Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Did they find the tomb of Jesus?

Survey says no.

“Simcha has no credibility whatsoever,” the curator of Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum told Newsweek. Unlike Cameron, Jacobovici is not entirely new to the business of archeological discovery; he has a track record. In 2002, he was instrumental in preparing another Discovery special, about what was alleged to be the tomb of “James, the brother of Jesus.”

Then as now, legitimate archeologists were skeptical about the discovery that Jacobovici touted. Finally in 2005, Israeli authorities exposed the “tomb of James” as a fraud, and indicted five people on charges of forgery.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The politics of pasta sauce

You think it's easy making macaroni? Watch what happens if your gramdmother catches you putting oregano in your sauce.

A rough day

Or, when people trust computers to always be right, bad things can happen. Basically, the computers that compute the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell way behind today, and when they finally caught up, it gapped down 150 points, sending people into a panic. Back of the envelope calculations should have shown it was way off, but no one uses envelopes anymore, I suppose. Alas.

I may be a programmer, but I don't trust a supercomputer further than I can throw it. Which is not very far.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ah, my favorite Mass reading is up tomorrow

Reading 1
Is 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,

achieving the end for which I sent it.

Mmm. Don't bet against God.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The latest from the Anglicans on the . . . troubles

I'm helping someone work on an newspaper piece of sorts on this document, and thought I'd share something about it.

Firstly, I think it's wonderful that most of the bishops in the AC are keeping a pretty level head in the face of some rather outrageous actions by the ECUSA (The Episcopal Church in the US). I think I'd probably go a little crazy under the circumstances. Good thing I'm not a bishop.

Secondly, the document is written in a rather charitable tone that I'd do well to emulate in my discussions of the subject, lest I win the "argument" and turn people off to the truth by being an arrogant . . . bad word here.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Anglican Library?

No, I haven't gone insane, but I am going to do a little perusing of Donne's devotional works. I don't think it'll turn me Protestant, and I've wanted to since reading "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ah, Chesterton

One of my first journalistic adventures, or misadventures, concerned a comment on Grant Allen, who had written a book about the Evolution of the Idea of God. I happened to remark that it would be much more interesting if God wrote a book about the evolution of the idea of Grant Allen.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Just a little bit on Russia

I've always been fascinated by the country for some reason. Nothing remarkable in this article, but always good to get a fresh perspective on Mr. Putin.


I want me a Power6. Silly Apple, Intel is for kids.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A breath of fresh air

The pope was kind enough to share his reflections on Lent. Please disregard any heresy or stupidity in my previous entry.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sirach 2

My son, when you come to serve the LORD,
stand in justice and fear,
prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
incline your ear and receive the word of understanding,
undisturbed in time of adversity.
Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not;
thus will you be wise in all your ways.
Accept whatever befalls you,
when sorrowful, be steadfast,
and in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold and silver are tested,
and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and God will help you; trust in him, and he will direct your way;
keep his fear and grow old therein.

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the LORD, love him,
and your hearts will be enlightened.
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.

Carne, vale.

Fare thee well meat. I shall miss thee. At least I don't have to say goodby to cheese.


Denial denial. I have a love hate relationship with Lent. On one hand, I have to give up a number of things that I like a lot. Always a bummer, always difficult. Then I have to do a lot of things that I may not enjoy so much. Bummer number two. Seems like a perfect reason to jump ship, at least to some of my friends. Why put up with all this silliness?

Well, a few reasons, I think.

Firstly. Life is often about doing things you don't want to, and usually about not getting what you want. One might say that my desires are probably misplaced (and they almost certainly are), but Lent, on a purely secular level, makes me better able to deal with life. So that's response number one.

Secondly. I think we could say that one of the purposes of Lent is to aid in prayer. True, there probably are people for whom the Good Friday fast is an impediment to concentrating on Christ's life, or on God in general. But for most people I think it helps, and even if the lack of food makes you irritable or disfunctional, I feel like it's one of these opportunities to offer it up to God.

Thirdly. Because the Church says so. There really are few things that Catholics do as a whole, when you think about it. Mass on Sundays. Sacraments. Other than that, we are in large part on our own. Something that cuts across the great East/West divide - quite valuable, in my opinion. Reminds you what you're in it for.

Hardly a meditation worthy of publishing, but I'm hoping that maybe looking at it you'll at least be inspired to think a little about what Lent means to you.


Turkey and Religion

Or, how the great enemy of Christianity in Turkey is the State, not Islam. A most enlightening look at religion in the Ottoman empire as well.

Sadly you have to be a subscriber to First Things to read it for the next two months. But hey, it's money well spent.


Monday, February 19, 2007


Just a little bit on airport security.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cheesefare Sunday

Yes, Lent is almost upon us and our Eastern brethren have already said goodbye to cheese. Just something to start thinking about, if you haven't already. I'm going to be going with my traditional Lentan observances, which are basically the western Church's old Lentan observances, so I'm set. But it's something worth putting a little time into.

Technical support

Hat tip to Blair

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A speedy and public trial

On Jan. 14, 2000, Martin A. Armstrong, a globe-trotting investment manager, was told to produce $15 million in gold and antiquities, as well as documents, in response to a civil suit by the government accusing him of securities fraud involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

When he said that he did not have the items and could not produce them, a federal judge ordered him jailed for contempt of court.

Seven years later, Mr. Armstrong sits in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan.

Imprisoned two years before Enron and WorldCom brought corporate crime to center stage, Mr. Armstrong, 57, is the white-collar defendant whom time forgot. Over the years, the losses of his former clients have been repaid by a bank involved in his trades.

Still, he remains jailed on one of the longest-running charges of contempt. In many cases, a federal law limits to 18 months how long someone can be held under civil contempt while the court tries to coerce compliance with an order. Even in cases of criminal contempt, whose goal is punishment rather than coercion, an individual is entitled to the full protections of due process after six months.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


The Sarabite

Oh my gosh! Finally a Catholic blogger I can relate to!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


So I've decided not to be a grinch and to wish everyone a happy V-day. But if I catch you desecrating the name of St. Valentine, I will end your life. Beware.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Times comes clean on this marriage thing

NEW YORK, February 13, 2007 ( - Byron Calame, the public editor (ombudsman) of the New York Times, has once again taken the Times to task for publishing a grossly inaccurate article on data concerning women living without a spouse that included 15-year-olds.

In his op-ed “Can a 15-Year-Old Be a ‘Woman Without a Spouse’?”, Calame berated the Times for allowing “serious journalistic lapses” in a front page January 16 article by veteran reporter Sam Roberts. Although Roberts’ article “sounded like grown-up stuff”, it was exposed by and others as both inaccurate and misleading.

. . .

“At the Page One meeting there was agreement that the story was especially newsworthy because of the for-the-first-time-more-living-alone-than-with-a-spouse angle,” Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, also told Calame in an e-mail. “No questions about the methodology or age categories were discussed.”

Reread that last line, and slowly. Take a deep breath.

With that sort of attitude, I'd be willing to venture that we actually hit the number sometime in prehistory, inclusive of "women" from birth until death. But that's just me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Windows, Mac, or Linux?

Let this helpful guide direct you. Thanks to the Hercules MVS group for pointing this out.

(Hint - it's a funny).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What it is isn't always what you expect

An article from the great Eric Lippert on how finally blocks are called after exception filters, meaning that they execute before any state fixing up that you might be doing in your finally block. Most people find the behaviour bizarre, but as one commentator put it, it is a finally block, not an immediately block.

I believe there is a connection to the spiritual life here, though it may be silly. What I mean to say is that things are often extremely nonintuitive , and the most 'obvious' things are sometimes the most false when it comes to human relationships and the workings of out own minds.

Moral of the story? In a secure context, catch exceptions instead of relying on finally blocks. Also, put brain in gear before engaging mouth.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 10, 2007

That is certainly an interesting definition of skimpy

Only a Democrat like Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland could say with a straight face that President Bush's proposed $2.9 trillion budget for 2008 is "spartan and skimpy." Democrats never have enough of our money to spend on their favorite entitlement programs — the ones that keep them in office.

I wish I could call ten billion dollars chump change. Alas.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The i-rony

At a moment when judicial independence is under heightened political attack, the nation’s legal establishment should be doing everything it can to shore up public trust. Instead, the special commission charged with recommending revisions to the Model Code of Judicial Conduct of the American Bar Association has been flip-flopping around on some of the most important aspects of the code, which the states use to set standards for their courts.

For decades, the code’s overarching charge to judges has been to avoid not only actual impropriety, but also the appearance of impropriety. Recently, however, quietly adopted changes to the commission’s “final” report demoted this gold standard of judicial conduct from an enforceable rule to a mere aspirational guideline.

Perhaps it hasn't occurred to the Times that the reason that judicial independence is under heightened political attack is because the Moral Code of Judicial Conduct of the American Bar Association is being, how do you say, chopped into little pieces.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Justice on the Job

So there's this company:

We needed a thingy, so we put two groups on the project, and said the best one would be used. Group one came up with a pretty bad thingy, but they did it real fast. Too bad it cost us money. Group two's thingy was shaping up real nicely, but because they started using group one's thingy and we were losing money, they canned it and moved group two to group one, where they struggled with a lack of understanding of the nature of thingys. Group two, in frustration, walked out. So now we have no thingys worthy of the name and less smart people too.

Moral of the story? I donno. All I know is that everyone's worse off.


New Blogger!

Looks pretty much the same as the old blogger. Except for that nifty metablogging tag.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Traditionalist Catholics and Anti-Semitism

Not so bad as the report suggests. I can back up Mr. Keating on his assertion, in that I know quite a few people who are into Mass according to the Missal of 1962 who wouldn't fit into an ADL-disapproved category. No, I won't name any names for fear of outing people. But it's true.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Visiting the tomb of Augustine

Now there's a trip I'd like to make.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fr. Neuhaus's homily

I had the pleasure of hearing Fr. Neuhaus of First Things homilize yesterday, and was struck by one line in particular in his little sermon:

Some people say, "I'm no saint." I say, "Why not?"

Why not indeed. After all, the call to holiness is universal. Even in the workplace.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Just a little commentary on the Super Bowl commercials

Good game, by the way. Except for the ten turnovers, or however many fumbles there were.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Vatican will not sign UN treaty on disabled rights

Not that I'm sure why the UN feels compelled to talk about abortion in the document.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Overheard on my cell phone - "I want an electric typewriter because of the natural feel"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Perhaps missing the point of first

Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in "reeds" which were used for the sole purpose of holding the filling and not for eating with the filling.

So, which is it? The first sentence or the second sentence? It's either the Egyptians, the Romans, or the Greeks. They can't all be first.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?