Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Strangely, it's the "weekends" that are making this overnight schedule hard. Not wanting to give up the daytime of my time off, I'm only getting two nights of somewhat extended sleep rather than three nights in my two days off.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The blog formatting is screwed up. I don't know why. I didn't change anything.
Christopher Caldwell in the The Weekly Standard:

"People often use the word 'culture' as a synonym for 'cuisine.' When they clim to adore the 'diverse and vibrant culture' of the city they live in, what they're actually trying to say, nine times out of ten, is that they like kung pao chicken. Those of us who grew up in Massachusetts often here strangers extol our culture. But it is seldom our accents or our well-earned sanctimony that so beguile them. They generally mean that they like fried clams."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Comcast Message Center:

"Good Day Sir, It is my pleasure reaching you through this means, I am in need of a trust worthy foreign person that can assist me have my fund(s) worth 8Million English Pounds Stirling transferred out of the non operational bank account that my late Uncle, Chief. Honesty RJ. Brown deposited "

His uncle's name is "Honesty"! Well then he must be "trust worthy [sic]".

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

open book: Are you a Papist?:

Rod Dreher: "Jay Nordlinger's a Christian Scientist"

Things you'd never have guessed...

Friday, June 17, 2005

I've tied a Windsor knot in my tie this morning, well actually I tied it at night, but it is now morning. It's oddly semetrical.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Insanely, with that I should go to bed at near 8AM, since I have to be to work at 12AM (ie 16 hours from now). This overnights thing is going to just be wierd! Though I do get paid a bit more.
Total Number of Books I Own/ Have Owned: I probably own 300 currently, which doesn't sound like a lot except that I move a lot and like to move them with me. Sadly, here in NY I only have a couple dozen. The total I've owned is probably around 1,000, I've been pretty good about selling them.

Last Book I Bought:

Three actually:
Happiness and Contemplation by Josef Peiper
Christian State in Life by Adrienne von Speyr
American Prometheus: the Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
Books I'm Reading Now:
American Prometheus and Relativity by Einstein

Five Books That Have Meant A Lot to Me:

I can't limit myself to five.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer (substantially by Cramner)
The Book of Lights by Chiam Potok
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas (and the Summa Contra Gentiles as well, but for a completely different reason)
On Free Choice of the Will by St. Augustine (though that was probably just a matter of timing)
The Roman Missal
The Rule of St. Benedict (guess who wrote that)

I find that there's a group of historical fiction/non-fiction that's important to me, informed by my ancestry and personal history:

The Killer Angels (the Civil War) by Michael Shaara
The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Rememberance (World War Two and the Holocaust) all by Herman Wouk
The Headmaster by John McPhee
Trinity by Leon Uris (though another novel or a straight history of Ireland could probably stand in here just as easily)
Good-Bye To All That by Robert Graves

Tag Five Other Bloggers to Do This - If they Wish
I don't know five bloggers...

It's interesting, but while I love books, my religion, politics, etc. have been influenced very much by other things. Beyond my upbringing, intellectual epiphanies were largely shaped by a radio show Catholic Answers Live (which I always listened to over the internet and have never actually heard on the radio) and my politics were shaped by reading The Freeman and as I think about it, the Wall Street Journal. Though religious and political books solidified the things I learned there. In becoming a philosopher, being taught to philosophize was more important than reading philosophy.

This was interestingly hopeful in another way, thinking about books and other places that I've learned from makes me realize how much I've learned and grown in understanding even relatively recently. Makes me more hopeful about the future of the enterprise.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

If this means what I think it does, it's pretty funny.
One of the public television stations (not 13, but I think 21) here in NYC is showing Witness to Hope during pledge week. I find this kind of shameless. They're not exactly promoters of Catholic values the rest of the year. with things like Now. Perhaps they'll be improving though, with the new guy in charge at CPB. He's certainly been getting rough treatment in the liberal media.
Today is some sort of Puerto Rican festival here in Midtown. It seems like we have a festival/parade every week. Last week was "Salute to Israel".

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Salon.com News | Everything you always wanted to know about the stem cell debate:

"There are also philosophical reasons to question the embryo's status. Does the embryo have a 'soul'? Bioethicists note that if it does, it's not an individual soul, since an embryo at this stage has not yet reached the point where it might split in two to become twins. An embryo can't be thought of as an individual person, some ethicists say, since it may actually become two different people."

I've seen this argument repeated over and over again and it is simply not a very good argument. This is akin to arguing that an adult can't have a soul because a child comes from biological material from it's parents. And it's parents recombined into three people.

The obvious reply is that when the embryo splits the soul that was there before is linked with one part and the new part gets a new soul. Just think of it as human reproduction being a bit more complicated.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I was just looking at the blog and realized that posts I had just posted had times on them that looked like an hour ago. The blog was still on East Indiana time!

It's fixed now.
I'd also add that there's been a lot more posting here than there has been someplace else.
Jeanetta is complaining that there aren't enough funny things she said on the blog anymore. The reason for this is most likely that she's not saying funny things to me. I think I'm the one who should complain. Harumph.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The New York Times Style section reports today, "The tie-front bolero sweaters seen everywhere provide today's uniform of T-shirt and jeans with an elegant high-waisted Empire silhouette."

I swear that I had the exact same thought yesterday. The Times beat me into print. (Not that I usually publish fashion criticism anywhere.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

People might want to know that I have next Monday and Tuesday off and the following Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I just got my renewal notice for National Review. I subscribe/d to the online version. I'm not going to renew. Instead of decided to subscribe to the (British) Prospect (in the online option for 1/5 the price). Which seems to resemble nothing as much as Michael Kelly's Atlantic. While I continue to subscribe to the Atlantic, I'm just not as happy with it as I used to be. As for National Review, between NRO (sorry guys, but it does take away from the NR craving for me), which I don't even read as much as I used to, and the Weekly Standard, which I get free at work, it seems less essential, not to mention that they reprint Bill Buckley's syndicated columns that are run in the New York Sun.
Roger Clegg writes, also in NRO:

You can read the Fourteenth Amendment all day and not find anything in it about the legality of gay sex, which was the issue in Lawrence v. Texas.

There's also an offhand bit in Frum's blog there from Sally Satel and Christina Sommers: "A modernized stoicism turns out to be a very effective life philosophy." We can add that mention to Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in the catalogue of modern stoics.
Warren Bell in an NRO article "Condumb?":

In 1856, Gustave Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary in part as a indictment of the promulgation of lending libraries, which were causing Emma-types to read the mass-culture novels of the day, and thereafter dream of romance and lovers. So, too, Sex and the City 140 years later, with the additional pernicious effect of promoting the Cosmopolitan as a suitable cocktail for people who are not holding poodles or smoking through a long black cigarette holder.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Here's an interesting bit of perspective. Recounted in this week's Weekly Standard:

After a series of academic succeses at Harvard College, [Robert Oppenheimer] went to England's Cambridge University in 1925 to study physics, but suffered a breakdown. Its most serious manifestation was poisoning his tutor's apple, an act that almost got him charged with attempted murder. Oppenheimer recovered, transferred to the University of Göttingen in Germany, and quickly became a star in the new and burgeoning field of quantum mechanics. Just two years after getting his bachelor's degree, he had a Ph.D. and a reputation as one of the leading young theoretical physicists in the world.