just as with global warming, where any and every kind of weather event proves the theory, so with allergies: any and every kind of winter and early spring sets the stage for an especially tough allergy season. We reflected at greater length on this phenomenon last year:

    As Usual, It Will Be an Unusually Bad Allergy Season. Continue reading Spring Allergies To Be EXTRA Severe This Year

    William Tyndale’s Easter

    Tyndale EasterWilliam Tyndale (1494–1536) was the first person to translate the Bible directly from the Hebrew and Greek texts into English. His translation also formed the basis for the King James version, completed roughly 80 years later by multiple committees of translators. It’s been estimated that over 80% of the KJV New Testament is from Tyndale, and over 70% of the Old Testament. And since the King James Bible has been such an incomparably massive influence on the English language (almost a center of gravity since its publication) you could make the argument that no single individual has had more influence on the English language than William Tyndale. For his efforts, he was burned at the stake, as making the Bible available in the language of the common people was not a healthy occupation to be engaged in at the time. (Some may well be wondering whether it will be déjà vu all over again before very long, but that’s an altogether different kettle of fish.)


    If Tyndale had set out to have an impact on the English language for centuries to come, he doubtless would have had no idea how to achieve it, and perhaps would have sat frozen at his desk, quill in hand, until his landlady threw him out on the street for being behind on his rent. No one could achieve a task so great by deliberately attempting it. The task he took on was monumental in itself, but at least specific: to put the Holy Scriptures into words that any English speaking person could understand. By performing this task to such a high standard, he simultaneously achieved things which he couldn’t possibly have conceived.

    It’s just a pity he missed out on all the royalties.

    Tyndale’s original translations are available in the public domain, but the different spellings in common usage at that time make them laborious for the modern reader to get through. Fortunately, a scholar named David Daniell completed modern spelling editions of Tyndale’s Old and New Testaments some years ago, and here is a passage from the Gospel of Luke, chapter twenty-four:

    On the morrow after the sabbath, early in the morning, they came unto the tomb and brought the odours which they had prepared and other women with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and went in: but found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were amazed thereat, behold two men stood by them in shining vestures. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said to them: why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here: but is risen. Remember how he spake unto you, when he was yet with you in Galilee, saying: that the son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

    And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the remnant. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary Jacobi, and other that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles, and their words seemed unto them feigned things, neither believed they them. Then arose Peter and ran unto the sepulchre, and stooped in and saw the linen clothes laid by themself, and departed wondering in himself at that which had happened.

    Happy Easter.

    ……