Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Halo Three reviewed in Slate:
More important, there are two new modes that will help the game retain an NFL-like parity six months or a year from now.

The first is the "theater," where gamers can watch their most recent online matches to see what they did wrong and, more important, to see what other gamers did right. That's right: Halo 3 now has game film. (It's only a matter of time before Bill Belichick becomes a Halo 3 master.) Don't understand why you got killed 75 times in the first five minutes of an online skirmish? Flip on the theater mode to watch the game from your opponents' perspective, to see how they beat you.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Current Earth-Destruction Status

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm art...

Well, that's assuming this is art, I suppose.

(Now the philosopher in me is demanding that I point out that, even if it is art, I'm not art... I'm in art or something.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

George Will on the Closing of Antioch College:
During the campus convulsions of the late 1960s, when rebellion against any authority was considered obedience to every virtue, the film "To Die in Madrid," a documentary about the Spanish Civil War, was shown at a small liberal arts college famous for, and vain about, its dedication to all things progressive. When the film's narrator intoned, "The rebels advanced on Madrid," the students, who adored rebels and were innocent of information, cheered. Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, had been so busy turning undergraduates into vessels of liberalism and apostles of social improvement that it had not found time for the tiresome task of teaching them tedious facts, such as that the rebels in Spain were Franco's fascists.
Or perhaps Andrew Cusack had time-traveled with some friends and was sitting in the audience.

There was (is?) a branch of Antioch in my hometown... Until this round of articles about the closing came out I never understood how they could pack a whole university into an office building.

Hat tip to the Cranky Professor.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

News From Russia
An interview with Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Meanwhile, Russian news agency Interfax reports:

"Meeting between Pope Benedict and Patriarch Alexy becoming more likely - Vatican official"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Company Rents Pets to Animal Lovers
I don't remember who I talked about it with, but I thought of such a thing myself a few months back.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - ...a company that contracts out dogs by the day to urbanites without the time or space to care for a pet full-time.

Marlena Cervantes, founder of FlexPetz, bristles when people refer to her five-month-old business as a rent-a-pet service. She prefers the term "shared pet ownership," explaining the concept is more akin to a vacation time share ... than a trip to the video store.

FlexPetz is currently available in Los Angeles and San Diego... She plans to open new locations in ... New York in September...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Interesting thought
A commenter at The New Liturgical Movement writes:
Perhaps we are seeing the beginnings of a development similar to that which in the Byzantine Tradition led to the Liturgies of St John Chrysostom and St Basil the Great.
--Fr Tito
Oratorians in the Archdiocese of New York
Their congregation has just gotten final approval.
There Are Liturgical Mistakes...
...and hillarious liturgical mistakes.

Rich Leonardi's son was accidently baptized "Benedict Arnold Leonardi."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Point Break, Best and Worst in a Genre:
If Big Wednesday is the most serious surf film ever made, Katherine Bigelow's Point Break (1991) is surf cinema's biggest missed opportunity. Roughly based on Tapping the Source, Kem Nunn's acclaimed "surf-noir" novel, Point Break—with a studio budget and an able director—could have nailed the visual splendor of surf and surfing in the same way it nails its sky diving sequences. (Point Break, weirdly, is the best sky diving movie ever.)
From Slate

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How To Read the NYT Fast
The Jack Shafer method, from Slate:
When time allows only a quick lap of the news, I navigate my broadsheets thusly: I read the hed, the lede, and the first couple of paragraphs of every story that appeals to me with the same care the reporters and editors assembled them, which is to say with high concentration. I then read the piece through to the first quoted source and scan the rest until I encounter a paragraph whose topic sentence promises additional novel information. The longer the article, the more likely I am to shorten the scanning process by jumping to the three-quarters mark, where I often find something close to the beginning of a brand-new—but related—story. Then I speed-read to the finish.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Catholic Films:

This Cornell Society for a Good Time post inspires me to post about another excellent movie with Catholic elements in the theaters, at least here in New York.

"Strike" or "Strajk" or "Die Heldin von Danzig" is a film about the founding of Solidarity in Poland.

The film, in Polish with English subtitles, is a German and Polish co-production.

It's a fictionalized version of the story of Anna Walentynowicz whose firing sparked a Lenin Shipyard strike that led to the founding of the Solidarity movement.

It makes much of the inspirational power of His Holiness John Paul II for Polish Catholics.

A review is here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Our Pastor's New Book:
I haven't read it yet, but I really liked one of his earlier books, The Cure D'Ars Today: St John Vianney.

(And of course I go to Our Saviour most Sundays and often during the week to hear his sermons and participate in the Mass he celebrates.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

From The Brothers Karamazov:
"Some will say, perhaps, that Alyosha was slow, undeveloped, had not finished his studies and so on. That he had not finished his studies is true, but to say that he was slow or stupid would be a great injustice. I will simply repeat what I have already said above: he set out upon this path only because at the time it alone struck him and presented him all at once with the whole ideal way out for his soul struggling from darkness to light. Add to this that he was partly a young man of our time--that is, honest by nature demanding the truth seeking it and believing in it, and in that belief demanding immediate deed, with an unfailing desire to sacrifice everything for this deed, even life. Although unfortunately, these young men do not understand that the sacrifice of life is, perhaps, the easiest of all sacrifices in many cases, while to sacrifice, for example, five or six years of their ebulliently youthful life to hard, difficult studies, to learning, in order to increase tenfold our strength to serve the very truth and the very deed that they loved and set out to accomplish--such sacrifice is quite often almost beyond the strength of many of them."
pg. 26, trans. by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rhode Island Bishop slams Rudy
The article is politically and theologically informed and also well written.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Is there anything Google can't buy?

Google buys Feedburner.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

File this under "Missing the point"
Un-fried "Latka Crisps".
Gotta Watch Out For Those Baseball Questions:
But perhaps nothing was so tortured during the show as its ending, when the governor was asked how he could be both a Red Sox and Yankees fan. This has no real political import, but fans engaged in the famous rivalry are so passionate in their hatred for their opponents that it's impossible that anyone could be true booster of both teams. Richardson's answer (too lengthy and unwieldy to replicate here) was a triple threat: implausible, shifty, and likely to please no one.
From Slate

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The New French Foreign Minister
Christopher Hitchens says he'll vouch for this socialist's neo-conservative bona fides
Had the Socialist Party won the election, it is highly unlikely that such a distinguished socialist would ever have been allowed through the doors of the Quai d'Orsay. (Yes, comrades, history actually is dialectical and paradoxical.) In the present climate of the United States, a man like Kouchner would be regarded as a neoconservative. He was a prominent figure in the leftist rebellion of 1968, before breaking with some of his earlier illusions and opposing the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan—the true and original source of many of our woes in the Islamic world. The group he co-founded—Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières—was a pioneer in the highly necessary proclamation that left politics should always be anti-totalitarian.
from Slate

Friday, May 25, 2007

Richard Posner likes Century Schoolbook.

And why one artist likes Palatino (Paltino Linotype is the font for this page, but only if your computer has it installed...)

From Slate.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hermits Alive!

The Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona in Ohio now have a website!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Obviously there's some cleaning up to be done here, but on a time when I can investigate the css/html more...

Posting this so I can link to it for the new banner....
The Hapsburgs
A leftist critic, A.J. P. Taylor, has described the family that had once ruled over much of Central Europe (and for a while the Spanish empire) as follows: “While other dynasties are episodes in the histories of nations, for the Habsburgs nations are episodes in a family history.”
(Via Taki's Top Drawer)
This had me chuckling:

These young folks from Cornell are at their marriage preparation class (emphasis mine):
This whole while I was simply watching the spectacle unfold with a polite and attentive face, while the Doctor scribbled furiously on his note pad. I was quite taken with the general hilarity of this situation, in which my poor fiancé, himself a trained moral philosopher, was forced into being “instructed” in philosophy by this thoroughly confused, thoroughly modernist little man. He couldn’t stay silent forever, though, because we were eventually prodded for input. What were our “values?”

The Doctor explained, in a somewhat strained tone, that the concept of a “value” was itself a modernist (and thoroughly unCatholic) idea. I couldn’t faithfully capture the whole of his brief lecture, but my description of the session thus far should be sufficient to illustrate just how wrongheaded (in a truly pernicious way, though these poor souls obviously could not be accused of any deliberate malice) their presentation really was. They were advising us to go through life juggling weighing the pros and cons of every decision according to the guiding question, “What is important to me?” They wouldn’t presume to tell us the right way to live; rather, they wanted to help us break down the different possibilities, so that we could ponder what sort of life might suit us best. Their closest attempt at Catholicity was to ask, “What were Jesus’ values?” Of course they gave the sorts of soft, fuzzy answers that one would expect out of weak-minded liberals. It seems to me more correct to say: Jesus didn’t have any “values.” He simply lived his life in perfect obedience to the will of the Father.

Of course the couple understood the Doctor’s speech not at all. The only thing they managed to surmise was that he didn’t believe in values, from which they seemed to conclude that he was some sort of nihilist. With every subsequent activity the woman would begin, regretfully, with, “Well, this will be difficult for people who don’t believe in values…” and she’d glace at the Doctor.
The Pope (via John Allen) On Reforming the Church:
In São Paulo Friday morning, Benedict insisted that the saints of our epoch are the "true reformers," quoting his own homily during his first foreign trip in Cologne, Germany: "Only from the saints, only from God does true revolution come."
Yes, the graphics have dissapeared. I'll get around to fixing that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Interesting comments from the Pope

Especially interesting are his comments on the Synod document, which he says will be signed soon, being a diocesan bishop besides being Pope, and on prayer.

Excerpts and link to more here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Catholic Blog Awards

The Catholic Blog Awards have been announced. I registered, but didn't vote. The huge list of nominees (many of whom I wasn't familiar with) was just too daunting. But it looks like every single one of the categories is topped by an excellent winner.

Perhaps the one exception is "priest blog". I love WDTPRS, but they're are just so many good possibilities.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sensible advice from "Dear Prudence"
To ease your burden of coming up with a theme for each of your "at least" five baby showers, cancel at least four of them.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

OK, Steve wins the prize...

At the top of each of your posts is an empty div tag. Inside that tag is a style attribute with a clear: both rule.

That is what is causing the problem.
Turns out that in Blogger under Settings --> Formatting there is a setting for "Enable float alignment".

That setting "Allows image and text alignment options using the <div clear:both> tag. (Choose "No" if you are having post layout problems.)"

It was turned on, now it's turned off and things work right again.

Thanks, Steve.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I just wanted to say that if you didn't get a Christmas card it doesn't mean I hate you.

I just was so slow in getting them out that at a certain point it seemed ridiculous to send any more.

Also... if anyone knows how to fix this thing so that the posts start at the top of the page again. Darn html kludge.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Acents, acents, and more acents

Check out this cool website. It's got samples of people with all sorts of different regional accents from around the world reading a paragraph containing all the sounds used in English.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Rochester Polonium Experiment

Remember the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with polonium? Turns out some of the early experiments on the effects of polonium on humans were part of the World War Two atomic weapons experiments at the University of Rochester.

hat tip, the Federation of American Scientists' (a.k.a. Federation of Atomic Scientists) Secrecy News.