Friday, December 23, 2011

Quotes of the day

[Charles] Dickens knew what a nasty place, both literally and figuratively, the chimney was. He easily passed many a chimney sweep on the London streets, possibly as young as four years old – weary, sooted boys earning a dangerous, miserable, and likely short living, and reaping the contempt of London’s more civilized citizens. The wealthy of Victorian London looked upon the chimney sweeps and saw villains in the making. They depended on those blackened boys for household cleanliness and warmth and, above all, safety, but wouldn’t trust them farther than they could throw their stockings. ... There is no Santa Claus herein. There are only the chimneys themselves, bright symbols of the cheery, loving home and dark images the deepest filth the city – or the human soul – can scratch up. It might be said that Dickens’s fiction – holiday and otherwise – plumbs the blackened, sooty depths of human depravity to ultimately offer hope in visions bright as a blazing hearth. A different type of Christmas spirit, indeed.--Rebecca Martin

And I heard, “Merry Christmas! You still have a job!”--unattributed

... do 46 percent of Golden State voters really identify with drum circles, pot smoking, public urination, indecent exposure, violent brawling, and semi-literate rants against capitalism? And did I mention lice?--Joe Hicks

A Manhattan hedge-fund manager has stepped in to pay for the funeral for Delores Gillespie, the 73-year-old woman who was set on fire in the elevator of her Underhill Avenue apartment building,  ... He called the office of Councilwoman Letitia James, who had set up a fund to collect donations on Monday, and offered to pick up the entire bill. He has since been in touch with the family, said a spokeswoman for James' office.  Relatives and friends remember Gillespie as a warm-hearted, community-minded  woman who helped the down-and-out find jobs and laid out a feast for the homeless every Thanksgiving.--Amy Sara Clark

I thought about making an "every team HAS to have one white guy" rule just because it's fun to think of someone heading into the last round of the draft thinking, "Crap, I don't have a white guy yet — is Steve Blake still available?" But then that opens the door to the whole "Does someone like Gortat or Gasol count as a white guy or a foreigner?" debate which has never been solved. It's like the Roe v. Wade of basketball arguments.--Bill Simmons

[Greg Engert] left a Georgetown graduate literature program to dive into the beer world full-time, and he approaches it partly as a humanities professor might, if such professors were young, unpretentious, boundlessly energetic, fast-talking, and decked out in quietly stylish clothes. Get him going and out come elaborate, colorful tales about the evolution and history of a particular beer. It’s beer as narrative, and he’s an entertaining, passionate storyteller. Engert also displays a scientist’s pride as he shows off the elaborate system of climate control and piping, custom-built to guarantee every drop is served through clean lines at the temperature appropriate for each style.--Mark Garrison

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