Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bill Gates in a bad mood

Read on past the jump for one of the gems that turned up, showing Gates in the role of chief rabble-rouser. (Original document: PDF, 5 pages.) It shows that even the Microsoft co-founder -- who champions the "magic of software" -- isn't immune to the frustrations of everyday computer users.

It's a little bit like walking into a bathroom and seeing the pope using a urinal. Kind of hard to wrap your head around, but it's pretty obvious that's how the world works.

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Abp. Burke moving to Rome!

That certainly is big news for St. Louis and, given his promotion, the rest of the world.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

SSPX reconciliation rumors

Rome, Jun. 24, 2008 ( - The Italian daily Il Giornale reports that Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has approved an offer to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that could heal the breach between the Holy See and the traditionalist group.

The Vatican’s offer requires a response from the SSPX by June 28, Il Giornale says. The offer was apparently explained by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (bio - news), the president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, during a recent meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the SSPX. Rumors of Vatican efforts to regularize the status of the SSPX have persisted for months.

I'll believe it when I see it.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New patriarch for Jerusalem

As some of you are aware I wasn't so fond of the previous patriarch for a variety of reasons.

Jerusalem, Jun. 23, 2008 ( - Archbishop Fouad Twal was installed on June 21 as the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, succeeding Archbishop Michel Sabbah.

A native of Jordan with a long background in Vatican diplomacy, Archbishop Twal was named in 2005 as coadjutor to Archbishop Sabbah, with the right of succession. His installation as Patriarch was scheduled after Archbishop Sabbah reached his 75th birthday on March 19, 2008, and submitted his resignation in accordance with canon law.

Archbishop Sabbah, the first Palestinian native ever to serve as Latin-rite Patriarch, was often a source of controversy because of his unabashed support for the Palestinian cause. Archbishop Twal was expected to play a more low-profile role, in keeping with his diplomatic background.

Good news then I hope.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Russians out again :-(

A Russian delegation has walked out of a meeting of Orthodox prelates, convened by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The top Russian delegate, Archbishop Nikolai Balashov, said that the Moscow patriarchate could not accept the seating of a delegation from the Estonian Orthodox Church.

Come on guys, you get your own church, why not give the Estonians one. Unity and all that.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shut up and accept what your betters give you

Europeans have spent a lot of time in recent years asking Americans how they could be dumb enough to make the same mistake twice in electing George W. Bush. But when it comes to sheer electoral crassness, it’s hard to beat what the Irish have just done.

Yet here we have the Irish, in a fit of Euro-bashing pique worthy of the worst of little-Englandism, rejecting the renegotiated Lisbon treaty essential for the functioning of an expanded 27-member E.U. Biting the hand that feeds you does not begin to describe this act of bloody-mindedness.

The Lisbon Treaty is essential. It alone can create a streamlined decision-making mechanism for a 27-member union. It alone can forge the meaningful presidency and foreign-affairs posts that will give the E.U. the increased political clout that its economic weight demands. At a time of flux in global power, with the United States overextended and China and India emergent, Europe needs coherence to count.

Yes, I'm sure that the Lisbon Treaty is the pinnacle of government, the perfect system for the ages, and to disagree with that is to be an ungrateful wench.

More to the point, no one else in Europe has had a chance to disagree, as the treaty is being passed through legislatures rather than through popular elections, so I'm not sure that blaming the Irish will do you much good. Who's to say who else would have voted it down . . .


Friday, June 20, 2008

Dual communion

Constantinople, Jun. 19, 2008 ( - The Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople has responded favorably to a suggestion by the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for a system of "dual unity" in which Byzantine Catholic churches would be in full communion with both Constantinople and Rome.

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople welcomed the proposal in an interview with the magazine Cyril and Methodius, the RISU news service reports. The acknowledged leader of the Orthodox world suggested that the "dual unity" approach would produce something akin to the situation of the Christian world in the 1st millennium, before the split between Rome and Constantinople.

Fascinating. Though I do imagine that Russia is not too happy with the suggestion.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Consciousness and technology

IEEE Spectrum's June 2008 issue had a big spread on artificial intelligence and machines smarter and more alive than humans. I tend to disagree, of course, and I'm not in bad company as Gordon Moore's comments indicate. But it's a fascinating if somewhat hyped read.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Brits on drug ads

America is one of only two countries in the world (along with New Zealand) which permit the advertising of drugs that are available solely through your doctor.

The insidious message is simple; if your doctor is not offering you this drug, maybe you should be asking for it.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Orthodox Jews and Paul Revere

Who knew?

While some colonial Jews experienced difficulty living both as Jews and Americans, Boston's Moses Michael Hays created a different experience. Boston's most prominent 18th-century Jewish citizen, Hays set a high standard for civic leadership and charity. Without the companionship and support of an organized Jewish community and without legal guarantees of religious freedom, Hays thrived in the "first circles" of Boston society while publicly practicing his Judaism.

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Apparently, worrying about your daughter's happiness is like raping her

And you are in deep trouble if you tell you kids to save it until marriage. That's the same thing as abusing women!

As usual, the words are so strange that I can't even begin to parody them.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Free as in freedom

Two recent events should give for-profit companies new reasons to re-evaluate the ways in which they use open source software as well as the extent to which they use it. These events are: (1) the release of a new version of the widely used license that covers such software, i.e., the General Public License version 3, and (2) a round of lawsuits filed by the Software Freedom Law Center against for-profit companies using the software for commercial gain. Four companies to date, the largest of which is Verizon Communications Inc., have been sued for violation of the GPL.

Go Gnu!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Happy Shavuot!

I'd stay up all night studing scripture except I don't get to take tomorrow off :-(.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Joel's moving to my old building

Pretty random. Too bad I don't work there any more. Sigh.

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Friday, June 06, 2008


Word of the day


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My favorite bishop - now available in video!

I heart Bishop Madden. He is the sweetest bishop I know. (Okay, so I don't know a lot of bishops, but I do know a few!) Besides the fact that he took the time to say mass with our students twice this year and used the power of his miter to give us a day off from school, he also celebrated my Operation TEACH commissioning ceremony and mass. I've bumped into him a few other times as well, and he is always full of warmth, joy, and wisdom.

This Sunday, I happened to be looking for something more about the readings and came across the above linked short video from the USCCB website with a mini-homily on the readings from him. He is just as endearing online as he is real life. Anyways, I thought I'd share. Plus I thought it was cool that the USCCB was doing this.

Of course, just my luck, they don't have a video for today. Does anyone subscribe to or know a good daily reflection or video homily for the daily Gospel readings? I've been trying to do daily reflections, but sometimes I feel I need more than my own brain to help me out, and some of the daily masses I go to, the priests don't alway offer a homily.

Anyways, let me know what the word on the street is.

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I missed a contraversy - one less thing for me to worry about

Chicago, Jun. 2, 2008 ( - A Catholic priest in Chicago, whose public tirade against Senator Hillary Clinton had drawn a rebuke from Cardinal Eugene George, has made a public apology.

Father Michael Pfleger, who has maintained a high profile over the years for his involvement in racial politics in Chicago, said that he regretted delivering a sermon in which he mocked the Democratic presidential candidate, suggesting that her campaign was fueled by racism.

These guys need to relax. Maybe spend more time working on sermons too.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Teacher Taylor Mali tells it like it is

Hat tip to Catholic Father.


Orthodox and Catholics sharing communion

Pigs are flying my friends pigs are flying. I guess after the lifting of all those excommunications in the 60s it sort of does make sense. But it does seem very strange indeed.

Timisoara , May. 27, 2008 ( - A Romanian Orthodox bishop has shared Communion with Catholics, causing a sensation in a country where Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox have a history of tense relations.

At the consecration of the Queen of Peace parish church in Timisoara on May 25, Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu of Banat asked to share Communion. The Orthodox metropolitan approached the altar and received the Eucharist from his own hand.

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