Monthly Archive: December 2010


Seasonal Words of Wisdom

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. — Mark Twain (Entirely cromulent Christmas present:  Autobiography of Mark Twain,...


Santa Claus’s Nested Traveling Salesman Problem

My children are eagerly watching Santa on the Norad Santa Tracker, which makes me feel good about the use of my tax dollars and Strategic Command’s ability to focus on the real threats to...


O Come, O Come Emmanuel

I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite Christmas song, but O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is way up there. A close second is Silent Night, which my three-year-old calls Silent Goodnight and sings along...


Merry Christmas

A Christmas (Game) Tree to brighten your holidays. (Via XKCD.)


Have Yourself a Merry Unitarian Christmas

Numerous articles and blogs have noted the strong case to doubt Christmas’ authentically “Christian” origins. Christ probably wasn’t born on Dec. 25. The Puritans banned the holiday because it wasn’t authentically Christian. And many...


…and to all a good night

First of all, thanks so much to everyone who has made another year at The League possible. I have a tremendous amount of fun blogging here with all the fantastic writers and commenters who...


Merry Christmas to All

With all due respect to Rufus’ list, when I think of Christmas at its most heartfelt and warm, there is only one version of one song that has popped into my head for the...


For Your Christmas Listening Pleasure…

This is extremely indulgent posting- be warned. Every year, I make my friends a mix CD of Christmas rock and novelty songs. I’d like to offer up 20 of my favorites, via Youtube, for y’all....


Occasional Notes: The Most Genderful Time of the Year

Among Christmas’s many other attributes, I think you could probably make the case that it is the most intense in its gender divisions. Only Valentine’s Day suggests itself more strongly, but Christmas is when...


A thought, a farewell, and a song.

“Christmas is hard for everyone. But it’s particularly hard for people who actually believe in it. . . . In a sense, of course, there’s no better time to be a Christian than the...


Captain Robert Smalls, Bona Fide Hero

It’s largely becoming cliche to say this, but Ta-Nahesi Coates’ continued blogging on the Civil War justifies the existence of the blogosphere.  Today, seeking to reinforce his long-held argument that the aspects and persons...


Science On The March!

This just in: Lee Harvey Oswald’s Grassy Knoll accomplice in JFK assassination was probably an Amazonian native.


Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“When we come to Machiavelli we reach the spirit of the Renaissance, and begin to find law itself questioned…And true enough there soon came the State, as a sort of anti-Christ, to wage war...


We Need a Better News Media, Part 1,987,364

[UPDATE: Two commenters take issue with my characterization and interpretation of this quote, suggesting that it should be interpreted as “freed from the speaker’s ceremonial duties and from the speaker’s duties in crafting a...


Marriage as Another Country

[ Note: These thoughts were inspired by Lisa Kramer’s very good post on her engagement and marriage more generally.] Since marrying five years ago, I’ve occasionally found myself in the following situation: milling about...


The death of custom ctd.

Much of the pushback to my earlier post comes down to essentially this comment from Chris: Nationalism is less a product of the loss of custom, I think, than it is the product of...

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