Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quiz Time

The first person correctly to identify the individual that took this famous photograph of Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon during the “Kitchen Debate” in Moscow in 1959 will be awarded two tickets to The Royal Edina Opera Company’s January 2014 presentation of Othmar Schoeck’s “Penthesilea”.

Bonus Prize: Two tickets to The Royal Edina Ballet Company’s February 2014 presentation of George Balanchine’s “Roma” (to music of Bizet) will also be awarded if the winner can name the member of the Politburo that attempted to interfere with the taking of the above photograph.


  1. Elliott Erwitt captured this "Henri Cartier-Bresson moment," one of a suite, if I am not mistaken. This particular shot is less famous than another which catches Nixon pointing his finger at Khrushchev's chest..

    The man who tried to stop Erwitt is standing to Nixon's left in the photo: the abominable sleaze, Leonid Breshnev.

    Thank you, you can keep the tickets. .

  2. Erwitt indeed took photographs of the "Kitchen Debate", but he did not take this particular photograph. Someone much more famous than Erwitt snapped the photograph above.

    You are correct regarding the supplemental question.

    1. Yes, this one must have been taken by William Safire.

  3. Help! I'm surrounded by hillbillies!

    Jackson County is not only the poorest in the State of Florida, it boasts the lowest average IQ's in the country. The county is home to the "Charlie Smith Flat Earth Society" (in nearby Wassau).

    So I'm dying for intelligent conversation - at the very least for someone who knows the difference between "hominy" and "harmony."

    Alas, it is as unlikely to find such a person here as it running into ANY American in any other part of the country who is actually fluent in his native language *.

    * Forgive me for such shocking insensitivity! I meant "THEIR native language," of course . . . you know, regarding the hidden woman fighting to get out of every man and that oppressed man inside every post-modern, liberated woman.

  4. It’s like that everywhere. Half the people in Minnesota are totally bonkers, and it is no better anywhere else. Television, I believe, is the root cause.

    In moments you think the world has gone totally crazy, pull out a rewarding book that will capture your full attention—a biography of Harry Reid, perhaps, or a history of the Ball State football team in Muncie, or a collection of essays on plagiarism edited by Doris Kearns Goodwin, or something by Margaret Atwood.

    In all seriousness, I wish you a Merry Christmas—and I hope you are enjoying your holidays!

  5. Here is a great novel to reread over the holidays if you are down in the dumps: “David Copperfield”. You probably read it when you were a teenager; one can appreciate such a stupendous, life-affirming novel only as an adult.

  6. Joshua told me to tell you to read Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times”, which will buck you up no end—and to listen to music of Fats Waller, which is very cheerful.

  7. And, as a last resort: do an internet search for funny pictures of Alisa Weilerstein.

  8. Thank you for the fascinating reading recommendations - from both you and Joshua. I DID bring a couple of books, along with the January issue of "The Amphisbaena Whisperer," which I'm sure you have as well.

    I'm sure you enjoyed the transcript of the BBC interview of Anthony Payne by Sir David Lean, recorded on April 15, 1991, but never aired: "Anthony Payne Discusses his Completion of Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 10 in E Major, 'The Unbegun'." The "sketches" for the Symphony had been discovered in a ladies' powder room - four themes written with an eyebrow pencil on a piece of bumf, each theme representing the primary theme in each of the four movements.

    How fascinating, isn't it, that the last words of the transcript are spoken by Sir Lean: "Nostromo! Madness, Madness!"

    A very, merry Christmas to both you and Josh and your beloved family!


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