Month: March 2018

“Kirk first encountered the Shroud while offhandedly visiting the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Torino, Italy, in 1957 when he attended a Mont Pelerin Society conference. Here, he claimed, he encountered the face of God. “The face was wondrously distinct, almost accurate as a plaster death mask: a strong face, composed in death, with long straight hair, and bearded,” he remembered. This stood not only as a monument to faith, Kirk believed, but to the Roman Catholic Church itself, having protected this fragment of cloth for nearly two thousand years of history.”… Read the rest


Lew Rockwell has run two Christocentric pieces these past two days:

Does The Celestial-Geophysical-Historical Time Clock Provide Evidence For An Easter Crucifixion & Resurrection?

What is the connection between personal freedom and rising from the dead?

I haven’t had a chance to read the second one, but it looks promising.

The Jewish atheist Murray Rothbard is rolling over in his grave. (Actually, I doubt it: based on everything I know about the man and his thought, he’d fully support this kind of dialogue. Even though he would presumably take a contrary position, he’d be respectful . . . I think.)… Read the rest



Ceiling. TrastevereA lot of people brought gifts to Marie’s birthday party. I was impressed by the assortment of unusual, small gifts that she received. There were plenty of wine bottles (my standard present) and gift certificates, which are always cool, but also lottery tickets (she won $10), decorative socks, body lotions, beer with personal customized labels, charitable donation made in Marie’s name, fancy water bottle, little bottles of liquor. So if you need a little gift but don’t want to give a bottle of wine, there’s a list for you ton consider.

Ceiling. TrastevereI never knew Jethro Tull was a real guy. While gardening last week, I listened to a lecture about the growing agricultural crisis that was gripping Europe in the 17th century. Because one-third to one-half of ag land had to sit fallow, farmers weren’t able to grow enough food to sell or use for any purpose besides their own consumption. As a result, cows weren’t being fed well, and they subsequently produced sub-par manure for fertilizer, which made the soil poorer, which resulted in worse harvests, and on and death spiral on. Then Jethro discovered that legume crops (we call them “cover crops” today) planted on the fallow fields would both feed the cows better AND enrich the soil. That one discovery helped eliminate the agricultural crisis and propelled Europe to greater development.

Ceiling. TrastevereIt’s not too often I get to listen to an historical gardening recount while gardening at the same time. There was something uniquely gratifying about it.

Amazon Deals of the DayRead the rest


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereThe saddest story of the week: “The police officer who died after taking the place of a hostage in France was a practising Catholic who had ‘experienced a genuine conversion’ around 2008.” Link. Maximilian-Kolbe stuff, but here, the killer wasn’t a Nazi but a jihadist. Shocker.

Ceiling. TrastevereThe Norbertines have broken ground on a 327-acre development in Orange County, California. No word on whether they’ll make any great alcohol, like their colleagues in Europe. I’m guessing Orange County can’t compete with Napa Valley grapes.

Ceiling. TrastevereI heard this question on a podcast: Would you rather have a Princeton education but no degree or a Princeteon degree without the Princeton education. If we’re talking a run-of-the-mill undergrad degree, I think the answer is pretty obvious, and it highlights the ridiculousness of higher education today. It’s all about “getting the piece of paper,” not about learning anything. Or, at the author on the podcast says, it’s about “signalling,” not education.

Ceiling. TrastevereRead the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereWelcome to Holy Week 2018. It hasn’t been a great Lent for me, so I’m trying to double down this week. I’m reading nothing but religious works, with focus on Romano Guardini’s The Lord. If you don’t have that book, you should. It’s remarkable.

Ceiling. TrastevereI feel like Jack Kerouac, who one time vowed to read nothing but Buddhist literature and limit his sexual activity to onanism. I’m just like that this week, but without the Buddhism part.

Ceiling. TrastevereOkay, yes, and without the onanism part either.

Ceiling. TrastevereGuardini was a German Catholic theologian, incidentally. I mentioned that during the Theology on Tap session last week and someone commented that his name sounds Italian. For some reason, I had never consciously considered his Latinesque name and began to second-guess whether I was right about his nationality. It turns out, he was born in Italy but moved to Germany as a toddler.

Ceiling. TrastevereSome pretty good saint feast days occur this week: John of Damascus (Tuesday), John Climacus (Friday), and, of course, Rupert of Salzburg (Thursday). They all get overshadowed by the Week, of course. I wonder if they chide each other up there (“Hey, nice feast day recognition, John! They’re not even saying Mass today.”).

Ceiling. TrastevereAh, now I understand why I see so many people licking their fingers: “Cocaine is now so prevalent in society that one in 10 people who have never used the drug have traces on their hands.” It appears to stem from rolling up bills to snort the powder. Another interesting fact from the article: “An estimated 4.4 lbs, roughly 80,000 lines of coke ends up in the River Thames … Read the rest


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereI pass along a lot of historical, political, and religious podcast recommendations, but I’m not sure I’ve ever recommended a fun podcast. So here goes: The Conspirators. The podcaster, Nate Hale (an entirely fictional identity), does a great job of painting eerie pictures of mysterious episodes over the past few hundred years. PG-13 content (Hale’s approach is very clean, but the subject matter is disturbing).

Ceiling. TrastevereAs long as I’m at it, here’s a list of podcasts I’ve listened to over the past week of gardening (1-10 rating in parenthesis): “The Conspirators” (8), “Revolutions” by Mike Duncan (9), “St. Josemaria Institute Podcast” (10), “The Joe Rogan Experience” (7), “The Jordan Peterson Podcast” (3), “The Tom Woods Show” (6), “Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell” (6), “Light of the East” (7), “Econtalk” (6). My rating, incidentally, reflects my historical experience with the podcast, with a bit heavier weight for what I heard this past week. The Thaddeus Russell “Unregistered” podcast rating would typically be higher, but the episode I started to listen to was bad. I had never listened to Jordan Peterson’s podcast, so my poor rating reflects just one-half of his recent Q&A episode, which I found borderline painful to listen to. I’ll give him another try later.

Ceiling. TrastevereIt looks like my Michigan Wolverines will lose tonight. Max (14) announced to me Friday morning, “Michigan has a cake walk to the finals.” I sternly informed him that he had just jinxed my school and he was forthwith banished from the house. I think he’s living under a bush next door.

Ceiling. TrastevereYou’ve never been to Loyola University? WaPo give a narrative tour here. My niece … Read the rest



A TDE reader alerted me to this story in the Wall Street Journal that interests me on many levels: Drinkers Go Crazy for Gin, Investors for Tonic.

Regular TDE readers know I’ve been on a big gin-and-tonic kick ever since my trip to London in November 2016. It turns out, I’m not the only one:

Not so long ago, gin was associated with a dwindling cohort of aging drinkers. This decade, however, sales have picked up, particularly at the top end of the market. Over the five years through 2016, the last year for which full data are available, annual growth in the number of premium bottles sold averaged 9.3%, according to data provider, the IWSR. For even pricier bottles, growth has been close to 30%.

I’m also a big fan of high-quality tonic. In my opinion, few simple cocktails beat New Amsterdam (a lower-mid-shelf gin) and Fevertree tonic. Why spend a lot of extra money on gin when a high-quality tonic makes an even bigger impact on the overall taste? Expensive tonic water is much cheaper than even cheap gin, and a lot of people have figured that out:

Perhaps the biggest question for Fevertree, and the gin industry, concerns the U.S. Gin and tonic has yet to take centre-stage in the world’s largest liquor market, which has been more excited about tequila, whiskey and cocktails. Fevertree set up a U.S. base in December. If the European gin craze does cross the Atlantic, the party really would get wild.

I really like Fevertree, but it pales next to its British competitor, Britvic. Britvic, however, is very hard to find. Abbie was in … Read the rest