Thursday, August 30, 2012

For the woodworkers in the audience

There's a Woodworking StackExchange that some folks are trying to get off of the ground. I personally like the action on DIY as I'm usually trying to repair a fence or whatnot, but I'm all for knowing more about fine craftsmanship.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A better way of dealing with dementia

From our Dutch friends:
Two core principles governed Hogewey's award-winning design and inform the care that's given here, says Van Zuthem. First, it aims to relieve the anxiety, confusion and often considerable anger that people with dementia can feel by providing an environment that is safe, familiar and human; an almost-normal home where people are surrounded by things they recognise and by other people with backgrounds, interests and values similar to their own. Second, "maximising the quality of people's lives. Keeping everyone active. Focusing on everything they can still do, rather than everything they can't. Because when you have dementia, you're ill, but there may really not be much else wrong with you."
Better than the nursing home experience, I think.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eucharist in Scripture and YouTube.

I don't really know who Rafik Gabriel is, and I think some of his pictures and animated texts are cheesy, but somehow I stumbled upon this YouTube video by him that seems pretty spot-on in terms of his theology. It is a good "back to the basics" reminder of the Scriptural basis of the Eucharist.  He makes it so clear and simple that it kind of makes me wonder what so many Protestants are thinking.  I'm sure there are people out there happy to give me a response, but for now I will not seek such trouble, but go to bed with peace of mind.

Rafik Gabriel's YouTube on the Eucharist

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A legally recognized church?

While the underlying case is a rather disturbing one about a pastor sexually abusing his flock, this odd wording somewhat stands out:
The only thing I don't understand is why Justice Levy includes the following, which is the first footnote of the opinion:

"Both parties refer to the garage [the location where the rapes occurred] as a church and appellant refers to himself as a pastor. These characterizations are not supported by the evidence adduced at trial. No documentary or testimonial evidence proved that a legally organized church met at the compound or that the garage had been legally converted into a worship space. Also, no documentary or testimonial evidence proved that appellant was a legally ordained minister or that he was recognized as a minister, pastor, preacher or missionary by any Christian denomination or sect."

Well, I have a pretty good guess why both the defense as well as the prosecution were willing to refer to the garage as a church; namely, because it was.
CAR gives the analysis. Short answer is, a church is a church because it's a church, not because the government in its magnanimity grants it the status of one, something the judge seems to be suggesting.

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The Poem of the Index of Forbidden Books

Did God or a demon speed her pen? The writings of Italian mystic Maria Valtorta continue to rouse furious debate more than 40 years after her death. Her supporters insist that her principal work, the five-volume The Poem of the Man-God (1956-59), is a "flawless" expansion of the gospels that records heaven-sent visions and direct dictation from Jesus Christ. But in 1959, the Poem became the second-to-last publication placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.
In saner times, something being condemned by the Holy Office might result in Catholics understanding that it sucks. In these confused times, it results in a large number of confused people talking about how wonderful it is.
More than a decade ago, the Medjugorje movement has become entangled in the Valtorta controversy because pilgrimages to the Bosnia site were major vectors for disseminating the Poem. Two of the seers--one of whom is writing her own "inspired" Life of Mary-- have been queried on Our Lady's views of the work and reported a positive response. This reflects an ominous contemporary trend among followers of apparitions to treat mystics as the ultimate arbiters of Catholic belief and practice.
Reason enough to condemn Medjugorje, I think. And of course, a racial dimension sneaks in.
But Valtorta's anachronisms are not nearly as objectionable as her distorted characterizations of Jesus and Mary. They are, of course, fair-haired, blue-eyed, and alabaster-skinned quite unlike the swarthy Jews around them. Because a pale complexion signifies holiness, Mary Magdalene and John are also fair while Judas is dark.
It's always a bad day when someone tries to convince you that Jesus and Mary weren't Jewish.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

eBay and arbitration

Ebay is sneaking a binding arbitration clause into their latest user agreement. Existing users have until November 9th to opt out. I'll be mailing my notice shortly.

EDIT: HT to Slashdot.

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The importance of building things

Indeed I have often achieved much satisfaction with a little gardening or weeding.
Even more deeply, it’s important to connect with the corporeal world around you. I’m convinced that rudimentary manual work in the garden, the fine motor motions of sculpting, and the flight of hands across a (piano) keyboard all feed back to that part of our engineering selves that connects to the real world.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Mary Wouldn't Do

This reminds me very much of when, from the safety of the comment box, certain readers chide me, saying, "You don't sound very much like Our Lady! Can you imagine Mary saying what you just said?" No. And I can't imagine Mary pumping gas or making out with her husband -- but these are all things that I ought to be doing, because it's what my vocation demands of me. It's who, where, and what I am.
Thank you Mrs. Fisher for simultaneously making an excellent point and putting the image of the Theotokos making out with St. Joseph in my head.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Two PSAs for the price of one!

First of all, two good days coming up this week. Tomorrow we have the feast of good Saint Max. Wednesday is a rare Holy Day of Obligation, the Assumption. So get your extra churching in.

Also on the list if neat things, Wikipedia has a breakdown of all of the different types of screws, and I think I have been confusing Phillips and Posidriv for years.

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

On not well thought out logic

Prof. Unger, discussing Iran:
Of course, any nation is entitled to use force to defend itself against an attack by another nation. It might also be acceptable under international law to initiate violent defensive measures in response to an imminent attack by another nation, altho there may be disputes about exactly what constitutes imminence.

But an attack cannot be justified by a claim that the victim has acquired the means for attacking another nation. This would, under any reasonable interpretation of international law, be considered an act of aggression. Such an argument would legitimate an attack on the US by any nation[Emphasis is mine], since we obviously are capable of attacking any other nation. Of course it is even more indefensible to attack a nation on the grounds that it is planning to acquire the means for attacking another nation a few years from now.
[Emphasis is mine] Yes, yes it would.

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Witchhunts in academia?

I guess it's a bad idea to say something unpopular.

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Monday, August 06, 2012

I've known about this for a long time

But perhaps that says a lot about me. So yes, voter data is public.
While voter data has been 'technically public,' it is usually accessed only by political campaigns and companies that sell consumer data.
Well, them and bored high school studends interested in politics, I suppose.

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