Month: July 2008

Thursday’s Fix

Internet addiction is growing. The main types of Internet addiction are cybersex, online affairs, online gambling, online gaming, compulsive surfing and even eBay addiction. An article by Dr. Jerald J. Block in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry stated that “Internet addiction appears to be a common disorder.” Some people apparently spend 14-18 hours a day online, but the article doesn’t say when you cross the line from mere surfer to addicted surfer. It mentions therapy and the possible development of medication, but it doesn’t mention moderation. It mentions treatment but it doesn’t mention fortitude. It mentions compulsion but it doesn’t mention free will.

In such an intellectual climate, everything carries an addictive threat.

Far out: A jet pack which could allows commuters to fly to work has been unveiled by an inventor. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’d even cover my .9 mile commute: Revving its engine, Harrison slowly climbed to about three feet off the ground and hovered for 45 seconds before touching back down to Earth.

Could you imagine the metro areas if this invention took off (so to speak)? The roads would unclog, and that’d be great. But what about the jet pack rage? Would we see people kicking at each other in the sky? It’d be interesting and a lot of fun to watch, until one falls from the sky and kills a pedestrian. This thing is filled with a ton of unintended consequences. If I get around to it, maybe I’ll worry about it. In any event, I’ll bet you $20 someone will be online today, writing a serious blog entry or article about the dangers of this contraption.

Chesterton vindicated: The world’s oldest recorded joke has been traced back to 1900 BC and suggests toilet humour was as Read the rest

Tuesday Miscellany

Better late than never. Nick Milne tagged me while I was on vacation. The rules:

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

Six unspectacular quirks (which I’ll interpret as six peculiar traits). Hmmmmm, here goes: (1) I like to wear female underwear and bras. (2) In men’s rooms, I . . .

Okay, seriously, six quirks: (1) Faced with rapidly-thinning hair and a father who was bald by age 22, at age 20 I started (i) rotating shampoos, (ii) using protein conditions (which I rubbed into my scalp in odd ways), and washing my hair with cold water only. Twenty-two years later, I’m still balding and not bald and I still follow the same routine. (2) I triple check appliances and door locks before leaving for overnight trips. (3) I like to dance, though I have no skills whatsoever unless you count moonwalking. (4) I have a large family and an even larger library/study. I keep both locked in my basement. (5) I enjoy weekday Masses and try to attend every day (albeit usually arriving late), but dislike and have to drag myself to the obligatory weekend ones. (6) I wear a pedometer and am rather obsessed with it.

I tag Tim J., Bill, Sean, Trubador, John, and Steve.

I flirt with anarchism (maybe I should’ve added that as a quirk above). I find the anarcho-capitalist arguments advanced by Murray Rothbard clever, often compelling, always fodder for thinking in general and thinking specifically about how modern government has gone so terribly out of … Read the rest

Monday Miscellany

Marcel LeJeune at Aggie Catholics calls it a “masterpiece,” I suspect he’s right: The Vindication of Humanae Vitae. Taking Marcel’s lead, I’ll summarize the article as follows: contraception is bad for women, bad for marriage, bad for babies, and bad for sex. And that’s actually a summary of only Part II. You need to read the rest to see great stuff, like these passages:

The power and charge of sex are maintained when there is some sacredness to it, when it is not on tap all the time. . . .

Less than half a century later, these preoccupations with overwhelming birth rates appear as pseudo-scientific as phrenology. Actually, that may be unfair to phrenology. . . .

[Lionel] Tiger has further argued—as Humanae Vitae did not explicitly, though other works of Catholic theology have—for a causal link between contraception and abortion, stating outright that “with effective contraception controlled by women, there are still more abortions than ever. . . . Contraception causes abortion.” . . .

If a church cannot tell its flock “what to do with my body,” as the saying goes, with regard to contraception, then other uses of that body will quickly prove to be similarly off-limits to ecclesiastical authority. . . .

Forty years after its publication, Pius VI is proving a prophet, and this article sets forth the evidence. Us Catholic fools who practice NFP might be the smart ones (I could’ve told you that awhile back, but I try to be modest–snicker).

From the introduction:

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh,” the Psalmist promises, specifically in a passage about enjoying vindication over one’s adversaries. If that is so, then the racket on this fortieth anniversary must be prodigious. Four decades later, not only have the document’s signature predictions been

Read the rest


I don’t get overtly political on this blog very often, but the Obama foreign tour is sticking in my craw. Consider this morning’s AP story about visiting Europe:

Obama said he and [Prime Minister] Brown discussed a wide range of issues, such as climate change, terrorism and financial markets.

“The prime minister’s emphasis — like mine — is on how we can strengthen the trans-Atlantic relationship to solve problems that can’t be solved by any single country individually,” he said.

The Democratic hopeful seemed relaxed as he strolled down to the prime minister’s office at 10 Downing St., pausing briefly to shake the hands of two somewhat startled police officers standing near the door.

Forget about the fawning reporting (He “seemed relax.” Come on!). I’m more annoyed with the pride. I don’t recall seeing a presidential candidate carrying on talks and negotiations with foreign dignitaries while he’s, you know, a candidate. It strikes me as the height of hubris, and, quite frankly, the more I see and hear of him, the less I like him. Don’t get me wrong, I was never going to vote for him, but I was going to throw my vote away or just enjoy that Tuesday in November by staying away from the polls. The more whiffs I get of Obama’s blithe arrogance, though, the more I’m galvanized to vote for McCain. Whatta rotten year.

So, it looks like John Edwards is a sleaze bag. Who would’ve thought. You’d think a guy who spends that much time caring for his hair would have better character.

Word of the Month: sempiternal \sem-pih-TUR-nuhl\, adjective: Of never ending duration; having beginning but no end; everlasting; endless. I’m surprised I’d never heard that one.

Happy birthday to my father. I was at his house … Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

Holy stumbler, Batman! State police say they arrested a man early Tuesday whose blood alcohol level was 0.491 percent – the highest ever recorded in Rhode Island for someone who wasn’t dead.

I went to a couple of blood alcohol level calculator sites to figure out how many beers I’d have to drink to reach .491, and I couldn’t get an answer. They wouldn’t let me input that many.

The article above has the following information: “A level of 0.30 is classified as stupor, 0.4 is comatose and 0.5 is considered fatal.”

I haven’t been this titillated until learning in high school that “moron,” “imbecile,” and “idiot” have actual scientific meanings in IQ studies.

Heroes are made every day: An Australian man convicted of his seventh drink-driving charge was spending about A$1,000 ($972) a week on beer . . .

Okay, the drunk driving part wasn’t heroic. And I guess maybe the $972 weekly vice wasn’t either. But that type of endurance is worth something.

My favorite drunk-driving video of all time:


Catholic Beer Review on the art of homebrewing. … Read the rest