Dining at the Blue Nile

Trip Advisor has its advantages. It takes you to places where you would not otherwise go. For example, on your next visit to London, how much time would you spend in south-east London? Most tourists will take a powder on that one.

And they would miss out on the Blue Nile. The best Eritrean restaurant in London!

The Blue Nile, Woolwich


Living with Books

A disclaimer: I have been an avid book collector for a long, long time. This has led to an issue. Where do I put all of my books?  Answer: Everywhere. So you can imagine my interest in an image like this

Of course it is not practical. That misses the point. There is an aesthetic at work. And how about this?

And the kitchen`?

There are more pics here. I confess. I will be looking at these all day!


Even More on Mike Nichols!

I don’t usually do multiple remembrance posts about a single person. After all there are so many great people in the world! But I can’t help myself here. I just watched Lawrence O’Donnell do his tribute to Mike Nichols on his MSNBC show “The Last Word” and I was blown away.  If you are into theater or film, please check out the link and watch Lawrence talk about why Mike Nichols was special.

Two quick takeaways

  1. Mike Nichols may have been the last of the great movie directors who was actor oriented rather than technology oriented.  Actors loved working with him because he loved working with them
  2. Mike was always right in his selection of screen shots because he trusted the audience to get it. He did not talk down to his audience. He connected with them because he felt that we are all living on borrowed time.

Ah, the Good Old Medieval Days!

A while ago, I posted about some misconceptions that we have about medieval Europe. Folks back then were not a bunch of “burn them at the stake” religious fanatics. On the other hand, things were kind of rough back then.

You might even take your life in your hands by trying to cross a river

the Holy Roman emperor, Frederick I, (for example) drowned in 1190 when crossing the Saleph river during the Third Crusade

So when the emperor can’t make it across, you know things are not so easy. _And of course, there was that damned plague. How bad was that?

The Black Death killed between a third and half of the population of Europe.

That is an astonishing number. Imagine that in our day! Worse still

Contemporaries did not know, of course, what caused the plague or how to avoid catching it. They sought explanations for the crisis in God’s anger, human sin, and outsider/marginal groups, especially Jews. If you were infected with the bubonic plague, you had a 70–80 per cent chance of dying within the next week. In England, out of every hundred people, perhaps 35–40 could expect to die from the plague.

Good Lord! That drove average life expectancy down in th e14th century  to around 20 years old. Yikes! So if there were tides of religious fervor, one could understand why.