A HYMN FOR TODAY – The Shining Shore

A HYMN FOR TODAY – The Shining Shore


A HYMN FOR TODAY – The Shining Shore

(with link to Anonymous 4 “Gloryland” track)

My days are gliding swiftly by,
And I, a pilgrim stranger,
Would not detain them as they fly –
Those hours of toil and danger.

For now we stand on Jordan’s strand;
Our friends are passing over;
And, just before, the shining shore
We may almost discover.

Our absent king the watchword gave,
“Let every lamp be burning.”
We look afar, across the wave,
Our distant home discerning.

Should coming days be dark and cold,
We will not yield to sorrow,
For hope will sing with courage bold,
“There’s glory on the morrow.”

Let storms of woe in whirlwinds rise,
Each cord on earth to sever.
There, bright and joyous in the skies,
There is our home forever.

For now we stand on Jordan’s strand;
Our friends are passing over;
And, just before, the shining shore
We may almost discover. – David Nelson, 1843 (?)                                                                                                                                                                                                             Tune: Shining City – George F. Root, 1868                                                                                                                                                                                         #701 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012

This is a fascinating hymn, one of the most popular in the 19th century – found in soldiers’ paperback hymnals from the Civil War camp revivals of both the Union and Confederate armies.  David Nelson, the author of the lyrics, was a minister who lived in Danville, KY, during the 1830’s before “removing” to Missouri.  His hymn was later set to the tune “Shining City” by George F. Root, a Chicago musician known for both hymn tunes and secular music – most famously, “The Battle Cry of Freedom,” one of the chief marching tunes of the Union armies.

The hymn seems to have fallen into disfavor following the Civil war, probably for obvious reasons of overuse and connection to memories best forgotten. (Imagine singing lines like, “Our friends are passing over,” after returning from the slaughter). This hymn sank like a stone to the bottom of “The Great Lakes of Forgotten Hymns.”  The last word of the hymn, “discover,” is also used in a sense different from “modern” usage, where it often means “to find by accident” (as in, “scientists have made a surprising new discovery”).  Here, it means almost “un-cover” or “dis-cover,” as we can almost dimly see, across on the far shore, our home, shrouded in the distant msits.

The hymn thus compares our passing from earth into heaven to Israel’s crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land, the imagery being that we are on the shore across from our “Promised Land,” heaven. As we stand before, but across from, heaven’s “shining shore,” we can glimpse it because of our lamps. We can envision heaven now, especially since friends have already gone there.  Our time on earth seems to pass quickly, and we do not wish to delay our “crossing.” Furthermore, we recognize the value of sorrow here, since it prevents us from finding this life too attractive tomake us eager for eternal rest with God. (Psalm 39:4-5; 103:1-16; Isaiah 40:6-8; Luke 12:35-40; Hebrews 4:9-11; 11:13; James 4:14).


The Genius of J.S. Bach’s “Crab Canon” Visualized

The Genius of J.S. Bach’s “Crab Canon” Visualized

The Genius of J.S. Bach’s “Crab Canon” Visualized on a Möbius Strip

From Colin Marshall’s Open Culture — read more at:


The most impressive of Johann Sebastian Bach’s pieces, musicophiles may have told you, will knock you over with their ingeniousness, or at least their sheer complexity. Indeed, the music of Bach has, over the past two and a half centuries, provided meat and drink to both professional and amateur students of the relationship between ingeniousness and complexity. It’s no mistake, for instance, that the composer has offered such a rich source of intellectual inspiration to Gödel, Escher, Bach author Douglas R. Hofstadter, well beyond having given him a word to fill out the book’s title. Listen to the first canon from Bach’s Musical Offering, and you’ll hear what sounds like a simple beginning develop into what sounds like quite a complex middle. You may hear it and instinctively understand what’s going on; you may hear it and have no idea what’s going on beyond your suspicion that something is happening.

If you process things more visually than you do aurally, pay attention to the video above, a visualization of the piece by mathematical image-maker Jos Leys. You can follow the score, note for note, and then watch as the piece reverses itself, running back across the staff in the other direction. So far, so easy, but another layer appears: Bach wrote the piece to then be played simultaneously backwards as well as forwards. But prepare yourself for the mind-blowing coup de grâce when Leys shows us at a stroke just what the impossible shape of the Möbius strip has to do with the form of this “crab canon,” meaning a canon made of two complementary, reversed musical lines. Hofstadter had a great deal of fun with that term in Gödel, Escher, Bach, but then, he has one of those brains — you’ll notice many Bach enthusiasts do — that explodes with connections, transpositions, and permutations, even in its unaltered state. Alternatively, if you consider yourself a consciousness-bending psychonaut, feel free get into your preferred frame of mind, watch Bach’s crab canon visualized, and call me in the morning.

Related content:

A Big Bach Download: All of Bach’s Organ Works for Free

The Open Goldberg Variations: J.S. Bach’s Masterpiece Free to Download

Glenn Gould Explains the Genius of Johann Sebastian Bach (1962)

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.

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A HYMN FOR TODAY – All Nations, Clap Your Hands


All nations, clap your hands;
Let shouts of triumph ring;
For mighty over all the lands
The LORD Most High is King.

Above our mighty foes
He gave us power to stand,
And as our heritage He chose
The goodly promised land.

With shouts ascends our King,
With trumpet’s stirring call;
Praise God, praise God; His praises sing,
For God is Lord of all.

O sing in joyful strains,
And make His glory known;
God over all the nations reigns,
And holy is His throne.

Our fathers’ God to own
The kings of earth draw nigh,
For none can save but God alone,
He is the LORD Most High.

SM ( – arr. McNaugher’s Psalter (1912)
Psalm 47

Tune: SILVER STREET – Isaac Smith, 1770

#59 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012

How To Treat the Freshmen — 1495

How To Treat the Freshmen — 1495

From the Blog “Ask the Past: Advice From Old Books”

How to Treat the Freshmen, 1495

See the complete post, and much more, at:


They get smaller every year.
Codex Manesse (c. 1304)

“Statute Forbidding Any One to Annoy or Unduly Injure the Freshmen. Each and every one attached to this university is forbidden to offend with insult, torment, harass, drench with water or urine, throw on or defile with dust or any filth, mock by whistling, cry at them with a terrifying voice, or dare to molest in any way whatsoever physically or severely, any, who are called freshmen, in the market, streets, courts, colleges and living houses, or any place whatsoever, and particularly in the present college, when they have entered in order to matriculate or are leaving after matriculation.”

Leipzig University Statute (1495)


Edited by Elizabeth Archibald, who has a Ph.D. in History with a focus on early medieval education. She teaches at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Read more at:  http://askthepast.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

To Nuun Hood to Coast, With Gratitude

In case you’ve been wondering, “Where’s Lindsay?”

twisted running

It’s Monday morning, and I am far from Oregon and Hood to Coast, but they are in my heart, along with an overflowing serving of gratitude.

First, to Nuun:

Thank you. Thank you for the most amazing four days of fun. Thank you for showing me and the other Hood to Coast team members the time of our lives. Thank you for getting it–for understanding that endurance athletes want a great experience, and delivering it. First, in making a product that makes achieving our goals easier and more enjoyable by giving us a tasty way to hydrate. And more importantly, for getting that the greatest gift you could give the biggest fans of your product is an unforgettable, amazing experience with other people who feel likewise. We don’t need to see your product in a magazine or billboard.. But we love tasting it at the end of a…

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How the World Sees US: Matters Not Widely Reported in Mainstream American News Media

How the World Sees US: Matters Not Widely Reported in Mainstream American News Media

Daily Mail — Is it any wonder the world sees the US as it does?

‘Bored’ teen who ‘gunned down’ Australian student ‘danced and laughed’ after being arrested and said the shooting ‘was no big deal’ as it emerges he tweeted about’ hating white people’

  • James Edwards, 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, are accused of the first degree murder of Chris Lane, an Australian student on a baseball scholarship
  • Friend Michael Jones, 17, is charged with being an accessory to the crime and driving the getaway car
  • Police chief tells MailOnline Edwards ‘danced’ at the booking desk after being arrested
  • Man who turned them in said that he thinks his son was their next target and that the Friday shooting was not random but a gang test
  • Area high school reopened this morning after lock down following anonymous threats
  • Victim’s girlfriend says she will be going to Australia for the funeral
  • White House spokesman says he’s ‘not familiar with’ the case
  • Police think the teens ‘practiced by shooting dead a donkey just over a block away from where Lane was killed’


PUBLISHED: 08:52 EST, 22 August 2013 | UPDATED: 13:34 EST, 22 August 2013

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2400005/Chris-Lane-shooting-accused-teens-James-Edwards-Chancey-Luna-danced-laughed-arrested.html#ixzz2cx1oL1SG

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Female Soldiers in the Civil War

Female Soldiers in the Civil War

Female Soldiers in the Civil War



The outbreak of the Civil War challenged traditional American notions of feminine submissiveness and domesticity with hundreds of examples of courage, diligence, and self-sacrifice in battle.  The war was a formative moment in the early feminist movement.

Frances Clayton disguised herself as “Frances Clalin” to fight in the Civil War. (Library of Congress)

In July of 1863, a Union burial detail at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania made a startling discovery near Cemetery Ridge.  Among the bodies covering the ground–the wreckage of the Confederate attacks during the battle–the Union men found a dead woman wearing the uniform of a Confederate private.

The burial detail had stumbled upon one of the most intriguing stories of the Civil War: the multitudes of women who fought in the front line.

Although the inherently clandestine nature of the activity makes an accurate count impossible, conservative estimates of female soldiers in the Civil War puts the number somewhere between 400 and 750.  Long viewed by historians as anomalies, recent scholarship argues that the women who fought in the Civil War shared the same motivations as their male companions.

Some women went to war in order to share in the trials of their loved ones.  Others were stirred by a thirst for adventure, the promise of reliable wages, or ardent patriotism.  In the words of Sarah Edmonds Seelye, also known as Franklin Flint Thompson of the 2nd Michigan Infantry: “I could only thank God that I was free and could go forward and work, and I was not obliged to stay at home and weep.”   Seelye holds the honor of being the only woman to receive a veteran’s pension after the war.


Read more at http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/untold-stories/female-soldiers-in-the-civil.html