Saturday, January 31, 2004

Maybe we should do this during the Vagina Monologues. Life | Knowing glances

This is the other half of the instant intimacy culture.
Steve's house is cold...brrr

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 Arts & Entertainment | Inside Mel Gibson's "Passion"

I give up. This man is a heretic priest of a heretic cathedral of a heretic church. There's not even an attempt towards "right belief". Their website touts their former "Bishop" who was censured by the Episcopal Church as one of their role models. Arts & Entertainment | Inside Mel Gibson's "Passion":

Scholars are objecting to this section and saying it distorts the fact that the Romans were the occupying power.

Who was more powerful in Vietnam, the US Army or the NVA? Well, the USA was the occupying power and we're not there anymore. In case you didn't notice there isn't a Roman Empire anymore either. That's because of the difficulty of governing far-flung rebellious provinces. It is exactly because the Roman's were occupiers that Pilate is intimidated. He has to keep order above all and that means pleasing Caiaphis. If there's a rebellion he'll lose his job. Arts & Entertainment | Inside Mel Gibson's "Passion":

Oh, I think it definitely could. It made a big deal of Pilate trying to save Jesus, which doesn't appear in all the Gospels.

Umm?'re all inspired. Arts & Entertainment | Inside Mel Gibson's "Passion":

Holding this up as somehow emblematic of something central to our belief -- this preoccupation with both sin and blood sacrifice -- is just absolutely primitive.

Ummm...the crucifixion is central to our belief, and we are kinda focused on sin and sacrifice. So I guess by this guys standards we're primitive. Oh well...

Monday, January 26, 2004

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Felix of Cantalice:

On one occasion, during a Carnival, he and St. Philip Neri organized a procession with their crucifix; then came the Capuchin friars; last came Felix leading Fra Lupo, a well-known Capuchin preacher, by a rope round his neck, to represent Our Lord led to judgment by his executioners. Arrived in the middle of the revels, the procession halted and Fra Lupo preached to the people. The Carnival, with its open vice, was broken up for that year.

Wow...I like Neri...
Holiday Dmitri on Young Conservatives on National Review Online
A fellow IHS alumnus.
Added a link to over on the side.
Democrat & Chronicle: Kodak worker: 'It's tough to see'

Wow...Rochester is in big trouble, about 5,000 jobs to be lost in Rochester of 15,000 worldwide.
NPR : Following John Edwards: Chaos at the Bowling Alley

Wow...John Edwards is an ignorant, insensitive lout. He's done (at least untill veep nominations (scary thought).
Sam's Father Groeschel update:

Read two Fr. Groeschel books this weekend. You must read his book The Reform of Renewal. It's amazing. Here's a bit I especially liked and wrote down for future reference:

Practically none of my readers may see themselves as prophetic types, and few may feel that they have either an oppourtunity or a responsibility to move people much outside the ordinary contacts of everyday life. All of this may be modest and accurate enough. In ordinary times they would even be correct about their responsibility. But these are not ordinary times. No one honestly thinks they are. Religion in general and the Catholic Church, along with the mainstream Protestant denominations, are losing ground rapidly. What is to be done? Most serious-minded clergy want to do something. they want to use their brief moment of life to make their providentially assigned contribution and leave the world a somewhat better place, but they need a place to start.

The place to start is definitely with one's own life. "What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart" (Mt 15:18). Our Savior makes it clear that what we do flows from what we are. If we are struggling for interior justice and honesty in our own hearts, we will discover in prayer and work what we need to do next. Our direction will be clearer and more creative than anything we could learn at any course or workshop or through any reading that we might do.
C.F.R. Groeschel update.

This webpage is incredible.
Great things about being a philosopher #x

I have an email folder titled "Metaphysics".
Celebrity Prep Schools

For Alysse...

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Kate O'Beirne on John Edwards on National Review Online

John Edwards is either an ignoramus or a liar. Religious Icons

The Catholics do pretty well on this list.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Letter 1/24/04

Boy, I hope he recovers, 'cause I want to go meet him. I just keep watching this video over and over.
Great book on religious celibacy by one of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus:

"c) Erroneous applications

"13. Side by side with these benefits of the liturgical reform, one has to acknowledge with regret deviations of greater or lesser seriousness in its application.

"On occasion there have been noted illicit omissions or additions, rites invented outside the framework of established norms; postures or songs which are not conducive to faith or to a sense of the sacred; abuses in the practice of general absolution; confusion between the ministerial priesthood, linked with Ordination, and the common priesthood of the faithful, which has its foundation in Baptism.

"It cannot be tolerated that certain priests should take upon themselves the right to compose Eucharistic Prayers or to substitute profane readings for texts from Sacred Scripture. Initiatives of this sort, far from being linked with the liturgical reform as such, or with the books which have issued from it, are in direct contradiction to it, disfigure it and deprive the Christian people of the genuine treasures of the Liturgy of the Church.

"It is for the bishops to root out such abuses, because the regulation of the Liturgy depends on the bishop within the limits of the law (61) and because 'the life in Christ of his faithful people in some sense is derived from and depends on him'. (62)"
World: New Mass translation said to 'elegant,' closer to the Latin:

"Fr. Mark Francis, superior of the Viatorian fathers and a former professor of liturgy at the Catholic Theological Union, told NCR the draft he saw is in parts 'impossible to pray.'

"Francis was referring to the draft prior to the January editing.

"'We just don't speak this way in formal English rhetoric,' Francis said. 'In places this reads like a schoolboy's translation of Caesar's Gallic Wars, where everything in the Latin is accounted for.'

"Harbert said, however, there had been 'constant concern' to public proclamation. The ICEL bishops, he said, had repeatedly read the texts aloud.

"Harbert told NCR that the secretaries of the liturgy commissions for English-speaking bishops' conferences will meet Feb. 8-10 in Spain, and among the topics for discussion is how people can be educated for the transition to more formal modes of speech implied in the new translation.

"Finally, Francis warned that the use of 'man' for 'human being' will cause priests not to use the prayers, judging them unsuitable for their congregations."

I pronounce on the suitability of texts in "formal English rhetoric", but end my sentences with prepositions when being interviewed for newspaper articles.

Also, you'd think he'd point out that it is not within those priests' competency to decide whether the prayers of the Mass are suitable for their congregations. The documents of Vatican II are quite clear on this point.

So is there any question still remaining about why I'm not joining any religious order that sends its seminarians to study at Catholic Theological Union?
The Word From Rome January 23, 2004: "On Sunday Jan. 18, Anglican Bishop John Flack, the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Rome, preached at the Sunday Mass at the Oratory of St. Francis Xavier del Caravita, an English-speaking Catholic community founded by a group of Jesuits and a Viatorian. He spoke about ecumenical ties."

Thinking about Marriage

Good column on marraige.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I just joined the Federalist Society it only costs $5 for students and they do great work. (Another line on the resume too.)
Kaiser Wilhelm II, revisited, in a new American century - Campus Times - Opinions


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

SPN Oratory Home Page

These guys are awesome!
Zell Miller on Howard Dean:

"...he scares the dogs and the children."

"...sounds like a donkey becoming a jackass."
'What will it take to get us mad?'

I'm already mad Your Excellency. Want to help me get even?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Official Web Site of Bestselling Author Dan Brown:


"I worked very hard to create a fair and balanced depiction of Opus Dei. Even so, there may be those who are offended by the portrayal. While Opus Dei is a very positive force in the lives of many people, for others, affiliation with Opus Dei has been a profoundly negative experience. Their portrayal in the novel is based on more than a dozen books written about Opus Dei as well as on my own personal interviews with current and former members. " them monks (they're not) and make them murderous...that's fair and balanced?
The Official Web Site of Bestselling Author Dan Brown:

"Much of the positive response I get from within organized religion comes from nuns (who write to thank me for pointing out that they have sacrificed their entire lives to the Church and are still considered 'unfit' to serve behind the altar)."

Yes, they are unfit, just like ricecakes are unfit for confecting the Eucharist. That's not a value judgement.

"I have also heard from hundreds of enthusiastic priests. While many of them disagree with some of the ideas in the novel..."

I should hope so!

"...they are thrilled that their parishioners are eager to discuss religion."

Discussing religion isn't enough, you need to have faith. Discussion is empty if it doesn't move towards truth and righteousness. (Perhaps this is part of the problem with "Sustained Dialogue", talking isn't enough, you need to learn.)

"Father John Sewell of St. John's Episcopal Church in Memphis stated it particularly eloquently in the press recently, saying: 'This [novel] is not a threat. This is an opportunity. We are called to creatively engage the culture and this is what I want to do. I think Dan Brown has done me a favor. He's letting me talk about things that matter.'"

Unfortunately, "Fr." Sewell isn't a priest of course.
ND starts dialogue program:

"Chandra Johnson, assistant to the President, cautioned that some in the Notre Dame community might not be so enthusiastic.
'There are some on this campus who will abhor the idea of 'Sustained Dialogue' because of their idea of the homogeneity which they associate with Notre Dame.'"

I don't have any problem with this, it seems pretty viewpoint neutral and the Kettering Foundation, which sponsors it, seems fine. But, I find strange is that they think we need the same kind of program used to work on violent ethnic conflict. I don't think we've been having that kind of problem here.

Who's paying for this by the way?

Monday, January 19, 2004 Books: The Practice of Spiritual Direction: "Certainly, the sort of distance and authoritarian stance of previous centuries, which the authors rightly see as passe (though it worked in its time), requires much adaptation to be effective today. Yet, in recent decades, the essence, comprising the accumulated wisdom of many centuries, too often has been sacrificed because how to apply the accidental is unclear. The authors make some areas rather murky and puzzling. For example, one case cited is that of a religious Sister who is spiritual director to a married woman who believes her life and prayer have improved in the course of a current adulterous relationship. The authors believe the director should keep silent, because to do otherwise would be following an agenda of defending marriage rather than being open to the other woman's needs - and rely on her having other sources of information, or a personal intuition, that may influence her assessment of her situation. This is quite contrary to any classic view, since one of a director's ministries always has been to assist the other in a truly honest view, unhampered by self-deception - and adultery, a clearly immoral action in Christian teaching which a director would have an obligation to correct, has never been viewed as helpful in the spiritual life."

Gotta love the Jesuits...
Untitled: " We also wish to provide liturgical services such as the Mass and Liturgy of the hours. The brothers, priests and seminarians pray lauds, evening prayer and complain together each day in this church. You are always invited to join us."

They may complain...but I think they meant "compline".

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Check out the new GeoURL link on the sidebar.
Version: 3.12
GP$/MU/H d++ s:++ a-- C++ U P L>++ E? W++ N+ o-- K- w+ O---- M-- V? PS-- PE+++ Y+ PGP- t-- 5-- X- R !tv b++++ DI++++ D+ G e++>++++ h* y->---

Yes, I know it's old-school, but I thought it might amuse someone out there.
Review My Site
Telegraph | Opinion | Mad How:

"In Vermont, they debate whether [Howard Dean's] arrogance is due more to being an upper-class Wasp or a doctor, though his mom says that, unlike the Bushes, they were always very thoughtful about the little people - 'we didn't even treat the servants like servants'."

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Letter 1/16/04: "I received a call this morning from India to tell me that the relic of Blessed Mother Teresa, who was a personal friend of Father Benedict, will be brought to his bedside this Sunday. We have heard from many people from places near and far telling us that Father is being lifted up in prayer. My God, how can I and all the friars thank you?"

I totally support and believe in this....but it still creeps me out a little bit.
Update below.
Comments are back up (including old ones) courtesy of Haloscan with Phil Ringnalda's code improvements.
"MY ACADEMIC HOOD" by Paul Heller:

"When I graduated from seminary, I acquired a handsome three-foot-long purple-red-gold-and-black academic hood signifying the degree I'd earned. As a Presbyterian minister I wore it over my black robe for special ceremonies, ordinations and installations.
"One day I opened my closet and it was not there. I couldn't remember when I'd last worn it or where I'd left it, but I quickly prayed that it was not lost.
"At the time, I was pastor of a small congregation in the western hills of New York's huge Adirondack Forest Preserve. Then I was extended a call to serve as minister of a larger congregation in a more urban area on the shores of Lake Champlain. After considerable soul-searching, I accepted the call, but I prayed for reassurance that my decision was the right one.
"I was greeted warmly by the staff and congregation at the new church. I had fond memories of a visit I had made there eight years earlier for an installation ceremony, but it was only when I opened the closet door in my new office that I knew I had done the right thing in coming to this church, this time to stay.
"There I discovered my hood, waiting for me as it had waited patiently for eight years."

Friday, January 16, 2004

And Keene makes Slate too!

Dog Licks Man - The lamest press releases of the 2004 campaign.:

"6. Senior Keene City Councilman Randy Filiault Endorses John Kerry
"Builds on Kerry's Cheshire County Support

"Keene City Councilman of 12 years Randy Filiault has endorsed John Kerry for President. Filiault is supporting Kerry because of his foreign policy and national security experience and his ability to take on George Bush toe-to-toe on the issues that will define this election."
Whoo hoo...Keene makes The Corner:
"Readers of the Corner were the first to learn of Gen. Wesley Clark's sweater purchase last week--now widely reported and even the subject of a Maureen Dowd column. Today they'll get breaking news about Joe Lieberman's underwear. During a spare moment meeting and greeting workers at a medical technology firm in Keene, New Hampshire, Lieberman confided to a few reporters, 'Want an inside scoop? I got some long johns.' The senator confessed that he wasn't wearing them yet, but had bought them in preparation for what will be a freezing early-morning visit to a shipyard in Portsmouth tomorrow.
"Posted at 04:06 PM"

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I sent an email to the editor of the Rover asking to join the staff.

Update: and am joining the staff; I got an invite to the next staff meeting.
Water water water....I have to drink so much water to stay feeling OK...

Monday, January 12, 2004

ND Queer Film Festival

Oh joy...
A picture Sarah Urben took of me playing cards with the Lit Choir on tour.

Update: The Tiffster wins the attention to detail prize.
Mail :: INBOX: Due Date Approaching, ND Library:

Use 'MY ACCOUNT' to Check your Loan List & Renew books
University Libraries of Notre Dame"

Well...that took about six seconds and the books are good to go for another 8 months. Amazing perks of being a Grad Student.
Student Schedule Spring, 2004
PHIL550, Metaphysics, DeBartolo 303, Monday 3:00-5:30 P.M.
PHIL562, Epistemology, Malloy Hall 320, Thursday 11:00-1:30 A.M.
PHIL445, Hegel, DeBartolo 108, Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-4:45 P.M.
PHIL518, History of Medieval Philosophy, Malloy Hall 220, Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-6:15 P.M.

"Q. A friend of mine is married to a soldier who thinks of himself as rather 'macho'. The problem is that he has a very effeminate voice, so when I ring my friend I am initially never sure if it is him or her as neither of them gives their name when answering the phone. His macho self-image would not survive being mistaken for a woman, even telephonically. How can I avoid mistakenly confusing him for her?
K.C., Perth, Western Australia

"A. When you telephone this couple, always announce yourself. 'Hello, it's--[here give your Christian name].' If the respondent fails to identify him or herself in response, just carry on probing along the lines of 'How are you today? Have you achieved a lot?' until such time as the activities on which your interlocutor has been engaged have provided sufficient clues to establish their gender"
Michael Graham on South Carolina Primary on National Review Online:

"Nevertheless, few South Carolina Democrats--and no influential ones--are publicly supporting Dean. And nobody can point out what a 'Dean Democrat' looks like in South Carolina. Nationally, Dean voters tend to be wealthy, white, college-educated, computer-savvy, and very liberal.

"In South Carolina, those people are called 'tourists.'"
Michael Knox Beran on Founding Fathers on National Review Online:

"The kind of history I have in mind would require no sacrifice of scholarly integrity. The Oxford historian A. J. P. Taylor was not a conservative and quite the reverse of a reactionary. But consider his appraisal of the character of Churchill in his history of modern Britain. It was Taylor's practice to provide, in notes at the bottom of the page, a brief summary of the lives of the men and women to whom he referred in the text � where the individual was educated, what offices he held, the nature of his family connections. Taylor would also mention a revealing idiosyncrasy or two, for he had to deal with some eccentric figures. The sketches are brief lives, and Taylor composed them with extraordinary wit and irreverence. But when he came to describe Churchill, he was laconic. His tone changed; the mirth vanished; the statement was plain and unadorned. (I quote from memory, not having the book to hand.) 'Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, K.G.; the saviour of his country.'"

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Nation: Priests protest language on gays:

"Another drafter of the letter, Fr. Michael Shanahan, an inner-city pastor, said the priests are eager to discuss the issues with the cardinal. 'If the problem is language,' he said, 'then I think it's up to the church to find a way to speak that is intelligible to gays and lesbians.'"

The job of pastors even...and it doesn't involve press releases.
Nation: Priests protest language on gays:

"A principal drafter of the letter, Fr. Richard Prendergast, pastor of a suburban parish, said he was moved to take action in part by the experience of a lesbian couple in his parish. They had adopted a baby from an orphanage in a foreign country. She was considered developmentally impaired when she arrived in the United States. Prendergast said that now, 18 months later, the couple has “loved her back to a normal level” of development. “To call their loving of that child an abomination is outrageous,” he said."

And maybe he'd like to point out where the Church has said that? The only abomination present seems to be Fr. Predergast engaging in calumny.
Winner Trumps All - NBC's The Apprentice features 16 strivers who hope to work for The Donald. By Dennis Cass:

"Now this is impressive. It's one thing to own casinos, refurbish Grand Central, and have your pick of Czech supermodels, but you truly haven't made it until a group of strangers desperately tries to curry favor with you while you heap scorn on them, from a helicopter. "

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The BIG Theory: Immigration Proposal Roils America

Wow...check out the pictures there (and the commentary).
Jack Dunphy on Airport Security on National Review Online:

"Officers were of course discouraged from stopping cars based on any outward sign that they might contain Arabs or Muslims. That would be racial profiling, after all, and we sure can't have any of that! A Buick brimming with Baathists or Mercedes full of Mohammedan mullahs would have sailed right through if it didn't happen to be the tenth car, and probably even if it did."

Monday, January 05, 2004

Whopper: Laura Bush - The first lady lies in order to make the president look ... stupid? By Timothy Noah

I don't think it was a lie, I think it was a joke.
The 34 Best Movies of 2003 - Child spellers, hobbits, and the year in cinema. By David�Edelstein:

"My movie event of the year was watching all three Rings films (the first two in extended cuts) back to back to back at the Loews 42nd Street E-walk on Dec. 16. I was lucky to be there, beside people who'd stood in line for as long as 16 hours to buy tickets and then again for six hours to get good seats. The atmosphere was electric, and the movies looked better this way, flowing easily into one another. Before the third movie started, three hobbits and Gollum showed up to pay tribute to these fans: Frodo kept saying 'F---in' A!' and was very sweet in his enthusiasm, and Gollum sang a verse of 'My Way' ('And now, the end is near ...'). Somewhere in the last hour of our 14-hour marathon (including intermissions), two outsiders wandered into the theater, looked for seats, and sat down on the stairs next to me. They weren't being obnoxious, but I wanted to kill them anyway: They hadn't been on this odyssey with us and were violating a sacred space. When it was all over, many people were crying, and even though it was 1:30 a.m., a lot of my fellow geeks lingered in the theater and on the sidewalk outside. "
The Year in Movies - Top 10 lists all around! By Manohla Dargis, David Edelstein, Jim Hoberman, Sarah Kerr, and A.O. Scott:

"'Please discuss Mel Gibson's Passion,' writes one reader. I can't: I haven't seen it. And I'm frankly dreading its release and the pots of anti-Semitic mail I'll doubtless get if I respond in any way except religious conversion. I don't doubt Mel Gibson's belief, his--if you will--passion; but I also think he has a bit of a fixation on excruciating martyrdom. He's all but crucified in his Lethal Weapon movies, and in Braveheart he gets to be drawn and quartered while shouting 'Freedom!' I suppose I betray my Jewish psychiatric roots here, but I'd love to hear him think aloud on this subject.

"If there's anyone I haven't pissed off, here's a question for J. Hoberman. You wrote, in your review of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 'Its hobbituary denouement is gayer than anything in Angels in America.' Dude! Having speculated on Mel Gibson's fixations, can we move on to the erotic life of hobbits?" Tribe claims to own property on ND campus

Wow...this is insane.

This website has lots of cool info on intelligence jobs.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

FT December 2003: The Public Square:

"An Episcopalian friend expressed her puzzlement that the Episcopal Church can so cavalierly jettison doctrines while taking such a firm stand on questions of funding and authority. Paul Marshall of Freedom House came up with a possible answer in a statement by Karl Marx in his preface to the first volume of Das Kapital: “The English Established Church will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/39th of its income.” But we know that Marx got everything wrong. Well, almost everything. "
FT December 2003: Opinion: Jobs and Babies

This is a great First Things story.
Altar servers should be taught to stand with their feet together, not spread apart, parade rest looks wierd when one is wearing an alb.
Soprano descants done badly are one of the worst musical sins.
I finally saw a copy of Magnificat today. It's really cool. If I'm ever in charge of buying a missalette this is the one I will buy.
Last night there was this high pitched whine in my room as I lay awake in the silence of 3AM. It was really bugging me. I searched all around and couldn't find it, then i thought to myself, "What have I changed?" Then I realized it was my cell phone charger, because that was the only new piece of electronics. So I unplugged it and went to sleep.
The Evasions of Robert McNamara - What's true and what's a lie in The Fog of War? By Fred Kaplan

"McNamara puts it this way:

"'LeMay said, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." And I think he's right. He—and, I'd say, I—were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?'"

Well....remembering our just war theory...violence can only be employed proportionally, and part of proportionality is probability of sucess. Suceeding tends to suggest that the probability of sucess was high (yes, statisticians, this is not strict implicature). Thus, winning suggests that the means were more likely to have been moral than losing while using the same means.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Rev. Austin Miles: Dems take Vugarity To Church!!:

Darn that vugarity!
Denis Boyles on EuroPress 2003 on National Review Online:

"If you wish to get good, informed information from the BBC, the only reasonable place to go is BBC2's Top Gear, just ending it's third season on the air. O.K., it's a car show, and, true, Americans may not get much from the program's test drives of automobiles known only to readers of Hemming's Motor News. But it is the best informational program on the BBC — better than all the science shows; flashier than the prize-less, often clueless quiz programs; shorter than all the historical drivel; smart, funny, well-written, and subversively un-P.C. Recently, when the program was bumped back a bit on the Sunday night lineup without much notice, presenter Jeremy Clarkson tried to regain the BBC's favor by offering to rename the show The Nelson Mandela Car Show while series regulars James May and Richard Hammond ostentatiously read copies of the leftwing Guardian and flashed their New Age sandals. One recent program had British scientists doing tire burns — 'the smartest men in Britain doing the dumbest thing known to man' or something similar — and another was devoted to testing the durability of a Toyota pickup — the sort of trucks that, fitted with a set of wooden grates, serve as public transport in much of Africa. The Toyota was bought used for a song, and looked it. It was then driven into a tree, down a set of concrete steps, tied to a boat ramp, washed out to sea, left on the sandy beach when the tide went out, and set afire. After each event, the truck started up and ran. Finally, the thing was parked atop a high-rise building, which was then demolished. When the dust cleared, the Toyota drove off into legend. Fantastic. Just watching it all happen made me want to rush out and catch a third-world bus. To Paris."

Friday, January 02, 2004

December 8, 2003 New Yorker:

"From the International Herald Tribune.

"A headline in Wednesday's editions with an article about a section of Copenhagen inhabited by squatters for the last 32 years likened the neighborhood to Shangri-La. The neighborhood is, in fact, neither imginary nor a hidden paradise.

"Too late--our flight is already booked."

Thursday, January 01, 2004

The Critics Critiqued - Their nastiest insults, most insightful reviews, and oddest fixations this year. By Ben Williams:

"Best Impersonation of a Crackpot
"The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley on 24: 'One of the best series on television is 24, and it could be even better if there were less of it—if, say, the world had adopted the time-keeping system of the ancient Sumerians. The show would then be called 12 and its hero, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), could save the country from an apocalyptic terrorist attack in a 12-hour day—eliminating the need for some of the sillier side plots delaying the denouement.' Stanley goes on to wonder what modern television would be like if Sumerian culture had taken root."