Thursday, August 30, 2007

My 4000th post

Kind of a scary moment. Too bad I haven't had four thousand thoughts to go with the posts. At any rate, I'm not sure I've stayed too true to my blog motto about commenting on understandings of religion and whatnot. On the other hand, I've enjoyed it, so not bad overall.

I'd also like to point folks to an interesting read (so I'm told) at Sadly I speak not the language, but maybe you'll have better luck than I.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Today I avoided the use of plates in honor of St. John the Baptist's beheading. It was quite an interesting experience - kind of like trying to write an essay without using the letter 'k' or something like that. Except every time I picked up a plate I thought of the saint.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy feast day, St. Augustine

Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved You. You called, You shouted, and you shattered my deafness.

-- Liturgy of the Hours quoting the Confessions

Monday, August 27, 2007

SUNW is no more

Sun changed their ticker to JAVA. Seems wrong somehow.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I've been fortunate to listen to two excellent homilies this weekend.

The first, bright and early Saturday morning, was on Ruth and Naomi (not too surprising given that was the reading). I guess it was the first time I've ever heard a priest give a spiel on that particular biblical book and I was rather amazed with how much he was able to cover and how much I've missed. Definately warrants a re-read with my Navarre bible, and possibly a little Hebraic commentary if I can get my hands on it.

The second, today, was on the Eucharist and such things and how foolish it is to skip church. Given that everyone who heard it was in fact at church, it might seem like preaching to the choir. However, given that most of the families were single parent at Mass (usually moms), it was probably quite relevant as a kick in the sit-upon to get the husbands back in the fold, as well as a good general refresher for the importance of adoring God.

Plus I learned how to make jam.

All in all, a good weekend

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Big Love

Just watched a few episodes of this show today. I found it quite interesting, though I'm not a big fan of polygamy due to that whole Catholic thing. Still I felt the portrayal of religion was quite positive. Then again I don't know much about Mormonism so it might be really offensive for all I know.


Friday, August 24, 2007

iPhone unlocked

There's something sweet about seeing a technological barrier broken. If only St. Paul had been an engineer, he might have expressed similar sentiments in his "neither Jew nor Greek" phrasing.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sacco and Vanzetti

In the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, it seemed immediately clear to many in Europe and the United States that their arrest in 1920 — initially for possession of weapons and subversive pamphlets, then on a charge of double murder committed during a robbery in Massachusetts — the three trials that followed, and their subsequent death sentences were intended to make an example of them. And this regardless of the utter lack of evidence against them and in spite of defense testimony by a participant in the robbery who said he’d never seen the two Italians.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some good work in Lebanon by CRS

During the emergency and afterward, Caritas Lebanon mobilized hundreds of enthusiastic youth volunteers. They went door-to-door to learn the specific needs of families, and then helped distribute food, hygiene items and other assistance in the villages. Youth also organized events for children to help alleviate the stress of being forced from their homes by the bombing.
Nice to remind oneself of all the good people out there who bring relief to those in need during crisis situations. If I ever make a real salary I hope to give to CRS. But right now I am in the process of begging for donations for my my own cause.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The ethics of switching jobs

According to a rabbi. I wonder if St. Josemaria commented on this.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I tend to side w/ the metal types on this one - given the performance limitations, I don't really see that the government has business deciding what sort of bats people should be allowed to use. I mean, if a 16 year old girl is considered mature enough to procure an abortion, isn't a 16 year old boy mature enough to choose the type of bat he wants to use?


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dyson on climate change

And a little James Preece as well.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

On rushing legislation

The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought. It also offers a case study in how changing a few words in a complex piece of legislation has the potential to fundamentally alter the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a landmark national security law. Two weeks after the legislation was signed into law, there is still heated debate over how much power Congress gave to the president.

I feel like the world would be a better place if legislators were forced to endure grillings on the legislation they were to vote on from irate college professors.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Fed's little move

I'm with the moral hazard crowd - if you take a risk, sometimes you get burned. If lots of people take big risks, they ought to get burned, lest they continue to take risks beyond their means to covery.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Alleuia! A Catholic Book on Booze!

Two of my favorite things together in ONE BOOK! POPES AND BEER! This will go great with a nice bottle of a Chimay Triple

This Maede Moy Dae or Why Giuliani is Secretly Irish

My motha tongue-

"People talk about borough-defined New York accents, but, really, the different types of New York accents are ethnic," Mr. Chwat said. "You have the Jewish accent, as typified by Jackie Mason or Fran Drescher, the Italian accent -- Robert De Niro or Tony Danza. There's the Irish New York accent, like Rosie O'Donnell or Rudy Giuliani. Of course he's not Irish, but he speaks with a New York Irish speech pattern"

Quite educational I must say, and who knew Giuliani was secretly Irish?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Not a good sign

he book is written in a simple and poignant manner to facilitate all... theologians, religious scholars, born again christians, newcomers to christ, non-believers, those who have questions and concerns about their faith, and most importantly for those who are truly seeking the truth about Jesus Christ.
The scriptural references to dispel falsehoods regarding Christmas, Easter, Good Friday and the Catholic Religion were very powerful and enlightening.

I always worry when someone gets up to tell us how Christmas shouldn't be December 25th. It's missing the point - we need a day, we don't have a day, so why not run with something symbolic.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If you can't trust your manufacturer

Just getting Vista on his computer was something of a struggle, as the reader was one of the many thousands who had an interminable wait for the Vista Express Upgrade media he was promised when he bought the computer last fall. "I finally got my Vista Express Upgrade -- Moduslink mailed it exactly six months to the day after receiving my eligibility documentation and only three and a half month after Vista's retail release," the reader wrote. "But now it gets even more ridiculous. Although Averatec proudly announced their participation in the Vista upgrade program last fall as an inducement to purchase this PC, they now claim they have no responsibility for supporting it because I've voided the warranty by changing the software that originally came with the system."

The story doesn't inspire much confidence in humanity.


Monday, August 13, 2007

And they say I believe in silly things

Until I talked to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, it never occurred to me that our universe might be somebody else’s hobby. I hadn’t imagined that the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be an advanced version of a guy who spends his weekends building model railroads or overseeing video-game worlds like the Sims.

But now it seems quite possible. In fact, if you accept a pretty reasonable assumption of Dr. Bostrom’s, it is almost a mathematical certainty that we are living in someone else’s computer simulation.

Need I say any more?


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday thought

Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them.

Romans 12:14.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

St. Clare of Assisi

Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253.

She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. Such at least is the traditional account. Her mother, Bl. Ortolana, belonged to the noble family of Fiumi and was conspicuous for her zeal and piety.

During a sermon today, it was remarked that she was the real implementer of St. Francis's plans for renewing the Church. I'm glad she decided to do it, because we're still enjoying the benefits today eight hundred years later, especially in New York, home to many a good Franciscan and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Music without copyright protection

Signaling another departure from the music industry’s longtime antipiracy strategy, the Universal Music Group will sell a significant portion of its catalog without the customary copy protection software for at least the next few months, the company announced yesterday.

Universal, the world’s biggest music conglomerate, said it would offer albums and songs without the software, known as digital rights management, through existing digital music retail services like RealNetworks and Wal-Mart, nascent services from and Google, and some artists’ Web sites.

Now we're getting somewhere. Fair use is kind of important to me - I like to have my music on my phone, my MP3 player, and my computer.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Don't put meat on your computer

I can feel my life expectancy growing shorter.


Why I've switched to wearing flats

I used to abuse my feet in all kinds of ways by wearing cheap heels all summer long. Ever since I got my Vegan Earth shoes though I've been convinced how much better it is for your feet to wear flats. Besides, I abuse my feet enough now with running that I don't want to cause them anymore unnecessary suffering.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pray for Cardinal Lustiger

Paris, Aug. 6, 2007 ( - Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a convert from Judaism and retired Archbishop of Paris, died on Sunday, August 5, at the age of 80.

The son of Polish immigrants, whose mother died at Auschwitz, had become the most influential Catholic figure in France for the past generation, and a confidant of the late Pope John Paul II (bio - news).

Cardinal Lustiger died in a Paris hospice. Although the cause of death was not disclosed, the cardinal had revealed earlier this year that he was gravely ill, and in May he made an emotional appearance before the Academie Francaise to bid farewell to his fellow members.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dell getting better support

Just an FYI I found interesting.

Back then HP's support still had a lofty reputation, one that it's since done its best to fritter away. But there's been a reversal in another sense. What should we make of the fact that Dell is making these strides in improving quality at the same time that all the marketshare numbers have been saying that HP is eating Dell's lunch? To put it in a good light for Dell, we could say that the best way to improve the quality of your support is to improve the quality of your products, and that takes both investment and time for the market to recognize what you've done. On the other hand, it's easier to support products when you're selling fewer of them, so maybe that's what is making Dell's support look good right now.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Ah, but the Antitrust Act

“Me, as a businessman, I think this corporation has no respect, no class,” Mr. Coluccio said. “I’m not scared Papa John will have better pizza. It’s just the way they’re doing it. It’s like they came to your house and kicked you right out.”

. . .

Some of Johnny’s competitors who signed the anti-Papa John’s petition are not taking the news any better. For years they worked in friendly rivalry, helping each other through tight spots.

“If we get short on cheese or tomatoes, we go to him or he comes to us,” said Gino Campese, the owner of Scotti’s Pizza. “When it’s time to raise prices, we get together. There’s room for everybody. But not for Papa John’s.”

Now, I am a sworn enemy of Papa John's, may their business be replaced by one that serves decent pizza. However, I found the sentiments in this article a little . . . off. The basic gist is that a Papa John's is opening up to a neighborhood pizza shop in Brooklyn. The owner feels as if he's being kicked out of his house.

Now, if someone opens up next to you, and takes your customers, what that says to me is that you weren't really doing so hot of a job in the first place. So it's not really like getting kickec out of your house. I mean, if your business model is predicated on keeping customers from having any other choices, you have serious problems on your hands anyway.

The second interesting part was the second quote - where the local pizzeria owners get together to set prices. To my untrained eye, it seems like price fixing to me, and it seems like they're saying that they'll get together to fix prices to keep Papa John's out. Kind of classic anti-competitive, oligopolistic behavior to me. Don't know how I feel about that as a natural buyer of pizza. Alas.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007


Just thought it was interesting to compare todays' gospel, about the man who tears down his barns to build bigger ones but ends up dead, and the Times story of Silicon Valley millionaries who keep working hard to make more money.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Apparently banning abortion is illegal

Under the most democratic of states, the UN, that is.

New York, Aug. 3, 2007 ( - Members of a UN committee have told Honduran officials that their country's law against abortion is a "crime," the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam) reports.

In C-Fam's Friday Fax, Samantha Singson reports that at the latest round of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) committee meetings in New York, committee member Heisoo Shin told the Honduran delegation that it was necessary for their government to "create a momentum, a social force that stops the crime that allows a woman to die, to risk unsafe abortion and not have self-determination."

Too bad the relevant treaties underlying CEDAW make no mention of such.


Friday, August 03, 2007

My Black Muslim Bakery was raided!

Police, SWAT teams and bomb units from throughout Alameda County detained more than a dozen suspects after raids at Your Black Muslim Bakery on San Pablo Avenue and three related locations this morning, police said.

The people are being held in connection with murder, kidnapping, assault and robbery investigations, Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan said. San Pablo Avenue was cordoned off for several blocks near the bakery at 5832 San Pablo Ave.

But they made such wonderful pies! How sad to discover the truth behind one of my favorite local Oakland businesses.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

One point for common sense!

A federal appeals court has ruled that companies can't change their contracts and post those revisions online without notifying customers first.

A rare victory!

Talk America asked the court to force Douglas into arbitration, which it did. Douglas then appealed that decision to the federal appeals court, which ruled that companies couldn't arbitrarily change their contracts and post those changes on their Web sites without notifying their customers.

The court said that because a contract was an agreement between two parties, one of the parties couldn't change it unless the other party agreed to the change.

Sending "unlawfully convicted" men to death

My recently completed study of the 124 exonerations of death row inmates in America from 1973 to 2007 indicated that 80, or about two-thirds, of their so-called wrongful convictions resulted not from good-faith mistakes or errors but from intentional, willful, malicious prosecutions by criminal justice personnel.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A little hope for the "barely conscious"

A 38-year-old man who spent more than five years in a mute, barely conscious state as a result of a severe head injury is now communicating regularly with family members and recovering his ability to move after having his brain stimulated with pulses of electric current, neuroscientists are reporting.

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