Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nostalgia: “1961 Facel Vega Facellia FA Cabriolet” (Classic Driver)

From a Classic Driver online article:

jb_classic_cars_facel_vega_facellia_cabriolet_28As a contemporary French alternative for the successful Mercedes-Benz SL 190 and popular Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider the Facel Vega Facellia FA is now seen as a rare gem that sits in between, target market-wise. It was almost as luxurious as the Benz, but also nearly as sporty as the Alfa. The Facellia’s reputation among car collectors is steadily improving, especially the first series. Despite being smaller the Facellia FA offers the same fine shapes and details of its larger family members like the Facel Vega FV3 and HK500. And besides being sporty enough for most drivers, it’s also as comfortable as you can expect from a French car. Which makes it a refreshing early 60’s sports car for all kinds of drives.

The larger Facels were more Grand Tourers. That’s why in his brochures the Californian Facel distributor Peter Satori presented the Facellia as the French twin cam 1960 sports convertible. Among Satori’s customers were the rich and famous. This car, with chassis number FAC 171, was ordered by Satori with a batch of other Facellias.

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Science Profiles: 97-Year Old Professor John B. Goodenough Becomes Oldest Nobel Prize Winner In Chemistry

From a UChicago News online article:

Univ of Chicago Professor John Goodenough Wins 2019 Nobel Prize in ChemistryThree-quarters of a century later, at age 97, Goodenough will become the oldest person to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. At a Dec. 10 ceremony in Sweden, he will be honored for pioneering breakthroughs that led to the widespread use of the lithium-ion battery—and helping spark the wireless revolution. The descendants of his batteries now power modern smartphones and hold the potential to one day sustainably harvest solar and wind power.

John B. Goodenough can still remember, word for word, what a University of Chicago professor told him when he arrived on campus following World War II: “I don’t understand you veterans,” said John A. Simpson, a new UChicago instructor who had just helped achieve the first nuclear reaction. “Don’t you know that anyone who has ever done anything significant in physics had already done it by the time he was your age—and you want to begin?”

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Best New Movies: “1917” Directed By Sam Mendes Is Oscar-Worthy (Dec 25)

From a NY Times online review:

The war spectacle “1917,” directed by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”), was unveiled in preview screenings on both coasts this past weekend and immediately announced itself as a significant Oscar player. The movie follows two British soldiers during World War I (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) as they’re given a seemingly impossible mission: Rush through dangerous territory to deliver a message that could save another battalion on the verge of annihilation.

Though “1917” recalls other Oscar-winning war movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Dunkirk,” Mendes distinguishes his effort by presenting the story as though “1917” were filmed all in one single take. It isn’t — Mendes and the cinematographer Roger Deakins employ all manner of clever methods to stitch together a great many different shots — but the average moviegoer won’t be able to spot the tells, and the you-are-there verisimilitude is potent.

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Top Exhibits: “Huysmans Art Critic – From Degas To Grunewald” At The Musée d’Orsay (Nov 26-Mar 1, 2020)

Logo_musée_d'OrsayA key writer of the late 19th century, Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907) was an art critic who is still little known or little understood by the general public. However, his contribution to the artistic press and the aesthetic debate was as decisive as the impact of his novel Against Nature.

Joris-Karl HuysmansMore passionate about Hals and Rembrandt until his discovery of Degas in 1876-1879, Huysmans admitted that this was a defining moment. And yet, his art criticism immediately accepted the possibility of a double modernity. The modernity of the painters of modern life and that of the explorers of dreams were not mutually exclusive. Here, Manet coexists with Rops and Redon. The desire Huysmans showed very early on to escape from the logic of church doctrine no doubt blurred the perception of his aesthetic choices.


Health Care Costs: $250+ Per Visit “Facility Fees” Increasingly Charged By Medical Practices

From a New York Times online article:

Facility FeeFor new patients, whose visits entail more work than those of established patients, facility fees typically range from $131 to $322 per visit; for established patients, they are slightly lower. In surgical centers and free-standing emergency rooms, the facility fee can be thousands of dollars.

A facility fee is an additional charge that some medical practices can add to the cost of each doctor visit. The additional charge usually comes as a surprise because, unlike an exam or a test or treatment, the facility fee is not tied directly to hands-on care.

The purpose of the facility fee is to compensate hospitals for the expense of maintaining the physical premises. Hospital-owned, off-campus medical practices are also allowed to charge the facility fee to cover specific regulatory requirements, such as building codes, disaster preparedness, equipment redundancy and other items that are largely invisible to patients.

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Top Wine Bars: Absinthe Brasserie & Bar In San Francisco Is “Glamorous, Buzzy And Special”

From an online article:

Absinthe Brasserie San FranciscoWhat makes this brasserie so popular? “A culture of hospitality comes from the top down,” explains Absinthe General Manager Brian Gavin. “Bill (our owner) is very gracious and the tone he sets makes everyone feel welcome.”

An homage to all things French, Absinthe is still one of my favorite places to eat in the city. Why? It’s a buzzy destination that feels glamorous and special, evoking a one-of-a-kind feeling of Belle Epoque-era Paris. It’s not just where I dine before the opera, symphony, ballet or SFJAZZ, but it is also where I always take out-of-towners, business associates, clients and staffers.

Absinthe Brasserie San Francisco Red Burgundies

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New Historical Fiction: “To Calais, In Ordinary Time” By James Meek Is “Inventive And Original”

From a online release:

to-calais-in-ordinary-time-hardback-cover-9781786896742.600x0“Fans of intelligent historical fiction will be enthralled by a story so original and so fully imagined. Meek shows the era as alien, which it is, and doesn’t falsify it by assimilating it to ours. But his characters are recognisably warm and human”

“An inventive and original novel that captures the distant past and pins it to the page”
The Times, Book Of The Month

Three journeys. One road.

England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon and a young ploughman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais.

Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers’ past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires.