Month: July 2007

A Jesuit Celebration

Some of you may have guessed that my computer access is limited this week (the different style of posts is your hint), but I wanted to take a moment and pass along this email from a reader:

July 31st is the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus – a.k.a. the Jesuits. For his feast day, is launching Jesuit Review, a 10-installment set of internet videos focusing on Jesuit/Ignatian spirituality, Jesuit history and contemporary Jesuits. You can find the first installment by clicking the Jesuit Review link at

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The Disco Scene?

I couldn’t help it. When I read this passage from The New Book of Lists, I immediately thought of the vertical foreplay in American discos circa 1978:

Hippos have their own form of aromatherapy. They attract mates by marking territory, urinating and defecating at the same time. Then, an enamored hippo will twirl its tail like a propeller to spread this slop in every direction. This attracts lovers . . .”

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Monday Thought

There is an invisible and subtle aspect of existence. It’s the arena where morality is spawned, virtue cultivated, and the essence of things seen. It’s not susceptible to scientific proof, logic, or even common sense. Some might call it “spiritual,” and that is partly appropriate for it is spiritual, but that’s too vague. It might be called “poetic,” but that implies it’s available only to the sentimental. Whatever it’s called, it’s a gift to those who are blessed enough to recognize it and cultivate it. For those who do not recognize it—or refuse to hearken to its calls—life is bland, consisting at best of artificial amusements and base pleasures and, at worst, boredom and despair.

John Senior in The Restoration of Christian Culture does a pretty good job of getting at these subtle aspect of existence. Here’s a representative passage:

Appearances are not only signs of reality but in a sense are like sacraments; they effect what they signifify. I mean that there is a cause-effect relation between the work we do, the clothes we wear or do not wear, the houses we live in, the walls or lack of walls, the landscape, the semiconscious sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of our ordinary lives—a close connection between these and the moral and spiritual development of souls. It is ridiculous but nonetheless true that a generation which has given up the distinction between fingers and forks will find it difficult to keep the distinction between affection and sex or between a right to one’s body and the murder of one’s child. If you eat ketchup-smeared French fries with your fingers day after day, you are well on your way to the Cyclops. The semiconscious, ordinary actions which come under the category of manners are the cultural seed-bed of morals, as

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Military Economics

In 1944, American GI’s complained about the high prices charged by French prostitutes. In an official brochure issued by the U.S. Army, 112 Gripes about the French, the Army responded: “the prices are the result of supply and demand. The prices in question are in direct relationship to the virtue of French women, and in inverse relationship to your own.”… Read the rest


Not sure I see the big deal: “Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die . . .“. If you put me in a Kennedy mansion, I’d have an uncanny knack for predicting when one of them is going to get drunk.

Jimmy Kimmel: “If Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are any indication, rehab works about as well as the Ab Roller.”

Brews You Can Use

Worse rain news since Noah: “Wet weather in northern Europe and Great Britain could reduce the quantity and quality of the barley harvest, and in turn lead to still higher prices for barley, then malt and beer.”

Some of you may have discerned that I’ve been referencing more beer blogs in the past couple of months. That’s because beer blogs have been exploding, thereby making normally making it easier to find brew news. This blogger discusses the beer blog industry and provides link to a handful of good ones.

Always something new under the sun: Pine Ale. Here’s this blogger’s pun-filled take: “I thought I was climbing out on a limb when I bought the case. And my friends needled me when they saw the bottle. But drink up – its bark is worse than its bite.”

Cone on! That’s awfully coney.

A debate rages in the beer world: Should the industry embrace a numbers rating system? I guess a (the most?) popular institute is the Beverage Testing Institute. It tastes beers and gives them a rating on a scale of 1 to 100. At least one beer manufacturer has put its rating on its bottle. Joe Six Pack doesn’t like it:

I don’t like ’em for at least three good

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Light Eudemon

Late meeting last night, no blogging today. I did, however, run across this interesting article about England’s unkind review of its favorite sons, the Beatles, back in 1967.

“Have we nothing better to offer? Surely this isn’t the image of what we are like. What a dreadful impression they must have given the rest of the world,” one comment read, the newspaper reported.

Another viewer, impressed by contributions from elsewhere, said “after all the culture … shown by the other countries, the Beatles were the absolute dregs,” the newspaper claimed.

“We did not do ourselves justice,” another viewer commented.

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The Wednesday Eudemon

I know nothing about this, and I’m painfully aware that I might be furthering some sort of hoax, a scam, or (horror of horrors) stupidity, but I feel compelled to at least mention it:”Pro-Life Breakthrough.” I offer the link “as is.”

England’s foray into 24-hour drinking establishments apparently isn’t going well. The law, which allows specially-licensed businesses to sell alcohol around the clock, has been in effect for about two years, and some say there has been an increase in binge drinking and alcohol-related problems. I hate the phrase “alcohol-related,” because it’s broad enough to capture almost anything that occurs when you have a beer in your hand, and I hear the “experts” use it that broadly, too (“frequent urination!”). Anyway, it’s believable that there has been a spike in alcohol-related problems. Once a taboo is removed, there’s a wild period, but then things should settle down. Eric Schlosser makes the same point in his muckraking plea for the legalization of drugs, Reefer Madness. Although I disagree with many angles in his book, I suspect he’s right on that score.

Some funny Leno:

I read in the paper that by the year 2015, obesity will be the leading cause of death. Especially for the person on the bottom. . . .

John Edwards has a new TV commercial touting him as a tough guy. His wife says he has unbelievable toughness. And he is tough. Like in the ad, it says sometimes he shampoos his hair and then skips the conditioner completely and goes commando. . . .

In just a couple of weeks, the new movie “Underdog” comes out. It’s a dog with super powers that fights criminals. That’s gotta be Michael Vick’s worst nightmare. . . .


The slutty version of … Read the rest