Amazing! ‘Stillness of Heart’ in 2015.

My ambitions. My dreams. The diary of Kate Stone. Recommended readings. Videos I loved. Amazing stories. Amazing people. So much more. It’s been a long but fascinating year.

Thanks for making Stillness of Heart an astounding success. This end-of-the-year report says it all.

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

‘The Force Awakens’ (of course) / A highway marriage proposal / ‘Thriller’ makes history / Confessions of a cartel killer / Trump’s unpleasant talents

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This week: ‘The Force Awakens’ (of course) / A highway marriage proposal / ‘Thriller’ makes history / Confessions of a cartel killer / Trump’s unpleasant talents

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Trump, Master of the Seven Deadly Sins
By Michael D’Antonio | Politico Magazine | Dec. 16
“How the GOP leader has succeeded for 40 years by bringing out the worst in people.”

2. Libya’s cultural heritage ‘being destroyed and plundered by Isis’
Associated Press :: The Guardian | Dec. 15
“Museums and UN say ancient artefacts and artwork are in danger of obliteration or being looted and sold illegally”

3. A Houston Marriage Proposal Stops Traffic
By Katie Rogers | The New York Times | Dec. 16
“Drivers did not give them more than a few seconds to celebrate. As the ecstatic couple hugged, the blare of car horns could be heard as people in trucks and S.U.V.s began to drive around the couple and their entourage, who were also recording.”

4. Alter Your Reading… Alternate History Picks Sure to Make You Wonder
By Billy Gschlecht | Bibliofile :: New York Public Library | Nov. 5
“Alternate history is an interesting and imaginative look at what might have been, sometimes for the better or worse, but certainly always different.”

5. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ sets new sales record
By Anthony McCartney | Associated Press | Dec. 16
“The album has sold 30 million copies in the United States, making Jackson the first artist to attain 30-time multiplatinum status …”

6. ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Top Gun,’ ‘L.A. Confidential’ Among 2015 National Film Registry Selections
Variety | Dec. 16
“Each year, the Library of Congress adds 25 notable films to its permanent collection, ensuring that the titles will be preserved for generations to come.”

7. 30 lives extinguished, but no regrets: A killer’s story
By E. Eduardo Castillo | Associated Press | Dec. 15
“This is a story from the other side, the tale of a man who kidnaps, tortures and kills for a drug cartel. His story is the mirror image of those recounted by survivors and victims’ families, and seems to confirm their worst fears: Many, if not most, of the disappeared likely are never coming home.”

8. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: The fanboy dissection of a film that restores faith
By Michael Cavna and David Betancourt | Comic Riffs :: The Washington Post | Dec. 16
“With John Williams’s soaring score still ringing in our ears, and the uplift of this soon-to-be globally embraced film still dizzying our senses, here is Comic Riffs’ fanboy dissection of the Star Wars franchise reawakened …”

9. Revisiting ‘Star Wars’ Before ‘The Force Awakens’
Here & Now :: NPR | Dec. 14
“That was back in the day when the first Apple II computers went on sale and Space Mountain was opening at Disneyland.”

10. When T.R. Saw Lincoln
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | May 2014
“For Theodore Roosevelt’s family, Lincoln’s cortege was no abstract public ceremony. “

Introducing our new Manuscript Archivist, Katie Rojas

The Top Shelf

Katie RojasHello Top Shelfers! I’m happy to join UTSA Special Collections as the new Manuscript Archivist, and to continue the work of my predecessor, Nikki Lynn Thomas. As Manuscript Archivist, it’s my job to manage and provide access to a wide range of primary source materials related to San Antonio culture and history, including women and women’s groups, Mexican-Americans, and the Texas-Mexico border region. I also have a strong interest in digital archives and digital preservation, so I am especially excited to work with the UTSA Special Collections team in that area.

I earned my BA in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin, with a geographic focus on Latin America. I also have a long-standing love of the fine arts, and minored in Art History. I discovered the archives field while I was an undergraduate. I attended a combination job/graduate school fair and became intrigued after speaking with…

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The USS Zumwalt heads out to sea for Sea Trails. The Heavy Cruiser and Battleship Era is back

Nicky's World

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via AP

The largest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy headed out to sea for the first time Monday, departing from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works and carefully navigating the winding Kennebec River before reaching the open ocean where the ship will undergo sea trials.

I’ll say this FOR ALL INTENSE PURPOSES, THE US NAVY IS BRINGING BACK THE BATTLESHIP AND HEAVY CRUISERERA

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Consider this, the Zumwalt class Destroyer is the largest surface ship the US navy has. This is way more than a destroyer and this borders on being classed as a Battleship or a Heavy cruiser. With the Railgun coming online soon, this thing would intimidate anything floating today.

In my opinion, this would eclipse anything that is afloat on earth today and even what Russia and China has now, would make them look like small boats.

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Interview: John J. Hennessy – The First Battle of Manassas: “An End to Innocence,” July 18-21, 1861

A great interview

Bull Runnings

!cid_2CF4249F-126F-4782-8A7B-1674CF1815FE@hsd1_va_comcast_netBy now you’ve read enough here to know that John J. Hennessy’s anticipated reworking of his 1989 H. E. Howard Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders Series book, The First Battle of Manassas: “An End to Innocence,” July 18-21, 1861, is available from Stackpole Books. Mr. Hennessy has graciously answered a few questions to provide a little more information about the book and himself. Please feel free to make observations or ask questions in the comment section. Also pay close attention to Mr. H’s closing paragraph. UPDATE: If you’d like a signed copy of the book for your collection (and who wouldn’t?) drop John a note at jjh127@comcast.net

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BR: I’m pretty sure most Bull Runnings readers are familiar with your work, and many to some extent with you, but for those who aren’t, what’s the thumbnail sketch of John Hennessy up to this point?

JH: My career might…

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100 Days of Blog Posts

A heroic and admirable project.

100 Days Later

Day One: Today one of my teachers gave us a an unwritten assignment, to do one thing for one hundred days. It doesn’t matter what it is, you just have to do it for one hundred days. Something as simple as smiling to someone in the hall is acceptable, as long as you are diligent.

I thought of many things I could do for one hundred days: I could write in my journal, or I could work out (I am very out of shape after all), I even thought of watching an episode of a telenovela everyday for one hundred days, but I felt like I would eventually give up on all of those.

I am not very good at creating habits for myself. I tend to give up when I am not running the risk of hurting someone else. I suppose this is the point of this challenge…

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