Month: October 2007

The Flu

No Eudemon today. I have the flu or somethign terribly like it.

Last year, my doctor said it’s not uncommon for low grade viruses to dog a person off and on for weeks (he may have said months), with the severity of symptoms going up and down. I’d never heard that before. Anybody have an opinion on that? I’ve been feeling lousy/”off” occasionally since Sunday evening. I’m wondering if I have one of those hang-around, low-grade viruses. My doctor strikes me as sharp, but as Jerry Seinfeld once observed, someone had to finish last in medical school. … Read the rest

Drinking Book to Kooky Philosopher

Gotta get it: The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine, Whiskey, And Song: A Spirited Look at Catholic Life and Lore from the Apocalypse to Zinfandel. Only $10.17 at Amazon.
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Taking the kids to The Golden Compass? Check out non-partisan Snopes first.
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When you’re pounding out theories in the ivory tower, it’s easy. You can come up with any ole theory and make it sound good, if you dress it up with enough surface erudition. But when it comes to application, it’s a different thing altogether. A true philosopher lives his thought. The fraud doesn’t. Animal rights extremist Peter Singer (who taught that rats can be as innately valuable as humans) has always been a fraud. This story came out a few years ago, but I had forgotten about it until I saw it at O’Leary’s blog yesterday. Excerpt:

In the late ‘90s, his mother Cora suffered from Alzheimer syndrome and could no longer recognize family members. She had clearly lost the qualities that, according to Singer, give us rights. Nonetheless, Singer spent tens of thousands of dollars that might have gone to an animal liberation cause to give his mother a good quality of life. When challenged about this, he merely replied, “Perhaps it is more difficult than I thought before, because it is different when it’s your mother.”

Yes, Prof. Singer, it is different when it’s your mother. Another philosopher, Peter J. Colosi, who teaches philosophy at the Franciscan university in Gaming, Austria, explains, “The difference, when the sufferer is your mother, is that you love her. And it is love that opens our eyes to the true source of the worth of persons: their inner preciousness, unrepeatability, and uniqueness.”

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More than 12 a minute: A Californian man ate 103 burgers in just eight Read the rest

Monday Miscellany

I stumbled across all sorts of interesting things this weekend:

A cool Wikipedia entry on fictional portrayals of psychopaths in literature;

The Crux Project’s Denyse O’Leary’s blog;

A genuinely great Book Club offer at ISI books;

A newspaper (StreetWise) written to help homeless people in Chicago earn money for __________. It actually seems like a pretty good idea. It gives the homeless (can we say “bums” anymore?) some sense of worth and a bit of labor.
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I don’t discuss sports much at this blog, but indulge me: The Big Ten Network is obnoxious. May the Big Ten (which I have always supported in many online and bar arguments) stumble on its hubris.

The Michigan game was again not available this last week. This is the fifth time. The first four times, it was because the BTN took it. I don’t receive the BTN because the BTN and the hated cable companies are feuding over rates. Although the cable companies are often obnoxious, this time they’re right: The BTN is demanding ridiculous rates.

[T]he network has refused to acknowledge what it is: niche programming. Its live programming features leftover, non-marquee matchups in football and basketball along with broadcasts of other sports that, for better or worse, aren’t very popular. Combined with the non-live programming, it’s far from clear whether there was ever any considerable consumer demand for BTN’s offerings, especially considering most football and basketball games were already televised.

Yet instead of asking for a modest per subscriber fee from cable providers, BTN is demanding $1.10 per person in the eight-state Big Ten region (and $.10 elsewhere). The $1.10 figure is higher than that charged by the vast majority of cable networks, including the NFL Network, which asks for $.75 per subscriber. Considering

Read the rest

Administrative Saturday Morning

I finally got a chance to clean up my link list on the right. Dead links, blogs that haven’t added fresh content in over six weeks, links not accessible without passwords, blogs that were recently updated to say “This blog is now closed.” They’re gone, and I’ve added some new links. If your link got deleted and you want it back, just email me.
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Dale Price has a fitting tribute to another classic church that has closed. Article. … Read the rest

Friday and Brews

My plans yesterday: Greektown Casino in Detroit with my brother, crash in Greektown, get up at 6:00 a.m. and be in Kalamazoo by 9:00 a.m. Friday. My day yesterday: Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo with my Dad, drinking club for a night cap, get up at 6:30 a.m. to get kids ready for school and be in Kalamazoo by 9:00 a.m. I was awfully disappointed when my trip to Detroit fell through, but it was good to spend the afternoon with my Dad drinking beer and playing video poker. I lost only $55 over 2-and-a-half hours, so I can’t complain too much.

Today’s Brews You Can Use? I found a couple:

Very sad: “Wild elephants’ taste for rice beer, which has often led to villages where the beer is produced being destroyed, took a sad turn when six of the Asiatic elephants were electrocuted as they went berserk after drinking the beer in India’s remote northeast, a wildlife official said.” They apparently had the munchies: “The 40-strong herd uprooted an electric pole while looking desperately for food on Friday . . .” Very believable. I’ve been in those hungry elephants’s shoes.
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Another sad story: Sad that such a thing needed official approval: “The New Ulm, Minn., city council has approved a measure giving volunteer firefighters the option of consuming alcohol at fire station buildings after fire calls or other related functions.”
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Beer picture of the week:

Hops Fusion.jpgRead the rest

Horror Article

I don’t have much today. Long story short, I had an excellent day and evening planned today, but it fell through. I also didn’t feel good yesterday and was exhausted at the end of the day. The result, I felt existentially lousy (some might call it depressed). Instead of doing anything productive, I drank beer and watched Halloween on AMC, then stayed up later than normal. I’m now scrambling to post something, anything.

Fortunately, I remembered this article I wrote for Busted Halo a few years ago. It’s the spooky time of season, so it’s apt. Enjoy:

Sexy Halloween
America’s Seven Billion Dollar Guilt Trip
by Eric Scheske

If you haven’t heard, Halloween is number two. At almost $7 billion a year in sales, Americans are spending more on Halloween than on any other holiday except Christmas.

Want a 2-foot-tall zombie that pulls off its head? You can get it for $100. A gory severed head? $50. Demented scarecrow, goblin, grim reaper mask? You’re looking at about $60.

Sure, it’s fun. But why has Halloween and its ghoulish fare gotten so popular?

The horror genre and Puritan morality
Maybe it has something to do with the rise of horror in our culture, especially as embodied in all those fright movies: Scream, Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare Elm Street, to name only the movies with multiple sequels.

And maybe the rise of horror has something to do with the rise of . . . sex.

When sexual freedom rose, horror rose with it. Deep Throat came out in 1973 and Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1975. Both were low-budget long shots that brought its producers millions of dollars. Maybe it was coincidence.

Maybe it was also coincidence that Blood Feast, a movie that signaled the official birth of the gore … Read the rest