Month: September 2006

More Islamic Hate

An astute reader sent this a few days ago: How an Egyptian student came to study 1950s America and left determined to wage holy war. It’s from The Smithsonian, which isn’t exactly known for multi-cultural intolerance. It’s pretty good.

Funny story: About ten years ago, a family member received an invitation to donate and subscribe to The Smithsonian. He scrawled on the postcard, “I wouldn’t give you leftwing nuts a dime,” then mailed it back (a pre-paid card, he wanted to cost them an extra 20 cents for the postage). About two months later, he started receiving The Smithsonian and dunning letters, claiming he subscribed and he better pay or they’d turn him over to a credit collection agency. He asked me what he should do. I told him that The Smithsonian needed to go into their databank and retrieve the postcard in order to have any proof of contract. He told them to produce the postcard and, if appropriate, he’d pay in full. They said they’d retrieve the postcard and send him a copy as proof. Miracles of miracles, he never heard from them again.

I would’ve loved to have seen the look on their bill collector’s face when the office boy brought in that postcard. … Read the rest


Here’s a needle in a haystack for you: I’m looking for a blogger (besides me) who has admitted that s/he fails to finish books that s/he’s started. Not all the time, but with frequency. Email on your left. … Read the rest

The Weekend Eudemon

I have a few moments to write before taking Jack (10) to his football game. He must be there at 7:00 in order to weigh in and make sure he’s not over 100 pounds. He weighs only 80, but he has to weigh in every week. They make everyone weigh in, even 4-foot anorexics. I think it’s to make sure they don’t offend the heavy boys. Nevermind that it offends common sense.

I hit the drinking club last night, taking my wife and meeting my parents and a small host of friends. It wasn’t a great idea. I was still dogged tired from my trip to Detroit and eight hours of driving the day before. Two tall Oberons and a glass of Pinot Grigio improved my mood, but I could barely pull myself out of bed this morning. At least I now know what it feels like to be 90. Good news is: it’s bearable.

Great feast day today: St. Jerome. This morning’s Antiphon in the Canticle of Zechariah is pretty neat:

Those who are learned will be as radiant as the sky in all its beauty; those who instruct the people in goodness will shine like the stars for all eternity.

As Chesterton noted, the Church is paradoxical. It embraces opposites. This is a great example. The Church extols simplicity, humility, acceptance of dogma without hubristic questioning. But then it glowingly praises learning. Neat stuff.

St. Jerome is also the patron saint of bloggers. Well, he’s ain’t their patron saint yet, but there’s a movement afoot. Lots of names have been proposed (e.g., Augustine, St. John the Apostle, even Martin Luther), but it looks like the movement for Jerome has picked up the most traction among bloggers.

Until next week, keep warm as the army of cold steps up … Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

Posting will be light today. I didn’t get back from the Tigers game until late. I’m dragging and behind in life. Luckily, it’s Friday. If I can hold on for a few hours, I have a couple days of rest (subject, of course, to three soccer games and junior football game).

Brews you can use? That’ll be light, too, but I found this piece of information a few days ago in Ambient Findability: there are now GPS pub crawl applications. No matter how drunk you are, if you can crawl and see, you can find the next pub with the assistance of satellite positioning software. I searched the web and found this sample. … Read the rest

Tiger Town

No more blogging today. I’m headed to Detroit to watch the Tigers. We have a one-game lead, and the magic number is 3. I’m picking up my father and a friend this morning, then getting my brother on the way. Upper level box seats. If the rain holds, it should be a good time. … Read the rest

Darkness in Iceland

This is pretty neat:

Authorities in the capital Reykjavik will turn off street lights on Thursday evening and people are also being encouraged to sit in their houses in the dark, writer Andri Snaer Magnason said on Wednesday.

While the lights are out, an astronomer will describe the night sky over national radio.

Iceland is a wee bit more homogeneous than the United States. What would happen if a smallish big city in the U.S. tried this? Well, a segment of the population would use the opportunity to riot and/or commit crimes. A few rednecks would spray spotlights into the night sky (“Ain’t no fancy pant asstomer gonna talk to me ’bout stars”). The ACLU might find some sort of church-state violation. Libertarians might protest that government is now telling us how to use our free time. And a shocking number of Americans wouldn’t have gotten the memo and wouldn’t care if they did: they need to watch TV.… Read the rest